Government & Communications

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

Senate Confirms Conservative Filmmaker to Lead US Media Agency

The Senate confirmed Michael Pack, a conservative filmmaker who President Donald Trump has said he hopes will dictate more favorable news coverage of his administration, to lead the United States Agency for Global Media, the independent agency in charge of state-funded media outlets.

Social media takes on world leaders

Social media companies are finally beginning to take action on posts from world leaders that violate their policies, after years of letting them mostly say whatever they wanted unfiltered to millions of people. Government officials are among the users most likely to abuse the wide reach and minimal regulation of tech platforms. Mounting pressure to stop harmful content from spreading amid the coronavirus pandemic, racial protests and a looming U.S.

Suit Challenges President’s Executive Order Targeting First Amendment Protected Speech

The Center for Democracy & Technology filed a lawsuit against President Trump’s “Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship,” signed May 28, 2020. The suit argues that the Executive Order violates the First Amendment by curtailing and chilling the constitutionally protected speech of online platforms and individuals. 

Mark Zuckerberg spoke with civil rights leaders about President Trump's posts. It didn't go well.

Top Facebook executives, including Mark Zuckerberg, spoke with civil rights leaders June 1 as the company confronts a wave of backlash over its decision not to moderate President Donald Trump's controversial posts. But the roughly hour-long call, intended to show the company takes concerns from the black community seriously, only further inflamed tensions. Color of Change President Rashad Robinson, NAACP Legal Defense Fund president Sherrilyn Ifil and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights chief executive Vanita Gupta immediately blasted Zuckerberg following the call. Robinson

FCC Commissioner Carr is President Trump's unexpected ally in the fight against tech

He rails against the "far left's" hoaxes. He says the World Health Organization has been “beclowned” over its response to the coronavirus. And he describes a “secret and partisan surveillance machine” run by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA). Those aren't President Donald Trump's words. They came from Brendan Carr, the junior Republican on the Federal Communications Commission, who is embracing a flavor of distinctly Trumpian rhetoric that could help him leapfrog his way to the chairmanship of the five-member regulatory agency.

Trump's Social Media Regulation Push Faces Key Hurdle at the FCC

President Donald Trump's effort to regulate social media companies' content decisions may face an uphill battle from Federal Communications Commission regulators who have previously said they cannot oversee the conduct of internet firms. In August 2018, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said, "The government is not here to regulate these platforms. We don't have the power to do that." Former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, a Republican, wrote on Twitter that the review ordered by President Trump is "based on political #speech management of platforms.

How President Trump got the FCC involved in his war against Twitter

President Donald Trump is asking the Federal Communications Commission to review Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the law that gives social media companies their legal protection. The president wants rules that'll let the agency investigate complaints that social media companies discriminate against certain speech on their platforms. Any role in policing social media will be awkward for the FCC, which has cast itself as anti-regulation under Ajit Pai, its Trump-appointed chairman.

Senator Cruz Calls for Criminal Investigation Into Twitter for ‘Blatant and Willful Violation’ of U.S. Sanctions on Iran

Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) called on Attorney General Bill Barr and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to investigate Twitter for willfully violating American sanctions on Iran by providing social media accounts and services to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif. Both officials are designated under Executive Order (E.O) 13876 for connections to the Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran, which is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Chairman Pai Challenges Twitter After It Warns About President Trump Tweet

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai challenged Twitter over a bellicose posting from Iran’s top leader hours after the company put a warning about glorifying violence on a tweet from President Donald Trump. “Serious question for @Twitter: Do these tweets from Supreme Leader of Iran @khamenei_ir violate “Twitter Rules about glorifying violence”? Chairman Pai said in a tweet. He attached screen shots of May 22 tweets from Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei predicting the eventual elimination of Israel.

Trump Social Media Liability Order Opens Partisan Divide at FCC

The Federal Communications Commission split along party lines on President Donald Trump’s social media executive order, previewing a potential battle to come as the agency weighs action. Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said Trump wants to turn the FCC into “speech police.” Commissioner Mike O’Rielly said he’s troubled that “voices are stifled by liberal tech leaders.” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who controls the agency’s agenda, said that the agency will “carefully review any petition for rulemaking filed by the Department of Commerce.” “This debate is an important one,” Chairman Pai added. Com