Posts by Shiva Stella

Public Knowledge Urges UN Agency to Avoid Limiting Free Speech, Open Internet in Privacy Discussions

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Today, Public Knowledge signs a joint statement with Access Now and ARTICLE 19 on privacy policy discussions taking place at the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The WTDC, as part of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) at the United Nations, outlines the strategies and objectives for the global development of information and communications technologies.

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Public Knowledge Urges FCC to Protect Public Interest in Video Programming Market Competition Filing

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Yesterday, Public Knowledge filed comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s recent inquiry addressing the state of competition in the market for the delivery of video programming. The agency is seeking input on the state of competition in the video marketplace -- an effort that can provide a foundation for future agency policymaking.

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Public Knowledge Files Amicus Brief to Overturn and Remand FCC’s Business Data Services Order

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Recently, Public Knowledge, Consumer Federation of America, and New Networks Institute filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit requesting the Court to overturn and remand the Federal Communications Commission’s recent Business Data Services deregulation Order.

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Public Knowledge Urges Senate to Reject FCC Chairman Pai’s Renomination

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Today, the U.S. Senate plans to vote on Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s nomination to remain at the agency. Chairman Pai’s term expired in June 2016. Public Knowledge contends that Chairman Pai should not be confirmed due to his failure to protect consumers and promote competition.

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Public Knowledge Welcomes Congressional Democrats’ “Better Deal” Universal High-Speed Internet Plan

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Yesterday, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and other House and Senate Democrats revealed a universal high-speed internet plan as part of the party’s “Better Deal” platform. The “Better Deal” internet plan aims to “bring high-speed internet to every farm, school, and neighborhood” across America, focusing on the less profitable rural and urban areas that have been left behind.

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Public Knowledge Responds to FCC Report Claiming “Effective” Wireless Industry Competition

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Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to publish an annual report on the state of mobile wireless competition. The agency claims that the metrics assessed in the report indicate that there is “effective competition” in the marketplace for mobile wireless services. Public Knowledge disagrees with the report’s conclusion.

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Public Knowledge Welcomes Net Neutrality Advocates to Washington, D.C. for Day of Advocacy

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This week, Public Knowledge leads a group of public interest and racial justice allies in welcoming net neutrality advocates from across the United States to Washington, D.C. for a “Day of Advocacy.” More than 40 participants volunteered to share their stories in scheduled meetings with their representatives on Capitol Hill.

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Public Knowledge Files FCC Reply Comments to Preserve Net Neutrality Rules

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Today, Public Knowledge filed reply comments on the Federal Communications Commission’s recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to roll back the agency’s 2015 Open Internet Order, which created strong net neutrality rules prohibiting broadband providers from unfairly discriminating against particular online content and services.

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Public Knowledge Files Petition to Deny Proposed Sinclair, Tribune Merger

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Yesterday, Public Knowledge, joined by Common Cause and United Church of Christ OC, Inc., filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission asking the agency to deny the proposed merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media. If approved, the purchase of Tribune Media’s 42 stations would enable Sinclair to reach 72 percent of U.S. households.

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Media Update: Civis Analytics Poll Shows Bipartisan Opposition to AT&T/Time Warner Merger

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Recently, Civis Analytics released a competition poll that shows broad, bipartisan opposition to the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner. The poll found that “[t]he proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner is opposed by 64 percent of Americans, including 65 percent of Democrats, 64 percent of Republicans, and 63 percent of Independents.”

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Bipartisan “AIRWAVES Act” Offers Real Solutions For Rural Broadband, Wireless Future

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Today, Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced the Advancing Innovation and Reinvigorating Widespread Access to Viable Electromagnetic Spectrum, or “AIRWAVES,” Act. The bill establishes a pipeline to move federal spectrum into commercial use, ensuring significant capacity for both exclusive use (“licensed”) spectrum and shared use (“unlicensed”) spectrum.

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Public Knowledge Welcomes New Cybersecurity Paper On Protecting Consumer Privacy

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Today, the Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) Standards Organization published “SP 4000: Protecting Consumer Privacy in Cybersecurity Information Sharing.” The publication is a set of best practices that organizations of all kinds should take to protect consumer privacy when they share cybersecurity information.

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Verizon Reportedly Throttling Streaming Services in “Video Optimization” Tests Without Notice

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Today, reports indicate that Verizon Wireless reduced connection speeds for mobile subscribers accessing streaming video services as part of a “video optimization” systems test. The company issued no warnings to consumers prior to testing, but claims “the customer video experience was not affected”.

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Public Knowledge Applauds Sen. Duckworth for Introducing Prison Phone Bill

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Today, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) introduced the Video Visitation and Inmate Calling in Prisons Act of 2017, which would clarify the Federal Communications Commission’s authority to cap intrastate inmate calling rates. The bill requires the agency to establish rules governing the procurement and use of video visitation and inmate calling services to make sure rates are “reasonable, fair and just”.

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Washington Center for Equitable Growth Launches Antitrust Paper on Digital Communications

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Today, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth launched a new antitrust paper, “A Communications Oligopoly on Steroids: Why antitrust enforcement and regulatory oversight in digital communications matter,” by Public Knowledge President and CEO, Gene Kimmelman, and Consumer Federation of America’s research director, Mark Cooper.

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Public Knowledge Files FCC Comments to Preserve Net Neutrality Rules

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Today, Public Knowledge will file comments on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to roll back the agency’s 2015 Open Internet Order, which created strong net neutrality rules that force broadband providers to treat all internet content and services equally. The FCC’s new proposal, if adopted later this year, would reverse the agency’s classification of broadband service as a “communications service” under Title II of the Communications Act, and reclassify broadband as a Title I “information service.” As the courts have previously found, the FCC may only impose rules against blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization of content if it classifies broadband as a Title II service.

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Public Knowledge Applauds Microsoft’s Rural Broadband Strategy to Connect Rural Americans

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Today, Microsoft announced the launch of its Rural Airband Initiative to bring high-speed broadband to 2 million people in rural America. The Airband Initiative relies on the TV white spaces (TVWS), an open spectrum technology similar to Wi-Fi (sometimes called “super Wi-Fi”).

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Public Knowledge Supports Rep. Eshoo’s New Cybersecurity ‘Best Practices’ Bill to Protect Consumers

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Recently, Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Susan Brooks (R-IN) introduced the “Promoting Good Cyber Hygiene Act of 2017.” The bill tasks the National Institute of Standards and Technology to work with the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Homeland Security to develop a list of voluntary cybersecurity best practices for both the federal government and private sector. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced the same bill this week.

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Public Knowledge Urges FCC to Stop Anti-Competitive Broadband Contracts for Apartments and Condos

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Today, the Federal Communications Commission approved a Notice of Inquiry on barriers to competitive broadband choices for consumers living in multi-tenant buildings. Public Knowledge has long supported prohibiting anti-competitive behavior and Commission efforts to remove barriers to deployment and facilitate greater choice for consumers in apartment and condominium buildings, shopping malls, and cooperatives.

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Public Knowledge Welcomes Jessica Rosenworcel FCC Nomination to Protect Consumers

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Last night, President Trump announced his intention to nominate Jessica Rosenworcel to serve as a Member of the Federal Communications Commission. Public Knowledge applauds Ms. Rosenworcel for the nomination, particularly at a time when many of the pro-consumer initiatives she supported and promoted as an FCC Commissioner from 2012 - January 2017 are under siege today.

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Public Knowledge Urges FTC Chairman Ohlhausen to Protect Consumer Privacy

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Today, Public Knowledge joined Consumer Federation of America, Center For Digital Democracy, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of California, and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in a letter urging Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen to protect consumer privacy.

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Public Knowledge Responds to Reports Mischaracterizing Browser Act Support

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Today, a report by the Boston Globe mischaracterized Public Knowledge’s current evaluation of Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN) “Balancing the Rights of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly” (Browser) Act as “praise” for the proposed bill. Public Knowledge is concerned that the article may give the impression that we’ve endorsed the bill when we are currently evaluating it.

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Public Knowledge Opposes FCC Chairman Pai’s Move to Kill Net Neutrality Rules

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Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to roll back the agency’s 2015 Open Internet Order, which created strong net neutrality rules that force broadband providers to treat all internet content and services equally. The FCC’s new proposal, if adopted later this year, would reverse the agency’s Title II classification of broadband service.

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Public Knowledge Responds to Comcast, Charter Anti-Competitive Wireless Deal

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Today, Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications announced an agreement to “explore potential opportunities for operational cooperation in… wireless businesses.” A major component of the deal includes an arrangement not to merge with or acquire another wireless company without the other party’s consent for one year.

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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Tackles FCC Chairman Pai’s Net Neutrality Rollback

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Today, comedian John Oliver defended the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order establishing net neutrality rules in an episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” an HBO entertainment series. The episode marks a follow-up to the comedian’s popular June 2014 episode on net neutrality, which prompted millions of Americans to ask the FCC to create net neutrality rules.

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DC Circuit Court Upholds Open Internet Rules—Again

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Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals denied petitions asking the court to reconsider its decision upholding the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order. It declined to do so, with an opinion by Judges Srinivasan and Tatel reiterating why the arguments against the previous FCC’s actions are without merit.

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Public Knowledge Urges President Trump to Put Americans Before Monopolies as 100 Day Deadline Nears

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Rumors indicate that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Pai will soon announce a plan to roll back the agency’s landmark 2015 Open Internet Order. Public Knowledge urges President Trump to honor his campaign promises to put Americans before monopolies by preserving net neutrality rules as he nears the end of his first 100 days.

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Public Knowledge Responds to FCC BDS Order Set to Raise Prices, Stifle Competition and Delay 5G

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Today, the Federal Communications Commission approved a controversial Order deregulating incumbent pricing power in the business data services (“BDS”) market. BDS are high-capacity broadband connections purchased by businesses of all sizes as well as schools, libraries, and government agencies. The Order will permit incumbent telephone carriers to raise prices on business broadband customers across most of the United States.

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Public Knowledge Responds to FCC Rollback of Technology Transition Rules

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Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to adopt a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking aimed at “Accelerating Wireline Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment.” It proposes reforms to pole attachments, and begins examining preemption of local and state barriers to broadband deployment. Bundled among these smaller issues, however, is an effort to potentially reverse the FCC’s Technology Transitions Order adopted in 2015.

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Media Alert: Public Knowledge Hosting Press Briefing on FCC Business Data Services Plan

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Public Knowledge will host a press briefing Tuesday, April 18 at 1 p.m. ET to discuss the impact of the Federal Communications Commission's proposal to reduce competition in the $45 billion business data services market. A collection of consumer advocates, innovation experts and a trade association representing technology companies and smaller competitive network providers will participate in this press briefing. Speakers will highlight price hikes for consumers and small businesses, as well as the Order’s impact on 5G deployment.

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Public Knowledge Files NHTSA Comments Raising Safety, Privacy Concerns with DSRC Technology

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Today, Public Knowledge, Consumer Federation of America and New America’s Open Technology Institute submitted comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on mandating Direct Short Range Communication (DSRC) service for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications.

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Public Knowledge Responds to Reports of FCC Chairman Pai Repealing Net Neutrality

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Today, reports surfaced that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Pai outlined his plans for rolling back the 2015 Open Internet Order that created strong net neutrality rules. These rules currently prevent broadband providers from blocking websites, throttling internet connections for subscribers and engaging in paid prioritization deals. Public Knowledge opposes any plan to repeal or weaken these rules.

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President Trump Dismantles Online Privacy Protections

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Today, President Trump signed a bill dismantling online privacy protections created by the Federal Communications Commission’s 2016 Broadband Privacy Order by way of the Congressional Review Act. This bill not only terminates the FCC’s privacy rules but also prevents the agency from creating similar privacy protections in the future. The bill previously passed both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

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Public Knowledge Responds to FCC Revision of Charter Merger Conditions

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Today, reports indicate that the Federal Communications Commission voted to change a merger requirement that Charter Communications bring broadband competition to a million new households. The agency originally applied this requirement to Charter during the 2016 merger approval process for Charter, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.

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Public Knowledge Opposes FCC’s Halt of Lifeline Provider Application Approvals

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Today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the agency will soon initiate a proceeding to eliminate the existing streamlined process broadband providers follow to participate in the Lifeline program, and that he does not believe the Wireline Bureau should approve Lifeline Broadband Provider applications.

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Public Knowledge Opposes Rushed Legislation on Copyright Office

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Today, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider H.R. 1695, the “Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017.” The bill would take away the power of the Librarian of Congress to appoint the Register of Copyrights, and transfer that power to the President, subject to Senate confirmation. Public Knowledge opposes H.R. 1695 as presently written.

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Senate Leaves Consumers Vulnerable in Rush to Destroy Americans’ Online Privacy

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Today, the United States Senate voted to pass a joint resolution dismantling online privacy protections created by the Federal Communications Commission’s 2016 Broadband Privacy Order by way of the Congressional Review Act. This bill not only terminates the FCC’s privacy rules but also prevents the agency from creating similar privacy protections in the future.

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Public Knowledge Responds to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals FilmOn Decision

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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a district court that had found that FilmOn (formerly known as “Aereokiller”), an online video service, can use the same copyright compulsory licenses as traditional cable TV services. Public Knowledge supported FilmOn's legal position in this case and is disappointed by the outcome.

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Public Knowledge Urges Congress to Improve Broadband Availability & Affordability

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Today, Public Knowledge sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Ranking Member Michael Doyle (R-IL), and full Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) urging Congress to take steps to close the digital divide by promoting investments in broadband deployment and competitive, affordable broadband choices for consumers.

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Public Knowledge Responds to NYC Complaint Alleging Verizon Breached Deployment Promise

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Yesterday, New York City filed a complaint alleging that Verizon breached its 2008 franchise agreement with the city. Reports indicate the city claims Verizon “has failed to make its service available to at least ‘tens of thousands’ of prospective customers and has refused to accept service requests from many others.”

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Public Knowledge Opposes FCC’s Stay of Data Security Regulation from Privacy Rules

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Today, the Federal Communications Commission issued a stay of the data security regulation developed in last year’s broadband privacy rules. Public Knowledge maintains that Americans have a right to online privacy and should have control over their own data, from what gets collected to how that information is used.

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Sen. Markey Joins Public Interest Groups in Opposition to Congressional Plan to Kill Online Privacy

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Today, Public Knowledge joined Senator Edward J. Markey and representatives from four other public interest groups to speak in opposition to Congressional plans to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn privacy rules enacted by the Federal Communications Commission last fall.

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Public Knowledge Files Reply Comments in FCC’s Video Diversity Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

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Today, Public Knowledge filed reply comments on the Federal Communications Commission’s recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing the availability of diverse and independent video programming. The Commission is specifically seeking input on ways that large pay TV companies can harm diverse and independent programmers and hold back emerging competition from new video devices.

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Public Knowledge Launches Copyright Educational Video Based on Frozen’s “Let it Go”

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Today, Public Knowledge proudly released its new copyright educational video entitled, “Let Them Go.” The video is a parody of the well-known Disney song “Let It Go,” with revised lyrics that educate viewers on important topics in copyright, namely copyright term extension, intermediary liability, and fair use. Clips throughout the video also illustrate numerous fair uses and other adaptations of “Let It Go.”

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Public Knowledge Welcomes YODA Bill to Restore Ownership Rights in our Digital Devices

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Today, Representatives Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Jared Polis (D-CO) reintroduced the You Own Devices Act (YODA), a bill that prevents copyrights in embedded software from being used to restrict consumers’ resale and repair of their own devices. Public Knowledge advocates for a fair copyright system that enables Americans to own the digital products they pay for.

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Public Knowledge Applauds FTC for Defending Consumer Privacy in $2.2 Million Vizio Lawsuit

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Today, Vizio Inc. settled a lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office over the company’s unauthorized collection of consumer viewing data gathered from 11 million Vizio smart TVs. The company agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle the charges.

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Public Knowledge Welcomes New Deal Rural Broadband Act of 2017

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Today, Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA), Rick Nolan (D-MN) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) introduced a bill that would authorize $20 billion for new broadband infrastructure targeting rural communities. The bill, “The New Deal Rural Broadband Act of 2017,” would also make it easier for small communities to obtain grants and loans for broadband infrastructure. Additionally, it would create a new Tribal Broadband Assistance Program to help provide high-speed internet access for tribal communities.

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Public Knowledge Joins Groups in Letter Urging Congress to Protect Consumer Privacy

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Today, Public Knowledge joins a coalition of more than 15 consumer advocacy, civil rights and privacy groups in a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY). The groups urge Congress to oppose the use of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to adopt a Resolution of Disapproval overturning the Federal Communications Commission’s 2016 broadband privacy order.

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Public Knowledge Files Video Diversity Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Comments

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Today, Public Knowledge filed comments on the Federal Communications Commission’s recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing the availability of diverse and independent video programming. The Commission is specifically seeking input on ways that large pay TV companies can harm diverse and independent programmers and hold back emerging competition from new video devices.

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Public Knowledge Urges FCC Chairman Pai to End Cable Box Ripoff

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Today, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai requesting that he close the docket on the set-top box proceeding.

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Public Knowledge Urges New FCC Chairman to Embrace Competition, Consumer Protection

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Today, Ajit Pai announced that President Trump has selected him to lead the Federal Communications Commission. Chairman Pai has a record of promising to undo the agency’s landmark 2015 net neutrality rules as well as targeting consumer privacy while refusing to stand against consolidation among telecommunications and media giants.

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Public Knowledge Opposes Rep. Mick Mulvaney Nomination for OMB Director

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Today, Public Knowledge joins a coalition of consumer, labor, small business, and environmental groups in a letter opposing the nomination of Representative Mick Mulvaney as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. The letter was delivered to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs as well as the Senate Committee on Budget.

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Gus Rossi Joins Public Knowledge to Bolster International Advocacy Efforts for Digital Rights

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Public Knowledge announces a new hire to grow our telecommunications, copyright and internet policy advocacy. Gus Rossi joins Public Knowledge as Director of Global Policy to spearhead the organization’s international advocacy efforts and Open Internet education for Latin America.

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Public Knowledge Urges Congress to Block Anti-consumer Bills Targeting Digital Rights

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Today, Public Knowledge joins six public interest groups in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) urging Congress to oppose three bills targeting consumer protections in the digital age.

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Public Knowledge Welcomes Rep. Doyle’s House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Appointment

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Today, Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA) was appointed as Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology in the 115th Congress. Public Knowledge commends Rep. Doyle for his continued support of net neutrality and consumer protections.

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Public Knowledge Joins Group Letter Urging Congress to Vote Against Midnight Rules Relief Act

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Today, Public Knowledge joins 44 public interest groups in a letter to the United States House of Representatives arguing against the adoption of the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017. This bill would amend the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to allow disapproval of all regulations reported in the final year of a presidential term, jeopardizing public protections.

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