It looks like Google could catch a break in a high-profile lawsuit accusing the company of violating wiretapping laws by scanning Gmail messages in order to surround them with ads.
Streaming television service Aereo is asking a federal appellate court to lift an order that would shut down the company in Salt Lake City and Denver, where it has already rolled out its service.
The House of Representatives this week passed a bill that would allow people to unlock their cell phones, in order to use the devices with their choice of wireless carriers. The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act (H.R. 1123) aims to ensure that consumers who unlock their phones won't face prosecution.
Aereo regained a little bit of its momentum today, when a federal judge in Utah agreed to stay his injunction against the company for 14 days. The ruling allows Aereo to continue operating in Salt Lake City and Denver while it pursues an emergency appeal of an injunction that would have shut down the company in those cities.
A federal appellate court has sided with magazine publishers in lawsuits accusing them of violating California's Shine the Light law, which deals with the sale of customer lists. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last week refused to revive lawsuits against Hearst, Conde Nast and Rodale, ruling that the consumers who sued hadn't gone through enough hoops before bringing the cases.
Google said this week that it will evaluate cities in nine metropolitan areas -- Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and San Jose -- to determine whether they're suitable candidates for the company's high-speed fiber optic network. The search giant plans to work with mayors of the cities -- 34 in all -- to figure out logistical issues, like whether local governments are able to enter into leases, obtain permits, and the like.
In a defeat for Aereo, a federal judge in Utah has prohibited the online service from operating in six western states. The decision, issued today by U.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball, marked the first courtroom defeat for the Barry Diller-backed startup.
The Obama administration today reiterated its support for net neutrality, but stopped short of calling for the Federal Communications Commission to do the one thing that would ensure an open Internet: reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service.
Data brokers will have to allow people to opt out of having information about themselves collected and sold for marketing purposes, if a bill unveiled this week in the Senate becomes law. The Direct Marketing Association says it opposes the bill. "Unnecessary legislation that stops the responsible exchange of data would hurt consumers by limiting choices and raising prices" the group said in a statement this week.
Comcast's planned $45 billion merger with Time Warner could wreak havoc on the open Web, consumer groups say. Before the deal was even officially announced, organizations like Free Press and Public Knowledge sounded an alarm. "An enlarged Comcast would be the bully in the schoolyard, able to dictate terms to content creators, Internet companies, other communications networks that must interconnect with it, and distributors who must access its content," Public Knowledge senior staff attorney John Bergmayer said last night in a statement.