Items tagged "FCC"

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Small but Powerful: Despite Objections, Small ISPs Need Net Neutrality Too

May 17, 2017 Competition , FCC , Net Neutrality , Net Neutrality in 2017 , USF

As we gear up to defend and protect the net neutrality rules, parties on both sides are speaking up. One particular group, small Internet Service Providers, claim that the Federal Communication Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order has been a death sentence for them, hindering their ability to invest and compete in the market. These small ISPs have taken to advocating against net neutrality rules but there is something missing from their claims: substance.

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The Truth About Net Neutrality and Infrastructure Investment

May 8, 2017 FCC , Investment , Net Neutrality , Net Neutrality in 2017 , Open Internet

The Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order of 2015 finally put net neutrality rules on a firm legal basis, protecting consumers from the anti-competitive, anti-consumer schemes that monopolistic Internet Service Providers would otherwise subject them to.

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We Need Title II Protections in the Uncompetitive Broadband Market

April 26, 2017 Competition , FCC , Net Neutrality , Net Neutrality in 2017 , Title II

Internet Service Providers and their allies sometimes act as though net neutrality advocates are picking on them for no good reason, as though we selected their industry out of a hat. But the internet access market is unique in several ways, which is precisely what justifies treating them as common carriers, who are obligated to offer a nondiscriminatory service on reasonable terms. Since net neutrality, which was thought to be a settled issue, has become unsettled again, it’s time to review some of the features of the broadband market that show why net neutrality rules are essential.

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Next on Chairman Pai’s Chopping Block: Tech Transitions

April 19, 2017 FCC , Tech Transitions

The Federal Communications Commission has been on a bit of a crusade under Chairman Ajit Pai’s leadership so far, taking any steps they can to reverse or undermine Wheeler-era accomplishments, no matter the pushback. While he’s had some success (and is poised to take yet another stab at limiting broadband competition this morning), there’s another item on today’s agenda. Wrapped (somewhat deceptively) in language justifying deregulation with promises of infrastructure deployment, and lumped in with other valuable proposals, is an effort to gut important consumer protections implemented to ensure a smooth path through arguably the largest digital infrastructure project on the horizon: the tech transitions.

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Line-by-line, We Corrected the Record on Broadband Privacy and Net Neutrality

April 11, 2017 Broadband Privacy , FCC , FTC , Net Neutrality , Transparency

Last week, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairwoman Maureen Ohlhausen co-wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post entitled “No, Republicans didn’t just strip away your Internet privacy rights.” The team at Public Knowledge was troubled by the misinformation laid out in this op-ed. Issues like broadband privacy and net neutrality have serious long-term consequences, so we felt it was important to correct the record.

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How President Trump and Congress Just Dismantled Your Online Privacy Rights

April 4, 2017 Broadband Privacy , FCC , Legislation , Privacy

Last night, President Trump quietly signed away our broadband privacy protections. The rules, passed by the Federal Communications Commission in October 2016, were years in the making, but only took a month for Congress and President Trump to dismantle. This unprecedented situation merits a further review.

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The White House Is Paranoid Over Its Privacy, and Consumers Should Be Too

March 21, 2017 Broadband Privacy , Cybersecurity , FCC , Privacy , Save Broadband Privacy

In the early months of the Trump Administration, damaging leaks have come out of the White House ranging from stories of staff infighting to descriptions of the President’s calls with heads of state. According to a recent Politico report, the leaks have caused a culture of paranoia to spread among White House staff. Staffers are taking extreme measures to protect their privacy by turning off work-issued smartphones when they get home, and using encrypted messaging apps that automatically delete messages once they’ve been read. Others are leaving their personal mobile devices at home in the event their bosses and Administration lawyers engage in phone checks and search for leaks. While White House staffers scramble to protect their private communications, Congress is moving in the opposite direction to eliminate any expectations of Americans having private communications networks.

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Setting the Record Straight: What the Congressional Review Act Means for the FCC’s Broadband Privacy

March 16, 2017 Broadband Privacy , Consumer Privacy , FCC , FTC , Privacy

One significant threat to the public interest under the new administration that is receiving increased attention is broadband privacy for consumers. Last week, Senator Jeff Flake and 21 cosponsors introduced a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to repeal the Federal Communications Commission’s broadband privacy rules. In late October, after over six months of deliberation, the FCC passed rules governing how Internet Service Providers use the personal information that they collect on their customers. Put simply, ISPs would be required to obtain opt-in consent before using anything sensitive like web browsing history, your location, financial information, and information relating to children.

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Taking It Back!: FCC’s New Promise to Tackle Forced Arbitration and Protect Consumers

October 31, 2016 FCC , Litigation , Mandatory Arbitration

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission made two huge moves to help consumers navigate the digital marketplace. The first was to finally pass its long-awaited landmark broadband privacy rules. But tucked inside that order was something equally important, if less high-profile: a commitment by the FCC that by February 2017, it will embark on a proceeding to address mandatory binding (or forced) arbitration clauses.

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FCC Privacy Rules Must Protect Where We Go and What We Do Online

October 11, 2016 Consumer Privacy , FCC , FTC , Privacy

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission released a fact sheet summarizing proposed final rules that would significantly upgrade consumer broadband privacy protections. The final proposal varies from the framework set forth in the original proposal in one important respect. The FCC initially proposed requiring Internet Service Providers to obtain opt-out consent for first party use of customer information and opt-in consent for third party use of customer information. Instead, responding to industry lobbying, the FCC will adopt the framework originally developed by the Federal Trade Commission that requires opt-in consent for “sensitive” information, but requires subscribers to affirmatively opt out from the ISP using information designated “non-sensitive.”

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