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Transparency

At the Scene of the Federal Communications Commission as the Agency Passes Net Neutrality Rules

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WASHINGTON, May 16, 2014 – In a Federal Commissions Commission meeting tinged with protest, the agency voted Thursday to begin a process to re-established certain network neutrality rules after they had been struck down by a federal appeals court in January.

On a 3-2 vote, the agency’s three Democrats kicked off a proceeding seeking public input on how to find a solution protecting and promote the open flow of information on the internet that will pass legal scrutiny.

Chairman Tom Wheeler retained the support of Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn – even though Rosenworcel said she only “concurred” with the proposal. […]

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‘On the Internet, No One Knows You’re a Child’: The Short Life of Aaron Swartz, at Sundance

in Broadband's Impact/Copyright/Innovation/Net Neutrality/People/Transparency by

PARK CITY, Utah, January 23, 2014 – On the internet, no one knows you’re a child.

That, at least, was the message I took from watching the film about the life of Aaron Swartz. The film, “The Internet’s Own Boy,” premiered this week here at the Sundance Film Festival, during which it received a sustained standing ovation.

The documentary is a biography of, and tribute to, the all-too-short life of Swartz, who died a year ago this month, at age 26.

Swartz had been under intense pressure from the federal prosecutors in Massachusetts. Criminal charges filed against him, if proven, could have imprisoned him for 35 years. Those charges stemmed from Swartz’s having downloaded millions of articles from JSTOR, a digital library of academic journals, onto a computer at the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While it is unclear what Swartz intended to do with the articles, it seems implausible that he would have republished them in an act of copyright infringement.

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Tech Industry and Non-Profit Groups Criticize National Security Agency’s Encryption-Cracking

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WASHINGTON, September 6, 2013 – In the wake of reports in The New York Times, ProPublica, and The Guardian that the National Security Agency had embarked on a system of cracking widespread industry-used encryption protocols, at least one industry group and non-profit organization highlighted the need for the nation to “redraw its boundaries around surveillance.” According to a statement…

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Video from February’s Broadband Breakfast Club on Data Caps

in Broadband Data/Broadband TV/FCC/Media Ownership/Mobile Broadband/Press Releases/Spectrum/Transparency/Wireless by

WASHINGTON, Thursday, February 21st, 2013 – The broadband policy news and events service BroadbandBreakfast.com held its February 2013 Broadband Breakfast Club event “Data Caps, the Spectrum Crunch and the Wireless Home” this past Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 at Clyde’s of Gallery Place. Speakers included: Keynote: Ruth Milkman, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission Panel: Roger Entner, Founder, Recon Analytics Nick Feamster, Associate Professor in…

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A Major League Baseball Player and the Evolution of the Internet, Media, and the Twitter-verse

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February 18, 2013 – When pitcher C.J. Nitkowski first started blogging in 1997, even he could never have predicted how fast the medium would grow. By his own accord, Nitkowski “fell into being the first active player on the web.” In 1997, the Houston Astros website, astros.com, asked Nitkowski to write a semi-annual newsletter chronicling…

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Cable and Telecom Providers Warm to Broadband Measurement, Speak at Broadband Breakfast Club

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WASHINGTON, Thursday, September 20th, 2012 – The internet policy news and events service BroadbandBreakfast.com held its September 2012 Broadband Breakfast Club event “Measuring Broadband Performance: What Have We Learned in Four Years?” on Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, 707 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001 from 8 am – 10 am. You can see highlights…

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The Future of Privacy in a Social Media and Networking World

in Broadband and Democratization/Cybersecurity/Media/Privacy/Social Media/Transparency by

WASHINGTON Thursday April 19, 2012 – First search, then social media, and now privacy concerns?  The digital world has transformed the way consumers access content; one can search an article they are interested in, subscribe to Google Reader, follow a friend’s recommendation from Twitter or read an article a co worker read via the Washington…

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Wireless Consumer Usage Notification Guidelines Agreed to by Industry and Consumer Groups

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WASHINGTON Monday October 17, 2011 – FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, CTIA The Wireless Association’s President and CEO Steve Largent and Consumers Union’s Policy Counsel Parul Desai  held a press conference at Brookings Institute yesterday morning to announce new “Wireless Consumer Usage Notification Guidelines.” Building upon their Consumer Empowerment Agenda, the FCC has been working with…

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Ookla Unveils Revamped Speedtest.net

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WASHINGTON, March 7, 2011 – Ookla, the company that owns and manages the connection testing website, Speedtest.net, relaunched the site Monday with an updated look and new functionality to better record consumer connection data.

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Verizon to Pay More Than $25M for Hitting Consumers With ‘Mystery Fees’

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WASHINGTON, October 28, 2010 – The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau hit Verizon Wireless with a record $25 million payment to the government for mystery fees the company charged its customers during the last several years.

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FCC Offers Online Tool to Search Licenses

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WASHINGTON, September 14, 2010 – The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday unveiled a tool allowing anyone to view licenses overseen by the agency. A quick tour of www.fcc.gov/licenseview, shows that there are about 3 million total managed licenses, of which about 2 million are active.

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FCC Seeks Input on How to Treat Specialized Services, Mobile Broadband

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WASHINGTON, September 1, 2010 – Sometimes, no matter what you do, things are complicated and you can’t please every one all the time. Welcome to the world of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski who said Wednesday that his agency is seeking more public input on issues related to specialized services and mobile broadband. While he didn’t specifically refer to the recent controversial policy pact made by Google and Verizon regarding managed services and wireless issues, he was presumably reacting to it.

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India Gives RIM Two More Months to Comply

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WASHINGTON, August 31, 2010 – India’s government has given BlackBerry-maker RIM two more months to comply with a request for increased access to e-mail from its users.

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Public Interest Groups Bemoan Reported Google, Verizon Secret Network Neutrality Pact

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WASHINGTON, August 5, 2010 – It has been reported that Google and Verizon are working on a secret pact about network neutrality. The New York Times says this pact will give Google products preferential treatment on the Verizon network. However both firms are claiming this is untrue. Public interest organizations however bemoan the entire concept of a secret pact.

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Internet’s Little Black Book Gets a Tighter Lock

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WASHINGTON, July 16, 2010 – A group of government bodies and a private entity with deep ties to the internet on Friday afternoon announced that they have taken additional steps to better protect internet users against cache poisoning and other cyber attacks.

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Tech and Content Industry Still at Loggerheads Over Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Deal

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WASHINGTON, July 13, 2010 – Major U.S. technology companies are worrying over an international trade agreement currently under negotiations because they see it as putting them on shaky legal ground.

At the third Intellectual Property Breakfast Club held by BroadbandBreakfast.com, panelists argued over the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and its potential impact on the technology industry.

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Trade Group Slams Administration Over Secret Trade Deal Negotiations

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WASHINGTON, July 6, 2010 – A communications and technology lobbying group is gnashing its teeth over a pending international trade agreement governing intellectual property that it says could bind U.S. firms and give internet access providers too much authority.

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Cybersecurity Legislation Gains Traction

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WASHINGTON, June 22, 2010 – House Intelligence Subcommittee Chairwoman Jane Harman, D-Calif., announced the consideration of new cybersecurity legislation introduced in the Senate last Wednesday. The bill, S. 3480, sponsored by Sens. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., Tom Carper, D-Del., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, is the “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act.”

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Experts Debate Lack of Transparency in Federal Spectrum Policy

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WASHINGTON, June 7, 2010 – Experts gathered last week to discuss problems surrounding transparency in federal spectrum policy and the challenges in addressing the issue. A recurring point of contention was the question of how to raise governmental consciousness of the price of spectrum, so as to prevent overuse by the government at the expense of the private sector.

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Court Orders Google to Turn Over Wireless Data in Portland Case

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WASHINGTON, May 31, 2010 – A U.S. District Court in Portland, Ore., has ordered Google to turn over wireless data from its Street View cars which was taken while photographing neighborhoods.

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Study: Consumers Experience ‘Bill Shock,’ Unaware of High Cell Phone Fees

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WASHINGTON, May 26, 2010 – A survey released today by the Federal Communications Commission found that one in six mobile users has been surprised by their unexpectedly high cell phone bill, an experience referred to as “bill shock.”

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UTOPIA, Perfection or Fantasy: Partnering public-private sectors with broadband

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UTOPIA, billed as providing light-speed to your door while connecting you with friends, family, entertainment, businesses, healthcare, and education, highlights itself as being part of your home, not owned by any network provider.

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Privacy Experts Urge U.S. to Engage in Global Debate, but Get Own House in Order

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WASHINGTON, May 7, 2010 – The United States needs to act as a world leader by using its talents to help develop an innovative global privacy framework, but it must get its own house in order to succeed, said privacy experts Friday at an event hosted by the Commerce Department.

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From the Department of Bogus Statistics: Measuring the Impact of Piracy and Fair Use

in Intellectual Property/International/Patents/Trademarks/Transparency by

SAN FRANCISCO, April 29, 2010 – Measuring the impact of the U.S. legal doctrine of “fair use,” which enables online activities such as search, limited copying, sharing, ripping, mixing and burning might seem impossible, but not to the trade group the Computer & Communications Industry Association. The group released a study saying it has measured the “Economic Contribution of Industries Relying on Fair Use.”

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Let Consumers See Clearwire’s Network: They’ve Got a Map For That

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By now, the omnipresent television commercials have drummed Verizon’s 3G message into all our heads: big red map good, splotchy blue map bad. But nascent national WiMAX provider Clearwire has taken the “maps” battle to a whole new level, in a way that potential wireless users might find more useful than anything offered by Verizon or AT&T: How about coverage maps that use real network data to show actual expected performance on a block-by-block level?

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ACLU Applauds New Google Information Request Tracking Tool

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WASHINGTON, April 26, 2010 – The American Civil Liberties Union is applauding Google’s new tool that tracks and displays the number of government requests that the company receives worldwide.

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State Telecom Regulators Urge ‘Sunshine Law’ Reform

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WASHINGTON, April 15, 2010 — Federal laws designed to guarantee public access to certain data should be revised to allow members of the Federal Communications Commission to meet more often and work together more efficiently, a group of state telecommunications regulators told members of a House committee in a Wednesday letter.

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Connecting America, Chapter 4: ‘Broadband Competition and Innovation Policy’

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Twenty-five years ago, the World Wide Web did not exist. Very few Americans had even seen a mobile phone, and broadband networks were available only to a few businesses and research institutions.

Today, innovations such as broadband and others like it drive the creation of a wide variety of products and services. The competitive forces that sparked these breakthroughs need to be nurtured so that the United States can continue to reap the benefits of its unrivaled culture of innovation.

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National Broadband Plan: A Look at Chapter 4 and FCC Recommendations

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WASHINGTON, April 1, 2010 – Section Four of the plan focuses on broadband competition and innovation policy. It’s one of the most far-reaching sections in the entire 360-page document. This second article summarizing Chapter 4 looks at the FCC’s overall recommendations to enhance the nation’s broadband ecosystem.

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Former FCC Commissioner Says Leave Broadband to Business, Not Government

in Broadband Updates/Broadband's Impact/FCC/National Broadband Plan/National Broadband Plan Commentary/Recovery Act/States/Transparency by

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2010 – Deborah Taylor Tate, a former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, lauds some of the agency’s National Broadband Plan, but cautions that government should stay focused on “light touch” policies that spur innovation.

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Connecting America, Chapter 3: ‘Current State of the Ecosystem’

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To see how broadband is transforming American life, walk down a busy street or pay a visit to any school, business or airport. Parents on business trips use their smartphones to check e-mail or watch short videos of their children playing soccer, hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away. Americans work together in real time on complex documents from different desks in the same office, and workers in different offices around the world collaborate via videoconferencing technology. Sales and field maintenance personnel use mobile devices to access inventory information in their businesses, place orders and update records, increasing efficiency and productivity. Students draw on the richness of the Internet to research historical events or watch simulations of challenging math problems. People are using broadband in ways they could not imagine even a few years ago.

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House Lawmakers Praise, Question FCC’s Broadband Plan

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WASHINGTON, March 26, 2010 – The Federal Communication Commission’s National Broadband Plan is an ambitious blueprint for the country’s future containing lofty goals and pragmatic solutions, and implementing it will require action from the agency and lawmakers, experts said Thursday at a hearing on Capitol Hill.

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‘National Purposes’ Aspect of National Broadband Plan Aims For Bold Actions Without Much Spending

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WASHINGTON, March 15, 2010 – Blair Levin, head of the Federal Communications Commission’s national broadband plan and the “national purposes” team at the agency previewed key points from the upcoming national broadband plan.

The object of the plan, they said, is not just to expand broadband networks, but to enable the creation of applications and innovations built upon that network. The six primary objective areas presented were healthcare, education, energy, civic engagement, economic expansion, and public safety.

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Chicago Sets its Sights on Ultra-Modern Web Site With Enhanced E-Government

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CHICAGO, March 12, 2010 – When the City of Chicago has tried its hand at computerized technology of recent, it hasn’t exactly been a hit with citizens.

Those fancy electronic signs on public transit platforms? They tell you everything except the time the next trains will arrive, a la London’s Underground. Those year-old parking meter kiosks that take credit cards? Convenient, perhaps—though they also ushered in an era of quadrupled parking fees.

So when city officials unveiled Chicago’s official new website Friday, they took great pains to emphasize that www.cityofchicago.org would make life simpler for residents, businesses and visitors alike.

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FCC Chief Discusses Agency Role in Merger Review Process

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WASHINGTON, March 11, 2010 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski explained his agency’s role in the merger review process on Thursday before senators, with an emphasis on the pending union of NBC Universal and Comcast.

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Experts Review Reform and Standards at the FCC

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WASHINGTON, March 8, 2010 – Panelists from the Federal Communications Commission, Capitol Hill, public interest groups and the private sector addressed issues of FCC reform and regulatory responsibility at “An FCC for the Internet Age: Reform and Standard-Setting, a half-day conference sponsored by Public Knowledge, Silicon Flatirons and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

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Study: FCC Could Improve Data Collection Practices

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WASHINGTON, March 2, 2010 – The Federal Communications Commission could do a better job of collecting and managing the information it gathers from consumers, businesses and other entities, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

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Google: Marrying Advocacy with Initiative

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Google’s entrance into the Broadband ISP arena may have lasting effects within the ISP community.

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Broadband Data Collection and Validation Must Be Rethought, Experts Say at Breakfast Club

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WASHINGTON, February 10, 2010 – The head of the Federal Communications Commission’s internal “think tank” said Tuesday that the agency was taking a fresh look at all aspects of its broadband data-collection processes: collection, validation and analysis, and dissemination.

Speaking to a roomful of panelists and telecom officials who attended Tuesday’s Broadband Breakfast Club in spite of the snow, Office of Strategic Planning Chief Paul de Sa said that the agency was sensitive to the need to balance proprietary information with the desire for transparency in its data-collection processes.

In a keynote on the topic of “Setting the Table for the National Broadband Plan: Collecting and Using Broadband Data,” de Sa began by asking questions that frame the work of the agency on broadband data.

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To Comcast-NBCU CEO’s: Consistency in Message to Regulators a Must

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Recent hearings before the House on the proposed merger between Comcast and NBCU drew both accolades and skepticism for regulators on Feb 4, 2010. The skepticism seemed to come from what was perceived as inconsistencies in previous statements by CEO’s Roberts and Zucker from what was being purported in the public meeting.

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