Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12.21 :: Hogs :: Brother Can You Spare an Approval :: Sniffing :: Lawsuit :: Vulnerable Consumers :: Quite Expensive :: FTC Fines Santa Claus ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
"I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." Testimony of Jack Valenti, President of the Motion Picture Association of America, before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties and the Administration of Justice, Monday, April 12, 1982

LightSquared Presses FCC Over Wireless Network, WSJ
LightSquared, facing a year-end deadline with partner Sprint Nextel, pressed federal officials Tuesday to rule against critics who say the company's proposed national wireless-Internet network will interfere with global-positioning systems.

The Myth of the Bandwidth Hog Part 1, Level3
It seems like every method we use to access the Internet, wired or wireless, has some sort of data consumption cap. Some of those consumption caps are used to set a limit such that an additional revenue stream can be created at higher data volumes. But other caps are used to set a level that separates acceptable use of a network from abusive use of a network.

FCC/SBA/SCORE Small Business and Broadband Conference, FCC
On February 15, 2012, OCBO and the E-Business Now Consortium, the Small Business Administration, the Service Corps of Retired Executives, and the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will jointly host a series of workshops on broadband tools for small businesses. E-Business Now was created to ensure that small businesses develop the skills necessary to compete in today's rapidly evolving digital marketplace.

OECD BEREC workshop on Internet peering - how R&E networks can help community broadband, Bill St. Arnaud
As I have blogged many times R&E networks can play a critical catalyst role in helping community broadband initiatives through the deployment of community IXPs and hosting caching services deployed by Google, Akamai, etc. This will help community or public sector broadband networks deliver low cost, high speed services, only available in major centers. These IXPs will also be critical for anywhere, anytime education to provide

LightSquared to FCC: Give us our approval now, CNET
The startup is pressing for approval to use its spectrum to build a 4G LTE network, arguing that GPS devices have no right to interference protection.

Mani Potnuru, Limits of Federal Wiretap Act's Ability to Protect Against Wi-Fi Sniffing and the Need for Amendment, SSRN
Adoption of Wi-Fi wireless technology continues to see explosive growth. However, many users still operate their home Wi-Fi networks in unsecured mode or use publicly available unsecured Wi-Fi networks, thus exposing their communications to dangers of "sniffing." Some have argued that communications over unsecured Wi-Fi networks are "readily accessible to the general public"

Stanford professor files net neutrality complaint against Verizon Wireless, CW
The FCC should investigate Verizon Wireless for allegedly blocking Google Wallet on a new smartphone available to the carrier's customers, Professor Barbara van Schewick has said.

Contributory Cybersquatting under the Anitcybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, Cybersquatting & Domain Disputes
Welcome to Cybersquatting Law Radio. My name is Attorney Enrico Schaefer, and I specialize in cybersquatting issues, domain disputes, and domain theft. Today, we are talking about contributory cybersquatting under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. Play: Contributory Cybersquatting under the...

FTC Warns That Rapid Expansion of Internet Domain Name System Could Leave Consumers More Vulnerable to Online Fraud, FTC
Letter Urges ICANN to Implement Pilot Program, Take New Steps to Protect Consumers. The Federal Trade Commission today sent a letter to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that oversees Internet domain names, expressing concern that the organization's plan to dramatically expand the domain name system could leave consumers more vulnerable to online fraud and undermine law enforcers' ability to track down online scammers.

Internet Poker Operator Admits Deceiving Banks, NYT
Brent Beckley, the co-owner of Absolute Poker, said he had accepted credit cards from players so they could bet on the Internet and that he had disguised the purpose of the payments.

STMT. News Media Contact: Neil Grace,

When the dust settles on AT&T's failed bid for T-Mobile, it will be quite expensive, WAPO
The dust is settling on yesterday's news that AT&T has given up its T-Mobile acquisition plans, and it turns out the dust is quite expensive.

AT&T Ends Bid To Add Network Capacity Through T-Mobile USA Purchase, AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) said today that after a thorough review of options it has agreed with Deutsche Telekom AG to end its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA, which began in March of this year.

Senators urge FTC to investigate Google, CW
Two U.S. senators on Monday urged the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to investigate Google for possible antitrust violations.

Sprint fires off lawsuit at cable giants, CNET
The carrier claims Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and other cable companies are using digital phone technology that it owns. And thus we see a further fraying of their relationship.

CRTC's Net Neutrality Rules in Action: Bell To Drop P2P Traffic Shaping, Michael Geist
Bell advised the CRTC yesterday that it plans to drop all peer-to-peer traffic shaping (often called throttling) as of March 1, 2012. While the decision has been described as surprising or as quid pro quo for the usage based billing ruling, I think it is neither of those. The writing was on the wall in October when Bell announced that it was dropping the traffic shaping for wholesale traffic, citing reduced network congestion from P2P. At

SOPA revised but still reviled, CNET
Debate heats up over anti-piracy act, while feds scrutinize Carrier IQ. Also: Texting poses danger to drivers and devices.

'Internet is for Porn' pops up during House SOPA debate, CNET
Thanks to Rep. Jared Polis, the official committee record of the U.S. House of Representatives for SOPA includes the lyrics to "The Internet is for Porn."

Official Veto SOPA Petition Gets 25,000 Signatures in Two Days, Forbes
If you've been hanging around my corner of Forbes at all, you'll know that I'm virulently anti-SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) as its broad interpretation of copyright law could lead to the ultimate destruction of my own personal site that I use to make a living. On a larger scale, it could also be responsible for the downfall of the entire internet.

SOPA online piracy bill markup postponed, WAPO
The House Judiciary Committee confirmed Tuesday that it will delay continuing debate on the Stop Online Piracy Act until after Congress returns from its winter recess.

SOPA hearing delayed, likely until early next year, CW
A hearing to debate and amend the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives has been delayed, likely until early next year.

How SOPA Will Be (Ab)Used, Techdirt
Proponents of the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and its Senate counterpart PROTECT-IP often affect incredulity that anyone would "defend piracy" by describing their valiant attempts to stamp out "rogue sites" as a threat to free speech or innovation. Recording Industry Association of America head Cary Sherman, for instance, recently insisted to The New York Times that the bills are "specifically designed to focus on the worst

Paul vixie, The Myth of the Unintended Infringer in SOPA and PIPA, CircleID
In a recent op-ed piece in TheHill.COM, some friends and I described the futility of mandated DNS blocking as contemplated by the SOPA (H.R. 3261) and PIPA (S. 968) bills now working their way through the U.S. Congress:

David Post, Don't Break the Internet (Cont'd), Volokh Conspiracy
The Op-Ed that Mark Lemley, Dave Levine, and I wrote about the egregious intellectual property bills now pending before Congress (SOPA, Protect-IP, and their ilk) was published today in the Stanford Law Review Online, and is available here for those who are interested (i.e., anyone who cares about the future of communication on the Internet).

Introducing MyFCC Beta, FCC
Building a website that serves many audiences is a complex challenge. And it is a challenge best met in partnership with the site's frequent users.

SIP Co-Author Henning Schulzrinne Appointed CTO of the FCC, CircleID
In a move to be celebrated by many of us with a VoIP background, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced today the appointment of Henning Schulzrinne as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). As the release indicates, Henning's role as CTO will be to:

How Siri could help boost location-based services, Gigaom
Location-based apps have gotten a lot of attention but they still seem to have a tougher time cracking the mainstream, according to a recent survey by Forrester, which found that only five percent of U.S. online adults use location-aware apps at least once a month. That's up slightly from last year, but location-based services aren't yet close to being everyday tools for most.

Protecting Privacy and Civil Liberties on the Internet and Beyond, White House
Yesterday, the President took a big step forward toward protecting Americans' privacy and civil liberties with the nomination of three highly respected individuals to serve on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). The PCLOB is a new independent board established by Congress to advise and oversee executive branch activities with civil liberties implications, including intelligence and law enforcement practices, and to assist the President and Federal agencies in making sure that the implementation of laws, regulations, and policies related to counterterrorism appropriately consider citizens' privacy and civil liberties.

Do Individuals Have "A Right To Be Forgotten"?, Media Law Prof
Jef Ausloos, Electronic Frontier Foundation, has published The 'Right to Be Forgotten' - Worth Remembering? in Computer Law & Security Review (2012). Here is the abstract. In the last few years there has been a lot of buzz around a...

FTC Fines Santa Claus for Violating Children's Privacy, Huffpo
Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz today announced a record fine against Santa Claus for violations of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

New Restrictions on Social Networking Sites in Beijing, China, NYT
New rules are aimed at controlling the way Chinese Internet users post messages on social networking sites that have posed challenges to the Chinese Communist Party.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

FCC Names Henning Schulzrinne Chief Technology Officer

The FCC, like other federal agencies, has unique, short-term positions that are filled by visiting academics.  The Chief Technologist position generally sits in either the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis or the Office of Engineering and Technology.  Past Chief Technologists have included Prof. David Farber, Prof. Doug Sicker, Prof. Jon Peha, and Stagg Newman.
Press Release: FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced today the appointment of Henning Schulzrinne as Chief Technology Officer.

FCC Chairman Genachowski said, “I’m delighted that Henning will be joining us. The communications technology revolution is key to our economy and broad opportunity. With the appointment of Henning –a world-class technologist – we extend our commitment to technology excellence at the FCC and to strong engagement with outside technology experts.”
As Chief Technology Officer, Schulzrinne will guide the FCC’s work on technology and engineering issues, together with the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology. He will advise on matters across the agency to ensure that FCC policies are driving technological innovation, including serving as a resource to FCC Commissioners. He will also help the FCC engage with technology experts outside the agency and promote technical excellence among agency staff. He will be based in the FCC’s Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis.

Schulzrinne is Julian Clarence Levi Professor of Mathematical Methods and Computer Science and Professor of Engineering at The Fu Foundation School of Engineering at Columbia University. He has been an Engineering Fellow at the FCC since 2010. He has published more than 250 journal and conference papers, and more than 70 Internet Requests for Comment (RFCs). He is widely known for the development of key protocols that enable voice-over-IP (VoIP) and other multimedia applications that are now Internet standards, including the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). His research interests include Internet multimedia systems, applied network engineering, wireless networks, security, quality of service, and performance evaluation.

Schulzrinne received his undergraduate degree in economics and electrical engineering from the Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany, his MSEE degree as a Fulbright scholar from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio and his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts. He was a member of technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill and an associate department head at GMD-Fokus (Berlin), before joining the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering departments at Columbia University, New York. He is an IEEE Fellow and a former member of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

12.15 :: Slowly Eroding :: Still a Disaster :: Rope-a-Dope :: The Curious Case :: A Rolling Scandal :: Wont Say How ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
"The radio craze will die out in time." Thomas Edison, 1922

Verizon Upgrades Its IP Network Access to Enable 100G Technology, CISCO
no description

6 Million Only Use Wireless Broadband - Slowly Eroding DSL Use Among Lighter Users, DSLReports
A new report by Strategy Analytics notes that 6 million U.S. residents now exclusively use wireless as their only in-home broadband service. According to the study, these 6 million connections account for 6.9% of total US broadband connections and mark a 430,000 net increase over 2010 levels. The firm notes that cable modem services still account for 50% of all connections, but that wireless is having an impact on some DS

Why is the FCC stonewalling Grassley on LightSquared?, Hot Air
Most people probably missed this statement from Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) last week, announcing that he has put holds on two Barack Obama nominees to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). With most of the political focus on the

Federal officials: More tests show LightSquared interference with GPS, aviation, WAPO
Federal officials said Wednesday that LightSquared's proposed mobile satellite network would interfere with "the majority" of global positioning system receivers and pose dangerous disruption to airline safety systems.

LightSquared Signals Still Interfere With GPS, U.S. Says, WSJ
Federal officials said recent tests of LightSquared's proposed national wireless-Internet network showed it would still knock out a "majority" of GPS devices.

OECD urges members to protect open Internet, OECD
The openness of the Internet has been key in stimulating innovation and economic growth and stems from its multi-stakeholder model of development and management. Amid growing concern that this openness is eroding, the OECD has adopted a set of shared principles to preserve the fundamentally open and dynamic nature of the Internet.,3355,en_2649_34223_1_1_1_1_1,00.html?rssChId=34223#49258981

OECD Council Recommendation on Principles for Internet Policy Making, OECD
Amid concern that the openness of the Internet that has been key in stimulating innovation and economic growth is currently eroding, the OECD has adopted a set of shared principles to preserve the fundamental openness of the Internet and its free flow of information.,3699,en_2649_37441_1_1_1_1_37441,00.html?rssChId=37441#49258589

Stopping SOPA's Anticircumvention, Freedom to tinker
The House's Stop Online Piracy Act is in Judiciary Committee Markup today. As numerous protests, open letters,and advocacy campaignsacross the Web, this is a seriously flawed bill. Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Darell Issa's proposed OPEN Act points out, by contrast, some of the procedural problems.

Top Internet engineers warn against SOPA, WAPO
Some of the original engineers of the Internet called Thursday for lawmakers to scrap anti-piracy bills, saying the proposals would pose major technological barriers for the Web and stifle new innovations.

Former DHS Assistant Secretary Stewart Baker On SOPA 2.0: Still A Disaster For Cybersecurity, Techdirt
One of the most credible critics of SOPA -- and one whose concerns certainly got the interest of Congress during the November Judiciary Committee hearings -- is Stewart Baker, the former Homeland Security Assistant Secretary and former NSA General Counsel, who argued that it

Brin says SOPA puts U.S. on par with oppressive nations, CNET
The Google co-founder posts a note on Google+ blasting the controversial anti-piracy legislation, saying it won't accomplish its goals and will limit free speech.

The Internet erases borders, SOPA puts them back, Gigaom
The House today is conducting a hearing in order to mark up the Stop Online Piracy Act — a proposed law that has mobilized Silicon Valley in a way that goes far beyond issues such as privacy or even network neutrality. As technology creeps into the mainstream and habits like broadcasting your location, sharing or watching TV online or even taking videos of your child dancing to Prince become commonplace, the old-media machine

Meet SOPA author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favorite Republican, CNET
When large content holders want to rewrite copyright law, or enact legislation like the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, they give House Judiciary chairman Lamar Smith a call.

Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), TechAmerica
Rogue Websites are increasingly a problem. These are the sites that are set up by criminals of various sorts, operating overseas, to sell counterfeit products that violate the trademarked brands of their rightful owners, and deceive buyers as to the quality and origin of the goods, or that directly sell pirated copyrighted material.

Cato Institute Research Fellow Julian Sanchez Explains the Pitfalls of SOPA and PIPA, Teckfreedom
Cato Institute research fellow Julian Sanchez explains why SOPA and PIPA won't effectively address the problem of piracy. Instead, they threaten innovation and the liberties of Americans by engaging in unconstitutional prior restraint.

An Open Letter From Internet Engineers to the U.S. Congress, EFF
We, the undersigned, have played various parts in building a network called the Internet. We wrote and debugged the software; we defined the standards and protocols that talk over that network. Many of us invented parts of it. We're just a little proud of the social and economic benefits that our project, the Internet, has brought with it.

Stop Internet censorship —Internet Engineers, Peerflow
Last year, many of us wrote to you and your colleagues to warn about the proposed "COICA" copyright and censorship legislation. Today, we are writing again to reiterate our concerns about the SOPA and PIPA derivatives of last year's bill, that are under consideration in the House and Senate. In many respects, these proposals are worse than the one we were alarmed to read last year.

SOPA-Rope-a-dope (by Stewart Baker), Volokh Conspiracy
This version contains several provisions aimed at the security concerns raised about the first version. The new bill insists that it is imposing no technology mandate and that it should not be construed to impair the security of the domain name system or the network of an ISP that receives

Comcast Pushes IPv6 Trials Into Four More States - 1,000 Users Currently Dual Stack IPv6 With No Issues, DSLReports
Last month Comcast continued their industry-leading IPv6 adoption efforts by starting IPv6 pilot market deployment to customers in Pleasanton, California. Comcast this week announced that they're expanding their IPv6 efforts into four additional states: Illinois, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. While many ISPs have done little to prepare in the hopes the transition problem will magically resolve itself, Comcast says they've got

The Curious Case of the Crooked TCP Handshake, Potaroo
In this article we will be delving into the behaviour of the Linux implementation of TCP, and looking at the way in which TCP establishes a connection. There are socket options in Linux that cause the TCP handshake to behave in a rather curious way.

FBI May Use Carrier IQ to Track Suspects, Forbes
The FBI may use Carrier IQ's tracking software in investigations, after the agency refused to answer a Freedom of Information Act request, citing it would jeopardize ongoing cases.

Feds scrutinizing Carrier IQ, CNET
Report says the FTC is investigating Carrier IQ, but company executive says he doesn't know of a formal probe.

Carrier IQ and the US' Escalating Privacy Risk Level, Ecommerce Times
It seems that every day a new crisis hits the news about our privacy, but not many news stories are as astonishing as the recent revelation by a 25-year-old researcher about the Carrier IQ software that is installed on most modern Android, BlackBerry and Nokia phones. Carrier IQ software collects massive data from these

Some Facts About Carrier IQ, EFF
There has been a rolling scandal about the Carrier IQ software installed by cell phone companies on 150 million phones, mostly within the United States. Subjects of outright disagreement have included the nature of the program, what information it actually collects, and under what circumstances. This post will attempt to explain Carrier IQ's architecture, and why apparently conflicting statements about it are in some instances

FBI Admits That It Uses Carrier IQ For Law Enforcement Purposes; Won't Say How, Techdirt
So remember Carrier IQ? That would be the company that is providing what's been deemed a root kit on a ton of mobile phones. While the company has sought to downplay the security and privacy risks of its software (to the point of threatening the main researcher behind the revelation), further research suggested that the software likely tracked actions down to the keystroke. Again, Carrier IQ has insisted that its only

Think Your Cell Phone is Virus Free? Think Again, Forbes
Many people think that only PC's can be infected with a virus or worm but this is simply not true. Cell phones and PDAs are becoming more and more susceptible as features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are being added to these devices. In Stat, a prominent market research company, projects that Bluetooth device shipments will exceed 2 billion by 2013 and Wi-Fi chipsets will exceed 1 billion by 2012.

The FCC's Exploding Universal Service Tax, Tech Liberation Front
The FCC's universal service tax is officially out of control. The agency announced yesterday that the "universal service contribution factor" for the 1st quarter of 2012 will go up to 17.9%. This "contribution factor" is a tax imposed on telecom companies that is adjusted on a quarterly basis to

Closing the Digital Divide: Focus on Native American Communities, NTIA
Too many Native American communities are on the wrong side of the digital divide, lacking access to broadband Internet service and to the economic, educational, and health care opportunities that it enables. NTIA's broadband grants program, funded by the Recovery Act, is tackling this challenge by bringing broadband Internet facilities to tribal lands and providing computer training to tribal communities. We awarded grants t

Apply for a 2012 Google Policy Fellowship, Google
From intellectual property enforcement, to patents, to free expression, policy makers are focused on the web. We're excited to launch the 5th summer of the Google Policy Fellowship, connecting students of all levels and disciplines with organizations working on the forefront of these and other critical issues for the future of the Internet. Applications are open today, and the deadline to apply is February 3, 2012.

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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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Thursday, December 08, 2011

12.7 :: Spam Sinks :: Patches not Bills :: Dont Throw the COPPA Out With the Bathwater :: Snoop-Gate :: Blasphemous ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
"Guard against the postures of pretended patriotism"--George Washington

Broadband Speed: FCC Data Is Improving the Market, FCC
As part of our Consumer Empowerment Agenda, the FCC has been taking action to ensure that consumers are getting the information they need to make informed decisions. Our efforts to combat bill shock are one recent example, where we worked out a landmark agreement with the wireless industry to alert consumers before they are charged overage fees. The residential broadband market is another area where consumers

Teens Aren't The Rampant Sexting Maniacs We Thought, NPR
Teens aren't the rampant texters that we've been led to believe. In fact, they're pretty darned modest. That's the news from a survey of middle and high schoolers. Just 1 percent of teenagers said they had created or appeared in sexually explicit videos or photos that were shared.

Sending of Sexual Images by Minors Isn't as Prevalent as Expected, Study Finds, Pew Internet`
Amanda Lenhart, a senior research specialist at the Pew Research Center in Washington, noted that the report's findings dovetailed with Pew research released last month. In that study, which involved 800 minors between 12 and 17, only 2 percent said they had sent nude or almost nude pictures to someone they knew. In contrast, the center found that 17 percent of adults between 18 and 29 had sent sexually suggestive pictures,

Rob Frieden, A layered and nuanced assessment of network neutrality rationales, Paper
The United States Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") has issued a Report and Order that codifies rules to preserve a free and open Internet for consumers. 1 The Order concentrates on the relationship between end users and Internet Service Providers ("ISPs"), but

What Will Trigger Widespread Worldwide IPv6 Deployment?, Secure the Core
Everyone is wondering when IPv6 will actually be deployed in earnest on the global Internet. While there are a handful of enterprises that have extensive internal IPv6 deployments, the ratio of IPv6 to IPv4 traffic in the global Internet is still very small (See "World IPv6 Day: Final Look and "Wagon's Ho!"). I have a theory about what will trigger significant deployment of IPv6 on the global Internet, which I'm presenting in this post.

U.S. Online Holiday Spending Approaches $20 Billion for First 34 Days of the November-December Shopping Season, up 15 Percent vs. Last Year, comScore
holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 34 days of the November – December 2011 holiday season. For the holiday season-to-date, nearly $20 billion has been spent online, marking a 15-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year. The most recent week saw three individual days eclipse $1 billion in spending, led

Seeking Your Input on the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan, White House
On September 20, 2011, on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly, the President announced the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan. The Plan was developed through a process that involved extensive consultations with external stakeholders, including a broad range of civil society groups and members of the private sector, to gather ideas on open government. As we continue our work to implement the National

AT&T Ranks Last in Customer Satisfaction, Again, Forbes
AT&T ranked dead last in customer satisfaction for the second year in a row, according to Consumer Reports, signaling the company may have work to do if it wants to stay successful.

AT&T rated worst cell phone carrier for second year in a row, CNET
Carrier continues to have trouble with voice service, according to Consumer Reports' annual satisfaction survey. So who's the best? Consumer Cellular.

Comcast: No Plans For Usage-Based Pricing - 'We Don't Want to Nickel-and-Dime Customers at This Point.', DSLReports
Earlier this month Sanford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett lustfully predicted that one of the major U.S. cable operators would implement per-byte overages in 2012. While Time Warner Cable, Cox and Charter are either interested -- or have tried and failed to implement overage charges --

Verizon Fires 40 Employees for Strike Behavior - Cites 'Threats of Violence' and 'Running People Off the Road', DSLReports
You'll recall that earlier this year when 45,000 Verizon workers were striking, Verizon reported not only several acts of sabotage against the company's network, but a few acts of violence against replacement workers and executives. According to the Boston Globe, Verizon informed 40

This Week in Internet Censorship: activists and bloggers under fire, "cyber security" proposals, and surveillance tech exports, EFF
Clicking "like" on Facebook in Thailand can potentially land you in prison. The Thai Minister of Information and Communication Technology declared last Tuesday that they will begin charging Facebook users for "liking" or sharing content that could be deemed offensive to the Thai throne, the sentence for which could run anywhere between three to 15 years in prison. Thailand has strict lèse-majesté laws that imprison

India tells websites to screen content about country's leaders, Globe
Government tells companies to keep derogatory material about country's leaders off their websites

India targets 'blasphemous' web, BBC
The Indian government vows to crack down on "blasphemous" internet material, accusing web firms of failing to co-operate.

Critics of SOPA copyright bill ready counterattack, CNET
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) are planning a less-Draconian alternative to the Stop Online Piracy Act on Thursday, CNET has learned.

How Twitter's Trending Algorithm Picks Its Topics, NPR
Sometimes a topic that seems hot, like Occupy Wall Street, doesn't appear on trending lists, leading some activists to accuse Twitter of censorship. But the secret algorithmic formula prefers stories of the moment to enduring hashtags, so it ignores topics that are popular over a long period of time.

Senate committee to vote on FTC, FCC nominations, WAPO
In an executive session on Dec. 8, committee members will vote to confirm FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz and FCC nominees Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel. President Obama's nominees are all widely supported by lawmakers and are expected to pass the committee votes and head to a full Senate vote as early as next week.

FCC's Copps resigns, makes way for Rosenworcel, WAPO
Michael Copps, a senior Democratic member of the Federal Communications Commission, on Tuesday announced his expected resignation after one decade as the agency's fiercest critic of media consolidation and one of its greatest proponents of Internet access rules.

Senator Demands Telcos & HTC Come Clean on Carrier IQ, Wired
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) wants handset manufacturers and mobile carriers to explain what user data is being vacuumed to Carrier IQ, whose software is secretly installed on about 150 million mobile phones in the United States. Franken is demanding that Sprint, HTC and AT&T cough up some answers, though the senator should also consider asking T-Mobile ...

Carrier IQ, the UK Mobile Networks, and the Data Protection Act, Forbes
As the "snoop-gate" of Carrier IQ's phone monitoring software continue to build momentum over in the US ('Carrier IQ blames manufacturers', '...holds treasure trove of information', and 'App ... not a security risk', to point out three), it's been interesting to look at the UK side of things, and if the software is in handsets on this side of the Atlantic.

VIDEO: Do cookies threaten privacy?, BBC
Just how much personal information are websites squirrelling away about us on our own computer?

Commissioner Brill: COPPA Needs To Be Fixed, Not Abandoned, Daily Dashboard
CIPP Speaking at the IAPP's Practical Privacy Series in Washington, DC, yesterday, Commissioner Julie Brill of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) equated the current privacy paradigm to the age-old "tenet of the toddler room: share, don't take." Among the many topics discussed, Brill defended the viability of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and said that the FTC plans to expand the

Cybersecurity Requires Patches, Not a Vast Bill: Susan Crawford, Bloomberg
When cybersecurity problems arise, the best response is to adopt a patch as soon as it's available. You don't want to wait for an entirely new operating system to be created, and you really don't want to use such a system until it has been debugged.

Testimony: Privacy Protections Needed for Cybersecurity Info Sharing, CDT
Congress is accelerating its consideration of cybersecurity legislation, and this morning, CDT's Greg Nojeim testified before a key House subcommittee regarding a draft bill from Subcommittee Chairman Dan Lungren (R-CA).

Federal Cybersecurity R&D Strategic Plan Released, White House
Today, OSTP is releasing Trustworthy Cyberspace: Strategic Plan for the Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Program—a road map to ensuring long-term reliability and trustworthiness of the digital communications network that is increasingly at the heart of American economic growth and global competitiveness.

The Trespass Tort Versus the CFAA: A Response to the Oracle Amicus Brief in Nosal, Volokh Conspiracy
In a recently-filed amicus brief submitted by Oracle America Inc. before the en banc Ninth Circuit in United States v. Nosal, the important Computer Fraud and Abuse Act case I have blogged a lot about, Oracle makes the following argument about interpreting "access" and "authorization" in the context of the CFAA. The CFAA's prohibition on exceeding authorized access and access without authorization is modeled

Spam sinks to lowest level in almost three years, says Symantec, CNET
The amount of spam around the globe now accounts for 70 percent of all e-mail, a sharp decline from 2009 when it accounted for 90 percent.

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Friday, December 02, 2011

12.2 :: AT&T-Mobile :: and some other stuff ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
Basic research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -
Werner von Braun,

The 'Bandwidth Hog' is a Myth - And Caps Don't Really Address Truly
Disruptive Users, DSLReports
You might recall that back in 2009, we mentioned a piece claiming that
the "bandwidth hog," a term used ceaselessly by industry executives to
justify rate hikes, net neutrality infractions, and pretty much
everything else -- was a myth. The piece was penned

Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Verizon Wireless
Enter into New Agreements, Comcast
Mobility is an important part of the experience that we deliver to our
customers today and will be an increasingly important part of
Comcast's future product roadmap. Today, we've taken a significant
step to deliver and develop the best integrated mobile video, data and
communications experience by bringing together the nation's best
Internet and wireless networks.

Majority of young people online for no reason, study says, CNET
A Pew Research Center study shows that 53 percent of 18- to
29-year-olds are online because, well, they are.

OECD workshop on broadband metrics, OECD
The focus of this event held in Washington, DC, was discussion of a
new approach to harmonizing broadband and Internet economy metrics.,3355,en_2649_34223_1_1_1_1_1,00.html?rssChId=34223#48600734

ACLU raps Apple over Siri abortion-clinic issue, CNN
Siri can help you find drugstores and bars, but the iPhone 4S digital
assistant is clueless when it comes to the locations of abortion
clinics, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Activists to Apple's Siri: 'Why can't you find abortion clinics?', Globe
Well-received cutting-edge voice-activated iPhone search service runs
afoul of abortion rights activists

FCC Report On AT&T's T-Mobile Merger Is Just Appalling, Forbes
As everyone knows by now, AT&T's proposed merger with T-Mobile has hit
a bureaucratic snag at the FCC. The remarkable decision to refer the
merger to the Commission's Administrative Law Judge (in an effort to
derail the deal) and the public release of the FCC staff's internal,
draft report are problematic and poorly considered. But far worse is
the content of the report on which the decision to attempt to kill the
deal was based.

AT&T to FCC: You're totally 'one-sided' on T-Mobile deal, CNET
Carrier accuses federal regulators of "cherry-picking" some facts, and
ignoring others, to push its view that the merger with T-Mobile USA
would be bad for the nation.

AT&T Angry FCC Pointed Out Just How Bad T-Mobile Deal Is - Jim Cicconi
Upset Nobody Will Believe His Made Up Facts This Time, DSLReports
Earlier this week the FCC issued an order that clearly laid out the
reasons for the FCC's opposition to the AT&T T-Mobile deal. The full
report (pdf) mirrors what we've been noting for months: AT&T's merger
benefit claims are false. The deal does not

FCC: Ready for reform yet?, CNET
The agency's unprecedented decision to release a draft report on the
withdrawn AT&T/T-Mobile merger application is just the latest move by
the FCC that undermines its apolitical nature. How will Congress
respond and will mobile users wind up the real victims?

AT&T fires back at FCC staff report on T-Mobile deal, CW
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has invited questions about
its impartiality with a staff report laying out concerns about AT&T's
proposed acquisition of rival mobile carrier T-Mobile USA, AT&T said

AT&T Blasts FCC Critique of Deal, WSJ
AT&T blasted a Federal Communications Commission report detailing the
agency's concerns about AT&T's proposed $39 billion deal to acquire
T-Mobile USA.

AT&T Statement on FCC's Release of Staff Draft Report, AT&T
"The FCC has recognized that it is required by its own rules to
dismiss our merger application. This makes all the more troubling
their decision to nonetheless release a preliminary staff report on
the merger. This report is not an order of the FCC

AT&T Response to FCC Staff Report, AT&T
We expected that the AT&T-T-Mobile transaction would receive careful,
considered, and fair analysis. Unfortunately, the preliminary FCC
Staff Analysis offers none of that. The document is so obviously
one-sided that any fair-minded person reading it is left with the
clear impression that it is an advocacy piece, and not a considered

The FCC and Consumer Protection, AT&T
Earlier today, I spoke on a panel at the Phoenix Center telecom
symposium. My point about consumer protection was not meant as a
criticism of the FCC—it was a call for the Congress to clarify the
issue by reexamining the Telecom Act.

FCC nominees gain broad Senate support, WAPO
Senate lawmakers on Wednesday expressed broad support for nominees to
the Federal Communications Commission, lauding Republican Ajit
Vradaraj Pai and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel for their deep telecom
policy experience.

Netflix names Skype's Libertelli to head Washington office, WAPO
Netflix named Christopher Libertelli to head its Washington policy and
lobbying office Thursday, as the online video giant increases its
voice in communications and Internet privacy policies.

AT&T, Sprint confirm use of Carrier IQ rootkit software on handsets, CW
Amid what's snowballing into a major privacy controversy, AT&T,
Sprint, HTC and Samsung today confirmed that that their mobile phones
integrate a controversial piece of smartphone tracking software from a
company called Carrier IQ.

Who's using Carrier IQ and for what purpose?, WAPO
T-Mobile confirmed that it also uses Carrier IQ to measure metrics for
network performance.

What does Carrier IQ do on my phone--and should I care? (FAQ), CNET
Programmer says the software violates mobile-user privacy, but Carrier
IQ and some security experts say the threat is overblown.

Today in Tech: Carrier IQ draws consumer, lawmaker questions, WAPO
Carrier IQ: Ever since a researcher named Trevor Eckhart posted
evidence that a program known as Carrier IQ is tracking mobile users'
keystrokes and activities, the Web has been abuzz trying to find out
how much the program actually collects and how widespread it is.

FAQ: Behind the Carrier IQ rookit controversy, CW
The recent disclosure that top mobile phone providers are using
software from Carrier IQ that critics say can gather and track all
sorts of personal data from a user's smartphone has sparked a
firestorm of controversy.

Verizon says it doesn't use Carrier IQ software, CW
Verizon Wireless said Thursday it doesn't add to its phones any
software from Carrier IQ, the company that has come under fire in the
past few days for what some say amounts to spying on mobile phone

Fallout continues over smartphone tracking app, CNN
The Web fallout continued Friday over news that a hidden app could be
tracking smartphone users' activity.

Working Together to Attack Cybersecurity, CableTechTalk by Michael Powell
At NCTA earlier this week, we had the pleasure of hosting an important
event about the challenging and growing issue of cybersecurity. House
Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R, MI-8) and C. A.
"Dutch" Ruppersberger (D, MD-2), the Ranking

FCC applauds BART's actions to protect cellphone use in stations, WAPO
Federal Communications Chariman Julius Genachowski applauded the Bay
Area Rapid Transit (BART) board of directors decision to codify when
it was appropriate to block cellphone use in its stations.

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