NSA can spy on smartphone data. German Magazine Der Spiegel reports that the NSA has cracked the security measures of major smartphone brands. "The United States' National Security Agency intelligence-gathering operation is capable of accessing user data from smartphones from all leading manufacturers. Top secret NSA documents that SPIEGEL has seen explicitly note that the NSA can tap into such information on Apple iPhones, BlackBerry devices and Google's Android mobile operating system." However, while they have the ability to tap in, Spiegel also notes that the material they viewed suggested the deployment of that power was targeted, rather than a mass phenomenon.
Verizon-F.C.C. court fight takes on regulating net. "The court is set to hear oral arguments starting Monday morning in Verizon v. F.C.C., which is billed as a heavyweight championship of the technology world, setting the old era against the new," reports the New York Times. "Verizon and a host of other companies that spent billions of dollars to build their Internet pipelines believe they should be able to manage them as they wish," it explains. "The F.C.C., however, believes that Internet service providers must keep their pipelines free and open, giving the creators of any type of legal content — movies, shopping sites, medical services, or even pornography — an equal ability to reach consumers. If certain players are able to buy greater access to Internet users, regulators believe, the playing field will tilt in the direction of the richest companies, possibly preventing the next Google or Facebook from getting off the ground."
A journalist-agitator facing prison over a link. "By trying to criminalize linking, the federal authorities in the Northern District of Texas — Mr. Brown lives in Dallas — are suggesting that to share information online is the same as possessing it or even stealing it. In the news release announcing the indictment," David Carr at the New York Times writes about the legal case against Barrett Brown. "In 2010, he formed an online collective named Project PM with a mission of investigating documents unearthed by Anonymous and others. If Anonymous and groups like it were the wrecking crew, Mr. Brown and his allies were the people who assembled the pieces of the rubble into meaningful insights."
Amazon denies plans to offer free smartphone this year. "Two days after former Wall Street Journal reporters Amir Efrati and Jessica E. Lessin reported that that Amazon was considering the giveaway strategy for "its long-planned smartphone," the company broke its silence with a statement dismissing the suggestion," reports CNET. The Internet retailer told AllThingsD's Ina Fried, "We have no plans to offer a phone this year, and if we were to launch a phone in the future, it would not be free."
NASA lunar orbiter solves snag after successful launch. Lunar spacecraft LADEE suffered a minor mechanical issue with its reaction wheels after entering space according to NPR. But, don't fear: "S. Peter Worden, director of NASA's Ames Center, says that the problem has been fixed."