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Public Knowledge Urges FCC to Prevent Future BART-like Shutdowns

August 29, 2011 Jamming , Mobile Communication , Non-Discrimination , Public Safety , Radio Interference

Today, Public Knowledge, joined by a wide variety of consumer, civil rights, and civil liberties groups, urged the FCC to immediately pass rules that would prevent local authorities from ordering a shutdown of wireless services the way that BART did earlier this month. As Harold’s earlier blog post points out, we don’t even need to get to the (extremely pressing and important) First Amendment issues to find that BART’s actions violated the law—the Communications Act, to be precise.

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Dear Game Developers: A How-To Guide for Implementing Anti-Resale Tech Without Making Everyone Want

August 1, 2011 Competition , Non-Discrimination

One of the biggest pieces of news in the gaming industry this past month involved Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, a title released for Nintendo’s new 3DS handheld system. The game itself was not that unusual; at first blush, it’s just your typical “run around shooting zombies” affair. What got everyone talking (and some others very, very upset) was a feature developer Capcom put in the game, acknowledged only in small print in the game’s instruction manual: In RE: The Mercenaries 3D, once the player initially boots up the game, his/her progress is automatically recorded to the game card and cannot be deleted. Ever.

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The FCC Network Neutrality Order: Possible Adequacy, But No Regulatory Certainty Any Time Soon.

December 21, 2010 Broadband , Enforcement , FCC , Network Neutrality , Non-Discrimination

So after a year of process, what has the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) accomplished on network neutrality? I will not say “nothing,” and I understand why FCC Democratic Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn regard it as better than nothing. But specifics prove damned elusive. And therein lies the problem for this Order (at least as we understand it).


On every single important and controversial question on what an “open Internet” actually means, — such as whether companies can create “fast lanes” for “prioritized” content or what exactly wireless providers can and cannot do — the actual language of the rules is silent, ambiguous, or even at odds with the text of the implementing Order. The only way to find out what protections consumers actually have will be through a series of adjudications at the FCC.

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Zoom Shows How Comcast Abuses Its Market Power to Restrict Competition

November 29, 2010 Broadband , Network Neutrality , Non-Discrimination , Set-Top Box

Net neutrality means that consumers have the right to use lawful applications and devices on their broadband connections.  With its secret blocking of BitTorrent, Comcast has shown that it doesn’t think much of application freedom. Today, as a complaint by Zoom Telephonics to the FCC spells out, it’s clear that Comcast doesn’t think very highly of device freedom, either. (Here’s a link to a PDF of the complaint.)

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The Open Internet Under Assault

October 27, 2010 Broadband , FCC , Network Neutrality , Network Open Access , Non-Discrimination

It’s not at all difficult to look at all that went on over the last couple of weeks and wonder if the Open Internet was only a grand dream that never existed, or was a phenomenon that appeared all too briefly and then was gone.  Either way, there are more losers than winners.

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