The nation’s major mobile-phone providers are keeping a treasure trove of sensitive data on their customers, according to a newly released Justice Department internal memo that for the first time reveals the data retention policies of America’s largest telecoms.
When the Federal Communications Commission last week issued its final network neutrality rules and said they would go into effect at the end of November, lawsuits against the policy could finally begin. Verizon and Metro PCS, both wireless carriers, had already made clear their intention to sue and were widely expected to be the first to do so. Instead, they were beaten to court by the activist group Free Press—one of the strongest supporters of network neutrality. Free Press has asked a federal appeals court to review the FCC’s rules—not because it finds them too strong, but because it finds them too weak. The group particularly objects to the way in which wireless companies are exempted from most of the meaningful anti-discrimination policies in the rules. While wireless operators can’t block Internet sites outright, and can’t simply ban apps that compete with their own services, they can do just about anything else; wired operators can’t. Free Press complains about the “decision to adopt one set of rules for broadband access via mobile platforms and a different set of rules for broadband access via fixed platforms.“ The distinction, it says, is “arbitrary and capricious” and it violates the law. In a statement, Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood said, "Our challenge will show that there is no evidence in the record to justify this arbitrary distinction between wired and wireless Internet access. The disparity that the FCC’s rules create is unjust and unjustified. And it’s especially problematic because of the increasing popularity of wireless, along with its increasing importance for younger demographics and diverse populations who rely on mobile devices as their primary means for getting online.
"Free Press will fight in court to make these rules stronger.”
As for the FCC, it will soon face legal challenges to its rules from both sides of the net neutrality issue, a reminder that trying to please everybody sometime ends with everybody suing you instead.
“Free Press will fight in court to make these rules stronger.”
Vote for the 2011 People’s Design Award.
Celebrate National Design Week October 15-23 with free programs and events all week long!
Voting closes at 6:00 p.m. EST on October 17, 2011. On October 20 at 9:00 p.m. EST, the winner will be announced live at the National Design Awards gala in New York City.
(via Governor Valve) This governor valve uses oil. It is a more contemporary adaptation of Watt’s governor valve for steam engines. Here the system is shown with weights swinging around a horizontal axis. In the area of detail that shows the valve allowing oil to pass through, it does not reveal what should be turbine blades. These would be necessary to cause the weights to spin. A governor valve is an example of a self-regulating system.