The Swine Line: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Internet

Keeping Internet Governance in the U.S.

On March 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) would not renew its contract to oversee the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in September 2015.  The announcement called into question what governing body would provide the necessary oversight of the organization in order to prevent another government from taking control of the Internet.

The FCC Should Keep Its Hands Out of Our Wallets

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems to be taking a fast and furious ride through America’s pockets lately.  The FCC, under the helm of Chairman Tom Wheeler, announced plans to expand the Lifeline program to give away broadband Internet subsidies to low-income individuals.  What this means for the average consumer is an increase in their telephone bills, by requiring the payment of higher contributions to the Universal Service Fund (USF).

Broadband Fiction versus Fact

Every year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is required to report to Congress the progress being made in deploying advanced communications services in the U.S. On January 29, 2016, the FCC released its latest review of broadband deployment in the U.S.

A Twentieth Anniversary Not Worth Celebrating

In 1996, Bill Clinton resided in the White House; science produced the first cloned mammal, a sheep named Dolly; folks were dancing the Macarena; and the Simpsons became the longest running prime-time animated series.

Broadband as a Moving Target

On January 29, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) redefined what constitutes minimum standards for broadband access, raising the bar from the original standard of 4 Megabytes per second (Mbps) for download speeds, and 1 Mbps for upload speeds, to 25 Mbps download speeds and 3 Mbps upload speeds.

Gadgets, Gizmos, Spectrum and IP

On January 6, the 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicks off in Las Vegas, Nevada. This annual event showcases a multitude of devices and inventions, demonstrating the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of inventors across a wide range of fields.

Running Down the Clock on Internet Taxes

Nothing like waiting until the last minute to do something important. That is exactly what is happening on the Hill this week. The Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) is set once again to expire at midnight on December 11, 2015.

IAB Report Finds IP Infringement Costs Economy Billions

There are some individuals who view intellectual property (IP), particularly movies, videos, and music as free for the taking; illegally posting and distributing content online without any regard to the impact such actions have on the creators and owners of the IP. This sad state of affairs was detailed last year in Citizens Against Government Waste's (CAGW) book Intellectual Property: Making It Personal.

Clarity Needed in Taxation of Digital Goods

With technology changing the way consumers listen and view music and videos, state and local governments are now looking toward taxation of digital goods and services to increase their tax revenues. Currently, 17 states require by statute that taxes be paid on digital goods and services, and another eight states plus the District of Columbia draw this authority from their departments of revenue regulations or case law.

The Unfair “Fairness” Act

It is disingenuous to call something fair and equitable when it is clearly not. This is the case with both S. 698, the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2015 (MFA), and the Remote Transaction Parity Act (RTPA), introduced on June 15, 2015 by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).

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