Government & Communications

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

Facebook is quietly helping to set up a new pro-tech advocacy group to battle Washington

Facebook is working behind the scenes to help launch a new political advocacy group that would combat US lawmakers and regulators trying to rein in the tech industry, escalating Silicon Valley’s war with Washington at a moment when government officials are threatening to break up large companies. The organization is called American Edge, and it aims through a barrage of advertising and other political spending to convince policymakers that Silicon Valley is essential to the US economy and the future of free speech, apparently.

Our digital privacy is at stake in the Senate

An amendment to the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act (FISA) by Sens Steve Daines (R-MT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) would broaden a prohibition on warrantless surveillance by the government, from our online searches to our geolocation history. The appropriateness of allowing the government to warrantlessly surveil our every move and action is the issue Sens Wyden and Daines are forcing the Senate to examine. It is clear we cannot trust the intelligence bureaucracy to keep from colliding with the Constitution. Congress must provide stronger guardrails and splash them with fluorescent paint.

With Push From Trump, Senate Moves to Install Contentious Filmmaker at US Media Agency

Senate Republican leaders, under pressure from President Donald Trump to install an ally who would dictate more favorable news coverage of his administration, are moving to swiftly confirm a conservative filmmaker to lead the independent agency in charge of state-funded media outlets.


Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Thu, 05/14/2020 - 09:30


Mr. Michael Packof Maryland, to be Chief Executive Officer of the Broadcasting Board of Governors for the term of three years.

State, Local Government Face New Reality for 2020 U.S. Census

Stakeholders at all levels of government — federal, state, and local — are pivoting to stay flexible and get creative around the Census amid an unprecedented set of new challenges. While increasing online outreach is helpful to some, it’s also problematic in a place like Detroit, where many residents are on the challenging side of the digital divide, without access to technology or a reliable high-speed Internet connection at home.

FCC Ordered To Disclose Data About Net Neutrality Commenters

Siding with The New York Times, a federal judge has ordered that the Federal Communications Commission must disclose information about users who submitted comments during the 2017 net neutrality proceeding, despite the agency's objections that doing so could compromise people's privacy. US District Court Judge Lorna Schofield in the Southern District of New York ruled that disclosure of the data -- including commenters' IP addresses, time stamps, and user-agent headers -- is in the public interest, particularly given concerns that many comments were fraudulent.

Crisis requires co-ordinated digital response

The challenges we face demand an unprecedented alliance between business and government. Broadband is needed everywhere to support vulnerable populations. What’s happening in Seattle (WA), the first US city affected by the coronavirus outbreak, provides a glimpse. A public-private alliance of the region’s largest employers, Challenge Seattle, became the town square for sharing data and best practices, managing the crisis and planning our return to work.

FCC Introduces New Official Seal

The Federal Communications Commission has adopted a new seal. The redesigned seal is the product of an agency-wide contest that solicited proposals from FCC employees and contractors. The winning design was submitted by Umasankar Arumugam and selected by a vote of the agency’s employees and contractors. The revised design incorporates the following elements:

Congress needs to clarify mission and oversight of Voice of America

President Donald Trump’s attack on the Voice of America, calling its content anti-American, has led to polarized battle lines that are common now on national issues. President Trump supporters say the US needs an unabashedly pro-American voice to rally world publics to its side.

Reps Curtis, Engel, McCaul, and Malinowski Introduce Bill to Bolster Internet Freedom Globablly

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX), and Rep Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) joined Rep John Curtis (R-UT) in releasing the bipartisan Open Technology Fund Authorization Act (HR 6621). The legislation will bolster US efforts to respond to oppressive censorship and internet restriction worldwide by authorizing the Open Technology Fund (OTF) as an independent grantee within the US Agency for Global Media.