The House Commerce committee investigation of the FCC continues. According to the Washington Post, a detailed letter signed by Rep. Dingell has gone out to the FCC asking for a host of documents that (among other things) relate to “management practices that may adversely affect the Commission’s ability both to discharge effectively its statutory duties and to guard against waste, fraud, and abuse.” This is serious – business as usual at the Commission must be under severe pressure, and the idea of real structural reform of the Commission (and perhaps a new telecommunications act) can now be talked about with some confidence. This won’t happen now, but it could be happening a year from now.
According to CDT, the House should approve H.R. 3773, the FISA Amendments Act. It requires prior FISA court approval of surveillance procedures (if not of actual surveillance), ongoing judicial oversight of compliance with those procedures, does not grant retroactive immunity to the carriers, and has a Dec. 31, 2009 sunset.
I’m feeling prescient (or maybe just trend-aware) about yesterday’s post – today, WIRED has a substantial article covering a music industry notion of charging highspeed internet access subscribers a levy for access to music. Never mind that it’s impossible to figure out who’s doing what – particularly if everyone starts encrypting their communications. Never mind that the network access provider may not be shielded from liability if it starts looking at every transmission. As the article concludes, the music industry’s feeling is:
Pay up. . or we’ll sic Washington on you — and London and Paris and anybody else we can find.
*Cross-posted from [Susan Crawford blog](http://scrawford.net/blog).*