internet

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
09
Jun
John Lister's picture

Report: Millions of Online Databases Unsecured

Belgian computers are most exposed to hacking according to a new study, with the US in 14th place. It's all because of millions of computers having open, unsecured connections to the Internet. Research firm Rapid7 looked at the full range of data ... connection services on the Internet beyond just the more familiar HTTP that most users use while browsing the web. These include FTP (file transfer protocol) SSH (secure shell for remote connections), and SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol), used for many email services. To carry out the research, the company embarked on the massive task of ... (view more)

Fri
25
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: Do I need a VPN? Are VPNs Safe for Online Banking?

Infopackets Reader Janie T. writes: " Dear Dennis, I wanted to know if I should use a VPN (virtual private network) to connect to my bank website. A service I came across called saferweb.com claims that they will encrypt my connection, but I don't ... know if they can be trusted or not. What do you think? PS: I love your daily infopackets letters - they are very informative. " My response: This is a good question. When visiting saferweb.com I noted the following statements on their site: "Safer Web gives you an extra layer of security against Internet hackers. By hiding your IP, we keep your ... (view more)

Tue
22
Mar
John Lister's picture

Kindle eReaders May Lose Connectivity if not Updated

Owners of older Kindle eReaders have been warned to update their devices today or temporarily lose Internet connectivity. The loss won't be irreversible, but will cause added hassle. The issue affects all Kindle eReader models released before 2013. ... That includes the Keyboard, Touch and DX versions, along with the 5th generation and earlier of both the standard Kindle and Paperwhite editions. (Source: amazon.com ) The only unaffected models are those released from 2013 onwards, specifically the Paperwhite 6th and 7th generation, the 7th generation standard Kindle and the Voyage model. The ... (view more)

Wed
09
Mar
John Lister's picture

Lifeline Low Income Phone Subsidy to Include Broadband

The US government plans to offer a subsidy to help people on low incomes get cheaper access to broadband Internet. Recipients would get a choice of using it on fixed-line or mobile services. The plan is an extension to an existing program called ... Lifeline, which has been running for around thirty years. Its funded by a levy on phone companies and allows people who meet low income eligibility requirements to get a monthly discount of $9.25 on phone line rental. Since 2005, the plan has allowed recipients to opt to use the discount of a pre-paid cellular phone plan instead of a landline. Now the ... (view more)

Tue
09
Feb
John Lister's picture

Facebook's Free Internet Service Banned in India

The Indian government has banned Facebook from offering free Internet access in the country. Officials said the program breached net neutrality principles by favoring some sites over others. Since 2013, Facebook has offered a service called Free ... Basics in some nations where Internet access is unaffordable to large parts of the population. Most of these countries are in Africa and the Indian subcontinent. The service, offered in partnership with cellphone operators, gives users free access to data usage on a smart phone, which for many users will be their primary or only way of getting online ... (view more)

Tue
02
Feb
John Lister's picture

Goverment Claims on Encryption Challenged

A Harvard University report challenged the government's argument that online encryption helps criminals go undetected. The report also suggests that the "Internet of Things" will give law enforcement officials more opportunity to surveil suspects. ... Politicians and government agencies (such as the FBI) repeatedly make the case that the law fails to keep up with technology, especially when it comes to being able to monitor communications between suspected offenders. For example, recently-updated wiretapping laws can still prove to be unworkable, especially if data is encrypted ... (view more)

Tue
15
Dec
John Lister's picture

Does your Broadband Live Up to its Speed Claims?

The attorney general of New York has asked Internet users in the state to test and submit their Internet speeds. Eric Schneiderman says the move is part of a probe to see if broadband providers are making misleading speed claims. Schneiderman is ... asking users in the state to visit InternetHealthTest.org , which is an independently run site. The site runs a simple download speed test to work out an average speed. (Source: ny.gov ) Results Must Be Sent Via Screenshot Unfortunately, Schneiderman's office was unable to automated the process for sharing the results with other government ... (view more)

Tue
10
Nov
John Lister's picture

FCC: Websites Can Ignore 'Do Not Track' Requests

The Federal Communications Commission (FTC) says it won't force web companies to take any heed of "Do Not Track" tools in web browsers. The move may fatally undermine the technology which is part of all modern browsers. The idea of "Do Not Track" is ... to have a standardized way for users to indicate to website operators that they don't want their online activity tracked. It's designed particularly for situations in which a third-party advertising agency which has access to a website can put a tracking cookie on the computer of a visitor to the site. The next time ... (view more)

Thu
29
Oct
John Lister's picture

Google to Offer Internet by Balloon

Google says it should have a network of Internet-carrying balloons circling the Earth next year. It will mean users in some parts of the world will be able to get a continuous Internet connection without access to cabling, phone lines or a cellphone ... network. The idea is to use similar technology to satellite Internet, but at a considerably lower cost. The balloons, which carry radio transmitters and receivers, run on solar power. The balloons will operate 12 miles above the ground, in the stratosphere, which isn't high enough to lock into orbit like satellites. Instead, the balloons will ... (view more)

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