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January 31, 2015

Posts in "Net Neutrality"

January 30, 2015

Weekly Wrapup: Internet of Things, Internet Governance and NASA Budget

Among the news this week, the Federal Communications Commission changed its definition of what constitutes advanced Internet access and Google Fiber announced four more metropolitan areas where it would deploy. At Technocrat, we had posts for you on the Internet of Things, Sen. John Thune’s speech at the American Enterprise Institute and more.

  • The Federal Trade Commission released a staff report on the Internet of Things. Among the takeaways was the report’s determination that it’s “preemptive” to enact legislation specific to this area of technology.
  • Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune, R-S.D. laid out his to-do list on tech issues and among the matters he discussed: net neutrality and Internet governance.
  • If you’re lucky enough to go to the Super Bowl, the Federal Aviation Administration reminds you not to fly your drone.

January 28, 2015

State of Play on Net Neutrality Legislation: It’s Still a GOP Bill

A number of Democrats on the Hill see issues with a net neutrality bill proposed by GOP leaders of the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committees. On Wednesday, the chairman of the Senate panel gave a state of play on whether any Democrats are on board the proposal. The short answer: none yet.

“We’ve been trying to get buy in from… some Democrats,” John Thune, R-S.D., at an event hosted by the American Enterprise Institute.

“If we’re gonna come up with a legislative solution… we’re gonna have to have some Democrats on board,” he said. “We haven’t landed anybody with certainty yet, but we’ve got a lot of folks that are looking at it, we’re keeping the negotiations open.”

He later said: “I’m hopeful that we’ll be able at some point to pull some Dems into this discussion and perhaps even get some on board with a legislative solution, but I don’t have anything to report today in terms of success with that.”

January 26, 2015

The Week Ahead: State of the Net, Data Breach Hearing & FCC Open Meeting

The State of the Net Conference, a House hearing regarding data breach legislation and the Federal Communications Commission’s January open meeting are on tap for this week.


The Federal Communications Commission hosts a “Small Business & Emerging Technologies Conference and Tech Fair.”

A subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee holds a hearing titled “What are the Elements of Sound Data Breach Legislation?”

A subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee holds a cybersecurity hearing.

The Internet Education Foundation hosts its annual State of the Net Conference.


The American Enterprise Institute’s Center for Internet, Communications and Technology Policy hosts an event on tech policy issues in 2015.

The Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy hosts a panel discussion on media mergers and independent programmers.

A subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee holds a hearing on supercomputing.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee holds a hearing titled “Protecting America from Cyber Attacks: The Importance of Information Sharing.”


The Center for Democracy and Technology holds an event titled “Always On: The Digital Patient.”

The Federal Communications Commission holds its January open meeting.

George Mason University School of Law’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property co-hosts a discussion on patents and startups.

January 23, 2015

Weekly Wrapup: SOTU, Net Neutrality and Patents

It was a short but busy week and your Weekly Wrapup includes posts on the State of the Union address, net neutrality hearings and patents.

  • President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address and in advance of the speech, Technocrat had a roundup of a few stories that at least touched upon social media and either White House strategy or lawmakers.
  • Among the issues that weren’t mentioned in Tuesday’ night’s address was patents, and  a couple proponents of legislation targeting abusive patent litigation said they were disappointedMichelle K. Lee, deputy director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, later said it wasn’t a reflection of any change in priorities.
  • Lawmakers on the Hill held net neutrality hearings and Technocrat had a post on interesting quotes from a couple House Republicans showing their current approach to the issue.
  • Oh, and Valencia Martin-Wallace has been promoted to a newly-created job at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office — deputy commissioner for patent quality.

January 22, 2015

BlackBerry Calls for ‘Content/Application Neutrality’

When talking about of the scope of net neutrality rules, debate in Washington has focused on issues like wireless broadband and interconnection. On Wednesday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen wrote in a blog post that rules should also cover content and application providers.

“Therefore, any net neutrality legislation must take a holistic view of the entire playing field, addressing both carrier neutrality and content/application neutrality,” he writes in the post, which notes that it’s adapted from a letter sent to leaders of the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committees.

Full story

January 21, 2015

Shimkus: ‘We Need to Get This Monkey Off Our Back’

In part one of today’s double-dose of net neutrality hearings, issues discussed ranged from wireless to “specialized services.” A couple of the interesting comments from the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing and afterwards highlighted GOP thinking on net neutrality and draft bill that was released by Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Commerce Science Transportation Committees last week.

“I’m a paid prioritization guy,” said Illinois Republican John Shimkus, arguing money has to be made if billions of dollars are going to be invested every year-and-a-half and that his position has been to ensure expansion of Internet infrastructure.

“But that was then, this is now,” he said.  “We’re in a new world order where I think we have now looked at the debate and said… we need to get this monkey off our back.”

Some certainty and rules were needed, he said.

Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., answering a question from a reporter  about whether he was worried that some conservatives wouldn’t back any type of Internet regulation, said:

They’ll have to make their own decisions, but I think in the face of what the FCC’s going to do is far worse and not legally sustainable and will have a negative effect on the market that… they’ll see this as a better course of action with certainty. And we found support among a lot of those groups who like we didn’t think that the Internet’s broken and needed top-down government control. We can offer up something different and better here that enshrines the principals people care about without this forbearance of all these laws.

Walden, who released the draft bill last week with full panel chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., later said:  “If it’s gonna be done, it’s going to be done. Right? The FCC’s gonna do it. We’ve got to do it right.”

Obama’s Tech Talk in SOTU

President Barack Obama’s call for lawmakers to pass legislation to address “cyber-attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information” in his State of the Union address wasn’t a surprise given his announcements last week in advance of Tuesday night’s speech, but he also mentioned net neutrality, surveillance and space in his speech. Below are some of his science and tech-related mentions:

  • “I intend to protect a free and open internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks, so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world.”
  • “21st century businesses need 21st century infrastructure — modern ports, stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest internet.”
  • “No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids. We are making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as we have done to combat terrorism. And tonight, I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber-attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information.”
  • “So while some have moved on from the debates over our surveillance programs, I haven’t. As promised, our intelligence agencies have worked hard, with the recommendations of privacy advocates, to increase transparency and build more safeguards against potential abuse. And next month, we’ll issue a report on how we’re keeping our promise to keep our country safe while strengthening privacy.”
  • “I want Americans to win the race for the kinds of discoveries that unleash new jobs — converting sunlight into liquid fuel; creating revolutionary prosthetics, so that a veteran who gave his arms for his country can play catch with his kid; pushing out into the Solar System not just to visit, but to stay. Last month, we launched a new spacecraft as part of a re-energized space program that will send American astronauts to Mars. In two months, to prepare us for those missions, Scott Kelly will begin a year-long stay in space. Good luck, Captain — and make sure to Instagram it.”

January 20, 2015

The Week Ahead: Net Neutrality, Cybersecurity and Patents

The State of the Union and congressional hearings on net neutrality are on tap this week, as well as a number of other events on cybersecurity, patents and more.



  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s deputy director, and Obama’s nominee to head the patent office, Michelle K. Lee, is slated to talk at The Brookings Institution.

January 16, 2015

GOP Telecom Panel Leaders Release Draft Net Neutrality Bill

Earlier this week, GOP leaders on the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee outlined a net neutrality proposal and on Friday, they released the actual legislative text.

“By clearly outlining the appropriate rules of the road, and leaving twentieth century utility regulation behind, we can be sure that innovators continue full throttle in bringing remarkable new technologies to all Americans,” said Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in a statement.

Full story

Weekly Wrapup: Net Neutrality, Obama and Space Debris

Get ready for a double feature of net neutrality hearings from the House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over telecom next week. This week, the GOP chairmen the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee laid out a net neutrality proposal in a Reuters op-ed and released legislative text as well.

In case you missed them, other Technocrat coverage included posts on space debris, stress and technology and more:

  • The Pew Research Center released a report on stress and technology. Here’s our takeway from the report: if you’re stressed out and you think it’s because of all that texting and tweeting, don’t blame it on frequent use of Internet and social media itself. There is, though, something to be said about social use of technology and knowing about stressful events in others’ lives.
  • Technocrat also had a roundup of a few stories on issues covered in President Barack Obama’s multiple tech-related announcements this week that either give you a sense of stakeholder reaction, the current landscape or another announcement made in one particular state.
  • Among the findings in a recent Government Accountability Office report: the government watchdog contends that there are several reasons why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s estimate of a minimum three-month potential gap in satellite data could occur sooner and last longer than anticipated. One of those reasons has to do with space debris.

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