Overnight Tech: New FCC effort to crack down on robocalls | Poll finds Trump voters back idea of net neutrality | DraftKings, FanDuel call off merger

Overnight Tech: New FCC effort to crack down on robocalls | Poll finds Trump voters back idea of net neutrality | DraftKings, FanDuel call off merger
© Greg Nash

NEW ANTI-ROBOCALL CAMPAIGN AT FCC: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is stepping up its efforts to crack down on robocalls, opening an inquiry Thursday into how to combat illegal and fraudulent callers.

The FCC voted to explore the issue of caller ID spoofing which allows robocall operators to mask their identity and even make their numbers appear benign.

The agency receives more complaints about robocalls than any other topic, Chairman Ajit Pai told reporters Thursday.

"With today's action at the FCC, relief from robocalls is getting closer for American consumers," Pai said.

The inquiry could lead to a system that would allow telecom companies to authenticate a call's origin while it's being connected.

"A call authentication framework would help us deal with the growing problem of malicious callers who hide their originating phone number," Pai said.

Thursday's moves are the latest in Pai's effort to enhance the FCC's role in policing robocalls.

Read more here.

 

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POLL: TRUMP VOTERS FAVOR NET NEUTRALITY RULES: A new poll of Republican voters shows that a majority of President Trump's supporters are in favor of net neutrality rules and also oppose the pending AT&T-Time Warner merger.

The survey from trade group Incompas and IMGE, a GOP polling firm, shows that 75 percent of Trump voters and 72 percent of GOP voters say that internet service providers should be "prohibited from slowing or blocking websites or video services like Netflix."

However, when asked specifically if they support net neutrality, just 48 percent of Trump voters and 51 percent of Republicans said they do.

Read more here.

 

GOP LEADERS CAUTION TECH ON NET NEUTRALITY: Republican House leadership told Google, Amazon and Facebook that their pursuit of pro-net neutrality policies could affect GOP willingness to work with the technology companies on other policy issues, according to Axios.  

Two sources told the publication that the exchange had happened in a meeting prior to the net neutrality "Day of Action" scheduled in protest against a planned rollback of the rules.

Republican staffers from Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise's (La.) offices, along with the House Republican Conference staffers, and a staffer from the House Energy and Commerce Committee were in attendance.

The conversation comes amid major tech companies trying to straddle the line between supporting issues like net neutrality -- which they have traditionally supported but affect them less now as multi-billion dollar corporations -- and issues such as privacy, encryption and immigration policies, which have significant impacts on their bottom line.

Read more here.

 

HOTEL INDUSTRY HELPING NYC FIND ILLEGAL AIRBNB RENTALS: New York City runs an Office of Special Enforcement that reportedly devotes 95 percent of its time scrutinizing rental listings -- many of which are on Airbnb -- to assess if they violate state or local laws writes Bloomberg.

The office's efforts to crack down on illegal homesharing listings are being bolstered by the the hotel industry, which is pumping its own time and resources into helping the city find such listings.

According to the report, Share Better, an anti-Airbnb organization formed between hotel union and industry leaders, is hiring private investigators to help the city find Airbnbs and other types of listings that in violation of the city's short-term rental ban.

Read more here.

 

HOUSE VOTES TO REQUIRE PENTAGON TO REPORT RUSSIAN HACKING ATTEMPTS: House lawmakers late Wednesday advanced a provision that would require the Pentagon to report attempts by Russian actors to hack its systems.

The amendment was introduced by Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) to annual defense policy legislation and approved by the full House Wednesday night.

Lawmakers' decision to sign off on the provision comes amid heightened concerns over the Russian government's use of cyberattacks in what the U.S. intelligence community has concluded was a campaign to influence the outcome of the United States' 2016 presidential election.

Read more here.

 

DRAFTKINGS, FANDUEL CALL OFF MERGER: DraftKings and FanDuel, the two leading fantasy sports betting sites in the U.S., said on Thursday that they're dropping their plans to merge.

In a statement, FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles said that he thought the merger would help the two companies and also benefit consumers.

"While our opinion has not changed, we have determined that it is in the best interest of our shareholders, customers, employees, and partners to terminate the merger agreement and move forward as an independent company," Eccles's statement read.

Read more here.

 

GROUPS URGE SESSIONS TO SCRUTINIZE AT&T-TIME WARNER MERGER: A group of public interest organizations asked Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat House passes concealed carry gun bill Rosenstein to testify before House Judiciary Committee next week MORE on Thursday to scrutinize the pending AT&T-Time Warner merger that's awaiting Justice Department approval.

They warned in a letter that the $85 billion deal could have adverse effects for consumers and competitors.

"The proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner would create a media and telecommunications giant with the ability to use its assets to dominate markets, hold back competition, and harm consumers by inflating prices and impeding innovative new video services," the letter reads.

Read more here.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Recode: Obama alums raise $2.5m for Dem tech operations

Dems rally for net neutrality on 'Day of Action'

Internet companies launch offensive against FCC's net neutrality rollback

CNN: Uber abandons Russia operations