Random searches of phones, laptops, and other electronic devices at airports (and other ports of entry) in the United States have increased over the past few years. In fact, the practice is so commonplace that some people choose to wipe their phones before traveling. Thankfully, a district court has decided that random searches of devices at ports of entry is unconstitutional, making the searches illegal. Read More
We've heard of phones taking potato photos, but phones being mistaken for a potato-based breakfast food is another story — one that now exists. A man in Connecticut spent his own money and 13 months of his life to prove in court that a police officer gave him a $300 distracted-driving ticked for merely eating a McDonald's hash brown while at the wheel. On Friday, a judge found Jason Stiber not guilty, bringing an end to what the defendant's attorney called "the case of the century." Read More
Google's legal troubles in Europe continue as a European Commission court has accepted an injunction filed by alternative app store Aptoide. The antitrust complaint came after Google used Play Protect to warn users that Aptoide was potentially harmful. Read More
News of a proposed AT&T takeover of media giant Time Warner has been rumbling along for almost two years now. Donald Trump promised to contest the deal if he was voted into office, and sure enough, the Justice Department sued in an attempt to block the deal on antitrust grounds. The lawsuit has now been rejected by a District Court judge, allowing the deal to go ahead without any further conditions. Read More
Back in 2012, the FBI, Department of Justice, and other domestic and foreign entities teamed up to seize three sites that pirated Android apps: Applanet, AppBucket, and SnappzMarket. The fallout for some of the operators of those sites was known within about 18 months of the unprecedented crackdown. For the then-teenager behind Applanet, the largest of the three offending sites, the consequences were not determined until this week: He'll avoid prison time but will be placed under probation with some special conditions. Read More
One of the big advantages of Google Fi is its flexibility. You just pay for the data you use at a rate of $10 a gig, up to a recently-set maximum of $80 a month. But, according to a lawsuit filed earlier this week, Google may have charged at least one Project Fi subscriber for data that was used while the customer was on a Wi-Fi connection. Read More
The continuing corporate drama between Android ROM developer Cyanogen, Inc., precocious enthusiast manufacturer OnePlus, and Indian smartphone vendor Micromax is basically a love triangle with Cyanogen's customized software in the middle. After Cyanogen made an arrangement with Micromax to exclusively provide the Android build for its Yu smartphone, Micromax went to the Delhi High Court to forcibly bar the OnePlus One (and its CM11S software) from being sold. The court granted an injunction on December 16th, allowing only the remaining stock to be sold on Amazon's Indian portal.
But now the India Times reports that the same court has reversed its decision, officially allowing OnePlus to sell and import the One phone with its CyanogenMod software and branding. Read More
Writing for Android Police from my home office in Virginia, it's not every day that I get to report on something somewhat close to home. But here it is. A Virginia Circuit Court judge has ruled that while police officers cannot compel a person to give up their passcode, they can demand someone use their fingerprint to unlock their phone.
Judge Steven C. Frucci made the ruling this week, saying that giving a police officer your fingerprint is similar to providing a DNA or handwriting sample, something the law permits. Divulging a password or PIN, however, requires admitting or handing over knowledge, something that's protected by the Fifth Amendment (you have the right to remain silent). Read More
Last year, Apple won what was perhaps the largest legal victory in its war on Android when a court ruled that Samsung infringed its patents on a significant number of devices and owed the Cupertino company in excess of a billion dollars. Today, however, that same judge is vacating $450m from that total until a second damages trial with a new jury can commence.
That amount won't be stripped away entirely, mind you. The problem comes from the fact that the jury made some errors when it passed judgment on 14 of the infringing devices. Samsung's lawyers broke down the numbers for its damages and discovered that there were certain flaws in the way they were calculated. Read More