Grant Gross

About the Author Grant Gross


Conservative group takes credit for anti-net neutrality comments

A conservative group took credit for a barrage of anti-net neutrality comments posted on the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s website this week, but it denied generating fake activism.

The Center for Individual Freedom said it did not use a bot to generate comments after news reports raised questions about the legitimacy of the posts. Between Monday and early Wednesday afternoon, the FCC had received more than 128,000 comments duplicating the language provided by CFIF.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

Bot-generated comments swamp FCC, urging overturn of net neutrality

Some supporters of a U.S. Federal Communications Commission plan to repeal its recent net neutrality rules have apparently resorted to dirty tricks.

An apparent bot-generated campaign has posted more than 83,400 comments on the FCC’s website supporting the agency’s plan to gut its own net neutrality rules.

A handful of people whose names are on the bot-generated comments have denied making the comments, according to a report by ZDNet. The 83,400 comments, filed to the FCC’s comment system between Monday and Wednesday, all contain the same text, reading in part:

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

FCC hit with DDoS attacks after John Oliver takes on net neutrality — again

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s website slowed to a crawl after comic and political commentator John Oliver urged viewers to flood the agency with comments in support of net neutrality, in what appeared to be a repeat of a 2014 incident.

With the FCC headed toward a repeal of net neutrality rules it passed in early 2015, Oliver on Sunday echoed his “Last Week Tonight” commentary on the topic from three years ago. (Note to viewers: The link to Oliver’s new diatribe is not safe for work.) As in 2014, the FCC’s website seemed to buckle under the load late Sunday and early Monday, but the cause may have been more sinister than a flood of people expressing their support for net neutrality rules.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

How to prevent your data from being searched at the US border

During the past two years, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has targeted ever larger numbers of travelers’ smartphones and laptops for searches as they cross the border into the country.

U.S. courts have generally upheld a so-called border search exception to the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, allowing CBP to search electronic devices without a court-ordered warrant. In April, a group of lawmakers introduced legislation to require warrants to search devices owned by U.S. citizens and other legal residents, but for now, the law allows for warrantless device searches.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

FCC chairman plans to ‘reverse the mistake’ of net neutrality

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will vote on May 18 to kick off a proceeding to “reverse the mistake” of the agency’s 2-year-old net neutrality rules, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.

The rulemaking proceeding would be the first step toward repealing the regulations and reversing the agency’s 2015 decision to classify broadband as a regulated, telecom-like service.

Pai didn’t provide a lot of detail about his proposal during a speech Wednesday, but during the rulemaking, the FCC will seek public comment on how best to move forward with new net neutrality rules or guidelines, he said. The FCC is scheduled to release the text of Pai’s proposal on Thursday.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

FCC chairman to announce plans to repeal net neutrality

The chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is expected to announce plans to repeal the agency’s 2015 net neutrality rules on Wednesday.

Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, will likely announce a plan to reverse course on the 2-year-old regulations and end the agency’s classification of broadband as a regulated, common-carrier service. In a Wednesday speech, Pai will reportedly announce that he is scheduling a vote for the FCC’s May 18 meeting to begin the process of repealing the rules.

Pai has called the net neutrality rules a mistake that “injected tremendous uncertainty into the broadband market.” President Donald Trump, who appointed Pai as the FCC’s chairman, has also criticized the regulations.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

FCC ends price caps on many business data lines

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted to deregulate the providers of the business data lines connecting broadband service to many small businesses, schools, hospitals, and ATM machines.

The deregulation of business data services, or BDS, could mean broadband price hikes for those businesses as well as for mobile phone customers, critics said. BDS provides the backhaul that connects mobile towers to the wired internet.

The commission’s 2-1 party-line vote ends price caps on much of the BDS market across the U.S., while retaining price regulations in about a third of the country.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

FCC ends price caps on many business data lines

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted to deregulate the providers of the business data lines connecting broadband service to many small businesses, schools, hospitals and ATM machines.

The deregulation of business data services, or BDS, could mean broadband price increases for those businesses as well as for mobile phone customers, critics said. BDS provides the backhaul that connects mobile towers to the wired internet.

The commission’s 2-1, party-line vote ends price caps on much of the BDS market across the U.S. while retaining price regulations in about a third of the country.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

FCC’s deregulation of business data lines could mean a price hike

If you operate a small or medium-size U.S. business, you can expect to pay more for broadband services in the near future because the U.S. Federal Communications Commission plans to deregulate providers of business data lines, critics of the proposal say.

Users of ATMs, shoppers in stores that use credit card scanners, and mobile phone customers could also see prices go up after the FCC deregulates the so-called business data services (BDS) market. Schools and hospitals also depend on BDS for their broadband service, and prices could rise as much as 25 percent in areas where the FCC removes price caps, critics warn.

The FCC is scheduled to vote Thursday on a proposal from Republican Chairman Ajit Pai that would deregulate large parts of the BDS market, which generates an estimated US$45 billion a year for AT&T, Verizon, and other telecom carriers. Incumbent telecom carriers welcome the plan, saying there’s plenty of competition in the BDS market, sometimes called special access.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

FCC kills plan to allow mobile phone conversations on flights

Imagine a fellow airplane passenger sitting next to you and yelling into his mobile phone for six hours during a cross-country flight.

If simply thinking about that scenario gives you a headache, you’re not alone. On Monday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission killed a plan to allow mobile phone calls during commercial airline flights.

Since 2013, the FCC and the Federal Aviation Administration have considered allowing airline passengers to talk on the phones during flights, although the FAA also proposed rules requiring airlines to give passengers notice if they planned to allow phone calls.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

US FCC kills plan to allow mobile phone conversations on flights

Imagine a fellow airplane passenger sitting next to you and yelling into his mobile phone for six hours during a cross-country flight.

If simply thinking about that scenario gives you a headache, you’re not alone. On Monday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission killed a plan to allow mobile phone calls during commercial airline flights.

Since 2013, the FCC and the Federal Aviation Administration have considered allowing airline passengers to talk on the phones during flights, although the FAA also proposed rules requiring airlines to give passengers notice if they planned to allow phone calls.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

FCC kills plan to allow mobile phone conversations on flights

Imagine a fellow airplane passenger sitting next to you and yelling into his mobile phone for six hours during a cross-country flight.

If simply thinking about that scenario gives you a headache, you’re not alone. On Monday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission killed a plan to allow mobile phone calls during commercial airline flights.

Since 2013, the FCC and the Federal Aviation Administration have considered allowing airline passengers to talk on the phones during flights, although the FAA also proposed rules requiring airlines to give passengers notice if they planned to allow phone calls.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

Update: Spain arrests accused Russian spammer at U.S. request

A Russian man long connected with sending spam emails has been arrested and is being held in Spain, with a law enforcement source contradicting news reports saying he was involved with a computer virus linked to President Donald Trump’s recent election victory.

 

The arrest of Piotr Levashov at the Barcelona airport on Friday was not tied to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, said the source, who is close to the investigation. That contradicts news reports from Agence France-Presse (AFP) and other news outlets, which said Levashov’s wife, Maria Levachova, was told his arrest was connected to Trump’s election.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

U.S. trade lobbying group attacked by suspected Chinese hackers

A group of what appears to be Chinese hackers infiltrated a U.S. trade-focused lobbying group as the two countries wrestle with how they treat imports of each other’s goods and services.

The APT10 Chinese hacking group appears to be behind a “strategic web compromise” in late February and early March at the National Foreign Trade Council, according to security vendor Fidelis Cybersecurity.

The NFTC lobbies for open and fair trade and has pledged to work with U.S. President Donald Trump to “find ways to address Chinese policies that frustrate access to their market and undermine fair trade, while at the same time encouraging a positive trend in our trade relationship.” Trump will meet with China President Xi Jinping in Florida this week.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

Politicians’ web browsing history targeted after privacy vote

Two GoFundMe campaigns have raised more than $290,000 in an effort to buy the web browsing histories of U.S. politicians after Congress voted to allow broadband providers to sell customers’ personal information without their permission.

It’s unclear if those efforts will succeed, however. Even though Congress scrapped the FCC’s ISP privacy rules last week, the Telecommunications Act still prohibits telecom providers from selling personally identifiable information in many cases. 

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

Politicians’ web browsing history targeted after privacy vote

Two GoFundMe campaigns have raised more than $290,000 in an effort to buy the web browsing histories of U.S. politicians after Congress voted to allow broadband providers to sell customers’ personal information without their permission.

It’s unclear if those efforts will succeed, however. Even though Congress scrapped the FCC’s ISP privacy rules last week, the Telecommunications Act still prohibits telecom providers from selling personally identifiable information in many cases. 

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

China Oceanwide completes its purchase of IDG

The sale of tech publishing pioneer International Data Group to China Oceanwide Holdings Group and China-based IDG Capital is final.

The deal for China Oceanwide Holdings Group to acquire a majority stake in International Data Group was first announced in January. Tech analyst firm IDC and venture capital firm IDG Ventures are included in the deal.

China Oceanwide hosted an event in Bejing Wednesday to announce the closing of the deal. The companies did not disclose the terms of the sale.

China Oceanwide has said it will focus on growth at IDG and IDC.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

China Oceanwide completes its purchase of IDG

The sale of tech publishing pioneer International Data Group to China Oceanwide Holdings Group and China-based IDG Capital is final.

The deal for China Oceanwide Holdings Group to acquire a majority stake in International Data Group was first announced in January. Tech analyst firm IDC and venture capital firm IDG Ventures are included in the deal.

China Oceanwide hosted an event in Bejing today to announce the closing of the deal. The companies did not disclose the terms of the sale.

China Oceanwide has said it will focus on growth at IDG and IDC.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

Privacy advocates plan to fight Congress’ repeal of ISP privacy rules

Privacy advocates haven’t given up the fight after Congress voted to allow ISPs to sell customers’ browsing histories and other personal information without their permission.

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted 215 to 205 to strike down ISP privacy regulations approved by the Federal Communications Commission only months ago. The House’s passage of a resolution of disapproval followed a Senate vote to pass the same resolution days earlier. 

President Donald Trump is expected to sign the Republican-pushed bill. But Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, said he will introduce new legislation to require the FCC to pass new ISP privacy rules.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

US lawmakers question police use of facial recognition tech

Reacting to concerns about the mass collection of photographs in police databases, U.S. lawmakers plan to introduce legislation to limit the use of facial recognition technology by the FBI and other law enforcement organizations.

The FBI and police departments across the country can search a group of databases containing more than 400 million photographs, many of them from the drivers’ licenses of people who have never committed a crime. The photos of more than half of U.S adults are contained in a series of FBI and state databases, according to one study released in October.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

U.S. lawmakers question police use of facial recognition tech

Reacting to concerns about the mass collection of photographs in police databases, U.S. lawmakers plan to introduce legislation to limit the use of facial recognition technology by the FBI and other law enforcement organizations.

The FBI and police departments across the country can search a group of databases containing more than 400 million photographs, many of them from the drivers’ licenses of people who have never committed a crime. The photos of more than half of U.S adults are contained in a series of FBI and state databases, according to one study released in October.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

FBI looks into Russian hack of US election, possible Trump involvement

The FBI is actively investigating Russia’s attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible cooperation from President Donald Trump’s campaign, agency director James Comey confirmed.

The existence of an investigation isn’t a surprise, but Comey’s announcement Monday is the first time the FBI has acknowledged an active case. The FBI typically does not comment on active investigations, but the Russian actions targeting the U.S. election represents an “unusual” case, he told members of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee.

Comey told lawmakers he couldn’t comment more on the investigation, but he said the FBI is looking into possible contacts and cooperation between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. The FBI is looking into “the nature of any links” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, he said.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments