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Net Neutrality

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I think everyone on here is pretty much on the same page about net neutrality but it's a serious topic and it's about time we have a thread for it. Some slightly interesting news on that came out today.

 

source - http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/12/19/congress-wants-to-legislate-net-neutrality-heres-what-that-might-look-like/

 

The pieces below are taken out-of-order from the article for context (if you missed some recent news).

 

 

The FCC is widely expected to unveil its net neutrality proposal in February or March, leaving little time for lawmakers to introduce a bill.
....

Republicans in Congress appear likely to introduce legislation next month aimed at preventing Internet providers from speeding up some Web sites over others, in hopes of changing the tone of a critical debate over the future of the Web, according to industry officials familiar with the plans.
....

The industry officials said they are discussing details of the proposal with several Republican lawmakers, whom they declined to name. The officials also said the proposal is being backed by several large telecommunications companies, which they also declined to name.
....

By unveiling their legislation before Wheeler's draft rules, Republicans could draw momentum away from the agency, where pressure has been mounting lately for stronger action, the industry officials said.
....

If the bill is seen as not aggressive enough, Obama will likely veto the legislation, observers said. Cast as a compromise giving the FCC wide latitude over net neutrality, the bill could pass — particularly if industry officials offer not to sue the FCC over its proposed rules, analysts have said.

 

There are definitely more details at the source but the quote above gives you the gist of it.

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source - http://www.engadget.com/2015/02/02/fcc-will-reportedly-ban-internet-slow-lanes/

 

 

....

 

According to a pair of new reports from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, the FCC chairman Tom Wheeler will soon do what some net neutrality advocates have been clamoring for for ages: Try to officially reclassify internet service as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.

....

 

I.... want to believe.... but I just don't want to believe that Tom Wheeler is on our side when everything about his history points the other way....

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source - http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/25/technology/path-clears-for-net-neutrality-ahead-of-fcc-vote.html?emc=edit_na_20150224&nlid=50762010&_r=0

 

 

WASHINGTON — Senior Republicans conceded on Tuesday that the grueling fight with President Obama over the regulation of Internet service appears over, with the president and an army of Internet activists victorious.

 

The Federal Communications Commission is expected on Thursday to approve regulating Internet service like a public utility, prohibiting companies from paying for faster lanes on the Internet. While the two Democratic commissioners are negotiating over technical details, they are widely expected to side with the Democratic chairman, Tom Wheeler, against the two Republican commissioners.

 

And Republicans on Capitol Hill, who once criticized the plan as “Obamacare for the Internet,” now say they are unlikely to pass a legislative response that would undo perhaps the biggest policy shift since the Internet became a reality.

.....

 

I don't want to get my hopes up but......... I want to believe........

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This means any people opposed to net neutrality will have to find a high court to block this. It puts the onus squarely on the telecoms and large corporate interests rather than the populace. At the very least this is a huge win and many steps in the right direction. Anyone looking to dismantle this framework will have to put in some serious effort (which they undoubtedly will). I expect some high court rulings and maybe even a trip to the supreme court before this is all over.

 

I mean I'm not sure how much more net neutrality advocates wanted, but they seem to have gotten everything.

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source - http://www.engadget.com/2016/04/13/president-veto-hr-2666-bill/

 

 

President Obama swears that H.R. 2666 will never become a law under his administration. In a letter published today, the White House says the bill "would undermine key provisions in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Open Internet order." The president's advisors would recommend that he veto it if it ever reaches his office. H.R. 2666 also known as the "No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act" looks like it complements the FCC's new net neutrality rules at first glance. It wants to make sure that the FCC can't regulate broadband rates -- something that commission chairman Tom Wheeler promised his office won't do -- after all.

According to the bill's author, Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, and his allies, potential rate regulation "creates significant uncertainty for ISPs" and "discourages investment and unique pricing structures or service plans." As the EFF notes, though, the bill would also keep the FCC from protecting consumers against paid prioritization, throttling and data caps, among many other things.

It would also strip the commission of its powers to prevent ISPs from making certain services free. Remember when the FCC summoned Comcast, AT&T and T-Mobile to explain their data exemption schemes that benefit their own services? The agency wouldn't be able to do that anymore. In the White House's words, it "would restrict the FCC's ability to take enforcement actions to protect consumers on issues where the FCC has received numerous consumer complaints."

The EFF has a portal you can access to look up your state representative's phone number if you want to know their stance, and if you want them to know yours. President Obama's stepping down in January, and you might need to make your voice heard if you feel strongly about this issue to help sway the next commander-in-chief.

[....]

 

So we got this coming up as well as the "Compliance with Court Orders Act" from Burr and Feinstein about encryption.

 

If we ever needed a time to agree that the legislative branch of our government is out of touch with the realities of modern technology.... now is the time....

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Supposedly this is a big deal.

 

source - http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/15/technology/net-neutrality-fcc-appeals-court-ruling.html

 

WASHINGTON — High-speed internet service can be defined as a utility, a federal court has ruled in a sweeping decision clearing the way for more rigorous policing of broadband providers and greater protections for web users.

The decision affirmed the government’s view that broadband is as essential as the phone and power and should be available to all Americans, rather than a luxury that does not need close government supervision.

The 2-to-1 decision from a three-judge panel at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday came in a case about rules applying to a doctrine known as net neutrality, which prohibit broadband companies from blocking or slowing the delivery of internet content to consumers.

[....]

But the legal battle over the regulations is most likely far from over. The cable and telecom industries have signaled their intent to challenge any unfavorable decision, possibly taking the case to the Supreme Court.

AT&T immediately said it would continue to fight.

[....]

 

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It was going to go to the supreme court one way or another, this just happens to be a favorable ruling on the way there.

Of course right now we have no idea what the court will look like and who will next be appointed because of the shenanigans going on in congress.

My bet is even a very conservative leaning court will rule in favor of title 2, you have to be a complete Luddite to think that the internet isn't a utility at this point.

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Someone mentioned on reddit, that even if the Supreme Court rules in favor of title 2, Congress can still overrule it if the industry has enough lobbyist and weight on that side. It ain't over till its over...

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In fact that's why we've seen several attempts to push bills through congress to that effect. It's much easier to lobby buy congressmen than it is to push for favorable ruling through the court system.

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Some of you probably already know about this but...

article - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-15/killing-net-neutrality-rules-is-said-readied-for-december-vote

Quote

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission next month is planning a vote to kill Obama-era rules demanding fair treatment of web traffic and may decide to vacate the regulations altogether, according to people familiar with the plans.

The move would reignite a years-long debate that has seen Republicans and broadband providers seeking to eliminate the rules, while Democrats and technology companies support them. The regulations passed in 2015 bar broadband providers such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. from interfering with web traffic sent by Google, Facebook Inc. and others.
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Pai plans to seek a vote in December, said two people who asked not to be identified because the matter hasn’t been made public. As the head of a Republican majority, he is likely to win a vote on whatever he proposes.
....

 

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