Thursday, August 18, 2011

8.18 :: Denies Responsibility :: No Apparent Esthetic Value :: Stumbling on Privacy :: a Two Way Street :: Snooping ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
"Only the suppressed word is dangerous."
Ludwig Boerne, An Kundigurg der Wage (1818)

Tiered pricing comes to the Internet backbone, Ars Technica
Say you need to reach,
and the relevant Web server sits in a Vladivostok data center. But
Hyperlocal Internet, your Internet provider, has no direct connection
to the Vladivostok hosting company's Internet provider. So how to send
your request for a Web page across the Bering Sea?
More Info:

GPS Systems Threatened by Wireless Data Proposal, Radio World
This is one of those odd stories that illustrate the way business and
government sometimes work together to build new and powerful
communications systems. The outcome could affect many consumers who
own and use GPS guidance systems in their cars or for outdoor
recreation. To a certain degree, it could affect radio engineers.
More Info:

GPS industry group denies responsibility for interference issues, The Hill
Global Positioning System device makers fired back at wireless startup
LightSquared in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission on
Monday, claiming they are not responsible for interference problems
between their devices and LightSquared's planned network.
More Info:

LightSquared blasts GPS naysayers in FCC letter, Register
LightSquared, the US operator hoping to camp beside the GPS
frequencies, has written to the FCC accusing the GPS industry of
failing to comply with the Department of Defence standards.
More Info:

Police Say They Can Detain Photographers If Their Photographs Have 'No
Apparent Esthetic Value', Techdirt
Apparently the police in Long Beach, California, have a policy that
says if a police officer determines that a photographer is taking
photos of something with "no apparent esthetic value," they can detain
them. This revelation came after photographer Sander Roscoe Wolff was
taking the following photo:
More Info:

New Research: Internet Censorship To Stop Protests... Actually
Increases Protests, Techdirt
We've been arguing for a while that attempts by various governments to
shut down forms of communication during protests and riots only serves
to make protesters and rioters angrier. Some new (quite timely)
research, pointed out by Mathew Ingram, seems to agree that internet
censorship tends to make such problems worse. The research is a quick
read, and certainly goes further than efforts like L. Gordon Crovitz's
"it's okay if the world didn't end."
More Info:

Why Net Censorship in Times of Political Unrest Results in More
Violent Uprisings: A Social Simulation Experiment on the UK Riots
Antonio A. Casilli Telecom ParisTech Paola Tubaro University of
Greenwich August 14, 2011
Following the 2011 wave of political unrest, going from the Arab
Spring to UK riots, the formation of a large consensus around Internet
censorship is underway. Beyond all political consideration of
consequences in terms of freedom of expression, the present paper
adopts a social simulation approach to show that the decision to
"regulate" or restrict social media in situations of civil unrest
results in higher levels of violence. Building on Epstein's (2002)
agent based model, several alternative scenarios are generated.
Systemic optimum, represented by complete absence of censorship, not
only corresponds to lower levels of violence over time, but allows for
cant periods of social peace after each outburst.

Bandwidth Caps – One Year Later, Wireless Cowboys
The money generated by UBB is helping us build a better network that
can meet the needs of our customer base even as they double and triple
their typical bandwidth utilization.
More Info:

Comcast offers IPv6 in Michigan, CW
Comcast has added Michigan to its list of states - including
Pennsylvania, California, Colorado, Illinois and Florida -- where the
cable ISP is offering services that support the next-generation
Internet standard known as IPv6.
More Info:

Tracking IPv6 evolution slideset, CAIDA
This slideset was presented at the Chinese-American Networking
Symposium (CANS) in August 2011.
More Info:

Web surfing a boon to productivity, study shows, Globe and Mail
Banning Net use on company time found to be counterproductive
More Info:

Phone snooping 'prevented riot', BBC
Police say they prevented attacks by rioters on the Olympic site and
London's Oxford Street after picking up intelligence on social
More Info:

Inquiry on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the
Internet Economy, Fed Reg
The Department of Commerce's Internet Policy Task Force is conducting
a comprehensive review of the relationship between the availability
and protection of online copyrighted works and innovation in the
Internet economy. The Department, the United States Patent and
Trademark Office (USPTO), and the National
More Info:

Memo to newspapers: The future of media is a two-way street, Gigaom
Plenty of newspapers and other mainstream media entities are happy to
use social tools like Twitter and Facebook to promote their content,
host comments on their news stories in order to build traffic, and
otherwise try and take advantage of the web. But while some are making
strides in actually connecting with their readers — including Forbes
magazine, which just launched a new "social news" design — few are
More Info:

FTC Fines Mobile App Company for COPPA Violations, Daily Dashboard
In a press release, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that
it has fined a mobile apps developer $50,000 for violating the
Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The FTC alleges that
the company, which has settled with the agency, collected and stored
tens of thousands of e-mail addresses of children under the age of 13
without parental consent and allowed users to post messages and
More Info:

New Paper on Online Child Safety, Kids' Privacy & Internet Free
Speech, Tech Lib Front
My latest Mercatus Center white paper is entitled "Kids, Privacy, Free
Speech & the Internet: Finding The Right Balance." From the intro:
More Info:

Feds Stumble on Social Media Security, Privacy, Ecommerce Times
U.S. government agencies are moving quickly to incorporate social
media into their IT programs. For organizations with huge public
constituencies, adopting Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as major
communication channels makes a lot of sense. However, in the rush to
utilize social media, federal agencies
More Info:

Police Try To Bring Wiretapping Charges Against Woman Who Filmed Them
Beating A Man, Techdirt
For the past year, we've talked a lot about how police and some courts
have been abusing wiretapping laws to go after people who film the
police in public. Thankfully, more recently, it appears that more and
more courts have been smacking down such lawsuits, and those who are
bringing them are regularly being scolded. Not everyone has received
the message however. For example, there's police officer Michael
More Info:

Yes Virginia, Big Brother is following you on Twitter, Gigaom
If you're concerned about the rise of the "surveillance society," in
which the authorities use cameras and other means to snoop on your
activities, the past week or so has probably added even more fuel to
that fire. The British intelligence service is doing its best to crack
encrypted BlackBerry instant messages to identify rioters — and the
police are using facial recognition to do the same — while some
More Info:

Report: Spam is at a two-year high, CW
Spam - particularly the kind with malicious attachments - is
exploding, reaching a two-year high overall, which includes the spike
last fall just before the SpamIt operation folded its doors, a
security firm says
More Info:

FCC looking into BART mobile phone shutdown, CW
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is looking into last week's
shutdown of mobile phone services on a San Francisco commuter train
More Info:

FCC reviewing SF subway cell shutdown, CNET
Anonymous plans "peaceful" protest and encourages people to use Wi-Fi
and Bluetooth if BART shuts down cell service again.
More Info:

SF subway closes stations during peaceful protest, CNET
BART police say crowded station posed safety concern, so stations
closed during commuter rush hour.
More Info:

Website ::
Blog ::
Delicious ::
Twitter & Facebook :: Cybertelecom
Google Group :: cybertelecom-l

AUP ::
Cybertelecom is Off-the-Record. Otherwise play nicely.

Link to us!

Monday, August 15, 2011

8.15 :: Bart Pulls a Mubarack :: China Gleeful :: Colleges Can Snoop :: Not the Most Exciting ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
The spirit of democracy cannot be established in the midst of terrorism, whether governmental or popular. - Mahatma Gandhi

AT&T Accidentally Reveals That It Doesn't Need T-Mobile At All, Techdirt
One of the key talking points from AT&T in support of the T-Mobile merger is that it "needs" T-Mobile's spectrum in order to expand its planned 4G/LTE networks to cover 97% of the population. And, there's no doubt that having T-Mobile's spectrum will make it easier, but that's not the same as it being necessary. As Broadband Reports has been pointing out for a while, Verizon has less spectrum than AT&T but can cover the
More Info:

Google to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash, its largest deal to date, WAPO
Google Inc. is buying cell phone maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. for $12.5 billion in cash. It's by far Google's biggest acquisition and a sign the online search leader is serious about expanding beyond its core Internet business and setting the agenda in the fast-growing mobile market.
More Info:

Verizon customers see outages as worker strike continues, WAPO
As negotiations over a strike by 45,000 Verizon workers continued to sour, several thousand Washington-area customers experienced service outages caused by what the company called acts of sabotage.
More Info:

China Gleefully Uses UK Desire For Censorship To Validate Its Own Censorship, Techdirt
We've talked repeatedly of the blatant hypocrisy of many Western nations talking about the importance of internet freedom and condemning China (and others) for their internet censorship... while still wanting to censor at home. As we've warned, such efforts only give repressive regimes who censor the "cover" they need to continue. And, of course, with UK politicians looking to censor the internet to try to stop the riots,
More Info:

The 9th Circuit Tackles a Pair of Internet Jurisdiction Cases, Tech & Marketing Law
I'm inclined to agree with Eric that internet personal jurisdiction cases are not the most exciting....
More Info:

Mobile Apps Developer Settles FTC Charges It Violated Children's Privacy Rule, FTC
Company Collected Kids' Information Without Their Parents' Consent
More Info:

Court Says College Can Snoop On Students' Email, Techdirt
There have been plenty of cases where courts have said that it's okay for an employer to snoop on (employer-provided) employee email accounts. And now there's a case saying basically the same thing for colleges and universities. As long as they provided the email system, there's apparently no violation of anti-snooping or data privacy laws. I definitely understand the reasoning here, though one might argue that the
More Info:

Hackers protest BART decision to block cellphones, Globe and Mail
Cyber attack comes in response to decision to block wireless service in several San Francisco stations to thwart planned protest over transit police shooting
More Info:

BART Takes Heat For Shutting Down Cell Service to Quell Protest - As Anonymous Hacks BART Website in Retaliation, dslreports
While UK politicians are considering banning mobile communications during times of "unrest," some in the U.S. are going right ahead with such actions. Managers of San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) subway system are taking heat from civil liberties groups for shutting off cell service in four city subway stations in order to prevent people from protesting a shooting by a BART police officer. "BART staff or
More Info:

Hackers protest San Francisco transit decision to block cellphones, Globe and Mail
Cyber attack comes in response to decision to block wireless service in several San Francisco stations to thwart planned protest over transit police shooting
More Info:

Anonymous defaces BART site, leaks user data, CNET
Anonymous logo shows up on and, while user info is also leaked.
More Info:

Anonymous breaches San Francisco's public transport site, CW
The hacking collective Anonymous released personal data on Sunday belonging to more than 2,000 public transport customers in the San Francisco area in retaliation for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system's shutdown of mobile phone service on Thursday night.
More Info:

BART Pulls a Mubarak in San Francisco, EFF
This week, EFF has seen censorship stories move closer and closer to home — first Iran, then the UK, and now San Francisco, an early locus of the modern free speech movement. Operators of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) shut down cell phone service to four stations in downtown San Francisco yesterday in response to a planned protest. Last month, protesters disrupted BART service in response to the fatal
More Info:

Website ::
Blog ::
Delicious ::
Twitter & Facebook :: Cybertelecom
Google Group :: cybertelecom-l

AUP ::
Cybertelecom is Off-the-Record. Otherwise play nicely.

Link to us!

Friday, August 12, 2011

8.12 :: Internet Gas Guzzlers :: Streaming is to Blame :: Snooping Scandal :: PPL R Stll Usng Email? :: Oh Oh I Know! Lets Shut Down Social Media! #FAIL ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
"Hope and curiosity about the future seemed better than guarantees.
That's the way I was. The unknown was always so attractive to me . . .
and still is." Hedy Lamarr (received US patent in 1942 for spread
spectrum technology)

Internet Essentials — An Ambitious and Comprehensive Broadband
Adoption Experiment, Comcast
For more than a decade, there has been a national debate on how to
close the digital divide between those of us who are connected to the
Internet and those who, for a variety of reasons, are not. Both the
Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Commerce's
National Telecommunications and Information Administration have
reported that more than 33% of American homes are still not connected
More Info:

Is There A Bandwidth Shortage?, NPR
Movie and video streaming are Internet gas guzzlers. They account for
a huge growing amount of traffic on the Internet, and service
providers are struggling to keep up with demand. CNET Senior Writer
Maggie Reardon talks to Steve Inskeep about whether consumers are
facing a bandwidth shortage.
More Info:

U.S. subscribers hang up on cable, satellite; economy, streaming to
blame, Globe and Mail
Analysts estimate subscription-TV industry lost 380,000 subscribers in
second quarter
More Info:

LightSquared says GPS makers ignored filtering rules, CW
GPS vendors have not complied with a 2008 Department of Defense
recommendation that called for better filtering of signals from
adjacent spectrum bands, mobile startup LightSquared told the U.S.
Federal Communications Commission on Thursday.
More Info:

FCC asks for more information on LightSquared, GPS, WAPO
The Federal Communications Commission has asked for more information
from LightSquared and the U.S. GPS Industry Council about possible
interference between their networks.
More Info:

FCC won't guarantee timetable for LightSquared review, Fierce Broadband
FCC officials, in a briefing with reporters earlier this week, made it
clear that they can't guarantee the completion of a review of
LightSquared's proposed plans and its proposed remedies to the GPS
interference problem by by September.
More Info:

DA Realizes That Gizmodo Didn't Break The Law In Writing About Found
iPhone 4 Prototype, Techdirt
You may recall the huge scoop that the site Gizmodo (part of the
Gawker family) got a year and a half ago when it got its hands on a
prototype iPhone 4 that someone had accidentally left in a bar. The
whole thing got weird when police raided then-Gizmodo editor Jason
Chen's house and took all his computer equipment. Many people expected
Chen to be charged with a crime, even if the whole thing seemed silly
(and, really,
More Info:

ISP Tracking Spurs Class-Action Suit, Daily Dashboard
GigaOM reports on researchers' discovery that some Internet service
providers (ISPs) have been rerouting users' online traffic to provide
Web search results "that can generate money for firms selected by the
ISP as well as the ISP itself." The practice has resulted in a
class-action lawsuit against companies Paxfire and RCN, and Sen.
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) has said he is considering investigating the
More Info:

Paxfire Responds: Says It Doesn't Hijack Searches, Will Seek Sanctions
Against Lawyers, Techdirt
Last week, we wrote about a lawsuit filed against Paxfire for
supposedly teaming up with ISPs hijacking browser searches for profit.
The idea was that search terms never made it to the search engine in
question, but rather automatically directed users to pages paid for by
marketers. That is, if you searched for "Apple" via your browser
search, rather than having that search Bing (if Bing is your search
engine) for "Apple," it
More Info:

Paxfire Snooping Scandal Gets Political Attention - Things Will Soon
Heat Up For ISPs Involved, dslreports
Last week Berkeley researchers and the EFF announced that ten ISPs
were covertly intercepting and sometimes redirecting user search
results for additional profit. This week saw a new lawsuit against
hardware vendor Paxfire and RCN, with Paxfire denying that they've
done anything wrong. The ISPs involved in the traffic hijacking
stopped the practice dead in its tracks once the story broke, but as
expected the
More Info:

Inside the Burdens of the Net Neutrality Rules, Telecom Law Monitor
The Office of Management and Budget does not post the comments it
receives on Paperwork Reduction Act notices, like the FCC's recent
notices regarding the net neutrality rules. But we have them here.
More Info:

Top Internet Activities? Search & Email, Once Again, Pew
What's the most popular internet activity? It's a tie between those
perennial winners, search and email. A new survey finds both are done
by 92% of online adults in the United States.
More Info:

Grading the top 10 U.S. carriers in 2Q, Fierce Broadband
The top U.S. wireless carriers saw growth in subscriber numbers
(Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility and Sprint Nextel) in the second
quarter of 2011. Check out this chart from FierceWireless with details
on the major metrics--such as churn, ARPU and revenue--of each carrier
listed by subscriber base according to Strategy
More Info:

David Cameron's counterproductive attack on social media, Globe and Mail
Banning or restricting the use of social media networks is a tool of
dictatorial regimes, and British Prime Minister David Cameron sends
the wrong message by announcing his government is considering it.
More Info:

Panicked over social media, Mr. Cameron joins company of autocrats,
Globe and Mail
Panicking in the face of an unfamiliar and hard-to-control technology
only enhances their mythos
More Info:

The IBM PC Hits the Big 3-0, Xbox Stays in the Top Spot, plus Windows
Phone, Kinect and Internet Explorer, MS
Today is the 30th anniversary of the unveiling of the IBM PC. Earlier
this week, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Corporate
Communications Frank Shaw opined on what the PC has meant to Microsoft
and the technology industry as a whole and what the future holds for
the PC. Check it out.
More Info:

An Honest Policy Wonk, Virulent Word of Mouse
Captured regulators routinely take the blame for the ills of
regulatory policy in electricity, telephony, and broadcasting.
More Info:

Website ::
Blog ::
Delicious ::
Twitter & Facebook :: Cybertelecom
Google Group :: cybertelecom-l

AUP ::
Cybertelecom is Off-the-Record. Otherwise play nicely.

Link to us!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

8.10 :: Unnamed Official Somewhere Tuesday Eve Said... :: Software > Oil :: Convince Companies to File Absurd Patents and then Sue Each Other ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear

FCC: We won't let LightSquared hurt GPS, CW
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission won't allow LightSquared's proposed mobile broadband service to interfere with GPS signals, even though the potential interference would be caused by GPS receivers picking up signals outside of their spectrum, a group of FCC officials said Tuesday.
More Info:

How To Make A Mockery Of Your Own Law School: Sue Your Critics, Techdirt
Someone named "tuna" was the first of a few of you to point us to the ongoing debacle that is the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Apparently administrators there aren't too happy about the fact that some of its students were not pleased with the school, and gave the school negative reviews online. So, rather than responding to the complaints or figuring
More Info:

Online Defamation, Injunctive Relief, and the Future of Prior Restraint, Citizen's Media
It's sitting there in pretty much every online speech-related defamation complaint you'll find: right along side a request for a visit from our friend Stacks O'Cash, the plaintiff asks for an injunction, forcing the defendant to take down the (allegedly defamatory) post.
More Info:

ISPs Covertly Hijacking Search Traffic - 10 ISPs Using Paxfire Tech to Track Users, Hijack Results, dslreports
Earlier this year, ICSI researcher Nicholas Weaver told me he and other Berkeley researchers had discovered some strange ISP shenanigans related to search traffic hijacking that went well beyond the traditional DNS Redirection ad services we've talked about over the years. It took a few months to shore up their research with the help of the EFF,
More Info:

Small ISPs use "malicious" DNS servers to watch Web searches, earn cash, Ars Technica
Nearly 2 percent of all US Internet users suffer from "malicious" domain name system (DNS) servers that don't properly turn website names like into the IP addresses computers need to communicate on the 'Net. And, to make matters worse, the problem isn't caused by hackers or malware, but by the local ISPs people pay for access
More Info:

Christian Kreibich, Nicholas Weaver and Vern Paxson, with Peter Eckersley, Widespread Hijacking of Search Traffic in the United States, EFF
Earlier this year, two research papers reported the observation of strange phenomena in the Domain Name System (DNS) at several US ISPs. On these ISPs' networks, some or all traffic to major search engines, including Bing, Yahoo! and (sometimes) Google, is being directed to mysterious third party proxies
More Info:

Nicholas Weaver, ICSI, Christian Kreibich, ICSI, Boris Nechaev, HIIT & Aalto University, Vern Paxson, ICSI & UC Berkeley, Implications of Netalyzr's DNS Measurements, ICSI
Netalyzr is a widely used network measurement and diagnosis tool. To date, it has collected 198,000 measurement sessions from 146,000 distinct IP addresses. One of the primary focus areas of Netalyzr is DNS behavior, including DNS resolver
More Info:

Chao Zhang, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, Cheng Huang, Microsoft Research, Keith W. Ross, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, David A. Maltz, Microsoft Research, Jin Li, Microsoft Research, Inflight Modifications of Content: Who are the Culprits?, Paper
When a user requests content from a cloud service provider, sometimes the content sent by the provider is modified inflight by third-party entities. To our knowledge, there is no comprehensive study that examines the extent and primary root causes of the content modifica
More Info:

Open Government and the National Plan, White House
Over the last two and a half years, President Obama has demonstrated a strong commitment to making government information more accessible to the public and to involving citizens in decisions that affect their lives. The resulting commitment to "Open Government" has spurred a wide range of initiatives. Most recently, the United States has worked with many other nations to create an Open Government Partnership that will promote that commitment around
More Info:

Wall Street: Software more valuable than oil, CW
The tech industry's answer to this week's stock market roller coaster was delivered on Tuesday by Apple Inc., which briefly surpassed Exxon Mobil as the most valuable company in the U.S.
More Info:

FCC May Thwart AT&T's Expansion Ambitions, Ecommerce Times
With one brief letter, the Federal Communications Commission has put a stop to any hopes that two pending AT&T deals -- its $1.9 billion purchase of spectrum licenses from Qualcomm and its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile
More Info:

Cablevision's Earnings Stumble - As Carrier Continues to Bleed Basic Cable Subs, dslreports
Like many cable companies, Cablevision continues to struggle with losing basic video subscribers, the company's earnings report today stating Cablevision lost 23,000 subscribers on the quarter. Like other carriers, Cablevision blamed a traditionally weak second quarter showing on a still-stumbling economy, increased pressure from
More Info:

Verizon Wireless Falls Flat in Response to Free Press App-Blocking Complaint, Free Press
On Monday, Verizon Wireless submitted its response to Free Press' complaint about the carrier's decision to block subscribers from accessing "tethering" applications on their 4G phones.
More Info:

When Even Dilbert Is Making Fun Of The Absurdity Of The Patent System..., Techdirt
The general awfulness of the patent system seems to be reaching deeper and deeper into the mainstream these days. As a whole bunch of you sent in, even Scott Adams is mocking the patent system via a recent Dilbert strip:
More Info:

EFF: Court Refuses to Return Seized Domain Name, Circleid
Corynne McSherry reporting from EFF: "In a cursory opinion issued today that left us scratching our heads, a federal judge has ruled that the government does not have to return a domain name seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), because its seizure did not create a substantial hardship. ... Puerto 80, the Spanish company
More Info:

When a cloud service vanishes: How to protect your data, CW
Cloud services are useful and convenient, but when they fail, they can take your data with them. Here are some of the dangers of trusting your data to the cloud, and how to protect yourself.
More Info:

Amazon cloud outage downs Netflix, Quora, CNET
The brief network connectivity issues strike Amazon's northern Virginia site, derailing many sites that depend on the widely used service.
More Info:

Remarks to the Joint Center Forum on Privacy, Verizon
The Internet economy is sparking tremendous innovation. During the past fifteen years, networked information technologies – personal computers, mobile phones, wireless connections and other devices – have been transforming our social, political and economic
More Info:

DOJ Had 400% More Emergencies That Required Immediate Warrantless Info From ISPs?, Techdirt
Well this seems questionable. Chris Soghoian has received info from a Freedom of Information Act request (which only took 11 months) that shows that the Justice Department made use of a special "emergency" claim to get ISPs to turn over info without a warrant 400% more times in 2009 than in 2008. Of course, in 2009 there was a new
More Info:

Level 3's Top Ten Reasons For Cut Fiber - Hungry Squirrels and Idiots With Guns, dslreports
Light Reading directs our attention to a new post over at the Level 3 Communications blog discussing the top ten causes for severed fiber strands. Not too surprisingly, people not researching before they dig was the biggest culprit. The blog has a few amusing statistics, such as the fact that a huge number of cuts are due to squirrels chewing
More Info:

U.S. v. Smallwood, JOLT Digest
The District Court for the Northern District of Texas rejected a First Amendment challenge to the CAN-SPAM criminal statute, which prohibits the computer transmission of "multiple commercial electronic mail messages, with the intent to deceive or mislead recipients . . . . as to the origin of such messages."
More Info:

Bringing Broadband to Rural America: The Home Stretch on USF and ICC Reform, FCC
Since we voted unanimously in February to frame a path forward for fiscally responsible reform of the Universal Service Fund's high-cost program and intercarrier compensation system, the Commission has been diligently reviewing comments, engaging with stakeholders, crunching numbers, and refining proposals. Three public workshops
More Info:

Another VoIP-Related Access Charge Issue Makes its Way to the FCC, Telecom Law Monitor
The Commission's long-standing refusal to classify VoIP services continues to feed litigation between telecommunications carriers. Previously, a coalition of carriers asked the courts to decide the issue and it appears likely the FCC will address VoIP at least prospectively, but in the meantime, cases like this will persist.
More Info:

Website ::
Blog ::
Delicious ::
Twitter & Facebook :: Cybertelecom
Google Group :: cybertelecom-l

AUP ::
Cybertelecom is Off-the-Record. Otherwise play nicely.

Link to us!

Friday, August 05, 2011

8.5 :: The Fiasco :: Continues Generating Controversy :: The Nefarious Methodology :: Fighting Baseless :: So Long Computer Overloads ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. –
Abraham Lincoln

FCC approves latecomer Microsoft as white-space database provider,
Fierce Broadband
The FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) has named
Microsoft as an administrator of the TV white spaces database, despite
the company filing late and others opposing its designation.
More Info:

The GPS Fiasco, Economist
The ultimate source of the trouble is a decision made in 2003 by the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to grant special dispensation
to a broadband satellite operator called SkyTerra, allowing it to fill
gaps in its coverage by means of ground-based transmitters. SkyTerra's
chunk of spectrum (1,525-1,559 megahertz) abutted a crucial frequency
(1,575 megahertz) used by GPS satellites.
More Info:

Schlesinger, Parkinson Address FCC: Rescind LightSquared Waiver, GPS World
The two co-chairs of the U.S. National Advisory Board for Space-Based
Positioning, Navigation, and Timing, the Hon. James R. Schlesinger and
Dr. Bradford Parkinson, have delivered an official, strongly worded
letter today to Julius Genachowski, chairman, Federal Communications
Commission. The letter "formally requests that the Federal
More Info:

LightSquared Continues Generating Commission Controversy, TVB
LightSquared is proceeding as planned even as its proposed network
continues generating dispute. The company said today it has
transitioned 50,000 public safety and enterprise customers to its new
SkyTerra 1 satellite.
More Info:

FCC advisory board pans LightSquared's wireless bid, Denver Post
Philip Falcone's LightSquared wireless service shouldn't be allowed to
operate as planned because it would interfere with "many millions" of
Global Positioning System devices, an advisory board said.
More Info:

The Nefarious ACPA: The Nefarious Methodology
Methodology is the boring icky stuff of research. For a lawyer,
methodology is normally simple. You sit down with a big stack of
dusty books and read what a bunch of old dusty judges said, based on
their research of what some even older dusty judges said.
More Info:

White House Names a New Chief of Information Technology, NYT
Steven VanRoekel, who has been a leader at Microsoft and the F.C.C.,
will take over as chief information officer for the federal
More Info:

Former Microsoft exec, Obama donor named new U.S. CIO, CW
The White House announced Thursday that President Barack Obama intends
to appoint Steven VanRoekel to replace Vivek Kundra as the federal
government CIO.
More Info:

Comcast Loses More Basic Cable Subs, Adds Broadband - Sees Revenue of
$14.3 Billion in Second Quarter, dslreports
Comcast today released their second quarter earning results, which
indicate that the nation's largest cable company lost 238,000 basic
video subscribers -- a number that continues a sector trend, but is
less than the 265,000 basic video subscribers the company lost this
time last year. Comcast added 144,000 broadband customers, up from
118,000 one year ago -- bringing their broadband customer total to
17.55 million. The
More Info:

Comcast adds 144K to bring broadband subs to 17.55 million, Gigaom
Comcast says it added 144,000 new broadband subscribers during the
second quarter of 2011. Thanks to growing demand for higher-speed
tiers, the company saw its revenues jump almost 10 percent to $2.2
billion for the quarter. According to Leichtman Research Group, a
Durham, N.H.-based market research firm, Comcast had 17.406 million
subscribers at the end of the first quarter. At the end of the second
quarter, it had
More Info:

EFF Backs Another Blogger Fighting Off Baseless Righthaven Lawsuit, EFF
Despite a string of courtroom losses, copyright troll Righthaven
continues to pursue its misguided infringement litigation. Tuesday,
EFF filed an amicus brief in support of a defendant moving to dismiss
Righthaven v. Wolf, the lead case in the federal court in Colorado.
More Info:

Righthaven, still angering judges, finally pays cash for its mistakes,
Ars Technica
Righthaven, the Las Vegas copyright enforcer that has filed hundreds
of suits to "defend" newspaper articles, has been hammered repeatedly
in court. Now, it is finally paying defense lawyers, even if it can't
quite manage to send a check to the proper location.
More Info:

Judge Realizes That Nearly All Of The 23,322 People Sued By US
Copyright Group Aren't In Its Jurisdiction, Techdirt
While many courts had pretty clearly rejected attempts by various mass
lawsuit filing "anti-piracy" law firms to sue a ton of people in a
single lawsuit, we were surprised and dismayed back in May to see one
judge allow subpoenas to go out on all 23,322 IP addresses sued by US
More Info:

CNN announces revamp for iReport tool, Lost Remote
In honor of the fifth anniversay of CNN iReport, the 24-hour cable
news organization announced that they will be revamping the tool into
a "social network for news", according to Participation Director of
CNN Digital, Lila King. "Instead a (network) built around your
friends, it's built around sources and topics you care about and
trust," [...] No related posts.
More Info:

So long computer overlords - how clouds can liberate research and
transform discovery, Bill St Arnaud
Here is an excellent presentation by Ian Foster on how clouds and
grids can liberate researchers from traditional IT research tasks.
More Info:

Watch Out: The Feds Want to Regulate the Cloud, PC world
Government regulation could have a chilling effect on cloud computing
and complicate what should be simple and dynamic
More Info:

Walden Statement on FCC Process, House Commerce
Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR)
today issued the following statement after the Federal Communications
Commission released new program carriage rules and the "Measuring
Broadband America" report:
More Info:

Encrypt the Web with HTTPS Everywhere, EFF
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), in collaboration with the
Tor Project, has launched an official 1.0 version of HTTPS Everywhere,
a tool for the Firefox web browser that helps secure web browsing by
encrypting connections to more than 1,000 websites.
More Info:

Guardians of Internet Security Are Targets, NYT
A string of hackers' attacks on Internet security companies shows the
extent of online vulnerabilities, but the breaches may help the firms
grow their business.
More Info:

White House: Need to monitor online 'extremism', CNET
President Obama's new anti-"extremism" strategy hints at expanding
monitoring of social networks beyond what Homeland Security already
More Info:

Hacking Law Must Be Revised to Prevent Its 'Gross Misuse', CDT
Today, the Center for Democracy & Technology joined a group of
individuals and organizations from across the philosophical spectrum
in signing a letter to Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck
Grassley (R-IA) on recommended reforms to the Computer Fraud and Abuse
Act (CFAA).
More Info:

Spam king Sanford Wallace indicted for Facebook spam, CW
Notorious spam king Sanford Wallace is facing federal fraud charges
for allegedly breaking into Facebook accounts and sending 27 million
spam messages in 2008 and 2009.
More Info:

Website ::
Blog ::
Delicious ::
Twitter & Facebook :: Cybertelecom
Google Group :: cybertelecom-l

AUP ::
Cybertelecom is Off-the-Record. Otherwise play nicely.

Link to us!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The Nefarious ACPA: The Nefarious Methodology #cybersquatting #acpa #dns

Methodology is the boring icky stuff of research.  For a lawyer, methodology is normally simple.  You sit down with a big stack of dusty books and read what a bunch of old dusty judges said, based on their research of what some even older dusty judges said.

With this research I wanted to do a statistical analysis of court decisions.  That meant sorting out what cases were within scope and what were outside.  In order to find every ACPA dispositive federal case since enactment of the ACPA, I used Google Scholar.  I searched for all federal cases using the term "cybersquatting," reviewed all cases cited by cases uncovered from Google Scholar and discussed in literature, and tracked new cases using a Google Scholar Alert. While this may have missed some decisions, it reasonably uncovered ACPA federal decisions of a sufficient sample size.

I was looking for dispositive cases, in other words, cases where the judge made a ruling that resolved the case (not procedural orders on whether an attorney could have additional time for discovery).  "Dispositive cases" typically include trials, motions for summary judgment, motions to dismiss, and motions for preliminary injunctions where there is no further litigation on record.  Cases only get counted once; if there is a lower court decision and an appellate decision, that's just one case in the database. And I am specifically reviewing how courts have applied the bad faith factors of the ACPA cause of action.

Not counted were litigations resolved through default (where the defendant did not respond and did not appear in court; this is particularly, although not always, true of the in rem ACPA causes of action).  This actually turns out to be quite important later on in the analysis.

This methodology favors victorious plaintiffs. For a plaintiff to be successful, the plaintiff must successfully demonstrate every element of a cause of action.  In order to be successful on an ACPA cause of action, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the plaintiff has a valid trademark entitled to protection, that the trademark is distinctive or famous, that the domain name owner used, registered, or trafficked in the domain name, and bad faith.  In order for the defendant to be successful, the defendant need only knock out one of those elements.  For example, the defendant can be dripping in bad faith, but if plaintiff does not have a trademark entitled to protection, there is no successful claim.  Furthermore, courts generally consider whether there is in fact a trademark before they consider whether there is bad faith.  This means that a significant number of ACPA litigations were knocked out prior to the court conducting a bad faith analysis.  As this research only looks at litigations that were solved with a bad faith analysis, it does not count the litigations where defendants were successful on other ACPA grounds.

So what did I come up with?  Sixty-seven cases over 11 years.  As indicated yesterday, trademark owners won 66% of the time while domain name owners won 34% of the time.  The number of ACPA dispositive cases resolved per year has been inconsistent, with a dramatic increase in 2010. 

It's impressive to see how few cases there are each year.  When I was a judicial clerk, my judge was on a Civil II Fast Track docket.  I forget how many hundreds of cases were filed each year on our docket, and how many were pending at any given time.  The cases would go through discovery, mediation, and negotiations…. What was left went to trial.  And as I have frequently recounted to friends, what was left fell into two categories: (1) cases involving at least one incompetent attorney who simply could not do a proper analysis of the facts of his case and negotiate a settlement, or (2) a truly difficult or complex case where the resolution was anything but clear.  Those cases that went to trial frequently represented less than 5% of the litigations initially filed with the court.  I certainly expect something similar is happening here.  The cases that make it to a fully resolved court case tend to be the tip of the iceberg of the litigations initially filed in courts.