US Trump administration threatens Internet neutrality


This video from the USA says about itself:

FCC Moves to Gut Net Neutrality, Ignoring Public Support & Laws Upholding Equal Internet Access

22 November 2017

Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai issued a major order Tuesday in which he outlined his plan to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet. Pai wants to repeal net neutrality rules that bar internet service providers from stopping or slowing down the delivery of websites and stop companies from charging extra fees for high-quality streaming. A formal vote on the plan is set for December 14th. We speak with Tim Karr, Senior Director of Strategy for Free Press, which is organizing support to keep the rules in place ahead of the vote.

By Kevin Reed in the USA:

FCC plan to repeal “net neutrality” gives telecom giants control of public access to Internet

23 November 2017

Donald Trump’s appointed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai released a final draft on Wednesday of an order that will enable privately-owned US broadband Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to control public access to online content.

The blatantly anti-democratic plan to deregulate the US Internet infrastructure will be voted on at a December 14 open FCC hearing. It is expected to be adopted by a 3-to-2 majority.

Following Pai’s appointment in January, the overturning of Obama-era net neutrality rules has been a top priority of the White House and Republican Party in cooperation with the giant telecom monopolies such as AT&T, Verizon, TimeWarner and Comcast.

The concept of net neutrality means that all content on the Internet is treated equally, that the ISPs cannot adjust or prioritize the kind of data or the website content that individuals or organizations access online based on business considerations.

Net neutrality “Open Internet Rules” that became effective on June 15, 2015 prohibited high-speed ISPs from stopping or slowing down the delivery of websites to customers or charging different rates for the quality of high-volume data content such as streaming video over the Internet to homes and businesses.

Although denied by representatives of the broadband companies, the terms of the FCC plan make it possible for access to certain information or data to be blocked entirely or subject to additional fees or service charges depending on what is in the profit interests of the Internet carrier being used.

With characteristic hypocrisy, Pai released the final draft of his “Restoring Internet Freedom” plan, which has been in the works since April, declaring, “Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet.” As is widely acknowledged by tech industry experts and online access advocates, the FCC proposal has nothing to do with freedom and everything to do with controlling content and throttling broadband data delivery based on service tiers paid for by customers.

A primary false premise of the repeal of net neutrality rules is that government regulation of the big ISPs is “burdensome and unnecessary” and stifling investment and innovation in Internet infrastructure. However, the reality is that telephone and cable corporations are leveraging their Washington influence to regenerate Wall Street interest in their “legacy” Internet corporations. In comparison to the investment in content giants like Google, Amazon, Netflix and Facebook, the broadband industry has stagnated and been devalued on Wall Street.

One of the objectives of the ISP monopolies is to enter the content business themselves either by developing their own programming or through acquisition of TV networks or other media organizations. By lifting net neutrality regulations, the broadband providers can enhance access to their “own” content and throttle, i.e. restrict, the performance or block the content of their competitors.

Under Obama, the net neutrality rules for regulating Internet infrastructure companies as utilities or “common carriers” is based on Title II of the Telecommunications Act signed into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 19, 1934. Since the election of Donald Trump, the Republican-led offensive has been exploiting the limitations of the antiquated “utility” framework of the landline telephone era to abolish entirely any government regulation of the privately-owned aspects of US Internet infrastructure.

The timing of the announcement by FCC Chairman Pai that he is moving forward aggressively with the new plan is significant. Despite mass public opposition to the repeal of net neutrality—the overwhelming majority of 22 million responses on the FCC website were opposed to the order—the FCC is moving ahead now for transparently political reasons.

Opening up the ability of ISPs to control the flow of Internet content to the public is being implemented as part of the expanding campaign by the state—with the full cooperation of the major telecom, Internet and social media corporations—to censor access to socialist political opposition within the US. Providing the ISPs with carte blanche control over the flow of content takes this censorship to the most fundamental level of Internet technology.

These same ISPs—AT&T and Verizon in particular—have a long history of collaboration with the military-intelligence establishment in spying on the public and gathering data on the online activity of the global population.

No one should accept the nominal opposition of Google, Amazon and Facebook to the attack on net neutrality by the Trump administration and their competitors in the Internet infrastructure industries. These same corporations have been working hand-in-glove with the state over the past year to block and censor access by the public to socialist and left-wing Internet content under the guise of the fight against “fake news” and unsubstantiated claims of Russian interference in the 2016 US elections. The campaign has been spearheaded by the Democratic Party.

Left-wing sites, and the World Socialist Web Site in particular, have been the primary targets of this censorship campaign. The latest changes to the FCC’s regulatory policies are being lined up to intensify this censorship and prepare further attacks on the democratic rights of the entire working class.

Wednesday’s move by the Trump administration to end net neutrality marks a milestone in the offensive by the US government and major corporations to put an end to the free and open internet, paving the way for widespread government censorship of oppositional news and analysis: here.

Behind the FCC plan to abolish net neutrality. Broadband monopolies to censor Internet content: here.

The end of net neutrality and the fight to defend the free internet: here.

THE INTERNET IS RUN BY GIANTS This fascinating piece looks at how net neutrality ended long before this week. [The New York Times]

The end of net neutrality: The US ruling elite escalates campaign of internet censorship: here.

TRUMP LAWSUIT OVER NET NEUTRALITY California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the nation’s toughest net neutrality measure, requiring internet providers to maintain a level playing field online. The move prompted an immediate lawsuit against the state by the Trump administration. [HuffPost]

12 thoughts on “US Trump administration threatens Internet neutrality

  1. Sanders Institute

    Linda,

    The FCC is voting Thursday on whether to repeal the “Net Neutrality” rule adopted in 2015.

    Three years ago, the FCC passed a landmark rule that prevents internet service providers from favoring some sites over others – slowing down connections or charging customers a fee for streaming or other services. It gave Americans equal access to all the content that’s available on the internet – videos, social media, e-commerce sites, etc. – at the same speeds.

    But the recently appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, wants to abolish “Net Neutrality,” and give telecommunications giants like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T the upper hand. His plan would:

    Drive up prices for internet service. Broadband providers could charge customers higher rates to access certain sites, or raise rates for internet companies to reach consumers faster speeds. Either way, these prices hikes would be passed along to you and me.

    Give corporate executives free reign to slow down and censor news or websites that don’t match their political agenda, or give preference to their content – for any reason at all.

    Stifle innovation. Cable companies could severely hurt their competitors by blocking specific apps or online services. Small businesses who can’t afford to pay higher rates could be squeezed out altogether.

    Broadband providers claim that Net Neutrality rules actually hurts consumers because it discourages investment in their networks. Rubbish. Since Net Neutrality was adopted, investment has remained consistent. During calls with investors, telecom executives themselves have even admitted that Net Neutrality hasn’t hurt their businesses.

    There’s still time. Please help stop this corporate power grab over what we can say and do online.

    Robert Reich, Founding Fellow, The Sanders Institute

    PAID FOR BY THE SANDERS INSTITUTE
    131 CHURCH STREET
    BURLINGTON, VT 05401

    Like

  2. https://www.alternet.org/media/corporate-media-allowed-net-neutrality-die-silence?akid=16505.2582026.XZyOBp&rd=1&src=newsletter1086559&t=34
    >
    > Corporate Media Allowed Net Neutrality to Die in Silence
    >
    > Photo Credit: credo.action / Flickr
    > The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today voted to repeal net neutrality rules, which will allow internet service providers to block or slow down service and access to websites, or charge fees for faster service.
    >
    > If you weren’t aware of this potentially monumental change that will significantly impact your internet access, that’s because the major news networks mostly haven’t been doing their jobs.
    >
    > Hours before today’s FCC repeal vote , the flagship morning news shows on the six major broadcast and cable news networks devoted an embarrassingly small amount of time to covering net neutrality.. Relative silence from the major news networks on net neutrality is unfortunately nothing new, as Media Matters has previously documented .
    >
    > This morning, most of the morning news programs either completely ignored the impending move or cursorily mentioned it for a few seconds at a time. Among the cable news networks, Fox News’ Fox & Friends spent just 52 seconds on net neutrality. MSNBC’s Morning Joe and CNN’s New Day did not cover the story at all. (It was covered for about half a minute on MSNBC’s early morning show, First Look, and roughly one minute on CNN’s early morning show, Early Start. After the conclusion of Morning Joe, MSNBC has been covering net neutrality in detail on MSNBC Live.)
    >
    > The broadcast networks also spent scant time on the issue: ABC’s Good Morning America devoted just 14 seconds to net neutrality and NBC’s Today didn’t mention it at all. CBS This Morning led the pack with two and a half minutes of coverage this morning, and was the only one of the flagship morning programs to run a full segment on the topic.
    >
    >
    > Since November 28, cable news networks have mostly given net neutrality minimal coverage: approximately five minutes each on CNN and Fox News and almost 17 minutes on MSNBC, which has consistently devoted the most coverage to net neutrality in recent weeks. Broadcast networks have been mostly crickets, too. Since November 28, NBC has devoted about eight minutes to covering net neutrality while CBS has spent close to five minutes, and ABC has devoted just 14 seconds to the topic — the brief mention on Good Morning America this morning.
    >
    > Since November 20, when news first broke about the planned repeal, the six networks have devoted a combined nearly one hour and 53 minutes to the story; although, MSNBC alone has accounted for more than one hour and three minutes of that total coverage time. The vast majority of the coverage occurred before November 28.
    >
    >
    >
    > Under Trump, the Republican-led FCC has already done significant damage to the local news landscape and paved the way for major corporate consolidation in media — but repealing net neutrality seems to be its most unpopular action yet. A new survey found that 83 percent of Americans don’t approve of the FCC’s repeal proposal — including 3 out of 4 Republicans. Even the FCC’s own chief technology officer warned against the move. And 18 attorneys general had called for a delay in the vote due to widespread fraudulent comments during the public comment period.
    >
    > That’s probably why chairman Ajit Pai’s media tour in the days before the net neutrality repeal has largely targeted conservative and far-right media that may provide a (marginally ) more friendly audience. Since November 21, Pai has given four cable news interviews : two with Fox & Friends , one with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson , and a fourth with conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt at MSNBC. He did not give an interview to any of the three major broadcast networks. (Pai also seemingly promoted the repeal by appearing in an embarrassing video at The Daily Caller along with renowned plagiarist Benny Johnson and a Pizzagate conspiracy theorist .)
    >
    > It’s also why major news networks’ relative silence on such a deeply unpopular and hugely consequential action like the FCC’s repeal vote is a net benefit to the commission and to major corporations — and keeps an informed public from fighting back .
    >
    > Methodology
    >
    > Media Matters searched the Snapstream database of television video transcripts for any mentions of “net neutrality,” “Federal Communications Commission,” or “FCC” from November 20 through December 14, 2017 on ABC’s Good Morning America, World News Tonight with David Muir, and This Week with George Stephanopoulos; CBS’s This Morning, Evening News, and Face the Nation with John Dickerson; NBC’s Today, Nightly News with Lester Holt, and Meet the Press with Chuck Todd; and all-day programming (through 9am on December 14) on the three major cable news networks — CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC. We also searched the Nexis transcript database and the iQ Media transcript database for the same terms. Since November 23 was Thanksgiving, some networks altered their regularly scheduled programming on that day.
    >
    > We included any segment about FCC chair Ajit Pai’s proposal or the FCC vote scheduled for December 14 following Politico’s November 20 report on the proposal. We timed all such segments from start to finish, and excluded any breaks to other news or to commercials. We also included portions of multi-topic segments when two or more speakers discussed the FCC chair’s proposal or the scheduled vote on the proposal with one another. In those instances, we only timed the relevant discussion and not the entire segment. We excluded passing mentions of the proposal or its vote, and we excluded teasers of upcoming segments about the proposal or its vote.
    >
    > Note: This post has been updated to reflect that the FCC officially moved to repeal net neutrality rules in a 3-2 vote on December 14.

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  7. Just a few hours ago on the Senate floor, Patty [Murray] voted for legislation to save net neutrality rules – and it passed!

    This is a massive win and sign of progress thanks to the nonstop advocacy of people like you who wrote letters, signed petitions, and called your Senators to encourage them to save net neutrality from President Trump’s pro-special interest FCC. But we still have hurdles ahead.

    In order for this legislation to make its way to President Trump’s desk, House Republican leaders need to allow a vote.

    Now more than ever, we need your help to save the free and open internet as we know it: will you add your name now to urge Congress to pass this bill and save net neutrality?

    Thanks for all you do,

    Team Patty

    Like

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