Sununu Comes Out Against Broadcast Flags

Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) is working on a bill to prohibit the FCC from imposing the broadcast flags, according to his office. The legislation will resemble an amendment Sununu offered last year that made it through the Republican-led Commerce Committee.

"The FCC seems to be under the belief that it should occasionally impose technology mandates," Sununu's statement read. "These misguided requirements distort the marketplace by forcing industry to adopt agency-blessed solutions rather than allow innovative and competitive approaches to develop.

"We have seen this happen with the proposed video flag, and interest groups are pushing for an audio flag mandate as well. Whether well-intentioned or not, the FCC has no business interfering in private industry to satisfy select special interests or to impose its own views. My legislation will ensure that decisions about the design and development of products and services to meet FCC rules are made by technology experts, not government regulators."

Sununu will serve on the Commerce Committee again, which will be chaired by Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii). Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who was chairman during the last Congress, said at the time he intended to push legislation that would allow the FCC to implement the flag. Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) has supported flag, as did former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, whose constituents included Nashville musicians concerned about content piracy. Frist did not run for re-election in 2006, however, and his successor, Republican Bob Corker, hasn't weighed in on the flag.