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Anonymous Indictment Raises Serious Question: Is It Really A CFAA Violation To DDoS A Website? | Techdirt.com

Anonymous Indictment Raises Serious Question: Is It Really A CFAA Violation To DDoS A Website? | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Way back in the fall of 2010, we wrote about how it was a really dumb idea for people associating themselves with Anonymous to run a series of DDoS attacks, under the name "Operation Payback," focused on the RIAA, MPAA, US Copyright Office and other websites. The attacks were protesting attempts to take down The Pirate Bay, as well as a variety of other complaints about general acts of copyright maximalism and copyright trolling. As we noted, such attacks do a lot more harm than good. Either way, the feds have finally gotten around to indicting thirteen individuals for somehow participating in that fall spree of DDoS attacks. While the indictment tries to make it out like this is a big conspiracy, it's unclear how connected some of the various attacks are, as it appears (as is frequently the case with Anonymous) that some individuals simply chose some sites to DDoS on their own and announced they were doing it as Anonymous. It's difficult to see a conspiracy when there's no real connection.

That said, there's a much bigger question here. While DDoS attacks can be a nuisance, are they really criminal? In the midst of these attacks, we questioned if they were really criminal acts or more like the equivalent of a sit-in, in which people were disrupting a business for the sake of public protest. In fact, some people arrested for DDoS attacks have been making this claim in court -- and there was even a White House petition asking it to recognize DDoSing as a valid form of protest.


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Crowding Out Broadcasters? | Craig Johnston | TV Technology

Crowding Out Broadcasters? | Craig Johnston | TV Technology | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A Federal Communications Commission request for comment on a proposal to reserve one vacant UHF TV channel in each geographic area of the U.S. for use by unlicensed white space devices and wireless mics has unleashed criticism from an array of television industry organizations.


Joe Snelson, president of the Society of Broadcast Engineers noted that just a few years ago, the commission had issued plans to assign two dedicated channels—in most markets on each side of UHF channel 37—for wireless microphone use. “The ground rules have changed several times from the original two channels,” he said, “and it seems like it keeps moving.”


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Blandin Webinar Aug 8 : Advocacy Groups - Who are They? | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

Advocacy Groups – Who are They?
Thursday, August 13 from 3-4pm


Register Here!

Blandin Foundation’s broadband efforts have always included a dual focus. We work to spur investment in next-generation broadband infrastructure while engaging communities to adopt next generation technology applications. All for the expected outcome of enhanced community vitality. Without a network, adoption is difficult. Without adoption, investment is wasted. Our August webinar speakers will illuminate both sides of this coin.

Deb Socia is Executive Director of Next Century Cities (nextcenturycities.org) which supports community leaders across the country as they seek to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable and reliable Internet. The principles of Next Century Cities share many values including the benefits of community engagement, ubiquity, collaboration self-determination. Next Century Cities now has over 100 member communities across the country. Learn more about the efforts of Next Century Cities and the resources available through this new organization.


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Ballmer's phone blunder cost Microsoft $10 billion | Greg Keizer | NetworkWorld.com

Ballmer's phone blunder cost Microsoft $10 billion | Greg Keizer | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's decision to buy the Nokia phone business ultimately cost Microsoft $10 billion in its 2015 fiscal year.



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Leading towards Next Generation "5G" Mobile Services | Chairman Wheeler's Blog | FCC.gov

Leading towards Next Generation "5G" Mobile Services | Chairman Wheeler's Blog | FCC.gov | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Over the past decade, wireless services and technologies have dramatically evolved while shaping our economy and society. We've moved from analog to digital, from voice only services to wireless broadband, from 2G to 4G, and beyond.


The Commission has consistently fostered policies promoting wireless deployment and innovation. We have seen an extraordinary growth in demand for wireless services. We've made additional spectrum available, but also pursued a flexible use regulatory strategy that allows providers to use spectrum resources to meet their needs and to develop and deploy innovative technologies without Commission approval (of course, with necessary competitive safeguards).

Technological innovation both supports and stretches the boundaries of flexible use policies, allowing more and more uses and users to coexist. This is true of so-called "5G technologies", enabling higher-spectrum bands for mobility than previously thought possible. These higher-frequency bands are currently allocated for a variety of uses, including fixed, mobile, and satellite.


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Sprint Chairman Calls U.S. Wireless Networks "Very, Very Bad" | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Sprint Chairman Calls U.S. Wireless Networks "Very, Very Bad" | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Sprint, for perhaps the 5th time in three years, is promising a major network turnaround in the near future that will boost their network’s performance and potentially restore the wireless provider to third place in the U.S. wireless market.

Masayoshi Son, who serves as both the CEO of Japanese carrier SoftBank and chairman of Sprint proved defensive about Sprint’s performance, which recently dropped to America’s fourth largest carrier after trading places with T-Mobile, despite posting improved financial results for the quarter.

Once again, Son told investors the state of America’s wireless network coverage was downright lousy.


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No, your Mac isn’t immune to malware | Andrea Peterson | WashPost.com

No, your Mac isn’t immune to malware | Andrea Peterson | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Mac users have always been a little bit smug when it comes to cybersecurity. Apple even brought up its product's resistance to viruses and malware in the famous line of Mac vs. PC commercials from the mid 2000s. "You're lucky you don't have to deal with this stuff, Mac," John Hodgman's biohazard suit-clad PC tells a Mac played by Justin Long.

But a new worm could end the myth of Max invincibility. The hack developed by researchers Xeno Kovah and Trammell Hudson can attack the firmware of Macs and all top PC makers, according to Wired. This malware was created not by hackers but by the researchers to show that it could be done.


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TN: Chattanooga Gigabit: EPB Looking at Next-Gen PON | Joan Engebretson | Telecompetitor

TN: Chattanooga Gigabit: EPB Looking at Next-Gen PON | Joan Engebretson | Telecompetitor | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

EPB, the first U.S. company to broadly deploy gigabit service residentially, has put any plans to expand service outside its electric utility service territory on hold, said Danna Bailey, EPB vice president of corporate communications, at a press event at the company headquarters in Chattanooga yesterday.


EPB has received requests from surrounding communities, some of whom must rely on dial-up internet, to expand service. Although the FCC earlier this pre-empted a Tennessee law preventing the company from expanding, the state of Tennessee has filed its own suit which argues that the FCC did not have the authority to overturn the state law – and EPB does not plan to expand service until the issue is resolved, Bailey said.


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15 Small Telcos Could Lose USF Support: FCC Analysis Shows 100% Competitive Overlap | Joan Engebretson | Telecompetitor

15 Small Telcos Could Lose USF Support: FCC Analysis Shows 100% Competitive Overlap | Joan Engebretson | Telecompetitor | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Fifteen small U.S. rate-of-return telecom providers could lose Universal Service Fund high-cost support for an entire study area as the result of an analysis conducted by the FCC and released Wednesday.


The telcos are in areas where the FCC’s analysis shows that an unsubsidized competitor offers voice and broadband service in a manner that provides 100% overlap of the telco’s local service territory.


Broadband was defined as a terrestrial service supporting speeds of at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream.


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US: Verizon, T-Mobile agree USD173m spectrum swap | TeleGeography.com

Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US have agreed a USD173 million deal to transfer a tranche of AWS-1 and PCS spectrum licences between them in various markets across the country.


According to Fierce Wireless, the deal – which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015 – includes spectrum swaps in parts of Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia.


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Community Broadband Media Roundup - July 31 | community broadband networks

Community Broadband Media Roundup - July 31 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Two weeks ago, members of the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce committee met to discuss how they can have a hand in "Promoting Broadband Infrastructure Investment."

Next Century Cities Executive Director Deb Socia testified before members of the committee, along with several other groups and organizations.

That story leads our roundup:

  • Next Century Cities Featured in Congressional Hearing on Broadband Infrastructure Investment by Deb Socia, Next Century Cities
  • Gila River leader says lack of broadband is harming tribal, rural areas by Aubrey Rumore, Cronkite News
  • Eshoo Outlines Keys to Broadband Buildout by John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable


Community Broadband News By State


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DHS warns about privacy implications of cybersecurity bill | John Ribeiro | NetworkWorld.com

DHS warns about privacy implications of cybersecurity bill | John Ribeiro | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has warned about the privacy implications of a cybersecurity bill that is intended to encourage businesses to share information about cyberthreats with the government.


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T-Mobile has finally passed Sprint as the nation’s third-largest cell carrier | Brian Fung | WashPost.com

T-Mobile has finally passed Sprint as the nation’s third-largest cell carrier | Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

T-Mobile and Sprint have been locked in a dead-heat race in recent months over who will be the nation's third-largest carrier. Now, it appears T-Mobile has officially pulled ahead, unseating Sprint as the nation's third-biggest cell service provider.

Last month, T-Mobile said it had 58.9 million subscribers — thanks to gains spurred by its Uncarrier promotions, which offer features such as rollover data, free calls to Canada and Mexico and free international roaming.

Meanwhile, Sprint on Tuesday said it had added 675,000 subscribers in the last quarter — but it wasn't enough to keep T-Mobile at bay. The carrier ended June with 56.8 million subscribers, more than 2 million behind T-Mobile.


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Are Your Smart Devices Spying on You? | Glynis Sweeny | AlterNet.org

Are Your Smart Devices Spying on You? | Glynis Sweeny | AlterNet.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Smart devices have become the latest target in an anti-electronic backlash that has swept the nation in recent years.


Spurred by conspiracy theorists, dubious YouTube videos and social media, the public is being led to think smart devices are akin to artificial intelligence spying on our personal lives.


While there may be some concerns about electronics that capture or share consumer data, we are far from a digital Orwellian nightmare.


Let’s look at the facts behind three maligned “smart” devices.


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CEA, groups call for injunction against Mississippi probe of Google | Thomas Mocarsky | Katy on the Hill

CEA, groups call for injunction against Mississippi probe of Google | Thomas Mocarsky | Katy on the Hill | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Consumer Electronics Association, together with the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and Engine, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, asking the court to affirm a lower court’s injunction against an investigation into Google that was being conducted by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood.

The case is particularly controversial as a number of parties have alleged that Hood is in league with the Motion Picture Association of America in pressing an investigation into whether the company allows pirates to sell drugs and stolen movies through advertising and YouTube.


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FAA has approved more than 1,000 drone exemptions | Michael Cooney | NetworkWorld.com

FAA has approved more than 1,000 drone exemptions | Michael Cooney | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The exemptions fall under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 which lets the gives the Secretary of Transportation authority determine if an airworthiness certificate is required for an unmanned aircraft to operate safely in the national airspace system.


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The Martian author says Comcast let hacker take over his e-mail | Jon Brodkin | Ars Technica

The Martian author says Comcast let hacker take over his e-mail | Jon Brodkin | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Andy Weir is the creator of Mark Watney, a fictional astronaut who can solve any problem the harsh environment of Mars throws his way.

But Weir, author of The Martian, ran into a tricky problem on Earth this week when his e-mail and Twitter accounts were hacked. The culprit, he says, was a hacker who reset the password for his Comcast.net e-mail account by calling Comcast and pretending to be him. Comcast let the hacker take control of his e-mail account after asking "security questions" for which the answers were easy to find, according to Weir.

"Well I got hacked," Weir wrote on Facebook last night. "Someone compromised my e-mail account and twitter account. I don't know how they got the password. My guess is they socially engineered a password reset on my e-mail account, and the [sic] used that to do a password reset on Twitter. They also set up an e-mail forward to an account they control, so even after I changed my e-mail password they were still getting my e-mails until I found that. Whee."

Today, Weir said he found out how his e-mail account was taken over. Here's his latest update:


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Where broadband is a utility, 100Mbps costs just $40 a month | Jon Brodkin | Ars Technica

Where broadband is a utility, 100Mbps costs just $40 a month | Jon Brodkin | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

There’s been a lot of debate over whether the United States should treat Internet service as a utility. But there’s no question that Internet service is already a utility in Sandy, Oregon, a city of about 10,000 residents, where the government has been offering broadband for more than a decade.

“SandyNet” launched nearly 15 years ago with DSL and wireless service, and this summer it's putting the final touches on a citywide upgrade to fiber. The upgrade was paid for with a $7.5 million revenue bond, which will be repaid by system revenues. Despite not being subsidized by taxpayer dollars, prices are still low: $40 a month for symmetrical 100Mbps service or $60 a month for 1Gbps. There are no contracts or data caps.


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The FBI built a database that can catch rapists – almost nobody uses it | T. Christian Miller | Philly Voice

The FBI built a database that can catch rapists – almost nobody uses it | T. Christian Miller | Philly Voice | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

More than 30 years ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a revolutionary computer system in a bomb shelter two floors beneath the cafeteria of its national academy. Dubbed the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, or ViCAP, it was a database designed to help catch the nation's most violent offenders by linking together unsolved crimes. A serial rapist wielding a favorite knife in one attack might be identified when he used the same knife elsewhere. The system was rooted in the belief that some criminals' methods were unique enough to serve as a kind of behavioral DNA – allowing identification based on how a person acted, rather than their genetic make-up.

Equally as important was the idea that local law enforcement agencies needed a way to better communicate with each other. Savvy killers had attacked in different jurisdictions to exploit gaping holes in police cooperation. ViCAP's "implementation could mean the prevention of countless murders and the prompt apprehension of violent criminals," the late Sen. Arlen Specter wrote in a letter to the Justice Department endorsing the program's creation.

In the years since ViCAP was first conceived, data-mining has grown vastly more sophisticated, and computing power has become cheaper and more readily available. Corporations can link the food you purchase, the clothes you buy, and the websites you browse. The FBI can parse your emails, cellphone records and airline itineraries. In a world where everything is measured, data is ubiquitous – from the number of pieces of candy that a Marine hands out on patrol in Kandahar, to your heart rate as you walk up the stairs at work.

That's what's striking about ViCAP today: the paucity of information it contains.


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Recap: Wireless Broadband and the Future of Spectrum Policy | Kevin Taglang | Benton Foundation

Recap: Wireless Broadband and the Future of Spectrum Policy | Kevin Taglang | Benton Foundation | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Senate Commerce held a hearing, Wireless Broadband and the Future of Spectrum Policy, on Wednesday, July 29, 2015.


The aim was to explore US spectrum policy and how it could be improved to accommodate consumers' growing demands for wireless broadband. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing the federal government to free up more wireless airwaves.


Among the ideas floated by lawmakers and witnesses were proposals to incentivize federal agencies to hand over their valuable spectrum to the private sector. That could include providing more money to federal agencies to help them move their operations to different bandwidths, freeing up airwaves.


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IA: MP&W gets closer to fiber | Charles Potter | Muscatine Journal

IA: MP&W gets closer to fiber | Charles Potter | Muscatine Journal | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Muscatine Power and Water's (MP&W) Fiber to the Home project is moving forward, although a little behind schedule.

Tim Reed, MP&W's director of Utility Service Delivery, reported to the Board of Water, Electric, and Communications Trustees on Tuesday evening that the project's design phase was expected to be completed in July but will extend into October.

"The process of evaluating the vendors took a lot longer than anticipated," Reed said.


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FCC Chairman Wheeler: net neutrality rules are not chilling telco network investment | Sean Buckley | Fierce Telecom

FCC Chairman Wheeler: net neutrality rules are not chilling telco network investment | Sean Buckley | Fierce Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler maintains that the new net neutrality rules are not causing traditional telcos or cable operators to put a hold on new network investments.

Speaking to lawmakers during the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing on "Continued Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission," Wheeler said that service providers are not holding back in expanding the reach of their broadband networks.


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Peru: Backbone to connect 92% of capitals by H1 2016 | TeleGeography.com

92% of Peru’s 196 provincial capitals will have access to high speed broadband during the first half of 2016, La Republica writes, citing Minister of Transport and Communications, Jose Gallardo.


A total of 180 capitals are due to be connected via the PEN999 million (USD313.2 million) National Fibre-optic Backbone Network programme by the end of June 2016.


Connections to the first seven capitals were rolled out in March this year in Huancavelica, and went live on 12 May 2015, whilst deployments in Ayacucho, Apurimac and Ica took place last month.

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Comcast is doubling the speed of its low-cost Internet plans | Brian Fung | WashPost.com

Comcast is doubling the speed of its low-cost Internet plans | Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Comcast is rolling out a few upgrades to its Internet program for low-income consumers, doubling download speeds and, for the first time, targeting senior citizens under a Florida-based pilot project.

The $10-a-month program, Internet Essentials, will be getting a free speed bump from 5 megabits per second to 10 Mbps, which is fast enough to support multiple video streams simultaneously. That's good news for poorer Americans who increasingly rely on the Web to do homework, find jobs and use government services.


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Verizon and its Canada Geese are just begging me to fly away to AT&T or T-Mobile | Bob Brown | NetworkWorld.com

Verizon and its Canada Geese are just begging me to fly away to AT&T or T-Mobile | Bob Brown | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Verizon might just get me to switch to AT&T or T-Mobile t by using nasty Canada Geese in its latest commercial.


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Verizon workers stay on job without contract | Jack Encaranacao | Boston Herald

Unions representing 38,000 Verizon workers from Massachusetts to Virginia agreed to keep working without a contract but reserved the option to strike in a labor showdown with the telecommunications giant over job security, health care costs 
and outsourcing.

“Our members will increase their mobilization efforts and reserve the right to strike at any time,” Paul Feeney, legislative director of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2222, told the Herald last night. “We will stay on the job for now, and continue to urge Verizon to return to the table to negotiate an agreement that preserves good middle-class jobs that our communities rely on.”

The workers’ contract expired at midnight 
Saturday night.


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