Huge news day today, with Google's I/O presentation packing about a day's worth of news into a single hourlong presentation--and this is just the first day. We wonder whether Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Chrome OS can exist in the same world, and whether the music labels will ever again get a seat at the table. Plus, why Microsoft bought Skype, cellphones getting disaster notification texts, and the New Yorker comes to the iPad. --MollySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
The White House is urging Congress to enact a new "privacy bill of rights" that would provide clearer guidelines to online users and businesses about the collecting of personal information over the Internet.
Speaking in Washington yesterday at a special hearing devoted to online consumer privacy, Assistant Commerce Secretary Lawrence Strickling acknowledged that the ability to store information about customers helps make online companies more efficient. But he said that consumers are growing increasingly uneasy about how their personal information is being collected and used.
With the lengthy privacy policies now offered by Web sites proving confusing and … Read more
U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy appears to have chosen a different approach to getting an antipiracy bill through Congress than the one he pursued last fall.
Ahead of a Senate hearing to discuss online piracy scheduled for next Wednesday, Leahy's staff has met in recent days with representatives of Google and other companies about their objections to his antipiracy plans, participants in the talks told CNET yesterday.
Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, saw an antipiracy bill he attempted to rush through the Senate late last year held up just before Congress adjourned. If … Read more
It may come as a surprise to know that police generally need a warrant to search your house, but not to track your whereabouts through your cell phone.
This is what Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who has become the Senate's leading champion of electronic privacy, wants to change. Wyden recently spoke with CNET in an interview transcribed below about his forthcoming legislation.
It's hardly Wyden's first foray into technology. In 2006, he introduced a pro-Net neutrality bill, opposed a renewal of the Patriot Act, and proposed restrictions on the Bush administration's controversial Total Information … Read more
The U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 841, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act, which would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to set standards for alert sounds in electric or hybrid vehicles. The bill also creates a deadline for the safety protocols to be met by 2013.
"The passage of this legislation is momentous and marks over two years of vigorous advocacy by ACB membership that has resulted in consensus by the blind community, auto industry, and Congress," said Mitch Pomerantz, president of the American Council of the Blind, in a news release.
The National Alliance … Read more
Legislation that makes it illegal for Web merchants and so-called post-transaction marketers to charge credit cards without the card owners' say-so came closer to becoming law this week.
A bill known as the "Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act" passed on Tuesday in the U.S. Senate. The law will make it illegal to use "misleading post-transaction advertisements" and require marketers to clearly disclose the terms of their offers. Merchants and marketers must now "obtain billing information, including full credit or debit card numbers," directly from card holders. The legislation was the government's answer … Read more
A controversial proposal allowing the government to pull the plug on Web sites accused of aiding piracy is closer to becoming a federal law.
After a flurry of last-minute lobbying from representatives of content providers including the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a Senate committee approved the measure today by a unanimous vote.
In the last week, support for the bill known as COICA, for Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, broadened beyond groups traditionally active in online copyright disputes to include the Newspaper Association of America, which said the legislation … Read more
Foes of the Transportation Security Agency's new air-screening procedures, including law enforcement-style pat-downs and what have been called "virtual strip searches," had hoped that today's Senate hearing would lead to a privacy outcry on Capitol Hill.
Not quite. The hearing quickly cleaved along partisan lines, with Democratic senators applauding the Obama administration and Republicans offering only modest criticism.
"Mr. Pistole, you're doing a great job," Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat and chairman of the Senate committee overseeing air travel, told TSA chief John Pistole, a former FBI agent who's had the … Read more
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators will introduce legislation tomorrow that would require utilities to generate minimum levels of power from clean energy like wind and solar, after such a measure was stripped from a broader oil-spill bill in July.
Sens. Jeff Bingaman, a Democrat who heads the Senate energy committee, and Sam Brownback, a Republican, will unveil the standalone bill in the afternoon.
"I think that the votes are present in the Senate to pass a renewable-electricity standard," Bingaman said in a release. "I think that we need to get on with figuring out what … Read more
After six months worth of allegations of privacy invasions involving some of the largest Internet companies, it should come as no surprise that politicians are calling for new laws. The fact that it's an election year probably made it inevitable.
But an unusually lengthy Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Tuesday, titled "Consumer Online Privacy," made it clear that there was zero consensus on what approach to take.
Politicians fretted about everything from retailer Amazon keeping records of what customers purchased, unsubscribing from spammers' lists, peer-to-peer software vulnerabilities, the now-defunct NebuAd, cancer patients whose sensitive e-mail is redistributed, … Read more