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We're About to Lose Net Neutrality — And the Internet as We Know It | Wired Opinion. Image: moodboard/Getty Net neutrality is a dead man walking. The execution date isn’t set, but it could be days, or months (at best). And since net neutrality is the principle forbidding huge telecommunications companies from treating users, websites, or apps differently — say, by letting some work better than others over their pipes — the dead man walking isn’t some abstract or far-removed principle just for wonks: It affects the internet as we all know it.

Once upon a time, companies like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and others declared a war on the internet’s foundational principle: that its networks should be “neutral” and users don’t need anyone’s permission to invent, create, communicate, broadcast, or share online. The neutral and level playing field provided by permissionless innovation has empowered all of us with the freedom to express ourselves and innovate online without having to seek the permission of a remote telecom executive. Game of Loopholes and Rules How did we get here? We're About to Lose Net Neutrality — And the Internet as We Know It | Wired Opinion. Beastie Boy Mike D Forces AT&T To Let Shareholders Vote On Net Neutrality. Yeah, well there's a title I never thought I'd write. It seems that Mike D of the Beastie Boys, along with his wife, filmmaker Tamra Davis, and John Silva (of Silva Artist Management, one of the more forward-thinking artist management groups out there, representing a ton of big name acts), have helped to get the SEC to require telcos (mainly AT&T) to include a resolution among shareholder votes over whether or not those shareholders want the company to support wireless net neutrality concepts.

Remember, the telcos have been willing to bend (a tiny bit) on wireline neutrality rules, so long as wireless rules have been exempt. So, letting shareholders vote on a resolution concerning wireless neutrality certainly could become a pretty big deal. Of course, who knows if enough shareholders will vote for such a thing.

Vaizey's net neutrality knock-out. The FT World Telecoms Conference is an annual gathering of top management from telecoms carriers throughout the world. It isn’t a high profile event for the general public, yet this is the platform where minister Ed Vaizey announced the future of the internet in the UK. Mr Vaizey praised the UK’s grossly inadequate current investment in internet infrastructure - however, the key point in his speech was about the abandonment of net neutrality in the UK. What does net neutrality actually mean? Net neutrality can be hard to define because of technical issues involved.

But according to one of the world’s experts on it, Professor Tim Wu of Columbia Law School in New York, it is a principle that advocates no restrictions by internet service providers, infrastructure providers or the government on content, sites or different ways of using the ’net. Do we have net neutrality today? In some ways we don’t. Paid-for access A lack of transparency Internet content mercantilism. SXSW 2011: Al Franken warns of 'outright disaster' over net neutrality | Technology. Democratic senator Al Franken has has issued a rallying cry to "innovators and entrepreneurs" at SXSW to fight back against Comcast and other companies lobbying to pave the way for a two-speed internet.

The principle of net neutrality, under which all content is delivered equally to internet users' homes, is "in big trouble", Franken warned in a passionate rallying cry at the conference on Monday. Franken's address was always going to be a preach to the converted – SXSW is the spiritual home for small, independent media and technology firms – but he warned that unless the 200,000 attendees "use the internet to save the internet", then big telecoms firms will muscle through plans for a two-tier net. "The one thing that big corporations have that we don't is the ability to purchase favourable political outcomes," he said. "Big corporations like the telecoms firms have lots of lobbyists – and good ones too. He added: "Today SXSW is a hotbed of creative entrepreneurship and innovation.

Electronic Frontier Foundation | Defending Freedom in the Digital World. La Quadrature du Net. Photos from Deloris Finch (Deloris) on Myspace. Whitewolf7′s Blog. Douglas Rushkoff The Next Net. The moment the "net neutrality" debate began was the moment the net neutrality debate was lost. For once the fate of a network - its fairness, its rule set, its capacity for social or economic reformation - is in the hands of policymakers and the corporations funding them - that network loses its power to effect change.

The mere fact that lawmakers and lobbyists now control the future of the net should be enough to turn us elsewhere. Of course the Internet was never truly free, bottom-up, decentralized, or chaotic. Yes, it may have been designed with many nodes and redundancies for it to withstand a nuclear attack, but it has always been absolutely controlled by central authorities. From its Domain Name Servers to its IP addresses, the Internet depends on highly centralized mechanisms to send our packets from one place to another.

I'm not trying to be a downer here, or knock the possibilities for networking. That's right. It is not rocket science. So let's get on it. Related Posts: Wikileaks, The Pirate Party, And The Future Of The Internet. How to save Julian Assange's movement from itself. American diplomacy seems to have survived Wikileaks’s “attack on the international community,” as Hillary Clinton so dramatically characterized it, unscathed. Save for a few diplomatic reshuffles, Foggy Bottom doesn’t seem to be deeply affected by what happened. Certainly, the U.S. government at large has not been paralyzed by the leaks—contrary to what Julian Assange had envisioned in one of his cryptic-cum-visionary essays, penned in 2006.

In a fit of technological romanticism, Assange may have underestimated the indispensability of American power to the international system, the amount of cynicism that already permeates much of Washington’s political establishment, and the glaring lack of interest in foreign policy particulars outside the Beltway. Indeed, it’s not in the realms of diplomacy or even government secrecy where Wikileaks could have its biggest impact. Wikileaks ISP Anonymizes All Customer Traffic To Beat Spying. In order to neutralize Sweden's incoming implementation of the European Data Retention Directive, Bahnhof, the Swedish ISP and host of Wikileaks, will run all customer traffic through an encrypted VPN service. Since not even Bahnhof will be able to see what its customers are doing, logging their activities will be impossible. With no logs available to complete their chain of investigation, anti-piracy companies will be very, very unhappy.

In 2009, Sweden introduced the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED). The legislation gave rights holders the authority to request the personal details of alleged copyright infringers. This prompted Jon Karlung, CEO of ISP Bahnhof, to announce that he would take measures to protect the privacy of his customers. Shortly after Bahnhof ceased logging customer activities and with no logging there was no data to store or hand over. “In our case, we plan to let our traffic go through a VPN service, ” Bahnhof’s Jon Karlung told SR.

Amazon. Eben Moglen Is Reshaping Internet With a Freedom Box. DIASPORA* What is "Net Neutrality?" Long Live the Web. Real vs. Fake Net Neutrality. The Open Internet: A Case for Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality Timeline | Lobbynomics. La belle histoire de la neutralité des réseaux » Article » OWNI, Digital Journalism. Perdu dans la neutralité ? Pour y voir plus clair, Lobbynomics réalise un éclairage original du concept, à travers l'histoire des réseaux de télécommunication. L’histoire de la neutralité des réseaux depuis la fin du 18e siècle, quel intérêt ? Si l’on considère cette idée à l’aune du seul réseau Internet, difficile de saisir l’utilité d’une telle remontée dans le temps. Mais si cet embranchement de tuyaux est aujourd’hui au centre de toutes les attentions, il ne faut pas oublier que d’autres moyens de télécommunication, avant lui, ont jeté les bases de la réflexion actuelle sur la neutralité.

Lobbynomics a retracé la sinueuse histoire réticulaire dans une infographie, consacrée au déploiement des lignes de télécommunications américaines et européennes entre 1770 et 2010. C’est d’ailleurs dans cette perspective mi-figue, mi-raisin que la FCC, équivalent de notre Arcep national aux États-Unis, s’est effectivement prononcée, peu avant Noël. Infographie initialement publiée sur Lobbynomics. Tim Wu: Net Neutrality and Free Speech. Network neutrality: A tangled web.

A Net Neutrality Timeline: How We Got Here: Tech News « Updated:The FCC Tuesday voted 3:2 to approve an order that will enshrine the policies of network neutrality — the idea that ISPs can’t hinder or discriminate against lawful content flowing through their pipes — as regulations enforced by the commission. While legal challenges remain, and the text of the full order won’t be out for a few days, here’s the gist of what’s in store, as I explained last night: The order contains three sections that set policies around transparency, create a prohibition against blocking lawful content on wireline networks and certain types of content on wireless networks, and set up rules preventing unreasonable discrimination.

More analysis will come later. Update: Here’s the release discussing the order, and the full order itself will come in a few days. As for how we got here, this is a brief recap of the events and decisions leading up to today’s vote: 2006: Congress attempts to pass the first of many network neutrality bills. Lessig: It's Time to Demolish the FCC. FCC net neutrality decision sets up court battle, say experts. The US Federal Communications Commission's recent vote to impose net neutrality rules on broadband providers will lead to lengthy court battles, as well as efforts in Congress to repeal the rules, a group of Internet law experts said Wednesday.

Even supporters of the FCC's Dec. 21 vote predicted that multiple court challenges are likely as soon as the FCC officially publishes the new rules in the Federal Register. Court challenges to the rules are "inevitable," said Colin Crowell, former senior counselor to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski . Multiple lawsuits in courts across the US are likely, with some questioning the FCC's authority to make rules affecting Internet service providers and other groups suggesting the rules are arbitrary, added Markham Erickson, executive director of the Open Internet Coalition and a supporter of the rules.

The new rules prohibit service providers from selectively blocking or slowing Web traffic. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Home Page. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Home Page. DOC-303745A1. FCC To Push 'Net Neutrality' - Bloomberg. Net Neutrality Dies Tomorrow - Colbert Nation Forum. Craig Aaron: The FCC's Guide to Losing Net Neutrality Without Really Trying. Ever have to negotiate a contract or try to sell a used car? Would you start the give-and-take by naming the lowest price you're willing to accept and then try to get a better deal?

Of course not. Yet somehow, that's the exact "strategy" the Obama administration seems intent on pursuing -- and not just on tax cuts for the richest Americans. The Washington Post's Greg Sargent described this pathology among Democrats in a post last week: The problem isn't that Dems aren't capable of winning an argument. I don't know if such rampant spinelessness is genetic or contagious, but substitute "big phone and cable companies" for "Republicans" in the previous paragraph, and you've nailed the Federal Communications Commission's approach to the Net Neutrality debate. Over the past year, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has managed to take the administration's top tech priority - and Obama's promise to "take a back seat to no one" on the issue - and driven it into a ditch.

How We Got Here Wireless. Timothy Karr: Obama FCC Caves on Net Neutrality -- Tuesday Betrayal Assured. Late Monday, a majority of the FCC's commissioners indicated that they're going to vote with Chairman Julius Genachowski for a toothless Net Neutrality rule. According to all reports, the rule, which will be voted on during tomorrow's FCC meeting, falls drastically short of earlier pledges by President Obama and the FCC Chairman to protect the free and open Internet. The rule is so riddled with loopholes that it's become clear that this FCC chairman crafted it with the sole purpose of winning the endorsement of AT&T and cable lobbyists, and not defending the interests of the tens of millions of Internet users.

Welcome to AT&T's Internet For the first time in history of telecommunications law the FCC has given its stamp of approval to online discrimination. Instead of protecting openness on wireless Internet devices like the iPhone and Droid, the Commission has exempted the mobile Internet from Net Neutrality protections. Obama's 'Mission Accomplished' Don't believe it. Cerf: Governments shouldn?t have a monopoly on Internet governance. The beauty of the Internet is that it’s not controlled by any one group. Its governance is bottoms-up—with academics, non-profits, companies and governments all working to improve this technological wonder of the modern world. This model has not only made the Internet very open—a testbed for innovation by anyone, anywhere—it's also prevented vested interests from taking control. But last week the UN Committee on Science and Technology announced that only governments would be able to sit on a working group set up to examine improvements to the IGF—one of the Internet’s most important discussion forums.

This move has been condemned by the Internet Governance Caucus, the Internet Society (ISOC), the International Chamber of Commerce and numerous other organizations—who have published a joint letter (PDF) and launched an online petition to mobilize opposition. Petition: UN Needs to Ensure Open and Inclusive Internet Governance. The UN Needs to Ensure an Open and Inclusive Approach to Internet Governance. IGF-Working-Group-Decision1. Is a UN Internet takeover looming? Not quite. Perhaps you saw or heard the headlines last Friday or over the weekend: the United Nations could take over the Internet! (Or, as the Drudge Report put it, "UN PLANS INTERNET REGULATION. ") This, you may not be surprised to learn, isn't quite accurate.

A UN working group is currently talking about what, if anything, it could do to improve the operation of its Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a group devoted to dialogue but possessing no decision-making powers. But some are making plans to give the UN far more power. Back in 2006, the UN endorsed a call from the World Summit on the Information Society to create a multi-stakeholder forum for dialogue about Internet governance issues.

This became the IGF, which has now met five times—in Athens, Rio de Janeiro, Hyderabad, Sharm El Sheikh, and most recently in Vilnius. IGF does plenty of jawing, which can be quite useful, but it doesn't actually have any power. Cutting through the cant. A joint policy proposal for an open Internet. Posted by Alan Davidson, Google director of public policy and Tom Tauke, Verizon executive vice president of public affairs, policy, and communications The original architects of the Internet got the big things right. By making the network open, they enabled the greatest exchange of ideas in history. By making the Internet scalable, they enabled explosive innovation in the infrastructure. It is imperative that we find ways to protect the future openness of the Internet and encourage the rapid deployment of broadband.

Verizon and Google are pleased to discuss the principled compromise our companies have developed over the last year concerning the thorny issue of “network neutrality.” In October, our two companies issued a shared statement of principles on network neutrality. A few months later we submitted a joint filing to the FCC, and in an April joint op-ed our CEOs discussed their common interest in an open Internet. 1. 2.

Google and Verizon Joint Submission on the Open Internet. Net Neutrality: Save the Internet from Corporate Censorship! FCC: We didn't impose stricter net neutrality regulations on wireless because Android is open. Was It Google And Verizon Or The FCC That Just Screwed Us On Mobile Net Neutrality? FCC Net Neutrality Vote Is Just The Beginning. FCC Blackout. Android Is As Open As The Clenched Fist I’d Like To Punch The Carriers With. Developer Joe Hewitt Tears Into Android?s Definition Of ?Open?

Guess Who Else Disagrees With Google’s Net Neutrality Plan? Google In 2006. Steve Wozniak on the FCC and Internet freedom. What the new FCC open Internet rules could mean for net neutrality. US FCC fumbles ball on net neutrality: yes for fixed, not really for mobile | Technology. FCC: Yup, we're going to stop "paid prioritization" on the 'Net. Reporters Sans Frontières - FCC adopts ineffective rules on Net Neutrality. Telecomix. Telecomix (telecomix) Net Neutrality as Diplomacy | Yale Law and Policy Review. Google, Verizon and net neutrality: reaction from the web | Technology.

FCC Commissioner On Verizon-Google Proposal: Time To Put Consumers First. Why Google Became A Carrier-Humping, Net Neutrality Surrender Monkey (UPDATED) | Epicenter  Industry Cautious on Net Neutrality Rules. Facebook Enters the Google-Verizon Net Neutrality Debate. A paper trail of betrayal: Google's net neutrality collapse. Compromis over netneutraliteit mislukt. Google Is Anakin, Verizon Is The Emperor, And The Dark Side Is Winning. Franken: Net Neutrality "Biggest Issue Since Freedom of Reli. Keen on … Net Neutrality: Is America Losing its Edge? (TCTV) Phase II - - Wikileaks Mirror Network | vis4.net. John Palfrey » Blog Archive » A Citizens’ Choice Framework for Net Neutrality. Bill of Rights in Cyberspace, amended « BuzzMachine. Net neutrality is hypocrisy. Neutrality Or Bust. EXCLUSIVE: FCC Dems Narrowing Net Neutrality Gaps. Net-neutrality battle peaks. Senate Session.

Al Franken: The Most Important Free Speech Issue of Our Time. De Maizière scheint für staatliche Regelung zu Netzneutralität zu sein : netzpolitik.org. Google / Verizon. Net Neutrality : Pictures, Videos, Breaking News. Michael J.W. Stickings: Freedom vs. Corporate Authoritarianism: The FCC and Net Neutrality, Apple and WikiLeaks. Christopher K (intensifier)

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