Dear Mr. Moulitsas Zuniga:
In our recent letter, you asked me to publicly support strong net neutrality regulations. Let me be clear: I support net neutrality. You further asked that I tell the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reclassify Internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Let me assure you that I will lead the fight to protect any Open Internet rules populated by the FCC against the inevitable Republican attack against such rules.
Since 2006, I have strongly and publicly supported net neutrality. I believe that the Internet is one of the great equalizers of our time. Especially in a time when dark money threatens to take over our political system, the Internet offers a forum for people to make a difference with ideas, not dollars. And I favor rules that will keep the Internet open and allow ideas and innovation to thrive. This is why in 2011 I led the Senate’s effort to defeat a Republican resolution that would have overturned the FCC’s Open Internet Order.
The Commission is now considering how to promulgate meaningful net neutrality rules in the wake of the D.C. Circuit Court’s opinion in Verizon v. Federal Communciations Commission. I am watching closely as the Commission drafts these rules. And I will work to ensure that these rules give consumers access to the lawful content they want when they want it, without interference and ensure that priority arrangements that harm consumers are prohibited.
I look forward to working with you to keep the Internet open, innovative, and free.
United States Senate
If you woke up tomorrow, and your internet looked like this, what would you do?
Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.
Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV. What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon?
On September 10th, just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality. Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet.
If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here: https://battleforthenet.com/sept10th
Everyone else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown: http://tumblr.fightforthefuture.org/post/96020972118/be-a-part-of-the-great-internet-slowdown
wHY DOES THIS HAVE SO FEW NOTES
I’m sure you’ve all seen what’s up with Tumblr, but this is REALLY serious, guys.
4 real tho
This is important. Please take part in it. Please.
Sites like tumblr, where people can freely discuss societal and political issues would suffer tremendously. I swear sending a message to FCC is so important for everyone in the United States, where the Internet is the only true outlet for this kind of stuff.
Exciting news! The Internet Slowdown net neutrality protest planned for September 10th is really taking off. This morning, a dozen of the world’s largest websites announced that they’re joining in a big way. Sites you know and love like Etsy, Kickstarter, Wordpress, Vimeo,…
Smart call, President Obama! PBO on net neutrality: My administration is against Internet fast lanes
The last time President Obama weighed in on net neutrality, it was to offer a vague, tepid response — claiming to support the idea without really defining how he understood it. It was a big contrast from what he’d previously said on the campaign trail in 2008.
On Tuesday, however, Obama offered a much more forceful defense of net neutrality, more clearly describing what activities he viewed as antithetical to the open Internet. Addressing reporters at a summit for African leaders in Washington, Obama said making the Internet more accessible to some at the expense of others was against his administration’s policy:
One of the issues around net neutrality is whether you are creating different rates or charges for different content providers. That’s the big controversy here. So you have big, wealthy media companies who might be willing to pay more and also charge more for spectrum, more bandwidth on the Internet so they can stream movies faster. I personally, the position of my administration, as well as a lot of the companies here, is that you don’t want to start getting a differentiation in how accessible the Internet is to different users. You want to leave it open so the next Google and the next Facebook can succeed.
What Obama seems to be opposing is the idea of paid prioritization, or the notion that companies should be able to pay for better, smoother access to consumers. The remarks also seem to contrast with the FCC’s current proposal on net neutrality, which would tacitly allow for such commercial deals so long as the agency didn’t consider them “commercially unreasonable.”
On the other hand, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has on occasion come out explicitly against Internet fast lanes, saying that paid prioritization in his view would be commercially unreasonable.
While the friction isn’t immediately obvious in the response, Obama may just have let slip some frustration.
Good call, President Obama!
h/t: Brian Fung at The Washington Post
Source: Washington Post
Last month, Daily Kos and other net neutrality activist organizations wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, asking him to sign on to the efforts of more than a dozen members of his Senate caucus and House Minority Leader Pelosi and dozens of House Democrats to demand that the Federal Communications Commission reclassify broadband and implement strong Net Neutrality rules and to treat the internet as the public utility that it is—like water, telephones, and electricity. We focused on Reid because he’s been quiet on the issue thus far, because we need a united Democratic front in pressuring the FCC to do the right thing to protect the internet, and because Reid is the second most powerful elected policymaker in the country.
Reid has responded, and while he didn’t take a position on reclassification, he stressed that he “will lead the fight to protect any Open Internet rules populated by the FCC against the inevitable Republican attack against such rules,” and that he would work to “ensure that priority arrangements that harm consumers are prohibited.” Should the FCC decide to reclassify internet service as a public utility, Reid will back the Commission up, and will fight Republican efforts to undermine that rule.
That greatly undermines FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s argument that the easiest route for the FCC to regulate the internet politically would be under Section 706 of the Federal Communications Act. That’s despite the fact, as we pointed out in our letter to Reid, that “legal scholars and even the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals—as it struck down the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet Order in January—have made it clear that Section 706 does not provide the FCC with the ability to ban unreasonable discrimination, access fees, paid prioritization, exclusive deals, or discriminatory exemptions to bandwidth caps—all of which were banned or effectively banned in the FCC’s 2010 order.” There’s ample political support for the FCC to reclassify—and it’s been expressed directly to the FCC by many members of Congress, and now is implicitly supported by Majority Leader Reid. As the National Journal reports, this letter from Reid could “give the FCC political cover to enact tougher rules,” and “reassure FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that he has the political support he needs to ignore the Republican outcry and enact strong net-neutrality regulations.”
That’s if, when Wheeler talks about political support, he’s really talking about elected leadership and not the well-heeled telecom lobbyists fighting against strong rules.
You can read Sen. Reid’s response to our letter in full below the fold.
Yesterday, a WorldNetDaily pundit predicted that President Obama will soon order the military to arrest conservatives, but according to another WND writer, the “persecution has already begun"…on the Internet.
Columnist Phil Elmore is upset at criticism directed towards Kendall Jones, a Texas teenager whose Facebook account was terminated after she posted photos of animals she killed on a safari. A Facebook spokesman said the company removes “reported content that promotes poaching of endangered species, the sale of animals for organized fight or content that includes extreme acts of animal abuse” and noted that the website has rules prohibiting “graphic images.”
But according to Elmore, the incident proves that conservatives are becoming “second-class citizens” in cyberspace. He writes that liberals “persecute” others by making inflammatory comments about conservatives and even alleges that liberals used the Internet to try “to burn down Hobby Lobby.”
"We see it in the comments portions of countless websites online, where conservatives are shouted down for their dissent. Where do we witness these acts of bigotry? Online. Where does liberal hate of conservatives propagate? Online."
While complaining that he is being persecuted by an “online culture of liberal hate,” he insists liberals are mentally and emotionally “weak” because they complain too often and have “hysterical overreactions.”Like those motion-sensor toy dogs that bark when you walk past a toy aisle, every liberal on the Internet simply starts bleating, “Raaaaacist! Raaaaacist! Sexist! Raaaaaacist!” whenever a conservative draws near. The libs don’t even hear themselves talk anymore. They merely speak, hurling unfounded accusations into the ether, trusting complicit entertainment media and Internet gossip sites to carry their water. Just as certain animal-rights activists once proclaimed that a pig was a boy was a dog was a roach, or however it went, to the lefties, every conservative is a racist is a misogynist is a rapist.
To the liberals, “racism” is any expression of opinion with which they disagree. “Misogyny” is any criticism of any opinion held or expressed by a woman (or by men hating themselves on behalf of women). “Rape” is any action that makes a woman uncomfortable for any reason, from any distance, in any context. Liberals have, in fact, managed to render almost every crime imaginable completely meaningless by commingling real acts of violence and bigotry with the benign behavior they wish to redefine as social offense.
Never was this more obvious than in the case of Facebook’s treatment of Kendall Jones, a pretty blond Texas cheerleader who posted to the social media site her pictures of a sport-hunting trip to Africa. The pictures went viral, sparking outrage among hate-filled liberals, who have threatened the young woman with death and called her every vile name on the planet. The outrage traveled, as it always does, online, through various boards and social media venues. It was on Twitter that one porn star used profanity to refer to Ms. Jones, calling her “disgusting.” She was, as progressives always are, greeted with a chorus of assent.
On Facebook, even though her photos do not violate the site’s terms of service, the harassment Ms. Jones has endured culminated in the removal of one or more of her pictures. Her only crime was doing something with which liberals disagree – something that is legal and arguably far less offensive than, say, the plaintive pictures of mutilated animals passed around Facebook in the name of “animal rights.”
Search Twitter and Facebook and look at the comments yourself. Yes, these sites are all private property, and their owners are free to impose whatever unfair policies and practices they choose. But if we permit this online culture of liberal hate to spread without calling to account those perpetrating it, we participate in unmaking Internet freedom. We help promote a cultural double standard against which no conservative ever gets treated fairly or objectively.
We saw it when liberals said they wanted to burn down Hobby Lobby because the Supreme Court actually held narrowly in favor of religious freedom (in the context of socialized medicine’s abortion-pill mandate). We saw it when Costco pulled copies of Dinesh D’Souza’s conservative- and liberty-themed book, “America: Imagine a World Without Her,” from shelves – with little, then lame explanation and despite strong sales. We see it in the comments portions of countless websites online, where conservatives are shouted down for their dissent. Where do we witness these acts of bigotry? Online. Where does liberal hate of conservatives propagate? Online.
Liberals are weak. They are mentally weak in that they cannot articulate their political positions without lies and deceit. They are emotionally weak in that they are fragile, easily offended and in need of “trigger warnings” for those opinions they simply cannot abide. They are intolerant and hysterical in their overreactions to even the slightest misperceived affront. But never forget that even weaklings can be very dangerous in large numbers. This is the means through which liberals accomplish their intimidation of all those who do not share their opinions: they use the power of the mob, in the form of popular culture or as embodied by our co-opted Democrat government.
Liberals want to make the Internet a Democrat-friendly utopia in which conservatives and libertarians are second-class citizens. If we allow their double standard to take root, they will marginalize us and persecute us. But that persecution has already begun. It happens every day online.
It’s only going to get worse.
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
Congressional Democrats aren’t letting up on pressuring the FCC to preserve real net neutrality. Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch, Vermont Democrats, held a standing-room-only field hearing on the issue last week, in which everyone who spoke opposed FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s two-tiered internet approach. That includes Leahy and Welch. And on Tuesday, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) spoke at a Free Press event and made sure the audience understands what’s at stake in his fight.“It is absolutely the First Amendment issue of our time,” Franken said at a Capitol Hill forum sponsored by the advocacy group Free Press.(I suspect that’s the reaction Franken has to his Republican colleagues, on every issue.) The FCC has now received more than 625,000 emails and comments about net neutrality. Public comment on the current proposal by Wheeler for a two-tiered, pay-for-play internet ends next week, but the commission will accept responses on comments already made through mid-September, and won’t decide on the issue before the end of the year.
“Do we want deep-pocketed corporations controlling what information you get at what speed?” he added. […]
“This has been the architecture of the Internet from the beginning, and everyone should understand that,” he said.
“Some of my colleagues in the Congress don’t understand that. … You just want to go ‘Oh, come on,’ ” Franken said. “’Really, don’t get up and talk unless you know something.’”
If you haven’t already, send your comments supporting net neutrality. You can use the FCC comments page; the inbox they set up specifically for this issue, firstname.lastname@example.org; and with Daily Kos’s petition.
Don’t ask for your privacy. Take it back. Today we #ResetTheNet to stop mass spying. Encrypt everything! Learn how: http://thndr.it/PVxjUl
John Oliver has created the most entertaining—and most informative— explanation of net neutrality ever. Watch it here: http://bit.ly/RYUUUy
Not An Onion Article of the Day: On August 1, 2014, Russia plans to kill the Internet [TW: Anti-LGBT Bigotry, Violence, Homophobia, Offensive Content]
Under a new law, Russia is demanding that social media companies host all user data in Russia, and make it available to the govt. without a court order.
A new law goes into effect in Russia on August 1, 2014, and if major American companies obey it, it might just kill the entire Internet.
As part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing consolidation of power and crackdown on dissent, a new Russian law will go into effect on August 1, requiring any social media company with readers in Russia to store all of its sensitive user data in Russia, on Russian servers, and make that data available to the Russian authorities, on demand, without a court order.
Oh, but it gets better. The user data the Russians are demanding be kept in Russia, and made available to the government at will, isn’t restricted to Russian social media fans. The legislation requires companies like Twitter, Google and Facebook to keep all of their user data, including yours and mine, on Russian servers, and to turn that data over to the Russian government whenever they ask for it.
Since the law’s passage the Russian government has threatened to block Twitter, Google and Facebook in Russia if they don’t abide by the new law, then turned around and said they’d never block those sites, then hinted again that they just might.
Why are the Russians doing this? So that they can find the identity of someone who writes a tweet, or a comment on Facebook, that they don’t like — and send him and his family to a gulag.
The new social media law comes at the same time as another amendment requiring bloggers to register with the government and to abide by the country’s laws governing the mass media. Again, the new law, part of a larger anti-terrorism bill, is meant to stifle dissent, by getting rid of the shield of anonymity, and subject bloggers to additional laws which give the government additional crimes with which to charge dissenters.
The blogger bill is particularly onerous as it covers anyone who receives more than 3,000 “visitors,” and that appears to include people with more than 3,000 Twitter followers, or possibly anyone who writes a tweet that’s read by more than 3,000 people.
What’s fascinating, and telling, is that while the Russian government increasingly clamps down on the Internet, and attempts to continually remove opposition political content from the Web, the Putin regime has done nothing about a nationwide network of Russian neo-Nazis who continue to use an Internet portal controlled by one of Putin’s favorite oligarchs to perpetrate and advertise the serial abduction and torture of gay, black and Jewish Russians. The neo-Nazis claim to have conducted nearly 1,500 kidnappings in the past two years alone.
As I’ve written before, the site is called VKontakte, aka VK.com, and was created and run by Russian social media entrepreneur Pavel Durov, until he was recently run out of the country, and the site was taken over by Alisher Usmanov, the richest man in Russia and a friend of Putin. The neo-Nazi gangs, which operate under the umbrella of a group called “Occupy Pedophilia,” openly use VKontakte to post “help wanted” ads seeking assistance with the kidnappings, and then post videos of the abductions, and subsequent torture of their victims, on VK.com.
To date, there are nearly 4,000 such “gay snuff” films, as I call them (though the victims don’t die, they surely wish they were dead) on VKontakte, and the company refuses to remove them, the profiles of the kidnappers, the abduction help wanted ads, or anything else connected to the criminal enterprise. VK’s refusal to enforce even its own terms of service in this area caused the state of California’s pension fund, CalPERS, to divest from two of Usmanov’s companies, Mail.ru and MegaFon, just last week.
Here is a snippet of one of the 4,000 kidnapping videos from VKontakte. In the original, you can hear their kidnapper singing while the men, in tears, are forced to dance on camera after having their heads shaved and painted. VK claims that these videos, taken by kidnappers of their victims being tortured, and broadcast on the Internet, in a country that is supremely homophobic, in order to destroy the lives of the victims, is “free speech.”
VK says it simply can’t remove the videos unless the victims themselves come forward as ask for them to be removed. Some of the victims are as young as 13 years of age, and agreed to meet their captors after being told they’d be paid for sex. So if those victims came forward, they could be charged with a crime. Let alone, VKontakte is expecting a possibly-gay 13 year old to out themselves to a company tied to the exceedingly homophobic Russian government.
Yes, “free speech.”
But more interesting than VK.com’s complicity in these ongoing hate crimes is the Russian government’s refusal to do anything to stop them. There’s been no indication that the Russian government has asked (or demanded that) VK to stop aiding and abetting the kidnappings, and the government itself refuses to arrest the kidnappers, whose identities in many cases are already known.
This goes to a larger problem with the Russian government embracing a new wave of fascism to achieve its neo-colonial goals on its boarders, and worldwide. While claiming it intervened in Ukraine to stop “Nazis,” the Russian government is actually using neo-Nazi and far-right groups to further its policy goals, such as Occupy Pedophilia’s nationwide network in Russia. There was a fantastic article on this in the New Republic recently, by Timothy Snyder, which I highly recommend.
More from Snyder – it’s a long piece, and well worth the read if you care about the Ukrainian issue, or the broader problem that is Russia:
People who criticize only the Ukrainian right often fail to notice two very important things. The first is that the revolution in Ukraine came from the left. It was a mass movement of the kind Europeans and Americans now know only from the history books. Its enemy was an authoritarian kleptocrat, and its central program was social justice and the rule of law. It was initiated by a journalist of Afghan background, its first two mortal casualties were an Armenian and a Belarusian, and it was supported by the Muslim Crimean Tatar community as well as many Ukrainian Jews. A Jewish Red Army veteran was among those killed in the sniper massacre. Multiple Israel Defense Forces veterans fought for freedom in Ukraine.
The Maidan functioned in two languages simultaneously, Ukrainian and Russian, because Kiev is a bilingual city, Ukraine is a bilingual country, and Ukrainians are bilingual people. Indeed, the motor of the revolution was the Russian-speaking middle class of Kiev. The current government, whatever its shortcomings, is un-self-consciously multiethnic and multilingual. In fact, Ukraine is now the site of the largest and most important free media in the Russian language, since important media in Ukraine appears in Russian and since freedom of speech prevails. Putin’s idea of defending Russian speakers in Ukraine is absurd on many levels, but one of them is this: People can say what they like in Russian in Ukraine, but they cannot do so in Russia itself. Separatists in the Ukrainian east, who, according to a series of opinion polls, represent a minority of the population, are protesting for the right to join a country where protest is illegal. They are working to stop elections in which the legitimate interests of Ukrainians in the east can be voiced. If these regions join Russia, their inhabitants can forget about casting meaningful votes in the future.
This is the second thing that goes unnoticed: The authoritarian right in Russia is infinitely more dangerous than the authoritarian right in Ukraine. It is in power, for one thing. It has no meaningful rivals, for another. It does not have to accommodate itself to domestic elections or international expectations, for a third. And it is now pursuing a foreign policy that is based openly upon the ethnicization of the world. It does not matter who an individual is according to law or his own preferences: The fact that he speaks Russian makes him a Volksgenosse requiring Russian protection, which is to say invasion. The Russian parliament granted Putin the authority to invade the entirety of Ukraine and to transform its social and political structure, which is an extraordinarily radical goal. The Russian parliament also sent a missive to the Polish foreign ministry proposing a partition of Ukraine. On popular Russian television, Jews are blamed for the Holocaust; in the major newspaper Izvestiia, Hitler is rehabilitated as a reasonable statesman responding to unfair Western pressure; on May Day, Russian neo-Nazis march….
Russian propaganda insists to Westerners that the problem with Ukraine is that its government is too far to the right, even as Russia builds a coalition with the European far right. Extremist, populist, and neo-Nazi party members went to Crimea and praised the electoral farce as a model for Europe. As Anton Shekhovtsov, a researcher of the European far right, has pointed out, the leader of the Bulgarian extreme right launched his party’s campaign for the European parliament in Moscow. The Italian Fronte Nazionale praises Putin for his “courageous position against the powerful gay lobby.” The neo-Nazis of the Greek Golden Dawn see Russia as Ukraine’s defender against “the ravens of international usury.” Heinz-Christian Strache of the Austrian FPÖ chimes in, surreally, that Putin is a “pure democrat.” Even Nigel Farage, the leader of the U.K. Independence Party, recently shared Putin’s propaganda on Ukraine with millions of British viewers in a televised debate, claiming absurdly that the European Union has “blood on its hands” in Ukraine.
It’s really quite fascinating that our pique with Russia over its treatment of gays, and the Kremlin’s refusal to do anything about the neo-Nazi menace at home, fits nicely into a larger context of Putin’s grand plan to recreate a mini-me version of the Soviet Union. It’s not surprising, I suppose, that the gay issue has proven itself a window into Putin’s soul, as it were, but it is fascinating. And scary.
The FCC approved Thursday a controversial proposal that would let big Internet providers like Comcast charge for faster access.
Advocates on all sides of the net neutrality debate are gearing up for an intense battle for Internet freedom after the agency approved a controversial plan. After a 3-2 vote Thursday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the agency would move forward with a set of rules that could make pay-for-faster Internet deals between websites or mobile applications and broadband companies more common. The public has until July 15 to comment on the rules, and activists are ready to make that window count.
The party-line decision led by Democrats came after weeks of demonstrations and debate on how the FCC should best protect the Internet and ensure open and free-flowing access. The two Republican commissioners who voted against the proposal would go further, eliminating any and all net neutrality rules on the grounds that they’re unnecessary. Last week, a group of nearly 200 tech companies and investors appealed to the FCC, urging that it not go forward with its fast-track plan. An online campaign led by MoveOn.org, a liberal advocacy group, spread across some corners of the Web where supporters posted a “Save the Internet” picture on their social media profiles. Verizon, AT&T and other broadband providers also petitioned the FCC this week, insisting Wheeler back off a proposal that could translate into stricter regulations for the companies. Protesters camped outside of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) headquarters in Washington, D.C. ahead of the decision.
Net neutrality defenders and opponents ultimately walked away from Thursday’s meeting with mixed feelings. “The Internet is a place of dialogue and interdependence, and [the FCC’s proposal] threatens that,” said Yoni Galiano, a 28-year-old massage therapist from Long Island, N.Y. who camped out in front of the FCC building for a week leading up to Thursday’s vote.
People can get their message out at little to no cost on the Internet, and the FCC’s pay-to-play model jeopardizes that, Rain Burroughs, an activist from Richmond, Va., who camped out and protested in front of the agency for three days before the hearing, told ThinkProgress. “We need the people to be aware of what’s at stake, it’s a First Amendment issue…This is how people communicate, especially activists,” she said.
The activists worry that the new rules may impede customer Web access by allowing Internet providers such as Comcast to control what kinds of content customers can get, and at what speed, through charging hefty fees to websites or mobile applications such as Netflix. As a result, even companies that do pay for priority access could pass those extra costs to consumers.
Thursday’s plan differs slightly from an earlier version released last month. Fast track plans would be permitted as long as broadband providers didn’t slow down customers’ connections they pay for every month. The FCC said it would also make sure any deals with Internet providers that promised fast-track access would be heavily scrutinized before they could be approved. Wheeler’s new plan, which was penned earlier this week, also offers an alternative in which the Internet would be treated as a common carrier or utility, similarly to electricity and water.
Broadband companies took major issue with the FCC’s plan, saying the common utility proposal that would subject them to crippling regulations. “For the FCC to impose 1930s utility regulation on the Internet would lead to years of legal and regulatory uncertainty and would jeopardize investment and innovation in broadband,” Verizon said in a statement. Comcast echoed the same sentiment, saying treating the Internet as a utility “would spark massive instability” and “kill jobs in America.”
The two Republican commissioners on the FCC board who voted against the plan also say the rules are unnecessary and should be scrapped altogether. “Prioritization is not a bad word,” Commissioner Michael O’Rielly told the Wall Street Journal. “It is a necessary component of reasonable network management.”
Source: Lauren C. Williams for ThinkProgress
New FCC rules could let internet providers (think: Comcast) end net neutrality and slow down sites like Netflix and Tumblr. The vote on proposed rules is today!
Use Tumblr to take a stand. Share this image, and add this code to your Tumblr theme.
The plan the FCC has approved in regards to allowing paid priority for internet bandwidth has not been adopted yet. It has been approved, but they are now in the public comment phase.
This means there is still time.
Call the FCC.
- Dial 888-225-5322
- push 1, 4, 0 (Edit: These options may have changed)
- a person will answer.
- they will ask for your name and address. you can just give them a zip code if you want.
- Tell them, “I’m calling to ask the FCC to reclassify Internet Service Providers as Title Two Common Carriers.”
- They’ll ask if there is anything else you would like to add.
- "No, Thank you for your time."
- hang up.
Last I heard, there was a message asking to send them an e-mail. Don’t do that, call them and talk to them directly.
call your representatives and Senators.
- Go to http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
- type in your zip code
- Call the listed DC phone number.
- Follow the instructions to reach a person.
- Mention you are a constituent, give some details showing constituency, like an address, school district or zip code.
- Tell them, "I’m calling to ensure that my representatives and senators demand the FCC reclassify Internet Service Providers as Title Two Common Carriers. Net Neutrality is essential to me, my family and our community. "
- Thank the person talking to you for their time.
Tell the FCC chairman to stop the Internet Slow Lane Plan (Citizens of any country)
- Go to https://openmedia.org/SlowLane
- Fill in the form to the right
- Hit send.
SPREAD THE WORD
The politically charged debate over Net neutrality has now officially been opened for public debate at the Federal Communications Commision.
On Thursday, the FCC voted 3-to-2 to open Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal up for public comment. Wheeler’s proposal, which was leaked last month and has ignited a firestorm of protest among consumer advocates, has been revised since its original inception and will officially start the public debate on reinstating rules to protect the open Internet, which were thrown out by a federal appeals court in January.
Wheeler, who has been criticized for capitulating to big broadband companies by allowing a so-called fast lane for priority traffic on the Internet as part of his proposal, vehemently defended his proposal and tried once again to set the record straight on what the proposal will and will not do. And he made a personal appeal stating that as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist he knew how it felt to be excluded from closed networks.
"I will not allow the national asset of an open Internet to be compromised," he said. "I understand this issue in my bones. I’ve got scars from when my companies were denied access in the pre-Internet days."
He emphasized once again that the Internet would not be allowed to be divided into the have and have nots.
So far only the FCC commissioners and the staff at the FCC have actually read the proposal. And it will still be a few days before the order is made available to the public.
While the two Democratic commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel each supported the item, they admitted that they weren’t entirely happy with the firestorm that erupted around the Chairman’s approach.
Commissioner Rosenworcel said she would have done things differently. Last week, Rosenworcel had asked the Chairman to delay the vote to open the proposal up to the public.
"I support Net neutrality," she said in her statement. "But I believe the process is flawed. I would have preferred a delay. I think we moved too fast."
During the meeting, Republican Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Reilly, who not surprisingly each voted against the order, expressed their concerns with respect to the proposal.
Commissioner O’Reilly, the newest member of the commission, said he doesn’t think the FCC has the authority to impose these rules.
"The premise for imposing Net neutrality rules is fundamentally flawed and rests on a faulty foundation of make-believe statutory authority," he said. "I have serious concerns that this ill-advised item will create damaging uncertainty and head the Commission down a slippery slope of regulation."
And Commissioner Pai said that while he believes in ensuring an open Internet, he thinks it is not the FCC’s place to impose such regulation. Instead, he said the FCC should wait for Congress to take action, especially since the FCC’s previous two attempts to enact regulation have not stood up to two previous court challenges.
He echoed Democratic commissioner Rosenworcel’s sentiments that a vote on the proposal was premature.
FCC Net neutrality rule making: take two
This isn’t the FCC’s first time adopting rules to protect the open Internet. In 2010, the FCC adopted regulation that was later challenged in court by Verizon. The FCC lost the lawsuit, and the rules, which many in the digital advocacy world believed were too weak anyway, were thrown out on a legal technicality.
The new rules proposed by Chairman Wheeler are a way to quickly get Net neutrality protections in place since currently no protections are in place to protect openness on the Internet.
The good news for the FCC is that even though the court threw out its original rules on a legal technicality, it agreed with the agency that some regulation is needed to deter broadband providers who might otherwise be tempted to abuse their control of the last mile Internet network.
Meanwhile, advocates, who were disappointed in the FCC’s previous attempt to enact Net neutrality protections, have viewed the FCC’s legal loss as an opportunity for the FCC to adopt even stronger regulation to protect the Internet. Specifically, they want the FCC to reclassify broadband as a Title II service under the Telecommunications Act, which they believe will give the FCC authority to regulate these networks like a utility.
Broadband providers say such a move would be a mistake. They argue changing the classification of broadband would subject their networks to regulation similar to the old telephone network, which they claim would stifle innovation. Major companies, which have already signed their own letter to the FCC, are already preparing to mount a massive lobbying campaign and will surely go back to court if reclassification is adopted.
What about the ‘fast lane?’
But the real issue that has stoked the ire of politicians, large technology companies, and even some celebrities is not just the legal intricacies of this debate, but the threat that under the newly proposed rules, broadband providers could charge content companies a fee for priority access to the network.For instance, Netflix or Amazon could pay extra to ensure their traffic is delivered more expeditiously to ensure a better quality of service.
This notion of a so-called Internet “fast lane” is not a new concern with regard to FCC Net neutrality regulation. Open Internet proponents were worried that the 2010 rules might also allow for such services. But because the prospect of “commercial services” were highlighted more in the original leaked Wheeler proposal or perhaps because digital advocates focused on it more as a talking point, it has become a lightning rod for this issue, attracting the attention of not only large technology companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, but also celebrities, including musicians Eddie Vedder and Michael Stipe, as well as director Oliver Stone, and actor Mark Ruffalo, who have signed a letter sent to the FCC this week in support of stronger Net neutrality regulation.
The public outcry has also gotten the attention of congressional leaders, too. And US senators Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), along with nine of their colleagues also sent a letter the FCC demanding stronger rules to ensure there is no Internet fast lane.
Chairman Wheeler has responded to the political and public pressure and on Monday he revised his proposal to ask in more detail whether commercial priority services should even be allowed. He also included questions about whether or not the FCC should reclassify broadband as a Title II service in order to implement new rules. And he has allowed a second proposal drafted by Mozilla to be considered for comments alongside his own proposal. The Mozilla proposal also suggests reclassification, but it includes a novel approach for reaching that goal.
The full proposal will be published in the Federal Register within a few days. Then a typical FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making or NPRM is typically open for public comment for 60 days. After that period, it is kept open another 60 days for reply comments. In an effort to handle the expected flood of comments, the FCC has set up a new online “inbox” to take comments.
TPP appears to push major restrictions on the free flow of internet content, life-saving medicine and much more. If only we could see it!