Symantec Agrees to Purchase LifeLock for $2.3 Billion in Cash

Computer security company Symantec Corp. will acquire LifeLock Inc. for $2.3 billion in a deal that will broaden Symantic’s offerings beyond its antivirus software. LifeLock, which sells identity-theft protection services, currently has more than 4.4 million subscribers. “Symantec hopes to integrate LifeLock with its Norton antivirus businesses into a single product line after the acquisition closes, expected early next year,” reports The Wall Street Journal. In June, Symantec acquired Blue Coat Systems for $4.65 billion to add cyberdefense technologies to its portfolio. Earlier this year, the company “sold its Veritas data-storage unit to Carlyle Group for $7.4 billion.” Continue reading Symantec Agrees to Purchase LifeLock for $2.3 Billion in Cash

WhatsApp Messaging Service Launches Encryption Protection

WhatsApp, currently one of the most popular messaging services in the world, wants to make it nearly impossible for anyone to snoop on its users. The company announced that it is taking privacy a step further by implementing end-to-end encryption for its 600 million users. This is considered to be one of the largest deployments of this type of encryption, which scrambles messages so that even the company doesn’t have access to its users’ unique cryptographic keys. Continue reading WhatsApp Messaging Service Launches Encryption Protection

AT&T to Pay $105 Million to Settle Accusations of ‘Cramming’

AT&T will pay $105 million to settle accusations that it billed hundreds of millions of dollars in bogus third-party charges to its wireless subscribers. The settlement is the latest in a number of similar moves by regulators to curtail mobile “cramming” — the practice of charging fees for third-party services that subscribers did not order. A similar case against T-Mobile is still pending. The AT&T settlement marks the largest to-date against a specific carrier for cramming. Continue reading AT&T to Pay $105 Million to Settle Accusations of ‘Cramming’

Apple’s Open Letter Explains Privacy Tips, Security Methods

Following the iCloud security breach involving controversial celebrity photos, Apple is trying to regain consumer trust by encouraging users to utilize their new and pre-existing security features. The company revealed how it encrypts messages and offered tips for protecting user data in a newly-launched website. In the open letter, Apple CEO Tim Cook takes a swing at Google for monetizing users’ private data and reassures Apple users that their data is safe from the government. Continue reading Apple’s Open Letter Explains Privacy Tips, Security Methods

Yelp and TinyCo Face Fines After Violating Children’s Privacy

The Federal Trade Commission announced yesterday that game maker TinyCo agreed to pay $300,000 to settle charges that it violated children’s privacy rules by improperly collecting information. The company was accused of violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). In a separate case, Yelp agreed to pay a $450,000 penalty for doing the same through its consumer review app. Both companies were charged with collecting personal info from children under 13 without parental consent. Continue reading Yelp and TinyCo Face Fines After Violating Children’s Privacy

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

Congress: Should the First Sale Rule Include Digital Goods?

This week, publishing executives, technology leaders, and public interest groups gave testimony regarding ownership of purchased digital goods. The “first sale” rule currently allows people to resell or lend out physical goods like music and books, while this law does not cover digital goods, such as those sold by Amazon and Apple. Post-testimony, the House Judiciary Committee remained skeptical that property rights of physical goods should extend to the digital world. Continue reading Congress: Should the First Sale Rule Include Digital Goods?

Kaleidescape Settles 10-Year Legal Battle with the DVD CCA

DVD server manufacturer Kaleidescape has ended its lengthy legal battle with the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA), the not-for-profit organization that governs copyright protection of DVDs. The organization sued Kaleidescape in 2004 for creating DVD servers that encourage users to illegally rip copyrighted movies. Shortly after a joint notice of settlement was filed, the Superior Court of California, Santa Clara, noted a “voluntary dismissal” of the case, and determined on Monday, “Case complete.” Continue reading Kaleidescape Settles 10-Year Legal Battle with the DVD CCA

Reset the Net: Campaign Opposes Mass Internet Surveillance

More than twenty tech companies and civil liberties groups have started a coalition to fight the National Security Agency’s mass Internet surveillance programs. On June 5, these groups will participate in a “Reset the Net” day of action by posting the campaign’s splash screen on websites and mobile apps. The coalition is distributing free privacy protection software tools to users and calling on developers to add NSA resistant features to sites and apps. Continue reading Reset the Net: Campaign Opposes Mass Internet Surveillance

Government Considers Limits on Customer Data Collection

As the next step in the ongoing privacy debate sparked by the actions of Edward Snowden, the White House has released a report that recommends the government create limits on how companies make use of the information they gather online from customers. The report’s chief author is John Podesta, a senior White House adviser. Private companies fear a government initiative that could regulate how they profit from data gathered through mobile communication and Internet surfing habits. Continue reading Government Considers Limits on Customer Data Collection

Labels File Copyright Suit Against Pandora Under State Law

Major record labels Sony, Universal and Warner Music, along with indie label ABKCO, filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan last week, claiming that streaming music service Pandora is violating New York’s common-law copyright protections by using songs recorded prior to 1972 without licenses. The suit acknowledges that older songs are not protected under federal copyright, but contends that Pandora needs permission to use them under state law. Continue reading Labels File Copyright Suit Against Pandora Under State Law

MPAA Joins W3C to Help Standardize Video Copy Protection

In an effort to join the official conversation on how to come up with a solution for copy protection of videos on the Web, the Motion Picture Association of America has joined the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which makes official decisions on Web standards like HTML. A new HTML component allows websites to host video directly on their sites instead of having to use a video tag, which doesn’t enable copy protection. Some, however, don’t care for the new approach. Continue reading MPAA Joins W3C to Help Standardize Video Copy Protection

Vacuum Sealed Protection for Smartphones That Also Floats

A new version of the DryCASE for smartphones and larger sizes for tablets was introduced at CES by Dry Corp. If you grew up by the sand and water you’ll appreciate how this crystal clear vacuum bag can both protect your phone from the elements and save it from a watery grave. Learning the hard way that anything in a pocket seems destined to end up 100 feet below the surface, this case and it’s armband supply both protection and flotation. So even if it’s not stowed on your arm it will bob to the surface. Continue reading Vacuum Sealed Protection for Smartphones That Also Floats

Redstone Boldly Promises to Provide Gigabit Wireless Internet

Florida-based Redstone is claiming that it can deliver fast, gigabit wireless Internet access that will be cheap, fast and revolutionary. Using technology developed for the military and NASA, the company claims its single wireless switch can deliver Internet connectivity with a three-mile radius, which may soon make it possible to provide connectivity to entire cities. Some experts are doubtful, however, because the company has no public patents for any such technology. Continue reading Redstone Boldly Promises to Provide Gigabit Wireless Internet

Hollywood Executives Discuss Piracy with President Obama

Entertainment media execs met with President Obama this week to discuss including copyright protections in new trade agreements and help in facilitating improved relations between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. During the meeting, the president offered his administration’s assistance in bridging the divide between the two industries. A priority in Hollywood is to stop search engines from linking to websites that stream pirated content. Continue reading Hollywood Executives Discuss Piracy with President Obama

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