The vast majority of Web users want wireless companies to follow net neutrality rules, according to a survey released on Tuesday by the trade group Internet Association. For the study, the Internet Association surveyed 550 Web users about their opinions on open Internet principles. More than two out of three respondents -- 67% -- said that wireless providers should not be allowed to block lawful sites or apps.
Maureen Ohlhausen, a Republican commissioner with the Federal Trade Commission, doesn't seem to agree with net neutrality advocates who want to see broadband service reclassified as a utility.
An Internet connection speed of 4 Mbps "seems too slow to be worthy of the name 'broadband,'" the trade group Internet Association told the Federal Communications Commission this week. "The market for Internet-connected devices has exploded over the last few years, and consumers are increasingly using multiple devices to access different services at the same time -- e.g., streaming video onto a television while surfing the Web or checking email," the Internet Association says in its filing.
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel is emerging as one of the leading critics of a plan to allow broadband providers to create online fast lanes. "We cannot have a two-tiered Internet with fast lanes that speed the traffic of the privileged and leave the rest of us lagging behind," she said this week at a Congressional forum on net neutrality.
Back in July, University of Maryland law professors James Grimmelmann and Leslie Meltzer Henry argued to the Federal Trade Commission that Facebook might have deceived its users by running secret psychological experiments on 700,000 of them. "The failure to disclose research is an omission that a reasonable consumer would consider material in deciding whether or not to use a service," they wrote in a letter urging the FTC to protect consumers from future research projects. Now, after some additional digging, Grimmelmann and Henry are leveling a new charge: They say that Facebook -- as well as OkCupid, which also conducted …
Staff at the Federal Communications Commission are considering a host of legal maneuvers that could empower the agency to enact open Internet rules, FCC Wireline Competition Bureau head Julie Veach said today in a blog post. Veach said that many of the record-setting 3.7 million public comments about net neutrality "focused on potentially harmful effects of paid prioritization on innovation and free expression, among other values."
Last year, Microsoft unveiled the site Scroogled.com, which takes aim at Google on privacy grounds. "Don't get Scroogled," warns the site, which details some of the ways that Microsoft's privacy policies differ from Google's. It's not clear whether Microsoft has had any success in luring Web users away from Google services by touting differences in privacy policies. Regardless, a different Google competitor -- Apple -- has adopted the same strategy.
Yahoo has dodged a bullet at the Federal Trade Commission, which said this month that it has closed an astroturfing investigation into the company without filing charges. "Upon review of this matter, we have determined not to recommend enforcement action at this time," Mary Engle, FTC associate director for advertising practices said in a Sept. 3 letter to Yahoo's counsel.
Advocacy group Public Knowledge is warning the Federal Communications Commission that AT&T's proposed $49 billion merger with DirecTV would give the company a big incentive to block competition from online video providers. The organization is calling on the FCC to block the merger. The group adds that if the deal isn't nixed, the FCC should at least impose a host of conditions on AT&T -- including that it follow open Internet principles.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau's new anti-fraud principles, issued this morning, contain a surprise: They appear to take aim at adware and other "illegitimate" platforms that offer users a benefit in exchange for viewing ads. The principles, which reflect the IAB's efforts to stem online ad fraud, call on publishers, ad networks and ad exchanges to implement measures to identify "illegitimate and fraudulent" traffic. The principles also prohibit publishers, ad networks and exchanges from selling that traffic.