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EFF Challenges Telecom Immunity Law in Court

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Thursday challenged the constitutionality of a law aimed at granting retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that participated in President Bush's illegal domestic wiretapping program. In a brief filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, EFF argues that the flawed FISA Amendments Act (FAA) violates the federal government's separation of powers as established in the Constitution and robs innocent telecom customers of their rights without due process of law. Signed into law earlier this year, the FAA allows for the dismissal of the lawsuits over the telecoms' participation in the warrantless surveillance program if the government secretly certifies to the court that either the surveillance did not occur, was legal, or was authorized by the president. Attorney General Michael Mukasey filed that classified certification with the court last month. more

New DPI Technology Allows ISPs to Inspect Every File, Image, and Movie Transmitted by Users

MSNBC reports that an Australian company, Brilliant Digital Entertainment Ltd., is marketing a new controversial deep packet inspection technology called CopyRouter in the U.S. cable of allowing ISPs to check every file passing through their network. More specifically, this technology can check "every image, every movie, every document attached to an email or found in a Web search," to see if it matches a list of illegal images from a law enforcement agency. more

White Spaces News… Interesting First Step

When the U.S. Digital Television Transition (DTV) transition happens in Feb. 2009, channels 2 through 51 will remain allocated for television transmission. Few of the nation's television markets actually use 49 channels. Indeed, most use less than half of that number... Today, with Congress in recess, leaving less room for last-minute-Lucy-with-the-football lobbying gambits, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) appears to be poised to release a report saying the white spaces can be used without necessarily causing interference to existing broadcasts. There are still many questions to be answered... more

My Name is Vint Cerf, I'm a Scientist and I am Voting for Barack Obama

Vint Cerf, Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist who is also credited as the co-founder of the Internet, has endorsed U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama in a YouTube video submitted to AVoteForScience channel. In the video, Cerf discusses the importance of Net Neutrality (NN) and the fact that Obama is the candidate that supports NN. The following excerpt is a portion of what Cerf says in the video... more

ISP Warnings Could Cut Illegal Music Downloads by 75%, Says Survey

According to a survey by European research group, Entertainment Media, 75% of music pirates would stop illegal downloads if warned by their ISPs. The research which looked at the digital habits of consumers, has also found that the abundance of online music services has played a strong role in reducing illegal music downloads. "It is quite evident that an ISP-led strategy has bite, because illegal downloaders are fairly convinced that ISPs are currently monitoring their activities and are more likely to act against them than the courts," said Russell Hart, chief executive of Entertainment Media Research. more

The Net Neutrality Conflicts in Obama vs. McCain Presidential Debates?

According to U.S. presidential candidates' position statements on the issues, John McCain is against Net neutrality and Barack Obama supports it. Glenn Derene, senior tech editor of Popular Mechanics who has put some thought into this issue in light of the current presidential race, says Net Neutrality is "one of the few technology issues on which the candidates clearly disagree." Derek explains... more

Broadband Data Improvement Act Passes Senate, House, A.K.A. Find Why U.S. is on Continuous Decline

In a major win for the public interest, the Broadband Data Improvement Act passed the Senate (on September 26th) and the House (on September 29th). Due to amendments, it now goes back to the Senate for final approval (should be pro-forma) before it lands on George Bush's desk. With the United States falling further and further behind a host of other countries, the question on many people's minds (including the folks over at Point-Topic who created this graphic) is, "Why is this happening?" more

Telcos, IT Companies Start $1B Promotion for Mobile Broadband as Alternative to Wi-Fi and WiMax

Some of the world's largest IT and mobile companies have teamed up to create a new category of always-connected 'Mobile Broadband' devices, delivering an alternative to WiFi. According to reports, in the first phase of this initiative lead by GSM Association (GSMA), mobile operators, PC manufacturers and chipset providers will collaborate to pre-install Mobile Broadband into a range of notebook PCs that will be ready to switch on and surf straight out of the box in 91 countries. more

European Commission on the Future of the Internet

The European Commission has just published a communication which describes the broad lines of its Internet policy in the coming years. Vint Cerf, on the Google Public Policy blog sees this as a very interesting vision. Indeed, it closely links the issue of openness of the Internet to several obvious and not-so-obvious factors. more

Comcast Discloses Network Management Practices

Comcast has provided U.S. regulators details of how it plans to change the way it manages Web traffic over its high speed Internet network without blocking any applications or content. The move comes after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted last month to uphold a complaint that Comcast had violated the regulator's open-Internet principles by hindering peer-to-peer traffic from applications such as BitTorrent. Comcast said on Friday that under the plan designed to give all users their "fair share" of bandwidth it would focus on managing the traffic of customers who are using most bandwidth when the network is congested. more

EFF Says Stop Illegal Surveillance; Sues NSA, President Bush, and Vice President Cheney

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies today on behalf of AT&T customers to stop the alleged illegal, unconstitutional, and ongoing dragnet surveillance of their communications and communications records. The five individual plaintiffs are also suing President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney's chief of staff David Addington, former Attorney General and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and other individuals who have ordered or participated in the domestic surveillance. more

Interactive Deployment Database of Global WiMAX Deployments Released

The WiMAX Forum has released an Interactive Deployment Database, providing a resource of more than 300 WiMAX deployments across the world. Available for public use, this tool includes detailed information on each of the operators, stage and type of deployment, as well as spectrum utilized. The database is planned to be updated quarterly with the latest information. more

Comcast Sues FCC, Says Net Neutrality Order Legally Inappropriate

Comcast has filed suit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today in order to block the agency's decision to sanction Comcast for blocking certain Internet traffic. Comcast has released the following statement attributed to David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation... more

Internet Services Will be Worth Nearly $1 Trillion by 2012, Says Report

According to a report by the research firm Yankee Group, the global market for high-speed Internet services will be worth nearly $1 trillion by 2012. The broadband market, which includes revenue from services to consumers and businesses, as well as the amount spent on equipment for the underlying infrastructure, is currently worth $590 billion, according to the report. By 2012, the market will grow to more than $903 billion, it projected. The estimates are part of Yankee Group's concept of an "Anywhere" environment, where there is at least one broadband connection for every person on the planet. Emily Green, president and chief executive of Yankee Group, says it took 10 years for the Internet to reach one billion people and it will double its reach by 2012. more

Aircell vs. VoIP

Last week American Airlines launched their Aircell wireless Internet access on a limited number of flights. It didn't take long before a few folks tried to make voice and video calls (in violation of Aircell's terms-of-service according to their PR folks), and it didn't take long before someone figured a way around their voice/video blocking efforts. more