On March 2, 2009, the FCC issued a Notice of Inquiry on "advanced blocking technologies" pursuant to the Child Safe Viewing Act of 2007, which requires the FCC to examine the availability of blocking technologies across a wide spectrum of platforms and devices.
"Advanced blocking technologies" are defined in the statute as those that may be effective in enhancing "the ability of a parent to protect his or her child from indecent or objectionable video or audio programming . . . that is transmitted through the use of wired, wireless, or radio communications." The V-chip is an example of such technology.
The Notice of Inquiry seeks comment on the existence and use of such technologies with respect to broadcast television, cable and satellite television, wireless devices, non-networked devices and the Internet. In addition, the FCC requests input on the appropriate definition of several terms used in the Act, including "advanced blocking technologies," "indecent," "objectionable" and "video programming." Further, the FCC asks how it can encourage the development, deployment and use of advanced blocking technologies.
Comments in this proceeding are due April 16, 2009, and reply comments are due May 18, 2009. The Notice of Inquiry is available here.