Today’s media landscape looks nothing like the 1970s. Back then, newspapers, radio, and television were the only games in town. But despite such insignificant developments like Internet news and massive layoffs in traditional print media, FCC rules haven’t kept up with the times. Last month, the FCC voted to retain nearly all rules preventing the cross-ownership of newspapers, broadcast TV stations and radio stations in the same market. Evidence suggests that cross-ownership could help save the struggling print news industry by allowing local media to pool their resources and share newsrooms. Why is the FCC stuck in the past? How will these rules affect diversity in media? Matthew Berry, Chief of Staff for FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, joins the show to discuss. For more, read Commissioner Pai’s dissent.
It’s no secret that ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have disrupted the taxi industry. While many cities have embraced the fierce competition, others have simply banned ride-sharing outright. But Massachusetts is taking a novel approach — forcing companies like Uber to subsidize their taxi competitors. A new 20 cent tax on ridesharing trips includes 5 cents that goes directly to the taxi industry. If it sounds unfair, then why are both the companies and Governor Baker (a Republican) supporting it? Should Uber subsidize taxis in other cities as well? What are the downsides? The Manhattan Institute’s Jared Meyer joins the show to discuss. For more, read his article in Forbes.
The wireless industry is gearing up for 5G, the next generation of networks. And don’t let the numbers fool you — 5G speeds are going to be much faster than 4G. But what’s it gonna take to get us from HD streaming to 4K? From augmented to virtual reality? Major obstacles remain in the way. Whether it’s acquiring more spectrum, building small cells, or navigating a web of regulation, carriers face significant hurdles. Can 5G support the “Internet of Things?” What effect will FCC regulations have on deployment? What can government do to help? Peter Rysavy, a wireless technology expert and president of Rysavy Research, joins the show.
When government-run broadband networks in Chattanooga, TN and Wilson, NC sought to expand beyond their cities’ boundaries, they ran into state restrictions. The cities asked the FCC to intervene, but can a federal regulator overturn state laws on broadband? The agency thought so, but the Court disagreed. This month, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the FCC’s 2015 order preempting state laws and dictating how municipalities make decisions with regard to government-run broadband networks. What does this mean for the future of state broadband policy? Should critics of the FCC be encouraged by the Court’s rebuke. Evan and Berin discuss. For more, see our blog post.
When we talk about Uber and ride-sharing on this show, it's usually about regulatory battles. Today, we’re not talking about restricting or banning Uber — quite the opposite. Far from banning these platforms, some local governments are looking to subsidize ride-sharing. As cities like Washington, DC struggle with public transit, is subsidizing Uber a good alternative? Or, is this simply more intrusion by government in otherwise well-functioning markets? Jared Meyer, research fellow at the Manhattan Institute, joins the show to discuss.
What happens when the FBI wants to spy on journalists? This summer, The Intercept obtained classified rules revealing a largely unrestrained procedure for obtaining journalists’ call information using national security letters. Cora Currier, the reporter who broke the story for The Intercept, joins the show to discuss. What impact does FBI spying have on journalism? Is there a chilling effect on free speech? What reforms could strike a proper balance between civil liberties and law enforcement needs?
The Federal Election Commission has long taken a light-touch approach to regulating online speech. But two recent cases involving livestreaming and filming political debate resulted in split, 3-3 votes along party lines. Is digital free speech in danger? FEC Commissioner Lee Goodman joins the show to discuss. Listen to part 1 of our series on digital free speech here.
This summer, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Most of the fallout focused on the stock market and value of the pound, but what does “Brexit” mean for technology? Is the UK now less attractive to startups? Will Frankfurt be the new London? How will Brexit impact negotiations over cross-border data flows and the so-called “Privacy Shield” agreement? What does it mean for surveillance policy. Will Rinehart, Director of Technology and Innovation Policy at the American Action Forum, joins the show. For more, see his blog post.
Cars these days often come with mobile data connections and entertainment systems. But as we move toward autonomous vehicles and car-to-car communications, the “Internet of Cars” will be much more sophisticated and technical. While self-driving cars pose many benefits, they also raise concerns over cybersecurity and privacy. What are the risks, and how can manufacturers and regulators strike a balance that protects consumers without stifling innovation? Beau Woods, Deputy Director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council, joins the show to discuss.
Most people are familiar with Wikipedia, but there's a lot more to "open data" than the convenience of checking how tall your favorite Olympic athlete is. Open databases can play a key role in supporting research and innovation, but they also raise questions about intellectual property and fair compensation for creators. How are databases like Wikidata regulated in Europe, and how does that approach differ from the U.S.? Julia Schuetze, a Euromasters student and tech strategist at Wikimedia Germany joins the show.