Tech at Night: Obama and FCC power grabs in Cybersecurity and Spectrum; FCC spying

Tech at Night

Wow: For a year FCC was tracking the movements of its speed testers without telling them! Privacy! Transparency!

Meanwhile the administration continues to try to do things on its own, without bothering to check that part of the Constitution that says how a bill becomes a law. Remember, the Lieberman-Collins Cybersecurity Act failed in the Senate. It has no business becoming an executive order. It also turns out that they are also looking to grab power when it comes to spectrum, which isn’t great news given the FCC’s obstruction and opposition to the use of efficient market allocation.


I warned you that Cybersecurity regulation would be duplicative in scope. Even as DHS is talking about preparing an executive order, FERC is also looking to regulate its area, meaning the electric grid risks having two competing sets of regulations on it. This is terrible.

The “Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus” has placed Italy and Switzerland on notice, categorizing them with Russia, China, and Ukraine. Why? They won’t enforce US copyrights online.

And quickly because it’s been a long week (though I was able to visit Nationals Park this week, which was nice, even if it ended very badly for my Dodgers): As I’ve studied these issues over the last few years, I’ve become convinced regulation is a much greater threat than many people realize. Business owners are starting to see the same threat from Obama.

Here’s a great statement from Cliff Stearns from the LightSquared investigation. His successor had better live up to this work:

This hearing today raises important implications for spectrum policy going forward. We must not permit regulatory uncertainty at the FCC to deter companies from investments that will bring more competition to the industry and more innovation for consumers. We must not allow 40 MHz of spectrum to sit fallow while at the same time seek to relocate broadcasters and federal users off their spectrum holdings to free up more space for wireless use. And we must not let poor receiver standards result in more interference issues down the road.


Marco Rubio continues to beat the drum of opposing UN regulation of the Internet. Good on him.

It will be interesting to see if the Internet Association ends up being pro-liberty or not. After all, the forces of government power grabs and regulation used some of the same rhetoric in this video to justify the Net Neutrality mess, unfortunately.

We usually think of innovation in terms of gadgets and engineering but business model innovation matters, too. Prepaid wired Internet. Imagine that.


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