Friday, June 29, 2012

House Continues to Examine "The Future of Money: Where Do Mobile Payments Fit In the Current Regulatory Structure?"



The House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, which is chaired by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), will be holding its second hearing today at 9:30 AM EST entitled "The Future of Money: Where Do Mobile Payments Fit In the Current Regulatory Structure?"

Appearing as witnesses before the subcommittee will be
James H. Freis Jr., Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Department of the Treasury; and Stephanie Martin, Associate General Counsel, Federal Reserve Board of Governors. The streaming video of the hearing is available here.

Back on March 22, 2012, the Subcommittee heard testimony from Richard Oliver, co-author of the Mobile Payments in the United States; Mapping out the Road Ahead, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Troy Leach, Chief Technology Officer, PCI Security Standards Council; Ed McLaughlin, Chief Emerging Payments Officer, Global Products & Solutions, MasterCard Worldwide; Randy Vanderhoof, Executive Director, Smart Card Alliance; and Suzanne Martindale, Attorney, Consumers Union.

In addition,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

FCC Sets Pleading Cycle on Verizon/T-Mobile Spectrum Swap and Seeks Comment on the Deal's Impact on Verizon/SpectrumCo

Today the FCC established the pleading cycle for the Verizon/T-Mobile AWS assignment application to be as follows:

Petitions to Deny Due:    July 10, 2012
Oppositions Due:              July 17, 2012
Replies Due:                       July 24, 2012

Additionally, the Commission released another Public Notice seeking comment on the impact that the Verizon/T-Mobile applications will have on the Verizon/SpectrumCo transaction, with comments (also) due on July 10th.  The FCC has also decided to stop the clock on the Verizon/SpectrumCo transactions during this time (14-day period). 


Please feel free to contact the TLP team with any questions concerning these issues. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Senate Commerce Committee to Examine the Need for Privacy Protections and Whether Industry Self-Regulation is Adequate

Chairman Rockefeller (D-WV) has announced that the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing entitled "The Need for Privacy Protections: Is Industry Self-Regulation Adequate?" at 10:00 AM EST on June 28, 2012. The Committee will hear testimony on the current state of industry self-regulation in providing consumers with adequate tools to protect their personal information." Chairman Rockefeller has indicated that he specifically "...intend[s] to closely examine how industry intends to fulfill its recent pledge to not collect consumers' personal information when they utilize the self-regulatory ad icon or make 'do-not-track' requests in their web browsers." Appearing as witnesses before the Committee will be Bob Liodice of the Association of National Advertisers, Peter Swire of The Ohio State University School of Law, Berin Szoka of TechFreedom and Alex Fowler of Mozilla.


The live streaming of hearing will be available here.


The hearing is a follow-up to a May 9, 2012 Committee hearing that "examined the privacy reports issued by the Obama Administration and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)."  At that hearing, Chairman Rockefeller stated that the Senate "should take up strong consumer-focused privacy legislation this year;" however, he did "not believe that significant consensus exists yet on what legislation should look like," but "will continue to work with [Senators] on legislation." In the meantime, he said that he would "continue to work with the Administration and FTC to push the industry to develop and adhere to strong consumer privacy protections."


The House Energy and Commerce Committee, House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee also have held a number of hearings on privacy issues in this Congress.


Following the release of the White House’s Privacy Blueprint earlier this year, the Commerce Department proposed a privacy bill of rights and is attempting to get stakeholders to develop voluntary codes of conduct  and the Federal Trade Commission appears eager to stretch its existing authority to regulate online and mobile privacy, even without specific authority from Congress. Meanwhile, the FCC is seeking comment on the privacy and data-security practices of mobile providers with respect to customer information stored on consumers’ mobile communications devices, and the application of existing privacy and security regulations to that information.


If you have any questions regarding privacy and data-security regulatory or legislative issues, please feel free to contact the TLP team.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Congress Expected to Pass Resolution Opposing International Regulation of the Internet

Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved a resolution,  H. Con. Res. 127, "to reject the proposed international takeover of the Internet that is expected to be discussed at the December World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) meetings in Dubai and preserve the current 'multi-stakeholder' model of governance." The full House of Representatives is expected to vote to approve H. Con. Res. 127 in coming weeks.


Specifically, "H. Con. Res. 127 is a bipartisan resolution that expresses the sense of Congress that:
• The Internet must remain stable, secure, and free from government control;
• The structure of Internet governance has profound implications for competition and trade, democratization, free expression, and access to information;
• Countries have obligations to protect human rights, which are protected by online activity as well as offline activity;
• Proposals to fundamentally alter the governance and operation of the Internet would diminish freedom of expression on the Internet in favor of government control over content; and,
• The position of the U.S. Government has been and is to advocate for the flow of information free from government control."



The resolution was introduced by Rep. Bono Mack (R-CA), the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, along with full Committee Chairman Upton (R-MI), Ranking Member Waxman (D-CA), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Walden (R-OR), and Ranking Member Eshoo (D-CA). On May 31, 2012, the Communications and Technology Subcommittee held a hearing on “International Proposals to Regulate the Internet” and heard testimony from Ambassador Philip Verveer, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy; FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell; Ambassador David A. Gross, the former U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy (on behalf of the World Conference on International Telecommunications Ad Hoc Working Group); Sally Shipman Wentworth of the Internet Society; and Vint Cerf of Google.


FCC Commissioner McDowell had been leading the charge to draw attention in the United States to a potential new international treaty that would give "the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet." Earlier this year, Commissioner McDowell wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal indicating that "[d]ozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard...to establish 'international control over the Internet' through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based organization under U.N. auspices." He also stressed that "these new regulatory proposals would upend the Internet's flourishing regime, which has been in place since 1988 [after] delegates from 114 countries gathered in Australia to agree to a treaty that set the stage for dramatic liberalization of international telecommunications."


If you have any questions regarding this resolution or any other activity in Congress that could impact the telecommunications, media and technology sectors, please contact Vance Schuemann or any other member of the TLP team.



House to Hold FCC Oversight Hearing on July 10

The House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will be holding a hearing on oversight of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on July 10.  FCC Chairman Genachowski and Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, Rosenworcel and Pai are all expected to testify before the Subcommittee, which has jurisdictional authority over the FCC in the House. Subcommittee Chairman Walden (R-OR) has stated that the "...hearing will allow the subcommittee to hear from all five commissioners...and to examine current proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC's regulatory process, and the agency's progress in implementing congressional priorities.”

The Senate Commerce Committee, which has authority over the FCC in the Senate, held its first FCC oversight hearing in well over a year on May 16, 2012, and it highlighted the differences in regulatory approaches between the various Commissioners and the Senators.  In this Congress, the FCC Chairman and Commissioners have appeared before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to discuss a range of issues on May 31, 2012February 16, 2012; May 13, 2011 and February 16, 2011.

If you have any questions regarding this hearing or any other activity in Congress that could impact the telecommunications, media and technology sectors, please contact Vance Schuemann or any member of the TLP team

Congress to Examine "The Future of Video" on June 27

The House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, chaired by Rep. Walden (R-OR), will be holding a hearing on "The Future of Video" at 10:00 am EST on Wednesday, June 27, 2012. Appearing as witnesses before the Subcommittee, will be Charlie Ergen of DISH Network; Robert W. Johnson of Sky Angel U.S. LLC; David Hyman of Netflix; Jim Funk of Roku; Gigi Sohn of Public Knowledge; David Barrett of Hearst Television Inc. (for NAB); Michael P. O'Leary of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA); and Michael Powell of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA).

This is the second in a series of hearings by the Subcommittee that is aimed at covering the changed technological and competitive landscape related to the delivery of audio, video and data services.  The first hearing in the series was on the "Future of Audio" and was held on June 6, 2012.

The hearing on June 27 will be streamed live here.

According to Chairman Walden, "there has been a sea change in the way that consumers gain access to video content" "[s]ince the passage of the 1992 Cable Act."  And, "The Future of Video" hearing on June 27 "will examine how advances in consumer electronics, broadcasting, cable, satellite, the Internet and other platforms are changing how consumers access video content, how those changes are impacted by existing regulations, and what type of regimes should apply going forward."

The Committee staff's background memorandum for the hearing is a available here.

The Senate Commerce Committee also held a similar hearing entitled “The Emergence of Online Video: Is It The Future?” back on April 24, 2012. Further, Senator DeMint (R-SC) and Rep. Scalise (R-LA) have introduced legislation in the Senate and House (S. 2008 and H.R. 3675, the "Next Generation Television Marketplace Act") which would reform the regulation of video services. While this legislation is not expected to move this year, issues and legislation surrounding the regulation of video services will likely be hotly debated in Congress over the next couple years.

If you have any questions regarding this hearing or any other activity in Congress that could impact the telecommunications, media and technology sectors, please contact Vance Schuemann or any member of the TLP team

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

NTIA Announces that First Privacy Multistakeholder Meeting will be on July 12, 2012; Focus on Mobile Apps

Following the release of the White House’s Privacy Blueprint earlier this year, the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that it will hold the first meeting of its privacy multistakeholder process on July 12, 2012. The NTIA states that the "goal...is to develop a code of conduct to provide transparency in how companies providing applications and interactive services for mobile devices handle personal data." And, that "[t]he issue of mobile app transparency potentially impacts a range of industry participants, including: developers of mobile apps; providers of sophisticated interactive services for mobile devices (such as those utilizing HTML5 to access mobile APIs); and mobile app platforms, among others."

The NTIA indicated that the meeting will open to all interested stakeholders, but attendees are encouraged to express their intent here to attend in person or to view the webcast by June 22, 2012.

If you have any questions regarding efforts in Washington related to online and mobile privacy, please feel free to contact the TLP team

House Judiciary Committee hearing on "New Technologies and Innovations in the Mobile and Online space, and the Implications for Public Policy"

The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet -- which is chaired by Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA) -- will be holding an educational hearing today at 10:00 am EST entitled "New Technologies and Innovations in the Mobile and Online space, and the Implications for Public Policy." The hearing will focus on privacy issues related to new mobile, online and geolocation technologies as well as private sector efforts safeguard consumer privacy and whether legislation to impose new regulations is warranted.

Appearing as witnesses before the Subcommittee will be: Scott Shipman of eBay, Morgan Reed of the Association for Competitive Technology, Chris Babel of TRUSTe, and James Grimmelmann of the New York Law School.

The streamed video of the hearing will be available here.

This hearing follows much activity in Congress (in both the House and Senate) investigating myriad issues related to online and mobile privacy and data security as well as the appropriate role that Congress should permit regulatory agencies to take as far as policing online and mobile privacy so that it will not stifle innovation and economic growth. Meanwhile, the White House has also entered the fray and indicated that it can't wait for Congress to deliberate. So while the Obama Administration's Commerce Department has proposed a privacy bill of rights and is attempting to get stakeholders to develop voluntary codes of conduct, the Federal Trade Commission appears eager to stretch its existing authority to regulate online and mobile privacy, even without specific authority from Congress. Nevertheless, the Obama Administration and a number of mostly Democratic members of the House and Senate continue to push for legislation to ensure that there is sufficient authority to regulate industry with regard to consumer privacy protections. 

If you have any questions regarding privacy and data-security regulatory or legislative issues, please contact Vance Schuemann or any member of the TLP team

 

 

 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

FCC Comment Dates Set for Privacy and Data-Security Practices

As per our post on May 25th discussing the FCC’s Public Notice seeking comment on the privacy and data-security practices of mobile wireless service providers with respect to customer information stored on their users’ mobile communication devices, and the application of existing privacy requirements, the Notice has now been published in the Federal Register, establishing comment dates.  Comments to the FCC are due July 13th and reply comments are due July 30th. 

Please feel free to contact the TLP team if you should have any questions.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

FCC June Open Meeting Agenda Released

On June 6th, the Commission released the final agenda for the Open Meeting on June 13th at 10:30 a.m.:  

Order:  Sections 2.925 and 2.926 of the Rules Regarding Grantee Codes for Certified Radiofrequency Equipment
  • The Commission will consider an Order to modify the equipment authorization rules to increase the supply of grantee codes assigned to parties applying for equipment certification.

Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission’s Rules (WP Docket No. 07-100); Implementing a Nationwide, Broadband, Interoperable Public Safety Network in the 700 MHz Band (PS Docket No. 06-229) and Service Rules for the 698-746, 747-762 and 777-792 MHz Bands (WT Docket No. 06-150)
  • The Commission will consider a Fourth Report and Order and Fifth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to encourage improved spectrum efficiency and greater use of the 4940- 4990 MHz (4.9 GHz) band.

The meeting may be streamed at www.fcc.gov/live.   If you have any questions regarding the above Meeting, please feel free to contact the TLP team.

FCC Reminds Telecom Service Providers of 9-1-1 Best Practices

On Wednesday, June 6th, the FCC released a Public Notice encouraging telecommunications service providers to adhere to 9-1-1/Enhanced 9-1-1 service best practices.  Specifically, the Notice highlights the importance of providing diversity and redundancy in the provisioning of these 9-1-1 services, and reminds carriers of the following best practices to prevent the type of major 9-1-1/E9-1-1 outages that have been recently observed:   
      
8-7-0566:  Network Operators and Service Providers should consider placing and maintaining 9-1-1 circuits over diverse interoffice transport facilities (e.g., geographically diverse facility routes, automatically invoked standby routing, diverse digital crossconnect system services, self-healing fiber ring topologies, or any combination thereof).

8-8-0575:  Network Operators and Service Providers should deploy Diverse Automatic Location Identification systems used in Public Safety (e.g., Automatic Location Identification and Mobile Positioning Center systems) in a redundant, geographically diverse fashion (i.e., two identical ALI/MPC data base systems with mirrored data located in geographically diverse locations).

8-7-0532:  Diversity Audit - Network Operators should periodically audit the physical and logical diversity called for by network design and take appropriate measures as needed.


If you have any questions about 9-1-1 or E9-1-1 service practices, please contact the TLP team.

Monday, June 4, 2012

House Hearing to Examine "The Future of Audio" on June 6th

The House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will be holding a hearing on "The Future of Audio" at 10:15 am EST on Wednesday, June 6, 2012. Subcommittee Chairman Walden (R-OR) has indicated that this is the first of a series of hearings that will cover the changed technological and competitive landscape related to the delivery of audio, video and data services. 

The purpose of the "The Future of Audio"  hearing is to "examine how advances in communications services and consumer electronics equipment are affecting the distribution and consumption of audio content" as well as the related regulatory issues.  Appearing before the Subcommittee will be witnesses from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the National Music Publishers’ Association, the Recording Industry Association of America, Emmis Communications, Commonwealth Broadcasting Corp., Pandora, CTIA, and the Consumer Electronics Association.

A copy of the Majority Committee staff's briefing memorandum for the hearing is available here.

And the hearing will be streamed live here.

If you have any questions regarding this hearing or any other activity in Congress that could impact the telecommunications, media and technology sectors, please contact Vance Schuemann or any other member of the TLP team.