#232: Nationalizing 5G

July 16, 2018

According to leaked documents in January, a senior official from the National Security Council in the White House had suggested to build a national 5G network and have it under state control for national security reasons. Reaction from Trump appointed Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai was very strong, he stated that “any federal effort to construct a nationalized 5G network would be a costly and counterproductive distraction” from winning the global 5G race. There haven’t been any new developments on this issue until June. Brad Parscale, President Trump’s campaign manager tweeted out that US needs to have one 5G network, his reasoning suggested this is needed for US to have “best cell service.” Berin Szóka, President of TechFreedom is joining Ashkhen to share his strong opinion on the issue. You can read Berin’s blog on “TrumpNet” here.

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#231: Preview of the Internet Governance Forum USA 2018

July 9, 2018

This episode is a preview of the Internet Governance Forum USA 2018. IGF USA will take place on July 27, 2018 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies located at 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036. Ashkhen is joined by Shane Tews, President of Logan Circle Strategies, visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and Steve DelBianco, President and CEO of NetChoice. To find out more visit the Forum’s website and Wiki. You can register for IGF here.

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#230: Updating the FCC’s Kid Vid Rules with Commissioner O’Rielly

June 21, 2018

The Federal Communications Commission has put forward an NPRM to reexamine the so-called “KidVid” requirements, which put obligations on broadcasters for a very specific amount and place for children’s educational and informational broadcasting. Is KidVid is a classic example of a well-intentioned policy gone awry and resulting in less quality children's programming on TV, the exact opposite of the law’s intent?  We are joined by the Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly to discuss current laws and regulations in this area and their policy implications.

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#229: LabMD Court Decision Ushers in a New Era for the FTC

June 8, 2018

Since the Federal Trade Commission began bringing data security enforcement actions in 2002, no court had ruled on the substantive merits of the FTC’s approach. A panel of three Eleventh Circuit judges decisively rejected the FTC’s use of broad, vague consent decrees, in the LabMD v Federal Trade Commission ruling that the Commission may only bar specific practices, and cannot require a company “to overhaul and replace its data-security program to meet an indeterminable standard of reasonableness.” We are joined by TechFreedom’s President Berin Szóka and Legal Fellow Graham Owens. They explain why this case is so crucial, what’s next for the FTC and what policy changes can be on the horizon.

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#228: FBI Lost Count… Of Locked Phones

June 4, 2018

The FBI has been a vocal critic of the spread of encryption, often citing the nearly 8,000 devices connected to crimes that were inaccessible to law enforcement last year as evidence that increased device security represents a major threat to law enforcement. But a recent Washington Post article revealed that this number was seriously inflated due to “programming error,” with the real value estimated at around 1,200. Robyn Greene, the policy counsel and government affairs lead for the Open Technology Institute joins the show to discuss what this mistake means for the future of encryption policy. For more, see this letter led by OTI and signed by TechFreedom calling on the Inspector General to investigate the FBI and DOJ’s handling of the error, as well as Greene’s other work.

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#227: Can Flightsharing Finally Take Off?

May 28, 2018

While sharing economy business models have revolutionized transportation in many ways, the aviation industry has been a notable exception, thanks to outdated regulations that stifle such behavior. However, the Aviation Empowerment Act, introduced by Sen. Mike Lee, attempts to change that by updating and clarifying FAA rules that have held back innovation. To discuss what this bill means for the future of aviation, we’re joined by Chris Koopman, Senior Director of Strategy and Research for the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. See the full text of the bill here, and some of Koopman’s past work on flightsharing here.

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#226: The Fairness Doctrine: The Next Generation

May 21, 2018

In recent hearings, congressional Republicans have accused social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube of stifling conservative content. Some, such as Sen. Ted Cruz, have called for a “Fairness Doctrine” for the Internet. Cruz reasoned that “in order to be protected by Section 230, companies like Facebook should be ‘neutral public forums.’ But would this policy approach, which failed to encourage ideological diversity in broadcasting, work any better when applied to the Internet? How might this undermine important protections that have allowed free speech to flourish online? TechFreedom President Berin Szóka and General Counsel Jim Dunstan join the show to discuss. For more, see Szóka's oral and written testimonies before the House Judiciary Committee on the subject.

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#225: WHOIS going to deal with cybersecurity: GDPR Edition

May 14, 2018

WHOIS, the system used for querying databases of information on domain name registrations and IP addresses, has been a vital tool for journalists, security researchers and law enforcement in identifying and tracking spammers, phishers, identity thieves and other cybercriminals. However, when the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation takes effect on May 25, the service will heavily limited or possibly shut down completely in order to comply with privacy requirements. How will this impact cybersecurity? Does WHOIS raise legitimate privacy concerns?  Shane Tews, President of Logan Circle Strategies, visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Tim Chen, CEO of DomainTools, join the show to discuss. For more, see Shane’s piece on the subject, Tim’s white papers, and TechFreedom President Berin Szóka’s blog post on ICANN’s IANA transition.

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#224: Disruptive Innovation (Part 1)

April 23, 2018

The growing pace of technological innovation means both regulators and established industries are finding it increasingly harder to keep up. How do companies adapt (or fail to adapt) to new disruptions in their industries? How can regulators address new technology without causing harmful unintended consequences? Author Larry Downes joins the show to discuss. For more, see Larry’s books The Laws of Disruption and Big Bang Disruption, and his recent article in the Harvard Business Review.

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#223: Law Enforcement as a Political Weapon

April 16, 2018

President Donald Trump has been vocal to criticize those he deems political opponents. However, these criticisms often extend to threats of legal action, particularly against the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post and Amazon. Trump has set aside decades of precedent and involved himself directly in a number of enforcement actions, often in ways that would benefit him or his political allies. How lawful is this kind of intervention? And how can the rest of the government resist inappropriate political meddling? Justin Florence, Legal Director for Protect Democracy, and TechFreedom President Berin Szóka join the show to discuss. For more, see their joint op-ed in the Seattle Times, and Protect Democracy’s filing in the antitrust case against the AT&T/Time Warner merger.

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