Do-Not-Track: A bigger threat

Over the last decade, we’ve benefitted from an explosion of innovation that has created the most engaging experience of information and entertainment in history—the Internet. We use it for work, we use it for play and we use it to communicate in ways previously unimaginable. The Internet has changed our lives, overwhelmingly for the better, and it would not have been possible without advertising.


WikiLeaks actions are damaging and should be prosecuted (Rep. Dan Lungren)

The document dumps by WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange has sent ripples through the diplomatic world and raised fears among those who have been “outed” for their complicity with the United States in some of the most dangerous places in the world. More is involved here than the embarrassment of foreign leaders. Assange has anointed himself with the authority to put lives at risk and to disrupt the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. His call for the resignation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is but further evidence of his delusional rage.


WikiLeaks eliminated charade and the wiggle room for diplomacy it created

I wanted to share with you some thoughts on the WikiLeaks material on the U.S. and Iran that was released yesterday.
First of all, the leaks don’t change realities on the ground as much as they reveal the direness of the situation in the Middle East. In spite of the Obama administration’s disinclination to use military force against Iran, the geopolitical realities of the region have not changed much since the Bush years. This is still a region on the verge of a major war, and neither the new sanctions on Iran or the Obama administration’s limited engagement has changed this reality.


A no-brainer for bipartisanship

As he prepares to take on the role of House Speaker, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) has pledged to bring a new era of bipartisanship to Congress. "I think the best leaders are very good listeners," said Boehner in October. "Because if you are not listening, you cannot lead."


Protecting the internet from online pirates

Is protecting American creativity inconsistent with free speech and human rights?

That’s the surprising argument being made against bipartisan legislation to address the huge and growing problem of online piracy.  U.S. law enforcement officials have strong tools to shut down websites based in this country that deceive consumers into purchasing illegal movies, music, television shows, books, video games, and computer programs.


Internet thieves must be stopped

They’re called rogue sites, and they exist for one purpose only:  to make a profit using the Internet to distribute the stolen, illegally copied and counterfeited goods and ideas of others.  The economic impact of these activities—millions of lost jobs and dollars—is profound.  That’s why dozens of labor organizations, businesses and trade groups have come together to support legislation that will provide the Justice Department with new enforcement tools to combat this growing menace to the American economy.


Curing crumbling infrastructure and other government waste

Their election night parties have become distant memories, but members of Congress are still left with a major hangover: the unrelenting headache of a rising national debt. And whether they do so in a lame-duck session or in January, lawmakers will need to face facts: to avoid devastating tax increases, they must find ways to cut government spending.


Fix broken broadcast retransmission consent system

Few things are more frustrating to a former Congressman than to see a law he sponsored twisted in a way that undermines its intended purposes. Unfortunately, this is precisely what has happened during the last few years with the 1992 Cable Act, and in particular, with the provisions I sponsored dealing with “retransmission consent.” These provisions require a cable operator or other video provider to obtain a broadcast station’s permission to retransmit the broadcast signal to subscribers (unless the broadcaster elects a different option called “must carry”). Our goal was to ensure that the public would retain access to local broadcast programming as cable television gained in power and influence.  But today, more than ever, broadcasters are using these provisions to claim that the Act gives them license to pull their signals from video providers and their subscribers unless these providers agree to pay rapidly rising fees. In essence, broadcasters are exploiting a law designed to prevent consumers from experiencing service disruptions to justify blackouts. This just happened in the New York and Philadelphia area, where Fox blacked out its network stations to three million households during the baseball playoffs and World Series.


Reclassification of the Internet won’t stand the legal test

One of the issues that will bridge the 111th and 112th Congress’ is the proposal by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski to reclassify the Internet as a Title II “telecommunications service” from its present status as a Title I “information service.”

In an opinion I wrote on behalf of Broadband for America, I pointed out that “as a legal matter the language of the statutes enacted by Congress, the unbroken line of previous FCC decisions and the reasoning of the Supreme Court’s Brand X decision” make reclassification “unlikely to survive judicial scrutiny.”


A post-election job for Congress: Resolve the net neutrality fight

At times, the political battle over net neutrality regulation recalls the tragic mythological tale of Sisyphus, who could never quite push that rock all the way to the top of the hill. When Congress shut down for re-election campaigning earlier this month rather than consider a neutrality compromise from Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), it appeared at first blush that a resolution had again slipped away. But a closer look suggests the key players are edging toward an agreement that would preserve an open Internet for consumers while also enabling continuing business investment that would expand Internet capabilities and create jobs to help the economy.