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Media & Democracy 07.29.2022

United Press International: Net neutrality bill unveiled to codify broadband Internet as essential service

Pro-democracy organization Common Cause said the unregulated Internet since 2017 has seen providers throttle popular video streaming services and degrade video quality to force customers to pay more for better quality, as well as create monopolist plans that favor its services over others. "This approach also weakened the FCC's ability to ensure households remained connected during the height of the pandemic," Yosef Getachew, Common Cause media and democracy program director, said in a statement.

Media & Democracy 05.9.2022

Broadcasting & Cable: Gigi Sohn Fans: Broadband Bandwagon Is Missing Key Driver

Former acting FCC chairman and Common Cause special adviser Michael Copps was on the same page when it came to Sohn being a key piece in the broadband connectivity puzzle. “[N]one of the White House’s initiatives around halting ongoing consolidation in the broadband sector, restoring a free and open internet, and ensuring marginalized communities have equitable access to communications services can be fully achieved if the FCC remains deadlocked,” he said in a statement following the event. “Congress must take action now to ensure Ms. Sohn receives a vote,” Copps said.  Copps said those gatekeepers were conducting a “sleazy” campaign to undermine Sohn because they knew that “a functional FCC would hold them accountable and prevent them from engaging in anticompetitive and discriminatory practices that undermine our ability to get online.”

Media & Democracy 04.11.2022

Grid: How Big Tech is quietly pushing for watered-down state privacy laws

“I can generally say that there’s certainly the potential for influence from industry giving money to legislators,” said Yosef Getachew, director of the Media and Democracy Program at Common Cause. ... Getachew noted that the implications of privacy laws extend well past traditional technology companies. “A lot of the telecom companies have engaged in certain data practices that implicate them and privacy bills, and a lot of telecom companies are working businesses outside of the traditional telecom model,” said Getachew. “So for example, take Comcast — they provide a cable service, broadband service and mobile service. They are potentially using all those data points interchangeably to build profiles and learn more about the customer base.”

Media & Democracy 12.7.2021

Broadcasting & Cable: D.C. Applauds Chairwoman Rosenworcel Confirmation to FCC

“It was a long and winding road for Jessica Rosenworcel, but she stayed the course and good sense has now finally prevailed with today’s Senate vote," said Common Cause special advisor Michael Copps, himself a former acting FCC chairman and Rosenworcel's former boss when she was on his FCC staff. "Jessica faces a daunting agenda as chair but she has the experience and dedication to make historic progress leading the FCC. Past commission mistakes must be corrected and new trails blazed to provide our country with the communications ecosystem our democracy so clearly must have." Copps also put in a plug for confirming a third Democrat to the commission so Rosenworcel has a majority. "Needed now is a fifth commissioner, so that a full FCC can get on with its important mandate of protecting the public interest.”

Voting & Elections 12.1.2021

The Hill: The Hill's Top Lobbyists 2021

Not all of those honored on this list are registered lobbyists. But they are all key players who the nation’s biggest companies, advocacy groups, labor unions and trade associations turn to when they want their voices heard in the nation’s capital. The ranks of policy experts, influencers and advocates run deep in Washington, but these are the people who stand out for delivering results for their clients in the halls of Congress and the administration. ... GRASSROOTS: Karen Hobert Flynn and Aaron Scherb, Common Cause 

Media & Democracy 10.26.2021

Wall Street Journal: White House Nominates Acting FCC Chief Jessica Rosenworcel to Permanent Role

Former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said Ms. Rosenworcel is noteworthy for the “unprecedented breadth and depth of experience” she brings to the commission. Ms. Rosenworcel worked for Mr. Copps as a staffer and has extensive experience in Congress, which oversees the independent commission.

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