Stories by Grant Gross

The ratings: Most net neutrality groups get poor grades for funding transparency

After a spate of news stories about alleged "astroturf" advocacy in a contentious U.S. net neutrality debate, the IDG News Service looked into the funding transparency of several think tanks and advocacy groups involved in the issue. Several disclose limited or no information about their funding, we found.

By Grant Gross | 25 October, 2014 05:50

Tags: Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Free State Foundation, Berin Szoka, Harold Ford Jr., internet, Facebook, Randolph May, Internet service providers, George Soros, Google, TechFreedom, Center for Democracy and Technology, Transparify, eric schmidt, government, free press, Mojang, regulation, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future,, Public Knowledge, Scott Cleland, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Holmes Wilson, Open Society Foundations, American Enterprise Institute, Microsoft, Consumer Electronics Association, Broadband for America, Verizon Communications, broadband, John Sununu, New America Foundation, Internet Innovation Alliance, telecommunication, David Koch

Advocacy groups accused of obscuring corporate ties in net neutrality debate

A spate of recent news stories have revealed that a wide variety of lobby groups have financial ties to broadband carriers and trade associations, accusing them of faking grassroots opposition to strong net neutrality rules.

By Grant Gross | 25 October, 2014 05:50

Tags: telecommunication, David Koch,,, internet, Internet service providers, Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, American Enterprise Institute, Charles Koch, ctia, Techdirt,, Dennis Rodman, Brian Dietz, government, American Consumer Institute for Citizen Research, DCI Group, Broadband for America, American Commitment, broadband, National Cable and Telecommunications Association, regulation, comcast

Secretive funding fuels ongoing net neutrality astroturfing controversy

The contentious debate about net neutrality in the U.S. has sparked controversy over a lack of funding transparency for advocacy groups and think tanks, which critics say subverts the political process.

By Grant Gross | 25 October, 2014 05:50

Tags: Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, telecommunication, regulation, Mike Wendy, Fight for the Future, internet, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Internet service providers, Doug Brake, George Soros, Open Society Foundations, Holmes Wilson,, Richard Esguerra, Jennifer Lappin, U.S. Federal Communications Commission, Transparify, government, broadband

Court shuts down alleged PC tech support scam

A court has shut down a New York tech support vendor after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission accused the company of scamming computer users into paying hundreds of dollars for services they did not need.

By Grant Gross | 25 October, 2014 03:56

Tags: U.S. Federal Trade Commission, " Jessica Rich, regulation, legal, Civil lawsuits, government, Pairsys

Senator wants Whisper to explain how it tracks users, shares their data

Social media app Whisper, a supposedly anonymous way for users to post online confessions, is now facing privacy questions from a U.S. senator after reports that it tracks locations of users and has shared their information with other companies.

By Grant Gross | 25 October, 2014 02:07

Tags: U.S. Senate, Michael Heyward, Internet-based applications and services, security, regulation, social networking, internet, government, privacy, John "Jay" Rockefeller, WhisperText

Akamai sees record-setting spikes in size and volume of DDoS attacks

The size and volume of distributed denial-of-service attacks has exploded in the past year, with a 389 percent increase in average attack bandwidth between the third quarter of 2013 and the third quarter of 2014, according to an Internet security report from Akamai Technologies.

By Grant Gross | 24 October, 2014 03:59

Tags: Akamai Technologies, security, John Summers

Accused text-message spammers to pay $9 million in settlement

A group of companies that allegedly promised mobile phone users supposedly free gift cards and electronic devices in a "massive" text-messaging spam operation will pay more than US$9 million to settle complaints from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

By Grant Gross | 23 October, 2014 06:11

Tags: U.S. Federal Trade Commission, antispam, regulation, security, legal, Civil lawsuits, Jessica Rich, government

Lawmakers call on FCC to reclassify broadband for net neutrality

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission should reclassify broadband as a regulated public utility in order to achieve net neutrality, but take a "light touch" while doing it, a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday.

By Grant Gross | 23 October, 2014 04:45

Tags: telecommunication, regulation, Anna Eshoo, comcast, internet, Internet service providers, Henry Waxman, Tom Wheeler, U.S. House of Representatives, USTelecom, at&t, U.S. Federal Communications Commission, Walter McCormick, government, broadband, Verizon Communications

Digital rights groups ask ITU to stay out of net neutrality debate

The International Telecommunication Union should resist calls to adopt rules allowing countries to charge fees for Internet traffic coming from outside their borders, said 21 digital rights groups from 11 countries.

By Grant Gross | 22 October, 2014 06:02

Tags: New America Foundation, Global Partners Digital, World Wide Web Foundation, Center for Democracy and Technology, Movimento Mega, internet, International Telecommunication Union, government, Public Knowledge, Shiva Stella, Danielle Kehlm

FTC appoints privacy researcher Soltani as chief technologist

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission's new chief technologist is high-profile digital privacy consultant Ashkan Soltani, a move that signals the agency's growing interest in policing online tracking and other Internet privacy issues.

By Grant Gross | 22 October, 2014 04:58

Tags: U.S. Federal Trade Commission, regulation, U.S. National Security Agency, Edith Ramirez, government, Ashkan Soltani, privacy, Chris Soghoian, Future of Privacy Forum, American Civil Liberties Union, Jules Polonetsky, security

Tech industry likes Obama nominee for patent office

The U.S. tech industry scored a victory this week when President Barack Obama nominated former Google lawyer Michelle Lee to lead the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

By Grant Gross | 18 October, 2014 03:19

Tags: Fenwick and West, Erich Andersen, Michelle Lee, Application Developers Alliance, Barack Obama, government, Philip Johnson, Google, intellectual property, Microsoft, legal, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, patent, Jon Potter

Mobile device and date use skyrockets, US gov't survey says

This smartphone thing may finally be catching on.

By Grant Gross | 17 October, 2014 06:45

Tags: mobile applications, U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration, John Morris, internet, government, U.S. Census Bureau, mobile

FBI director calls for greater police access to communications

Apple and Google should reconsider their plans to enable encryption by default on their smartphones, and the U.S. Congress should pass a law requiring that all communication tools allow police access to user data, U.S. FBI Director James Comey said.

By Grant Gross | 17 October, 2014 04:02

Tags: telecommunication, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. National Security Agency, Brookings Institution, James Comey, privacy, U.S. FBI, Apple, Google, Cameron Kerry, consumer electronics, 4g, Ron Wyden, security, legal, smartphones, Center for Democracy and Technology, encryption, Greg Nojeim, government

CTIA: Mobile carriers still need lighter net neutrality rules

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission should not hold mobile carriers to the same net neutrality rules as it does for wired broadband providers because of unique mobile network management challenges, the head of the largest U.S. mobile trade group said.

By Grant Gross | 16 October, 2014 01:52

Tags: telecommunication, regulation, ctia, U.S. Federal Communications Commission, internet, government, broadband, Internet service providers, Meredith Attwell Baker, Michael Beckerman, 4g, Tom Wheeler

Founder of digital currency Liberty Reserve extradited to the US

Authorities have extradited the founder of Liberty Reserve, a virtual currency allegedly used by cybercriminals for money laundering, from Spain to the U.S.

By Grant Gross | 11 October, 2014 09:38

Tags: U.S. Department of Justice, Internet-based applications and services, e-commerce, legal, Arthur Budovsky, Liberty Reserve, internet, Leslie Caldwell, Criminal, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

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