Blog posts tagged with 'House'
Monday, March 18
At The Hill, Brendan Sasso and Jennifer Martinez report on a new initiative from the House Judiciary Committee to examine privacy protections for emails:
Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, police only need a subpoena, issued without a judge’s approval, to read emails that have been opened or that are more than 180 days old. Privacy advocates argue the law is woefully out of date and that police should need a warrant to access emails and other private messages.
Revising the law to protect all electronic communications, regardless of how old they are, is a top goal for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).
The House hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
Monday, November 19
As Verizon continues to battle the FCC’s net-neutrality regulations in court, the company has argued the rules are a violation of first amendment rights. This, Brendan Sasso of The Hill reports, is not sitting well with some Democratic House members:
Three top Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote a letter to their colleagues on Friday, calling attention to a “troubling” constitutional argument Verizon has made in its bid to overturn net-neutrality regulations.
Democratic Reps. Henry Waxman (Calif.), Anna Eshoo (Calif.) and Edward Markey (Mass.) warned that Congress’s power to regulate the communications industry would be severely restricted if the court accepts Verizon’s claim that the net-neutrality regulations violate its First Amendment free speech rights.
Wednesday, October 10
Josh Smith of the National Journal reports some House Republicans are unhappy with the FCC:
House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans are complaining that federal officials spent about $1 million to pay a British company to test American broadband speeds.
SamKnows, a company based in the United Kingdom that the Federal Communications Commission tapped to help measure broadband speeds, was the recipient of that $1 million, which came from $4.7 billion in stimulus funds set aside for broadband development.
The major complaint, Smith reports, is that funding for the initiative went overseas instead of staying here in the U.S. The FCC, for their part, has responded they are “mystified” by the complaint.
Wednesday, September 19
Last month, the House of Representatives voted to oppose regulation of the Internet by the United Nations (you can read our thoughts on the subject here). Now, Brendan Sasso of The Hill reports, the Senate is also taking up the cause:
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the sponsor of the resolution, said he is not sure when there will be a vote in the full Senate. He said scheduling can be a challenge, but he is hopeful the measure will pass with unanimous support.
“We haven’t found anyone who is against it yet, so that’s a good sign,” Rubio told reporters after the committee vote.
Sen. Rubio’s resolution was approved unanimously by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Friday, August 03
Yesterday, the House approved Rep. Mary Bono Mack’s resolution to preserve a multi-stakeholder Internet governance model. As Brendan Sasso of The Hill reports:
“Today’s unanimous vote sends a clear and unmistakable message: the American people want to keep the Internet free from government control and prevent Russia, China and other nations from succeeding in giving the U.N. unprecedented power over Web content and infrastructure,” said Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), who sponsored the resolution. “We cannot let this happen.”
Monday, July 16
Via John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable, the House Small Business Committee is scheduled to hold an important hearing about broadband access this week:
[O]n the list of witnesses for the hearing, Digital Divide: Expanding Broadband Access to Small Businesses, are former FCC commissioner and current Rural Utilities Service Administrator Jonathan Adelstein and National Telecommunications and Information Administration chief Larry Strickling. Strickling and Adelstein’s agencies are responsible for handing out and overseeing billions in broadband stimulus money.
The hearing is on the role of the federal government in expanding broadband to small business, particularly in rural areas.
The House hearing is this Wednesday, July 18. Also scheduled to testify is current FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. We’ll have coverage here on the blog and on Twitter.
Friday, July 13
Eliza Krigman of Politico reports that lawmakers in the House are increasingly applying pressure on the federal government to make more spectrum available for wireless use:
The Federal Spectrum Working Group, co-chaired by Reps. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), sent a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration on Tuesday asking for detailed information about the activities of government spectrum users. And lawmakers focused on the issue at a Federal Communications Commission oversight hearing earlier Tuesday.
“Federal spectrum can help alleviate the spectrum crunch,” Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) said. “We should conduct a spectrum inventory of the military and elsewhere to see how much they have to see what’s available that could help the private sector.”
Wednesday, July 11
There were some fireworks during yesterday’s appearance of the full FCC before the House Energy and Commerce’s subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Brendan Sasso of The Hill reports:
Republican lawmakers on Tuesday accused Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski of hypocrisy for opposing international efforts to regulate the Internet but leaving his own agency the power to do so.
At a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce’s subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) pressed Genachowksi on whether he will close the commission’s docket to re-classify the Internet as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act. Currently, the FCC considers the Internet an “information service,” but the agency has much broader authority to regulate the telecommunications industry.
The FCC’s docket on whether to re-classify the Internet has been open since 2009, but the agency has not taken any action.
According to Sasso, Chairman Genachowski responded the Commission was still in the process of gathering public comments about the re-classification docket.
Friday, June 22
On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved a resolution against international regulation of the Internet. As Brendan Sasso of The Hill reports, this drew praise from FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski:
“Proposals to abandon the multistakeholder model would be devastating to the future of the Internet, and I will continue to work with my colleagues at the FCC and throughout the U.S. government to oppose such proposals,” Genachowski said in a statement.
The resolution also earned praise from us at IIA on Wednesday, and in the comment thread for Sasso’s article our own Co-Chair Bruce Mehlman chimed in with this comment:
It’s exciting to see leaders such as Chairman Genachowski and Commissioner McDowell taking such a strong leadership role – on behalf of our nation—to protect the Internet from international regulation. The multistakeholder model, rooted in Internet freedom, has been critical to economic development and societal progress across the globe. These encouraging bipartisan efforts to keep the Internet open and free from oversight and control should also be reflected domestically—the innovations that have improved millions of lives and the information-sharing that has unlocked educational opportunities, economic growth and societal advancement depend on an unregulated Internet open to all, at home and abroad.
Wednesday, January 25
In last night’s State of the Union Address, President Obama highlighted the need to build out high-speed broadband to everyone in America:
Building this new energy future should be just one part of a broader agenda to repair America’s infrastructure. So much of America needs to be rebuilt. We’ve got crumbling roads and bridges. A power grid that wastes too much energy. An incomplete high-speed broadband network that prevents a small business owner in rural America from selling her products all over the world.
The President also called for “comprehensive cybersecurity legislation from Congress. As Gautham Nagesh of The Hill reports, that call received a swift response from key members of the Senate:
Senate Homeland Security chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) echoed President Obama’s call in the State of the Union for Congress to pass comprehensive cybersecurity legislation on Tuesday evening.
“The President’s call for Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation underscores the pressing nature of securing the government’s cyber systems and networks—and a limited number of private sector networks that touch the lives of all Americans,” Lieberman said.
Senate leaders have been working on legislation that would place the Department of Homeland Security in charge of regulating private networks, while in the House a more limited legislation has also been debated.
Tuesday, August 02
Via Sara Jerome of the National Journal, House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith [R-Texas] “urged federal regulators on Monday to see the benefits in AT&T’s proposed merger with T-Mobile USA.”