Items tagged with Congress

This past Wednesday, several Republican senators argued before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the topic of Net Neutrality and the Federal Communications Commission. While a large amount of companies are asking that the FCC classify the internet as a utility, Republicans are arguing such a move would give the FCC too much power which would stifle innovation and have said that the FCC shouldn’t get involved at all. To that end, Senator Ted Cruz (Republican, Texas) said, “The FCC's latest adventure in net neutrality in my view would only serve to stifle innovation and would potentially... Read more...
Score one for the customer. President Barack Obama signed the “Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act,” which Congress recently passed with unusual ease. The bill makes it legal for mobile phone service customers to unlock their phones and move from one service to another. Carriers typically lock phones to their service with software, and (until now), customers generally had to ditch phones when switching to a new service. A bill signed into law today makes it legal to unlock your phone and take it to another carrier. The bill is good news if you’ve been wanting... Read more...
If you’ve ever searched for information at the Congress website, you’ve used The Library of Congress’ venerable THOMAS system, which has been around since 1995. (That’s THOMAS, as in, Thomas Jefferson.) Search now at Congress.gov, and you’ll be using an entirely new search engine that is designed to provide an improved search experience. The search engine, which is still in Beta, was developed with open source code. The major change is the single search field. Like Bing, Google, or just about any modern search engine, Congress.gov now lets you simply type your search... Read more...
Last month, Microsoft dropped a bombshell on advertisers -- its Internet Explorer 10 that ships with Windows 8 would ship with its "Do Not Track" setting enabled. Users would have to opt out of DNT by manually changing this setting if they wanted websites to track them. The DNT standard is still being debated, and compliance with it is voluntary, but even so, Microsoft's announcement made a lot of advertisers unhappy. This was reflected in changes the W3C (the World Wide Web Consortium) announced a few weeks later, when it stated that in order to be considered "in compliance" with DNT, all browsers... Read more...
There's a bill currently up for debate in the US House of Representatives that would give companies and government agencies the right to share information when issues of cybersecurity were at stake. If the first thing you thought after reading that was "Wait, don't we already do this," the answer is "Yes, we do." The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is drawing fire for certain provisions that drastically expand the definition of what data can be shared and for the way they handle existing data protections. At present, the government's ability to share data on its citizens is... Read more...
The bills (one in the Senate, one in the House) have nice names, but they would require you and us, assuming we have routers in our houses, as well as ISPs and hotspots, to maintain records on users for two years. Yes, you read that right, you and us, as well. The bills, Senate Bill S-436 and House Bill HR1076 are both named the "Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today's Youth Act," or Internet SAFETY Act. While purporting to be aimed at child pornography on the Internet it also, quite obviously, could be used by say, the record and movie industries to pursue those they... Read more...
The U.S. Congress has recently approved a new bill, known as the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2007, that makes it illegal for anyone in the U.S. using any telecommunications service to transmit misleading / inaccurate information by modifying caller ID data. Each violation could result in a fine of up to $10,000.For some, this news may mark the end of a long and glorious career as a prankster, but for others it may have sparked a new sense of excitement. After all, the law isn’t perfect.... Read more...
Congress is considering two pieces of legislation to counter the rise of botnets, denial of service attacks, and spyware like keyloggers. And they're finally taking an approach to Cyber-crime that reflects the seriousness of the crimes; they're bringing it under the umbrella of the RICO act, which was originally intended to attack real-world gangsters.  You can't hide in Second Life from the long arm of the law any longer. And with a proposed five year prison sentence for such crimes, cyber-criminals might become at least half as frightened of the Justice Department as they are of the RIAA.... Read more...
Organizing the world's information is a big job. The Library of Congress has been trying to do it for years. Is Google doing it better, for free? While Google talks to corporations and Wall Street about its desire and means to drive the sky's-the-limit profits to Google shareholder coffers, The Library of Congress reaches out to individuals and organizations for development "support" of "a key resource for an informed electorate." Google Inc.'s $150 billion market cap belies its corporate public serving mission statement. Nevertheless, Google's "philosophy" that "democracy on the web works"... Read more...
With the 2008 mid-term elections over with, many folks are hoping for a change for the better in everything from the economy, to immigration. As CNN reports, we may also see a welcomed new approach to the growth and governing of technology in this country. "Fourteen bills related to technological privacy - including one that would have imposed tougher sentences for spyware makers and another that would have required companies to disclose when consumer data was stolen or misused - failed in the last two years. Now pro-privacy stalwarts like Democratic... Read more...
The debate over how to ethically handle China's internet censorship carried on in Congress today, as major tech companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo, Cisco, and Google were brought in for questioning. While the argument over internet freedoms is only about as old as the internet, the debate on Business vs. ethics, and where do draw the line is nothing new. "Elliot Schrage, vice president of global communications and public affairs for Google, said Google's decision to censor its Chinese Internet search engine was "not something we did enthusiastically... Read more...
The 3GSM World Congress 2006 is around, showcasing everything mobile, and Hardware Zone is ready with the first part of their event coverage. How bout them cell phones? "It's that time of year again where we pay a visit to the mobile mecca, the 3GSM World Congress. This is where deals are made and technologies are shown off, but more interestingly are the new mobile phones that were showcased. In our first part, we take a look at Nokia, Motorola & Sony Ericsson pavilions."... Read more...