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Senate

Some on Senate Banking Committee Concerned About Facebook’s Venture Into Cryptocurrency With Calibra

WASHINGTON, July 16,2019- Facebook’s venture into cryptocurrency raised a high degree of concern among some members of the Senate Banking Committee at a hearing on Tuesday. Committee Ranking Member Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio., said Facebook is “dangerous” and that it does “all it can” to manipulate billions of users and generate profit. Brown also accused… Keep Reading

Big Tech and FTC Under Attack at Senate Hearing

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2019 — YouTube has been “inadequate and abysmally slow in responding” to recent allegations that its algorithms promote child sexualization, said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday. If big tech companies don’t take sufficient steps to protect children from exploitation on their platforms, they should be… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Trump Reports Progress on China Trade, Buildout Act in Senate, and Comcast Debuts Robocall Blocking

Trade negotiations with the U.S. and China are “right back on track,” said President Trump this Saturday at the G20 Summit in Japan. The Guardian reports that after the president met with Chinese general secretary Xi Jinping, he announced that the U.S will not impose further tariffs against Chinese products. “We were very close but… Keep Reading

Senate Hearing Created a Clash With Google Over the Definition of ‘Persuasive’ Technology

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2019 — A Tuesday Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing, on “Optimizing for Engagement: Understanding the Use of Persuasive Technology on Internet Platforms,” became an open invitation for senators to attack the business model of the technology industry. At the hearing, Google confronted bipartisan skepticism about its claimed neutrality, and about its power as… Keep Reading

FTC/Privacy/Senate

Sen. Marsha Blackburn Scolds Big Tech For Extracting Data and Calls for Greater Transparency

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2019 – The framework for federal privacy regulation is emerging as another flashpoint in some conservatives’ political battles with Silicon Valley powerhouses. In particular Tennessee Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn said Wednesday that technology companies are using the complexity of their platforms to justify lack of transparency regarding how they are using consumers’… Keep Reading

Privacy/Senate/Social Media

Bipartisan Group of Senators Stoke Fears About Google’s Neutrality and Influence in 2020 Election

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2019 — Fears about Google’s potential ability to influence the upcoming 2020 election ran rampant at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. That, coupled with allegations that the search engine giant inappropriately benefits from federal protections against liability, created a pressure cooker environment for Google’s witness before the Commerce Communications, Technology, Innovation and the… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Transparency for Tech Platforms, Fiber in American Fork and Mountain Connect

Axios is reporting that Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., plan to introduce The Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight and Regulations on Data Act (DASHBOARD). The measure would require tech company to better explain to consumers what they are giving up when they share their personal information with big tech platforms… Keep Reading

FTC/Senate/Social Media

Culture War Comes to Silicon Valley as Sen. Josh Hawley Introduces Bill to Strip Section 230 Immunity from Social Media

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2019 — Legislation authored by Sen. Joshua Hawley could signal the start of a new chapter of the culture war: Conservatives directly targeting Silicon Valley tech companies. On Wednesday, Hawley, R-Mo., announced that he’d introduced the “Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act” (PDF), which would repeal a provision of the 1996 Telecommunications Act… Keep Reading

Multiple Pieces of Broadband Legislation Moving Forward in Congress, on Data, Funding, Rural Broadband and Digital Equity

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2019 – At least a half-dozen separate pieces of broadband legislation are working their way through Congress, and panelists assembled by the Schools, Health, and Libraries Broadband Coalition on Wednesday commented on the pros and cons of how these bills would deploy broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved areas of the country. The… Keep Reading

Chinese Drone Manufacturer DJI is a New Target for Charges of ‘Industrial Espionage’ in Senate

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2019 - The Senate on Tuesday unleashed further criticism of Chinese technology players as witnesses told a Commerce subcommittee that unmanned aircraft systems are targets for “industrial espionage.” One witness, Catherine Cahill of the Alaska Center for UAS Integration, said that the Chinese company DJI dominates the U.S. market for small, commercial… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Congress Considers Plans to Improve Mapping, AT&T Launches 5G Phone

After wide bipartisan acknowledgement that broadband map currently being used by the Federal Communications Commission is wildly inaccurate, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., has introduced the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act, urging the FCC to halt decisions on broadband funding until more accurate data is available. The bill will require the FCC to gather… Keep Reading

FCC/Net Neutrality/Senate

Three Democratic Senators Came Not to Bury the FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules, But to Praise Them

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2019 - A trio of Democratic senators on Tuesday called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow a vote on legislation to roll back the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of network neutrality regulations put in place during the Obama administration. Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.,… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Virginia Tobacco Region Awards $8 Million in Grants, and Senate Passes Broadband Research Legislation

On Thursday, the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission awarded almost 8 million dollars to fourteen counties across rural Virginia for the development of broadband services, reported The News & Advance. Commission Chairman Kathy Byron highlighted the essential role increased broadband access will play in economic growth, particularly in the tourism industry. “People who visit generally bring… Keep Reading

Senate/Spectrum/White House

Government Spectrum Valuation Act by Sen. Mike Lee Would Force Accountability for Federal Radio Frequencies

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Whether or not the government vacates spectrum, Utah Sen. Mike Lee's bill is an important exercise in government accounting for the value of resources that it uses. Sen. Lee Introduces Government Spectrum Valuation Act, from Sen. Mike Lee: Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, introduced the Government Spectrum Valuation Act Monday, a bill designed… Keep Reading

A Growing Bipartisan Fear of Huawei, and Its Role in 5G Wireless, is Taking Root in Washington

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: On Tuesday, when the Senate Judiciary Committee expressed a growing bi-partisan sense of dismay about Chinese telecommunications manufacturer Huawei and its influence on impending 5G wireless technology standards, Adonis Hoffman of Business in the Public Interest republished the OpEd excerpted below on the Media Institute's blog. The piece, originally published in The Hill,… Keep Reading

Sen. Josh Hawley Accuses Facebook of Addiction and Calls Social Media Worth-Less

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2019 - Social media and technology platform companies are wasting the talents of a generation, addicting and impoverishing middle America, and even driving teenagers to commit suicide in record numbers, Sen. Josh Hawley said Thursday. In a blistering speech attacking Facebook, Google, and the supposed "crown jewel" of the American economy known culturally… Keep Reading

House Passes Democrats’ Net Neutrality Measure on Almost-Completely Partisan Lines

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2019 - The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to approve legislation restoring network neutrality rules which had been rescinded by the Federal Communications Commission last year, marking both a victory for House Democrats as well as an end to the line for this latest attempt to revive the Obama-era regulations. Passage… Keep Reading

Press Release: Rep. Paul Tonko Reintroduces House-Passed Bill to Increase Broadband Access in Underserved Areas

Bipartisan ACCESS BROADBAND Act would improve coordination and community access to federal broadband resources WASHINGTON, April 4, 2019 – Representatives Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., and Susan Brooks, R-Ind., announced the introduction of H.R. 1328: the ACCESS BROADBAND Act today, bipartisan legislation that would expand broadband access in underserved areas and create a simpler process for small businesses and local economic… Keep Reading

U.S. is Falling Behind in Internet Influence to Europe, Russia and China, Cybersecurity Experts Tell Senate

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2018 - The U.S. is falling behind in internet regulation and risks losing the global internet leadership position to the EU, China, and Russia, some internet privacy experts said at a Senate subcommittee hearing on Tuesday. On July 31, the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet held a hearing to… Keep Reading

Asia/Senate/Spectrum/Wireless

In the Senate, T-Mobile and Sprint Chiefs Say Their Proposed Merger is Necessary Because of Global 5G Race With China

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2018 – The CEO of T-Mobile on Wednesday defended his company’s proposed merger with Sprint against skeptical senators, claiming the merger is necessary in order for the U.S. to win the race for 5G wireless service against China. A Senate subcommittee hearing investigating the competitive effects of the proposed merger on the… Keep Reading

Democrats Mourn Loss of Net Neutrality, But Industry Supporters Call it a New Day

This article was written and reported by Andrew Feinberg and Heather Heimbach. WASHINGTON, June 12, 2018 - As the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of Obama-era network neutrality rules took effect Monday, Democrats and net neutrality advocates vowed to continue the effort to use a Congressional Review Act resolution to roll back the new FCC rules.… Keep Reading

Senate Votes 52-47 To Advance Bill Restoring Obama-era Net Neutrality Rules

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2018 -- Senate Democrats on Wednesday joined forces with Republicans Susan Collins, John Kennedy, R-La. and Lisa Murkowski, R-Ak. to approve a bill which rolls back the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of network neutrality rules enacted under former President Obama, 52-47 The bill, S.J. Res. 52, is a so-called resolution of disapproval… Keep Reading

Senate Democrats Join With Collins To Force Vote On Restoring Obama Net Neutrality Rules

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2018 — Senate Democrats on Wednesday announced plans to invoke a rarely-used Senate procedure to force a floor vote on a bill to roll back the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of Obama-era regulations preventing internet providers from blocking or throttling internet traffic. “Today we are officially filing the discharge petition to force… Keep Reading

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Began Testimony Before Senate Committee with an Apology for Company’s History

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2018 – After months of seemingly-unending scandal over his company’s role in the 2018 election, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg began his first of two days of testimony on Capitol Hill Tuesday by making it clear he was well aware of the laundry list of problems with the company he created 14 years… Keep Reading

With Senators and Representatives Targeting Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg Likely to Visit Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2018 – The odds that Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg will make an appearance on Capitol Hill to explain his company’s actions regarding the misuse of millions of Facecook users’ data by Cambridge Analytica – the “big data” company linked to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign – just went up. After… Keep Reading

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Discuss Broadband at Senate Hearing

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2018 – Questions about how the federal government will be involved in rolling out the next-generation infrastructure for wireless, known as 5G (for 5th generation) remained after a Wednesday infrastructure hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee. “With the rise of the internet and cell phones, we face the new challenge of building… Keep Reading

Washington Post Piece Criticizes Senate Democrats on Net Neutrality, Giving Them ‘Three Pinocchios’

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: This piece by The Washington Post has, in turn, prompting some gloating by Republicans over at the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which criticized the "sweeping claims" of Democrats: "That consumers will see a sharp drop in Internet speeds if the Federal Communications Commission proceeds with its plan to unwind net neutrality… Keep Reading

One Day After FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal, Focus Turns to Reactions and Responses

WASHINGTON, December 15, 2017 – The Federal Communications Commission’s Thursday vote to repeal the “open internet” rules classifying broadband services as common carriers represents the most significant regulatory shift in the internet in more than a decade. Critics in Congress, at the agency, and even on late-night TV wasted no time in blasting it. These… Keep Reading

FCC/Senate

FCC Nominee’s Failure to Identify Industry Clients Unlikely to Delay Brendan Carr Nomination

WASHINGTON, August 1, 2017 — Omissions in sworn testimony by Federal Commissions Commission Republican nominee Brendan Carr regarding his representation of various telecommunications providers won’t cause any delay in his upcoming confirmation vote, Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Bill Nelson, D-Fla, told BroadbandBreakfast.com on Monday. Carr, who currently serves as general counsel to the FCC… Keep Reading

Infrastructure/NTIA/Senate

Verizon Senior Vice President Peter Davidson Questioned on Data and Science at Confirmation Hearing

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2017 – At a Wednesday confirmation hearing for Peter Davidson to be general counsel of the Department of Commerce and others, Senate Commerce Committee ranking member Bill Nelson, D-Florida, said the country needed data-driven leadership. Chairman John Thune, R-South Dakota, introduced Davidson and the other nominees. Davidson was senior vice president of… Keep Reading

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Questioned on Net Neutrality, Rural Broadband, During Re-Confirmation Hearing

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2017 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai came to his re-confirmation hearing Wednesday with a message that network neutrality regulations were hurting infrastructure investments. The hearing joined Pai, current FCC chairman, with Jessica Rosenworcel, who had been an FCC commissioner until her term lapsed at the end of last year, and… Keep Reading

Trump Administration Spokesmen Support FCC Chairman Pai’s Net Neutrality Reversal

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2017 — Bolstering Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai in advance of his Senate confirmation hearing, the White House late Tuesday said the Trump Administration was committed to Pai’s plans to roll back net neutrality regulations put in place by former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “The administration believes that rules of the… Keep Reading

Before Congress, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Defends 5 Percent Budget Cut and Changes to Net Neutrality Rules

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2017 — Cuts in the Federal Communications Commission budget won’t hinder the agency’s ability to provide services because the agency is entirely funded by fees, Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told senators on Tuesday during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing to examine the Commission’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget request. “[W]e have compiled… Keep Reading

Ajit Pai Comes to Senate Oversight Hearing, Defends his More Limited Vision of FCC Authority

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2017 - Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai defended his very vision of the agency’s role, as compared with his predecessor, during the first Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing this year. The difference in attitude between Pai and former Chairman Tom Wheeler on broadband deployment highlighted the differences between the two. “High-speed… Keep Reading

MOBILE NOW Spectrum Measure, Internet of Things, and FCC Reauthorization Bills Clear Senate Committee

WASHINGTON, January 24, 2017 - The Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday voted to advance 16 bills, including several with implications for telecommunications policy. The most significant communications-related measure among the bills clearing the committee was the so-called MOBILE Now Act, sponsored by Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune, R-South Dakota and Ranking Member Sen. Bill Nelson,… Keep Reading

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