Digital Daily Dozen 3/4/16

Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft Back Apple in Court Fight Over Encryption (Recode) 

Some of Apple’s fiercest technology rivals have sided with the company in its court fight over encryption. A Who’s Who of the tech sector — 15 companies that include Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, Google and Microsoft — filed a court brief today, speaking out in one voice in a case they describe as of singular importance to the industry. 

Security Experts Warn of Orwellian Future if Government Wins Apple Case (Recode)   

Your smart TV might spy on you next if the government succeeds in forcing Apple to disable security protections on a smartphone to further the FBI’s investigation into the San Bernardino attacks. Security experts from Stanford, Harvard and Rice universities and independent researchers laid out this Orwellian scenario in a court filing.    

Congress Puts Kibosh on Certain State and Local Internet-Related Taxes (Communications Law Blog)   

For nearly 20 years most of you have been free from state and local taxes on your Internet access – and also from multiple or discriminatory state/local taxes on e-commerce. You’ve got Congress to thank for that. You may not have realized, however, that that freedom has been at most temporary, initially set to expire in 2001. Until now.  

News flash: Netflix is NOT killing television (Media Life)    

The buzz over Netflix right now is deafening. But buzz can be deceiving. While you’d think with all that attention that Netflix’ audience would rival that of the broadcast networks, that’s really not the case, according to a new report. Not only is Netflix’ viewership relatively modest, but it’s also not causing the demise of traditional TV.   

FCC Denies Videohouse Spectrum Auction Stay (Broadcasting & Cable) 

The FCC’s Media Bureau has denied the request of Videohouse, licensee of LPTVY WOSC-CD, to stay the March 29 start of the incentive spectrum auction. That came March 3, but since Videohouse had told the FCC it would consider it denied if the FCC had not acted by March 2, it has already gone to federal court.   

Senate Commerce Approves MOBILE NOW Act (Broadcasting & Cable)

The MOBILE Now Act, which would take numerous steps to boost wireless broadband, passed unanimously out of the Senate Commerce Committee loaded with amendments on everything from shot-clocks for approving facilities, to dig-once policies for combining road projects and telecom plant.    

Bitcoin Transactions Get Stranded as Cryptocurrency Maxes Out (Technology Review)    

For more than a year now, people who use or work on the digital currency Bitcoin have been arguing about how to fend off a looming problem that some leaders in the community say could kill the whole system. Some people and businesses using Bitcoin have found their funds stranded after trying to send them to other users.    

YouTube Trial: Juror Says YouTuber’s Incorporation of Unlicensed Clips Is Not Fair Use (Hollywood Reporter) 

YouTube star Ray William Johnson, whose 10.6 million subscribers tune in for comedic commentary, has reached a settlement with a media company that claimed he was profiting from its clips without paying to license them. A confidential settlement made during deliberation makes the jury’s verdict moot.   


Education leaders are beginning to look beyond the struggle of connecting all schools to high quality Internet, and toward the next challenge of connecting all students while outside of school. The Consortium for School Networking issued a plan of action that aims to prod district leaders to at least gather data.       

THE INTERNET IS FOR ALL OF US  ( Ed Surge- Commentary)   

Education disrupts poverty, and technology can help enable, enhance, and support the great education our students need. If we are ignoring those students and families who need Internet access the most, we are failing in our education and community policies. But even among people who have Internet access, digital inequities exist.   


For Bloomington (IN), citywide broadband should be less a question of if and more a question of how, experts said. “Today is a beginning, not an ending,” Mayor John Hamilton said at the end of a four-hour symposium focusing on the benefits of high-speed network connectivity for economic development and quality of life in Bloomington.   

Comcast’s Stream TV Draws FCC Complaint (Fierce Cable) 

Public Knowledge has filed a complaint with the FCC over Comcast excluding its Stream TV OTT service from its customers’ data caps. The complaint says the service doesn’t gel with the FCC’s Open Internet rules and also violates Comcast’s NBCUniversal merger commitments.   

Black TV Execs Split On FCC’s Set-Top Box Plans (LA Times) 

Robert Johnson and Alfred Liggins each launched a successful cable TV network targeting African Americans, a rare achievement. But as federal regulators consider new regulations for pay-TV set-top boxes that could dramatically reshape that world, the two black media titans have staked out polar opposite positions.