Archive for the 'FCC' Category

Net Neutrality Brief Filed

Yesterday, a group of former telecommunications officials filed a brief in the case of Verizon v. FCC, currently on appeal in the District of Columbia federal appeals court. The Cyberlaw Clinic assisted with research in the preparation of this brief, which responds to Verizon’s radical argument that the First Amendment denies Congress the power to protect end-users from Verizon’s censorship and content-based discrimination. You read that right – Verizon argues that Congress must allow a private gatekeeper unfettered power to selectively block or slow down access to ideas over the Internet, cynically relying on the First Amendment for an argument that is completely at odds with free speech values.

The brief encourages the court to emphatically reject Verizon’s argument and to affirm that the information utilities on which we rely are subject to laws designed to protect consumers and the public discourse needed for a free society.

The full brief may be found here.

FCC Invites Comments re: the Future of Media

The Federal Communications Commission announced this week that it “has begun an examination of the future of media and the information needs of communities in a digital age.”  According to a Public Notice issued by the FCC (.doc / .pdf), “[t]he objective of this review is to assess whether all Americans have access to vibrant, diverse sources of news and information that will enable them to enrich their lives, their communities and our democracy.”

The Public Notice sets out a list of 42 “preliminary questions” on which the FCC has invited public comment.  The questions cover a variety of topics, addressing the role of public media, the Internet, television, radio, cable, and traditional print publications in the delivery of news.

Comments are due by March 8, 2010 and may be submitted electronically (via the FCC’s Electronic Comments Filing System or the Future of Media website) or in paper form.  The Public Notice includes detailed instructions about the filing process.