By Cody Lee on Nov 19, 2013
The last we heard, things were looking good in the fight to reform out-of-date policies on device unlocking here in the US. Last week, the FCC chairman sent a letter to the CTIA saying he’d like to see changes made before the holidays. But don’t get your hopes up just yet.
According to information recently leaked by WikiLeaks, the White House—despite publicly supporting unlocking—has been secretly negotiating a treaty with other countries and special interest lobbyists that would make this and other processes illegal by international law… Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 22, 2013
The above image was posted to Twitter yesterday by World Bank’s Jim Rosenberg, with the caption: the New York Police Department has a message for you iPhone and iPad folks.
Apparently, the NYPD has been handing out fliers at subway exits and in front of Apple Stores, encouraging people to upgrade to iOS 7 for its new ‘Activation Lock’ security feature… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 15, 2013
US District Court Judge Denise Cote sent out an order on Tuesday, made public last night, calling for all parties involved in Apple’s e-book case to prepare for a damages trial set for May 2014. Apple could wind up owing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
Back in June, Judge Cote found the Cupertino company guilty of conspiring with 5 major book publishers to raise the price of ebooks. At the time of the ruling, the court hadn’t set dates for any of the follow-up hearings. But yesterday’s order helps fill in the blanks… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 9, 2013
Following a series of meetings with tech executives a government leaders this week, President Obama held a press conference this morning to describe his plan to assuage concerns among Americans and foreigners regarding the legality of US surveillance activities.
During his speech, the President said that the surveillance programs in use by government agencies right now are “operating in a way that prevents abuse.” But the question for his administration, he posed, is how does it make “American people more comfortable?”
So he outlined the following four initiatives… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 9, 2013
According to a report from Politico, President Barack Obama met with Apple CEO Tim Cook and a number of other tech executives yesterday for a closed-door discussion on government surveillance. The site says this was the second meeting of its kind this week.
Cook was joined by the likes of AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Google’s chief Internet evangelist Vint Cerf, and Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn, to talk about various surveillance strategies and tother topics such as the recent NSA PRISM program scandal… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 7, 2013
The Wall Street Journal is reporting this evening that the five book publishers who settled with the US government in the e-book antitrust case have filed an objection with the court on Apple’s behalf.
In the filing, the companies argue that the Department of Justice’s settlement proposal for Apple, which it submitted last week, would violate their settlement agreements they had before the trial began… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 3, 2013
Huge news out of Washington this afternoon, as reports are coming in that President Obama has stepped in and vetoed the ITC’s decision to place a US import ban on a handful of Apple’s older iOS devices. The ban came after the International Trade Commission found some of Apple’s products infringed on 2 Samsung cellular patents.
The ruling was handed down on June 4, and exclusion orders were sent to the White House, giving Obama’s Administration 60 days to veto the ban based on “public policy.” And that 60-day deadline would’ve ended soon, but it looks like the President has heeded to the requests of Verizon, AT&T and others to overturn the ITC’s decision… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 25, 2013
In April, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ordered an import ban on the iPhone 3G/3GS/4 after determining Apple had violated Samsung’s 3G cellular technology patent. Apple was hoping the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) would overturn ITC’s decision on the basis that Samsung was asserting a standards-essential patent.
Needles to say, Apple asked ITC to stay an order while the court considered the appeal, arguing the sales ban would “sweep away an entire segment of Apple’s product offerings.” And in an interesting twist earlier this week, the nation’s top carrier Verizon Wireless pressured President Obama to intervene in the Apple v. Samsung case and veto the impending ban… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jul 25, 2013
According to a new report, Apple could have to pay half a billion in damages in its ebook pricing case. That amount is based on the settlements the book publishers, named in the case, have already paid.
For those who haven’t been keeping up with the ordeal, federal judge Denise Cote found Apple guilty earlier this month, of colluding with five publishers to fix ebook prices at the launch of its iBookstore… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jul 19, 2013
In June, an order granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to the FBI leaked, revealing that Verizon was handing over millions of private telephone records to the US government. Of course, we later found out that it wasn’t just Verizon giving up user data.
As you may have known, that court order was set to expire today, meaning that the government would no longer be authorized to collect such records. But according to the office of the Director of National Intelligence, FISA has just renewed its authorization… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jul 18, 2013
Earlier this year, San Francisco’s district attorney George Gascón met with Apple’s government rep Michael Foulkes to discuss the rising number of iPhone thefts. He felt like the company could be doing more, on a technological level, to thwart these would-be thieves.
Apple responded in a major way. In June, the company introduced a new feature in iOS 7 called Activation Lock, which can prevent thieves from activating a stolen handset without the proper credentials. But while Gascón says he appreciates the effort, he’s not convinced… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jul 17, 2013
Apple is reportedly teaming up with Google, Facebook, Microsoft and a number of other tech companies that will demand dramatically increased transparency from the US government regarding surveillance by the NSA and other agencies.
In a letter to be published tomorrow, the alliance—which includes 63 companies, investors, and non-profit orgs—will call upon President Obama and congressional leaders to allow them to report more specifically on security requests… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jun 30, 2013
As BlackBerry continues on its downward spiral, more and more of its government clients are jumping ship. And it’s no secret that pretty much every other handset manufacturer out there is looking to lure the RIM refugees into their respective mobile platforms.
At least it seems that Apple is working hard to earn their business. Just a few months after receiving Level 1 FIPS 140-2 certification—a security standard developed by the US government for use in its computers, comes word that it’s gained Level 2 compliance… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jun 26, 2013
Normally, the words ‘Apple applauds’ and ‘Supreme Court’ don’t go together. The Cupertino company isn’t on the greatest terms with the US government at the moment, what with the whole tax evasion thing and the ongoing e-book trial.
But today is a different story. In a pair of 5-4 decisions this morning, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex couples in two major cases, effectively allowing federal benefits for gay couples. And Apple says it applauds the ruling… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jun 17, 2013
Eddy Cue once again took the stand today in Apple’s ongoing antitrust case with the Department of Justice. The company’s SVP of Internet software and services took the stand on Friday to talk about Steve Jobs’ involvement in Apple’s iBooks project. And this morning, he offered up a few more details.
Cue spoke more candidly on the witness stand today, providing several interesting tidbits about Jobs’ participation in Apple’s iBooks launch back in 2010. Apparently, the then-CEO had a big hand in the project, doing everything from designing minor UI details to choosing which book to offer for free… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jun 17, 2013
Tonight the company posted an open letter to its website entitled ‘Apple’s Commitment to Customer Privacy.’ The letter reiterates that Apple knew nothing about the so-called PRISM program, and offers insight into its relationship with the government and what it means for users… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Jun 13, 2013
While its no case of Elliot Ness against Chicago’s rum runners of Prohibition days, prosecutors in two major U.S. cities are teaming up with local police to fight a wave of violent smartphone thefts. Law enforcers Thursday issued an SOS of sorts, or ‘Save Our Smartphones’.
The announcement comes as Apple and other smartphone makers meet with the New York State Attorney General and San Francisco’s District Attorney. It’s unknown whether Apple’s new Activation Lock feature unveiled during Monday’s WWDC keynote as part of iOS 7 will be enough to satisfy calls for handset makers to create a kill switch to disable stolen smartphones… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jun 6, 2013
According to a new report, a newly leaked court order has revealed that the National Security Agency (or NSA) is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of United States cell phone users on Verizon Wireless.
The order, which was granted to the FBI by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA), requires the carrier to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its system from both within the US, and between the US and other countries… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Jun 5, 2013
After spending last week under the hot lights of Congressional investigators about its taxes, Apple hopes to switch gears and ask for government help fighting so-called patent trolls. Among the iPhone maker’s potential allies: U.S. President Obama, who reportedly plans to limit such costly legal nuisance lawsuits.
As part of the proposed plan the White House is expected to unveil, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) would gain some teeth, requiring patent holders to disclose companies which actually own the technology, reports the Wall Street Journal… Read More
By Cody Lee on May 29, 2013
Apple has long been criticized by environmental organizations for its lack of effort to reduce its carbon footprint. The criticism got so bad at one point, that Steve Jobs himself felt that it was necessary to address the topic via an open letter on Apple’s website.
But things have changed a lot since Jobs’ infamous ‘A Greener Apple’ post. The company has taken several steps to become more environmentally-friendly, including constructing large solar farms, and apparently hiring the former administrator of the EPA… Read More