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posted by mrpg on Sunday May 14 2017, @02:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the ath0 dept.

How one obscure court case could decide the future of internet business

In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit dealt the Federal Trade Commission a major blow by calling into question one of the consumer protection agency's most important powers. The court said the FTC should be banned from regulating a company if even a small part of that firm's business is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission as a telecom service, otherwise known as a "common carrier."

[...] The court's decision this week to rehear the case served to nullify the ruling, so the loophole is temporarily closed. But it could easily be reopened if the court comes to the same conclusion, analysts say. Other possibilities include reversing the court's previous position entirely or coming down somewhere in the middle.

AT&T said in a statement that it looked forward to participating in the rehearing.

The outcome of the case won't just affect the FTC; it may also lend momentum to the FCC's effort to repeal its own net neutrality rules. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has argued that the trade commission should be responsible for policing internet providers, not the FCC. Right now, the FTC has no power over ISPs because the net neutrality rules consider all ISPs as common carriers.

Undoing the 9th Circuit's ruling for good would mean giving the FTC the ability once again to go after the parts of an ISP's business that aren't common carrier-related. But the FCC wants to go further than that. Pai has proposed undoing the classification of ISPs as common carriers, which could give the FTC even greater jurisdiction over internet providers.

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  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday May 14 2017, @06:03PM (1 child)

    by kaszz (4211) on Sunday May 14 2017, @06:03PM (#509565) Journal

    Really the problem isn't so much government per se. But when scums gets enough power to fuck other people over. Which is also why people should be able to retract power on a individual basis. As a system comparison, the communist system while good in theory will quickly enable psychopaths to rise to the top and without elections it's doomed.

    A problem is however health care. Most people will stay healthy and some will be sick. If costs are pooled then the costs will be small if spread out. However if only sick people should pay for health care, they will die from bills before disease. Another aspect of this is that if the general population is kept healthy way less infection vectors will be available and protect everybody, including rich and healthy people. Having people coughing TB in public will increase the probability for every body to get sick without discrimination and lower national productivity.

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  • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday May 14 2017, @07:58PM

    That's a fair argument for deadly, easily communicable diseases. It is in no way a fair argument for cancer, genetic disorders, birth control, or anything else though.

    My rights don't end where your fear begins.