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Stories by Grant Gross

The ratings: Most net neutrality groups get poor grades for funding transparency

By Grant Gross | 25 October, 2014 05:50

After a spate of news stories about alleged "astroturf" advocacy in a contentious U.S. net neutrality debate, the IDG News Service looked into the funding transparency of several think tanks and advocacy groups involved in the issue. Several disclose limited or no information about their funding, we found.

Advocacy groups accused of obscuring corporate ties in net neutrality debate

By Grant Gross | 25 October, 2014 05:50

A spate of recent news stories have revealed that a wide variety of lobby groups have financial ties to broadband carriers and trade associations, accusing them of faking grassroots opposition to strong net neutrality rules.

Secretive funding fuels ongoing net neutrality astroturfing controversy

By Grant Gross | 25 October, 2014 05:50

The contentious debate about net neutrality in the U.S. has sparked controversy over a lack of funding transparency for advocacy groups and think tanks, which critics say subverts the political process.

Court shuts down alleged PC tech support scam

By Grant Gross | 25 October, 2014 03:56

A court has shut down a New York tech support vendor after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission accused the company of scamming computer users into paying hundreds of dollars for services they did not need.

Senator wants Whisper to explain how it tracks users, shares their data

By Grant Gross | 25 October, 2014 02:07

Social media app Whisper, a supposedly anonymous way for users to post online confessions, is now facing privacy questions from a U.S. senator after reports that it tracks locations of users and has shared their information with other companies.

Akamai sees record-setting spikes in size and volume of DDoS attacks

By Grant Gross | 24 October, 2014 03:59

The size and volume of distributed denial-of-service attacks has exploded in the past year, with a 389 percent increase in average attack bandwidth between the third quarter of 2013 and the third quarter of 2014, according to an Internet security report from Akamai Technologies.

Accused text-message spammers to pay $9 million in settlement

By Grant Gross | 23 October, 2014 06:11

A group of companies that allegedly promised mobile phone users supposedly free gift cards and electronic devices in a "massive" text-messaging spam operation will pay more than US$9 million to settle complaints from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Lawmakers call on FCC to reclassify broadband for net neutrality

By Grant Gross | 23 October, 2014 04:45

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission should reclassify broadband as a regulated public utility in order to achieve net neutrality, but take a "light touch" while doing it, a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday.

Digital rights groups ask ITU to stay out of net neutrality debate

By Grant Gross | 22 October, 2014 06:02

The International Telecommunication Union should resist calls to adopt rules allowing countries to charge fees for Internet traffic coming from outside their borders, said 21 digital rights groups from 11 countries.

FTC appoints privacy researcher Soltani as chief technologist

By Grant Gross | 22 October, 2014 04:58

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission's new chief technologist is high-profile digital privacy consultant Ashkan Soltani, a move that signals the agency's growing interest in policing online tracking and other Internet privacy issues.

Tech industry likes Obama nominee for patent office

By Grant Gross | 18 October, 2014 03:19

The U.S. tech industry scored a victory this week when President Barack Obama nominated former Google lawyer Michelle Lee to lead the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Mobile device and date use skyrockets, US gov't survey says

By Grant Gross | 17 October, 2014 06:45

This smartphone thing may finally be catching on.

FBI director calls for greater police access to communications

By Grant Gross | 17 October, 2014 04:02

Apple and Google should reconsider their plans to enable encryption by default on their smartphones, and the U.S. Congress should pass a law requiring that all communication tools allow police access to user data, U.S. FBI Director James Comey said.

CTIA: Mobile carriers still need lighter net neutrality rules

By Grant Gross | 16 October, 2014 01:52

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission should not hold mobile carriers to the same net neutrality rules as it does for wired broadband providers because of unique mobile network management challenges, the head of the largest U.S. mobile trade group said.

Founder of digital currency Liberty Reserve extradited to the US

By Grant Gross | 11 October, 2014 09:38

Authorities have extradited the founder of Liberty Reserve, a virtual currency allegedly used by cybercriminals for money laundering, from Spain to the U.S.