• On December 18, 2012, the FCC, together with public and private sector partners, released a new online tool called the “Smartphone Security Checker” to help consumers protect their mobile devices. It is described as a free online tool with a 10-step smartphone action plan to help consumers protect their mobile devices from smartphone-related cybersecurity threats. The FCC worked with smartphone security experts from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Cyber Security Alliance, CTIA, Lookout, and other public and private sector partners to derive these security best practices. Consumers can access the “Checker” at www.fcc.gov/smartphone-security.
  • At its Open Meeting earlier this month, the FCC adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that could clear the way for Americans to send text messages to 911 centers in emergency situations. The FNPRM proposes that all wireless carriers, as well as providers of certain Internet-based text messaging applications, should be required to enable their customers to send text messages to 911. The Commission seeks comment on whether a May 15, 2014 deadline is achievable, and whether it is feasible for the industry to provide consumers with “bounce back” texts by June 30, 2013, if text-to-911 is not yet available. The pleading cycle is bifurcated: Comments on automated “bounce back” messages are due 20 days after the FNPRM is published in the Federal Register, and Reply Comments are due 10 days thereafter. Comments on the remaining proposed rules are due 60 days after Federal Register publication, and Reply Comments are due 30 days thereafter. Filings should be submitted in PS Dockets 11-153 and 10-255. The FNPRM is available here.
  • Petitions to deny the application of Softbank Corp. to acquire 70% of SprintNextel are due January 4, 2013, oppositions to the petitions to deny are due January 22, 2013, and replies are due February 1, 2013. Those filing petitions to deny become parties to the proceeding and may participate fully in the proceeding, including seeking access to any confidential information filed under a protective order, seeking reconsideration of decisions, and filing appeals of a final decision to the courts. Filings should be made in IB Docket No. 12-343. The Public Notice is available here.