Content Regulation at the FCC

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has just released a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in the matter of “Implementation of the Child Safe Viewing Act; Examination of Parental Control Technologies for Video or Audio Programming.” (MB Docket No. 09-26) This NOI was required by S. 602, the “Child Safe Viewing Act of 2007,” which Congress passed last October and President Bush signed into law on December 2, 2008. The measure requires the FCC to examine, among other things, the existence and availability of advanced blocking technologies that are compatible with various communications devices or platforms.

The Act defines the term “advanced blocking technologies” as “technologies that can improve or enhance the ability of a parent to protect his or her child from any indecent or objectionable video or audio programming, as determined by such parent.” Importantly, the Act also directs the agency to look into blocking technologies that “may be appropriate across a wide variety of distribution platforms, including wired, wireless, and Internet platforms” and which “operate independently of ratings pre-assigned by the creator of such video or audio programming.” The Act requires that the FCC issue a report to Congress about these technologies no later than August 29, 2009. Go to this link at techliberation.com to read more…

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