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  • Backgrounder posted December 17, 2014 by James L. Gattuso, Michael Sargent Eight Myths About FCC Regulation of the Internet

    Few policy debates in Washington have generated as many myths and mischaracterizations as the ongoing battle over proposed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules for broadband Internet service. Popularly known as “net neutrality” rules, these Internet regulations would limit the ability of Internet service providers (ISPs) such as AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast to…

  • Commentary posted November 25, 2014 by James L. Gattuso Obama and the FCC: Bully Pulpit, Bad Policy

    Like Theodore Roosevelt, Barack Obama knows that the presidency makes an effective bully pulpit — even when you have historically low approval ratings. He showed that earlier this month when — in an unusually deep wade into the decision-making process at the supposedly independent Federal Communications Commission — the president came out four-square in favor of imposing…

  • Backgrounder posted November 25, 2014 by James L. Gattuso, Michael Sargent Beyond Hypothetical: How FCC Internet Regulation Would Hurt Consumers

    On November 10, President Barack Obama joined a long-simmering debate at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), urging the agency to adopt comprehensive government regulation of Internet service providers, such as Verizon and Comcast. These regulations would require companies that provide Internet access to end users (households and businesses) to process all…

  • Commentary posted November 17, 2014 by Diane Katz, James L. Gattuso Obama's Final Two Years: A Sprint on Regulation?

    The election results were a crushing political blow for the Obama administration, giving Republicans firm control of both houses of Congress for the final two years of his term. But this in no way signals the end of the president's policy agenda. It simply shifts the action to regulatory agencies. In the days since the vote, this has already begun. Obama is moving…

  • Backgrounder posted October 31, 2014 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Regulation: Killing Opportunity

    In his January 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama vowed to wield his executive powers when faced with congressional resistance to his legislative agenda: “America does not stand still—and neither will I,” he said. “So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation … that’s what I am going to do.”[1] This provocative declaration was…

  • Commentary posted September 19, 2014 by James L. Gattuso Give Tesla a Truly Free Market by Ending Dealers' Monopoly

    Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk wants to sell you a car, but your state government might not let him. Why? He wants to deal directly with you, bypassing the independent dealerships that have acted as middlemen in the car industry for close to a century. In California's Silicon Valley, where Tesla is based, the disruption of existing practice is encouraged. It leads to…

  • Commentary posted September 18, 2014 by Paul Rosenzweig, Brett D. Schaefer, James L. Gattuso Should Governments Control the Internet?

    The Internet is now critical to the U.S. economy. A recent Hudson Institute analysis estimated that the information, communications, and technology sector accounted for nearly 10 percent of the total growth of the U.S. economy from 2002 to 2007 – in other words, the sector was responsible for more than $340 billion of the $4.6 trillion increase in real gross output of the…

  • Commentary posted July 23, 2014 by James L. Gattuso Will FCC rules crash the Internet?

    The comment period on the FCC’s latest plan to regulate Internet traffic through so-called “net neutrality” rules was slated to end last Tuesday. But the agency had to extend the deadline. Because its website crashed. The irony was hard to miss. The agency has been beating the drum for Internet regulation for nearly a decade. The Federal Communications Commission has…

  • Issue Brief posted June 30, 2014 by James L. Gattuso Read My Bits: No New Taxes (Permanently)

    At midnight on October 31, Congress’s long-standing moratorium on state Internet taxation expires, freeing state and local governments to tax online access and other Web services enjoyed by Americans. The ban has been up for renewal four times in the past 16 years, raising constant concern that this protection from taxation will not be continued. This time, Congress…

  • Backgrounder posted June 16, 2014 by Paul Rosenzweig, Brett D. Schaefer, James L. Gattuso, David Inserra Protecting Internet Freedom and American Interests: Required Reforms and Standards for ICANN Transition

    The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has contracted with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to manage core functions of the Internet since ICANN was established in 1998. ICANN is a private nonprofit corporation created to manage policy and technical features of the Internet’s domain name system (DNS) in a…

  • Issue Brief posted May 19, 2014 by James L. Gattuso Taking Stock: Shareholder Lawsuits No Barrier to GSE Dissolution

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that were at the center of the financial collapse of 2008, have now been in federal conservatorship for nearly six years. Several bills are pending in Congress to end the conservatorships and dissolve the firms, although the proposals differ on what—if anything—should replace them.[1] At the…

  • Commentary posted April 3, 2014 by Diane Katz, James L. Gattuso Red tape rising: Five years of regulatory expansion

    In his State of the Union address earlier this year, President Obama vowed to wield his executive powers when faced with congressional resistance to his legislative agenda: "America does not stand still - and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation ... that's what I am going to do." This provocative declaration was startling in its…

  • Backgrounder posted March 26, 2014 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Red Tape Rising: Five Years of Regulatory Expansion

    In his January 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama vowed to wield his executive powers when faced with congressional resistance to his legislative agenda, stating: “America does not stand still—and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation … that’s what I am going to do.”[1] This provocative declaration was…

  • Issue Brief posted March 21, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, James L. Gattuso, Paul Rosenzweig, David Inserra Important Work to Be Done Before the U.S. Relinquishes Stewardship of ICANN

    The Department of Commerce announced on March 14 that it will give up its last bit of control of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in 2015. As is often the case with government decisions announced late on a Friday, this decision is controversial. The U.S. has exercised light oversight of ICANN since it established the organization and…

  • Backgrounder posted February 12, 2014 by James L. Gattuso Net Neutrality Rules: Still a Threat to Internet Freedom

    In a significant victory for American consumers, a federal appeals court struck down Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules regulating broadband Internet service on January 14. The much-anticipated decision clears the way for more investment, more innovation, and lower costs for Internet users. But the political battle over these “network neutrality” rules—which…