Today in Connected Consumer

What am I missing here? One day after a titanic clash on Capitol Hill over a bill aimed at curbing piracy by off-shore web sites, the U.S. authorities seized and shut down MegaUpload.com, one of the most notorious of those sites. The FBI also arrested seven people, including four picked up in New Zealand, and charged them with criminal copyright infringement. Authorities claim there is no connection between the arrests, which were the result of a two-year investigation, and the recent political firestorm over SOPA and PIPA. Even if true, though, what do the arrests say about the tools already available to law enforcement to go after “foreign rogue sites” and whether legislation is needed to provide them with more tools?

The Feds Getting Curious About Apple

Apple may be the media and public’s favorite son, but to the FBI and FTC, Apple is looking more like a red-headed stepchild. The FBI and FTC are collectively looking into at least three anti-trust suits against it.

Today in Connected Consumer

I sure feels like we’re headed for some sort of massive business, political and journalistic train-wreck over privacy. Earlier this week, Gawker revealed a massive privacy breach by AT&T that could have revealed personal data on 114,000 iPad 3G users, including some bold-letter names. The breach has now triggered an FBI investigation, including a demand that the web site that broke the story preserve all records of its communications with its source. The hackers who discovered the flaw in AT&T’s security now claim they did nothing wrong. All this is happening against a backdrop of growing concern among policymakers over the privacy policies of social networks and other online platforms, as well as increasing willingness of law enforcement to pursue online information leaks, including the raid on Gizmodo over the iPhone 4 leak. Pressure is building, and it usually comes out somewhere. Not always neatly.