Twitter today backpedaled from its ill-advised decision to suspend the account of journalist Guy Adams. The microblogging service restored Adams' account, and Twitter counsel Alex Macgillivray acknowledged that the company violated its own procedures in how it handled the matter.
Twitter has long had a reputation for standing up for users' rights. Last year, the company distinguished itself by going to court to challenge a subpoena for information about account holders who appeared to have ties to Wikileaks. The company also drew praise from digital rights advocates for appealing a court order requiring it to disclose data about Occupy Wall Street protester Malcolm Harris' account. But today, the microblogging site is under fire by free speech advocates. That's because Twitter suspended the account of journalist Guy Adams, the Los Angeles bureau chief for The Independent, who forcefully criticized NBC's decision …
The lawmaker who originally authored the 24-year-old federal Video Privacy Protection Act now supports changing the law to allow Facebook and Netflix to integrate in the U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) this week proposed amending the federal video privacy law to enable consumers to consent on an ongoing basis to the disclosure of information about their movie rentals. Leahy made the proposal as an amendment to a controversial Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 3414), The Hill reported today.
Google today unveiled its long-awaited fiber broadband network in Kansas City. The new network will offer download and upload speeds of up to 1Gbps -- more than 100 times faster than average U.S. connections.
This March, the Federal Trade Commission recommended that Congress pass legislation requiring data brokers to give consumers access to information about them. The FTC also urged data brokers to create a centralized site to inform consumers how their data is collected and used. Now, some members of Congress also are targeting the data-broker industry. A coalition of eight House members said this week that they're concerned that data brokers have combined offline and online information to create "hidden dossiers" on nearly everyone in the U.S.
It's no secret to industry watchers that political campaigns are stepping up their use of online "microtargeting," or serving ads to people based on the combination of demographics, online behavior, and offline behavior -- including voter registration records. While marketers who run political campaigns generally tout microtargeting, consumers aren't thrilled by the idea. A new study by Joseph Turow -- a professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School of Communications -- concludes that nearly 9 in 10 Americans (86%) want no part of targeted political ads.
When the Department of Justice sued Apple and five book publishers for allegedly violating antitrust laws by conspiring to end Amazon's $9.99 per download pricing, not everyone cheered the move. The Authors Guild, Barnes & Noble and others argued that the DOJ had taken the wrong side. Those organizations argued that Amazon was on the cusp of monopolizing the nascent ebook market, and would have done so if Apple hadn't forged an agreement with book publishers to move to an agency model. The agency model used here called for publishers to set the prices and give retailers a 30% commission.
For years, people complained that Internet service providers advertised super-fast speeds, only to deliver less-than-speedy Web service. The Federal Communications Commission took on this problem last year, by systematically studying broadband speeds and comparing them to advertised speeds. The first report, released one year ago, wasn't all that encouraging. The FCC found that ISPs delivered just 87% of advertised speeds during peak hours (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.). But this week, the FCC's second annual report on the topic showed an improvement: ISPs are now delivering 96% of advertised speeds during the same hours, according to the 2012 "Measuring Broadband …
Twitter said today that it will ask a higher court to vacate an order requiring it to turn over information connected with Occupy Wall Street protester Malcolm Harris's former Twitter account -- including his tweets over a 10-week period and the IP addresses connected with them.
Earlier this week, a report surfaced that AT&T intends to charge wireless customers an extra fee for using FaceTime video chat. AT&T hasn't yet confirmed the report, but hasn't denied it either. Instead, when asked about the company's intentions, CEO Randall Stephenson replied, "It's too early to talk about pricing."