FCC chairman Julius Genachowski’s record: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has a mixed record as his term draws to a close, The Washington Post reported. The 50-year-old has been very cautious, he told the Post, and worked to facilitate negotiations while facing criticism for acting too slowly and being too soft on regulating the industry.
Asked to name his own accomplishments, Genachowski pointed to solidifying a plan for airwave auctions and progress in expanding broadband Internet access in rural America.
Do Not Track coalition on shaky ground: The drive to put Do Not Track recommendations in place has hit a rough patch, The Washington Post reported, and consensus on guidelines for online advertisers could be months away.
Privacy advocates and industry groups are at odds over how to protect consumer privacy and allow companies to continue to make money off online advertising.
Aleecia McDonald, a Stanford privacy researcher and outgoing committee co-chair, said that the process has become “very contentious” in recent months. “We’re not going to get it done by January 1st,” McDonald said.
Issa discusses Internet moratorium bill with Reddit: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) took to Reddit on Wednesday to talk about a bill he’s proposed that would put a moratorium on measures to regulate the Internet for two years. Issa took part in an “AMA” or “Ask Me Anything” on the site, fielding questions from members of the Web community on the bill and his positions on Internet freedom.
In remarks on the site, Issa said that he hopes the bill will “hold off on rule-making and implementing regulations and new laws on the internet before the federal government is prepared” to address the concerns of all stakeholders, including Internet users and businesses.
Google’s Page visits FTC, report says: Google chief executive Larry Page met with officials from the Federal Trade Commission Wednesday, Bloomberg reported, as the agency works to finish its review of the company’s business practices.
According to the report, Google has been in settlement talks with the FTC for a little over a week as the agency investigates whether the Web giant has run afoul of antitrust practices.
The company is also meeting with officials in Europe, the report said, to discuss antitrust concerns there. E.U. antitrust lead Joaquin Almunia has said he will meet with FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz next week.
Online video and accessibility: The growth of online video has spurred a lot of change in the television and video industry, but the shift has also revived concerns about accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
Broadcasters and video services must provide online captions for some programming but there are no such requirements for content made exclusively for the Web — particularly for user-generated videos which would be impractical to regulate but drive much of the pop-culture conversation.
YouTube announced Wednesday that it is extending the number of auto-caption languages, adding support for German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Russian and Dutch, as part of an effort to fill that gap. Advocates in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community say that automatic captions are a good start, but want to raise more awareness about the issue.