Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Simple majority votes in Congress can restore network neutrality

Electronic Frontier Foundation is reminding voters that simple majorities in both houses can overturn the FCC’s recent order abandoning Obama’s 2015 net neutrality rules.
Pallone and Doyle have a Feb. 22, 2018 press release, here
You can check up your own reps here

Monday, February 26, 2018

Now, given that Ajit Pai is "published", what next?

Brian Fung has summarized “what happens next” (in the Washington Post) now that Ajit Pai and his FCC rules are officially published in the (boring) Federal Register. 

It doesn’t look like Congress can do much in 60 days (especially the House) but it sounds likely a federal court will probably stop the change by April 23.
Fung doesn’t think telecom companies are in any hurry to change things.  (Would “throttle” mean block, or just slow?)  Paragraph 244 of the FR paper takes up the idea that there is no valid business reason for throttling.

Friday, February 23, 2018

What if, post net neutrality, telecom companies throttle the NRA or gun stores, out of a private "political" motive?

Dell Cameron of Gizmodo reports that the NRA has awarded FCC chairman Ajit Pai a ceremonial gift rifle for his “courage”, news story here. 
But Symantec and Lifelock and other private businesses (banks with Visa cards) have cut ties with the NRA out of social and political outrage.
I tweeted today, what if a telecom company, once the Net Neutrality “repeal” takes effect fully (April 23), refuses to allow the NRA website or any gun shop to connect, out of “political motives”?
I hope people understand where this can be headed.  We saw tech companies block Daily Stormer last summer.  This is a very slippery slope, between genuine moral outrage and political incorrectness or intersectionality.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Official publication of net neutrality "repeal" in FR occurs Feb. 22 and can take effect April 23 theoretically

Ajit Pai’s “Restore Internet Freedom” rules will officially be published on the Federal Register Thursday 22, 2018  (I had thought they were published already).  Here is the web link

Ars Technica has an article by Jon Brodkin. 
Theoretically, the changes take effect April 23, 2018.  But various groups and states will file petitions and lawsuits within ten days.  The legal challenges will probably take a year.  In the meantime there are efforts to introduce bills in Congress, which may not get through the House.

Telecom providers seem to suggest they do not intend to make any changes now. Yet the Ars Technica article warns that theoretically this is possible (telecoms would have to give notification) after April 23 unless a court intervenes. 
The Verge has a detailed summary on how various telecom companies would behave. In general, there are no absolute guarantees, but it seems companies don’t have specific plans and are not in a hurry to make changes.
It's well to bear in mind that a lot of free services on the Internet (like Blogger, Wordpress, Twitter) we "take for granted" but their permanent existence cannot be guaranteed, and with some of these services I have started to wonder about the sustainability of their business models.  A lot of things in life are like that, and so was Net Neutrality.  You have to stay alert.  

Monday, February 05, 2018

New Jersey governor orders all telecoms doing business with the state honor net neutrality

Gov. Phil Murphy (D) of New Jersey has signed an Executive Order with all companies doing business with New Jersey to respect network neutrality.


Murphy said the companies are cooperative.  Will they honor the promises everywhere?   This video was shared today by Electronic Frontier Foundation.