The Federal Communications Commission is investigating whether cable operators have thwarted online video by encouraging broadcasters to withhold their programs from over-the-top services. The FCC, which is currently deciding whether to approve Charter's purchase of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, might include merger conditions aimed at preventing cable companies from hindering online video.
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and four other Senators are expressing concerns that Charter's merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks would "in effect create another Comcast with little interest in customer service or quality," according to DSL Reports. The lawmakers say one area of particular concern is that Charter will thwart online video distributors.
Consumerist takes a look at how broadband services have changed in the one year since the FCC passed net neutrality rules. "ISPs swore up and down that the Title II ruling would damage their businesses and cause them to stop investing in their companies and networks, but so far that hasn’t borne out," Consumerist writes.
Microsoft president Brad Smith says the company is "wholeheartedly” supporting Apple in its fight with the FBI over unlocking the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. Smith told Congress on Thursday that Microsoft plans to file a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Apple.
On Wednesday, The New York Times published guide in its technology section titled "Tips and Myths About Extending Smartphone Battery Life" that advises people to "block power-sucking ads." But the day before, CEO Mark Thompson suggested the paper might prevent ad-blocking users from accessing the paper online.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission will investigate allegations that Verizon is posing a risk to the public and its workers by neglecting its copper DSL and phone lines. Administrative Law Judge Joel H. Cheskis has scheduled a hearing for March 18.
Hackers who attacked Sony in 2014 are part of a "prolific" group that's been active for at least 7 years, according to Wired. The group "appears to be responsible for more than 45 families of malware used in attacks" since 2009, Wired says.
In federal court, Apple is reportedly expected to argue that code should be protected as speech. “The company is fighting a government order requiring it to write software to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports. “Apple views that as a violation of its philosophy.”
The NBA's Phoenix Suns are giving away free mobile data from Verizon Wireless to users who purchase tickets. The program lets people earn up to 11 GB of data with their ticket purchases. Sports fans who don't have Verizon can give the data to customers who use the carrier.
The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that Asus has settled charges alleging that its hardware contained vulnerabilities allowing hackers to log in to routers, change users' security settings and access files stored on connected devices. The agreement calls for Asus to maintain a comprehensive security program, among other terms. Ars Technica says the FTC action "should serve as a wake-up call, not just for other router makers, but entire industries tied to the so-called Internet of Things wave that's adding Internet connectivity to refrigerators, watches, and other everyday devices."