Internet

New York State Senate

Lawmakers in New York have voted to join 41 other states in criminalizing revenge porn.

The New York State Public Service Commission on Thursday gave the green light to former Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano. The PSC approved the sale of local broadband company Greenlight Networks to Golisano's Grand Oaks GLN, LLC. 

Credit Xeni Jardin / Some Rights Reserved

New York has commitments for $670 million on extending broadband service to every part of the state to meet a promise by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Sen. Rob Ortt says that is well and good, but he wants to know where money has been spent and where it will be spent.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will face Congress in two separate hearings this week, as his company grapples with intense scrutiny over privacy and security on the social media site. It will be Zuckerberg's first appearance on Capitol Hill.

On Tuesday afternoon, more than 40 senators will crowd into a hearing room, where members of the Senate judiciary and commerce committees will have four minutes each to question Zuckerberg. A similar scene will play out Wednesday, when he is set to appear before members of House Energy and Commerce Committee.

You hear about people being scammed out of money by online thieves all the time, but rarely do you hear one was caught and prosecuted. The U.S. Attorney's Office says that is exactly what happened in a Buffalo court Thursday.

Twitter

New York State could adopt its own version of net neutrality under legislation announced by state lawmakers.

Facebook is expanding its use of facial recognition software to alert users when photos of them are posted on the platform — whether or not they are tagged in the photo.

By default, Facebook users in the U.S. will be signed up for these face recognition alerts, unless they have previously opted out of a similar, more limited feature. But users can turn off face recognition, Facebook says.

Additionally, the company says it will roll out new tools to alert users if someone else may be impersonating them with a misleading profile photo.

National Public Radio

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to end rules making the internet open to all - what is called net neutrality - and by the end of the day, New York State Attorney General Erie Schneiderman said, "See you in court."

Updated at 3:27 p.m. ET

After a brief security evacuation, U.S. telecom regulators have voted to repeal so-called net neutrality rules, which restrict the power of Internet service providers to influence loading speeds for specific websites or apps.

After weeks of heated controversy and protests, the Republican majority of the Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on Thursday to loosen Obama-era regulations for Internet providers.

Gabe Altieri / WSKG News

New York’s Broadband for All program hopes to bring broadband speed internet to the entire state by the end of 2018. This has led to an opportunity for local companies in rural areas, who are taking advantage of the state funds to expand to underserved customers.

The hashtag is 10! Yes, the symbol that started out as the lowly "number sign" or "pound" on the telephone keypad and later morphed into something entirely different is 10 years old today. And it has accomplished quite a lot. In fact, it's hard to imagine modern communication without it.

And you might think it was all by design. That the folks running Twitter needed a catchy little tool to help their new platform catch fire, and the hashtag is what they came up with.

But that's not the way it happened.

Following the violence in Charlottesville, Va., Silicon Valley tech firms removed far-right groups from search results, cut off their websites and choked their ability to raise money online.

The moves have leaders on the far-right calling for the government to step in and regulate these companies. They have some strange bedfellows in this — many liberals also are calling for more regulation of the same companies.

On the far-right is Richard Spencer. He is a white supremacist.

Verizon Wireless is being accused of violating net neutrality rules. Last week, customers using service speed test tools claimed that in some instances the speed at which they were able to steam Netflix was capped.

President Trump is expected to sign into law a decision by Congress to overturn new privacy rules for Internet service providers.

Passed by the Federal Communications Commission in October, the rules never went into effect. If they had, it would have given consumers more control over how ISPs use the data they collect. Most notably, the rules would have required explicit consent from consumers if sensitive data — like financial or health information, or browsing history — were to be shared or sold.

The U.S. Senate has a lot going on: confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court nominee, negotiations on repealing the Affordable Care Act, votes on gun sales regulations and bear-hunting rules for Alaska.

Ariel Zambelich/NPR

New York's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against Charter Communications - the parent company of the former Time Warner Cable - alleging the cable and internet provider failed to deliver on promised internet speeds and reliability at least since 2012.

$170M for broadband expansion coming Upstate

Jan 27, 2017
National Public Radio

New York State will get to keep $170 million in federal funding for broadband access after all.

Updated at 7:00 p.m. ET

Yahoo says hackers stole names, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth and encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers from more than 1 billion accounts.

In a statement posted to its website on Wednesday, the company said it had "taken steps to secure user accounts and is working closely with law enforcement."

The statement continued:

Erie County

Erie County wants to know: How good is your internet service? It is looking to find out where it is good and where it needs help or might be non-existent.

Richard Smith

Allegany County is rural and thinly populated. Few have high-speed broadband internet service that is common in much of the rest of New York State. So the county is setting up its own wireless system as an alternative.

Buffalo schools are expanding the optical fiber internet system which connects schools and other buildings.


InternetHealthTest.org

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an online site where New Yorker's can check their internet speeds.

WBFO News file photo / WBFO News

Senator Charles Schumer is calling for wider controls over the sale of synthetic marijuana.

Chris Caya WBFO News

Community activists and elected officials are once again calling on Verizon to provide FiOS service in the City of Buffalo and they're looking to the New York State Public Service Commission for help. 

fbi.gov

It's called sextortion and it's becoming more and more common in the age of the internet and social media.

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

The push for reliable high-speed broadband internet across the community continues, with a town hall meeting Thursday night in Cheektowaga.

Erie County Legislature

A four-month study has concluded that creating a  municipal broadband Internet service in Erie County would boost the economy, create jobs and raise property values.

File photo

In a letter to customers last week, Time Warner Cable announced rate hikes of up to $9 a month, attributing some of the increase to higher sports programming costs and local broadcast fees. Residents and elected officials are reacting negatively to the news.

Could municipal internet work in Buffalo?

Dec 9, 2014
Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

Faster internet access for everyone is the goal that two Western New Yorkers are trying to accomplish. WBFO’s Ashley Hirtzel spoke to the organizers of ‘Free the Web’ about the benefits of bringing municipal internet to the region.

Jay Rogan / GiveGab Product Manager

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates nearly 65 million people volunteered through or for an organization in 2012. One social networking site is now focusing on the volunteer sector.

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