A federal appellate court has blocked an order requiring Backpage.com to turn over information to a Senate committee investigating sex trafficking. The committee wants information about Backpage's business model, including how it screens ads.
Tim Wu, the Columbia law professor who coined the term "net neutrality," is joining the White House. He will serve as an adviser on competition issues. Wu recently worked for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as senior enforcement counsel.
The digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation is considering whether to file Federal Communications Commission complaints over T-Mobile's new "unlimited" data plan. The carrier's new offering automatically throttles all video to 480 lines per screen (considered DVD quality), unless consumers pay an extra $25 a month for high-definition video. The FCC's net neutrality order prohibits companies from throttling particular content, but allows carriers to charge different prices for different speed tiers. But the order also says that carriers can't degrade an entire class of applications, like VoIP service.
Twitter has shuttered 235,000 accounts linked to terrorism in the last six months, the company said Thursday. "Daily suspensions are up over 80 percent since last year, with spikes in suspensions immediately following terrorist attacks," the company writes. Our response time for suspending reported accounts, the amount of time these accounts are on Twitter, and the number of followers they accumulate have all decreased dramatically."
The United States will give up control over the Internet domain naming system as of Oct. 1, the the US Department of Commerce said this week. The government will turn over control to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Some politicians, including former GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, say the move could leave the system vulnerable to foreign governments.
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has revived a wiretapping lawsuit against Awareness Technologies, which markets the online spying tool WebWatcher. The suit was brought by Javier Luis, who said his email and instant messages to a woman ended up in the hands of her husband, who used them in a divorce proceeding. A lower court dismissed the lawsuit in 2014, ruling that Awareness Technologies wasn't responsible customers' use of its tool.
Gawker Media "emptied its piggy bank" long before Hulk Hogan won a $140 million in an invasion of privacy lawsuit. The company did so via a complicated corporate structure that includes a Hungarian subsidiary, Fortune reports. Also, media lawyer Ed Klaris tells the magazine he expects an appellate court will slash Hogan's damage award, assuming the court doesn't throw out the verdict entirely.
In the last week, the International Olympic Committee has sent around 1,000 notices to Twitter's Periscope, demanding the company remove streams of live events from Rio. "While most Periscope streams are of a horrible quality, with only a few dozen viewers, they’re seen as a legitimate threat," TorrentFreak writes.
Facebook will likely emerge victorious in its battle with Adblock Plus over ad blocking, writes Fortune's Matthew Ingram. "Facebook controls everything about the experience on its platform, from the servers to the content," Ingram writes. He adds that this degree of control allows Facebook to make ads appear like everything else on the site -- which means that ad blocking companies will have to develop "advanced text recognition" to filter out ads.
Google suggests in a new FCC filing it is exploring using wireless broadband to deliver gigabit speeds. Google says it's already using the 3.5 GHz band in Kansas City, and wants to test "experimental transmitters" at up to 24 US locations. "We are working to test the viability of a wireless network that relies on newly available spectrum," Google told Business Insider. "The project is in early stages today, but we hope this technology can one day help deliver more abundant Internet access to consumers."