Courts

Wed
15
Jun
John Lister's picture

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Net Neutrality Rules

An appeals court has upheld rules on net neutrality that stop broadband providers blocking or slowing web traffic. The legal battles will likely continue, but this week's verdict is a big blow to those arguing to block the rules. Net neutrality is ... the principle of treating all Internet traffic in the same way with the only exception being illegal content. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has tried several times to bring in rules to enforce the principle, with bans on carriers deliberately slowing or blocking some types of traffic (such as streaming video) or taking payments ... (view more)

Thu
19
May
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Judge says FBI can Keep Firefox Bug a Secret

A judge has refused Mozilla's request that the FBI be forced to hand over details of a potential security bug in its Firefox browser. Mozilla argued there was a risk of the bug becoming public, which would then put anyone using its browser(s) at ... risk of an online attack. The request follows a separate criminal case involving a website engaged in indecent content depicting children. The site isn't available through ordinary web browsers such as Firefox, but instead runs through the Tor network. The Tor network works using the world wide web, but data is sent on a different channel (so ... (view more)

Tue
03
May
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Phone Fingerprint Lock Sparks New Legal Dispute

A federal court has ordered a woman to use her finger to unlock her iPhone. It's the latest legal tussle in the ongoing debate pitting security and law enforcement against constitutional rights. The case involved a Los Angeles woman who had been ... arrested for identity theft. The FBI wanted to access the contents of her phone, which was protected by a fingerprint lock. Officials have not publicly revealed exactly why they wanted to access the data, or whether it directly related to the identity theft charges. Court documents show she was the girlfriend of a known member of a major LA ... (view more)

Thu
21
Apr
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Google Accused of Unfair Competition

European officials have formally accused Google of breaching competition rules in the way it handles the Android system. They say the company unfairly used the system to push its search services. The claims come from the European Commission, the ... equivalent of the executive branch of the European Union. It oversees some elements of competition law that apply across 28 countries. The Commission has issued a Statement of Objections, which is formal notification that it is investigating alleged breaches. Google now has 12 weeks to respond to the claims. If found guilty it could face financial ... (view more)

Tue
19
Apr
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Authors Fail in Legal Challenge to Google Books

The Supreme Court has rejected claims by authors that Google Books violates copyright. It ends a legal battle dating back 12 years. The legal issues originally centered on Google Library, in which the company scanned millions of books that were no ... longer being published and made them available in full. Later on Google used the same technology to scan books that are in print and add them to its search database alongside web pages and other forms of information. When users carry out a search that matches content in a scanned book, they can now see the relevant section as part of the search ... (view more)

Thu
10
Mar
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Google Loses Court Case Over Fake Online Reviews

A court has ordered Google to hand over details that could identify the people behind four accounts used for bogus online reviews. One of the accounts had assumed the identity of a dead woman. The reviews were made on the social networking site ... Google+. While the site has arguably struggled to compete with the likes of Facebook, posts there are particularly likely to show up in search results for a relevant term. In this case the reviews were of an Amsterdam daycare center, and would appear next to a map of the center's location before the rest of the "ranked" search results. ... (view more)

Wed
11
Nov
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Should Police have Access to Cell Data without Warrant?

The Supreme Court has refused to consider a case that could have decided if the government needs a warrant to track a person's location through their cellphone. That means lower courts may continue to make case-by-case decisions on the issue. A man ... named Quartavious Davis had asked the Supreme Court to hear his case. He was sentenced to 1,941 months in prison for taking part in multiple robberies. As part of their investigation, local police acquired Davis's cellphone records from MetroPCS and were able to link him to seven crime scenes. An appeals court rejected Davis's argument, ... (view more)

Thu
22
Oct
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Privacy vs Security: Should Apple have a Back Door?

Apple has told a court that it's impossible to access data in most iPhones and iPads without a password. It could lead to a legal standoff in the 'security versus privacy' debate. The comments came in a case involving a recently-seized iPhone. The ... United States Justice Department is unable to access the contents of the phone and has therefore asked the court to order Apple to help them gain access. In this specific case however, Apple is physically able to access the device's data because the phone itself is running a susceptible operating system (iOS version 7). Nonetheless, Apple has ... (view more)

Wed
26
Aug
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Should Companies be Accountable for Leaked Customer Data?

Companies that don't do enough to protect customer data against hacking are more likely to be sued, thanks to a court ruling this week. A federal appeals court rejected an argument that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) overstepped its powers by ... suing a company over three hacking incidents. The company is question is the Wyndham Hotel chain, in which 619,000 customers' credit card data was leaked. According to the FTC, Wyndham failed to use suitably complex login details on accounts, stored card data on its servers in unencrypted form, and did not use adequate firewalls to protect the ... (view more)

Thu
09
Jul
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Robo Calls Cost Time Warner $225,000

A federal court has awarded a woman $229,500 compensation after a cable company unlawfully called her cellphone 153 times in less than a year. Time Warner Cable continued to make the automated "robo calls" even after Araceli King complained. The ... court ruled Time Warner Cable had violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, passed in 1991. The issue wasn't simply that the company made the calls without permission, but that they were automated. Robo Calls Illegal Without Express Permission With the so-called robo calls, a computer automatically dials a home phone number. If and ... (view more)

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