On Monday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation published an investigation into T-Mobile's "Binge On" video service, which allegedly optimizes videos for mobile download and does not count them against T-Mobile's bandwidth caps. Read the rest
Comcast's CEO Brian Roberts has been doing a lot of spinning lately to explain his company's plan to increase its prices (already some of the highest in the developed world) by turning on usage caps and charging up the wazoo for people who exceed them. Read the rest
The largest carriers in the world partner with companies like SAP to package up data on your movements, social graph and wake/sleep patterns and sell it to marketing firms. Read the rest
Verizon got broadband franchise agreements in cities across the USA in exchange for promises to get fiber into residential homes and businesses, arguing that without the exclusive right to wire up cities without competition, it would be unable to justify the investment in new infrastructure. Read the rest
All the phone companies helped the NSA commit mass surveillance, but the agency singled out Ma Bell as "highly collaborative" with an "extreme willingness to help." Read the rest
The former Texas GOP Senator testified that AT&T CEO Edward Whitacre was an "exploited worker," whose $75 million golden handshake proved "bigotry that is still allowed in America...bigotry against the successful." Read the rest
Your smartphone was designed to deliver as much value as possible to its manufacturer, carrier and OS vendor, leaving behind the smallest amount of value possible while still making it a product that you'd be willing to pay for and use. Read the rest
Though his time is mostly spent whispering in politicians' ears, David L. Cohen narrowly escapes the contours of the highly specialized, counterintuitive US statutory definition of a lobbyist. Read the rest
Jessamyn West is a freelancer, and that means that she has to talk on the phone to earn her crust. This sucks. Read the rest
The company advertised an "unlimited data" plan on its 5-12Mbps LTE network, but customers who hit a cap were throttled to 1/60th of that. Read the rest
The telegraph operators of the early 20th century had a rich vocabulary of wrist-saving abbreviations they used among themselves: "Is tt exa tr et?" ("Is that extra there yet?") Read the rest
Michael Geist writes, "Canada's Federal Court has issued its ruling on the costs in the Voltage-TekSavvy case, a case involving the demand for the names and address of thousands of TekSavvy subscribers by Voltage on copyright infringement grounds. Last year, the court opened the door to TekSavvy disclosing the names and addresses, but also established new safeguards against copyright trolling in Canada. The decision required Voltage to pay TekSavvy's costs and builds in court oversight over any demand letters sent by Voltage."
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The issue of costs required another hearing with very different views of the costs associated with the case. TekSavvy claimed costs of $346,480.68 (mainly legal fees and technical costs associated with complying with the order), while Voltage argued the actual costs should be $884. The court disagreed with both sides, settling on costs of $21,557.50 or roughly $11 per subscriber name and address. The decision unpacks all the cost claims, but the key finding was that costs related to the initial motion over whether there should be disclosure of subscriber information was separate from the costs of abiding by the order the court ultimately issued. The motion judge did not address costs at the time and the court now says it is too late to address them.
With TekSavvy now bearing all of those motion costs (in addition to costs associated with informing customers), the decision sends a warning signal to ISPs that getting involved in these cases can lead to significant costs that won't be recouped. That is a bad message for privacy.