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SOPA, PIPA, CISPA: all dead, but the idea still lives on
This year could have seen widespread Web site blocking, censorship and major changes to the Web that would have affected hundreds of millions of users around the world. From the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) to the PROTECT-IP (PIPA) bills, and not to mention Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), these bills were shelved thanks to the sheer power of online protests.
Instead of the catastrophe landing on the doorstep of ordinary Web users, the embarrassment came to Congress after the author of SOPA -- arguably the worst bill of them all -- was shelved by its author, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who clearly didn’t expect much the Web to black out in a 24 hour protest at the controversial anti-piracy bill.
Still, the idea of legislative action lives on, and no doubt there will be more bills along the way -- even if one silly politician thinks it's a good idea to draft a bill that would bar Congress from messing with the Internet.
Search giant Google really annoyed the European 27 member-state bloc after it decided to consolidate its 60-plus privacy policies across its services into one, single policy. Google said it would enhance the experience for users, but critics warned that it would make it far easier to collect data on users, and users could not opt-out of the policy without the user pulling the plug on the service altogether.
Only a few services were exempt -- Google Apps, Google Chrome, and Google Wallet -- but for the remaining users of Search, Gmail, Google+ and so on, they remain vulnerable to having their data collected by advertisers (albeit anonymously), which may make it easier
And Europe wasn't happy, not one bit. After the EU regulators gave their verdict, while Google hadn't directly breached EU data protection laws, it was told to review and change the policy, leaving the search giant rather red faced.
Spinning corporate doors at Yahoo
Former Yahoo chief executive was ousted as the former Web portal giant after he was found to have faked his resume. He claimed that he graduated with a computer science college degree, but one company shareholder discovered that this was far from the truth. Despite ample opportunities to correct the mistake, Thompson failed to, and was ultimately kicked out of the company. Well, he 'resigned,' but plenty of people were lining up to give him a forceful shove if he didn't go quietly.
Former Google executive Marissa Mayer jumped in a few weeks later as Yahoo's new chief executive, making her the fifth chief executive at the company in just two years. That revolving door of top bosses just keeps spinning, but hopefully Mayer can stick around for longer than her predecessors.