The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to vote today on a set of rules that would bolster “net neutrality” -- a principle that calls for Internet Service Providers (ISP) to treat all legal Internet traffic equally. The rules would prohibit ISPs from blocking or slowing traffic from rival web sites.
The move is an effort by the FCC to protect consumer choice online, yet questions remain over whether Internet access is within the Commission’s regulatory authority. The new regulations could be subject to a court test, or “challenged on Capitol Hill by the Republicans who will assume control of the House in January.”
Washington Post: TSA's Embrace of Technology Draws Questions
Lawmakers, auditors, and national security experts are raising concerns over whether the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) relies too heavily on new technologies as a security solution, and whether the administration is too quick to adopt these new technologies without adequate testing. Government auditors are criticizing TSA for not conducting a thorough cost-benefit analysis or risk assessment for its new technologies.
These concerns come in the wake of TSA’s request for $1.3 billion for airport screening machinery in the coming year, and amidst controversy over its new body imaging scanners.
Post-Bulletin: Feds File Whistleblower Suit Against Mayo
The Justice Department has filed a whistleblower suit against Mayo Clinic for allegedly billing federal health care programs for services related to surgical pathology that Mayo never actually provided.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Feds - Washington Cheesemaker Linked to E. coli Outbreak
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned consumers that the products of one Washington state cheesemaker could be linked to an E. coli outbreak. In October, the FDA impounded cheeses from another local artisan cheesemaker after finding the bacteria listeria in some of the products. These incidents have re-ignited the debate over how the government should work with small-scale food producers.
ABC News (Australia): Whistleblowing Pilot Gets His Job Back
A pilot who publicly criticized the cost-cutting measures and new pilot promotion system implemented by Jetstar Airways has been reinstated in his former position with the airline. The whistleblower dropped the unfair dismissal claim he made against Jetstar after direct discussions with the company, which resulted in his reinstatement as a first officer.
Key Quote: "Employees, particularly in safety sensitive industries such as aviation, do need the protection to be able to speak out if they see concerns in safety, and that will be subject of discussion of the Senate inquiry as we move into the new year," he [President of Australian and International Pilots Association] said.
Lindsay Bigda is Communications Fellow for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower advocacy organization.