Legislation

Turkish citizens fight back against Twitter ban

#twitter blocked in #turkey tonight. folks are painting #google dns numbers onto the posters of the governing party. pic.twitter.com/9vQ7NTgotO

— Engin Onder (@enginonder) March 21, 2014

The people of Turkey are still finding their way into the Twittersphere despite a government ban of the site.

On Thursday, Turkish courts took Twitter offline for the country's 76 million citizens following actions by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. An unabashed critic of social networks, Erdogan has threatened to "wipe out" the site in the wake of a political corruption scandal that has embarrassed the government through news, videos, … Read more

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker friends Silicon Valley

The US Department of Commerce wants to friend Silicon Valley. That's the message from Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who made her first official visit this week to what she called a "place of majestic beauty" and a "dynamic and innovative ecosystem that is envied not just across the United States but throughout the world."

Pritzker met with Silicon Valley executives from Facebook, Google, and eBay, and with startup entrepreneurs. "With the country moving at warp speed toward the 'Internet of Everything,' our goal at the Department of Commerce as a service organization is … Read more

Sen. Manchin demands complete US ban on Bitcoin

A US senator is asking the federal government to take this remarkable step: completely ban Bitcoin.

Joe Manchin, a Democratic senator representing West Virginia, sent a letter Wednesday to the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and other regulators characterizing the virtual currency as encouraging "illicit activity" as well as being "highly unstable and disruptive to our economy."

Manchin, who is a member of the Senate banking committee, suggested in the letter -- titled "Manchin Demands Federal Regulators Ban Bitcoin" -- that a complete prohibition was appropriate because Thailand, China, and South Korea have already … Read more

Apple urges veto of Arizona 'antigay' bill

Apple has added its name to the list of groups eager to help quash Arizona's controversial religious freedom bill.

An unnamed person from Apple spoke on the phone with Gov. Jan Brewer, asking her to veto SB1062, Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder confirmed to the Arizona Capitol Times on Monday. Apple also confirmed the conversation, the Times added.

Apple's request that the governor veto the bill carries some weight. The iPhone maker is set to officially open a sapphire-producing factory in Mesa, an operation that would employ 700 people and create 1,300 construction and management jobs, the governor'… Read more

Turkey approves legislation to block Internet sites

Turkey is one step closer to enacting a law that would give the government the power to block any Internet site.

Late Wednesday Turkish lawmakers passed a bill that would let the presidency of regulatory agency Telecommunication and Communication (TIB) curtail access to an Internet site within four hours of receiving complaints alleging privacy violations, The Wall Street Journal said on Thursday. Such an action would not require a ruling from a court. Further, Turkish Internet companies would have to hold onto traffic information for as many as two years.

The next step falls to Turkish president Abdullah Gul, who … Read more

US to push for mandatory car-to-car wireless communications

The US government will work to enable wireless communication links between cars, technology it expects will reduce accidents and, eventually, decrease fuel consumption and speed travel.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said Monday it's finalizing a report on the subject based on a 3,000-vehicle study of vehicle-to-vehicle communications that began in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 2012. That report should be released in the coming weeks -- and then the Department of Transportation's push for using V2V technology in cars and light trucks will get serious.

"NHTSA will then begin working on a regulatory proposal that … Read more

European antitrust case targets US movie studio contracts

The European Commission has opened an antitrust case involving licensing agreements between US film studios that can preclude European TV broadcasters in one country from showing movies in another.

The investigation involves licensing agreement provisions in contracts between Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, and Paramount Pictures on the one hand, and on the other "the largest European pay-TV broadcasters, such as BSkyB of the UK, Canal Plus of France, Sky Italia of Italy, Sky Deutschland of Germany, and DTS of Spain," the commission said Monday in a statement. At issue is whether such contracts hobble … Read more

Google privacy chief: Proposed EU privacy law 'dead'

A contentious European Union privacy law that would've drastically changed data protection laws for a generation is "dead," according to Google's chief privacy counsel.

Google's global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer wrote on his personal blog, "Europe's much-ballyhooed, and much-flawed, proposal to rewrite its privacy laws for the next twenty years [has] collapsed."

The bill would give regulators the power to fine companies in violation of the law up to 100 million euros, around $136 million, for failing to properly secure the personal data of EU citizens. In October, the EU agreed with … Read more

Leahy's perennial data privacy bill gets another shot

Maybe the fourth time will be the charm for Sen. Patrick Leahy's data privacy protections standards.

Leahy (D-Vt.) reintroduced his data privacy protection bill to Congress on Wednesday, for the fourth time since 2005. The Personal Data Privacy and Security Act would create a national standard for how businesses would have to notify customers of data breaches, and mandate customer data protection standards for businesses that collect sensitive personal information.

It would also update the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act so that attempted computer hacking and conspiracy to commit computer hacking would be punishable by the same criminal penalties … Read more

Calif. lawmaker to introduce smartphone 'kill switch' bill

A California senator plans to introduce a new bill that would require smartphones to enable a "kill switch," a security feature that would make a phone inoperable if it's stolen.

Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) announced Thursday that he will introduce the bill at the start of the 2014 legislative session in January, with the support of San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón.

"One of the top catalysts for street crime in many California cities is smartphone theft, and these crimes are becoming increasingly violent," Leno said in a press release. "We … Read more