Category: Regulation

Among the Tin Foil Hat Crowd

A study at MIT measured the effectiveness of alumninum foil helmets in blocking radio waves and suggests an unlikely rationale for at least one allocation of spectrum by the FCC: On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study: Among a fringe community of paranoids, aluminum helmets serve as the protective measure of choice against invasive radio signals. We… Read more →

DC Circuit strikes broadcast flag regs

The DC Circuit ruled today that the FCC exceeded its authority under its ancillary jurisdiction to enact a technological mandate for television receiving equipment that regulates with the use of broadcast information after than information has been received (aka the “broadcast flag”): American Library Association v. Federal Communications Commission (D.C. Cir. May 6, 2005). I’m on my way out to… Read more →

Brand X Reportage

Legal Times:  In Broadband Case, Justices Seem Attuned to Internet Services’ Arguments: “In a high-stakes dispute over the regulation of Internet access, the Supreme Court struggled Tuesday over how much deference it should give to a 2002 Federal Communications Commission decision freeing cable modem providers from the rules that govern telephone companies.” Washington Post: FCC Ruling Limits Competition, ISP Tells… Read more →

Broadcasting, flagged

Today, the D.C. Circuit held oral arguments in ALA v. FCC, the court challenge to the FCC Broadcast Flag requirement. Briefly, the broadcast flag is a technoligical mandate that would require all hardware capable of receiving a DTV signal, including general purpose computers, to include circuitry that would prevent the redistribution of any digital broadcast flagged as protected. Susan Crawford… Read more →

FCC’s Tyranny of the Minority?

Jeff Jarvis filed a Freedom of Information Act request to see the 159 complaints filed with the FCC concerning Fox’s broadcast of Married by America which led the Commission to levy a $1.2 million fine against Fox for violating indecency standards. Jarvis received a reply from the Commission: I just received the FCC’s reply with a copy of all the… Read more →

VoIP slips free of state regulation

Last week, the FCC exempted Vonage and other VoIP services from state regulation, even though the states have a role in regulating traditional telephone service (POTS), because VoIP is not tied to any particular state or any physical infrastructure. Memorandum Opinion and Order Press Relase: FCC Finds that Vonage not subject to patchwork of state regulations governing telephone companies Statements… Read more →

Is anti-spyware legislation necessary?

Government Computer News: FTC: Technology, not legislation, needed to fight spyware l Trade Commission commissioner Orson Swindle said that pending anti-spyware legislation is an election-year effort by Congress to appear to be taking meaningful action against a high-profile problem. Swindle and Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, warned during a Capitol Hill briefing today that… Read more →

Talking ‘Heads

David Weinberger blogged the Bellhead-Nethead Conference at Cardozo earlier this week: Bob Pepper, Chief of Poilicy Development at the FCC Bruce Mehlman, Internet Innovation Alliance Justification for Regulation, with Rebecca Arbogast, LeggMason; Daniel Benoliel, UC Berkeley, Law; Harold Feld, Media Access Project; James Gattuso, Heritage Foundation; Russell Hanser, FCC (speaking for himself and off the record [Blog off]); David Isenberg,… Read more →

An Expensive 0.59375 Second Wardrobe Malfunction

After receiving more than 542,000 complaints, the FCC assessed a $550,000 fine, the statutory maximum, against CBS for broadcasting the Super Bowl halftime show’s “wardrobe malfunction.” The fine was assessed on 20 CBS-owned local stations and not the other 200 independently-owned affiliates that broadcast the halftime show. Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture At the outset, review of the Broadcast… Read more →