Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wed Nov 9 A Conversation with Internet Inventors Wash DC

Upcoming event....

WhenWednesday, November 9, 2011, 7 – 8pm
CategoriesAfter Five, Lectures & Discussions
LocationAmerican Art Museum
Event LocationMcEvoy Auditorium, Lower Level
Related ExhibitionThe Great American Hall of Wonders
Join us for a conversation with Steve Crocker and Vinton Cerf, two of the Internet’s founding fathers. Crocker established protocols necessary for the workings of the Internet, and Cerf, a computer scientist, was instrumental in the development of the first commercial email system. They will discuss how the Internet changed the way we communicate.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

10.27 :: Peak Netflix? :: Lightsquared on K Street :: The WIFI Journey :: Amtrack Filtering Game News Sources :: Tech and Human Rights :: Disastrous IP Leg is Back ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
"Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned
rather than housed in them." -Henry David Thoreau

Internet bandwidth report: Have we reached "Peak Netflix?", Ars Technica
Remember that Sandvine report published five months ago that called
Netflix the "king" of North American fixed download Internet data?
That survey estimated the online video company's share at 29.7 percent
of all peak download time, a 44 percent boost in

LightSquared Goes All In on K Street, National Journal
After months spent trying to make a technological case for why its
network will not interfere with GPS, LightSquared has gone political.

The Wi-Fi Journey, Virulent Word of Mouse
Behind every successful technology lie many quirky stories showing how
it grew like a teenager or barely averted disaster. With the passage
of time, most of those stories fade into obscurity or, at best, become
parts of verbal explanations accompanying countless resumes. The few
events that find their way into public discourse, if any do at all,
normally get stripped of context and nuance, losing the contours that
actually mattered to those who participated.

Amtrak Filtering Gay, Lesbian News Sources - Train Wi-Fi Comes With
Yet Another Broken Filtering System, dlsreports
For years stories have repeatedly highlighted how imposing Internet
filters on services is often a well-intentioned push that winds up
doing more harm than good. In case after case, those who want to get
around said filters usually can quite easily, while others wind up
running into problems with legitimate content being blocked. The
latest broken filters come courtesy of Amtrak, which is utilizing a
web filter system on their train Wi-Fi

Amtrak Lets You Surf The Web While Traveling, But Don't Try To Read
Anything About Gay People, Techdirt
The Maryland Juice blog has been following a story in which Montgomery
County, Maryland's local government has instituted an overly
aggressive web filter for government employees, that seems to block
all sorts of sites that mention things about gays or lesbians. And

Sandvine: Netflix Accounts For 32% of Peak Traffic - And Other
Tidbits, Including Mean Usage is Actually Down, DSLReports
According to a new study by Sandvine, Netflix traffic comprises 32% of
all Internet traffic during peak hours. The intelligent network
manufacturer's 10th Global Internet Phenomena Report offers some
interesting insight courtesy of data collected on ISP networks, noting

Technology and human rights, Google
Every day we see Internet users around the world finding new ways to
use technology to help bring about political, economic and social
change. It's exciting to see people exercise their rights to freely
express themselves and access information across borders and media --
rights first enshrined in Article 19 of the United Nation's Universal
Declaration of Human Rights long before the Internet existed

Google Reveals 70% Increase In Requests For Content Removal; Including
Law Enforcement Wanting To Hide Police Brutality, Techdirt
Google has released its latest "transparency report" which seeks to
reveal aggregate data on requests for user information and content
takedowns from around the world. Much of the press coverage focuses on
the fact that requests on user info was up 29% from January 1, 2011

Time Warner Cable Net Slips, WSJ
Time Warner Cable's earnings slipped 1.1% as growth in its high-speed
Internet customer base continued to offset big drops in pay-TV

Disastrous IP Legislation Is Back – And It's Worse than Ever, EFF
We've reported here often on efforts to ram through Congress
legislation that would authorize massive interference with the
Internet, all in the name of a fruitless quest to stamp out all
infringement online. Today Representative Lamar upped the ante,
introducing legislation, called the Stop Online Piracy Act, or "SOPA,"
that would not only sabotage the domain name system but would also
threaten to effectively eliminate the

New Video On How PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet, Techdirt
The folks behind Fight For the Future have teamed up with Kirby
Ferguson, who created the excellent everything is a remix series, have
teamed up to put together a video about the problems with PROTECT
IP/E-PARASITES. It's worth a watch... and passing it on to others

Another Court Makes Righthaven Pay Up For Its Trolling Ways, Techdirt
The judgements against copyright troll Righthaven are starting to pile
up. Righthaven recently tried (unsuccessfully) to convince a Nevada
court that $34k was more money than it could reasonably scrape
together to post a bond while it appealed the adverse judgment in that
case. Now

ICE Seized 20 Domain Names For The NFL Over The Weekend, Techdirt
Despite challenges concerning the legality of ICE seizing domain names
prior to any sort of adversarial hearing, it appears that ICE has no
intention to slow down. The group quietly seized 20 more domain names
over the weekend, and it looks like most involved sites selling

Beautiful Chrome app by 60 Minutes a sign of TV's future?, Globe calls it the 'the first primetime news magazine show to
have its own standalone web application'

Geo-Mapping and the FBI: High-Level Statements Contradict Practices on
the Ground, EFF
This week, Wired's Danger Room blog reported on the FBI's efforts to
track Muslims in the United States using "geo-maps." The maps,
released in response to ACLU Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
requests, show that the FBI is tracking Muslims and mapping Muslim
communities extensively and with little, if any, suspicion of criminal

Senators Question Legality of Mobile Phone Apps, Daily Dashboard
The Alexandria Echo Press reports on a bipartisan call led by Sens. Al
Franken (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for an investigation into
mobile phone apps that "allow domestic abusers and stalkers to
secretly track a victim's movement and location, read a victim's
e-mail and text

Before the Internet There Was the Telegraph, Verizon
Monday of this week was the 150th anniversary of the completion of the
transcontinental telegraph. It is hard now to understand how
significant this event was. Until the telegraph came in to being, it
was impossible for messages to be relayed to people who were long
distances apart any faster than the speed of a horse. Yes,

How secure is HTTPS today? How often is it attacked?, EFF
HTTPS is a lot more secure than HTTP! If a site uses accounts, or
publishes material that people might prefer to read in private, the
site should be protected with HTTPS.

BART Considers a Cell Phone Shutdown Policy, EFF
This summer, decision-makers at Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) garnered
considerable criticism -- not to mention the ire of Anonymous and days
of protests -- after they chose to shut down cell phone access to four
BART stations in downtown San Francisco based on rumors of an upcoming
protest. Now BART's Board Directors has drafted a Cell Phone
Interruption Policy, which they will consider at an upcoming meeting

EFF, ACLU file lawsuits over Patriot Act data collection, CW
Two civil liberties groups have filed lawsuits asking the U.S.
Department of Justice to detail its collection of electronic data and
other information under the 10-year-old counterterrorism law, the USA
Patriot Act.

Ten Years After the Patriot Act, a Look at Three of the Most Dangerous
Provisions Affecting Ordinary Americans, EFF
Ten years ago today, in the name of protecting national security and
guarding against terrorism, President George W. Bush signed into law
some of the most sweeping changes to search and surveillance law in
modern American history. Unfortunately known as the USA PATRIOT

Louisiana loses $80 million broadband stimulus grant, Muni
The NTIA has rescinded the $80 million broadband grant given to
Louisiana for the deployment of a 900-mile fiber optic network that
would have delivered broadband service to the poorest parts of the
state, as well as to educational institutions. According to US Senator

Governor Snyder Sees Broadband as an Essential Element for Michigan's
Revitalization, Connected Nation
"From government and schools to hospitals and private industry, our
cyber networks are integral to Michigan's infrastructure, economic
growth, and quality of life."

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Monday, October 24, 2011

10.24 :: Harm :: Some Bars :: Fight Dangers :: Dying :: Surrender :: Attacking the Sector :: Cheating :: ECPA, from the time of Big Hair ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
No universal truth contains the Ego-Self. There are no events or
objects of the past, future, or present that are absolutely constant.
[Therefore, do not] carry the burden of the past, indulge in fantasies
of the future, nor intoxicate with the desires of the present. –

LightSquared harms GPS, The Hill
LightSquared has been trying for nearly a year to show that it can
provide new broadband services without seriously undermining the
critical GPS uses and applications Americans rely on every day. It has
consistently failed to make its case. But that hasn't slowed down a
LightSquared public

US Broadband in Maps, Graphs, and some Bars, Digitopoly
To be sure, most of us do not use government statistical reports as
anything more than bedtime reading for inducing soporific reactions.
It is cheaper than a sleeping pill

Implementing Net Neutrality, Telecom Law Monitor
The Federal Communications Commission adopted the new Open
Internet/Net Neutrality regulations on December 23, 2010, which will
go into effect on November 20, 2011. These regulations place
restrictions on certain providers of broadband Internet access. To
listen to Steve Augustino's view on the implementation of the FCC's
new Open Internet regulations, please view the Lexblog Network TV
interview below. In

Akamai Announces Second Quarter 2011 'State of the Internet' Report, Akamai
Akamai technologies today released its Second Quarter, 2011 State of
the Internet report. Based on data gathered from the Akamai
Intelligent Platform™, which serves as much as 30 percent of the
world's Web traffic at any one time, the report provides insight into
key global statistics such as Internet penetration, mobile traffic and
data consumption, origins of attack traffic and SSL usage, and global
and regional connection speeds.

Blogging IGF: EFF Fights Against Dangers of Intermediaries as Internet
Police, EFF
As several international organizations hatch new ways to impose
control over online activities, genuine multi-stakeholder input in
policy development becomes extremely crucial. The sixth UN Internet
Governance Forum (IGF), held in Nairobi, Kenya, was an important venue
for discussing competing models for governing the Internet.

SURFnet and KPN to collaborate on next generation mobile networks,
Internet and IPv6, Bill St. Arnaud
Kudos to SURFnet on an exciting new initiative between SURFnet and KPN
(Dutch incumbent telephone company). As many of you know I have been
blogging about this opportunity for R&E networks for some time. I
think R&E networks can play an important leadership role in deploying
revolutionary next generation mobile networks with an "enterprise"
centric architecture, integrating campus Wifi,

2011 Global IPv6 Survey Results, ARIN
no description

Steve Jobs: America's Schools Are Dying, Forbes
no description

Into the depths of AT&T's let-us-buy-T-Mobile astroturf campaign, Ars Technica
AT&T is legendary for laundering its public policy preferences through
minority and social service groups that it supports financially in
order to produce an apparent groundswell of support. We've written
about it enough times not to be surprised by the practice anymore, but
the Center for Public Integrity has just concluded an in-depth
investigation of the practice that's well worth a look. In order to
support its proposed T-Mobile

Victory! Google Surrenders in the Nymwars, EFF
Proponents of pseudonymity scored a major victory today, when Google
executive Vic Gundotra revealed at the Web 2.0 Summit that social
networking service Google+ will begin supporting pseudonyms and other
types of identity.

Do Bell's Throttling Practices Violate CRTC Net Neutrality Rules?: It
Says P2P Congestion Declining, Geist
Earlier this week, Bell wrote to its wholesale ISP customers to let
them know that it is shifting away from throttling practices that have
been in place for several years. The letter states:

Wyden: PROTECT IP Act Is About Letting The Content Sector Attack The
Innovation Sector, Techdirt
For years we've seen Silicon Valley basically ignore what's happening
in Washington DC, and this has allowed certain other industries to
take advantage of that policy. Hopefully, more people are beginning to
realize that this is a problem and that speaking out and doing
something may have an impact. Thankfully, some in Congress are helping
to spread that word as well. Senator Wyden, who we've obviously
mentioned a bunch

Is There A Cloud Bubble Forming?, USTelecom
Everyday we read about a new data center being built or getting ready
to open up in a major U.S. city. With companies like Amazon, Google,
Apple, Facebook and others utilizing the "Cloud" service model to
serve an ever growing global user community, these massive data
centers connected to the Internet, have become the engines behind
these popular services. Each one of these data centers is built with
thousands of

Your Cheating Heart: iPhone App Finds Wife With Another Man, Yahoo
When Apple released its new iOS 5 operating system to go with its
iPhone 4S, it touted a new app called "Find My Friends" as a great way
to track and meet up with friends. If they agree, you can see their
locations on a map on your screen.

The FTC Has Your Back, Even When It's Naked: FTC Orders P2P Program's
Default File Sharing Settings Changed, Privacy Law Blog
On October 12, 2011, the FTC announced that it, along with Frostwire
LLC and FrostWire's managing member, Angel Leon, (collectively,
"FrostWire"), agreed to a stipulated final order for permanent
injunction resulting from the FTC's complaint alleging that (a) users
of FrostWire's Android mobile file-sharing application were likely to
unwittingly share personal files stored on their mobile devices with
other P2P

The Cybersecurity Agenda: Policy Options and the Path Forward, Brookings
Cybersecurity has emerged as a policy priority for both the White
House and Congress, and bipartisan consensus on how to address
cyber-related challenges is growing. Yet the transition from focusing
on isolated threats to building comprehensive cybersecurity solutions
has not

1986 Rocked, But It's Time For Change, CDT
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Electronic Communications
Privacy Act (ECPA), the federal statute that specifies standards for
government monitoring of cell phone conversations and Internet

TechFreedom Joins Call to Action to Reform ECPA on Its 25th
Anniversary, Tech Liberation Front
TechFreedom is calling on all Americans to stand up for their digital
Fourth Amendment rights. The Constitution delicately balances privacy
with the needs of law enforcement by making judges responsible for
determining whether law enforcement has established 'probable cause.'
This judicial warrant requirement has always been the crown jewel of
our civil rights. Our Founding Fathers would be appalled to learn that

Is it time for an ECPA alteration?, IPLJ
Currently, under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act ("ECPA"),
the government is permitted to, among other things, track your
movements using the signal your mobile phone silently sends out every
few seconds, read your e-mail and sneak a peek at your online calendar
and the private photos you have stored in "the cloud," all without a
warrant. Although the government would need a warrant to seize

Aging 'Privacy' Law Leaves Cloud E-Mail Open to Cops, Wired
Twenty-five years ago Friday, President Ronald Reagan signed
legislation that for the first time provided Americans with sweeping
digital-privacy protections. The law came at a time when e-mail was
used mostly by nerdy scientists, when phones without wires hardly
worked as you stepped out into the backyard, and when?the World Wide
Web didn't exist. Four presidencies ...

Did California Unintentionally (?) Impose New Statutory Duties on
Every Blogger? A Post on the Newly Enacted California Reader Privacy
Act, Tech & Marketing Law Blog
California recently enacted the Reader Privacy Act, SB 602. See the
EFF announcement. This new California law...

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

10.18 :: Sued :: What Has the FCC Done :: Filtering :: End-4-End-2-End? :: Cozied :: Seized :: 250m Inane Banters :: Interfaith Message Processor ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
"[F]reedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter
much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its
substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of
the existing order." — Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, West
Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)

Customers sue Frontier over broadband surcharge, CW
Four customers of Frontier Communications have filed a class action
lawsuit against the broadband and digital voice provider over a $1 to
$1.50 mystery charge on their monthly bills.

What Has The FCC Done To Actually Encourage Competition?, Techdirt
For the better part of a decade, we've been arguing that the main
problem with broadband in the US, and the main reason we remain so far
behind many other countries, is the stunning lack of competition. The
broadband field is dominated by just a few players, and they always

Will LightSquared's GPS Filtering Technology Work?, Field Logix
LightSquared and the GPS industry still have a long way before they can coexist.

Farm Groups to FCC: Study LightSquared's Impact on GPS, Nebraska Farmer
Company's impact could adversely affect precision agriculture
operations, according to Nebraska producer.

A Practical Look at the FCC's Open Internet/Net Neutrality
Regulations, Telecom Law Monitor
On December 23, 2010, the FCC adopted new Open Internet ("network
neutrality") rules that place a variety of disclosure and other
obligations on certain providers of broadband Internet access. On June
30, 2011, while required OMB review of the new rules continued, the

Adam Candeub, A Dead End for End-to-End? A Review Essay of Barbara van
Schewick's Internet Architecture and Innovation, FCLJ
Amidst much controversy, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
released its landmark "network neutrality" order last December. This
regulation prohibits Internet service providers, such as Verizon or
Comcast, from discriminating in favor of traffic or content which they
own or

When Should Federal Law Allow Domain Seizures?, Volokh Conspiracy
My co-blogger David Post has authored several passionate posts harshly
criticizing the federal government's recent practice of seizing domain
names pursuant to ex parte court orders based on probable cause. In
his post yesterday, David calls the process "nightmarish," and

Copyright czar cozied up to Big Content, e-mails show, Ars Technica
Top-ranking Obama administration officials, including the US copyright
czar, played an active role in secret negotiations between Hollywood,
the recording industry and ISPs to disrupt internet access for users
suspected of violating copyright law, according to internal White
House e-mails.

Twitter CEO: 250 million tweets a day--now what?, CNET
CEO Dick Costolo tells an audience at the Web 2.0 Summit that
Twitter's key challenge is to separate the "signal from the noise.

Government Cloud Computing — "Progress & Best Practices", Fed News Radio
Jim Flyzik is the President of TheFlyzikGroup .
The company specializes in Strategic Business Consulting, Performance

iCloud snafus point to dark side of consumer cloud, Gigaom
Apple's highly anticipated iCloud consumer cloud service went live
last week in a debut marred by snafus that show that cloud providers
still have some kinks to work out.

Federal Cloud Technology Roadmap to be Introduced at Forum Workshop,
Nov. 2-4, NIST
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will unveil
the public draft of its U.S. Government Cloud Computing Technology
Roadmap at the Cloud Computing Forum ampamp Workshop IV that it will
host Nov. 2-4, in Gaithersburg,

Patrick Ryan, Ronak Merchant, Sarah Falvey, Regulation of the Cloud in
India, Journal of Internet Law
Cloud computing is growing, and it is growing fast. But it is not new,
and its roots are as old as computing itself – with significant
history going back to the 1950s. However, because of the rapid growth
of cloud computing, many regulatory authorities believe that it should
be regulated and

Marketa Trimble, The Future of Cybertravel: Legal Implications of the
Evasion of Geolocation, Fordham IP, Media & Entertainment Law Journal
The internet is valued as a medium that both defies and defeats
physical borders. However, cyberspace is now being exposed to attempts
by both governments and private entities to impose territorial limits
through blocking or permitting access to content by internet users

ARPANET's coming out party: when the Internet first took center stage,
Ars Technica
It was mid-1971. Ten scientists met at Massachusetts Institute of
Technology's Tech Square in Cambridge. They had been given a task by
the director of the Pentagon's Information Processing Techniques
Office. The moment had arrived, Larry Roberts told the group's
leaders, to publicly demonstrate IPTO's crowning achievement: the
Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, forerunner of the Internet.

DoD Hit with $4.9 Billion Lawsuit Over Data Breach, Daily Dashboard
The Department of Defense is facing a $4.9 billion lawsuit over the
Tricare data breach that affected 4.9 million beneficiaries, ArmyTimes

Advancing the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace:
Government as Early Adopter, White House
When I last discussed the need for better digital credentials in this
blog, the President had just signed the National Strategy for Trusted
Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) to address two challenges that can
affect economic growth online: (1) the insecurity and inconvenience

Rockefeller Says SEC Guidance Fundamentally Changes the Future of
Cybersecurity, Senate Commerce
Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV released the following statement
after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued
guidance on its views regarding company disclosure obligations
relating to cybersecurity risks and cyber incidents:

Groups warn high court of big government intrusion in GPS case, Hill
The high court will decide whether warrant-less GPS tracking by law
enforcement is a violation of Fourth Amendment protections.

Judge: No Warrant for Cell Tower Location Data, Daily Dashboard
A Washington, DC, judge has ruled that police do not need a warrant to
obtain cell phone location data collected through cell towers;
however, prosecutors must present evidence as to why the information
is material to the investigation, reports The Blog of Legal Times. A

U.S. Debated Cyberwarfare Against Libya, NYT
Obama administration officials decided to use airstrikes to disrupt
and disable the Qaddafi government in March, but only after a new kind
of warfare was discussed.

Ninth Circuit: ECPA Protects Stored Communications of Foreign
Citizens, Privacy Law Blog
Suzlon Energy Ltd. demanded Microsoft to produce emails from the
Hotmail email account of Rajagopalan Sridhar, an Indian citizen
imprisoned abroad. The district court held that the Electronic
Communications Privacy Act ("ECPA") prohibited Microsoft from
producing the documents even though Sridhar was not a U.S. citizen.
The Ninth Circuit affirmed.

ECPA Anniversary Week Brings Calls for Change, EFF
This week marks the 25th anniversary of the Electronic Communications
Privacy Act (ECPA), the main federal law setting standards for
government access to electronic communications like email. As we've
been saying for years, ECPA is woefully outdated, putting Americans'
privacy at risk.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

10.14 :: FCC Announces Digital Literacy Campaign :: $400M :: $300M :: $8.5B :: $0 :: $35.20 :: Juvenile :: Hysterical ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
"The truth is rarely pure, and never simple." -Oscar Wilde

FCC Engages in More Empty Broadband Showmanship - 'Connect to Compete'
Plan Completely Ignores Competition, DSLReports
The FCC recently announced Connect to Compete, a national private and
nonprofit sector partnership created to "increase broadband adoption
and digital literacy training in disadvantaged communities throughout
the United States." According to the FCC, the plan involves partnering

FCC, Non-Profits and Private Sector Partner to Expand Broadband
Adoption through Digital Literacy, Comcast
Today, at an event at The Pew Charitable Trusts' offices in
Washington, D.C., FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced a major
new initiative — Connect to Compete — organized by the FCC in
cooperation with a host of private sector companies and non-profit
groups to expand broadband adoption by focusing on digital literacy.

FCC and Connect To Compete Tackle Broadband Adoption Challenge, FCC
Yesterday, joined by executives and nonprofit leaders, Chairman
Genachowski announced a first-of-its kind national effort to address
broadband adoption, digital literacy, and the employment skills gap.
If you have a moment, there are two articles worth reading from USA
Today and the New York Times.

FCC Works With the Geek Squad To Broaden Broadband, Media Law Prof
The FCC increases its broadband program by enlisting folks like the
Geek Squad. More here from the New York Times.

FCC Commissioner Copps On the Broadband Initiative to Extend Digital
Literacy, Media Law Prof
Commissioner Copps' Statement on the Broadband Adoption Initiative to
Extend Digital Literary Training and Provide Employment Assistance To
Communities I applaud the launch of the Connect to Compete initiative
and the many participants who have committed to bring the wonders...

Public Knowledge Praises FCC's Digital Literacy Programs, PK
"We commend Chairman Genachowski for his commitment to digital
literacy, and for his efforts to help improve the ability of Americans
to find jobs and to receive the proper training for jobs. His
recognition of libraries as a center for job training, and support for
more funding of libraries,

LightSquared: GPS interference fix could cost industry $400M, FierceWireless
LightSquared Chief Marketing Officer Frank Boulben has indicated that
gear to solve the interference problem between the company's proposed
wholesale LTE network in the S-band and high-precision GPS receivers
could cost the commercial GPS industry as much as $400 million.

LightSquared shows GPS interference fix, CW
LightSquared and a partner, Javad GNSS, showed off a filter and an
antenna on Thursday that they said would solve the anticipated GPS
interference problem that has plagued the carrier's plan to deploy an
LTE network in frequencies near those used by GPS.
LightSquared shows GPS interference fix

LightSquared Says FCC Network Guidance Likely by Year's End, BW
Philip Falcone's LightSquared venture said it expects guidance from
U.S. regulators by year's end on its proposed wireless network, which
has sparked concerns that it may disrupt the global-positioning

Bad FCC Data Still Driving Bad Broadband Policy - Our Flawed $300
Million Broadband Map at the Center, DSLReports
As we noted yesterday in detail, the FCC's new "Connect to Compete"
plan appears to be another in a long line of FCC plans designed to
look like the agency is actually engaged in productive broadband
industry policy making, when in reality the FCC continues to ignore
the fact that most consumers live in uncompetitive markets and pay a
steep premium for service as a result.

WISP White Paper Released Today, Wireless Cowboys
I've been pretty quiet on the blog lately, mostly because I have been
busy working on a white paper for WISPA that covers the advantages of
fixed wireless providers and the tremendous value that WISPs bring to
our country. I will be presenting on the paper today as the luncheon
keynote speaker at WISPAPALOOZA, the [...]

Netflix Is Slower On AT&T Fiber Than Everyone Else's Cable. Huh?, Forbes
Ken Florance, Director of Content Delivery for Netflix, posted this on
Wednesday on Netflix's techie blog with, as promised, separate lines
for AT&T and Verizon fiber-optic offerings from their DSL offerings.
Florance writes, "The chart now gives a fairly complete look at
performance on top networks, with additional insight into how
different technologies (DSL, Cable, FTTx) impact potential

Most people check e-mail, surf the Web when watching TV, CNET
The majority of people in the U.S. who watch television are also using
smartphones, tablets, and e-readers when viewing their favorite
programming, Nielsen finds.

OECD Workshop on Broadband Metrics, OECD
A workshop on the development of broadband Internet metrics will be
hosted by the FCC and co-chaired by the United States Department of
Commerce in Washington, D.C., United States, on October 12-13, 2011.,3699,en_2649_37441_1_1_1_1_37441,00.html?rssChId=37441#48622087

Of canaries and coal mines: What happened at VeriSign?, IGP
Too many techies still don't understand the concept of due process,
and opportunistic law enforcement agencies, who tend to view due
process constraints as an inconvenience, are very happy to take
advantage of that. That's the lesson to draw from VeriSign's sudden
withdrawal of a proposed new "domain name anti-abuse policy"

Cybersquatting Definition under the ACPA. The Basics., Cybersquatting
& Domain Disputes
What is cybersquatting? It is a question I hear a lot as an internet
lawyer protecting trademark interests across the World Wide Web. Today
we are speaking with Attorney Brian Hall so we can all better
understand what constitutes 'cybersquatting"...

Report: Gov't Agencies Lack Effective Frameworks, Daily Dashboard
A government watchdog agency has said that the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) "does not adequately review the privacy and
effectiveness of data-mining systems it uses in counterterrorism
efforts," reports InformationWeek. The Government Accountability

FCC Presses AT&T About Jobs Claim, WSJ
FCC officials asked AT&T for more information about the company's
claims that its proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA would
create as many as 96,000 jobs.

FCC questions AT&T on T-Mo claims, Gigaom
The Federal Communications Commission has joined those questioning Ma
Bell about its stated benefits of its purchase of T-Mobile. The agency
on Thursday sent AT&T a letter inquiring about the number of jobs AT&T
said would be created by the merger.

Microsoft Officially Welcomes Skype, Skype
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq "MSFT") has closed its acquisition of Skype
Global S.à r.l. Negotiations of the definitive agreement under which
Microsoft would acquire Skype, an Internet communications company, for
$8.5 billion were led by investor group Silver Lake and the
transaction was originally announced on May 10, 2011. Boards of
directors of both Microsoft and Skype previously approved the

Tony Bates Weighs in on Microsoft's Acquisition of Skype, MS
I am delighted to announce the deal with Microsoft has formally
closed, and Skype is now a division of Microsoft. This represents a
huge leap forward in Skype's mission to be the communications choice
for a billion people every day.

Hulu No Longer for Sale, WSJ
Owners of online-video site Hulu ended efforts to sell the joint
venture, after an auction process exposed rifts between them and
potential buyers on the value of future rights to stream TV shows over
the Internet.

US Postal Service Sends Postage Due Bill To Guy Who Put Block Party
Invites Into Neighbors' Mailboxes, Techdirt
US Postal Service's (USPS) desperation is beginning to show. We
already noted its new ad campaign that seems to focus much more on how
bad email is, rather than on any additional value provided by the
USPS. But now, it appears that the USPS is cracking down on illicit
use of its mailboxes. As you may or may not know, under US law, home
mailboxes (even though they're purchased by the homeowner) are

Lawmakers disagree on need for online privacy legislation, CW
While representatives of the online advertising industry questioned
whether new laws are needed to protect consumer privacy online,
several U.S. lawmakers on Thursday called for new regulations
targeting online tracking.

Researcher Finds Majority of Sites Leaking User Data, Daily Dashboard
Reuters reports on a Stanford University researcher's finding that
dozens of companies are gathering and selling bits and pieces of
presumably "anonymous" data on users. Researcher Jonathan Mayer says
that 61 percent of 185 sites surveyed shared user information with
other sites. And opting out of behavioral targeting doesn't stop the
data collection, Mayer says of do-not-track efforts, adding, "It's a
fact of life that

EFF on Facebook's Cross-Site Tracking, CircleID
On September 25th, 2011, Nik Cubrilovic, a hacker and writer,
published a blog post that showed that a particular Facebook session
cookie wasn't being deleted after a user logged out. He noted that the
session cookie included your Facebook user id number, which would

Police Who Illegally Broke Into Gizmodo Journalist's House Deride
Seized E-mails as "Juvenile", EFF
The saga of the lost iPhone prototype -- the 2010 incident at least,
not the most recent one -- has finally concluded. On Tuesday, Brian
Hogan (who allegedly found the iPhone 4 prototype in a Redwood City
bar) and Sage Wallower (who allegedly helped Hogan contact various web
sites about the find) pleaded no contest to misdemeanor theft and were
sentenced to probation, 40 hours of community service, and $250 each
in restitution payments to Apple.

The DHS Says 'No' To Requests For Public Affairs Contact Numbers;
Hysterically Cites 'Privacy' Concerns, Techdirt
Not to continue to beat on this dead horse of administration promises,
but statements were made about adopting a "presumption in favor of
disclosure" when it came to Freedom of Information Act requests and a
general mindset of "transparency" was supposed to be on its way,
washing away 8 years worth of privacy erosion and

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

101111 :: Verizon Wins the Lottery :: Celebrating Cybersecurity :: Olmstead :: Sharing Responsibility :: To Serve Consumers ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
Remember that foul words or blows in themselves are no outrage, but your judgement that they are so. So when any one makes you angry, know that it is your own thought that has angered you. Wherefore make it your endeavour not to let your impressions carry you away. For if once you gain time and delay, you will find it easier to control yourself. Epictetus, (c.55 – c.135 C.E.)

Transparency Needed to Evaluate GPS Interference, House Committee Sci and Tech
Today, Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) and Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Paul Broun (R-GA) reiterated their request that agencies provide the Committee with their assessments of the potential impacts of the LightSquared network on their operations. These assessments were transmitted to the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) in July, yet neither the NTIA, nor the individual agencies have allowed the technical evaluations to see the light of day.

John Palfrey's Keynote at Open World Forum on Net Neutrality, Berkman Center
no description

Verizon and Free Press Ready to Rumble with the FCC Over Net Neutrality, JOLT Blog
Net neutrality is the principle and movement that advocates the open and free use of the internet, without restriction from internet service providers. It has been the focus of much debate and political discourse, which has pitted consumer protection groups against those who see

Net Neutrality: Verizon Lucks Out in Circuit Lottery, CommLawBlog
Leaving the gate at five-to-one odds, D.C. Circuit lands in Victory Lane

DC Circuit to Decide Net Neutrality Appeals, Telecom Law Monitor
The same circuit that decided the Comcast case will decide the net neutrality appeals after all. Yesterday, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict

Publication of the FCC's Net Neutrality Rules Spawns a Flurry of Legal Challenges, EFF
Now that the FCC's "Open Internet" net neutrality rules have been published in the Federal Register, opening the door to legal challenges, the lawsuits are piling on.

The FCC v. ISPs: Net Neutrality and the Battle for Internet Freedom, MTTLR
In December 2010, the FCC announced its new 'net neutrality' rules, in efforts to promote "freedom and openness" of the Internet and to prevent service providers from limiting which Internet sites and services their customers can access and controlling access speed. Proponents

Visibility of Prefix Lengths in IPv4 and IPv6, CircleID
Internet routes are specified for an address prefix. The shorter the prefix, the more general the route. A shorter prefix covers more address space and thus a bigger part of the Internet. Very long prefixes cover few addresses and are used for local routing close to the destination

Did ICE 'Pirate' Its Anti-Piracy PSA?, Techdirt
As you may recall, earlier this year Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) group proudly announced that it had started placing a video "public service announcement" (PSA) on all of the domains that it had forfeited (without any trial) from those it accused

Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Software Developer Settles FTC Charges, FTC
Default Settings in Mobile File-Sharing App Jeopardized Consumers' Personal Files

Victory! 3rd Circuit Court overrules FCC on media consolidation, Reclaim the Media
The efforts of public interest advocates across the country were vindicated on July 7 when the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the FCC's controversial 2007 decision to allow media companies to control both newspapers and broadcast stations in the same communities.

Anonymous Speech, Subpoenas and Internet User Identities, and Government Investigations, Volokh Conspiracy
Over the last several years, various courts have held — in cases such as Dendrite Int'l, Inc. v. Doe No. 3 and Doe v. Cahill — that the First Amendment provides substantial, though limited, protection against subpoenas aimed at unmasking anonymous commenters; for more details

FTC Testifies on Protecting Children Online in a Fast-Changing Marketplace, and Proposed Changes to COPPA Rule, FTC
The Federal Trade Commission today told a House Subcommittee that it is committed to protecting children online, and that the agency recently proposed changes to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA Rule) to make sure the Rule keeps pace with fast-changing technology.

Subcommittee Discusses Updates to Children's Privacy Law, House Commerce Committee
no description

Employee Privacy in the Digital Computer Age By Kevin Harrington and John Rosenthal, NYSBA
Within the last decade, the advent of ever smaller, more powerful computers, the internet, and digital technology has dramatically changed the workplace.

Celebrating Cybersecurity Awareness Month, USTelecom
This month shines a spotlight on an important broadband issue, cybersecurity. Cybersecurity plays a crucial role in the high-speed Internet, and includes a highly complex universe that involves a global set of stakeholders. In honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, here's highlighted

Statement on House Republican Cybersecurity Task Force Recommendations, USTelecom
The House Republican Cybersecurity Task Force's recommendations released today is a significant contribution to the ongoing discussions about how we secure our nation's networks from cyber-attacks. The task force's call for a strengthened public-private partnership, increased

Sharing Responsibility for Cybersecurity, AT&T
In October, when most people are thinking of pumpkins and changing leaves, we're thinking of cybersecurity and we're not alone. Joining with other members of the industry, government and non-profit organizations, we're celebrating National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Bipartisan Committee Leadership Continues to Examine Cybersecurity of Communications Networks, House Commerce Committee
no description

Ken Burns Prohibition: Olmstead, Cybertelecom
The name Olmstead should be familiar to those students of Wiretap Law. The law struggles to keep up with technology. This is nothing new; the law struggled to keep up with technology a century ago. Today we are struggling with the question of whether an individual has an expectation of privacy in a communications network. That same question confronted the judiciary during prohibition. Then

Virus Infects Drone Network, NPR
A few weeks ago, at Creech Air Force base in Nevada, computer security experts came upon a virus in their network. The virus was recording every keystroke made by Air Force pilots who remotely operate Predator and Reaper drones that fly over war zones. And so far, they can't

DHS Defends Draft Sharing Agreement, Daily Dashboard
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is defending a draft airline passenger data sharing agreement with the EU, saying that such data has prevented terrorist threats, AFP reports. Members of the European Parliament could veto the agreement and have expressed concern that a 15-year data retention period is too long and doubt that the system would prevent terror plots. Testifying in front of a congressional

9th Cir.: ECPA Protects Non-Citizen Communications Stored in the US -- Suzlon Energy v. Microsoft, Tech & Marketing Law Blog
Suzlon Energy Ltd. v. Microsoft Corp., 10-35793 (9th Cir. Oct. 3, 2011) [pdf] Suzlon Energy sought...

Federal USF Reform Plan Must 'Serve Consumers,' NARUC Says, NARUC
The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners issued the following statement after Federal Communications Commission Chair Julius Genachowski outlined his proposal for reforming Universal Service and Intercarrier Compensation programs:

Universal Service Reform-Bringing Broadband to All Americans, Senate Commerce
Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today announced a hearing on reforming the Universal Service Fund. This hearing will provide a forum for discussing efforts to reform the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) universal service policy, in particular the high-cost universal service system.

FCC Overhauling Telecom Fund to Expand Broadband, CircleID
Edward Wyatt reporting in the New York Times: "The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday outlined a plan to transform the Universal Service Fund, an $8 billion fund that is paid for by the nation's telephone customers and used to subsidize basic telephone service in rural areas, into one that will help expand broadband Internet service to 18 million Americans who lack high-speed access."

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

FTC RFC :: Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule :: AKA "Where's My Stuff?!?!?"

1999 was the year that ecommerce broke. It is also the year where ecommerce became the Grinch that stole Christmas. In 1998, ecommerce proved itself as a viable and compelling concept. As won-over companies scrambled to set up their online ventures in 1999, "mistakes were made." Online purchases by consumers who sought to avoid the Eight Ring of Hell - shopping malls - exploded. Some dot-coms were pleasantly surprised. Some were unpleasantly surprised. As automated orders poured in, it became apparent that cyber-Santa might not just be able to slide down the chimney on time - if at all. And while many of their webpages promised delivery by the time chestnuts were roasting on an open fire, it didn't happen. Some companies failed to tell their customers that there was not a snowball chance that they could deliver. Some companies continued to take orders even though they knew they had no inventory or knew they could not timely deliver. 

Failing to deliver on time for the holidays is one of those industry blunders that makes obsolete the theology of self-regulation. The FTC created a list, checked it twice, and made clear in a blizzard of terms that this was not to happen again. In one action, the FTC hit seven online retails with $1.5 million in fines for their failures to deliver products during the 1999 holiday season. 

There is a simple rule that the FTC wants online retails to understand: taking orders and not delivering is bad. Online sales, mail orders, or catalogue sales - it's all the same. The FTC described its Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule [16 C.F.R. § 435.1] as follows:
The Rule requires that when you advertise merchandise, you must have a reasonable basis for stating or implying that you can ship within a certain time. If you make no shipment statement, you must have a reasonable basis for believing that you can ship within 30 days. That is why direct marketers sometimes call this the "30-day Rule."
If, after taking the customer’s order, you learn that you cannot ship within the time you stated or within 30 days, you must seek the customer’s consent to the delayed shipment. If you cannot obtain the customer’s consent to the delay -- either because it is not a situation in which you are permitted to treat the customer’s silence as consent and the customer has not expressly consented to the delay, or because the customer has expressly refused to consent -- you must, without being asked, promptly refund all the money the customer paid you for the unshipped merchandise.
That was over a decade ago.  A lot has changed, and the FTC believes it would be prudent to revisit and revise the rules. In the notice requesting comments on the proposed new rules, the FTC stated,
In 2007, the FTC sought public comment on how the Rule could be amended to address changes in technology and commercial practices. Based on a review of comments received, the FTC has concluded that the Rule continues to benefit consumers and will be retained. In addition, the Commission proposes the following amendments to the Rule:
  • Clarify that the Rule covers all orders placed over the Internet;
  • Revise the Rule to allow sellers to provide refunds and refund notices to buyers by any means at least as fast and reliable as first-class mail;
  • Clarify sellers’ obligations when buyers use payment methods not spelled out in the Rule, such as debit cards or prepaid gift cards;
  • Require that refunds be made within seven working days for purchases that were made using third-party credit, such as Visa or MasterCard cards. For credit sales where the seller is the creditor (such as merchants using their own store charge cards) the refund deadline would remain one billing cycle.
Comments must be received by December 14, 2011.  See the Federal Register Notice. for further information and instructions on how to file comments.

Ken Burns Prohibition: Olmstead

The name Olmstead should be familiar to those students of Wiretap Law.  The law struggles to keep up with technology.  This is nothing new; the law struggled to keep up with technology a century ago.  Today we are struggling with the question of whether an individual has an expectation of privacy in a communications network.  That same question confronted the judiciary during prohibition.  Then the answer was no.  The expectation of privacy granted by the Fourth Amendment applied to your home; since a wiretap took place on telephone lines outside Olmstead's home, concerning communications that were being transmitted outside of Olmstead's home, there was no expectation of privacy and no 4th Amendment protection.

Watch the full episode. See more Ken Burns.

The seeds of destruction of Olmstead were written within the Olmstead opinion. Justice Brandeis, in his famous dissented, opined that the court had failed to recognize the Constitution as a living document. The Founding Fathers could not have anticipated all that would come after their time, nor did they intend for the Bill of Rights to be applicable only to the threats that occurred during their time. Brandeis wrote,
When the Fourth and Fifth Amendments were adopted, "the form that evil had theretofore taken," had been necessarily simple. Force and violence were then the only means known to man by which a Government could directly effect self-incrimination. It could compel the individual to testify — a compulsion effected, if need be, by torture. It could secure possession of his papers and other articles incident to his private life — a seizure effected, if need be, by breaking and entry. Protection against such invasion of "the sanctities of a man's home and the privacies of life" was provided in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments by specific language. But "time works changes, brings into existence new conditions and purposes." Subtler and more far-reaching means of invading privacy have become available to the Government. Discovery and invention have made it possible for the Government, by means far more effective than stretching upon the rack, to obtain disclosure in court of what is whispered in the closet.
It would take four decades for the courts to wake up and reverse Olstead, and another two more decades for Congress to extend this expectation of privacy beyond telephone networks to computer networks.

Today, once again, it is said that there is no expectation of privacy in modern electronic communications; we should get over it.  History repeats itself.