FCC Votes to Strengthen Privacy Rules

Carl Weinschenk

Yesterday, The Federal Communications Commission, in a party line, 3-2 vote, approved proposed privacy regulations that would limit the ability of Internet service providers (ISPs) to collect and share some forms of data without subscriber consent.

WirelessWeek said that rules would create three categories of data. ISPs would also be required to make public how they gather the data and improve data protection and breach reporting practices.

If they became law, the rules would apply to broadband service providers but not social media websites or other online entities that collect data. Government surveillance, encryption and law enforcement would not be affected.

More Proof of Mobile Security Woes

Crowd Research Partners conducted a survey on behalf of Bitglass, Blancco Technology Group, Check Point Technologies, Skycure, SnoopWall and Teneable Networks. The result is yet another confirmation of trouble on the mobile security front.

The survey reached 882 IT professionals. Twenty-one percent work in organizations that have suffered a mobile breach. The survey also found that 24 percent had connected with malicious Wi-Fi hotspots and 39 percent said that mobile devices had downloaded malware. Both worker- and company-owned devices were involved.

Ubuntu Releases Aquaris M10 Tablet

Canonical, which uses the Ubuntu operating system (OS), is releasing the Aquaris M10 tablet in Europe. PCMag has the specs and prices.

The world of non-iOS and non-Android OSes is an interesting one. For some time, there seemed to be a race to be the third major OS. That has faded; it will be a duopoly. The vendors still interested in the sector are trying to find the strongest niche and specialty areas:

The company is billing the new tablet as a convergence device, a tablet when you're on the go and a desktop PC when you're at home. To enter PC mode, you connect a mouse and keyboard for a full-featured version of the Ubuntu operating system at your disposal.

The story doesn’t say if or when the device will be available in the United States.

Google Calling with Fiber Phone

This week, Google introduced Fiber Phone. The $10 per month service is available to those who take the company’s Internet service. Fiber Phone rates for international calls will be the same as Google Voice rates, according to eWeek.

Customers can keep their existing phone number or choose a new one. Caller ID, call waiting, 911 service and other standard features are included. Links to other lines controlled by the customer, including landline and cell phones, allow a call made on one to be available on the others.

Garages Vulnerable to Hacking

One effect of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other ways in which the world increasingly depends upon the Internet is that physical and cyber security become increasingly connected. That’s evident in the possibility that crackers can take control of a vehicle while it is on the highway or unlock and steal it when it is parked.

Another example of the danger is a vulnerability in VertX and Edge door controllers from HID Global. These devices sometimes control access to sensitive areas. ITWorld describes the complex way in which the exploit works. The damage is not easily undone, according to commentary from Ricky Lawshae, a researcher with Trend Micro's DVLabs division:

The door also can be unlocked in a way that makes it impossible for a remote management system to re-lock it, Lawshae said, adding that every door on the network can be unlocked at the same time by sending UDP broadcast packets.

Trend Micro reported the vulnerability to HID. The company released a patch that is available at its partner portal. The story points out that the problem may not fade away, since fixes are adopted slowly.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.


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