Net Neutrality

ISPs promise not to sell customers’ personal browsing history

ISPs promise not to sell customers’ personal browsing history

As you've likely heard by now, Congress voted earlier this week to reverse FCC rules that prevented internet service providers from selling personal customer data like browsing history. Understandably, many Americans are upset by this. Now several ISPs like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon are getting proactive in reassuring customers that their privacy matters, releasing statements that say they will not be selling users' internet browsing data.

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FCC drops net neutrality investigations into AT&T, Verizon

FCC drops net neutrality investigations into AT&T, Verizon

Right through December of last year, the FCC had ongoing investigations into telecom giants including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile over their use of zero-rated data services, viewing them anti-competitive and in violation of net neutrality rules. Unfortunately, these investigations were opened under outgoing FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, and part of President Trump's restaffing has been appointing Ajit Pai as the new head. In turn, the agency has also revealed that it's dropping the investigations.

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Net Neutrality – Why it should matter to you

Net Neutrality – Why it should matter to you

Before this year’s presidential elections became the major factor dividing the US tech industry, it was “net neutrality” that split camps along lines of for or against. And if you thought the (legal) battle is over, you are definitely wrong. Although the FCC already ruled in favor of net neutrality last year, the changing of the guards opens up the real possibility, nay an explicit objective even, of undoing all that. The net neutrality debates are about to be reignited and, whichever side of the camp you stand on, the results will inevitably affect everyone.

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FCC says AT&T, Verizon are violating net neutrality with sponsored data plans

FCC says AT&T, Verizon are violating net neutrality with sponsored data plans

This week the FCC sent letters to both AT&T and Verizon, stating that zero-rated data — plans and services that don't count against users' monthly allotment — is a violation of net neutrality rules. For AT&T, this applies to their new DirecTV Now streaming video service, and for Verizon it's their own Go90 video service. The FCC's wireless communications chief Jon Wilkins wrote that the telecoms' practices "inhibit competition, harm consumers, and interfere with the ‘virtuous cycle’ needed to assure the continuing benefits of the Open Internet."

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UK carrier Three to test mobile ad blocking next month

UK carrier Three to test mobile ad blocking next month

Back in February, UK mobile carrier Three announced a pretty radical change. The company had partnered up with a startup named Shine to remove ads from mobile webpages. While they didn't have a lot of details at the time, we're finally getting some clarification on this initiative.

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Google agrees to T-Mobile’s “Binge On” terms because they’re “opt-out”

Google agrees to T-Mobile’s “Binge On” terms because they’re “opt-out”

T-Mobile's "Binge On" service allows more video apps to stream media to devices without using up the customer's data allotment. While for the end customer this may seem like a really great deal, (who doesn't like so-called free data?), it continues to hold the door open for internet services to charge different amounts of money for different internet services. True Net Neutrality requires that all internet be treated the same - here that's just not true.

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UK carrier Three says it will begin blocking mobile ads

UK carrier Three says it will begin blocking mobile ads

UK wireless carrier Three has announced that it will begin block ads for all its subscribers at the network level. The company has partnered with the startup Shine, with the intent to remove "excessive and irrelevant mobile ads" for users, and in turn reduce the strain on their bandwidth. Three says this move isn't an attempt to eliminate mobile advertising altogether, but instead is to give customers "more control and choice" over what appears on their devices.

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India rejected Facebook’s free internet, and that’s a good thing

India rejected Facebook’s free internet, and that’s a good thing

Last year, Facebook launched their “Free Basics” program in India, which promised to bring free internet to all the citizens of the country. On the surface, that seems like a great and noble move. Unfortunately, not all was as it seemed, which is why in December, the country moved to ban the service. Facebook has been fighting hard ever since, but that battle appears to have come to a close.

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Verizon defies net neutrality, makes own video service free of data caps

Verizon defies net neutrality, makes own video service free of data caps

Completely disregarding the rules of net neutrality put in place last year by the FCC, Verizon has just made a controversial change to its own Go90 mobile video service: any content watching on the app won't count towards customers' LTE data limits. Watching videos from any other source? That's going to eat into their monthly allotment. The move follows rival T-Mobile with its Binge On service, which also throttles video content.

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Legere takes another stab at defending T-Mobile’s Binge On

Legere takes another stab at defending T-Mobile’s Binge On

T-Mobile CEO John Legere isn't known for holding back when it comes to press statements, and especially when it comes to less formal channels like social networks. While sometimes entertaining, it does come at the cost of sometimes muddling issues and even turning away allies. That's is certainly what the outspoken Legere experienced after he had publicly lashed out at privacy advocacy group EFF over the carrier's Binge On video streaming feature. And, uncharacteristic of the chief exec, he does acknowledge his error and even apologizes for it.

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Facebook’s free internet service banned in India

Facebook’s free internet service banned in India

Facebook wants to bring limited free internet service to some of the developing nations around the world and in India, the plan has run into some issues. An Indian regulator has asked that the free internet service be banned while an investigation is conducted to ensure that the free web access doesn't pose a threat to net neutrality.

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FCC can’t, or won’t, impose Do Not Track on Google, Facebook

FCC can’t, or won’t, impose Do Not Track on Google, Facebook

The FCC is sometimes seen as the enemy and sometimes as the advocate of consumer rights and interests, depending on which side of the fence you're on. Or on which issue. Recently, its new net neutrality rules have put it on not so friendly terms with some in the Internet and tech businesses. But this latest statement might earn it back some points, at the expense of irking some privacy advocates. It has said that it won't be imposing rules on Internet companies that would block or hinder them from tracking user's online activities.

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