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June 2009
  • "White House Nominates Baker to FCC," Multichannel News, June 25, 2009
    "Ken Ferree, president of The Progress & Freedom Foundation and a former top FCC staffer himself, added his praise to the growing throng.
    "'I commend the president for his choice of Meredith Baker to serve as commissioner at the FCC,' said Ferree. 'Meredith is extremely smart, well-versed in communications policy, and a skilled coalition builder. Her time at NTIA also gives her a unique perspective on the important role technology and market innovation can play in the sector of the economy regulated by the FCC.'"
  • "With New iPhone Out, Senators Question Exclusive Deals," Opposing Views, June 22, 2009
    "Are consumers getting a bad deal? In an essay published last year by The Progress and Freedom Foundation, Barbara Esbin and Berin Szoka noted that the FCC's most recent report found that 95% of the US population lives in areas with at least three wireless carriers."
    "[As] PFF notes: Simply put, the market is currently working to protect consumer interests and there is no constructive role for government to play here. There is not yet-nor should there be-a governmentally-sanctioned right to obtain a particular handset (no matter how desirable that handset might be). Where both the handset manufacturer and the carrier service markets are not only effectively, but wildly, competitive the lack of availability today of some equipment in certain parts of the country should not give rise to an FCC investigation tomorrow."
  • "Big Fine Could Be Big Trouble in Downloading Case," Los Angeles Times, June 19, 2009
    "However, the Progress & Freedom Foundation, a free-market think tank, defended the verdict and said $1.92 million was reasonable.
    "'Legally acquiring a license to give copies of a song to potentially millions of Kazaa users might well have cost $80,000 per song,' said Tom Sydnor, director of the foundation's Center for the Study of Digital Property. 'Moreover, if the jury concluded that the defendant falsified her testimony, it could fairly seek to punish and deter such flagrant wrongdoing.'"
  • "FCC to Look at Exclusive Cell Phone Deals," San Francisco Chronicle, June 19, 2009
    "Barbara Esbin, senior fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation, a think tank that generally opposes government intervention, told the committee that exclusive arrangements help manufacturers bring new devices to market quickly and gives the carriers incentives to promote and subsidize them."
  • "Debate Over Dealing with Cyberbullies Leaves Experts Unsure of Answers," Washington Internet Daily, June 15, 2009
    "'The bill doesn't give enough context, such as the ages of the perpetrators and victims or the words used,' said Adam Thierer, senior fellow with the Progress and Freedom Foundation. Thierer readily agreed cyberbullying is a major problem. And 'you can't go wrong with education as an approach,' especially since it's 'infinitely Constitutional,' he said. There might be room for criminal sanctions when the bullying is adult-on-child, as in the case of Megan Meier, for whom the bill is named, he said. But, he said, 'Do we want to criminalize activities among youth, and do we want to do it at the federal level?'"
    "Berin Szoka, director of the Center for Internet Freedom at PFF, said from the audience that the bill should restrict itself to adult-on-minor interactions. If it's not so limited, he said, it will impact First Amendment rights."
  • "Senators Suggest Exclusive Handset Contracts are Bad for Consumers," TR Daily, June 18, 2009
    "Barbara Esbin, senior fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation and director of its Center for Communications and Competition Policy, [echoed]. 'On the basis of my research into the issue, it is my conclusion that the wireless service and handset markets are effectively, if not robustly, competitive; that exclusive handset arrangements have brought palpable benefits to both consumers and competition within the wireless sector; and that regulatory intervention to prohibit such arrangements would be ill-advised,' she said. 'Any actual consumer harm arising from demonstrable anticompetitive activity or unfair and deceptive practices would be better handled through our antitrust and consumer protection authorities.'
    "She added that exclusive deals give carriers an incentive to subsidize the cost of devices, which benefits consumers. She said the agreements also provide incentives to manufacturers and providers to take risks in innovation. She said that RCA 'offers not a shred of evidence that the iPhone, for example, would cost less but for the exclusive distribution deal with AT&T. Nor would it seem likely that such a case could be made. There has been a steady decline in iPhone prices and the introduction of larger-capacity phones since its introduction two years ago.'"
  • "Planning Stage: Hearings, Net Neutrality, Definitions Covered in Broadband Comments," CableFax Daily, June 15, 2009
    "The Progress & Freedom Foundation, headed by former FCC media bureau chief Ken Ferree, called for a light touch regulatory approach. 'There is no need to codify the FCC's existing Internet Policy Statement as part of a national broadband strategy, which would result in unwelcome intervention in the already thriving market,' PFF said. 'The level of openness and network intermediary functionality available on any network is best determined by consumers and service providers rather than regulators.'"
  • "Fear of Government, Industry Control Prompts Calls for Continued NTIA Oversight," Washington Internet Daily, June 10, 2009
    "Some of the harshest criticism came from Michael Palage of Progress & Freedom Foundation, another former ICANN board member. He called for a new 'ICANN 3.0' governance model to restore the organization's original mission and incorporate 'lessons learned' since ICANN's creation, and said legislation may be needed to 'avoid kicking the JPA can down the road.'"
    "He urged ICANN to 'hardcode' into its policies and contracts the principle that its policies can't supersede national laws. He also advised ICANN to get away from operating technical infrastructure such as the .int and .arpa registries and the L Root server, and to focus on its job as DNS technical coordinator."
  • "At Monday's Deadline, Industry, Advocacy Groups Weigh In on FCC Broadband Plan," Broadband Census, June 8, 2009
    "Facilities-based competition, rather than regulation should factor heavily into the commission's plans, Progress and Freedom Foundation President Ken Ferree and Senior Fellow Barbara Esbin wrote. Market forces and not regulation, should determine the level of openness and 'network intermediary functionality' available on any network, they added.
    "'There is no evidence of broad market failure justifying regulatory intervention in the majority of broadband markets,' Ferree and Esbin said in a related statement. 'Providers should have maximum flexibility to experiment with service offerings, rates, terms, and conditions to encourage competition.' The primary regulatory goal of the FCC should be to ensure Americans can access at least one broadband provider with 'broadband capability,' they said –  especially in currently unserved areas."
  • "Newest Online Safety Group Will Report on Industry Efforts," Washington Internet Daily, June 5, 2009
    "The protection technology subcommittee will look at technology used today, attempt to determine a definition for 'effective,' and look at both content and contact, said chairman Adam Thierer of the Progress and Freedom Foundation. He [agreed] that one weakness of the Berkman report had been that technology vendors were unwilling to share the inner workings of their products. 'It would be nice to get beyond press releases,' he said. It might be that the subcommittee will need to seek counsel from academics or consultants who study the technologies and would speak more freely, he said."

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