#112: Verizon Shifts on Business Broadband

August 10, 2016

Is Verizon moving away from broadband and fiber deployment? Earlier this month, the company filed an ex parte with the FCC indicating support for price regulation on business broadband. Bruce Mehlman, Co-Chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance, argued in a recent article that the telecom giant’s ex parte represents a significant departure from its past positions. Why the sudden change? Is price regulation making capital investment less attractive? What can the FCC do to encourage new infrastructure? Bruce and Evan discuss.


#111: FDA Cracks Down on E-Cigs

August 9, 2016

Is the FDA putting e-cigs and vapor products out of business? Yesterday, the FDA’s “Deeming Rules” took effect. The rules will force e-cig manufacturers to undergo an expensive and time-consuming approval process unless their products were on the market — or very similar to products on the market — prior to the “predicate date” of February 15, 2007, long before modern e-cigs were introduced. If e-cigs are helping people quit harmful tobacco cigarettes, why is the FDA doing this? How will this impact the industry? Evan is joined by Lori Sanders and Caroline Kitchens of the R Street Institute. For more, check out their event on harm reduction.


#110: TechFreedom Appeals FCC Power Grab

August 4, 2016

What’s next in the litigation over Title II and the FCC’s “net neutrality” rules? In June, the FCC scored a victory when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld its Open Internet Order, which reclassified broadband as a common carrier service. While the agency won the first round, TechFreedom and tech entrepreneurs are hoping to overturn the ruling through appeal. Last Friday, they filed a motion for the D.C. Circuit to re-hear the case. If that fails, is it the end of the line? Or, will the Supreme Court have the final say? Evan and Berin discuss.


#109: Small Business and the Internet

August 1, 2016

While most people associate the structure of the Internet with major companies like AT&T and Comcast, the reality is that small and medium-sized business play a major role. Evan is joined by Christian Dawson, Executive Director of the Internet Infrastructure Coalition, to discuss how small businesses helped build the Internet, and how their role can be threatened by regulation.


#108: Microsoft Beats Justice Department in Ireland

July 27, 2016

Can a US warrant compel Microsoft to give the Justice Department customer data stored in Ireland? The Obama administration thought so, but last week, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided in favor of Microsoft’s challenge of such a warrant. Evan is joined by Greg Nojeim, Director of the Freedom, Security and Technology Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology to discuss the case. What does the decision mean for email privacy? What alternatives does the U.S. government have in investigations involving data stored abroad?


#107: Digital Free Speech (w/ FEC Commissioner Lee Goodman)

July 25, 2016

Political speech has flourished on the Internet, thanks in large part to the First Amendment and a lack of regulation from the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). But is the longstanding “Hands Off the Net” consensus in danger?  Evan is joined by FEC Commissioner Lee Goodman to discuss how digital political speech is currently regulated and what threats exist for digital speech.

A couple highlights:

Goodman: “We can either recognize and embrace free speech on the internet and its wholly constructive democratic effects, or we can start regulating it, impeding it, and discouraging it, and causing everyone who wants to communicate on the internet to look over their shoulder and decide ‘am I going to be punished by my government for speaking freely on my home computer.’”

Swarztrauber: “While the first amendment does protect all kinds of speech, I think there was a particular premium on political speech. That was the real goal.”


#106: GOP Tech Platform: The Good, Bad, the Vague

July 22, 2016

While Trump hasn’t said much specifically about tech policy, the GOP platform does, believe it or not, have a tech section. There’s plenty to like, plenty to dislike, and plenty to scratch your head at. Is Obama really throwing the Internet to the wolves? Has the GOP changed its mind about net neutrality? Can encryption be both good and bad at the same time? Without further ado, here’s TechFreedom’s guide to the 2016 GOP Tech Platform. For more, see here.


#105: GOP Platform: Who Governs the Internet?

July 20, 2016

The GOP’s 2016 platform says that Obama “threw the internet to the wolves, and they — Russia, China, Iran, and others — are ready to devour it.” Well, that’s a little harsh, but there are serious concerns about the United States transferring control of the Internet’s domain name system to an international, multi-stakeholder body: the so-called “IANA transition.” Is the transition a good idea? Does the plan have the safeguards needed to protect free speech, ecommerce, and the hallmarks of an open Internet? Brett Schaefer, Research Fellow in International Affairs at the Heritage Foundation, joins the show to discuss.


#104: Legal Hacking

July 18, 2016

Is encryption really a problem for law enforcement? If so, what’s the solution? In recent months, the FBI has faced legal pushback over its use of hacking to obtain evidence. What do these legal challenges mean for the future of law enforcement hacking? Evan is joined by Adam Klein, Visiting Fellow at the Center for a New American Security and International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. They discuss the FBI’s legal woes and whether “legal hacking” is the future of the crypto debate. Does a defendant have a right to know how law enforcement hacked them? Does the government have a legitimate interest in keeping its methods a secret?


#103: A Network for the Future

July 15, 2016

Imagine a broadband network that's smart. It teaches itself. It repairs itself. And maybe, it's even self-aware. No, we're not talking about Skynet, but software-defined networking (SDN) has the potential to completely transform our Internet infrastructure. Since the birth of the commercial Internet, network upgrades, modifications, and repairs almost always involved on-the-ground engineers and technicians making changes. But companies are already working on virtualizing those functions. Soon enough, it may all be in the cloud. A transformation like this is hardly simple, so who would make such a massive investment? Who would take such a gamble? Evan is joined by Mazin Gilbert, Assistant Vice President of Intelligent Services Research at AT&T Labs. They discuss how AT&T is approaching SDN and what it means for customers, businesses, and the world.