Gus Hurwitz

Gus Hurwitz

Gus Hurwitz, a visiting fellow at AEI's Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy, is an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska College of Law, where he teaches telecommunications law, cyber law, law and economics, and other regulation-related subjects. His research builds on his background in law, technology, and economics to consider the interface between law and technology and the role of regulation in high-tech industries. He has a particular expertise in telecommunications law and technology. He was previously the inaugural research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition, and before that was a visiting assistant professor at George Mason University Law School. He previously spent several years as a trial attorney with the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s Telecommunications and Media Enforcement Section. Hurwitz has a background in technology and worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory. During this time, his work was recognized with professional awards from organizations such as the Federal Laboratory Consortium, R&D Magazine, Los Alamos National Lab, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California. In addition, he held an Internet2 Land Speed world record with the Guinness Book of World Records. Hurwitz is a co-blogger at Truth on the Market.

Is good broadband news for consumers bad news for the FCC?

There are two things every bureaucrat knows. First, bad news should be announced at the end of the week. It’s less likely to receive coverage, and there’s more time for it to be bumped from media attention by other events. And, second, the only thing better than announcing bad news late in the week is to announce it right before – or even during – a holiday. It is curious, then, that the FCC waited until December 30 — the deadest media week of the year — to release its 2015 Measuring Fixed Broadband Report. This is when bureaucrats bury reports they really don’t want anyone to read. This is surprising because the report is full of good news. But what’s good news for the American consumer may be seen as bad news for the FCC and its aggressive broadband agenda.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler attends the FCC Net Neutrality hearing in Washington February 26, 2015. REUTERS

Today’s net neutrality oral arguments: How to tell if the FCC will lose

Today is the day. It almost seems silly to say what day it is – there’s a good chance that you are reading this while on your way to the Prettyman Federal Courthouse. Or perhaps you are waiting in line to get into Room 20, where the arguments will be heard. In case it somehow slipped off your calendar – or, more likely, you accidentally (but understandably) put it in your calendar for 2014, 2010, or even 2007 – here’s your official reminder: at 9:30 AM, the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit will hear oral arguments in the various challenges to the FCC’s Open Internet order.

LabMD ruling should be a wake-up call for FTC data security enforcement

The big news last week in FTC- and Data Security-land was the FTC’s loss in its enforcement action against LabMD. This decision, announced at the very end of the previous week – the afternoon of Friday the 13th, in fact – was a major loss for the FTC and a major win for consumers and small businesses: FTC Chief Administrative Law Judge Chappell roundly rejected the FTC’s data security case against LabMD, a small cancer detection lab effectively put out of business as part of the commission’s imperious decade-long effort to establish itself as the nation’s chief cybersecurity regulator. The judge’s opinion calls into question the FTC’s underlying legal theory and enforcement-based approach to developing data security norms – an approach under which a majority of companies in the United States could be found guilty of violating the Section 5 of the FTC Act.

Understanding encryption: No longer just about sending secret messages

As part of our contribution to Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we’re making today Encryption Awareness Day here at Encryption is a key aspect of cybersecurity. Indeed, it is hard to have a meaningful conversation about cybersecurity without an understanding of what encryption is and how it works. Unfortunately, encryption is a complicated concept which many people don’t understand all that well. Indeed, as explained in this post, encryption’s most important function probably isn’t that it lets us keep information secret from prying eyes – in the modern setting, encryption serves the more important role of identity verification.

What the FCC can learn from the Volkswagen scandal

I had promised’s Editors that I would write this week about regulation and the use of technology in education. The Editors were excited. Earlier this week, Bronwyn Howell wrote about the recent OECD study showing that spending on technology to support education does not necessarily benefit, and can actually harm, education outcomes. And the next day Ari Rabkin wrote about the challenges of defining what we mean when we say “computer science” should be added to primary school curricula. Both Bronwyn’s and Ari’s discussions offer examples of policy charging ahead of evidence – with the potential consequence of both wasting money or even undermining the intended policy goals.