Starting Oct. 16, Sprint will charge $70 a month for unlimited data, up from the current price of $60. The move comes several months after CEO Marcelo Claure hinted that the company would either increase the price of unlimited data plans, or stop offering them altogether.
James Billington, the 86-year-old Librarian of Congress, is retiring today. Billington, who was appointed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan, is responsible for deciding whether to exempt digital lock-cracking from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anti-circumvention prohibitions. Several years ago, he declined to grant an exemption for circumventing digital locks for the purpose of unlocking cell phones. Congress reversed that decision last year, when it legalized phone unlocking.
Internet service providers who are challenging the new Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules contend that they violate the free speech rights of telecoms and cable companies. Net neutrality advocates are now countering those claims in court filings. The "back-and-forth over corporate speech has ballooned into a surprisingly substantial debate," writes Brian Fung of The Washington Post. "The FCC's allies have addressed the First Amendment issue head-on, and it's raising big questions about the role businesses play in our democracy."
Marketing itself as protective of privacy, Apple is boasting that it never sells users' data. “When you pay for groceries, message a friend, track a workout, or share a photo, you shouldn’t have to worry about your information falling into the wrong hands,” the company says on a new Web site
devoted to explaining its privacy policies. “The personal data on your devices should be protected and never shared without your permission.”
Faced with a backlash by net neutrality advocates, Facebook says it will change the name of its Internet.org app and mobile site to Free Basics by Facebook. The move comes after several Web publishers based in India expressed fears that Facebook was "conspiring with mobile carriers" to determine which sites would be included in the app. "The criticism gained momentum in May when nearly 70 advocacy groups released a letter to Zuckerberg protesting Internet.org, arguing it violated net neutrality principles and stirred security concerns," Wired says.
Between 2006 and 2011, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom paid $3 million to users who uploaded popular movies, according to U.S. authorities. The U.S. government is seeking to extradite Dotcom to stand trial for criminal copyright infringement. Prosecutors in the U.S. and New Zealand, where Dotcom resides, say that the company's payments demostrate that Dotcom violated copyright law.
Musician Taylor Swift has sent dozens of notices to Twitter, asking the company to take down live streams of her concerts. Most of the streams, posted by fans using Periscope, "have terrible video and sound quality and can hardly be considered a threat," writes Torrent Freak. Swift appears to be the only musician sending takedown notices to Twitter's Periscope.
A federal judge has approved a $50 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit against Comcast, which allegedly overcharged users in the Philadelphia area. The deal calls for the company to issue former or current cable TV subscribers $15 in credits, or free services ranging in value from $30 to $43.50. The settlement resolves allegations that Comcast violated antitrust laws "by gobbling up competitors, then using the company's ever-growing market power to aggressively raise rates on customers," according to DSLReports.
AT&T will launch its 1 GB fiber service in San Antonio on Monday. Prices will start at $70 a month, but will cost $40 to $60 a more if people "want to opt out of snoopvertising," DSLReports says. AT&T Gigabit service starts at $110 to $120 a month in parts of the country that lack Google Fiber.
The Obama administration explored four ways that tech companies could allow law enforcement officials to access encrypted messages, the Washington Post reports. One method would have involved obtaining a court order to hack phones or tablets by inserting spyware on them. A National Security Council spokesman told the Post that none of the proposals are being pursued.