OVERNIGHT TECH: FCC warns that cellphone jamming is illegal

Jammers, which emit radio signals to prevent nearby devices from functioning, can block 911 calls and disrupt police and fire fighter communications.

The agency took 20 enforcement actions against online retailers for illegally marketing jammers last year.

Sen. Heller urges Senate to take up FCC reform bill: Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) urged the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to take up his bill to overhaul how the FCC operates after the House Energy and Commerce Committee moved companion legislation on Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT
“If we are going to get Americans working again, Congress must take action and remove the weight of big government from our nation’s innovators and entrepreneurs," Heller said. "Stifling the technology sector with onerous regulations will only impede new job creation at a time when we need jobs most. I call on Chairman [Jay] Rockefeller [(D-W.Va.)] to take these issues up in the Commerce Committee. At a minimum, we should bring the FCC commissioners before the Committee and hold an oversight hearing on how the FCC conducts itself,” Heller said.

A Commerce Committee aide told The Hill last week that the committee has no plans to move on Heller's bill.

The bill creates new barriers for FCC regulation and would codify the FCC's informal "shot clock" for its reviews so parties could know when to expect decisions. The legislation would also restrict the types of conditions that the FCC could impose on corporate mergers, only allowing the agency to address specific harms related to the proposed deals

Republicans argue the bill would increase transparency and accountability at the FCC, but Democrats say it's really an attempt to hamstring the regulatory agency and would prevent it from protecting consumers.


ICYMI:

Federal prosecutors charged five alleged leaders of hacker activist group Anonymous with computer hacking crimes.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, accused Presidents Bush and Obama of secretly negotiating the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which he said would "regulate the Internet."

Companies and consumer groups urged the FCC  to pause its review of Verizon's $3.6 billion deal with a coalition of cable companies and force Verizon to release more information about the deal.

More in Overnight Technology

OVERNIGHT TECH: FCC eyes fee hike for school Internet program

Read more »