legal

Tue
27
Nov
John Lister's picture

iPhone App Prices Spark Supreme Court Battle

A seven-year-old case into Apple app pricing is heading to the Supreme Court. It's a technical case that centers on the percentage Apple takes from every iPhone or iPad app sale. The case isn't about the royalty itself, which is 30 percent of every ... sale through the iTunes store. Various legal and technical measures mean that's the only way developers can distribute iOS apps, so there's no way around paying the royalty. Instead, the legal question is whether or not consumers have the right to take legal action against Apple over the system. Such lawsuits, of which several have been proposed, ... (view more)

Wed
07
Mar
John Lister's picture

Net Neutrality Now State vs Federal, but Will it Last?

Washington State has passed a law enforcing net neutrality. It could prompt a legal battle over state versus federal rulemaking power. The state law, which takes effect in June, is based on the net neutrality principle that all Internet data (except ... for illegal content) should be treated equally. The new law bans three specific behaviors by Internet providers who offer service in Washington state, namely: blocking users from accessing any legal service, content or application; slowing down transfer speeds for specific types of content; and giving favorable treatment to particular data in ... (view more)

Thu
02
Nov
John Lister's picture

PC Beats Lawyers in Legal Prediction Contest

Computers can beat lawyers at predicting the outcome of cases according to a recent test. Organizers say an artificial intelligence program might even have uncovered insight into what influences case decisions. The test involved a computer program ... that has proven more sophisticated than intended. "Case Cruncher" was originally designed as a chatbot - a program that simulates a text conversation with a user - that would answer questions about the law. It was created and 'taught' by four law students in the UK. The team later developed it into a tool called Case Cruncher. Each variant ... (view more)

Wed
14
Sep
John Lister's picture

Netflix Urges FCC to End All Data Caps

Netflix has called upon the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to examine whether data caps are harming the expansion of broadband data. The company, which also has close interest on the subject, says the FCC might have a legal duty to take ... action on the matter. The company complained in particular about monthly data limits on home broadband such as those imposed by Comcast, which recently enforced a 300GB a month cap on some customers - along with steep overage fees ($10 per 50GB). However, Comcast now says the cap has been bumped to 1TB , with unlimited data available in some areas, ... (view more)

Tue
03
May
John Lister's picture

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)

Wed
16
Dec
John Lister's picture

Facebook Rethinks 'Real Name' Policy

Facebook is testing a change to its policy requiring people to use their real name on the site. The idea is to keep the principle of accountability while dealing with some practical issues. The site has always had a policy that users must operate ... with "the name their friends and family know them by." The idea is that it makes users accountable for what they say in posts and messages, and thus helps to stop people hiding behind anonymity. The policy often causes criticism. Some people disagree with the idea of having to be identifiable on the site. Writing in a blog post this week, ... (view more)

Wed
11
Mar
John Lister's picture

Lawsuit: Gov't Net Surveillance Breaches Constitution

The US government is being sued by civil liberties groups who say the security services' collection of personal data online fundamentally breaches the constitution. At issue is the question of whether or not the government's interpretation of the ... law correctly allows for mass surveillance without probable cause about specific individuals. The lawsuit is led by the American Civil Liberties Union and is joined by at least nine other groups, including the organization that oversees Wikipedia. It makes the accusations against the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of ... (view more)

Mon
04
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

Driver Ticketed For Wearing Google Glass Specs

A California driver appears to be the first person ticketed for wearing Google's high-tech spectacles while behind the wheel. It's prompted a legal dispute about whether existing laws actually bar people from using the device while driving. Google ... Glass is currently undergoing national testing with a selected audience before it goes on sale. The gadget is similar to a pair of spectacles, but combines a small projector on the "lens", a microphone, an earpiece and a camera. The device also has an Internet connection. Though billed as a wearable computer, it's effectively a smartphone in ... (view more)

Mon
17
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

US Adopts 'Six Strikes' Internet Piracy Policy

US-based Internet firms will begin an anti-piracy partnership with major copyright holders by the end of 2012. However, it's a purely voluntary operation and customers thought to be pirating will get warnings before suffering any consequences. ... Several countries around the world, most notably France, have introduced "three strikes" legislation, under which customers suspected of illegally sharing copyrighted material get two warnings before having their Internet suspended or cut off altogether. These controversial laws have faced legal challenges. Critics argue it's unfair to punish people ... (view more)

Tue
15
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Google Admits: Search Results Biased

Under investigation for abusing its domination of the search market, Google has floated a new argument: that the way it chooses and arranges its search results qualifies as protected free speech under the U.S. First Amendment. The new approach is ... part of an attempt to stave off government investigations that could seriously hamper Google's ability to operate, as well as its profits and its reputation. The investigation is based upon two related issues: first, that Google has a dominant position in the search engine market, and second, that Google uses this position to support its own ... (view more)

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