With media consolidation at an all-time high and Clear Channel dominating the airwaves, the vital role of local radio programming is being eroded away. Five years ago a train derailed in Minot, North Dakota and thousands of gallons of dangerous chemicals were released into the environment; many people were injured and one person died. The commercial radio stations in the area were all owned by Clear Channel and none of them carried any advisories about the disaster. Low powered FM stations will ensure that local information will be readily accessible amongst a landscape of national stations.
A congressional panel that has been none too pleased about various federal agencies' responses to cyber threats plans on Wednesday to put the Department of Homeland Security's chief information officer in the hot seat.
The title of the latest House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee hearing--"Hacking the Homeland: Investigating Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities at the Department of Homeland Security"--suggests another bruising may be on the horizon for CIO Scott Charbo and the oft-criticized agency chiefly responsible for overseeing the nation's cybersecurity efforts.
The event follows an April hearing that focused primarily on cyberattacks involving computers at the State and Commerce Departments. … Read more
More than half of the states have passed some sort of measure scorning national drivers license standards known as Real ID, but that didn't stop congressional politicians on Friday from attempting to sweeten the deal by approving an additional $50 million aimed at helping them out.
By a 268-150 vote on Friday morning, the U.S. House of Representatives approved those new grants for states as part of a Homeland Security spending bill covering the next fiscal year.
But will the extra dough appease states that have balked at the estimated $14 billion pricetag --according to the Office of … Read more
We already know that Webcasters small and large are outraged at the prospect of having to pay higher royalty fees to the music industry, particularly when compared with what is required of their satellite and terrestrial radio counterparts.
But the heightened royalty rates enacted by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board earlier this year and scheduled to take effect July 15 are not the only thing that's firing up leading Internet radio industry companies like RealNetworks, Yahoo, Pandora and Live365.
In letters distributed to various Capitol Hill offices on Thursday morning, the four companies' CEOs argue that the music … Read more
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday called for Congress to enact mandatory restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions by year's end.
At a news conference in Washington D.C. alongside Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, Pelosi said that as part of a "Fourth of July energy independence package" of legislation, she said it is "absolutely essential" for the House to pass a European-style "cap-and-trade" proposal related to carbon dioxide. The compound, a greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere … Read more
A Massachusetts Democrat said Tuesday that he plans to revive an earlier effort to force broader sales tax collection by Internet retailers.
At a hearing focused on what to do about a soon-to-expire ban on Internet access taxes, Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) said he remains concerned that states are being deprived of billions of dollars in would-be sales tax revenue because of the massive growth of e-commerce over the years.
"I will be filing legislation come July that hopefully will deal with the issue," he said.
At the moment, if you order something from a company that's … Read more
The ever-controversial H-1B visa program is undergoing a fresh round of congressional scrutiny as the U.S. Senate prepares to debate changes to the nation's immigration system as a whole.
Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Monday sent letters to nine foreign-based companies (click for PDF) requesting information about their use of the work permits, which allow foreigners with at least a bachelor's degree in their area of specialty be employed in the United States for up to six years.
The questions ranged from the number of visa petitions the companies sent to U.S. … Read more
It's already clear that user-generated video sites are being used to shape the upcoming presidential race, but has Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) spearheaded a new trend of on-the-fly, politician-generated flicks?
In an unusual--unprecedented, even--move at a Thursday morning hearing entitled "The Future of Internet Video," the veteran congressman pulled out a digital video camera and shot some footage of the participants, complete with cues to wave and a bit of narration.
Now, as promised, the 85-second footage is on his dedicated YouTube page for all to see.
The feature opens with a close-up shot of Markey delivering … Read more
Congressional momentum appears to be building in support of overturning a contentious ruling that Webcasters argue could cripple their services.
On Thursday, U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) introduced a bill that would repeal a U.S. Copyright Royalty Board decision scheduled to take effect July 15. The rules would raise the rate per song and per listener retroactively to 2006, and then in each year until 2010. It would also require each Internet radio "channel" to make a $500 minimum payment.
Opponents of the new rules, which include large and small commercial Internet … Read more
As expected, the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill aimed at criminalizing spyware used for malicious purposes.
An identical version of the Internet Spyware Prevention Act, chiefly sponsored by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) passed the full House in the last congressional session by a 395-1 vote.
The bill, which was approved by a House Judiciary subcommittee on Tuesday, proposes punishing those who sneak code onto computers without authorization in an attempt to "impair" the security protections on a machine, transmit personal information about the machine's user, … Read more