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30 марта, 03:01

Democrats want to make GOP pay for attacking internet rules

They're already trying to make a 2018 campaign issue out of Republicans' vote to block FCC privacy regulations. An even bigger fight on net neutrality is probably next.

30 марта, 02:53

3 Reasons Why This BuzzFeed Might IPO in 2018

"BuzzFeed plans its [insert year] IPO," has been a familiar headline for the New York-based media company since 2014. While BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti has never confirmed going public, he has hinted in different instances about going public in the future.

30 марта, 02:17

Did Snap Win Gold With $75 Million NBC Winter Olympics Deal?

Snapchat's parent company Snap Inc. (SNAP) just landed a massive content deal with NBCUniversal for the 2018 Winter Olympics. But what does it mean for the struggling social media app?

30 марта, 00:08

Here's How Much Internet Providers Gave Lawmakers Who Voted To Let Them Sell Your Data

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); House Republicans voted to overturn privacy rules Tuesday that were introduced by the Obama administration to prevent telecommunications and cable companies from sharing customers’ personal data without their consent or knowledge. That data may include your web browsing history, Social Security number, information about your health and other sensitive details. The Senate passed its version of the same bill last week. If signed into law by President Donald Trump, internet service providers will be able to collect and sell this sensitive information. Unsurprisingly, many of the lawmakers who voted in favor of the bill have received campaign donations from companies or employees of companies that stand to benefit from it ― corporations such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. (Verizon owns AOL, which is The Huffington Post’s parent company.) The Verge has a breakdown of exactly how much each member of Congress who voted to reverse the privacy rule received in donations from major players in the telecom industry in their last election cycle. Some lawmakers, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), received upward of six figures from the telecommunications industry. Others, however, received relatively paltry sums — in some cases, under $1,000. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who introduced the bill, received $27,955.  Head over to The Verge to see exactly how much each supporter of the bill received from telecom donors.  Flake and other Republican supporters of rolling back the Federal Communications Commission regulation, set to go into effect later this year, argue that doing so puts internet privacy back in the hands of providers and that ending the regulation will increase consumer choice. Opponents, however, say the bill is bad for consumers. “It’s special interest lobbying as usual,” Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy told The Huffington Post earlier this week. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

29 марта, 21:52

Will Comcast Offer iPhone for Upcoming Wireless Venture?

In Oct 2015, Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) had inked a deal with U.S. telecom behemoth Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) to become an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) and offer wireless services.

29 марта, 19:58

Amazon Inks Deal to Acquire Souq.com: 2 ETFs in Focus

Amazon enters the Middle East market with its acquisition deal of Souq.com

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29 марта, 15:35

Comcast's (CMCSA) Online TV Services & 5G Plans Bode Well

Comcast (CMCSA) is currently working towards the deployment of 5G network.

29 марта, 13:50

Конгресс разрешил торговать данными пользователей

Нижняя палата Конгресса США, вслед за сенатом, проголосовала за то, чтобы освободить американских провайдеров интернет-услуг от обязательного получения разрешения пользователя на сбор и использование их данных активности в сети.

29 марта, 13:50

Конгресс разрешил торговать данными пользователей

Нижняя палата Конгресса США, вслед за Сенатом, проголосовала за то, чтобы освободить американских провайдеров интернет-услуг от обязательного получения разрешения пользователя на сбор и использование их данных активности в сети.

29 марта, 04:25

Congress Poised To Obliterate Broadband Privacy Rules

Authored by Lauren McCauley via TheAntiMedia.org,  Privacy advocates on Monday are urging Americans to call their elected officials, warning that there are only 24 hours left to “save online privacy rules” before the U.S. House of Representatives votes on a measure that would allow major telecom companies to collect user data and auction it off to the “highest bidder.” Wasting no time, the House is expected to begin debate late Monday on S.J. Res. 34, a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to repeal the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) privacy provision, implemented under former President Barack Obama, which requires that providers such as Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon get a user’s permission before collecting or selling sensitive data. As Common Dreams reported, 50 Republican senators voted to advance the resolution last week. “We are one vote away from a world where your [Internet Service Providers or ISP] can track your every move online and sell that information to the highest bidder,” Kate Tummarello, policy analyst for the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF), said Monday. Explaining how the FCC’s “commonsense” rules would have prevented ISPs from doing a “host of creepy things,” Tummarello wrote: “Those rules were a huge victory for consumers. Of course, the ISPs that stand to make money off of violating your privacy have been lobbying Congress to repeal those rules. Unfortunately, their anti-consumer push has been working.” Meanwhile, the opposition is responding with a campaign of its own to pressure lawmakers—said to be in the pocket of the telecom industry—to protect #broadbandprivacy. On Monday, the grassroots advocacy Fight for the Future announced that it will unleash billboards in Washington, D.C. and other select districts exposing any Congress member who votes to gut internet privacy rules. “Congress should know by now that when you come for the internet, the internet comes for you,” said Evan Greer, the organization’s campaign director, who added that “these billboards are just the beginning. People from across the political spectrum are outraged, and every lawmaker who votes to take away our privacy will regret it come Election Day.” Similarly, encrypted communications provider Private Internet Access has taken out a full-page ad in the New York Times naming the senators who “voted to monitor your internet activity for financial gain.” Private Internet Access, a VPN provider, takes out a full page ad in the @nytimes calling out 50 senators #Broadbandprivacy pic.twitter.com/Gg62Fwycb7 — Zuri Berry (@zuriberry) March 26, 2017 Meanwhile, in a series of tweets, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) enumerated on the implications of the resolution, concluding that House lawmakers should “stand up against industry pressure to put profits over privacy & reject the resolution to overturn the FCC’s privacy rule.” The resolution also prohibits the FCC from issuing rules that are substantially the same in the future. — ACLU National (@ACLU) March 27, 2017 Without FCC rules, companies would be able to sell your sensitive data to advertisers, big data brokers, and even the government. — ACLU National (@ACLU) March 27, 2017 The House should stand up against industry pressure to put profits over privacy & reject the resolution to overturn the FCC’s privacy rule. — ACLU National (@ACLU) March 27, 2017 Further, Muhammad Saad Khan at The Next Web explained how a rollback of privacy rules could usher in a new wave of cyber attacks. “Considering what is at stake here, and how much data ISPs already have on us, it will not come as a surprise if in the long run, the number of cyberattacks increase by leaps and bounds,” Khan wrote. “Monitoring activities and data theft will rise significantly, as if they were already not a menace. With gadgets, households and even cars being connected to the internet as part of the IoT (the Internet of Things), it is not that hard to imagine how deadly a cyberattack could possibly be if things turn for the worst; which they will, as history suggests.”

29 марта, 01:29

Trump's FCC Continues To Redefine The Public Interest As Business Interests

By Christopher Ali, University of Virginia The U.S. Senate voted last week to allow internet service providers to sell data about their customers’ online activities to advertisers. The House of Representatives agreed on Tuesday; President Trump is expected to sign the measure into law. As far back as 1927, American lawmakers sought to balance the needs of the public against the desire of big telecommunications companies to make huge profits off delivering information to Americans nationwide. Today, the Federal Communications Commission is charged with ensuring that the broadcasting and telecommunications systems work in “the public interest, convenience and necessity.” Policymakers have struggled to specifically define “the public interest,” but the broad intent was clear: Government rules and programs worked to ensure a diversity of programming, distributed by a multitude of companies, with many different owners, through multiple channels that all Americans had access to. While conducting research for my new book on local media policy in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, I watched as officials’ priorities changed, favoring what they say is “freer” competition in the marketplace of ideas. As new proposals come up for public comment and debate in the next few months, we, the American public, must join these discussions, to ensure our interests are in fact served. A shift in priorities Over the last 30 years, America’s communications regulators have moved away from focusing on society’s benefit, and toward an interpretation of the public interest as equivalent to what businesses want. For decades the FCC has chipped away at that broadly understood sense of the public interest, allowing more stations to be owned by one company, letting major media corporations merge and renewing station licenses with a rubber stamp. And TV and radio stations are now allowed to be located far away from the communities they serve. As a result, the national media system is dominated by a handful of companies, including Comcast, Time Warner, Fox and Disney. This trend is mirrored at the local level, where Sinclair Broadcasting owns 173 of the country’s 1,778 local television stations and is on the hunt to acquire more. These changes have seen media and telecommunications companies making money and acquiring more properties, while the public receives less and less in return. Moving quickly In addition to the moves in Congress, Trump’s FCC has acted quickly, too. Upon his promotion to FCC chairman, Ajit Pai cited other companies’ fraudulent practices as a reason for removing nine internet service providers from the list of companies approved to provide federally subsidized internet access to low-income families. Pai also ended an investigation into mobile phone companies’ practice of exempting mobile data associated with certain apps (such as Spotify or Netflix) from the data limits normally imposed on customers’ plans. Because this explicitly favored some companies’ internet traffic over others’, many people viewed this practice, called “zero rating,” as a violation of open internet (also called “net neutrality”) rules – the FCC’s requirements barring internet service providers from playing favorites with different providers’ internet content. Taken together, these actions represent a major attack on what is left of the public interest as we once knew it. They also represent a reversal for the FCC, which was hailed for protecting the public interest when it approved the Open Internet Order in 2015. Pai himself opposes those rules, as does his congressional counterpart, Marsha Blackburn, chair of the powerful House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Attacking broadcasting too The Trump administration also appears to be adhering to this view of the public interest in media policy. Trump’s initial proposed budget zeroed out federal funding for public broadcasting. The U.S. allocates US$445 million a year to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports organizations like NPR and PBS. That amounts to about $1.35 per person. In contrast, Germany spends $143 a person; Norway spends more on public broadcasting than any other country – $180 per Norwegian. Cutting this already anemic funding would spell disaster for public broadcasting, most notably stations in rural America. And over at the FCC, Pai eliminated requirements that broadcasters keep records of what they aired, for public inspection. While perhaps antiquated and certainly rarely used by the public, it was one of the last holdovers of a time when local broadcasters were thought to be responsive to their communities. As for Sinclair Broadcasting’s expansion hopes, the company may be making its plans precisely because Commissioner Pai wants to relax ownership restrictions. Stepping up to the mic? The next few months will see debates about a diverse range of communications-related topics, all of which center on the public interest. We need to ask hard, clear questions of legislators, regulators and ourselves: Is it in the public’s interest to have an internet where ISPs can decide which websites load fastest? Is it in the public interest for AT&T to buy Time Warner, creating an even larger and more powerful media company? Is it in the public interest for incarcerated people and their families to pay exorbitant sums to speak to one another on the phone? Is it in the public interest to retain access to public broadcasting, which brings us everything from “Sherlock” to “Sesame Street”? Media is more than just our window on the world. It’s how we talk to each other, how we engage with our society and our government. Without a media environment that serves the public’s need to be informed, connected and involved, our democracy and our society will suffer. As former FCC chairman Nicholas Johnson put it: Whatever is your first priority, whether it is women’s rights or saving wildlife, your second priority has to be media reform. With it you at least have a chance of accomplishing your first priority. Without it, you don’t have a prayer. If only a few wealthy companies control how Americans communicate with each other, it will be harder for people to talk among ourselves about the kind of society we want to build. It is time for a sustained public conversation about media policy, akin to the ones we have about health care, the economy, defense and the budget. Regulators and policymakers must communicate regularly to the public. News organizations must report on these issues with the same frequency and intensity as they do other areas of public policy. And the people must pay attention and make their voices heard. We did it before, powerfully influencing rules about media ownership in 2003 and ensuring net neutrality in 2015. We can do it again. For us, as members of the public, and as avid media consumers, it’s time the public got interested in the public interest. Christopher Ali, Assistant Professor, Department of Media Studies, University of Virginia This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

29 марта, 01:05

House votes to revoke broadband privacy rules

House Republicans voted nearly unanimously Tuesday to revoke the FCC’s broadband privacy rules, sending legislation to the White House that would undo the federal government’s strongest-ever online privacy regulations.Republicans passed the measure 215-205 over the fierce objections of Democrats, who are widely supportive of the Obama-era regulations. Set to go into effect later this year, the rules would block internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon from using data on customers' web browsing and app habits for advertising without their consent. Telecom industry groups and Republicans have been targeting the rules for months, saying they are too strict and unfairly hold ISPs to a tougher privacy standard than that faced by web companies like Google and Facebook.“These rules are unnecessary and just another example of big government overreach,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who led the legislative effort in the House.The Senate passed the same Congressional Review Act resolution last week, and with the White House signaling its support for the measure, Republicans are poised to undo one of President Barack Obama’s top internet policy achievements. The FCC's previous Democratic majority approved the rules last October on a party-line 3-2 vote, after the agency gave itself more authority over broadband companies via its 2015 net neutrality rules. Democrats and consumer groups strongly supported the rules, hailing them as the first government regulation to truly protect internet users from companies that seek to monetize their activity. Proponents of the rules said broadband providers, which operate the pipes through which internet traffic flows, require special privacy restrictions because they have a comprehensive view into people's movements across the web — and because changing providers can be difficult."Our broadband providers know deeply personal information about us and our families," said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. "Where we are, what information we want to know, every site we visit and more."Republicans, however, called the rules an internet power grab and said they create an unfair playing field that favors tech giants like Google and Facebook, which have business models that rely heavily on user data but wouldn’t be affected by the FCC’s rules. GOP lawmakers also suggested that privacy oversight of broadband providers should be handled by the FTC, which generally affords companies more flexibility, instead of the FCC."These rules are applied unevenly, based on what type of company you are or what kind of technology you use," said Steve Scalise, the No. 3 Republican in the House.Fifteen Republicans broke ranks with House leadership and voted against the resolution, including Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), who often speak out on privacy issues. No Democrat voted for the measure.Democrats and consumer groups unsuccessfully tried to block the repeal effort, urging internet users to press Congress not to unravel them. But even with the repeal of the rules now likely, liberal groups are still trying to make Republicans pay politically for pursuing repeal. Tech activist group Fight For The Future said it will put up multiple billboards in Washington and in key districts across the country attacking congressional Republicans who voted to undo the privacy regulations."America, listen up today. There may not be that many people on the floor of the House, but this is a big one," Anna Eshoo said, describing the GOP effort as a "betrayal" of Americans on "one of the issues they care most about."FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has previously suggested he wants the FCC to have privacy rules that are more flexible and akin to the FTC’s privacy approach, and if the Obama-era rules are rescinded, Pai could launch a rulemaking to create such regulations. But in a statement following the House vote, Pai indicated that he may focus instead on returning privacy oversight to the FTC, which he could pursue by repealing the FCC's net neutrality rules."I want the American people to know that the FCC will work with the FTC to ensure that consumers’ online privacy is protected though a consistent and comprehensive framework," Pai said. "In my view, the best way to achieve that result would be to return jurisdiction over broadband providers’ privacy practices to the FTC, with its decades of experience and expertise in this area."

28 марта, 23:51

Is Comcast Planning to Relaunch TV Streaming?

According to Reuters, Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) is considering a strategic decision to rebrand its existing TV streaming service, Stream, to make it available across its footprint.

28 марта, 14:03

Republicans Are About To Let Your Internet Service Provider Share Your Web History

WASHINGTON ― The Republican-led Congress is jamming through a measure to overturn the Obama administration’s rules that would have banned telecom and cable companies from sharing customers’ personal information, including web browsing history, without their consent.   The House is expected to vote on the bill on Tuesday. Its companion passed the Senate last week on a 50-48 vote, largely on party lines. If the House passes the bill and President Donald Trump signs it into law, internet service providers will win a regulatory victory. But advocates say consumers can kiss network privacy goodbye. “ISPs will be able to sell your personal information to the highest bidder...and they won’t have any real obligation to keep your personal information secure, either,” said Gigi Sohn, who served as counselor to former Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler from November 2013 to December 2016. The FCC adopted rules last October that required companies like Comcast and Verizon to get their customers’ explicit permission before they could share “sensitive” data like Social Security numbers, information pertaining to children, or health information. Under the rules — which are not yet in effect — companies also had to tell customers and law enforcement if a potentially harmful data breach occurred. (Verizon is the parent company of The Huffington Post.) The bill uses the Congressional Review Act, which allows lawmakers to undo any regulation within 60 days of its finalization, while also barring agencies from writing a “substantially” similar rule after the original one has been overturned. That means there’s a chance the FCC might be banned from regulating ISP privacy issues in the future, said David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress, a grassroots group. Trump ran a populist campaign, but his vision for the FCC, a government agency that is supposed to protect consumers from predatory telecom and cable companies, is shaping up to be the opposite, consumer advocates say. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has also opposed the Obama administration’s privacy rules as commissioner. The rules drew concern from staff of the bureau of consumer protection at the Federal Trade Commission when they were proposed. They noted that the rules “would impose a number of specific requirements ... that would not generally apply to other services that collect and use significant amount of consumer data. This outcome is not optimal.” But the FCC “ultimately incorporated the vast majority of the FTCs suggested changes to the rules, and the FTC in fact supported the final rules,” according to Sohn.  Internet service providers say it’s not fair that they have to be subject to regulations that tech giants like Facebook and Google, which the FTC oversees, don’t have to follow. Republicans have argued in favor of a privacy framework based on the FTC’s approach. But the rules by that agency moderate industry behavior after harm occurs, according to Sohn — while the FCC’s regulations have the power to protect consumers before they are harmed. Advocates, as well as Democrats, say that it doesn’t make sense to regulate an ISP ― which has access to everything a person does online ― like Google, which only sees some of a person’s internet traffic. As a consumer, “if I don’t like the practices of Google, I can go to Bing; if I don’t like the practices of Bing, I can go to Firefox,” Wheeler told The Huffington Post. “But if I don’t like the practice of my network provider, I’m out of luck,” the former FCC chairman added. He said that “consumers have entered into a business relationship with ISPs that ISPs are now seeking to change ... [but] it’s not their information, it’s the consumers’ information. Overturning the rules would be a win for the 21st Century Privacy Coalition, a group that former Federal Trade Commission chairman Jon Leibowitz leads, which has spent millions of dollars on lobbying in the past few years and is backed by telecom companies. “I can’t tell you [the bill] is not repealing privacy regulations, it’s a pretty blunt instrument of repeal, CRA” Leibowitz told the HuffPost. But he said, “in a very partisan Washington, where often the only choices are binary, the FCC passed a very flawed regulation, one that was criticized by the FTC, my former agency.”  He argued that if the bill is enacted, the FCC can still continue to protect privacy, and can write another rule, “if that rule takes a different approach.” When asked whether he thought a repeal would improve privacy for consumers, he said only that the proposed rule will “increase costs to consumers and reduce choices, and reduce competition for privacy.” But consumer advocates aren’t buying it. “It’s special interest lobbying as usual,” said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. Segal of Demand Progress said, “these companies are just trying to exploit consumers’ data towards ends of private profit.” The bill is expected to pass, but its critics aren’t giving up hope. As of Monday, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said it was opposed to the measure and would be pushing for Congress members to vote against it. The office of Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), first vice chair of that caucus, also noted that they had received a fair amount of calls and emails in opposition to removing the rule. “Considering how much access providers already have to highly sensitive data, it is absolutely unacceptable for them to monetize personal information,” Pocan said. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday asked ISPs to weigh in on the measure. “Republicans have picked the week after Russian spies were caught hacking into half a billion American email accounts to overturn the requirement that internet service providers keep their sensitive data secured from cybercriminals,” she said.  This article has been updated with additional comment from Sohn and with comment from Pelosi.  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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28 марта, 03:27

You Probably Can’t Afford to Live in the World’s 10 Most Expensive Cities

It's hard to get by just about anywhere these days but nowhere more so than in the world's most expensive cities. Here are the top 10.

27 марта, 21:36

U.S. Senate Votes to Eliminate FCC's Broadband Privacy Rules

Recently, the U.S. Senate voted against a set of privacy rules for broadband service providers, previously proposed by the telecom regulator FCC under the democratic administration of President Obama.

27 марта, 17:10

Stock Market News for March 27, 2017

Benchmarks closed mostly in the red on Friday after Trump administration failed to get enough support among Republicans to pass the healthcare bill

27 марта, 16:03

Will Disney's Beauty and the Beast Enter $1 Billion Club?

The Walt Disney Company's (DIS) live-action remake "Beauty and the Beast" topped the charts with domestic second weekend collections of $88.3 million.