The FCC Preserves Net Neutrality, Hackers Attack Health Insurer [Tech News Digest]
Net Neutrality rules, Anthem suffers health setback, BT buys EE, tweets on Google, Netflix lands in Japan, and the biggest Super Bowl commercials get remade in LEGO.
The FCC Rules for Net Neutrality
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) looks set to rule in favor of protecting the idea of Net Neutrality by reclassifying ISPs (Internet Services Providers) as common carriers. This is according to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who previewed his proposals in an op-ed for Wired.
Under the new proposals, ISPs would be classified under Title II of the Communications Act, just as President Obama hoped . However, ISPs will have their own special rules, with FCC telling Ars Technica, “The Order will not impose, suggest or authorize any new taxes or fees.”
The most important detail of these proposals are clearly the “enforceable, bright-line rules [that] will ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services.” In other words, Net Neutrality , which so many of us have argued in favor of for so long, is being written into the rules for both home Internet providers and mobile broadband networks.
The full document regarding the regulation of ISPs will be published in the next few weeks, at which point the ISPs, their lobbyists, and politicians opposed to Net Neutrality will strongly come out against the new rules. And we’ll be here to detail the bitter war of words that will inevitably ensue.
Anthem Suffers Massive Data Breach
Anthem Inc., the second-largest health insurance firm in the United States, has suffered a major security breach. What is being described as a “very sophisticated external cyber attack” led to the account information for up to 80 million customers being stolen. The information stolen includes names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and even people’s employment and income details.
However, as bad as this security breach is, Anthem maintains no medical data or credit card details were lost in the hack. Anthem is working with the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) to track the criminals responsible. Meanwhile, customers should either visit AnthemFacts.com or ring the toll-free number 877-263-7995 to learn more about the breach.
BT is Buying EE for $19 Billion
BT is buying EE in a deal worth $19 billion. The British telecoms giant has paid the sum to secure the customer base of the largest mobile carrier in the UK. According to The Verge, EE currently has 31 million customers and the “largest 4G customer base of any operator in Europe.”
Tweets to Show Instantly on Google Search
According to Bloomberg, Google and Twitter have inked a deal which will see tweets instantly showing up in search results. This is all thanks to Twitter giving Google access to its firehose, described as “the stream of data generated by the microblogging service’s 284 million users.”
The two companies had a similar deal in place between 2009 and 2011, but it ended when Twitter decided it wanted more control over its content. The deal could be made public later this week when Twitter delivers its latest quarterly earnings report.
This week’s We Ask You is focused on discovering essential Twitter accounts everybody should follow, so please do get involved if you’re active on the social networking site.
Netflix Says Konnichiwa to Japan
Konnichiwa Japan???? Just announced – Netflix will launch in your country this fall! http://t.co/NPewjib7LU *\(^o^)/*
— Netflix US (@netflix) February 5, 2015
Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, said in a statement, “With its rich culture and celebrated creative traditions, Japan is a critical component of our plan to connect people around the world to stories they love. As we expand into Asia, we’re excited Netflix members increasingly will have access to some of their favorite movies and TV shows no matter where they are.”
Netflix Japan will feature a range of content at launch, including native Japanese movies and television shows, and Netflix Originals such as Marco Polo, Daredevil, and Sense8.
Super Bowl Ads Recreated Using LEGO
And finally, the last word on the best Super Bowl commercials of 2015 goes to A+C Studios, which recreated some of the ads for Brick Bowl. As the name may have given away, this is the Super Bowl as represented in LEGO, complete with a mini Katy Perry and a mini Kim Kardashian.
Amazingly, this whole video was made in the space of just 36 hours, with a whole team of modelers, animators, editors and artists working together to get it done. Therefore, this becomes an ad for the studio itself, which is all very meta. [H/T CNET]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
What’s your first reaction to the FCC’s plans to preserve Net Neutrality? Are you shocked by the level of the Anthem data breach? Where do you think Netflix will head next?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Karl Baron via Flickr