Stories by Grant Gross

Akamai sees record-setting spikes in size and volume of DDoS attacks

The size and volume of distributed denial-of-service attacks has exploded in the past year, with a 389 percent increase in average attack bandwidth between the third quarter of 2013 and the third quarter of 2014, according to an Internet security report from Akamai Technologies.

Accused text-message spammers to pay $9 million in settlement

A group of companies that allegedly promised mobile phone users supposedly free gift cards and electronic devices in a "massive" text-messaging spam operation will pay more than US$9 million to settle complaints from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Lawmakers call on FCC to reclassify broadband for net neutrality

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission should reclassify broadband as a regulated public utility in order to achieve net neutrality, but take a "light touch" while doing it, a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday.

Digital rights groups ask ITU to stay out of net neutrality debate

The International Telecommunication Union should resist calls to adopt rules allowing countries to charge fees for Internet traffic coming from outside their borders, said 21 digital rights groups from 11 countries.

FTC appoints privacy researcher Soltani as chief technologist

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission's new chief technologist is high-profile digital privacy consultant Ashkan Soltani, a move that signals the agency's growing interest in policing online tracking and other Internet privacy issues.

Tech industry likes Obama nominee for patent office

The U.S. tech industry scored a victory this week when President Barack Obama nominated former Google lawyer Michelle Lee to lead the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Mobile device and date use skyrockets, US gov't survey says

This smartphone thing may finally be catching on.

FBI director calls for greater police access to communications

Apple and Google should reconsider their plans to enable encryption by default on their smartphones, and the U.S. Congress should pass a law requiring that all communication tools allow police access to user data, U.S. FBI Director James Comey said.

CTIA: Mobile carriers still need lighter net neutrality rules

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission should not hold mobile carriers to the same net neutrality rules as it does for wired broadband providers because of unique mobile network management challenges, the head of the largest U.S. mobile trade group said.

Founder of digital currency Liberty Reserve extradited to the US

Authorities have extradited the founder of Liberty Reserve, a virtual currency allegedly used by cybercriminals for money laundering, from Spain to the U.S.

Holograms and 3D porn: Expert predictions for gigabit Internet

"Vivid" telepresence - holograms, immersive gaming, new collaboration services and even 3D pornography - could be the next big thing as gigabit-per-second broadband service spreads across the US.

PC shipments down just slightly in the third quarter, IDC says

Worldwide PC shipments fell slightly in the third quarter this year, but the drop wasn't as big as IDC had originally projected, with expanded offerings of inexpensive laptops and a saturation of tablets in some areas helping to improve the numbers, the tech industry research firm said.

McAfee, think tank push online voting, but recognize security risks

The U.S. and other nations should look toward Internet voting to make it easier for disabled and elderly people to cast ballots, and to increase participation among young people, but online security remains a huge hurdle, according to a new paper for the Atlantic Council and McAfee.

AT&T to pay $105 million to settle mobile-phone cramming charges

AT&T will pay US$105 million to settle complaints from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and 51 state-level governments that it made millions of dollars through unauthorized third-party charges on customers' mobile-phone bills.

NSA internal watchdog defends agency's privacy practices

The U.S. National Security Agency takes multiple steps to protect the privacy of the information it collects about U.S. residents under a secretive surveillance program, according to a report from the agency's privacy office.