Monday, April 22, 2013

RFC :: Direct Access to Phone Number Resources by VoIP Providers ::

Seeking Comment On Costs and Benefits, Including Ensuring Protection of Consumers, Public Safety, Network Reliability and Numbering System
Washington, D.C. – Working to speed innovation and competition in communications services, the Federal Communications Commission today proposed to streamline access to telephone numbers for innovative online providers of phone service.
The proposals continue the ongoing agency-wide effort to modernize its rules for today’s broadband marketplace, while promoting competition, protecting consumers and ensuring public safety.
Today, providers of interconnected Voice overInternet Protocol services – a popular type of VoIP service which can place calls to and receive calls from the traditional phone network as well as over the Internet – must obtain numbers through traditional telephone companies acting as a middleman.  This can raise costs and slow introduction of innovative services, such as high-definition voice.
To determine whether a more streamlined approach is appropriate in the Internet era, the FCC is seeking comment on whether interconnected VoIP providers should have direct access to numbers.  In addition, the FCC is seeking comment on easing access for other services that require numbers, such as IP access to emergency services, home security systems, text messaging services, programmable appliances and telematics like hands-free cellular modems in automobiles.
To test a number of technical issues related to the proposals, FCC also launched a limited, six-month trial of direct access to numbers.  Vonage and other VoIP providers with pending direct-access waiver petitions at the Commission will be allowed to test direct access for 5% or fewer of the numbers they currently access through intermediaries – phased in over 6 months – and a very limited amount of new numbers.  Participants will be required to report monthly on the progress of the trial, and can be required to return the numbers if problems arise.  In addition, the FCC granted a limited waiver to TeleCommunication Systems, Inc., which provides access to E911 services for interconnected VoIP providers.  
Looking further ahead, the FCC opened a Notice of Inquiry asking about the long-term relationship of numbers to geographic boundaries.  The tie between area codes and geographic regions has been weakened by number portability, especially as mobile subscribers move away from the area where they obtained the service but continue using the number.  The Inquiry seeks general comment on these trends and whether changes in Commission policies are appropriate

Comment Date: (30 days after date of publication in the Federal Register)
Reply Comment Date: (60 after date of publication in the Federal Register)

Docket No.:  13-97

FCC PROPOSES TO UNLEASH CONSUMER BENEFITS OF ONLINE VOICE SERVICES BY PROVIDING DIRECT ACCESS TO NUMBERS.   Working to speed innovation and competition in communications services, the Federal Communications Commission proposed to streamline access to telephone numbers for innovative online providers of phone service.  News Release. (Dkt No 13-97 ). Adopted:  04/18/2013.

NUMBERING POLICIES FOR MODERN COMMUNICATIONS, IP-ENABLED SERVICES, TELEPHONE NUMBER REQUIREMENTS FOR IP-ENABLED SERVICE PROVIDERS, TELEPHONE NUMBER PORTABILITY, DEVELOPING A UNIFIED INTERCARRIER COMPENSATION REGIME ET AL.   FCC Proposes To Unleash Consumer Benefits of Online Voice Services by Providing Direct Access to Numbers. (Dkt No.  13-97 10-90 04-36 01-92 99-200 07-243 95-116 ). Action by:  the Commission. Adopted:  04/18/2013 by NPRM. (FCC No. 13-51).  WCB

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

RFC :: FTC Seeks Input on Privacy and Security Implications of the Internet of Things

Notice: Commission Staff to Conduct Workshop on Nov. 21

The staff of the Federal Trade Commission is interested in the consumer privacy and security issues posed by the growing connectivity of consumer devices, such as cars, appliances, and medical devices, and invites comments on these issues in advance of a public workshop to be held on November 21, 2013 in Washington, D.C. 

The ability of everyday devices to communicate with each other and with people is becoming more prevalent and often is referred to as “The Internet of Things.”  Consumers already are able to use their mobile phones to open their car doors, turn off their home lights, adjust their thermostats, and have their vital signs, such as blood pressure, EKG, and blood sugar levels, remotely monitored by their physicians. In the not too distant future, consumers approaching a grocery store might receive messages from their refrigerator reminding them that they are running out of milk.
Connected devices can communicate with consumers, transmit data back to companies, and compile data for third parties such as researchers, health care providers, or even other consumers, who can measure how their product usage compares with that of their neighbors.  The devices can provide important benefits to consumers:  they can handle tasks on a consumer’s behalf, improve efficiency, and enable consumers to control elements of their home or work environment from a distance. At the same time, the data collection and sharing that smart devices and greater connectivity enable pose privacy and security risks.
FTC staff seeks input on the privacy and security implications of these developments.  For example:
  • What are the significant developments in services and products that make use of this connectivity (including prevalence and predictions)?
  • What are the various technologies that enable this connectivity (e.g., RFID, barcodes, wired and wireless connections)?
  • What types of companies make up the smart ecosystem?
  • What are the current and future uses of smart technology?
  • How can consumers benefit from the technology?
  • What are the unique privacy and security concerns associated with smart technology and its data?  For example, how can companies implement security patching for smart devices?  What steps can be taken to prevent smart devices from becoming targets of or vectors for malware or adware?
  • How should privacy risks be weighed against potential societal benefits, such as the ability to generate better data to improve health-care decisionmaking or to promote energy efficiency? Can and should de-identified data from smart devices be used for these purposes, and if so, under what circumstances?
FTC staff will accept submissions through June 1, 2013, electronically through or in written form.  Paper submissions should be mailed or delivered to:  600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Room H-113 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580.  The FTC requests that any paper submissions be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

4.10 :: Hello, It's Been a While :: BITAG :: DNSSEC :: Price of Free :: Online Honesty Box :: Austin Google Fiber :: Beyond Dubai :: CISPA :: Aereo :: CFAA :: DOS ::

CyberTelecom News  Weekly
Federal Internet Law and Policy :: An Educational Project

My top men tell me the Internet is going to be big! Daguerreotype big! I've decided to buy this Internet, one domain at a time. -Charles Montgomery Burns

Dear Netflix, We Can't Hear You! Signed, 50 Million Americans, NPR :: Keyword: [ADA] Recent scientific research links hearing impairment with dementia. Commentator Barbara J. King says widespread availability of closed-captioned films could help.

Broadband Legacy, NTCA :: Keyword: [Broadband] Blair Levin, lead creator of the national broadband plan (NBP), has been busy these days with his Gig U effort, working through the Aspen Institute to create high-capacity networks for universities and other initiatives that promote broadband adoption. Ever since Blair was brave and bold enough to attend an NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association meeting and debate the merits of the broadband plan, we have always found a way to find agreement on the need for more robust efforts on the broadband adoption front.

When Doesn’t Speed Matter?, Level3 :: Keyword: [Broadband] 3.3 milliseconds per 1,000 kilometers — that’s what Wikipedia reports to be the speed of light in fiber optic cable. In theory, if you wrapped a single fiber cable around the equator (which is 40,075 km long) a bit of information could circle the Earth in 0.132 seconds. What’s very important to notice in the simple math I performed that there are no variables. But in telecom networks there are many variables in the infrastructure, like repeaters/amps, multiplexers, optical switches, variations in fiber quality and how the last mile of transport is accomplished – just to name a few.

Update: Comment Deadlines Set in U-NII 5 GHz Rulemaking, Commlawblog :: Keyword: [Wifi] In February we reported on an FCC proposal that would not only add new 5 GHz frequencies but also overhaul – maybe even simplify – a particularly confusing stretch of the rules. One possible upshot would be the opening up of 195 MHz of spectrum for Wi-Fi-type operation.

Wallsten, Scott, Two Cheers for the Fcc's Mobility Fund Reverse Auction (April 1, 2013), SSRN :: Keyword: [Wireless] The United States held its first competitive bidding, or “reverse auction,” for universal service funds in September 2012. In general, in a reverse auction providers bid the subsidy they believe they need to provide a specified service in a given area, and the regulator funds the firms that ask for the smallest subsidies.

2013 US Mobile Apps & Cloud Survey, March, Yankee :: Keyword: [Wireless] The Yankee Group 2013 US Mobile Apps and Cloud Survey is an online methodology of nearly 16,000 consumers, 4,000 employees and 2,000 IT decision makers over the year, that examines respondents' experience and interest in Mobile Apps and Cloud.

Google Immunized for Its Search Results--Mmubango v. Google (Catch-up Post), Tech & Marketing Law Blog :: Keyword: [47 U.S.C. § 230] Mmubango v. Google, Inc., 2013 WL 664231 (E.D. Pa. February 22, 2013). The initial complaint. This is...

BITAG: A New and Increasingly Important Multi-Stakeholder Organization, Verizon :: Keyword: [Neutral] The Broadband Internet Technology Advisory Group, or BITAG, is one of the newest multi-stakeholder organizations that deal with issues concerning the Internet. BITAG is a non-profit organization focused on bringing together engineers and technical experts to develop consensus on broadband network management practices and other related technical issues that can affect users' Internet experience, including the impact to and from applications, content and devices. I was involved in establishing BITAG in 2010 with a number of

Veteran Internet Use and Engagement With Health Information Online, Pew :: Keyword: [DATA] New analysis compares veterans of the U.S. military with non-veterans, revealing differences in internet access and interest in certain health topics.

Internet Grows to More Than 252 Million Domain Names in the Fourth Quarter of 2012, Verisign :: Keyword: [DNS] VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), the global leader in domain names, today announced more than six million domain names were added to the Internet in the fourth quarter of 2012, bringing the total number of registered domain names to more than 252 million worldwide across all top-level domains (TLDs) as of Dec. 31, 2012, according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief.

Internet Governance Bill Sweeps Too Broadly, CDT :: Keyword: [ICANN] Today, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology is considering a bill on the policy of the United States on Internet governance. CDT joined the Open Technology Institute in a letter to members of the Committee urging them to reject the current text of the bill and reaffirm their support for the current system of Internet governance in a more nuanced way.

The Internet Association’s Statement on Markup of H.R. __, A Bill to Affirm the Policy of the United States Regarding Internet Governance, Internet Association :: Keyword: [ICANN] Millions of people across the globe have rejected the proposed U.N. takeover of the Internet. Last year, the U.S. Congress in a strong bipartisan manner, voted to unanimously oppose the ITU’s intervention in the governance of the Internet.

Networks Announcing IPv6 Over Time: A Short Update, CircleID :: Keyword: [IPv6] We regularly check the status of IPv6 deployment in the RIPE NCC service region, and in other service regions as well. One way to measure IPv6 deployment is to look at the percentage of networks announcing IPv6 prefixes and follow the developments over time.

DNSSEC and Google’s Public DNS Servi散, Potaroo :: Keyword: [DNSSEC] The story of DNSSEC has strong similarities to that of IPv6. Like IPv6, DNSSEC has been around for many years, but its languishing. Like IPv6, DNSSEC is most effective when everyone is using it, and the marginal returns from piecemeal adoption are extremely low. And like IPv6, the relatively low levels of deployment and use of DNSSEC does not reflect the longstanding effort to lift the visibility of the technology and concerted efforts to publicise the clear long term benefits in the use of this technology.

Hoofnagle, Chris Jay and Whittington, Jan M., The Price of 'Free': Accounting for the Cost of the Internet's Most Popular Price (March 19, 2013)., SSRN :: Keyword: [ECOM] Offers of “free” services abound on the internet. These offers cause a conundrum for consumer protection. Courts are apt to discount users’ claims against such services; one recently held that users are not “consumers” for purposes of California consumer protection law. Industry leaders push to monitor users ubiquitously, an imperative driven by the desire to fund “free” content.

The On Line Honesty Box, Virulent Word of Mouse :: Keyword: [ECOM] Many vendors give away free services, but usually there is a catch. For example, while Google has given away search services for moreRadiohead than a decade, no user has any illusions as to why. Advertising buys space and tries to reach readers. As another example, for many years US cellular carriers came close to giving away handsets to customers (until expensive smartphones reduced the practice). Buyers knew these subsidies came with two-year commitments, and buyers could anticipate giving the carrier high service fees.

As Austin readies for Google Fiber, here’s why you need a gig: even if you don’t think you do, Gigaom :: Keyword: [Google] I was so excited by the prospect that my newly built home in Austin, Texas might get Google Fiber’s gigabit service, that I couldn’t sleep last night.

A quick look at Google Fiber pricing v. the incumbents, Gigaom :: Keyword: [Google] The news that Google Fiber is coming to Austin, Texas has me all aflutter. But I’m the type of broadband-lovin’ fool who wants a gig for the sake of having a gig. What about those practical people out there wondering why they might sign up?

Google FTTH Invades Texas, With Austin the Next Stop for Google Fiber, Telecompetitor :: Keyword: [Google] Google FTTH Invades Texas, With Austin the Next Stop for Google Fiber One of the industry’s worst kept secrets was confirmed today with the announcement that Google Fiber is coming to Austin, Texas. Google confirmed the initiative today at an Austin event, citing mid-2014 as the target to begin offering their gigabit FTTH service. The move adds more intrigue to the ongoing interpretation of what...

Moving Together Beyond Dubai, NTIA :: Keyword: [ITU] I am honored to offer the inaugural contribution to the United States Telecommunications and Training Institute (USTTI) blog. USTTI has been an important institution for cooperation and the mutual sharing of expertise to meet our shared challenges with respect to communications technology. The United States Government remains committed to this example of enhanced cooperation and the friendships and cooperation that result from USTTI programs.

Strong, United Voices for Internet Freedom, Google :: Keyword: [ITU] Remember the ITU? It might seem like a long time ago, but it was only last December at a closed-door meeting of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Dubai when some governments proposed measures to censor and regulate the web. We joined millions of individuals and thousands of organizations from all over the world in speaking up against this.

CISPA a Step Backward in Cybersecurity Legislation, Freedom House :: Keyword: [CISPA] see link

A majority of the biggest newspapers in the country now have paywalls [infographic], Gigaom :: Keyword: [News] Several hundred newspapers now have paywalls of some kind, but for the most part, it’s the small and mid-size papers that have been the early adopters. Last year, for example, Gannett put all 80 of its community newspapers’ websites behind metered payᘀँ The first day of the seas

Traffic Spotlight: MLB Opening Day, Better Broadband :: Keyword: [Video] The first day of the season, which I refer to as “fauxpening day”, saw only one regular season game played between Houston and Texas. Interestingly, the total bandwidth generated for this one game was almost identical to the 5-8 games streamed on a typical spring training day.

Aereo in the Second Circuit: Wha' Happened?, Commlawblog :: Keyword: [Video] So Aereo recently kept its winning streak alive with a favorable ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit . . . and the next thing you know, the Fox Network is making noises about kissing good-bye to its over-the-air operations and moving to some alternative delivery system, possibly as a subscription service.

NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association Weighs in on FCC Leadership, NTCA :: Keyword: [FCC] Last week, prior to leaving on my jaunt to visit Kelsey in the U.K., I sent a letter on behalf of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association’s nearly 900 rural telcos to President Barack Obama, asking for his careful consideration of his next FCC chairman selection. Given the huge transitions in the industry, it will take careful guidance and thoughtful leadership to lead the agency going forward. The letter provided a good opportunity to share with the White House the investment and deployment pressures these carriers are under following

Sixth Circuit Rules That States May Fashion ILEC Interconnection Obligations under Section 251(a), Telecom Law Monitor :: Keyword: [ILEC] In an interconnection decision that may have implications beyond its facts, a federal appellate court ruled that State public utility commissions (“State Commissions”) may rely on Section 251(a) in resolving interconnection disputes involving incumbent local exchange carriers (“ILECs”). On March 28, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that ILECS have interconnection obligations under Section 251(a) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the “Act”), which State Commissions can enforce in Section 252

Thaw, David, The Efficacy of Cybersecurity Regulation (March 29, 2013)., SSRN :: Keyword: [Cybersecurity] Cybersecurity regulation presents an interesting quandary where, because private entities possess the best information about threats and defenses, legislatures do – and should – deliberately encode regulatory capture into the rulemaking process. This relatively uncommon approach to administrative law, which I describe as Management-Based Regulatory Delegation, involves the combination of two legislative approaches to engaging private entities' expertise.

Wang, Tin-Ei, Sicker, Douglas and Baker, Kenneth R., Liability and Public Safety Broadband Networks (March 25, 2013), SSRN :: Keyword: [Security] The objective of this paper is to describe and analyze the need for a regulatory framework that will enfranchise commercial wireless operators to share wireless networking infrastructure with Public Safety (PS) transmissions. There exists a liability concern by commercial operators in the case of a PS communications failure. We show that this proposed policy initiative is driven by a

SIIA Calls for Support for Cybersecurity Legislation, SIIA :: Keyword: [Security] SIIA called on congressional leaders today to enact legislation that would help the government detect cybersecurity threats. In a letter sent today, SIIA thanked Reps. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) for their bipartisan leadership with regard to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), and urged members of the House Select Intelligence Committee to support this legislation.

Google Takes on Rare Fight Against National Security Letters, Wired :: Keyword: [Big Brother] Google has filed a rare petition to challenge an ultra-secret national security letter issued by the government to obtain private data about one or more of its users.

Are You A Teenager Who Reads News Online? According to the Justice Department, You May Be a Criminal, EFF :: Keyword: [CFAA] During his first term, President Barack Obama declared October 2009 to be “National Information Literacy Awareness Month,” emphasizing that, for students, learning to navigate the online world is as important a skill as reading, writing and arithmetic. It was a move that echoed his predecessor's strong support of global literacy—such as reading newspapers—most notably through First Lady Laura Bush's advocacy.

Until Today, If You Were 17, It Could Have Been Illegal To Read Under the CFAA, EFF :: Keyword: [Crime] If you are 17 or under, a federal prosecutor could have charged you with computer hacking just for reading Seventeen magazine online—until today.

CDT Joins With Bipartisan Coalition To Oppose Dramatic Expansion of Computer Crime Law, CDT :: Keyword: [CFAA] Today, CDT joined with a diverse coalition of advocates from across the political spectrum to send a letter to Congress opposing a troubling draft bill that would dangerously expand the federal computer crime statute, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). As we wrote last week, the draft bill—which may be considered by the House Judiciary Committee as soon as next week in time to reach the House floor for an anticipated “Cyber Week” in mid-April—would push the law in the exact wrong direction, dramatically heightening penalties while giving the government and civil litigants more latitude to prosecute or sue average Internet users who happen to violate a Web site’s terms of service or an employer’s computer use policy.

Did Stephen Colbert And President Bill Clinton Violate The CFAA? , Techdirt :: Keyword: [CFAA] Last night, former President Bill Clinton joined Stephen Colbert on his TV show, The Colbert Report. As many people have noted, at the very end of the program, Colbert told Clinton that he had taken the liberty of signing him up for a Twitter account, since Clinton does not currently use Twitter (he joked that he was afraid no one would reply to his tweets). The

Walker, Paul, Traditional Military Activities in Cyberspace: Preparing for 'Netwar' (December 4, 2010). Florida Journal of International Law, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2010., SSRN :: Keyword: [Cyberwar] This article examines the domestic law concep of "traditional military activity" as applied in the cyberspace domain, examining the distinctions between "covert action" that must be reported to Congress and military activity that is excluded from such reporting requirements. The array of

Do More to Prevent DNS DDoS Attacks, ICANN :: Keyword: [DOS] In recent weeks, numerous high profile organizations and financial institutions have been targets of massive service disruption attacks. Several of these attacks are characteristically similar to attacks against top level domain name servers in 2006. ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee published an Advisory, SAC008 [PDF, 963 KB]: Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks, shortly after the 2006 incidents. Recommendations from that Advisory remain relevant today.

Don't Blame Open Recursives For DDoS Attacks and Why You Should Implement BCP38, CircleID :: Keyword: [DOS] There has been plenty of buzz and chatter on the Internet recently concerning a very large DDoS attack against CloudFlare, with coverage on their blog, the New York Times, and the BBC, among many others.

Electronic Communications Privacy Act Reform Gathers Steam on the Hill, TechAmerica :: Keyword: [ECPA] A top priority for TechAmerica for some time, reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) has garnered welcome attention on Capitol Hill recently.

Google will fight secretive national security letters in court, Ars Technica :: Keyword: [ECPA] The FBI has sent out tens of thousands of "national security letters" (NSLs) in the years following the 9/11 attacks, under expanded authority given to the bureau by the PATRIOT Act. The letters nearly always come with a "gag order" preventing the recipient from even revealing the existence of the letter.

ECPA Reform: DOJ Moves in Two Directions at Once, CDT :: Keyword: [ECPA] In testimony before the House Judiciary Crime Subcommittee on March 19, the US Justice Department acknowledged that it is time for Congress to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the 1986 federal statute setting rules under which government agencies compel service providers to disclose email and other private documents stored online on behalf of their customers.

Utah’s New Internet Employment Privacy Law Continues a Growing Trend, Privacy Law :: Keyword: [Utah] Following a growing trend among states, on March 26, 2013, the Utah legislature passed the Internet Employment Privacy Act, which prohibits employers from requesting that job applicants or employees disclose passwords protecting their personal internet accounts. Proskauer’s Labor & Employment group has discussed the new law

Lamb, Jason M., The Digital Divide: Free Expression, Technology and a Fair Democracy (March 20, 2013)., SSRN :: Keyword: [DD] The digital divide is primarily discussed in terms of its economic impact, and policy solutions aimed at addressing it tend to narrowly focus on this aspect of the divide. But a much more damaging result has lurked unidentified in the background: the impairment of free expression rights. The US Constitution protects freedom of expression by guaranteeing each citizen’s right to free speech, free assembly and a free press. The efficacy of freedom of expression, and our

FCC Reverses Course, Proposes to Eliminate "Bundled Services" Exception to E-rate Cost Allocation Rules, Telecom Law Monitor :: Keyword: [ERATe] In 2010, the FCC revised its rules for the Schools and Libraries Program of the federal Universal Service Fund (commonly known as the "e-rate" program). One of the principal changes to the rules was the adoption of rules prohibiting e-rate recipients from receiving gifts from service providers. The FCC has clarified its gift rules twice, but has had other

Dempsey, Paul Stephen, The Dark Side of Deregulation - Its Impact on Small Communities (March 18, 2013). Administrative Law Review, Vol. 39, No. 4, 1987, SSRN :: Keyword: [PSTN] In recent years, Congress has promulgated major legislation designed to reform the regulatory environment for the passenger transportation industry. These statutes include the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, and the Bus Regulatory Reform Act of 1982. Almost two decades before these legislative measures of relatively recent vintage, Congress enacted the Transportation Act of 1958 which significantly liberalized the ability of railroads to respond to market forces, and discontinue passenger service.

Internet Protocol (IP) isn’t “pixie dust” – It’s a Real Game Changer, Verizon :: Keyword: [PSTN] In writing about the Internet Protocol transition proceeding now pending at the Federal Communications Commission, Harold Feld has said that IP is being treated as if it is somehow “IP Pixie Dust.” Harold’s point, I think, is that IP does not, in and of itself, mean regulation is not needed.