Tag Archives: FCC

Court of Appeals Ruling Kills Net Neutrality

In a 2-1 ruling today, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals effectively ended net neutrality, striking down the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order. The FCC’s order was intended to keep broadband providers from interfering with traffic on the Web. The … Continue reading

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Reassessing “Decency”

On Monday, June 27th, the Supreme Court announced that upon returning from its summer recess in October, it would revisit the Federal Communication Commission’s rule that allows it to fine broadcasters for “indecency.” Last year, the New York-based 2nd U.S. … Continue reading

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Second Circuit Strikes Down FCC Regulations on Fleeting Expletives on Constitutional Grounds

There is some good news in the prolonged battle of fleeting expletives in the media, FCC v. Fox Television Stations.  The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the FCC’s ban on fleeting expletives is unconstitutionally vague. This comes … Continue reading

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Setback for net neutrality

On Tuesday, a federal appeals court dealt a legal setback to supporters of “net neutrality.”  The court ruled (Comcast v. FCC) that the FCC does not presently have the authority to control an ISP’s network management practices and therefore cannot require … Continue reading

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The FCC Favors Net Neutrality

On Monday, FCC Chair Julius Genachowski announced the commission’s support of net neutrality, a principle which holds that Internet Service Providers (e.g. Comcast, Verizon, Time-Warner, AT&T) should not be permitted to discriminate against specific online content or applications and privilege other content … Continue reading

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A brief history of music censorship

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Fleeting Expletives and the 9-Second Nipple: The Supreme Court Defers to the FCC’s Decision Making in FCC v. Fox & FCC v. CBS

On Tuesday April 28, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in the matter of FCC v. Fox Television Stations, which on its face appears to be hostile to free speech interests.

In a 5-4 decision, the Court sided with the FCC, finding that the agency had not been arbitrary or capricious in its sanctioning of Fox Television Stations, Inc. over two instances of live broadcasts where the F- and S- words were uttered. The FCC had determined that these instances of “fleeting expletives” were indecent, but not protected by the First Amendment— despite a long standing tradition of fleeting instances of indecent content being immune from FCC sanctions.

Every cloud has its silver lining, however. This case’s silver lining is that it will ultimately be fantastic for free expression, in that Justice Antonin Scalia, in writing for the majority, declined to make a decision regarding the constitutionality of the FCC’s new policy regarding fleeting expletives, instead sending the case back to the lower court for further deliberation on this issue. Continue reading

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