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
After cutting nearly 3,000 jobs in January, ZTE hasn't had much in the way of good news to share lately. Today, it appears the Chinese smartphone maker avoided a potentially fatal blow to its smartphone business, but did so at great cost - around a billion dollars, in fact. ZTE was accused last year of violating US sanctions against doing business with Iran (I know, ZTE is a Chinese company - this has to do with US technology), and as a result the US Department of Commerce threatened to cut off ZTE from all its US-based supply chain partners. Read More
Last year, there was a rather widely-covered story about a piece of Android malware (rather, an Android malware control suite) called Dendroid. That malware was published for sale on a cybercrime-aligned forum known as Darkode, and it just so happens that the FBI (with assistance from agencies in other nations) just arrested the guy who wrote Dendroid as part of a larger raid on Darkode's operators.
That guy is Morgan C. Culbertson, who has a pretty solid real name, but somehow the most tragically boring and uninventive criminal alias of all time: "Android." Come on, Morgan - you could have done better. Read More
If you've been following the Applanet/Appbucket criminal case, you know that the Department of Justice and the FBI have been working on bringing charges against a number of high-profile Android app pirates for the last eighteen months. Earlier this month the investigations and arrests paid off, as two of the men responsible for large-scale Android app piracy in the United States pled guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. The DOJ reported the news on its official public affairs portal.
Nicholas Anthony Narbone and and Thomas Allen Dye, both formerly of the well-known piracy site Appbucket.net, were charged with one count each, and both pled guilty to the charges on March 10th. Read More
Software piracy sucks. Ask any developer: app piracy is a major problem on Android, and more so on Android than on other mobile platforms, thanks to the relative ease of installing applications outside of the Google Play Store. But the United States Department of Justice is not turning a blind eye to mobile piracy. The Department charged four men with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement earlier this week in Georgia's northern federal district court.
Kody Jon Peterson, a 22-year-old from Florida, was charged with one count on Thursday. Thomas Allen Dye (21) and Nicholas Anthony Narbone (26) from Florida and Thomas Pace (38) from Oregon were charged separately on Friday. Read More
One small and two major sites that have a long history of distributing pirated Android apps have been seized in a first of its kind operation conducted by the FBI, DoJ, and a variety of U.S. and foreign governments. These sites are:
Each of the taken down hosts is now displaying this FBI seizure notice
According to PC World, FBI agents downloaded numerous copies of paid Android apps as part of the operation before seizing all three domains and executing nine search warrants on August 21st. It's a little unclear whether the FBI and the DoJ will be pursuing criminal action against the site operators or whether anyone was detained. Read More
The US Department of Justice approved a sale of unused wireless spectrum to Verizon today, marking one of the largest spectrum sales to a single corporate entity in history. The unused portion of the AWS spectrum is owned by a number of cable companies (known collectively as "SpectrumCo") that bought it during the FCC AWS auction back in 2008.
Of course, back in the old spectrum heydays of, uh, four very long years ago, those megahertz were a lot cheaper. In fact, $1.3 billion cheaper. The cable company Read More
axis of evil consortium purchased the AWS blocks for a comparatively paltry $2.3 billion at the time.
It's official: AT&T-Mobile will not be happening any time soon. AT&T, the US's second-largest wireless carrier and all-around communications mega-corporation, after months of attempting to convince consumers and federal agencies alike that the deal was going to be good for everyone, has given up its plans to purchase T-Mobile, a division of Deutsche Telekom.
As part of the cancellation, AT&T will pay DT a $4 billion accounting fee to get out of its contract, as well as expand roaming agreements with the company (where, when, and for what purpose was not stated).
One worrisome issue that comes to mind for me is the damage done to T-Mobile's reputation in all of this. Read More
Over at Google's Public Policy Blog (yes, that really exists) today, Senior VP Dennis Woodside issued a statement that the U.S. Department of Justice was taking a "second look" at certain potential antitrust issues in the Google-Motorola deal. What's it mean?
A $12.5 billion acquisition of a major US company that has been independent for over 30 years is always going to invite scrutiny from Uncle Sam, and let's face it, it's probably not a bad sign that the government is batting a second eye at these kinds of purchases.
Google, according to the post as shown below, remains confident that the deal will go through, and is cooperating fully with the DoJ during this evaluation, one Google has undergone before. Read More