Archive for the ‘Policy’ Category

Russia tries to force Facebook and Twitter to relocate servers to Russia

January 21st, 2019
A woman holds a smartphone with icons for social networking apps Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others. The app icons are in a folder whose title is the Russian word for

Enlarge / A smartphone folder labeled with the Russian word for "community." (credit: Getty Images | Kirill Kudryavtsev )

The Russian government agency responsible for censorship on the Internet has accused Facebook and Twitter of failing to comply with a law requiring all servers that store personal data to be located in Russia.

Roskomnadzor, the Russian censorship agency, "said the social-media networks hadn't submitted any formal and specific plans or submitted an acceptable explanation of when they would meet the country's requirements that all servers used to store Russians' personal data be located in Russia," The Wall Street Journal reported today.

Roskomnadzor said it sent letters to Facebook and Twitter on December 17, giving them 30 days to provide "a legally valid response."

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Posted in Facebook, Internet Censorship, Policy, Roskomnadzor, russia, Twitter | Comments (0)

Google must pay €50 million for GDPR violations, France says

January 21st, 2019
Exterior of Google office building.

Enlarge / Google's main headquarters. (credit: Cyrus Farivar)

Google has been fined €50 million (~$57 million) by French regulators, the first major penalty under a sweeping new European Union privacy law known as GDPR, which took effect last year.

According to the French government agency, known by the acronym CNIL, Google is still in breach of the law.

CNIL explained that Google had violated two provisions of the law: first by not making its data-collection policies easily accessible enough and second by not obtaining sufficient and specific user consent for ad personalization across each of Google’s numerous services, including YouTube, Google Maps, and more.

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Posted in CNIL, google, Policy, Privacy | Comments (0)

Why Silicon Valley’s “growth at any cost“ is the new ”unsafe at any speed“

January 20th, 2019

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If there's one person outside of government who has stood against Facebook's crashing wave, it's Ashkan Soltani.

Late last year, the independent privacy researcher was suddenly called to speak before the UK Parliament about Facebook's privacy practices, simply because he happened to be in London and, in his own words, "was just a dick on Twitter."

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Posted in ars technica live, ashkan soltani, Facebook, Policy | Comments (0)

Need for “a large trunk and a high-end sound system” pushed Audi to cheat

January 18th, 2019
Audi and Volkswagen signs.

Enlarge / A sign for car service for Audi and VW is pictured on January 09, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. (credit: Photo by Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images)

On Thursday, a federal grand jury in Detroit, Michigan, indicted four Audi executives for playing a role in the diesel cheating scandals that rocked parent company Volkswagen Group in 2015 and 2016. The four executives—Richard Bauder, Axel Eiser, Stefan Knirsch, and Carsten Nagel—all worked for Audi in Germany, and they have not been arrested.

The four men have been charged (PDF) with conspiracy to defraud the United States, commit wire fraud, and violate the Clean Air Act.

The indictment offered some new details on how emissions cheating unfolded at Audi and VW Group, especially with respect to emissions control system cheats on Audi's 3.0L diesel vehicles.

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Posted in Audi, cars, diesel, diesel emissions, Policy, Volkswagen, VW Group | Comments (0)

Verizon offers free robocall blocking, two years after AT&T and T-Mobile

January 18th, 2019
A Verizon logo at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Enlarge / A Verizon logo at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

Verizon yesterday said it will make spam and robocall blocking features free for all wireless customers starting in March, about two years after AT&T and T-Mobile began offering free robocall blocking.

"In March, we will be rolling out our free spam alerting and call blocking tools to all of our wireless customers whose smartphones support these features, including iPhone and Android devices," Verizon's announcement said. "There will be more information on how to sign up for the free service as we get closer to launch."

Verizon added call and spam screening features more than a year ago to its $2.99-per-month Call Filter product, which also lets customers see contact details for unknown callers. Verizon pointed to research showing that its system "correctly identified potential problem phone numbers approximately 93.6 percent of the time."

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Posted in AT&T, Biz & IT, Policy, robocall blocking, stir/shaken, t-mobile, verizon | Comments (0)

Report: Facebook, under scrutiny by FTC, could soon owe millions in fines

January 18th, 2019
Report: Facebook, under scrutiny by FTC, could soon owe millions in fines

Enlarge (credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

According to a Friday report by The Washington Post, federal regulators have discussed imposing a "record-setting fine against Facebook" for violating the company’s 2011 consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission.

The Post, which cited "three people familiar with the deliberations," reported that the total amount is "expected to be much larger than the $22.5 million fine" that Google previously paid in 2012.

Facebook has come under significant scrutiny over the last year in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that erupted in March 2018. That now-defunct British data analytics company was revealed to have retained data on 50 million Facebook users despite claiming to have deleted it.

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Posted in Facebook, FTC, Policy | Comments (0)

Sen. Marco Rubio wants to ban states from protecting consumer privacy

January 18th, 2019
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) speaking to reporters.

Enlarge / Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) speaks to reporters following a closed briefing on intelligence matters on Capitol Hill on December 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images | Zach Gibson )

US Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has proposed a federal privacy law that would preempt tougher privacy rules issued by states.

Rubio's announcement Wednesday said that his American Data Dissemination (ADD) Act "provides overdue transparency and accountability from the tech industry while ensuring that small businesses and startups are still able to innovate and compete in the digital marketplace."

But Rubio's bill establishes a process for creating rules instead of issuing specific rules right away, and it allows up to 27 months for Congress or the Federal Trade Commission to write the actual rules.

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Posted in Marco Rubio, Policy, Privacy | Comments (0)

Twenty legal battles that stand out across Ars’ 20 years of covering them

January 18th, 2019
The US Supreme Court is shown on the day of the investiture ceremony for new Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh on November 8, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Enlarge / The US Supreme Court is shown on the day of the investiture ceremony for new Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh on November 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. (credit: Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

The legal system is often a confounding place, where disputes are adjudicated—it’s a world full of jargon that we journalists try to explain as best we can. And over the last two decades, legal cases have remained a fixture on Ars Technica.

We’ve brought you endless news of initial criminal or civil complaints in that time. And in the most important cases, Ars has followed them, blow by blow, through various motions. We sat in every session for the criminal trial of Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht and took a similar approach to the API patents saga of Oracle v. Google, for instance.

Just this week, Ars sat in the courtroom as Defense Distributed and the State of New Jersey argued over legal jurisdiction and matters of free speech intersecting with future technology. It echoes back to our site's legacy of watching the march of technology and innovation directly intersect with an evolving legal system—it has been nearly 20 years since we covered Microsoft’s infamous antitrust battles around the turn of the century. These literally became the subject of CNN decade documentaries since then.

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Posted in ayyadurai, criminal, Features, lawsuit, Policy, Uber, waymo | Comments (0)

Woman sues T-Mobile after employees allegedly snoop on racy private video

January 17th, 2019
A T-Mobile logo on the window of a retail store.

Enlarge / A T-Mobile logo on the window of a retail store in Washington, DC, on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

A New Jersey woman has sued T-Mobile in state court last week for sexual harassment, invasion of privacy, and other counts. She claims that, when she went to trade in her iPhone 7 at a store, two male employees rifled through her photos without her consent.

The men allegedly quickly found a private naked video of the woman, referred to in the complaint as "N.E.," and played it for themselves. The woman was mortified.

Ars contacted T-Mobile, which did not respond to our questions.

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Posted in Policy, Privacy, t-mobile | Comments (0)

Lawmakers seek harsh penalties against ZTE and Huawei

January 17th, 2019
Huawei's corporate logo on a gray background.

Enlarge (credit: Getty | SOPA Images )

Washington policymakers sought to ratchet up pressure on Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE on Wednesday. A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced new legislation that would ban exports to companies caught violating US sanctions laws.

It's the latest signs of a growing technological cold war between the United States and China over telecommunications technology. Huawei has allegedly stolen trade secrets from T-Mobile and other US companies. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Huawei could face criminal charges over the issue.

In a separate case, Canadian officials arrested Meng Wanzhou—Huawei's chief financial officer and daughter of the company's founder—at the behest of the US government over allegations that the company had violated US sanctions laws. ZTE also stands accused of violating those laws.

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Posted in china, Donald Trump, Huawei, Policy, trade, ZTE | Comments (0)