Senators Introducing Bill Making It A Crime For Companies (Like GM) To Cover Up Dangerous Defects

Senators Introducing Bill Making It A Crime For Companies (Like GM) To Cover Up Dangerous Defects

GM has spent the year in trouble: their massive recall has come with a slew of investigations, fines, congressional hearings, and lawsuits. But the company has been able to claim incompetence and avoid other potential penalties. Now, two U.S. senators are introducing a bill that will make it much more difficult for the top brass at companies that don’t report lethal errors to plead stupid in the future. [More]

Why These 5 Pro-Consumer Bills Won’t Become Law In 2014

Why These 5 Pro-Consumer Bills Won’t Become Law In 2014

Back in January, at the dawn of the year, we gazed into our not-quite-crystal ball and took a look at some pieces of pending legislation that could help consumers this year. Now, in July, we’re at the halfway point of the year, and so it’s a good time to take a look at those bills and see how the wheels of government have turned in 2014. [More]

You Can’t Just Patent An Idea — You Actually Have To Make A Thing, Supreme Court Rules

You Can’t Just Patent An Idea — You Actually Have To Make A Thing, Supreme Court Rules

The Supreme Court today issued rulings on a handful of cases. One was about two companies nobody’s ever really heard of, arguing over patents for software to manage banking transactions. The details of the patents themselves, and the transactions they deal with, are kind of complicated and insidery — but they’re also not necessarily that important. The broader implications of the ruling, and the legal precedent the Court set with it, though, will have an impact for years to come. [More]

Proposed Bill Would Require FCC To Forbid Internet Fast Lanes

Proposed Bill Would Require FCC To Forbid Internet Fast Lanes

The FCC is spending the summer considering their Open Internet Rule, the piece of cable company f*ckery with a giant loophole allowing companies to negotiate paid prioritization of their network traffic. Today, Democratic lawmakers are planning to introduce a bill that would outright ban those fast lanes. [More]

Here’s Why The Justice Dept. Should Block The Comcast & Time Warner Cable Merger

Here’s Why The Justice Dept. Should Block The Comcast & Time Warner Cable Merger

Now that Comcast and Time Warner Cable have been paraded in front of the Senate and Congress to state their case publicly for why they should be allowed to merger into a truly massive mega-company, it’s time for the investigation that really matters, as regulators at the FCC and the Justice Dept. look into whether or not this deal is good for the public or violates antitrust law. [More]

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Proposed Kansas Bill Banning Municipal Fiber Expansion Has Met Its Doom

A proposed law in Kansas that would have prevented the expansion of publicly-owned fiber broadband networks in the state is very thoroughly dead, according to one of the bill’s biggest opponents. [More]

Ohio Likely To Become First State To Prohibit E-Cigarette Sales To Minors

Ohio Likely To Become First State To Prohibit E-Cigarette Sales To Minors

E-cigs are still in a strange regulatory no-man’s-land. They’re kind of like regular cigarettes, but they’re also kind of not. Can you use them in places where smoking’s not allowed? Do they fall under current laws restricting the sale of tobacco products to minors? Nobody really knows, yet. Nobody, that is, except the state of Ohio, where a bill regulating e-cigarette sales is now sitting on the governor’s desk. [More]

Google, Rest of Internet Urge Congress To Change NSA Surveillance Laws

Google, Rest of Internet Urge Congress To Change NSA Surveillance Laws

A large coalition of internet companies and advocacy groups has declared today “The Day We Fight Back” against mass surveillance. The coalition is urging US citizens to contact their legislators to ask for Congressional intervention on mass surveillance programs. [More]

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Utah Lawmaker Apparently Tired Of Residents Having Fast, Competitive Internet Access, Proposes Law To Stop Expansion

Municipal fiber networks might just be the wave of the future when it comes to speedy internet access. The cable companies already providing internet access, though, aren’t always so keen on the competition–and those companies have deep pockets and access to lawmakers’ ears. And so now Utah becomes the latest state to try legislative measures to bar its cities, towns, and counties from diving into the ISP market. [More]

Congressional Democrats Propose Legislation To Preserve Net Neutrality

Congressional Democrats Propose Legislation To Preserve Net Neutrality

Net neutrality may be dead since a court overturned it in January, but legislators are trying to resurrect it as quickly as possible. [More]

Your Guide To Proposed Laws & Regulation That Could Help Consumers In 2014

Your Guide To Proposed Laws & Regulation That Could Help Consumers In 2014

2013 is gone, a collection of memories never to be dealt with again.  Next week, the 113th Congress returns for its second session, ideally to enact legislation throughout 2014, some of which could help consumers if they were to become law. [More]

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Why Some Best Buy Stores Need Two Forms Of ID To Give You $5 For A Junk Cell Phone

You may remember the adventures of S., who wanted to turn a drawer full of junky cell phones into Best Buy gift cards, but ran up against a baffling store policy that requires two forms of photo ID to do so. He complained, then flounced to another store that didn’t have this inexplicable policy. Turns out that this policy is pretty explicable: it involves local laws regulating pawn transactions. [More]

Wisconsin Rep Seeks To Repeal Anti-Margarine Law

Wisconsin Rep Seeks To Repeal Anti-Margarine Law

A Wisconsin state legislative rep who Googled “Stupid Wisconsin Laws” has introduced a bill to overturn one of the dumbest ones he found: a law that forbids “colored margarine” from being served at a restaurant unless a customer asks for it. [More]

Saggy Pants Fines Bring City $3,916.49

Saggy Pants Fines Bring City $3,916.49

Albany, Georgia is raking in the dough by fining people who violate the city’s saggy pants ban. [More]

Texas Ups Speed Limit To 85 MPH

Texas Ups Speed Limit To 85 MPH

Put the pedal to the metal and get it in gear, today the max speed limit in Texas was officially raise to 85 MPH. Woohoo, yee-doggy! [More]

Help The FTC Update Its Guidance For Internet Advertisers

Help The FTC Update Its Guidance For Internet Advertisers

The Federal Trade Commission has announced plans to update its “Dot Com Disclosures,” the guidelines it uses to tell businesses how federal advertising laws apply to the internet. The document was originally published in 2000, and the FTC admits that the “online world has changed dramatically” since then. [More]

Utah Makes Scrooge McDuck Money Bins A Possibility

Utah Makes Scrooge McDuck Money Bins A Possibility

Those who dream of constructing giant towers filled with gold and silver coins in which to swim, and doing so with the knowledge that their coins are as good as cash, may want to look at moving to Utah. The state has pushed through legislation that makes gold and silver coins legal currency. [More]