Technology, Media & Telecom Policy Correspondent
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May 31, 2012

U.S. lawmakers blast UN “power grab” for the Net

WASHINGTON, May 31 (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers on Thursday
said they are united when it comes to keeping the Internet free
from centralized control and preventing the United Nations from
gaining power over Web content and infrastructure.

The U.S. government wants to bring as much ammunition as
possible to a December meeting in Dubai where delegations from
193 countries will discuss whether to hand governance of the
Internet over to the United Nations.

May 30, 2012

Court fight over Internet rules likely delayed to 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The legal fight over the U.S. government’s new Internet traffic rules will likely drag into next year, according to a proposed court schedule.

The Federal Communications Commission in 2010 adopted “net neutrality” rules that forbid broadband providers from blocking access to lawful content, while leaving flexibility for providers to manage their networks. For example, while other rules block access to child pornography, the “net neutrality” rules do not allow blockage of material the provider may oppose for political or other reasons.

May 30, 2012

Congress to look at future of Internet control

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers will delve on Thursday into an international debate on whether to hand more control of the Internet to the United Nations, a move many fear would turn it into a political bargaining chip for censorship and global taxes on Web companies.

U.S. government officials are gearing up for a December meeting in Dubai where delegations from 193 countries will discuss whether the UN should have more say over how the Internet is organized and controlled.

May 24, 2012

U.S. weighs aircraft for post-disaster communications

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. regulators are looking for ways to accelerate the use of drones and other aerial technologies to restore communications after disasters like 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, which knocked out phone service for more than 3 million people.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said this technology would have been remarkably useful after Hurricane Katrina, which also crippled 38 emergency call centers in the New Orleans area.

May 23, 2012

Obama orders agencies to shift services to mobile apps

WASHINGTON, May 23 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama,
hoping to spur U.S. innovation in the explosive field of mobile
communications, on Wednesday ordered all major federal agencies
to make many more of their services available on mobile phones
within the next year.

“Americans deserve a government that works for them anytime,
anywhere, and on any device,” Obama said in a statement.

May 22, 2012

US broadcasters fight political ad disclosure rules

WASHINGTON, May 22 (Reuters) – The National Association of
Broadcasters has asked a federal appeals court to block new
rules that would force broadcasters to reveal online who is
paying for political campaign ads and just how much they are
shelling out.

The Federal Communications Commission adopted the rules last
month in an effort to provide insight on campaign spending ahead
of November’s congressional and presidential elections.

May 17, 2012

Dish: FCC timeline for wireless network unrealistic

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Dish Network Corp (DISH.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) told U.S. communications regulators on Thursday that their proposed timetable for Dish’s planned wireless network was unrealistic and carried too harsh a penalty for failing to meet requirements.

The second-largest satellite TV provider in the United States proposed that it have four years to reach an initial milestone, instead of the three years proposed by the Federal Communications Commission.

May 8, 2012

FCC’s Genachowski defends AT&T deal opposition

NEW ORLEANS/WASHINGTON, May 8 (Reuters) – The top U.S.
communications regulator on Tuesday defended his opposition to
AT&T Inc’s failed bid for T-Mobile USA last year and fired
back at claims that the decision caused price increases for the
wireless carrier’s customers and more inefficient use of
wireless spectrum.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius
Genachowski blasted AT&T for suggesting that U.S. regulators
worsened the spectrum crunch or prompted higher prices, during a
keynote speech at the CTIA annual wireless industry conference
in New Orleans.

May 8, 2012

Myspace settles U.S. FTC charges over privacy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Myspace social network has settled charges that it misled millions of users about sharing personal information with advertisers, part of a larger U.S. government effort to crack down on companies that cash in on consumers’ data without their consent.

The settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced on Tuesday will require the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company to create a comprehensive program that protects consumers’ information and bars Myspace from misrepresenting how it protects its users’ privacy.

May 8, 2012

Union warns Verizon cable deal could end competition

WASHINGTON, May 7 (Reuters) – Allowing proposed
multibillion-dollar airwave deals between Verizon Wireless and
several cable operators could mean the end of a competitive
telecommunications landscape, saddling consumers with higher
prices and diminished choice, the largest union for telecoms
workers told U.S. regulators.

Communications Workers of America has been a vociferous
opponent of Verizon Wireless’s plan to buy about $3.9 billion
worth of wireless airwaves from cable companies including
Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc.

    • About Jasmin

      "After graduating from Howard University, Jasmin joined Reuters as an intern in the summer of 2008. She was hired after that summer as a news assistant in the Washington, DC bureau, covering energy, agriculture, commodities and economic indicators. She now reports on the FCC, telecom issues, the technology industry's influence in Washington and other policy stories. Follow her on Twitter @jasminmelvin"
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