Recently, the United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer published a summary of the Trump Administration’s objectives for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Public Knowledge finds that these objectives will harm American consumers and innovators.
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.
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.
Today, Public Knowledge joins public interest groups, websites, companies, trade associations, entrepreneurs, video creators, social media fans, and thousands of consumers in the world’s largest online protest to save the internet
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”).
Today, Public Knowledge joins public interest groups in welcoming Airbnb, Spotify, and Dropbox to the internet-wide “Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality” scheduled for July 12 to oppose the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to dismantle the agency’s landmark net neutrality rules.
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.
Today, the U.S. Government Accountability Office published a report on the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline program’s application process. The GAO investigated multiple Lifeline providers and failed to confirm the eligibility of roughly a third of participants.
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.
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.
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.
Today, Public Knowledge announced plans to join with other internet advocacy groups and companies like Amazon and Reddit in an internet-wide day of action to preserve the Federal Communications Commission’s landmark net neutrality rules.
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.
Today, the United States Supreme Court announced that patent owners may not override consumer ownership rights by license agreements. The decision in Impression Products v. Lexmark International applies to sales of patented products outside the United States.
Today, Public Knowledge launched a video showcasing Francis Ford Coppola’s recent letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai asking him to preserve net neutrality rules for the arts community.
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.
Today, Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Cory Gardner (R-CO), along with Representatives Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Blake Farenthold (R-TX), introduced the Protecting Our Ability to Counter Hacking (“PATCH”) Act.
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.
Today, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Tribune Media for an estimated $3.9 billion. Among other things, Sinclair and Tribune are both large broadcast companies that control TV stations in many local markets.
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.
Yesterday, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced legislation to nullify the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order establishing net neutrality rules. The bill, “Restoring Internet Freedom Act,” would also prohibit the agency from issuing similar rules in the future.
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.
Today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to reverse the agency’s Title II classification of broadband service, and to undo some and potentially all of the current net neutrality rules.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today, Public Knowledge launched a new video drawing attention to the growing list of giveaways by Congress and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Pai to large cable and telecommunications companies that act as local broadband monopolies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today, the United States House of Representatives 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.
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.
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.
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.
This week, Public Knowledge joined more than 25 consumer advocacy and civil rights groups in a letter to the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the European Council urging these institutions to amend the Copyright Directive proposal.
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.”
Today, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and Connect Your Community published a report indicating that AT&T has “systematically discriminated against lower-income Cleveland neighborhoods in its deployment of home internet and video technologies over the past decade.”
Today, Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and co-sponsors introduced a joint resolution to dismantle online privacy protections created by the Federal Communications Commission’s 2016 Broadband Privacy Order by way of the Congressional Review Act.
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.
Today, Public Knowledge sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) urging Congress take steps to close the digital divide.
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.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to significantly expand an exemption from the transparency requirements on internet service providers that were enacted in the 2015 Open Internet Order.
Today, Public Knowledge joins a coalition of more than 30 consumer advocacy and civil rights groups in a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Pai and Commissioners Clyburn and O’Reilly urging them to support the Lifeline program.
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.
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.”
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.
Recently, Public Knowledge filed an Opposition to Petitions for a Stay of the Federal Communications Commission’s Broadband Privacy rules adopted in 2016. The rules currently prevent Internet Service Providers from tracking a customer’s online behavior without permission.
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.
Today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai revoked the Lifeline Broadband Provider (LBP) status of nine broadband providers that had previously been granted LBP status to provide essential connectivity to low-income households under the Commission’s modernized Lifeline program.
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.
Today, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a lawsuit against Charter Communications for “allegedly conducting a deliberate scheme to defraud and mislead New Yorkers by promising internet service that they knew they could not deliver.”
Yesterday, Public Knowledge and New America’s Open Technology Institute filed an Opposition to Petitions for Reconsideration of the Federal Communications Commission’s 5G Spectrum Frontiers Order adopted in 2016.
Today, Univision’s stations went dark on Charter Spectrum cable systems, preventing subscribers in affected markets from accessing Univision’s Spanish-language content. The blackout is the result of a carriage dispute between the two companies and impacts millions of subscribers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today, Public Knowledge joins a group of consumer organizations in an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court in the case Impression Products v. Lexmark International. The organizations on the brief include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, AARP, Mozilla, and the R Street Institute.
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.
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.
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.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission announced a consent decree settling an enforcement action against Straight Path Wireless. The settlement requires a payment of $100 million and returns these valuable licenses to the FCC for use for 5G services.
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.
Today, Public Knowledge submitted reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission’s 2016 Biennial Review of Telecommunications Regulations. Congress requires the FCC to conduct a biennial review to determine if the agency’s recent telecommunications regulations “are no longer necessary in the public interest” due to “meaningful economic competition” between telecommunications service providers.
Today, Public Knowledge launches a call for applications for the 2017 class of the online Open Internet Course. The free Spanish-language course will train digital rights activists in Latin America to strategically advocate for Open Internet policies from a human rights perspective.
Today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced his resignation from the agency effective January 20, 2017. In his three years at the FCC, Tom Wheeler pushed to transform every aspect of the FCC’s jurisdiction to serve the public and the public interest.
Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a proposal mandating vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications technology on all new light-duty vehicles. This V2V technology would require automobile manufacturers selling cars in the United States to use dedicated short-range communications (DSRC), a technology which poses cybersecurity and privacy risks yet to be addressed by any government agency.
Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) announced a proposal to reform the United States Copyright Office. The Committee has requested written comments on its proposal by January 31, 2017 and cautions that it only “marks a starting point for further discussion.”
Today, 17 public interest groups released principles for President-elect Trump and the new administration to adhere to in developing technology policies that support freedom of speech and equality of opportunity. The signers include a diverse group of leading technology policy, media advocates, and community organizing groups.
Public Knowledge President Gene Kimmelman will testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights this Wednesday, December 7 at 10:00 a.m. His testimony in the hearing on “Examining the Competitive Impact of the AT&T-Time Warner Transaction” will argue that this vertical merger poses significant consumer harms by restraining competition and violating consumer privacy.
Today, the Department of Justice filed suit against DirecTV, which is now owned by AT&T, alleging that DirecTV engaged in illegal collusive behavior with other pay-TV providers prior to the AT&T/DirecTV merger. AT&T is named as one of the pay-TV providers DirecTV colluded with. AT&T recently announced that it will attempt to acquire Time Warner.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to pass broadband privacy rules that protect consumer data online. Public Knowledge commends the FCC for taking drastic steps to provide broadband customers with the tools they need to make informed decisions about the use and sharing of their information by broadband providers.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission announced that T-Mobile will pay a fine and provide benefits to consumers totaling at least $48 million as part of a settlement regarding whether the company adequately disclosed speed and data restrictions for its “unlimited” data plan subscribers. The FCC’s 2010 Open Internet rules, which require broadband providers to give accurate and sufficient information to consumers about their internet services.
In a press call at 12:00pm EST this Thursday, consumer advocates and public interest organizations from across the country will explain how the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed rule on broadband privacy would protect consumers and their families from aggressive data collection practices conducted by Internet Service Providers.
Today, Public Knowledge joins 75 public interest and civil rights groups in a letter urging the Federal Communications Commision to protect the internet and video marketplace by acting on three proceedings: the set-top box rulemaking, the broadband privacy rulemaking, and the zero-rating investigation.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau ordered Comcast Corporation to pay $2.3 million to “resolve an investigation into whether the company wrongfully charged cable TV customers for [unauthorized] services and equipment.” The fine marks the largest civil penalty levied by the FCC against a cable provider. Reports of subscribers paying bills for services, set-top boxes, or DVRs that they did not ask for -- and in some cases that they affirmatively said they did not want -- should be unthinkable, yet continues to happen anyway.
Today, the United States Supreme Court heard argument in the case Samsung v. Apple. The case concerns the measure of damages to be awarded to an owner of a design patent, particularly when the product infringing that patent is a multi-feature product with features unrelated to the design patent.
Today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated proposed rules that would -- for the first time -- prevent broadband providers from tracking the online behavior of subscribers without their express permission. The proposed rules update the 2012 general privacy framework developed by the Federal Trade Commission, and adapt the framework to protect the confidentiality of browser history, application history and other ways in which broadband providers gain windows into the private lives of their subscribers. The rules would also, for the first time, impose clear requirements for broadband carriers to protect subscriber personal information and require carriers to notify subscribers impacted by a data breach.
Today, the Federal Trade Commission issued its widely anticipated Section 6(b) study on patent assertion entities. In the report, the FTC calls for broad reforms to patent litigation practices, including addressing discovery cost burdens, requiring greater information disclosure on the part of patent assertion entities, streamlining multiple cases with similar issues, and demanding clearer notice of patent infringement theories.
Today, The 21st Century Privacy Coalition -- which represents the largest cable and telecommunications companies -- addressed the Federal Communications Commission’s recent efforts to protect online consumer data during a press briefing. The 21st Century Privacy Coalition, while supporting the general distinction made by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) between “sensitive” and “non-sensitive” data, advocated for classifying broad categories such as “browsing history,” which generally contains sensitive information, as “non-sensitive.”
Today, the Federal Communications Commission approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that, if followed up with new rules, would benefit TV viewers by giving them increased access to diverse and independent programming. Public Knowledge applauds the Commission for taking another step toward freeing consumers and programmers from the anti-competitive grip of pay TV giants.
Today, Public Knowledge launches a new video indicating the Federal Communications Commission could help consumers save $231 a year and stop big cable from squeezing them out of $20 billion in set-top box profits annually. 84 percent of consumers say cable prices are too high, and the FCC’s #UnlockTheBox proposal offers them real relief.
Today, Public Knowledge joins other public interest, labor and civil rights groups in a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives strongly opposing H.R. 3438, the Require Evaluation before Implementing Executive Wishlists Act (“REVIEW Act”). If enacted, the REVIEW Act would require federal agencies to postpone the effective date of new regulations, with a potential economic impact of $1 billion, until the completion of any judicial review.