Entries Tagged as ''

EFF Files Petition Opposing Proposed AT&T/T-Mobile Merger

EFF today filed a petition with the Department of Justice and the FCC asking the administration to deny AT&T Inc.’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile USA, based on concerns about the risk of non-neutral behavior as a result of decreased competition. You can read EFF’s letter here.

As we said:

EFF has maintained that the preferable way to avoid discriminatory conduct and achieve network neutrality by carriers is through fostering competition and preventing the consolidation of market power. Thus, if the administration, both the Department of Justice and the FCC, seeks to support a more neutral, more innovation-friendly communications infrastructure, it should use its efforts to assist in the creation of more competitors, rather than fewer. The merger represents a step in the wrong direction.

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Feds, John Edwards Reportedly at Impasse in Talks re Possible Plea

Did longtime friends of trial attorney John Edwards give him money to help cover up an extramarital affair so he could keep it secret from his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth? Or to help the former senator from North Carolina with his campaign for election as the nation's president? The answer to that question could help determine whether Edwards violated election law, if a possible federal criminal case against him is pursued, reports the Associated Press. Also importantl would be how much Edwards did or did not know about the situation. However, observers tend to agree with attorney Gregory Craig, who represents…more...

Take the EFF Tor Challenge!

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US Courts Administrative Director, Jim Duff, to Head Freedom Forum

James Duff, who heads the administrative office of the United States Courts, has announced that he plans to resign his job of five years to join the Freedom Forum as its president and chief executive officer. Duff, 57, was selected after a nationwide search to serve in the top administrative post at at the Freedom Forum, which is known for its First Amendment and media law work as well as its operation of the Newseum in Washington, D.C., according to a U.S. Courts press release and a Freedom Forum press release. “Jim Duff has worked closely with three chief justices…more...

Ex-BigLaw Attorneys at MoloLamken Add Patent Appellate Win to String of Supreme Court Victories

Not quite two years after leaving BigLaw to form their own boutique, two former partners are celebrating a string of noteworthy victories. Helped by referrals from their former firms, as well as other major partnerships, Steven Molo and Jeffrey Lamken have a book of business that gives them at least as much high-profile work as they used to have at Shearman & Sterling and Baker Botts, reports Thomson Reuters. Lamken, who also previously worked as an assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General, led MoloLamken to victory in three U.S. Supreme Court cases during the last term, the article notes. Meanwhile,…more...

“Who Has Your Back” In Depth: Fighting For Users’ Privacy Rights in Court

EFF recently launched a campaign calling on companies to stand with their users when the government comes looking for data. (If you haven’t done so, sign our petition urging companies to provide better transparency and privacy.) This article will provide a more detailed look at one of the four categories in which a company can earn a gold star in our campaign: fighting for users' privacy rights in court.

This category recognizes those companies that have gone to court to fight for their users' privacy interests in response to government demands for information--companies that have actually filed briefs and made legal arguments defending their users' privacy rights. A gold star in this category is especially important considering that in many cases, only the company itself will be in a position to challenge the government's attempt to obtain user information. Those companies that have done so publicly are deserving of public commendation.

Therefore, we gave Yahoo! a full gold star for its work last year in the Colorado federal court, fighting the Justice Department's attempt to seize a Yahoo! user's email without probable cause. Not only did Yahoo! oppose the government's demand in court, it also convinced the court to unseal the otherwise secret proceeding so that EFF could file a brief in the case. In the face of stiff opposition, the government ultimately backed down and withdrew its demand.

We also gave a gold star to Google, both for teaming up with EFF on its brief in last summer's Yahoo! email case, and for resisting a Justice Department subpoena for search logs in 2006. Amazon got a star, too, for repeatedly fighting to protect the privacy of its users' book purchases in the face of both federal and state government demands. Finally, we tipped our hat to Twitter for successfully convincing the government to allow the unsealing of a demand for information about Twitter users associated with Wikileaks, although we only awarded half a star because that success did not involve the filing of any briefs in court or rely on any legal arguments concerning users' privacy rights.

A star in this category is important and worthy of praise but it may not completely tell the story about a company's actions to protect its users. It's fair to assume that some internet companies--including some on our "Who's Got Your Back" list--have worked hard behind the scenes to protect their users, whether by informally convincing the government to withdraw or scale back requests for user information, or by opposing government demands in court proceedings that are under seal or that have not been reported. But since we have no way to confirm which companies have done so, it's impossible for us to factor such cases into our rankings. We urge companies that have quietly fought for their users' privacy in such circumstances to publicize those efforts wherever possible, and move for courts to unseal the details of such cases, so that they might earn a star in this category and be publicly recognized for their work.

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Obama Taps ‘Green’ Exec and Yale Law Grad John Bryson as Next Commerce Secretary

A 67-year-old Yale Law School graduate with extensive experience as corporate executive in energy companies has been tapped by President Barack Obama to be the next U.S. Commerce Secretary. John Bryson formerly served as chief executive officer of Edison International for 17 years and is currently chairman of BrightSource Energy Inc., which develops solar power plants, reports Bloomberg. Before joining Edison he also helped found the National Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, and was president of the California Public Utilities Commission. As a business executive and energy expert, Bryson "understands what it takes for America to succeed in…more...

Supreme Court Seeks US Views on Cell Phone Suit, as WHO Sees Possible Cancer Link

The U.S. Supreme Court has asked the United States to weigh in on a pending cert petition in a lawsuit that contends cellphone companies misled consumers about radiation and possible health risks. The name plaintiff in the would-be class action, Francis Farina, says the defendants should have included headsets with cellphones to reduce radiation dangers, Law360 reports. At issue in the Supreme Court case is whether the state law claims are pre-empted because they frustrate federal regulations, according to the cert petition (PDF posted by SCOTUSblog). The Supreme Court acted on the same day that an international panel of World…more...

Life Insurance Guide For Advisors

Harold D. Skipper, Ph.D. (Professor of Risk Management and Insurance, Georgia State University) recently published his book entitled The Advisor’s Guide to Life Insurance (2011). The book description is below: The Advisor's Guide to Life Insurance is designed to assist...more...

Model Helicopters Recalled by Horizon Hobby Due to Impact and Laceration Hazards

The main blade grips and main rotor blades can release from the main rotor head, posing an impact and laceration hazard.more...