The Open Technology Institute strengthens communities through grounded research, technological innovation, and policy reform. We create reforms to support open source innovations and foster open technologies and communications networks. Partnering with communities, researchers, industry and public interest groups, we promote affordable, universal, and ubiquitous communications networks.

Broadband Truth-in-Labeling

Open Technology Institute

In what hopefully will be a useful resource as the FCC and Consumer Advisory Committee work to develop a standardized disclosure format for the voluntary safe harbor established by the 2015 Open Internet Order, this document updates the original Broadband Truth-in- Labeling proposal first offered by OTI in 2009. The new format has been redesigned to reflect the FCC’s current rules on ISP transparency. This format also takes into consideration research regarding consumer decision- making, as well as OTI’s unique experience examining ISPs disclosures to collect the information used to inform OTI’s annual Cost of Connectivity reports.

Recent Content

article | August 28, 2015 | Open Technology Institute

Chilling Effects of the Ashley Madison Scarlet Letter

Alex Bradshaw Jake Laperruque

It’s been a little over a week since massive amounts of data from the popular cheating website, Ashley Madison, were published online. Although public reaction has been a mix of jokes about happy divorce attorneys and betrayal-karma for users, the hack’s effects will likely spread far beyond the site, to affect anonymity and online security throughout the Internet.

article | August 27, 2015 | Open Technology Institute

It’s Time for CISA to go back to School : OTI grades the best, and the worst, CISA amendments

Just before they left for the August recess, Congress reached a tentative agreement to proceed on the controversial Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015. As part of that agreement, a series of 22 amendments were guaranteed to receive a vote when the full bill comes before the floor. We’ve dug through the amendments and put together summaries of the best… and the worst.

in the news | August 27, 2015 | Open Technology Institute

Dish/Sinclair Interim Carriage Mandate Averted by Coming Deal

Communications Daily

Michael Calabrese: 

Sinclair said it regretted any inconvenience to Dish subscribers. In a statement Wednesday, Michael Calabrese, director of the Wireless Future Project at the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, said the FCC "needs to end these consumer blackouts by imposing a system of alternative dispute ...

in the news | August 27, 2015 | Open Technology Institute

CSMAC ASked to Look More Closely at Government Sharing of Commercial Spectrum

Communications Daily 

Michael Calabrese: 

In two recent proceedings, the FCC adopted "use it or share it" provisions allowing "opportunistic access" to licensed spectrum when it's not being used, said CSMAC member Michael Calabrese, director of the Wireless Future Project at New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute. “You don ...

article | August 26, 2015 | Open Technology Institute


Andy Gunn Diana Nucera

On June 18th, 2015, at the 17th annual Allied Media Conference, over 90 people attended the first ever Community Technology Network Gathering. The event was was an unprecedented gathering of people from all over the world working on technology and inclusion issues. It included coders, civic technologists, network engineers, community wireless advocates, youth media practitioners and bloggers.

article | August 25, 2015 | Open Technology Institute

Critical for Cybersecurity and Privacy: Franken Amendment No. 2612

Clarifies Definitions of Cybersecurity Threat and Cyber Threat Indicator

CISA’s definition for cybersecurity threat is the lynchpin for all of the authorities it creates. Entities may monitor their systems, sharing cyber threat indicators, and deploy defensive measures, in order to protect against a cybersecurity threat. However, CISA’s definition of cybersecurity threat includes any perceived threat, regardless of whether the action or event would be reasonably likely to cause harm.

in the news | August 21, 2015 | Open Technology Institute

FCC Looking to Review Retransmission Fees for Broadcasters

Michael Calabrese, a member of the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation, said in an interview that changing the rules so that negotiation breakdowns don’t lead to blackouts would level the playing field.“If consumer blackouts were off the table, broadcasters would have less leverage, but they would still ultimately be able to obtain a fair market value for their content,” he said in an interview.Calabrese, representing the New America Foundation, was part of a coalition that included Time Warner, DirectTV and the American Cable Association that sent a letter to the FCC in 2013 calling on the agency to play a stronger role in negotiations regarding retransmission fee negotiations. He said the FCC is expected to proceed with the rulemaking process on this issue at next month’s meeting.

article | August 19, 2015 | Open Technology Institute

OTI Files Reply Comments on "use-it-or-Share-it" Rules for 3.5 Ghz Citizens Broadband

Click here to download the full comments as a PDF. 

The Open Technology Institute at New America (“OTI”) and Public Knowledge (“PK”) – are pleased to submit these Reply Comments in response to parties filing comments concerning the Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Second FNPRM”) adopted by the Federal Communications ...

in the news | August 18, 2015 | Open Technology Institute

The Numbers Don’t Lie

When it comes to smartphones, we are living in the midst of a criminal epidemic. There were 3.1 million victims of smartphone theft in 2013, nearly double the number in 2012, according to 2014 estimates by Consumer Reports. According to the same report, only one-third of smartphone users bother to require passcodes to access their phones, while another third take no steps at all to secure the data on their phones. In that environment, Apple’s decision to secure our phones for us using default encryption—thereby deterring theft and protecting the data on stolen phones by making them inaccessible to anyone but their users—is not surprising and is indeed deserving of praise rather than condemnation. What is surprising is to hear top law enforcement officials criticizing a technology that could stem the tide of this criminal epidemic that impacts millions of Americans.

article | August 18, 2015 | Open Technology Institute

Internet Governance-by-Infrastructure: Some Words of Caution

Control over access to critical portions of the Internet’s technical infrastructure (such as the Internet’s domain name system, or “DNS”) is increasingly being used as a means to enforce private and public law around the globe. This "Internet-governance-by-infrastructure” is the subject of my new paper on "Internet Infrastructure and IP Censorship."

article | August 18, 2015 | Open Technology Institute

Essential for Cybersecurity and Privacy: Wyden Amendment No. 2621 is the Best Path Forward

Strengthens the Requirement for Companies to Remove Personal Information

The most important improvement the Senate can make to CISA during the amendment and debate process it to enhance the front-end protections for communications content and personally identifiable information (PII) by strengthening the requirement to remove that sensitive and unnecessary information. Strengthening this requirement would reduce all other privacy and civil liberties concerns, since there would be less PII to be mishandled or misused by the government or by companies.

article | August 17, 2015 | Open Technology Institute
How to Improve Cisa

How to Improve Cisa

The Senate will once again set its sights on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act when legislators return from recess in September. Robyn Greene of the Open Technology Institute breaks down how each of the 22 proposed amendments to CISA would impact the controversial legislation.

article | August 11, 2015 | Open Technology Institute
Applications closed for Outreachy Internships with the M-Lab team

Applications closed for Outreachy Internships with the M-Lab team

Measurement Lab is participating in the Outreachy (formerly Gnome Outreach Program for Women) May-August 2015 round. Read more to find out how to apply!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015: We've received several new requests for information but we do not have open slots for the next round at the moment. If you'd like to contribute to M-Lab independently, please refer to this page for ways you can get involved. But at this time ...

press release | August 06, 2015 | Open Technology Institute

FCC Protects Public Access to Unlicensed Spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held its monthly Open Meeting this morning and voted on rules governing next year’s incentive auction of TV band spectrum. The impact of the auction rules on public access to unlicensed spectrum (so-called “TV White Spaces”) and on competition among mobile broadband carriers have been the subject of intense debate in recent weeks. The Wireless Future program encouraged the FCC to adopt rules that protect unlicensed spectrum.

article | August 06, 2015 | Open Technology Institute

Our Drone Future: Kicking off the NTIA Multistakeholder Process

Waiting for Amazon to start delivering your groceries via drone or hoping you’ll have drone-delivered internet sometime soon? While delivery by drone – for food or internet – is not yet a reality, it will be someday. And before that time comes, the U.S. must first address the very real privacy, transparency, and accountability issues related to unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAS).