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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

Among Their Many Ills, Critics Say Google and Facebook Make It Difficult for Digital Media to Survive

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2019 — The practices of Google and Facebook were closely scrutinized at a House Antitrust Subcommittee hearing Tuesday, and the companies’ impact upon the digital news media came in for particularly stark criticism. Some said that these major tech platforms were making it difficult for other media companies to survive, speaking at… Keep Reading

Government Needs to Set Rules to Limit Hate Speech Online, Says New America Panel

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2019 – Further ratcheting up its call for government regulation of the technology industry, speakers at the New America's Open Technology Institute called for government rules to limit hate speech online. Doing so is necessary in order to solve the dichotomy of maintaining free speech while limiting hate speech online, said panelists… Keep Reading

Cord-Cutting Rises as Consumers Shift to Streaming Over-the-Top Video, According to NTIA Survey

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: That latest internet use survey from the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration shows that the proportion of internet users watching videos online has grown from 45 percent in 2013 to 70 percent in 2017. The organization added a question about over-the-top vide viewing to its survey in order to track trends and… 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

Alive to New Threats, Google Reorganizes its Public Policy Shop

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Google is beginning to enter into hunker-down mode. The company is finally alive to the grave new threats that it faces. They are two-pronged: More-intensive antitrust scrutiny, and regulation of privacy/AI/Section 230 free speech. As Drew Clark wrote about for a CATO Institute policy late last year, "Seeking Intervention Backfired on Silicon… Keep Reading

House Republicans Grill Google CEO Sundar Pichai Over Alleged Political Bias

WASHINGTON, December 11, 2018 – The CEO of search engine Google came to Washington on Tuesday and politely rebutted all charges that the world’s largest search engine is biased against conservative viewpoints. In the calm and controlled voice of an engineer, CEO Sundar Pichai said, “Our products are built without any bias,” responding to a… Keep Reading

As Google’s CEO Testifies Before Congress, Conservatives Stew About Social Media ‘Censorship’

WASHINGTON, December 11, 2018 — Republicans and conservative activists used Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing with Google CEO Sundar Pichai to revive claims that large technology companies are biased against them. But these same activists appear unwilling to accept any result that doesn’t validate their claim. One prominent Republican who has raised claims of censorship… Keep Reading

Will the House Judiciary Committee Fairly Question Google CEO Sundar Pichai at Tuesday Hearing?

WASHINGTON, December 10, 2018 — When Google CEO Sundar Pichai raises his right hand before the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday morning, it’s possible the ensuing hearing will be a sober and judicious look into his company’s data collection practices. But Pichai is far more likely to become the latest punching bag for House members –… Keep Reading

Media/zBroadband News

D.C. Circuit Court Questioning Suggests an Uphill Battle for the Justice Department to Defeat AT&T Acquisition

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The first news report that we've seen on Thursday's argument before the D.C. Circuit. While the Trump Justice Department attempted to stop the merger between AT&T and Time Warner, the deal has already closed after it was blessed by district court judge Richard Leon. This report emphasizes the tone and mood in the closely-watched case.… Keep Reading

In a First, Social Media Giant Facebook Agrees to French Regulators Seeking to Combat Hate Speech

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Facebook is only the first of the feared tech giants (#GAFA - Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) who appear to be buckling into this pressure. Can you imagine the reaction if the Trump administration were seeking to "embed" journalists into the company? Tech companies are increasingly being hit by both sides: Conservative… Keep Reading

Commissioner O’Rielly Raises Another Concern about Municipal Broadband: The ‘First Amendment’

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Critics of municipal involvement with broadband infrastructure will find all manner of reasons to oppose them, and this article from Motherboard elaborates on Federal Communications Commissioner Mike O'Rielly's views about the subject. This appears to be an extension of the thinking that, just as cable networks enjoyed a First Amendment right to… Keep Reading

Social Media/White House

Citing No Evidence, Trump Claims Google Search Results Are ‘Rigged’ Against Him, Repeats Debunked Claim First Made In Russian State Media

WASHINGTON, August 28, 2018 — President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Google’s search engine of suppressing conservative news stories and other “fair” news stories about him, repeating a discredited claim first made in a debunked Russian propaganda article. “Google search results for “Trump News” shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media. In other words,… Keep Reading

Far From Discriminating Against Conservatives, Facebook is Accused of a Pro-Conservative Bias

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Against a backdrop of complaints by American conservatives that Facebook and other social media giants promote non-conservative content, a new report finds that the opposite is occurring. Facebook accused of protecting far-right activists that broke site rules A documentary says some pages are kept safe from deletion by "shielded review," from CNET: Facebook allegedly… Keep Reading

Media Ownership

At Technology Policy Institute Panel on AT&T/Time Warner, a Criticism of Trump and Law Enforcement

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2018 – The former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday sharply criticized the president and his Justice Department’s antitrust division for promoting certain outcomes in recent antitrust actions. At a Technology Policy Institute panel on the AT&T/Time Warner merger, antitrust experts split over whether the AT&T Time Warner merger was… Keep Reading

Justice Department Weighs in on Whether Politics Motivated the Lawsuit Against AT&T-Time Warner Merger

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2018 – Was a federal district court judge’s decision to permit AT&T’s merger with Time Warner a victory for the rule or law over politics – or was it instead another defeat for the consumer at the hand of ever-consolidating mega-entities? That question permeated Tuesday’s conference on “Free Speech and Democracy in… Keep Reading

Judge Allows AT&T-Time Warner Merger to Proceed Over Objections of Trump Justice Department

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2018 - A federal district judge on Tuesday ruled that AT&T can proceed with its $85 billion merger with entertainment giant Time-Warner, spurning Justice Department arguments that the allowing the deal to proceed would harm consumers by driving up cable television costs. District Judge Richard Leon flatly rejected the Justice Department’s  contention that… Keep Reading

Broadband Technology is Powering a New Generation of TV Startups, Including Jeffrey Katzenberg’s

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: With Jeffrey Katzenberg getting into the game, we now see a multitude of video entities and many over-the-top outfits promoting an array of content offerings. Katzenberg's take? Short-form TV. Let a thousand flowers bloom! Katzenberg’s NewTV Video Startup Raises $800 Million, from Bloomberg Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg has secured about $800 million… Keep Reading

AT&T CEO Says Hiring Cohen Was ‘Big Mistake’ As Questions On Trump Administration Lawsuit Are Revived

WASHINGTON, May 13, 2018 - AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson on Friday announced that the company was parting ways with the executive responsible for hiring Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen in an apparent effort to grease the skids for the company’s merger with Time-Warner. The revelations of the AT&T payment to Cohen revived questions over whether Trump… Keep Reading

Facebook and Net Neutrality Aside, Local Broadband Leaders Can Make a Difference

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: While Washington alternatively obsesses over net neutrality, beating up on Facebook, or other distractions brought to us by the man in the White House, how refreshing is it to encounter a piece like this. Mark Howell is demonstrating that leadership on a local level can make a difference in bringing people what… 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

Facebook Data Breach is Putting Social Networking and Dating Apps in the Cross-Hairs of Congress

WASHINGTON, April 5, 2018 — As Facebook users continue to learn more about how the social networking pioneer allowed third parties to gain access to contact information, lists of friends, interests, and other information, the companies behind another social networking app are beginning to face scrutiny over whether they allowed far more sensitive information to… Keep Reading

Trump to Host Thursday Meeting at White House on Role of Video Games in School Gun Violence

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The debate over the role of violence in movies and video games never seems to end. President Trump's attempts to link video games to gun violence likely serves as another distraction effort in his "chaos"-driven White House. Trump reopens a seemingly settled debate on video games and violence, from PBS News Hour… Keep Reading

Democrats’ Seek #OneMoreVote for Net Neutrality and Launch Congressional Review Act Against Trump FCC

WASHINGTON, February 28, 2018 – Advocates of net neutrality are pushing for congressional action to overturn a December action by the Federal Communications Commission to repeal such rules. But they will have an uphill battle if they expect President Trump to sign off on gutting an action by his appointee to lead the FCC. In… Keep Reading

Jonathan Lee: Antitrust Division’s Flawed Case Against AT&T/Time Warner is Simply Too General

Telecom attorney Jonathan Lee takes down the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division's specious case against the AT&T/Time Warner merger in this detailed blog post, excerpted below. (Click on the link at the bottom for the whole argument.) Here's the money quote: "This alleged harm is simply too general to merit analysis." Assumptions On Assumptions:… Keep Reading

FCC/Media/Media Ownership/Wireless

Broadband Roundup: FTC Against Public Utility Broadband Regulation, Holder Slaps Tech Industry, and FCC Video News

WASHINGTON, October 2, 2014 ­- Federal Trade Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen warned that reclassifying broadband under public utility regulation including in Title II of the Communications Act would put ISPs beyond the legal reach of the FTC, the Washington Post reported. The item was previously reported in Broadband Breakfast. Currently, the FTC is not able to… Keep Reading

FCC/Media Ownership/Net Neutrality

Broadband Roundup: Incumbents Defend Data Caps, Comcast Cites Competition for Merger, and Wheeler Seeks Diversity of Media Ownership

WASHINGTON, September 24, 2014 –Verizon Communications and AT&T are urging the Federal Communications Commission to include the use of data caps in the agency’s definition of broadband. Including usage-based pricing in its definition is important because companies that use universal service funds to build networks in rural areas must accept the standards laid out in… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Wireless Data Exploding, Will Sprint Succeed with T-Mobile, Cybersecurity Bill

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2014 - A new study by Wireless Association CTIA reported that between 2012 and 2013, mobile traffic and data increased by 120 percent. That's 383 times the data usage from 2008. The result was $331 billion worth of investments into wireless networks last year, according to the association. On the communications merger… Keep Reading

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