This 17-Year-Old Has Become Michigan’s Leading Right to Repair Advocate

In 2012, Massachusetts passed a law forcing automotive companies to share diagnostic information with third party repair shops. The law set a precedent and the industry rolled out the changes nationally. Now, Massachusetts has commissioned a study to see if similar legislation should extend to consumer electronics such as smartphones and video game consoles.

Source: This 17-Year-Old Has Become Michigan’s Leading Right to Repair Advocate – Motherboard

Brazil court orders WhatsApp messaging to be suspended

The move against WhatsApp comes as Brazilian phone companies have urged the government to restrict the use of free voice-over-internet services offered through WhatsApp.

The phone companies argue that the rise of WhatsApp has damaged their businesses.

Source: Brazil court orders WhatsApp messaging to be suspended – BBC News

FBI anti-terror official calls on tech firms to ‘prevent encryption above all else’

“When a company, a communications company or a ISP or social media company elects to build in its software encryption, end-to-end encryption, and leaves no ability for even the company to access that, we don’t have the means by which to see the content”, he added.

“When we intercept it, we intercept encrypted communications. So that’s the challenge: working with those companies to build technological solutions to prevent encryption above all else.

Source: FBI anti-terror official calls on tech firms to ‘prevent encryption above all else’ | Technology | The Guardian

Steinbach insisted that he wasn’t asking for a “back door” to be built into encryption products, telling legislators that “we’re not looking at going through a back door or being nefarious.”

He proposes using the side door, the door no one else knows about, instead.

Hearings on community broadband services bill postponed

Senate Bill 304 would prohibit cities and counties from building public broadband networks. The Commerce Committee, which Lynn chairs, was scheduled to have a hearing Tuesday, but Lynn released a statement that hearings have been postponed indefinitely.

via Hearings on community broadband services bill postponed | Wichita Eagle.

City may change rules to allow Google to attach fiber to…

Tracy King, AT&T’s vice president for public affairs, said in a written statement that Google “appears to be demanding concessions never provided any other entity before.”

“Google has the right to attach to our poles, under federal law, as long as it qualifies as a telecom or cable provider, as they themselves acknowledge. We will work with Google when they become qualified, as we do with all such qualified providers,” she said.

via City may change rules to allow Google to attach fiber to… | www.statesman.com.

Google qualifies as an Internet Service Provier (ISP) and not a telecom or cable provider.   AT&T’s poles reside in public rights of ways.

Troll-Killing Patent Reform One Step Closer

Of course, today’s discussion draft is not perfect. Compared to the Shield Act, the attorney’s fees provision is watered down. (It does not include a bond requirement, for example.) And the customer suit provision is too weak. We need stronger reform to stop the disturbing trend of patent trolls picking on customers and end users. Finally, today’s discussion draft focuses on litigation system, rather than targeting the root cause of the problem: the flood of low-quality, over-broad software patents. Despite these reservations, we are encouraged to see so many good reforms in a single package.

via Troll-Killing Patent Reform One Step Closer | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Hundreds of Innovators Tell Congress to Stop Patent Troll Abuse and Legislate Cheaper, Faster Ways to Fight

The Alliance letter calls for legislation that would:

– Create a cheaper, faster alternative to litigation by allowing the Patent Office to review – when evidence justifies – all business method and software patents so that start-ups have a chance to fight against the low-quality patents that are trolls’ best ammunition.

– Require the Patent Office to create public searchable demand letter databases so we can track the basis and volume of patent claims and quickly identify abusive trolls;

– Reduce litigation costs by requiring parties to pay if they demand more in discovery than “core” technology documents, which are generally all that is needed to know if a technology is infringing.

– Protect end-users of off-the-shelf hardware and software. Just as coffee shops should not be sued for providing wi-fi to customers, app developers should not be sued for using off-the-shelf APIs that infringe a patent.

via Hundreds of Innovators Tell Congress to Stop Patent Troll Abuse and Legislate Cheaper, Faster Ways to Fight | Application Developers Alliance.

White House effort targets ‘patent trolls’

President Barack Obama spoke about the problem of patent litigation at a recent Google+ hangout, saying that patent trolls “don’t actually produce anything themselves” and instead develop a business model “to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else’s idea and see if they can extort some money out of them.”

via White House effort targets ‘patent trolls’ – Michelle Quinn – POLITICO.com.