John Hendel

Democrats attack fake news, and Republicans cry foul

Democrats are morphing their scrutiny of online falsehoods into a broader campaign against misinformation on right-leaning television outlets — a development that Republicans and some media organizations are calling a government attack on the First Amendment. The Democratic efforts include a House hearing where lawmakers lambasted conservative-leaning broadcasters and ca

A Walden Exit Interview on All Things Tech

Rep Greg Walden (R-OR), one of the most influential conservative figures in the technology and telecommunications policy landscape, is set to retire from Congress. He pushed back on GOP-led calls for the Federal Communications Commission to step in on Section 230even as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai faces pressure to do so before he leaves the agencyin January: “I'm not so sure that I want the FCC in the middle of all of this,” Rep Walden said. “Even if some think they have the authority, I'm not convinced that's the case.

Trump FCC nominee Simington sought to enlist Fox's Laura Ingraham in anti-tech fight

Federal Communications Commission nominee Nathan Simington reached out to Fox News in an attempt at “engaging” host Laura Ingraham to support President Donald Trump’s quest to make it easier to sue social media companies like Facebook and Twitter. Simington, a senior adviser in a key Commerce Department tech agency, wrote that the popular Fox News host could help sway the FCC to act on Trump's proposal before Election Day.

At White House’s urging, Republican Senators launch anti-tech blitz ahead of election

Apparently, the Trump administration is pressuring Republican Senators to ratchet up scrutiny of social media companies it sees as biased against conservatives in the run-up to the Nov 2020 election. In recent weeks, the White House has pressed Senate Republican leaders on key committees to hold public hearings on the law that protects Facebook, Twitter and other internet companies from lawsuits over how they treat user posts. And action is following.

Trump aides interviewing replacement for embattled FTC chair

The White House is searching for a replacement for Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons, a Republican who has publicly resisted President Donald Trump’s efforts to crack down on social media companies. Chairman Simons, a veteran antitrust lawyer, hasn’t announced he’s leaving the agency. He is serving a term that doesn’t end until September 2024, and he cannot legally be removed by the president except in cases of gross negligence.

Trump campaign proposes ‘national’ 5G

As the Republican National Convention kicked off, the Trump campaign touted 5G among the president’s second-term goals, specifically stating he would “win the race to 5G and establish a national high-speed wireless internet network.”  This phrasing is a head-scratcher given the Trump orbit’s past flirtations with nationalizing 5G, an approach taking multiple forms over the years and deeply opposed by many at the Federal Communications Commission and on Capitol Hill.

Chairman Pai Continues to Ask Congress for $430 Million for FCC Teleheatlh

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is pushing Congress to make “more funding available for connectivity during the COVID-19 pandemic — including at least $430 million in funding for the highly successful but underfunded COVID-19 Telehealth Program,” a spokesperson said, noting that the FCC has conveyed these requests for months. Congress in March slated $200 million for the Covid-19 Telehealth Program, and the FCC has since awarded that cash to subsidize connectivity for 539 health care entities across the country.

FCC Aims to Kill Obama-era Set-Top Box Proceeding

A Federal Communications Commission proposal that began circulating Aug 14 among FCC commissioners would formally close the door on a controversial plan involving consumers’ cable set-top boxes. Will Wiquist, a spokesperson for Chairman Ajit Pai, said that this new proposal “would terminate the proceeding in which the prior Commission proposed imposing complex and unnecessary regulations on the navigation device market that generated bipartisan opposition within and outside the agency, and serious concerns from a wide range of stakeholders and experts, including the U.S.

Biden Gets Support From Silicon Valley Republicans

Aug 17's session of the Democratic National Convention featured multiple tech industry veterans weighing in to support Joe Biden’s presidential bid, including Republicans, despite the broad skepticism his party has taken toward Silicon Valley since the Obama years. Two notable Biden advocates: Susan Molinari, the former House GOP lawmaker who was a top lobbyist for Google from 2012 to 2018, and Meg Whitman, CEO of Quibi and a former chief executive for eBay and Hewlett Packard Enterprise who a decade ago was the Republican nominee for governor in California.

Broadband and Appropriations

House appropriators have begun moving their funding bills to the floor. The juiciest Democratic wish lists on broadband infrastructure spending (that’s in a separate funding bill for the FCC, which provides enormous emergency funding for broadband to the tune of more than $60 billion) haven't been scheduled for votes yet.