Senator Al Franken, chairman of the Senate subcommittee on privacy, technology and law, sent a letter to Carrier IQ on Thursday asking the company to address a number of concerns that have arisen after security expert Trevor Eckhart revealed the software might allow wireless carriers to spy on customers. “I am very concerned by recent reports that your company’s software — preinstalled on smartphones used by millions of Americans — is logging and may be transmitting extraordinarily sensitive information from consumers’ phones,” Senator Franken wrote in his letter. Read on for more. More →
House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith wrote a letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski and Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States, on Tuesday expressing his support of AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. Smith said he believes the FCC and the Department of Justice have only heard “one side of the story” from members of congress who provided “limited information” during recent briefings. Smith also said that his committee has “heard evidence” that the merger will:
Substantially improve the quality of the capacity of its broadband network thereby creating jobs an spurring innovation; use existing spectrum more efficiently to overcome the current spectrum shortage; expand its LTE mobile broadband Internet service to 97% of America including much of rural America; and provide better service to its customers thereby giving its competitors an incentive to improve their service.
Smith said any evidence from the congressional hearings that omits the aforementioned points “paints an incomplete picture.” Sprint has been one of the most vocal opponents of the merger and has said that, in contrast to creating jobs and innovation, the acquisition will “stifle” innovation in the U.S. Wireless market. Read on for more. More →
Minnesota Senator Al Franken sent a letter to the heads of the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice earlier this week, stating that AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA was not in the best interest of the American public. “The competitive effects of a merger of this size and scope will reverberate throughout the telecommunications sector for decades to come and will affect consumer prices, customer service, innovation, competition in handsets and the quality and quantity of network coverage. These threats are too large and too irrevocable to be prevented or alleviated by conditions,” Franken wrote. The Minnesota democrat also said that the deal could cost thousands of Americans their jobs. T-Mobile issued a statement in response to Franken’s note late on Tuesday, stating plainly that Franken’s assessment of the deal is wrong. “While we respect Senator Franken, his analysis of our pending transaction is just wrong,” T-Mobile said in a note to the press. “The combination of T-Mobile and AT&T should be approved because it will deliver what consumers are looking for in the age of smart phones, tablets and mobile internet – speed, service quality and reduced costs. As is documented in our government filings, the combination of our two networks creates significant efficiencies that will trigger strong benefits for consumers. We are confident that a thorough review of the record will demonstrate the transaction advances the public interest.”