Articles Posted in Government

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Any antitrust concerns about Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility were satisfied in Europe and the United States today. Regulatory hurdles were cleared when the European Union and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division each approved Google’s purchase of the telecom unit.

The deal bolsters Google’s patent portfolio, and is anticipated to add substantial value to the company’s Android mobile operating system.


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The Federal Communications Commission (‘FCC’) ruled today that anti-abortion activist Randall Terry (inset, right) failed to show “that he is a legally qualified” presidential candidate entitled to “reasonable” broadcast TV access in Illinois.

Even if he was, the FCC concluded, Chicago NBC affilate WMAQ did not act unreasonably when it refused to sell him air time to run ads on Super Bowl Sunday (Read the decision below).


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A lawsuit filed by current and former employees of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration charges that the agency accessed and spied on their personal e-mail accounts after scientists and doctors alerted Congress and the media that certain radiation-emitting computer detection devices may not be safe or effective.

The lawsuit filed by scientists and doctors charges that nine FDA employees (the “FDA Nine”) had their private, personal, password protected email accounts on Google and Yahoo secretly recorded by the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the government agency to which the FDA reports.

Why? Because the FDA scientists and doctors engaged in whistleblower-protected conduct by voicing concerns about radiation-induced cancer risks allegedly involving medical devices that the agency regulated.


Tagged: email, FDA, HHS

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You would think that Silicon Valley giants would compensate their employees well, support their professional growth, and know that a time will come when they leave for greener pastures.

C-level execs at Apple, Google, Adobe, Pixar, Intel, Intuit, and Lucasfilm apparently thought, acted, and communicated differently, however, according to newly revealed legal documents in an employee class-action lawsuit (see below).


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The U.S. International Trade Commission issued an eagerly awaited determination today in the ongoing Apple iOS v. Android OS patent war, giving a win for Motorola Mobility, whose $12.5 billion acquisition by Google is pending.

ITC Administrative Law Judge Theodore R. Essex’s initial determination was that Motorola’s Droids smartphones do not violate 3 patents at issue: ‘828 ‘607, and ‘430 patents.

The decision is not final, however, because it still needs to get the official sign-off from all six ITC members.


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A Freedom of Information Act (‘FOIA’) lawsuit (below) by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (‘EPIC’) reveals that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security paid contractors to monitor Facebook, Twitter other social networks, blogs, and comments on news media websites.

The documents (below) disclose that the federal government paid at least $1.16 million to private contractor General Dynamics to monitor social networks, blogs, and news media sites for “public reaction to major governmental proposals with homeland security implications.” That’s government bureaucratic-speak for public dissent.

The legal implications of U.S. social networking surveillance programs tracking dissent of its own citizens, even with open source tools, are deeply disturbing.