Bob Williams

Strategic Resource Director and HearUsNow.org

Bob Williams is a writer, blogger and web site manager for Consumers Union/Consumer Reports. He writes and blogs for Consumer Reports and Consumer Reports Online on a variety of issues including product safety, health, electronics and telecommunications. He runs www.hearusnow.org, a CU web site dedicated to communications and media issues from the consumer point of view. Bob came to Consumers Union in July 2006. Prior to joining CU he was a project director and investigative reporter with the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, DC. While there he headed a one year project on the oil industry that received the 2005 Society of Professional Journalists award for online investigative reporting. He also supervised or played a leading role in several other CPI projects that won national journalism awards. Prior to that he was a reporter at the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., where he covered everything from hurricanes to hog waste. He was part of a team that won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for reporting on the hog industry in North Carolina. He also led the paper’s coverage of Hurricane Floyd, which was a Pulitzer finalist for breaking news in 1999. Before joining the News & Observer, he worked for Crain’s Communications as a Washington correspondent and operated his own business, publishing real estate newsletters. He has won numerous national and regional journalism awards and has conducted several seminars at the national conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc.

Posts

CU urges wireless shareholders to support net neutrality

At Sprint’s annual investor meeting on May 15, shareholders will vote for the first time on a measure that calls on Sprint to uphold net neutrality principles on its wireless networks. These principles support an open and free Internet. AT&T and Verizon shareholders recently brought up similar, first-time measures at their annual meetings, and the Continue Reading

Low Power FM Ready to Boost Community Broadcasting

More than a decade ago the Federal Communications Commission came up with a great idea to help combat the massive consolidation in the radio market and to give local communities a voice of their own – low power FM radio stations. The stations were to be small at 100 watts – roughly the energy needed Continue Reading

As Google’s New Privacy Policy Takes Effect, Consumers Union Raises Concerns, Offers Tips for Users

News Release Consumers Union Policy and Action from Consumer Reports Thursday, March 1, 2012 As Google’s New Privacy Policy Takes Effect, Consumers Union Raises Concerns, Offers Tips for Users WASHINGTON –  As Google rolls out its new privacy policy today, Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, is raising concerns that Google Continue Reading

AT&T Call for Restrictions on FCC Spectrum Auctions: Statement by Consumers Union

News Release Consumers Union Thursday, January 26, 2012 WASHINGTON — According to news reports, AT&T today called for Congress to mandate how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would structure and operate its next spectrum auction, a move that would take away the FCC’s ability to set conditions on who can bid on spectrum and how Continue Reading

AT&T Drops Bid for T-Mobile: Consumers Union Statement

News Release Consumers Union Monday, December 19, 2011 AT&T and T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom today announced that they have agreed to drop their bid to merge the two wireless companies.   Parul P. Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union¸ the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, said, “It’s an early holiday present for Continue Reading

Consumer Groups Applaud Decision by OECD on Internet Principles

News Release Consumers Union/Consumer Federation of America December 13, 2011 Washington, D.C. – Consumers Union (CU) and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) today applauded the decision of the Council of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to adopt the Communiqué on Principles for Internet Policymaking as a recommendation. This decision gives the Continue Reading

Consumers Union: FCC Report on AT&T/T-Mobile Merger Justified

News Release Consumers Union – Policy and Advocacy Division of Consumer Reports Thursday, December 01, 2011 WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier today, AT&T responded in a blog post to the FCC’s recently released staff report on its proposed merger with T-Mobile, calling it unfair and “one-sided.” Parul P. Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union, the policy Continue Reading

Consumers Union: Facebook Settlement Sends Strong Message to Companies to Live Up to Privacy Promises

Consumers Union – Policy and Advocacy Division of Consumer Reports Tuesday, November 29, 2011   WASHINGTON – Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, today praised the settlement of the Federal Trade Commission’s charges against Facebook for misleading consumers about the use of their private information.   Ioana Rusu, regulatory counsel for Continue Reading

FCC Chief Calls for Hearing on AT&T, T-Mobile Merger

News Release Consumers Union – the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports Tuesday, November 22, 2011   WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the Chairman will call for an administrative hearing in the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. The hearing, rare for mergers of this kind, will add another Continue Reading

Consumers Union opposes House FCC bills

News Release Consumers Union – Policy and Advocacy Division of Consumer Reports Wednesday, November 16, 2011   WASHINGTON — As a House subcommittee prepares to mark up two bills to restructure the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, is urging members to oppose the legislation. The House Continue Reading