law

Smartphone Kill Switch in California: what’s the point?

Smartphone Kill Switch in California: what’s the point?

This week a piece of legislation is making its way through to the state level in California, a piece of legislation that would mandate a so-called "Kill Switch" for smartphones on every device inside state lines. Of course this legal document isn't about the state wanting to turn off smartphones in waves - instead it's about making the devices less accessible to thieves. This piece of law would have every smartphone manufacturer wanting to sell a device in the state of California legally bound to including a way to cut off service to the device remotely.

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NYPD tipped testing Google Glass

NYPD tipped testing Google Glass

The New York City Police Department has unofficially made public their intention to beta-test Google Glass for use in the field. In a chat with Venture Beat, what they call a "ranking New York City law enforcement official" has spoken up on the subject, apparently wanting not to be named specifically. At the moment it would appear that they're only looking at the headsets, "seeing how they work."

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FCC Net Neutrality powers struck down by federal court

FCC Net Neutrality powers struck down by federal court

This morning a court has struck down the FCC's ability to enforce certain key "Net Neutrality Rules" on companies that would favor certain kinds of web traffic over others. That's what Net Neutrality protects the public against, after all: with a "neutral" law in place, all web data is treated equally. Without these rules in place, companies that provide web connectivity are able to legally place restrictions on some content while making other content run faster - whichever they do so choose.

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Uber, SnapCar, et al soon must wait 15 min before meeting fares in France

Uber, SnapCar, et al soon must wait 15 min before meeting fares in France

The ever proliferating Uber "black car" service and other mobile-app-dispatched driver services will have to wait 15 minutes before picking up any customer starting Jan. 2014, a French bill has decreed. The bill was spotted by the French news organization Libération and passed on by way of TechCrunch. The decree is intended to preserve the state-regulated taxi industry.

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Bitcoin miners do not have to register as money transfer services: ruling

Bitcoin miners do not have to register as money transfer services: ruling

Bitcoin miner Milly Bitcoin has done a little citizen letter-writing, and the results should make virtual currency miners breathe a sigh of relief. Milly Bitcoin's mining company Atlantic City Bitcoin last June wrote to the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) requesting an official administrative ruling on whether ACB must register as a money transfer service. FinCEN has now replied, and the answer is no.

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Obama hears panel: Stop NSA bulk phone data collection

Obama hears panel: Stop NSA bulk phone data collection

The White House has released a lengthy report written by a five-member panel recommending sweeping reforms of the NSA. Included among the 46 recommendations by the "Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies" is one to delete all bulk telephone metadata on Americans from the NSA's servers. The panel also suggested that the data should be allowed to be stored by the private telecoms for a capped length of time -- five years in most cases -- accessible by the NSA only through court order or other official third-party permission.

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