Posts Tagged ‘department’
Softbank and Sprint have been on pins and needles ever since January, when the US Department of Justice asked the FCC to delay the carriers’ merger as it scrutinized the deal over national security concerns. The two networks can breathe a little easier this weekend, as the DOJ just dropped its request for more time. There’s “no objection” to the acquisition following a review, the agency says. Not that the companies are completely out of the woods: the FCC has to approve the buyout, and there’s still the small matters of Dish’s bids for both Sprint and Clearwire. Softbank may not want to drop its backup plan just yet.
Source: FCC (PDF)
That didn’t take long — just days after its first test fire, the Liberator, a 3D-printed pistol designed by Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson, has caught the attention of the federal government. It’s hardly a surprise: the arm’s blueprints were downloaded more than 100,000 times since going live on DefCAD this week. It’s not the amount of downloads that’s causing trouble, though, it’s who is downloading them. In a letter from the US State Department, Wilson was told that it’s a violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations to “export any defense article or technical data for which a license or written approval is required without first obtaining the required authorization from the DDTC (Directorate of Defense Trade Controls).”
The letter goes on to explain that these downloads legally count as exports under the law, telling Wilson to remove the plans from public access immediately. “That might be an impossible standard,” Wilson told Forbes. “But we’ll do our part to remove it from our servers.” As it turns out, most of the gun’s downloads were served via Mega, making full removal near impossible. Still, Wilson seems optimistic about the situation, explaining to Forbes that conversation will help mold the discussion on 3D printed weaponry. “Is this a workable regulatory regime? Can there be defense trade control in the era of the internet and 3D printing?” We’re looking forward to discovering the answer ourselves.
Filed under: Misc
In what would have been a blow for BlackBerry, word broke yesterday that Apple iOS devices and some Samsung Galaxy phones would be approved for use by the Department of Defense. The DoD has now officially issued those approvals, and not only is iOS not mentioned, but BlackBerry 10 devices have been approved. BlackBerry itself announced that BB10 devices — the full lineup of the Z10, Q10, and the PlayBook — will be allowed on DoD networks when coupled with BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.
A Defense Department spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that devices running Samsung Knox — a piece of software that essentially creates a separate, secured environment on your smartphone for business use — will also be allowed. Samsung Knox…
CNET: Justice Department asking service providers dodge Wiretap Act, granting immunity for cooperation
It’s funny how a few tweaks can make a Government program go from completely legal, to questionably so. A new secret authorization puts the US Justice Department on the fuzzy side of the legal line, approving the expansion of a program originally intended to monitor the internet traffic of military defense contractors to include energy, healthcare and finance sectors. The original program, known as the DIB Cyber Pilot, was voluntary, requiring users to approve monitoring via a login interface. Specific details on how the new program differs aren’t known, but CNET reports that the Justice Department has begun issuing letters granting legal immunity to providers who violate the Wiretap Act for the sake of the program. These letters were sent to AT&T and other internet service providers, though it isn’t clear how many have gone out.
Electronic Privacy Information Center executive director Marc Rotenberg summerized the situation for CNET, “The Justice Department is helping private companies evade federal wiretap laws. Alarm bells should be going off.” The operation was approved by Executive order earlier this year, but remains on shaky ground. Still, these legal complications could soon vanish: if signed into law, the CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) would formally authorize the program. The expanded program doesn’t go into effect until June 12th and will only apply to areas of critical infrastructure. Hungry for more information? Don your tinfoil hat, and check out CNET for the entire report.
Filed under: Internet
Their phones are fine and dandy, but we liked the band before it sold out.
Filed under: Blackberry
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The proposed merger in between T-Mobile and MetroPCS still has plenty of regulatory obstacles to conquer, however now there’s one less to fret about. Relatively unconcerned with the plan, the United States Department of Justice has actually permitted a 30-day waiting period (mandated by antitrust law) to lapse without objection. “Deutsche Telekom has actually reached a crucial staging post at the approval procedure of the merger of its subsidiary T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS,” said T-Mobile’s corporate moms and dad in a statement.
For the fourth and fifth largest US providers to incorporate, approval will also require to originate from the Federal Communications Commission, the Committee on Foreign Financial investment, and of course investors. MetroPCS investors are slated to vote on the merger …
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It appears that Dish isn’t really the only one who wants the FCC to put the brakes on Softbank’s merger with Sprint. Bloomberg states that the United States Justice Department has just asked for that the FCC delay the deal as well. No word on why governmental attorneys are making the request, however we’ll update this post as soon as even more details is offered.
Update: It appears like the DOJ has actually recommended that the FCC delay its approval of the bargain due to national safety concerns.
Work has started at a brand-new study hub correlated by the US Department of Energy (DoE), with the aim of revolutionizing battery innovation over the next five years. According to a Computerworld interview with Energy Assistant Steven Chu, the supreme objective of the project is to produce batteries which are five times more powerful than existing modern technology at a fifth of the overall cost, with work being focused on products for transportation and the national power grid.
Now known as the Joint Center for Energy Storage Study (JCESR), the organization was revealed in February as the Batteries and Energy Storage space Hub, along with $ 120 million in funding– the DoE then got applications from universities, independent labs, and …
In a legal filing with the US International Trade Commission, Apple has actually exposed that the United States Division of Justice is investigating Samsung over its alleged usage of FRAND patents to harm competitors, Dow Jones reports. An investigation was hinted at back in June in a Bloomberg report, and Dow Jones reports today that the DOJ has been dealing with the probe for numerous months. The company’s interest in checking out FRAND-related matters, nonetheless, is not a shock: after approving Motorola’s merger with Google earlier this year, the DOJ said that it will be on guard against incorrect use of essential patents in the mobile sector and “will not hesitate to take proper enforcement action” against violators.
Apple’s filing with the ITC is …
Department of Justice defends original price fixing settlement, calls Apple and publisher comments ‘self-serving’
After obtaining 868 public comments on its inspection of possible ebook cost correcting, the United States Department of Justice has reacted (PDF) with extreme words for Apple and major publishers, saying that it will continue with the case and settlements as planned. While repeating many of its original claims, it also argued against its critics, particularly those who believe ebook vendors and publishers were responding to monopolistic behavior by Amazon. Antitrust laws were “enacted to shield competitors, not opponents,” the statement states, characterizing the complaints of Apple and others as “self-serving.”
While the Justice Department preserves that it discovered evidence of predatory behavior by Amazon “lacking,” it states that such behavior …