ACI Letter to Senator Thune on STELA Reauthorization: Let’s First Have Comprehensive Reform

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On June 7, 2014, The American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research submitted a letter to Senator Thune regarding the upcoming STELA reauthorization.  The text of the bill is as follows: ________________________________________________________   July 7, 2014 The Honorable John Thune United States Senate SD-511 Washington, DC 20510 Dear Senator Thune: As you consider STELA reauthorization, the American […]

The Death of Aereo?

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Yesterday, the Supreme Court wisely decided that popular New York startup media company Aereo is violating the law by providing users access to free over-the-air programming from local networks. The 6-3 decision could be the end for the Barry Diller backed startup, and has consumers all over New York City, Baltimore, Atlanta, and 9 other cities […]

Cyber Home Invasion and Email Heists Challenge Privacy

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Commercial cybercriminals sometimes spread “adware,” a software infection that seizes control of a computer limiting the user’s ability to operate software that used to work well.  Criminals are paid by advertisers for the deluge of involuntary “clicks” from adverts that are usually of no interest to the computer user.   A barely legal version of cyber […]

Universal Internet IDs — Too Easy?

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Internet users are burdened by the need to select and remember user identities and passwords that are unique to each website worth visiting.  Websites that receive your sensitive personal information are worth protecting with unique accounts or user IDs and strong passwords that will thwart thieves and hackers.  Memorizing a long list of those user […]

ACI in Forbes — Abuse From Patent Pools

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While patent talks in D.C. remain focused on “patent trolls” and the prolonged efforts in the Senate to mark up a counterpart bill to the already-passed Innovation Act, the damaging effects of another patent area loom large for consumers. Thanks to something called “patent pools” you could be overpaying for many consumer goods. Remember that […]

ACI in the Daily Caller: “Trolls Behaving Badly”

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Wireless technology, services and applications are revolutionizing how consumers communicate, shop, work and get information. In the last year, mobile traffic grew by 81%, downloading speeds doubled to 1.4 megabits per second and mobile apps grew by 115% – 92% of which were downloaded at no cost to consumers. In the U.S., the number of […]

ACI in Real Clear Policy: Corporate Welfare in Spectrum Auctions

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According to numerous reports in mid-April, the FCC has plans to earmark large pieces of auctioned wireless spectrum for certain carriers. The move is a contrast to the FCC’s original plan to offer spectrum up for competitive bidding and has many wondering if the FCC and Chairman Tom Wheeler are in the business of picking […]

ACI in Real Clear Policy: Waiting Until the Cyber Damage Is Done

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The cyber intrusions we face are serious. Civilian cyber-criminals inflict problems ranging from nuisances to theft, as happened at Target and Adobe. Now the curious Heartbleed vulnerability inconveniences consumers, requiring extensive password replacements. Less known but more serious are cyber-attacks by nation states, which threaten our economic vigor and the functioning of our infrastructure. China’s […]

The Hill’s Congress Blog: The Consumer Interest in Patent Pools

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Aggressive litigation by patent trolls earned them notoriety over the past few years.  At last, bills with a chance of protecting consumers and the economy from unrestrained patent trolling are moving through Congress (S. 1720 and H.R. 3309).  While the focus of those bills is patent trolls, the bills should also tighten controls on patent […]