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posted by janrinok on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:12PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the net-for-all dept.

In a bit of good news for the Obama administration (and most Americans), the U.S. D.C Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the FCC's Open Internet Order rules:

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

The court's decision upholds the F.C.C. on the declaration of broadband as a utility, the most significant aspect of the rules. That has broad-reaching implications for web and telecommunications companies and signals a shift in the government's view of broadband as a service that should be equally accessible to all Americans, rather than a luxury that does not need close government supervision.

The court's opinion can be found here.

takyon: Also at Tom's Hardware. Alternate link for the Appeals Court decision.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Politics: FCC Guards Eject Reporter 37 comments

John M. Donnelly, a senior writer at CQ Roll Call, said he was trying to talk with FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly one-on-one after a news conference when two plainclothes guards pinned him against a wall with the backs of their bodies.

Washington Post

“Not only did they get in between me and O’Rielly but they put their shoulders together and simultaneously backed me up into the wall and pinned me to the wall for about 10 seconds just as I started to say, “Commissioner O’Rielly, I have a question,” Donnelly said Friday.

Donnelly said he was stopped long enough to allow O’Rielly to walk away.

Los Angeles Times

Donnelly, who also happens to be chair of the National Press Club Press Freedom team, said he was then forced out of the building after being asked why he had not posed his question during the news conference.

O'Rielly apologized to Donnelly on Twitter, saying he didn't recognize Donnelly in the hallway. "I saw security put themselves between you, me and my staff. I didn't see anyone put a hand on you. I'm sorry this occurred."

Politico

According to the publication for which the reporter works (archived copy),

Senators, including Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, are warning the Federal Communications Commission about its treatment of reporters after a CQ Roll Call reporter was manhandled Thursday.

“The Federal Communications Commission needs to take a hard look at why this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. As The Washington Post pointed out, it’s standard operating procedure for reporters to ask questions of public officials after meetings and news conferences,” the Iowa Republican said. “It happens all day, every day. There’s no good reason to put hands on a reporter who’s doing his or her job.”

Rally Marks Anniversary of Net Neutrality Rule as New FCC Chair Puts It in Crosshairs 22 comments

Common Dreams reports:

Proponents of an open internet are holding a rally on Monday [February 27] to mark the two-year anniversary of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote that enshrined net neutrality protections that the new Trump administration has already begun eroding.

The 3pm event in Washington, D.C [was] backed by the Color of Change, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Center for Media Justice, and Free Press, and will feature the FCC's only Democratic commissioner, Mignon Clyburn.

[...] According to Timothy Karr, senior director of strategy for Free Press, "No FCC chair over the past 40 years has been so bent on undermining the agency's public-service mission and destroying the safeguards on which hundreds of millions of Americans rely."

Laying out the stakes, Max Anderson, coordinator for Human Rights Watch's general counsel's office, wrote last week:

Should net neutrality be scrapped in the U.S., it will enable service providers to throttle internet speeds or block access to websites based on commercial deals they cut with media providers. That would undermine freedom of expression and access to information. Once these practices have been established, it's a short step to other human rights consequences. Governments that already attempt to stifle lawful online expression will welcome a new tool for silencing critics. The FCC should retain its good example to the world and enforce net neutrality. If the internet stands a chance of enabling the realization of human rights, then access needs to be nondiscriminatory and in line with human rights in the widest sense.

[...] So, what can people do?

"The short answer is to raise hell", said Craig Aaron, CEO of Free Press, to Mercury News columnist Troy Wolverton.

"Net neutrality is an issue that a lot of people care about--millions and millions more than the FCC ever expected", Aaron said. "We need to hear from those people again."

The good old days: U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Net Neutrality Rules in Full
What's that? You thought we fought this one before? FCC Extends Net Neutrality Comment Period (Again)


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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:24PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:24PM (#360173)

    AT&T is already making noises about how this isn't a setback, and they always anticipated it to go to SCOTUS where they expect to win.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by frojack on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:40PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:40PM (#360185) Journal

      They will probably be in for a surprise in SCOTUS as well.

      We should all temper our glee a little bit here. Net Neutrality seems like a clear win,
      But government regulation never stops at just the parts you like. Do you have a license for that router son?
       

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Capt. Obvious on Tuesday June 14 2016, @10:38PM

        by Capt. Obvious (6089) on Tuesday June 14 2016, @10:38PM (#360214)

        government regulation never stops at just the parts you like.

        There are a lot of regulations that stopped at the parts I like. And some that went too far, but are better in their too-far state than no regulation would be.

        Seat-belt laws for instance seem good. What's wrong with those regulations? Most financial regulations seem to not go far enough, but even if there were some that went too far, I much prefer a regulated system to the 1920's free-for-all.

        That's not a reason to try to avoid fine-tuning the system by shrinking regulations that are wrong-headed, but it is a reason to not use "OMG regulation --> the evilz" as an argument.

        • (Score: 0, Troll) by frojack on Tuesday June 14 2016, @11:06PM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 14 2016, @11:06PM (#360235) Journal

          And some that went too far, but are better in their too-far state than no regulation would be.

          Spoken like the bureaucrat's whore.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2) by Subsentient on Wednesday June 15 2016, @12:34AM

            by Subsentient (1111) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 15 2016, @12:34AM (#360285) Homepage Journal

            Hold on dearie, I need to file a Request for Cunnilingus application before we can get down to business.

            --
            "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." -Jiddu Krishnamurti
        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15 2016, @12:31AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15 2016, @12:31AM (#360282)

          Seat-belt laws for instance seem good. What's wrong with those regulations?

          The fact that they exist. They are just yet another excuse that cops can use to screw with people in other ways. Pull them over for not wearing a seat-belt or appearing to not wear it and then scare them into 'consenting' to a search, and all sorts of lovely things can happen from there.

          • (Score: 2) by Capt. Obvious on Wednesday June 15 2016, @01:44AM

            by Capt. Obvious (6089) on Wednesday June 15 2016, @01:44AM (#360320)

            Seat belt violations, at least everywhere I've lived, are not a valid reason to pull someone over. They've only been able to be enforced after the officer had already pulled you over for another reason, e.g. speeding.

            Now, did that mean if you didn't wear a seatbelt, and were speeding alongside to someone who was, that you were more likely to get pulled over for speeding? Possibly.

            • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday June 15 2016, @03:27AM

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 15 2016, @03:27AM (#360356) Journal

              Well, in typical regulation creep, seatbelt use (or lack there of) is now legally defined as sufficient cause for a citation all by it self in the majority of US states.

              http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/seatbelt_laws.html [ghsa.org]

              34 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have primary seat belt laws for front seat occupants.

              15 states have secondary laws. In many of these states, the law is primary for younger drivers and/or passengers.

              New Hampshire has enacted neither a primary nor a secondary seat belt law for adults, although the state does have a primary child passenger safety law that covers all drivers and passengers under 18.

              Rear Seats: 28 states, D.C., Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, have laws requiring belt use for all rear seat passengers. In 17 of these states, D.C., Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, the law is primary.

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15 2016, @05:53PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15 2016, @05:53PM (#360659)

                exactly. nothing but excuses for theft.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Wednesday June 15 2016, @02:46AM

          by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday June 15 2016, @02:46AM (#360341)

          I'll reiterate the position I've had on numerous other issues about the scope of government regulation: To think that government can do no wrong is stupid. To think that government can do no right is equally stupid. If either or both beliefs are widespread in a population, you get bad government policy, because those who create the policy know it won't change anyone's opinion on their performance.

          The reason regulation is bad is that it forces people and organizations to be less efficient - filling out forms, extra expenses, extra equipment, insurance payments, etc all eat into the ability to do useful stuff. The reason regulation is good is that it forces people and organizations to do things that are annoying and/or expensive but also prevent harm to other people e.g. businesses who have to take steps to ensure their employees don't get maimed or killed at work. Sometimes the good outweighs the bad, sometimes it's the other way around, and often it's a matter of opinion which one you're looking at.

          In this case, I think there's a pretty strong argument that regulation is good: The telecoms were very publicly trying to force everybody who wanted a reasonably fast load time for their stuff on most consumer endpoints to pay them protection money. That's bad for all businesses who can't afford to or are unwilling to pay the protection money, and also bad for all the people that wanted whatever services those businesses are providing. The population harmed (telecom company shareholders and management, and possibly the shareholders and management of Netflix, Google, etc who benefit from reduced risk of competition) is significantly smaller than the population helped (everybody else), and the cost to the population harmed is that their quarterly earnings numbers aren't quite as good as they'd otherwise hoped.

          --
          The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 2) by ilPapa on Wednesday June 15 2016, @02:55AM

        by ilPapa (2366) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 15 2016, @02:55AM (#360348) Journal

        They will probably be in for a surprise in SCOTUS as well.

        It won't go to SCOTUS.

        --
        You are still welcome on my lawn.
        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday June 15 2016, @03:32AM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 15 2016, @03:32AM (#360362) Journal

          AT&T is already planning an appeal.

          So it will got to SCOTUS, at least as far as a request for Certiorari.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 1) by boxfetish on Wednesday June 15 2016, @02:26AM

      by boxfetish (4831) on Wednesday June 15 2016, @02:26AM (#360333)

      They shouldn't, but they will win. After the corporate shill Merrick (or Clinton's equally heinous nominee) gets confirmed, the lower courts decisions will be overturned in a 5-4 (or perhaps even 6-3 victory) for the anti-consumer forces of greed and business excess. The only question is how many years from now it will be before it happens. Failing that, congress with just gut the FCC and Her Highness will happily sign on while declaring it a victory for consumers and progressive ideals.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by SrLnclt on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:28PM

    by SrLnclt (1473) on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:28PM (#360176)

    Now if only we can get the FCC to declare that zero rating a service is contrary to the FCC's Net Neutrality principals...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:37PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:37PM (#360183)

      Zero rating is great stuff because when some kind of stuff is zero rated then you can make all your stuff look like zero rated stuff so all your stuff is zero rated stuff.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15 2016, @06:41AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15 2016, @06:41AM (#360402)

        Only of you pay a decidedly non-zero sum to the Powers That Be, which is the whole point of the arrangement.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15 2016, @07:58AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15 2016, @07:58AM (#360422)

          No you don't understand. You get zero rated content for free. Once you can get anything for free then you can leverage zero rating to get everything for free. You just have to encode all your content to make it look like zero rated content.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15 2016, @08:34AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15 2016, @08:34AM (#360436)

            It is the content origin that determines if it is zero-rated, not the type of content. Good luck "encoding" your content onto the officially permitted servers.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15 2016, @10:06AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15 2016, @10:06AM (#360456)

              No. It's a common misconception, but zero rating does not necessarily depend on origin. For example AT&T zero rates HTTP requests for "att.com" domains regardless of IP, and it's possible to forge headers to connect to an arbitrary server instead. For example T-Mobile zero rates audio by looking at the content because radio sites stream audio from various cloud providers, and it's possible to stream audio from an arbitrary server instead. For example Verizon zero rates DNS queries, and it's possible to encapsulate data in DNS to tunnel through an arbitrary server instead. See at least three mobile carriers do zero rating based on content and not origin.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15 2016, @05:30PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15 2016, @05:30PM (#360652)

                > For example AT&T zero rates HTTP requests for "att.com" domains regardless of IP,

                citation required

                and even if it is true, that's a loophole that can't last in the face of any significant exploitation

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DECbot on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:34PM

    by DECbot (832) on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:34PM (#360180) Journal

    It is not a luxury to be spied on by the NSA, but a requirement for daily living that should be equally accessible to all Americans, so sayith the Government.

    --
    cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:41PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:41PM (#360186)

      Lol tell us bout how teh gummint gots no rite to tax yer water.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:45PM (#360188)

      I don't think internet service is a requirement for daily living, but then again I have no life. Maybe you desperately need to impress your idiot followers on social media every day or they'll unfriend you?

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Dunbal on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:53PM

        by Dunbal (3515) on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:53PM (#360190)

        It's not like any of us can go back to Playboy.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Tork on Tuesday June 14 2016, @10:44PM

        by Tork (3914) on Tuesday June 14 2016, @10:44PM (#360221)
        Maybe the internet is his primary hub for communications like it is for me. I use the internet to pay my rent and correspond with my landlord. I use the internet for banking. I use the internet to communicate with work. When I was unemployed I used the internet to successfully find new work. Could I do all that with a landline? Maybe, but it'd take a lot more time. Now you understand why I have internet access but no landline.
        --
        Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:58PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14 2016, @09:58PM (#360192)

    A decade ago these assholes were arguing exactly the opposite of what they are arguing today.

    Back then ISPs were regulated as utilities, but the telcos lobbied the FCC to switch them over to being "information services." It went all the way to the supreme court [zdnet.com] which ruled that it was the FCC's job to determine which regulatory scheme should be applied. The telcos celebrated because the FCC picked the scheme they wanted. Now that the FCC has returned to sanity, they are trying to argue that it is not that FCC's job to make that decision. Fuckers.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Tork on Tuesday June 14 2016, @10:15PM

      by Tork (3914) on Tuesday June 14 2016, @10:15PM (#360201)
      If memory serves the ISPs wanted to be utilities because they didn't want it to be their job to police the internet for the *AA. By being a utility the actual content traversing the lines was none of their bidness.
      --
      Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14 2016, @10:18PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14 2016, @10:18PM (#360205)

        And then big data became worth actual $$

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14 2016, @10:30PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14 2016, @10:30PM (#360211)

        > If memory serves

        No. The telcos wanted to be "information services" so they would not be required to lease their lines to other ISPs. That ruling killed off all ISPs that did not directly own their cable plants. Companies like Mindspring and Earthlink and a thousand regional mom&pop ISPs that relied on the telcos being required to sell them access to the phone lines were cut off from 99.9% of customers. It was the end of competition in the ISP business.