| June 24, 2014, 3:55 p.m.
It wasn’t too many years ago that the Environmental Protection Agency came under fire for promulgating regulations that critics claimed had insufficient scientific validity. The pendulum now seems to have swung the other way, if a policy provision in the “Department of Energy Research and Development Act of 2014” is any indicator.
| June 19, 2014, 5 a.m.
With every passing day, our video laws grow more outdated and unable to keep up with the amazing changes in technology. Our current system of TV rules was created in 1992 and is based on decades of antiquated communications law.
| June 18, 2014, 7:56 p.m.
Here’s the status of various legislative moves in Congress, including those that would slow down the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s move to step out of Internet domain functions:
| June 18, 2014, 3:59 p.m.
Could authoritarian governments gain power over the Web if the U.S. steps out of its role in the Internet domain name system?
| June 11, 2014, 2:57 p.m.
As members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, we are keenly aware — thanks to our nation’s law enforcement and intelligence communities — of the potential damage a cyberattack on our nation’s critical infrastructure could cause.
| June 11, 2014, 2:25 p.m.
A pediatric research bill Congress cleared this week is winning praise for boosting efforts to combat childhood diseases, but the measure will not change any spending levels unless appropriators allocate money for the work to the National Institutes of Health.
| June 11, 2014, 2:17 p.m.
Approving tax treaties with other nations used to be relatively routine business on Capitol Hill, but that’s no longer the case.
| June 10, 2014, 2:58 p.m.
Recently, U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., prodded his Senate colleagues to move forward with a piece of legislation that has vital implications for the security of individuals, businesses and our nation as a whole. Speaking at George Washington University, Rogers addressed the need for the Senate to pass a comprehensive cybersecurity bill. The House has already passed their own bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which facilitates increased information sharing about cyber-threats between government and the private sector. The Senate, however, must produce its version so that the two can go to conference committee and produce meaningful legislation that can be signed into law.
| May 21, 2014, 4:20 p.m.
Lawmakers from both parties regard with something close to hostility a congressionally mandated ban affecting the contents of the cable boxes that sit atop millions of Americans’ television sets. Texas Democratic Rep. Gene Green said the ban has “cost consumers and business over a billion dollars since 2007 in impeding innovation and efficiency,” and he has already tried to kill it with stand-alone legislation.
| May 21, 2014, 4:18 p.m.
Most of the language in a complex satellite and cable broadcast bill working its way through Congress deals with issues the average pay-TV viewer won’t see up close, ranging from retransmission negotiations to media ownership. But one section of the measure would affect a piece of hardware that sits in the TV tuner of every viewer’s cable box — and the makers of third-party units like TiVo say the bill is about to make those consumers’ lives much harder.
| May 15, 2014, 11:39 a.m.
The artist and author Julia Cameron once wrote, “Nothing dies harder than a bad idea.” When Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler testifies in Congress next week, one of those stubborn bad ideas he will be asked about is the call by some online critics to reclassify broadband Internet access as a Title II “telecommunications service” instead of an “information service” as it is today. This bad idea would effectively treat broadband providers and a wide range of Internet firms as public-utility style “common carriers,” along the lines of railroads and canal boats of centuries past. Applying a 19th century regulatory solution to a 21st century problem simply does not make sense.
| May 15, 2014, 5 a.m.
On Thursday, May 8 at 2 p.m., in Cannon 311, my expert colleagues and I testified in an open hearing on the threat of electromagnetic pulse to critical infrastructures. The hearing will prepare members of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies to consider a vitally important bill, arguably the most important bill before this Congress — the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (HR 3410) — that would prepare the nation for a natural or nuclear EMP catastrophe.
| May 13, 2014, 11:43 a.m.
Arguments over net neutrality and how companies connect on the Internet’s back end are usually the province of academics and engineers — but in recent weeks, these complex issues have exploded into the public sphere. Congress is preparing numerous hearing that will touch on these subjects, from Thursday’s House Judiciary hearing on the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger to the May 20 House Energy and Commerce oversight hearing on the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC itself will also soon consider new net neutrality regulations.
| May 13, 2014, 5 a.m.
Should lawmakers in Washington override state laws and impose their values on the states? Some members of Congress seem to think so, and they are trying to impose a retroactive federal ban on Internet gambling, including in three states that have already legalized the activity. Not only does the proposal trample states’ rights, it will fail to eliminate illegal online gambling while making consumers less safe online, eliminating millions of dollars in tax revenue for states, and favoring a special interest. It is also based on a blatant misrepresentation of existing law.
| May 12, 2014, 4:45 p.m.
Americans love science, but if its practice and outcomes challenge their deeply held beliefs in any significant way, their love can easily turn to rejection. That dichotomy is nothing new, but today it’s a problem not only for science but also for our nation’s 21st century economy, which depends so heavily on research and development for its growth.
| May 9, 2014, 11:01 a.m.
In 2012, Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. One of its key goals was to ensure that American consumers get access to the spectrum they need. As the Federal Communications Commission finalizes its design for the Incentive Auction that will buy back 600 megahertz spectrum from broadcasters in order to sell it to providers of mobile broadband, members of Congress continue to express intense interest in the auction. Recent letters from both sides of the aisle encourage the FCC to conduct an auction equally open to all participants.
| May 8, 2014, 5:17 p.m.
House appropriators advanced a measure Thursday to fund the Justice and Commerce departments, along with science agencies, after endorsing a GOP gun proposal and sidelining a series of Democratic firearm policy amendments.
| May 7, 2014, 5 a.m.
In 1914, a small, but visionary group of America’s leading songwriters and composers — among them, musical greats like Irving Berlin and John Philip Sousa — realized they could protect their rights as music creators more effectively through collective licensing, rather than going it alone. So they came together to form the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, or ASCAP for short.
| May 5, 2014, 5:48 p.m.
Recently, in a victory for open data, both chambers of Congress passed with bipartisan support the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act. The bill now heads to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature. The DATA Act would drastically improve the public’s access to federal spending data by expanding the universe of information the government is required to post online and creating government-wide financial data standards.
| May 1, 2014, 5 a.m.
Politics on Capitol Hill can often be as fickle as a Washington, D.C., weather forecast. However, once every blood-red moon, we see members of Congress work carefully and deliberately to introduce true bipartisan legislation — which is precisely what U.S. Representative John Shimkus, R-Ill., is doing with the draft Chemicals in Commerce Act, proposed legislation to reform the decades-old Toxic Substances Control Act.