In case you haven’t noticed, privacy – meaning the protection of your personal
data and information – is all the rage today. In fact, privacy has become
very big business not only in America, but also in Europe, where the General
Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) mandated sweeping privacy protections for
consumers and strict restrictions on how companies can use personal information
Doing business in this new era of privacy comes at a price, mostly for
compliance. Compounding this is the lack
of clear rules in the U.S. where there remains no comprehensive federal privacy
law. It is no wonder that many companies
have come to the privacy table kicking and screaming, forced to abide by a
growing patchwork of inconsistent state laws with no federal preemption in
Continue reading “The Price of Privacy on the Potomac”
has taken a firm stand against Huawei, the Chinese telecom behemoth – and for
good reason. Huawei is not your
garden-variety Chinese company in the same vein as Tencent, Alibaba, or
Baidu. By many credible accounts, Huawei
is a corporate extension of the Chinese government, replete with Beijing back
channels and generous government support.
In a report released by the
U.S. Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence back in 2012,
Huawei and ZTE Corp., another Chinese company, were described as potential
threats to U.S. security interests precisely because of Chinese government
involvement. Last month, the U.S. Navy reported it was
under intense “cyber-siege” by Chinese hackers. These follow a
litany of allegations that have Huawei engaged in spying, commercial espionage,
and intellectual property theft over many years.
Continue reading “Don’t Let Huawei Control 5G”
There is a saying
that goes, “Everybody has a story to tell.”
My own NAB Show
story began a decade ago – almost to this day, in fact – when I spoke at my
first show as the new president and CEO.
On that morning, I shared the story of broadcasters’ unrelenting
commitment to always be there for their communities … to inform them … and to
It is a
deep-rooted commitment that manifests itself in many ways that often go
unnoticed – in ways that have become ingrained in everyday life for millions of
turn on the radio to find out what the weather is like before heading to work …
to learn how to help their neighbors in need … or to listen to the great
personalities who seem like old friends.
They turn on their televisions to watch their favorite local news anchor
and to get an unbiased report of what is happening in their communities.
Continue reading “Broadcasting Today: Energized by Innovation”
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) first went on the warpath against big
banks, she captured the attention of middle America. Now, Warren has turned her wrath on Big Tech. Her mantra is that big companies are bad, and
the bigger the badder they are for all of us. The government, she argues, should step up its
regulation of these companies and step in to break them up if necessary. Not only is Warren wrong but she is also out
of step with most Americans today.
would be unfair to lay all the blame on Warren for the campaign against big
corporations. This sort of populism has
been a strain in American politics since the Revolution, and most recently
since the Occupy Wall Street campaign. But
today’s anti-corporate movement has a new look and a new lexicon, including
terms like privacy, net neutrality, and transparency, to accompany the typical
notions of competition and consumer protection.
Continue reading “Campaign To Break Big Tech Is Regulatory Overkill”
The news media’s
annual celebration of Sunshine Week, which takes place March 10-16, has always
called to mind the importance of access to government information, transparency
of public records, and the idea that the free flow of information is an
essential element of “good government.”
Created by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) in 2005, the event was timed to coincide with the March 16 birthday of Founding Father James Madison, a strong supporter of the Bill of Rights. It has always been envisioned as a celebration of the Freedom of Information Act signed into law on July 4, 1966, which outlined mandatory disclosure provisions for federal documents and records.
Continue reading “Who Will Keep the Sun Shining?”
A new era of American history begins when the 116th Congress convenes in January 2019 with one of the most partisan classes in modern history. Depending on which side of the aisle they sit, the members’ mission will be either to balance the ship of state or continue full steam ahead.
Conventional wisdom suggests there will be conflict. Optimists hope there will be compromise. The reality will be somewhere in between as the new Congress will have the opportunity to forge a unified path on things that matter to all Americans. With so many pressing policy issues facing the republic – immigration, healthcare, homeland security, and more – it is a stretch to think telecom, media, and technology (TMT) issues will top the agenda or lead the day.
Continue reading “Conflict and Compromise Await New Congress in Telecom, Media, Tech”
Free Speech Week has always been a time to celebrate freedom of expression. This year, however, perhaps there should be an element of somber reflection amid the festivities. It’s worth remembering, after all, that the exercise of free speech can have life-or-death consequences in certain parts of the world. How thankful we should be that freedom of speech and freedom of the press can be exercised in this country without fear of such extreme retaliation.
The sad case of Jamal Khashoggi brings this into sharp relief. The disappearance and murder of the Washington Post contributing columnist, which the Saudis now admit occurred at the hands of their own operatives, happened just three weeks before Free Speech Week, October 22 – 28. He joins a long list of journalists from around the world who have disappeared or been killed while working in pursuit of the truth, who spoke out too stridently or too frequently against corrupt government leaders and their abuses of power.
Continue reading “Free Speech Week: Celebrating, Reflecting”
We are living in the platinum age of television. Consumers are enjoying an abundance of movies, news, sports, and entertainment, available anytime and anyplace, in-home or out. Every communications medium from wireless phones to the worldwide web is in the business of broadcasting content over its platform. Although we now call it “video,” at the core, it is television nonetheless, and the world cannot get enough of it. For legacy broadcasters, this is both a blessing and a bane.
Before the end of the year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will finalize its mandatory review of the national ownership rules – set of regulations governing television and radio station ownership in the U.S. The FCC is expected to expand, and perhaps eliminate, the national ownership cap. If it does, broadcasters will be dealt an unprecedented, but fortuitous, break that will change the media landscape for the foreseeable future. It would be a follow-on to the FCC’s 2017 decision to reinstate the UHF discount, an arrangement that allows broadcasters to count UHF stations as only 50 percent toward the national ownership cap.
Continue reading “TV Owners Need New Rules To Keep Pace”
Something quite remarkable – unprecedented, actually – is scheduled to take place on Aug. 16. More than 100 newspapers across the country will mount a coordinated editorial response to President Trump’s increasingly frequent attacks on the media. Responding to a rallying cry from the Boston Globe, papers ranging from large metropolitan dailies to small weeklies will publish editorials defending freedom of the press and their critical role in this democracy. They will be joined by members of the broadcast media as well, with the strong support of the Radio-Television Digital News Association.
These editorial writers will be reacting to the constant stream of messages from the president, in tweets and speeches, that the mainstream media are “the enemy of the people,” “fake, fake disgusting news,” “fake news media,” and so forth.
One school of thought has held that replying to such charges is pointless because the president’s pronouncements are either hollow rhetoric or impulsive ramblings or political fodder for his base – or some combination of the three. Furthermore, since the First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press, and the courts are willing to uphold that freedom, the president’s words can have no real effect on the media. Thus, this line of thinking concludes, the act of replying to hollow assertions becomes a hollow act itself.
Continue reading “Speaking Up for a Free Press”
Regardless of your political leanings, the just-released report by the Telecommunications Research and Policy Institute shows that with regard to the global broadband Internet ecosystem, there is no need to Make America Great Again. That’s because the U.S. leadership role in this field remains well established, as documented in the study that I authored – “Net Vitality 2.0: Identifying the Top–Tier Global Broadband Leaders – The Net Vitality Index In Detail” (available at trpiresearch.org).
This is the only evidence-based analysis that compares countries on an apples-to-apples basis, based on four essential elements that work together seamlessly to create the Internet’s vitality that we rely on in virtually every aspect of our daily lives. These are (1) applications and content; (2) devices; (3) networks; and (4) innovation and competitiveness indicators. Omit one of these elements from the internet equation and the value of the Net to all of us would be greatly diminished.
Continue reading “The Continuing Leadership of the U.S. in Global Net Vitality”