Overnight Tech: Drones banned from Super Bowl

LEDE: The government and others are reminding drone operators that there are large flight restrictions around the Super Bowl hosted in Santa Clara, Calif., this weekend.

There is a temporary flight restriction of 32 miles in any direction around Levi Stadium there during most of Sunday afternoon. That includes restrictions on drones and other aircraft.

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The group "Know Before You Fly" is using the Super Bowl, however, to raise awareness of broader drone guidelines. Those include keeping the drone within eyesight and below 400 feet, avoiding other planes and airports, and not flying a drone under the influence.

The public awareness campaign is run by the Federal Aviation Administration and other trade groups, as the popularity of unmanned aircraft has boomed in the past year. The FAA has reported hundreds of drone sightings by airline pilots over the past year, however, others say the measurements are inflated.  

CRUZ QUESTIONS ICANN LEADERS: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and two of his colleagues want answers to why the head of a non-profit that contracts with the U.S. government is also co-chairing a committee for the World Internet Conference, which the senators say "is not a beacon of free speech" and is organized by the Chinese government.

They sent the letter to Fadi Chehadé, the CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The group contracts with the U.S. government to manage the Internet domain name system, which helps people easily search the web with common addresses rather than long strings of numbers. The United States is planning to hand over oversight control of the system, which Cruz and some other Republicans oppose. ICANN is leading that transition.

LEAVING ICANN NEXT MONTH: Chehadé is slated to leave ICANN in March. Since he announced his retirement from the organization, he has taken on outside work. In August, he disclosed that he would become an advisor for a private equity firm, and he made the World Internet Conference disclosure in December. At the time he said he would continue to give ICANN and the transition "my full attention until the end of my tenure."

KIK HELPS CATCH SUSPECTS: The messaging app Kik, which is popular with teens, was key to helping law enforcement track down the suspected killer in a Virginia teen's recent death, according to The Washington Post. The story highlighted the social media company's compliance with emergency requests for information from law enforcement, which are granted during times of imminent threats of death, security or physical harm.

TOM WHEELER SAYS ALLVID'S NOT COMING BACK: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is adamant that he is not interested in recreating AllVid, the 2010 proposal to open up the set-top box market that never came to be. "I understand your concerns around this approach and can assure you that AllVid, a 2010 proposal that consumers obtain a separate, additional device in order to access video programming, is not under consideration by the Commission," he wrote in letters to lawmakers sent earlier this month and released on Thursday. "Technology has moved rapidly forward since 2010 and any Commission proposals will reflect the technological advances and capabilities by manufacturers and innovators." Those letters were penned before the current proposal came out last week -- but Wheeler has been clear since then that he thinks the comparison to AllVid is unfair.

The cable lobby might disagree. The Future of TV Coalition, which is led by cable, has repeatedly looked to tie the two proposals together since it was introduced last week. In a release today, the coalition repeatedly referenced AllVid and made the argument that the new proposal still mirrors its predecessor.

KEY LAWMAKER ISN'T SO SURE: Greg Walden, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, told The Hill on Wednesday that he believed that Wheeler could be taking a different tack in his current proposal. "We don't want to see him go down the path of AllVid, and I don't think he's doing that," he said. "But this is obviously a commission that has been willing to sometimes go beyond what we thought we were directing them to do."

MORE MEMBERS FOR THE COALITION: Fourteen Latino groups have joined the Future of TV Coalition. They include the League of United Latin American Citizens and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The groups sent a letter to Wheeler and his fellow commissioners expressing concerns that the proposal "would do irreparable damage to small Latino independent programmers and the Latino community if enacted." Others have also made the argument that the proposal would hurt minority programming -- something Wheeler has publicly disputed -- including members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

GOOGLE GOING AFTER THOSE WEIRD, FAKE DOWNLOAD BUTTONS: Google's filter for shady websites is going to start screening for advertisements that look to deceive users, the company said in a Wednesday blog post. These are the sorts of ads one runs into on some of the seedier corners of the web that appear to display a key button for users but actually install nefarious software or try to trick users into revealing their personal information.

 

ON TAP:

At noon, Public Knowledge hosts a briefing on the video marketplace.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

T-Mobile is calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to "tread lightly" as the agency looks into a series of video offerings that have raised net neutrality concerns among advocates.

A House Democrat on Thursday called for the chamber's Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing about the on-demand economy, which includes companies like Uber and Airbnb.

Cable news is seen as the most helpful source for 2016 election news overall, with social media more dominant among those under the age of 30, according to a new survey.

The House Oversight Committee is opening an investigation into federal recordkeeping that is expected to swirl around Hillary Clinton's emails.

Chinese hackers have attempted to access over 20 million accounts on Alibaba, China's equivalent of Amazon, according to Reuters.

 

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