The Biggest Lies Expressed at the FCC’s Net Neutrality Meeting

FCC commissioners employed dubious information and curious logic before voting to repeal net neutrality rules. Over the objections of the commission’s two Democrats, the three Republican members, including Chair Ajit Pai, voted to overturn protections put in place in 2015—but not before fudging a few facts.

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Apple is Served a Search Warrant to Unlock Texas Church Gunman’s iPhone

Authorities in Texas served Apple with a search warrant in order to gain access to the Sutherland Springs church shooter’s cellphone files. Texas Ranger Kevin Wright obtained the warrant last week, according to San Antonio Express-News.

Investigators are hoping to gain access to gunman Devin Patrick Kelley’s digital photos, messages, calls, videos, social media passwords, address book and data since January 2016. Authorities also want to know what files Kelley stored in his iCloud account.

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Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has introduced the Consumer Privacy Protection Act of 2017

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has introduced the Consumer Privacy Protection Act of 2017. The bill would place requirements on companies with sensitive consumer information, such as Equifax, to maintain safeguards to ensure the privacy and security of such data, and to notify consumers when that sensitive data is breached. The bill’s co-sponsors include Senators Markey, Blumenthal, Wyden, Franken, Baldwin, and Harris.

Details may be found at:

Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission Might Take Away Floridians’ Privacy

Last week, Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission voted 30-2 to advance a proposal that would severely limit the constitutional right to privacy for all Floridians. If this doesn’t scare you, it should.

Florida is one of just a few states with an explicit privacy provision in its constitution guaranteeing that every person “has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person’s private life.” This privacy amendment was added to the constitution by the people of Florida in the 1980 general election. It was intentionally phrased with broad terms “in order to make the privacy right as strong as possible,” according to the Florida Supreme Court decision, Winfield v. Div. of Pari-Mutuel Wagering in 1985.

Now Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission wants to remove that guarantee.

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US Government Changes Data Request Rules about Alerting Internet Users when Agencies Accessing Their Information

The Department of Justice (DOJ) changed data request rules on alerting internet users about agencies accessing their information. Yes, Big Brother is spying on you and on me and is not telling us when they do so. However, a new policy limits the use of secrecy orders and calls for such orders to be issued for defined periods.

Microsoft filed the lawsuit in April 2016 arguing that the U.S. government was violating the constitution by preventing the company from informing its customers about government requests for their emails and other documents. See for the details.

The suit argued that the government’s actions were in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which establishes the right for people and businesses to know if the government searches or seizes their property, and the company’s First Amendment right to free speech.

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U.S. Commerce Secretary says the Census needs $4.5 Billion More for the 2020 Census to be Conducted

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross asked Congress for $4.3 billion in additional funds for the 2020 Census after a federal watchdog highlighted a number of shortcomings in the Census Bureau’s preparation for the decennial count of U.S. residents.

In October 2015, the bureau estimated the 2020 Census would cost roughly $12.5 billion after adjusting for inflation, but an independent review of the process determined the expenses would total closer to $15.6 billion and require another $1.2 billion in reserve funds. In his testimony, Ross stressed how the extra funding is crucial for improving management and oversight within the agency and getting delayed IT programs back on track.

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US Deputy Attorney General Just Called for ‘Responsible Encryption.’ Don’t Fall for It.

From an article by Zack Whittaker in the ZDNet web site:

“You only need to look at the past year of data breaches, leaks, and exposures to see that some of the most precious national security and technological secrets in the US aren’t safe.

“During a speech at the US Naval Academy on Tuesday, deputy US attorney general Rod Rosenstein, one of the most senior government lawyers, called on tech giants to embrace ‘responsible encryption.'”

Perhaps the most important statement of the article is:

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