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FTC report on data brokers, asks Congress for more transparency

05/28, 10:55pm

Commission wants more control in users' hands, regulation in industry

In a recent report put together by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the commission asks Congress for regulation on the practices of data collection by data brokers. While the FTC has been studying the practice of data collection for a number of years, it has yet to see action come at the government over what the companies involved are able to do with the data. One thing the FTC would like to see is some of the control over data being placed back into the hands of the people.

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Congressional leaders remind ITC of standards-essential patents value

05/22, 7:47pm

Amicus curae letter filed notes government attention, ITC responsibility

An an unusual show of solidarity, leaders of the US Congress intellectual property and antitrust subcommittees submitted a letter to the US International Trade Commission (ITC) reiterating the prior request that "the Commission carefully assess the substantial public interest considerations that exist with regards to this and other cases at the ITC in which SEPs are at issue."

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Apple, Samsung, others petition Washington to free spectrum

12/11, 10:00pm

High Tech Spectrum Coalition formed to spotlight issues

The High Tech Spectrum Coalition, a 'supergroup' of technology companies led by Apple and Samsung, petitioned Congress on Tuesday to provide more broadcast bandwidth for smartphones and tablet computers. The sent letter encourages the House and Senate technology committees to evaluate auctioning some of the spectrum currently in use by the federal government.

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Congress urges lock out of Huawei, ZTE over security

10/08, 6:03am

Congress asks US firms to stop fueling expansion of Huawei, ZTE

A draft Congress report due today argues that leading Chinese telecoms producers Huawei and ZTE should be locked out of the U.S. market over security concerns, reports Reuters. The US House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee argues that the two companies are subject to the influence of the Chinese government. After 11-months of research, the committee believes that it is in the best interests of U.S. firms and the country to avoid purchasing products from either Huawei or ZTE.

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Congress passes bill allowing Wi-Fi over unused TV spectrum

02/17, 6:45pm

Congress bill may bring next-gen 'super Wi-Fi'

Congress has has passed a bill allowing spectrum previously set aside for TV broadcasts to be used for next-generation Wi-Fi services and Bluetooth. According to CIO, a portion of the band will be offered up for unlicensed use by long-distance ‘super Wi-Fi’ services. A separate portion of the TV spectrum will be utilized as a nationwide mobile broadband service for emergency services.

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Groups ask Congress to "step back" from IP law proceedings

02/06, 9:30pm

Lawmakers asked to take "fresh perspective"

A long list of companies and organizations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Open Congress, have sent an open letter urging congressional lawmakers to take an entirely new approach to intellectual property law. The authors suggest concerns raised over SOPA and PIPA legislation are "too fundamental and too numerous" to be resolved through "hasty revisions" to the existing bills.

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Congressmen want FTC to stop Hulu, MSN using 'supercookies'

09/27, 6:20pm

Online trackers reveal secrets, can't be erased

Two members of the US Congress have asked the FTC to investigate the use of "supercookies" by several online sites including MSN and Hulu. In a letter to FTC chairman, Jon Liebowitz, Republican Joe Barton and Democrat Ed Markey, expressed concern that the use of these tracking tools might be an unfair or deceptive act or practice under the Federal Trade Commission Act, which empowers the FTC.

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Congresspeople push Obama to settle AT&T/T-Mobile lawsuit

09/15, 8:50pm

Members voice support for merger

Fifteen Democrat members of the House of Representatives have sent a letter asking President Obama to find a quick resolution to the Department of Justice lawsuit against AT&T's proposed T-Mobile buyout. The group, headed by North Carolina Representative Heath Shuler, argues that a settlement and approval of the deal will have a positive effect on the economy and job creation.

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Congress explores reform to discourage patent trolls

06/23, 5:50pm

Legislation aims to reduce application backlog

The US House of Representatives is considering new legislation that aims to reform current laws surrounding the patent system. The proposals, which are included in the America Invents Act, are designed to reduce the backlog in patent applications, bring the United States' filing methods in line with those of other countries, and help discourage patent trolls from taking advantage of the current laws to abuse the system.

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Sony refuses to testify to Congress over PSN debacle

05/02, 8:15pm

Company cites "ongoing investigation"

Sony is reportedly attempting to avoid testifying before Congress later this week, after the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade asked the company to answer questions regarding its failure to protect the PlayStation Network from hackers. The memo distributed to subcommittee members suggests the hearing is designed to explore "risks related to data breaches" and data security practices utilized by the industry.

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Verizon calls for complete overhaul of telecom laws

11/23, 6:50pm

Telecom Act labeled "antiquated"

Verizon has called upon Congress to establish a new framework for telecommunications policies, as the company labels the current system as "broken." In a speech at the Federalist Society's National Conference, Verizon executive VP Tom Tauke criticized the current approach to Internet regulation as "antiquated and anti-competitive."

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FCC votes to reclassify Internet access

06/17, 3:05pm

FCC now sees neutrality rules as necessary

The FCC today said (PDF) it had voted 3-2 in favor of beginning procedures to reclassify Internet access and take action on its proposed National Broadband Plan. Officials plan to go ahead with their initial plans and are asking for comments both from the public and from the industry by July 15. First replies from the FCC to the comments should be ready by August 12.

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Internet Safety Act could affect home Wi-Fi users

02/22, 11:25pm

Home Wi-Fi users affected?

Two Texas-based US representatives have introduced bills that would require ISPs to store user information for two years. The bills may even require home wi-fi router users to track the same information, according to Macworld. The bills were introduced Thursday, one in the US Senate, by Rep. Senator John Cornyn, and in the House by Representative Lamar Smith. Each bill is called the Internet Safety Act, aimed at preventing child pornography via the Internet. The bills call for stronger penalties for accessing child pornography on the Internet and would require Internet and e-mail service providers to retain all records and related information about anyone using a network address temporarily assigned by the service.

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Congress delays digital TV transition

02/04, 5:55pm

Digital TV delayed

Congress has approved legislation that will delay the digital TV transition until June 12, providing more time to prepare older devices for the change, according to Reuters. The switch deadline had initially been scheduled for February 17th, although an estimated 20 million individuals would not be ready in the next few weeks. Obama backed the latest change, recognizing concerns that the unprepared group contained mostly low-income, elderly and rural households.

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US Congress considers iPhone as option, testing now

10/22, 6:00pm

iPhones may be on the Hill

US State Senator may have a trendy new gadget next year, as congress is considering the iPhone as its newest communication device. TheHill.com is reporting that Congress's Chief Administrative Office (CAO), the office in charge of congressional communications, is testing a set of iPhones among its ranks to see if the device will function within the needs of Capital Hill representatives and support staff.

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