Monday, March 18, 2019

"Save the Internet Act" would stop telecom lobbying attempts to short circuit return to full net neutrality; I have a random conversation on Amtrak about this

Katherine Trendacosta has a comprehensive article at Electronic Frontier Foundation on the latest Save the Internet Act, March 6, here.

The article is critical of telecoms for trying to limit the scope of the bills to narrow interpretations of the concept of throttling.

As it happens, when I rode home on Amtrak this weekend from New York, I ran into a college student (apparently from Spain) who was quite knowledgeable of all the recent Internet problems, including Articles 11 and 13 in the EU, the various deplatformings of “conservatives”, fake news, and FOSTA. I suggested that the loss of formal net neutrality protections in June 2018 seemed to make little difference.    Since he was going to American University he seemed at least vaguely familiar with News2Share.

But he said that it had.  He said he had considerable experience video livestreaming and that there had been real problems before Obama helped guide net neutrality into being in 2015 and that problems had resurfaced.

I still see that most advocacy organizations (FFTF) keep after people to “donate” and “take action” for their narrow cause, while ignoring all the other problems affecting free speech (or minorities). It’s the way people in a real world work and raise money.

Here is a detailed story on the “Save the Internet Act” hearings on March 12 in the House.    It was introduced by Mike Doyle (D-PA).  It was introduced in the Senate by Ed Markey (D-MA, video).

Sunday, March 03, 2019

GOP seems to get Democrats to support weaker neutrality bill favored by telecoms; FFTF says taking the bait would be "bad"

FFTF is warning readers not to support a newer version of net neutrality repeal that poses somewhat superficial anti-blocking laws but doesn’t classify telecoms as Title II providers.  It says this looks “bad” and wants users to flood Democrats in Congress not to support it.

The three HR bills are 1101, 1006 and 1096.

FTFF just gives you a bombastic donation page but Bloomberg has a more detailed article Feb. 21.

Update: March 4

MSN and US News offer this story on the Democrats' bill.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Telecoms make a canard out of emergency services

On Feb. 7, Katherine Trendacosta explains for Electronic Frontier Foundation, that the telecom industry’s claim for prioritization for emergency services would not be limited by net neutrality rules.  Only prioritization that increases revenue absent some specific public benefit is prohibited. 
Howard Schultz, in the CNN town hall last night, presented rural broadband as a “right” comparable to rural electrification in the past.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

In latest hearings, GOP "pretends" to be interested in some sort of net neutrality

FFTF issued a press release claiming that telecom “shills” are pressing for more modest regulation that would be deceptive, but put another way, that could mean that they see some regulation as inevitable. 

Business Insider reports that some major streaming services reported slowdowns by late 2018, story here. 

Makena Kelly of the Verge argues that the hearings earlier this week showed a partisan divide, but that Republicans don’t believe telecoms should throttle or slow content arbitrarily.  The GOP could be aware that telecoms could come under political pressure from the extreme Left the way payment processors have recently.
CNET has a more detailed story by Marguerite Reardon but the debate still seems ambiguous. 

Friday, February 01, 2019

Oral arguments in lawsuit against FCC over net neutrality repeal to be heard today

FFTF informs everyone be email today that oral arguments in a lawsuit against the FCC, which has reopened after the partial shutdown. 

The DC Circuit denied a delay in hearing oral arguments. 

CNET has a detailed story today by Marguerite Reardon.

On Multichannel John Eggeronm has a similar story.

Update: Feb. 4

Elliot Harmon, Ernesto Falcon, Erica Portnoy, and Bennett Cyphers discuss the oral arguments for Electronic Frontier Foundation here.

Back in 2016 Blogtyrant (who has since sold the company) referred to reversal of net neutrality in the US as the biggest threat to blogging careers.  It hasn't really turned out that way.  Other problems are more menacing. That's why I can't get behind just one group on one issue (FFTF). 

Saturday, January 05, 2019

FFTF starts 2019 by closing out the record on the CRA

Fight for the Future is still at it, with a story in its website on January 2, 2019 – and that’s the trouble, its one day, as Wikipedia would say, “TOOSOON”.  But not enough members of the old Congress had signed the petition on the Congressional Review Act to undo Ajit Pai’s repeal of network neutrality. 

The trouble with working with an organization like this, is that their focus is too narrow. The “repeal” of network neutrality has not proved to be as threatening to Internet freedom as a lot of other issues: FOSTA (one of the worst), the Facebook fake news scandals, the European Union copyright directives (which can affect us in the US eventually) and most recently, clandestine behavior by payment processors banning doing business with persons whom they may incorrectly believe are part of the “alt right”.

But that is how activism is done, by non-profits representing special interests.  And there is more pressure now form platforms even like Facebook to raise money for them.