Monday, December 12, 2011

12.12 :: The Return of Cupcakegate :: SOPA Good for Paul Vixie's Business :: Clickable Felonies :: Turn Left, Ahead, at SEC Warning ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
It is my heart-warm and world-embracing Christmas hope and aspiration
that all of us, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the admired,
the despised, the loved, the hated, the civilized, the savage (every
man and brother of us all throughout the whole earth), may eventually
be gathered together in a heaven of everlasting rest and peace and
bliss, except the inventor of the telephone. - Mark Twain (Caroline
Harnsberger's Mark Twain at Your Fingertips)

LightSquared investors get SEC warning, AOPA Online
Executives of the hedge fund that has invested heavily in LightSquared
were notified Dec. 8 that they may be investigated for possible civil
securities-law violations, said published reports.

LightSquared's GPS interference troubles aren't over yet, WAPO
Mobile broadband startup LightSquared's GPS interference troubles
aren't over yet. The company's LTE network has been found to disrupt
75 percent of GPS devices in a government test, Bloomberg reports.

Four Difficult Questions Regarding Bullying and Youth Suicide, apophenia
Over the last couple of years, I've laid awake at night asking myself
uncomfortable questions about bullying and teen suicide. I don't have
answers to most of the questions that I have, but I'm choosing to
voice my questions, fears, and doubts because I'm not confident that
our war on bullying is taking us down

Rockefeller to Make the Case for Keeping Internet Free & Open to All
Users, US Senate Commerce
Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV is scheduled to take to the
Senate floor tomorrow to make the case for keeping the Internet free
and open for Americans. Under the Congressional Review Act, some
Republicans are pushing to overturn a Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) rule that ensures online users are able to go where
they want and do what they want on the Internet without

Rockefeller Says Senate Vote to Protect Open Internet Is Win for
Consumers, Senate Commerce
Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV issued the following statement
today after the Senate voted not to proceed with its consideration of
S.J.Res.6, a Republican effort to overturn the Federal Communication
Commission's (FCC) rules that ensure a free and open Internet for

This Article challenges the various jurisdictional theories that
underpin the FCC's net neutrality regulation. The assertion of
jurisdic-tion by the FCC over any aspect of the Internet ecosystem has
raised populist, congressional, and even judicial rhetoric to a
crescendo and re

U.S. Online Holiday Spending Approaches $25 Billion for the Season, Up
15 Percent vs. Year Ago, comScore
holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 39 days of the
November – December 2011 holiday season. For the holiday
season-to-date, $24.6 billion has been spent online, marking a
15-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year. The most
recent week (week ending Dec. 9) reached $5.9 billion in spending, an

ICANN's Expansion of Top Level Domains, Senate Commerce
The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
announced today a full committee hearing on ICANN's (Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) expansion of top level
domains. In January 2012, ICANN will begin allowing interested
organizations and companies to apply for additional top level domains.
This hearing will examine the merits and implications of this new
program and ICANN's continuing efforts to address concerns raised by
the Internet community.

NTIA Expresses Support for New gTLD Program, CircleID
Kevin Murphy reporting in DomainIncite: "NTIA boss Larry Strickling
has come out in support of ICANN and its new top-level domains
program, warning that its opponents 'provide ammunition' to
authoritarian regimes. Speaking in Washington DC yesterday, Strickling
warned that organizations fighting to put a stop to the new gTLD
program risk provoking a UN takeover of the internet."

The communications public policy effort that may affect all of us the
most in 2012, however, will take place far from our shores. As we sit
here today, scores of countries, including China, Russia and India,
are pushing hard for international regulation of Internet governance.

Testing shows IPv6 is becoming deployable in customer edge routers, CW
The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL)
hosted its third IPv6 Customer Edge (CE) Router Interoperability Test
Event the week of November 7-11, 2011. The event brought together
users and suppliers of CE Router equipment in order to gain
perspective on the current status of interoperability against the
Internet Engineering Task Force's

LightSquared Blasts Leak of GPS-Interference Test Results, Ecommerce Times
LightSquared's signal may interfere with GPS devices, according to a
leaked draft summary of a report on tests commissioned by the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration. Results of tests
conducted between Oct. 21 and Nov. 4 reportedly indicate that up to 75
percent of GPS units were negatively affected by

DNSSEC Deployment Update, Comcast
Back in October 2010, I posted on our blog that we were beginning our
deployment of Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC), as part
of an evolving suite of security protections that are part of Comcast
Constant Guard™.

Why .XXX domains are an obvious failure, CNN
Is it just me or is the ICANN plan to corral online porn going
terribly wrong? Legitimate porn sites have little interest in the
triple X domains.

The Debacle: What CNET Needs to Do to Make it Right, EFF
The blogosphere has been buzzing about revelations that CNET's site has been embedding adware into the install process
for all kinds of software, including open source software like NMAP.
For the unwary, some of the ads could have been read to suggest
accepting the advertised service (e.g., the Babylon translation tool
bar) was part of the installation process. Users who weren't paying
attention may also have

AT&T sends out more cupcakes, WAPO
Injecting a bit of levity into an otherwise heavy news day, AT&T
blogged Monday about its annual tradition of giving cupcakes to those
with whom the company works closely — including the Federal
Communications Commission.

The AT&T T-Mobile Trial Has Been Put on Hold - The Deal (At Least As
Originally Filed) Is Dead, DSLReports
Last week AT&T's planned acquisition of T-Mobile got even more
treacherous, with the Department of Justice informing Judge Ellen
Segal Huvelle the agency wanted to postpone the trial, arguing that
there is no deal after AT&T pulled their application from the FCC.
Huvelle seemed to agree, and gave AT&T a stern talking to for playing
games in the courts in the face of an

AT&T, DOJ file motion to halt T-Mobile proceedings, CW
AT&T has asked a judge to put on hold the U.S. Department of Justice's
lawsuit to block its merger with T-Mobile USA while the two companies
decide whether to move forward with the deal.

Cupcakes: A Token of Holiday Cheer, AT&T
Today, we are delivering to our friends and colleagues with whom we
work in the communications space a token of Holiday cheer in the form
of cupcakes. While we have been delivering Holiday treats around town
for years, last year, however, a partial delivery list led to
Cupcakegate. This

AT&T Updates Status of T-Mobile USA Merger, AT&T
AT&T today issued the following statement regarding the status of its
merger with T-Mobile USA

DOJ to AT&T: No FCC petition, no merger, Gigaom
The U.S. Department of Justice has sent a clear signal to AT&T that it
doesn't like the operator's tactics in its ongoing quest to buy
T-Mobile. DOJ lawyers told a federal judge Friday morning that it
plans to file a motion next week to postpone proceedings in the

Congressional Research Service Shows Hollywood Is Thriving, Techdirt
The Congressional Research Service is the research arm of Congress
that is widely respected as presenting (non-partisan) high quality,
extremely credible research for folks in Congress. In fact, the
quality is so good, that many are annoyed that the output of their
research, despite being public domain, is rarely made available to the
public. The only way that information is

Blacklist Bills Ripe for Abuse, Part I: "Market-Based" Systems, EFF
Proponents of the misguided Internet blacklist legislation — the Stop
Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) — downplay the
idea that the overbroad bills could be used for censorship. But one
only needs to look at the way existing copyright laws have been abused
to know there's serious cause for concern.

An Alternative to SOPA: An Open Process Befitting an Open Internet, EFF
The truly frightening legislative proposals known as SOPA and PIPA
continue to loom in Congress, promising to put a big lump of coal in
the stocking of every Internet user. So we were glad to learn that a
bipartisan group of congressional represenatives has come together to
formulate a real alternative, called the OPEN Act, as well as a real
process for including the Internet users and innovators it may affect.

Paul Vixie: SOPA/PIPA Would Be Good For My Business, But I'm Still
Against It, Techdirt
Last night, there was an interesting panel at Stanford discussing many
of the problems with SOPA. It covered a lot of the ground that we've
covered here over the past few months, but there were a few
interesting moments. Paul Vixie, who has been a very vocal opponent to
DNS blocking, explained why it wouldn't work, and how it would cause a
lot of other problems... but he also noted that he was probably going
against his

Constitutional Scholars Explain Why SOPA & PROTECT IP Do Not Pass
First Amendment Scrutiny, Techdirt
We had already mentioned that one of the foremost Constitutional
scholars around, Laurence Tribe, had come out against Congress's
attempts to modify copyright law through SOPA. Some complained that he
didn't get into specifics. However, he's now sent a letter detailing
the problems in the bill (pdf) and why it violates the First
Amendment. There are many, many reasons, with lots of details and
citations, but here's just an example:

Cybersquatting and the Nuclear Option: What the Protect IP Act and
Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) Means to Domainers, Cybersquatting &
Domain Disputes
Cybersquatting law addresses trademark infringement under the Uniform
Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP Policy) and the
Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). But a new law which
will directly affect domainers is gaining traction in Washington,
D.C.. The Protect IP...

ICE Admits To Returning Domain While RIAA Threatens Dajaz1 With More
Legal Actions, Techdirt
The continuing saga of the Dajaz1 censorship is unfolding in
interesting ways. While some of us thought that both ICE and the RIAA
owed Dajaz1 a pretty big apology for wrongly seizing and censoring the
site for a year, all while denying due process, those two
organizations apparently have other ideas. ICE gave an almost content
free statement to Tim Lee:

Just As US Gov't Was Giving Back The Blog It Illegally Censored For
Over A Year, Hillary Clinton Speaks Out Against Internet Censorship,
At nearly the exact time that Dajaz1 was getting its domain back,
after the US government wrongly censored its domain for over a year
with absolutely nothing resembling due process (and actively stifling
attempts by the site to get its day in court and get its domain back),
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was giving a speech in Europe
about the evils of internet censorship.

SOPA Supporter: If You Use DNSSEC You Can Ignore SOPA/PIPA, Techdirt
Daniel Castro from the Information Technology and Innovation
Foundation (ITIF) is the guy who has been highlighted for coming up
with the idea of censoring the internet to deal with copyright
infringement online. In 2009, he wrote a whitepaper suggesting just
such a strategy, and since then has been a vocal champion of the
approach that mimics China's Great Firewall.

Senator Wyden wants answers from DHS over domain name seizures, Ars Technica
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) said Friday he would demand answers from the
Department of Homeland Security about its domain seizure program known
as Operation in Our Sites after it was revealed that the government
kept a hip-hop music review site's name for a year without affording
the owner a chance to challenge the seizure.

Internet Society Joins Opposition to Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), ISOC
Policies mandating DNS filtering undermine the open architecture of
the Internet and raise human rights and freedom of expression concerns

Controversial Copyright Bills Would Violate First Amendment--Letters
to Congress by Laurence Tribe and Me, Center for Internet and Society
Today, both Professor Laurence Tribe and I submitted letters and legal
memoranda to Congress explaining that proposed copyright legislation
would violate the First Amendment and be struck down in court. (His
letter is available here, and mine is available here.)

'Tweet Seats' Come To Theaters, But Can Patrons Plug In Without Tuning Out?, NPR
Some theaters are offering seats from which patrons can tweet about
performances and receive information about them in real time. For
some, it enhances the experience, but for others, it's a regrettable

& Economic Dev
Privacy is an important right in the context of death and should be
afforded some measure of protection against public exploitation. To
the contrary, the Internet has turned our right to privacy upside down
by disguising gruesome images of death as a matter of public interest.

"When Computer Misuse Becomes A Crime", Volokh Conspiracy has reprinted this helpful story on the Ninth Circuit en banc
arguments to be held later this week in United States v. Nosal.

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