Tagged: FCC Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 10:00 am on December 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FBI, FCC,   

    FBI investigating possible net neutrality fraud 

    FBI investigating possible net neutrality fraud

    The last we heard about the net neutrality debate, the FCC had admitted that half a million comments submitted to the FCC website were made by phony Russian accounts. In the run-up to net neutrality’s repeal by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the public could submit either their support or opposition to net neutrality, the regulations that protected a free and open internet. Pai, a former Verizon attorney, repealed net neutrality claiming that it stifled innovation. During the past week, the FBI decided to get involved with the investigation into the fake accounts.

    The FBI has launched an investigation into whether or not “people’s identities were posted to the FCC’s website without their permission, falsely attributing to them opinions about net neutrality rules.” According to the New York Attorney General’s office, close to ten million comments submitted to the FCC’s website were submitted with stolen identities. The total amount of comments received numbered around 24 million. When factoring in what were believed to be legitimate comments close to 99% were in favor of keeping net neutrality protections in place.

    The FBI has subpoenaed several telecom lobbyists and trade groups. Previously the state of New York had requested information from the FCC regarding the status of these allegedly fake accounts but by most reports, the FCC refused to cooperate citing the state of New York had no authority to investigate these claims. Now, only time will tell if anything actually comes out of this new investigation by the FBI or will Ajit Pai’s higher-ups will try to hamper the investigation? After all, the administration has to do something to keep that telecom campaign money pouring in.

     
  • Geebo 10:12 am on December 6, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FCC,   

    FCC admits Russian interference in net neutrality debate 

    FCC admits Russian interference in net neutrality debate

    This week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, released a memo where he admitted that at least half a million comments submitted to the FCC came from Russian email addresses. If you’ll recall, the FCC opened up their website to comments in order to discuss the then pending repeal of net neutrality legislation. The site was flooded with comments that the FCC first claimed was a denial of service or DDoS attack. Later on, the FCC backed down on that claim.

    The 500,000 comments made by Russian accounts were all said to be in favor of net neutrality and Pai has put this forward as evidence of foreign interference into our democratic process. The question that needs to be asked is, were these fake accounts in favor of net neutrality so the Trump Administration’s FCC could claim that the commenting period was invalid in their way to repealing the net neutrality protections put in place by the Obama Administration?

    When you have an administration with alleged questionable ties to Russia, why would Russia act as an opponent to the administration’s policies unless their only goal was to make net neutrality supporters look bad? With Ajit Pai constantly changing the narrative on net neutrality if he says the sky is blue you may want to look outside to make sure he’s right. It’s looking more and more like the FCC sold out consumer internet protections wholesale to the major telecoms with a little help from overseas friends.

     
  • Geebo 9:10 am on October 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , American Broadband and Telecommunications, FCC,   

    FCC cracks down on corrupt telco, but is it a case of the tail wagging the dog? 

    FCC cracks down on corrupt telco, but is it a case of the tail wagging the dog?

    In the past, I’ve not had kind things to say about the FCC led by former Verizon mouthpiece Ajit Pai. I’ve long criticized Pai for his obvious disregard for the American people when it came to his total disregard for the consumer when he repealed the net neutrality protections. However, recently, the FCC has cracked down on an allegedly corrupt telecommunications company who was said to be taking advantage of the less fortunate among us. Here’s Chairman Pai himself to tell you all about it.

    A company called American Broadband and Telecommunications based in Toledo, Ohio, is accused of taking government money for the Lifeline program which is supposed to provide low-income households with more affordable phone and internet service. The founder of the company is said to have used the money for country club memberships, a Ferrari, a Florida condo and a private aircraft. The FCC is looking to fine American Broadband and Telecommunications a record-breaking $63 million. So you might think the FCC should be commended for putting a stop to such corruption, right? Well, not so fast.

    First off, American Broadband and Telecommunications has claimed that they have mostly paid back the money that was inappropriately used. Secondly, this is the same Lifeline program that not only Ajit Pai drastically reduced but also wanted to take away from tribal lands before being blocked by the US Court of Appeals.

    While it may be the cynic in me, this so-called crackdown seems nothing more like a PR stunt in order to garner some positive press for the FCC who is in desperate need of some. Ajit Pai is no friend of the consumer. Time and time again, his edicts have only benefitted the giant communication companies like the one that used to pay his salary. Yet he has the nerve to get in front of the American public and act like has their best interest at heart while blatantly removing the protections that American consumers need.

     
  • Geebo 9:21 am on October 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: FCC, ,   

    Lawsuits over net neutrality fall along party lines 

    Lawsuits over net neutrality fall along party lines

    Ever since the FCC repealed the net neutrality regulations put in place by the Obama administration, a number of states have either enacted their own net neutrality legislation or have sued the FCC to restore the previous federal legislation. If you’ll recall, when the FCC, backed by Chairman Ajit Pai, repealed the protections the FCC claimed that the states could make no laws in regard to net neutrality which many see as the FCC overstepping their legal authority. With states enacting their own legislation in defiance of the FCC this has led to a coalition of internet providers to file their own lawsuits against some states such as California and more recently Vermont.

    22 State Attorneys General and the Attorney General of the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit against the FCC arguing that the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality was arbitrary and capricious and that the FCC can not preempt state laws. Now, the Attorneys General of three other states, Texas, Arkansas, and Nebraska respectively, have filed a brief in support of the FCC’s decision claiming that the states “have an interest in protecting both consumers and purveyors of Internet services.” Somehow, I doubt the esteemed Attorneys General from these three states have the consumers best interest at heart.

    So what’s the difference between the 23 Attorneys General who are suing the FCC and the three that support them? Well, the 23 who are suing are all Democrats while the three in support of the repeal are Republican. While I would never tout one political party over the other if you care about a free an open internet I think it’s obvious where your votes should go next month if this is an issue that matters to you. Even if you’re a Republican party loyalist you have to take notice of the fact that only three red states have weighed in on this matter as the rest have decided to remain on the sidelines.

     
  • Geebo 9:14 am on October 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FCC, Hurricane Michael, phone service   

    Ajit Pai blames telcos for slow response after hurricane due to regulations he enacted 

    Ajit Pai blames telcos for slow response after hurricane due to regulations he enacted

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    After Hurricane Michael recently struck Florida, many in the devastated areas were left without any kind of phone service. This was reminiscent to Hurricane Sandy in 2012 when many New York residents were left without similar capabilities. In both cases, the phone companies were slow to restore service. In 2012, Verizon was hesitant to restore landlines after the storm destroyed the lines. The Obama-era FCC instituted regulation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy that required service restoration by the telcos after natural disasters.

    Now, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai criticized the phone companies for not restoring phone service in Florida quickly enough after Hurricane Michael. But as Ars Technica points out, Chairman Pai is basically criticizing a problem that he created. Pai repealed the Obama-era requirement to restore service in 2017 claiming that the regulation prevented the telcos from upgrading their copper lines to fiber. This didn’t prevent Chairman Pai from criticizing Verizon, his former employer, from not responding fast enough to restore service in Florida.

    In my opinion, this is more evidence of how Ajit Pai acts like someone from the Ministry of Truth from George Orwell’s novel 1984. He says things to the public that are so blatantly untrue you have to wonder if he knows he’s lying or if he actually believes what he’s saying. For example when Pai claimed that the majority of Americans were opposed to net neutrality while the public was clamoring for the FCC to keep the protections in place. While I’m not prone to name calling, Ajit Pai is a joke and only has his position as a way to protect the interest of the telecommunications companies rather than the American people.

     
  • Geebo 9:15 am on October 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , FCC,   

    Can the FCC really stop states from enacting Net Neutrality? 

    Can the FCC really stop states from enacting Net Neutrality?

    If you’ll recall, when the FCC under the Obama Administration enacted net neutrality legislation, the FCC ruled that internet providers were to be considered as Title II carriers. What that meant was that the internet was to be treated as a utility much like electricity or water. This also meant that internet service could not be throttled in any way. I mean, you don’t see the power companies giving fast service to your microwave while throttling service to your clothes dryer. That was until earlier this year when the Aji Pai led FCC overturned the Title II designation with the ironically named Restoring Internet Freedom Order.

    Since then, the state of California enacted their own net neutrality legislation in defiance of the FCC’s edict that no state could enact their own net neutrality laws. This resulted in lawsuits being filed against the state of California by both the DOJ and a consortium of groups representing the big internet providers like Comcast and Verizon. However, now it’s being argued whether or not the FCC has the authority to forbid states from enacting net neutrality regulations. According to WIRED, since the FCC has said that it doesn’t have the authority to regulate the internet, it may not have the authority to regulate it within the states either. Yet, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai continues to mislead the public about net neutrality.

    In the preceding video, Pai claims that there have been no violations of net neutrality and that when the Obama administration regulated it, that any regulation dealt only in hypotheticals. That flies in the face of reality where companies like Comcast and AT&T would treat internet traffic in such a way that they would favor services they provided. In one example AT&T made a move to block Skype and VOIP calls over their service in order to get more people to use their voice service.

    Now the FCC wants to have their cake and eat it too by not only abandoning net neutrality but trying to make the states not enforce it as well. With movies like this, it seems obvious that the FCC only really cares about big business and not the American public.

     
  • Geebo 9:32 am on September 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5G, , FCC   

    Is the FCC forcing 5G on cities? 

    Is the FCC forcing 5G on cities?

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    When he’s not unilaterally gutting net neutrality regulations against the wishes of the public, FCC chairman Ajit Pai continues to act like the telecommunications in this country is own personal fiefdom. While not satisfied with giving consumers less choice when it comes to internet providers, Pai has shown his true colors once again when it comes to playing favorites with the teclos vs. the American public. The former Verizon mouthpiece has just given the country’s cell phone carriers a major weapon to wield when it comes to installing new cell towers for 5G mobile broadband coverage.

    It is called 5G because it is the fifth generation of mobile broadband implementation. We’ve been using 4G coverage for close to ten years now. While 5G will be multitudes faster than its predecessor, it will require more towers since the 5G signal can only go shorter distances than 4G. This requires not only an upgrade to existing towers but will require the construction of new towers as well. The FCC just ruled that the cell phone carriers can legally sue cities if the cities and municipalities take too long in allowing clearance to build the new towers. This gives the carriers the go-ahead to build towers wherever they want regardless of environmental or historical factors. This comes as a surprise as FCC Chairman Pai was opposed to rolling out 5G a few months ago citing security concerns.

    Once again, Pai touts that the construction of new towers will mean new jobs and better communications infrastructure, but at what expense, so phone companies could randomly sue your town if they don’t approve of putting a cell phone tower in your backyard? As usual, Chairman Pai shows just how much dedication he has to his former industry rather than looking out for the good of the American people.

     
  • Geebo 10:21 am on September 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FCC, ,   

    NYT suing the FCC over alleged Russian involvement in net neutrality proceedings 

    NYT suing the FCC over alleged Russian involvement in net neutrality proceedings

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    Once again, it appears that the FCC is actively trying to boondoggle the public when it comes to their repeal of net neutrality protections that had been put in place by the Obama Administration. If you’ll recall during the public appeal period leading up to the repeal, the FCC claimed that their website designed to elicit public opinion fell victim to a denial of service attack by net neutrality supporters. That turned out to not be true. Instead, the real reason the FCC site failed may be more insidious.

    The New York Times has been actively pursuing the FCC through Freedom of Information Act requests to get the logs of the email and IP addresses the attackers used to bring down the website. Not surprisingly, the FCC has been very uncooperative when it comes to releasing the logs. The Times believes that the site’s crashing was due to Russian interference from over 500,000 fake email addresses that originated from Russia. The New York Times has now resorted to suing the FCC to obtain these records.

    This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the Trump Administration’s net neutrality debacle. Between the allegations of ties the Trump Administration has to Russia and the fact that FCC chairman Ajit Pai is a former Verzion executive it’s apparent to anyone who takes a close look at the situation that the current FCC is probably in the pockets of the big internet service providers and also appear to be covering up another possible scandal in this administration’s long list of them.

     
  • Geebo 9:20 am on August 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FCC, , tribal lands   

    FCC stopped from cutting internet subsidies in tribal lands 

    FCC stopped from cutting internet subsidies in tribal lands

    Back in November of last year, I wrote a blog post about the number of then-recent FCC rulings that I alleged was done to possibly silence poorer voices in this country. One of those rulings was to roll back Lifeline subsidies that helped provide low-cost internet and phone to low-income families. That same ruling also put a cap on the number of service providers that could offer Lifeline services. One of the areas that could have been hit hardest by the FCC’s ruling would have been the tribal lands of Native-Americans.

    Recently, the US Court of Appeals has blocked the FCC from taking away Lifeline services in these areas. The court ruled that taking away these services and limiting the number of providers would cause the tribal populations to lose vital services due to a lack of communication options. The court also noted that the tribal lands have a lack of choice when it comes to internet and phone providers.

    As he is wont to do, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has said in the past that rollbacks like this would create competition and lower prices for broadband internet. However, the court added that the FCC failed to provide any evidence that supported any of those claims. Ever since Pai started talking about rolling back net neutrality protections it seems that the FCC has tried to create a digital divide between the haves and have-nots, almost like the FCC and the current administration doesn’t want lower-income families, minorities, and migrants to be able to have access to news and other services on matters that personally affect them. Ignorance is strength indeed.

     
  • Geebo 9:08 am on August 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , FCC,   

    FCC admits there was no cyberattack, blames Obama administration in the process 

    FCC admits there was no cyberattack, blames Obama administration in the process

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has not been shy in his zeal to repeal the Obama-era regulations known as net neutrality. These were the regulations that required internet providers to treat all internet traffic as equal. Last year, after Pai announced the FCC’s intention to repeal net neutrality there was a 60-day period in which consumers could go to the FCC’s website to make their opinions known. Due to the large amount of traffic that the website received it was unavailable at times during the comment period. The FCC claimed this was a denial of service attack (DDoS). This allowed Pai and the FCC to question the credibility of any comments in support of net neutrality. Now, the FCC has admitted that no such attack took place.

    Yesterday, Mr. Pai released a statement saying that the Government Accountability Office’s investigation showed that no denial of service attack took place. However, Mr. Pai quickly attempted to deflect blame from himself and the current administration. Instead, he blamed a former holdover from the Obama administration for the inaccurate information’.

    “I want to thank the Office of the Inspector General, both for its thorough effort to get to the bottom of what happened and for the comprehensive report it has issued,” Pai said in a statement Monday. “With respect to the report’s findings, I am deeply disappointed that the FCC’s former Chief Information Officer (CIO), who was hired by the prior Administration and is no longer with the Commission, provided inaccurate information about this incident to me, my office, Congress, and the American people. This is completely unacceptable.”

    Specifically, Pai is blaming the FCC’s former chief information officer David Bray. Bray left the FCC last year to pursue a position with an international coalition that was created to ensure that the Internet continues to improve people’s lives. That coalition was founded by one of tej internet’s foremost pioneers, Vint Cerf. Whereas, Ajit Pai is a former executive for one of the country’s largest internet providers in Verizon.

    As has been Ajit Pai’s M.O. this is just more misdirection when it comes to having a free and open internet in our country. Pai makes laughable claims that net neutrality would stifle industry innovation and hurt smaller ISPs. Yet somehow, protecting regional internet monopolies like Verizon and Comcast wouldn’t do those exact things.

    While net neutrality may currently be dead, it doesn’t have to be that way forever. In many places in our country, today is election day for many primary races. If you want net neutrality restored, go to your local polls and vote for the candidates who support it. Things won’t change overnight, but they won’t change at all if we do nothing.

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel