• Report: GOP Readying Net Neutrality Compromise
    Republican lawmakers reportedly are readying a bill that would require broadband providers to follow some net neutrality principles, but would stop short of classifying them as utilities. The proposal, which reportedly is backed by the cable and telecom industry, would establish "Title X" -- a new broadband-focused section of the Telecommunications Law.
  • U.S. Consumers Have Limited Options For High-Speed Web, Commerce Dept. Says
    Lest there was any doubt, competition among broadband providers remains lacking -- at least at speeds of more than 10 Mbps. That's according to the Commerce Department, which this week released a new report regarding the state of broadband availability. Researchers found that people who want service of at least 10 Mbps -- which Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler says should be the new definition of broadband -- typically have a choice of just two wireline providers.
  • Many FCC Commenters Oppose Net Neutrality, Sunlight Foundation Says
    The Federal Communications Commission said in October that its proposed net neutrality regulations drew a record-breaking 3.9 million comments. Many people seemed to assume that a good portion of those comments, if not most of them, came from net neutrality supporters. But a large number of commenters actually opposed new restrictions on broadband providers, the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation says in a new report.
  • Google Asks Appeals Court To Lift 'Innocence Of Muslims' Ban
    Attorneys for Google and actress Cindy Lee Garcia faced off this week at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, where they argued about whether Garcia is entitled to an injunction forcing Google to remove the clip "Innocence of Muslims" from YouTube. The hearing marked the latest twist in a legal dispute dating to late 2012, when Garcia sued Google for copyright infringement.
  • Leahy Pushes ISPs To Swear Off Fast Lanes
    Broadband providers have "disappointed" Sen. Patrick Leahy by refusing to promise to avoid creating paid online fast lanes. "An Internet that is split into the 'haves' and 'have-nots' is unacceptable," Leahy said in a statement issued late last week. "That is why the FCC should enact clear and enforceable rules to prevent 'paid prioritization' agreements that would allow some content providers to out-bid smaller competitors to gain fast-lane service to customers online." The statement marks a continuation of Leahy's efforts to extract no-fast-lane promises from Internet service providers.
  • Verizon Exec Says Net Neutrality Regs Won't Stop 'Short-Term' Investment In Network
    Earlier this week, Panasonic, Ericsson, Sandvine and other tech companies warned that a move to classify broadband service as a utility could harm themselves as well as the overall economy. The companies argued that reclassifying broadband service would curb network investment by Internet service providers. That slowdown in spending would "flow downstream," eventually affecting the entire U.S. economy, the tech companies said in a letter to lawmakers and the Federal Communications Commission.
  • PointRoll Pays $750,000 To Settle Safari Hack Investigation
    Gannett's PointRoll has agreed to pay $750,000 to settle an investigation by six attorneys general into whether the company circumvented Safari users' no-tracking settings. The deal, announced today by the New Jersey Attorney General, also requires PointRoll to refrain from overriding users' cookie-blocking settings -- including default settings -- and to implement a privacy program, among other terms. Other states joining the settlement are Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland and New York.
  • Coalition Of Academics Opposes Blanket Ban On Paid Fast Lanes
    More than two dozen economics and law professors are urging the Federal Trade Commission to weigh in against any new broadband regulations that would prohibit online fast lanes. "This is not a case where the potential risks would be so great and the potential harms so dire that extreme preventative measures are needed," the academics said this week in a letter asking the FTC to involve itself in the Federal Communications Commission's attempt to craft net neutrality rules.
  • Native Ads Need Privacy Disclosures, BBB Warns
    Companies that promote products online via native ad campaigns must comply with the industry's privacy code, a unit of the Better Business Bureau said today in a compliance warning. "Native advertisements personalized for consumers based on their prior browsing across websites must comply with the Digital Advertising Alliance's (DAA) Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising," the BBB's online accountability program said. "Companies involved in interest-based native ads are responsible for meeting all the requirements of the OBA Principles, just as they would be with respect to any other [interest-based ads]."
  • Verizon Touts Toll-Free Data In New FCC Filing
    Verizon is pressing the Federal Communications Commission to endorse the idea that broadband providers can offer "sponsored data" features, which allow companies to pay for their material to be exempted from consumers' data caps. "Sponsored data and other arrangements that only address pricing and that do not result in the differential treatment of traffic should be presumed reasonable given the potential consumer benefits," Verizon says in a new FCC filing.
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