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Will the Broadcaster Lawsuit Derail the Airwave Auction? Will the Broadcaster Lawsuit Derail the Airwave Auction?

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Will the Broadcaster Lawsuit Derail the Airwave Auction?

By Laura Ryan (@NJLJRyan), with help from Brendan Sasso (@BrendanSasso), Alex Brown (@AlexBrownNJ), and Dustin Volz (@dnvolz)

TODAY'S TOP PARAGRAPH: The broadcasters are suing the FCC over the agency's plan for next year's airwave auction. Chinese hackers have stolen 4.5 million U.S. health records, including Social Security numbers. Google may offer services to kids, and the FCC is cleared to advance its investigation of "special access" lines.



NAB CHALLENGES AUCTION RULES: The National Association of Broadcasters sued the FCC Monday over its plan to auction TV licenses to cell-phone carriers. The group claims the plan could cost stations that stay on the air millions of dollars and cause them to reach fewer viewers.

In a blog post, NAB's Rick Kaplan said the suit is "not designed to derail the auction, or even slow it down." Wireless lobby group CTIA said it's "hopeful" that the court will handle the suit quickly and that NAB won't demand unnecessary delays.

But a prolonged legal battle could create headaches for the FCC and potentially force the agency to delay the auction. NAB officially supports the auction but has never been enthusiastic about having its members go out of business.


Walter Piecyk, a wireless industry analyst with the firm BTIG, said the FCC is already being "optimistic" by aiming for a 2015 auction. "This provides just one more hurdle to deliver on that goal," he said. (Sasso, NJ)

GOOGLE'S NEXT DEMOGRAPHIC: KIDS: The company plans to offer versions of its services to children younger than 13, including a "child-safe version of YouTube." The move would expand Google's potential customer base but could create problems with regulators and privacy advocates.

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, imposes strict limits on how companies can handle children's information. Facebook has also been reportedly experimenting with services for children. (Amir Efrati, The Information)

CHINESE HACKERS STEAL 4.5 MILLION U.S. HEALTH RECORDS: Chinese hackers have swiped personal data for 4.5 million patients of one of the nation's biggest hospital groups. Community Health Systems said Monday that one of China's most advanced hacking groups stole sensitive data including Social Security numbers.


This is the biggest cyberattack involving U.S. health records, affecting more than four times the number of people involved in the cyberattack on the Montana Department of Public Health in June. (Finkle/Humer, Reuters)

FCC INVESTIGATES BUSINESS LINE RATES: The FCC has received approval from the Office of Management and Budget to investigate the market for "special access" lines. The lines allow businesses such as cell-phone carriers and banks to transport large amounts of data. AT&T and Verizon largely control the lines, and smaller providers like Sprint have been urging the FCC to investigate the "broken" market.


ROCKEFELLER PROBES AIRLINES ON DATA PRIVACY: Sen. Jay Rockefeller sent letters to the major airlines Monday asking them what customer data they collect, whether they sell it, and how they protect the information.

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TALKING CAR RULES UNVEILED: The Transportation Department took a step forward on rules for car-to-car communications, saying the technology could save thousands of lives. (Gabe Nelson, Automotive News)

SOFTBANK FORGES AHEAD WITH BACKUP PLAN: Softbank unveiled a low-cost cell phone to be sold at Sprint Stores in a bid to disrupt the U.S. cellular market. (Mayumi Negishi, WSJ)

AND 'FRAMILY' PLAN IS OUT: Sprint is dropping the "Framily" plan and introducing new deals to try to win customers. No word on the talking hamster. (Ryan Knutson, WSJ)

AM/FM RADIO STILL CHUGGING ALONG: Traditional radio may be the last man standing of the media old guard. (John McDuling, Quartz)

FOREIGNERS HACKED NRC: Cybercriminals in other countries hacked Nuclear Regulatory Commission computers twice in three years. (Aliya Sternstein, NextGov)

EXPENDABLES 3 BLAMES FLOP ON PIRACY: Studio execs said that a leaked version of Expendables 3 was the only reasonable explanation more people didn't go see the movie over the weekend. (Brent Lang, Hollywood Reporter)

GOOGLE'S 10-YEAR WINNING STREAK: Google has grown exponentially since it filed its IPO 10 years ago, expanding into all corners of your life. (Michael Liedtke, AP)

HOW TO GET RELIABLE 911 LOCATIONS FROM CELL PHONES: Bluetooth beacons may be the answer. (Peter Rysavy, Gigaom)

JEFF SILVA JOINS SPRINT: The former industry analyst is handling media relations for the cellular carrier.

SPRINT GEARS UP FOR PRICE WAR: Sprint says it will offer $100 family plans and pay up to $350 to cover costs for customers who switch over from rival carriers. (Ryan Knuston, WSJ)


  • The second day of TPI Aspen will have panels on copyright, Internet governance, and data and trade.

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