• Bring Dark Money to Account

    February 8, 2013

    Think the election season ended on Nov. 6? Think again.

    The shadowy Super PACs and front groups that polluted the airwaves with political ads are already raising millions from corporations and billionaires to batter television viewers with a new wave of ads.

  • Is Free Public Wi-Fi Possible?

    February 6, 2013

    The noisy response to a front-page Washington Post story about an alleged government plan to create free public Wi-Fi networks indicates public enthusiasm for cheaper Internet access in America. If only it were so simple. 

  • Susan Crawford Warns of Dire Consequences for Internet Users

    February 1, 2013
    Susan Crawford’s new book, Captive Audience, details a host of challenges for the Internet and its users as this network enters middle age. Many of its recent growing pains come at the hands of network providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon that sell access to the global network.
  • Protecting Online Freedom as the Internet Turns 30

    January 28, 2013

    The Internet turned 30 earlier this month.

    It's during anniversaries like these that we have a chance to take stock of this remarkable network and the people who make it what it is.

  • Masters of the Internet

    December 13, 2012

    Who controls the Internet?

    That question rests uneasily at the center of debates this week at the World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai.

    The 12-day wonkfest has brought together representatives from more than 150 U.N. member states to craft global rules for the Internet. And that's where the trouble begins.

  • Don't Believe the Spin. Dark Money Won.

    November 20, 2012

    Before Nov. 6 is written into history, we need to challenge assumptions now circulating among Washington’s pundit class.

    First, the Obama victory didn’t signal the demise of big-money politics. It didn’t spell the end of the Super PAC. And the election wasn’t a train wreck for political advertising — even after groups paid billions for spots in support of losing candidates.

  • Sinclair Hijacks the Airwaves for Political Gain

    November 12, 2012

    Lost in the media frenzy of last Tuesday’s elections was one broadcaster’s 11th-hour attempt to bias voters against President Barack Obama.

    Just hours before Americans went to the polls on Tuesday, Sinclair Broadcast Group — which owns more than 70 TV stations nationwide — forced newscasters in battleground states to air a “special” that attacked President Obama’s positions on health care, jobs and foreign policy.

  • Hijacking Democracy

    October 26, 2012

    Former Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps gave a talk Thursday about whether the media will strengthen our democracy — or destroy it.

    His assessment — given after he spent more than a decade overseeing the industry — is disturbing. Copps has long argued that the media in general, and TV broadcasters in particular, need to do a lot more to nourish civic discourse.

  • Your Lying TV

    October 19, 2012

    In 2012, politics are all about spreading lies and making money.

    And we’re not talking nickels and dimes. Campaigns and Super PACs are raising billions of dollars to win over voters. A large chunk of that money ends up in the pockets of local broadcasters who are selling off the airwaves to place political ads. And way too many of these ads are dishonest.

    If you're a television viewer in a battleground market that means having to endure a relentless stream of misinformation. Best estimates are that more than half a million political ads will air nationwide by Election Day.

  • The Internet as Political Lie Detector

    October 12, 2012

    In a year of misleading political attack ads and distracted television newscasters, the Internet may offer salvation for voters seeking the truth.

    A new Google poll found that 64 percent of battleground-state voters have used the Internet to fact-check the candidates in 2012.