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Benton Foundation provides free, daily summaries of articles concerning the quickly-changing telecommunications policy landscape.

Chairman Thune at American Enterprise Institute

Location:
American Enterprise Institute (AEI), 1150 Seventeenth Street, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
2

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD), speaking about the upcoming network neutrality vote at the Federal Communications Commission, said, "The legal and regulatory uncertainty about what the FCC can and will do… has become a major problem for people both at the edge of the Internet and at its core. Congress, however, is the only entity that can settle this uncertainty, and I believe we can do so in a way that will empower the FCC with the strong tools many believe are needed to protect the Internet while simultaneously ensuring the agency is appropriately limited in its reach and authority.”

Ensuring rural access to reasonably priced video programming

Location:
National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), 4121 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA, 22203, United States
Recommendation:
1

The ability of providers of all kinds -- but especially small, rural providers -- to obtain video content at affordable rates and under reasonable terms and conditions will not only improve competition in the video services market but will also spur broadband investment and adoption in rural service areas.

Netflix Deals With Broadband Providers Said to Get FCC Oversight

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Apparently, US regulators plan to issue rules in February allowing them to review the terms Internet service providers demand for accepting heavy Web traffic from companies such as Netflix.

Happy Data Privacy Day. Legally speaking, you’re mostly on your own.

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
1

January 28 is Data Privacy Day -- an actually recognized pseudo-holiday that the US Congress first made official in 2009, two years after the European Council did the same.

Google says it fought gag orders in WikiLeaks investigation

Location:
Google, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA, 94043, United States
Recommendation:
1

Google has fought all gag orders preventing it from telling customers that their e-mails and other data were sought by the US government in a long-running investigation of the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, which published leaked diplomatic cables and military documents.

Remarks of Matthew Berry, Chief of Staff to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai at the American Enterprise Institute

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

The Federal Communications Commission is being run in an extremely partisan and divisive manner.

Prepaid Mobile Provider TracFone to Pay $40 Million to Settle FTC Charges It Deceived Consumers About ‘Unlimited’ Data Plans

Location:
Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20580, United States
Recommendation:
3

TracFone, the largest prepaid mobile provider in the US, has agreed to pay $40 million to the Federal Trade Commission to settle charges that it deceived millions of consumers with hollow promises of “unlimited” data service.

Tons of AT&T and Verizon customers may no longer have “broadband”

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Under the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed new definition of 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up (which is opposed by Internet providers), 19.4 percent of US households would be in areas without any wired broadband providers. And 55.3 percent would have just one provider of “broadband,” with the rest being able to choose from two or more.

Cable Companies are Making Things Up Again

Location:
Public Knowledge, 1818 N Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
1

The National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the cable industry trade association, argues the proposal by the Federal Communications Commission to redefine "highspeed broadband" from 4 Mbps down/1 Mbps up to 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up simply isn't necessary to meet the legal definition of "high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology.”

American Cable Association to FCC: No Enhanced Transparency Rules

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

The American Cable Association has told the Federal Communications Commission it should not adopt enhanced transparency rules in the new Open Internet order FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler plans to vote on in February. ACA said that if the FCC proceeds, it should exempt the medium-sized and smaller cable operators ACA represents, and should apply the rules to edge providers.

How net neutrality rules can fix Verizon’s supercookie problem

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

The Federal Communications Commission is on the cusp of proposing new rules for the Internet, and it may have a chance to kill two birds with one stone: along with preserving so-called “network neutrality,” the rules, if the FCC reclassifies broadband access as a Title II telecommunications service, could serve to stop the use of “supercookies” that phone carriers like Verizon are using to track their wireless subscribers.

Update Privacy Laws for the Digital Age

Location:
Senate Judiciary Committee, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Dirksen Senate Office Building -- 226, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
2

Americans routinely are bombarded with news stories about invasive new surveillance technologies. But Congress has yet to pass even the most basic legislation on the issue: a bill to ensure that law-enforcement agents cannot read Americans' private e-mails without search warrants. We will be reintroducing legislation to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and safeguard the privacy of e-mail and other information stored in "the cloud."

Cybersecurity is a mess, but President Obama can learn a few things from Estonia – and Eugene Kaspersky

Location:
Republic of Estonia, Estonia
Recommendation:
1

Governments are still struggling to come up with effective ways to respond to threats posed by cyberattacks and cyberespionage. They would be well advised to look toward Estonia for advice on how to do so.

What Happens if Apple Drops Google From Its Browser?

Location:
Apple, 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA, 95014, United States
Recommendation:
1

When Google reports its fourth-quarter earnings, one subject that is almost guaranteed to come up is the prospect that Apple could replace Google as the default search engine on Safari, the basic browser on all of its devices. The search contract between the companies is believed to be up for renewal in 2015.

Advocates want to hear from AG nominee on Aaron Swartz

Location:
Senate Judiciary Committee, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Dirksen Senate Office Building -- 226, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
1

Civil liberty and public interest groups want President Barack Obama’s Attorney General nominee to answer questions about a cybersecurity law used to charge Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who subsequently killed himself.

Cable’s next step: Offer “virtual” cellular service

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
1

Cable companies have long hinted at using Wi-Fi as a kind of a poor-man’s cellular, and Cablevision’s new Freewheel service is the perfect example. Pricing starts at $9.95 a month, which is very cheap if you’re willing to forgo a mobile connection. But no Wi-Fi network has the umbrella coverage of a mobile network, nor can it support the handoff necessary for customers to move through a city without losing their connections.

How Broadcast Networks Covered Climate Change In 2014

Location:
Media Matters for America, 455 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
1

The total coverage of climate change on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox continued to increase for the third consecutive year, according to a Media Matters analysis, yet still remained below the level seen in 2009. Coverage on the networks' Sunday shows reached a six-year high after a group of Senators demanded they provide more coverage of the issue, but the Sunday shows still infrequently interviewed scientists.

5G Network Requirements: 10 Gig, Ultra-Low-Latency?

Recommendation:
1

The wireless industry is considering 5G performance targets of 10 Gbps and 1 millisecond-latency. Those targets will require the use of higher frequency spectrum, along with considerable innovation in antenna technology and the use of new signaling and modulation schemes. Because of these challenges and because carriers worldwide are still making considerable investment in LTE, some don't expect 5G deployment to occur until 2025, with some trial deployments occurring sooner.

Canada tracks millions of downloads daily: Snowden documents

Location:
Communications Security Establishment, Ottawa, ON, K1G 3Z4, Canada
Recommendation:
2

Canada's electronic spy agency sifts through millions of videos and documents downloaded online every day by people around the world, as part of a sweeping bid to find extremist plots and suspects. Details of the Communications Security Establishment project dubbed "Levitation" are revealed in a document obtained by US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Collection of Foreigners’ Data Began Before Congress Backed It, Papers Show

Location:
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

A federal judge ruled in 2007 that the USA Patriot Act empowered the National Security Agency to collect foreigners’ e-mails and phone calls from domestic networks without prior judicial approval, newly declassified documents show.

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