A new decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals could help the Federal Communications Commission defeat a challenge to the net neutrality rules, according to Public Knowledge's Harold Feld. The ruling "would appear to knock a serious hole in the argument made by the cable and telcos against the FCC’s reclassification of broadband as a Title II telecom service," Feld writes.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere say the company will take on "hackers" who have figured out how to bypass the company's restrictions on hotspots. Even though T-Mobile allows subscribers to purchase "unlimited" data plans, the company restricts people's ability to use their phones as hotspots for their laptops or tablets. Currently, people with 4G/LTE "unlimited" plans can only consume 7 GB of hotspot data. Legere says that some hackers get around those restrictions by using techniques like "downloading apps that hide their tether usage, rooting their phones, [and] writing code to mask their activity."
United Airlines' in-flight WiFi service is blocking news and tech sites, including Ars Technica, The Verge, Daily Kos and the New York Times, Techdirt reports. It's not yet clear why the airlines blocked those sites, or if it did so intentionally. United says in its terms that it blocks sites that are "inappropriate or unsuitable for inflight viewing."
New York City is considering suing Verizon for allegedly violating a 2008 promise to roll out high-speed FiOS to 100% of the city. Verizon counters that its contract doesn't require it to make fiber available to every household in the city. Broadband Reports says the 2008 contract between former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the telecom "contained all manner of loophole language."
The British agency PRS for Music has sued streaming service SoundCloud for copyright infringement. The lawsuit, filed in Britain, alleges that the Web company didn't obtain licenses or pay royalties.
The Next Web's Owen Williams says that Apple iOS 9's new content blocking capabilities will "transform" the mobile Web. "What’s clear to me is that ad blocking offers serious, clear advantages to those using iPhones that could create a serious threat for publishers’ ad revenue on mobile, but it’s probably a good thing," he writes. Williams adds that ad blocking "might finally present [publishers] with a reason to care more and work to improve the performance of their sites and offer better alternatives to heavy, slow advertising."
A New York court sided with a consumer who alleged that online retailer Accessory Outlet fined her $250 for threatening to cancel a credit card charge when an iPhone case she ordered hadn't been shipped. Accessory Outlet allegedly said the consumer violated online terms of sale, which provided that customers would be charged $250 if they disputed charges or complained about the company on social media outlets. A New York judge granted the consumer a default judgment, "essentially agreeing that Accessory Outlet’s 'terms of sale' and the debt it alleged the woman owed were void," Consumerist reports.
At least four potential class-action lawsuits against Ashley Madison and its parent company, Avid Life Media, have been filed in U.S. courts -- two in California, one in Texas and one in Missouri. The complaint filed in Texas specifically alleges that Ashley Madison had been warned about vulnerabilities in its network. All of the plaintiffs have filed the cases anonymously, using the pseudonyms John Doe or Jane Doe.
Sanford "Spam King" Wallace pleaded guilty in federal court in San Jose, Calif. to sending more than 27 million messages to Facebook users. Wallace, a Las Vegas resident, also acknowledged that he violated a court order by accessing Facebook's network. He faces up to 3 years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing.
Mobile broadband carriers in 10 countries, including Canada, China and the U.S., are now using some type of tracking headers, also known as "supercookies," according to a new report
by consumer advocacy organization Access. "These tracking programs, sometimes disguised under the moniker 'Relevant Advertising,' violate our trust in the integrity of the networks upon which we rely, the group writes.