Texas Legislature Seeks to Prohibit Local Governments from Banning Ride-Sharing

Texas Policy Spotlight

According to Reuters, more than 40 states have considered ride sharing legislation that would offer clarity on their policy. However, no consistent and predictable statewide regulation of this industry exists in Texas. This has resulted in an inefficient and confusing patchwork of rules across local jurisdictions. These myriad regulations are often arbitrary and onerous, and can negatively impact innovation. Thankfully, the Texas legislature has stepped up this session and proposed three bills related to the regulation of ride-sharing companies: SB 176, SB 113 and HB 3931. We commend the authors for making an effort to prohibit local governments from banning innovative technology that enables ride-sharing in cities. SB 113 and HB 3931 would specifically limit all local governments’ ability to ban ride-sharing companies, while SB 176 is over-regulatory in nature, and in turn would stifle the evolution of this industry.

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HB 2622 Ignores Definitions & Procedures Already in Place for Online Service Providers

Texas Policy Spotlight

Texas House Bill 2622 attempts to replace “Internet service provider” with “online service provider” in Chapter 24 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP). It defines an online service provider as a “web browsing company, manufacturer of devices providing online application platforms, or company providing online social media platforms,” among others. These definitions are vague at best, and they differ greatly from definitions used in current legislation.

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Cybersecurity Bill Will Protect Sensitive Information & Mandate Cybersecurity Audits

Texas Policy Spotlight

We are thrilled to see a bill like H.B. 8 this legislative session, and with such a low bill number indicating a high commitment from leadership on this issue. H.B. 8 mandates a number of important cybersecurity measures to protect state agencies and personally identifiable information (PII). This kind of digital housekeeping is long overdue, and we hope to see it easily passed before the end of the session. In this spotlight, we’ll highlight some of the main action points of the bill and what we like about them.

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Texas Proposes 4 Cyberbullying Bills This Legislative Session

Texas Policy Spotlight

Texas legislators have proposed four bills related to cyberbullying this session. Bills contain slight variations in language, with two of the four containing language that establishes harmful cyberbullying as a criminal offense  a Class A misdemeanor to be exact. The bill is to be referred to as “David’s Law,” which is named after David Molak, a 16-year old boy from San Antonio who took his life last January after being bullied and threatened repeatedly by fellow students online.

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Data Foundry Launches Technology Policy Microsite

texas state capitol ceiling

We’re excited to announce the launch of our new microsite, Data Foundry’s Advocacy Hub. As a company, we’ve been involved in technology-related policy and legislation since our establishment. Because we started as one of the first 50 ISPs back in 1994, protecting the open Internet and online privacy is near and dear to us. Over the years, we’ve participated in conferences, panels and other events to show our support of an open Internet and online privacy. Our CEOs and executive team have received recognition and awards for their support. Our microsite is the ideal place to provide updates on our policy and advocacy efforts as well as encourage engagement on technology issues at the state level.

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Data Foundry Signs Coalition Letter in Support of the Email Privacy Act

Email Privacy Act 2017

Yesterday, Data Foundry signed a coalition letter addressed to the U.S. House of Representatives in support of the Email Privacy Act along with tech giants such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, IBM, Cisco Systems and other tech firms. Non-profit organizations also signed on, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU. The Email Privacy Act is a revision to ECPA, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. ECPA currently allows federal law enforcement agencies to access any electronic communications that are more than 180 days old without a warrant. This particular piece of legislation has not been updated since 1986 – eons in the world of technology — and it is in desperate need of reform.

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Data Privacy Day: 5 Things Your Business Can Do to Promote Data Privacy

data privacy day 2017 banner

Data Privacy Day is an international effort focused on promoting data privacy awareness that takes place on January 28 every year. The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) leads promotional efforts for the U.S. This non-profit organization is dedicated to promoting a safer, more secure and more trusted Internet. In addition to educating consumers on how to protect their online privacy, the organization dedicates itself to showing companies how privacy is good for business. Here are 5 of their recommendations for promoting data privacy within your company:

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Zero Rating Threatens the Open Internet

AT&T mergers with DirecTV, zero rating

At Data Foundry, we’re long-time advocates for open markets and the open Internet. Over the years we have worked on several efforts to protect the open Internet with rules such as those put forth in the FCC’s Open Internet Order.

Free or open market systems usually flourish with minimal regulation. However, this isn’t always the case, and it hasn’t been the case with Internet service providers. There is a lack of competition in the U.S. broadband market due to large companies dominating it by doing whatever it takes to eliminate competition and maintain their dominion. Recently, another major threat to the open Internet has been on our minds – AT&T’s historic mergers and the practice of zero-rating. So, what exactly is zero rating?

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Data Foundry Speaks Up: Declares Need for Tech Committee in State Legislature

Texas legislature, state capitol

As a technology company whose founders, Ron and Carolyn Yokubaitis, were advocates before they were entrepreneurs, Data Foundry has always been involved in policy issues concerning technology and our fundamental rights.

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What Is ICANN and Why Does It Matter?

Icann logo

ICANN is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Southern California that was formed in 1998 to help the U.S. government manage certain functions that maintain the Internet’s core infrastructure. ICANN maintains the central repository for IP addresses and helps coordinate the supply of IP addresses. It also manages the domain name system and root servers. ICANN currently manages over 180 million domain names and four billion network addresses across 240 countries. It is also important to note that which ICANN does not control, such as content on the Internet, malware or spam and Internet access.

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