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Global Media and Communications Watch The International Legal Blog for the Tech, Media and Telecoms Industry

Mark Brennan

Posts by Mark Brennan
Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

FCC Proposes $82 Million Fine for Illegally “Spoofed” Robocalls

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has adopted a Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”) imposing a $82 million penalty against Best Insurance Contracts (d/b/a Wilmington Insurance Quotes) and its owner/operator Philip Roesel for allegedly making more than 21 million prerecorded robocalls with illegally “spoofed” caller ID information in an attempt to sell health insurance.… Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

FCC Extends TCPA Liability to Technology Platform Provider

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has adopted a Forfeiture Order (“Order”) imposing a nearly $2.9 million penalty against Dialing Services, LLC (“Dialing Services”) for making prerecorded voice calls to wireless phones without the “prior express consent” of the called parties.  This Order is notable because the FCC targeted the technology platform provider rather than the provider’s customer.… Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

Hogan Lovells Obtains Major TCPA Consent Revocation Victory

On June 22, 2017, in Reyes v. Lincoln Automotive Financial Services, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit agreed with Hogan Lovells attorneys representing the defendant and held that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) does not permit a consumer to revoke her consent to be called when that consent forms part of a bilateral contract.  The … Continue Reading

Posted in Technology, Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

New U.S. Federal Law Prohibits Contracts With “Anti-Yelping” Provisions

Late last year, President Obama signed into law the Consumer Review Fairness Act (“CRFA”).   Intended to protect individuals who write unflattering online reviews of businesses, the CRFA voids contractual provisions in form contracts that: (1) prohibit non-disparagement; (2) impose liquidated damages or fines for posting disparaging reviews; or (3) exert control over the review through an assignment of intellectual property … Continue Reading

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy Mark BrennanJared Bomberg

FCC Privacy Rules Break New Ground

On November 2, 2016 the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) released its long-awaited – and much debated – Report and Order adopting privacy rules for Internet Service Providers (ISPs).  In the Order, the FCC applied the Communications Act’s privacy requirements to broadband Internet access service (BIAS), which it called “the most significant communications technology of today.”

Several of the FCC requirements … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Alexander MaltasMark Brennan

Common Carriers Exempt from FTC Regulation, Ninth Circuit Holds

Last week, a unanimous Ninth Circuit panel issued a significant decision that holds that common carriers are categorically exempt from Section 5 of the FTC Act—even for activities unrelated to common carriage.  See AT&T Mobility LLC. v. Fed. Trade Comm’n, No. 15-16585, 2016 WL 4501685 (9th Cir. Aug. 29, 2016).  This opinion has potentially far-reaching implications for the telecommunications … Continue Reading

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Timothy TobinMark BrennanJulie Brill

NTIA Commences Internet of Things Proceeding

On April 5, 2016, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) initiated an inquiry to review the potential benefits and challenges presented by the Internet of Things (IoT). In its Notice and request for public comment (RFC), NTIA is seeking input on the current IoT technological and policy landscape with a goal of developing recommendations—in the form of a Green … Continue Reading

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Policy & Regulation Mark Brennan

FCC Circulates Privacy Rulemaking and Announces Commission Vote

On Thursday, Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a highly anticipated broadband data privacy and security Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to the other Commissioners, slating the proposals for a full Commission vote at the agency’s March 31 Open Meeting.  The rules would apply to internet service providers (“ISPs”), but organizations throughout the online data ecosystem will want … Continue Reading

Posted in Internet Mark BrennanTom Peters

FCC Fines More Companies for Wi-Fi Blocking

On November 2, 2015, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission issued two proposed fines related to Wi-Fi hotspot blocking. In the first notice the FCC proposed a penalty of $718,000 against M.C. Dean, one of the largest U.S. electrical contracting companies, for allegedly interfering with and disabling the operation of consumers’ Wi-Fi devices at the Baltimore Convention Center.  In the second Continue Reading

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy Mark Brennan

FCC Continues String of Data Security Cases, Settling with Cox for $595,000

On November 5, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission Enforcement Bureau announced a $595,000 settlement agreement with Cox Communications, Inc. to resolve an investigation into whether the company failed to properly protect its customers’ personal information when electronic data systems were breached in August 2014.  According to the FCC, Cox exposed the personal information of numerous customers and failed to report … Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

FCC Considers TCPA Exemption for Calls Made by or on behalf of Federal, State, and Local Governments

On September 29, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Public Notice seeking comments on the Broadnet Teleservices, LLC (Broadnet) petition asking the FCC to declare that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) does not apply to calls made by or on behalf of federal, state, and local governments, when such calls are made for official purposes.

Currently, the … Continue Reading

Posted in Internet, Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

FTC Closes PayPal Investigation Over Telemarketing Rule and User Agreement

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released a copy of a letter that it sent to PayPal stating that the agency was closing an investigation into potential Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) violations by the company.  This release provides important insights on how companies can design their user agreements to avoid TSR violations.

As background, PayPal had indicated that it planned … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

The FCC Issues Citations Against Lyft and First National Bank for Failing to Obtain “Prior Express Written Consent” in Terms of Service Statements

On September 11, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Enforcement Bureau issued citations to F.N.B. Corporation (First National Bank or FNB) and Lyft, Inc. (Lyft), a ride-sharing service, for Telephone Consumer Protect Act (TCPA) violations pertaining to the marketing rules.

As background, the TCPA requires companies to obtain “prior express written consent” for all prerecorded or autodialed marketing calls or … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation Mark Brennan

The FCC’s New TCPA Decision: Key Issues and What Companies Should Be Doing Now That It Has Been Appealed

As many of our readers know, on July 10, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a highly anticipated decision regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and related FCC rules involving autodialed and prerecorded telephone calls and text messages.  Although the order became effective upon release, in less than a week, three parties (ACA International, Professional Association for Customer Engagement, … Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

U.S. FCC Chairman Circulates Proposed TCPA Decision with Significant Impact Across Industry Sectors

Today, FCC Chairman Wheeler announced that he is circulating a proposal to address more than twenty pending petitions seeking clarity regarding the scope requirements under the U.S. Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). He authored a blog post on the proposal and also released a fact sheet.

As part of the Chairman’s proposal, the FCC would issue the following rulings:… Continue Reading

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Mark BrennanPaul Otto

FCC Seeks Comment on Cybersecurity Recommendations for Communications Providers

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) has requested public input on a recent report on Cybersecurity Risk Management and Best Practices (Report) by the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) for communications providers.  The Report represents the latest example of the U.S. government’s continued attention to these issues following the President’s 2013 … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

U.S. FCC Decision Triggers Potential Sea Change in Broadband ISP Data Privacy and Security Requirements

In its recent Open Internet Order (“Order”), the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) determined that broadband Internet access services are appropriately classified as common carrier “telecommunications services” under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In doing so, the agency established itself as the primary U.S. data privacy and security regulator for those services and triggered additional requirements under the Act. It … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation Mark Brennan

Canada’s anti-spam law: First CASL Enforcement Action Brings $1.1 Million Penalty

Earlier this month, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (“CRTC’s”) Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer issued a Notice of Violation and $1.1 million penalty to Compu-Finder for four violations of the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (“CASL”).  Although Compu-Finder was apparently engaged in “flagrant” CASL violations, according to the Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer, the CRTC also confirmed that it is assessing … Continue Reading

Posted in Internet, Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

Recent Net Neutrality Developments in the EU and the Americas

With an ongoing rulemaking at the Federal Communications Commission, a pair of Congressional hearings, and President Obama’s recent remarks on the matter, U.S. policymakers have been actively debating net neutrality issues.  However, the U.S. is not alone:  The EU has taken significant steps towards a new net neutrality law, Brazil and Mexico passed legislation last year, and Chile’s regulatory … Continue Reading

Posted in Copyright, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Mark BrennanTony Lin

U.S. FCC Releases Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Extend Video Programming Rights to Over-the-Top Video Providers

Note: The post below has been updated to reflect extended comment and reply comment filing deadlines.

On December 19, 2014, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) proposing to give over-the-top (“OTT”) video programming providers certain legacy negotiating and carriage rights with respect to both cable programming (i.e. program access rights) and … Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark BrennanTony Lin

U.S. FCC Chairman Proposes to Extend Video Programming Rights to Over-the-Top Video Providers

On October 28, 2014, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that he is proposing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to give over-the-top (“OTT”) video providers certain legacy negotiating and carriage rights with respect to cable programming (i.e. program access rights) and broadcast television programming (i.e. retransmission consent rights).  Chairman Wheeler explained … Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark BrennanWesley Platt

U.S. Regulator Announces $10 Million Proposed Forfeiture Over Data Security Practices

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture proposing a $10 million penalty against TerraCom, Inc. and YourTel America, Inc.  for allegedly violating laws protecting consumers’ personal information.  Specifically, the FCC alleged that the companies placed the personal data of up to 300,000 consumers at risk by storing Social Security numbers, names, addresses, … Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark BrennanTony Lin

U.S. Federal Communications Commission Grants Waiver of TCPA Fax Opt-Out Notice Requirements to 24 Petitioners

On 30 October the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted relief to 24 petitioners regarding certain Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) rules applicable to fax advertisements.  Specifically, the Order gives the petitioners a limited, retroactive waiver of the FCC’s opt-out notice requirements for fax advertisements that were sent with the “prior express invitation or permission” of the recipient but that did … Continue Reading

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

FTC Reminds Broadband Providers of their Data Privacy and Security Obligations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in which it reminded broadband Internet service providers that they are subject to several data privacy and security laws enforced by the FTC.  The FTC’s comments underscore why broadband providers – as well as their vendors and business partners – must keep a close watch on … Continue Reading