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Paul Merrell

FCC Turns Itself into a Deregulatory Agency - WhoWhatWhy - 0 views

  • Since taking office, President Donald Trump has wasted no time in proposing rollbacks to Obama-era federal regulations. So, it should come as no surprise that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted last month to propose changes to current regulations on Internet service providers.

    Spearheaded by Ajit Pai — the Trump-appointed FCC chairman and former lawyer for Verizon — the 2-1 vote is the first step in dismantling the Open Internet Order. The lone FCC Democrat, Mignon Clyburn, was overruled by Pai and fellow commissioner Michael O’Reilly.

    The 2015 order classified broadband internet as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Opponents of the current state of net neutrality argue that the rules are archaic and place unnecessary — even harmful — restrictions on internet service providers (ISPs), leading to lack of innovation and investment.

    While it’s true that policies conceived in the 1930s could hardly anticipate the complexities of the modern Internet, a complete rollback of Title II protections would leave ISPs free to favor their own services and whichever company pays for upgraded service. Considering relaxed FEC rules on media ownership and lack of antitrust enforcement, some could argue that a rollback of net neutrality is even more toxic to innovation and affordable pricing.

    That is, fast lanes could be created for companies with deeper pockets, effectively giving them an advantage over companies and individuals who can’t pay extra. This approach effectively penalizes small businesses, nonprofits and innovative start-ups.

    Today’s Internet is so vast and so pervasive that it’s hard to grasp the impact that an abandonment of net neutrality would have on every aspect of our culture.

  • While the FCC’s proposed change will touch most Americans, net neutrality remains a mystifying concept to non-techies. To help our readers better understand the issue, we have compiled some videos that explain net neutrality and its importance.

    The FCC will be accepting comments from the public on their website until August 16, 2017.

Paul Merrell

UK ISPs to introduce jihadi and terror content reporting button | Technology | The Guar... - 0 views

  • Internet companies have agreed to do more to tackle extremist material online following negotiations led by Downing Street.

    The UK’s major Internet service providers – BT, Virgin, Sky and Talk Talk – have this week committed to host a public reporting button for terrorist material online, similar to the reporting button which allows the public to report child sexual exploitation.

    They have also agreed to ensure that terrorist and extremist material is captured by their filters to prevent children and young people coming across radicalising material.

    The UK is the only country in the world with a Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CITRU) - a 24/7 law enforcement unit, based in the Met, dedicated to identifying and taking down extreme graphic material as well as material that glorifies, incites and radicalises.

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    Bookburning in the digital era.
Paul Merrell

Why Tim O'Reilly Sees Microsoft as a Proponent of the Open Web - 0 views

  • At the Web 2.0 Expo, Tim O'Reilly predicts that Microsoft will emerge as a leading proponent of the open Web, despite the company's tradition of fostering its own proprietary operating systems and development languages. O'Reilly says Microsoft's recent deals to index Twitter tweets and use Wolfram Alpha's APIs for computational data show a shift in its willingness to work with other Web companies. Moreover, the Windows Azure cloud computing operating system is designed to work with open-source technology.
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