Victory! Political Files Go Online
Today's the day we get our first glimpse into the deep, dark pockets of major network TV broadcasters all across the nation. The FCC's online political files database launches today -- and not a minute too soon. Broadcasters have held the keys to our elections for too long; it’s about time we take them back.
Broadcasters Put Political Ad Buy Files Online Today
With the 2012 election three months away, stations in some of the nation's biggest television markets will start uploading information on political ad buys to the Internet for the first time today, bringing out of the dark ages at least some information on who's behind political ads.
Sinclair's Political Ad Revenue Shooting Through the Roof
After reporting second-quarter political ad revenues that were nearly triple company guidance, Sinclair Broadcast Group is telling Wall Street to expect an even bigger haul in the third quarter. And the records set this year could be toppled in future elections.“We are dealing [with] never-before-seen levels," says Sinclair COO Steve Marks.
FCC Working on Online Public File
The FCC is still putting the finishing touches on its online station public file interface.The agency has developed a Web interface to host the TV online public files; initially, the top four television networks in the top 50 Nielsen DMAs will begin to upload their political files over a six-month period with the rest of the television stations to follow within two years.
Cyber Bill Blocked in Senate
After months of wrangling, the Senate on Thursday rejected White House calls and failed to advance sweeping legislation aimed at protecting American computer networks from cyberattacks. The cloture vote to end debate on the bill was 52-46, short of the 60 votes needed to advance the measure.
Cybersecurity Bill Fails in Senate
A bill establishing security standards to prevent large-scale cyber attacks on the nation’s critical infrastructure -- including water supplies and the electrical grid -- failed in the Senate, despite strong endorsements from top military and national security officials.
FCC Fines Verizon; Consumers Rejoice
The FCC decision to fine Verizon for illegally limiting customers' use of competitive applications on the company's 4G network sends a strong signal that companies like Verizon -- which spend more time (and money) trying to kill Internet freedom than on supporting their users -- can’t get away with such behavior.
Verizon's Tethering Fiasco: A Lesson in Deception and Denial
Consumers got a big win this week when the FCC announced a settlement that prevents Verizon from blocking tethering apps in the Google Play store. While that's a positive step, however, Verizon's handling of the situation is anything but admirable; in fact, even while agreeing to adjust its policies, the carrier continues to mislead and deceive its customers about what's really going on.
Guess What? Bandwidth Is Getting Cheaper
Good news for anyone shipping a bunch of bits around the world: IP transit costs are down and are dropping more rapidly. But this doesn't mean cheaper broadband for most consumers, given the lack of competition in the middle- and last-mile access businesses.
Google Fiberhoods: Better Than Tupperware Parties
Google's strategy for rolling out fiber-optic Internet in Kansas City is part Avon, part Amway, and hyperlocal marketing gold. Neighborhoods that have the highest percent of pre-registrations by Sept. 9 will be the first to have Google Fiber, which includes options to add TV channels and a terabyte of cloud storage, installed in their homes. Neighborhoods that meet goals set by Google will win free Internet for public buildings such as libraries and schools.
Inquiry into Security Leaks Is Casting Chill over Coverage
FBI agents on a hunt for leakers have interviewed current and former high-level government officials from multiple agencies in recent weeks, casting a distinct chill over press coverage of national security issues as agencies decline routine interview requests and refuse to provide background briefings.
YouTube Launches 'I Files,' an Investigative News Channel
YouTube is helping to launch a new investigative channel called I Files with the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR). The news channel will be edited by CIR and will include investigative news videos from across the globe from major media players such as the New York Times, BBC and Al Jazeera. Contributors will also include public television's ITVS and a host of independent reporters and producers.
Media Repression in Honduras Speaks to U.S. Congress, but Is Anyone Listening?
The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission held a congressional hearing on press freedom in some of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. One of those places is Honduras, where 25 journalists have been killed by both the state and organized crime syndicates since 2009.
Did the NYPD Break International Law in Suppressing Protest?
A new report by a group of civil and human rights attorneys documents how the New York Police Department used excessive force, arrested reporters and used aggressive tactics and over-policing, which resulted in systemic suppression of the basic rights of Occupy protesters. The report concludes that police broke international law in their handling of Occupy events.