The FCC’s plan to kill net neutrality will also kill internet privacy

 

After Congress repealed the FCC’s broadband privacy rules two weeks ago, new FCC chairman Ajit Pai promised the American people that he would ensure that the personal information they give to their ISPs would continue to be protected. Pai said that he planned to work with the Federal Trade Commission to “restore the FTC’s authority to police internet service providers’ privacy practices.”

But this plan will not only fail to provide effective broadband privacy protections, it will come at the cost of eliminating the FCC’s net neutrality rules that prohibit ISPs like Comcast and AT&T from picking winners and losers on the internet. And there’s a real chance the FTC actually won’t be able to regulate ISPs at all.

HOW THE FTC CAN POLICE INTERNET PROVIDERS

The FTC currently lacks the legal authority to oversee any unfair and deceptive ISP practices, including privacy, because of a part of the Federal Trade Commission Act known as the “common carrier exemption.”

A common carrier is a service that carries traffic without discrimination or interference, like telephone service. Prior to 2002, the FTC didn’t police either telephone companies or ISPs. In 2002, a determination by George W. Bush’s FCC that ISPs were not common carriers brought them within the scope of the FTC’s authority. Then, the Obama FCC’s 2015 decision to reclassify ISPs as common carriers put ISPs back under FCC oversight — the decision that also enabled the FCC to adopt the strongest-ever net neutrality rules as well as protect consumers from fraudulent billing, price gouging, and other harmful ISP practices.

PAI’S PLAN IS TO KILL NET NEUTRALITY

The only way Pai can restore the FTC’s authority over broadband would be to reverse the FCC’s 2015 decision reclassifying ISPs as common carriers. If that happens, the net neutrality rules and the FCC’s ability to protect consumers and competition in the broadband market would no longer be valid.

 

As reported by several news outlets, this is exactly what Pai plans to do.

In place of the net neutrality rules, ISPs would commit to several (but not all) net neutrality “principles” in their terms of service — no discrimination, no blocking, no “harmful” paid prioritization. (Which is interesting, since the Wheeler FCC has found that paid prioritization is inherently harmful.)

Placing these commitments in their terms of service would give the FTC the ability to bring an enforcement action if an ISP did not live up to those promises. Some reports even suggest that Pai would make these fundamental changes without first providing an opportunity for public input.

Nilay Patel has explained why such a plan is, in his words, “nonsense”: terms of service change all the time; there are hundreds of small rural ISPs that are unlikely to be covered by this pledge; the FTC can only bring so many enforcement actions, and so on. Another name for the Pai Plan might be “Just Trust Us.” Hardly a comforting thought in a market where ISPs face little competition and serve as the sole gatekeeper to the internet.

PAI’S PLAN WILL ALSO GET RID OF PRIVACY PROTECTIONS

And despite his promises, the Pai plan won’t restore the privacy protections the FCC’s rules would have provided. The now-canceled FCC rules would have prohibited an ISP from selling, sharing or otherwise using your browsing history and applications usage unless you affirmatively gave permission for that use. The FTC’s legal framework does not require affirmative opt-in consent for browsing history and app usage. A provider would only have to let you opt-out — something that consumers rarely do and which companies routinely make it hard to do. And importantly, while the FCC’s rules would have protected consumers before they were harmed, the FTC can only act after harm has already occurred.

Even worse, because of a recent decisionfrom a Federal Appeals Court in California, the FTC can’t prohibit the vast majority of ISPs from sharing or selling your personal information at all. That decision says that if a company provides a common carrier service, the FTC cannot enforce its laws against any of its services, even if they are non-common carrier services like video or online news. So ISPs that also provide mobile or fixed telephone service — which is pretty much all of them — would be completely exempt from FTC oversight. If the case stands (it is currently on appeal), then the Pai plan will deprive consumers of both net neutrality and broadband privacy protections.


I think the Trump FCC should keep the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality and ISP classification decision intact. At a bare minimum, however, the FCC should not start a proceeding to reverse them unless and until the 9th Circuit decision is reversed.

A remarkable letter sent to Pai by 50 Republican House members on Friday demonstrates the political perils of leaving consumers’ personal information unprotected. Despite the fact that just two weeks ago the House voted to repeal the FCC’s broadband privacy rules, these House members urge Pai to continue to protect consumer privacy until such time as he completes his plan to repeal net neutrality. The letter, sent on the day before member of Congress have to face angry voters during recess, should serve as a cautionary tale. The American people wanted the freedom to decide how their ISP uses their personal information — they didn’t want Congress to give it to giant internet providers.

Similarly, the American people want the freedom to decide where to go and what do with their internet connection. They don’t want the FCC to give it to giant internet providers. If the past several days are any indication, if net neutrality is threatened, Americans will once again make their voices heard.

Gigi Sohn served as Counselor to former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler from November 2013 to December 2016.

 

Yahoo’s New Male CEO Will Get Twice Marissa Mayer’s Salary

The company named board member Thomas McInerney, 52, as the head of its new spinoff company, Altaba. McInerney, former CFO at IAC media company – which owns brands such as Tinder, OKCupid, and the Princeton Review – is to get a $2 million base pay, the company announced in an SEC filing Monday.

Mayer isn’t going entirely gently into the good night, she’ll get a $23 million golden parachute, as well as around $57 million in stock options.Image result for Yahoo’s New Male CEO Will Get Twice Marissa Mayer’s Salary

After the company has sold the vast majority of its internet assets to Verizon, McInerney will be running just a nub of the former powerhouse. Altaba will essentially be an investment shell to manage a small but profitable stake in Chinese internet giant Alibaba.

Following revelations that Yahoo had allowed 1 billion of its users’ email accounts to be compromised, Yahoo was forced to cut its sale price to Verizon by $350 million. Mayer also forfeited her 2016 annual bonus of $2 million and her 2017 annual equity grant of $12 million.

JEE Advanced 2017: This Ranchod will remind you of Aamir Khan’s role in 3 Idiots

 

JEE Advanced 2017: Just like the Bollywood flick 3 Idiot’s Aamir Khan’s character Ranchod Das Chanchad, an underpriviledged boy who loves machines and wishes to study engineering, another boy named Ranchod Ram from a remote village in Rajasthan has cracked JEE Advanced and will join Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) soon.

Ranchod secured 2078 rank under the OBC category. Born and brought up in Jalore’s Jhak village, he will be the first person from his village to join IIT. His father is MNREGA worker while his mother is a homemaker. Even though it was not easy for them to make both ends meet, they sent their son to Kota to join a private coaching institute. Read | JEE advanced result 2017: Sarvesh Mehtani tops paper with 339 out of 366

“I scored 78 per cent in class 10 and 80 per cent in class 12. My uncle took me to Kota where Allen career institute saw my talent and had cut down the fees by half,” said Ranchod who is planning to take up B Tech in either electrical or computer science or electrical and communication. This was his third attempt at cracking JEE Advanced.3 idiots, iit, iit jee 2017, jee advanced 2017 results, jee advanced topper, ranchod 3 idiots, 3 idiots ranchod, 5 point someone, JEE ranchod, education news, indian express

His parents are illiterate and the income comes from farming and MNREGA. Ranchod has three siblings. His eldest brother works in a shop at Andhra Pradesh and supports the family financially.

In Jhak village, there are only 200 homes. There is one school till class 8 and if some student wish to study further, he/she has to travel to seven-eight km far for the senior secondary school. “I was bright and therefore my uncle sent my to a private school. He runs a dairy,” said Ranchod Ram. Read | JEE Advanced results: Utensil merchant’s son among three from Valley to qualify in exams

“My maternal uncle’s son was also taking coaching from Kota and we shared room, books and phone. My entire expenditure was taken care by uncle,” he added. Ranchod has not decided what he wished to do after graduates from IIT. For now, he is content with living his dream of studying at the renowned institute.

 

E3 2017: Sony’s PlayLink for PS4 Will Let You Play Games Using Your Phone

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • PlayLink lets you play games on your PS4 via a smartphone
  • Titles vary from crime thrillers to quick-fire quizzes
  • PlayLink titles include That’s You!, Hidden Agenda

At the ongoing E3 2017 in Los Angeles, California, Sony announced some of its most anticipated games for PlayStation for the year including God of War, Spider-Man and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, to name a few. Console titles aside, the company also introduced PlayLink, which allows users to play games with family and friends using their smartphones and tablets.

PlayLink is aimed at creating a fun, interactive way to play games in a social setting. Based on a video Sony released showcasing the feature, PlayLink requires a smartphone or tablet, a TV, and a PlayStation 4 console, which, when set up, lets you and your group of family or friends play interactive PlayLink titles.

“PlayLink games turn your smartphone or tablet into a versatile controller – you can swipe, pinch, drag, tilt, rotate or even snap selfies and draw crafty doodles, depending on the game. No matter which title you choose from our PlayLink collection, it’s guaranteed to be a slick pick-up-and-play experience,” Sony said in a blog post.E3 2017: Sony's PlayLink for PS4 Will Let You Play Games Using Your Phone

PlayLink titles range from crime thrillers to quick-fire quizzes. In one of the videos, for example, you see a group of people playing That’s You! – a quiz-based app that “challenges you and up to five friends to get personal and find out what you really think about each other.” This will be one of the first titles for PlayLink and will be available for PlayStation Plus members for free starting July 4.

Another video shows a crime and narrative-based game called Hidden Agenda that allows up to six people to join in. The game requires the players to make tough, quick decisions as the story progresses, which will also influence the way the game moves forward.

Sony sees PlayLink as something that can come in handy during social gatherings as well as rope in new players to video games. It also reminds one of Jackbox Games’ Party Pack multi-platform social games. Some other PlayLink titles that can be expected soon include Knowledge is Power, Frantic, and SingStar Celebration.

 

New rumor says Samsung Galaxy C7 (2017) will feature dual camera setup

 

According to a new rumor, the Samsung Galaxy C7 (2017) will feature a dual rear-camera setup. The rumor comes in the form of tweet from a Chinese tipster who goes by the Twitter handle @mmddj_china.

 New rumor says Samsung Galaxy C7 (2017) will feature dual camera setup

In his tweet, the tipster refers to the C7 (2017) as the fourth dual camera device that the South Korean tech giant is working on – the other three probably are the Galaxy C10, Galaxy J7 (2017), and the Galaxy Note8.

The tweet also says the device will launch soon. This may well be true given that the handset has already been certified by the Bluetooth SIG as well as the WiFi Alliance (WFA).

New Nokia Smartphones Will Be Sold in U.S. Market

 

With excitement building among rabid Nokia phones fans for the brand’s imminent global revival as an Android smartphone maker, there’s a bit of confusion about just where the new line of devices will be sold.

But U.S. fans should not fret. The new line will be available here soon.

HMD Global, the Finnish start up that licensed the brand, last month unveiled three new, low-cost smartphone models and a modernized candy bar phone—a reprise of famous Nokia 3310—with a promise to start selling them in 120 markets in the second quarter. After questions about which countries would be included and when—and with some low-end phone maker forsaking the U.S. market—the company said last week in a brief statement that the phones would be sold worldwide all at once.

At the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona last month, some HMD officials were even clearer that the U.S. market was on their list for immediate sales. Although the startup has been in business for less than a year, it’s filled with longtime Nokia veterans from the decades when the company was the top phone brand in the world.

“The U.S. is a very important market for us, so when we say that we’ll go worldwide, we’ll go in more than 120 markets including of course also U.S.,” Pekka Rantala, HMD’s chief marketing officer, told Fortune at MWC.

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Rantala spent 17 years at Nokia, rising to head of marketing. He left when the business was sold to Microsoft (MSFT, +0.23%) and then ran Rovio Entertainment, creator of the popular Angry Birds mobile game, before joining HMD last August.

There’s a lot of excitement for the Nokia revival in the United States, according to tracking of mentions on social media and other indicators, Rantala said. And when Nokia made its old school Snake video game available to play via Facebook Messenger, the largest number of players were from the United States, he added.

The startup can pull off the simultaneous global rollout because HMD has so many experienced people on staff from the old Nokia (NOK, +1.69%) days, he said.

“They have the relationships when it comes to both a professional and also personal level in many parts of the world,” Rantala said. “Many people are asking at which countries do you start. I think we start everywhere, because we have the readiness and we have partners who can supply us.”

The new phone line, which is manufactured by a unit of iPhone-maker Foxconn, starts with the Nokia 6 with a 5.5-inch screen and selling for 229 euros, or about $242. A slightly smaller Nokia 5, with a 5.2-inch screen, will go for 189 euros, or $200, and 5-inch model called the Nokia 3 will sell for just 139 euros or under $150. All three models rely on Google’s (GOOGL, -0.20%) Android software.

Nokia Smartphones Primed for a Smartphone Comeback
Nokia may be making a comeback in 2017!

More models at higher and lower prices will be forthcoming eventually, Rantala said. “I’m not saying when, but it’s clear that we are going to evolve the portfolio downwards and upwards because the brand gives is permission to be present in all the price points,” he said.

Deal LG G6 will be 50% off at Sprint for a limited time

 

Sprint started accepting pre-orders for the LG G6 on March 17, but the smartphone is only hitting shelves tomorrow, April 7. The good news is that, for a limited time, Sprint will be selling the handset for half the price to “well-qualified customers with 24-month installment billing and eligible upgrade on qualified rate plan, or new line on Unlimited Freedom.” More exactly, instead of paying $29.50 per month over 24 months, you’ll have the chance to pay $14.75 per month – this means that the G6 will cost you just $354.

The free Google Home speaker (which everyone else is offering) is still included with Sprint’s LG G6, if you purchase the phone before May. However, that free 49-inch LG 1080p HDTV (normally priced at $349.99) offered to folks who’ve pre-ordered the handset is no longer available. Even so, at just $354, Sprint’s G6 is a very attractive handset.Deal: LG G6 will be 50 off at Sprint for a limited time

The LG G6 is the first HPUE-enabled smartphone to be launched by Sprint, so it should benefit from extended coverage and faster data transfer speeds. The device will be available via all Sprint channels, including online, in two color variants: black and ice platinum.

Sprint did not say when the 50% off G6 promotion would end, so you may want to hurry up if you plan to take advantage of the deal. More information can be found at the source link below, or in Sprint stores nationwide. Meanwhile, if you want to take a closer look at the new smartphone, make sure to check out our LG G6 initial review.

Samsung Galaxy On Max first impression: Will give you sharp photos even in near-dark conditions

Priced at Rs 16,900, the phone has a 5.7-inch, full-HD display and runs on Android 7.0 Nougat.

KHIMSAR (RAJASTHAN): As the battle for the best low-light camera in a smartphone heats up, Samsung has launched its Galaxy On Maxdevice that has f/1.7 aperture for clicking sharp photos even in near-dark conditions.

Priced at Rs 16,900, the USP of the phone is its “flagship” 13MP camera (both front and rear) with the rear shooter having f/1.7 aperture which allows users to click good-quality photos irrespective of light conditions.

With the launch of this camera-oriented device, Samsung is poised to give tough competition to the Chinese players whose devices boast of several camera features and modes that have given them the upper hand in the mid-segment market.

To experience the camera technology, we had a chance to shoot pictures during a moon-lit night in the picturesque sand dunes in Rajasthan’s Khimsar town which falls under Nagaur district.

Coupled with the f/1.7 aperture, Samsung’s improved camera algorithm captured clear photos with minimum grains.

The photos clicked during the low-light conditions at sunset came well-lit. The shutter response and autofocus were good.

Moreover, the professional mode allowed us to alter the texture and style of the image. Adjusting the ISO sensitivity and white balance yielded splendid results.

Silhouettes can be shot beautifully by keeping the camera exposure to its minimum level (-2) and ISO at 100.

The camera app has Live Stickers and Instant Sharing mode. This allows users to share images on Facebook and Instagram in a jiffy.

As far as the 13MP front-facing camera (with aperture f/1.9) is concerned, Samsung has included an LED flash which allows the users to click well-lit selfies.Image result for Samsung Galaxy On Max first impression: Will give you sharp photos even in near-dark conditions

Galaxy On Max has 5.7-inch, full-HD display, is powered by 4GB RAM with 32GB storage expandable up to 256GB and runs on Android 7.0 Nougat. The home button doubles up as a fingerprint sensor.

The device features an all-metal unibody design and the display has 2.5D curved glass. It has connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and 4G/LTE with VoLTE-HD voice calling support.

The smartphone packs the “Samsung Pay Mini” platform with Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Paytm integration.

Housing a 3,300mAh battery, the device can be purchased from Flipkart.

Conclusion: At Rs 16,999, Galaxy On Max gives close competition to devices like Moto G5 Plus, Nokia 6, Honor 8 and Asus Zenfone 3. But when we look at camera capabilities, the phone has a definitive edge.

The HTC U 11 will come with an app to show you how to squeeze it

 

Someone’s got an itchy trigger finger at HTC, because a companion Edge Sense app for the HTC U 11 briefly appeared on the Google Play app store, before getting pulled again. It’s designed to walk users through what could be this phone’s most distinctive feature.

Based on a variety of leaks we’ve seen up until this point, we’re expecting Edge Sense (or maybe Sense Touch) to introduce a new way of interacting with your phone: squeezing and scrolling the sides of your handset to navigate around. It’s even teased on HTC’s official press event invite.

Before the app disappeared from view Android Police managed to grab some screenshots. It looks like it will take you through the process of testing your squeeze strength, then show off some of the ways you can use this new input method: taking photos, sending messages, launching Google Assistant, and so on.Image result for The HTC U 11 will come with an app to show you how to squeeze it

Squeeze frame action

A pressure-sensitive frame would help HTC stand out in what’s already a very competitive market as far as 2017 phone launches go. There’s the added bonus of being able to interact with your phone without obscuring the screen, though we’ll have to wait to test the phone to see exactly how well it works.

What we can’t see in any of these screenshots are the Edge Sense options, so it’s not clear how you’ll be able to configure it or what else it can do – presumably you can slide as well as squeeze to navigate menus, adjust the volume and so on, but that’s to be confirmed.

We’re expecting to see a 5.5-inch, 1440 x 2560 display when the phone is finally unveiled on Tuesday, as well as a Snapdragon 835 chipset and as much as 6GB of RAM powering everything under the hood. We’ve collected all the most recent rumors for you here.

 

The Moto X (2017) will actually be called Moto X4

Motorola’s upcoming device portfolio is still shrouded in a lot of mystery. A new Moto Z2 flagship is pretty much certain at this point and so is a fresh addition to the Moto X line.

However, reputable leakster @evleaks claims what we tough would be the Moto X (2017) will actually be called the Moto X4. And given his reputation and the accompanying banner, we have every reason to believe so.

Regardless of the name, the handset in question was featured in a recent teaser video, as well as a leaked presentation a few hours ago. The quoted specs paint a premium mid-range offering – sitting right below the Z2 in Moto’s lineup.

The Moto X4 should feature a 5.5-inch display, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and Qualcomm’s newly unveiled Snapdragon 660 chipset. Other suggested specs include a 3,800 mAh battery, a front-facing fingerprint scanner, IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, a full metal build, and laser autofocus for the main camera.