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

    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 9:00 am on October 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , net neutrality   

    Internet providers file their own suit against California Net Neutrality 

    Internet providers file their own suit against California Net Neutrality

    If you were looking for a sign that the state of California was trying to protect consumers with its new net neutrality legislation, look no further. Four broadband industry groups that represent companies like AT&T, Verizon, Charter, Comcast, and T-Mobile, have joined with the DOJ in suing California. Much like the DOJ, the internet providers are arguing that California is violating federal mandates by imposing their own regulations against providers that perform interstate services.

    Once again, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai tries to spin the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality as pro-consumer. Pai issued a statement that read in part

    “The Internet is inherently an interstate information service. As such, only the federal government can set policy in this area,” Pai said. “Not only is California’s Internet regulation law illegal, it also hurts consumers.”

    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra fired back by referring to the industry groups as ‘power brokers’ who have an ‘interest in maintaining their stronghold’. AG Becerra also released a statement of his own regarding the latest suit.

    “California, the country’s economic engine, has the right to exercise its sovereign powers under the Constitution,” he said in a statement, “and we will do everything we can to protect the right of our 40 million consumers to access information by defending a free and open Internet.”

    It has been shown in the past that the FCC has given little input to the American people who were opposed to the repeal of net neutrality protections ever since they announced their intention to do so, going as far as forbidding the states from make their own net neutrality legislation. This has not stopped the states from defying this edict with California being at the forefront of that movement. With the federal government siding with the major internet providers over the protection of consumers doesn’t it fall to the individual states to do what they can to protect their citizens? This is what ‘states’ rights’ is really about.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on October 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Jeff Sessions, , net neutrality   

    California sued by the Trump administration over new net neutrality laws 

    California sued over new net neutrality laws by the Trump administration

    California Gov. Jerry Brown

    This past Sunday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed what’s being called the strictest net neutrality laws in the country for his state. Not surprisingly, the Trump Administration has a problem with this because when the FCC repealed net neutrality regulations earlier this year, they unilaterally proclaimed that states could not enact their own net neutrality legislation. Almost immediately after Governor Brown signed the legislation into law, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against the state of California.

    FCC Chairman, and former Verizon employee, Ajit Pai told reporters that the repeal of net neutrality will lead to “better, faster, cheaper Internet access and more competition.” Right, because there was so much competition in the internet service market prior to net neutrality being enacted. How many internet service providers are available in any given market? While many larger cities may have a choice between the phone company or the cable company when it comes to getting their internet. Many smaller towns only have one provider and that’s it. That’s because many of the big ISPs have entered into agreements with municipalities making them a virtual regional monopoly. Rates haven’t gotten any cheaper either as the big providers like Comcast, Cox, and Verizon continue to raise their rates.

    Commenting on the lawsuit, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said: “the Justice Department should not have to spend valuable time and resources to file this suit today, but we have a duty to defend the prerogatives of the federal government and protect our Constitutional order.” He’s right but not in the way he thinks he is. The DOJ should not be wasting time and resources in this suit because the majority of Americans are in favor of net neutrality. Not that I think the Federal Government will spend too much money on this suit as it appears like a big portion of the Trump Administration has been bought and paid for by the internet service conglomerates, and they’re not even trying to hide it very well.

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

    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 9:08 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.

     
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