AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Laura Ryan

National Journal Laura is a staff correspondent for National Journal covering technology. She is grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and attended Wellesley College, where she received a B.A. in American Studies.
Results 1-10 of 22

FTC Investigates 'Discrimination by Algorithm'

September 16, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Federal Trade Commission has fired a warning shot against using big data to discriminate against low-income and minority groups. FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said the consumer protection agency will crack down on businesses that use big data to unfairly target these groups. "Big data can have big consequences," Ramirez ...

California Passes Law to Protect Yelpers’ Right to Post Bad Reviews

September 11, 2014 California has a new law to protect Californians' right to Yelp. Known as the "Yelp Bill," Assembly Bill 2365 makes it illegal for businesses to prohibit or fine customers from writing negative online reviews. Online reviews can make or break a business, and small businesses are especially vulnerable. Paranoia has ...

Why One West Virginia Town Has Banned Cell Phones

September 2, 2014 Only four hours west of Washington, there is a town where cell phones and wireless Internet are outlawed. Commercial radios are banned, and microwaves aren't welcome either. Green Bank might sound like a Luddite's dreamscape, but the West Virginia hamlet's self-imposed blackout is being done all in the name of ...

Monkeys Can't Get a Copyright

August 22, 2014 If a monkey takes a selfie, it does not qualify for copyright protection in the U.S., even if the monkey's skills rival those of Kim Kardashian. The same goes for portrait-painting elephants. In the newest edition of the office's guidelines released Tuesday, the U.S. Copyright Office is crystal-clear that only ...

The Real Reason You Can’t Text 911

August 8, 2014 Imagine there is an intruder in your home. You are hiding under the bed. You have your cell phone. Dialing 911 might give away your hiding place, so you decide to send a text message. You better hope you live in Vermont, Maine, or one among the handful of counties ...

The Real Reason You Can’t Text 911

August 8, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Imagine there is an intruder in your home. You are hiding under the bed. You have your cell phone. Dialing 911 might give away your hiding place, so you decide to send a text message. You better hope you live in Vermont, Maine, or one among the handful of counties ...

The FCC Is Getting Serious About Enforcing Its Last Remaining Net-Neutrality Rule

July 23, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Federal Communications Commission warned Internet providers on Wednesday that they will face penalties if they mislead their customers about the connection speeds they're offering. This rule, called the "Open Internet Transparency Rule," is the only surviving piece of the net-neutrality rules struck down by a federal court in February. ...

Teachers Give Failing Grade to Obama's Push for Tech in Schools

June 24, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Teachers are unimpressed with the Obama administration's plan to upgrade technology in schools. Dennis Van Roekel, the president of the National Education Association, said he is "beyond frustrated" with a plan announced Friday by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler. "We feel the chairman is missing the opportunity to seize ...

Why Terrorists Love Twitter

June 2, 2014 "Try to think like a terrorist for a second. Would you like to get—free-of-charge—satellite services? Of course, you would," says Gabriel Weimann. "Now think about Google Earth." Indeed, it was Google Earth that members of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba used to help plan the 2008 Mumbai terror spree that killed ...

Why Terrorists Love Twitter

June 2, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow "Try to think like a terrorist for a second. Would you like to get—free-of-charge—satellite services? Of course, you would," says Gabriel Weimann. "Now think about Google Earth." Indeed, it was Google Earth that members of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba used to help plan the 2008 Mumbai terror spree that killed ...