Article 43


Privacy And Rights

Friday, March 24, 2023

Blaming TikTok For Our Lack Of Privacy Protection Laws

image: iphone
AT&T’s new privacy policy for its Internet and video services is way out of line - an insult to genuine security efforts and a brassy attempt to make its profits your problem… AT&T has also extended its claims on your information by claiming that it can monitor your video usage.... The new privacy policy basically lets AT&T do anything it wants with your information. (Remember, according to the company, it’s its information.) The specific claim is that AT&T can do whatever it wants with your/its data “to protect [the company’s] legitimate business interests.”
- Phone Records For Sale, 2006
Many of the big American players have set up shop in Shenzhen, but they look singularly unimpressive next to their Chinese competitors. The research complex for China’s telecom giant Huawei, for instance, is so large that it has its own highway exit… Sometimes called “market Stalinism,” it is a potent hybrid of the most powerful political tools of authoritarian communism - central planning, merciless repression, constant surveillance harnessed to advance the goals of global capitalism… In 2006, the Chinese government mandated that all Internet cafes (as well as restaurants and other entertainment venues) install video cameras with direct feeds to their local police stations… But the cameras that Zhang manufactures are only part of the massive experiment in population control that is under way here. “The big picture,” Zhang tells me in his office at the factory, “is integration.” That means linking cameras with other forms of surveillance: THE INTERNET, phones, facial-recognition software and GPS monitoring…
- Rise of the Golden Shield, 2008
EMBARQ may use information such as the websites you visit or online searches that you conduct to deliver or facilitate the delivery of targeted advertisements. The delivery of these advertisements will be based on anonymous surfing behavior and will not include users’ names, email addresses, telephone numbers, or any other Personally Identifiable Information. You may choose to opt out of this preference advertising service. By opting out, you will continue to receive advertisements as normal; but these advertisements will be less relevant and less useful to you.
Embarq, WOW Bury Snooping In Terms Of Service, DSL Reports, 2008
Charter Communications, one of the largest ISPs is the country, confirmed Tuesday that its partnering with a company called NebuAd, which pays ISPs to let it install a monitoring box on their networks to sniff customer traffic.
- NebuAd’s Make Believe Opt-Out, 2008
OnStar’s latest T&C has some very unsettling updates to it, which include the ability to sell your personal GPS location information, speed, safety belt usage, and other information to third parties, including law enforcement… OnStar has granted themselves the right to collect this information for any purpose, at any time, provided that following collection of such location and speed information identifiable to your Vehicle
- OnStar Snooping, 2011
Selling Bell Labs and Lucent in 2006 to foreigners was a forgotten moment in US history.  The company’s subsidiary - LUCENT GOVERNMENT SOLUTIONS - is a sobering reminder of what’s going on, along with AT&T outsourcing its IT infrastructure, or US carriers selling every TAT cable to foreigners. These expressions that capitalism trumps all - even national security - are a lot scarier to me than fear mongering about HUAWEI and CHINESE TELECOM MANUFACTURERS, that our friends at 60 Minutes did a piece on last night.... Like the guy says at the end of the Forbes article - “It’s much easier to bash China.”
- Bad Moon Rising Part 57, Huawei, 2012
Back in Hitler’s day, the rich were targeted; their wealth stolen and the lives snuffed out, but THIS TIME its the poor who are being sent to the Gulag… The NSA in America, similar to Nazi’s attempt to discriminate based on data collection… The SCAPEGOATS being marked for death and imprisoned this time are the poor.
- PRISM & Purity: NSA follows Nazi tradition, 2013
Thanks to a new VERMONT LAW requiring companies that buy and sell third-party personal data to register with the Secretary of State, we’ve been able to assemble a list of 121 data brokers operating in the U.S. It’s a rare, rough glimpse into a bustling economy that operates largely in the shadows, and often with few rules.
- Data Brokers, 2019
[N]ow we see that the surveillance capitalists behind those services regard us as the free commodity. We thought that we search Google, but now we understand that Google searches us. We assumed that we use social media to connect, but we learned that connection is how social media uses us. We barely questioned why our new TV or mattress had a privacy policy, but we’ve begun to understand that “privacy policies” are actually surveillance policies.
- The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, 2020
The class action complaint is based on a report by researcher FELIX KRAUSE - who claimed Facebook and Instagram apps for iPhones inject JavaScriptcode onto websites people visit. A similar complaint was filed in the same court a week ago… The class action lawsuits say the Facebook app bends Apples privacy rules by opening the links in an in-app browser rather than the users default browser… The Facebook app is a major offender when it comes to privacy so it’s worth at least deleting that - and Instagram - from your iPhone.
- Facebook Keeps Giving Users More Reasons To Delete Their Accounts, 2022


America’s online privacy problems are much bigger than TikTok
Concerns of Chinese data access highlight Congress’s own failure to protect Americans personal information

By Will Oremus
Washington Post
March 24, 2024

For a brief moment in a FIVE HOUR HOUSE HEARING on Thursday, TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew let his frustration show. Asked if TikTok was prepared to split off from its Chinese parent company if ordered to do so by the U.S. government, to safeguard Americans online data, Chew went on offense.

"I don’t think ownership is the issue here. With a lot of respect: American social companies don’t have a great record with privacy and data security. I mean, look at Facebook and Cambridge Analytica,” Chew said, referring to the 2018 scandal in which Facebook users’ data was found to have been secretly harvested years earlier by a British political consulting firm.

He’s not wrong. At a hearing in which TikTok was often portrayed as a singular, untenable threat to Americans’ online privacy, it would have been easy to forget that the country’s online privacy problems run far deeper than any single app. And the people most responsible for failing to safeguard Americans data, arguably, are American lawmakers.

The bipartisan uproar over TikToks Chinese ownership stems from the concern that China’s laws could allow its authoritarian government to demand or clandestinely gain access to sensitive user data, or tweak its algorithms to distort the information its young users see. The concerns are genuine. And yet the United States has failed to bequeath Americans most of the rights it now accuses TikTok of threatening.

While the European Union has far-reaching privacy laws, Congress has not agreed on national privacy legislation, leaving Americans’ online data rights up to a patchwork of state and federal laws. In the meantime, reams of data on Americans shopping habits, browsing history and real-time location, collected by websites and mobile apps, is bought and sold on the open market in a multi-hundred-billion-dollar industry. If the Chinese Communist Party wanted that data, it could get huge volumes of it without ever tapping TikTok. (In fact, TikTok says it has STOPPED TRACKING U.S. users’ precise location, putting it ahead of many American apps on at least one important privacy front.)

That point was not entirely lost on the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which convened Thursdays hearing. Last year, their committee became the first to advance a comprehensive data privacy bill, hashing out a hard-won compromise. But it stalled amid qualms from House and Senate leaders.

Likewise, worries about TikToks addictive ALGORITHMS, its effects on teens’ mental health, and its hosting of propaganda and extreme content are common to its American rivals, including GoogleҒs YouTube and Metas Instagram. Congress has not meaningfully addressed those, either.

And if Chinese ownership is the issue, TikTok has plenty of company there, as well: A glance at Apple’s iOS App Store rankings earlier this week showed that four of the top five apps were Chinese-owned: TikTok, its ByteDance sibling CapCut, and the ONLINE SHOPPING APPS SHEIN AND TEMU.

The enthusiasm for cracking down on TikTok in particular is understandable. It’s huge, its fast-growing, and railing against it allows lawmakers to position themselves simultaneously as champions of American children and tough on China. Banning it would seem to offer a quick fix to the problems lawmakers spent five hours on Thursday lamenting.

And yet, without an overhaul of online privacy laws, it ignores that those problems exist on all the other apps that haven’t been banned.

“In most ways, they’re like most of the Big Tech companies,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said of TikTok after the hearing. “They can use Americans’ data any way they want.” She and several other committee members said they’d prefer to address TikTok as part a broader privacy bill, rather than a one-off ban.

But the compromises required to pass big legislation can be politically costly, while railing against TikTok costs nothing. If Chew can take any consolation from Thursday’s hearing, it’s that congressional browbeating of tech companies are far more common than congressional action against them.

For an example, he has only to look at the one he raised in that moment of frustration: For all the hearings, all the grilling of Mark Zuckerberg over Cambridge Analytica, Russian election interference and more, Facebook is still here - and now Congress has moved on to a new SCAPEGOAT.


Posted by Elvis on 03/24/23 •
Section Privacy And Rights • Section Broadband Privacy
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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

NWO Covid Year 3 Part 9 - Twitter Files and The Virality Project

image: hear no evil see no evil speak no evil
Previous experience with the flu vaccines clearly demonstrates that the safety studies done by researchers and clinical doctors with ties to pharmaceutical companies were essentially all either poorly done or purposefully designed to falsely show safety and coverup side effects and complications. This was dramatically demonstrated with the previously mentioned phony studies designed to indicate that Hydroxy Chloroquine and Ivermectin were ineffective and too dangerous to use. These fake studies resulted in millions of deaths and severe health disasters worldwide. As stated, 80% of all deaths were unnecessary and COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED with inexpensive, safe repurposed medications with a very long safety history among millions who have taken them for decades or even a lifetime.
- Covid Update - What Is The Truth, March 2022
In the condition, also known as TTS, blood clots appear suddenly in different places throughout the body, sometimes including in the brain; patients also become prone to severe bleeding. That makes it difficult to treat. TTS, CDC researchers told the panel Thursday, was seen once in 250,000 recipients of the J&J vaccine, but was more common among women in their 30s and 40s, where it occurred once in 100,000 recipients. About 15% of cases were fatal.
- The Tragedy of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine.
Scapegoating the unvaccinated as “variant factories” is not only scientifically unproven and ethically deplorable but it criminally likens them to rats carrying a plague.
- Demonising The Unvaccinated
“SEME" is one of the most powerful forms of influence ever discovered in the behavioral sciences.  It leaves people thinking they have made up their own minds, which is very much an illusion. It also leaves no paper trail for authorities to trace. Worse still, the very few people who can detect bias in search results shift even farther in the direction of the bias, so merely being able to see the bias doesn’t protect you from it.”
- Search Engine Manipulation
The global COVID-19 crisis has significantly shifted the landscape for mis- and disinformation as the pandemic has become the primary concern of almost every nation on the planet. This has perhaps never happened before; few topics have commanded and sustained attention at a global level simultaneously, or provided such a wealth of opportunities for governments, economically motivated actors, and domestic activists alike to spread malign narratives in service to their interests. In response, the Stanford Internet Observatory is launching the Virality Project, a global study aimed at understanding the disinformation dynamics specific to the COVID-19 crisis.
-The Virality Project

[T]hey also wanted to limit true content that might promote vaccine hesitancy including true stories of vaccine side effects and any true post that can fuel hesitancy
image: kim iversen twitter files
- The Covid Twitter Files Drop: Protecting Fauci While Censoring The Truth w/Matt Taibbi


Censorship Masquerades and Disinformation Control

By Andrew Lowenthal
Brownstone Institute
March 19, 2023

TWITTER FILES #19 have dropped. I am happy to have assisted Matt Taibbi and team to put that release together, along with RELEASE #18.

The Files show widespread censorship masquerading as “anti-disinformation,” and intense collusion between government agencies, NGOs, academia, Big Tech, media, philanthropy, the intelligence community, and more.

Tinfoil hat stuff? The Twitter Files show it is real.

They uncover a level of corruption that is hard to grasp, much of it among the “anti-disinformation” and digital-rights fields where I have worked for almost 20 years.

To say this is disappointing would be an incredible understatement. A 180 on what I understood to be our values.

Twitter Files #18 and #19 focus on the Virality Project, an “anti-vaccine misinformation” effort led by Stanford and bringing together elite academia, NGOs, government, and experts in AI and social-media monitoring, with six of the biggest social-media companies on the planet. They went far beyond their “misinformation” remit. Twitter Files show the Virality Project pushed platforms to censor STORIES OF TRUE VACCINE SIDE EFFECTS.

Partnered in the effort were FACEBOOK/INSTAGRAM, Google/YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, Medium, and Twitter.

Reporting side effects of the NOW-PULLED JOHNSON AND JOHNSON VACCINE vaccine would have been labelled “misinformation” under Virality Project decrees. Had Kerryn Phelps (the first female president of the Australian Medical Association) taken to Twitter to DESCRIBE HER AND HER WIFE’S VACCINE INJURIES, these too would have been labelled misinformation. German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach would have also been censored last week for admitting that as a result of the vaccines THERE ARE SEVERE DISABILITIES, AND SOME OF THEM WILL BE PERMANENT.

image: youtube covid video

RATHER THAN listening out for safety signals to protect the public, leaders in the “anti-disinformation” field ran cover to protect Big Pharma, smearing and censoring critics. The moral depravity is astounding and quite possibly criminal.

The Virality Project, however, is just part of a broader cultural shift that reverses long-standing liberal/left commitments to free expression, and allows censorship in the name of protection and safety. However, in suppressing “stories of true vaccine side effects,” the Virality Project put people in danger. Rather than keeping people safe, they exposed us to the depredations of Big Pharma.

The centrality of censorship ideology to the digital-rights field is illustrated in former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden opening RIGHTSCON 2022, the sector’s biggest civil-society event. ENGAGE MEDIA co-organised RightsCon in 2015 when I was Executive Director. Ardern claims that WEAPONS OF WAR AND DISINFORMATION ARE ONE IN THE SAME

RightsCon 2022 also heavily promoted US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Blinken oversees the State Departments Global Engagement Center, one of the most egregious US government promoters of “anti-disinformation” as censorship. (See TWITTER FILES #17)

Western leaders who advocate for censorship in the name of “disinformation” severely undermine those fighting authoritarian regimes around the world. Those regimes frequently evoke the threat of “fake news” to justify their crackdowns.

Is disinformation an actual problem? Yes, though it is overstated and the “anti-disinformation” field is making it worse, not better. It is also contributing to increasing polarisation.

I encourage you to read both releases in full and hold what you have been told about Elon Musk just for a moment. Musk is neither hero nor demon. The Twitter Files, however, are a critical catalyst to challenge the new censorship regime we now live under and reinvigorate the movement for free expression.

(Note that I am a paid consultant for Matt Taibbi and have no relation whatsoever to Musk).

If you can walk and chew gum you’ll know that uncovering liberal/left corruption doesn’t imply support for the reactionary right.

Free speech and expression protect us from the most powerful actors on the planet: corporations, the State, and a growing plethora of international bodies. Ultimately, we need radically decentralised social media that is more immune to their capture. Our safety depends on it.

Many have come before me; however, far too few have been willing to challenge this ethical fall from grace. The good news is that its not too late.

About the Author:

Andrew Lowenthal is co-founder and former executive director of EngageMedia, an Asia-Pacific digital rights, open and secure technology, and documentary non-profit, and a former fellow of Harvards Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and MIT’s Open Documentary Lab.



With Fauci hagiography, PBS’s ‘American Masters’ turns from art to mindless politics

By Russell Cook
American Thinker
March 22,2023

In Ben Bartee’s blog post online, ”EPIC VIDEO: INFORMED BLACK GUY ON DC STREET DESTROYS FAUCI TO HIS FACE” his first line says, “I dont know how this clip slipped past me, but a video has resurfaced of Anthony Fauci and Washington, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser canvassing the streets to encourage the urban population to get vaxxed ... “

This is not some “resurfaced” video, it is from the first-time tonight BROADCAST of PBS’ multi-year program AMERICAN MASTERS - it’s the top-most feature at their website.

American Masters previously had been solely devoted to programs about iconic musicians, dancers, writers, playwrights, and Hollywood actors. Basic art. Period. Do a Google search for their name in connection with its program producers WNET New York, and you’ll see the show has always been one about art. Their own LIST OF PROGRAMS.

This is an offensive effort by the partly taxpayer-funded PBS empire to elevate Dr Fauci into some kind of ‘cultural’ icon for us to admire, revere, and worship. One more example of leftists having no self-awareness of how crazy their agendas have become.


Posted by Elvis on 03/22/23 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO • Section Privacy And Rights • Section Dying America • Section Fascism
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Sunday, February 26, 2023

The Mother of All Privacy Battles Part 24 - Shutting Us Up

 image: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

[T]he 85-page briefing, titled THE GOOD CENSOR admits that Google and other tech platforms now control the majority of “online conversations” and have undertaken a shift towards “censorship” in response to unwelcome political events around the world.
- Democracy Hollwed Out Part 35 - Censorship

We look at two cases before the Supreme Court that could reshape the future of the internet. Both cases focus on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which backers say has helped foster free speech online by allowing companies to host content without direct legal liability for what users post. Critics say it has allowed tech platforms to avoid accountability for spreading harmful material. Critics say it has allowed tech platforms to avoid accountability for spreading harmful material. On Tuesday, the justices heard arguments in Gonzalez v. Google, brought by the family of Nohemi Gonzalez, who was killed in the 2015 Paris terror attack. Her family sued Google claiming the company had illegally promoted videos by the Islamic State, which carried out the Paris attack. On Wednesday, justices heard arguments in the case of Twitter v. Taamneh, brought by the family of Nawras Alassaf, who was killed along with 38 others in a 2017 terrorist attack on a nightclub in Turkey. We speak with Aaron Mackey, senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who says Section 230 “powers the underlying architecture” of the internet.
- Video - Free Speech on Trial: Supreme Court Hears Cases That Could Reshape Future of the Internet, Democracy Now February 27, 2023


The Supreme Court case that could fundamentally change the internet

By Jessisa Melugin
Washington Examiner
February 24, 2023

The Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in a case that could fundamentally alter social media.

GONZALES V. GOOGLE, heard by the justices on Feb. 21, asks the highest court in America to determine if the longtime internet liability shield known as a SECTION 230 includes content that the platforms algorithms recommend to users. And about how they present those recommendations.

The case stems from the killing of then-23-year-old Nohemi Gonzalez, who was studying in Paris when she became the only American victim of a terrorist attack that claimed 129 other lives in the city. The Islamic State later took responsibility for the acts.

Back in the United States, Gonzalezs family sued multiple tech platforms, accusing them of radicalizing users into terrorists by promoting pro-ISIS third-party content. Google’s YouTube video-sharing platform is the only defendant that remains, and that’s the case the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on. The case was paired with a similar suit, TWITTER V. TAAMNEH, which was heard the next day.

Both cases address the possible limits of the protection social media platforms have from liability under SECTION 230 OF THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT. The law, now commonly shortened to “Section 230,” clarified liability for online sites hosting third-party content at a time when there was uncertainty about their legal responsibility. Legal precedent dealt with traditional publishers, including newspapers, and distributors such as bookstores.

But the online hosts were different in that they were not filtering user content before it was posted, like a traditional publisher did, but only after it was posted, if at all. At the time, CompuServe’s chat board did not moderate posts at all and, because of the precedent in liability law, was therefore not legally responsible for the content it hosted.

A rival service, Prodigy, wanted to take down potentially offensive posts from its users in order to make a family-friendly online environment, but it worried that doing so would trigger legal liability. That’s because, in the past, bookstores were not held liable if they didn’t know of illegal content in the materials they were selling but were on the hook if they did know about it and carried it for sale anyway. Moderating content seemed to be an admission that they knew what they were hosting.

In practice, Section 230 means that host sites cannot be sued for content posted by their users and that taking down any of that content will not trigger liability for the platform. Legal responsibility stays with the creator of the content, not the online host.

Those same issues are at play, but they now apply to small sites and social media platforms with billions of users. More than 500 hours of third-party content is posted to YouTube every minute that’s 720,000 hours per day.

Google and other major social media platforms argue that the volume of hosting can only be maintained because of the legal protections Section 230 affords to them. Without it, the danger of legal expenses for a flood of litigation would cause sites to take down much more content (just to be safe) or to allow everything (so they could claim the old bookstores hands-off protections). That would make for an internet void of anything the least bit controversial or one polluted with violence, spam, and pornography, largely unusable for most people.

The plaintiff’s argument in the case has changed from its initial petition to the court. Legal counsel for the Gonzalez family at first presented the question of Section 230s safe harbor including third-party content when it was algorithmically recommended by the host site, arguing that it should not. But at this week’s oral argument, the Gonzalez family’s lawyer Eric Schnapper concentrated more on whether the thumbnail links in YouTube’s “up next” suggestion for the next video constitute content created by the host, instead of a third party, making them ineligible for Section 230’s protections.

During oral arguments, multiple justices volunteered that they were “confused” about what argument Schnapper was trying to make during their exchange. Chief Justice John Roberts clarified that the YouTube algorithm was the same across the platform and that nothing special was employed in the recommending of the ISIS content. Several justices expressed concerns about the resulting economic upset if the court were to rule in favor of curtailing Section 230s liability shield and exposing online platforms to increased litigation.

The oral arguments went on for almost three hours on Feb. 21, an unusually long amount of time for the justices to spend on a case. More than 70 briefs were filed in the Supreme Court, where interested parties, including other social media platforms, think tanks, and advocacy groups, weighed in on the case.

The court’s ruling could have profound and widespread implications for social media platforms and their users. But depending on how the court decides the aspects of the related Twitter case and its intersection with the Anti-Terrorism Act’s provisions for liability, the Supreme Court may be able to sidestep weighing in on the parameters of Section 230 altogether. America’s highest court is expected to rule on both cases in June.


Posted by Elvis on 02/26/23 •
Section Privacy And Rights • Section Broadband Privacy
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Monday, February 20, 2023

Net Neutrality 2023

image: net neutrality

Net Neutrality keeps the internet free and open enabling anyone to share and access information of their choosing without interference.

But on Dec. 14, 2017, the FCC voted along party lines to pass Chairman Pais plan to dismantle the Net Neutrality rules.

Without these rules, companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon will be able to block or slow down any online content including political speech they disagree with. This will disproportionately harm people of color and other marginalized communities who use the internet to fight systemic discrimination and share their stories.

Net Neutrality is essential to education, economic opportunity, innovation, social movements and dissent. Without Net Neutrality thereҒs no way to organize for justice or power the resistance.
- Save The Internet, December 14, 2017


New Academic Research Challenges Broadband Internet Rules

By Roslyn Layton, Senior Contributor, International Tech Policy
February 16, 2023

A series of new academic papers in game theory, economics, and antitrust examine the empirical impact of “net neutrality” or “open internet” rules. This comes as many nations review the efficacy of policies purported to protect consumers and innovation, but unwittingly seem to strengthen established technology platforms as the expense of startups. The emergence of such research is likely helpful to the United Kingdom but will be ignored, if not dismissed, in the European Union. The US, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand offer important examples of countries which flourish without heavy hand net neutrality rules.

Many policymakers claim that they want to use the best academic evidence to inform legislation and rules; its another matter to do it. Having the right data but failing to use it for political reasons is a central thesis of Pferrer and SuttonҒs The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge into Action (2000), a classic in industrial behavior.

Game Theory

In THE PARADOX OF (INTER) NET NEUTRALITY: AN EXPERIMENT ON EX-ANTE ANTITRUST REGULATION, researchers at the University of Valencia in Spain Irene Comeig, Klaudijo Klaser, and Luca Pinar conducted an economic experiment based on an extended version of the dictator game controlling for the effect of an ex-ante regulation and punishments for collusive behavior. They conclude, Big Tech companies, sheltered by the net neutrality policy, have flourished. They now have the power to exclude minor companies, and therefore their contents, from the Internet market in de facto defiance of the net neutrality principle.” They suggest that policymakers revise net neutrality rules given the asymmetric Internet market structure.


To study the impact of regulation across studies, longitudinal studies, repeated observations of the same variables over long periods of time, are important. Indeed the most significant and comprehensive to date has been conducted by Wolfgang Briglauer, Carlo Cambini, Klaus Gugler,and Volker Stocker in NET NEUTRALITY AND HIGH-SPEED BROADBAND NETWORKS: EVIDENCE FREOM OECD COUNTRIES. They offer the definitive investigation of the impact of net neutrality rules to investement in fixed line, high speed broadband networks from 2000-2021 years in 32 countries. Using various panel estimation techniques, including instrumental variables estimation, they find empirical evidence that net neutrality regulations exert a significant negative impact on fiber investments. The conclude that so-called hard net neutrality regulations slow down the deployment of new fiber-based broadband connections.

I made a similar conclusion in my DOCTORAL RESEARCH investing the impact of net neutrality to app innovation on mobile networks in 50 countries. Essentially countries dont need hard rules to get innovation. Soft rules like guidelines, self-regulation, and multi-stakeholder models are sufficient to promote innovation (think South Korea and Japan). Moreover countries with no such rules, Australia and New Zealand, are innovative in the gaming space among others.

In a chapter on net neutrality and Covid-19 in the USA co-authored with Mark Jamison in the forthcoming BEYOND THE PANDEMIC: EXPLORING THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND THE INTERNET edited by Jason Whalley, Volker Stocker, and William Lehr, we find no regulatory reports of net neutrality violations in 2020 (broadband providers blocking, throttling or harming end users or content violations) when millions of Americans were locked down in their home, dependent on broadband for work, education, and healthcare. Notably the US, which rejected the price and traffic controls of the 2015 Open Internet Order after 2 years, has since enjoyed significantly increased network investments, growing competition, advanced network technology, increasing broadband speeds, and a narrowing of the digital divide.

My REPORT on the United Kingdom documents how the net neutrality regulation blocked children and students from free learning online during the pandemic; costs the economy at least 340 million per year (not an insignificant amount when there is a 25 billion gap to reach investment for full 5G rollout); and appears to have reduced the UK’s rank the production of internet applications as measured by market value relative to 2015. UKs telecom regulator Ofcom observes that the rules aren’t working to improve consumer outcomes or broadband investment, and thus modernization is needed.


Antitrust is an important frontier for internet regulation. The concept of platform neutrality which suggests that the same non-discrimination requirements placed on broadband providers need to be extended to the largest players, as Marsden and Brown argue in “App stores, antitrust and their links to net neutrality: A review of the European policy and academic debate leading to the EU Digital Markets Act.” Similarly Winston Maxwell argues for reasonable traffic management on social media platforms.

Leading antitrust scholar Oles Andriychuk offers a holistic perspective on managing the ecosystem. In (WHY) DID EU NET NEUTRALITY MARKS OVERSHOOT THE MARK? Internet, Disruptive Innovation and EU Competition Law & Policy he observes that soft rules are capable to deliver positive outcomes without causing hard rule problems, noting EU broadband providers are preventing from disruptive innovations. Meanwhile some content/application providers can monopolise markets, resulting in dominant positions which are sometimes abused.

In the provocative DO SUBSCRIOBERS OF MOBILE NETWORKS CARE ABOUT NETWORK NEUTRALITY?, Bauer and Espin suggest that the regulations are irrelevant, as end users dont change their their behavior when faced with throttled data rates in competitive markets.


Posted by Elvis on 02/20/23 •
Section Privacy And Rights • Section Broadband Privacy
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Thursday, September 22, 2022

Can Facebook Bypass Apple App Tracking Security

image: facebook

Facebook Keeps Giving Users More Reasons To Delete Their Accounts

By Kate O’Flaherty Senior Contributor
Straight Talking Cyber
September 22, 2022

Facebook just got sued for illegally COLLECTING user data. Is this ANOTHER REASON to DELETE your account?

Things have gone from bad to worse for Metas Facebook. The Mark Zuckerberg-owned firm has been sued for allegedly developing a secret work-around to bypass Apple’s APP TRACKING TRANSPARENCY (ATT) changes, according to an article ON BLOOMBERG.

The class action complaint is based on a report by researcher FELIX KRAUSE - who claimed Facebook and Instagram apps for iPhones inject JavaScriptcode onto websites people visit. A similar complaint was filed in the same court a week ago.

Facebook owner Meta denies claims that it is illegally collecting iOS user data, but the suits say the firm is circumventing APPLE’S ATT RULES, which state that tracking across websites and apps is only allowed with explicit consent from Apple iPhone users.

The class action lawsuits say the Facebook app bends Apple’s privacy rules by opening the links in an in-app browser rather than the users default browser.

“This allows Meta to intercept, monitor and record its users’ interactions and communications with third parties, providing data to Meta that it aggregates, analyzes, and uses to boost its advertising revenue,” the suit says.

“These allegations are without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously,” a Meta spokesman says, adding that the firm has designed its in-app browser to respect users’ privacy choices, including how data may be used for ads.”

More reasons to delete Facebook

The latest news comes at a bad time for Meta’s Facebook. The company is expected to lose $12 BILLION as a result of Apple’s privacy changes, and the firm is already feeling the hit. It continues to face regulatory challenges and whistle-blower allegations over its handling of data.

In July, Facebook owner Meta’s EARNINGS showed costs were up 22% after heavy investment in the Metaverse. The firm is now looking to cut costs by 10% or more over the coming months in a move that includes job cuts, according to a REPORT in the Wall Street Journal.

Facebook is also looking to make its platform more like TikTok’s - something no one wanted or asked for.

This latest Facebook news is another reason for people to delete their accounts - something many are already doing judging by the figures showing declining revenues and user numbers on the social network.

The Facebook app is a major offender when it comes to privacy so it’s worth at least deleting that - and Instagram - from your iPhone. If you have to use the app on your iPhone, don’t use the in-app browser.


Posted by Elvis on 09/22/22 •
Section Privacy And Rights • Section Broadband Privacy
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