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Tag Archives: net-neutrality

The Internet Bill of Rights is just one piece of our moral obligations

David Gorodyansky Contributor David Gorodyansky is the CEO and co-founder of AnchorFree , maker of privacy app Hotspot Shield. More posts by this contributor Warrantless surveillance law proves it’s time to take privacy into our own hands This is the future if net neutrality is repealed; the creeping, costly death of media freedom Congressman Ro Khanna’s proposed Internet Bill of Rights pushes individual rights on the Internet forward in a positive manner. It provides guidelines for critical elements where the United States’ and the world’s current legislation is lacking, and it packages it in a way that speaks to all parties. The devil, as always, is in the details—and Congressman Khanna’s Internet Bill of Rights still leaves quite a bit to subjective interpretation. But what should not be neglected is that we as individuals have not just rights but also moral obligations to this public good—the Internet. The web positively impacts our lives in a meaningful fashion, and we have a collective responsibility to nurture and keep it that way. Speaking to the specific rights listed in the Bill, we can likely all agree that citizens should have control over information collected about them, and that we should not be discriminated against based on that personal data. We probably all concur that Internet Service Providers should not be permitted to block, throttle, or engage in paid prioritization that would negatively impact our ability to access the world’s information. And I’m sure we all want access to numerous affordable internet providers with clear and transparent pricing. These are all elements included in Congressman Khanna’s proposal; all things that I wholeheartedly support. As we’ve seen of late with Facebook, Google, and other large corporations, there is an absolute need to bring proper legislation into the digital age. Technological advancements have progressed far faster than regulatory changes, and drastic improvements are needed to protect users. What we must understand, however, is that corporations, governments, and individuals all rely on the same Internet to prosper. Each group should have its own set of rights as well as responsibilities.

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Calif. enacts net neutrality law—US gov’t immediately sues to block it Updated

Enlarge / Net neutrality supporter protests the FCC's repeal outside a federal building in Los Angeles, California, on November 28, 2017. (credit: Getty Images | Ronen Tivony | NurPhoto ) California Governor Jerry Brown today signed net neutrality legislation into law, setting up a legal showdown pitting his state against Internet service providers and the US government. The California net neutrality bill , previously approved by the state Assembly and Senate despite protests from AT&T and cable lobbyists, imposes rules similar to those previously enforced by the FCC. "While the Trump administration does everything in its power to undermine our democracy, we in California will continue to do what’s right for our residents," California State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), author of the net neutrality bill, said today. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Trump’s Supreme Court nominee opposes net neutrality, supports NSA bulk collection

President Trump’s new Supreme Court nominee will face more scrutiny for his ideological leanings around issues like abortion than his thoughts on tech, but we do know a bit about the latter. On Monday, Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to fill the seat that opened when Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement in late June. A list of Trump’s potential picks circulated previously and Kavanaugh was believed to be a frontrunner. Kavanaugh, who previously clerked for Kennedy, was appointed to the Washington D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003 by former president George W. Bush and eventually confirmed in 2006. As future digital privacy cases wend their way toward the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh’s stated views on the NSA’s spying program could prove relevant. In 2015, Kavanaugh sided in favor of the NSA’s warrantless bulk collection of phone metadata, issuing strong support for the controversial practice and categorizing its collection as a “special need” that eclipses personal privacy concerns. In his own words : “The Government’s collection of telephony metadata from a third party such as a telecommunications service provider is not considered a search under the Fourth Amendment, at least under the Supreme Court’s decision in Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979). … Even if the bulk collection of telephony metadata constitutes a search, cf. United States v. Jones, 132 S

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California net neutrality bill gutted as lawmakers cave to AT&T lobbyists

Enlarge / Net neutrality supporter protests the FCC's repeal outside a federal building in Los Angeles, California, on November 28, 2017. (credit: Getty Images | Ronen Tivony | NurPhoto ) A California net neutrality bill that could have been the strictest such law in the country was dramatically scaled back yesterday after state lawmakers caved to demands from AT&T and cable lobbyists. While the California Senate approved the bill with all of its core parts intact last month , a State Assembly committee's Democratic leadership yesterday removed key provisions. "What happened today was outrageous," Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), the bill author, said . "These hostile amendments eviscerate the bill and leave us with a net neutrality bill in name only." Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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California legislators stealthily ‘eviscerate’ state’s net neutrality bill

A group of legislators in California have sneakily but comprehensively “eviscerated” the state’s imminent net neutrality bill, removing a huge amount of protections in a set of last-minute amendments. State Senator Scott Wiener called the hostile rework of the bill “outrageous.” California’s net neutrality bill has been cited as an excellent example of what states can do to protect their citizens now that the 2015 rules have been officially rolled back and weaker ones substituted. And in some ways it actually went further than the FCC’s popular rules, which were a bit more conservative on, for example, the practice of zero rating. While the FCC found that zero rating practices could basically be pursued up to a certain point, the California bill would essentially render illegal the ones that exist today. WTF is zero rating? The California rules (SB 822) would allow zero rating to happen, but prohibit the part where an ISP could prioritize certain apps or businesses over others. So they could allow all music, or medical data, or indeed video advertising traffic to be free to consumers — but not just Spotify, or just this insurance provider, etc. Consumers get the benefits and are protected from most of the quiet but substantial ill effects. But late last night the chair of the committee through which the bill must pass, Miguel Santiago, proposed some “suggested amendments” that completely removed the zero rating rules and several other important protections. Now, disagreements on proposed laws are perfectly ordinary and that’s what committees like this are for, to balance different viewpoints and ostensibly produce a better law. And Sen. Wiener has indicated that he and the others behind the bill are willing to negotiate. “We attempted to work with the committee and made clear we were willing to make amendments, but we also made clear what our bottom lines were, and what we couldn’t remove from the bill,” he told me. “The way the committee went about doing this is pretty outrageous.” Normally the amendments would be proposed and the author of the bill would work with them on how to integrate them — if they can’t reach an agreement, the bill doesn’t pass the committee.

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