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Media Law

The Internet: Are We Losing Control? - Podcast

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

UNinternet

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.

Featuring:

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

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Communications Act Reform - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Shawn H. Chang, Randolph J. May, David Redl March 19, 2014

communications dish

In December 2013, Rep. Fred Upton, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, and Rep. Greg Walden, Chairman of the Committee's Communications and Technology Subcommittee, announced plans to use 2014 to begin a review process leading to an update of the Communications Act of 1934.  Rep. Walden announced in a news release that the committee plans “to look at the Communications Act and all of the changes that have been made piecemeal over the last 89 years and ask the simple question: ‘Is this working for today’s communications marketplace?’”  The statute has not been changed in any material way since 1996, when the internet was just beginning to be used on a widespread basis and broadband services were only then emerging.

The participants in this Teleforum addressed fundamental questions, such as: whether an update to the Communications Act is needed and why; if an update is desirable, what a new Communications Act should like, including, more specifically, how the structure of the act should be changed along with the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission.

Featuring:

  • Mr. Shawn H. Chang, Majority Counsel, Communications and Technology Policy, Committee on Energy and Commerce, United States House of Representatives
  • Mr. Randolph J. May, President, The Free State Foundation
  • Mr. David Redl, Chief Counsel for Communications and Technology, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives

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The Internet: To Regulate, or Not to Regulate - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
John Bergmayer, Randolph J. May February 21, 2014

FCC logoOn January 14, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its decision in Verizon v. FCC, the case regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order. The decision leaves the door open for the FCC’s regulation of the internet, but strikes down certain provisions of the Order, leaving many to wonder what the future holds for innovation, experimentation, and competition in the online marketplace.

While the court did not unequivocally uphold the Commission’s net neutrality protections, it recognized the FCC’s authority to regulate broadband internet service and access under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and found that open internet requirements would promote deployment. Specifically, it found support for the Commission’s conclusion that absent open internet requirements, “broadband providers represent a threat to Internet openness and could act in ways that would ultimately inhibit the speed and extent of future broadband deployment.” The court also deferred to the FCC’s finding that broadband providers have the ability to impose restrictions on edge providers’ conduct, particularly given end users’ inability to immediately respond to ISPs’ activities in this regard. Nonetheless, the court vacated and remanded the non-discrimination and no-blocking requirements adopted in the Order on the basis that they improperly constitute common carriage regulation of broadband services, but left in place the FCC’s transparency (i.e., disclosure) requirements.

Randy May and John Bergmayer held a spirited discussion about this landmark decision.

Featuring:

  • John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney, Public Knowledge
  • Randolph J. May, President, The Free State Foundation

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A Conversation with Federal Trade Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Dean A. Reuter December 19, 2013

Maureen OhlhausenMaureen K. Ohlhausen was nominated to the Federal Trade Commission by President Barack Obama and, on March 29, 2012, was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate. She will be participate in a Teleforum on the FTC’s activities in the area of consumer privacy, including recent revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.

The rise of sophisticated technologies over the last few years has allowed websites and other online entities to gather and distill large amounts of data about particular internet users. Although there are many efficiency gains from this activity, such as the development of new services and better-targeted advertising, people have also become concerned about possible invasions of privacy from monitoring an individual’s internet activity. Recognizing that children’s online privacy is an especially sensitive area, COPPA prohibits an operator of a website or online service that is directed to children, or who has actual knowledge that it is gathering personal information from a child, from collecting such information without providing notice of its data collection and obtaining verifiable parental consent for it. The FTC recently expanded the COPPA Rule’s coverage to include more types of personal information, such as IP addresses, and to expand the definition of an operator to reach entities that do not collect or use children’s information. Commissioner Ohlhausen addressed how she seeks to balance the FTC’s mandate under Section 5 of the FTC Act to protect consumers against unfair or deceptive acts with the legitimate rights of business to gather and use information for commercial purposes and why she dissented from the FTC’s revision to the COPPA Rule.

Featuring:

  • Maureen Ohlhausen, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • Moderator: Dean Reuter, Vice President and Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society

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Criminal Law Enforcement versus the Free Press - Event Audio/Video

2013 National Lawyers Convention
Adam Liptak, Eric M. Freedman, Eugene Volokh, Michael B. Mukasey, A. Raymond Randolph, John G. Malcolm November 22, 2013

Criminal Law Enforcement versus the Free Press - Event Audio/VideoWhat are the First Amendment rights of press in the context of criminal investigations, and when national security is at issue?   In the modern, digital age, is there even agreement on who qualifies as press?  Should institutional or traditional press have greater rights over non-traditional media, including bloggers?  What are the rights of media to publish material leaked from the government?  Does the answer change if the media solicited the material or otherwise participated in the leak?  What are the policy and legal considerations when it comes to a national media shield law?  These and other questions will be addressed by our panel of experts.

The Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group hosted this panel on "Criminal Law Enforcement versus the Free Press" on Friday, November 15, during the 2013 National Lawyers Convention.

Criminal Law: Criminal Law Enforcement versus the Free Press
12:00 noon – 2:00 p.m.

State Room

  • Mr. Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Correspondent, The New York Times
  • Prof. Eric M. Freedman, Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law, Hofstra University School of Law
  • Prof. Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
  • Hon. Michael Mukasey, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and former United States Attorney General
  • Moderator: Hon. A. Raymond Randolph, United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • Introduction: Mr. John G. Malcolm, Senior Legal Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

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