Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler went ahead with his proposal on Thursday to give his agency the power to decide whether the terms and prices of broadband Internet services are “reasonable.” That’s bad enough as political discretion, but according to dissenting Commissioner Ajit Pai, regulators from every state will also be able to get into the act.
Mr. Wheeler’s goal is to satisfy the “net neutrality” supporters demanding that every broadband customer receive the same deal, no matter how much bandwidth they consume. Backed by two other Democrats, Mr. Wheeler said he prefers the “reasonable” pricing standard. But he also suggested another, even worse option to regulate broadband prices: reclassifying Internet connections as “telecommunications services.”
For two decades Congress has wisely refused to give the FCC the same power over the Internet that it holds over the telephone system. And for two decades the Internet has enabled a gusher of creativity that was unimaginable over a century of regulated telephony. Mr. Wheeler’s brainstorm to change all this is simply to pretend the Internet is a phone network.
This would apply to today’s broadband networks common-carrier rules that were designed for monopoly telephone companies—and created decades before the inventors of smart phones and social media were even born. Since this designation would automatically impose myriad obligations that have nothing to do with current customer needs—and that many modern firms could not possibly fulfill—the commission would then have to issue a flurry of exemptions (“forbearance” in FCC parlance) to prevent chaos in the market for Internet connections.
The FBI is asking Internet companies not to oppose a controversial proposal that would require firms, including Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google, to build in backdoors for government surveillance.
In meetings with industry representatives, the White House, and U.S. senators, senior FBI officials argue the dramatic shift in communication from the telephone system to the Internet has made it far more difficult for agents to wiretap Americans suspected of illegal activities, CNET has learned.
The FBI general counsel’s office has drafted a proposed law that the bureau claims is the best solution: requiring that social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly.
“If you create a service, product, or app that allows a user to communicate, you get the privilege of adding that extra coding,” an industry representative who has reviewed the FBI’s draft legislation told CNET. The requirements apply only if a threshold of a certain number of users is exceeded, according to a second industry representative briefed on it.
A coalition of advocacy groups has begun a week of intensive protests against the latest attack on the free and open internet, The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The draconian legislation would force companies to ignore existing privacy laws and share information with the federal government.
At the forefront of the coalition’s protest efforts is a Twitter takeover, whereby users are being asked to use the hashtags #CongressTMI and #CISPA in an attempt to create the same level of publicity that was generated during the height of the protests against The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) earlier this year.
The organizations are pushing ahead with a mass distribution of letters and articles to raise awareness of the implications of CISPA, which is sponsored by Michigan Republican Mike Rogers.
Editors Note: The technology we see is roughly 30 years behind what the global control freaks actually have at their disposal. They CAN actually process enormous amounts of information in "real time." So make no mistake. They do intend exactly what it appears they intend. To try and control absolutely everybody and everything. They can only do it if we cooperate. We cannot cooperate. We cannot allow this to continue!
STANFORD, Calif.-- President Obama is planning to hand the U.S. Commerce Department authority over a forthcoming cybersecurity effort to create an Internet ID for Americans, a White House official said here today.
It's "the absolute perfect spot in the U.S. government" to centralize efforts toward creating an "identity ecosystem" for the Internet, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt said.
That news, first reported by CNET, effectively pushes the department to the forefront of the issue, beating out other potential candidates, including the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The move also is likely to please privacy and civil-liberties groups that have raised concerns in the past over the dual roles of police and intelligence agencies.
The announcement came at an event today at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, where U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Schmidt spoke.
The Obama administration is currently drafting what it's calling the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, which Locke said will be released by the president in the next few months. (An early version was publicly released last summer.)
The conservative and liberal blogospheres are unifying behind opposition to Congress’s Stop Online Piracy Act, with right-leaning bloggers arguing their very existence could be wiped out if the anti-piracy bill passes.
“If either the U.S. Senate’s Protect IP Act (PIPA) & the U.S. House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) become law, political blogs such as Red Mass Group [conservative] & Blue Mass Group [liberal] will cease to exist,” wrote a blogger at Red Mass Group.
Some have asserted that the controversial measures would criminalize pages and blogs that link to foreign websites dedicated to online piracy. In particular, this has concerned search engines like Google, which could face massive liability if some form of the bill passes, some say.
“Of course, restrictions of results provided by Internet search engines amount to just that: prior restraint of their free expression of future results. Google and others, under SOPA, are told what they can or can’t publish before they publish it. Kill. The. Bill,” conservative blogger Neil Stevens argued at RedState.
Liberals had their own spin on it, cheering on the fact that corporate support for SOPA was starting to subside.
In particular, GoDaddy, a domain registration firm, suffered a spectacularly bad round of PR when it came out in support of the measures. But after a grass-roots campaign to boycott the firm, driven by Reddit, an online community, and others, GoDaddy reversed course and renounced its support.
Just when you thought the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) couldn’t possibly be more dangerous than has already been exposed with its declaration of global war, Martial Law, legalized bestiality, indefinite detention of Americans, and the $662 billion more spent; it has now been revealed that it also serves as a declaration of offensive cyber war.
Buried in the recently passed NDAA is a provision, perhaps just as dangerous as its other transgressions, that permits the Pentagon to wage an offensive cyberwar “to defend our Nation, Allies and interests.”
Section 954 of the NDAA titled Military Activities in Cyberspace received no debate in Congress as well as in the media. The section states clearly:
Congress affirms that the Department of Defense has the capability, and upon direction by the President may conduct offensive operations in cyberspace to defend our Nation, Allies and interests.
Even though there was virtually no debate about this provision by Congress or the press, the intention of action was expected. In July of this year, the Pentagon announced their strategy to treat cyberspace as an “operational domain” in their Department of Defense Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace.
Mr Bill “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” Clinton, a man who knowingly lied to the nation on live television at the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, has called for the creation of an Internet ‘ministry of truth’ style organization that would be run by the federal government or the UN to address “misinformation and rumors floating on the Internet.”
As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.
About Eli Pariser
Pioneering online organizer Eli Pariser is the author of "The Filter Bubble," about how personalized search might be narrowing our worldview.