Federal law governs communications, which includes radio, television, satellite, wire, wireless, and cable broadcasting. It applies to traditional and new media, advertisers, online networks, film producers, artists, cable operators, satellite communications companies, Internet start-ups, Web site designers, blogs, and software developers and publishers.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets transmission standards, grants broadcast licenses, reviews and investigates complaints, and proposes new communications laws.

The FCC's Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division investigates, mediates, and seeks to resolve issues such as the broadcast of hoaxes, fraudulent contests, illegal airing of private phone conversations, and indecent or profane content.

Consumers can also file a complaint with the FCC about telephone issues such as receiving unwanted telemarketing calls, and signal outages on wired or wireless phones.