Big Brother on the Internet? (week in review)
Justice Department pushes data retention, while the Internet goes down in Egypt. Also: Netflix strong-arming ISPs?
There is a move afoot in the U.S. government to require Internet service providers to keep tabs on their customers.
Criminal investigations "are being frustrated" because no law currently exists toof what their customers are doing, the U.S. Department of Justice told Congress. The department's position on mandatory data retention says Congress should strike a "more appropriate balance" between privacy and police concerns.
"Data retention is fundamental to the department's work in investigating and prosecuting almost every type of crime," said Jason Weinstein, deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division. "The problem of investigations being stymied by a lack of data retention is growing worse."
However, members offor suggesting a new law requiring Internet companies to keep records of user activity, but not disclosing details on how it should be crafted to aid criminal investigations.
"When are you going to get a specific proposal?" said Rep. John Conyers, the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary committee, apparently recalling that mandatory data retention proposals have been circulating since 2005. "How many years is this going to take?"
In a stunning development unprecedented in the modern history of the Internet, a country of more than 80 million people finds itself almost entirely disconnected from the rest of the world.
Netflix says ISPs don't want to share the costs of delivering streaming video, so the company will publish a list of ISPs best at delivering Netflix content. Which ISPs will be at the bottom?
In Tokyo, Sony rolls out the first complete revamp of its PlayStation Portable. With a 5-inch OLED screen, dual analog sticks, 3G, Wi-Fi, and more, it's an exciting reboot for the PSP line.
For the first time, Amazon.com reports that it is selling more Kindle e-books than paperbacks. Since January 1, for every 100 paperback books Amazon sold, the company sold 115 Kindle books.
Facebook helps people protect against account compromises by offering the ability to use full-session encryption across the site.
As AT&T girds for the day when the iPhone is no longer exclusive to its network, it ekes out healthy revenue and profit for its fourth quarter.
Verizon Wireless will temporarily offer an unlimited data plan for $30. The carrier also provided more detailed guidance on how many iPhones it expects to sell in 2011.
Microsoft says it has sold more than 2 million Windows Phone 7 devices to carriers and through retail channels.
After hiring 4,500 people in 2010, Google wants to hire well over 6,000 people across the board as it gears up for 2011.
Microsoft and IBM pilot project uses encryption to deliver a high-tech twist on a common sense observation: allowing you to divulge less information about yourself protects your privacy.
It'll be launching in New York, not San Francisco, and there's no promise that Steve Jobs will be there.
Global energy creation and use computations show existing wind, solar, geothermal, hydrogen, wave, and tidal power could run the world.
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