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Register for the July Broadband Breakfast Club Event: “Over the Top: Broadband Video’s Impact on Future TV”

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Washington, Friday, July 12th, 2013 – BroadbandBreakfast.com will hold its July 2013 Broadband Breakfast Club event:

Over the Top: Broadband Video’s Impact on Future TV” on Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, 707 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001 from 8 am – 10 am.

Registration at: http://broadbandbreakfast.eventbrite.com

“Over the Top,” or video distribution directly over broadband networks, is the new way video is increasingly being consumed by a younger generation of internet users. What are the needs and preferences of this new generation, who watch films and programs on smart phones, tablets and laptops — but not on necessarily on televisions or through cable or broadcast programming? Apple’s iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Aereo and a range of other companies have begun to pave a new direction for what’s being called “future video” and “future TV”. What are the impacts of these new viewing patterns and video viewing options upon pay-television and broadcast providers? Are the new players in the broadband landscape able to purchase rights to also offer pay-television content? And is the traditional consumer “bundle” of television, telephone and broadband service no longer desirable for the typical consumer? These and other questions will be addressed by a panel of experts and moderated by Drew Clark, Chairman and Publisher of the Broadband Breakfast Club.

Details and Registration are available at:

http://broadbandbreakfast.eventbrite.com

Panel:

John Bergmayer
Senior Staff Attorney
Public Knowledge

John Bergmayer specializes in telecommunications, internet, and intellectual property issues. He advocates for the public interest before courts and policymakers, and works to make sure that all stakeholders–including ordinary citizens, artists, and technological innovators–have a say in shaping emerging digital policies. He is a member of the Colorado bar and a graduate of the University of Colorado Law School.

Daren Miller
Director
Content Partner Management
Centurylink

Daren Miller is a 30 year veteran of the telecommunications, cable and media industries. He currently serves as head of programming for CenturyLink. Miller’s responsibilities include content licensing and management for CenturyLink’s consumer video product platforms, including its wire line video service, PRISM, as well as its broadband portal. Prior to joining CenturyLink (formerly through Qwest Communications), Miller served in a number of senior management roles with TCI, Liberty Media and Fox Sports affiliates. He was the principal architect and manager of TCI’s, subsequently Liberty Media’s, portfolio of 15 regional sports networks and related businesses, now known as Fox Sports Nets. Miller has held roles in cable MSO programming licensing and television network management and operations for those affiliates. He has extensive experience in the negotiation of sports television programming as well as multiplatform pay television distribution rights. Miller is currently based in Denver, Colorado.

Michael E. Drobac
Senior Policy Advisor
Patton Boggs

Michael Drobac helps clients from the technology and telecommunications sectors define public policy objectives, develop strategic messaging in support of those objectives and define and execute outreach strategies. He advocates before Congress and federal agencies in support of policy objectives. Prior to joining Patton Boggs, Mr. Drobac was director of government relations for Netflix. He established and served as the first director of the company’s Washington DC office. Mr. Drobac also brings nearly ten years of experience in legislative affairs on Capitol Hill, acquired during periods of service to the offices of three United States senators. For Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Mr. Drobac reviewed all legislative items for the senator, with a primary focus on telecommunications and technology as well as judiciary matters, serving as lead policy advisor on Internet and technology issues for the Senate Commerce Committee.

Sharon Peyer

Founder

HitBliss

Sharon Peyer is a co-founder and VP, Business Development of HitBliss. In this capacity she oversees efforts related to the licensing of content distributed in the HitBliss store, efforts to attract third party brands to HitBliss Earn and HitBliss’ consumer marketing efforts. From 2004 until 2007, Sharon held similar responsibilities at Pixamo, a photo sharing and social networking startup that she co-founded and successfully sold. Prior to Pixamo, Sharon worked in a variety of entrepreneurial capacities primarily within the investment and venture capital industries in the United States and Europe. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University and a Master degree in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.

Eric J. Wolf 

Executive for Technology Strategy and Planning 

PBS 

Eric Wolf is PBS’ Vice President for Technology Strategy and Planning. He spends much of his time at the intersection of media, technology, public policy, and the future. He’s currently working on issues as varied as the upcoming spectrum auctions, PBS next generation of content distribution, and unified asset management tools for PBS’ internal departments. Prior to PBS, Eric spent 9 years with AOL leading groups that built products used by tens of millions of people around the globe. Earlier in his career Eric held technology and organizational leadership roles at Peter D. Hart Research, a public opinion research boutique, and Symbolics, Inc. He holds 3 U.S. patents in the realm of interactive communications and an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Political Science from Brown University.


Additional speakers have been invited

Moderator:

Drew Clark is the Chairman and Publisher of the Broadband Breakfast Club, the premier Washington forum advancing the conversation on broadband. Additionally, under his leadership as Executive Director of Broadband Illinois, he has helped unite the Land of Lincoln around a vision of Better Broadband, Better Lives. Illinois’ State Broadband Initiative has become the national model for public-private collaboration. Broadband Illinois provides the tools that citizens, communities and businesses need to get online and to get more out of their internet use. Clark earned his Bachelors of Arts (with Honors) in Philosophy and Economics from Swarthmore College, his Master of Science from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and his Juris Doctor from George Mason University School of Law. He has written widely on the politics of technology, entertainment and telecommunications for Ars Technica, GigaOm, National Journal, Slate, the Washington Post, and the Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property. He also serves on the board of the Rural Telecommunications Congress. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter.

American and Continental breakfasts are included. The program begins shortly after 8:30 a.m. Tickets to the event are $45.00 plus a small online fee.

The Broadband Breakfast Club is sponsored by Comcast, Google and US Telecom.

The Broadband Breakfast Club series meets on the third Tuesday of each month (except for August and December).

The upcoming event schedule can be viewed at

http://broadbandbreakfastseries.eventbrite.com

Read our website for broadband news and event write-ups

http://www.broadbandbreakfast.com

Videos of our previous events are available at:

https://broadbandbreakfast.com/category/broadband-tv/

Background on BroadbandBreakfast.com

BroadbandBreakfast.com is in its fifth year of hosting monthly breakfast forums in Washington on broadband policy and related subjects. These events are on the record, open to the public and consider a wide range of viewpoints. Our Broadband Breakfast Club meets on the third tuesday of every month (except for August and December).

Our elected official keynotes have included Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), Diane Watson (D-CA), James Clyburn (D-SC), Joe Barton (R-TX) and the former Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA).

Our agency and commission official keynotes have included Deputy Undersecretary for Agriculture Dallas Tonsager; FCC Wireless Telecommunications Chief, Ruth Milkman; former RUS Administrator Jonathan Adelstein, Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill; former Deputy Assistant Secretary NTIA Anna Gomez; and former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, among others.

Our moderated discussion panels are comprised of leaders from a wide variety of organizations including government, industry, law firms, academia, nonprofit, journalism and many others. Our audiences are equally diverse.

For More Information Contact:

Sylvia Syracuse
Director of Marketing and Events
BroadbandBreakfast.com
[email protected]
646-262-4630

Sylvia manages the Broadband Breakfast Club, on-the-record monthly discussion groups that meet on the THIRD Tuesday of each month. She has had a long career in non-profit development and administration, and has raised funds for technology and science education, and managed a project on health information exchange adopted by the State of New York. She understands community education and infrastructure needs for effective broadband access.

Big Tech

Government’s Reactive Nature Hobbling Tech Regulation, Expert Says

Congress may need another big tech breach to move earnestly on regulation, says consultant.

Samuel Triginelli

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Screenshot of Steve Haro at FiscalNote event

April 12, 2021 – The reactive nature of Congress to data crises means another breach of citizens’ privacy may be needed to spurn the next big legislative move, said a former congressional chief of staff.

“We still have questions to answer how to deal with technology dominance. We are not there yet because, unfortunately, Congress, for the most part, tends to act in response to crisis,” said Steve Haro, who is currently a government affairs consultant and was a former assistant secretary of commerce.

During a discussion sponsored by FiscalNote and CQ Rollcall, experts joined in a conversation on the current state of public policy for the tech industry and how influential Congress and the Biden-Harris admission will be on dealing with big tech.

Among the discussed issues was how the government will deal with intermediary liability provision Section 230.

Lawmakers have wondered whether the provision — which protects platforms from legal liability for posts by their users — offers too much protection to social networks when it comes to content moderation and disinformation. This central premise has spurned calls for a reform of Section 230; a number of Democrats have proposed their own bill to keep much of the protections except for paid posts.

“I do not believe 230 needs change, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have concerns,” Haro said. “I believe there is collective agreement this is still a necessary law, and it has worked. It has allowed the internet to build do what has become, good or bad.”

Haro pointed to the congressional hearings into Facebook’s handling of the Cambridge Analytica scandal three years ago, which saw the scraping of millions of user accounts without their consent. The result did not see substantial progress on regulations. “We might need another crisis to spur Congress into action,” Haro said.

Michael Drobac, principal at the law firm Dentons, said “we are not there, and I would say the thing that has been most present and clear is that in most of these hearings” the members of Congress are still trying to understand the technology to make a meaningful impact.

“The reality is that section 230 is as important today as it was when it was passed,” Haro said.

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Big Tech

Regulatory Commission Needed To Monitor Big Tech Collection Of Consumer Data, Professor Says

Derek Shumway

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Screenshot of Robin Gaster from Henry George School of Social Science

April 8, 2021 — There needs to be a digital regulatory commission created to ensure big tech cannot run wild with consumer data, said Robin Gaster, a George Washington University public policy scholar.

Gaster, who’s also president of Incumetrics, a data and program evaluation consultancy, published a book that was released this month about Amazon’s rise from an online bookstore to everything else.

Gaster sat down with Broadband Breakfast on Wednesday and talked about the e-commerce giant’s reach into industries like healthcare and its rapid collection of more consumer data. The solution, he proposes, is creating a “new digital deal,” which would see a sort-of digital Federal Communications Commission — an entity which has the resources and the person power to match Amazon’s growing force.

Amazon’s reach into health care needs to be met with proper oversight and ethics to ensure it really will protect consumer privacy, he said.

The e-commerce behemoth acquired PillPack, a prescription delivery company, developed the Amazon Halo, a competitor device to Fitbit, and launched Amazon Care, a telehealth app service. Add Amazon’s own Alexa AI platform into the mix and it has a stream of access to valuable data.

“I would absolutely imagine that five years from now, if you sprain your knee, you probably will not go on the Internet and look for things and trying to figure it out. You will say, ‘Alexa,’ I sprained my knee. What should I do?” said Gaster.

Amazon’s breakneck growth into healthcare is concerning because no one knows exactly what could or intends to do with all the data it possesses, Gaster said. With so much aggregated data across its products and services, Amazon needs to be held accountable for its actions so that if something goes wrong, there are ways to fix it that are open and trustworthy.

Gaster said governments and companies alike are playing “privacy theater” – they talk about protecting privacy, but it’s a mere performance put on to make it seem like they care about it, he said.

Alexa takes in all sorts of data from voice-commands and people’s Amazon accounts. It may as well be a virtual doctor someday, but people don’t know how or if they can control their data recorded by Alexa, Gaster said.

The notion that people can control their data is ridiculous, said Gaster. “We are walking across the digital plane naked. We have no clothes!” he said, adding no one can wade through the legalese in the terms and conditions and privacy statements.

Gaster’s book is entitled Behemoth – Amazon Rising: Power and Seduction in the Age of Amazon.

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Courts

Supreme Court Declares Trump First Amendment Case Moot, But Legal Issues For Social Media Coming

Benjamin Kahn

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Photo of Justice Clarence Thomas in April 2017 by Preston Keres in the public domain

April 5, 2021—Despite accepting a petition that avoids the Supreme Court deliberating on whether a president can block social media users, Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday issued a volley that may foreshadow future legal issues surrounding social media in the United States.

On Monday, the Supreme Court sent back to a lower court and ruled as moot a lawsuit over whether former President Donald Trump could block followers on Twitter, after accepting a petition by the federal government to end the case because Trump wasn’t president anymore.

The case dates back to March 2018, when the Knight First Amendment Institute and others brought a case against former president Trump in the Southern District of New York for blocking users based on their political views, arguing the practice is a violation of the first amendment.

The lower court judge agreed, and the decision was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals.

In accepting the petition by the government, Justice Thomas stated that adjudicating legal issues surrounding digital platforms is uniquely difficult. “Applying old doctrines to new digital platforms is rarely straightforward,” he wrote. The case in question hinged on the constitutionality of then-President Trump banning people from interacting with his Twitter account, which the plaintiff argued was a protected public forum.

Thomas stated that while today’s conclusion was able to be vacated, that likely would not be the case in the future. He went on to say that digital platforms exercise “concentrated control of so much speech in the hands of a few private parties.”

He continued: “We will soon have no choice but to address how our legal doctrines apply to highly concentrated, privately owned information infrastructure such as digital platforms.”

Even though Facebook and Google were not the platforms in question in this case, Thomas pointed to them as “dominant digital platforms” and stated that they have “enormous control over speech.” He stated that Google, Facebook, and Twitter have the capabilities to suppress information and speech at will, and referenced the “cataclysmic consequences” for authors that Amazon disagrees with.

Thomas also rejected the notion that other options exist.

“A person always could choose to avoid the toll bridge or train and instead swim the Charles River or hike the Oregon Trail. But in assessing whether a company exercises substantial market power, what matters is whether the alternatives are comparable.”

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