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Telecommunications & Electronic Media

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 United States Cede Control of the Internet? - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
John M.R. Kneuer, Shane Tews May 26, 2016

Should the United States Cede Control of the Internet? On Tuesday, May 24, the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will hold a hearing titled “Examining the Multistakeholder Plan for Transitioning the Internet Assigned Number Authority.” The hearing will examine the proposed transition of oversight of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), a department of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that allocates Internet IP addresses and domain names, to the global multistakeholder community. Our experts discussed the implications of the proposed transition.

Featuring:

  • John M.R. Kneuer, President and Founder, JKC Consulting LLC and Seinor Partner, Fairfax Media Partners
  • Shane Tews, Visiting Fellow, Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy, American Enterprise Institute

Federalism and Municipal Broadband - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Raymond L. Gifford March 21, 2016

On March 17th the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard oral arguments in The State of Tennessee et al. v. FCC. This appeal involves a challenge to the FCC’s March 2015 order that preempted certain provisions of Tennessee and North Carolina state laws, which impose restrictions on the deployment of municipal broadband services. The Sixth Circuit will determine whether the FCC has the power to intervene and define the relationship between state and municipal governments when it comes to providing these services. Our expert discussed the FCC’s order, the parties’ arguments, and the takeaways from the oral argument.

Featuring:

  • Raymond L. Gifford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 3-11-16 featuring Mark Chenoweth
Mark Chenoweth March 11, 2016

On January 20, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez. This case concerns a complaint by Jose Gomez that Campbell-Ewald Company, a marketing consultant for the U.S. Navy, allowed a third-party vendor to send him unsolicited text messages in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The case presents two questions for the Supreme Court: (1) whether a case becomes moot when a plaintiff receives an offer of complete relief on his claim, including in a class action, and (2) whether the doctrine of derivative sovereign immunity for government contractors is limited to claims arising out of property damage caused by public works projects. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had held that Gomez’s individual and class claims were not mooted, and that Campbell-Ewald was not entitled to derivative sovereign immunity.

By a vote of 6-3, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Ninth Circuit, holding that (1) an unaccepted settlement offer or offer of judgment does not moot a plaintiff's case, so the district court retains jurisdiction to adjudicate the plaintiff’s complaint, and (2) a federal contractor is not entitled to immunity from suit for its violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act when it violates both federal law and the government's explicit instructions. Justice Ginsburg delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined. Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in the judgement. Chief Justice Roberts filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Scalia and Alito joined. Justice Alito also filed a dissenting opinion.

To discuss the case, we have Mark Chenoweth, who is General Counsel at Washington Legal Foundation.

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.