FCC approves stricter consumer privacy rules for ISPs and telcos

28 October 2016 by Steve Blum
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Secure shopping.

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 along party lines yesterday to implement privacy requirements for Internet service providers. If your ISP wants to, say, sell your web browsing history to Facebook, it will need to get your permission first. Facebook, on the other hand, will still be running under the Federal Trade Commission’s looser rules, since it’s an edge provider and isn’t regulated by the FCC.

We don’t know what the rules actually say – that’s a secret, despite the open vote – but a revised summary released afterwards clears up a few outstanding questions.… More

ISPs should need permission to sell to sell subscriber privacy

26 October 2016 by Steve Blum
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Your choice to make.

Mystery continues to swirl around privacy regulations for Internet service providers. The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote on new rules at its meeting tomorrow, but with only a vague summary released to the public, no one outside of chairman Tom Wheeler’s circle of trust knows the details. One particular issue – the ability of ISPs to share your web browsing history – bears watching.

The FCC’s summary pegs web browsing history as the sort of sensitive information that ISPs will have to keep private, unless subscribers give positive permission – opt in – to share it.… More

Privacy is absolute, security is relative. Or so FCC hints

7 October 2016 by Steve Blum
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Sûreté, non pas tant.

Internet service providers – mobile, wireline and fixed wireless – will finally have well defined privacy protection standard to meet if the Federal Communications Commission approves new rules proposed yesterday by chairman Tom Wheeler. Naturally, he only released his own summary; the actual draft rules weren’t released. The FCC keeps details of decisions secret from the public until after they vote. And until after they’ve discussed those details with deep pocketed lobbyists stakeholders.… More

Federal court sets banana peel standard for consumer data protection

7 September 2015 by Steve Blum

Not best cybersecurity practice.

Companies that let bin loads of customer data get hauled away have one more thing to worry about: being sued by the Federal Trade Commission. A federal appeals court in Philadelphia ruled that the broad authority to police “unfair methods of competition in commerce” that congress gave the FTC 100 years ago extends to cyberspace. That means the FTC can move ahead with legal action against Wyndham Hotels, which let crackers transfer data from more than 600,000 customers to a server based in Russia in 2008 and 2009.… More

If you like low pay and no privacy, the FBI has a deal for you

1 August 2015 by Steve Blum
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On the other hand, it’s probably easier to pass than the math test at Google.

If it seems like the federal government is losing the war for cyberspace, it might be because it is. And that’s due to a lack of talent in key positions, particularly at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. According to a federal justice department study, as reported by Reuters, the FBI launched what it called the Next Generation Cyber Initiative in 2012, which involved hiring 134 computer scientists and creating cybersecurity task forces at all of its 56 field offices.… More

Skating through nuclear winter

The mood was grim, taken at face value, at the Wireless Communication Alliance’s annual Venture Capital panel, held in conjunction with the Wireless Communication Association’s symposium, in San Jose on Wednesday, 5 November 2008. VCs were saying things like “nuclear winter” and “survival is the new growth”. It sounded like they were concentrating on keeping their existing portfolio companies alive, rather than investing in new ventures. The two exit routes they rely on — acquisitions and IPOs— are largely blocked right now, so they’re marking time.… More