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The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to launch a new three-digit hotline for people who are feeling suicidal or are going through any other mental health crisis. It recommends making 988 the new national number to call for help, replacing the current 10-digit number.

The agency presented the idea to Congress in a report earlier this month and is expected to release more information and seek public comment about the proposal in the coming months.

Tech Tuesday: FCC Clears Way To Block Robocalls

Jun 11, 2019
iphone
Pixabay

The number of robocalls increased 325 percent globally in 2018, according to a new report from a spam-call monitoring app, Hiya. In the U.S. alone, roughly 5 billion robocalls are made each month, according to industry research.

The Federal Communications Commission has responded to the increase by giving mobile phone companies permission to automatically block such calls for customers. 

But the move is permissive, not a requirement. And it could cost consumers. 

Today on Tech Tuesday on All Sides with Ann Fisher, how phone companies are responding to the FCC move to limit robocalls.

Your phone company may start blocking robocalls without your needing to ask for it.

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission passed a ruling that allows and encourages phone companies to block robocalls by default.

"We think these actions will help consumers in the near term and the long term to get the peace and the quiet that they deserve," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

If the government's new plan works, the number of robocalls you receive may go down in the near future.

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to push phone companies to "block unwanted calls to their customers by default."

If enacted, the proposal would not compel phone companies to impose default call-blocks. But it would shield telecom providers from legal liability for blocking certain calls.

Tech Tuesday: Facebook, FCC And More

Feb 5, 2019
Martin Meissner / Associated Press

Facebook at last count had attracted more than 2 billion users worldwide to its social media platform where they share photos, links, memories, life events and opinions.

But the amount of time they spend on the platform, even one that touts its users as friends, can have a negative effect on user’s wellbeing, according to a new, in-depth study.

We talk about what has been learned from people who give up Facebook today on Tech Tuesday on All Sides with Ann Fisher.

​Guests: 

The Internet once again finds itself in court today, as the Federal Communications Commission defends its decision to repeal net neutrality rules put in place by the Obama administration.

Just over half of Native Americans living on American Indian reservations or other tribal lands with a computer have access to high-speed internet service, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The low rate of subscription to a high-speed internet service — 53 percent — in these often rugged, rural areas underscores the depth of the digital divide between Indian Country and the rest of the U.S. Between 2013 and 2017, 82 percent of households nationally with a computer reported having a subscription to a broadband internet service.

The Obama-era federal regulations known as net neutrality are done – at least for now. Though whether anything will change depends on where you live, and what internet service providers choose to do with their newfound freedom.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

While the Senate voted last week to bring back “net neutrality” protections, Sen. Rob Portman says he’s looking for another option. The Ohio Republican voted against the Democrat-backed bill, which is not expected to pass the House.

Tech Tuesday: Net Neutrality and the Hack of Securus

May 22, 2018
The north wing of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C is home to the Senate.
Sebastian Vital / Flickr

The U.S. Senate passed a resolution last week aiming to reverse the 2017 decision by the FCC to deregulate internet service providers. However, experts doubt the move will be met with approval from House Republicans or President Trump. We explore the issue in the second hour of our program today.

We will also look into a hacker breach of a company called Securus, which has allowed police in the U.S. to track private cell phones, and catch up on the latest in tech releases. 

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The U.S. Senate is set to vote this week on a resolution to undo the Trump administration’s repeal of “net neutrality” rules. Senate Democrats are forcing the vote less than a month before the new rules are scheduled to take effect.

The Federal Communications Commission says that its order ending an era of "net neutrality" — the rules that restrict Internet service providers' ability to slow down or speed up users' access to specific websites and apps — will take effect on June 11.

That is one day before the Senate's June 12 deadline to vote on a Congressional Review Act resolution filed by Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass. The resolution aims to overturn the FCC's repeal of the Obama administration's Open Internet Order of 2015, which officially established net neutrality.

The Federal Communications Commission is working toward officially taking current net neutrality rules off the books. The agency took the requisite formal step of publishing the rules on Thursday, opening the door for lawsuits from a number of state attorneys general and advocacy groups.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Republican Rep. Steve Stivers of Upper Arlington is a lead co-sponsor on a bill introduced this week aimed at replacing net neutrality, called the Open Internet Preservation Act. But Internet lobby groups say it falls short of the necessary protections.

File photo

Ohio’s Attorney General Mike DeWine has no plans to join any lawsuits challenging the rollback of "net neutrality" internet protections.

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