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Telecommunications

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

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 NSA Telephone Metadata Program - Event Audio/Video

The NSA, Security, Privacy, and Intelligence Symposium
Steven G. Bradbury, Jim Harper, Kate Martin, Benjamin Wittes, Nathan A. Sales, Vincent J. Vitkowsky March 04, 2014

The NSA Telephone Metadata Program - Event Audio/VideoIn the 12 years since 9/11, as the national security threat matrix has become increasingly complex, technological advances have expanded intelligence gathering capabilities significantly. Recently, public concern about government monitoring of individuals has come to the forefront of the discussion. To address the intersection of security, privacy, and intelligence, the President has proposed several reforms, and is studying others in consultation with Congress. This Symposium will analyze and offer observations on those proposals.

The Federalist Society presented this panel at "The NSA, Security, Privacy, and Intelligence Symposium" on February 24, 2014, at Jones Day LLP in Washington, DC.

Panel II: The NSA Telephone Metadata Program
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

  • Mr. Steven G. Bradbury, Partner, Dechert LLP, and former head of the Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Mr. Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies, Cato Institute
  • Ms. Kate Martin Director, Center for National Security Studies
  • Mr. Benjamin Wittes, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution
  • Moderator: Prof. Nathan A. Sales, George Mason University School of Law
  • Introduction: Mr. Vincent J. Vitkowsky, Chairman, International & National Security Law Practice Group, The Federalist Society?

Jones Day LLP
Washington, DC

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