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Opinion Editorials

Melanie Wyne- AgentGenius’ Best of Writer series

The AG Best of Writer series is a culmination of the editorial team’s picks of a variety of authors’ most significant articles that have impacted the real estate industry. Melanie Wyne is the Senior Technology Policy Representative at the National Association of Realtors and her days are devoted to the inner workings and politics of technology more intimately than most people in the industry. We hope you enjoy this look back and be sure to read the comments to the articles, as in many cases, they’re just as interesting as the articles themselves.

The FCC did what? Net neutrality explained

12.22.2010: “Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted network neutrality rules, taking an important step in a policy making process that has been underway since 2005. Broadly speaking, network neutrality is the idea that internet service providers (ISPs) may not hinder or discriminate against lawful content flowing through their network. In other words, ISPs cannot filter or determine what consumers see on their computer screens.”
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Proposed privacy bill released

05.05.2010: “Yesterday, Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) released a discussion draft of comprehensive privacy legislation that has been in the works for over a year. The proposed legislation would require web publishers to alert users about how their information is being collected, used, shared and stored.”
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Google-Verizon deal- how does it affect your net?

08.05.2010: “The tech policy press has been abuzz for the past 18 hours over reports that Google and Verizon are close to reaching a deal on how to manage traffic over Verizon’s network. If a deal is reached, it could influence how the FCC and other regulators move forward on network neutrality. The reported agreement would lay out network neutrality principles. The issue causing the most buzz is an apparent agreement between the parties to allow some content providers to get faster service if they are willing to pay a higher price.”
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Does the U.S. need a cell phone user’s Bill of Rights?

04.05.2010: “I recently attended a panel discussion hosted by Washington think tank, the New America Foundation. The topic was wireless phone regulation. Farhad Manjoo, a technology columnist at Slate Magazine had a wish list for the FCC on regulatory changes that could make cell phone service better for consumers. Here’s what is on Farhad’s list: Collect better data about the wireless network in your local area… There is scant reliable information about actual wireless coverage throughout the country. Coverage maps used by providers as marketing material do not give consumers reliable information about whether their wireless service will actually be available where they need it.”
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Congress ready to act on privacy and Placebook

02.28.2010: “This week’s main event for tech policy had to be the House Commerce Committee’s hearing on “The Collection and Use of Location Information for Commercial Purposes.” The upshot of the hearing is that Congress is paying attention to technologies like GPS and other geolocation devices and how these technologies may impact consumer privacy. Perhaps the best part of the hearing came during Chairman Bobby Rush’s opening statement when he said “Yesterday there was Facebook, and in the not-to-distant future we will be encountering something more akin to a ‘Placebook’.” Yeah not a great pun but then anyone who watches C-Span knows that members of Congress aren’t known for their sense of humor–with the notable exceptions of Rep. Barney Frank and now Senator Al Franken. (Actually Franken has been pretty dead serious since he’s been in the Senate.)”
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Broadband- sneak peek at the national plan and a Google announcement

02.21.2010: “The cogs of Washington policy making started a slow, creaky, post-snowpocalypse return to work this week. Congress was in recess but federal agencies were back in action. This week, in a speech to state utility regulators, FCC Chair Julius Genachowski offered a preview of some of what we can expect to see in the National Broadband Plan that he will present to Congress next month. The plan was mandated by Congress in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Chairman Genachowski laid out some of the plan’s broad parameters with goals to be met by 2010 including…”
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Don’t hate me ’cause I’m NAR

02.04.2010: “In the past month or so that I’ve been writing at Agent Genius, my employer, NAR, its volunteers and staff have taken a lot of heat. I’ve watched mostly from a distance but this week I thought I’d offer my perspective from the inside. I offer my personal perspective both as NAR staff and as a professional who spends her days as an advocate—someone who endeavors to get a large, tradition-laden, often intractable organization to do what I want them to do. I’m talking of course about Congress, but the lessons can be applied universally.”
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Federal Trade Commission watching your privacy

01.10.2010: “So I’ve notice a good deal of discussion here on Agent Genius related to privacy. I thought I’d devote this post to how policymakers in Washington, particularly the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are viewing the topic and how the agency is starting to think about future regulation in the area. I attended what is to be the first of three privacy workshops held by the FTC on December 7. The workshop brought together FTC staff, academics, consumer advocates and industry representatives to discuss whether new regulations are necessary and if so, what they might look like.”
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We look forward to more technology coverage from Melanie in 2011 and applaud her for her advocacy of the industry.

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Melanie Wyne

    January 4, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Thanks AG and thanks all for the retweets. I’m honored.

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