Communications & Media Elections & Politics

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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

Oregon social media law signed by Governor

Yesterday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law a new social media law in Oregon, the first in the nation, that limits employers from requiring employees to have social media accounts for employment, and to require...more

Department of Labor Seeks Information about Employees' Use of Smartphones

The Obama Administration used the occasion of Memorial Day weekend to release its required Semiannual Regulatory Agenda. The Agenda, which is not binding on the DOL, lists a number of items including two specifically related...more

Connecticut Restricts Employer Access to Personal Social Media, E-mail and Online Retail Accounts of Employees and Applicants

On May 19, 2015, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law a new statute restricting an employer’s ability to gain access to social media, e-mail and other personal online accounts of employees and job...more

Future Unclear For NSA’s Bulk Telephone Metadata Collection Program

Fast approaching is the June 1 expiration of certain provisions of the Patriot Act, including § 215 (codified as 50 U.S.C § 1861), which is the basis for the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk telephone metadata collection...more

Federal anti-SLAPP Statute Proposed in Congress

With the District of Columbia Circuit holding that the DC anti-SLAPP act does not apply in federal court, and at least four judges in the Ninth Circuit concluding that Circuit erred in applying state anti-SLAPP statutes in...more

Senators Urge FCC “Not to Weaken” the Telephone Consumer Protection Act

A group of ten democratic senators led by Senator Edward Markey joined in a letter to the FCC urging it “not to weaken the privacy protections” contained in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) preventing most...more

Governor Tomblin Signs into Law Significant Amendments to West Virginia Consumer Credit Protection Act

On March 31, 2015, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed SB 542 into law. This new law amends frequently litigated sections of the West Virginia Consumer Credit Protection Act (“WVCCPA”), W. Va. Code section 46A, in...more

How to Talk with Governments: Regulatory Considerations for Communicating with Alberta’s New Government

On May 5, 2015, the NDP won a majority government in Alberta. In light of last week’s Alberta election results, what follows is a short primer on some regulatory requirements to be mindful of when communicating with Alberta’s...more

Changes in US Sanctions on Cuba Present Opportunities and Challenges

The Obama Administration’s recent loosening of trade restrictions on Cuba has the potential to open new opportunities for US businesses. However, there are several obstacles to be overcome before US companies may access...more

Wake-Up Call: Second Circuit Declares NSA’s Mass Telephone Surveillance Program Illegal; Defers Injunction While Congress Ponders...

Whatever your opinion of Edward Snowden, the shockwaves from his leaks of classified material continue to roil all three branches of the federal government. The latest wave broke last week when the United States Court of...more

Investment in eHealth: 2014, and what the future holds

Digital health, a category that was virtually nonexistent five years ago, has exploded in recent years and shows the potential to remake the way healthcare is delivered worldwide. Rock Health, the digital health incubator,...more

Russian Legislation Update

In This Issue: - Corporate: veracity of information submitted for the state registration of companies; cancellation of the mandatory requirement for a company to have a seal - Currency Control - Banking/ Basel...more

Does there need to be patent reform?

Regular readers know I am a fan of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. The show has done multiple segments relevant to our topics of discussion. They recently did a segment on patent reform....more

Proposed Law Before N.C. General Assembly Would Overhaul State's Billboard and Outdoor Advertising Laws

Filed March 17, 2015, Senate Bill 320 proposes significant revisions to State laws governing billboards and outdoor advertising. In this post, we review some of the changes that would result from Senate Bill 320 in its...more

Virginia & Montana Pass Employee Social Media Privacy Acts

Employers in Virginia and Montana that want to connect with their employees online may now have to wait for their employees to “like” them first, thanks to a pair of bills recently enacted. On March 23, Virginia Governor...more

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