Nov 26, 2013, 1:21 pm EST
The National Security Agency’s (NSA) Internet surveillance could be putting American technology companies at risk of losing a lot of money.
Bloomberg reports that U.S. companies could lose up to $35 billion in revenue by 2016 due to spying abroad, according to the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation. The Washington-based policy research group also found that Internet freedom could suffer a setback due to the internet surveillance conducted by the NSA.
A senior fellow at the New America Foundation — another Washington policy group — said that “the potential fallout is pretty huge given how much our economy depends on the information economy for its growth.” Large companies such as Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) could also suffer from any ensuing setbacks. Read
Nov 26, 2013, 10:18 am EST
Next year’s midterm congressional elections could be a tougher fight for Democrats due to fallout from the botched launch of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a new poll form CNN/ORC International.
A CNN poll taken last month — as Republicans struggled to recover from the government shutdown — showed Democrats with a eight-point advantage over the GOP among registered voters, who preferred generic Democrats to Republicans 50% to 42%. In a poll conducted last week, however, the GOP enjoyed a slight 49%-to-47% lead over Democrats in the generic ballot, CNN notes.
In the time between the two polls, the public’s attention turned from the government’s budget battle to the glitch-plagued launch of the health insurance exchanges that are the most visible part of Obamacare. The President was also forced to backtrack on public pronouncements that Americans would be able to keep insurance plans they liked after a wave of cancellations mandated by requirements of the ACA. Read
Nov 25, 2013, 7:54 pm EST
After the public drubbing President Barack Obama has been dealt over the disastrous HealthCare.gov roll-out, it only makes sense that the president would try to move away from the increasingly unpopular Affordable Care Act. His attempt to shift the debate from health care to immigration reform, however, hasn’t been smooth sailing.
In a speech today given at a recreation center serving a large number of Chinese-Americans in San Francisco, Obama argued once again for comprehensive immigration reform. However, his pitch was interrupted by protestors who said the president hadn’t done enough to stop deportations of undocumented immigrants.
One protestor, a 24-year-old student at San Francisco State University named Ju Hong, said Obama’s policies made it impossible for him to see his family overseas. Read
Nov 25, 2013, 12:39 pm EST
A large number of the 230,000 complaints filed through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have been related to mortgages or debt collections.
Yahoo! News reports that the CFPB Director Richard Cordray is encouraging Americans to complain more “about problems with mortgages, credit cards, student loans [and] auto loans.” The agency only accepted credit card loans at first but it has now expanded and it receives about 10,000-12,000 complaints a month.
Cordray also said that consumers who file complains might also get compensation for their troubles. The CFPB has collected about $750 million for consumers since it opened its doors 2011. The agency deals with all sorts of complaints, including from the financial sector it regulates and Republicans in Congress who could make it more difficult for low-income Americans to borrow money.
Nov 22, 2013, 11:32 am EST
Airplanes could soon cease to be a refuge from people incessantly talking on their cell phones.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has drafted a proposal that would permit travelers to use their cellphones to send data and make phone calls when aircraft are flying above 10,000 feet. The FCC indicated that the idea was driven by “increased consumer demand” to use mobile devices while in the air, the Daily News notes.
Relaxing restrictions on in-air cell phone use will be debated at the FCC’s Dec. 12 meeting. The agency’s chairman — a former cellular industry lobbyist — called current restrictions “outdated and restrictive.” Read
Nov 21, 2013, 12:05 pm EST
The city of Los Angeles is giving away reusable totes to get residents use to the plastic-bag ban that will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
The totes, which cost $5 a piece to make, are being made by nonprofit organizations that help veterans and former gang members. The totes will be made out of recycled materials and will be given away for free. Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz is raising money to help with the manufacturing of the totes. The groups creating the totes have already received a $25,000 donation from the art studio, Metabolic Studio, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The law banning plastic bags will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. Smaller retailers will have until July 1, 2014 to stop using plastic bags. Retailers will still be able to sell paper bags for 10 cents a piece, but lawmakers hope that people will move to using reusable totes, the L.A. Times notes. Read