Good Morning Tech: Wasserman Schultz commends Apple

Rep. Wasserman Schultz commends Apple for anti-sexting efforts

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) commended Apple on Wednesday for an effort to give parents greater control to make sure their kids are using electronic devices in safe ways.

Apple won a patent this week for systems that will help parents filter the kinds of messages their children can send and receive on a cell phone.

"As a mother and lawmaker, I applaud the steps Apple has taken to ensure that our children are safe online," Wasserman Schultz told The Hill. She introduced legislation in May that takes aim at sexting. Read more:

Sen. Udall: FCC "bill shock" rules should be stronger

Sen. Tom UdallTom UdallCruz to get Nord Stream 2 vote as part of deal on Biden nominees Democrats threaten to play hardball over Cruz's blockade Rubio vows to slow-walk Biden's China, Spain ambassador nominees MORE (D-N.M.) commended the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday for a plan to regulate wireless billing practices so consumers are not surprised by high charges. He added that the FCC's proposed rules should go further.

The FCC's proposals are weaker than Udall's "bill shock" legislation, which requires phone companies to get consent from consumers before they can provide overtime services. Without that consent, services would be halted when the customer gets to the end of their allotted minutes, texts or data usage.

Phone companies are worried consumers will blame them, and not the law, when services shut down.

"The final FCC bill shock rules would prove more effective by also requiring customer consent, or ‘opt in,’ before phone companies can charge astronomical overages on top of monthly billing plans," Udall said.

The FCC is expected to launch its bill shock effort in a meeting today.

Pew says landline-only polls may skew results

The Pew Research Center released a report Wednesday arguing polls that rely only on respondents with landlines may be biased. Pew notes that a quarter of U.S. households rely on cell phones and cannot be reached via landline, arguing landline households are politically and demographically distinct from households with only mobile phones. In three out of four polls conducted this spring, landline samples were more likely to support Republicans by a margin of four to six points. The fourth sample showed no difference between the landline-only group and a combined sample. Pew plans on releasing a comprehensive analysis of the cell phone polling issue after November's midterm elections.

Industry notes

FCC: Privacy must not prevent telecom firms from reporting child porn.
The FCC released an order on Tuesday clarifying the role of telecom companies in child-porn situations. The ruling made it clearer that telecom companies must comply with mandates to report child porn in spite of their obligations to keep user data private. Child porn is a rare exception to privacy rules in the Communications Act.

Special forces helped design 'Medal of Honor' video game.
Two retired special forces soldiers helped Electronic Arts develop the new "Medal of Honor" video game that originally allowed users to play as the Taliban and shoot American troops, according to a report from The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder. Two former members of the Army's Delta Force and the Navy's SEAL Team Six were consulted by EA in developing the game, which was banned from sale on military bases due to its depiction of killing American soldiers.

AOL, private-equity firms explore bid for Yahoo.
AOL Inc. and several private-equity firms are exploring bids to buy Yahoo Inc., according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Shares of Yahoo jumped 13 percent in after-hours trading on the rumors after finishing up almost six percent on the day.

Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Swalwell slams House Republican for touting funding in bill she voted down Johnson, Thune signal GOP's rising confidence MORE campaign pushes smartphone app.
Smartphones could help bring some accountability to a campaign trail paved with false promises — the kind voters tell unpaid organizers. "I'll do it later; that's always the response you get from people," said Tim O'Toole, the spokesperson for Rep. Roy Blunt's (R-Mo.) Senate bid, about trying to sign people up to become campaign supporters. Smartphone apps could "take away some of those barriers," according to O'Toole.

Defense and DHS reach cybersecurity compromise. The heads of the Defense and Homeland Security departments on Wednesday formally agreed to coordinate on cybersecurity in a newly established office, amid a debate over whether Defense, DHS or the White House should have chief responsibility for protecting information networks. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a memorandum outlining the personnel, tools and facilities the two departments will share to improve collaboration on cybersecurity activities.

Pew: Rural Americans less likely to video chat.
Americans living in rural areas are less likely than their suburban and urban counterparts to have tried video calling services offered by Skype, Google Talk and Apple iChat, according to a Pew survey released on Wednesday.


RECOVERY ACT…The rescue of Chilean miners lit up Facebook on Wednesday. Chilean users generated a maximum of 478 stories per minute about the rescue, while U.S. users posted 1,265 stories per minute.