FCC to unveil broadband nutrition labels – Politico

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With help from Nancy Scola and Tim Starks

TODAY: FCC UNVEILS BROADBAND NUTRITION LABELS The FCC is teaming up with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this morning to reveal new consumer disclosure labels for broadband designed to help consumers decide what service is right for them. The notices, largely developed by the agency’s Consumer Advisory Committee, include information on things like network performance, pricing, and traffic management policies like throttling heavy users to limit network congestion.

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The notices are an outgrowth of the agency’s 2015 Open Internet Order, which requires ISPs to be transparent about their services. The order didn’t dictate how broadband providers have to present that information to consumers. Adhering to the new recommendations will ensure compliance with the agency’s transparency rules, the FCC says. You can find rough samples of the disclosure notices here: http://fcc.us/1RVqQHc, though they’ll be more aesthetically pleasing when they’re unveiled later today. Look for the new labels to be released around 11 a.m.

TONIGHT: SENATE SET TO VOTE ON DEFEND TRADE SECRETS ACT The upper chamber will vote on the widely-supported Defend Trade Secrets Act when it returns tonight. The bill, from Sens. Orrin Hatch and Chris Coons, would let companies go after trade secrets thieves in federal court. There had been some opposition to previous versions of the bill. But after a hearing and markup in the Senate Judiciary Committee in recent months, the bill now has 63 other senators — including Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and ranking member Patrick Leahy — backing it.

It remains to be seen, however, if the House Judiciary Committee will move a companion measure from Rep. Doug Collins which has the support of 127 lawmakers. Patent reform advocates urged the judiciary committees to hold off approving the trade secrets bills — which are supported by companies and industries on different sides of the patent debate — in hopes of cutting a deal on that legislation. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte has largely done just that, though an aide said in February, after Senate Judiciary advanced the trade secrets bill, that “protecting American intellectual property from criminal theft remains a priority for the [committee].” We’re tracking.

GOOD MONDAY MORNING and welcome to Morning Tech, where we are ready for Ayesha Curry’s new Food Network show. Send us all of your hopes for Steph and Riley cameos when you shoot tips to abyers@politico.com and ktummarello@politico.com. Catch the rest of the team’s info after speed read.

THIS WEEK: SENATE ENCRYPTION BILL? This could be the week Sens. Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein introduce their bill mandating law enforcement agencies’ access to encrypted tech products when they have a warrant. The latest intel our friends at Morning Cybersecurity received was “after the recess,” and the Senate returns today. An alternative approach, sponsored by Sen. Mark Warner and Rep. Mike McCaul, hit a snag recently when two of the House committees that would mark up the legislation instead formed a bipartisan working group to examine the question.

PARENTS TELEVISION COUNCIL GETS BEHIND THE CHARTER MERGER Charter, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks have scored late-in-the-game support for their merger from the Parents Television Council, according to the family-oriented watchdog group. The PTC didn’t take a hard stance on the deal — the review of which is 11 days past the FCC’s informal deadline — in its comments to the agency late last year, although it expressed concerns the deal could give New Charter too much power in negotiations with family-friendly TV channels. After speaking with executives at those programmers and studying comments, the PTC now says Charter has been a “good partner” to channels like Hallmark, Ovation, and RFD. “We believe that a combined Charter/TWC/Bright House entity would better-serve the public interest than the status quo of existing, independent corporate entities,” the group says. The full filing is here: http://bit.ly/1RVrDIn.

**A message from COMPETIFY about chronic broadband access control. Data from the largest and most comprehensive data collection in FCC history demonstrates that broadband gatekeepers refuse to invest in high-capacity broadband and are making billions at the expense of competition. It’s time we try COMPETIFY: http://bit.ly/1VTPxnb **

FCC RELEASES PRIVACY NPRM — The agency late Friday released the text of its broadband privacy proposal, the details of which have been subject to heated debate before last Thursday’s vote. Dig in here: http://bit.ly/1pX20Ki.

FBI OFFERS HELP TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT ON LOCKED IPHONES — After learning how to crack the locked iPhone tied to last year’s shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. — with the help of an unnamed outside party — the FBI is reaching out to local law enforcement agencies to offer help with their locked devices, BuzzFeed reports. The FBI’s successful unlocking of the phone ended a weeks-long legal fight over Apple’s obligation to help the FBI break into the device. In a memo sent to the agencies on Friday and obtained by BuzzFeed, the FBI wrote: “We know that the absence of lawful, critical investigative tools due to the ‘Going Dark’ problem is a substantial state and local law enforcement challenge that you face daily. As has been our longstanding policy, the FBI will of course consider any tool that might be helpful to our partners.” Read the story here: http://bzfd.it/1W3HNPP.

LAST-MINUTE COPYRIGHT COMMENTS SWAMP FEDS Digital rights group Fight for the Future says it’ll petition the Copyright Office to accept some 5,000 comments that poured in after Friday’s minute-before-midnight deadline for public feedback on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s Section 512, a.k.a. the “safe harbor provision.” The comments weren’t posted to the Regulations.gov site that was down at times during the commenting period’s final stretch.

The group’s rally for comments came late in the process. It had been focused on the FBI vs. Apple dust-up, says the group’s campaign director Evan Greer, and it wasn’t until late Thursday that it put up a comment generator on a site called TakeDownAbuse.org. Activists promptly flooded what had been a sleepy docket. Before the comment period was extended at the end of December, submissions had tallied a grand total of 23. Some 86,000 comments, meanwhile, passed through the Fight for the Future site and officially posted before the extension period closed last week. Greer says the group has copies of the remaining thousands. “We’ve certainly made it a policy now that we’re backing them up,” she says, especially after having tangled with the FCC’s creaky in-house commenting system during the net neutrality debate.

POLKA PREDICTS RETRANS ORDER IN ‘NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS’ The head of small cable companies’ main trade group in Washington expects the FCC to move an order overhauling parts of the nation’s retransmission consent rules in the next few months, he said on C-SPAN this weekend. American Cable Association CEO Matt Polka expects the FCC to move forward on some “sensible ideas to create greater balance” in the broadcast carriage rules, he said during an episode “The Communicators” that aired Saturday. In particular, Polka said he expected changes to prohibit broadcasters from blocking a cable company’s broadband subscribers from accessing a TV station’s online content during a blackout, as well as a change to block broadcasters from pulling a TV signal just before a major event like the Super Bowl as a negotiating tactic. The FCC, prompted by Congress, put out a proposed rulemaking on retransmission consent reforms last September. It has drawn heavy advocacy from both broadcast and cable groups, including ACA. The full episode is here: http://cs.pn/1V32U5e.


4:00 p.m. — Akin Gump and CompTIA hold an event on EU data protection. Akin Gump, 1333 New Hampshire Ave. NW.

6:00 p.m. — The Future of Privacy Forum holds the launch of the new FPF Technology Lab, designed to showcase and understand the latest ways data is being collected and processed. FPF, 1400 I Street NW, Suite 450.


INSIDE THE ADMINISTRATION’S IT PROBLEMS. The New York Times takes a look at the outdated technology plaguing President Obama’s staff, from black-and-white, single-sided printers to slow Internet aboard Air Force One. Read the story here: http://nyti.ms/1SLVDDt

BACKLASH TO APPLE’S PLANS TO SELL USED PHONES IN INDIA. Apple is trying to sell used iPhones in India but hitting some resistance from the country’s phone companies, Bloomberg reports: http://bloom.bg/1Ryl7oW

TAX SEASON MEANS OPEN SEASON FOR SCAMMERS. Cyberthieves are using a new scam to get individuals’ tax information by impersonating executives, per The Wall Street Journal: http://on.wsj.com/1RVVBvT

Tips, comments, suggestions? Send them along via email to our team: Alex Byers (abyers@politico.com, @byersalex), Eric Engleman (eengleman@politico.com,@ericengleman), Amy Schatz (aschatz@politico.com,@amy_schatz), Tony Romm (tromm@politico.com,@tonyromm), Kate Tummarello (ktummarello@politico.com,@ktummarello), Nancy Scola (nscola@politico.com,@nancyscola) and Margaret Harding McGill (mmcgill@politico.com,@margarethmcgill)

** A message from COMPETIFY about the sad state of broadband competition across the U.S. Data from the largest and most comprehensive data collection in FCC history demonstrate that the majority of high-capacity broadband lines across the U.S. are controlled and operated by monopolies or, at best, duopolies. The lack of competition is so bad that a very high number of census blocks surpass the Department of Justice’s “Highly Concentrated” benchmark for assessing market concentration. These broadband gatekeepers refuse to invest in high-capacity broadband and continue to make billions of dollars at the expense of competition. Join the COMPETIFY Partners For The Cure and help the FCC treat America’s chronic broadband access control. Get the cure at http://bit.ly/1VTPxnb **

FCC to unveil broadband nutrition labels – Politico