Techdirt: More Than Half Of U.S. States Now Pushing Their Own Net Neutrality Rules. “Large ISP lobbyists, the FCC and agency head Ajit Pai are going to be rather busy for the foreseeable future. In the wake of the agency’s extremely unpopular net neutrality repeal, consumer groups note that 26 states (27 including a new effort in Kansas) have now taken action to protect net neutrality themselves — with more efforts on the way. The efforts range from attempts to pass state-level net neutrality rules banning anti-competitive behavior, to executive orders modifying state procurement rules to prohibit ISPs that violate net neutrality from getting state money or securing state contracts.”
Search Engine Land: Keyword infringement: Edible Arrangements files $209M trademark suit against Google. “Google is being sued in federal district court in Connecticut by the company behind Edible Arrangements for trademark infringement and unfair competition. The central claim is that when users search for ‘Edible Arrangements’ (or versions of that name), they’re seeing product ads for competitors, such as 1-800-Flowers. The company is seeking more than $200 million in damages for lost profits and trademark infringement. The company claims that consumers are confused about which results are genuinely associated with Edible Arrangements and says it has received phone calls supporting that contention.”
TBO: Connecticut may limit access to state’s voter database. “Marketing companies and other private entities would no longer be able to buy Connecticut’s state voter list for about $300 and use the data for solicitations and other purposes under new legislation being considered by state lawmakers this session.”
The Register: Vermont becomes fifth US state to boot up its own net neutrality rules. “State governor Phil Scott signed an executive order Thursday noting that ‘the principles of net neutrality are inherently tied to the provision of reliable, high-quality broadband Internet service for the State,’ and ordering all state agencies to only use ISPs that agree not to block, throttle or prioritize network traffic.”
CNET: US charges Russian social media trolls over election tampering. “US special counsel Robert Mueller has filed charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups for allegedly interfering with the 2016 presidential election. In an indictment released Friday (PDF), Mueller and the Justice Department call out the Internet Research Agency, a group linked to Russian propaganda efforts across social media. Employees for the IRA created troll accounts and used bots to stage arguments and sow political chaos during the 2016 campaign.”
Hollywood Reporter: Judge Rules News Publishers Violated Copyright by Embedding Tweets of Tom Brady Photo. “In a huge surprise, a New York federal judge on Thursday delivered a blow to nine news organizations defending their use of a Tom Brady photo. The judge’s decision is sure to be controversial and could prove quite consequential, too, potentially disrupting the way that news outlets use Twitter and causing many in technology to re-examine ubiquitous practices from embedding to linking.” Whoa.
Bloomberg Quint: Google’s Firing of Damore in `Monoculture’ Case Found Legal. “Google’s firing of an engineer over his controversial memo criticizing its diversity policies and ‘politically correct monoculture’ didn’t violate U.S. labor law, a federal agency lawyer concluded.”