Wednesday, April 15, 2015

OpenStack 04/15/2015 (p.m.)

  • Tags: net-neutrality, FCC, litigation

    •  The United States Telecom Association has filed a lawsuit to overturn the net neutrality rules set by the Federal Communications Commission this past February. In its Monday morning Press Release USTelecom, who represents Verizon and AT&T among others, said it filed a lawsuit in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia joining a similar law suit filed by Alamo Broadband Inc.
    • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published its net neutrality rules in the Federal Register on Monday and, according to procedure, that began a 60-day countdown until they go into effect (June 12). Their publication also opened a 30-day window for Internet service providers to appeal.  USTelecom and Alamo Broadband wasted no time.  USTelecom filed a previous action preserving the issue according to local court rule prior to the formal petition in March.
    • The rules, which were voted on in February, reclassify broadband under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act and require that ISPs transmit all Web traffic at the same speed. Over 400 pages long, USTelecom filed a CD of the rules as an exhibit with its action.

      This suit is predicted to be the first of many, as broadband groups like AT&T to congressional Republicans have signaled that they plan to fight the decision.

  • Tags: surveillance state, NSA, 215, litigation, bulk-collection

    • Three cases that likely lay the groundwork for a major privacy battle at the U.S. Supreme Court are pending before federal appeals courts, whose judges are taking their time announcing whether they believe the dragnet collection of Americans' phone records is legal.

      It’s been more than five months since the American Civil Liberties Union argued against the National Security Agency program in New York, three months since legal activist Larry Klayman defended his thus far unprecedented preliminary injunction win in Washington, D.C., and two months since Idaho nurse Anna Smith’s case was heard by appeals judges in Seattle.

      At the district court level, judges handed down decisions about a month after oral arguments in the cases.

      It’s unclear what accounts for the delay. It’s possible judges are meticulously crafting opinions that are likely to receive wide coverage, or that members of the three-judge panels are clashing on the appropriate decision.

    • Attorneys involved in the cases understandably are reluctant to criticize the courts, but all express hope for speedy resolution of their fights against alleged violations of Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights.

    • Though it’s difficult to accurately predict court decisions based on oral arguments, opponents of the mass surveillance program may have reason for optimism.
    • Two executive branch review panels have found the dragnet phone program has had minimal value for catching terrorists, its stated purpose. After years of presiding over the collection and months of publicly defending it, President Barack Obama pivoted last year and asked Congress to pass legislation ending the program. A measure to do so failed last year.
  • Tags: Google, European Commission, antitrust, search, Android, DG-Competition

    • BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's competition chief is filing an antitrust complaint alleging Google has been abusing its dominance in Internet searches and is opening a probe into its Android mobile system.

      EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Wednesday she is "concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service."

      Vestager said the separate antitrust probe into Android will investigate whether the Internet giant relies on anti-competitive deals and abuses its dominant position in Europe's mobile market.

      Vestager said her chief goal was to make sure multinationals "do not artificially deny European consumers as wide a choice as possible or stifle innovation".

      Google's general counsel Kent Walker wrote late Tuesday that a "statement of objections" to Google's business practices was to be released by Vestager Wednesday.


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