And the Title II goes to…

According to multiple reports and his own opinion piece in Wired, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is ready to propose rules to protect Net Neutrality by extending Title II utility status to broadband. Wheeler wrote in Wired:

Originally, I believed that the FCC could assure internet openness through a determination of “commercial reasonableness” under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. While a recent court decision seemed to draw a roadmap for using this approach, I became concerned that this relatively new concept might, down the road, be interpreted to mean what is reasonable for commercial interests, not consumers.

That is why I am proposing that the FCC use its Title II authority to implement and enforce open internet protections.

This appears to be a victory for the grassroots activism that has been fighting the large telecom lobbyists. The full details of his proposal are not yet available. So, we shall have to wait and hope that today’s optimism is well founded in the fine print of a 300+ page document.

Free Online Marketing Advice

It is the Internet. Everyone arrives bored and annoyed.

Saving Net Neutrality

The FCC has extended its deadline for public commentary on proposed new rules regarding Net Neutrality, because their website crashed. Why did it crash? Because it was not prepared to handle the outpouring of support in favor of an open internet and opposition to a system where the few remaining ISPs are able to control what you see and how quickly you can see it.

We’ve got a few more days to make our voices heard. Please join me in voicing your support for Net Neutrality.

Here is one of my comments, dashed off and submitted through the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s web tool (feel free to reuse the last paragraph if you wish). There are other avenues to submitting a comment too. Be aware that your comment will be included in the public record and will be viewable online. So, limit your cursing. If you don’t feel like writing, there is a petition based submission platform from Fight for the Future.

Dear FCC,
I’m Joshua Witten and I live in Hartsville, SC.

Net neutrality, the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) treat all data that travels over their networks equally, is important to me because without it users may have fewer options and a less diverse Internet.

A pay-­to-play Internet worries me because new, innovative services that can’t afford expensive fees for better service will be less likely to succeed.

The Internet provides a unique way to broadly connect our society in a way that fosters communication and creativity. A failure to guarantee Net Neutrality sacrifices the benefits to creativity and economics of an open Internet to protect a select few from the natural process of having to adapt to a changing business environment. A loss of Net Neutrality will disadvantage the most innovative segments of our society. It is the responsibility of the FCC to define and protect a communication environment that benefits the country, not a select few interests.

Joshua Witten

Reset the Net

We here at The Finch & Pea are supporters of freedom, privacy, and the open exchange of ideas. We do our best to respect your privacy and the rights of those who produce creative content.

To those ends, we have, from the beginning published under Creative Commons licenses and have joined in advocacy to oppose government mass surveillance. Today, we are joining a multitude in the Reset the Net campaign to take steps to provide a secure Internet, because our governments will not act to respect our basic freedoms. As security expert Bruce Schneier has noted, organizations like the NSA have chosen to work to make the Internet less secure for all of us, in order to make it easier for them to attack those they perceive as threats.

As a hosted site, we cannot directly affect the addition of security features as recommended by the Reset the Net campaign. Fortunately, we don’t need to. Automattic, the parent company of has announced that it will be implementing the Reset the Net recommendations by implementing SSL on all its subdomains. They have also created an easy to implement Internet Defense League widget you can put on your own site to help spread the word.

We would also encourage you to click the banner at the bottom of the page or the Reset the Net logo to get information about taking back your privacy and helping to make the Internet secure.

Science for The People: Internet Things

#263 - Internet Things
#263 – Internet Things

This week, we’re looking at controversies over connectivity, both online and in the physical world. University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist walks us through the arguments over net neutrality. And we’ll speak to researcher Rob van Kranenburg about his book The Internet of Things: A critique of ambient technology and the all-seeing network of RFID.

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