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A Møøse once bit my sister ...

The Internet as we know it died last week. You may not have noticed- and that's not surprising, since the news delivery in this country is largely controlled by the beneficiaries of this homicide.

The shorthand for this demise is Verizon v. FCC. It's not final and non-appealable yet, but really. You think five Supremes are going to overturn something that's good for General Motors General Communications?  The essence is this: until last week, there was an enforceable concept of "net neutrality" across the bandwidthy plain.   Your provider couldn't pick and choose which sites it wanted to speed up or slow down.  But now, the Information Superhighway has its first authority to install toll booths.

A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held that the FCC's net neutrality rules were enacted without proper authority. In the words of one neutral-friendly site:

On Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order. In its decision, the court said that the FCC lacked the authority to implement and enforce its rules under the legal framework the agency put forth.

The FCC’s 2010 order was intended to prevent broadband Internet access providers from blocking or interfering with traffic on the Web. Instead of reversing a Bush-era FCC decision that weakened the FCC’s authority over broadband, and establishing solid legal footing for its rules, former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski pushed for rules under the complicated legal framework the court rejected today.

So now, the Comcasts and Time Warners of the world have the right to pick and choose who and what gets through their respective series of tubes.  They can contract with Hulu to speed up their content, while slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowing down Netflix streams if they don't play along with the provider's financial demands.  And if they can pick and choose on the basis of finances, it's just a matter of time before they can pick and choose on the basis of what content they may or may not li

This entry was originally posted at http://captainsblog.dreamwidth.org/185335.html. Please comment here, or there using OpenID.
5 comments or Leave a comment
glenmarshall From: glenmarshall Date: January 25th, 2014 02:26 am (UTC) (Link)
So, the FCC cannot put a roadblock up. Perhaps the FTC can, as a blatantly non-neutral net could be viewed as restraint on trade.
onlyonechoice From: onlyonechoice Date: January 25th, 2014 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Maybe take a moment to Sign a Petition? Only 20k more signatures needed before 2/14.
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: January 25th, 2014 09:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I signed one of the change.org ones. That whitehouse thing requires registration, and besides, if I want Obama to hear what I have to say, I just speak into the flowerpot or send somebody an email.

(And somehow the count on the whitehouse one went down by 40,000.)
mikailborg From: mikailborg Date: January 25th, 2014 05:54 am (UTC) (Link)
As I understand it, though, the FCC has the power to come in with a new rule, and plenty of interest and incentive to do so. All may not yet be lost.
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: January 25th, 2014 09:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
That may be true, but with Republicans doing everything to block regulations and new appointments (one of their Bush holdovers rotates off later this year), it's an open question whether they could accomplish anything if they wanted to.
5 comments or Leave a comment