4. Senators question border laptop searches: U.S. Senators Russell Feingold and Patrick Leahy on Wednesday called on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to stop seizing and searching laptops and other electronic devices of people who are entering the country. After taking the devices, CBP officers allegedly search Web histories, copy hard drives and read documents. One witness at the hearing said the CBP's actions disrupt businesses while another testified that electronic copies warrant no special treatment compared to their physical counterparts.
5. Nokia buys rest of Symbian, will make code open source and Report: Google faces Android handset delays: Open-source software will soon run over half of the world's smartphones after Tuesday's news that the Symbian mobile OS is going open source. Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Vodafone and other telecom players formed the Symbian Foundation to distribute the OS under a royalty-free license. Experts believe Symbian's 60 percent share of the smartphone market and decade of development will foster more growth. Symbian's move to open source came on the same week as reports that Android, Google's open-source mobile OS, is progressing slowly due to conflicts with mobile carriers.
6. ISP backs off of behavioral ad plan: Charter Communications suspended plans to place ads based on a customer's Internet use in Web pages after the ISP's customers voiced concerns about the service, the company said. Charter, a major U.S. broadband provider, also drew the ire of two digital rights groups that claimed serving ads based on information gleamed from Web use amounted to spying and violated security practices. Two U.S. legislators also raised concerns in a letter to the company. In May Charter said it planned to team with NebuAd, a behavioral advertising company, on a pilot program.
7. Google introduces tool for planning online ad campaigns: Google also attempted to tackle the issue of targeted ad placement on Web sites, but with a tool for media planners, who determine where to place their client's ads. Media planners enter their desired audience's demographic information into Ad Planner, which generates a list of appropriate sites. According to Google, Ad Planner allows users to get information on searches related to a certain site and other, more detailed demographic data. News of the service prompted talk of Google expanding into the Web analytics business against the likes of comScore and Hitwise.
8. Senate delays vote on surveillance bill until July: On Friday the U.S. Senate announced that it will delay a vote on a controversial surveillance bill until July 8. An earlier spy program allowed the government to monitor without warrants phone calls and electronic communications between supposed terrorist groups and people outside the U.S. Major telecom carriers, which supposedly granted the government access to their systems, now face lawsuits for their role in the program. The bill, seen as a compromise between the White House and congressional Democrats, would allow the program to continue but with court oversight and have a court review if the telecom lawsuits warrant dismissal.