Monday, December 20, 2010

FCC and Net Neutrality - #2489 - The FCC's Threat to the Internet Freedom - Wall Street Journal (2) Senate GOP Likely to Force Confrontation of FCC Net Neutrality Rules - Washington Examiner (3) Democrats Put Heat on FCC Commissioner on Net Neutrality Vote - The Hill(4) Un Mulls Internet Regulation Options - IT News

Tomorrow morning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will mark the winter solstice by taking an unprecedented step to expand government's reach into the Internet by attempting to regulate its inner workings. In doing so, the agency will circumvent Congress and disregard a recent court ruling.  How did the FCC get here?  For years, proponents of so-called "net neutrality" have been calling for strong regulation of broadband "on-ramps" to the Internet, like those provided by your local cable or phone companies. Rules are needed, the argument goes, to ensure that the Internet remains open and free, and to discourage broadband providers from thwarting consumer demand. That sounds good if you say it fast.  Nothing is broken and needs fixing, however. The Internet has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was spun off from a government research project in the early 1990s. Its nature as a diffuse and dynamic global network of networks defies top-down authority. Ample laws to protect consumers already exist. Furthermore, the Obama Justice Department and the European Commission both decided this year that net-neutrality regulation was unnecessary and might deter investment in next-generation Internet technology and infrastructure.  Read more.........

Senate GOP Likely to Force Confrontation of FCC Net Neutrality Rules - Washington Examiner - Thirty senators have signed a letter making it clear that should the Federal Communications Commission implement "net neutrality" regulations during its December 21st meeting, the GOP will force a confrontation on the Senate floor over the rules. Doing so would provide insight into how Republicans, as a minority in the Senate, leverage its control over the House of Representatives to hamstring attempts by the executive branch to rule by regulatory fiat. The letter questions the ability of the FCC to impose the regulations: You and the Commission's general counsel have admitted in published statements that the legal justification for imposing these new regulations is questionable and "has a serious risk of failure in court." It is very clear that Congress has not granted the Commission the specific statutory authority to do what you are proposing. Whether and how the Internet should be regulated is something that America's elected representatives in Congress, not the Commission, should determine.The letter is signed by Sens. John Ensign, R-Nev., Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, John McCain, R-Ariz., Kit Bond, R-Mo., Judd Gregg, R-N.H., Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Jim DeMint, R-S.C., James Risch, R-Idaho, Mike Johanns, R-Neb., John Thune, R-S.D., Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Robert Bennett, R-Utah, John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., John Cornyn, R-Texas, David Vitter, R-La., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Jim Bunning, R-Ky., Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Me., signed a separate letter also opposing the FCC ruling. Read more......

Democrats Put Heat on FCC Commissioner on Net Neutrality Vote - The Hill - The Democrats have a message for Democratic FCC Commissioner Michael Copps: Don't screw things up on net neutrality.  Democrats allied with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski are working to put public pressure on Copps as the net-neutrality vote draws near.  Genachowski needs Copps to vote for his plan during a commission meeting on Tuesday if the rules are to pass.  As a result, Democrats who support the plan are pushing this message in the media: If Copps doesn't vote for Genachowski's plan, the consequences will reverberate all the way up to the White House. They are arguing that the damage could even hurt President Obama.  A prominent Democrat close to the White House said it this way on Friday: "If Copps votes no on Tuesday, he'd be handing the president a huge loss at a time when the Democrats should have a big win."  "Voting no…would be snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory and would be giving the Republicans a huge win," the source said.  Read more..........  Why do the Democrats continue to come down on the wrong side of every issue, especially those that deal with our freedoms and liberties, and most important the Constitution.  Please take the FCC with you and go home for Christmas.

UN Mulls Internet Regulation Options - IT News - WikiLeaks sparks push for tighter controls.  The United Nations is considering whether to set up an inter-governmental working group to harmonise global efforts by policy makers to regulate the internet.  Establishment of such a group has the backing of several countries, spearheaded by Brazil.  At a meeting in New York on Wednesday, representatives from Brazil called for an international body made up of Government representatives that would attempt to create global standards for policing the internet - specifically in reaction to challenges such as WikiLeaks.  The Brazilian delegate stressed, however, that this should not be seen as a call for a "takeover" of the internet.  India, South Africa, China and Saudi Arabia appeared to favour a new possible over-arching inter-government body.  However, Australia, US, UK, Belgium and Canada and attending business and community representatives argued there were risks in forming yet another working group that might isolate itself from the industry, community users and the general public.  Read more.........

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