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First POST: Trafficking

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, June 23 2014

Trafficking

  • Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have teamed up to cosponsor the Wi-Fi Innovation Act, which would make more spectrum available for unlicensed use, reports Marguerite Reardon for CNet. Harold Feld of Public Knowledge applauds, saying "If passed, the bill would resolve an ugly traffic jam between the FCC and the Department of Transportation that is needlessly delaying the next generation of Wi-Fi technology."

  • Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson's crypto-party for Members of Congress to learn more how to protect their digital communications, co-hosted with Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) is taking place this morning. Trainers from Access, the Internet freedom group, will be on hand.

  • Remember when the right thing to do with your WiFi was to leave your network open but secure your own devices and data? (Most people do the opposite now.) Andy Greenberg has the story on how the Electronic Frontier Foundation is soon to release software enabling people to share a bit of their personal WiFi network with others in a way that could very well increase everyone's security and privacy.

  • FireChat, the mobile app that creates local chat networks over Bluetooth and thus can work without Internet connections, is taking off in Iraq, according to Hannah Kuchler and Simeon Kerr's report in the Financial Times. Previously, FireChat saw a burst of usage by student protesters in Taiwan when they feared a government Internet shutdown.

  • Panic Button, an open source Android app that enables users to discretely send text alerts with their location to their trust contacts, has launched in public beta on the Play Store.

  • The city of Chicago has begun deploying sensors to collect data on air quality, light intensity, sound volume, heat, participation, wind and people, the last by observing cell phone traffic, reports David Heinzmann in the Chicago Tribune. That last category has privacy advocates worried, he notes.

  • In her opening morning keynote on "The Responsive City" at the Knight MIT Civic Media conference (where I am today and tomorrow), Susan Crawford defended Chicago's data collection practices, saying the information would be "depersonalized" and handled with great care by the city.

  • It's time for the Justice Department to end its four-year-old grand jury investigation of WikiLeaks, Mike Masnick of TechDirt opines.

  • In Politico, Tony Romm details Google's lobbying push at the state level.

  • ICYMI: David Karpf explains how the White House's big experiment in e-democracy, the We the People petition site, has become "a virtual ghost town."

  • Personal note: My apologies for the extra-long post-PDF14 hiatus in First Post. I had planned to come back last week, but then this happened.

News Briefs

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