Communications & Media Science, Computers & Technology Education

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

E-rate Application Deadline Extended Again

Mel Blackwell, USAC’s Vice President of the E-rate Program, issued a news brief on Friday announcing that, as a result of “unexpected complications with the implementation of USAC’s new IT system,” USAC is extending the...more

FCC Proposed Rule Will Change Business Data Services (Also Known as Special Access) Marketplace

Public and Private Agencies' Rates Could Be Impacted - The FCC is expected to issue a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on April 28 that will rewrite the rules that protect local governments, public agencies and...more

Another New Day in Cuba: The Obama Administration Further Loosens U.S. Sanctions

On March 16, 2016, the Obama Administration further loosened sanctions on Cuba in accordance with President Obama’s policy previously announced on December 17, 2014, and partially implemented thus far, to engage and empower...more

Berkeley students sue Google for mining emails for ads through Apps for Education

Four students attending the University of California, Berkeley, sued Google last week alleging that it violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act by scanning and mining their emails in order to create advertising...more

FTC files suit against Devry University for deceptive advertisement from data

The FTC filed suit against Devry University on January 27th, alleging that its ads, stating that 90 percent of its graduates obtained jobs in their field of study, and were making 15 percent more than graduates from other...more

New Funding Available for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program

The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced its 2016 application window for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program, which is designed to provide access to education,...more

Is Google Illegally Spying On Your Students? New FTC Complaint Says It Is

Google Apps for Education has recently come under fire with a Federal Trade Commission complaint filed by a nonprofit organization, Electronic Frontier Foundation. In a press release issued last week, EFF claims that Google’s...more

DMCA Loosening the Reins for Education

You may know the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) from the widely deployed DMCA take-down notices that copyright owners use to remove putatively infringing content from the Internet. Enacted in 1998, the DMCA is...more

Tagging Trouble: Forays into the Regulation of Biometric Data

We leave breadcrumbs of biometric information scattered around our daily lives, which may be collected and used by private entities, often without our knowledge or consent. The sound of your voice when you call your bank’s...more

School Leaders: Are Your Automatic Phone Messages and Texts Breaking The Law?

In the past few months, we’ve had a flurry of requests from schools about the legality of automated calls and text messages they are making to cell phones. The Telecommunications Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) governs the...more

Delaware enacts a series of privacy laws

Delaware recently enacted four privacy laws–the Online and Personal Privacy Protection Act (DOPPA), the Student Data Privacy Protection Act (SDPPA) the Victim Online Privacy Act (VOPA) and the Employee/Applicant Protection...more

Is Your School District’s Lack of Social Media Guidelines Putting the District at Risk?

School districts are under growing scrutiny and criticism for the lack of clear social media guidelines and policies. For instance, after a Michigan teacher reportedly was sentenced to 6 to 15 years for an inappropriate...more

DOJ Shifts Position on Web Access: Stating In Court Filings That Public Accommodations Have a “Pre-Existing” Obligation to Make...

What a difference five years makes. In September 2010, the Justice Department (DOJ) announced in an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that it would issue new regulations under Title III of the ADA to address the...more

CFPB alerts Google to student debt relief scammers

Rohit Chopra, the CFPB’s outgoing Student Loan Ombudsman, has sent a letter to Google to alert the company that “student loan debt relief scammers may be targeting student loan borrowers through the company’s search...more

Must Schools Protect Teachers from Bullying by Students Online?

A lawsuit filed by a California teacher against the school district where she works puts a new spin on an old problem. As the National School Boards Association reported, the suit, filed last week by Amy Sulkis in the Los...more

Categories 1 and 2 to be Fully Funded for 2015-2016 Funding Year

For the first time in many years, the FCC has announced that it anticipates being able to fund all E-rate funding requests. Last Friday, the FCC issued a Public Notice that states that the estimated demand for Category 1...more

Parties Weigh in on Cox Petition to Restrict Support for School-owned Broadband Networks

On April 29, several entities filed comments on Cox’s Petition for Reconsideration of the FCC’s December E-rate Order. That Order provided new support for schools and libraries to “self-provision,” or build their own...more

Student Privacy In Online Educational Services

The commercial use of data mined by providers of online educational services, such as Internet homework portals, digital grade books for teachers, and student e-mail programs, continues to be a hot topic on numerous fronts. ...more

FCC Denies E-Rate Appeal in Scorching Order

On April 15, after a multi-year investigation arising from events in 2004-2008, the Chief of the Telecommunications Access Policy Division (TAPD) of the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued an Order denying appeals by an...more

Department of Education Issues New Guidance Documents Relating to Student Privacy

The past few years have seen exponential growth in the use of technology in the classroom, with applications ranging from the increased availability and use of e-books to the displacement of physical classrooms through...more

FTC updates COPPA FAQs related to educational context

On March 24, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to better address the intersection of COPPA regulations and schools....more

“.school” Domains Now Available

The “.school” top-level Internet domain is currently available. Educational institutions with federally registered trademarks can take advantage of the upcoming “Sunrise Period” and secure their “.school” domain as soon as...more

Federal student privacy law in flux

In recent months, the White House and members of Congress have called for an overhaul of the forty-year old Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) ((20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), which safeguards the...more

Virginia Serious Game Institute Calls for Applications for Entrepreneurs in Simulation, Modeling and Serious Game Design

Each year, the Virginia Serious Game Institute invites applicants to reside in the business incubator located on the George Mason University - Prince William Campus in Prince William County, Virginia. Each application...more

Generic Top Level Domains Create New Opportunities and New Headaches for Colleges and Universities

For decades, the Internet was limited to a small number of top-level Internet domains, the most common being .com, .org, .net, .edu, and country-specific domains. However, in 2012 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names...more

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