‘What’s Hot’ List: 1/23/15

‘What’s Hot’ List: 1/23/15

Net neutrality push gets mention in SOTU (The Hill 1/20/15) President Obama renewed his call for strong net neutrality rules during his State of the Union address Tuesday night. Obama’s vow to protect a “free and open Internet” came while also stressing the importance of increased high-speed Internet access around the country. “I intend to protect a free and open Internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks, so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world,” Obama said to applause.

FCC commissioner calls for more transparency (The Hill’s Technology Policy Blog, 1/19/15) A Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission is renewing his call for more transparency ahead of open meetings at the agency.  Commissioner Michael O’Rielly in a blog post Friday pushed back on a number of objections to publicly releasing the text of items at the same time they are circulated internally.

 GOP calls for open internet, but more in symbol than substance (Gigaom Blog, 1/19/15) “Open internet” has become one of those political catch-phrases like “freedom” or “innovation” that enjoys universal support but is rapidly losing any real meaning. Consider, for instance, the new broadband bill trotted out on Friday by Republicans with a press release that promises “open and unfettered access to the Internet.”

Shifting Politics of Net Neutrality Debate Ahead of F.C.C. Vote (New York Times, 01/19/2015) Last November, when President Obama proposed strict rules to prevent broadband companies from blocking or intentionally slowing down the web, Republicans pounced on what they called yet another heavy-handed liberal proposal. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas pronounced the regulations “Obamacare for the Internet.”

GOP Unveils New Net Neutrality Bill (Media Post, 1/19/15) Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate have unveiled legislation that would require broadband providers to follow some Net neutrality principles, but would also prevent the Federal Communications Commission from enacting more stringent rules.

NSA Broke Into North Korea’s Internet Before Sony Hack: Report (International Business Times, 1/18/15) The National Security Agency — also known as the NSA — tapped into North Korea’s computer network in 2010, long before the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in November, the New York Times reported exclusively. The U.S. was able to pinpoint North Korea as the culprit responsible for the Sony hack since it was familiar with the DPRK’s Internet operation.

 3 reasons why the Internet of Things (still) doesn’t make sense (The Washington Post, 1/16/15) If there was one big buzzword out of this year’s CES, it was the “Internet of Things.” Just about every major tech company seemingly wants to sell products or services as part of the Internet of Things. According to Cisco chief executive John Chambers, the Internet of Things could be a $19 trillion opportunity, with more than 50 billion objects hooked up to the Internet by 2020. The momentum behind the Internet of Things seems to be pretty much unstoppable, right?

Sprint: We Can Live With Title II-Lite (Multichannel News, 1/16/15) Sprint has provided the FCC some cover for going the Title II route to reinstating Open Internet rules, but only if new rules continue to recognize the “unique network management challenges” of mobile broadband. In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Stephen Bye, Sprint chief technology officer, said that Sprint doesn’t think that “a light touch application of Title II, including appropriate forbearance, would harm the continued investment in, and deployment of, mobile broadband.” 

Eight reasons to support Congress’s net neutrality bill (Larry Downes, The Washington Post, 01/20/2015)Late last week, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the chairmen respectively of the Senate and House Commerce Committees, circulated draft legislation aimed at ending once and for all messy political wrangling over the FCC’s proposed open Internet rules, sometimes known as “net neutrality.” Hearings on the bill will take place in both chambers Wednesday.

Congress offers exit strategy on net neutrality (Jeff Eisenach, The Hill, 01/15/15)Back in February 2014, when FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that he intended to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to write new net neutrality rules in the wake of the DC Circuit’s decision in Verizon v. FCC, the American Enterprise Institute’s Richard Bennett responded by warning that net neutrality could become “Wheeler’s Vietnam.”   Honestly, I thought then that the Vietnam analogy might be an overreach.  Relying on Wheeler’s public statements at the time, I wrote then that “while net neutrality advocates are chomping at the bit… they may not get their way.”