Thursday, November 11, 2004

Susan Crawford updates us on the Broadcast Flag issue

The FCC has filed its brief in response to the Public challenge to its new Broadcast Flag rule. The reply suggests that the FCC has sweeping jurisdiction over just about all communications devices. The Broadcast Flag allows the FCC to reach into your televisions and DVRs to keep you from recording content. More on the Broadcast flag can be found here.

Why should you care about the Broadcast Flag and this FCC reply? Susan Crawford:

The thing is, this rule doesn't merely affect TV receiving equipment. It affects everything that RECEIVES digital files from TV receiving equipment as well -- every device inside any home network. It affects the open-platform PC. It's a sweeping rule. And now FCC's jurisdiction to enact this rule is being argued in sweeping terms.

Why should we care about all of this? We should care because if the FCC has the power to act on anything that has something to do with communication, we have only the FCC's self-restraint to rely on when it comes to all internet communications. We should care because we want open platforms and open communications to continue. We should care because the future of the internet is at stake -- the FCC will use its 'ancillary jurisdiction' to impose 'social policies' on any services that use the internet protocol, and will point to its broadcast flag action as support for its jurisdictional claims.
Go read the rest here: Susan Crawford blog :: Does the White House know?


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