FCC

Just as the new iPhone was announced last week, AT&T was making another, significantly less popular announcement. Although Apple will now allow iPhone owners to use FaceTime (a.k.a. the super-futuristic video phone feature) over the cellular network, instead of just WiFi, AT&T will not. Unless, of course, you buy into its new shared-data plan.

But we’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it any more!

This morning, Free Press, Public Knowledge, and the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute announced it would file a complaint with the FCC alleging AT&T has violated net neutrality rules. Let’s see the details of the complaint as well as discuss why AT&T is wrong…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “AT&T’s New Restriction on iPhone FaceTime Gets Hit With FCC Complaint, As It Should”

Alas, no decision came out today in the health care reform case.

Frankly, I think the Justices are waiting to see how absurd the press coverage can get. The Washington Post has reported on two awesome ways to guess what the Court’s decision will be. First, use a stopwatch and a few mp3 files. If that doesn’t work, poll former SCOTUS clerks.

Both methods predict that Obamacare is going down.

The Post has not opined on a more reliable method to learn what the Court’s decision will be: chill out and wait for the Court to issue its decision next week. But they have pages to fill; one can forgive a bit of silliness.

The Court did, however, issue four opinions today, in some of the big cases on its docket.

What were they?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Supreme Court Is Fair To Crack Dealers, Corporations Paying Fines, And Those Who Use Profanity, Less So To Unions”

Even though Google Street View is pretty awesome for a lot of things, like finding directions, first and foremost, you could also look at the software as an incredibly complex stalking tool. When Street View first came out, Google caught some major flak for some of the images it captured in its signature camera vans. The Street View cameras allegedly captured naked people, in-progress robberies, and other events that the subjects of the images probably did not want on the internet.

Now Google Street View is in the news again, facing more unpleasant allegations. Not for violating people’s privacy via visual images, but this time for gathering data from private yet unsecured wireless networks while driving through random neighborhoods….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Google Street View Project Under Fire For Gathering Unencrypted Wireless Data; So Much for Not Being Evil”

* “It seems no one can use dirty words, except Steven Spielberg.” Well, sh*t, I’ll be damned. Is Elena Kagan going to be the voice of reason in the Supreme Court’s FCC profanity case? [Los Angeles Times]

* Ken Cuccinelli filed an emergency motion to get Virginia’s primary ballots printed. You can’t wait three days for Perry’s hearing? It’s on Friday the 13th. You know how that’s going to go. [Bloomberg]

* The Tenth Circuit upheld a ruling to block an Oklahoma law barring the consideration of Sharia law in court decisions. If this pisses you off, go and watch Homeland. You’ll feel better. [MSNBC]

* Dewey want to join the Magic Circle? Bloody hell, of course! Clifford Chance has snagged two mergers and acquisitions partners from Dewey & LeBoeuf. [DealBook / New York Times]

* What will an LL.M. get you in today’s job market? Not a whole lot. And if you’re counting that extra year of loan debt as something of value, then you’re just a masochist. [National Law Journal]

* Heather Peters, the former lawyer suing Honda in small claims court, may be SOL because of a SOL issue. Stay tuned for the results at her second hearing later this month. [Huffington Post]

Kim Kardashian

* With AT&T’s T-Mobile deal falling apart, in-house lawyer Wayne Watts could be heard singing, “it’s my merger and I’ll cry if I want to,” before more whining to the FCC. [DealBook / New York Times]

* Build us a border fence, and then get the f**k over it. Arizona lawmakers are soliciting the public for donations to keep out the people who would work at low cost to build it. [New York Daily News]

* Ever wonder what’s preventing greater diversity in the law? Apparently the problem is pre-law counselors with advising skills that are crappier than minority LSAT scores. [National Law Journal]

* ‘Til death (and billable hours) do us part: British firms are paying for employees’ divorces. Biglawyers await the day this gets picked up America. [Press Association]

* The star of this year’s Black and Blue Friday was the not-so-wise Latina who decided it was a good idea to pepper-spray her Xbox competition. Best deal ever? No charges brought. [CNN]

* It looks like Kim Kardashian got her Christmas wish early this year. Her soon-to-be ex-husband will not be suing her for $10M over his portrayal on her new reality show. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

Isn’t it annoying when the YouTube video you’re watching just stops loading right in the middle? Or when your Skype connection suddenly starts sucking in the middle of a video conversation?

Well, it turns out that in Europe, sometimes stuff like that doesn’t happen accidentally. Internet Service Providers intentionally “throttle” certain kinds of web traffic.

The European Union is sick of this. On Tuesday, the European Commissioner for Digital Agenda threatened new legislation and public humiliation for companies that don’t allow consumers easy access to a free and open Internet. That’s right, kids; the net neutrality debate is hot in Europe, too….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Just Like Us, Europe Isn’t Sure How to Handle Net Neutrality”

Ted Cruz

A new year, a new job. That seems to be the thinking of many within the legal profession, based on the proliferation of professional moves we have to report (and not just out of Howrey).

We’ll start with one move that’s aspirational rather than actual. Legal and political superstar Ted Cruz — the Morgan Lewis partner who heads the firm’s Supreme Court and appellate practice, and who was recently named one of the 25 greatest Texas lawyers of the past 25 years — will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the good senatrix Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX). Check out the announcement on his website, or read this BLT post.

Like many lawyers turned politicians, including our current president, the 40-year-old Cruz is a Harvard Law grad (and one of The Elect — Rehnquist / OT 1996). Graduates of HLS’s rival to the south, Yale Law School, tend to take more quirky paths.

Yul Kwon

That brings us to the second move of the day. YLS grad Yul Kwon — a former Second Circuit clerk and McKinsey consultant, the first Asian-American winner of Survivor, and one of People’s “sexiest men alive” (in 2006) — has left the Federal Communications Commission. Kwon served as deputy chief of the consumer and governmental affairs bureau at the Commission.

Instead of working at the FCC, Kwon, 35, will be regulated by it: he’s going to be the host of a new television series on PBS, America Revealed (which sounds pretty cool). Read more from the FCC (press release), Bloomberg, and the Washington Post.

More moves — a Cravath partner’s jump over to Wall Street, and the defection of many McDermott energy lawyers to Cadwalader — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: Legal Celebrities on the Move
(Including the energy lawyers going from MWE to CWT.)

Reed Hundt Reed E Hundt FCC Chairman Hundt Skadden Arps.jpgReed E. Hundt, who served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission from 1993 to 1997, will be joining Skadden Arps. He most recently served as a senior advisor on information industries to McKinsey & Company, the elite consulting firm. (For a more detailed description of Reed Hundt’s illustrious career — Yale College ’69, Yale Law School ’74, partnership at Latham & Watkins, etc. — see the biography on his personal website.)
Hundt made the announcement this morning at the YLS alumni reunion, where he was serving on a panel on the regulatory process. Professor Thomas Merrill, moderator of the panel, introduced Hundt as a senior adviser to McKinsey. Hundt interjected to note that he’s moving to Skadden — and joked that this was a good opportunity to plug his new practice. He didn’t specify which office he’ll be based out of, but we’re assuming D.C.
It doesn’t seem that the move was public before this morning (at least based on Google News, a search of the Skadden website, and a search of Law.com). But it is now.
Congratulations and good luck, Chairman Hundt!
Alumni Weekend – Schedule of Events [Yale Law School]

Fleeting Bono Supreme Court.jpgWe know you can’t use the f-word as a verb or noun on television. Just to be clear, you can’t use it as an adjective either. The Wall Street Journal reports:

The Supreme Court is giving tentative approval to government regulation of the use of even a single curse word on live television.

Somehow, this is all Bono’s fault. Bloody hell.

But the SCOTUS ruling wasn’t a complete loss for free speech advocates:

But the court, in a 5-4 decision Tuesday, is refusing to pass judgment on whether the Federal Communications Commission’s “fleeting expletives” policy is in line with First Amendment guarantees of free speech. The justices say a federal appeals court should weigh the constitutionality of the policy.

Justice Scalia delivered the opinion for the 5-4 majority.

Court Upholds FCC ‘Fleeting Expletive’ Rule [Wall Street Journal]

* The Volokh Conspiracy wins Best Law Blog. Congrats to the VC crew! [The Weblog Awards 2006 via 2nd Place Winner How Appealing]
* F&@% you, FCC!. [CNN.com]
* And in my-home-state-is-not-completely-backward news… [Jurist]
* If he sold it, Ron Goldman wants the money. [AP via FindLaw]
* Internet illiterate NY Mom, who doesn’t know “a kazaa from a kazoo,” is dropped from recording industry’s suit against her children. [AP via lexisONE]

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