FCC Rules On Video Clips

FCC sets new rules for online video clips (The Hill, 11 July 2014) – Regulators are establishing new rules requiring closed captions for online video clips. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously Friday to approve the rules from Chairman Tom Wheeler. Wheeler – signing along in American Sign Language – repeated a pledge he made at another closed captioning vote earlier this year. “This is just the beginning in dealing with our responsibility to make sure that individuals with special needs are in the front of the technology train, not the back of the technology train,” he said. Friday’s vote sets requirements for online video clips that have aired on television with closed captions, mimicking current requirements for full-length online videos that originally were broadcast with captions on television. The new requirements apply to video distributors like broadcasters and cable and satellite companies. Under the 2010 Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, the FCC has the authority to require closed captions for online videos. In 2012, the agency created rules under that law that requires closed captions on full-length online videos that aired with captions on television. The rules approved Friday set staggered deadlines between 2016 and 2017 for clips taken straight from television, montages containing multiple clips and clips of live and near-live programming, like sports and news.

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Nondisclosure Becoming A Thing Of The Past For Startups

Why more start-ups are sharing ideas without legal protection (NYT, 2 July 2014) – In 2011, Andy Moeck was looking for investors for Moeo, a Los Angeles start-up he was building that makes mobile gaming apps based on real-time sporting events. A friend introduced Mr. Moeck to a partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, and at their first meeting, Mr. Moeck asked the partner to sign a nondisclosure agreement. Such agreements, known as N.D.A.s, are intended to prevent an idea or technology from being stolen and copied. Mr. Moeck was especially concerned because the venture capital firm was already backing Zynga, another gaming company. “We knew they didn’t have a mobile or sports strategy,” he said of Zynga. “I didn’t want to pitch Kleiner about what we were doing and have them go back and say to Zynga, ‘This is how Moeo does it.’” But the Kleiner Perkins investor refused to sign an N.D.A., leaving Mr. Moeck to decide whether to proceed with his pitch. It is a common quandary, and not just in Silicon Valley. Ten years ago, it was not unusual for entrepreneurs to request and potential investors to sign nondisclosure agreements. But today the agreements are largely considered a thing of the past. In fact, some investors say they walk away from a founder who even suggests signing one. This cultural shift, which began in the late 1990s and accelerated during the early 2000s, began in Silicon Valley, said Victor W. Hwang, chief executive of T2 Venture Creation, an investment firm in Portola Valley, Calif. “One of the most advantageous things an entrepreneur can do is talk about their company to anyone who will listen,” Mr. Hwang said. * * * Below are some guidelines to consider. They apply when engaging not just investors, but also manufacturers, partners and even customers. * * *

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US Companies Keep Chinese Hacks A Secret

US companies hacked by Chinese didn’t tell investors (Bloomberg, 21 May 2014) – Three U.S. public companies identified as Chinese hacking victims didn’t report the theft of trade secrets and other data to investors, despite rules designed to disclose significant events. Two of the companies—aluminum maker Alcoa Inc. (AA) and metals supplier Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI)—said the thefts weren’t “material” to their businesses and therefore don’t have to be disclosed under Securities and Exchange Commission rules designed to give investors information that may affect share prices. “The question is would an investor have cared if Chinese hackers broke into a company and were messing around the place?” Jacob Olcott, a principal focusing on cybersecurity at Good Harbor Security Risk Management LLC in Washington, said in a phone interview. “As an investor, show me the evidence that you reviewed this thoroughly.” Scott Kimpel, a lawyer who previously worked on disclosure rules as a member of the SEC’s executive staff, said there is “a gray area where a lot of the companies are not perfectly clear on what they should be disclosing.” [ Polley : In early 2011 at least one oilfield company also decided that a cyberattack wasn’t “material” – see Exxon, Shell, BP Said to Have Been Hacked Through Chinese Internet Servers in Mirln 14.03 ]

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Apple Lays Down New Rules For Law Enforcement Data

Apple releases guidelines for law enforcement data requests (CNET, 7 May 2014) – Apple has published a new set of guidelines regarding how law enforcement agencies and other government entities may request information from the company about user data. The new rules , which were posted to Apple’s website late Wednesday, reflect Apple’s move toward notifying its customers when it receives law enforcement requests for user data. “Apple will notify its customers when their personal information is being sought in response to legal process except where providing notice is prohibited by the legal process itself, by a court order Apple receives (e.g., an order under 18 U.S.C. §2705(b)), or by applicable law or where Apple, in its sole discretion, believes that providing notice could create a risk of injury or death to an identifiable individual or group of individuals or in situations where the case relates to child endangerment,” the guidelines state. Apple says it can extract active user-generated data from native apps on passcode-locked iOS such as SMS, photos, videos, contacts, audio recording, and call history. However, it can’t provide email, calendar entries, or any third-party app data. Also it can only perform data extraction from devices running iOS 4 or later “in good working order” at its Cupertino headquarters. Apple also said that upon the receipt of a valid wiretap order, it can intercept users’ email communications but not their iMessage or FaceTime communications because those communications are encrypted.

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Google Cracks Down On Student Gmail Scans

Google halts student Gmail advertisement scans (BBC, 30 April 2014) – Google has stopped scanning millions of Gmail accounts linked to an educational scheme – a process it uses to target adverts. The decision includes email accounts associated with Google Apps for Education (GAE) . This initiative provides teachers and students with access to free apps and storage, as well as customised @schoolname.edu email addresses. The move follows reports the scans might have breached a US privacy law. Google highlighted its use of such scans when it updated its terms and conditions last month. “Our automated systems analyse your content (including emails) to provide you personally-relevant product features, such as customised search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored,” the terms read . However, the Education Week website said this data-mining activity might place the firm in breach of the US Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. “We’ve permanently removed all ads scanning in Gmail for Apps for Education, which means Google cannot collect or use student data in Apps for Education services for advertising purposes,” wrote Google for Education director Bram Bout on a company blog. The change is also promised for users who signed up to Gmail as part of the service while at school or university, but have now moved on.

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Anonymization Examined

Article 29 WP Opinion on anonymization (Opinion 05/2140, 10 April 2014) – (from Executive Summary): In this Opinion, the WP analyses the effectiveness and limits of existing anonymisation techniques against the EU legal background of data protection and provides recommendations to handle these techniques by taking account of the residual risk of identification inherent in each of them. The WP acknowledges the potential value of anonymisation in particular as a strategy to reap the benefits of ‘open data’ for individuals and society at large whilst mitigating the risks for the individuals concerned. However, case studies and research publications have shown how difficult it is to create a truly anonymous dataset whilst retaining as much of the underlying information as required for the task. In the light of Directive 95/46/EC and other relevant EU legal instruments, anonymisation results from processing personal data in order to irreversibly prevent identification. In doing so, several elements should be taken into account by data controllers, having regard to all the means “likely reasonably” to be used for identification (either by the controller or by any third party). * * *

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