Last week, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and other large Internet service providers to promise to refrain from offering paid fast lanes on the Web. ISPs' responses are now beginning to trickle out, and so far they say they have no plans to enter into paid prioritization deals.
Web companies like Netflix, Democratic politicians, consumer groups and other net neutrality advocates have spent much of this year urging the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify broadband service as a public utility. Not surprisingly, broadband carriers say oppose this idea. On Wednesday, Verizon went one step further than merely voicing criticism: The company submitted a white paper arguing that reclassification "would be unlikely to survive appeal."
Verizon's move to get into the tech news business doesn't appear to be off to a great start. This week, the Daily Dot reported that the telecom's news site, SugarString, is banning stories relating to two of the most significant tech policy issues of the year -- net neutrality and surveillance by the U.S. government.
Online video provider Aereo got a big boost today from the Federal Communications Commission, which said it will consider new rules that could help the company restart its service. "I am asking the Commission to start a rule-making proceeding in which we would modernize our interpretation of the term 'multichannel video programming distributor' (MVPD) so that it is technology-neutral," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a blog post. "The result of this technical adjustment will be to give MVPDs that use the Internet (or any other method of transmission) the same access to programming owned by cable operators and the …
Online video distributor FilmOn is joining its rival, Aereo, in asking the Federal Communications Commission for help in obtaining a cable license. FilmOn revealed in an FCC filing that company executives recently met with regulators, in hopes of convincing them to redefine "multichannel video programming distributor" to include online services like itself and Aereo.
Advocacy groups, Democratic lawmakers and many Web content companies have spent much of this year urging the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service. Those in favor of reclassification argue that the FCC must take that step in order to impose legally enforceable net neutrality regulations that would require broadband companies to treat all traffic equally. Broadband providers don't like this idea. Today, the U.S. Telecom Association -- a trade group for Internet service providers -- argued in a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that treating broadband like a utility "will necessarily put investment and innovation …
A federal judge barred online video distributor Aereo from streaming over-the-air TV shows in real time to subscribers' smartphones and tablets, but cleared the way for the company to resume offering its remote DVR service. The order, issued today by U.S. District Court Judge Alison Nathan in New York, marks the latest turn in a two-year battle over the online service.
Longtime net neutrality supporter Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) is adding her voice to calls for the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify broadband as a public utility. The lawmaker says the FCC should prohibit broadband providers from blocking or throttling traffic, and from creating paid fast lanes. "Reclassifying broadband providers as 'telecommunications service' providers is the best and surest way to accomplish these objectives," she writes today in a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.
The Federal Trade Commission has tapped privacy researcher Ashkan Soltani to serve as its new chief technologist. Soltani's appointment is seen as signaling the FTC's continued interest in online companies' privacy and data practices. The high-profile Soltani recently contributed to the Washington Post's prize-winning articles about former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's surveillance revelations. Soltani also consulted with The Wall Street Journal for a series of pieces about tracking by online ad companies. In addition, he has consulted with state regulators engaged in privacy investigations.
Last year, copyright holders sent Google more than 224 million requests to remove search results that linked to allegedly pirated content. The company granted 99% of those requests, with an average turnaround time of less than six hours. That's according to Google's latest report on piracy, released late last week.