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February 13, 2015

Weekend Reads: Public Shaming and Social Media and More

If you’re looking to catch up on your reading this long weekend, here are a few pieces to get you started.

The New York Times Magazine has a piece on public shaming and social media, focusing on the story of Justine Sacco: “So for the past two years, I’ve been interviewing individuals like Justine Sacco: everyday people pilloried brutally, most often for posting some poorly considered joke on social media.”

Re/code has a week-long series on Detroit and looks at tech startups in the city: “The next Detroit is a city of startups, growing like a coral reef built on top of the shipwreck of the last generation.”

The Los Angeles Times has a piece laying out the issues and broader context for the court case involving BMI and Pandora that started this week: “The backdrop to the trial is the rise of Internet music streaming as a cultural force — with more than 132.6 million users — bumping up against a rate-setting system with roots in the radio age.”

January 12, 2015

The Week Ahead: Cybersecurity, Communications Law and More

This week, President Barack Obama will announce legislative proposals and executive actions addressing cybersecurity, privacy and identity theft and broadband access, previewing his State of the Union address, according to a White House official this past weekend. Events discussing the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, communications law and digital security are on tap as well this week.


The House Foreign Affairs Committee holds a briefing titled “The North Korean Threat: Nuclear, Missiles and Cyber.” The briefing comes after the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has said North Korea is responsible for the cyberattack.

Heritage Action for America’s Conservative Policy Summit continues on its second day, which will include a session on digital security in 2015.


NetCompetition hosts a panel discussion on modernizing communications law.


The Bipartisan Policy Center hosts a panel discussion on strategic implications of the cyberattack on Sony Pictures.

January 9, 2015

Weekly Wrapup: Net Neutrality, Panel Changes & More

This week, the big news included Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler’s comments on Title II at International CES in Las Vegas and the announcement of DISH Network’s Sling TV, which will start offering select television channels delivered over the Internet, including ESPN.

At Technocrat, we had posts for you on net neutrality, changes on a House panel with jurisdiction over intellectual property, and more.

  • Online sales tax legislation could make it through this new Congress, but only if there are significant changes from the measure the Senate passed back in May 2013, per CQ Roll Call’s Katy O’Donnell.
  • Technocrat chatted with Arizona State University law professor Adam Chodorow, who wrote a piece in Slate this week on taxes and Mars. Apparently, tax law even specifies how to treat income earned from space activities.

December 5, 2014

Weekly Wrapup: Sports Blackouts, Intellectual Property Panel Chairman, Orion Test Flight

A Senate hearing on sports blackouts, the announcement of the next chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee with jurisdiction over intellectual property issues and NASA’s Orion crew capsule’s first flight into space was among the news this week.

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on sports blackouts and CQ Roll Call’s Rob Margetta reported (subscription) that senators and the National Football League exchanged threats over the issue.
  • A coalition of groups and companies, called the Stop Mega Comcast Coalition, opposing the Comcast Time-Warner merger was announced. The coalition includes satellite television provider Dish Network, Public Knowledge, Writers Guild of America, West, and NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, and others.
  • House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., announced Darrell Issa, R-Calif., as chairman of the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Subcommittee.
  • NASA’s Orion crew vehicle had its test flight which the Wall Street Journal described as “virtually flawless.” Technocrat had a preview here.
  • The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Pennsylvania resident Anthony Elonis, who was convicted in 2010 of a felony for making violent comments on Facebook and Technocrat had a roundup here.
  • Technocrat reported that Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.,  said there was “such potential for conflicting regulatory directives” from agencies when it comes to the Internet of Things and that the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee had a responsibility to “really look at the big picture and ensure that agencies aren’t conflicting with each other, that what is being done makes sense and… allows for future innovation that we can’t even anticipate right now.”

November 13, 2014

LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner Talks Education

Linkedin CEO Jeff Weiner talks to the audience before a town hall meeting with President Barack Obama on September 26, 2011 in Mountain View, California. (Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner talks to the audience before a town hall meeting with President Barack Obama on September 26, 2011 in Mountain View, California. (Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

It’s no secret that LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner has an interest in the issue of education and at a  Thursday event he talked about his personal investment in the matter.

“I got into business because I was interested in education reform,” he said at an event hosted by AtlanticLive. “And I can’t separate my career path from this interest in reforming education and democratizing access to information.”

Full story

October 15, 2014

Group of Moderate Democrats Call for Digital Literacy Study

A group of moderate Democrats are worried that schools aren’t doing enough on digital literacy and are a looking for a sweeping study on the status of the situation and ways to improve it.

Forty-three members of the House’s New Democrat Coalition sent a letter to the head of the National Academy of Sciences on Wednesday asking for a study that looks at factors like levels of digital literacy among pre-kindergarten through high school students and the types of digital education programs that are being deployed in schools.

“Being able to use technological tools at a fundamental level to access, analyze and understand electronic information is necessary for an individual to participate in the 21st century competitive economy and easily navigate our digital lives,” they write. “In order to maintain America’s competitiveness, we must improve these skills and address disparities in digital literacy across the country.”

Full story

By Anne L. Kim Posted at 3:18 p.m.

Mid-Week Catchup: Drones, Dropbox and “Double Irish” Tax Arrangements

A drone flies over vineyards of the Pape Clement castle, belonging to Bordeaux winemaker Bernard Magrez in the soutwestern French town of Pessac.    (JEAN PIERRE MULLER/AFP/Getty Images)

A drone flies over vineyards of the Pape Clement castle, belonging to Bordeaux winemaker Bernard Magrez in the soutwestern French town of Pessac. (JEAN PIERRE MULLER/AFP/Getty Images)

In case you missed it, some highlights from news this week include stories about Dropbox, drones and “Double Irish” tax arrangements.

Full story

October 14, 2014

The Week Ahead: FCC Meeting and the Future of Internet Regulation Event

The Federal Communications Commission holds an open meeting, the American Red Cross holds an event on video games and the laws of war and Tim Berners-Lee, Vinton G. Cerf and others are scheduled to participate at a Duke event on the future of Internet regulation.


The Society of Professional Journalists and the Medill School of Journalism hold a panel discussion on net neutrality and media.

The American Red Cross hosts an event on video games and the laws of war.


The Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative hosts a panel discussion on net neutrality rules and wireless Internet.

The Heritage Foundation hosts an event on regulation of the video marketplace.


The Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Caucus hosts a panel discussion on whether an update of the Communications Act needs to include the Internet.

The United States Institute of Peace hosts an event on the impact of technology on Afghanistan’s democratic process.


The Federal Communications Commission holds an open meeting.

Duke Law Center for Innovation Policy hosts an event titled “Internet Regulation in 2020.”

October 3, 2014

Weekly Recap: Football, Spectrum Incentive Auctions and Facebook Research

Happy National Manufacturing Day! Football, the spectrum incentive auctions and research processes at Facebook were among the issues that cropped up this week. Here’s a look at some of the highlights along with a few Technocrat posts in case you missed them.

Full story

September 30, 2014

FCC Eliminates Its Sports Blackout Rules

The Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted on Tuesday to eliminate its sports blackout rules and CQ Roll Call’s Rob Margetta reports that commissioners advised the National Football League not to try to keep their blackout policy going on their own.

“I hope that the NFL will not respond to today’s vote by digging in its heels,” Commissioner Ajit Pai said prior to the vote, Margetta reports (subscription).

Full story

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