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Author Topic: Why is net neutrality so important?  (Read 4647 times)
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Athos_131
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« Reply #150 on: February 08, 2019, 06:43:13 PM »

  More... more... more... we need to see all the Net Neutrality posts you can make... Thank you.

If your internet gets throttled I'll throw a party.

For most other people I'd find it pretty unfortunate.

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« Reply #151 on: February 10, 2019, 02:17:24 AM »

Texas Bill Would Make It Illegal For Verizon and Any Other Wireless Provider to Throttle Disaster Zones

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« Reply #152 on: February 11, 2019, 05:28:31 PM »

Net Neutrality 2019

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« Reply #153 on: February 21, 2019, 11:51:55 PM »

How an Investigation of Fake FCC Comments Snared a Prominent D.C. Media Firm

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« Reply #154 on: March 04, 2019, 11:55:57 PM »

House Democrats Will Introduce 'Save the Internet Act' to Restore Net Neutrality This Week

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House Democrats on Wednesday will introduce a bill to reinstate the net neutrality rules repealed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in late 2017.

In a letter to Democratic colleagues, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the bill, know as the “Save the Internet Act,” will be introduced on Wednesday morning at 11:15 am. Text of the bill is not currently available.

The bill will likely seek to reestablish broadband internet access as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act, a key designation the Republican-led FCC voted to abandon in late 2017. The change to Title II classification gave the FCC the authority in 2015 to protect online businesses and consumers against any unreasonable practices of broadband providers.

The 2015 order also outlined numerous practices that the Obama-era commission believed unreasonable. That included the ability of broadband providers to selectively block or throttle websites and services. It also banned systems of paid prioritization, in which ISPs are allowed to choose which services are the quickest to access for consumers, charging companies additional fees for the privilege.

In December 2017, the FCC’s three GOP commissioners, led by Chairman Ajit Pai, voted to repeal those protections in a party-line vote. The vote was, in essence, a decision by Republicans to diminish their own agency’s authority to protect consumers, while claiming that—despite evidence to the contrary—oversight was hindering industry innovation.

“The bill isn’t out yet, but we hope it will give a congressional stamp of approval to the FCC’s 2015 Net Neutrality rules and the whole Open Internet Order,” said Timothy Karr, senior director of strategy and communications at Free Press. “That’s crucial, because the legal framework already in Title II is the baseline for guaranteeing the full range protections demanded by internet users, including overwhelming majorities of Democratic and Republican voters.”

The effort to pass the “Save the Internet Act” in the Senate is being led by Senator Ed Markey, his spokesperson said.

In late 2017, the Senate passed a resolution to overturn the FCC’s net neutrality repeal under the Congressional Review Act. But the House, then controlled by the GOP, did not take up the resolution in time.

The FCC repeal is also currently being challenged in the D.C. Circuit by dozens of petitioners, including the Mozilla Corporation, Public Knowledge, Free Press, the Open Technology Institute at New America, and 21 state attorneys general.



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« Reply #155 on: March 11, 2019, 06:36:25 AM »

FCC Might Be Violating Federal Records Law, Oversight Officials Say

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« Reply #156 on: March 11, 2019, 06:59:13 AM »

Democrats' Net Neutrality Bill Would Force Ajit Pai to Actually Do His Job

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« Reply #157 on: March 11, 2019, 07:07:51 AM »

Ajit Pai’s rosy broadband deployment claim may be based on gigantic error

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« Reply #158 on: March 15, 2019, 01:16:27 AM »

Ajit Pai Promised New Jobs and 'Better, Cheaper' Internet. His ISP Pals Have a Different Plan

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« Reply #159 on: March 15, 2019, 03:31:48 AM »

Please tell us more, so fascinating... Thank you. Our Hero!
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« Reply #160 on: March 15, 2019, 01:37:29 PM »

Please tell us more, so fascinating... Thank you. Our Hero!

At least we know now cowardly racists don't support Net Neutrality.

All the more reason to fight for a free an open internet.

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« Reply #161 on: March 20, 2019, 01:15:40 AM »

FCC Admits in Court That It Can't Track Who Submits Fake Comments

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The FCC’s public comment system is a bloody mess. Over the past two years, it’s become apparent that political lobbyists, usually acting on behalf of the telecom industry itself, are prepared to manipulate the agency’s rulemaking process and impersonate everyday Americans just to create the illusion of public support where, in reality, none exists.

Last week, the FCC was forced to admit in court that its Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) was never designed to keep track of where comments originate. Not only is the system not designed to prevent fraud or the use of bots, it said, when incidents of identity theft are widely reported, the system is not equipped to determine who’s responsible.

In response to allegations that millions of comments submitted to the FCC about net neutrality in 2017 were fabricated—using the names and home addresses of Americans without their consent—the New York Times is actively seeking access to the FCC’s internal logs under the Freedom of Information Act. Its reporters have specifically asked the FCC to turn over records that contain every comment and the IP addresses from which they originated. But the commission is fighting back.

For starters, the FCC is denying the Times access to these records on privacy grounds: releasing the IP addresses, it says, would “constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” It further alleges that releasing the logs would compromise the security of the ECFS, which is essentially a crime scene at this point thanks to concurrent state and federal investigations.

The notion that the system is in any way “secure” to begin with is comical, since one doesn’t need to actually commit a computer crime to flood it with bogus comments. If one were to email the agency and ask for instructions on how to submit comments in large batches, not only will it gladly provide that information, it will load them into the system regardless of whether they’re real or not.

Comments attributed to Americans who have been saying for over a year that their identities were stolen can still be found on the FCC’s website, right next political (and in some cases anti-Semitic) messages that they did not write.

But there’s another reason the FCC is refusing to hand over the logs. In a more technical explanation offered in a motion filed on March 14, the commission argues that producing evidence of where comments originate is a “painstaking process” that would be “highly complicated and burdensome, even if it is possible to do the correlation in the first place.”

“The retracing process would allow the FCC to identify several requests made close in time to the second the comment appears in the database, and guess which one is the actual originating request,” it said. “However, the FCC cannot directly and conclusively correlate one ECFS request with one ECFS comment.”

The process of figuring out where particular comments originate, in the FCC’s own words, is complete guesswork. The system is not designed to prevent fraud, and if fraud does occur, it is not designed to detect it, nor produce evidence of who is culpable.

It is a system that is inadvertently designed to be gamed; though, granted, it was never designed to handle millions of comments at all. (Not until net neutrality was the public at large even aware it existed.)

To a certain extent, Gizmodo can confirm that what the FCC is saying is true. Last month, we reviewed some of the logs sought after by the Times, disclosed in a separate lawsuit by a different agency. Gizmodo reported on multiple sources of fraudulent comments in two articles this year. Each required a considerable amount of time and legwork.

The FCC’s argument that it can’t release the logs on the basis of privacy is undercut by the fact that the General Services Administration, which manages the API system used by the FCC, already released them—or at least part of them. The API system is only one of three ways comments are submitted; the Times is seeking access to logs related to the other methods as well.

The API logs, which Gizmodo has reviewed—and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal both have access to now—do include at least dozens of IP addresses belonging to groups that uploaded millions of comments combined.

Gizmodo was able to trace the origin of known fake comments using the same process that’s being used by law enforcement investigators in New York, and likely at the Department of Justice as well. It is essentially the same “painstaking process” that the FCC says would be too “burdensome” for it to execute in response to a FOIA request. (It is likely correct on this point since the law doesn’t require it to commit vast resources and time to fulfill a single request.)

On a technical level, the issue is that the logs of when comments are submitted do not actually contain the comments themselves; they merely track when comments were uploaded and by whom. To track an individual comment back to its source, investigators have had to compare the timestamps on the comments to the logs identifying the uploaders. But timestamps on the comments and the logs do not match perfectly, likely due to server latency. The timestamps are on average off by a few hundred milliseconds (two seconds at most), indeed making it difficult to confidently ID the source of a fake comment, based on our experience.

The process for tracking down instances of comment fraud at the FCC is, as its lawyers accurately portrayed in court, a fucking headache. But what this really means is, if the commission is going to continue to use the ECFS to solicit public comments—something it is legally obligated to do in a lot of its rulemaking—the system needs to be retrofitted or completely re-built to facilitate fraud detection. FCC Chairman and two-time Courage Award winner Ajit Pai stated himself three months ago that a “half-million comments” about his net neutrality proposal were “submitted from Russian e-mail addresses.”

Going forward, Americans should not have to worry about whether malicious political statements, which they did not write and do not stand by, are being published by their own government, in their name, without their consent. And at the very least, when and if this type of crime does occur, it should be the FCC’s responsibility to ensure that it’s technologically possible to figure out who the culprits are.

If not, its notice-and-comment rulemaking is finished and this is all just administrative theater.

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« Reply #162 on: March 30, 2019, 02:47:34 AM »

The Head of the FTC Just Debunked the FCC's Favorite Excuse for Killing Net Neutrality

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Two weeks before voting to rollback the net neutrality rules, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post in which he laid out his case for killing off the policy that ensured a free and open internet. In it, he offered up one widely-disputed argument for doing so: that blocking, throttling, and the use of so-called “fast lanes” by internet service providers would violate antitrust laws. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Carr wrote, would handle it. This week, the Chairman of the FTC said that’s not necessarily true.

“Reversing the FCC’s Title II decision will return the FTC to its role as a steady cop on the beat and empower it to take enforcement action against any ISP that engages in unfair or deceptive practices,” Carr wrote. “Federal antitrust laws will apply.” Carr added that if ISPs “reached agreements to act in a non-neutral manner by unfairly blocking, throttling, or discriminating against traffic, those agreements would be per se unlawful.” (Emphasis ours.)

Three days ago, however, FTC Chairman Joseph Simons—a Republican, like Carr, appointed by President Trump—publicly debunked Carr’s claim. “Blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization would not be per se antitrust violations,” he said, in a speech at the National Press Club.

Simons expanded on his view of the matter, comparing the idea of paid prioritization to that of grocery store “coupons” and “Happy Hour discounts.”

Paid prioritization is a type of price discrimination, which is ubiquitous in the economy. For example, think about when you walk into grocery store. Some customers get lower prices because they cut out coupons. Others might get a seniors discount. Others might get 2% off with their credit card. Yet others get discounts because they have a loyalty card with that supermarket. Those of us who go to the afternoon movie matinees will generally pay less, and those of us willing to show up at a restaurant before 6 pm might get the benefit of a lower priced menu. And of course, let’s not forget Happy Hour discounts.

Added Simons: “For those of you who live locally, think about the express toll lanes on interstates 95 and 66. Or think about Amtrak’s Acela service to New York, which is faster and more expensive than the local trains. Clearly, our transportation authorities think that allowing people to pay more for faster service is at least sometimes beneficial.”

Simons’ argument that the FTC can’t (or won’t) penalize ISPs for such schemes isn’t news. Carr’s claim that the FTC would step in and shield consumers from ISPs attempting to manipulate internet speeds for profit—a talking point parroted by the industry itself—was widely refuted by legal experts prior to the vote.

A month before Carr’s op-ed, Ferras Vinh, a policy counsel for the Center for Democracy & Technology, told a House subcommittee that the FTC lacked “the rulemaking ability and the deep subject matter expertise of the FCC to protect consumer rights.”

“Without the authority to make rules, the FTC can only pursue violations of net neutrality and consumer privacy after the fact,” added Vinh.

As FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel explained in her dissent on the day the net neutrality rules were repealed, the scope of FTC enforcement is largely limited to what the law considers unfair and deceptive practices. “But to evade FTC review,” she said, “all any broadband provider will need to do is add new provisions to the fine print in its terms of service.”

Nevermind the fact that average consumers are unlikely to be well versed on what constitutes an antitrust violation, fewer still ever read the terms and conditions of a broadband service agreement. (It’s been repeatedly proven that very few Americans read service agreements, much less comprehend the implications. It has also been found that due to a large number of contracts that internet users must “agree” to, doing so would consume an absurd amount of time. One study found that privacy policies alone would take 76 work days to consume.)

With a member of his own party now debunking his argument for repealing net neutrality—a key agency official, no less, whom Carr assured us would safeguard internet users in his place—Carr’s op-ed for the Post can finally be seen by everyone for what it always was: propaganda aimed at helping ISPs engage in discriminatory practices absent the fear of regulatory reprisal.

The FCC did not respond to a request for comment.

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« Reply #163 on: April 02, 2019, 06:16:18 PM »

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/f4V_JkMwyk0&rel=1" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/v/f4V_JkMwyk0&rel=1</a>

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« Reply #164 on: April 10, 2019, 09:35:28 PM »

House Democrats Pass Bill to Restore Net Neutrality

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Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives made good on a campaign promise on Wednesday by passing legislation that would effectively reinstate, in its entirety, the 2015 Open Internet Order—rules that, for a brief time, ensured that net neutrality was the law of the land.

The bill passed in a 232-190 vote, with only one Republican voting in favor of the legislation.

The Save the Internet Act, introduced by Congressman Michael Doyle Jr. last month, would codify into law consumer protections that existed prior to the Federal Communications Commission’s December 2017 repeal of its net neutrality rules. The bill prohibits broadband-access providers such as AT&T and Comcast from blocking or slowing internet content or offering select apps and services access to so-called “fast lanes.”

The bill would restore the FCC’s authority to govern internet providers under Title II of the Communications Act—the GOP’s primary objection to the bill. Democrats argue that without Title II-based rules, there would be no “cop on the beat” to ensure that the rules are enforced.

“This legislation not only protects consumers from large corporations, but it also strengthens our economy by promoting innovation and small businesses,” said Doyle. “Net neutrality ensures that any business, no matter how small, gets the same internet at the same speeds as giant corporate interests.”

“That’s only fair,” he said. “There should not be favorites.”

Republicans such as Congressman Greg Walden, the bill’s most vocal opponent, have attempted to cast net neutrality as a “heavy-handed” approach to regulation and—hysterically—as a “government takeover of the internet.” The criticisms, however, belie the fact that broadband providers are not themselves “the internet,” and, in fact, the bill grants regulators no authority to control the content users see.

Walden and other detractors have also falsely claimed, even as recently as this morning, that the bill would lay the groundwork for future taxation of broadband access, even though doing so would be illegal. Under the Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998, federal, state, and local governments are prohibited from taxing internet access.

Promises by the FCC’s chairman, Ajit Pai, that repealing the net neutrality rules would spur a new era of investment in the nation’s broadband infrastructure have also proved false. Since the repeal, network investment has fallen and major telecoms have laid off thousands of workers.

“When the agency rolled back net neutrality protections, it gave broadband providers the power to block websites, throttle services, and censor online content,” said Pai’s Democratic colleague, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. “This decision put the FCC on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public.”

In an era in which Americans seem sharply divided on nearly everything of political consequence, net neutrality is a rare unifying issue. As oft-cited by supporters of the Save the Internet Act, some 86 percent of Americans oppose the Trump administration’s decision to dismantle the Obama-era rules, including 82 percent of Republicans, according to a 2018 survey by the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland.

But as the ability of net neutrality to drive voters to the ballot box on Election Day remains purely hypothetical, Republicans have largely ignored its popularity among constituents, opting instead to carry water for some of the country’s most widely despised corporations.

The future of the Save the Internet Act remains up in the air, as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised the bill will be “dead on arrival in the Senate.” Last year, three Republican senators—Susan Collins of Maine, John Kennedy of Louisiana, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—broke ranks and supported a resolution to reinstate the 2015 rules.

“Americans of all political stripes support putting net neutrality rules back on the books, because when you pay your monthly broadband bill, you should be able access all the content on the internet at the same speed without interference or throttling by your broadband provider,” said Senator Edward Markey, who’s introduced a companion bill in the upper chamber.

The White House on Monday threatened to veto the bill. Even with the aid of the Senate’s two independents, Democrats would need to wrangle an additional 10 Republican votes to override a veto.

“As this crucial legislation heads to the Senate, industry lobbyists want people to believe it doesn’t have a chance,” added Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the pro-net neutrality group Free Press. “They want to discourage people from showing up and urging their senators to vote in favor of the Save the Internet Act. That won’t work.”

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