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7 years 24 weeks ago

August 5, 2010

Will enforcement of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act hold up? We still don't know. read more
The shift over the past two decades towards the use of e-mail, the Internet and other technology - by both companies and individuals - has provided a potential trove of data for security services and governments. Were it not for barriers such as privacy laws, data encryption and companies' scruples, the world would a far easier place for police and spies. read more
The ease and speed with which people can share information over the Internet is perhaps the marvel of this era. The way they live and work is changing rapidly, posing new opportunities and new hazards. One area undergoing massive change is personal privacy. read more
Phone companies know where their customers' cellphones are, often within a radius of less than 100 feet. That tracking technology has rescued lost drivers, helped authorities find kidnap victims and let parents keep tabs on their kids. But the technology isn't always used the way the phone company intends. read more
The National Hispanic Media Coalition, the Media Action Grassroots Network, the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ, the Benton Foundation, and Access Humboldt have filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission urging that reforms to the Lifeline and Link Up programs are necessary to ensure that all eligible individuals -- especially among the poor and people of color -- can obtain the opportunities that these programs provide. read more
For years, members of Congress have tied themselves in knots trying to figure out how to pass a "shield law" that allows journalists to protect the identities of sources without giving anything to journalists whom those same members do not like or appreciate. read more
In this letter to the editor, Peters says history teaches is that in the absence of government regulation or the threat thereof, mainstream entertainment goes from bad to worse when it comes to offensive and harmful content. read more

August 4, 2010

KCET, LA's public television station, faces big identity and financial challenges. read more
The proposed merger of NBC-Universal and Comcast would create a media monopoly that poses a grave threat to consumers, according to a letter from a coalition of public interest groups and private organizations. The Coalition for Competition in Media, which includes Bloomberg, Free Press, National Organization for Women, Parents Television Council, and the Writers Guild of America wrote to the National Association of Attorneys General and five state Attorneys General August 4 asking them to scrutinize the proposed acquisition, which they say would give Comcast unprecedented control of media distribution and content in the US. read more
Two dozen Black and Hispanic Members of Congress wrote to the Federal Communications Commission last week expressing support for the proposed merger between NBC Universal and Comcast. read more
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) shined a spotlight on consumer complaints about satellite TV service. read more
Google is set to allow advertisers in Europe to use rivals' trademarks when bidding for online ads in a move that will prevent big brand owners from controlling which ads appear during users' searches. read more
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) sent a letter to Nathaniel Lipman, President of Affinion Group asking for more information about Affinion's use of a "live check" enrollment process. read more
According to a new Rasmussen poll, only slightly more people believe the Federal Communications Commission is doing a "good or excellent" job (29%) of regulating "profanity, sexual content and violence" than say it is doing a poor job (28%). Just 9% said it was doing an excellent job, with 20% saying it was doing a good job, 37% fair, and 6% weren't sure. read more
Wikipedia enthusiasts may have a new way to argue their case to professors skeptical of the online encyclopedia: Cancer researchers said in June that Wikipedia was nearly as accurate as a well-respected, peer-reviewed database, although the wiki entries were a bit more boring. read more
As the Obama administration ramps up plans to create a digital medical file for every American by 2014 -- at an anticipated cost of up to $27 billion -- technology's boosters tend to tout its potential benefits to patients and ability to slow runaway medical costs. Yet despite the high political and financial stakes, the Administration has established no national mandatory monitoring procedure for the new devices and software. read more
The Privacy and Security Tiger Team yesterday began exploring how current technologies can help patients make decisions on consent and access to their electronic health records when more sensitive patient data is involved. read more
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services awarded $5.75 million in federal matching funds to six states and the District of Columbia to help Medicaid providers expand the use of electronic health records. read more
New data shows that in virtually every broadcast prime-time program, added DVR playback lowers a show's median age. read more
This report addresses the results of the first broadband stimulus funding round, the extent to which NTIA's and RUS's application reviews substantiated application information, the challenges facing NTIA and RUS in awarding the remaining funds, and actions taken to oversee grant and loan recipients. read more