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Remember the FCC’s Broadband Privacy Rules? The Motherboard Exposé Takes Us Down Memory Lane

January 11, 2019 Broadband Privacy , CPNI , Data Protection , FCC , Privacy

On Tuesday, Motherboard published an article exposing the jaw-dropping ease of data collection and commercialization practices that can allow a stranger to find a cell phone’s location with just a phone number and $300. Motherboard’s investigation found that telecommunications companies, including T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint, would sell location data with an aggregator, which sold the data to MicroBilt, which then sold it to a Motherboard investigator for “dirt cheap.”

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The Case for Agency Authority

December 20, 2018 Congress , FCC , FTC

One of the first lessons I learned as an advocate at Public Knowledge? “Regulation” and “rulemaking authority” are dirty words in too many parts of Capitol Hill. This is perhaps unsurprising to people who have worked on tech and telecom policy longer than I have. Or, for that matter, to people who work on environmental policy or any number of other issues. Nonetheless, this is my case for why I am pro-agency rulemaking authority, and you should be too.

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Nexstar-Tribune Merger Threatens Our Public Discourse

December 10, 2018 Anticompetitive mergers , Charlotte Slaiman , Competition , FCC , Nexstar , UHF discount

Remember when Sinclair Broadcasting Group tried to buy Tribune Media? That merger would have allowed Sinclair to reach 72 percent of U.S. households — far, far above the Federal Communications Commission’s 39 percent audience cap. Fortunately for consumers, Tribune backed out of the deal after the FCC signaled it was unwilling to approve the transaction as structured.

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How Chairman Pai’s Move to Control Your Text Messages Could Bring More Consumer Protections Tumbling Down

December 5, 2018 FCC , Net Neutrality , TCPA , Title II , TXTSMS

In my last post, I addressed how Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai isn’t really preventing robocalls with his new draft Order to classify both SMS text messaging and short codes as Title I “information services.” Now I will discuss the potential consequences for such a maneuver, and why doing so could send consumer protections tumbling down.

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Chairman Pai Isn’t Stopping Robocalls — He’s Empowering Carriers to Block Your Text Messages

December 4, 2018 FCC , Net Neutrality , TCPA , Title II , TXTSMS

In December 2007, Public Knowledge filed a Petition For Declaratory Ruling asking the Federal Communications Commission to clarify that both SMS text messaging and short codes are “Title II” telecommunications services. Put another way, we asked the FCC to reaffirm the basic statutory language that if you use telephones and the telephone network to send information from one telephone number to another, it meets the definition of “telecommunications service” (47 U.S.C. 153(53)).

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