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EdTechResearcher » Will Free Benefit the Rich?

EdTechResearcher » Will Free Benefit the Rich? | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Today I have a video op-ed up on the Harvard Graduate School of Education website, where I address some of my concerns about the role of education technology in expanding educational inequalities. Here’s the video, and I’ll expand on my concerns below:

 

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Whether Or Not Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood Is In Hollywood's Pocket, He Sure Doesn't Understand Free Speech Or The Internet | Mike Masnick | Techdirt

Whether Or Not Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood Is In Hollywood's Pocket, He Sure Doesn't Understand Free Speech Or The Internet | Mike Masnick | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We already discussed the rather unbelievable (in that they are, literally, unbelievable) claims from Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood that he didn't know he was working with the MPAA's top outside lawyer when he had that same lawyer, Tom Perrelli of Jenner & Block, spend time prepping him for a meeting with Google in which he attacked Google's practices, and further when he signed his name to a ~4,000 word letter to Google that Perrelli wrote, attacking Google's practices.


He just assumed that Perrelli -- who probably charges more per hour than you can possibly imagine -- was doing it to help Hood out, rather than for a client. And he expects everyone to believe that, even though at the same time Hood himself had called one of the MPAA's top lobbyists to discuss Google.


And, further, he doesn't appear to think there's anything wrong that his political mentor, Mike Moore, who helped get him his job as Attorney General (Moore was in that job before Hood), just happened to take a cushy lobbying job paid for by Hollywood companies right around the same time. It's all a giant coincidence.

But if Hood is going to take a step back and reflect on just how bad this looks, he sure isn't showing it.


Instead, he's coming out swinging, holding a press conference in which he appears focused on revealing his own ignorance of the law and technology (with a special focus on his vast desire to censor the internet -- and anyone who criticizes him).


This was held yesterday, prior to Google's filing this morning challenging Hood's subpoena (the one the MPAA knew was coming).


While the Google filing discussed in that previous post detailed many of the problems with Hood's legal theories, the press conference displayed an astounding lack of understanding of the law, of search engines and of basic technology.


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CBS Blames Netflix For Its Own Secrecy Over Streaming Video Numbers | Karl Bode | Techdirt.com

CBS Blames Netflix For Its Own Secrecy Over Streaming Video Numbers | Karl Bode | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

After spending the last few years suing the hell out of every and any disruptive TV innovation on the horizon (from Dish's Hopper to Aereo), CBS recently announced the launch of its own "All Access" streaming video service.


The service, only available in 14 metro markets, lets users view CBS content the day after it airs on traditional television -- with advertisements included. It's a somewhat shaky value proposition, and when pushed this month to disclose how many subscribers the service has signed up since its October launch, CBS CEO Les Moonves not only refused to get specific, he felt the need to throw a jab at Netflix:

"Moonves would say only that CBS All Access was “ahead of projections,” but acknowledged that could mean as few as 10 subscribers...I've been extremely impressed with the product,” he said, adding that its subscriber base would grow as more affiliates sign up to provide a live feed of their stations’ programming over broadband...Pressed for a hard number of subscribers, Moonves replied, "When Netflix tells you how many people are watching House of Cards, we’ll tell you how many subscribers we have."

It should be fairly obvious that when you're a subscription service, ratings matter less than when you're a traditional broadcaster dealing with advertisers, but this faux outrage at Netflix secrecy was the tone CBS took for much of last week. Case in point is CBS's chief researcher David Poltrack, who couldn't help taking shots at Netflix's original series viewership numbers:


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Sony Baloney | Jon Oltsik | NetworkWorld.com

Sony Baloney | Jon Oltsik | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As an information security analyst, I’ve been following the cyberattack details at Sony Pictures for some time now, just as I followed other events (i.e. Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase, Staples, UPS, etc.) earlier this year.


Yup, each of these events received its fair share of publicity, but nowhere near the amount of press that Sony is getting. Maybe it’s the Hollywood angle, maybe it’s the intrigue of geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, or maybe it’s the general impression that this hack is juxtaposed to our first amendment rights.


Whatever the reason, it’s big. I participated in a webinar yesterday with security guru Bruce Schneier (CTO of Co3), focused on security predictions for 2015. The Sony Pictures cyberattack dominated the conversation, and we both agreed that we could have discussed it for hours more.

Now, in some ways, all of the Sony Pictures attention is good, as it shines a spotlight on cybersecurity issues to an unprecedented degree. I guess when Hollywood is involved, you are bound to get the Paparazzi effect. That said, the Sony hack has ignited a new level of cybersecurity hype bordering on hysteria. The mainstream media is approaching the Sony hack with a naïve perspective and bellicose rhetoric simultaneously.


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FCC Mysteriously Lost Hundreds of Thousands Net Neutrality Comments | Adam Clark Estes | Gizmodo.com

FCC Mysteriously Lost Hundreds of Thousands Net Neutrality Comments | Adam Clark Estes | Gizmodo.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As the Sony hack makes internet regulation a top priority, startling new revelations about how the FCC handled public comments on net neutrality just came in. New analysis of the data the FCC recently released about the process shows that the agency lost and/or ignored a whole bunch public comments. How many is a whole bunch? Oh, about 340,000.

Fight for the Future, a pro-net neutrality group, just announced a pretty major discrepancy in the number of comments it helped submit. In total, the organization helped drive 777,364 commenters to post on the FCC's antiquated comment site. Fight for the Future CTO Jeff Lyon says that "at least 244,811 [comments] were missing from the data" recently released by the FCC. On top of that, a new Sunlight Foundation study found that 95,000 of the comments the FCC did release were duplicates.

Why does this matter? Well, the Sunlight Foundation study concluded that anti-net neutrality comments dominated the dataset. There was talk of a "shadowy" Koch Brothers group that succeeded in driving half of the total number of comments, leading to the conclusion that some 60 percent of those who commented actually opposed net neutrality. Then, of course, served as fuel for pundits to argue how Americans didn't want net neutrality, which seems incorrect at best.

The Sunlight Foundation admitted that there were some discrepancies in the data. The FCC also admitted to Jeff Lyons that nearly a quarter of a million comments were indeed missing from the data it released. Lyons wondered, "As of right now, the failure point is still unclear: Did the FCC simply fail to export these comments, or did they actually fail to process them in the first place?"


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WunderBar sensor kit gets notifications app for broader appeal | David Meyer | GigaOM Tech News

WunderBar sensor kit gets notifications app for broader appeal | David Meyer | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The open-source WunderBar kit is a distinctive attempt to get app developers to shift their attention to the internet of things. It takes the form of a chocolate bar, the individual pieces of which can be broken off, with each piece containing different sensor functionality, such as temperature and humidity, sound, light and proximity, and motion, and with low-energy Bluetooth tying the system together.

Whereas other systems like Spark and LittleBits are more geared toward people who like to fiddle around with little wires, WunderBar firm Relayr specifically targets app developers who are only starting to think about hardware. The system comes with software development kits (SDKs) for Android and iOS, and months after launch there are already interesting ideas springing up, such as InsulinAngel’s temperature-sensing capsule for the kits diabetics have to carry around (you don’t want the insulin to spoil) and BabyBico, a system that uses Wunderbar’s accelerometer and sound sensor to monitor babies’ sleeping patterns.

But Berlin-based Relayr, which has an international distribution deal with German electronics retailer Conrad, wants to broaden WunderBar’s appeal. To that end, on Thursday it released a new app called TellMeWhen, which makes it easy for WunderBar owners to get simple notifications when, for example, the proximity sensor is activated, or when the accelerometer and gyroscope detect movement, or when the temperature sensor’s environment gets too hot or cold.


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Obama: Sony 'made a mistake' in bowing to threats over movie | Jennifer Epstein | POLITICO.com

Obama: Sony 'made a mistake' in bowing to threats over movie | Jennifer Epstein | POLITICO.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

President Barack Obama said Friday that Sony erred in choosing not to release “The Interview” amid cyber threats that have been linked to North Korea.

“Yes I think they made a mistake,” he said at his year-end news conference at the White House.

“We cannot have a society in which a dictator in some place can start imposing censorship in the United States,” he said. If a leader like North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un is able to inspire such concern over a “satirical movie,” the president said, “imagine what they start doing” with undesirable documentaries or news reports.

“I wish they’d spoken to me first,” he added. “I would have told them: Do not get into the pattern in which you are intimidated.”


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We won! Here are the top 3 ways Big Telecom will face financial penalties if they break the rules. | Josh Tabish | OpenMedia.ca

We won! Here are the top 3 ways Big Telecom will face financial penalties if they break the rules. | Josh Tabish | OpenMedia.ca | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Our small team here at Open Media have been clinking our coffee mugs after this morning’s announcement of new powers that will allow the government to impose financial penalties on Big Telecom giants that break the rules and mistreat Canadians.


And we’re talking BIG penalties: up to $10 million per infraction on a first offence, up to $15 million per infraction for subsequent offences. This is huge.

The decision comes in response to a key request made by the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who participated in our crowdsourced Casting An Open Internet action plan. In the plan, we called on government to create powers that would allow them to level penalties against companies who violate rules designed to protect Canadian Internet users. And now, to uncover how this impacts you, please check out the list below:


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Uruguay: Antel connects 500,000 homes with fibre | TeleGeography.com

Uruguay’s national telecoms operator Administracion Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Antel) has achieved its target of connecting 500,000 households to its high speed fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network by year-end, the company’s president Carolina Cosse is quoted by Subrayado as saying.


Last year the state-owned company said it will invest USD1.112 billion in its operations by 2017, around USD727 million of which will be spent on its access network, including the rollout and expansion of its FTTH infrastructure.


TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that China’s ZTE was selected in September 2011 to build Antel’s national FTTH network and the first home was connected to the infrastructure one month later.


Services are marketed under the brand ‘Vera en tu Hogar’, with plans for residential users ranging in price from UYU690 (USD33.8) per month for the entry-level 20Mbps downstream connection to UYU1,590 per month for the top-end 120Mbps/12Mbps download/upload plan.

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T-Mo takes bigger byte of Big Apple; adds NYC to Wideband LTE footprint | TeleGeography.com

T-Mobile US has expanded its commercial ‘Wideband LTE’ upgraded 4G network throughout the greater New York City metro area, boosting maximum mobile data speeds by up to 50% to 100Mbps-110Mbps.


In addition to Manhattan, Wideband LTE now covers T-Mobile customers in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island and Northern New Jersey. Westchester County, including White Plains and Scarsdale as well as Central New Jersey will be added soon.


T-Mobile’s Wideband LTE is now available in 27 major markets and 120 metros (metropolitan statistical areas).

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FCC: Mobile Wireless Market Highly Concentrated | John Eggerton | Multichannel

FCC: Mobile Wireless Market Highly Concentrated | John Eggerton | Multichannel | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC's Wireless Bureau Thursday released its annual report on how competition in the mobile wireless industry, as well as a declaratory ruling on the commercially reasonable standard for data roaming agreements -- the standard a court advised the FCC it could apply to discrimination in new network neutrality rules.

The fact that both those were issues at the bureau level, rather than voted on by the full commission, did not sit well with the two Republican commissioners.

Though the report does not make a finding about whether or not the marketplace is effectively competitive, given that there is no agreed-on definition of the same, it does say: "The mobile wireless marketplace continues to be highly concentrated: The top two providers – Verizon and AT&T – had almost 70% of nationwide market share and total service," the 17th edition of the report, covering 2013 and much of 2014, concludes.

The report also finds that mobile broadband speeds are increasing, LTE (next-generation mobile) coverage is growing, data allowances are increasing and subscriptions and revenues are growing.

The FCC has been attempting to boost that competition, including through bidding rules on its AWS-3 auction and upcoming broadcast incentive auction.


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AT&T Uncorks 75-Meg U-verse Tier | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com

AT&T Uncorks 75-Meg U-verse Tier | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Following recent upgrades, AT&T has booted up a new U-verse broadband tier that pumps out 75 Mbps downstream in “select areas” of Monterey and Sacramento, Calif.; Toledo, Ohio; and El Paso, Texas.

The introductory price for the new offering, which is paired with an 8 Mbps upstream path, starts at $74.95 per month as a stand-alone service, and as low as $39.95 per month when bundled with other AT&T services.

Next year, AT&T plans to expand availability of that faster tier in those initial markets and across the 21 states where AT&T offers high-speed Internet service today, Bob Bickerstaff, AT&T’s VP of voice & data products, noted in this blog post.

The initial wave of upgrades will hit markets served by Comcast (Monterey and Sacramento), Buckeye CableSystem (Toledo), and Time Warner Cable (El Paso).

Bickerstaff said the new 75 Mbps offering, which is enabled through upgrades delivered via a new 17 MHz signal, twice the original 8.5 MHz that was used, “isn’t just designed for techies and online gaming enthusiasts…Speeds up to 75Mbps are ideal for homes with multiple devices and for gaming and streaming video.”


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Tech firms tussle with DOJ over the right to say ‘zero’ | Ellen Nakashima | WashPost.com

Tech firms tussle with DOJ over the right to say ‘zero’ | Ellen Nakashima | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A growing number of technology companies seeking to promote transparency have been testing the limits of new government guidelines on how they can disclose national security orders for their customers’ data.

Over the past year or so, about a dozen online and communications firms have reported that they have never received such a request, effectively breaching the spirit if not the letter of government guidance issued in January intended to make it more difficult for would-be terrorists or spies to identify services that could be used to evade detection. Their decisions have frustrated U.S. officials, even as they privately acknowledge there is little they have been able to do about it.

The right to report zero is part of a broader tussle between the private sector and the government over transparency and the proper boundary between free speech and national security.

In October, Twitter sued the government, charging that its First Amendment rights were squelched when the Justice Department blocked it from publishing a transparency report that sought to disclose the specific number of orders it had received and the fact that the number was limited. The firm also alleged that preventing a company from reporting “zero” national security requests is an unconstitutional restraint on speech.

The guidelines take the form of an agreement reached with five major tech companies that allowed for reporting of government national security requests in broad ranges, such as 0-999. There is no “zero” option.


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White House Promotes Title II Via Social Media | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

White House Promotes Title II Via Social Media | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Add the White House to those who are using social media to encourage the FCC to reclassify Internet access under Title II regulations. And the President's message to the FCC is pretty specific: Title II reclassification, apply network neutrality regs to mobile broadband and prevent paid prioritization.

The White House is featuring network neutrality prominently on its home page, including the video President Obama made promoting Title II, the same plan expanded upon in a statement on virtual White House letterhead, and a request to spread the word via social media.

"President Obama is asking the FCC to keep the Internet open and free. Help spread the word—share his plan with your friends and followers," says the White House, then directing readers to use the featured "Facebook" and Twitter" buttons.

In that statement, the President likens broadband access to phone service and says the same philosophy applied to calls—that they reliably go through—should apply to packets of data.

The following is the plan the White House wants to promote via social media, which includes the President's argument for why the FCC should treat ISPs like terminating monopolies in need of tough government regulations to prevent them from "restrict[ing] the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas."


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Google Files Legal Challenge To Attorney General Jim Hood's Subpoenas | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com

Google Files Legal Challenge To Attorney General Jim  Hood's Subpoenas | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

This story sure escalated in a hurry. Following all the news of the MPAA's tight relationship with Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, Google has made a filing in a Mississippi federal court seeking seeking a temporary restraining order and an injunction against Hood's investigation. As the filing notes:

For the last eighteen months, the Mississippi Attorney General has threatened to prosecute, sue, or investigate Google unless it agrees to block from its search engine, YouTube video-sharing site, and advertising systems, third-party content (i.e., websites, videos, or ads not created by Google) that the Attorney General deems objectionable. When Google did not agree to his demands, the Attorney General retaliated, issuing an enormously burdensome subpoena and asserting that he now has “reasonable grounds to believe” that Google has engaged in “deceptive” or “unfair” trade practice under the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act (MCPA), which allows for both civil and criminal sanctions. The Attorney General did so despite having publicly acknowledged in a letter to Congressional leaders that “federal law prevents State and local law enforcement agencies from prosecuting” Internet platforms. The Attorney General took these actions following a sustained lobbying effort from the Motion Picture Association of America.

As Google explains, there is no legal basis for this investigation:


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A Look At North Korea's Cyberwar Capabilities | Yourkyung Lee | HuffPost.com

A Look At North Korea's Cyberwar Capabilities | Yourkyung Lee | HuffPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Most North Koreans have never seen the Internet.

But the country Washington suspects is behind a devastating hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has managed to orchestrate a string of crippling cyber infiltrations of South Korean computer systems in recent years, officials in Seoul believe, despite North Korea protesting innocence.

Experts say the Sony Pictures hack may be the costliest cyberattack ever inflicted on an American business. The fallout from the hack that exposed a trove of sensitive documents, and this week escalated to threats of terrorism, forced Sony to cancel release of the North Korean spoof movie "The Interview." The studio's reputation is in tatters as embarrassing revelations spill from tens of thousands of leaked emails and other company materials.

Despite widespread poverty, malnutrition and decades of crippling U.S.-led economic sanctions, Pyongyang has poured resources into training thousands of hackers who regularly target bitter rival Seoul.

A look at the country's suspected capabilities and where experts believe the authoritarian nation is heading with its cyber program:


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Anchor Districts are the new engines of job creation, and that's a good thing for cities | Christine McBurney | FreshWaterCleveland

Anchor Districts are the new engines of job creation, and that's a good thing for cities | Christine McBurney | FreshWaterCleveland | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

"In two thirds of America’s 100 largest cities, anchor institutions such as universities and hospitals are the largest employers." That statistic comes from the Anchor District Council, a trade and advocacy group comprised of community service corporations, hospitals, universities and institutions and companies in anchor districts.

What is an anchor district? It can be defined as a geographic area with a density of institutions like universities and hospitals that are considered fixed "anchors" in a neighborhood because, well, it’s hard to move a collection of 100-year-old buildings. More importantly, however, these anchors stabilize their communities through activities such as creative placemaking and job creation.

Cleveland’s own anchor district community is not downtown. It’s “uptown,” where it’s been since the early 20th century. University Circle is the area where many healthcare institutions, arts and culture organizations and universities cluster and connect with large businesses, small firms, startups, incubators and accelerators. It's the hotbed of Cleveland’s “eds and meds” where institutions such as Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals work closely and collaboratively to conduct research and spur innovation.

A recent story in CityLab, “How Anchor Instititions like Hospitals and Universities Can Help Cities,” refers to these institutions as “economic powerhouses.” Tanvi Misra writes: “Universities represent three percent of the national economic output and employ more than 3 million people. Hospitals employ even more: Five million. One in eight universities and one in 15 hospitals are located in inner cities.”

It is these institutions, often located in anchor districts, that are adding jobs at an impressively fast clip. In part, this is because the healthcare sector, in particular, is rapidly expanding. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics Employment Projections, "Occupations and industries related to health care are projected to add the most new jobs between 2012 and 2022. Total employment is projected to increase 10.8 percent, or 15.6 million, during the decade."

University Circle Inc. (UCI) Marketing Manager David Razum says that although the numbers aren't all in, early data suggests that anchors may be creating jobs at a faster rate than traditional downtowns. "During this last recession, the fields of healthcare and education continued to grow jobs nationally at about 8-9 percent," he says. Whereas traditional downtowns are just now bouncing back from the recession, anchor districts have never really stopped growing.


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Trojan program based on ZeuS targets 150 banks, can hijack webcams | Lucian Constantin | NetworkWorld.com

Trojan program based on ZeuS targets 150 banks, can hijack webcams | Lucian Constantin | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A new computer Trojan based on the infamous ZeuS banking malware is targeting users of over 150 banks and payment systems from around the world, security researchers warn.

The new threat, dubbed Chthonic, is based on ZeusVM, a Trojan program discovered in February that is itself a modification of the much older ZeuS Trojan.

“The Trojan is apparently an evolution of ZeusVM, although it has undergone a number of significant changes,” security researchers from antivirus vendor Kaspersky Lab said in a blog post. “Chthonic uses the same encryptor as Andromeda bots, the same encryption scheme as Zeus AES and Zeus V2 Trojans, and a virtual machine similar to that used in ZeusVM and KINS malware.”

Like ZeuS, Chthonic’s main feature is the ability to surreptitiously modify banking websites when opened by victims on their computers. This technique, commonly known as Web injection, is used to add rogue Web forms on banking websites that ask victims for sensitive information, like credit card details or second-factor authorization codes.

However, Chthonic has a modular architecture that allows cybercriminals to extend the Trojan’s functionality. The Kaspersky Lab researchers found Chthonic modules designed to collect system information, steal locally stored passwords, log keystrokes, allow remote connections to the computer through VNC, use the infected computer as a proxy server and record video and sound through the computer’s webcam and microphone.

According to Kaspersky Lab, there are several Chthonic-based botnets with different configurations, suggesting the malware is being used by different groups.


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As Hollywood Funds a SOPA Revival Through State Officials, Google (And The Internet) Respond | Parker Higgins | EFF.org

As Hollywood Funds a SOPA Revival Through State Officials, Google (And The Internet) Respond | Parker Higgins | EFF.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Almost two years ago, millions of Internet users joined together to defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act, a disastrous bill that would have balkanized the Internet in the name of copyright and trademark enforcement.


Over the past week, we've been tracking a host of revelations about an insidious campaign to accomplish the goals of SOPA by other means. The latest development: Google has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block enforcement of an overbroad and punitive subpoena seeking an extraordinary quantity of information about the company and its users. The subpoena, Google warns, is based on legal theories that could have disastrous consequences for the open Internet.

The subpoena is was issued after months of battles between Google and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood. According to the lawsuit, Hood has been using his office to pressure Google to restrict content accessible through the search engine. Indeed, among other things, he sought "a “24-hour link through which attorneys general[]” can request that links to particular websites be removed from search results "within hours,” presumably without judicial review or an opportunity for operators of the target websites to be heard." As Google states, "The Attorney General may prefer a pre-filtered Internet—but the Constitution and Congress have denied him the authority to mandate it."

The subpoena itself is bad enough, but here's what's really disturbing: the real force behind it appears to be the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which has been quietly supporting state-level prosecutors in various efforts to target the company and the open Internet.


The clear aim of that campaign—dubbed "Project Goliath" in MPAA emails made public through the recent high profile breach of Sony's corporate network—is to achieve the goals of the defeated Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) blacklist proposal without the public oversight of the legislative process. Previously, Google had responded with a sharply worded notice and a petition titled #ZombieSOPA.

According to Google, the MPAA intended to use the state prosecutors' offices to bring about the aims of SOPA after the bill's embarrassing public defeat nearly three years ago.


In January 2012, legislators quickly distanced themselves from SOPA after a widespread online "blackout" campaign drew attention to the way the proposed law could be misused for censoring lawful speech.


In addition, EFF helped coordinate a series of letters signed by prominent computer scientists explaining how the proposed blacklist technique—censoring at the DNS level—could undermine the fundamental architecture of the Internet, destabilizing core components in an ill considered effort to reduce copyright infringement.

The MPAA learned a lesson from that campaign, but it appears it was the wrong one. Instead of recognizing that an online blacklist was a fundamentally unworkable idea, they decided that it could only be pushed in secrecy. In one email, MPAA's Global General Counsel Steven Fabrizio includes a section titled "Technical Analyses," that suggests they did not seriously consider the technical concerns highlighted during the SOPA backlash:


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EU-Canada Trade Agreement May Be Incompatible With EU Law | Glyn Moody | Techdirt.com

EU-Canada Trade Agreement May Be Incompatible With EU Law | Glyn Moody | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Just as it did with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), Germany is leading the fight against both TAFTA/TTIP and the recently-concluded trade agreement between the EU and Canada (CETA).


That's clear from the fact that of the 1,115,000 European citizens who have signed an online petition calling for both TTIP and CETA to be dropped, 673,000 come from Germany. The most powerful anti-TTIP organisation, Campact, is also based in Germany, and points us to this legal analysis of CETA, and the extent to which it may be incompatible with EU and German law (pdf):

The following opinion assesses whether this "CETA Consolidated Text" of August 5th, 2014 complies with EU and [German] constitutional law. The opinion is limited to some selected regulatory fields of CETA. It does not claim to be exhaustive, but focuses on those provisions that dominate public discussion.

It's rigorous stuff and pretty dry, but the conclusions are clear enough. For example, it confirms that CETA is a "mixed agreement." That means it must be ratified by the EU and every one of the 28 Member States -- a much higher hurdle to clear than just EU approval. It identifies the corporate sovereignty provisions -- "investor-state dispute settlement" -- as a problem:


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Peru: Cablecos jump ship to FTTH | TeleGeography.com

More than 50% of Peru’s cable operators have started migrating to a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) platform in 2014, Produ writes, citing Ovidio Rueda, the president of the Peruvian Cable TV Association (Asociacion Peruana de Television por Cable, APTC).


The official was quoted as saying: ‘Our organisation is fully committed to deliver more and better services with total quality.’


Rueda added that the APTC’s members have signed agreements to combat piracy and ‘informality’ – the latter referring to the practice of operators deliberately under-reporting subscriber numbers to avoid paying higher fees.

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Brazil: TIM Brasil, Xtera deploy 100G aerial network in North, Centre West | TeleGeography.com

Cellco TIM Brasil, in partnership with Xtera, has upgraded its transmission infrastructure linking Manaus, Porto Velho and Cuiaba to 100Gbps, as part of a project to add 100G traffic in a large ring in the northern part of Brazil, representing about 50% of the whole Brazilian territory.


Xtera deployed Tim Brasil’s first 100G network sections in 2013 (in the Amazon region and a link to the Fortaleza submarine network landing point).


The latest deployment saw 2,655km of high-capacity aerial fibre lit across Brazil’s North and Centre West regions (1,010km from Manaus to Porto Velho and 1,645km from Porto Velho to Cuiaba) in a region that the press release notes is ‘fast growing and hungry for more bandwidth’.

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Senators Warren, Markey, and Baldwin Demand Answers from USTR on Backdoor Financial Deregulation in the TPP | DailyKos.com

Senators Warren, Markey, and Baldwin Demand Answers from USTR on Backdoor Financial Deregulation in the TPP | DailyKos.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

On Tuesday, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) sent a letter to US Trade Representative Michael Froman demanding answers about backdoor financial deregulation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The senators highlight three parts of the TPP that could undermine current and future efforts to regulate Wall Street and prevent another financial crisis:

(1) Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), which allows foreign companies or investors to sue governments for losses in expected profits

(2) "Market access" provisions that could prohibit restrictions on predatory financial products, like risky forms of derivatives

(3) Limitations on governments' ability to impose capital controls, which could stymie efforts to prevent future financial crises as well as efforts to pass a financial transaction tax

The senators asked USTR Michael Froman to respond to their questions, with negotiating text documentation, by January 6th.

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Windstream Modifies REIT Plans | Mike Farrell | Multichannel.com

Windstream Modifies REIT Plans | Mike Farrell | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Windstream Holdings announced some changes to its planned real estate investment truct, telling shareholders Thursday that it plans to retain a 19.9% interest in the new entity, and distribute the remaining 80.1% to shareholders.

The company had previously planned to distribute the entire REIT to shareholders when it first announced plans in July. Windstream plans to place fiber and copper plant and fixed real estate assets in the REIT, which should give its substantial tax savings.

In a statement, Windstream said the retained shares would be sold opportunistically during the 12-months after the spin-off to help retire debt.

“Given the importance of the REIT formation to Windstream’s future performance, the Board of Directors and I are intently focused on completing the spinoff, and it remains a strategic priority,” Windstream CEO Tony Thomas said in a statement. “This refined structure allows Windstream to reach our leverage goals faster to strengthen our competitive position, which we believe is appropriate and prudent given the fast changing telecom industry and rapidly evolving customer needs. By improving Windstream’s credit profile, the REIT benefits from having a financially stronger anchor tenant and retains the financial flexibility to grow and return capital to its shareholders.”


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Pew: Majority See No Secure Privacy Regime By 2025 | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

Pew: Majority See No Secure Privacy Regime By 2025 | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A slight majority of tech experts polled by Pew say they don't expect that there will be a "secure, popularly accepted and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025" within the next 10 years.

That is according to the a survey conducted by Pew Research Center and Elon University's Imagining the Internet Center.

The breakdown was 55% saying no and 45% saying yes. The survey polled 2,511 "technology builders, researchers, managers, policymakers, marketers, analysts and those who have been insightful respondents in previous studies," and only those who opted in to an invitation to weigh in on the future of privacy.

“The vast majority of experts agree that people who operate online are living in an unprecedented condition of ubiquitous surveillance,” said Lee Rainie, a co-author of the report and director of the Pew Research Internet Project, in unveiling the survey.

The presumption is that personal data is now the "raw material" of the knowledge economy and that the challenge is to look at the future of privacy "in light of the technological change, ever-growing monetization of digital encounters, and shifting relationship of citizens and their governments that is likely to extend through the next decade."


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Moffett: FCC OTT Reclassification Not 'Huge' Deal | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

Moffett: FCC OTT Reclassification Not 'Huge' Deal | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Media analyst Craig Moffett says he doesn't think the FCC's vote to reclassify some over-the-top video providers as MVPDs is a "huge issue" because it is mostly about access to the programming of vertically integrated companies, and one of the biggest is already subject to them. He also says that while the financial community appears to have signaled it can live with Title II, he thinks the forbearance issues around that approach are more complicated than some may think.

MoffetttNathanson partners Moffet and Michael Nathanson were interviewed for C-SPAN's Communicators series, which airs this weekend.

Moffett said he thought reclassification would do is give over-the-top providers access to the program access rules, which means nondiscriminatory access to vertically integrated programming. That, he said, means programming from "Comcast, Comcast, Comcast," plus a handful of companies that own regional sports networks.

A majority of FCC commissioners--the three Democrats--have already approved the item, which was expected to be voted by the Republican commissioners Thursday (Dec. 18), according to one FCC source.

Moffett pointed out that Comcast is already required to make its programming available on nondiscriminatory terms to over-the-top competitors via NBCU deal conditions--which extend until 2018, and likely beyond if the FCC approves the Time Warner Cable merger. "People have talked about it as something of a lifeline for Aereo because it gives them at least a step in the direction of licensing content through retransmission consent from broadcasters, but it doesn't really give them that much negotiating leverage." He said he doesn't really think that FCC reclassification "is really going to change the world."

Moffett said he thinks the impact of the CBS and HBO Internet streaming services will be "somewhat limited," as opposed to a service already delivering OTT video--Netflix--which he says has been "very profound."

But Moffett said media companies can no longer circle the wagons and protect the old ecosystem.


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