Executives at Facebook and Google warned that efforts by the U.S. government to circumvent encryption technology could undermine users’ rights, MIT Technology Review reports. The companies' comments came after a White House official said the government needed to find a way to unlock encrypted material.
AT&T says that purchasing DirecTV will enable the company to expand its gigabit fiber service, according to DSLReports. "Based on the expected content cost savings alone, AT&T concluded that it will have an economically viable business case to justify expanding FTTP GigaPower's reach to at least two million additional customer locations that would not meet investment thresholds absent the merger,” AT&T reportedly wrote in a new Federal Communications Commission filing.
A court in Hamburg has ruled against two news publishers that wanted to keep AdBlock from being used on their sites, BBC News reports. Germany's Die Zeit and Handelsblatt unsuccessfully argued that AdBlock Plus was anti-competitive and posed a business threat.
Advocacy group Public Knowledge wants to defend the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules in court. The organization today filed a motion to intervene in lawsuits filed by trade groups and Internet service providers, who are challenging the FCC's open Internet order.
Many Americans don't realize that the data that fuels online maps, information about flights, and even real estate prices is available online thanks to a 2008 government project, according to a new Pew study. "People may say 'it's great I can find out where the bus is,' but they may not put it together that the government was behind making the information available," John Horrigan, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center, told USA Today.
Comcast's biggest “tool of persuasion” with regulators weighing the Time Warner merger is the Internet Essentials program, which promises to extend low-cost Internet access to some people who can't afford full prices, writes broadband policy expert Susan Crawford on Medium. But the program, which is only for families with school-age children, “does nothing to close the digital divide for other underserved groups like the elderly, the disabled, and low-income childless adults,” she writes.
CenturyLink has become the seventh organization to file a legal challenge to the new net neutrality rules, InfoWorld reports. The company's lawsuit, filed on Friday, joins actions by the trade groups US Telecom, CTIA, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the American Cable Association as well as the Internet service providers Alamo and AT&T.
Lawmakers in California have introduced a bill to prevent ride-sharing companies like Lyft and Uber from disclosing any information about consumers, except to fight fraud or other crimes. Cnet reports that Assembly Member Ed Chau, who's sponsoring the bill, is worried that data abotu passengers' travel histories could provide new opportunities for surveillance as well as unwanted marketing pitches.
Google's April Fool's prank this year -- which involved displaying the home page contents backwards -- inadvertently broke the site's security, Ars Technica reports. The prank resulted in Google's homepage omitting a header that prevents click-jacking attacks, leaving users vulnerable to attacks that could have changed their search settings.