FCC Net Neutrality decision

BoldProgressives.org has their panties in a twist (via their listserv)

BREAKING: Minutes ago, the FCC passed new rules — written by corporations — that will end Net Neutrality. For the first time in history, the U.S. government approved corporate censorship of the Internet, putting the future of online free speech at risk. Unbelievably, the person leading the charge was Obama appointee Julius Genachowski.

Hello? And what planet did you just beam down from where you were living in blissful ignorance that Obama is a not a corporatist? What I find unbelievable is that any progressive still thinks Obama is even remotely liberal or that the vote would have gone the other way. But it surely creates a fine fund-raising opportunity, howling that the barbarians are at the gates.

I don’t think the FCC decision is TEOTIAWKI. Yes the corporatists won this one and we need to keep fighting. But they also want our business. If one carrier tries to lock things down, business will just go elsewhere. It’s that competition thing. They aren’t our friend, to be sure, but they are also each other’s competitors.

The problem of and solution to corporatism is systemic. The system itself needs changing. Sure, mobilize on individual issues when you want to, but realize that even a victory is just a temporary measure until the underlying structure itself is changed. Abolishing corporate personhood would be a good start.

FCC to support net neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission plans to announce tomorrow that it will seek to reclassify broadband as a transport service, opening up a way for the agency to enforce network neutrality recommendations and implement some aspects of the National Broadband Plan.

This is a huge move in the right direction. Net neutrality means the carriers don’t get to say what passes through their networks. We don’t need a walled garden on the net, it needs to stay open and free.

Pioneers and pirates demand a free internet

'People picked a pirate parliamentarian'

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Internet and Christian Engström, Pirate Party MEP agree. The net must be kept free, open, and away from the clutching hands of the corporatists.

Berners-Lee: “To spy on my information to build a profile of me could be incredibly damaging. To use this information is much more valuable for a company, but more dangerous to me. It’s more dangerous than having a TV in my room, monitoring my every move”.

Engström: “It is not acceptable that new legislation that restricts both our fundamental rights and the free and open internet is being drafted in secret negotiations by non-elected officials together with representatives of a foreign power.This simply not how laws should be made in a democratic society. It’s embarrassing to have to point out something so obvious.”

FCC calls for Net Neutrality


Net neutrality is the principle that Internet providers should treat all data equally and avoid restricting or delaying access to certain sites.

In other words, the providers must act like the phone companies and just pass the data along. They can’t be gatekeepers or block content.

The FCC now unequivocally supports net neutrality. This is huge, and something the Bush Administration was dead set against. Net neutrality was a major promise of Obama during the campaign, and he has delivered.