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Government Articles

Google Antitrust Investigation May Be On FTC’s Agenda Google Antitrust Investigation May Be On FTC’s Agenda
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Google’s proposed acquisition of ITA Software, and whether or not the Department of Justice approves it, may have additional ramifications for Google and government regulations. According to a report from Bloomberg, the company is being considered for a “broad antitrust …

Company Settles with FTC for $250,000 Over Misleading Online Reviews
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A company that sells guitar-lesson DVDs online has settled with the Federal Trade Commission for a whopping $250,000 over charges that the company “deceptively advertised its products through online affiliate marketers who falsely posed as ordinary consumers or independent reviewers”. …

Facebook Will Give Your Mobile Phone, Address Info to Developers Again
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Remember last month, when Facebook announced it was granting access to users’ mobile phone numbers and home addresses to third-party developers (upon users granting permission)? Soon after, the company suspended the feature as privacy concerns quickly escalated. 

Apple Subscription Service Being Monitored By Antitrust Regulators

Earlier this week, Apple introduced its Subscription service for the App Store. Immediately, it was met with waves of criticism (though it’s certainly had its share of defenders). It didn’t take long at all for whispers of antitrust to start going around.

Google Exec Wael Ghonim Free From Government Custody in Egypt
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Google exec Wael Ghonim went missing during the protests in Egypt, and has now been released from government custody in the country. The Wall Street Journal obtained a statement from U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner. 

Ghonim is the company’s marketing manager in that region, and according to the WSJ had helped run social networks that included criticism of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.  

The iPad Apps That Diplomats Will Use

Earlier, we ran a story about the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky (UK) here in Lexington, launching an initiative to put iPads in the hands of students and faculty, with support for an 18-month trial from Apple. The idea is that future diplomats be well versed in current technology. 

Facebook, Google & Other Tech Giants On Board White House Startup Initiative
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Today, the White House announced the launch of the Startup America Partnership as part of a national strategy to stimulate economic growth and create jobs. The initiative is being chaired by AOL co-founder Steve Case, and will receive funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Case Foundation. Carl Schramm, CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, will serve as a founding board member. 

What Will Egypt Do Without the Internet?
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Update 02/02/11: The Internet is back up in Egypt according to numerous reports.

Schmidt: Competitors Spreading Misinformation
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As reported, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is turning over his CEO role to co-founder Larry Page, in favor of an Executive Chairman role.  We sat in on a call with those two and co-founder Sergey Brin, who talked a little bit about the management strategy

Google Gives Google Earth, Picasa, Chrome Downloads to Iran
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Some U.S. export controls and sanctions programs, which prohibited software downloads to Iran have now been lifted, and Google has announced that it is making Google Earth, Picasa, and Chrome available for download in that country. 

Google’s Open Web Advocate Talks White House Web ID Plan
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As previously reported, the White House is working on a "National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace" or NSTIC, in which it has placed the Commerce Department in charge of an "Identity Ecosystem". The initiative has drawn a mixture of praise and criticism, and judging by our own readers’ comments, there is a whole lot of criticism. More on this here.

White House Plan for Web Identity Ecosystem a Tough Sell So Far
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Update: Read more on this from our conversation with Google Open Web Advocate and OpenID Board member, Chris Messina. 

The FTC Endorsement Guidelines a Year Later

As you may recall, about a year ago, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) set some guidelines into motion, concerning endorsements and testimonials. The main point of these guidelines was to ensure full disclosure when people lending endorsements and testimonials receive any kind of compensation from the marketer or advertiser. 

FCC Adopts Net Neutrality Rules For Better or Worse
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Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted Net Neutrality rules that have drawn very mixed reviews all across the political landscape. 

Rather than sugarcoat it or spin it in anyway, I’ll simply embed the statement from FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (Via Brian Stelter), and you can make your own decision about whether it goes too far or doesn’t go far enough:

Court Ruling Protects Email Privacy
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A ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that the government has to have a search warrant before it can secretly seize and search emails stored by service providers, and that email privacy is protected by the fourth amendment. 

The ruling came in an appeal of Warshak v. United States, a case which is described by the EFF in the following manner:

Should Marketers Be Worried About New FTC Proposal?

The online marketing industry has been shaken by a new report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC has issued the proposal of a framework for balancing consumer privacy and innovation online. The proposal includes a "do not track" mechanism, which the FTC says would likely be a persistent setting on consumers’ browsers, so consumers can choose whether to allow the collection of data regarding their online searching and browsing activities.

Federal Agency Moves Email Completely to Cloud with Google
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The United States General Services Administration (GSA) is moving 17,000 employees and contractors to Google Apps for Government, reportedly replacing their use of several different versions of IBM’s Lotus Notes and Domino Software. Microsoft isn’t thrilled. 

Google Visualizes U.S. Budget Data with Public Data Charts
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Back in March, Google launched a Google Labs experiment called Public Data Explorer. In the time since its launch, the company has used it to visualize data from the Census Bureau, Energy Information Administration, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

EU Launches Search and Advertising Antitrust Investigation Against Google
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Update 2: Google has posted a response on its Public Policy Blog.

Is Talking Bad About the Boss on Facebook Grounds for Termination?
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If the U.S. Army isn’t that strict about what its soldiers can say on social media channels (as long as no lives are on the line), then perhaps you should be a little lenient with your employees too. At least …

Watch the Election Results on YouTube

You can watch the elections on YouTube tonight if that is your preferred video hub or if you’re not near a television (though you can still watch them there from your TV if it’s connected). At 9PM, the CBS YouTube channel will stream the results live.