Sen. Wicker Seeks Better NTIA-FCC Cooperation

The ranking member on the powerful Senate Commerce Committee wants the relationship between new FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel and new NTIA head Alan Davidson to start out on the right foot. In a letter to both, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), called on the FCC and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration to work together to better coordinate spectrum policy.

Sen. Tillis Plans To Block Gigi Sohn Floor Vote

Veteran fair-use advocate and former top FCC counselor Gigi Sohn has collected endorsements for the agency‘s open Democratic seat from various groups and legislators. But a single senator can block a full Senate vote on her confirmation and a single senator — Tom Tillis (R-N.C.) — is still signaling that is what he will do if Sohn‘s nomination is favorably reported out of the Senate Commerce Committee.

Senate Approves Alan Davidson To Head NTIA

The Senate voted Tuesday (Jan. 11) to approve the nomination of open internet advocate Alan Davidson, a longtime executive with Mozilla and Google, to head the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, but there was plenty of Republican pushback. As head of NTIA, Davidson will be responsible for overseeing $48 billion in broadband subsidy money authorized in the recently passed infrastructure act. The vote was 60 to 31, with the majority of Republicans voting against

Jan. 6 Panel Seeks Interview With Sean Hannity

In a letter to the Fox News personality, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, Democratic chairman of the House panel investigating the Capitol insurrection, said the panel wants to question him regarding his communications with former President Donald Trump, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and others in Trump’s orbit in the days surrounding the evemt.

Lawmakers Want Biden To Play Bigger Role Pushing Tech Legislation

Lawmakers say 2022 is shaping up as a pivotal year in their efforts to tighten regulations on social media and other internet platforms — and are pushing President Biden to come off the sidelines. Democrats and Republicans are working on half a dozen or more major categories of legislation dealing with online privacy and children’s safety, the transparency of companies’ data-collection practices, accountability for content posted on social media and market dominance by a handful of major players.

Harry Reid, Former Senate Majority Leader, Dies At 82

Harry Mason Reid, a combative former boxer-turned-lawyer, was widely acknowledged as one of toughest dealmakers in Congress, a conservative Democrat in an increasingly polarized chamber who vexed lawmakers of both parties with a brusque manner and this motto: “I would rather dance than fight, but I know how to fight.” Over a 34-year career in Washington, Reid thrived on behind-the-scenes wrangling and kept the Senate controlled by his party through two presidents — Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama — a crippling recession and the Republican takeover of the House after the 2010 elections.

New Bill Could Give More LPTV Stations Limited Must-Carry Rights

Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are introducing a bill that would give some low-power television (LPTV) stations the opportunity to apply for Class A television service status, which includes must-carry rights. LPTVs haven’t been able to apply to the FCC for such status since 1999.

Photojournalist Fights Move To Seize Records

Lawmakers Urge Instagram Chief To Better Protect Children

Lawmakers of both parties came out swinging in a hearing on Wednesday with Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, expressing deep skepticism and anger toward the company for not doing enough to protect young users.

Instagram Chief To Take Hot Seat In Congressional Hearing

Senate To Vote On Rosenworcel Nomination

The Senate voted Monday to invoke cloture and proceed to a vote on a new, five-year term for acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. The final confirmation vote could come as early as today.

Sen. Tillis Signals Hold On Sohn FCC Nomination

A spokesperson for Sen. Thom Tillis told Next TV late Monday that he will do his best to keep Democratic nominee Gigi Sohn off the FCC. “Senator Tillis is going to do everything he can to stop Gigi Sohn’s confirmation, including putting a hold,” Tillis’s communications director, Adam Webb, said in an email.

Lawmakers Target Big Tech ‘Amplification.’ What Does That Mean?

Some lawmakers from both parties argue that when social media sites boost the performance of hateful or violent posts, the sites become accomplices.

Here’s What’s In The $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill For Tech

Congress passed its long-awaited $1 trillion infrastructure bill over the weekend, which promises to make a dramatic dent in the digital divide and give a boost to the electric vehicle market in America. Industry groups and tech companies alike were quick to praise its passage as a win for the tech industry. Here’s a quick look at what the bill will do for tech.

Congress Bans FCC Licenses To Suspect Tech Firms

In a move that is a big blow to some big tech companies, Congress has voted to ban new equipment licenses for Chinese telecoms Huawei, ZTE and any other technology company the government concludes poses a national security threat, closing what one of the bill’s sponsors called a “dangerous loophole.”

YouTube, Snap And TikTok Execs Take Their Turns Answering To Washington

Big Tech-Targeted Senate Bill Introduced

As advertised last week, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), joined by a bipartisan chorus of others, including Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), have introduced a bill that would crack down on Big Tech.
The tech industry immediately fired back against the bill.

Facebook Grilled By Senators Over Its Effect On Children

The company faces accusations that it hid research showing the mental and emotional harm Instagram, its photo-sharing app, has had on teenagers.

Senators Urge Biden To Make Rosenworcel Permanent FCC Chair

A group of over two dozen U.S. Senators are urging President Biden to designate acting FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel to a permanent position, making her the first woman to hold the office. The chairmanship of the commission has been in limbo since Biden was sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2021, with Rosenworcel operating in acting capacity.

Broadcasters Push For Local Journalism Tax Break Bill

In a letter to Senate leadership, all 50 state broadcaster associations are calling for passage of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act. They said the bill “would provide local newsrooms a lifeline that would enable them to sustain, and in some cases, significantly improve the critical public service these local media outlets provide their communities.”

Another Hill Proposal To Help Local Media

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act proposes certain benefits for local newspaper subscribers, as well as benefits to advertisers who advertise on local media — both broadcast and print. For advertisers who place advertising in either a local newspaper or on a local broadcast stations, a tax credit of up to $5,000 would be available to certain small businesses who use local media to get their advertising messages to their communities.

House Passes Media Diversity Bills

The House Tuesday passed a bill and a resolution aimed at achieving greater media diversity. The votes on each were 319-105 — they were part of a block vote on a handful of communications-related bills.

Antitrust Overhaul Passes Its First Tests. Now, The Hard Parts

When the Judiciary Committee began approving a suite of bills on Wednesday, fault lines were exposed that could make final passage difficult.

Lawmakers, Taking Aim At Big Tech, Push Sweeping Overhaul Of Antitrust

A bipartisan group of House members introduced five bills targeting Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

Alyssa Milano Confirms She Is Considering Run For Congress

COMMENTARY BY SALLY JENKINS

In A Secret Deal, The NCAA Sold Out Women’s Sports

Sally Jenkins: “Someone on Capitol Hill, please explain why the dystopian, reform-resistant NCAA should get one more dime or tax favor from an American electorate that is more than half female. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) has remarked that we need to recognize the NCAA ‘for the civil rights issue that it is,” a system in which “80 to 90 percent of the adults who are getting rich off college athletics are White men.’ While we’re at it, let’s recognize how it uses and demeans women.”

House Committee OKs Big Tech Antitrust Blueprint

The House Judiciary Committee lhas formally approved a report on monopoly power in digital marketplaces. The over 400-page document depicting ways that Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook allegedly abuse their market power was approved on a 24-17 party-line vote.

Lawmakers Call YouTube Kids a ‘Wasteland Of Vapid’ Content

In a letter sent Tuesday to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, the U.S. House Oversight and Reform subcommittee on economic and consumer policy said YouTube does not do enough to protect kids from material that could harm them. Instead it relies on artificial intelligence and creators’ self-regulation to decide what videos make it on to the platform, according to the letter.

Tech CEOs To Face Questions On Disinformation

The chief executives of Twitter, Alphabet and Facebook (l-r: Jack Dorsey, Sundar Pichai and Mark Zuckerberg) will appear before a House panel, where they will face questions about social media’s role in fomenting discord and their decisions to suspend or ban former President Trump.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH GORDON SMITH

TVN Executive Session | NAB Prioritizes Antitrust Exemption, Relaxed Ownership Rules

NAB President Gordon Smith says the organization is shifting into offense with the new Democrat-led FCC, pairing with newspaper publishers for an antitrust exemption in dealing with Big Tech along with pressing for a relaxation of antiquated TV ownership rules. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

Bill Would Televise Supreme Court Proceedings

A bipartisan group of senators is looking to bring the Supreme Court to television, aiming to have the high court reach a new technological frontier after nearly a year of hearing arguments via teleconference due to the coronavirus pandemic. Senate Majority Whip and Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin and Sen. Chuck Grassley, the committee’s top Republican, introduced a bill on March 18 that would require the Supreme Court to allow public court proceedings to be televised.

Rep. Cicilline: Big Tech Power Could Spell Local News Extinction

Facebook and Google’s market power, especially over digital advertising, has translated to a potential “extinction level event” for local news operations, broadcast, online and print. That was the underlying message of House Antitrust Subcommittee chairman David Cicilline (D-R.I.) at a hearing Friday on “Saving a Free and Diverse Press.”

Rep. Clyburn Reintroduces $100B Internet-For-All Bill

As advertised, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), joined by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), has reintroduced a bill to close the digital divide by connecting everyone to the internet at high speeds — 1 Gig is the goal.

U.S. To Introduce Bill Making Google, Facebook Pay For Publishers’ Content

A U.S. bill being introduced Wednesday by U.S. lawmakers would make it easier for news organizations to negotiate collectively with platforms like Google and Facebook to get a better price for their content that serves up in search engines or news feeds. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. David Cicilline are leading the bill.

House To Hold Multiple Big Tech Antitrust Hearings

The House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee plans to hold a series of hearings on proposed bills to rein in “the rise and abuse of market power online” and adjust antitrust laws accordingly. Both Republicans and Democrats have concerns that antitrust laws were not nimble enough to capture Web giants’ efforts to buy start-up competitors before they became full-fledged competition and, importantly for antitrust law, before they triggered Hart Scott Rodino automatic antitrust reviews.

House Dems Accuse Broadcast, Cable Of Promoting Extremism

Move over social media, traditional media like broadcasting and cable are now in Congress’ sights for what top Democrats say is those media outlets’ role in “promoting disinformation and extremism,” suggesting the Capitol insurrection provided evidence of that. The House Energy & Commerce Committee said Wednesday that it will hold a hearing Feb. 24 entitled “Fanning […]

House E&C Approves $7.6B For Distance Learning

Democratic Congress Preps To Take On Big Tech

Lawmakers say the attack on the Capitol has generated more support for tougher regulation of the industry.

TRUMP SUPPORTERS STORM CAPITOL, SPURRING LOCKDOWN

Protesters loyal to President Trump stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, halting Congress’s counting of the electoral votes to confirm President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory as the police evacuated lawmakers from the building.

McConnell: Senate Will Launch Look At Sec. 230

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that this week the Senate “will begin a process” of bringing the priority of reviewing and potentially revising Section 230 “into focus.” That came in his opening remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday as the Senate prepared to vote Wednesday to override the president’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act.