Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 20, 2014

Posts in "Telecom"

September 18, 2014

Disagreement Between FCC and its Watchdog Over New ‘Strike Force’

It was a jam-packed day of tech policy activity on the Hill Wednesday, with the Senate Judiciary Committee holding a hearing on net neutrality, a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee markup of a satellite television reauthorization bill, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler testifying before the House Small Business Committee, a House Judiciary subcommittee copyright hearing, and more. So, in case you missed it, there was an interesting rift that emerged between the FCC and its watchdog body during Wednesday’s House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on FCC oversight, CQ Roll Call’s Joanna Anderson reports (subscription).

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September 15, 2014

Anti- ‘Spoofing’ Bill Introduced in Senate

klobuchar 113 021114 445x321 Anti  Spoofing Bill Introduced in Senate

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., talks on her mobile phone in the Senate Reception Room on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House passed legislation aimed at stopping fraudulent caller-ID “spoofing” last week and now Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has introduced the Senate version of legislation that would expand existing anti-”spoofing” law to cover text messages and people calling from outside the country to U.S. recipients.

Under a law enacted a few years ago, it’s already unlawful for an individual to cause a caller ID service to send misleading or inaccurate caller-ID information with the intent to conduct fraud or cause harm. The bill, co-sponsored by Missouri Republican Roy Blunt,  would expand the law.

From a release from Klobuchar’s office:

The Caller ID Scam Prevention Act would broaden that law to combat new tactics used by criminals. This includes prohibiting foreigners from falsifying caller ID numbers when calling U.S. consumers and expanding the law to include text messages. The bill would also cover new internet-based VoIP services that enable callers to make outgoing-only calls from computers and tablets to mobile and landline phones.

The House last week passed a bill by freshman Democrat Grace Meng, D-N.Y., that’s substantively the same as Klobuchar’s bill, despite the different titles.

CQ Roll Call’s Melanie Zanona reported at the time that telephone spoofing was criminalized by a 2010 law, but lawmakers said legal loopholes and new technologies have let fraudsters continue the caller-ID scams. She also reported that the measure has drawn praise from both parties in the House and is likely to see similar Senate support.

September 12, 2014

Next Week: Net Neutrality, Big Data & Robotics Policy

It’ll be a busy week next week, with Monday being the deadline for filing Open Internet comments with the Federal Communications Commission, as well as a number of events here in Washington, among them the Federal Trade Commission’s big data workshop and the FCC’s Open Internet roundtables.

On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission holds a day-long workshop on big data and its impact on consumers, including the poor and under-served.

Also on Monday, The Brookings Institution hosts a panel discussion on robotics and the legal and regulatory policy surrounding it.

On Tuesday, the FCC hosts two roundtables on net neutrality, one in the morning on policy approaches  and another in the afternoon focusing on mobile broadband.

The Atlantic Council holds an event titled “The Final Frontier: Renewing America’s Space Program” on Tuesday.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler testifies before the House Small Business Committee in a hearing on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the Software & Information Industry Association holds an event releasing a report on the economic impact of the software industry.

The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a net neutrality hearing on Wednesday.

The House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday on the FCC’s budget and management, followed by another hearing by a Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee hearing on cross border data flows.

The House Judiciary Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Subcommittee holds a copyright hearing on Wednesday, followed by a hearing Thursday on U.S. Copyright Office oversight.

On Thursday, National Journal and The Atlantic hold an event on Hispanic millennials and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

On Friday, the New America Foundation and the Global Public Policy Institute host an event on “technology sovereignty” proposals.

The Progressive Policy Institute holds an event titled “Growing the Transatlantic Digital Economy” on Friday.


August 22, 2014

House Energy and Commerce Wants Comments on the Universal Service Fund

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has been looking to update the Communications Act and issued its latest white paper Friday on the Universal Service Fund. People seeking to comment on questions posed by the panel have until Sept. 19 to do so.

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By Anne L. Kim Posted at 5:01 p.m.
Broadband, Telecom

August 18, 2014

Wikipedia, Cybersecurity, and Aspen Forum This Week

Events on Wikpedia, cybersecurity, startups, and government use of technology to lower costs are on tap this week and the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum in Colorado continues early this week.

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August 8, 2014

FCC Chairman on Verizon’s Defense: “All the Kids Do It” Didn’t Work With My Kids

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler says part of Verizon Wireless’ argument  in response to his concerns about its plan to slow down speeds for some high-volume data users wasn’t sufficient.

“All the kids do it was never something that worked with me when I was growing up, and it didn’t work with my kids,” he told reporters on Friday.

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FCC Adopts Text-to-911 Rules

The Federal Communications Commission adopted rules on Friday requiring all wireless carriers and some texting apps to be capable of supporting texts to 911 emergency call centers by the end of the year.

In addition to covering wireless carriers, the rules cover texting apps that can send messages to any phone number, but they don’t cover those whose texts are limited to other users of the app. It also wouldn’t cover texts from Wi-Fi-only locations.

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August 4, 2014

Text-to-911, 3D Printing and Privacy Policies Abroad This Week

With Congress out of town, it’s the start of a quieter month, but there are at least a few events this week, including the FCC’s monthly open meeting.

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August 1, 2014

The App, Net Neutality and the Digital Divide

Facebook on Thursday announced an app from – a project among companies including Facebook which tries to expand Internet access in parts of the world where people aren’t connected – that lets mobile phone users connect to certain websites without incurring data charges, starting with Airtel customers in Zambia. A couple articles say that’s a good thing or at least has the potential to do so, but they also lay out questions about implications on net neutrality and the digital divide.

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July 30, 2014

Wireless Cramming: Consumers Took Big Hits, Report Says

A report released by a Senate panel estimates that unauthorized third-party charges on consumer cellphone bills, known as “cramming,” likely cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars over several years. It also states that wireless companies’ policies to address the issue and ” sometimes lax oversight left wide gaps in consumer protection.”

The Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is holding a hearing on the issue Wednesday afternoon and its report comes just a couple days after the Federal Trade Commission issued a staff report listing recommendations for industry to reduce mobile cramming. The agency also filed a lawsuit recently against T-Mobile, accusing the company of engaging in cramming.

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