One year ago, researchers at the UC Berkeley School of Law called attention to a relatively new privacy threat: Web companies' surreptitious use of Flash cookies. Now, two potential class-action lawsuits also have been filed about the use of Flash cookies.
Google's attempt to defend its neutrality pact with Verizon is being met with widespread skepticism -- and with good reason.
Almost one year before Viacom filed its high-profile, yet so-far unsuccessful lawsuit agianst YouTube, journalist Robert Tur brought a nearly identical copyright infringement case against the video-sharing site. Tur, like Viacom, The Football Association Premier League and other content owners, lost the case in May. Viacom is appealing, but Tur this week agreed that he would not. Tur also promised to pay $20,000 to YouTube. Why did Tur do so? The court papers don't say, but observers speculate that Tur must have agreed to the terms because he leaked confidential documents to Cnet last year.
Only two out of three U.S. adults, or 66%, use a broadband connection to surf the Web from home, up slightly from 63% last year, Pew's Internet & American Life Project reports today. An additional 5% of Americans connect to the Web via dial-up lines. As for the remaining 29%, they either don't go online at all (21% completely eschew the Web) or connect only from work or another out-of-home locale. And, in a bit of news that doesn't bode well for increased adoption, many of those who aren't online don't think they're missing much.
Last year, South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster threatened to prosecute Craigslist executives for abetting prostitution unless the company blocked adult ads. Craigslist responded by going to court to request an injunction banning McMaster from following through. Now, more than one year after McMaster's ultimatum, U.S. District Court Judge C. Weston Houck has turned down Craigslist's request for a permanent injunction on the ground that any threat of prosecution is too remote to warrant action.
As expected, Google and Verizon have announced that they forged an accord about net neutrality that, they hope, will be used as a template for legislation. And, despite the companies' insistence that the press mischaracterized the deal, it seems that the media got the deal almost entirely correct.
Federal appellate judges sparred with attorneys for Google, the Associated Press, investment banks and the financial site TheFlyOnTheWall.com for two hours on Friday morning, as the court considered whether the "hot news" doctrine remains viable.
A report in today's New York Times that Google and Verizon had reached a deal regarding Web traffic infuriated net neutrality advocates, resulting in heated accusations that Google -- a longtime proponent of open Internet rules -- had betrayed its principles. Google and Verizon both denied arriving at such an arrangement, and a Google spokesperson specifically said that the company has "not had any conversations with Verizon about paying for carriage of Google or YouTube traffic," according to Dow Jones.
For reasons that remain a mystery, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has decided to pick a fight with online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Last week, the FBI sent Wikipedia a letter complaining about the display of the FBI logo on Wikipedia. The feds assert that the presence of a high-resolution copy of its logo on the site violates a law banning unauthorized reproductions of government insignia.
The Federal Communications Commission, Internet service providers and Web companies "made new progress" on Saturday toward striking a deal about net neutrality, according to a report by industry analysts Stifel Nicolaus.