Following concerns from data privacy officials, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, proposed new rules for online consumer privacy that require Internet service providers to obtain opt-in consent for the collection of sensitive information, opt-out consent for any other information, and heightened disclosure for “pay for privacy” options. […]

Advocates of the Federal Trade Commission’s stance on online consumer privacy are urging the Federal Communications Commission to delay the vote on new regulations in order to consider the consequences of the rules.






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The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will mobilize 911 emergency services at the insistence of the Federal Communications Commission.






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Ajit Pai, commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, proposed his Digital Empowerment Agenda, which includes Gigabit Opportunity Zones, mobile broadband for rural areas, the removal of barriers to broadband development, and entrepreneurship and innovation.






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The Federal Communications Commission issued a plan to provide Alaskan broadband carriers with fixed amounts of support over the next 10 years to provide Internet to all parts of Alaska, despite dissent from commissioners.






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In a letter sent to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., requested that the agency expedite its investigation of the Signaling System Number 7 flaw in light of a recent Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hack.






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A month after FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s blog post urging wireless and wireline phone companies to offer call-blocking services to their customers at no cost, there are more changes afoot concerning robocalls. The FCC recently issued new rules restricting debt collection companies from calling cellphones to collect on any money owed to or guaranteed by the Federal government, including Federal student loans, mortgages and taxes.






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The E-Rate program, which has provided $25 billion in subsidies since 1996 to schools from the Federal government for broadband, internal wiring, and networking equipment, hasn’t correlated with increased test scores among students in North Carolina, a recent study shows.






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Civil liberties groups filed a complaint against the Baltimore Police Department, asking the FCC to investigate the department’s use of cellphone tracking devices, which are used in 24 states and the District of Columbia. The Baltimore police, along with other law enforcement agencies, are using stingrays, which are devices that mimic cellphone towers to track suspects’ locations through their cellphone signals. The civil liberties groups argue that this is a violation of Federal law that requires a license.






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The Federal Communications Commission gave final approval for Telcordia, a subsidiary of the Swedish company Ericsson, to be the next Local Number Portability Administrator, despite protests from the current LNPA that the FCC ignored national security implications and withheld information when choosing a new company.






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Rural areas hoping for Internet access faced a setback when a Federal court decided that the FCC doesn’t have the power to block state laws that hinder access to cheap, publicly managed broadband service. However, electric companies in Oklahoma and Massachusetts are providing broadband to rural communities by addressing Internet as a utility.






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The Federal Communications Commission announced on July 27 that it plans to fine AT&T $106,426 for violating E-rate by overcharging Florida district schools for telephone services. AT&T plans to contest the decision.






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The Federal Communications Commission released its broadband health mapping tool, Connect2Health (C2H), which shows areas of the United States that lack broadband connectivity and health care resources. “It becomes a powerful storyteller,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “It becomes a story of what is possible and what is needed.”






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Despite current consumer protection efforts such as required prior consent and the Do Not Call registry, thousands of people are inundated with unwanted calls every day. Now, the Federal Communications Commission is fighting back to stop these robocalls and telemarketing calls. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wrote a blog post urging wireless and wireline phone companies to offer call-blocking services to their customers at no cost.






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The Federal Communications Commission’s new consumer privacy rules cause disagreements among experts about whether the rules are overbearing or progressive.






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The key to digital success and development in all levels of government is a strong and dedicated team of leaders, according to Deloitte’s director of government innovation William D. Eggers. “It really does rely on different levels of leadership,” Eggers said in an interview with MeriTalk. “Where you don’t have that leadership, it becomes much more difficult.”






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