#236: Low Hanging Fruit with Professor Daskal

September 10, 2018

Law enforcement continues to face challenges with the evolving problems associated with digital evidence gathering. Just last year, US law enforcement made over 130,000 requests for digital evidence to just six tech companies - Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and Oath. These requests to internet service providers have not gone smoothly, as law enforcement is often not suited to accommodate such technical requests or simply do not know what they are looking for. Service providers, in turn, are quite reluctant to comply with these demand for “any and all” data, citing fears that trade secrets or sensitive information will be leaked. Today Jennifer C. Daskal, Adjunct Professor at American University Washington College of Law, is here to discuss her recently published CSIS report titled “Low Hanging Fruit” on what challenges law enforcement encounter, how to address these problems, and policy recommendations to Congress, law enforcement agencies, and Service Providers.


#235: Hasta La Vista, Robocalls?!

August 6, 2018

The FCC welcomed Comments on how to interpret what an Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems(ATDS) is under the TCPA, which targets telephone solicitations that rely upon equipment that have the capacity to store or produce numbers using a random or sequential number generator, and to dial those numbers without human intervention. This comes after the ACC International v. FCC ruling where the FCC’s interpretation of an ATDS in its’ 2015 Declaratory Ruling and Order was held as overly broad. That interpretation encompassed all technology with both the present and theoretical capacity as an ATDS, which meant smartphones would be viewed as an ATDS. Will the FCC revert back to a broader interpretation or will the narrower approach prevail? Today we welcome Charlie Kennedy, Adjunct Fellow for TechFreedom, and Jim Dunstan, General Counsel for TechFreedom, to discuss which interpretation of an ATDS is best for both consumers and businesses. For more info, see TechFreedom’s statement on the issue, and the comments we filed with the FCC.


#234: Judging Judge Kavanaugh

July 30, 2018

Since Donald Trump announced Brett Kavanaugh as his pick to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, both his supporters and opponents have argued aggressively over his fitness for the role. But where does Kavanaugh stand on digital privacy, telecom regulation and other critical tech issues? Ash and Berin dig into Kavanaugh’s previous decisions to try to evaluate what we can expect if he is confirmed.


#233: The Sharing Economy is Dead… Long Live the Hustle Economy

July 23, 2018

According to a recent survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are fewer independent contractors working in the US now than there were in 2005. Does this mean that the end of the sharing economy is near? Jared Meyer, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability, joins the show to discuss the serious flaws in the survey’s methodology that led to a serious under-counting of independent contractors. For more, see his article in Reason, and his testimony before the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions.


#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.


#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.


#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.


#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.


#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.


#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.