October 18, 2022 – Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said Monday that she backs new legislation introduced in the Senate and the House that would allow the agency to require television and radio broadcasters to reveal who is sponsoring foreign programming.
“The principle that the public has a right to know the identity of those who solicit their support is a fundamental and long-standing tenet of broadcasting,” said Rosenworcel in a statement, adding, “Consumers deserve to trust that public airwaves aren’t being leased without their knowledge to foreign governments.”
The Identifying Propaganda on Our Airwaves was introduced by U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., in the Senate Monday, with a companion piece introduced in the House by Anna Eshoo, D-Calif.
“Foreign governments shouldn’t be able to hide behind shell companies to fund misinformation and propaganda on American airwaves,” Schatz said in a press release. “By giving the FCC the authority to require disclosure of this foreign propaganda, our bipartisan bill will help stop this practice and improve programming transparency on TV and the radio.”
The legislation would effectively add legislative backing to a unanimous FCC decision in April 2021 that gave itself the authority to force identification of foreign programming sponsorship. That authority was nixed by a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in July that said the agency’s verification requirements “ignores the limits that the statute places on broadcasters’ narrow duty of inquiry…It instead tells a broadcaster to seek information from two federal sources in addition to the two sources that the statue prescribes. This is not the law that Congress wrote.”
“That was a disastrous decision,” said Eshoo of the court’s decision. “The rule required that broadcasters simply check two federal sources to verify an ad sponsor’s identity, a rule implemented at my urging. The American people deserve to know when radio programming they hear on public airwaves is foreign government-funded propaganda.”
Musician Ye agrees to acquire social media platform Parler
Parlement Technologies announced Monday that musician Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has agreed to acquire the “free speech” social media platform Parler.
“In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” Ye said in a statement.
Ye’s Twitter and Instagram accounts are currently suspended due to his controversial comments made on those platforms.
“Parler will remain a place where everyone can think, listen, and speak freely. We will continue the fight against censorship, cancel culture, and authoritarianism,” said Parler CEO George Farmer.
T-Mobile takes Ookla’s fastest mobile operator for third quarter
Metrics company Ookla said Monday that T-Mobile is the fastest mobile operator, while Spectrum is fastest for fixed broadband for the third quarter.
Speeds tested between July 1 and September 30 found T-Mobile’s median download speed was 116.14 Mbps and Spectrum’s was 211.66 Mbps.
Arlington, Texas; St. Paul, Minnesota; Plano, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; Columbus, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Scottsdale, Arizona; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Baltimore, Maryland combined for top average mobile download speeds of 171.44 Mbps.
Jersey City, New Jersey; San Antonio, Texas; Raleigh, North Carolina; Corpus Christi, Texas; Austin, Texas; El Paso, Texas; Durham, North Carolina; Irving, Texas; Laredo, Texas; and Irvine, California combined for top fixed broadband average download speeds of 244.93 Mbps.