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Geoffrey Starks nominated as FCC Commissioner to fill Democratic gap left by Clyburn

The President has officially named Geoffrey Starks as his pick to fill the FCC Commissioner role left open by Mignon Clyburn’s departure. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai confirmed the news, rumored over the past few weeks, in a statement.

“I congratulate Geoffrey Starks on his forthcoming nomination to serve as a Commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission,” said Pai. “He has a distinguished record of public service, including in the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, and I wish him all the best during the confirmation process.”

Starks isn’t exactly a well known figure, but in public service that’s actually something of a compliment. He has worked in the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau for three years and is currently one of several assistant bureau chiefs. Previously he was at the Justice Department, which makes sense, as the Enforcement Bureau’s responsibility is “to investigate and respond quickly to potential unlawful conduct.”

It’s unclear as yet what his position is on the various measures currently being addressed by the FCC, from net neutrality to the revamping of media regulations.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly settled on Starks as long as a couple months ago, the interim no doubt being spent on due diligence, cultivating endorsements, and so on. The Senate will have to confirm Starks, but there’s no timeline on that yet. Commissioners generally serve five-year terms.

The FCC is kept at an uneven split between the two parties, ideally 3:2 in favor of the current administration. At the moment it has three Republican Commissioners and one Democrat, Commissioner Clyburn having left just a few weeks ago.

I’ve asked the FCC for more information on Starks and no doubt his nomination will trigger considerable scrutiny by press and politicians alike.

AT&T: it's not “forced arbitration” because no one forced you to have broadband

AT&T, which has successfully lobbied state governments and the FCC to ban any broadband competition in the markets where it operates, says that its forced arbitration “agreements” aren’t really forced, because people in the markets it serves could just not use the internet.
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Senate debates permanent rollback of FCC’s broadband privacy rules

 Republican Senators led by Arizona’s Jeff Flake proposed a resolution earlier this month that would roll back privacy rules adopted by the FCC last year that prevented ISPs from collecting personal data without asking permission first. Today the Senate was alive with oratory as people spoke for and against the proposal. Read More

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Senate Republicans introduce resolution ensuring ISPs don't need your permission to sell your private data and SSN

Donald Trump’s new FCC boss, Ajit Pai, has nuked an Obama-era rule that banned ISPs from selling off your browsing data, location, financial and health information, children’s information, Social Security Number and contents of your messages, without your permission. The now-defunct rule also required ISPs to notify you when they got hacked and your sensitive personal information got out into the wild.
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Trump's FCC wants to let your cable company sell your data, because who cares about privacy?

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Under President Donald Trump, it seems like every department in the executive branch is racing to see who can undo regulations the fastest. And at the FCC? That means negotiating with cable companies about your data. 

Newly-installed Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai is working on stopping privacy rules from the it-feels-like-oh-so-long-ago Obama era, which require internet providers to get your explicit permission before selling or sharing your information, Business Insider reported

The rules were approved in October, and went into partial effect in January. But lucky for the Trump FCC, a provision requiring internet providers to “engage in reasonable data security practices” doesn’t take effect until March 2.  Read more…

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