Kate Tummarello

Democrats push FCC on local Internet projects

Sen Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep Mike Doyle (D-PA) are continuing to pressure the Federal Communications Commission to intervene where state laws keep cities from creating local Internet networks.

Local governments’ attempts to create opportunities for high-speed Internet “shouldn’t be restricted by technologically unsophisticated state governments,” Rep Doyle said. He “strongly” encouraged FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler “and the FCC to take quick and decisive action to lift restrictions that limit or prevent communities from addressing their own broadband needs.”

Telecom petition calls on President Obama to fire Brennan

A small wireless company CREDO and tens of thousands of supporters are calling on President Barack Obama to fire CIA Director John Brennan over a report that showed his agency hacked into Senate computers.

CREDO Action -- the advocacy wing of CREDO -- presented the White House with a petition calling on President Obama to fire Brennan.

Comcast defends $45B Time Warner merger

Comcast is making the case for regulators to approve its proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable.

In meetings with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen and others from the company pushed back on critics’ claims that the merger would hurt competition, according to new filings at the agency.

Comcast repeated its commitment to the agency's largely defunct network neutrality rules -- a condition of Comcast's merger with NBCUniversal in 2011 -- and said the merger would not harm broadband competition.

Sen Leahy: FCC should hear whole nation on net neutrality

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) wants more than just Beltway views heard as the rules governing Internet traffic are rewritten.

“Holding roundtables across the country will help ensure that Americans have a meaningful opportunity to participate” as the Federal Communications Commission tries to fix its network neutrality rules, Sen Leahy wrote in a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Tech giants at odds over Obama privacy bill

The giants of the tech industry are at odds over how the government should protect users in the era of “big data.” While some companies are pushing President Barack Obama to propose firm rules for data collection, others say the industry should be trusted to regulate itself.

Microsoft is among those calling for new federal standards, arguing Congress should act to craft “strong, comprehensive privacy legislation.” But the Internet Association -- “the unified voice of the Internet economy,” which includes Facebook, Google and Yahoo -- took a different approach, calling for “a flexible and balanced self-regulatory responsible use framework” that protects consumers while allowing for innovation.

Internet providers want Congress to keep hands off online traffic deals

Internet providers and wireless companies are warning lawmakers not to get overly involved in deals over online traffic.

In comments filed to the House Commerce Committee, USTelecom -- which represents Internet providers -- said lawmakers and regulators should stay out of “interconnection” deals, the arrangements Internet providers make with each other and websites to handle online traffic.

Rep Eshoo: Data caps are the new 'threat' online

Rep Anna Eshoo (D-CA) is pushing the Federal Communications Commission to consider “data caps” as it rewrites its controversial network neutrality rules.

In a letter to the FCC, Rep Eshoo, the top Democrat on the House Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, shared the preliminary findings of a Government Accountability Office study about data caps, which she described as “a new threat to the free and open Internet.”

According to Rep Eshoo, the FCC should consider these data cap practices as it rewrites its net neutrality rules, which kept Internet providers from slowing or blocking access to certain websites before they were struck down by a federal court earlier in 2014.

Tech seeks life after death for accounts

Members of the tech industry and estate lawyers are pushing Congress to tweak an e-mail privacy law to ensure that digital accounts don’t die when their users do.

With pressure building on Congress to update the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Communications Act (ECPA), some are asking lawmakers to explicitly allow people to control who can access their online accounts after they die or become incapacitated.

Senate NSA compromise likely to come next week

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is close but not yet ready to unveil a negotiated measure to rein in government surveillance. Despite reports that the bill could be revealed soon, people familiar with the discussions said Sen Leahy will actually release the compromise legislation imminently.

Sen Leahy has been working with the administration on a compromise. The final bill will create “clear cut guidelines of what [intelligence agencies] can and cannot do” and “let the American people know that their privacy is going to be protected,” Sen Leahy said.

FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel: Telecom mergers the result of online competition

Mergers in the communications space are a reaction to increasing competition from online and other video providers, according to Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.

As online video grows and Internet access increases, “we’re going to all be sovereign and capable of curating all sorts of activities using web-based functions [in] the future,” she said.

Without commenting on any specific proposed or reported mergers, Commissioner Rosenworcel said the consolidation in the telecom industry is a reaction to the increased competition traditional video companies face from online video. “I think all of the activity you’re seeing right now is a response to that change,” she said.