Dozens of state law enforcement officials are backing Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's request to resume an investigation into Google's role in online piracy. "Upholding the District Court's preliminary injunction order would have broad and unwelcome consequences," attorneys general from 39 states and the District of Columbia write in a friend-of-the-court brief filed this week with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Yelp funded a new study, unveiled this weekend, which concludes that Google potentially "degrades" its search results, to the detriment of users. "Our findings suggest that Google is -- in some instances -- actually making its overall product worse for users in order to provide favorable treatment to Google content," states the paper, which was co-authored by legal scholar and longtime net neutrality proponent Tim Wu and Harvard Business School's Michael Luca.
The Federal Communications Commission intends to move forward with new privacy rules for broadband providers this fall, Chairman Tom Wheeler said today. "We committed in the Open Internet order to address issues of privacy implicated by consumers' use of the Internet," Wheeler said this morning in a speech delivered at the Brookings Institution. "We will begin that process with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the autumn."
Charter intends to follow the Federal Communications Commission's new net neutrality rules for at least three years, even if they are shot down in court, the company promised today. "New Charter will not block or throttle Internet traffic or engage in paid prioritization," the company said in its official application to acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks for around $67 billion.
Privacy advocates are sounding the alarm about an Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers proposal that could make it impossible for people to create blogs, or any other Web sites, anonymously. The proposal, backed by the entertainment industry, could prohibit domains used for "commercial" purposes from using proxy registration services
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood wants a federal appellate court to pave the way for him to resume investigating Google for its role in allegedly facilitating online piracy. The top law enforcement official in Mississippi argues in papers filed late Monday that U.S. District Court Judge Henry Wingate prematurely blocked an investigation into Google's practices.
Uber's "history of abusing the location data of its customers" should spur the Federal Trade Commission to prevent the ride-sharing company from collecting unnecessary geolocation data, the Electronic Privacy Information Center argues in a complaint filed today. The group also is urging the FTC to prevent Uber from accessing users' contact lists for marketing purposes.
Viacom, Fox and NBC Universal are opposing Google's request to subpoena documents between industry officials and law enforcement. "Through its unnecessary and overbroad third-party subpoenas, Google has acted as the aggressor, seeking to embroil the subpoenaed parties in its lawsuit against Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood," the studios argue.
Companies that send text messages to consumers got some bad news today: The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to move forward with a proposal to tighten text-spam rules. Advocates say the new rules will close loopholes in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. But numerous Web companies that have been sued for violating the law -- including Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook, and Lyft -- might find it harder to defend themselves.
Forging ahead with a plan to nix the net neutrality rules, lawmakers on the House Appropriations Committee voted 30-20 today to approve a budget bill that prohibits the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing the open Internet regulations.