‘What’s Hot’ List: 5/8/15

The ‘What’s Hot’ List for the week of 5/8/15.

FCC chairman Wheeler: Comcast made ‘good decision’ in stopping Time Warner Cable merger (The New York Business Journal’s TechFlash Blog, 5/4/15) FCC chairman Tom Wheeler today called the collapse of the $42 billion Comcast-Time Warner merger a turning point in the way major telecommunications companies view their relationship with the Internet.

The FCC’s chairman has a killer plan to fight its net neutrality lawsuits (The Washington Post’s The Switch Blog, 5/4/15) Federal Communications chairman Tom Wheeler spoke at TechCrunch Disrupt on Monday, and revealed his short-term plan to fight lawsuits over net neutraliy: “Not to lose.” Yup, that’s exactly what a confident Wheeler said when asked about how the agency is approaching the latest round of lawsuits, according to video of the interview.

Netflix asks FCC to reject AT&T-DirecTV merger unless changes made (Reuters, 5/5/15)Netflix Inc has urged the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to reject the pending $48 billion merger of AT&T Inc and DirecTV unless its concerns about the deal are addressed. A Netflix spokeswoman said on Tuesday that the video streaming company does not oppose the merger in principle but is rather seeking remedies that would help resolve its competitive concerns.

FCC reform bills follow party lines in Congress (RCR Wireless, 5/5/15) Congressional Democrats and Republicans rolled out separate bills pushing reform of the Federal Communications Commission as part of the ongoing political fight over net neutrality. Republican Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.) has led the charge for more transparency of the FCC’s innerworking along with greater congressional oversight.

Internet godfather warns about plans for technology ‘back doors’ (The Hill, 5/4/15)One of the godfathers of the Internet has harsh words for federal efforts to insert “back doors” in digital security systems. “If you have a back door, somebody will find it, and that somebody may be a bad guy or bad guys, and they will intentionally abuse their access,” Vint Cerf, one of the co-founders of the Internet, said during remarks on Monday at the National Press Club.

EU to Probe Big Tech Companies in Digital Market Overhaul (Recode, 5/5/15)The European Union will announce a wide-ranging probe on Wednesday into how big technology companies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook use their market power as it considers whether to regulate them more tightly.

Feds no longer need a warrant to search your phone location records, district court rules (The Verge, 5/5/15) In a reversal of a decision from last year, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled today that the government does not need a warrant to search wireless carriers’ cellphone records. The case focuses on Quartavious Davis, accused of a series of armed robberies, who prosecutors tracked using 11,606 location records from 2010, obtained from a carrier called MetroPCS.

Entner: FCC’s Designated Entity program needs reform (Fierce Wireless, 5/1/15) There is no dispute that Congress’ objective to attract more small businesses to the wireless sector is a laudable one; however, there is some debate over whether offering such entities discounted access to spectrum is the best too to reach the goal. And the results of the recently concluded AWS-3 auction have put the debate over bidding credits for small businesses front and center on DC’s policy agenda.

Tech Employment: More Diverse Than You Think (Wall Street Journal, 4/30/15) It’s no secret that Silicon Valley has a diversity problem. That became evident after the disclosure of workforce-diversity statistics last year at Google, Facebook, and other tech firms, which showed that some of the biggest corporate names—and wealth generators—in the U.S. employ small numbers of African-American and Hispanic professionals and a disproportionate number of male employees.