Millions of records that the Federal Communications Commission’s top lawyer once fought to hold back from state law enforcement officials now serve as key evidence in a year-long probe into cases of Americans being impersonated during the agency’s latest net neutrality proceeding.
Whether they are Wi-Fi kiosks, urban sensors, fiber networks, or built-from-scratch “smart” neighborhoods, new urban technology deployments are under the microscope. Despite the potential of these projects to drive innovation and economic growth, they are often met with mixed reception and a myriad of justifiable questions. Take the Quayside project in Toronto led by Sidewalk Labs.
The Federal Communications Commission announced that its Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) has undergone a system upgrade which will help enable expanded features and functions to be introduced into ECFS in the coming year. The update transitions ECFS to a cloud-based platform, which will make the system scalable and more agile. In addition, reCAPTCHA functionality has been added to the system. This first phase of the multi-phase ECFS upgrade effort will enable development of new functions that take advantage of the upgraded technology platform.
The wave of spontaneous protests that rocked Cuba on July 11 was propelled by social media and the proliferation of mobile internet, which Cubans have only had for the past three years. The government responded by leaving the island virtually incommunicado for two days. To contain the spread of mass demonstrations, authorities cut internet service, along with the fixed phone lines of some activists in the island.
For decades, policymakers in Washington and state capitals have fretted about the patchwork of broadband access in the United States, which has held back economic development in underserved areas and became a major problem during the pandemic. Now, after years of federal subsidies that have improved but not solved the problem, the Biden administration is proposing to spend $100 billion over the next eight years to finally connect every American household to high-speed internet. But solving the problem isn’t just a matter of cutting a big check to fund the installation of fiber pipelines.
The New York Attorney General’s office found that of more than 22 million comments filed in response to the Federal Communication Commission’s hotly contested 2017 “net neutrality” repeal, nearly 18 million were fraudulent. A 19-year-old computer science student filed nearly eight million of them using automated software. According to the Administrative Procedure Act, federal agencies like the FCC must give notice to the public when they propose to write new rules. Then the public can comment on those proposals.
This report is the product of an extensive investigation by the New York Office of the Attorney General (OAG) of the parties that sought to influence the Federal Communications Commission’s 2017 proceeding to repeal the agency’s net neutrality rules. In the course of that investigation, the OAG obtained and analyzed tens of thousands of internal emails, planning documents, bank records, invoices, and data comprising hundreds of millions of records. Our investigation confirmed many contemporaneous reports of fraud that dogged that rulemaking process.
On March 31, the National Urban League released the Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion, a collaborative work aimed at addressing the digital divide. If you have the time, follow the link above and give the full report a read. If not, here's the executive summary.
The Federal Communications Commission announced it will begin collecting first-hand accounts on broadband availability and service quality directly from consumers as part of its Broadband Data Collection program. A new webpage, www.fcc.gov/BroadbandData, explains the FCC’s program and provides direct links to consumer resources including a new “share your broadband experience” option.
Freedom of the Press Foundation's newest report shows that there have been at least 117 verified cases of a journalist being arrested or detained on the job in the US in 2020. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is also still investigating more than a dozen additional reports of arrests or detentions. Arrests of journalists skyrocketed by more than 1200% in comparison to 2019. In just one week, from May 29 - June 4, more reporters were arrested in the U.S. than in the previous three years combined. Arrests occurred in more than two dozen cities across the country.