From: Abel on
Back in the 1990s, the internet was still new, but there were some
prescient voices to foretell and voice the need in protecting this
growing new electronic frontier.

"How can government ensure that the nascent Internet will permit
everyone to be able to compete with everyone else for the opportunity
to provide any service to all willing customers? Next, how can we
ensure that this new marketplace reaches the entire nation? And then
how can we ensure that it fulfills the enormous promise of education,
economic growth and job creation?
--Al Gore, 1994

"The greatest threat to democracy is the increasing concentration of
major electronic media in ever fewer hands."
--Rep. David Price (D-NC)

The issue is "net neutrality", which stands for equal access to the
Internet, so that broadband carriers don't use their market power to
discriminate against competing applications or content. Just as
telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can
call or what they can say, broadband carriers, likewise, should not be
allowed to use their market power to control activity online.

In October 2007, Comcast was caught blocking BitTorrent uploads on
their network using a technique which involved creating 'reset'
packets that appeared to come from the other party. The following
year, the FCC got involved and ruled that Comcast broke the law when
it throttled certain people's bandwidth.

What the FCC did was good.

Unfortunately, a Federal Court of Appeals ruled other wise, they said
that the FCC should drop their effort to enforce net neutrality. In
effect, what the Federal court did was to overthrow out the FCC Order
against Comcast.

What the Federal Court did was bad.

http://torrentfreak.com/comcast-can-block-bittorrent-again-court-rules-100406/

Thus the igniting of a major controversy called "net neutrality".

Conservatives are opposed to net neutrality, liberals support net
neutrality. It's an all too familiar struggle, between the powerful
and the powerless. These are the powerful entities who oppose net
neutrality: cable, telephone and other large corporations, as well as
network engineers, and free market scholars, e.t.c.

The argument boils down to this. Do we want the internet to flourish
and be made available for EVERYONE to benefit from, or do we want the
internet to be controlled by only a few very rich and very powerful
people? And these powerful people have the power to shut down our
internet any time they want, if we don't pay them even more money. Or
worse yet, they will have the power to censor YOU. Think about
it.

We have a democracy, or at least we should have one. And you should
make your voice heard, loud and clear, and do it now. Now, more than
ever, in favor of net neutrality, while they still allow you to have a
voice that is. Think about it.

Abel Malcolm

http://www.savetheinternet.com/

From: Fred B. Brown on

"Abel" <abelmalcolm(a)gmail.com> wrote in message
news:e9edba78-b0b2-4150-9a13-8ee8abf4b039(a)y11g2000yqm.googlegroups.com...
> Back in the 1990s, the internet was still new, but there were some
> prescient voices to foretell and voice the need in protecting this
> growing new electronic frontier.

October 21st, 2009

Is Net Neutrality a FCC Trojan Horse?
Commentary by Corynne McSherry
On Thursday, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius
Genachowski is expected to unveil draft rules aimed at imposing network
neutrality obligations on Internet Service Providers (ISPs). In the
excitement surrounding the announcement, however, many have overlooked the
fact that the this rulemaking is built on a shoddy and dangerous
foundation - the idea that the FCC has unlimited authority to regulate the
Internet.

Genachowski has announced that the draft regulations will require ISPs to
abide by the "Four Freedoms" set forth in the FCC's 2005 Internet Policy
Statement, as well as the additional principles of nondiscrimination and
transparency. EFF strongly believes in these six principles. Our work speaks
for itself: we are developing software tools to Test Your ISP in the wake of
uncovering Comcast's meddling with BitTorrent traffic, seeking a DMCA
exemption to let you run applications of your choice on your mobile phone,
and fighting Hollywood's efforts to force DRM restrictions into your
television.

But Congress has never given the FCC any authority to regulate the Internet
for the purpose of ensuring net neutrality. In place of explicit
congressional authority, we expect the FCC will rely on its "ancillary
jurisdiction," a position that amounts to "we can regulate the Internet
however we like without waiting for Congress to act." (See, e.g., the FCC's
brief to a court earlier this year). That's a power grab that would leave
the Internet subject to the regulatory whims of the FCC long after Chairman
Genachowski leaves his post.

Hence the danger. If "ancillary jurisdiction" is enough for net neutrality
regulations (something we might like) today, it could just as easily be
invoked tomorrow for any other Internet regulation that the FCC dreams up
(including things we won't like). For example, it doesn't take much
imagination to envision a future FCC "Internet Decency Statement." After
all, outgoing FCC Chairman Martin was a crusader against "indecency" on the
airwaves and it was the FCC that punished Pacifica radio for playing George
Carlin's "seven dirty words" monologue, something you can easily find on the
Internet. And it's also too easy to imagine an FCC "Internet Lawful Use
Policy," created at the behest of the same entertainment lobby that has long
been pressing the FCC to impose DRM on TV and radio, with ISPs required or
encouraged to filter or otherwise monitor their users to ensure compliance.
After all, it was only thanks to a jurisdictional challenge -- ironically,
by many of the same groups currently celebrating Genachowski's rulemaking
announcement -- that we defeated the FCC's "broadcast flag" mandate which
would have given Hollywood and federal bureaucrats veto power over
innovative devices and legitimate uses of recorded TV programming.

EFF's concerns are born from more than just a general skepticism about
government regulation of the Internet. Experience shows that the FCC is
particularly vulnerable to regulatory capture and has a history of ignoring
grassroots public opinion (see, e.g., media consolidation). That makes the
agency a poor choice for restraining the likes of Comcast and AT&T.

Fortunately, there are two opportunities to reign in the FCC's expansive
views of its own "ancillary jurisdiction." A federal court is considering
this important question as part of Comcast's challenge to the FCC's order
last year regarding interference with BitTorrent traffic (PFF filed a strong
amicus brief in the case, arguing against the FCC's power grab). Or Congress
could limit the FCC's power by authorizing to regulate only to ensure
network neutrality.

So while we look forward to evaluating Chairman Genachowski's proposed net
neutrality regulations, the first step must be a clear rejection of any
suggestion that those regulations can be based on "ancillary jurisdiction."
Otherwise, "net neutrality" might very well come to be remembered as the
Trojan Horse that allowed the FCC take over the Internet.

Related Issues: Free Speech, Innovation, Intellectual Property, Net
Neutrality, Test Your ISP

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/09/net-neutrality-fcc-perils-and-promise


> "How can government ensure that the nascent Internet will permit
> everyone to be able to compete with everyone else for the opportunity
> to provide any service to all willing customers? Next, how can we
> ensure that this new marketplace reaches the entire nation? And then
> how can we ensure that it fulfills the enormous promise of education,
> economic growth and job creation?
> --Al Gore, 1994
>
> "The greatest threat to democracy is the increasing concentration of
> major electronic media in ever fewer hands."
> --Rep. David Price (D-NC)
>
> The issue is "net neutrality", which stands for equal access to the
> Internet, so that broadband carriers don't use their market power to
> discriminate against competing applications or content. Just as
> telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can
> call or what they can say, broadband carriers, likewise, should not be
> allowed to use their market power to control activity online.
>
> In October 2007, Comcast was caught blocking BitTorrent uploads on
> their network using a technique which involved creating 'reset'
> packets that appeared to come from the other party. The following
> year, the FCC got involved and ruled that Comcast broke the law when
> it throttled certain people's bandwidth.
>
> What the FCC did was good.
>
> Unfortunately, a Federal Court of Appeals ruled other wise, they said
> that the FCC should drop their effort to enforce net neutrality. In
> effect, what the Federal court did was to overthrow out the FCC Order
> against Comcast.
>
> What the Federal Court did was bad.
>
> http://torrentfreak.com/comcast-can-block-bittorrent-again-court-rules-100406/
>
> Thus the igniting of a major controversy called "net neutrality".
>
> Conservatives are opposed to net neutrality, liberals support net
> neutrality. It's an all too familiar struggle, between the powerful
> and the powerless. These are the powerful entities who oppose net
> neutrality: cable, telephone and other large corporations, as well as
> network engineers, and free market scholars, e.t.c.
>
> The argument boils down to this. Do we want the internet to flourish
> and be made available for EVERYONE to benefit from, or do we want the
> internet to be controlled by only a few very rich and very powerful
> people? And these powerful people have the power to shut down our
> internet any time they want, if we don't pay them even more money. Or
> worse yet, they will have the power to censor YOU. Think about
> it.
>
> We have a democracy, or at least we should have one. And you should
> make your voice heard, loud and clear, and do it now. Now, more than
> ever, in favor of net neutrality, while they still allow you to have a
> voice that is. Think about it.
>
> Abel Malcolm
>
> http://www.savetheinternet.com/
>

From: Fred B. Brown on
April 6th, 2010

Court Rejects FCC Authority Over the Internet
Legal Analysis by Fred von Lohmann
In a ruling that imposes important limits on the FCC's authority to regulate
the Internet, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today overturned the FCC
ruling against Comcast for interfering with the BitTorrent traffic of its
subscribers. The court found that the Commission had overstepped the limits
of its "ancillary authority" when it disciplined Comcast for its clandestine
blocking behavior.

The ruling is not likely to make much difference to Comcast
subscribers-Comcast had already agreed to cease its BitTorrent interdiction
before the FCC's ruling was issued. Instead, the court's ruling is important
because it represents a blow to FCC Chairman Genachowski's proposed net
neutrality regulations, which are premised on the same theory of "ancillary
jurisdiction" that the FCC used against Comcast and that the court rejected
today.

Here's the problem: Congress has never given the FCC any authority to
regulate the Internet for the purpose of ensuring net neutrality. In place
of explicit congressional authority, the FCC decided to rely on its
"ancillary jurisdiction," a catchall source of authority that amounts to "we
can regulate without waiting for Congress so long a the regulations are
related to something else that Congress told us to do." Of course, this line
of reasoning could translate into carte blanche authority for unelected
bureaucrats to regulate the Internet long after Chairman Genachowski has
moved on. As we put it in October:

If "ancillary jurisdiction" is enough for net neutrality regulations
(something we might like) today, it could just as easily be invoked tomorrow
for any other Internet regulation that the FCC dreams up (including things
we won't like). For example, it doesn't take much imagination to envision a
future FCC "Internet Decency Statement." After all, outgoing FCC Chairman
Martin was a crusader against "indecency" on the airwaves and it was the FCC
that punished Pacifica radio for playing George Carlin's "seven dirty words"
monologue, something you can easily find on the Internet. And it's also too
easy to imagine an FCC "Internet Lawful Use Policy," created at the behest
of the same entertainment lobby that has long been pressing the FCC to
impose DRM on TV and radio, with ISPs required or encouraged to filter or
otherwise monitor their users to ensure compliance. After all, it was only
thanks to a jurisdictional challenge ... that we defeated the FCC's
"broadcast flag" mandate which would have given Hollywood and federal
bureaucrats veto power over innovative devices and legitimate uses of
recorded TV programming.

So while we are big supporters of net neutrality, we are glad that today's
ruling has reasserted the important limits on the FCC's authority to
regulate the Internet.

The fight now moves back to Congress and the FCC, with numerous net
neutrality advocates urging the FCC to "reclassify" Internet access services
under Title II of the Communications Act-another effort to find FCC
authority to regulate ISPs without having to go to Congress. In the
meantime, everyone who cares about net neutrality will continue to watch
ISPs closely for more evidence of discriminatory practices.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/04/court-rejects-fcc-authority-over-internet



"Abel" <abelmalcolm(a)gmail.com> wrote in message
news:e9edba78-b0b2-4150-9a13-8ee8abf4b039(a)y11g2000yqm.googlegroups.com...
> Back in the 1990s, the internet was still new, but there were some
> prescient voices to foretell and voice the need in protecting this
> growing new electronic frontier.
>
> "How can government ensure that the nascent Internet will permit
> everyone to be able to compete with everyone else for the opportunity
> to provide any service to all willing customers? Next, how can we
> ensure that this new marketplace reaches the entire nation? And then
> how can we ensure that it fulfills the enormous promise of education,
> economic growth and job creation?
> --Al Gore, 1994
>
> "The greatest threat to democracy is the increasing concentration of
> major electronic media in ever fewer hands."
> --Rep. David Price (D-NC)
>
> The issue is "net neutrality", which stands for equal access to the
> Internet, so that broadband carriers don't use their market power to
> discriminate against competing applications or content. Just as
> telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can
> call or what they can say, broadband carriers, likewise, should not be
> allowed to use their market power to control activity online.
>
> In October 2007, Comcast was caught blocking BitTorrent uploads on
> their network using a technique which involved creating 'reset'
> packets that appeared to come from the other party. The following
> year, the FCC got involved and ruled that Comcast broke the law when
> it throttled certain people's bandwidth.
>
> What the FCC did was good.
>
> Unfortunately, a Federal Court of Appeals ruled other wise, they said
> that the FCC should drop their effort to enforce net neutrality. In
> effect, what the Federal court did was to overthrow out the FCC Order
> against Comcast.
>
> What the Federal Court did was bad.
>
> http://torrentfreak.com/comcast-can-block-bittorrent-again-court-rules-100406/
>
> Thus the igniting of a major controversy called "net neutrality".
>
> Conservatives are opposed to net neutrality, liberals support net
> neutrality. It's an all too familiar struggle, between the powerful
> and the powerless. These are the powerful entities who oppose net
> neutrality: cable, telephone and other large corporations, as well as
> network engineers, and free market scholars, e.t.c.
>
> The argument boils down to this. Do we want the internet to flourish
> and be made available for EVERYONE to benefit from, or do we want the
> internet to be controlled by only a few very rich and very powerful
> people? And these powerful people have the power to shut down our
> internet any time they want, if we don't pay them even more money. Or
> worse yet, they will have the power to censor YOU. Think about
> it.
>
> We have a democracy, or at least we should have one. And you should
> make your voice heard, loud and clear, and do it now. Now, more than
> ever, in favor of net neutrality, while they still allow you to have a
> voice that is. Think about it.
>
> Abel Malcolm
>
> http://www.savetheinternet.com/
>

From: John Navas on
On 11 Aug 2010 07:30:01 -0500, in
<4c629758$0$627$bb4e3ad8(a)newscene.com>, "Fred B. Brown"
<fredbbrown(a)nowhere.com> wrote:

>April 6th, 2010
>
>Court Rejects FCC Authority Over the Internet
>Legal Analysis by Fred von Lohmann
>[SNIP]

Sadly, the EFF is wrong in this one.

--
John

"Assumption is the mother of all screw ups."
[Wethern´┐Żs Law of Suspended Judgement]