Senators Ask PayPal To Change Obnoxious RoboCall Clause In User Agreement

Senators Ask PayPal To Change Obnoxious RoboCall Clause In User Agreement

Two weeks ago, we told you how PayPal’s revised user agreement expanded the company’s already-intrusive existing permission to send pre-recorded robocalls and spam texts, and how the company gave users no apparent way to opt out. Then the FCC chimed in, telling the company that its terms appear to violate federal law. Now, several U.S. Senators are asking PayPal to rethink its terms before they go into effect on July 1. [More]

58 Senators Urge CFPB To Create Rules Against Forced Arbitration Clauses In Financial Products

58 Senators Urge CFPB To Create Rules Against Forced Arbitration Clauses In Financial Products

A month after legislation was introduced to eliminate mandatory arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, civil rights and antitrust cases, a coalition of 58 lawmakers and several consumer advocate groups are urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to take things a step further by protecting consumers from forced arbitration clauses in financial services contracts. [More]

(Brian Turner)

Arbitration Fairness Act Would Reinstate Consumers’ Right To Sue In Court

 

Companies have been taking away your right to sue them when they screw up for years, using small, hidden clauses to require mandatory binding arbitration instead. After years of consumer groups voicing their concern over this anti-consumer practice, there’s finally a new bill in congress that proposes to bring back your right to sue.

[More]

(Themarcogoon49)

Upcoming Online Airfare Comparison Changes Raise Privacy, Discrimination Concerns

A group of senators raised concerns Tuesday that a new airfare comparison shopping system currently being developed could lead to unfair discrimination practices based on information the airlines receive from customers. [More]

Sen. Al Franken: Still Not Enough Competition For Cable & Internet Access

Sen. Al Franken: Still Not Enough Competition For Cable & Internet Access

While many opponents of the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger were setting off fireworks last Friday to celebrate the defeat of this deal that would have concentrated nearly 60% of the nation’s high-speed broadband accounts under one company, realists among us are pointing out that the end of that ill-fated engagement does nothing to change the already dismal competition landscape in many markets. [More]

Senators Urge Regulators To Block Comcast Acquisition of Time Warner Cable

Senators Urge Regulators To Block Comcast Acquisition of Time Warner Cable

As we head into the final stretch of regulatory review for the pending $45 billion of Comcast and Time Warner Cable — and with the Dept. of Justice possibly prepping to block the deal — a group of U.S. Senators has written to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and FCC Chair Tom Wheeler urging them to prevent these two companies from getting hitched. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Franken: Net Neutrality Win Means “We Might Just Be Able To Stop” Comcast/TWC Deal

The Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger is not going as smoothly as either company had hoped. With each passing day, the FCC seems less likely to rubber-stamp their approval, and rumor has it that the Justice Department is leaning against the corporate marriage. With momentum building, merger opponents are taking the chance to push back even harder, and that includes U.S. Senator Al Franken. [More]

Al Franken: Ted Cruz Has No Idea What Net Neutrality Is

Al Franken: Ted Cruz Has No Idea What Net Neutrality Is

Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas attempted to slam the notion of net neutrality, dubbing it “Obamacare for the Internet” and claiming that it would result in prices and services being set by the government. But over the weekend, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken called Cruz’s claim “baloney,” pointing out the fact that we’ve had net neutrality for years and cable companies have been doing just fine. [More]

Sen. Al Franken Calls Net Neutrality “The Free Speech Issue Of Our Time”

Sen. Al Franken Calls Net Neutrality “The Free Speech Issue Of Our Time”

While FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler works to make Verizon’s skewed vision of net neutrality real, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota has made an impassioned plea to the American people to stand up against the notion that deep-pocketed companies should have better and faster access to Internet users than everyone else. [More]

Media Companies’ Silence On Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger Speaks Volumes

Media Companies’ Silence On Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger Speaks Volumes

While numerous advocacy and public interest groups have publicly come out to declare their opposition to the merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, those companies whose business will most directly be affected by the tie-up — broadcasters, streaming services, production studios, advertisers — have remained relatively silent. But it’s not because they don’t have an opinion on the matter. [More]

Franken: Media Companies Are Afraid To Speak Out Against Comcast

Franken: Media Companies Are Afraid To Speak Out Against Comcast

Minnesota Senator Al Franken has made no effort to hide his opposition to the pending merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Now the actor/writer-turned-lawmaker is saying he wishes others would be more open about their feelings on the controversial deal. [More]

Sen. Franken Calls Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger A “Terrible Deal For Consumers”

Sen. Franken Calls Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger A “Terrible Deal For Consumers”

While Comcast has financial ties to numerous important members of the House and Senate, there are a few folks on Capitol Hill who have no problem speaking out against the cable company’s plan to expand its domination of the pay-TV and Internet business by acquiring Time Warner Cable and its millions of customers. Sen. Al Franken has already expressed concern about the merger, but yesterday he made his position on the matter very clear. [More]

Franken: Comcast’s Previous Behavior Doesn’t Bode Well For Time Warner Cable Deal

Franken: Comcast’s Previous Behavior Doesn’t Bode Well For Time Warner Cable Deal

When Comcast finally goes before lawmakers and regulators to make its case for a merger with Time Warner Cable, it will likely promise a pile of concessions and policy changes in order to paint a rosier picture of the future. But Senator Al Franken of Minnesota is looking to the past, pointing out concerns with the cable company’s spotty track record. [More]

Al Franken Isn’t Too Keen On Google Glass Face-Recognition App

Al Franken Isn’t Too Keen On Google Glass Face-Recognition App

Some people wouldn’t have a problem with you shooting photos and video of the people you pass as you stroll down the street sporting your Google Glass headgear. But if you could use a facial recognition app on that same device to glean personal information about complete strangers, it’s probably not going to be as warmly received. [More]

Watch Al Franken Shred A Pro-Arbitration Professor For Trying To Gloss Over The Problem

Watch Al Franken Shred A Pro-Arbitration Professor For Trying To Gloss Over The Problem

Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on mandatory binding arbitration clauses, those fun bits of contractual language that take away your right to sue a company and force you into a resolution process that is heavily weighted in the company’s favor.  The hearing was chaired by Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, who earlier this year introduced the proposed Arbitration Fairness Act, and so he obviously has a thing or two to say on the topic. [More]

Verizon’s Deal To Buy Spectrum From Cable Companies Could Mean Fewer Cable Options For Consumers

Verizon’s Deal To Buy Spectrum From Cable Companies Could Mean Fewer Cable Options For Consumers

It seems like it’s been oh, about eight months since Verizon Wireless announced its proposal to buy billions of dollars worth of wireless spectrum from cable companies who aren’t using it anyway. At first glance, it seems like a not-horrible idea, as Verizon Wireless doesn’t compete directly with the likes of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. But with regulators nearing a decision on the deal, several high-profile folks have come forward to voice their concerns about how Verizon might be sacrificing the growth of its FiOS business in favor of its wireless network. [More]

Watch Now The Live Senate Hearing On Whether Forced Arbitration Is Fair

Watch Now The Live Senate Hearing On Whether Forced Arbitration Is Fair

Here’s a live webcast of the judiciary committee’s hearing on mandatory binding arbitration going on right now. The title of the hearing is “Arbitration: Is it Fair When Forced?” Arbitration clauses appear in all sorts of consumer contracts and they mandate that in order to use the product or service, you have to agree to give up your right to sue if anything goes wrong. Originally designed for businesses to expedite disputes with other businesses, binding arbitration clauses are now also a popular way for companies to strip consumers of their basic legal rights. Since the hearing is chaired by Senator Al Franken, you know there’s bound to be some good zingers. Pop the popcorn and sit back! [More]

Sen. Franken Demands Answers From Apple About iPhone Tracking

Sen. Franken Demands Answers From Apple About iPhone Tracking

Yesterday, it was revealed that Apple iPhones and 3G-enabled iPads have been, unbeknownst to their users, recording their locations with corresponding time stamps in a file named “consolidated.db.” This discovery did not please Al Franken, the U.S. Senator from Minnesota, who has fired off a letter to Apple bigwig Steve Jobs. [More]