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

    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.

     
  • Geebo 9:04 am on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: net neutrality   

    With net neutrality gone will history repeat itself? 

    With net neutrality gone will history repeat itself?

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    This past Monday, the laws that required all internet traffic to be treated equally known as Net Neutrality have been repealed. Believe it or not, there are people who oppose Net Neutrality, not just corporate shills or heavily lobbied politicians either. There are normal consumers out there who believe Net Neutrality is a bad thing. In my opinion, these consumers are blinded by partisan politics. One of their main arguments is that nothing bad happened before the Obama-era laws were put into place, but that’s simply not true.

    Back in 2008, internet service giant Comcast was caught slowing down traffic to users of BitTorrent. While BitTorrent is the favored method in which pirates steal paid content, it is also used by many to share legitimate files. Comcast at the time was admonished by the FCC for throttling this traffic. Comcast also throttled the traffic of what they called heavy internet users although they now claim they no longer do that.

    This is just a glimpse into the future of the internet without Net Neutrality protections. It may not happen overnight, but slowly but surely large internet providers will start rolling out ways to get more money from consumers by installing paid fast lanes that they will probably claim are new ‘features’. Not all hope is lost though although it may take years to have Net Neutrality restored. If you want to fight for the restoration of Net Neutrality, the best thing you can do is to go to the polls and support those candidates who support Net Neutrality.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on February 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , net neutrality, NRA   

    Ajit Pai receives gun award from NRA for ‘saving the internet’ 

    Ajit Pai receives gun award from NRA for 'saving the internet'

    In our last post, we observed how tone-deaf FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and the current administration is when it comes to the overwhelming popular support for net neutrality. For those who may not know the concept of net neutrality promises a free an open internet where all internet traffic is treated equally, Without it, internet service providers could throttle traffic to any competing service like Netflix and then have you pay extra to access that service.

    However, when it comes to being tone-deaf, it appears that no one beats the National Rifle Association, otherwise known as the NRA. While the wounds of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead were still fresh in the mind of the public, the NRA decided to present its Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire award to Ajit Pai for what American Conservative Union Executive Director Dan Schneider called “saving the internet”, while NRA board member Carolyn Meadows said that Pai “fought to preserve your free speech rights”. Although, neither speaker clarified how Pai has done either of these things.

    This kind of grandstanding in the face of tragedy is nothing new for the NRA. They once famously refused to cancel their annual convention in Denver shortly after the infamous shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. As you can expect, the award includes a handmade Kentucky long rifle that Pai can claim at his discretion. One has to wonder if this will be the gun that Pai uses to take net neutrality out back and shoot it.

     
  • Geebo 10:06 am on February 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , net neutrality   

    60 days to die: Can net neutrality be saved? 

    60 days to die: Can net neutrality be saved?

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    Yesterday, the apparent demise of the net neutrality became more of a reality. The Federal Communications Commission published the ‘Restoring Internet Freedom Order’ in the federal register yesterday, meaning that on April 23rd, 60 days after publication, the order will go into effect. This will allow internet providers to throttle internet traffic and limit speeds as they see fit.

    So what’s being done to stop the order before April? Well, a coalition of 23 state Attorneys General are suing the FCC claiming that the order itself is illegal. In Congress, net neutrality supporters say they have the votes to have the order blocked, but not enough to override a Presidential veto which is almost a certainty.

    While politicians have a history of turning a deaf ear to their constituents, the unprecedented and overwhelming support of net neutrality is just one of the many examples how tone-deaf the current administration really is. They show that the will of the people means nothing in the face of corporate campaign money.

     
  • Geebo 10:33 am on January 31, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , net neutrality   

    Another state enacts Net Neutrality legislation 

    Another state enacts Net Neutrality legislation

    In the wake of the state of Montana enacting its own legislation in order to protect net neutrality within its borders, another state has taken similar steps. With all due respect to Montana, this other state’s legislation will probably get internet service providers and the FCC to sit up and take notice.

    Recently, in direct defiance of the FCC’s edict that states couldn’t enforce their own net neutrality legislation. the Golden State of California has passed two bills guaranteeing that all internet traffic will be treated equally in their state.

    California can not just be ignored by ISPs if they’re wanting to do business in the state and this new proposed legislation could start a domino effect where ISPs may have to voluntarily commit to net neutrality just to keep from running afoul of state laws. However, the solution is never that simple and we could see these state laws challenged in federal court for years to come. Hopefully the ISPs will realize that it might be more profitable for them to treat all internet traffic equally then spending money fighting these laws made by various states.

     
  • Geebo 10:32 am on January 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Burger King, GAO, , net neutrality, Whoper Neutrality   

    Net Neutrality will not go quietly 

    Net Neutrality will not go quietly

    Ever since FCC Chairman Ajit Pai repealed the regulations protecting net neutrality, the fight to have it restored has been an ongoing but uphill battle. While some of the news has been promising, there have been no victories so far. However, in this week’s news there have been so many stories regarding the fight for a free and open internet that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

    For example, the state of Montana, a state that went to President Trump in the 2016 election, had their governor sign an executive order that forbids state agencies from doing business with any internet service provider that violates net neutrality practices. With state governments being a big customer for ISPs, this could definitely have huge repercussions for ISPs doing business in the state.

    Also a number of stories have come out this week about how a many communities within the U.S. have built their own broadband networks. With the threat of paid prioritized traffic looming, many more communities are looking into this option as well, in order to better serve their citizens. Sadly, there are 20 states that have legislation in effect that largely hamper such efforts.

    Some members of Congress have also not taken this lying down as they have petitioned the US Government Accountability Office to investigate the possibility of fraud and identity theft during the FCC’s net neutrality rule making process. If you’ll recall in the run up to net neutrality being repealed there were a number of public comments made in support of repealing the protections that were allegedly not made by the people who were said to have posted them.

    Lastly, an unlikely ally in the fight for net neutrality and it’s Burger King of all places. They have released a video called ‘Whopper Neutrality’ that shows how Burger King’s synonymous Burgers can teach people about net neutrality.

    If even a plastic headed burger mascot gets it, why doesn’t the FCC?

    The internet was designed to be free and open to all and by this point should be considered a utility as it’s hard to get by in today’s world without it. It shouldn’t be controlled by a handful of corporate gatekeepers.

     
  • Geebo 10:26 am on January 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , net neutrality   

    States taking up the fight for Net Neutrality 

    States taking up the fight for Net Neutrality

    When the FCC, along with Chairman Ajit Pai, repealed the Net Neutrality protections they also claimed the authority to prevent the states from creating and enforcing their own Net Neutrality legislation. This seems to fly in the face of the current administration’s supposed support of states’ rights. However, this hasn’t stopped some of the states from introducing their own legislation despite the FCC’s proclamation.

    Two states that you wouldn’t normally mention in the same sentence, California and Nebraska, have both introduced legislation intended to keep paid prioritized internet traffic, throttling and blockages out of their states. If these state laws were to pass, it would make it difficult for ISPs operating in multiple states to have separate networks for each state and may make them abide by Net Neutrality in each state.

    If the federal government really wanted to make an example of any state that enforced their own Net Neutrality laws, they technically could pull federal funding from any of the states. A state like California could more than likely weather that storm, but a state like Nebraska could be hurt significantly. The question is, does the current administration really want the PR nightmare that would come with cutting off state funding over Net Neutrality?

     
  • Geebo 10:06 am on December 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , net neutrality   

    Net Neutrality is dead. Now what? 

    Net Neutrality is dead.  Now what?

    As I’m sure we’re all aware, yesterday the FCC voted to repeal Net Neutrality regulations that were put in place by the Obama administration to treat the internet as a utility ensuring equal internet access for all. So what happens now? The internet hasn’t collapsed overnight, but it definitely has the potential to as internet service providers could potentially start charging consumers for fast lane plans to sites like Netflix and Facebook. So is the end really nigh? Not quite.

    A number of state Attorneys General, led by New York AG Eric Schneiderman, are planning to sue the FCC to reverse the Net Neutrality repeal on the grounds that an investigation into the claims of fraudulent comments in support of Net Neutrality that were submitted to the FCC never happened. The FCC will probably also be sued by consumer watchdog groups and Congressional Democrats will be trying to pass legislation to restore Net Neutrality.

    Unfortunately the courts and Congress are notoriously slow and heavily bureaucratic, so what can the average consumer do? Well, beside waiting around and hoping ISPs don’t start taking advantage of us, you can become active. You can educate your friends and family as to what Net Neutrality is and why it’s important. The most important thing we can do at this point is to vote for politicians who would support the restoration of Net Neutrality. Here’s a list of Congress members who were in support of Net Neutrality. If one of them represents you, you may want to consider voting them out of office when the time comes. In the meantime you can write your representatives in Congress that you support a free and open internet that is available to all and let them know that support for Net Neutrality will not go away any time soon.

     
  • Geebo 10:23 am on December 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , net neutrality   

    Is there a sliver of hope for Net Neutrality? 

    Is there a sliver of hope for Net Neutrality?

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    With the impending repeal of Net neutrality less than two weeks away there are some people in positions of power who are trying to attempt last-minute solutions on at least delaying the FCC’s imminent execution of a free and open internet. However, is it too little too late?

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is asking the FCC to delay its December 14th vote on Net Neutrality while Schneiderman’s office investigates the claims that many of the public comments to the FCC in support of repealing Net Neutrality were fraudulent. This is in addition to 27 Senators who have also asked the FCC to delay the vote pending a court ruling on whether or not the Federal Trade Commission has any authority over internet service providers. If the court rules in favor of ISPs there could basically be no protection for consumers from predatory practices by the ISPs.

    Unfortunately, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has publicly stated that he has no intention of delaying the December 14th vote.

    This is just evidence that supporters of heavy-handed Internet regulations are becoming more desperate by the day as their effort to defeat Chairman Pai’s plan to restore Internet freedom has stalled. The vote will proceed as scheduled on December 14.

    It’s ironic that Chairman Pai refers to the death of Net Neutrality as internet freedom as it’s anything but. The fact that he uses the word freedom brings to mind the famous quote by 18th Century writer Samuel Johnson. “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Ajit Pai is no patriot. He seems more like an enemy of the American people.

     
  • Geebo 10:12 am on November 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , net neutrality   

    Is Comcast trying to sneak internet fast lanes past us? 

    Is Comcast trying to sneak internet fast lanes past us?

    With the imminent demise of net neutrality upon us, at least one internet provider may already be planning on how to cash in on net neutrality’s repeal. Comcast, the nation’s largest internet provider, has recently changed the verbage on its website when it comes to internet fast lanes. In theory, fast lanes would be prioritized internet traffic for customers or companies that pay higher fees to Comcast. Do you want to watch streaming video from Netflix, Hulu, or even YouTube? Do you wants to use BitTorrent to download large files? Too bad, unless you pay Comcast extra.

    On its website Comcast previously promised to keep a free an open internet. However, it recently, but subtly, reworded its previous promise to not instill fast lanes. According to Ars Technica

    Comcast now vaguely says that it won’t “discriminate against lawful content” or impose “anti-competitive paid prioritization.”

    As the included video succinctly puts it, who decides what is lawful or anti-competitive? Comcast of course. And it’s not like there’s a whole lot of competition in the internet service market. In most locations in the country, you have a choice between two internet providers at the most. So ISPs aren’t the best sources to preach to consumers about anti-competitive practices.

    That’s not even taking into consideration that in order to speed up some tiers of traffic you have to slow others down. Will we soon be seeing reminders of the dial-up days? It sure looks that way.

     
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