Tag: net-neutrality

John McCain’s attempt to privatize the Internet

October 23, 2009 | By | 3 Replies More
John McCain’s attempt to privatize the Internet

I’ve often written about net neutrality. See this post on the meaning of net neutrality and this post on the recently introduced “Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009.”

Today, Senator John McCain made it clear that he is not in favor of a free and open Internet. He believes that access to the Internet should be entrusted to the telecoms. As reported by PC World,

McCain’s bill, the Internet Freedom Act, seeks to do the opposite of what its name implies by ensuring that broadband and wireless providers can discriminate and throttle certain traffic while giving preferential treatment to other traffic. Basically, those in power or those who pay more will have better access. Apparently we have different definitions of ‘freedom’.

What is McCain’s rationale for this terrible bill? It’s yet more free market fundamentalism:

“Today I’m pleased to introduce the Internet Freedom Act of 2009 that will keep the Internet free from government control and regulation,” McCain said. “It will allow for continued innovation that will in turn create more high-paying jobs for the millions of Americans who are out of work or seeking new employment. Keeping businesses free from oppressive regulations is the best stimulus for the current economy.”

Here’s a bit more background on McCain’s mindset, which consists of a war of misinformation (keep in mind that during the presidential campaign, McCain admitted that he didn’t even know how to use a computer):

McCain was on the opposite side of the Net neutrality debate from President Barack Obama during last year’s presidential campaign. During his White House campaign, President Barack Obama came out strongly in favor of Net neutrality, which is backed by companies such as Google, Amazon, Yahoo!, eBay and consumer advocacy groups, but opposed by telecommunications, wireless and cable companies.

In short, since U.S. citizens have retained such immense control over the television and radio airwaves (this is sarcasm and here’s Exhibit A), we’ll hand the Internet over to private corporations too. The solution to McCain’s attempt to hand control of the Internet to big profit-hungry corporations is to require McCain to subject himself to cross-examination in real-time by someone like Lawrence Lessig, or any other rational person who is knowledgable about net neutrality. McCain would be one or two simple questions from being exposed as either naive or corrupt.

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FCC comes through big on net neutrality

September 21, 2009 | By | 3 Replies More
FCC comes through big on net neutrality

Because the citizens keep losing out to the political clout of banks, insurance companies and other well-monied industries, it’s especially good to see the People of the United States win one against the telecoms. The FCC came down strongly in favor of net neutrality today. This is an incredibly important day for those of us who believe in grassroots politics and the fair and free exchange of ideas. For those not clear on the stakes, I refer you to my earlier report on the importance of net neutrality

based on Tim Wu’s explanation at the 2007 National Conference on Media Reform in Memphis.

Today, the FCC announced two new guiding principles regarding use of the Internet:

– Broadband providers cannot discriminate against particular Internet content or applications; and

– Providers of broadband Internet access must be transparent about their network management practices.

Here are today’s words of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski:

This is how I propose we move forward: To date, the Federal Communications Commission has addressed these issues by announcing four Internet principles that guide our case-by-case enforcement of the communications laws. These principles can be summarized as: Network operators cannot prevent users from accessing the lawful Internet content, applications, and services of their choice, nor can they prohibit users from attaching non-harmful devices to the network.

The principles were initially articulated by Chairman Michael Powell in 2004 as the “Four Freedoms,” and later endorsed in a unanimous 2005 policy statement issued by the Commission under Chairman Kevin Martin and with the forceful support of Commissioner Michael Copps, who of course remains on the Commission today. In the years since 2005, the Internet has continued to evolve and the FCC has issued a number of important bipartisan decisions involving openness. Today, I propose that the FCC adopt the existing principles as Commission rules, along with two additional principles that reflect the evolution of the Internet and that are essential to ensuring its continued openness.

Fifth Principle of Non-Discrimination

The fifth principle is one of non-discrimination — stating that broadband providers cannot discriminate against particular Internet content or applications.

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Support the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009

August 19, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More
Support the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009

Early this week, Representatives Ed Markey and Anna Eshoo introduced the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009. It’s common sense and it’s fair, but just watch as the telecoms now do everything they can to destroy it. Why do we need this Act? Here are a few recent examples:

The issue of unrestricted Internet access has gained new traction on Capitol Hill in the wake of reports that Apple and AT&T are each blocking or preventing users from accessing services for the mega-popular iPhone, which is exclusive to AT&T at the moment. FCC chairman Julius Genachowski recently sent letters to Apple, AT&T, and Google asking why Google Voice, the company’s popular free calling service, was rejected for use on the iPhone.

Representatives Markey and Eshoo made this statement about the need for this net neutrality bill:

The Internet is a success today because it was open to everyone with an idea,” said Rep. Markey. “That openness and freedom has been at risk since the Supreme Court decision in Brand X. This bill will protect consumers and content providers because it will restore the guarantee that one does not have to ask permission to innovate. The Internet has thrived and revolutionized business and the economy precisely because it started as an open technology,” Rep. Eshoo said. “This bill will ensure that the non-discriminatory framework that allows the Internet to thrive and competition on the Web to flourish is preserved at a time when our economy needs it the most.”

Here’s a summary of the bill:

H.R. 3458, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, is designed to assess and promote Internet freedom for consumers and content providers. The bill states that it is the policy of the United States to protect the right of consumers to access lawful content, run lawful applications, and use lawful services of their choice on the Internet while preserving and promoting the open and interconnected nature of broadband networks, enabling consumers to connect to such networks their choice of lawful devices, as long as such devices do not harm the network. The legislation also directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to promulgate several rules relating to enforcement and implementation of the legislation, including rules to ensure that providers of Internet access service fulfill the duties and disclose meaningful information to consumers about a provider’s Internet access service in clear, uniform, and conspicuous manner.

To do your part, click on this tool to determine the phone number of your representative, then call to ask for his or her position on this bill. You are then given a further option to report the result to Free Press/Save the Internet. I made the call and spoke directly with a legislative assistant. She didn’t know the answer (re Representative Russ Carnahan), but promised to find out and report back to me. The entire process only took a couple minutes.

You can also sign a Petition that will be delivered to Congress by visiting Save the Internet. Again, it only takes a minute. Your grass roots investment of a few minutes can counteract tens of millions of dollars the telecoms will spend on lobbyists, misleading media campaigns and wads of cash that the are putting into the palms of your elected representatives. Be empowered!

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We just elected not-Bush. Exhibit A: Obama’s policies regarding the Internet

November 7, 2008 | By | 1 Reply More
We just elected not-Bush.  Exhibit A: Obama’s policies regarding the Internet

Barack Obama is going to be a big change from George W. Bush, as you can see by reviewing his transition site: Change.gov.   It’s gratifying to see the many enlightened changes that Barack Obama will be bringing to the way the government views and uses the Internet.   For example, he strongly supports net neutrality.  For […]

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Lawrence Lessig: John McCain gets an “F” in Internet technology

August 29, 2008 | By | Reply More
Lawrence Lessig:  John McCain gets an “F” in Internet technology

Lawrence Lessig tells it simply and straight: the past eight years have been horrible for Internet users in the  U.S.   Broadband access in the U.S. has dropped from #5 at the beginning of Bush’s term to #22 now.  In many countries, you will pay half of what Americans pay for ten times the speed. John […]

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Big victory for net neutrality

August 4, 2008 | By | Reply More
Big victory for net neutrality

The FCC has come through on this important issue:

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Who is paying uninterested people to tie up seats for FCC hearings on Net Neutrality?

February 27, 2008 | By | 7 Replies More
Who is paying uninterested people to tie up seats for FCC hearings on Net Neutrality?

Was it Comcast?  Whoever it was, this tactic is disgusting. There was huge turnout at [the Feb 25] public hearing in Boston on the future of the Internet. Hundreds of concerned citizens arrived to speak out on the importance of an open Internet. Many took the day off from work — standing outside in the […]

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FCC Commissioner Michael Copps rallies the troops on media reform

August 3, 2007 | By | Reply More
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps rallies the troops on media reform

Salon’s Michael Grieve reports on Michael Copp’s address to the YearlyKos Convention. Copps, an FCC commissioner, addressed the YearlyKos Convention in Chicago: a three-day gathering of about 1,500 bloggers and liberal activists. But his address was less a lecture than a call to action. “The country needs you, it needs a free press, it needs […]

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How to save the Internet: net neutrality (equal access)

January 13, 2007 | By | 7 Replies More
How to save the Internet: net neutrality (equal access)

This post is yet another entry summarizing proceedings of the National Conference for Media Reform in Memphis, Tennessee. The conference is sponsored by Free Press. A panel presented yesterday was entitled “Saving the Internet.” [At his plenary speech, Bill Moyers has suggested an alternate way of designating this issue: “equal access to the Internet.”] At […]

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