Print 75 comment(s) - last by Xplorer4x4.. on Apr 29 at 2:27 PM

ACLU blames carriers is demanding a full investigation of the issue

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took the unusual step of injecting itself into the smartphone discussion, asking the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate America's top carriers over claims of Android abuse.

According to the ACLU, Google Inc. (GOOG) regularly puts out patches and upgrades to its Android operating system -- the world's most used smartphone operating system.    But in its 17-page report, it accuses America's top wireless carriers of recklessly endangering consumers by not rolling out updates fast enough.

The report calls out both of America's top two carriers, AT&T, Inc. (T) and Verizon Wireless -- jointly owned by Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD).  But it also accuses Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) and Deutsche Telekom AG's (ETR:DTE) T-Mobile USA of contributing to the problem, as well.

The ACLU wants the FTC to force carriers either to offer customers refunds or to force them to provide warnings that they are inadequately protecting customers.  The advocacy admits that it is unusual for it to look to protect consumers (which is typically the job of other more specialized advocacies), but it said in this case that the security risks from the carrier negligence could be used to justify Orwellian new federal laws -- like the controversial CISPA bill that recently passed the House.

ACLU lawyer Chris Soghoian, who authored and submitted the complaint last Tuesday, comments, "This is part of our attempt to reframe the cybersecurity agenda,.  Before violating anyone's privacy, the government should first be addressing the low-hanging fruit that everyone can agree on."

Android smartphones
The ACLU is targeting America's top carriers for sluggish Android updates.
[Image Source: Android and Me]

While the report may echo the frustrations of many Android users, it was met with scorn and derision by figures in the telecom industry.  Verizon responded that it releases patches and updates "as quickly as possible", but that it must commit "rigorous testing" before any release.  Carriers argue that the nature of Android -- which allows both OEMs and carriers to modify or disable certain functionality (e.g. tethering) -- makes testing a slower and more arduous process.  

They argue that rushed updates could "break" smartphones causing them to gobble data unnecessarily, be unable to run apps, or be unable to make calls.  Indeed this has happened on occasion in the past.

But not everyone is buying that excuse.  Carnegie Mellon Univ. Computer Science Professor Travis Breaux comments, "There are standard practices for testing and evaluating patches.  Microsoft does this all the time."

Sources: ACLU [complaint], AP

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: annoyance
By TakinYourPoints on 4/22/2013 8:03:45 PM , Rating: 2
Hah, still so mad. ;)

I'll be honest though, that Mint link is the first thing that's gotten me really fired up around here. I wish I could have responded!

There is a HUGE difference between trying to short against a top in a stock price (damn near impossible) and selling call options against a stock that you're betting will expire worthless, plus I sold two more positions once the downturn was in full swing.

Both benefit from downturns, but selling an option has the added leeway of profiting even if a stock goes up a little or goes sideways. This month for instance, you can sell a May call 435/440 spread for 80 cents, about 18% profit. Only problem is that unlike August, AAPL is closer to a near term bottom than a top, plus its earnings this month anyway and I like to stay away from that. A quick move on earnings can force you out of that position at a loss very quickly. Selling a put spread below the current price might actually make sense at this point.

RE: annoyance
By Reclaimer77 on 4/22/2013 8:06:44 PM , Rating: 2
Hey J.P Morgan, should I roll my 401-K into a Roth IRA or...?

lmao j/k. You two continue this same tired crap.


RE: annoyance
By StormyKnight on 4/22/2013 10:59:41 PM , Rating: 3
Girls, girls. You're both pretty! Can we move on???

RE: annoyance
By retrospooty on 4/23/2013 3:06:56 PM , Rating: 2
She started it :P

RE: annoyance
By retrospooty on 4/23/2013 8:44:19 AM , Rating: 2
"Hah, still so mad. ;)"

Nah, that was a friendly KMA, not an angry one LOL.

RE: annoyance
By TakinYourPoints on 4/23/2013 4:58:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, hence the winky face. :)

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki