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Yesterday, United States President Barack Obama signed into law the JOBS Act, which may be the most significant update to securities regulations since Sarbanes–Oxley was passed in 2002.
One portion of the new law, the CROWDFUND Act, has been creating a lot of buzz in Silicon Valley for months, as it will make it legal for startups the ability to raise money in small chunks from large numbers of non-accredited investors.
Non-accredited investors interested in investing in young companies and entrepreneurs hoping to use the internet to raise money for their startups are one step closer to their dreams today after the United States Senate passed the Capital Raising Online While Deterring Fraud and Unethical Non-Disclosure Act, also known as the CROWDFUND Act.
The Act is the Senate's version of similar legislation that had already passed in the US House of Representatives and once reconciled, a final bill can be sent to president Barack Obama to be signed into law.
Today, the administration of US President Barack Obama announced a blueprint for a "Privacy Bill of Rights."
The goal: "improve consumers’ privacy protections" and "give users more control over how their personal information is used on the Internet", all the while maintaining the internet's status as an "engine for innovation and economic growth."
To achieve that goal, the president has enlisted the help of some of the internet's biggest names, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL.
Parts of the internet will go black tomorrow. From Wikipedia and Reddit to the Cheezburger network and Major League Gaming, numerous highly-trafficked web properties say they'll shut down to protest the SOPA legislation that would make the internet far less free in the name of fighting piracy.
Even Google is going to be making a statement using its homepage.
The blackouts are going on despite the fact that SOPA is effectively dead -- for the time being.
In January, draft language for the new European Data Protection Directive, is expected to be released publicly.
The directive's goals include setting in place guidelines for the protection of data that originates within Europe and laying out if, how and when that data can leave Europe. The directive will replace the EU's existing Data Protection Directive.
Amazon has been doing battle with states over the collection of sales tax for years.
It has developed a strategy for dealing with states that propose legislation that would force it to collect sales tax as a result of its affiliate relationships: threaten to terminate affiliates in the state if the legislation is passed.
Sure enough, the e-commerce giant has consistently followed through on such threats. The result: Amazon affiliates either have to say goodbye to revenue, or flee to another state. And the states themselves don't generate any of the revenue they thought they were losing out on in the first place.
Earlier this year, I wrote about an EU plan to require that internet users consent to cookies before they're placed on their computers. At the time, I called the plan "absurd".
Which must be precisely why the Council of the EU has approved a directive amending legislation to do just that. The announcement of this potentially horrendous action? Well-hidden in an 18 page Council press release.
What if you had to receive consent to place a cookie on a user's computer? As an online publisher or digital marketer, you might find it very difficult to operate.
But that's exactly what an amendment that will be voted on in the EU Parliament considers requiring.
US Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) want to make unsolicited commercial text messages illegal. They have introduced legislation they're calling the m-SPAM Act of 2009 to put the brakes on mobile spam.
The proposed legislation would strengthen the powers given to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to curb unwanted text messages. Additionally, it would flat out prohibit sending text messages to mobile numbers on the Do-Not-Call registry.