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OpenMarket: Tech and Telecom

  • Net Reality: Five Years Since the Open Internet Order

    February 26, 2020
    If you’re reading this, the Internet is alive and well. If you’re wondering how the Internet is doing, just picture a rocket—symbolizing both the incredible Internet speeds and new technological frontiers achievable through deregulation.
  • So-Called Conservative Tech Proposal Is an Affront to the First Amendment

    February 18, 2020
    Several conservative groups have signaled their support for what some are calling a “small-government solution” to perceived anti-conservative bias by tech platforms. The solution that seems to be gaining traction is to tie Section 230 intermediary liability protection to a “First Amendment standard.” Essentially, so long as companies do not remove any content that is otherwise protected by the First Amendment they will continue to be protected from liability over third-party content. There are a number of glaring problems with this idea, not the least of which is the fact that it is antithetical to the First Amendment.
  • FCC to Vote on Crucial Spectrum Auction this Month

    February 18, 2020
    At the FCC open meeting on February 28, the commissioners will vote on a critical matter regarding a proposed public auction for what is known as the C-Band of wireless spectrum. This band of spectrum is currently allocated and underutilized by fixed satellite companies. While any underutilization of a finite yet critical resource such as wireless spectrum is problematic, the C-Band is ideally suited for fifth generation or “5G” wireless service. CEI has long supported efforts to make more efficient use of the C-Band.
  • FCC Offers New, Promising Approach on TV White Spaces

    February 5, 2020
    Today, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced a new proposal on the use of television white spaces, unallocated bands or allocated and unused bands of spectrum in certain, largely rural geographic areas, that are additionally suitable for providing wireless broadband Internet signals. So long as government, rather than markets, continues to control the allocation of spectrum in the United States, the more spectrum that can be made available for commercial use, the better.
  • California's New Privacy Law Will Harm Consumers and Innovation

    December 30, 2019
    The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) goes into effect January 1, 2020. The law requires companies of a certain size that collect information on customers in the golden state to disclose data collection practices and delete information on demand. It also empowers users of qualifying websites to opt out of large swaths of the online data activity
  • Department of Justice Wrong to Block Sabre Acquisition of Farelogix

    December 18, 2019
    On January 27th, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) will attempt to block travel technology company Sabre Corporation from purchasing communications protocol innovator Farelogix, Inc. This will be the DOJ’s first time back at bat after striking out in June 2018 against AT&T’s ultimately successful acquisition of Time Warner. Unfortunately, it’s a good example of overzealous antitrust regulation.
  • USMCA Won't Protect Tech from Trudeau

    December 16, 2019
    A point of contention in the debate over the new U.S., Mexico, Canada (USMCA) trade agreement has been whether or not the final deal will include language inspired by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Despite opposition from some including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Section 230-type language will be included in the final agreement.
  • Attorneys General Shouldn't Hold Mergers Hostage

    December 3, 2019
    Last week the attorneys general of Texas and Nevada announced the withdrawal of their support of a multistate lawsuit to block the merger of cellular telephone and Internet service providers T-Mobile and Sprint. This follows similar announcements from the attorneys general of Mississippi and Colorado earlier this year. With these announcements, more state attorneys general now support the merger than oppose it.
  • Government of Singapore Demonstrates Real Online Censorship

    December 2, 2019
    Singapore’s recent policing of online content provides an instructive example of the difference between private curating of material by platform owners and dangerous curtailing of free speech by governments. 
  • Twitter's Ban on Political Ads Has No First Amendment Implications

    October 31, 2019
    Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey announced that the social media platform will ban all political advertising. This comes on the heels of Facebook’s recent announcement that the company won’t fact check political ads on their platform. Whichever tack tech companies take with their privately owned platforms, there are no First Amendment implications. The First Amendment prevents only the government from making laws that abridge freedom of speech.

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