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Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
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Facebook reads private messages to boost "Likes," lawsuit claims | GigaOM Tech News

Facebook reads private messages to boost "Likes," lawsuit claims | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Facebook is facing a new class action lawsuit that accuses the social network of violating state and federal privacy laws by scanning the content of users’ private messages in order to obtain advertising data.


In a complaint filed Monday in San Francisco, two men claim the company is surreptitiously scanning messages in order to detect websites that Facebook users send to one another in private. The purpose of the scanning is allegedly to increase the number of “Likes” to those websites, and in turn make Facebook more popular with advertisers.


The lawsuit cites recent research by a Swiss security firm that disclosed that the number of “Likes” on a web page goes up whenever a Facebook users send the page as a private link — proof, in other words, that Facebook has not been truthful in stating that such messages are only viewed by the sender and recipient. The company rejects the claims.


“We believe the allegations are without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously,” said a Facebook spokesperson by email.

The complaint itself accuses Facebook of “reading” the messages in order to supply information to big data brokers, which in turn might use the information to discriminate against consumers by, for instance, refusing credit to people who have visited certain websites.


The facts are likely less sensational. While the security research, first reported in the Wall Street Journal, suggests that Facebook is indeed scanning messages to in order to slap new “Likes” on webpages, the process doesn’t amount to what most people think of as “reading.”


Instead, the process is similar to Google’s automated practice of scanning Gmail messages in order to serve relevant ads — a practice that a federal judge appeared to consider a violation of the Wiretap Act (Google is appealing). Yahoo was also hit with a similar lawsuit last year.


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After 20 Years, It's Clear NAFTA Has Failed To Deliver Promised Benefits; So Why Trust TPP, TTIP Will Be Better? | Techdirt.com

After 20 Years, It's Clear NAFTA Has Failed To Deliver Promised Benefits; So Why Trust TPP, TTIP Will Be Better? | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Both TPP and TAFTA/TTIP are based on the premise that by boosting trade and investment, general prosperity will increase too. And yet, despite the huge scale of the plans, and their major potential knock-on effects on the lives of billions of people, precious little evidence has been offered to justify that basic assumption.


To its credit, the European Commission has at least produced a report (pdf) on the possible gains. But as I've analyzed elsewhere, the most optimistic outcome is only tangentially about increased trade, and requires a harmonization of two fundamentally incompatible regulatory systems through massive deregulation on both sides of the Atlantic. In any case, the much-quoted figures are simply the output of econometric models, which may or may not be valid, and require extrapolation to the rather distant 2027, by which time the world could be a very different place.


Given the difficulty of saying anything definite about the future, it makes sense to look back at how past trade agreements have actually worked out for those involved. One of the most important, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), has been operational for 20 years, and so offers us a wealth of hard facts. Public Citizen has just released an excellent analysis of what happened (pdf). As it points out:


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Charter’s Preps Next Phase Of All-Digital Expansion | Multichannel.com

Charter’s Preps Next Phase Of All-Digital Expansion | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Missouri and southern Illinois are the next stops on Charter Communications’ all-digital upgrade tour.


The MSO announced Thursday that it will begin to reclaim analog channels in those markets (Louisiana, Perryville and Ste. Genevieve, Mo., are not part of this round) in mid-January and intends to complete the transition in the summer of 2014. Charter said it will use its newly reclaimed channels to deliver faster broadband speed and to clear the way for an HDTV lineup comprised of more than 200 channels.


At this stage in the upgrade, Charter is using two-way, VOD-capable boxes outfitted with CableCARDs to fuel its digital transition, and will be urging affected customers (via a mix of messages delivered in direct mail pieces, in bills, and via outbound phone calls) to  obtain free boxes within one month of their scheduled upgrade. MSO EVP and chief marketing officer Jon Hargis estimated in a statement that more than 90% of Charter customers in the newly targeted all-digital markets already use a digital cable device for at least one television in the home.


Charter is also working on dual-security boxes that support an integrated version of its legacy conditional access system as well as a new downloadable security platform. The new downloadable system is expected to support a new “World Box” under development that will take advantage of a cloud-centric apps platform.


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FCC Chairman Wheeler to Deliver Policy Address and Appear at Town Hall While On West Coast | Multichannel.com

FCC Chairman Wheeler to Deliver Policy Address and Appear at Town Hall While On West Coast | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler will appear at a town hall meeting in Oakland, Calif., Jan. 9 to talk about the impact of media consolidation, and make a policy speech while on that West Coast swing next week.
 
Free Press, one of the sponsors of the event, announced the appearance. An FCC source confirmed Wheeler will be there, as well as confirming that the chairman would be making a policy speech at another, unnamed, venue.
 
Wheeler has pledged to engage with groups outside of FCC headquarters and Washington, so that he can hear "the voices of the American people."
 
The event co-sponsors include the Center for Media Justice, Free Press, ColorOfChange and the National Hispanic Media Coalition, all part of the Voices for Internet Freedom coalition (www.internetvoices.org). Wheeler has also been a voice for Internet freedom. which he has pledged to espouse and uphold.
 
The event is billed as a way for members of the community to "share their stories — and to tell Wheeler about the impacts of an increasingly corporate media environment" and "to tell Wheeler face to face about the kind of media system that best meets our needs. Moreover, it is a forum to advocate for the health and well-being of our families and our communities.
 
Wheeler is headed West next week for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where he has a Jan. 8 date with Consumer Electronics Association president Gary Shapiro for one-on-one interview. He is also planning to give a policy speech in California as part of the West Coast swing that will also include some private and public meetings with tech execs and others.

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MN: Blandin Broadband Conference: Feb 4-5 | Blandin on Broadband

MN: Blandin Broadband Conference: Feb 4-5 | Blandin on Broadband | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Blandin Broadband Conferences are always a great place to learn what you need to know about community broadband initiatives – from new technologies to digital inclusion.  Blandin Foundation provides a range of opportunities to fit your style – straightforward content delivery from the front of the room to “open space” participant-centered interactive sessions to straight out networking.  Plus some fun!


Conference details:


Border to Border Broadband: A Call to Action
When: Feb 4-5, 2014
Where: St Paul RiverCentre
Cost: $120


Register Here


Here’s a snapshot of what you can expect this year:


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Polaroid announces its own 4K TV, prices it at only $999.99 | The Verge

Polaroid announces its own 4K TV, prices it at only $999.99 | The Verge | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
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A $1,000 4K TV will be on display at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, but it's not coming from Sony, Samsung, or another well-known TV vendor. Instead, the brand etched into the 50-inch Ultra HD set is none other than Polaroid — a name synonymous with film and instant photography. It's important to note that the product seen here is actually manufactured by Empire Electronics, another company that has simply paid to license Polaroid's brand. It's likely not far off from other off-brand 4K TVs, some of which have already dropped below $1,000.



These days, Polaroid's logo can also be found on Android tablets, sports video cameras, and consumer digital cameras. Polaroid today is a drastically different company than the one that filed for bankruptcy back in 2001. Still, CEO Scott Hardy sees some link to the past. "Not many people realize that Edwin Land was a pioneer in developing the polarizing technology used in modern televisions," said Hardy, referring to Polaroid's co-founder.


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Viewing Where the Internet Goes | NYTimes.com

Viewing Where the Internet Goes | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When Edward J. Snowden, the disaffected National Security Agency contract employee, purloined tens of thousands of classified documents from computers around the world, his actions — and their still-reverberating consequences — heightened international pressure to control the network that has increasingly become the world’s stage.


At issue is the technical principle that is the basis for the Internet, its “any-to-any” connectivity. That capability has defined the technology ever since Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn sequestered themselves in the conference room of a Palo Alto, Calif., hotel in 1973, with the task of interconnecting computer networks for an elite group of scientists, engineers and military personnel.


The two men wound up developing a simple and universal set of rules for exchanging digital information — the conventions of the modern Internet. Despite many technological changes, their work prevails.


But while the Internet’s global capability to connect anyone with anything has affected every nook and cranny of modern life — with politics, education, espionage, war, civil liberties, entertainment, sex, science, finance and manufacturing all transformed — its growth increasingly presents paradoxes.


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BROADBAND78's curator insight, January 6, 2014 6:07 AM

Débat intéressant entre deux membres éminents de l'ICANN et de l'IUT.

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ABC Makes TV Less Free | Light Reading

ABC Makes TV Less Free | Light Reading | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In another move to restrict online access to broadcast TV, ABC Inc. will soon force viewers to sign in with their pay-TV credentials in order to stream on-demand content during the first week after a show airs on television.


The network posted information on the policy change on its Watch ABC website, along with a list of pay-TV providers participating as partners. Most of the major cable and telecom TV operators are on that list, but Time Warner Cable Inc. is a notable exception. DirecTV Group Inc. and Dish Network LLC are missing in action as well.


ABC started down the paywall path last spring when it launched the Watch ABC app. The app makes live streams of ABC shows available on the Web, but only to authenticated pay-TV subscribers. (See ABC Joins Live TV Streaming Parade.)


The latest news from the network extends the authentication requirement to early on-demand viewing as well. ABC notes that users without a pay-TV subscription will still be able to access new content with a Hulu Plus account or by purchasing new episodes through iTunes or Amazon Instant Video. The new policy goes into effect on January 6.


The idea of making network TV free online has come under assault in recent years as broadcast programmers have grown to rely more heavily on licensing fees to supplement advertising revenue. (See 'Free' TV Model Under Threat.)


As the trend continues into 2014, it will make the legal battles over Aereo Inc. even more interesting to watch. The more broadcasters restrict online access to TV shows, the more valuable Aereo's service has the potential to become. (See Aereo Fight Heats Up in DC.)


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NY: Niagara and Orleans County questionnaire to focus on high-speed broadband | The Buffalo News

NY: Niagara and Orleans County questionnaire to focus on high-speed broadband | The Buffalo News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Some residents of Niagara and Orleans counties soon will be receiving a questionnaire to determine their interest in high-speed broadband Internet service.


It’s part of an effort by the counties to determine the demand for the service in outlying areas and then to find a way to meet that demand.

The major communications companies, such as Time Warner and Verizon, have been reluctant to incur the cost of extending broadband cables into sparsely populated areas, a stance that members of the two County Legislatures feel is harming economic opportunities for rural residents.


“Reliable high-speed Internet access is as important today as electricity itself,” said Niagara County Legislator David E. Godfrey, R-Wilson. “Businesses large and small, and even our farmers, depend on Internet service every day to compete in the world market.”


Over the past 18 months, the Niagara-Orleans Regional Alliance has been working on the problem. State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane, has agreed to mail a targeted questionnaire from his Senate office to determine the availability of and demand for broadband.


Orleans County Legislator Lynne M. Johnson said, “This is the result of a collaborative effort between Orleans County and Niagara County legislators, with the aid of Sen. Maziarz, to help bring a much-needed service to our taxpayers. It is imperative that these questionnaires get our residents’ full attention.”


Orleans County Legislature Chairman David B. Callard said, “This a critical step in the process. Our response will have a direct effect on our ability to proceed with countywide broadband availability.”


The results of the survey will be pitched to potential Internet providers. “The more positive responses we receive, the more leverage we have in piquing a provider’s interest,” said Evhen Tupis, the project executive from the BPGreene consulting firm, who has been organizing this effort for the regional alliance.


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FCC: Internet Access Is Speeding Up | Multichannel.com

FCC: Internet Access Is Speeding Up | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Internet access is on the fast track, with the number of fixed and wireless connections in 2012 with downstream speeds of at least 10 Mbps up 35% over the past year, according to the FCC.


The FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau released its latest report on Internet access in the U.S based on data from ISPs over six months ending Dec. 31, 2012.


That includes info from cable operators, phone companies, terrestrial wireless providers, satellite providers and other facilities-based providers.


Other highlights include a 14% increase in the number of connections of at least 200 Kbps to 262 million.


By the end of 2012, there were about the same number of fixed (65 million) and mobile (64 million) high speed connections (speeds of at least 3 Mbps downstream and 768 Mbps upstream), with mobile growth outpacing fixed.


The number of mobile connections with speeds of more than 200 Kbps in at least one direction grew by 19% in 2012 to 169 million, compared to a 5% increase in fixed connections of at least that speed to 93 million.


Among the fixed connections, 21% (19.3 million) were slower than 3 Mbps downstream, 16% (15.2 million) were at least 3 Mbps but slower than 6 Mbps and 63% (58 million) were at least 6 Mbps.


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NY Times Argues, Forcefully, That The US Should Offer Snowden Clemency | Techdirt.com

NY Times Argues, Forcefully, That The US Should Offer Snowden Clemency | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We've certainly discussed plenty of reasons why the US government should recognize that Ed Snowden was an important whistleblower, who should be welcomed home enthusiastically for all he's done -- not threatened with decades in prison or worse.


However, it's still surprising to see a newspaper like the NY Times now not only directly calling Snowden a "whistleblower" but arguing forcefully for why the US government should offer him clemency, bring him home, and have him be very involved in the ongoing process to protect our privacy, limit the surveillance state and provide true and meaningful oversight of the intelligence community.

The editorial board doesn't endorse full amnesty, but rather "a plea bargain or some form of clemency" in which he'd face "substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower."


The editorial points out that the claims from government officials, including President Obama, that there were many paths Snowden could have taken to blow the whistle are either misleading or outright lies (especially in the case of President Obama, who insisted that Snowden would have been protected under his executive order -- but that executive order didn't apply to consultants like Snowden).


In the end, the editorial board notes that Snowden clearly recognized that going through "official channels" wouldn't have done anything.


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Suggestion To NSA Employees Who Actually Respect Civil Liberties: Do A 'Quarter Snowden With A Twist' | Techdirt.com

Suggestion To NSA Employees Who Actually Respect Civil Liberties: Do A 'Quarter Snowden With A Twist' | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Conor Friedersdorf, over at the Atlantic, has a good suggestion for employees of the NSA who agree with Ed Snowden that their organization has gone too far and should be reined in... but who don't want to go as far as he did in releasing classified documents, and having to leave the US forever (and facing the potential of life in prison).


Because even though it appears that lots of people could access the documents Snowden has leaked, very few are willing to assume the "costs" associated with being a whistleblower like that.


Instead, Friedersdorf points out, there are ways to make a very strong statement, without risking a life on the run, in jail or worse. Quit and speak out.


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The Importance Of Justice Sotomayor's Jones Ruling In Laying The Groundwork To Restore The 4th Amendment | Techdirt.com

The Importance Of Justice Sotomayor's Jones Ruling In Laying The Groundwork To Restore The 4th Amendment | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Adam Sewer, over at MSNBC, recently had a great article discussing how a US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's concurrence in the US v. Jones case has become incredibly important in setting the framework for hopefully restoring the 4th Amendment. When the original ruling came out, there was some confusion over how significant it would be.


While the court agreed that the use of GPS in that case was illegal, there were varying opinions as to why. While we initially expected that a different concurring opinion (by Alito, Ginsburg, Breyer and Kagan) would become more important, over time, people have realized that Sotomayor's concurrence clearly lays out why technological change should make us rethink past precedents concerning the collection of information.


It was Sotomayor who rightly noted that there's a difference between collecting a bit of info on one person, and collecting pretty much all info on everyone. And it was Sotomayor's concurrence that is being used repeatedly to push for a rethinking of these issues:


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Canada: SaskTel to expand infiNet network in Prince Albert | Telecompaper

SaskTel has announced that it plans to launch its new fibre optic network, infiNet in the residential community of Prince Albert. Preliminary construction work has begun in Prince Albert and customers can expect to be able to access the network in the homes beginning in the spring, with fibre optics projected to be deployed to all residential areas of the city within a year.


infiNet is being deployed through SaskTel's Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) Programme, a CAD 670 million investment to deploy fibre optics directly to homes and upgrade the broadband network in the nine largest urban centres in the province, Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Estevan, Swift Current, Yorkton, North Battleford and Prince Albert. infiNet provides speeds of up to 260 Mbps download and 60 Mbps upload.

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One code to rule them all: How big data could help the 1 percent and hurt the little guy | Salon.com

One code to rule them all: How big data could help the 1 percent and hurt the little guy | Salon.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Visual artist Adam J. Manley says December is his favorite month. But this year’s holiday season proved bumpy. On Dec. 21, moments after Manley uploaded a video titled “Winter Solstice” to YouTube, he was hit by a copyright claim delivered by YouTube’s automated Content ID system. His violation? An a cappella version of “Silent Night.”


When a Content ID copyright claims kicks in, the revenue from any ads that appear on a video is diverted from the creator of the video to the copyright claimant. Since as far back as 2007 Content ID has been the clever, innovative way YouTube has resolved the clash between anarchic user-generated content and corporate concerns about piracy and copyright violation.


But in this particular instance, the money grab was fraudulent. “Silent Night,” originally written in 1818, is in the public domain. Manley immediately disputed the claim. It was promptly dropped, after which Manley “re-monetized” the video. Time was of the essence! The window to cash in on a Winter Solstice-themed video closes pretty quickly once the days start getting longer again.


But that wasn’t the end of it. The next morning –


"…I woke to find my video had been de-monetized again. Once again, YouTube’s automatic Content ID system had decided that my rendition of a public domain song belonged to someone else. This time, it was three claims at once, all from major record labels: BMG, Warner/Chappell, and Universal Music Publishing Group."


Three of the biggest music publishers in the world had all made completely bogus claims on Manley’s rendition of “Silent Night.” Google’s much-vaunted system for policing copyright violations was being systematically abused by agile, well-financed entertainment corporations.


And in that anecdote there is a warning we need to hear. In a world where every step we take is increasingly mediated by digital networks and devices, we are going to increasingly find ourselves governed by automated software regimes. Call it “algorithmic regulation” or “embedded governance” or “automated law enforcement,” these built-in systems are sure to become ubiquitous. They will be watching for stock market fraud and issuing speeding tickets. They will doubtless be quicker to act, more all-seeing and less forgiving than the human-populated bureaucracies that preceded them.


Advocates of greater bureaucratic efficiency may well be happier in an algorithmically regulated future. But Adam Manley’s example raises a serious question that has a pretty obvious answer. When the network automatically delivers its ruling, who will be better positioned to contest the inevitable miscarriages of justice sure to follow? The little guy, or the well-capitalized corporation?


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11 Reasons To Bring Back Landlines In 2014 (Seriously) | HuffPost.com

11 Reasons To Bring Back Landlines In 2014 (Seriously) | HuffPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

While some are saying that landlines will become as obsolete as horse-and-buggy travel, we say that there really is no time better than now to embrace home phones.


Yep, I'm siding with your mother and grandmother on this one.


While a home phone can't replace a cell phone (for the obvious reason that you can't take them with you everywhere), it's something you should use at home.


Here's why:


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French Telco Orange Plans To Sue The NSA For Tapping Its Undersea Cables | Techdirt.com

French Telco Orange Plans To Sue The NSA For Tapping Its Undersea Cables | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It's not entirely clear what form this will take, but the French telco Orange is claiming that it is planning to file a lawsuit over the news that the NSA has been tapping its undersea fiber optic cables.


France-based telecom firm Orange has revealed plans to take legal action against the US National Security Agency (NSA) for using its submarine cable for surveillance.....

An Orange spokeswoman was quoted by Reuters as saying: "We will take legal action in the next few days because we want to know more about the eventuality that Orange data may have been intercepted."


Again, I'm not sure under what jurisdiction or exactly what kind of lawsuit Orange is intending to bring, but it's yet another bit of blowback against the NSA's overreach in its efforts to spy on absolutely everyone.


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Global Surveillance: The Public Must Fight for its Right to Privacy | DER SPIEGEL ONLINE

Global Surveillance: The Public Must Fight for its Right to Privacy | DER SPIEGEL ONLINE | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The term, "information superhighway" has always been insufficient to describe the Internet. In reality, the Web is a global communication space containing the private information of a large part of the population of every developed country. If someone were able to train an all-seeing eye onto the Internet, the blackmail potential would be almost limitless.


It is precisely this all-seeing eye that the British intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the American National Security Agency (NSA) have developed under the name Tempora. An appropriate real-world metaphor for the program might be something like this: In every room of every house and every apartment, cameras and microphones are installed, every letter is opened and copied, every telephone tapped. Everything that happens is recorded and can be accessed as needed.


It sounds preposterous, but it is frighteningly close to the reality that was unveiled by the Guardian on Friday. Together, the GCHQ and NSA monitor Internet traffic by tapping directly into the data stream sent through fiber-optic cables. They are able to copy and cache this data, to be sifted through later as needed.


Those behind this disgraceful program have not even bothered to deny what they are up to. The British spy agency has said it will not be commenting on the program -- but said that whatever they do is in the service of the fight against terrorism and subject to strict legal controls.


The NSA has been making this same argument since the Prism program was unveiled earlier this month. What we're doing, they say, is for a good cause. It's all regulated, and we're only looking at the information collected when we deem it necessary.


But that's all just pretence.


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ACLU fights ruling on NSA phone surveillance | CNET News

ACLU fights ruling on NSA phone surveillance | CNET News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday filed an appeal in their lawsuit challenging the NSA's bulk collection of phone metadata.


The appeal comes after the case, ACLU vs. James R. Clapper, was dismissed last week by US District Judge William Pauley. In his ruling, Pauley said the US government had a pressing need for the surveillance program as a method for detecting and preventing terrorist attacks and that it did not go to unreasonable lengths in that pursuit.


The ACLU, which vowed last week to press on with the case, argues that the NSA program violates both statutory law and the Constitution.


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TV, Video Revs To Double From Online/Broadband Nets | MediaPost.com

TV, Video Revs To Double From Online/Broadband Nets | MediaPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Worldwide TV and video revenues coming from online/broadband networks will more than double over the next four years -- with advertising-supported platforms contributing about half of that business.

Revenue from subscription, advertising and other sources will grow to early $35 billion in 2018, up from the $15.94 billion expected in 2013 and $3.98 billion in 2010, according to U.K.-based Digital TV Research.

Advertising revenue will represent about 47% of the expected total online TV revenue -- forecast to hit $16.4 billion in 2018. Subscription video on demand revenue will get to $13 billion -- climbing from $6 billion in 2013.

Total revenue from over-the-top (OTT) platforms will be a big part of this expansion. This category will see revenues of $7.4 billion by the end of this year -- up from $2.4 billion in 2010. Estimates are that advertising's share of total OTT revenues will fall to 46.9% in 2018 from 60.6% in 2010.


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Internet Of Things May Strangle Enterprise Bandwidth | InformationWeek.com

Internet Of Things May Strangle Enterprise Bandwidth | InformationWeek.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Most enterprise IT departments are preoccupied with BOYD and the mobile devices accessing their networks, but a much more vexing monster is lurking in the shadows and waiting to spring. The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a collective of Internet-connected consumer devices, manufacturing systems, business tools, customer service appliances, medical equipment, agricultural sensors, and other things.


IDC predicts that the IoT will grow to 30 billion things by 2020. Cisco expects the IoT's market value to grow to $14 trillion by 2022. Whatever you want to call it, an avalanche of communication is coming, and it's heading straight for your WAN.


In a recent InformationWeek survey on next-generation WANs, 68% of respondents said demand for WAN bandwidth will increase over the next year, but only 15% said they were expanding capacity. The bandwidth gap -- the difference between required and available bandwidth -- is large and growing. This relates to one of my predictions for 2014: that limited bandwidth will stifle IT convergence. In some parts of the world, companies can buy a lot of bandwidth. In other regions, the capacity does not yet exist. The limitations in these regions will prevent some global companies from deploying bandwidth-hungry enterprise IT strategies worldwide.


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BROADBAND78's curator insight, January 6, 2014 6:03 AM

L'internet des Objets va se développer avec le Très Haut Débit : 30 milliards d'objets connectés en 2020 !

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NY: Broadband Buildout Has Begun in Tompkins County | IthacaTimes.com

The big broadband buildout has begun. The Tompkins County Legislature has been working in conjunction with various rural municipalities to expand the area’s high-speed internet coverage, and now after almost four years of work, the initial stages of the multi-million dollar project are finally underway.


County Legislator Pat Pryor, who chairs the Special Committee on Broadband, said that she began looking into the possibility of expanded broadband coverage at the start of her term in 2010. She learned that a temporary Electronic Futures Committee had examined the issue a number of years ago, but the project never got past the information gathering stage. By 2010, though, Pryor said, “There seemed to be a general consensus that this is something we needed to take another look at because in today’s culture you’re really losing out on a lot of opportunities if you don’t have a good internet connection.”


Thus, the legislature put out a call for volunteers to serve on a committee and, “We ended up with a group of about 18 people. It’s been the most committed, wonderful group of people I’ve ever worked with.”


After nearly three years of investigating, the committee came to the conclusion that a wireless system would be best given the area’s topography. Around the time that the committee began to seek funding, the governor created a grant initiative to expand broadband in rural areas of the state. Pryor said, “It was just serendipitous that his initiative came forward at about the same time that we were looking for funding possibilities.”


Of the $25 million dollars the state allotted for the Connect NY Broadband initiative, $2.2 million was ultimately approved for use in this area. The initiative required that grant applicants form a public-private partnership, and so Ithaca-based internet service provider Clarity Connect partnered with a number of Tompkins County municipal governments as well as three towns in Cayuga County to receive state funding.


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Why the American Intelligence Community Is Strikingly "Dumb" | AlterNet.com

Why the American Intelligence Community Is Strikingly "Dumb" | AlterNet.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

If we are so smart why are we so dumb? I am referring to the “intelligence” that our spy agencies have gathered at great cost in both massive secret black box budgets and, much more important, the surrender of our personal freedom to the snooping eyes of our modern surveillance state. 


“We know everything but learn nothing” would be an honest slogan for the NSA, CIA and lesser-known spy agencies that specialize in leading us so dangerously astray. For all of their massive intrusion into the personal lives of individuals throughout the world, it is difficult to recall a time when the “intelligence” they collected provided such myopic policy insight. 


Take the revelations in The New York Times’ exhaustive six-part investigation published Saturday demonstrating that the devastating 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, was an intelligence disaster. The Times “turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault” that led to the death of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. Instead, a local militia leader on the side of the U.S.-supported insurrection in Libya with no known affiliation with al-Qaida is a prime suspect, and he and others allegedly responsible were not on the radar screen of the 20-person CIA station in Benghazi because they were part of the insurgency the U.S. supported.


As for the vast collection of phone and email intercepts maintained by U.S. spy agencies, it turned up only one bit of information, a phone call from someone involved in the mob attacking the U.S. post. He called a friend elsewhere in Africa who allegedly knew some folks in al-Qaida, but the friend “sounded astonished” at the news from Libya, “suggesting he had no prior knowledge of the assault,” according to U.S. officials. In short, the only evidence turned up by the vast spying apparatus was evidence that inconveniently contradicted the al-Qaida connection, so it was not made public.


As The New York Times stated, the Benghazi incident has been billed as “the most significant attack on United States property in 11 years, since Sept. 11, 2001,” an event that launched the much-ballyhooed war on terror. But as with that attack 11 years earlier, the perps turned out to be people the U.S. secret agencies had once trusted. The enemy here was not al-Qaida, but rather a homegrown menace empowered by foreign intervention. “The attack was led,” the Times reported, “by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistic support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi.”


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Commotion comes out of beta, vying to create a broadband commons | GigaOM Tech News

Commotion comes out of beta, vying to create a broadband commons | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For the last two years the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute has been working with communities from Detroit to Dharamsala to set up community broadband mesh networks that sidestep local ISPs and even government internet restrictions. Now OTI is ready to take its technology, called Commotion, out of beta. This week it released Commotion 1.0 to the general public and invited communities worldwide to build and manage their own neighborhood networks.


Commotion was originally designed as a means to circumscribe government censorship and surveillance on the internet, but the scope of the project quickly expanded to include extending access to areas where broadband was unavailable or unaffordable. Commotion combines technologies like the Serval Project’s mesh networking and Tor’s identity shielding software to create secure distributed networks made up of smartphones, routers, servers and other nodes.


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White Space Pilot Project Brings Basic Internet From Library to Residents … For Free! | community broadband networks

White Space Pilot Project Brings Basic Internet From Library to Residents … For Free! | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Gigabit Libraries Network (GLN) has orchestrated a pilot project to optimize white space technology for connectivity in and near community libraries and schools. We discussed this approach on our most recent podcast with Don Means, coordinator of the project.


White spaces wireless, sometimes referred to as "Super Wi-Fi" or "TVWS," can provide limited access in rural areas with limited funds and limited connectivity options. The technology is still in the development stage but creative people working in community libraries are finding new ways to use it.


GLN's goal is to bring next generation connectivity to all 16,000 libraries in the U.S. The organization grew out the 2007 "Fiber to the Library" Campaign from the Community TeleStructure Initiative. The initiative is a collaboration of institutions of higher education, corporations serving the higher education technology market, and related entities. GLN advances the idea that anchor networks, like those at the library, are cost effective ways to serve populations and to create middle mile access.


"White spaces" are the unlicensed low-frequency spectrum that was reserved for television signals prior to digitization of television. (If you are REALLY old, like me, you remember the "UHF" and "VHF" dials on the ol' black-and-white.) As we transitioned to digital TV, the spectrum was abandoned. White spaces differ from traditional point-to-point wireless spectrum because they do not require a line of sight. Buildings, trees, or other obstacles do not stop the signals. Thurman, New York, and New Hanover County in North Carolina use white space technology for limited Internet access in their areas.


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