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Category Archives: Wireless Web

FTC Recommends Mobile Industry Changes to Combat Mobile Cramming

News release: “In a report issued today, the Federal Trade Commission staff recommends steps that mobile carriers and other companies should take to prevent consumers from being stuck with unauthorized charges on their mobile phone bills, an unlawful practice known as mobile cramming. The report focuses on the multi-billion dollar business known as carrier billing, which refers to the placement of charges for goods and services of third-party merchants on a mobile phone bill. “Mobile Cramming: An FTC Staff Report” includes five recommendations aimed at mobile carriers, merchants who offer goods and services charged directly to mobile phone bills, and billing intermediaries known as aggregators who facilitate the placement of such charges on mobile phone bills…While the report notes that mobile bills can include legitimate add-on third-party charges such as charitable contributions, others may be crammed onto consumers’ bills by scammers.  The report notes that while the full scope of mobile cramming is not known, just three cases brought last year by the Commission against mobile crammers led to more than $160 million in judgments. One participant in the FTC’s roundtable on mobile cramming participant called it “almost the perfect scam.” Based on findings from the Commission’s 2013 mobile cramming roundtable and other public evidence, the report follows a number of enforcement actions brought by the Commission in in the last year against mobile cramming. Specifically, the report calls for:

  • Giving consumers the right to block third-party charges.
  • Ensuring that advertising, marketing, and opt-in processes for charges are not deceptive.
  • Getting  express, informed consent before charging consumers.
  • Clearly displaying third-party charges on bills.
  • Creating an effective process for resolving disputes.”

New on LLRX – Cell phone book clubs: A new way for libraries to promote literacy, technology, family and community

Via LLRX.com - Cell phone book clubs: A new way for libraries to promote literacy, technology, family and community Young people are heavy users of cell phones, but most do not know they can read library e-books for free on their phones. In this cutting-edge essay, David Rothman tells how libraries could use “cell phone book clubs” toContinue Reading

FCC to ISPs: Inaccurate Disclosures Violate Transparency Rule

“Providers of broadband Internet access services must disclose accurate information about their service offerings and make this information accessible to the public.  This requirement, known as the Open Internet Transparency Rule, has been in full force and effect since 2011.  The Transparency Rule ensures that consumers have access to information that helps them make informedContinue Reading

Where the U.S. wiretap hotspots are – Pew

“Four states account for half of the nation’s wiretapping activity, according to a new report from the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts. Nevada leads the nation in the number of wiretaps when population is factored in, according to the annual list of where federal and state judges have authorized law enforcement to monitor phone communicationsContinue Reading

Wireless Substitution: Estimates From National Health Interview Survey, July–December 2013

Stephen J. Blumberg, Ph.D., and Julian V. Luke - Division of Health Interview Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics: “Preliminary results from the July–December 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) indicate that the number of American homes with only wireless telephones continues to grow. Two in every five American homes (41.0%) had  only wireless telephones (also knownContinue Reading

EPIC Defends FOIA Victory in Federal Appeals Court

“EPIC has filed a brief in response to an appeal by the Department of Justice in EPIC v. DHS, concerning the government policy to disrupt cellular networks. EPIC won a major FOIA victory when a federal district court ruled that the DHS could not withhold “SOP 303,” a government procedure to shut down cellular phone service. EPIC sought theContinue Reading

Is Your Android Device Telling the World Where You’ve Been? – EFF

“Do you own an Android device? Is it less than three years old? If so, then when your phone’s screen is off and it’s not connected to a Wi-Fi network, there’s a high risk that it is broadcasting your location history to anyone within Wi-Fi range that wants to listen. This location history comes in theContinue Reading

EPIC – Supreme Court Rejects Google’s Street View Appeal

“The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition from Google to reverse the decision in the Google Street View case. In Joffe v. Google, Internet users sued Google for intercepting private communications, including passwords, medical records, and financial information, of millions of users across the country. EPIC filed a friend of the court brief in support of Internet users, arguing that Wi-Fi communications are notContinue Reading

Gallup – Three in 10 in U.S. Own an Array of Consumer Electronics

“As electronics enthusiasts gather in Las Vegas for the International Consumer Electronics Show this week, a new Gallup analysis finds Americans falling into four groups according to their ownership levels of the electronic devices already available. At one end of the spectrum, 31% are “Super Tech Adopters,” who report broad ownership of the major computingContinue Reading

Wireless Substitution: State-level Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, 2012

“The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is the most widely cited source for data on the ownership and use of wireless telephones. Every 6 months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) releases a report with the most up-to-date estimates available from the federal government concerning the sizeContinue Reading

Wireless Networks: Technological Challenges and Policy Implications

Yoo, Christopher S., Wireless Networks: Technological Challenges and Policy Implications (November 6, 2013). U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 13-31. Available at SSRN “Since June 2012, mobile wireless has emerged as the largest and fast growing medium for broadband service. At the same time, mobile wireless networks have proven considerablyContinue Reading

Freedom on the Net 2013

“Freedom on the Net 2013 is the fourth report in a series of comprehensive studies of internet freedom around the globe and covers developments in 60 countries that occurred between May 2012 and April 2013. Over 60 researchers, nearly all based in the countries they analyzed, contributed to the project by researching laws and practicesContinue Reading