Communications & Media Elections & Politics

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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Maine Enacts Social Media Protections for Applicants and Employees

Effective as of October 15, 2015, employers in Maine will be restricted in their ability to access the personal social media accounts of applicants and employees. Specifically, under the new law, an employer may not...more

Anti-robocalling statute banning automated political calls found unconstitutional

On August 6, 2015, the Fourth Circuit upheld a lower court’s decision that the South Carolina anti-robocall statute was unconstitutional. The South Carolina robocall statute targeted automated telephone calls that were...more

Health Care Update - August 2015 #2

Major Medicaid Drug Payment Rule Under OMB Review: Last week a highly anticipated rule that could set the standards for the Medicaid Drug Rebate program arrived at the White House for final review. The Medicaid Outpatient...more

OIG confirms Clinton sent classified emails through private account

The Office of the Inspector General for the State Department recently confirmed in a Memo that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent emails with classified information in them through her private email account...more

The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act’s Impact

FDA’s steadfast position against formally addressing “Natural” claims on food products may soon be forced to change if the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which the House of Representatives passed on July 23, 2015, is...more

Net Neutrality And The End Of EU Roaming Charges ? Not There Yet

Following years of debate and intense lobbying, a long awaited agreement has finally been reached on a proposed EU regulation on net neutrality and mobile roaming surcharges. This has its origins in the more ambitious...more

California Bill Requiring Mobile, Cloud Search Warrants Advances

On July 14, 2015, the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“Cal-ECPA”) unanimously passed the California State Assembly’s public safety committee. The bill would forbid warrantless cellular “stingrays” as well...more

New FCC rules restricting robocalls have pollsters up in arms

The 2016 election cycle will occur under the framework of a new set of rules recently adopted by the Federal Communication Commission that strengthen consumer protections against unwanted calls and spam texts. The FCC claims...more

Today’s Hot Topic: Sponsorship Identification in Advertising

From time to time I like to remind clients of specific network guidelines to keep in mind when developing advertising. One such guideline involves sponsorship identification. Per the network guidelines, advertising must...more

Cuba Si! Trade With Cuba … Not Quite Yet

There has been much fanfare surrounding the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba, starting with President Obama’s announcement of the resumption of bilateral relations, and followed by the formal establishment of...more

The New Cuba Reality and Your Intellectual Property

With the recent changes to the Cuba-U.S. relationship, certain aspects of the Cuban economy are opening up to U.S. companies. You may now be contemplating joining other businesses that are or will be selling or manufacturing...more

U.S. House Passes GMO Labeling Legislation

Today the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 passed the House, in a vote of 275 to 150 (more information here). Still a hot-button issue, opposition to the Act is emotionally charged, with those opposed to the bill...more

Food Labeling, Food Safety & Nutrition - July 2015

The Obama Administration’s robust use of executive authority on issues related to food labeling, food safety, and nutrition continue to position these issues as a priority for the remainder of the President’s term in office....more

Rand Paul And The Expiration Of The Patriot Act

During the last weekend in May, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul did something that is not easy to do – he managed to anger most Republicans and Democrats, the Senate Majority Leader (who is also the senior senator from Kentucky),...more

Canada Expands Sanctions on Russia and the Crimea Region of the Ukraine

On Monday, June 29, 2015, the Canadian government expanded its economic sanctions against Russia and the Crimea region of the Ukraine. Three additional individuals and 14 entities were added to the list under the Special...more

Another Bill to Expand the Wire Act: Bad Law Clothed in a Lie

This past week’s focus on the presence of the Confederate battle flag on the grounds of the South Carolina capitol (and elsewhere) brought back to the fore the specter of “states’ rights” – the seemingly high-minded excuse...more

FCC Adopts Lifeline Item

Last week, the FCC adopted a Second Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Memorandum Opinion and Order to comprehensively restructure and modernize the Lifeline program. ...more

Trump Goes A Rockin’: Neil Young Comes A Knockin’

Donald Trump, the New York real estate mogul and self-proclaimed business genius, just kicked off his campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination at Trump Tower in Manhattan to the tune of Neil Young’s Rockin’ In The...more

Significant Amendments to COPPA Proposed in Do Not Track Kids Act

Reigniting their previous bipartisan attempts to amend the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and add greater privacy protections for children and younger teens, U.S. Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe...more

Trendsetter or Outlier? Oregon Adds New Twist to Password Protection Laws

Since early 2012, 21 states have enacted some form of "password protection" law. Although these laws vary substantially by state, their common thread is the intention to restrict employers' ability to access content in...more

CFAA and SCA Do Not Prohibit Creation Of A Fake Facebook Page

The defendants in a case pending in Chicago federal court were accused of contravening Facebook’s terms of use by accessing its computers in order to create a phony page and then using it to ridicule someone. In Bittman v....more

Special Session Set For Today

After weeks of negotiations, speculation, and a late night caucus, Governor Mark Dayton called the Special Session for today at 10 a.m. The six bills on the approved agenda are the three budget bills that Dayton vetoed at...more

Update: Senate Hearing Vents Lifeline Concerns, Proposals In Advance of New FCC Rulemaking

As previously reported, on June 2 the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet held a hearing on “Lifeline: Improving Accountability and Effectiveness,” in anticipation of the...more

U.S.A. Freedom Act passed into law

On June 4, 2015, President Obama and his administration signed into law the U.S.A. Freedom Act, which “reform[s] the authorities of the Federal Government to require the production of certain business records, conduct...more

Cuba’s Underdeveloped Telecommunications Infrastructure Presents Opportunities

Following changes in U.S. foreign policy toward Cuba, announced by President Obama in December 2014, U.S. government officials and industry players have begun exploring the development and expansion of Cuba’s...more

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