Group finalizes treaty to expand book access for world’s blind community

Negotiators at the World Intellectual Property Organization have finalized terms on a copyright treaty that would provide more book access to the world’s blind and visually impaired.

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FTC Commissioner Brill Starts ‘Reclaim Your Name’ Campaign for Personal Data

Federal Trade Commission member Julie Brill has proposed an industry-wide initiative to give consumers access to their own records held by data brokers. She envisions an online portal where data brokers would describe their data collection practices and their consumer access policies.

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San Francisco paper Sues Rival Over Low Ad Rates

The San Francisco Examiner filed a lawsuit alleging that the city's dominant daily newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, has slashed advertising prices to stifle competition.

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Video Marketplace: Competition Is Evolving, and Government Reporting Should Be Reevaluated

Technological advances have ushered in a wave of new products and services, bringing online distribution of video to consumers. Federal laws and regulations have sought to foster competition in the video programming and distribution marketplace, but many such laws were adopted prior to the emergence of these advances.

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Election 2016: How Big Data + Social Data Will Determine the Next President

As our nation ramps up for 2016, the role of big data + social data in influencing election decisions cannot be ignored.

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Taking Firm Action to End Predatory Prison Phone Rates

2013 has been a busy period in the effort to end predatory prison phone rates.  After the Federal Communications Commission issued its proposal, UCC OC Inc. was pleased to join with its allies to file comments and reply comments at the Federal Communications Commission.


In addition, we were able to play a critical role a few weeks ago to get the attention of one of the worst prison phone companies -- Securus Technologies.  Securus has aggressively opposed any reform to prison phone rates at the F.C.C. and elsewhere.   In April, the United Church of Christ, OC Inc. was pleased to join with Public Knowledge, Free Press and Rainbow/PUSH to block the purchase of the telephone company Securus Technologies, Inc. by a hedge fund.  The groups jointly filed a petition at the Federal Communications Commission last night in response to a filing by Securus requesting FCC permission to complete the proposed transaction.  Public Knowledge, Free Press, UCC OC Inc. and Rainbow/PUSH released a joint statement.  Cheryl Leanza, policy advisor for UCC OC Inc., said, “Predatory prison phone rates are a moral issue for the faith community—these types of businesses should be stopped, not allowed to expand.  Companies that invest in these predatory businesses risk endangering their public reputation.”


The petition was supported by a declaration of United Church of Christ's Minister for Criminal Justice and Human Rights, Rev. Sala Nolan-Gonzales, which laid out the strong interest the United Church of Christ has in this issue.  The F.C.C. ultimately dismissed our petition, but only once it had extracted a promise that the company cooperate more constructively in the F.C.C. proceeding considering predatory prison phone rates.  Also, Securus conceded it was blocking another company's service which was designed to help ameliorate high prison phone rates.

This month the Justice and Peace Action Network will feature an action alert in time for Father's Day to support the effort to reform prison phone rates around the country.