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Blog

With Unanimous Passage through the House, the Email Privacy Act will Modernize Online Data Privacy

Back in the 1980s, everyone was walking around with their perms and mullets, Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson were playing sold out concerts, and people still couldn’t believe that Darth Vader was Luke’s father (spoilers). Clearly, things have changed a lot since then, yet, curiously, privacy standards regarding emails have not. While email certainly wasn’t a dominant form of communication back in the 80’s, the computer revolution that our society has undergone makes online data and information more valuable than ever. It’s time for our privacy standards, then, to reflect the new and ever-more-digitized world we live in.

04/28/2016
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Blog

With Viber’s Latest Update, Congress is Losing the Encryption Battle

WhatsApp, the popular online messaging service, recently changed the landscape of the encryption debate after announcing that their entire platform, between all devices, would offer end-to-end encryption. This announcement was made on the tail end of Apple’s dispute with the FBI, precisely about breaking into encrypted iPhones. This past week, Viber, another popular messaging app, announced that their latest update would also include end-to-end encryption for all of its users. While this may just seem like another example of encryption making its way onto popular apps, the case with Viber is particularly more salient in proving just how futile it is for Congress to try to restrict encryption.

04/22/2016
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Blog

Comcast Strikes Deals with Samsung and Roku, Leaving FCC in the Dust

For quite some time now, the FCC has been trying to sell the idea of “opening” the set-top box as something innovative and beneficial for consumers. However, on the eve of the proposal’s filing deadline, Comcast and the free market have already moved well beyond the set-top box, into much more innovative territory. In two separate press releases this past Wednesday, Comcast announced new partnerships with Samsung and Roku to allow Xfinity streaming through the two platforms. Such partnerships demonstrate that, while the FCC ruling isn’t even official yet, they will essentially be obsolete on arrival. The set-top box is on its way out, and the market, not the FCC, is providing the alternative.

04/22/2016
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Blog

Anti-Encryption Bill is an Affront to Privacy, Technological Security

In recent months, the government has regularly been unable to underscore technological security and privacy in the digital sphere, as more and more tech companies turn to encrypting their data. From the Apple case to the recent WhatsApp encryption overhaul, individuals have witnessed a glimmer of hope that their privacy may once again be protected from government interference. However, this consumer privacy is in danger once more as Congress seeks to nullify the system of encryption.

04/13/2016
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WhatsApp Extending Encryption to Billions, Protecting Privacy Worldwide

The debate regarding encryption and privacy in the digital age has become a hot-button issue in light of the recent legal struggles between Apple and the FBI. Many technology producers and consumers have become particularly concerned with their messaging privacy, fearing similar compelled actions forced by governments. In response to these concerns, the developers at WhatsApp have taken a strong stance in favor of encryption, protecting the privacy rights of people around the world.

04/07/2016
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House of Hypocrisy – Netflix and Net Neutrality

In Netflix’s hit series House of Cards, Frank Underwood has proven time and again to be a regular hypocrite, offering a fake public persona while acting entirely against his word. In recent days, it would seem that the show’s parent company has taken a page from Mr. Underwood’s playbook regarding net neutrality.

04/05/2016
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Just Another Regulatory Power Grab by the FCC

Recently, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed a set of new privacy regulations addressing the transfer and use of consumer information. Just as he had done previously with the set-top box proposal, Wheeler portrayed the new regulations as unilaterally beneficial to consumers. Of course, no regulatory case at the FCC is ever so simple, and there is much more at play here, including the potential for cronyism and regulatory power-grabs.

03/18/2016
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Mobile Now is a Step in the Right Direction for Broadband Innovation

This Thursday, the Senate Commerce Committee unanimously voted in favor of the Mobile Now Act, a bipartisan effort introduced by Senator John Thune, which would open up large amounts of broadband spectrum, currently being used by the government, to commercial and unlicensed use. Proposals like the Mobile Now are exactly the steps the nation should be taking in encouraging rapid innovation in the broadband marketplace.

03/03/2016
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Congress turning back Net Neutrality for Small Businesses, Now for the Rest of It

It hasn’t taken very long for Congress to realize that the burdensome regulations of net neutrality are impeding American innovation. Now, they just need to start peeling them back.

02/26/2016
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Opening Pandora’s Set-Top Box

Towards the end of January, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler made a surprise announcement about regulations regarding set-top boxes, or what many refer to as their PVR. Mr. Wheeler announced that his agency would make cable providers “open” their set-top boxes to allow third-parties access to the designs and programming, essentially allowing them to compete in the set-top box market. While, at face value, there doesn’t appear to anything too nefarious, cracking open Mr. Wheeler’s plan reveals entirely different intentions and potential costs on consumers.

02/19/2016

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