(a lonewolf)

Study: “Anonymous” Credit Card Data Is Actually Completely Identifiable

We all kind of know that credit card data isn’t terribly secure, and that the payment information is likely to get swiped eventually. But that information is all theoretically anonymous. Without a name, address, or ZIP code attached, our credit card information doesn’t say much about us personally, right? Wrong. [More]

Verizon Wireless Will Finally Allow Users To Opt Out Of Being Tracked By “Supercookies”

Verizon Wireless Will Finally Allow Users To Opt Out Of Being Tracked By “Supercookies”

Verizon has been watching you. If you use their mobile service, Verizon has been tracking your every move on the internet for the better part of the last two years, with no way for you to opt out. That’s the bad news. Here’s the good: the company is finally letting consumers turn off the trackers. [More]

Two Big Reasons The New Broadband Standard Is Bad News For The Comcast Merger

Two Big Reasons The New Broadband Standard Is Bad News For The Comcast Merger

None of the big ISPs are happy about today’s FCC vote drastically increasing the bare minimum that qualifies as “broadband.” But even though executives at Verizon, AT&T, and plenty of others are probably muttering aloud rude words in the C-suite right now, Comcast and Time Warner Cable have good reason to be more worried than most. [More]

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, speaking at the FCC open meeting on January 29, 2015.

FCC Votes To Make 25 Mbps The New Minimum Definition Of Broadband

As expected, the FCC voted this morning to approve a new standard for defining what qualifies as broadband internet. The new standard officially requires a minimum download speed of 25 Mbps, an enormous increase from the previous minimum standard of 4 Mbps. [More]

Ad Watchdog Group To Comcast: Stop Saying Stuff That Isn’t True In Your Ads

Ad Watchdog Group To Comcast: Stop Saying Stuff That Isn’t True In Your Ads

Comcast, like every other company on earth, likes to advertise about how great they are. They run commercials all over about how their internet is better, faster, stronger than the next guy’s. Except, a business group that checks in on badvertising says, Comcast isn’t really as great as Comcast claims it is, and needs to tone it down a bit. [More]

FTC: Totally Fine By Us If Phone Companies Block Robocalling Numbers

FTC: Totally Fine By Us If Phone Companies Block Robocalling Numbers

Robocalls suck. Everyone hates them. And yet despite decades of trying to deal with autodialers and phone spam, they’re still a big problem. The FCC wants to know if phone companies can block them getting to you. Phone companies say too bad, so sad, the rules mean we can’t block them… but the FTC now disagrees. [More]

This gentleman is so excited about his wifi-based phone that he can't even look at it.

Cablevision Launching Unlimited, Wifi-Only Mobile Plan In New York

Regional cable operator Cablevision is jumping into the mobile fray in a big way this week, and they’re doing it an untraditional way. The new service is 100% based on a network of wifi hotspots: Cell phones without the cell. [More]

(frankieleon)

If You’re Flying Anywhere Near The Northeast Today Or Tomorrow, Call Your Airline Now

If you watch TV, read newspapers, or consume any news source at all on the internet up to and including Facebook and Twitter, you’ve probably heard that there’s a monster snowstorm bearing down on the northeast. And that means bad times at the airport: over 2000 flights for today have already been cancelled, along with nearly as many tomorrow. [More]

Senators Introduce Bill To Block States From Blocking Public Broadband

Senators Introduce Bill To Block States From Blocking Public Broadband

Congress is just all up in the FCC’s business lately, it seems. Earlier this week, lawmakers in both houses proposed their own version of net neutrality, one that would also strip the FCC of its own authority to regulate broadband in the future. Today, there’s a bill looking to jump into one of the FCC’s other big issues right now: state laws that prohibit communities from developing municipal broadband. [More]

Verizon: We’re Not Two-Faced, We Just Like To Claim Mutually Exclusive Things Are Both True

Verizon: We’re Not Two-Faced, We Just Like To Claim Mutually Exclusive Things Are Both True

Verizon has a long history of trying to have it both ways: alternately courting and rejecting regulation, depending on which will most benefit their bottom line. It’s disingenuous, but effective. But now that someone has asked the FCC to investigate Verizon for perjury, Verizon’s fighting back. Their theme? We’re not two-faced. We just like to say a lot of mutually-exclusive things based on who we think is listening. [More]

(frankieleon)

4 Ways Copyright Law Actually Controls Your Whole Digital Life

We all know that copyright law means you shouldn’t download copies of movies from shady torrent sites, and that you should pay for the music you listen to. We know it means people and companies have rights to stuff they make, like photos and music and books, and that there are legal and illegal ways of sharing those things. [More]

Today In Terrible Arguments Against Net Neutrality: Monopoly Eras And Fees On Bills

Today In Terrible Arguments Against Net Neutrality: Monopoly Eras And Fees On Bills

It’s been a busy day for tech talk in Washington. Today, both the House and the Senate held hearings on net neutrality and a proposed bill to regulate it. A parade of former regulators, lobbyists, business representatives, lawyers, and consumer advocates sat on Capitol Hill and once again hashed through the debate, while elsewhere in the District, a current FCC commissioner was giving a lunchtime speech about why the FCC shouldn’t regulate at all. [More]

Congress Lines Up FCC Commissioners-Turned-Lobbyists For Hearing To Say Why Congress’s Bad Net Neutrality Proposal Is Great

Congress Lines Up FCC Commissioners-Turned-Lobbyists For Hearing To Say Why Congress’s Bad Net Neutrality Proposal Is Great

Depending on your point of view, Congress has been either promising or threatening to come up with a legislative solution to net neutrality, which would do an end-run around the current FCC debate. As of this afternoon, the first draft of the bill is out and the first hearings are on the schedule. So how does it look for fans of an open internet? [More]

Surprise: Sprint Tells FCC That Title II Is Just Fine By Them

Surprise: Sprint Tells FCC That Title II Is Just Fine By Them

Ever since the (current) net neutrality fight got started a year ago, the battle lines have been pretty predictable: the companies that sell you access to data don’t really want stronger regulations, and groups that sell things that need you to have access to someone else’s data plan do. But in a surprise move this week, Sprint just broke ranks with the AT&Ts and Verizons of the mobile world to tell the FCC that actually, they’re cool with Title II regulation. [More]

Fox News Returns To Dish Network After New Contract Ends Blackout Dispute

Fox News Returns To Dish Network After New Contract Ends Blackout Dispute

Consumers don’t usually see all the ins-and-outs of TV negotiations, except when a contract expires and a channel wants more money than a provider is willing to pay. When the fight gets bad enough, the parties go nuclear and a channel gets blacked out. Fox News viewers who subscribe to Dish have seen — or rather, not seen — that blackout up close and personal for the last three weeks, but the feud between the two is now over. [More]

(Paul Fidalgo)

3 Of The Many Times The Big ISPs Have Tried To Have It Both Ways

With the prospect of new regulations staring them in the face, big ISPs have been taking every possible opportunity to wail about how doomed they will be if anything changes. But every cable and telecom company that has spent 2014 and 2015 vowing that regulation is the worst thing ever has also spent years benefiting from exactly those regulations. Here are just a few examples. [More]

Marriott Gives Up For Now On Plan To Jam Guests’ Personal Wifi Hotspots

Marriott Gives Up For Now On Plan To Jam Guests’ Personal Wifi Hotspots

Marriott got a big fat fine from the FCC last year for illegally blocking customers’ personal wifi hotspots. The chain paid the fine, but doesn’t want another one. Their solution? Ask the FCC to make what they did legal going forward. But after widespread backlash from tech companies, customers, and basically everyone on the internet, Marriott is now backing away from the plan. [More]

(Brad Clinesmith)

Lawmakers Claim Congress Better At FCC’s Job Than FCC Is, Plan To Introduce Net Neutrality Proposal

Large swaths of Congress are not pleased with the FCC’s moves towards regulating net neutrality, and they got even less pleased after the President threw his weight behind Title II and the FCC started to move in that direction. With the FCC set to vote in February, time for Congress to stick its oar in is running out. So now, in addition to the proposed bill that would bar the FCC outright from using Title II, there will soon be proposed new legislation afoot that seeks to do the FCC’s job for it, without letting the FCC in at all. [More]