December 22, 2016 Last Updated 8:06 am

Canadian commission declares Internet access a basic right, sets minimum standards; US seen moving in opposite direction

Morning Brief: FTC likely to reverse its previous ruling now that Republicans will control the commission, with cable companies free to create two-tiered services, block competitors

It used to be said that trends that start in California eventually make it elsewhere in the US. Whether that is true anymore can be argued as the state appears to be quite out of step with the rest of the country – and pretty proud of that, it could be added. California remains committed to fighting climate change, while the nation just voted in one of the biggest climate change deniers out there.

For more progressive policies, it is possible that the US will now have to look elsewhere for leadership as the members of the new Trump administration appear hellbent on rolling back progressive policies such as voting rights, universal health care, and net neutrality.

Up in Canada, however, they are moving in the opposite direction – at least as far as net neutrality is concerned. Yesterday the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ruled that Internet access is a basic right for all Canadians, and set minimum standards.

“The future of our economy, our prosperity and our society — indeed, the future of every citizen — requires us to set ambitious goals, and to get on with connecting all Canadians for the 21st century,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, the CRTC’s chair.

Meanwhile, the US will be moving in the opposite direction in the next four years, with the Internet seen as another area where profits are to be made, and standards are for losers.

Open Media, Victoria Henry:

We won! Internet is a basic service for all Canadians!

This is the first time since the telephone that the CRTC has named a basic service. Now, all Canadians, no matter where they live, must have access to reliable, world-class mobile and residential Internet services…

…The ruling will be a game-changer for rural and underserved communities across Canada where Internet access is either unavailable or unaffordable, due to a digital divide keeping almost one in five Canadians offline. This digital divide doesn’t just prevent vulnerable groups from accessing the Internet. This divide actually perpetuates and — worse yet — accentuates problems of inequality. Today’s decision will go a long way toward closing the divide.

Now, the Trudeau government has to step up and help turn this exciting vision into reality.

Reading this story on WWD one thing I found very interesting, and it wasn’t that Jared Kuchner would be willing to sell the NY Observer, it was that the site wouldn’t at first let me access the story because it said I had an ad blocker installed. Only problem: I don’t have an ad blocker extension installed in my Safari browser (I do in my Google Chrome browser). This is an example of both the overreach of some publishers in their war on ad blockers, and a sign that despite it nearly being 2017, some website managers still don’t test their sites using multiple browsers.

WWD, Alexandra Steigrad:

Sources: Jared Kushner Quietly Tries to Sell New York Observer

Jared Kushner appears to be ready to pick up sticks and move to Washington, D.C., with his wife Ivanka Trump to become an adviser (either officially or unofficially) to his father-in-law, President-elect Donald Trump, and there’s at least one piece of Manhattan he wants to shed before he goes: The New York Observer. According to people familiar with the matter, Kushner has been quietly shopping the storied paper to potential buyers.

A potential suitor for the media property had been rumored to be National Enquirer-parent company American Media Inc. AMI declined to comment, however, sources close to the firm expressed skepticism that the company is a potential buyer…

…One reason AMI has been floated as a possibility is because throughout the presidential campaign, the National Enquirer was a pit bull for Trump, publishing several stories that were positives for the president-elect, including a smear piece on his primary rival Ted Cruz about an alleged extramarital affair and an item suggesting that Cruz’s father was somehow involved in the assassination of former president John F. Kennedy. In typical Enquirer fashion, neither was true — which did not stop Trump from repeating them both on Twitter and on the campaign stump.

Both Barnes & Noble and Borders seemed to get into the eReader business strictly as a reaction to Amazon, not due to any real understanding of digital reading. For Borders, it was too little, too late, though its real problem was badly managed expansion, then its ownership change.

At B&N, its problems with its NOOK division have become legendary in the world of business. That its new, low-end tablet would be infected with malware is just par for the course.

Linux Journal, Charles Fisher:

ADUPS Android Malware Infects Barnes & Noble

ADUPS is an Android “firmware provisioning” company based out of Shanghai, China. The software specializes both in Big Data collection of Android usage, and hostile app installation and/or firmware control. Google has blacklisted the ADUPS agent in its Android Compatibility Test Suite (CTS)…

…The latest tablet from Barnes & Noble, the newly-released $49 BNTV450, has been found to include ADUPS. In the aftermath of the BLU data theft, ADUPS hostile data collection and control over Android may (or may not) be temporarily quelled, but harmful capability remains with the ADUPS agent. Devices running ADUPS should be considered under malicious control, and they should not be used with sensitive data of any kind.

Note: Barnes & Noble has apparently issued a statement regarding the malware, though I don’t see it on their website, and it wasn’t sent to TNM. In it (via The Digital Reader) Fred Argir, Chief Digital Officer says “we are working on a software update to remove ADUPS completely from the NOOK Tablet 7”. That update will be made available to download within the next few weeks, but in the meantime customers can rest assured that the device is safe to use.”

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