Washington state Governor Jay Inslee Monday signed the nation’s first state law intended to protect net neutrality, setting up a potential legal battle with the Federal Communications Commission. The law bans broadband providers offering service in the state from blocking or throttling legal content, or from offering fast-lane access to companies willing to pay extra. The law doesn't stop providers from imposing data limits, and doesn't address the practice of allowing certain content to bypass data limits, known as "zero rating." The FCC attempted to pre-empt any such state laws when it voted to repeal its own net neutrality rules in December, setting up the potential legal clash. Legal experts are unsure how such a dispute will play out. The Washington bill enjoyed bipartisan support in the state legislature, with dozens of Republican lawmakers voting in favor of the new rules last month. The bill passed with a vote of 93 to 5 in the state House, and 35 to 14 in the Senate. … [Read more...] about Washington State Enacts Net Neutrality Law, in Clash with FCC
Washington state house of representatives
Washington’s state legislature is moving quickly towards banning the sale of devices containing “difficult or impossible to remove” batteries, Motherboard reported today. With a potential start date of January 1, 2019, the ban is a standout element in Representative Jeff Morris’ Fair Repair Act bill, aimed at helping consumers avoid planned technology obsolescence. If passed, the bill would require portable devices to be more easily repairable, rather than disposable. Available for public inspection under the working title HB 2279, the bill has received committee approval on its way to a vote by Washington’s full House of Representatives. Unlike earlier right-to-repair bills, it addresses the specific issue underlying Apple’s recent iPhone throttling debacle: the role failing batteries play in premature device replacement. Morris notes that Washingtonians have pointed to iPhone battery issues as “accelerating the demise of their … [Read more...] about Washington State bill would ban sale of devices with hard-to-replace batteries
The legislatures in more than half of US states have pending legislation that would enforce net neutrality, according to a new roundup by advocacy group Free Press. So far, the states that have taken final action have done so through executive orders issued by their governors. Those are Vermont, Hawaii, Montana, New Jersey, and New York. The legislative process obviously takes longer and is more uncertain because it requires votes by state lawmakers in addition to a governor's signature. Many bills are submitted in state legislatures without ever coming to a vote. But it wouldn't be surprising if some states impose net neutrality laws through the legislative process. The Washington State House of Representatives approved net neutrality rules by a vote of 93-5 on Wednesday, pushing the bill along to the state's Senate. In California, the state Senate passed a net neutrality bill last month. The 27 states with pending legislation are Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, … [Read more...] about To kill net neutrality, FCC might have to fight more than half of US states
Few barriers remain for self-driving vehicle tech development, particularly in light of recent actions by the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Department of Transportation. This week’s release of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration‘s 2016 Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes report adds to the preponderance that human drivers on our roads are killing people at increasing rates.According to the report, in 2016, there were 37,461 people killed in motor vehicle crashes on U.S. roadways. The number of 2016 traffic fatalities rose by 1,976 compared to 2015 when there were 35,485 deaths. Tha i’s a 5.6 percent increase. There was a 2.2 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 2016 compared to 2015, but that rise doesn’t account for the higher death rate. In 2015, the fatality rate per 100 million VMT was 1.15. In 2016, the rate grew to 1.18 deaths per 100 million VMT. So even taking the increased miles traveled, into … [Read more...] about Evidence stacks up in favor of self-driving cars in 2016 NHTSA fatality report
Privacy advocates can breathe a sigh of relief for now — the U.S. House of Representatives has voted not to force carriers to disclose a phone’s location to law enforcement in the event of an emergency.That’s what the Kelsey Smith Act was looking to turn into law, according to Reuters. The bill is named after an 18-year-old woman from Kansas who went missing in 2007. She was found murdered four days later. Verizon shared the location of her phone with law enforcement. Smiths’ parents were at the House chamber during the vote.While the Kelsey Smith Act, penned by Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas., may have had good intention, it’s also obvious how the bill would worry privacy advocates.“The legislation’s goal is laudable — to help find people deemed to be in “emergency” situations,” according to R Street, a think tank based in Washington D.C. “But granting law enforcement extraordinary abilities to … [Read more...] about U.S. House rejects bill that would have forced carriers to disclose a phone’s location
Lock and load, Internet rights warriors – CISPA is coming back from the dead.The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA – one of 2012’s most reviled pieces of Internet-related legislation – is expected to be reintroduced to the House of Representatives on Wednesday by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and ranking Democrat Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland. Needless to say, Internet rights advocates have already started prepping for a battle with the undead.CISPA’s stated purpose is to make U.S.-based computer systems safer by the federal government and private businesses sharing information. But rights groups say the bill would trample our Fourth Amendment right against “unreasonable searches and seizures,” because our information could theoretically be passed on to shadowy government organizations like the National Security Agency, and the Department of Defense. (That is to say, more … [Read more...] about State of the Web: Zombie CISPA will rise from the grave (but don’t freak out yet)
General Motors has sent an open letter of opposition to Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire over a proposed bill that would impose an annual fee of $100 tax on electric vehicle owners.It appears GM, manufacturers of the Chevrolet Volt, are in stern opposition to the states attempt to increase revenue. In response to the proposed legislation, GM Regional Director Howard Lenox, Jr. recently wrote a letter to Governor Gregoire stating the automakers stern opposition with GM sharing the view that this particular piece of legislation from the state would penalize drivers for owning an electric vehicle.From the state’s perspective, introduction of the bill is seen as a way for the state of Washington to recoup revenue from gas taxes, which it obviously wouldn’t collect from electric vehicle owners.In his letter to Governor Gregoire, Lenox, Jr. wrote, “A fee which singles out electric vehicles will be a disincentive to the growth of the electric vehicle … [Read more...] about General Motors looking to slam the breaks on proposed Washington State electric car tax
Within about a year, the United States may be better prepared to defend itself against a cyberattack, if the Senate passes Bill H.R. 4061, also known as the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2009.This bill is a combination of the Cybersecurity Research and Development Amendments Act of 2009 and the Cybersecurity Coordination and Awareness Act of 2009. It was overwhelmingly passed in the House of Representatives earlier this month and will now go to the Senate.Among other things, the Act calls for the establishment of a federal cybersecurity research and development strategic plan; requires the National Science Foundation to conduct social and behavioral research in the field of cybersecurity; provides for education and training in the field; and requires the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to look at the cybersecurity workforce and figure out what's needed to improve it. The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2009 requires a strategic plan for federal cybersecurity research … [Read more...] about Can an Act of Congress Give the US the Cybersecurity It Needs?
Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of IT pros believe their organizations will be the target of a cyberattack in the next six months, and three out of five (61 percent) say the attack will come from hactivists.That was one of the findings in cybersecurity firm Bit9's annual security survey released last week.What's surprising about the survey is the concern given to hacktivist attacks, Bit9 Chief Technology Officer Harry Sverdlove told TechNewsWorld -- "even though Anonymous and hacktivist-type attacks represent a minority of actual attacks."Moreover, when the survey's questions began to get more specific, a different set of worries began to emerge. For example, when asked about the types of attacks that concerned them most, nearly half (45 percent) the IT pros said malware and 17 percent said spear phishing--both methods commonly used in attacks by cybercriminals and nation states.By contrast, hacktivist attack methods received low concern rankings from the respondents. Only 11 percent … [Read more...] about SPOTLIGHT ON SECURITY What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Hactivists?
In a vote of 423 to 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill late last week to prevent the imposition of sales taxes on global Internet sales.The bill, driven through the House by Rep. Christopher Cox (R-California), mirrors similar legislation passed last year to prohibit local governments in the United States from taxing electronic commerce. That bill is slated to expire next summer, but Cox and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) are pushing for a permanent extension to that measure.The global tax bill now moves to the Senate, where Cox expects a similarly lopsided victory. Prospects for the bill being signed into law look bright, as President Clinton has already voiced his support for unhindered global Internet commerce.Although the measure simply states the United States' opposition to sales taxes on e-commerce, Cox believes that it could have significant impact upon other countries who have not yet solidified their positions on the issue."It is particularly important for Congress … [Read more...] about House Passes Global Tax Bill