CrunchGov

Where Silicon Valley meets governance

  • The Snowden Effect, Quantified

    The Snowden Effect, Quantified

    The failure of the USA Freedom Act in the Senate earlier this month was a disappointment to many in favor of reforming the National Security Agency. The bill, far from perfect, and certainly incomplete in its scope was thought of by some as a possible first step. To others, it was a way for Congress to pass something that merely looked like reform. It didn’t advance after a procedural… Read More

  • FCC Expects Cable Companies To Fight Back Over Net Neutrality

    FCC Expects Cable Companies To Fight Back Over Net Neutrality

    The FCC anticipates that large cable companies will sue the agency after it votes into place net neutrality regulations. This would be a mere repeat of history. It will have the clarifying impact of forcing hands: Companies that tried to split the fence will be decidedly on one end of it or the other. Here’s Chairman Tom Wheeler from earlier today, as quoted by The Hill: “The… Read More

  • The CIA’s Review Of Glenn Greenwald’s Snowden Book Is Hilarious

    The CIA’s Review Of Glenn Greenwald’s Snowden Book Is Hilarious

    Earlier this year, journalist Glenn Greenwald released a book titled No Place to Hide, chronicling the Snowden leaks, and breaking new ground on the NSA itself. The book garnered a grip of positive reviews upon publication, and has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon. Not bad, all told. But the most recent review of the book is by far the best. Hayden Peake, listed by the CIA’s website as… Read More

  • Tech Reacts To The Demise Of Partial NSA Reform In The Senate

    Tech Reacts To The Demise Of Partial NSA Reform In The Senate

    The failure of the Senate to advance NSA reform in the current Congress isn’t too popular with the technology community. The demise of the USA FREEDOM Act — a half-measure at best — in the Senate is another loss for the technology industry, which saw many of its leading companies repeatedly call for the bill’s passage. The FREEDOM Act was aimed at ending the… Read More

  • NSA Reform Dies In The Senate

    NSA Reform Dies In The Senate

    Well shit. A vote to proceed with the USA FREEDOM Act failed in the Senate after it did not collect the 60 votes that it needed. It failed 58 to 42. Before the vote, I noticed a slight change in the tone of people that I had on the phone: There was optimism that it could make it. It didn’t. You can stick a fork in NSA reform for this year, and this Congress. And, as I’ve said… Read More

  • Senate’s NSA Reform Bill Heads For Uncertain Vote

    Senate’s NSA Reform Bill Heads For Uncertain Vote

    So much for bipartisanship. Earlier today, Senator Mitch McConnell attacked the USA FREEDOM Act, intimating that supporting it would harm the nation in its current struggle with terror-state ISIS. Also today, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Ron Wyden, from the other slice of the aisle, indicated that they would vote for the bill. A few Republicans appear set to support the Act, including the… Read More

  • White House Says It “Strongly Supports” The Senate’s NSA Reform Bill

    White House Says It “Strongly Supports” The Senate’s NSA Reform Bill

    The White House issued a statement this afternoon saying that it “strongly supports” the Senate’s USA FREEDOM Act, which could see a vote this week. The bill would curtail some practices of the United States’ surveillance apparatus. Congress, in this lame duck session, only has so many hours and days to conduct its final business. Before the session, it seemed… Read More

  • Senator Ted Cruz Dishes Once Again On That ‘Net Neutrality’ Thing

    Senator Ted Cruz Dishes Once Again On That ‘Net Neutrality’ Thing

    The good Senator Ted Cruz from Texas tackled net neutrality again today, with a bit more tact than earlier this week when he called it “Obamacare for the Internet.” It wasn’t immediately clear at that point what the connection between the Affordable Care Act and the preservation of the open Internet was, precisely, but the comment did cause a stir. Today, at a Texas incubator… Read More

  • The FCC Responds To AT&T’s Net Neutrality Saber Rattling

    The FCC Responds To AT&T’s Net Neutrality Saber Rattling

    AT&T announced earlier this week that it would “pause” the rollout of fiber Internet connections to dozens of cities, due to uncertainty in the market caused by potentially stiff net neutrality rules that may be put into place. The president recently caused a ruckus in the debate by calling for reclassification of broadband under Title II. Read More

  • NSA Surveillance Faces Senate Test

    NSA Surveillance Faces Senate Test

    The United States Senate could vote on the USA FREEDOM Act as soon as next week, pushing the surveillance reform bill ahead this year. That would buck prior conventional wisdom that the Act was not a legislative priority, likely ending up shelved until the next Congress. There is still some fight in this Congress after all. Read More

  • FCC Denies Break With President On Net Neutrality, Says “All Options On Table”

    FCC Denies Break With President On Net Neutrality, Says “All Options On Table”

    Today, the FCC’s Special Counsel for External Affairs Gigi Sohn tweeted that reports of a rift between the President and the agency’s views on net neutrality were overblown. Sohn made it clear, however, that the FCC is weighing options that are different from what the President proposed Here’s her note: WaPo took @TomWheelerFCC comments out of context. Didn't… Read More

  • Steve Ballmer Spends 3.8% Of His Total Tweets Dismissing Net Neutrality

    Steve Ballmer Spends 3.8% Of His Total Tweets Dismissing Net Neutrality

    Chalk up one tech exec to the ‘less is more’ view of net neutrality oversight by the FCC. Steve Ballmer, most recently the long-time CEO of Microsoft, tweeted today that extending FCC oversight over Internet competition is not needed. Read More

  • The President’s Net Neutrality Proposal Draws Opprobrium, Praise And Threats Of Legal Action

    The President’s Net Neutrality Proposal Draws Opprobrium, Praise And Threats Of Legal Action

    Earlier today, President Obama proposed a net neutrality plan that called for reclassification of broadband under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. The FCC quickly responded, saying, in effect, that it wasn’t quite as simple as the president seemed to intimate, and that it needed more time to work on the matter. Read More

  • The Stupidest Thing You’ll Read About Net Neutrality All Day

    The Stupidest Thing You’ll Read About Net Neutrality All Day

    I think, and this is more of a guess than anything else, that Senator Cruz is indicating that the FCC putting in place net neutrality regulations that will preserve the open Internet and keep the web a level playing field for all players regardless of their size or wealth, is quite similar to a healthcare law that involves state and federal insurance exchanges, special taxes on medical… Read More

  • The FCC Fires Back At the President’s Net Neutrality Plan

    The FCC Fires Back At the President’s Net Neutrality Plan

    This morning President Barack Obama presented a net neutrality plan, advocating for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reclassify broadband under Title II of the  Telecommunications Act. That solution has long been the favorite of the most ardent net neutrality advocates. The FCC’s Chairman Tom Wheeler quickly replied, noting just how far along the comment, and… Read More

  • NSA Reform Drifts Sideways In The Senate

    NSA Reform Drifts Sideways In The Senate

    According to Senate sources speaking to The Hill, the White House would prefer not to pass NSA reform in the coming lame duck Congressional session. Current chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy, is trying to press forward with a vote on the bill that he authored — the USA FREEDOM Act — this year. The legislation has attracted approbation from… Read More

  • The Department Of Energy Needs Your Help To Cut The Soft Costs Of Solar

    The Department Of Energy Needs Your Help To Cut The Soft Costs Of Solar

    This year, SunShot’s Catalyst incubator crowdsourced 130 problem statements involving these soft costs in solar energy by letting the public vote for the issues they deem most important, which drew attention to issues like the difficulty consumers have finding information about buying into solar or the price of inspecting large commercial installations. Read More

  • Spying And Police Requests For Facebook Data Up 24% Since 2013

    Spying And Police Requests For Facebook Data Up 24% Since 2013

    Facebook continues to fight dragnets for private data by governments, but the combined number of requests from local law enforcement and federal spy agencies like the NSA went up 24 percent from the last half of 2013 to the first half of 2014, according to Facebook’s new government requests report. In the U.S., Facebook received 15,433 data requests about 23,667 accounts, and was forced… Read More

  • The Backbone Of American Elections: Pen And Paper

    The Backbone Of American Elections: Pen And Paper

    Apple will soon put a touchscreen computer on our wrist. High school football is being reshaped for both players and coaches by the latest video technology. And a Silicon Valley pundit is waxing visionary of a future wheredigital technology enables telepathy between humans. And yet, in this techno-wonderland, in the most powerful and technologically advanced country in the world, this… Read More

  • Net Neutrality’s Future Remains A Glorious Muddle

    Net Neutrality’s Future Remains A Glorious Muddle

    The FCC is expected to vote on new neutrality rules in December. What those rules will entail remains a high-stakes parlor game. Out this week from the Wall Street Journal’s Gautham Nagesh was a report indicating that, similar to some plans proposed by extra-governmental individuals and groups, the FCC is considering a ‘hybrid’ approach to net neutrality. Others, including Rep. Read More

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