The new Safe Harbor agreement: Will it survive Europe’s paranoia?

On Tuesday, February 2, the US and the EU announced a “framework” that would update the existing Safe Harbor agreement, which for the past 15 years had set the rules for data transfer between the two economies. The existing agreement had been declared illegal by the European Court of Justice in October 2015 — a decision that jeopardized the business models of some 4,000 companies previously certified under Safe Harbor. Aware of the potentially devastating impact for all trans-Atlantic data flows, European officials set a deadline of January 31 for the negotiation of a new Safe Harbor pact.

Ice cream illustrates why you don’t need to fear zero rating

On a recent panel, AEI’s Roslyn Layton and Stanford University Law School’s Barbara van Schewick debated the impact of zero rating on competition among application and content providers. The debate was noteworthy for more than just the icy weather conditions that necessitated panelists unable to present in person to video stream themselves in. Layton argued that zero rating allows competing providers to differentiate their offerings from established providers. In this way, new entrants can attract users in a crowded marketplace where existing providers have already cultivated application-usage habits and preferences. Layton cited strong advocacy for zero rating by small ISP entrants as evidence that it facilitates, more than harms, competitive entry.

Wheeler channels Bernie to regulate set-top boxes

It is all too clear who is running the FCC these days, and it’s not Chairman Tom Wheeler. In a January 27 op-ed in Re/code, Chairman Wheeler announced his intention to have the FCC begin regulating television set-top boxes — the devices that connect televisions to cable TV or satellite TV networks. The plan is to force cable and satellite providers to open up their boxes to other technology companies, allowing each customer “to use one for all of the video sources you use.”
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks at a Trust in God town hall at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, January 25, 2016. REUTERS

Evaluating the Carson cybersecurity plan: Taking a scalpel to the federal bureaucracy?

Last week, presidential candidate Ben Carson released a plan to improve American cybersecurity. There is much to like in the plan. However, it fails to address the underlying factors weakening American, and particularly government, security.