Court Rules NSA Phone Data Collection That Is Now Changing Anyway Is Still Legal

Court Rules NSA Phone Data Collection That Is Now Changing Anyway Is Still Legal

After several years of back-and-forth rulings, an appeals court in Washington, D.C. has ruled today that the NSA’s controversial bulk phone data collection program can indeed continue… at least until November, when it gets shut down anyway because Congress changed the law in June. [More]

The companies that are taking funds from the Connect America Fund to extend rural broadband coverage.

Ten ISPs Sign On With FCC Fund, Will Expand Rural Broadband To Over 7M Customers In 45 States

While those of us who live in or near the country’s medium and large cities see slow but eventual improvements in broadband service and sometimes even some competition, the same is not true for millions of Americans who live in the more rural parts of the country. Running wires outside of the ‘burbs costs more money than it brings in, so carriers aren’t keen to do it without a boost. And that’s where the FCC’s Connect America fund comes in. [More]

Dish, Sinclair End Broadcast Network Blackout… For Now, At Least

Dish, Sinclair End Broadcast Network Blackout… For Now, At Least

Dish’s latest contract fight with the networks it airs has wrapped up much more quickly than usual: less than a day after nearly 130 Sinclair channels went dark on the satellite provider, the local channels are back on in 5 million subscribers’ homes. At least, for now. [More]

Hundreds Of Local Channels Go Dark For Millions Of Dish Subscribers In Latest TV Blackout Fight

Hundreds Of Local Channels Go Dark For Millions Of Dish Subscribers In Latest TV Blackout Fight

Dish Network subscribers may have a hard time getting their local news and weather today along with some of their favorite network programming. A contract dispute between the satellite TV company and one of the biggest network owners in the country has resulted in one of the biggest TV blackouts to date, with 5 million viewers losing access to nearly 130 channels. [More]

Why The Stolen Ashley Madison Data Is (Legally) Fair Game For The Internet

Why The Stolen Ashley Madison Data Is (Legally) Fair Game For The Internet


If your credit card information gets stolen in a data breach, there are certain rules in place that limit your liability and protect you from fraud. But if a hack makes personal, potentially very embarrassing, information public — as in, say, the Ashley Madison hack — there’s not much anyone can do to stop others from seeing or writing about it. [More]

What Does Spotify’s New Privacy Policy Actually Say, And Should I Be Worried?

What Does Spotify’s New Privacy Policy Actually Say, And Should I Be Worried?

Spotify has basically run away with the music market over the last couple of years, boasting over 75 million active users. But the popular streaming service this week ticked off a bunch of those customers this week when it updated its privacy policy and user terms and conditions. And their timing couldn’t have been worse: the combination of seeming to add a dramatic and invasive new set of permissions to their apps, in a week when privacy concerns and hacks are already the top headline, set off an angry internet firestorm. [More]

Very Personal Information For Over 30 Million Ashley Madison Users Set Loose On Internet In Wake Of Hack

Very Personal Information For Over 30 Million Ashley Madison Users Set Loose On Internet In Wake Of Hack

Ashley Madison, the website for cheating cheaters who specifically want to go have an affair, was hacked in July. A day later, the company said that it was working to secure its users’ data and all personally identifiable data had been taken down. But perhaps the company is taking after the worst habits of its member base, because that too turns out to be a pack of dirty lies: the full data for over 30 million Ashley Madison accounts is now out there in the wild. [More]

Why Don’t Huge Privacy Flaws Result In Recalled Smartphones?

吉姆 Jim Hofman

When a car has a major flaw, like a potentially lethal airbag, it gets recalled. Same for a coffeemaker, or a surfboard, or a prescription drug. But when that major flaw is in a product’s software — like a huge exploit that puts literally a billion consumers’ privacy and personal data at risk — there’s no universal process out there for remedying the situation. Do we need one? And if so, how can we get one? [More]

FCC To Dish: No, You Are Not A Small Business, You May Not Use Small Business Discounts

FCC To Dish: No, You Are Not A Small Business, You May Not Use Small Business Discounts

The FCC has an auction process to sell spectrum to businesses. The FCC also is charged with promoting competition. So there’s a credit available to small businesses who play in the auction. But this week, the FCC has had to tell one behemoth that small means small, and that no amount of pretending otherwise will actually change that. [More]

(Kerry Lannert)

Comcast Continues To Take Over Content World, Invests $200M in BuzzFeed

Comcast’s continued plans to spend mountains of money and to take over the world continue apace: as rumored, NBCUniversal has dropped $200 million this week into journalism and cat gif juggernaut BuzzFeed. [More]

Leaked NSA Documents: AT&T “Highly Collaborative” With NSA Spying, Has “Extreme Willingness” To Help

Leaked NSA Documents: AT&T “Highly Collaborative” With NSA Spying, Has “Extreme Willingness” To Help

The NSA’s spying operations on regular Americans are the unwanted, terrible gift that just keeps on giving. Although most telecom and internet companies have cooperated with the surveillance efforts to one degree or another, at least some of them have the decency to act mildly chagrined about it. But not AT&T. [More]

FCC Proposes Rules To Reduce TV Blackouts, Potentially (But Probably Not) Lower Prices

FCC Proposes Rules To Reduce TV Blackouts, Potentially (But Probably Not) Lower Prices

The FCC has proposed a kind of arcane-sounding rule change that on the surface might not seem to affect consumers very much. But if all goes well, the rule will prove to be the kind of upstream change that prevents all the you-know-what from flowing on downhill to everyone else, and makes one of the most annoying things about cable TV into ancient history. [More]

FBI Still Doesn’t Know Who’s Cutting California’s Fiber-Optic Cables, Or Why

FBI Still Doesn’t Know Who’s Cutting California’s Fiber-Optic Cables, Or Why

There’s a bad problem hitting the internet out west: someone’s been deliberately slicing through the cables that carry data between providers. And after looking into it for months, the FBI still has basically no idea who’s doing the damage or why. While everyone worries about high-tech hack attacks taking down networks, the attacks highlight that all it really takes is one determined person with a couple of cheap tools. [More]

Just What You Need: Yet Another Stand-Alone Single-Purpose Facebook App

Just What You Need: Yet Another Stand-Alone Single-Purpose Facebook App

Because Hello, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Groups, and of course Facebook itself aren’t clogging up your phone enough already, the big blue social juggernaut has an idea for one more app to add to the pantheon. And this time, they’re sort of homing in on a slice of Twitter’s turf. [More]

Verizon: “People Are Going To Look Back And Laugh” At NJ Customers Worried About Their Copper Landlines

Verizon: “People Are Going To Look Back And Laugh” At NJ Customers Worried About Their Copper Landlines

Copper wire might seem old-fashioned now, but after a hundred-year run of it being the way to get telephone service, you can imagine why consumers are attached to it. But still, there are indeed many good reasons for upgrades to be taking place. There are good arguments to be made for explaining to anxious consumers how change can benefit them — but mocking them simply for wanting their needs met is not one of those. [More]

(If your Corvette looks like this one, don't worry about a hack. Photo: frankieleon)

Hackers Cut A Corvette’s Brakes Wirelessly To Prove It Could Happen To Your Car, Too

General Motors gets to join Fiat Chrysler and Tesla in an unenviable lineup this week: Using cheap gadgets and text messages, researchers have proven they can hack that most traditional of cars, the Chevy Corvette. And worse still is that this line of attack will work on basically any car with a computer in it, which is to say… all of them. [More]

The FCC Wants To Know How Mobile Data, Broadband Caps, And High Prices Shape Broadband Access

The FCC Wants To Know How Mobile Data, Broadband Caps, And High Prices Shape Broadband Access

It’s the FCC’s job to determine if broadband internet service is reaching enough people, quickly enough and competitively enough. To make that determination, every year they issue a report looking at the current state of broadband and how it’s changed. But broadband isn’t about wires anymore; it’s about wireless data and how quickly that moves (or doesn’t), too. And so the commission is considering a big change to their standards for the next go-around — one that would take a hard look at your cell service, too. [More]

Google, Samsung, And LG To Start Pushing Monthly Security Patches That You Still Won’t Get

Google, Samsung, And LG To Start Pushing Monthly Security Patches That You Still Won’t Get

There have been a number of very high-profile security flaws in Android phones this summer. The good news is, the makers of the hardware and software are now pledging to roll out updates to everyone more often. The bad news? “Everyone” doesn’t actually mean “everyone.” [More]