President Donald Trump, pressing for new social media regulations, plans to nominate a senior administration official to be a member of the Federal Communications Commission. The nomination of Nathan Simington, a senior adviser at the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, comes after the White House abruptly announced in early August it was withdrawing the nomination of FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly to serve another term.
The White House withdrew the nomination of Federal Communications Commissioner Mike O'Rielly to serve another term, a surprising development that came after his nomination was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee in July. The announcement came less than a week after Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said he would block O'Rielly's nomination over the five-member FCC's unanimous decision to allow Ligado Networks to deploy a low-power nationwide mobile broadband network.
Diane Rinaldo, the acting head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the principal adviser to the White House on telecommunications and spectrum policy issues, is stepping down. Rinaldo has led the agency on an acting basis since May, when the prior head resigned. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the agency, said, “Diane has led NTIA to multiple successes on 5G, supply chain security, broadband and public safety communications.”
President Donald Trump said the United States plans to cooperate with “like-minded nations” to promote security in next-generation 5G networks. In a letter to delegates at the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference in Egypt, President Trump said the United States intended “to deploy 5G services rapidly” and was “in opposition to those who would use 5G as a tool to expand control of their own citizens and to sow discord among nations.”
President Donald Trump is set to hold a White House event April 12 with the Federal Communications Commission on next-generation 5G wireless networks and efforts to boost rural broadband internet access. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and President Trump would deliver remarks on 5G deployment. Chairman Pai is expected to announce additional funds to help rural areas that lack broadband get access to the high-speed service.
A group of nine state attorneys general backed AT&T as the Justice Department asks a federal appeals court to reverse approval of the company’s $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner. It “is rare for the federal government to pursue an antitrust case involving major, national companies without any state joining the effort,” the nine state officials said in a court filing, noting that no states have filed briefs supporting the Justice Department’s appeal.
The Internet Association, a group representing more than 40 major internet and technology firms including Facebook, Amazon, and Alphabet, said it backed modernizing US data privacy rules but wants a national approach that would preempt CA's new regulations that take effect in 2020.
President Donald Trump unblocked some additional Twitter users after a federal judge in May said preventing people from following him violated individuals constitutional rights. US District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan ruled on May 23 that comments on the president’s account, and those of other government officials, were public forums and that blocking Twitter users for their views violated their right to free speech under the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
A coalition of trade groups representing companies including Alphabet, Facebook, and Amazon, urged a US appeals court to reinstate landmark “network neutrality” rules adopted in 2015 to guarantee an open internet. In a legal filing, the Internet Association, Entertainment Software Association, Computer & Communications Industry Association, and Writers Guild of America West urged the reversal of the Federal Communications Commission's decision under Chairman Ajit Pai to overturn the rules in December.
The Federal Communications Commission said it was referring reports that a website flaw could have allowed the location of mobile phone customers to be tracked to its enforcement bureau to investigate. A security researcher said that California-based LocationSmart data could have been used to track AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile US consumers without consent within a few hundred yards of their location. Sen Ron Wyden (D-OR) urged the FCC to investigate, saying on Twitter a “hacker could have used this site to know when you were in your house so they would know when to rob it.