Virginia Foxx Rebukes Obama

April 30th, 2012 by NC Tea Party Staff Categories: Hot Topics, Other Videos, State, Uncategorized, US NC Congress Watch No Responses
Virginia Foxx Rebukes Obama

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx talks with Neil Cavuto on FOX Business about student loans, and President Obama’s bully pulpit at UNC- Chapel Hill. She points out that the people he was speaking to, would not even be affected by the hike in interest rates coming in July. (Talk about misleading!)

What do you think? Is there any reason college students should voluntarily pile themselves down with debt? Do you believe keeping the rates artificially low if profitable for Americans?

Waxman and Butterfield Want Answers from Apple on iPhone Address Book Privacy Concerns

February 23rd, 2012 by NC Tea Party Staff Categories: Hot Topics, Uncategorized, US NC Congress Watch No Responses
Waxman and Butterfield Want Answers from Apple on iPhone Address Book Privacy Concerns

Have you seen this?

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Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member G. K. Butterfield sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook regarding recent reports that the social networking app “Path” accessed and collected address book information from consumers without asking for consent.  There have been claims that the practice of collecting consumers’ address book contacts without their permission is common and accepted among iOS app developers.  This raises questions of whether Apple’s iOS app developer policies and practices adequately protect consumer privacy.

The full text of the letter is below.

February 15, 2012

 

Mr. Tim Cook

Chief Executive Officer, Apple Inc.

1 Infinite Loop

Cupertino, CA  95014

 

Dear Mr. Cook:

Last week, independent iOS app developer Arun Thampi blogged about his discovery that the social networking app “Path” was accessing and collecting the contents of his iPhone address book without ever having asked for his consent.[1]  The information taken without his permission – or that of the individual contacts who own that information – included full names, phone numbers, and email addresses.[2]   Following media coverage of Mr. Thampi’s discovery, Path’s Co-Founder and CEO Dave Morin quickly apologized, promised to delete from Path’s servers all data it had taken from its users’ address books, and announced the release of a new version of Path that would prompt users to opt in to sharing their address book contacts.[3]

This incident raises questions about whether Apple’s iOS app developer policies and practices may fall short when it comes to protecting the information of iPhone users and their contacts.

The data management section of your iOS developer website states:  “iOS has a comprehensive collection of tools and frameworks for storing, accessing, and sharing data. . . . iOS apps even have access to a device’s global data such as contacts in the Address Book, and photos in the Photo Library.”[4]The app store review guidelines section states:  “We review every app on the App Store based on a set of technical, content, and design criteria.  This review criteria is now available to you in the App Store Review Guidelines.”[5]  This same section indicates that the guidelines are available only to registered members of the iOS Developer Program.[6]  However, tech blogs following the Path controversy indicate that the iOS App Guidelines require apps to get a user’s permission before “transmit[ting] data about a user”.[7]

In spite of this guidance, claims have been made that “there’s a quiet understanding among many iOS app developers that it is acceptable to send a user’s entire address book, without their permission, to remote servers and then store it for future reference.  It’s common practice, and many companies likely have your address book stored in their database.”[8]  One blogger claims to have conducted a survey of developers of popular iOS apps and found that 13 of 15 had a “contacts database with millions of records” – with one claiming to have a database containing “Mark Zuckerberg’s cell phone number, Larry Ellison’s home phone number and Bill Gates’ cell phone number.”[9]

The fact that the previous version of Path was able to gain approval for distribution through the Apple iTunes Store despite taking the contents of users’ address books without their permission suggests that there could be some truth to these claims.  To more fully understand and assess these claims, we are requesting that you respond to the following questions:

 

  1. Please describe all iOS App Guidelines that concern criteria related to the privacy and security of data that will be accessed or transmitted by an app.
  2. Please describe how you determine whether an app meets those criteria.
  3. What data do you consider to be “data about a user” that is subject to the requirement that the app obtain the user’s consent before it is transmitted?
  4. To the extent not addressed in the response to question 2, please describe how you determine whether an app will transmit “data about a user” and whether the consent requirement has been met.
  5. How many iOS apps in the U.S. iTunes Store transmit “data about a user”?
  6. Do you consider the contents of the address book to be “data about a user”?
  7. Do you consider the contents of the address book to be data of the contact?  If not, please explain why not.  Please explain how you protect the privacy and security interests of that contact in his or her information.
  8. How many iOS apps in the U.S. iTunes Store transmit information from the address book?  How many of those ask for the user’s consent before transmitting their contacts’ information?
  9. You have built into your devices the ability to turn off in one place the transmission of location information entirely or on an app-by-app basis.  Please explain why you have not done the same for address book information.

 

Please provide the information requested no later than February 29, 2012.  If you have any questions regarding this request, you can contact Felipe Mendoza with the Energy and Commerce Committee Staff at 202-226-3400.

 

Sincerely,

 

Henry A. Waxman

Ranking MemberG.K. Butterfield

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade

 

cc:        Dave Morin

Path, Co-Founder and CEO


[1]  Arun Thampi, Path Uploads Your Entire iPhone Address Book to Its Servers, mclov.in (Feb. 8, 2012) (available at http://mclov.in/2012/02/08/path-uploads-your-entire-address-book-to-their-servers.html).

[2]  Id.

[3]  Dave Morin, We Are Sorry, Path Blog (Feb. 8, 2012) (available at http://blog.path.com/post/17274932484/we-are-sorry).

[4]  iOS Data Management (available at https://developer.apple.com/technologies/ios/data-management.html).

[5]  App Store Review Guidelines (available at  https://developer.apple.com/appstore/guidelines.html).

[6]  Id.

[7]  Andrew Couts, Path Privacy Debacle: Is Apple to Blame?, Digital Trends (Feb. 8, 2012) (available at http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/path-privacy-debacle-is-apple-to-blame/).

[8]  Dustin Curtis, Stealing Your Address Book, dcurtis (available at http://dcurt.is/stealing-your-address-book).  See also Stuart Dredge, Path’s Privacy Problem Poses Questions for all Social Apps, The Guardian (Feb. 9, 2012) (available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/appsblog/2012/feb/09/path-privacy-apps?newsfeed=true);  Maryam Nabi, Story the Week: Path’s Privacy Concerns, Financial Times (Feb. 11, 2012) (available at http://blogs.ft.com/fttechhub/2012/02/story-the-week-paths-privacy-concerns/#axzz1mH3eQZ2U); Charlie Osborne, iOS Apps: Massive Invasion of User Privacy, ZDNet (Feb. 8, 2012) (available at http://www.zdnet.com/blog/igeneration/ios-apps-massive-invasion-of-user-privacy/15138).

[9]  Id.

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press release

Letter to Congressman Jones and Senator Burr

February 16th, 2012 by NC Tea Party Staff Categories: around the nation, Hot Topics, US NC Congress Watch, US NC Senate Watch No Responses

President Obama has asked the defense Dept to reduce our Nuclear weapon stockpile by 80%. That would take our current level per our treaty with Russia (who by the way have threatened to walk away from our agreement on numerous occasion) from 2550 to 510. Pakistan has 300. Russia has 4550. The President took an oath to protect and defend this country. He is bound to do so by the U. S. Constitution. So far, each time the President has flaunted the Constitution (e.g. recess appointment while Congress is in session) our Congress has stood by and done nothing! It is way past time for Congress to act. What will it take for you to act?

Kenneth Lang

2/14/2012

from the Crystal Coast Tea Party

Sen Burr introduces the Extended Unemployment Benefits Reform Act of 2012

February 9th, 2012 by scarlett Categories: Hot Topics, US NC Congress Watch No Responses
Sen Burr introduces the Extended Unemployment Benefits Reform Act of 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced the Extended Unemployment Benefits Reform Act of 2012. After six months of unemployment, this bill would require individuals to complete 20 hours of public service and 20 hours of active job search per week as conditions for receipt of federal extended unemployment benefits.

“The United States economy is suffering, and we hav…e seen record levels of sustained high unemployment. Job creators are hesitant to hire new employees due to a lack of certainty and predictability in taxes and regulations, and this can be demoralizing for millions of people in need of work,” Senator Burr said.

“Engagement in volunteer service will encourage unemployed workers to maintain job skills, marketability, and a sense of self-worth while providing for the betterment of their communities. Even more, the active job search requirement will enhance the integrity of the unemployment system and its ability to identify and serve those most in need.”

source: Burr Website

Ellmers Op-Ed: A price to be paid with over-regulation

February 8th, 2012 by NC Tea Party Staff Categories: Hot Topics, Regulations, US NC Congress Watch No Responses
Ellmers Op-Ed: A price to be paid with over-regulation

For over 150 years, our nation’s economy has thrived off of an efficient energy system that has provided for our basic needs. From the coal that powered the first steam engines to the petroleum that breathed life into automobiles, our forefathers have built on the technologies that have come from the demand of consumers and led to the innovations that we see today. Each generation’s industry has evolved and the energy that fuels it has become cleaner and more effective. But this progress remained sustainable due to its ability to develop gradually and according to the demands of a free market.

Over the past three years, this responsible flow of progress and business development has come under attack by an administration that seeks total control over the private interests of our nation’s small businesses and job creators. Through unprecedented power granted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Obama administration has sought to impose arbitrary guidelines on every entity that uses energy to create its products. This started gradually, with new mandates over carbon dioxide emissions, and now – three years later – has coalesced into a nightmare of complicated standards which have forced thousands of small businesses to devote time, money, and massive cuts to their production in order to comply with new regulations.

One of the affected industries that has a strong presence in my home state of North Carolina is forest products.  Forestry, wood products, and pulp and paper operations account for more than 41,000 jobs and over $2 billion in annual income in our state.  Imagine if any of those jobs were threatened simply because of a process gone wrong.

As our state’s unemployment rate hovers at 10 percent – well above the national unemployment rate of 8.3 percent – now more than ever North Carolina needs to grow the number of good-paying jobs that manufacturing provides.  Unfortunately, this administration’s tendency to regulate job-sustaining industries into the ground is making it increasingly difficult for us to do so in this state and across the country.

Last March, the EPA was rushed to issue a set of regulations – known as the Boiler MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) rules – which set emission limits for boilers used in manufacturing facilities, municipal power plants, hospitals, universities, and any other facility. EPA officials have estimated that the capital cost of implementing these rules will be $9.5 billion, but a recent study prepared by IHS Global Insight puts the figure at $20 billion. The precise cost of these stringent rules may still be unknown, but they will undoubtedly impose significant new regulatory costs on employers and small businesses that could lead to factory closures and job losses.

Because they were hurried by the court system to issue the final rules, the EPA admitted that the resulting rules were inadequate and delayed implementation while it reconsidered them. The rules were re-proposed in November and are expected to be finalized in the coming months.

Despite all of that, last month U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman ruled that the March 2011 regulations were to take effect immediately, putting those affected in a difficult position: comply with an old set of rules, or gamble by planning for compliance with the pending set of regulations that would override the previous set.

Here in the House of Representatives, we are taking action to protect American businesses and job creators from this unnecessary government interference. In October, we passed the EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011 (H.R.2250), which I co-sponsored and was included in the payroll tax holiday extension bill that passed the House in December. This bill directs the EPA to re-propose new, less harmful rules within 15 months and extends compliance time from three to five years, giving businesses more time to prepare, sustain jobs, and prosper.

EPA mandates are driving up the cost of production and causing greater pain throughout our economy. We need to balance our energy and environmental concerns in ways that will not punish job creators and this legislation is a step in the right direction. This is solid, bipartisan legislation that would provide the certainty businesses need to plan investments for compliance as well as for future growth and modernizations to remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace.

To be clear, I support clean air and realistic air quality standards. However, I also believe that good legislation can serve the people by protecting the environment and public health while promoting economic growth and stability.

We need to balance our energy and environmental concerns in ways that will not punish job creators. This starts by rolling back the predatory regulations imposed by the EPA, and by doing so, we will find ourselves moving in the right direction toward a more efficient, environmentally-friendly road to prosperity.

Rep. Ellmers, a registered nurse for over 21 years, was recently appointed to the joint conference committee tasked with negotiating the payroll tax holiday extension. She is serving her first term as U.S. Congresswoman representing North Carolina’s second district in the House of Representatives.

As found on The Hill