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AT&T's Sponsored Data Is Bad for the Internet, the Economy and You

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 15:12
The Verge

AT&T announced a new "Sponsored Data" program that lets developers and brands pay to deliver content to your mobile device outside of your data caps. It sounds great for consumers on its face — you'll be able to get more stuff without paying for it! — but in reality it's a huge blow to the free and vibrant market of the Internet economy, and the first step towards a new era of carrier control.

Somalia’s al-Shabab Militia Bans Internet

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 15:10
Washington Post

In recent years, Somalia’s al-Shabab militia has banned smoking, playing soccer, watching movies, wearing bras, anything it deemed Western. Now, the al-Qaeda-linked group has targeted something else common in most of the rest of the world: the Internet.

African Americans First in New Media

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 15:09
Chicago Sun-Times

We are all too familiar with the bad numbers for African Americans. We know the stats showing we suffer from perniciously persistent unemployment, poverty, crime and incarceration rates. Black Americans tip the scale on the prevalence of obesity and other deadly health maladies. For decades, we have been buried in an avalanche of negative trends. Now, a victorious statistic: African Americans are dominant users of social media sites.

HuffPost Policy Banishes Trolls -- and Drives Away Some Frequent Commenters

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 15:08

When Huffington Post announced that all commenters — not just new registrants — would be required to link their profiles to Facebook accounts verified with a phone number and have their real names displayed when commenting, the reaction was fierce. Commenters, many of whom had left thousands of comments and amassed thousands of “fans” over five or more years on the site, felt betrayed.

In Wireless First, AT&T Says It Is Ready to Offer 'Toll-Free' Data

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 15:04

After indicating for two years that it was interested in such a service, AT&T is announcing its plan for “sponsored data,” in which businesses can pick up the bill for consumers using certain apps or services.

The Architecture of Surveillance

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 14:37

Mass surveillance has an image problem. The visual references commonly used to portray intelligence agencies -- screens, servers and sleek glass buildings -- don’t suggest an ethics or a rationale to their operations.

AT&T Dials Up Toll-Free 'Sponsored Data'

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 14:25

Long-talked about, AT&T is the first of the carriers to pull the trigger on the 1-800 equivalent of data that wouldn't count against customers' caps.

AT&T to Launch 'Sponsored Data' Toll-Free Data Plans

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 14:05

AT&T is introducing toll-free data plans, which allow partners to subsidize consumer data. The news comes after years of AT&T saying that content providers are interested in picking up the tab for subscribers' data usage so that it doesn't count toward their data bucket.

AT&T Turns Data Caps into Profits with New Fees for Content Providers

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 14:03
Ars Technica

AT&T confirmed a long-rumored plan to monetize wireless data caps by charging content providers for the right to serve up video and other media without chewing up consumers' monthly data limits. Sometimes called 1-800-DATA, AT&T billed the plan as "a new way for eligible 4G customers to enjoy mobile content and apps over AT&T’s wireless network without impacting their monthly wireless data plan."

Carriers Step Up Battle for Wireless Customers

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:47
New York Times

A tug of war has broken out among the major wireless carriers. As Americans rely more on their mobile devices, guzzling data along the way, the carriers are aggressively wooing new customers.

The First Phone Company to Publish a Transparency Report Isn’t AT&T or Verizon

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:44
Washington Post

Ever since we learned that the country's phone companies were handing vast amounts of data to the government under court order, pressure has been mounting for them to publish a Silicon Valley-type transparency report detailing how exactly they're complying. Now the first such report is out. But instead of coming from industry mainstays such as Verizon or AT&T, the disclosure comes from a little-known, left-leaning service known as CREDO Mobile.

New York Comptroller Questions AT&T Surveillance Report Plan

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:37

A plan by AT&T to explain how it shares some customer information with government agencies may not be enough to restore public trust, an attorney for New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli told securities regulators.

Who Could Lose When Comcast and Khan Academy Tango

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:34
New America Foundation

At first glance, it looks positive: Comcast and Khan Academy are looking for ways to help bridge the digital and educational divide. But before you get excited, it’s worth considering the motives and potential impact of this agreement: The partnership raises questions about whether “discount” programs like Internet Essentials actually address the digital divide issue, and concerns about how Internet service providers might someday be able to pick favorites in the digital education market.

So, Who Owns the Internet?

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:32
Harvard Gazette

A lawsuit in federal court may decide whether Web access remains open and neutral.

Welcome to Oakland, Mr. Wheeler

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:28
New America Media

It’s rare you get the chance to talk about media and technology’s impact on your life with someone who actually can do something about it. But this is exactly the opportunity Oakland residents will have when Tom Wheeler, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, takes part in a town hall meeting on Jan. 9 at Preservation Park at 7 p.m.

AT&T Lets Companies Sponsor Subscribers' Mobile Data

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 19:43
IDG News Service

AT&T will let media companies and other partners cover the cost of delivering some data over the carrier's mobile network, letting subscribers click on videos and other content without worrying about their monthly data caps.

AT&T’s Sponsored Data Plan Isn’t the End of Net Neutrality But It Is a New Model for Wireless

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 13:36

AT&T’s Sponsored Data plan is a potentially new advertising and revenue model for the wireless industry. But is it a problem that regulators or startups should fear? Not on mobile networks.

AT&T to Sell Toll-Free Service for Wireless Data

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 13:23
Associated Press

AT&T, the country's second-largest wireless carrier, announced that it's setting up a "1-800" service for wireless data. Websites that pay for the service will be toll-free for AT&T's wireless customers, meaning the traffic won't count against a surfer's monthly allotment of data.

FCC's Wheeler to Deliver Policy Address While on West Coast

Fri, 01/03/2014 - 17:03
Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will appear at a town hall meeting in Oakland, Calif., Jan. 9 to talk about the impact of media consolidation, and make a policy speech while on that West Coast swing next week.