How Much Control Do You Actually Have Over Your Private Data?

Library of Congress

“Privacy” is the buzz of our era, but… what even is privacy? Different consumers, businesses, and regulators each have their own definitions and perspectives on the issue, while the law, too, is always evolving. [More]

inajeep

FCC Explains Cable Set-Top Box Proposal, Everything Else It Does To Senate (Again)

Election years beget a compressed Congressional schedule. The House and Senate just got back to work in D.C. after a six-week break, and will be taking another six-week break as soon as we hit October 1 (picking up again after the election), so everything the committees want to do has to get done now. Like bringing in all five FCC commissioners for another episode of everyone’s favorite series, The FCC Explains And Defends Literally Everything It’s Doing. [More]

Do You Have A Cable Box Horror Story? Tell Us All About It

Ryusaisei

Between the FCC’s efforts to reform the set-top box market and the cable industry’s thinly veiled threats of litigation — not to mention divided opinions on the issue on Capitol Hill — the old cable box is a big topic of conversation these days. And while much of the focus has been on the billions of dollars the cable and satellite companies make from monthly lease fees on these devices, we’d like to hear from people who have had to go toe-to-toe with their pay-TV provider over their set-top boxes. [More]

Comcast Already Crying That FCC Set-Top Box Proposal Violates Federal Law

Knight725

Within minutes of FCC Chair Tom Wheeler unveiling his final proposal for reforming the multibillion-dollar set-top box market, Comcast was already firing back, accusing the Commission of violating the law and hinting at a legal challenge to come. [More]

geetargeek

Final FCC Set-Top Box Proposal: Free Apps And Integrated Search For All

Remember how earlier this week the rumor mill had it that the FCC’s long-awaited final set-top box proposal was due out this week? The gossips were right; chairman Tom Wheeler’s office circulated it today.

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FCC Chair On 5G Future: “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet.”

FCC Chair On 5G Future: “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet.”

If you’re the wireless industry, you have to pay attention to the FCC. Everything it does determines everything you can do. So it’s not surprising that at the industry’s big annual event today, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler would take the stage for a keynote. And in that speech, he brought together a whole bunch of different FCC actions into one whole picture of what he hopes the communications future can be.

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geetargeek

Revised FCC Set-Top Box Proposal Inches Closer To Reality

Early this year, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler put forth a proposal: how about doing away with those set-top boxes you’re required to rent, for lots of money, in order to watch pay-TV? After all, it’s 2016, surely we can do better? Naturally, the suggestion became an instant political football. But after seven months of working it out, the rumor mill says a compromise is on its way. [More]

Court Throws Out Federal Government’s Lawsuit Over AT&T “Unlimited” Data Plans

C x 2

Nearly two years ago, the Federal Trade Commission sued AT&T for allegedly misleading wireless customers by charging them for “unlimited” data plans while simultaneously throttling their cellular connection speeds when they passed certain monthly thresholds. AT&T failed in 2015 to get the case dismissed in District Court, but yesterday succeeded in convincing a federal appeals court to throw out the government’s complaint. [More]

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AT&T: FCC Has “No Legal Or Factual Basis” To Issue Us Fine For Overcharging Schools

Back in July, the FCC accused AT&T of badly overcharging some Florida schools for their telecom service. AT&T fired back that the FCC’s claims were meritless and that it looked forward to fighting. AT&T is in this at least as good as its word, and has filed its reply.

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FCC’s Robocall Strike Force Kicks Into Action Today

FCC’s Robocall Strike Force Kicks Into Action Today

Last month, after FCC Chair Tom Wheeler called on the telecom industry to finally do something about the nuisance of pre-recorded, auto-dialed robocalls, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson agreed to head up a joint private-public Robocall Strike Force tasked with actually doing something about these calls. Today, this elite squad of telephonic titans is meeting for the first time. [More]

What You Need To Know About New Rules Allowing Debt Collection Robocalls From Feds

Joe M. O'Connell

If you ask any American to name the things they love the most, they are sure to reply, “debt collectors, intrusive pre-recorded phone calls, and the federal government!” So today — under orders to do so from a piece of rushed, tacked-on legislation — the Federal Communications Commission released its final rules allowing the federal government and some of its contractors to make debt-collection robocalls to wireless lines. [More]

Appeals Court: Municipal Internet Is Great, But States Can Still Restrict Access

Steve

More than a dozen states have laws that either prohibit counties and cities from operating their own broadband internet networks, selling service directly to consumers, or expanding their service behind a prescribed footprint. In 2015, the FCC voted to preempt two of these laws — in Tennessee and North Carolina — but this morning a federal appeals court says the FCC lacks the legal authority to do so. [More]

Ben Roffelsen Photography

FCC, Historic Preservation Groups Agree To Speed Up This Whole 5G Deployment Thing

For an agency that telecom companies like to lambaste as old-fashioned, out-of-touch, and wedded to the past, the FCC sure is speeding up full-tilt into the future. To wit: the Commission is streamlining a bunch of regulations to make it as easy as possible to build 5G networks as fast as possible.

[More]

jetsetpress

AT&T Penalized $7.75 Million For Allowing Scammers To Charge Bogus “Directory Assistance Service” Fees

Nearly two years after AT&T was hit with a $105 million settlement over bill-cramming — the practice of letting third parties place questionable or false charges on customers’ phone bills — the Federal Communications Commission says the company has agreed to pay another $7.5 million to close the book on additional cramming accusations involving a bogus directory assistance service. [More]

Great Beyond

FCC Adjusts, But Still Can’t Implement, Caps On Sky-High Rates Prisoners Pay To Call Home

We’re used to saying that someone is a “captive audience” for a major monopoly, but for the millions of Americans living behind bars, that phrase becomes painfully literal. Phone companies that connect inmates to their loved ones on the outside have for years taken advantage of their position with sky-high rates and fees, but the FCC is once again stepping in to help mitigate the problem.

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YayAdrian

Comcast: Consumers Are Harmed If We Don’t Get To Charge Extra For Privacy

Internet service providers like making money. They don’t like regulations that prevent them from any avenues that could make them money. And they will argue basically anything they can think of to help prevent those regulations from happening. Like, for example, suggesting that you, the consumer, will actively suffer harm if Comcast and others aren’t allowed to charge you extra for keeping your data to yourself.

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Lenka Reznicek

FCC Wants To Fine Pair Of Idiots $25K Each For Faking Caller ID Of Prison, School To Harass Ex-Wife

Spoofing — the practice of sending out fake caller ID information to disguise the caller’s real identity — is legal, so long as it’s not done to deceive or harm anyone. Reporters, victims of domestic abuse, human rights organizations, all legally use spoofing to protect their locations or sources. This sort of trickery is definitely not allowed when it’s deployed just to make harassing phone calls to your ex. [More]

Tom Richardson

Cable, Wireless Industries Try Yet Again To Take Net Neutrality To Court

We have had had net neutrality as the law of the land for over a year now. Lawsuits immediately followed its implementation, of course, but the appeals court took the FCC’s side. So if you’re industry and you’re still ticked off, what’s left? Ask for a do-over… if you can get one.

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