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Susan Crawford

  • Maine Town Flips Switch on Municipally-Owned Ultra-Fast Internet Service

    August 18, 2014

    Few states in the nation are worse than Maine when it comes to Internet connectivity and reliability. But today, a town on the mid-coast flipped the switch on its own ultra-fast Web hook-up. The municipally-owned, fiber optic network, serving parts of Rockport, immediately makes Maine an unlikely leader in the push for greater access to high speed Internet service. Fewer than 25 percent of all U.S. consumers have access to the highest speed Internet service, which runs on fiber optic networks. "There is no infrastructure question more important to the future of the United States," says Dr. Susan Crawford, Harvard Law School professor and co-director of the university's Berkman Center for the Internet & Society.

  • How Maine Saved the Internet

    August 18, 2014

    An op-ed by Susan Crawford. Rockport, Maine, population 3,321, is trying to solve the existential dilemma of small-town America: How do you get people like Meg Weston's students to stick around?…The town's Internet access connection didn't have enough room to handle the school's demands, and private companies would charge too much to be a realistic option. That is, until this week, when Rockport opened its own gigabit-scale municipal fiber optic network -- meaning it can transmit a thousand megabits of data a second.

  • A 21st Century Fox-Time Warner Merger Would Narrow Already Dwindling Competition

    July 29, 2014

    The much-admired Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black may be rolling in his grave at the prospect of a merger between 21st Century Fox and Time Warner Inc., which would reduce control of the major Hollywood studios to five owners, from six, and major television producers to four, from five…“The situation is already terrible and this would make it worse,” said Susan Crawford, a visiting professor in intellectual property at Harvard Law School. Coupled with giant cable and Internet distributors, like Comcast and AT&T, “you’ve got two highly concentrated markets that need each other to survive and protect their profits,” Professor Crawford said. “The public interest side of this conversation is hopelessly outgunned.”

  • KCBS Interview: Google Considers Transforming New York City Pay Phones Into Wi-Fi Hotspots

    July 28, 2014

    Pay phones, often thought of as things of the past, may see new life as Google is considering a plan to turn them into in Wi-Fi hotspots in New York City, according to published reports. Susan Crawford, a visiting professor in intellectual property at Harvard Law School and a former Obama administration technology adviser, told KCBS that she thinks it’s a great idea to use pay phones as 21st century infrastructure. “They’re magic in a sense. They’re connected to telecommunications lines and power. So you can imagine having pay phones all over the city that have been turned into Wi-Fi hotspots and also charging stations and information kiosks for tourists,” she said.

  • Fox and Time Warner Need Each Other

    July 22, 2014

    An op-ed by Susan Crawford. In 2010, Gary Shteyngart's "Super Sad True Love Story" amused readers with its futuristic depiction of people traveling via UnitedContinentalDeltamerican and banking with AlliedWasteCVSCitigroupCredit. In Shteyngart's imagination, only two television channels provided all "Media": Fox Liberty-Prime and Fox Liberty-Ultra. The merger of Time Warner Inc. and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., apparently suggested by Rupert Murdoch last month, shows Shteyngart was only barely ahead of his time. As Time Warner shares climb to dizzying heights in response to the news -- what investor doesn't love a mega-merger? -- it's worth noticing how we got here.

  • Will a Fox, Time Warner Deal Be Approved? (video)

    July 22, 2014

    Former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth and Harvard Law School Visiting Professor Susan Crawford discuss regulatory hurdles facing a Twenty-First Century Fox and Time Warner deal. He speaks on “Bloomberg West.”

  • Help a City, Write Its Budget

    July 22, 2014

    An op-ed by Susan Crawford. More than half of humanity now lives in cities; that number will rise to two-thirds by 2050, up from just 30 percent in 1950. Given the grave challenges facing the world's booming urban areas -- including global warming, economic dislocation, and crumbling basic infrastructure, among other torments -- tomorrow's mayors will need to take bold steps to ensure their constituents live in dignity and safety. One of the greatest obstacles to those steps is public distrust of government. For the past 20 years, Brazilian city governments have been experimenting with a way to counter that distrust: participatory budgeting, in which citizens have a hand in allocating resources.

  • How to Train an NSA Watchdog

    July 8, 2014

    An op-ed by Susan Crawford. We are witnessing another swing of the pendulum in the way the U.S. conducts surveillance. This time, to ensure that National Security Agency programs remain effective without violating people's privacy, Congress needs to ensure that the NSA is subject to better judicial oversight.

  • How Cities Can Take On Big Cable

    June 30, 2014

    An op-ed by Susan Crawford.A group of Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission today, demanding it do everything in its power to let cities build competitive fiber networks. It's the next big fight in telecom policy -- and the FCC is going to need all the help it can get.

  • Google Fiber Changes the Status Quo

    June 24, 2014

    An op-ed by Susan Crawford. Last week, the city council of Portland, Oregon voted to approve Google Fiber, the high-speed Internet service that Google plans to roll out in 34 cities across the country. I recently traveled to Kansas City, the first city to get Google Fiber, to talk to people there about the arrival of the service. Google learned some lessons in Kansas City that will likely be useful in Portland, such as lowering the barriers as much as possible to less-affluent “fiberhoods” so that they get service as well.

  • Don’t Let Sprint Buy T-Mobile

    June 16, 2014

    An op-ed by Susan Crawford. Several years ago, I abandoned my Verizon Wireless subscription for a phone from Sprint, thinking I'd get a better deal from a smaller player. Earlier this year, I left Sprint for T-Mobile, drawn by the maverick carrier's no-contract, no-subsidy approach and applauding the idea that international data service -- slow but nonetheless valuable -- came with my new subscription. When I opened the door of the T-Mobile store in my neighborhood, I silently praised the Justice Department's Antitrust Division and the Federal Communications Commission for blocking the proposed merger of AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc. in 2011. Because of that, I had choices. For the same reason that deal didn't go through, a Sprint Corp./T-Mobile joinder shouldn't be permitted: No matter how the deal is conditioned, it will cause a reduction in competition.

  • Data on our Data: The cost of surveillance

    June 16, 2014

    This month marks the first anniversary of the Edward Snowden leaks that changed our understanding of online privacy…So this week, we're posting a short series about all that data. Every day we'll bring you another number that reminds us how much we have learned in the last year about online surveillance and the reach of the NSA. $278,000,000 spent in 2013 by the NSA on "corporate-partner access project "This is the amount spent by the NSA in fiscal year 2013 under what it calls its corporate-partner access project," Says Susan Crawford, visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. "What they're doing is reimbursing telecommunications companies for domestic surveillance of all internet traffic."