Items tagged "FCC"

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The Strategic Exclusion of Puerto Rico’s Data From the Broadband Deployment Report

July 16, 2019 Broadband Deployment , disaster recovery , FCC , infrastructure , Puerto Rico

We are in the second month of the 2019 hurricane season and to many, especially those living in Puerto Rico, there are fears about what this season may bring to the island that was devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria almost two years ago. Those working in disaster management cite the importance of preparedness in advance of extreme weather; however, in order for a community to be prepared, there must be data that helps the community understand the full scope of their vulnerabilities.

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Net Neutrality: Not New, But More Important Than Ever

June 11, 2019 FCC , Legislation , Net Neutrality , Title II

Today marks the one year anniversary that the repeal of net neutrality, led by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, went into effect. We’re reflecting on what has happened in the past year, and urging the U.S. Senate to step up and pass the Save the Internet Act to restore strong net neutrality consumer protections and enshrined them in statute.

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The Consequences of a Broadband Deployment Report With Flawed Data

April 25, 2019 Broadband Access , Broadband Deployment , Digital Divide , FCC

The Federal Communications Commission is required by law (under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996) to initiate a notice of inquiry and report annually on whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. This annual broadband report is incredibly important because the findings and conclusions are designed to help Congress and the FCC develop policies that ensure all Americans have robust broadband access. Reports with inaccurate data on broadband availability can skew the findings and prevent unserved and underserved areas from gaining access to broadband. The public has not yet seen the draft 2019 Broadband Deployment Report, but the FCC published a news release about the key findings.

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Will the FCC Keep Ignoring Carriers That Sell Your GPS Data?

March 13, 2019 Consumer Privacy , Data Protection , E911 , FCC , Privacy

Over the last three months, Motherboard’s Joseph Cox has produced an excellent series of articles on how the major mobile carriers have sold sensitive geolocation data to bounty hunters and others, including highly precise information designed for use with “Enhanced 911” (E911). As we pointed out last month when this news came to light, turning over this E911 data (called assisted GPS or A-GPS), exposing E911 data to third parties — whether by accident or intentionally, or using it in any way except for 911 or other purposes required by law violates the rules the Federal Communications Commission adopted in 2015 to protect E911 data.

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Ideas for Further Analysis Based on Senator Warren’s Platform Regulation Proposal

March 11, 2019 Charlotte Slaiman , DOJ , FCC , FTC , Platform Competition , Platform Regulation

On Friday, I was heartened to see Senator Elizabeth Warren enter the digital platform competition debate in a big way. Her proposal has already generated a ton of great conversation about how digital platforms ought to be regulated. The agenda-setting role of presidential candidates is significant, and I’m so glad this important topic is on the agenda now. The proposal includes more wonky detail than many campaign proposals, though of course, it is not fully drafted legislation. I want to take this opportunity to discuss the proposal in depth and think about how policymakers can move forward from here. Congress should start now on providing the additional analysis that is generally needed before any specific action is taken.

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The FCC Can — and Should — Update Its Rules to Combat Rising Cross-Ownership

February 25, 2019 Competition , FCC , Litigation , Media Ownership , Mergers

The Federal Communications Commission is required by law to review its media ownership rules every four years to determine whether they remain “necessary in the public interest.” If they do not, the FCC is to “repeal or modify” the regulations. Contrary to the apparent belief of the FCC, the Quadrennial Review is not simply about eliminating or relaxing rules. Rather, the purpose of the review is to serve the public interest. Therefore, when the FCC decides whether to keep, repeal, or modify current rules, some rules may need to be enhanced.

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Telecom Giants Broke the Law By Selling Detailed Location Data. Will They Face Consequences?

February 8, 2019 Consumer Privacy , Data Protection , E911 , FCC , Privacy

More details have emerged from the Motherboard investigation into carriers selling their customers’ real-time location data, including assisted GPS (“A-GPS”) data intended only for emergency services. The reports are shocking and illustrate both a brazen disregard for consumer privacy on the part of the companies involved and the disturbing, unregulated behavior of the data brokerage industry. The Federal Communications Commission, led by Chairman Ajit Pai, needs to act immediately to enforce what appears to be a clear violation of the FCC’s rules against the selling of A-GPS data with third parties. In addition, Congress must pass comprehensive privacy legislation that forces the data broker industry out of the shadows and stops the persistent misuse of data at the expense of consumer privacy.

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Advocates Showed Friday Why Court Must Restore Net Neutrality

February 4, 2019 FCC , Litigation , Net Neutrality , Title II

On Friday, Petitioners (including Public Knowledge) finally got to make their case in court that the Federal Communications Commission’s reckless abdication of responsibility over broadband was also illegal. For about five hours, in the ceremonial courtroom of the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse, in front of D.C. Circuit Judges Millett, Williams, and Wilkins, attorneys for Petitioners, for the FCC, and for intervenors on both sides got a grilling in a court that has become a regular forum for disputes over the status of broadband and the lawfulness of net neutrality rules.

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Broadband Providers Are Quietly Taking Advantage of an Internet Without Net Neutrality Protections

January 29, 2019 FCC , Net Neutrality , Open Internet , Title II

In December 2017, the Federal Communications Commission under Chairman Ajit Pai voted to repeal net neutrality rules enacted two years earlier. While 83 percent of Americans support net neutrality and opposed the reversal, broadband providers unsurprisingly supported it. Many said they would not use the repeal as an opportunity to discriminate among internet content — but now there are no rules stopping them from doing exactly that.

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Application of the “Diversity Principle” in Content Moderation

January 15, 2019 Content Moderation , Facebook , FCC , Free Expression , Platform Regulation Series

The promotion of diverse viewpoints has been the cornerstone of United States media policy over the last 100 years. In November 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg published an article that delineated the algorithm that Facebook will use to disincentivize hate speech. Although Zuckerberg’s proposal is a laudable step for content moderation, it may be neglecting the value of exposing people to diverse views and competing sources of news. As we debate moderation issues, platforms should consider not only the prohibition of hate speech, but also the affirmative exposure to broader ideas and perspectives. The Federal Communications Commission’s implementation of the diversity principle on radio and TV, explored below, offers some valuable lessons here.

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