SafeGov.org statement on European Commission action against Google, Inc.

SafeGov.org,  Wednesday, April 15, 2015

in response to the European Commission’s actions against Google finding that the company has abused its dominant share of Europe’s online search market and launching a formal investigation into Google’s Android platform, SafeGov calls the following three conclusions to the attention of public and private sector users:

Formal Charges May Be Next in Europe’s Google Antitrust Inquiry

James Kanter and Conor Dougherty, New York Times,  Sunday, April 12, 2015

As Europe’s antitrust investigation of Google has dragged on without a settlement for nearly five years, the American technology giant has had some breathing room to continue its domination of Internet search on the Continent. That period of relative freedom for Google may soon come to an end. Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner overseeing antitrust issues, on Wednesday will make her first trip to Washington to participate in two antitrust conferences. The visit has raised expectations that she could announce the next move in what might be the biggest and most vexing case on her docket.

German privacy regulator orders Google to limit its use of customers’ data

Chris O'Brien, Venture Beat,  Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Google lost another battle on the European regulatory front today when a German privacy commissioner ordered the Silicon Valley search giant to implement strict new controls on how it uses customers’ data. The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information had originally ordered the changes last fall following an investigation launched earlier in 2014. Google filed an appeal of that decision, but the commissioner, while making some small modifications, overruled the objections and fundamentally upheld the previous decision.

The Army’s Plan To Move to the Cloud

Frank Konkel, Defense One,  Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The U.S. Army is taking its information technology to the cloud. At least, that’s the plan. This month, the Army released a formal cloud computing strategy that aligns with the Pentagon’s evolving policies and will position it to capitalize on disruptive commercial cloud computing technologies prevalent in the private sector.

EU Lays Groundwork for Antitrust Charges Against Google

By Tom Fairless and Alistair Barr, Wall Street Journal ,  Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Europe’s competition regulator is preparing to move against Google Inc. in the next few weeks, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday, setting the stage for charges against the U.S. Internet-search giant in a five-year-old investigation that has stalled three times and sparked a political firestorm.

EU to Open Extensive E-Commerce Sector Probe

Tom Fairless, Wall Street Journal,  Thursday, March 26, 2015

The European Union is set to open a sweeping investigation into whether Internet commerce firms like Amazon.com Inc. are violating the bloc’s antitrust laws by restricting cross-border trade. The inquiry, announced Thursday by the EU’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, follows pressure from France and Germany to use EU competition rules and other regulations to better target the business practices of large technology firms. It is part of a broader EU strategy to knit together the bloc’s fragmented online ecosystems into a digital single market. Policy makers hope that will help European Internet firms to build their clout to better compete with U.S. Web giants like Google Inc. and Facebook Inc.

Federal Student-Data-Privacy Bill Delayed Following Criticism

Benjamin Herold, Education Week,  Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Introduction of a bill intended to establish a new level of federal involvement in the protection of K-12 students' privacy has been delayed following criticism that lawmakers fell well short of creating the strong national law for which advocates hoped. On Monday, U.S. Reps. Jared Polis, D-Colo., and Luke Messer, R-Ind., were poised to introduce the "Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act," developed in close consultation with the White House. But after critical press reports and concern from privacy advocates about the scope and rigor of a near-final draft of the bill, the lawmakers decided to hold off. A revised version of the proposed legislation is now expected to be made public later this week.

Boston parents overwhelmingly agree that schools should demand restrictions on data mining from Internet companies

SafeGov,  Monday, March 23, 2015

A survey of parents with school-age children in Boston shows parents see many benefits from in-school internet access, with more than 80 percent stating that in-school internet access helps students develop the necessary skills to gain employment and participate in the global economy. However, a majority of parents are unaware that technology companies may be tracking their children’s internet use at school. This demonstrates the importance of and need for stronger protections to prevent student data mining and online tracking in Boston schools. The findings are based on a survey conducted for SafeGov.org aimed at understanding Boston parents’ views on technology in the classroom and their awareness of student data mining.

FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules, Setting Stage For Legal Battle

Thomas Gryta, Wall Street Journal,  Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to regulate Internet service like a public utility, expanding the U.S. government’s oversight of a once lightly regulated business at the center of the country’s commercial and social activity. The 3-2 vote, along party lines, starts the clock ticking on an expected legal challenge from the telecom and cable industries. The move marks a turn in the government’s approach to the Internet—from a hands off policy dating back two decades to encourage the Web’s growth to a more interventionist posture as commercial issues have multiplied.

U.S. Chamber: LEADS Act Seeks to Clarify Consumer Privacy Rights on Data Sought by Law Enforcement

U.S. Chamber of commerce Press Release,  Monday, February 23, 2015

“The Chamber applauds the re-introduction of this legislation so the nation can have a conversation on the complex issues we have not fully explored such as balancing consumer privacy rights with national security concerns when law enforcement seeks access to emails and other electronic communications stored online or in the cloud by third-party service providers. “The Chamber looks forward to working with Congress as they address this issue.”