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The Telecom Digest for Sun, 15 May 2022
Volume 41 : Issue 85 : "text" format

table of contents
AT&T is about to get away with its bogus $1.99 'administrative fee'
Meet the parents who refuse to give their kids smartphones
"War upon end-to-end encryption:" EU want Big Tech to scan private messages

Message-ID: <B30E6086-63FA-4545-AD04-107B68D70D12@roscom.com> Date: 13 May 2022 09:17:35 -0400 From: "Monty Solomon" <monty@roscom.com> Subject: AT&T is about to get away with its bogus $1.99 'administrative fee' Both sides are asking the judge to approve a wrist-slap settlement By Sean Hollister Since 2013, AT&T has quietly bilked customers out of hundreds of millions of dollars with a bogus "administrative fee," a fee it more than doubled to $1.99 a month in 2018. For a few years there, a California class-action lawsuit made it seem like AT&T might finally get taken to task. But this week, both sides told a judge they'd settle for just $14 million -- meaning customers may get less than 10 percent of what they paid AT&T, while AT&T gets to keep on charging them. https://www.theverge.com/2022/5/12/23069156/att-vianu-lawsuit-class-action-administrative-fee
Message-ID: <6D12383D-32D3-495F-8FC4-32142D526546@roscom.com> Date: 13 May 2022 09:06:40 -0400 From: "Monty Solomon" <monty@roscom.com> Subject: Meet the parents who refuse to give their kids smartphones Meet the parents who refuse to give their kids smartphones The vast majority of teens and tweens today have smartphones. These parents said no. For Adriana Stacey, it's very simple. "I'll never buy a smartphone for any of my children," she says. It's a personal stance born of professional experiences. Stacey is a psychiatrist who works primarily with high school and college students in Fayetteville, Ark., and in her practice she routinely asks new patients to swipe open their phones and show her how much screen time they're clocking per day. "I rarely find one that's under nine hours," she says. "So, these teenagers are spending more time on their phone than they are sleeping." https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2022/05/09/parents-kids-smartphones/ ***** Moderator's Note ***** I knew an Amateur Radio Operator who had a teenage daughter, back around 1995, and he figured out a novel way to obviate the problem. When his daughter demanded that she get a cellphone, because "All the cool kids have them," he told her that she could have a special radio instrument which would top whatever the "cool" kids had, and made her obtain a Ham Radio license to get one. My buddy then went and bought her a small 220 MHz Ham transceiver which had been set up to use a local Amateur Radio repeater, and whenever his daughter wanted to get a ride or ask permission to visit a friend's home after school, she would call home on her "special" phone, using the "autopatch" which connected the repeater to a phone line, and make a request without needing to pay for a cell phone or airtime. He told me that when other kids asked where to get one, he had told her to say that her dad worked at the phone company (which was true) and had speacial permission to use channels that the ordinary cellphone users couldn't get, and none of them, according to him, ever persued their questions any further. Admitedly, he had advantages others did not: they lived in a rural community far from the major cities, and he owned the repeater equipment himself, and 220 MHz has always been a rarely used band, but it shows what you can do to fight back against megabuck peer pressure, "influencers," and the other tricks of the marketing juggernauts that infested the early years of the cellular revolution. Bill Horne Moderator
Message-ID: <6FEE099C-972B-4ADB-94B1-0C572D002E22@roscom.com> Date: 12 May 2022 00:38:01 -0400 From: "Monty Solomon" <monty@roscom.com> Subject: "War upon end-to-end encryption:" EU want Big Tech to scan private messages A European Commission proposal could force tech companies to scan private messages for child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and evidence of grooming, even when those messages are supposed to be protected by end-to-end encryption. Online services that receive "detection orders" under the pending European Union legislation would have "obligations concerning the detection, reporting, removal and blocking of known and new child sexual abuse material, as well as solicitation of children, regardless of the technology used in the online exchanges," the proposal says. The plan calls end-to-end encryption an important security tool but essentially orders companies to break that end-to-end encryption by whatever technological means necessary. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/05/war-upon-end-to-end-encryption-eu-wants-big-tech-to-scan-private-messages/ ***** Moderator's Note ***** This kind of fluff pops up whenever some EU country is having an election: it's free ink for the incumbents, and free ad revenue for the "news" outlets that push it upon an untrained and ignorant public. Whatever technical means the EU might think are necessary, they would be, even if implemented, bypassed by the porn freaks with little trouble. I know this because I had a job doing remote-access virus removal back in the early 2000's, and I found out that most of my customers were trying to recover porm that had been deleted or encrypted by others whom were taking advantage of the porn freaks' passion (pun intended) for anonymity. I was astonished at the number and variety of tips, techniques, and software packages available to those whom chose to trade questionable images or text: not as astonished as I was at some of the images, but I solved that problem by finding another job. Long story short, neither the EU nor any ISP can block traffic in pornography, no matter how hard they pretend to try. Bill Horne Moderator

End of telecom Digest Sun, 15 May 2022

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