Google's new high speed network in Kansas City seems to have lit a fire under Time Warner Cable. This week, the cable giant rolled out 14 new WiFi hot spots throughout Kansas City. Time Warner also announced it will offer Internet access to households with students for under $10 a month, provided the homes didn't previously have broadband connections.
A Senate panel voted on Thursday to revise a privacy law in a way that will enable Netflix to integrate with Facebook. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved amending the Video Privacy Protection Act to allow consumers to consent in advance to the disclosure of information about which movies they watch. People can withdraw consent at any time, but even if they don't, the consent will expire automatically after two years.
Tomorrow the Senate Judiciary Committee is going to take up two privacy proposals by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who aims to update laws from the 1980s for the Internet era. One calls for revising a law protecting the privacy of movie-rental records in order to allow for a Netflix-Facebook integration. But some privacy experts question whether the change is needed. Leahy's other amendment is looked on more favorably by privacy advocates.
Facebook's proposed changes to its data-use policy aren't sitting well with everybody. The Electronic Privacy Information Center and Center for Digital Democracy say that the upcoming revisions -- announced on the eve of Thanksgiving -- pose new threats to users.
Ten months ago, the federal government brought criminal copyright infringement charges against the executives behind the popular cyberlocker Megaupload. The government also shut down the site -- and in the process left users with no way to retrieve their files. The move was cheered by the Motion Picture Association of America, which considers Megaupload a threat to the entertainment industry. But a recent study by researchers from the Munich School of Management and the Copenhagen Business School casts doubt on claims that Megaupload is bad for movies. The researchers analyzed five years' worth of data from
The Senate Judiciary Committee could finally move forward next week with an overhaul to the federal wiretap law governing digital privacy. Industry observers have long called for an update, but the controversy surrounding former CIA Director David Petraeus -- who resigned after law enforcement officials obtained emails that brought to light his affair with Paula Broadwell -- is lending that effort new momentum.
Since May of 2001, blogger Benjamin Kabok has used the Twitter account @NYTOnIt to gleefully mock the pieces he deems "just that obvious." "GUYS, turns out not drinking soda is much better for you than drinking soda. The Times is ON IT," he tweeted in September, in response to an article about a newly published New England Journal of Medicine report suggesting that sugary drinks contribute to obesity.
On Friday afternoon, a group of conservative lawmakers called the Republican Study Committee stunned digital rights advocates by posting a report recommending a host of reforms to copyright law. But within 24 hours, the document, described by Techdirt as "surprisingly awesome," was retracted. RSC executive director Paul Teller reportedly justified the withdrawal on the ground that the report had been published "without adequate review."
It looks like a federal judge will sign off on a deal requiring Google to pay $22.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges stemming from a hack that allowed the company to track Safari users. U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston said today at a hearing in San Francisco that her "preliminary view" is to approve the deal, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
With reports swirling that the Federal Trade Commission is readying an antitrust case against Google, some Republican senators say the agency should hold its fire.