As Chaos Distracted Us – Our Internet Rights – Freedom Of Speech – Julian Assange – All Destroyed.

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by Ruby Henley

I realize I failed to examine some major events that were taking place, as I was distracted by the strike on Syria.   The matters which I failed to report on are extremely shocking. You may already have prior knowledge of the information I am about to discuss.

We all know we are fighting to keep our First Amendment and Second Amendment Rights, but it is not looking good.  Julian Assange could tell you about how it feels to have no contact with others, no phone privileges, and no Internet access.  He has been in a type of solitary confinement for weeks now. No one has any access to him – not even his Mother. Pamela Anderson made the statement, “He is being tortured to death.”

He will be extradicted to the United States if he leaves the Ecuadorian Embassy, and he feels he will be jailed or worse.  The leader of Ecuador has changed, and the new leader is cooperating with the US. You know, of course, that all charges had been dropped against Assange in Sweden.

Things were looking better, when some US officials visited the Embassy speaking with the Ecuadorians in charge there.  There had been some speculation Trump might pardon Assange, but now surely we know that will not happen.

Pray for Julian Assange to survive and for a miracle to happen.  It is being said that this is an assault on the First Amendment and the end to free speech.

 

On April 23, 2018, life on the Internet will change.  It is a really big deal. The article I will be referring to is www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/02/24/neut-f24.html#pk_campaign=sidebar&pk_kwd=textlink

The article was published on February 24, 2018, so we are speaking of April 23, 2018.  Today is April 17; we do not have to wait too long to see the effects of what we are speaking about here.

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) published its order abolishing Internet neutrality in the governmental Federal Register, initiating a 60-day countdown for the law to come into force.

The FCC’s ruling represents a far-reaching attack on the democratic rights of the entire population and public access to the Internet. Beginning April 23, multibillion-dollar corporate elites, such as Verizon and AT&T, will be free to restrict access to or completely censor Internet sites as they see fit.

On December 14, the FCC voted by a 3-2 margin to overturn the previous characterization of Internet broadband as a public utility under the 1934 Communications Act. This definition required that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide customers with the same level of Internet access, regardless of what they were connecting to. Moreover, ISPs could not selectively block or reduce speeds for specific sites or services, and could not create a multi-tiered system by charging users or content providers for higher traffic speeds.

 

Thus, on December 14, 2018 the FCC voted to abolish our public safety which we had under the 1934 Communications Act.  I don’t know about you, but I did not know about this, so what are we facing here?

The publication of the Federal Communication Commission’s new rules can be seen in the Federal Register. www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/02/22/2018-03464/restoring-internet-freedom

Although the new rules are set to begin on April 23, 2018rd, the biggest changes will occur as data collection is modified.  This modification must be approved by the Office of Management and Budget. Once that happens, the FCC will publish another document in the Federal Register announcing when net neutrality protections are actually done for.  End of story – gone.

 

If you think I really understand this, I don’t, so I am looking up every bit of information I can on this – it scares me to death.

www.thenation.com/article/is-net-neutrality-the-sleeper-issue-for-democrats-in-2018/

Net neutrality must be restored. that’s a given. The decision in December by the Federal Communications Commission to abolish the First Amendment of the Internet was, in the words of dissenting commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, “not good for consumers. Not good for businesses. Not good for anyone who connects and creates online. Not good for the democratizing force that depends on openness to thrive.”

So, yes, net neutrality must be renewed. But how? Ideally, Congress would pass legislation reversing the FCC’s decision, or a federal court order would overturn it. But that could take time—years, perhaps—and if we’ve learned anything about the digital age, it’s that the future doesn’t wait for Washington to catch up.

So the pressure is now on state officials to take the lead in restoring a free and open Internet. Democratic governors and state legislators, by and large, get this. But like most of their partisan counterparts in Washington, Republicans in the states continue to position themselves on the wrong side of the issue. As errand boys for the corporations that would sacrifice open access on the altar of rank profiteering, Republican governors have already benefited from the money lavished on them and on the Republican Governors Association by the telecommunications conglomerates that hope to subdivide the Internet.

I am very upset to find that the Republicans are responsible for this change in Internet Rules.  In fact, Nancy Pelosi said that the Democrats would make this a vital campaign issue for 2019. Where will we be then on this Internet travisty?

 

This is breaking news today April 18, 2018 on this confusing situation, and believe me, I am having a difficult time understanding this.

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Since the Dec. 14 FCC decision to repeal the requirements that Internet service providers abide by net neutrality, the FCC continued to promote their decision as a means for promoting Internet innovation and have parried criticism that it will drive up costs for consumers saying that the Federal Trade Commission will be in a position to protect against unfair practices.  However, a new PPC survey finds that overwhelming bipartisan opposition persists even when presented the FCC arguments as well as opposing arguments.

Eighty-six percent oppose the repeal of net neutrality, including 82% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats.  This is up slightly from a survey conducted during the run-up to the December decision when 83% were opposed.  Opposition among Republicans has increased from 75% to 82%, while Democrats have held steady.

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Respondents were given a briefing and asked to evaluate arguments for and against the proposal before making a final recommendation.  The survey was reviewed by experts in favor and against net neutrality, to ensure that the briefing was accurate and balanced, and that the strongest arguments were presented.

The survey of 997 registered voters was conducted by the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland (PPC), and released today by the nonpartisan organization, Voice of the People.

Unlike the December survey, the current survey included an argument in defense of repeal put forward by the FCC as follows:

Concerns that advocates have about net neutrality are overblown and fail to recognize a key fact.  That is, once the FCC repeals the recent rules for FCC regulation of the internet, it will revert to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take responsibility for ensuring that ISPs do not engage in anti-competitive and unfair practices.  The FTC will require that any changes in the service they provide will be fully disclosed. With these protections, we will be able to count on the competition of the market to ensure that ISPs provide the service that consumers want.

A modest majority of 52% found this argument convincing.

However, the counterargument was found convincing by 72%.  It went:

Giving the FTC jurisdiction over ISPs would not prevent them from setting up fast and slow lanes on the internet by offering different download speeds at different prices or charging for access to certain websites. It would only require they disclose they are doing so.  Further, the FTC cannot police the long-standing carriers like Verizon and AT&T. Last, we cannot count on market competition to ensure that customers get what they want–a full 58% of American households only have access to one high-speed broadband ISP and, thus, there is no competition. And even if there is another ISP, it is unlikely it would voluntarily forego the right to charge for access to certain websites.

To introduce them to the topic, respondents were told that Internet Service Providers (ISPs), like Verizon or Comcast, are currently “required to:

provide customers access to all websites on the internet

provide equal access to all websites without giving any websites faster or slower download speeds

and are not allowed to:

charge websites to provide faster download speeds for those who visit their website

charge customers, who use the internet, an extra fee to visit specific websites.”

They were told that the proposal is to remove these regulations, though the ISPs would be required to disclose any variation in download speeds or blocking of any websites.

In addition to the arguments discussed above they were presented an argument in favor of the proposal that the restrictions are unnecessary, that they stifle innovation, that ISPs should be allowed to provide cutting-edge download speeds for companies that want them, that due to these restrictions the United States is lagging behind other developed countries in the development of the internet, and that disclosure requirements ensure that ISPs will not overreach.  Forty-seven percent said they found the argument convincing, while 53% found it unconvincing.

The other argument against the proposal fared better. It asserted that ISPs, though they do not provide website content, would be able to charge consumers ever-higher fees for internet access, that the big companies with websites could pay for the faster download speeds while smaller competitors could be driven out of business, that ISPs who provide content could block access to competitors who also

provide content, and that all this would undermine innovation. Seventy-seven percent found this argument convincing.

Finally, respondents were asked to give their final recommendation on the proposal to repeal the existing restrictions on ISPs. Overall, only 13% favored the idea, with 86% opposed.

The survey was conducted online from March 9-23, 2018 with a national probability-based sample of 997 registered voters, provided by Nielsen Scarborough from their sample of respondents, who were recruited by mail and telephone using a random sample of households. The margin of error was +/- 3.1%.

Questionnaire: www.publicconsultation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Net_Neutrality_II_Quaire_041818.pdf

 

Slides: www.publicconsultation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Net_Neutrality_II_Slides_041818.pdf

 

Survey: www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4057654/Net-Neutrality

 

Contact: Steven Kull, 202-232-7500, skull@umd.edu

SOURCE Program for Public Consultation

Related Links

www.publicconsultation.org

Understand better now?  I don’t, so I am going to do more research.

 

Here is an interesting piece of breaking news, and it speaks volumes.  If you expect the FCC to change its mind about net neutrality, think again.  Today, in an FCC meeting, a leading pro-net neutrality commissioner, Mignon Clyburn, announced she was resigning.  Why?

She tried to stop the end to net neutrality from going forward, but she could not.  She said Trump is moving against the Obama net neutrality, and there is nothing that will stop him.

OK, here is what we all need to understand, and this I can understand – so sad.

In a recent CNET interview, Clyburn said Pai FCC’s has given “the keys of the internet over to entities that answer to shareholders first. They will look at their bottom line first. And if there is anything left over, then maybe they will think about the general public.”

We have been betrayed and sacrificed to the shareholders – the big shots – the corporations.  You can say what you want about Obama, but at least he wanted to keep the Internet equally for everyone.  You are going to see costs go up, and in some instances you are going to see websites blocked and banned.

The people spoke, and they want net neutrality!   What is surprising is the people are on the same side with Google!  The major web powers — Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and dozens of others — spoke, too. They want to keep net neutrality. The creator of the modern internet, Vint Cerf, and the web’s founder, Tim Berners-Lee, spoke — and they want to maintain net neutrality.

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Thirty-nine senators and numerous other members of Congress urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to abandon its “radical and reckless plan to turn the FCC’s back on consumers and the future of the free and open internet.”

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman claimed two million net neutrality comments were fake. Further, Schneiderman said, “Moving forward with this vote would make a mockery of our public comment process and reward those who perpetrated this fraud to advance their own hidden agenda.”

There you have the truth, and now we have to cope with it, and the truth is I am jumping fence.  I am no longer on the Republican side, unless something is done about this repeal of net neutrality.

So, what did FCC chairman Ajit Pai, a former Verizon attorney, and Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr, Republican FCC commissioners, do? Of course, they voted to kill net neutrality.

There was never any doubt that they would follow in President Donald Trump’s footsteps of ignoring experts and the people to enrich their buddies in a few companies. Pai’s plan spelled it all out, and despite protests from all circles, he shoved it down the nation’s throat without any changes.

 

www.zdnet.com/article/net-neutrality-the-eve-of-destruction/

“Michael Copps, former FCC commissioner and Common Cause special advisor, described it as: “The worst decision in the history of the FCC. Never before has the majority been so derelict of duty. Never before has the Commission so flagrantly flouted the will of the public. Never before has this once-august institution so cravenly allowed itself to be captured by corporate paymasters.”

He’s right.

So, what happens next? I’ll tell you.

First, this isn’t the end of the story. While Pai may ignore the people, Congress, mostly Democrats but some Republicans too, will try to block the destruction of net neutrality. A recent University of Maryland poll found 83 percent of voters support net neutrality. Seventy-five percent of Republicans and 89 percent of Democrats support it. Sen. John Thune (R-SD) asked net neutrality supporters on “both sides of the aisle” to come work with him on a legislative solution.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and other organizations will take the FCC to court. The Trumpian-dominated FCC will face opposition from every legal quarter on its shameful decision.

Major internet providers promise that all will be well. AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon have all promised they won’t block or throttle content. If you believe that, I have a great bridge near Brooklyn to sell you.

In the very short run, I don’t expect the ISPs to do much. They’ll face too much heat during this time when people are enraged at the FCC’s decision. But to boost their bottom lines, they’ll start hitting at your internet rights.

First, as Berners-Lee points out, they’ll come after developers and small businesses:

When I invented the World Wide Web in 1989, I didn’t have to pay a fee, or ask anyone for permission to make it available over the internet. All I had to do was write a new app and plug my computer into the net. If US net neutrality rules are repealed, future innovators will have to first negotiate with each ISP to get their new product onto an internet package. That means no more permissionless space for innovation. ISPs will have the power to decide which websites you can access and at what speed each will load. In other words, they’ll be able to decide which companies succeed online, which voices are heard – and which are silenced.

Then, they’ll start restricting what sites users can and can’t reach. This will be done by giving sites and services that pay up a faster pipe in the last mile to your home or office while cramming all other sites and services into a slow lane.

 

In conclusion, I have tried to prepare you for the introduction of what is beginning on April 23, 2018.  At least you will have some idea of what is happening when the trouble starts. The American people have been sold out to the big corporations.  Surprise? Nah – just sad.

www.vox.com/2017/12/14/16774148/net-neutrality-repeal-explained

“Net neutrality mandated that ISPs display all websites, at the same speed, to all sources of internet traffic. Without net neutrality, all bets are off.

That means ISPs will be free to control what you access on the internet, meaning they will be able to block access to specific websites and pieces of software that interact with the internet.

They might charge you more or less money to access specific “bundles” of certain websites, much as cable television providers do now — but instead of “basic cable,” you might be forced to pay for access to more than a “basic” number of websites, as this popular pro-net neutrality graphic illustrates:

ISPs will also be able to control how quickly you’re served webpages, how quickly you can download and upload things, and in what contexts you can access which websites, depending on how much money you pay them.

They’ll be able to charge you more to access sites you currently visit for free, cap how much data you’re allowed to use, redirect you from sites you are trying to use to sites they want you to use instead, and block you from being able to access apps, products, and information offered by their competitors or other companies they don’t like.

They can even block you from being able to access information on certain topics, news events, or issues they don’t want you to know about.

Finally, they’ll be able to exert this power not just over individual consumers, but over companies, as well. This could result in the much-discussed “internet fast lane” — in which an ISP forces a company like Twitter or BitTorrent to pay more for faster access for readers or users like you to its websites and services. Larger, more powerful companies likely won’t be hurt by this change. Smaller companies and websites almost definitely will be.”

Pray for miracles.

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