Factbox: What is net neutrality? U.S. debates once again
(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday set new rules to regulate Internet providers more heavily. Following are some details about the concept of net neutrality and the FCC's work to regulate Internet traffic: WHAT IS NET NEUTRALITY? Net neutrality is the principle that Internet providers should treat all traffic on their networks equally. The FCC, which regulates U.S. cable and other companies that provide broadband services, has tackled net neutrality rules several times.

U.S. Internet providers hit with tougher rules, plan challenges

A pro-net neutrality Internet activist attends a rally in the neighborhood where U.S. Barack Obama attended a fundraiser in Los AngelesBy Alina Selyukh WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators on Thursday approved the strictest-ever rules on Internet providers, who in turn pledged to battle the new restrictions in the courts and Congress, saying they would discourage investment and stifle innovation. Experts expect the industry to seek a stay of the rules, first at the FCC and then in courts, though the chances for success of such an appeal is unclear. It culminated in the FCC receiving a record 4 million comments and a call from President Barack Obama to adopt the strongest rules possible. In the past, broadband was classified as a more lightly regulated "information service," which factored into a federal court's rejection of the FCC's previous set of rules in January 2014.



Beset by regulation, Google merges European divisions: source

People pose with laptops in front of projection of Google logo in this picture illustration taken in ZenicaGoogle Inc has combined its two European regional divisions as it seeks to meet the challenges of tougher regulation across the continent, a source close to the company said on Thursday. The Internet giant is merging its northern and western European division with the unit covering southern and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, the source said. The shake-up follows a year of setbacks for the company on political and regulatory fronts on issues ranging from antitrust to privacy to how much tax it pays in different European nations, as well as fraught relations with some European industries including media and telecom groups. Google's regional headquarters will remain in Dublin, where it employs thousands of staff, and the reorganization will not result in job losses, the source said.



YouTube: 1 billion viewers, no profit

Susan Wojcicki speaks at the garage where the company was founded on Google's 15th anniversary in Menlo Park, California September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/FilesRevenue growing at Google video site, but still limited by narrow audience.



Lenovo website breached, hacker group Lizard Squad claims responsibility

People stand under a sign showing the Lenovo company at a computer market in ShanghaiChinese computer and smartphone firm Lenovo Group Ltd said its website was hacked on Wednesday, its second security blemish days after the U.S. government advised consumers to remove software called "Superfish" pre-installed on its laptops. Hacking group Lizard Squad claimed credit for the attacks on microblogging service Twitter. Lenovo said attackers breached the domain name system associated with Lenovo and redirected visitors to lenovo.com to another address, while also intercepting internal company emails. Lizard Squad posted an email exchange between Lenovo employees discussing Superfish.



Nickelodeon unveils paid streaming service for kids
(Reuters) - Viacom Inc's Nickelodeon unveiled on Wednesday a paid streaming service for children called Noggin that will launch on March 5 for $5.99 a month. The mobile subscription service will be available for Apple Inc's iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. Noggin serves as a complement to the Nick Jr. app, which features live streaming video as well as on-demand episodes that are available with a paid-TV subscription. Nickelodeon said it is in discussions with pay-TV distributors about offering Noggin as a premium complement to its authenticated subscribers.

Chinese rivals snap at Alibaba's heels in cross-border e-commerce race

The logo of Alibaba Group is seen inside the company's headquarters in HangzhouBy Brenda Goh SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A Chinese government push to promote e-commerce has created a host of online retail rivals for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Amazon.com Inc catering to shoppers' fears about the quality and safety of local everyday goods. Encouraged by tax-relief programmes and other policies that gained traction last year, logistics firms including SF Express and state-owned Sinotrans are seeking to grab a piece of the cross-border e-commerce market which the government estimates to be worth $1 trillion by 2016. "Local e-commerce businesses aren't able to meet the needs of China's consumers who are increasingly buying from abroad," said Masa Ren, vice president of international e-commerce services at SF Express, one of China's biggest logistics firms.



Hackers controlling millions of PCs disrupted in Europol sweep
By Anthony Deutsch and Jim Finkle AMSTERDAM/BOSTON (Reuters) - A cybercrime operation that stole banking information by hacking more than 3 million computers in Indonesia, India and other countries has been disrupted by European police with assistance from three technology companies, officials said on Wednesday. Europol's European Cybercrime Centre coordinated the operation out of its headquarters in The Hague, targeting the so-called Ramnit botnet, a network of computers infected with malware. Microsoft Corp and Symantec Corp in dismantling the server infrastructure used by the criminals, Europol said. "The criminals have lost control of the infrastructure they were using," Paul Gillen, head of operations at Europol's cybercrime center, told Reuters.

BlackBerry working with Google to secure Android devices

The Blackberry sign is pictured in WaterlooBlackBerry Ltd said on Wednesday that it is working with Google Inc to enable its software to manage and secure some of Google's Android devices, a move that builds on BlackBerry's recent partnership with Samsung Electronics Co. In November, BlackBerry announced partnerships with Samsung and other high-profile technology industry players, broadening the reach of its revamped mobile-device management and security platform. BlackBerry said it is offering a "highly secure mobility solution" for Samsung's Android devices.



British blogger raises awkward questions on Russia's role in Ukraine
By Thomas Grove MOSCOW (Reuters) - It was not an unusual evening for war blogger Eliot Higgins. As he was rocking his infant son to sleep in his bedroom in the English city of Leicester, Higgins, who has written in-depth reports on the conflict in eastern Ukraine, was engaging in an online war of words with a pro-Kremlin blogger over Twitter. This time he and his Bellingcat project, funded by fans and supporters, were being accused of taking money from Kiev to produce some of his hardest-hitting work, which has riled pro-Kremlin separatists and those in Moscow who support them. Multi-tasking while on baby duty, Higgins called his detractor a "deluded idiot" and signed off on that night in late January.

New EU privacy rules to allow challenges to Irish regulator
By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Ireland will not retain sole control over privacy disputes involving companies such as Facebook and Apple under new rules agreed on Wednesday allowing any of its European peers to challenge Irish rulings. Under a "one-stop-shop" mechanism initially proposed in reforms of EU data protection laws, businesses operating across the 28-nation bloc would only have had to deal with the data protection authority in the country where they are headquartered or have their main European base - even if the alleged mishandling of data affects citizens in another country. On Wednesday, a majority of member states agreed to scrap an option requiring at least a third of concerned authorities to object, diplomats said, potentially giving a single "concerned" authority the right to complain. Latvia, which holds the rotating European presidency, had suggested rules to ensure a minimum number of regulators object to a decision before it is referred to the European Data Protection Board with the power to overturn the original decision.

Google investigated in Italy over tax issues: prosecutors

People pose with laptops in front of projection of Google logo in this picture illustration taken in ZenicaItalian authorities are investigating whether Google violated any tax laws in the country, Milan's prosecutor said on Wednesday, adding that talks were under way with the U.S. company over a possible settlement. Officials had started discussions with Google representatives relating to its earnings in Italy in the years from 2008 to 2013, Milan prosecutor Edmondo Bruti Liberati said in a statement. Google was considering whether to provide information over revenues it generates in Italy, it added. It did not say when the investigation or the discussion with Google would conclude.



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