Stories by Grant Gross

Judge approves Apple e-books price-fixing settlement

A U.S. district court judge has given preliminary approval for Apple to pay a US$450 million settlement for its role in an e-books price-fixing conspiracy.

HP agrees to settle allegations it overbilled US Postal Service

Hewlett-Packard has agreed to pay US$32.5 million to settle allegations that it overbilled the U.S. Postal Service on a IT hardware contract.

US judge rules against Microsoft in email privacy case

A U.S. district court judge has ruled against Microsoft in the company's effort to oppose a U.S. government search warrant for emails stored in Ireland.

FTC's in-app purchasing cases ignored consumer benefits, critics say

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission failed to adequately consider the consumer benefits of easy in-app purchases in its recent complaints accusing Apple and Amazon.com of allowing children to buy digital products without parental permission, according to some critics of the agency.

Senate committee: Mobile phone 'cramming' widespread, profits carriers

Mobile carriers have pulled in hundreds of millions in profits through third-party charges tacked onto customers' bills without their consent, according to a report from a U.S. Senate committee.

Senator pushes new version of bill to limit NSA phone records collection

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy has introduced a new version of a bill to rein in the National Security Agency's bulk collection of U.S. phone records in an effort to strengthen legislation that passed the House of Representatives this year.

Majority of large ISPs now using monthly data caps, GAO says

U.S. broadband providers appear to be embracing monthly data caps, but customers are confused about the amount of data they use and broadband plan options, according to preliminary findings by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

US needs to restore trust following NSA revelations, tech groups say

The U.S government can take action to slow the calls in other countries to abandon U.S. tech vendors following revelations about widespread National Security Agency surveillance, some tech representatives said Friday.

New York's proposed Bitcoin rules include consumer protections

Companies trading in Bitcoin and other virtual currencies would be required to hold enough of the currencies to cover their debts to customers and would have to verify the identities of account holders as a protection against money laundering, under new regulations proposed by the New York State Department of Financial Services [DFS].

Senate passes bill allowing mobile phone owners to unlock devices

The U.S. Senate has passed a bill that would allow mobile phone customers to unlock their devices for the purposes of switching carriers.

Apple agrees to pay up to $400 million in e-books price-fixing case

Apple has reached a settlement in a long-standing case that accused the company of fixing the price on e-books, with the company paying up to US$400 million, depending on the outcome of its appeal in the case, a law firm has announced.

US House approves permanent ban on Internet access taxes

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to permanently extend a ban on Internet access taxes that Congress has temporarily extended three times over the past 16 years.

FCC swamped with last-minute comments on net neutrality

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission's Web comments form crashed Tuesday morning in the hours before the agency's first deadline for submitting comments on its net neutrality proposal.

FCC approves plan to spend $1B a year on school Wi-Fi

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted to spend US$2 billion over the next two years on improving Wi-Fi networks at schools and libraries, despite questions from Republican commissioners about the source of those funds.

Amazon allowed kids to spend millions on in-app purchases, FTC says

Amazon.com has billed parents for millions of dollars' worth of unauthorized in-app purchases made by their children, the FTC said in a complaint filed Thursday in a U.S. court.