legal

Why Microsoft just sued the US government

Why Microsoft just sued the US government

Microsoft has sued the United States government for the right to tell users when they are being spied on. The lawsuit was filed in a Seattle-based federal court today, and marks the latest battle between tech company and government over the state of consumer privacy. According to Microsoft’s lawsuit, preventing Microsoft and companies like it from notifying users about government data requests is in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

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Senator Franken clarifies his letter to Oculus

Senator Franken clarifies his letter to Oculus

Last week we reported that Senator Al Franken had sent a letter addressed to Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe. This happened not long after some rather interesting wording in the Oculus Rift Terms and Conditions led to concern from many consumers. While Oculus hasn't formally responded to the letter, we reached out to Senator Franken for comments on his letter.

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Uber transparency reports kick off with data on second half of 2015

Uber transparency reports kick off with data on second half of 2015

Uber has released its first transparency report, putting it among the ranks of dozens of companies that have rolled out similar reports. In this case, Uber’s transparency report has details on the latter half of 2015, letting the public see what kind of requests were received and what kind of information the company ended up supplying to others. As well, Uber says it is the first company to include regulatory requests among its transparency report information.

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‘Textalyzer’ bill wants cops to search phones for distracted drivers

‘Textalyzer’ bill wants cops to search phones for distracted drivers

A new bill has been introduced in New York that, if passed, would give police officers the authority to search a driver’s phone in the event of an accident. The bill speaks of a so-called ‘Textalyzer’ technology that will enable cops to “detect” if a cell phone was used “around the time of a crash” without giving them access to any personal data like phone numbers, chat logs, contacts, app data, or photographs. The technology is being developed by Cellebrite, the same company that helped the FBI unlock an iPhone without Apple's help.

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New bill will force companies to unlock phones in ‘timely’ manner

New bill will force companies to unlock phones in ‘timely’ manner

Earlier today, a new bill proposed by Senators Richard Burr and Diane Feinstein was published that seeks to force companies to unlock phones for law enforcement when ordered to do so. The bill has already been criticized as excessively vague (and therefore broad) in scope, and the Obama administration has reportedly stated it will not support the bill. While the legislation doesn't propose penalties against companies that can't provide the requested data or assistance, it will require them to hand over or unlock data and devices if they have the technical means to do so.

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Senator Franken calls out Oculus over privacy concerns

Senator Franken calls out Oculus over privacy concerns

Just yesterday I wrote a piece regarding the Terms and Conditions that every Oculus Rift user has to agree to. In those Terms and Conditions were a few parts that had some users concerned, as the guys at UploadVR found when they went digging through it. These were primarily related to data that would be collected, and potentially shared with other companies, such as Facebook. Well today, Senator Al Franken has sent a letter addressed to Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe to address some of those concerns.

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Blizzard takes legal action against community-ran vanilla WoW server

Blizzard takes legal action against community-ran vanilla WoW server

World of Warcraft is a very different game than the one that made its debut back in 2004. This fact was most obviously apparent to those who played on a user-ran server, which is based on the original, vanilla version of the game. One of the most popular user-ran vanilla servers was named Nostalrius, and next week it will be going offline.

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FBI’s iPhone-cracking trick unlikely to remain secret for long

FBI’s iPhone-cracking trick unlikely to remain secret for long

The ongoing battle between Apple and the FBI over bypassing an iPhone's security during a criminal investigation took an interesting turn last week, when the government abruptly dropped its court appointment, saying it had found another method to get inside the iPhone 5c at the middle of San Bernardino terrorism case. Unfortunately for the FBI, this new trick for bypassing Apple's encryption is unlikely to remain a secret for long.

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Jay-Z seeks legal action against former Tidal owners

Jay-Z seeks legal action against former Tidal owners

Today isn't a great day for the music streaming service Tidal. Earlier today it was revealed that Kanye West's new album was no longer exclusive to the platform. Despite the artist's earlier claims that it would never be available for purchase, or even to stream on any other service, it appeared on Apple Music, Spotify, and Google Play Music. And now it would seem that there's a lawsuit brewing.

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Judge rules Uber CEO must face antitrust lawsuit

Judge rules Uber CEO must face antitrust lawsuit

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick must face an antitrust lawsuit over alleged price-fixing, a judge has ruled. Uber itself was not named in the lawsuit, which claims Kalanick conspired with drivers to charge prices determined by an algorithm (in the Uber app), as well as hiked rates known as surge pricing. Efforts were made to have the lawsuit dismissed, but presiding U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff has given it the go-ahead.

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FCC’s Lifeline now subsidizes Internet for low-income Americans

FCC’s Lifeline now subsidizes Internet for low-income Americans

The FCC has voted in favor of expanding Lifeline, a phone subsidy program that has been around for the last thirty or so years. Under this expansion, low-income individuals and families will be able to get subsidized high-speed Internet service, an essential service in the modern world. The Lifeline program will cover bundled Internet-and-voice services, as well as Internet-only services.

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Soccer legend Pele sues Samsung over lookalike ad

Soccer legend Pele sues Samsung over lookalike ad

Soccer legend Pele has filed a lawsuit against Samsung over a lookalike actor used in some of its UHD TV advertisements. The ads were run in the New York Times, and reportedly features a man who “very closely resembles” Pele, as well as a soccer player performing a move that he is well known for. The lawsuit is looking for a minimum of $30 million, and was filed recently in the U.S. District Court in Chicago.

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