By Gautham Nagesh - 12/14/10 12:33 AM EST
Net-neutrality advocates come out against Genachowski's plan
Opposition to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski's open Internet proposal is building on both the left and the right ahead of a potential vote on the proposal at the Commission's Dec. 21 open meeting.
A group of net-neutrality advocates declared their opposition to the plan during a meeting with Democratic FCC Commissioner Michael Copps on Thursday.
A number of prominent individuals and organizations including representatives from Consumers Union, Free Press, Netflix, Amazon.com and Dish Network were at the meeting, which was described in an ex parte filing released Monday. Genachowski needs Copps's vote for the proposal to pass.
"At the outset of the meeting, the participants expressed their unanimous unwillingness to support the proposed open-Internet framework in its present form as they understand it," according to the ex parte document.
For more, including a full list of participants, read The Hill.
Incoming House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) wrote to the FCC on Friday urging them not to impose net-neutrality conditions on Comcast as part of the proposed acquisition of NBC Universal.
Upton said the only thing the commission should be reviewing is whether or not the new entity would be able to unfairly influence the markets for video content creation and distribution to the detriment of consumers. He warned against using the merger as an excuse to impose net neutrality or achieve other political goals.
In a report released in September, incoming House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) laid out how federal agencies have failed to use technology to make themselves more transparent.
He also said the committee needs to examine whether the White House is archiving e-mails in compliance with the Presidential Records Acts. Sometimes Gmail and other accounts allow staffers to skirt the record system. Issa promised to delve into issues surrounding the Presidential Records Act as well as the management and purchasing of information technology by the government as chairman.
The Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder are facing difficult legal questions as they decide the best course of action to pursue against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange even as the Capitol Hill drumbeat to charge Assange under the Espionage Act grows louder.
The Judiciary Committee will be looking at the World
War I-era Espionage Act and the "legal and constitutional issues raised
by WikiLeaks," as directed by Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.). Thursday will be the first congressional hearing on WikiLeaks since the Nov. 28
publication of thousands of classified diplomatic cables, some of which
have proven embarrassing to the U.S. government because of their frank
The witness list was not yet available.
Microsoft, Foundem and ZUJI announced Monday they have joined the FairSearch.org coalition opposing Google's proposed acquisition of the travel-search firm ITA Software on the grounds the deal would give Google unfair advantages in the online travel market.
The group argues Google's $700 million acquisition
of ITA could lead to fewer travel choices online, less innovation and
higher prices for consumers. Many of the firms, including Microsoft's Bing search
engine, rely on ITA's software to power their airfare search
applications, and fear the impact of a Google takeover on their business
relationship with ITA.
Google has promised to honor all ITA's existing
business agreements, but those assurances have failed to silence
During his eight-and-a-half-hour speech against President Obama's tax compromise with Republicans, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also took on another of his favorite topics: the pending merger between Comcast and NBC Universal.
His Friday speech, labeled a #filibernie on Twitter, included a few bars of criticism about the mega-merger under review by the FCC and the Justice Department. Sanders wants the deal blocked.
"I think it is a bad idea," Sanders said during his speech Friday. "Comcast is the largest provider of cable services in America, [has a] huge role in the Internet, and NBC is one of the largest media conglomerates in America."
Goldman Sachs technology analyst Sarah Friar sees challenging times ahead for Microsoft in 2011, with top-line growth slowing from 12 percent to 7 percent.
McDonald's customer data — including e-mails and phone numbers — has been "obtained by an unauthorized third party," the chain told customers late Friday.
For the first time ever, the average American spends as much time online as watching TV: roughly 13 hours a week.
Comcast is testing a new service that combines TV and the Internet.
Moving On: The Interactive Advertising Bureau said Monday CEO Randall Rothenberg, a leading opponent of Internet privacy regulations, will leave the trade group to become chief digital officer of Time Inc.
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