New Australian Legislation Challenges Unbreakable Encryption

Australia passed a law that challenges the right of tech companies to sell devices with unbreakable encryption. The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018, which took effect last month, covers all devices sold in Australia. But if Apple, for example, creates a back door for its iPhones sold there, authorities in other countries previously stymied by Apple’s tough encryption could demand the same access. Australia’s law said it can’t ask a company to build universal decryption. Continue reading New Australian Legislation Challenges Unbreakable Encryption

Supreme Court Allows Case Against Google’s Mapping Project

Google has been sued for violating federal wiretapping laws by collecting personal data as part of its Street View project. The Supreme Court rejected to hear Google’s appeal regarding the class action lawsuit for secretly collecting email, passwords, and other personal info for the mapping project. The case will go forward in the lower court as Google maintains its innocence. The case highlights a rising public push for protection of privacy over data usage for commercial gain. Continue reading Supreme Court Allows Case Against Google’s Mapping Project

Twitter Acquires Gnip, Could Provide More Data to Advertisers

Twitter has agreed to purchase data partner Gnip, in a move that could lead to an expanded role by Twitter in analyzing tweets for businesses that are seeking new insights from social media. While financial terms of the deal have yet to be released, Gnip has reportedly raised $6.6 million in funding. Twitter also announced that it has hired Daniel Graf as its new product chief. Graf, an expert in mobile apps, most recently served as a director at Google where he oversaw Google Maps. Continue reading Twitter Acquires Gnip, Could Provide More Data to Advertisers

Will Networks Consider Cable or OTT Service to Combat Aereo?

CBS Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves said the network would consider launching its own over-the-top streaming TV service with other leading television networks if the Supreme Court rules that New York-based startup Aereo is allowed to continue reselling broadcast programming over the Internet without permission. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Aereo case later this year. “We are going to win either way,” Moonves said. Continue reading Will Networks Consider Cable or OTT Service to Combat Aereo?

Verizon v. FCC: Federal Appeals Court Rules on Net Neutrality

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has struck down segments of the FCC’s Open Internet rules. Ruling on Verizon v. FCC yesterday, the court has determined that the Federal Communications Commission does not have the power to require Internet service providers to treat all traffic equally. And broadband providers are free to charge companies such as Netflix and Google higher fees to deliver content faster, a cost which would likely be passed on to consumers. Continue reading Verizon v. FCC: Federal Appeals Court Rules on Net Neutrality

Broadcasters Head to Supreme Court in Battle Against Aereo

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear an appeal filed by broadcasters against the Aereo online TV service. Disney’s ABC, CBS Broadcasting, Comcast’s NBCUniversal and 21st Century Fox are among those who argue that Barry Diller-backed Aereo violates copyrights by using tiny antennas to access broadcast signals without paying fees. Media companies appealed a decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April that denied their request to shutter Aereo while legal issues are being addressed. Continue reading Broadcasters Head to Supreme Court in Battle Against Aereo

Broadcasters Want Supreme Court To Review Aereo Ruling

Television broadcasters intend to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling from a lower court involving Aereo’s continued streaming of digital broadcast signals in the New York area, according to sources with knowledge of the case. October 15th is the deadline to file the petition. Broadcasters have achieved some court victories against another startup, FilmOnX, which provides a similar service. Meanwhile, Aereo announced its service will be available for Android devices later this month. Continue reading Broadcasters Want Supreme Court To Review Aereo Ruling

Court Rules That Facebook “Like” is Constitutionally Protected

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia issued a ruling that utilizing the “Like” feature on Facebook to show support for a political candidate is protected by the Constitution. The ruling is in light of a lawsuit brought by former employees of a sheriff’s office who claim they lost their jobs after supporting their boss’s opponent, which involved a campaign on Facebook. The Virginia Court’s decision reversed an earlier decision from a lower court. Continue reading Court Rules That Facebook “Like” is Constitutionally Protected

ITC Rules in Favor of Apple, Orders Ban on Samsung Devices

We recently reported that the Obama administration had vetoed the International Trade Commission’s ban on the import of certain Apple iPhones and iPads, citing concerns of patent holders gaining “undue leverage.” The veto reversed an earlier legal victory for rival Samsung, which suffered another setback on Friday when the ITC ruled that the South Korean manufacturer had violated two of Apple’s patents — and issued an order banning the import of products using Apple’s multitouch features and headphone jack detection. Continue reading ITC Rules in Favor of Apple, Orders Ban on Samsung Devices

Viacom Takes New Tack in its Copyright Battle with YouTube

Viacom is continuing its battle with YouTube over issues of copyright infringement. After two failed attempts to resolve the long-running dispute, Viacom has filed with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, requesting another opportunity to explain its argument against the Google subsidiary. In addition, Viacom questioned the court’s interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and has made a formal request that the judge who presided over the most recent ruling be replaced. Continue reading Viacom Takes New Tack in its Copyright Battle with YouTube

Networks Continue Legal Battles with Broadcast Disruptors

Two recent legal cases are creating problems for broadcasters. A federal appeals court refused to rehear a case in which broadcasters attempted to shut down Aereo, a company that allows users to record broadcast TV online, and another appeals court declined a case to prevent Dish Network from selling its Hopper service, which allows viewers to bypass TV commercials. How broadcasters ultimately respond to the disrupters could have a major impact on television. Continue reading Networks Continue Legal Battles with Broadcast Disruptors

Fox Considering an Appeal to Supreme Court in Aereo Battle

On Tuesday, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals refused TV broadcasters’ petition to appeal an earlier ruling that Internet-streaming startup Aereo is legal in New York City. The appeal came from Fox, CBS and others. Judges were polled and a majority did not want to rehear the case, although Judge Denny Chin called Aereo a “sham” and harmful to the TV industry. Fox Broadcasting is reviewing its options and may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Continue reading Fox Considering an Appeal to Supreme Court in Aereo Battle

Broadcasters File Appeal in Response to Aereo Decision

In an appeal that potentially raises the stakes regarding the future of television, broadcasters including Fox, PBS and Univision are asking a New York appeals court to reconsider its decision that allows Barry Diller-backed startup Aereo to retransmit over-the-air TV broadcasts to mobile devices. Earlier this month, we reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York had upheld a ruling in favor of Aereo. Continue reading Broadcasters File Appeal in Response to Aereo Decision