Verizon Playing Dangerous Game in Net Neutrality Battle
It's been a while since Net Neutrality has been in the headlines, but that doesn't mean the war is over -- far from it. In its renewed challenge to the FCC's Net Neutrality rules, Verizon is citing its First Amendment right to free speech. The argument itself seems dubious, but if Verizon wins it could lead to unintended consequences it might like even less.
Zombie SOPA? Congressman Introduces Pieces of Defeated Bill, with Support from Former Opponent Issa
It's alive! Hollywood darling Rep. Lamar Smith is attempting to reanimate portions of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bit by bit. The Intellectual Property Attaché Act, slipped in for consideration over the weekend, revives one of the sneakier portions of SOPA to create a global intellectual property task force, charged with aggressively promoting anti-piracy laws around the world.
SOPA-Style Protests Reject Russian Bill to Blacklist Websites
Russian-language sites are protesting a bill submitted to the lower house of Russian parliament this week. The bill would create a national registry of blacklisted sites that containchild pornography, extremist ideas and suicide- or drug-related content. Many of the bill's opponents say Duma Bill 89417-6 is overly broad, risks becoming censorship akin to China's "Great Firewall" and does not include an adequate appeals process in case a site is wrongfully taken down.
Private Eyes. They're Watching You
The next time you send a text, consider this: The government may be watching you.
1.3M Cellphone Snooping Requests Yearly? It’s Time for Privacy and Transparency Laws
The nation's mobile carriers weren't kidding in April when they told California lawmakers that they were working "day and night" to respond to police inquiries for subscriber information, such as locational data. That, they said, made them just too busy to have to report publicly how often they get such requests, and the politically powerful carriers ultimately defeated California legislation that would have required them to do so. But now it's time for that requirement -- as well as increased protection for Americans' private data -- to be made the law of the land.
We Already Use Wi-Fi More Than Cellular; Why Not Continue the Trend?
We think of our mobile phones as connecting to mobile networks, but that's not really the case. When it comes to mobile data, our smartphones are far more reliant on Wi-Fi. Given that, why are carriers so single-mindedly focused on acquiring new licensed spectrum and building expensive new 3G and 4G networks when they could implement more Wi-Fi and tap into other sources of unlicensed spectrum? That's the question a new study is asking.
FTC's $22M Privacy Settlement with Google Is Just Puppet Waving
Google has reportedly agreed to pay a record $22.5 million fine to the Federal Trade Commission to settle charges that it violated a privacy consent decree it signed with the agency. The proposed fine, one of the largest ever levied by the FTC, won't hurt Google's bottom line -- at least not in the short term -- but it's a major PR loss for the search giant, which is battling with regulators in the States and in Europe over its privacy practices and accusations that it abuses its near-monopoly on search.
Challenging 'He Said, She Said' Journalism
Instead of striving for balance, a veteran Supreme Court reporter asks, "How about truth for a goal?"
Americans' Confidence in Television News Drops to New Low
Americans' confidence in television news is at a new low by one percentage point, with 21 percent of adults expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it. This marks a decline from 27 percent last year and from 46 percent when Gallup started tracking confidence in television news in 1993.
Libyan Journalists Kidnapped
Two Libyan journalists were abducted after covering an election. Reporter-cameraman Abdelqadir Fassouk and cameraman Yusuf Badi, who both work for the Tobacts TV station, disappeared in Bani Walid, which was one of the last pro-Gaddafi strongholds to fall last year.
Mexican Newspaper Attacked with Grenade
A grenade exploded outside of the offices of the newspaper El Norte in the city of Monterrey in northern Mexico. The newspaper belongs to the Grupo Reforma company, whose headquarters are located in Mexico City.
Can a Publisher Use Crowdfunding to Replace Ads?
We have already seen Kickstarter, the popular crowdfunding platform, used to finance some fairly interesting media experiments, including books from authors like Seth Godin, albums by artists like Amanda Palmer and even an entire magazine in the case of Matter. But could a publisher use the service to crowdfund its way out of the advertising-revenue trap in which many media companies find themselves?