The Future (of Banking) Is Now! Number26 – The Online Bank

I admit it, from the title, and most likely from my excited writing style in the rest of this post, it will very much seem like I’ve been paid to write this by the bank. But the truth of the matter is much more mundane: I’m simply childishly excited by new toys, and my newest toy at the moment is the bank account I just opened with the new completely-online bank NUMBER26. At the moment, the service is only available to customers in Germany and Austria, but there are plans to roll out to other countries relatively soon.

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FCC Passes Strict Net Neutrality Regulations On 3-2 Vote

A big victory for Net Neutrality proponents in the US. This decision has been a long time coming, but was far from a sure thing, with a number of serious fluctuations in FCC policy and proposals since the landmark rulings in Comcast Corp. v. FCC (2010) and Verizon Communications Inc. v. FCC (2014).

TechCrunch

As expected, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed new net neutrality regulations today on a vote of 3-2, with the Commission’s two Democratic appointees joining Chairman Tom Wheeler in voting yes. The Commission’s two Republican-appointed members both voted no.

Notably, the FCC’s plan is now known to have undergone a last-minute revision to remove a potential weakness in its formation, pointed out by Google, that might have allowed for some paid prioritization. If you were curious about Google’s take on net neutrality, that fact should settle the question.

The CEO of Etsy, an online marketplace, spoke before the commission voted to “applaud” the FCC for putting into place “bright line” rules, and “voting to protect the Internet.”

Up first from the commission, Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said in her remarks that the “framers” of America “would be pleased” with the FCC’s plan. The commissioner went on to call today’s vote the FCC’s “third bite…

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The Underappreciated Guide to Protecting Your Online Consumer Identity

While it has come across my radar before, a colleague of mine at the Forschungsstelle für Verbraucherrecht reminded me today of a pretty handy, though perhaps under-utilised, tool for digital consumers, namely the website www.YourOnlineChoices.com “A Guide to Behavioural Advertising”. The front page offers a wide range of different countries and languages to choose from (including Romansch, though not Irish… even though the latter is an official language of the EU, but the former not), and this cheery message:

Welcome to a guide to online behavioural advertising and online privacy.

On this website you’ll find information about how behavioural advertising works, further information about cookies and the steps you can take to protect your privacy on the internet.

This website is written and funded by the internet advertising industry and supports a pan-European industry initiative to enhance transparency and control for online behavioural advertising.

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The Pirate Bay Is Back After Nearly Two Months Of Downtime

And so it continues…

TechCrunch

One of the Internet’s most targeted, and yet also most hard-to-kill sites is back again following a raid on its servers over seven weeks ago: The Pirate Bay resides once again at its familiar “.se” URL, offering a database that appears to be fairly intact, with torrents mostly in place up to its closure on December 9. The website, a famed destination for those seeking pirated material (but which also seeks simply to provide a portal for sharing of information via bit torrent technology, and ascribes content choice to users), went down after its servers were raided at a data center in Nacka station near Stockholm, Sweden.

This looked like one of the most serious threats yet to The Pirate Bay, which has been in operation since 2003, and which saw its founders found guilty of assisting copy right infringement in Sweden in 2009. A raid in 2006 ordered by…

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