from the ath0 dept.
In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit dealt the Federal Trade Commission a major blow by calling into question one of the consumer protection agency's most important powers. The court said the FTC should be banned from regulating a company if even a small part of that firm's business is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission as a telecom service, otherwise known as a "common carrier."
[...] The court's decision this week to rehear the case served to nullify the ruling, so the loophole is temporarily closed. But it could easily be reopened if the court comes to the same conclusion, analysts say. Other possibilities include reversing the court's previous position entirely or coming down somewhere in the middle.
AT&T said in a statement that it looked forward to participating in the rehearing.
The outcome of the case won't just affect the FTC; it may also lend momentum to the FCC's effort to repeal its own net neutrality rules. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has argued that the trade commission should be responsible for policing internet providers, not the FCC. Right now, the FTC has no power over ISPs because the net neutrality rules consider all ISPs as common carriers.
Undoing the 9th Circuit's ruling for good would mean giving the FTC the ability once again to go after the parts of an ISP's business that aren't common carrier-related. But the FCC wants to go further than that. Pai has proposed undoing the classification of ISPs as common carriers, which could give the FTC even greater jurisdiction over internet providers.
John M. Donnelly, a senior writer at CQ Roll Call, said he was trying to talk with FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly one-on-one after a news conference when two plainclothes guards pinned him against a wall with the backs of their bodies.
“Not only did they get in between me and O’Rielly but they put their shoulders together and simultaneously backed me up into the wall and pinned me to the wall for about 10 seconds just as I started to say, “Commissioner O’Rielly, I have a question,” Donnelly said Friday.
Donnelly said he was stopped long enough to allow O’Rielly to walk away.
Donnelly, who also happens to be chair of the National Press Club Press Freedom team, said he was then forced out of the building after being asked why he had not posed his question during the news conference.
O'Rielly apologized to Donnelly on Twitter, saying he didn't recognize Donnelly in the hallway. "I saw security put themselves between you, me and my staff. I didn't see anyone put a hand on you. I'm sorry this occurred."
Senators, including Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, are warning the Federal Communications Commission about its treatment of reporters after a CQ Roll Call reporter was manhandled Thursday.
“The Federal Communications Commission needs to take a hard look at why this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. As The Washington Post pointed out, it’s standard operating procedure for reporters to ask questions of public officials after meetings and news conferences,” the Iowa Republican said. “It happens all day, every day. There’s no good reason to put hands on a reporter who’s doing his or her job.”