Internet Issues

Net Neutrality: The Power to Act - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Daniel Lyons, Michael Weinberg, Randolph J. May August 04, 2014

After suffering two judicial setbacks already, most recently in the D.C. Circuit’s Verizon v. FCC decision this past January, the Federal Communications Commission is once again proposing to adopt new net neutrality regulations. The proposed regulations would bar internet service providers from blocking access to any lawful website or from engaging in commercially unreasonable practices. A key aspect of the FCC’s proposal drawing considerable attention concerns whether the FCC should bar so-called paid prioritization of internet traffic.

In this Teleforum, three experts with divergent views addressed whether there is any need for the FCC to adopt any new neutrality regulations and, if so, whether the agency possesses the legal authority to do so. Two principal legal theories that may support FCC action were discussed – using the FCC’s existing authority under Section 706 of the Communications Act or classifying internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Act. The panelists also discussed the most important question of all: whether and how net neutrality regulation might affect consumer welfare.

  • Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • Prof. Daniel Lyons, Boston College Law School
  • Michael Weinberg, Vice President, Public Knowledge
  • Moderator: Randolph J. May, President, The Free State Foundation

Beyond Heartbleed: Encryption, Zero-Day Exploits, and The NSA - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Paul Rosenzweig, Chris Soghoian, Vincent J. Vitkowsky April 25, 2014

computer chip

The recent discussion of whether the National Security Agency knew about and exploited the Heartbleed bug demonstrates a larger cybersecurity dilemma. The NSA has two missions: conducting foreign cyber spying operations and protecting key U.S. cyber networks from external breach. In carrying out these missions, there is an inherent tension whenever a vulnerability is discovered. "Zero-day vulnerabilities" are software defects that are unknown before they are exploited. When should they be exposed and eliminated, and when should they be preserved and exploited? Encryption protects privacy and communications security. When, if ever, should the NSA seek to subvert, undermine, or weaken the encryption systems of commercially available software?


  • Paul Rosenzweig, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Principal, Red Branch Law and Consulting
  • Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, American Civil Liberties Untion
  • Moderator: Vincent J. Vitkowsky, Partner, Seiger Gfeller Laurie LLP

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The Internet: Are We Losing Control? - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
John M.R. Kneuer, Patricia J. Paoletta April 02, 2014


On March 14, 2014, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its plan to transition its key internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community. It has asked the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to commence the multistakeholder process to develop the transition plan.

NTIA administers changes to the authoritative root zone file – the database containing the lists of names and addresses of all top-level domains – and serves as the historic steward of the Domain Name System. NTIA currently contracts with ICANN to carry out the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions and has a cooperative agreement with Verisign under which it performs related root zone management functions. ICANN’s government contract expires September 30, 2015. NTIA has indicated that ICANN’s transition plan must adhere to four principles. It must:

  • Support and enhance the multistakeholder model
  • Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS
  • Meet the needs and expectations of the global customers and partners of the IANA services
  • Maintain the openness of the internet

In this Teleforum, we discussed the implications of this pending transition and its potential impact on a free and open internet.


  • Hon. John M.R. Kneuer, President and Founder, Kneuer LLC
  • Patricia J. Paoletta, Partner, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP

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Cybersecurity and the NSA - Event Audio/Video

2014 Annual Student Symposium
Stewart A. Baker, Randy E. Barnett, Jeremy A. Rabkin, Ricky Polston March 25, 2014

Cybersecurity and the NSA - Event Audio/VideoThe NSA acts pursuant to broad statutory authorities, and has interpreted those statutes to enable vast data collection programs. Two programs in particular, programmatic surveillance of the content of communications and bulk collection of metadata have become the subject of heated public and scholarly debate. Are these programs consistent with the NSA’s mission to gather foreign intelligence and to defend U.S. government information systems? Have the leaks about these programs jeopardized national security, or have they enhanced public accountability? Is there a better way to strike a balance between privacy and security?

The University of Florida Student Chapter hosted this panel discussion during the 2014 Annual Student Symposium on Saturday, March 8, 2014.

9:00 – 10:45 a.m.
J. Wayne Reitz Union

  • Mr. Stewart Baker, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
  • Prof. Randy Barnett, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Prof. Jeremy Rabkin, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
  • Moderator: Chief Justice Ricky Polston, Florida Supreme Court

University of Florida Levin College of Law
Gainesville, FL

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