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Telecommunications

Trillions of Dollars at Stake: The Internet of Things - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Neil Chilson, Jamie Susskind, Eric Wenger, Kelly A. Donohue July 21, 2016

Cisco and other industry leaders estimate that the Internet of Things (the “IoT”) has the potential to inject trillions of dollars of value over the next decade into both the public and private sectors. It holds tremendous promise to transform and improve our lives, generating unprecedented opportunities in the way we govern and are governed, the way we do business, and the way we manage our daily activities. We stand at the cusp of an era in which everything from cars to cows can be given an Internet address and connected to the IoT network.

This rapid expansion of new technologies and capabilities brings new technical, legal, and policy challenges to the forefront. The IoT has undoubtedly caught the attention of federal policy makers, as demonstrated by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (“NTIA”) recent request for comments. There are many potential touchpoints in the IoT ecosystem for regulators and policymakers, from addressing spectrum requirements to ensuring the security of systems to establishing data protection frameworks. Unfortunately, the risk of overregulating or promulgating inconsistent regulations runs high.

Our experts discussed the current and future regulatory landscape of the IoT. Is the NTIA’s proceeding a harbinger for more regulation in this nascent space? What is the correct framework to ensure the successful deployment of the IoT? Is there any role for government? What policy decisions could make or break the evolution of the IoT?

Featuring:

  • Neil Chilson, Attorney-Advisor to Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen, Federal Trade Commission
  • Jamie Susskind, Legislative Counsel, Senator Deb Fischer
  • Eric Wenger, Director for Cybersecurity and Privacy Policy, Global Government Affairs, Cisco
  • Moderator: Kelly A. Donohue, Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

Commissioner Ajit Pai on the FCC Television Set-Top Box Proposal - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Ajit V. Pai, Alexander Okuliar July 01, 2016

In this teleforum, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai talked about the FCC’s proposed rulemaking to transform the pay television industry and competition for the television set-top boxes sitting in millions of homes across the country. The proposed rule seeks to unbundle the sale of programming from the sale of set-top boxes. The FCC wants third party technology companies to “build devices or software solutions that can navigate the universe of multichannel video programming with a competitive user interface.” The proposal has sparked tremendous debate among pay-television providers, technology companies, state and federal lawmakers, the Administration, and others. Advocates for the proposal think it could spur competition and unlock value for consumers with better and cheaper solutions for accessing video programming. Others believe the Commission’s proposal interferes with free market forces, creates more problems than it solves, and could compromise consumer privacy.

What is the FCC’s proposal? What are the implications for consumer privacy, advertising, and free market competition? Is a compromise possible? Commissioner Pai will explore these and other issues in this important teleforum, explain his dissent to the proposal, and offer us his vision for moving forward.

Featuring:

  • Hon. Ajit V. Pai, Federal Communications Commission
  • Interviewer: Alexander P. Okuliar, Partner, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Net Neutrality Survives D.C. Circuit Challenge: U.S. Telecom Association v. FCC - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Brett A. Shumate, Adam J. White June 20, 2016

On Wednesday, June 14, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s controversial reclassification of broadband internet service as a telecommunications service subject to common carrier regulation under Title II of the Communications Act. The case, which many observers believe may ultimately end up before the United States Supreme Court, touches on major questions about the Communications Act, as well as First Amendment issues and larger administrative law controversies, including Chevron deference. Our experts discussed all of these angles and the outlook for the case going forward.

Featuring:

  • Brett A. Shumate, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
  • Adam J. White, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution

Should the government be able to read your emails?

Short Video on Private Servers and the 4th Amendment in the Information Age featuring Amy Peikoff
Amy Peikoff February 10, 2016

Southwestern Law School’s Visiting Associate Professor Amy Peikoff explains the Third Party Doctrine of the Supreme Court’s Fourth Amendment Doctrine. Under the Third Party Doctrine, the government does not need a warrant in order to obtain information entrusted to a third party, such as a bank, cell phone company, or email server. Thus, individuals who utilize their personal server for email may effectively keep their emails private while those using a commercial email server such as gmail do not have the same privacy.

Telecommunications Transactions and the Public Interest - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Michael J. Copps, William Rinehart, Harold Furchtgott-Roth January 29, 2016

Mergers and other transactions between large telecommunications companies are always the subject of vigorous public debate, and recent developments in the area provide an excellent opportunity to explore many of the big questions in play. What is the future of media and telecom companies in today’s vast changing technology landscape? How important is scale? How should government assess the competition and public interest benefits and threats of proposed deals? What process should be employed by what agencies? How do the principles of net neutrality play into the equation? Our experts discussed these questions and others.

Featuring:

  • Hon. Michael Copps, Special Adviser, Media and Democracy Reform Initiative, Common Cause
  • William Rinehart, Director, Technology and Innovation Policy, American Action Forum
  • Moderator: Hon. Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Director, Center for the Economics of the Internet, Hudson Institute