Digital Daily Dozen 11/14/2013


While Google, Facebook and the rest of the PRISM crew have sworn up and down that they respect user privacy, phone carriers have remained mostly silent. But why does it have to be that way? From afar, it seems like there’s an enormous niche for a smaller carrier to compete on privacy.

Franken Promotes Surveillance Bill at Hill Hearing

Some Democratic legislators and industry players, notably Google, were in agreement Wednesday that the U.S. government needs to reestablish the trust of the public and international community following the recent revelations about data collection in the name of national security and law enforcement.

Comcast to Congress: Freeing Up More 5 GHZ WiFi Spectrum Is Crucial

Tom Nagel, senior VP of business development, Comcast, told a House panel that it is crucial the FCC start freeing up more 5 GHz spectrum for unlicensed use to avoid growing WiFi congestion and allow for the 1 gigabit WiFi that requires larger swaths of spectrum.

US intelligence wants to radically advance facial recognition software
Identifying people from video streams or boatloads of images can be a daunting task for humans and computers. But a 4-year development program set to start in April known as Janus aims to develop software and algorithms that erase those problems and could radically alter the facial recognition world as we know it.

Google Earth is helping the UK government spot tax fraud
The UK government is now using Google Earth to get a peek at the property of taxpayers to identify excess spending by those who owe taxes.

Copyright Protection for User Generated Content in Virtual World Confirmed

While a legal battle will continue between a Second Life content “consultant” and a school teacher using the online virtual-world creating program as an educational tool, the Southern District of New York made one thing clear last week – user-generated Second Life content is copyrightable.

Disney-Dish Talks Hang-Up Is the Hopper

The money’s settled — it’s the battle over disruptive technology that’s holding up a new deal between the satellite giant and the content company after months of talks.

Snowden effect: young people now care about privacy

Results of a Harris Poll released this morning show four out of five people have changed the privacy settings of their social media accounts, and most have made changes in the last six months.

Google’s recent YouTube fiasco isn’t just about privacy (Commentary)

YouTube has integrated Google+ into its commenting system so that a user must sign in with their Google account in order to comment on a video. The move was put into place to weed out the anonymous venom that billows from beneath the main attraction, but many users see it as a further deterioration of privacy.

Snapchat turned down more than $3B from Facebook

Facebook has dangled more than $3 billion in cash to woo Snapchat, the popular photo-messaging used by younger audiences, amid growing signs of waning interest among teens in the world’s largest social network.


The FCC, under the leadership of freshly-confirmed chairman Tom Wheeler, is hard at work on rules that will govern an upcoming spectrum auction. AT&T and Verizon, the nation’s largest wireless carriers, want the FCC to hold an unrestricted auction that could allow them to maintain or even widen their lead.

Roku, AOL To Co-Launch News Channel

Consumers’ shifting content viewing habits continue to make strange bedfellows. AOL and set-top-box start-up Roku are expected to co-launch a news channel. The video channel will reside on Roku’s home screen and will feature original fare as well as content aggregated from more than 1,000 publishers.

Media Institute Backs Broadcasters Against Aereo

Online video company Aereo “threatens the existence of the American broadcast industry as the nation has come to know it,” the Media Institute says in papers filed this week with the Supreme Court. The nonprofit think-tank is asking the Supreme Court to hear broadcasters’ challenge to earlier rulings.

The Digital Daily Dozen is distributed weekdays (usually) by Dom Caristi as a service of the BSU Digital Policy Institute. The articles are culled from various e-newsletters. The content is not original – only their compilation in this mailing is.