Sometimes you must have moderation and people on the outside of their parties to fix things and to fix anything you have to meet in the middle. So it’s no surprise that digital freedoms, privacy, and protections proponents like Democratic Senator Ron Wyden and Republican Senator Rand Paul would undo the change, adopted by the U.S.Supreme Court in April, in a private vote, and without congressional involvement changed Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
The rule change, set to go into effect December 1st, would allow agencies like the FBI to use one warrant from any one state or federal jurisdiction to hack an unlimited number of computers in multiple jurisdictions using black hat hacking techniques of botnet hacking. This style of attack would open these compromised computers to attacks from third parties as well. It would also leave little oversight it seems to the FBI and other agencies who would now be able to do this if the rule change occurred. The bill spearheaded Wyden and Paul would block these overreach in powers by the FBI and other agencies. Republican Senator Steve Daines and Democrats Tammy Baldwin and Jon Tester are co-sponsoring the Stopping Mass Hacking Act. [Sen Wyden Post]
FiOS subscriber Colin Nederkoorn, a startup CEO who resides in New York City, pays for FiOS Internet that promised service of 75 Mbps download and 35 Mbps upload. However, his Netflix video streams were limping along at just 375 kbps (0.375mbps). Which is about only 0.5 percent of the speed he’s paying for. So on a lark he decided to connect to a Virtual Private Network service. What Nederkoorn found was that through this encrypted extra hop, which in all other cases would slow down network performance he saw nearly a 10x increase in Netflix performance.
So Verizon, you got a lot of explaining to do! Continue reading
In the Washington DC federal appeals court on Tuesday, Verizon won a very troubling decision. It is a decision that if not fought could lead to troubling ideas of “toll road” internet prices. Tiers of internet that block certain services like cable packages block certain channels in different cable packages. Independent web services and websites like Netflix, Facebook, Skype, or Google could be crippled or blocked unless you pay for a premium internet experience package while Verizon owned or partnered websites & services could be offered in the cheap basic “Channel” package. A very chilling idea but not unheard of if you think back to the history of telecommunications in the United States.
Troubling news is coming out of East Africa this week. International news media site Al Jazeera has just picked up that on May 24th 2012, Ethiopia ratified new legislation called the ‘Ethiopian Telecom Service Infringement Law’. The Legislation criminalizes any third-party Internet services not run by the state controlled telecom monopoly, Ethio Telecom, with Skype being a focus. However, the ban affects other services, such as Google Talk.