Federal agencies try to get on the same page on the wireless spectrum


Today, the two agencies that manage these waves together are deploying a new plan to strengthen their coordination in order to avoid future conflicts.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) unveil a series of actions on Tuesday aimed at closing “gaps” in their approach to spectrum management, according to a preview of the announcement shared exclusively with The Technology 202 .

The plan includes updating a spectrum rights memorandum that the two agencies entered into in 2003 to “better reflect current spectrum opportunities and challenges” and renewing their effort to jointly create a “National Spectrum Strategy “, steps that lawmakers have called for.

Agency Leaders, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and head of the NTIA Alan Davidson, also pledge to intensify direct communication on the issue by holding “formal and regular meetings, beginning monthly, to conduct joint spectrum planning”. (Their current coordination agreement only requires semi-annual meetings.)

In a phone interview on Monday, Rosenworcel said the goal of updating their agreement was to create “a transparent set of processes that everyone can understand and use whenever spectrum issues arise.”

The joint announcement serves to present a united front under the Biden era between the two agencies, which have historically fought over their stewardship.

“The spectrum is always charged. It’s always difficult. larry irvingwho led the NTIA under former president bill clintontold me last month.

The NTIA, a Commerce Department agency that advises the president, oversees federal spectrum use, while the FCC, an independent regulatory agency, manages non-federal use. But disputes have arisen when the two areas are in conflict.

“The federal mission and the non-federal demand for spectrum are in conflict and always have been,” David Redlwho served as a trustee of the NTIA under former president donald trumptold me last month.

He added, “As we move further and further down the path towards more and more adoption of wireless services by Americans, this creates an increased challenge, and this challenge is confirmed by the relationship between the FCC… and the NTIA.

It remains to be seen whether greater coordination between the FCC and the NTIA could help avoid turf wars with other agencies that also have a stake in the spectrum debate, such as the Federal Aviation Administration.

Rosenworcel noted that the NTIA has “a legal obligation to speak in the interests of the administration.”

“To the extent that we’ve had challenges in the past, I think a lot of that is because that role hasn’t always been honored and we’re trying to find a way to revitalize it and revitalize our coordination with the NTIA in the process,” she added.

The announcement comes a day before Davidson is set to testify in his first oversight hearing as NTIA chief before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

During the session, he is expected to answer questions about the agency’s plans to hand out billions in grants to expand internet connectivity nationwide, as well as its approach to spectrum policy.

In a memo prepared ahead of the hearing, majority committee staff wrote that a “lack of coordination” between the FCC, NTIA and other agencies “has increasingly been a problem for spectrum management.” .

Texas sued Facebook parent Meta for facial recognition

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton(R)’s lawsuit seeks hundreds of billions of dollars in civil penalties against the company for alleged violations of Texas privacy laws, according to the Wall Street Journal. John D. McKinnon reports. Facebook announced last year that it was ending the use of facial recognition software and removing facial data from more than a billion people. The site previously used facial recognition to automatically tag people in photos by name.

Meta told the Journal that Paxton’s claims “are baseless and we will defend ourselves vigorously.”

Texas privacy law is similar to an Illinois law that prohibits the collection of biometric data without users’ consent. Facebook has settled a class action lawsuit for alleged violations of this law for $550 million. But “the Texas lawsuit — particularly the scale of the civil penalties sought — underscores the impact that increasingly pervasive privacy laws could have on the operations of big tech companies,” McKinnon writes.

The FTC has threatened to sue VoIP companies that withhold robocall information

California courts had ordered companies, which offer internet calling services, to turn over information the Federal Trade Commission required about robocalls, Bleeping Computer’s Sergiu Gatlan reports. The commission touted the orders, issuing a warning to other companies that may be withholding information.

“Companies that receive civil investigation requests from the FTC must promptly produce all required information,” said Samuel Levine, which heads the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau. “These requests are not voluntary. Companies that don’t respond fully, or don’t respond at all, will have to answer in front of a federal district court judge, as these cases demonstrate. »

A Dutch regulator fined Apple for the fourth time

This is the fourth time in as many weeks that the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has fined the company 5 million euros ($5.7 million), according to Reuters. Toby Sterling reports. The fines stem from a Jan. 15 deadline imposed by the regulator, which wants Apple to allow dating app developers to use payment options outside of its App Store.

“Apple says in postings on its websites that it has complied with the December order of the ACM, which found it was abusing a dominant market position and needed to change,” Sterling writes. . “But the Dutch watchdog repeated on Monday that Apple had failed to comply and was imposing ‘unnecessary and unreasonable’ conditions on dating app developers.”

The company previously said it complied with the regulator’s decision, but the ACM said Apple didn’t actually make any changes. “In a February 3 statement, Apple described how developers could implement alternative payment methods, but ACM said the company did not give it enough information to assess what had changed,” writes Sterling.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters. The company previously said it will charge developers 27% on in-app payments it doesn’t process, a slight difference from the 30% it charges for payments it does process. The ACM declined to tell Reuters whether such a change would be acceptable.

A judge has ordered Ilya “Dutch” Lichtenstein jailed pending trial for allegedly trying to launder billions of dollars in stolen cryptocurrency, while his wife, Heather Morgan, will be released on $3 million bail of dollars, Spencer S. Hsu reports. Judge Beryl A. Howell called evidence found in an online account a “smoking gun” in the case, Insider’s Becky Peterson Noted:

Meanwhile, the internet has feelings about Morgan — also known as the “Razzlekhan” rapper — being released on conditions. Retool Michael Selvidge:

The Bay Area News Group Daniel M. Jimenez:

  • Elizabeth WilkinsSenior Advisor to the White House Chief of Staff Ron Kleinwill lead the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Policy Planning, the agency of The New York Times Alan Rappeport reports.
  • Former FCC Chairman Ajit Paia republican, joins the advisory board of 5G wireless infrastructure company EdgeQ.
  • Former United States Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Karen Kornbluh; former commissioner of the FTC Maureen K. Ohlhausen; former FCC official Edward “Smitty” Smith; retired admin Michael S. Rogerswho was commander of US Cyber ​​Command and director of the National Security Agency, and former White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy Daniel J. Weitzner have joined Trusted Future’s Board of Directors.
  • Ancestry, Etsy, Glamsquad, Nuro, Snagajob, Snap, and Zillow have joined TechNet as members.
  • Intel and Cisco joined BSA | The Software Alliance as global members.
  • A panel of the House Science Committee is holding a hearing on the microelectronics workforce today at 10 a.m.
  • A panel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding a hearing on oversight of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Wednesday at noon.
  • The House Administration Committee holds a hearing on the privacy risks of big data in a hearing Wednesday at 2 p.m.
  • The Atlantic Council organizes an event on European data policy on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.
  • International Antitrust Authorities and FTC Commissioners Noah Phillips and Christine Wilson to speak at the George Mason Law Review’s 25th Annual Antitrust Symposium, which runs Feb. 21-25.

ThisThat’s all for today — thank you so much for joining us! Be sure to tell others to subscribe to the Technology 202 here. Get in touch with advice, comments or greetings on Twitter Where E-mail.


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