The FCC's Threat to Internet Freedom

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The FCC's Threat to Internet Freedom

Post#1 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:44 pm

FCCs New Chairman happens to be another Chosenite. Whose gonna make sure that the truth is stifled. Especially in regards to israel and her many Crimes and Criminals.

The FCC's Threat to Internet Freedom
'Net neutrality' sounds nice, but the Web is working fine now. The new rules will inhibit investment, deter innovation and create a billable-hours bonanza for lawyers. ... 48540.html


Tomorrow morning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will mark the winter solstice by taking an unprecedented step to expand government's reach into the Internet by attempting to regulate its inner workings. In doing so, the agency will circumvent Congress and disregard a recent court ruling.

How did the FCC get here?

For years, proponents of so-called "net neutrality" have been calling for strong regulation of broadband "on-ramps" to the Internet, like those provided by your local cable or phone companies. Rules are needed, the argument goes, to ensure that the Internet remains open and free, and to discourage broadband providers from thwarting consumer demand. That sounds good if you say it fast.

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David Klein

Nothing is broken that needs fixing, however. The Internet has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was spun off from a government research project in the early 1990s. Its nature as a diffuse and dynamic global network of networks defies top-down authority. Ample laws to protect consumers already exist. Furthermore, the Obama Justice Department and the European Commission both decided this year that net-neutrality regulation was unnecessary and might deter investment in next-generation Internet technology and infrastructure.

Analysts and broadband companies of all sizes have told the FCC that new rules are likely to have the perverse effect of inhibiting capital investment, deterring innovation, raising operating costs, and ultimately increasing consumer prices. Others maintain that the new rules will kill jobs. By moving forward with Internet rules anyway, the FCC is not living up to its promise of being "data driven" in its pursuit of mandates—i.e., listening to the needs of the market.

It wasn't long ago that bipartisan and international consensus centered on insulating the Internet from regulation. This policy was a bright hallmark of the Clinton administration, which oversaw the Internet's privatization. Over time, however, the call for more Internet regulation became imbedded into a 2008 presidential campaign promise by then-Sen. Barack Obama. So here we are.

Last year, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski started to fulfill this promise by proposing rules using a legal theory from an earlier commission decision (from which I had dissented in 2008) that was under court review. So confident were they in their case, FCC lawyers told the federal court of appeals in Washington, D.C., that their theory gave the agency the authority to regulate broadband rates, even though Congress has never given the FCC the power to regulate the Internet. FCC leaders seemed caught off guard by the extent of the court's April 6 rebuke of the commission's regulatory overreach.

In May, the FCC leadership floated the idea of deeming complex and dynamic Internet services equivalent to old-fashioned monopoly phone services, thereby triggering price-and-terms regulations that originated in the 1880s. The announcement produced what has become a rare event in Washington: A large, bipartisan majority of Congress agreeing on something. More than 300 members of Congress, including 86 Democrats, contacted the FCC to implore it to stop pursuing Internet regulation and to defer to Capitol Hill.

Facing a powerful congressional backlash, the FCC temporarily changed tack and convened negotiations over the summer with a select group of industry representatives and proponents of Internet regulation. Curiously, the commission abruptly dissolved the talks after Google and Verizon, former Internet-policy rivals, announced their own side agreement for a legislative blueprint. Yes, the effort to reach consensus was derailed by . . . consensus.

After a long August silence, it appeared that the FCC would defer to Congress after all. Agency officials began working with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman on a draft bill codifying network management rules. No Republican members endorsed the measure. Later, proponents abandoned the congressional effort to regulate the Net.
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Still feeling quixotic pressure to fight an imaginary problem, the FCC leadership this fall pushed a small group of hand-picked industry players toward a "choice" between a bad option (broad regulation already struck down in April by the D.C. federal appeals court) or a worse option (phone monopoly-style regulation). Experiencing more coercion than consensus or compromise, a smaller industry group on Dec. 1 gave qualified support for the bad option. The FCC's action will spark a billable-hours bonanza as lawyers litigate the meaning of "reasonable" network management for years to come. How's that for regulatory certainty?

To date, the FCC hasn't ruled out increasing its power further by using the phone monopoly laws, directly or indirectly regulating rates someday, or expanding its reach deeper into mobile broadband services. The most expansive regulatory regimes frequently started out modest and innocuous before incrementally growing into heavy-handed behemoths.

On this winter solstice, we will witness jaw-dropping interventionist chutzpah as the FCC bypasses branches of our government in the dogged pursuit of needless and harmful regulation. The darkest day of the year may end up marking the beginning of a long winter's night for Internet freedom.

Mr. McDowell is a Republican commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission.

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Obama FCC Caves on Net Neutrality -- Tuesday Betrayal Assur

Post#2 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:49 pm

Traitors... ALL OF THEM.

Obama FCC Caves on Net Neutrality -- Tuesday Betrayal Assured ... =fb&src=sp
Late Monday, a majority of the FCC's commissioners indicated that they're going to vote with Chairman Julius Genachowski for a toothless Net Neutrality rule.

According to all reports, the rule, which will be voted on during tomorrow's FCC meeting, falls drastically short of earlier pledges by President Obama and the FCC Chairman to protect the free and open Internet.

The rule is so riddled with loopholes that it's become clear that this FCC chairman crafted it with the sole purpose of winning the endorsement of AT&T and cable lobbyists, and not defending the interests of the tens of millions of Internet users.

Welcome to AT&T's Internet

For the first time in history of telecommunications law the FCC has given its stamp of approval to online discrimination.

Instead of a rule to protect Internet users' freedom to choose, the Commission has opened the door for broadband payola - letting phone and cable companies charge steep tolls to favor the content and services of a select group of corporate partners, relegating everyone else to the cyber-equivalent of a winding dirt road.

Instead of protecting openness on wireless Internet devices like the iPhone and Droid, the Commission has exempted the mobile Internet from Net Neutrality protections. This move enshrines Verizon and AT&T as gatekeepers to the expanding world of mobile Internet access, allowing them to favor their own applications while blocking, degrading or de-prioritizing others.

Instead of re-establishing the FCC's authority to act as a consumer watchdog over the Internet, it places the agency's authority on a shaky and indefensible legal footing -- giving ultimate control over the Internet to a small handful of carriers.

Obama's 'Mission Accomplished'

Internet users deserve far better, and we thought we were going to get it from a president who promised to "take a backseat to no one in my commitment to Net Neutrality." Watch now as he and his FCC chairman try to spin tomorrow's betrayal as another "mission accomplished."

Don't believe it. This bogus victory has become all too familiar to those watching the Obama administration and its appointees squander opportunities for real change. The reality is that reform is just a rhetorical front for industry compromises that reward the biggest players and K-Street lobbyists while giving the public nothing.

It's not the FCC chairman's job to seek consensus among the corporations that he was put into office to regulate. His duty is to protect Internet users.

More than two million people have taken action on behalf of Net Neutrality. Tomorrow, we'll all get the carpet yanked from beneath our feet.

Net Neutrality is the freedom of speech, freedom of choice issue of the 21st century. It's the guarantee of a more open and democratic media system that was baked into the Internet at its founding.

On Tuesday, Obama's FCC is going to sell that out.

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from a fan

Post#3 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:57 am

from a fan

FCC approves net neutrality regulations

December 21, 2010 | 10:13am

In a highly controversial vote, the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday approved new regulations for Internet access designed to prevent large telecommunications companies from squashing competitors.
The so-called net neutrality rules prohibit companies that provide
high-speed Internet service from blocking access by customers to any
legal content, applications or services, such as using the free Skype
online phone service.
For the first time, there will be government regulations to keep
information flowing freely on the Internet and requiring Internet
service providers to give customers more details about how they run
their networks.
The rules will be tougher on wired Internet service from cable and
phone companies than it will be on such service provided by wireless
carriers because that market is in an earlier stage of development and
is evolving quickly. For wired services, the FCC added an additional
rule prohibiting Internet providers from “unreasonable discrimination”
in how they treat access to content and services.
The goal of that regulations is to prevent companies that provide
Internet access from giving priority to their own offerings , such as
the ability to watch TV shows or movies online, or slowing the delivery
of services from competitors.
The FCC vote Tuesday was the culmination of more than five years of
debate over whether regulations were needed. The rules are expected to
come under tough congressional scrutiny and be challenged in court by
telecommunications companies.

Read on:
Democrats, online activists and large Internet companies such as
Google Inc. have pressed for tough rules to guarantee continued open
access to the Internet. President Obama was an early supporter of net
neutrality and made it part of his 2008 campaign.
But Republicans, free-market advocates and telecommunications
providers have strongly opposed net neutrality regulations, contending
that they aren’t needed and could damage the Internet economy. Still,
AT&T Inc. has said the FCC rules are less restrictive than what
many advocates have called for and that it could support them as a way
of reducing the uncertainty about what the commission might do.
The FCC split 3-2 along party lines Tuesday in approving the new
regulations before a standing-room only crowd at its Washington, D.C.,
headquarters. Chairman Julius Genachowski and the two other Democrats
in the majority supported the compromise proposal he had spent months
“As we stand here now, the freedom and openness of the Internet is
unprotected. No rules on the books to protect basic Internet values,”
Genachowski said. “No process for monitoring Internet openness as
technology and business models evolve. No recourse for innovators,
consumers, or speakers harmed by improper practices. And no
predictability for the Internet service providers, so that they can
manage and invest in broadband networks.”
Genachowski said the rules the FCC approved Tuesday will “ensure
that the Internet remains a powerful platform for innovation and job
creation, to empower consumers and entrepreneurs, and protect free
Democratic Commissioners Michael J. Copps and Mignon Clyburn said
that while the rules don’t go as far as they wanted, they were a good
first step. Copps echoed the criticism of some public-interest and
digital-rights groups that wired and wireless Internet access would be
treated differently.
“After all, the Internet is the Internet, no matter how you access
it,” Copps said. But he said he concurred in Genachowski’s proposal to
move net neutrality forward before political pressures against it
increase with Republicans taking control of the House in January.
The FCC’s two Republicans voted against the plan. They said it was
an unwarranted government intrusion into a fully functioning Internet
economy that oversteps the agency’s legal authority following a court
decision this year that struck down a less formal FCC principle that
high-speed Internet providers should keep their networks open.
“The FCC is not Congress. We cannot make laws,” said Republican
Commissioner Robert M. McDowell. “Some are saying that instead of
acting as a cop on the beat, the FCC looks more like a regulatory
Republican Commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker was more direct,
saying “Respectfully, I really, really, really dissent.” She accused
the FCC of acting simply to fulfill an Obama campaign promise to enact
net neutrality rules.
Their objections have been echoed by key congressional Republicans,
who have warned the FCC not to pass any net neutrality regulations and
have promised hearings on the actions early next year.
“Today, the Obama administration, which has already nationalized
health care, the auto industry, insurance companies, banks and student
loans, will move forward with what could be a first step in controlling
how Americans use the Internet by establishing federal regulations on
its use,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.) said Tuesday.
“This would harm investment, stifle innovation, and lead to job
losses. And that’s why I, along with several of my colleagues, have
urged the FCC chairman to abandon this flawed approach.
"The Internet is an invaluable resource. It should be left alone.”

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