• Majority To Rule At Facebook?
    Last week, Facebook had to retreat from a change to its terms of service after users complained that the new policies violated their privacy. That wasn't the first user revolt on Facebook, but it might be the last, if a new initiative by CEO Mark Zuckerberg succeeds.
  • No Protection For Bloggers In Possible Law?
    Congress is mulling a federal shield law that would help journalists protect the confidentiality of their sources, but the measure might leave out many bloggers, freelancers, citizen journalists and others who don't work in the media business full time.
  • Webcasting Of File-Sharing Trial Faces New Hurdle
    Last month, federal district court judge Nancy Gertner granted a request by grad student Joel Tenenbaum to Webcast his trial for allegedly sharing music files online. She ruled that the "Internet generation" should be able to virtually attend the proceedings via the Web. The Recording Industry Association of America filed an emergency appeal, arguing that a Webcast would hurt its case. But now the plot thickens.
  • Report: Leibowitz Next FTC Chair
    President Barack Obama is expected to name Federal Trade Commissioner Jon Leibowitz as the next chair of the agency, Bloomberg reports.
  • U2's Album Leak
    U2 manager Paul McGuinness has famously pressed for measures to protect musicians from the unauthorized distribution of tracks on the Web. So it's ironic that the party responsible for the latest online leak is the group's own record label.
  • Facebook's Privacy Muddle
    Two weeks ago, Facebook quietly revised its terms of service to provide that users granted the company a perpetual license to use the material they uploaded. The blog Consumerist noted the change over the weekend, spurring users to complain that Facebook was attempting to violate their privacy. This week, the site was forced to revert to its previous terms of service and is now creating a "bill of rights and responsibilities" for users. "You own your information. Facebook does not. This includes your photos and all other content," states the working draft. Unfortunately, statements like this one, however well-meaning, just …
  • Bad Day At Mountain View
    It's been an eventful 24 hours for Google's antitrust lawyers. First, Google got hit with a lawsuit by frustrated search marketer TradeComet. Then, President Barack Obama announced that he wanted Christine Varney, who has gone on record calling Google a monopolist, to head the antitrust division.
  • Stimulus Bill Doles Out $7.2B For New Broadband Networks
    President Barack Obama today signed into law a far-ranging stimulus bill that allocates $7.2 billion for new broadband networks.
  • Pa. Lawmakers Mull Cell Phone Ban For Schools
    In "Doubt," set in 1964, Meryl Streep's Sister Aloysius objected to the use of ballpoint pens, which she believed ruined penmanship. As it turned out, she was on the wrong side of history. But the reactionary impulse sparked by innovation still lingers. The latest example comes from Pennsylvania, where state lawmakers introduced House Bill No. 363, according to Techdirt. The measure would prohibit students from possessing cell phones, iPods or other portable electronic devices in school, on school buses and at school-sponsored activities.
  • FTC Remembers The Data Valdez
    In the summer of 2006, AOL publicly released three months worth of search data for 650,000 users. The incident, now known as "Data Valdez," was seen as one of the biggest online privacy breaches to date. It was also one of the most shocking in that it was intentional; an employee thought it would be a good idea to make the data available to researchers. As it turns out, however, Data Valdez might have had a silver lining for privacy advocates. It provided a vivid example of how easily people could be identified based solely on their online behavior.
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