Feb 23, 2017

FCC splits over transparency exemption for small internet providers

Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn at Thursday's meeting (Robin Groulx / Axios)

The agenda at Thursday's FCC meeting was met with largely bipartisan agreement. There was an exception: a measure exempting internet carriers with 250,000 or fewer connections from some transparency requirements in the controversial 2015 net neutrality rules. It was approved with support from the commission's two Republicans.

Points of contention: Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn criticized the break from the FCC's initial exemption for providers with 100,000 or fewer connections, and said that the new exemption would aid large companies that own smaller subsidiaries. "If we were to actually conduct an analysis, we would find the claims of burdensome regulation lacking," she said. Clyburn says she tried to find a compromise on the issue prior to the Thursday vote.

What's next: This fight is only a small skirmish in a much larger war as Republicans try to roll back the 2015 net neutrality rules. The question about whether the transparency requirements are necessary at all, Republican Michael O'Rielly noted, "will have to wait for another day in the near future."

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Updates: Cities move to end curfews for George Floyd protests

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several cities are ending curfews after the protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people led to fewer arrests and less violence Wednesday night.

The latest: Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the latest to end nightly curfews. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday night that "peaceful protests can continue without a curfew, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted that the city's curfew would end at 5 a.m. Thursday.

Murkowski calls Mattis' Trump criticism "true and honest and necessary and overdue"

Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Thursday that she agreed with former Defense Secretary James Mattis' criticism of President Trump, calling it "true and honest and necessary and overdue."

Why it matters: Murkowski, who has signaled her discomfort with the president in the past, also said that she's "struggling" with her support for him in November — a rare full-on rebuke of Trump from a Senate Republican.

Facebook to block ads from state-controlled media entities in the U.S.

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Facebook said Thursday it will begin blocking state-controlled media outlets from buying advertising in the U.S. this summer. It's also rolling out a new set of labels to provide users with transparency around ads and posts from state-controlled outlets. Outlets that feel wrongly labeled can appeal the process.

Why it matters: Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of security policy, says the company hasn't seen many examples yet of foreign governments using advertising to promote manipulative content to U.S. users, but that the platform is taking this action out of an abundance of caution ahead of the 2020 election.