Government & Communications

Attempts by governmental bodies to improve or impede communications with or between the citizenry.

How “net neutrality” won and “Obamacare for the Internet” lost

Recommendation:
1

Even during the week of February 23, as discussion heated up, "Obamacare for the internet" barely registered on Twitter. Rep Darrell Issa (R-CA) used the expression over and over -- but it still maxed out at 600 tweets in one day over the last 30 days. Net neutrality, on the other hand, was registering in the tens of thousands.

Will cell phones help insurgents? Or the regimes they oppose?

Location:
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 08544, United States
Recommendation:
1

Insurgents cannot decide what to make of cellphones. While some insurgent groups target cellphone towers and demand companies turn towers off at night, others complain when providers are slow to fix network problems and threaten them for poor coverage. This variation reflects the fact that cellphones can hurt insurgents by allowing civilians to more safely share information on rebel activity with the government, but they also help insurgents by facilitating violent collective action, just as they help us all manage our daily lives.

European privacy policy is not a cynical anti-competitive plot

Location:
George Washington University, 1957 E. St. NW, Washington, DC, 20052, United States
Recommendation:
1

US security officials have been taken aback by the vehemence of the response to their incursions on other people’s privacy.

Senate panel to grill FCC on Internet rules

Location:
Senate Commerce Committee, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Russell Senate Office Building - 253, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
1

According to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD), the Committee is slated to grill all five Federal Communications Commission members during an oversight hearing on March 18.

90,000 Californians Sign Petition Calling on PUC to Block Comcast Merger

Location:
California Public Utilities Commission, 505 Van Ness Avenue, CA, 94102, United States
Recommendation:
1

Consumer groups renewed their call today for the California Public Utilities Commission to reject the proposed Comcast–Time Warner Cable merger and announced that they had collected 90,000 petition signatures from Californians opposed to the deal.

How We Won Net Neutrality

Location:
Free Press (DC), 501 Third Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
3

Credit Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler for listening to his critics and changing his mind about how to best protect the open Internet. Praise President Barack Obama for using his bully pulpit. Thank John Oliver for coining the memorable phrase "cable company f--kery." But know that none of this happens without a relentless push from the grassroots.

Net Neutrality Fight Rife With Interests Connected to Commissioners

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

The two Republican members of the Federal Communications Commission who have asked for a delay in the FCC's Feb 26 vote on net neutrality rules both have past connections to big money interests opposed to the rules. On the other hand, so does FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, whose proposal is on the table.

Technology Startups Take Root in Tehran

Location:
Tehran, Iran
Recommendation:
1

Café Bazaar, an Android software app store that mimics Google's Google Play, is among the dozens of companies that have popped up in Iran, part of a technology scene that has developed amid -- and some say because of -- international sanctions and strict censorship laws that have scared off global tech companies, at least for now.

Putting the Power of Data to Work for America

Location:
Office of Science and Technology Policy, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW The White House, Washington, DC, 20500, United States
Recommendation:
1

There’s lots of talk these days in the tech community about organizations being data-driven. If you look across all organizations out there, which one has made the biggest change in being data driven? My answer is the US Government.

Surveillance-based manipulation: How Facebook or Google could tilt elections

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
1

Companies like Google and Facebook sit at the center of our communications. This gives them enormous power to manipulate and control. There are unique harms that come from using surveillance data in politics.

California Public Utilities Commission holds Comcast hearing

Location:
California Public Utilities Commission, 505 Van Ness Avenue, CA, 94102, United States
Recommendation:
2

Consumers took turns praising and blasting Comcast's proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable, which would make the combined company the dominant provider of cable TV and high-speed Internet service in California. The California Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to vote March 26 on a proposed transfer of licenses currently held by Time Warner Cable. Comcast also would pick up customers served by Charter Communications in the Los Angeles region.

Sen Thune Concerned About Title II Impact on ITU

Location:
House Commerce Committee, 45 Independence Ave SW 2123 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, 20515, United States
Recommendation:
1

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) used a hearing on the US hand-off of domain naming system/IP address oversight to hammer on the Federal Communications Commission's Feb. 26 vote on Title II-supported network neutrality rules.

Testimony of NTIA Assistant Secretary before Senate Hearing "Preserving the Multistakeholder Model of Internet Governance"

Location:
Senate Commerce Committee, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Russell Senate Office Building - 253, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
2

Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Lawrence Strickling delivered testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee during a hearing entitled "Preserving the Multistakeholder Model of Internet Governance".

Clinton is looking for a middle ground on encryption that experts say doesn’t exist

Location:
New America Foundation (NAF), 1899 L St NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
1

Hillary Clinton avoided taking a position on how easy it should be for law enforcement to access people's encrypted e-mails and texts during an interview at a women's leadership conference in Silicon Valley, calling the debate a "classic hard choice." Clinton said people have a “legitimate right to privacy,” but she argued that the encryption debate was about finding "the right balance” -- a balance Clinton said she hasn't figured out yet. But there is already a dialogue going on between the Obama Administration and leaders of the technology industry -- and much of it is coming down to the technicalities of how encryption works more than an ideological debate over privacy and national security.

Citing encryption, FBI lobbying to keep phone metadata spying powers

Location:
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW J. Edgar Hoover Building, Washington, DC, 20535-0001, United States
Recommendation:
1

The law that the Obama Administration cites to allow bulk telephone metadata collection expires on June 1, and the FBI has already begun lobbying to keep Section 215 of the Patriot Act from expiring. Bad guys "going dark" using encryption, the FBI says, is one of the reasons why the government needs to collect the metadata of every phone call made to and from the United States.

FCC Library Invites Technology Manufacturers and Service Providers to Showcase their Tablets, Telephones and eBook Readers

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

The Federal Communications Commission Library proudly celebrates National Library Week with its Annual Open House to take place on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

Putin’s propagandists prime Russians for fight

Location:
Russian Federation, Russia
Recommendation:
1

In 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin seemed to be losing his grip on the public’s affections. Now he is reclaiming it, thanks in large part to TV programming portraying Russia as a nation under threat, and President Putin as the only leader who is capable of standing up to its enemies.

How Silicon Valley won the day over some of the most powerful lobbyists in Washington

Location:
Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

The expected victory on network neutrality marks a key achievement for tech firms after a months-long campaign against some of the communications industry’s most sophisticated lobbying operations. And it holds major implications for the way consumers experience the Internet.

Hillary Rodham Clinton Talks NSA, Presidential Aspirations With Kara Swisher

Location:
Silicon Valley, Palo Alto, CA, United States
Recommendation:
1

Americans feel “betrayed” by the revelations of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities and it needs to be more transparent, Hillary Rodham Clinton at a gathering of female Silicon Valley executives, in a conversation that touched on issues from gender discrimination to her presidential aspirations.

FCC's FY 2014 Annual Performance Report

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

This report summarizes the Federal Communications Commission’s progress in fulfilling its strategic goals and meeting its performance commitments as expressed in the Commission’s fiscal year 2014 Annual Performance Plan. The Annual Performance Plan was issued as part of the FCC’s FY 2014 budget submission to Congress.

Ranking Member Nelson (D-FL) Questions FCC About Use of Surveillance Technology

Location:
Capitol Building, E Capitol St NE & 1st St NE, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
1

Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) has asked federal authorities to review the use of cell phone monitoring devices that are now in the hands of numerous local law enforcement agencies.

Rep. Ted Poe: ISIS shouldn't have access to Twitter

Location:
Capitol Building, E Capitol St NE & 1st St NE, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
1

Rep Red Poe (R-TX) suggested that terrorist groups like the Islamic State should be barred from using social media sites like Twitter to spread their message. Rep Poe cited recent examples of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, posting videos of murdered prisoners on Twitter.

How limited access to state officials hurts reporting in Missouri

Location:
MO, United States

Under Gov Jay Nixon (D-MO), Missouri keeps a tight leash on information, funneling media inquiries for all agencies through a centralized public information office and regularly blocking department heads and agency experts from talking to reporters.

Taxpayer Group Pans Pre-emption of State Broadband Law

Location:
Taxpayers Protection Alliance, 815 King Street, Alexadria, VA, 22314, United States
Recommendation:
1

The president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance said if the Federal Communications Commission pre-empts state broadband laws in Chattanooga (TN) and Wilson (NC), it will hurt local taxpayers.

What in the World is Going on with the IANA Transition?

Location:
Senate Commerce Committee, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Russell Senate Office Building - 253, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
1

The CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, Ambassador David Gross, and the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administration for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration are going to be testifying in front of the Senate in a hearing entitled “Preserving the Multistakeholder Model of Internet Governance,” in relation to the IANA transition and ICANN accountability.

CBO Scores Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act

Location:
Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Second and D Streets, SW Ford House Office Building 4th Floor, Washington, DC, 20515-6925, United States
Recommendation:
2

The Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act (H.R. 734) would require the Federal Communications Commission to prepare a biennial report for the Congress that assesses certain characteristics of the communications industry. In all, the bill would eliminate more than 20 reports and notices, including some that remain in current law even though deadlines for their completion have passed. Based on information from the FCC, Congressional Budget Office estimates that implementing the provisions of HR 734 would not have a significant effect on the agency’s costs.

Tech Lobby Doesn't Lack for Cash or Issues

Location:
K-Street, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
1

Technology and telecommunications companies have spent more than $3.3 billion on lobbying over the past decade. And they're just getting started. Network neutrality has recently consumed the interest of companies that would be affected by Internet regulations. But even after the Federal Communications Commission votes Feb 26 to implement a plan that would regulate broadband Internet as a utility, they will continue to spend big.

House Communications Subcommittee Schedules Hearing on FCC Budget

Location:
House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and Internet, Independence Avenue and South Capitol Street, Washington, DC, 20003, United States
Recommendation:
1

The House Communications Subcommittee has scheduled a hearing for March 4 on the Federal Communications Commission's 2016 budget request.

When Internet access becomes a weapon

Location:
University of Mannheim, 68131, Mannheim, BW, Germany
Recommendation:
2

Social Media has rightly been celebrated as an empowering tool for ordinary citizens to mobilize against repressive rulers, and make marginalized voices heard. But a crucial question remains unanswered: why should power-hungry states, with de facto control over access to the Internet, impassively concede to defeat? The simple answer is: they do not.

FTC fines marketers of two apps that claim to detect melanoma

Location:
Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20580, United States
Recommendation:
1

The Federal Trade Commission announced two enforcement actions against the makers of two smartphone apps -- "Mole Detective" and "MelApp" -- that claim to be able to detect the symptoms of melanoma simply by snapping a picture of a mole with a smartphone.

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