Taking control of the internet

The mainstream news media refuse to report anything negative or unflattering about President Obama or his associates or his actions.  Thus, the internet is the best way for average Americans to exchange their observations and opinions about what's really happening and where the country is headed.  Mr. Obama is obviously very aware of this.

Mr. Obama wants control of the internet, up to and including an internet kill switch, because the internet is the central nervous system of the Tea Party, and the easiest way to bypass the state-controlled news media.

State governments don't seem interested in controlling the internet, as long as commercial transactions can be taxed.  Not heavily taxed -- at first -- just enough to break the ice.

Barack Obama Backs Internet Controls to Grapple with the 'Demand for Crazy'.  Government regulation and control over the internet can defeat a "demand for crazy" through the spread of incorrect messages, former President Barack Obama said Wednesday [4/6/2022].  Obama, 60, spoke with Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg at an event hosted by the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics and the magazine.  "I do think that there is a demand for crazy on the internet that we have to grapple with," Obama said, before adding a mix of regulation and industry standards are needed to address the issue.  Obama lamented how misinformation plays out across the U.S., accusing those who say President Joe Biden did not win the 2020 election as guilty of falling for conspiracy theories.

One Year Later:  The Internet Thrives Without 'Net Neutrality'.  It's been a full year since the FCC repealed "net neutrality."  And how have the predictions of doom and gloom held up? [...] Well, here we are, one year later.  The internet is still functioning.  In fact, it's better than ever.  Last year, average internet download speeds shot up almost 36%, and upload speeds climbed 22%, according to internet speed-test company Ookla in its latest U.S. broadband report.  There are more users than ever.  More videos to watch.  More content to consume.  More commerce being conducted.  No sites are being blocked.  No one is complaining that their service is being throttled.  And more people are gaining access to broadband.

The Internet has bigger problems than Facebook, and it's Obama's fault.  If you think Facebook has problems, they're nothing compared to the fiasco at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.  Americans should be far more alarmed about what's happening with the obscure, private California company that oversees the Internet's backbone.  ICANN's gross mismanagement of behind-the-scenes technical operations threatens the security, interoperability, and openness of the entire Internet, industry experts warn.  Unlike the Facebook situation, however, there may not be much lawmakers can do.

Barack Obama's $50 Million Netflix Swamp Cash Deal Explained.  Want to know how the D.C. swamp works at the highest levels and how this one White House example is legion throughout the federal government?  It goes something like this:  As president, Barack Obama aggressively pushed for "Net Neutrality" which primarily built and then protected the platform for Netflix ISP dominance.  Netflix's value skyrocketed.  And what then happened in 2018?  Netflix turned around and gave the Obamas a $50 million dollar 'consulting and development' deal.

Dangers of Government Control.  Should we give the government, through the Federal Communications Commission, control over the internet?  During the Clinton administration, along with the help of a Republican-dominated Congress, the visionary 1996 Telecommunications Act declared it "the policy of the United States" that internet service providers and websites be "unfettered by Federal or State regulation."  The act sought "to promote competition and reduce regulation in order to secure lower prices and higher quality services for American telecommunications consumers and encourage the rapid deployment of new telecommunications technologies."  In 2015, the Obama White House pressured the FCC to create the Open Internet Order, which has been branded by its advocates as net neutrality.  This move overthrew the spirit of the Telecommunications Act.  It represents creeping FCC jurisdiction, as its traditional areas of regulation — such as broadcast media and telecommunications — have been transformed by the internet, or at least diminished in importance.  Fortunately, it's being challenged by the new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, who has announced he will repeal the FCC's heavy-handed 2015 internet regulations.

The Prince and the Community Organizer.  Trying hard to sound sage, Obama offered up self-serving platitudes about the dangers of the Internet.  Under the guise of lamenting a partisan media, he called for a return to the old one.  He misses the liberal media monopoly terribly and wishes for a suppression of dissenters from it:  "One of the dangers of the internet is that people can have entirely different realities.  They can be cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases."  It is safe to say he is not referring to viewers of CNN and MSNBC.  Obama will let us know which "facts" can be used in any debate and which opinions deserve to be heard: [...]

Internet-Regulating FEC Commissioner to Resign.  A Democratic Federal Election Commission official who pushed to regulate the internet and has been absent from public meetings for months is resigning, according to an announcement.  Ann Ravel, who wanted to regulate political speech on the internet from websites such as the Drudge Report, announced Sunday [2/19/207] that she is stepping down from her post.

Obama Quietly Signs Bill Declaring War On Independent Media.  The human wrecking ball that is Barack Obama is refusing to be a good lame duck and just go away.  In a flurry of blows to America and a key Middle East ally, Obama stabbed Israel in the back at the United Nations and set the conditions for a total war on independent media.  The fiendish Obama waited until the Christmas weekend to quietly sign off on the creation of a new federal entity to combat "Russian" propaganda and target websites deemed to be sources of fake news.  Snuggled warmly within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to fund the military was a nasty and secretive provision that thanks to Congress, creates an Orwellian Ministry of Truth.

Another Day That Will Live in Infamy.  And when the U.N. takes control, and I think it would be closer to five years instead of ten, do you think they won't start charging fees to have access to the internet?  Access to publish, advertise, read, and yes... to utilize the cloud in order to access your own information.  What kind of control would they impose after that?  And how much will they charge and do we really think they won't have back door access to all that information for potential taxing purposes.  That's what the U.N. has been pushing for years to allow them international taxing authority. [...] As for Bolton's statement "the Internet handover — a mistake of such colossal proportions that you would have thought we'd have a huge debate about it in this country", I find that amazing also.  Where's the outcry?

Whatever it takes to keep the dirt under the carpet until after Election Day...
Ecuador cut off Assange's internet at U.S. request, WikiLeaks says.  Wikileaks said Tuesday [10/18/2016] that Secretary of State John Kerry asked Ecuador to stop WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, from publishing leaked emails that could disrupt peace negotiations with a guerrilla group in Colombia.  Assange, who has been in refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London for more than four years, saw his access to the internet cut over the weekend.

The Imperial President's Toolbox of Terror:  A Dictatorship Waiting to Happen.  Secret courts, secret orders, and secret budgets have become standard operating procedure for presidential administrations in recent years.  A good case in point is Presidential Policy Directive 20, a secret order signed by President Obama as a means of thwarting cyberattacks.  Based on what little information was leaked to the press about the clandestine directive, it appears that the president essentially put the military in charge of warding off a possible cyberattack.  A FOIA request by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) seeking more details on the directive was allegedly denied because doing so could cause "exceptionally grave damage to the national security."  However, EPIC believes the order allows for military deployment within the United States, including the ability to shut off communications with the outside world if the military believes it is necessary.

Obama-UN Internet Surrender:  It Ain't Over 'til It's Over.  Until October 1, ICANN operated pursuant to a contract administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is part of the U.S. Commerce Department.  ICANN, therefore, was answerable, in some measure, to Congress and the American people.  However, the Obama administration, which, in every other area is obsessed with federalizing and controlling every private function and abolishing private property rights, in this particular case, for some strange reason, is obsessed with "privatizing" the Internet.  Hence, he has claimed the authority to transfer the stewardship of the Internet to ICANN.

FEC war:  Dems reject call to protect Internet news, talk radio from regs.  In the latest partisan escalation on the Federal Election Commission, a top Democratic commissioner has ripped a Republican commissioner's bid to protect books, radio and Internet media from regulation as "pitiful."  Ann Ravel, a former FEC chairwoman, joined other Democrats at a meeting this month to block Republican Lee Goodman's proposal to explicitly expand the "press exemption" from regulations to books, satellite radio and Internet-based news media.

Ceding Control of Internet Puts the Global Debate Under Threat of Censors.  In another blow to American global leadership the Obama administration is abdicating control of the Internet. [...] Under the new arrangement, America loses power.  That seems to be the theme of Mr. Obama's overall legacy building — globalization and a reduction in U.S. influence.  Opponents of the Mr. Obama giveaway are going to court to reverse it.  Last Friday, four states — Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Nevada — failed to get a federal court judge to delay the transfer.  Expect more litigation.  Challenges to the giveaway will question the constitutionality of President Obama handing over our government property without getting Congress's consent.  The Internet was created by the United States a half century ago as a Defense Department project.  Within 20 years its influence had spread worldwide.

US cuts cord on internet oversight.  The US government on Saturday [10/1/2016] ended its formal oversight role over the internet, handing over management of the online address system to a global non-profit entity.  The US Commerce Department announced that its contract had expired with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which manages the internet's so-called "root zone."

Meet the New Authoritarian Masters of the Internet.  President Barack Obama's drive to hand off control of Internet domains to a foreign multi-national operation will give some very unpleasant regimes equal say over the future of online speech and commerce.  In fact, they are likely to have much more influence than America, because they will collectively push hard for a more tightly controlled Internet, and they are known for aggressively using political and economic pressure to get what they want.  Here's a look at some of the regimes that will begin shaping the future of the Internet in just a few days, if President Obama gets his way.

State AGs sue to stop Obama's internet transition.  Four Republican state attorneys general are suing to stop the Obama administration from transferring oversight of the internet to an international body, arguing the transition would violate the U.S. Constitution.  The lawsuit — filed Wednesday in a Texas federal court — threatens to throw up a new roadblock to one of the White House's top tech priorities, just days before the scheduled Oct. 1 transfer of the internet's address system is set to take place.

Obama's Reckless Plan Threatens U.S. Oversight of Internet.  The Obama administration is poised to surrender control of certain Internet functions to non-profit ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, on October 1.  According to Americans for Limited Government's senior editor Robert Romano, opposition to this Internet giveaway has united Republicans such as Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and presidential candidate Donald Trump.  But questions remain as to whether or not the Republicans will unite sufficiently to insist language is included in a continuing resolution that will forbid the transfer of control.

Frank Gaffney on Obama's Attempt to Slip Irreversible Internet Surrender Under the Radar: 'We've Got Three Days to Fix This'.  The conversation turned to the impending handover of Internet control to a foreign body, a topic that should be of major concern to American voters, although [Alex] Marlow sarcastically observed there was no time for it during the debate because moderator Lester Holt thought it was more important to discuss Donald Trump's thoughts on Barack Obama's birth certificate.  "A lot of people in this audience have absolutely no clue why we would do this and can't even interpret what Obama and the globalists are thinking," Marlow said.

Obama Should Not Put Free Speech on Internet at Risk by Giving Up US Oversight.  The incredible ingenuity of the American people invented the internet — one of the most transformational technologies in human history.  But even though we created and paid for the internet, we did not keep it for ourselves; we shared it for the benefit of all humanity.  That spirit of freedom and generosity is the very essence of our great nation.  Since the internet's inception, the United States government has played a critical role in supervising the core internet functions that allow websites to interface with the internet.  If any other country had created the internet, this power could have been used to deny internet access to websites that were deemed politically undesirable, unpopular, threatening, or disfavored by the ruling elite.  But not here in the United States.  The internet is an oasis of freedom today because of our First Amendment, which is unparalleled in the protection it affords free speech.  So long as the U.S. government is involved in internet governance, it cannot deny any website internet access on account of the ideas it espouses.

It's Now or Never to Save the Internet.  We have, unfortunately, come to expect our elected representatives to shirk hard decisions.  So it came as little surprise when the Senate released the text of a continuing resolution late last week to fund the U.S. government that did not include key objectives sought by conservatives, such as stopping taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood.  Although there are many problems with this budget deal, only one is irreversible and permanent:  allowing the Obama administration to cede oversight of the Internet to foreign bodies.  It's troubling that the Senate has failed to include language prohibiting this transfer of power.

White House:  Ceding U.S. Internet control to global body is 'small government'.  White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Thursday [9/22/2016] that ceding U.S. control of the internet to foreign governments is essentially a form of limited government.  Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, and other concerned lawmakers are fighting to prevent the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a California nonprofit, from falling into the hands of a "multi-stakeholder" global body.  A Commerce Department agency will relinquish oversight of ICANN on Oct. 1 unless Congress intervenes.

Statement: Donald Trump Opposes Ceding Internet Control To Foreign Powers.  The Republicans in Congress are admirably leading a fight to save the Internet this week, and need all the help the American people can give them to be successful.  Hillary Clinton's Democrats are refusing to protect the American people by not protecting the Internet.  The U.S. created, developed and expanded the Internet across the globe.  U.S. oversight has kept the Internet free and open without government censorship — a fundamental American value rooted in our Constitution's Free Speech clause.  Internet freedom is now at risk with the President's intent to cede control to international interests, including countries like China and Russia, which have a long track record of trying to impose online censorship.

Who oversees the internet?  Will Congress delay Oct. 1 transfer?  Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has been darkly warning about giving up U.S. oversight of internet names as of Oct. 1 — and he has been getting growing support for congressional action, even from Donald Trump.  But on Thursday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., laid out a "clean CR," a blueprint for a continuing resolution to fund the government from Oct. 1 through Dec. 9.  It does not include a provision to delay the transfer.

Changing who controls ICANN jeopardizes our presidential election.  Changing who controls the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) so close to our presidential election will jeopardize the results of how you vote on Nov. 8 unless Congress stops this changeover.  When the calendar hits Sept. 30, a mere 6 weeks before our election, the United States cannot be assured that if any web site is hacked, the responsible party will be held accountable.  We cannot be sure if a web site is a valid.  We cannot be sure if one country is being favored over another.  These are all the things ICANN is responsible for and has worked perfectly since the Internet was created.  Why change it now and so close to the election?

We Shouldn't Give Away the Internet to Authoritarian Regimes.  The essence of human freedom, of civilization itself, is cooperation:  cooperation between friends and family; businesses and customers; entrepreneurs and employees.  History and human experience teach that humans cooperate best when they do so voluntarily, without government coercion.  That is why I fully support the eventual transition of control over the internet from the Department of Commerce and to a private entity.  But I also worry that President Barack Obama is hastily rushing the current transfer of power to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which could make it easier for the United Nations to take over the internet.

It's essential that we keep the internet secure, free and open.  For most of the internet's history, the important role of assigning domain names has been left to a nonprofit group called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is under contract with the United States government.  If the Obama administration has its way, however, that will change prematurely on September 30, when the contract expires and governance of ICANN will transition to a global multistakeholder community.  I believe ICANN isn't ready for this transition.

Internet Group ICANN Boosted Member Who Transferred U.S. Technology to Iran.  The international organization the Obama administration is pushing to hand control over the internet to has provided official accreditation to people who have transferred technology to Iran, worked with North Korea, and ordered "murders-for-hire," according to congressional testimony that raises questions about the organization's practices.  Obama administration efforts to hand over control of America's Internet to The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, an international coalition of 162 countries and entities, have sparked outrage on Capitol Hill, where critics allege the move would stifle the free flow of information.

Cruz: Obama officials could face jail for internet 'handover'.  Sen. Ted Cruz warned Commerce Department officials they could face jail time for their efforts to hand control of the internet's domain name system to an international group, saying they violated congressional funding restrictions.  Cruz said the employees are at risk of "personal criminal liability of up to two years in prison" because, he alleged, they overstepped provisions in the last government spending bill that prevent them from using funds to carry out the transition.  "This administration is not going to prosecute it, but a new administration will be in Washington," Cruz said at a Senate Judiciary hearing Wednesday.  He said he couldn't say who would be the next president, but he was advising employees of the Commerce Department to be "on notice."

Dangerous Transfer:  The President's ICANN Internet Problem.  The Administration has an ill-conceived plan to give up Internet oversight, and that is no fiction.  Since the beginning of the year, President Obama has urged that our Commerce Department relinquish its control over the last remaining parcel of U.S. authority; namely, supervision of IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), which governs such critical Internet domains as ".mil," ".gov" and ".edu."  The "tech gurus" I mention above are real too, comprising the international Board and committees of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) a private, non-profit group that is on the cusp, under the Administration's plan, of gaining complete, autonomous control of the most basic functions of the Internet, free of any U.S. veto power.  The potential harm to American interests, both in terms of national security as well as American commerce, is palpable.

The ICANN and IANA Transition End Game.  Two years ago the Obama Administration announced its decision to allow a contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to lapse.  The practical implicaiton of that decision will be for ICANN to assume sole responsibility for the development of policy over the naming and numbering function of the Internet.  That decision has some singificant implications for the operation of the network and raised concerns, both about ICANN's ability to do the job technically and, more significantly, about its ability to manage the network in a way that maintained the network's security, stability, and openness.

Lawmaker pushes to sue Obama for Internet 'surrender'.  A Pennsylvania Republican and some outside groups want the House GOP to sue President Obama to prevent the transition of the Internet away from U.S. government oversight.  Rep.  Mike Kelly filed a resolution Friday [9/9/2016] that, if adopted, would allow Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to ask a judge to block the Obama administration from proceeding with the Internet transition, which is supposed to take place at the end of the month.  Conservative groups and activists asked House and Senate leaders to consider such a lawsuit last month, citing provisions in recent appropriations bills that banned the Commerce Department from spending taxpayer money on the transition.  "The American people's Congress has prohibited this hasty surrender in law and the administration must follow it," Kelly, a three-term Republican, said Friday.

Is the Obama Internet giveaway a criminal conspiracy?  The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on June 9 announced a plan preparing to transition the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on September 30.  The report proclaimed, "NTIA, along with other U.S. Government agencies, has reviewed the plan... NTIA finds that the IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal meets the criteria necessary to complete the long-promised privatization of the IANA functions."  There is only one problem.  The relinquishment of the responsibility over the IANA functions is prohibited under Section 539(a) of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, enacted into law late last year:  "None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to relinquish the responsibility of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, during fiscal year 2016, with respect to Internet domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative root zone file and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions."

Can the GOP stop Obama's internet giveaway?  As the October 1 deadline approaches for the us [sic] to turn over control of ICANN, the domain name nonprofit, to the international community, several congressional Republicans are vowing to fight the move because they say it's dangerous and premature. [...] ICANN has not demonstrated the independence necessary to resist individual countries from imposing their will on the internet.  The danger is that ICANN will become a tool of powerful nations like China and Russia, which would threaten internet freedom.  Obama refuses to follow the simple, time-tested adage:  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  This transfer is being done to kowtow to Arabs, the Russians, and the Chinese, who have their own ideas of what "internet freedom" means, and it's not what our idea of the concept is.

Leaked Memo:  Soros Foundation Eyed Stronger Internet Regulation in TPP Negotiations.  A leaked document from George Soros's Open Society Foundations reveals the organization was seeking to influence the positions of Latin American governments in negotiating the Transpacific Partnership Agreement, or TTP.  Soros's organization does not appear to support the TPP outright, but expressed interest in influencing the sweeping internationalist treaty, including the treaty's positions on Internet regulation.  The document reveals the Foundations provided a grant to a Latin American group under the project title "Promotion of Human Rights Standards in Latin American Internet Regulation."

Congress has just one month to keep the internet under US control.  When Congress comes back into session next Tuesday, it will only have a few short weeks to accomplish one of the most important tasks before it:  ensuring that control of the internet does not fall into the hands of those who would actively censor it to the detriment of free speech and American interests.  On Sept. 30, the United States is poised to hand over control of the internet to the United Nations, following a years-long push by the Obama administration, after the Department of Commerce sub-administration signed off on the final plans to hand over control of the process on Aug. 16.

Enjoy the Internet, Before Obama Abandons It to the UN.  In Monday's [8/29/2016] Wall Street Journal, columnist Gordon Crovitz sounds an urgent warning about President Obama's plans, during his final months in office, to fundamentally transform the internet.  It's an intricate tale, but the bottom line is that unless Congress acts fast, the World Wide Web looks likely to end up under control of the UN.  That would be the same UN that serves as a global clubhouse for despotic regimes that like to wield censorship as a basic tool of power.

An Internet Giveaway to the U.N..  When the Obama administration announced its plan to give up U.S. protection of the internet, it promised the United Nations would never take control.  But because of the administration's naiveté or arrogance, U.N. control is the likely result if the U.S. gives up internet stewardship as planned at midnight on Sept. 30.

Leaked Soros Document Calls For Regulating Internet To Favor 'Open Society' Supporters.  An internal proposed strategy from George Soros's Open Society Justice Initiative calls for international regulation of private actors' decisions on "what information is taken off the Internet and what may remain."  Those regulations, the document notes, should favor "those most supportive of open society."  The Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) is part of the Open Society Foundations, Soros's secretive network of political organizations.  According to the organization's website, "The Open Society Justice Initiative uses law to protect and empower people around the world, supporting the values and work of the Open Society Foundations."

Obama to Hand Off Control of the Internet On October 1st.  Lawrence E. Strickling, an NTIA (National Telecommunications & Information) administrator wrote that without any "significant impediment", the transition will occur October 1.  Let's look at this rationally and clear-headed.  This transition relates to DNS servers which are essentially the Internet's directory of IP addresses to call upon.  The handling of the directory of IP addresses is no longer going to happen under American authority and instead be handled by "foreign authorities"?  Who exactly are these "foreign authorities" — and why does no one know?  Boy, this sounds like a good idea!  For an administration touted on transparency and change, things are looking a little bit veiled right now.

The end of the internet as we know it.  The Commerce Department is finalizing the transition of control of the internet from U.S. hands to a "multi-stakeholder" model that includes Russia and China.  None of this was approved by Congress.  The administration is acting unilaterally to strip U.S. control of the internet and give it to totalitarians and religious fanatics.

America to hand off internet in under two months.  The Department of Commerce is set to hand off the final vestiges of American control over the Internet to international authorities in less than two months, officials have confirmed.  The department will finalize the transition effective Oct. 1, Assistant Secretary Lawrence Strickling wrote on Tuesday [8/16/2016], barring what he called "any significant impediment."  The move means the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, which is responsible for interpreting numerical addresses on the Web to a readable language, will move from U.S. control to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a multistakeholder body based in Los Angeles that includes countries such as China and Russia.

Will the Senate save the Internet?  Advocates for the transition have long held the concern that failure to move forward would in some way fracture the Internet, and that has been the rationale given for the U.S. to proceed with turning over the IANA functions to a new governance body led by the current vendor, ICANN, which handles these and other functions on behalf of the U.S. government.  Last year, then-outgoing ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade stated that failure to transition the IANA functions would result in fracturing.  Chehade stated, "ICANN's community may fracture or fray slowly, becoming divided... The technical operating communities using IANA may go separate ways..."  But that is not the real danger.  Let me be clear, no multistakeholder system that can be devised will ever be as effective at protecting a free and open Internet as the current United States government oversight system.

Ted Cruz:  Obama Plan to Give Up Internet Control 'Likely Illegal'.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called on Congress to stop the Obama administration from giving away control of the Internet with congressional authorization — a move Cruz said is likely illegal.  Since 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit organization that assigns domain names for the Internet and manages IP addresses, has operated under a contract with the U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration.  The NTIA plans to end its relationship with ICANN on Sept. 30.

They've apparently never heard, "If it works, don't fix it."
Federal regulation of Internet coming, warn FCC, FEC commissioners.  Democrats targeting content and control of the Internet, especially from conservative sources, are pushing hard to layer on new regulations and even censorship under the guise of promoting diversity while policing bullying, warn commissioners from the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Election Commission.  "Protecting freedom on the Internet is just one vote away," said Lee E. Goodman, a commissioner on the FEC which is divided three Democrats to three Republicans.  "There is a cloud over your free speech."  Freedom of speech on the Internet, added Ajit Pai, commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, "is increasingly under threat."

The White House has endorsed a plan to suppress ISIS images on the web.  There seems to be little disagreement between the parties on the fact that Islamic radicalization and attacks on our own soil are a bad thing. [...] So what, if anything, should be done about it?  The Counter Extremism Project (CEP), described as a "nonpartisan policy group" in their promotional literature, thinks they have the solution.  They're developing web based tools which purport to seek out and allow the removal of any terrorist related images, videos and other content which might be used as recruiting tools for Islamist terror groups.  If you're already feeling a chill wind blowing from that brief description you're not alone, but the White House seems to be all too ready to get onboard.

Obama's FCC's Internet Takeover Would Reduce Internet to a Public Utility.  Yesterday the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld President Obama's so-called "net neutrality" regulations in a 2-1 decision.  These are the rules that re-classified the Internet as a "public utility" under a Depression-era law, and leave us on the hook for a massive new tax increase and countless new regulations that are already having a dramatic negative impact on investment.  The judges on the D.C. Circuit wrote the decision simply pretending the regulations came from an expert agency entitled to deference based on its expertise.  They essentially decided to play along and ignore the widely reported fact that the order actually came from White House political hacks and a decision based entirely on politics to pressure the FCC to ignore its own experts to instead score a political win for the hard-left after the 2014 election landslide.

After FCC Ruling, November Election Will Decide Future of Internet.  On Tuesday [6/14/2016], the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a 2-1 decision upholding the 2015 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision to impose "Net Neutrality" on Internet service providers, treating the Internet like a public utility.  The controversial policy was enacted last year, much to the delight of Google, of left-wing activists in Silicon Valley, and of their White House allies.  It was a reversal of FCC chair Tom Wheeler's stance, and was carried out with little transparency.

Don't Hand The Internet Over To The U.N..  The U.S. quietly approved a plan Thursday [6/9/2016] to deliver oversight of the internet gatekeeping functions from the U.S. government to a private group.  It's been hailed as "privatizing" the internet, but in fact it does no such thing.

US agency endorses plan to cede Internet oversight.  The US administration on Thursday endorsed a plan to cede its oversight of the gatekeeper of Internet addresses to the broader online community.  Commerce Department assistant secretary for communications and information Lawrence Strickling told AFP that the proposal from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) meets the criteria set by the US administration.

Ted Cruz proposes bill to keep U.S. from giving up internet governance role.  Internet legislation proposed Wednesday [6/8/2016] in the Senate would prohibit the U.S. government from relinquishing its role with respect to overseeing the web's domain name system, or DNS, unless explicitly authorized by Congress.  The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a division of the Commerce Department, currently oversees control of the DNS, a virtual phonebook of sorts that allows internet users to easily browse the web by allocating domain names to websites the world over.

Obama administration backs plan to relinquish Internet control.  The Obama administration is getting behind a plan that would have the U.S. government relinquish its last bit of control over the Internet — a move Republican lawmakers are fighting tooth-and-nail.  The transfer was set in motion two years ago when a Commerce Department agency said it would cede oversight over an obscure, but powerful, Los Angeles-based nonprofit called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

U.S. Tech Giants Join EU to Censor the Internet.  The world's biggest technology companies joined with the European Union to censor the Internet, announcing this week an online "Code of Conduct" that will be used to remove and prosecute "illegal" speech, while promoting government propaganda.  Everything from the Christian Bible and the Islamic Koran to criticism of Islam or concerns about uncontrolled immigration could fall under the vague new censorship rules.  Alongside the censorship and propaganda, the EU touted "a robust system of enforcement" to effectively apply "criminal sanctions against the individual perpetrators" of illegal speech.  Critics, though, are speaking out, warning of the Orwellian implications of having an unelected and unaccountable super-state attempting to overturn centuries of protections for civil liberties that are at the core of Western civilization. [...] Among the participating firms are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (owned by Google), Microsoft, and more.

Cruz circulates plan to stop U.S. Internet giveaway.  A proposal being circulated by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, would block the plan to transfer control of a key component of the Internet before President Obama leaves office.  Cruz's "Protecting Internet Freedom Act" would direct the Department of Commerce to retain ownership of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.  The administration has sought to transfer the agency, which is responsible for administrative functions that transform code into language on the Internet, to an international authority called ICANN. Lawmakers worry that arrangement could empower countries like China and Iran to engage in more censorship, either at home or abroad.

Net Neutrality Will Regulate Internet Rates Despite Promises.  When FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler launched the opening salvo in the battle to regulate the Internet, he said time and time again that Net Neutrality would not be used to regulate rates.  Now he is arguing that restricting the FCC from regulating Internet rates will kill Net Neutrality.  Brace yourselves:  Rate regulation is coming, and Net Neutrality and those who supported it are to blame.

The FCC's Plan To Take Over The Internet Has Begun.  "It's not a government takeover of the Internet."  That was the mantra of those who backed the Federal Communication Commission's "net neutrality" rules, which the FCC approved a little over a year ago. [...] The rules were only meant to keep the Internet "free and open," advocates said.  All the government was doing was blocking ISPs from discriminating against users by charging more for faster speeds.  But to impose "net neutrality," the FCC reclassified the Internet so that it could regulate it in the same way it regulated the telephone monopolies.  FCC chairman Tom Wheeler promised that — despite the fact the FCC had just granted itself wide-ranging control over ISPs — it would use a "light touch" when it came to regulating ISPs.

Internet domain handoff takes major step forward.  A major step was taken Thursday in the U.S. government's plan to hand off oversight of the Internet domain name system.  A nonprofit international group approved a plan and forwarded it to the Obama administration Thursday [3/10/2016] for review and approval.  The group, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has historically been contracted out to manage the behind-the-scenes workings of the Internet that pair up numerical IP addresses with their familiar Web addresses.

Top 10 Lies in Obama's State of the Union.  [#5]  "We've protected an open internet...".  Obama's policy of Net Neutrality has turned Internet service providers into public utilities under an ancient regulatory regime.  The result has been a sharp decline in broadband investment and a much less free and open system.  In addition, the Obama administration is rushing to shift control of ICANN to the international community, which will ensure that the Internet is less free, and subject to overseas censorship.

FCC Defends Net Neutrality In Court As ISPs Continue To Challenge Its Authority.  The Federal Communications Commission is compelled to defend its regulations on net neutrality in the court in opposition to Internet service providers questioning the new rules.  The hearing kicked off on Friday, Dec. 4, in which the FCC defended its broadband regulations meant at putting a stop to favoritism on the Internet before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.  The agency pushed out the new policy reclassifying broadband Internet providers as being "common carriers" under the Title II of the Communications Act way back [in] February.  The new agency's regulations could permit the government to control these providers akin to telephone firms or other industries.

Penny Pritzker: The Obama Crony Destroying the Internet.  The Wall Street Journal's L. Gordon Crovitz reports Monday [11/2/2015] that the Department of Commerce is unlikely to stop Los Angeles-based XYZ.com from enforcing Chinese censorship of domain names around the world.  These names include a list of 12,000 words to ban from Chinese web addresses.  "Anyone in any country in the world will be denied use of these domains if their names include words that trouble Beijing's repressive leaders, Crovitz writes.

UN report on web harassment could open door to gov't control of Internet, critics warn.  Buried at the end of a wonkish UN report about problems women face online last month was a proposal that free speech advocates say could lay the groundwork for a government grab of the web.  The report, titled "Cyber Violence against Women and Girls: A Worldwide Wake-Up Call," described the bullying, harassment and threats faced by female Internet users as "a problem of pandemic proportion" — and suggested governments across the globe may one day need to use their "licensing prerogative" to ensure that only Internet service providers "that supervise content and its dissemination" be "allowed to connect with the public."

GOP questions constitutionality of Internet domain transition.  Leaders of the Judiciary committees in Congress are questioning whether the Obama administration's decision to give up oversight of parts of the Internet address system is unconstitutional.  The GOP lawmakers on Monday asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to explore whether the handoff is allowed to take place without Congress's approval.  They expressed concerned that the deal would involve the transfer of government property — something the Constitution says Congress needs to approve first.

Feds refuse to reveal cellular kill-switch plan.  The federal government has a plan to kill all cell-phone service in certain areas when officials decide it's necessary.  But you aren't allowed to see the plan.  And the fact that you cannot learn what might justify its use or who has the authority to push the kill button is the focus of a new case before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Pulling the plug on local cellular service already has been done.  In 2011, officials with the Bay Area Rapid Transit system in San Francisco cut off service inside four transit stations for three hours after a BART security officer shot and killed a homeless man and protests erupted in reaction.  The shutdown order was made when a protest organizer sought to coordinate activists via cell phone.

Drudge, Fox News could be censored under new federal rules, experts warn.  A Washington, D.C., appeals court is set to hear arguments later this year on new net neutrality rules, which critics say could lead to government regulators censoring websites such as the Drudge Report and Fox News.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear oral arguments against the Federal Communications Commission's rules on Dec. 4.  A panoply of amicus briefs filed with the court last week offer a preview of the arguments.

UN and Federal Threats to Internet Freedom Loom Large.  The argument in favor of Net Neutrality goes something like this:  If the government doesn't step in, Internet Service Providers might hypothetically decide to give priority to some websites and online services over others — perhaps forcing companies or websites to pay for faster content delivery to consumers.  Is that conceivable in a free market?  Yes.  Is it a problem?  Not really.  If that is what consumers and the market want, what's wrong with it?

New twist in telco giants' fight to destroy the FCC's net neutrality.  When an entire page of a lawsuit is taken up just listing the lawyers on the case, you know you have hit some vested interests.  And so it is with the opening arguments [PDF] of the US Telecom Association et al versus the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), aka status quo versus Open Internet.  There are seven petitioners in the case, most of them telecom associations (i.e., lobbyists) representing a large number of other companies, and the brief runs to 159 pages with 95 pages of argument.

More Free Stuff! Obama Hands Out More Freebies!  The very generous Barack Obama is giving our money to a new initiative which will provide a very expensive form of Broadband to poor neighborhoods.  He's calling it Connect Home, a pilot project to help "close the digital divide" by bringing broadband to poorer communities.  Mind you, most Americans can't get this yet.  It's also going to entire neighborhoods, not individuals which is a significant change not to be ignored in light of Mr. Obama's Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule.  He is defining expensive Broadband Internet as a "necessity" and a human right.  In providing this to the poor, he's depriving others.  He's redistributing our money and high-speed Broadband.  At some point, the segments of America that are paying for this will run out of money.  The media is phrasing it as something Obama is doing when it is our money that is doing it, not him.

FBI Director: Government Must Have Access to Your Encrypted Data.  The director of the FBI doesn't want you to use technology to encrypt your personal data.  He said that for your safety the feds should have unrestricted access to everything you store in a cloud or a hard drive, write in an e-mail, or send in a text.  Security, he says, trumps privacy.  Besides, only a criminal has something to hide.  Actually, what FBI Director James Comey told the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee is that in order to stay a step ahead of the bad guys, the g-men should have access to any available technology to decode encrypted data.  And that the government should be the arbiter of when decryption is necessary or not.

The Editor says...
Next, they'll want a copy of the key to the front door of your house.  You don't have anything to hide, do you?

Obama unveils high-speed Internet help for low-income homes.  Calling the Internet a 21st century necessity, President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled a program to bring faster Internet connections to more low-income households, particularly to help students living in public and assisted housing stay ahead in school.

Obama Extending Broadband Internet Access to Public Housing Residents.  The information superhighway is heading straight into taxpayer-subsidized housing.  The Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday [7/15/2015] announced an initiative to extend affordable broadband access to families living in HUD-assisted housing.  The project, launching in 27 cities and one tribal nation, is called ConnectHome.

Expanding the Lifeline Phone Subsidy — Here Comes Obamanet.  The Obama administration Thursday [5/28/2015] announced a plan to expand the troubled Lifeline program, which subsidizes phone service, to also include broadband coverage.  Despite the enormous potential for even more waste, fraud, and abuse in a program already famous for such fiscal irresponsibility, the Democrat-controlled Federal Communications Commission is nonetheless likely to approve this proposal.

FCC Commissioner: Internet Access Is Not a 'Basic Human Right'.  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) member Michael O'Rielly says it is "ludicrous to compare Internet access to a basic human right."  "Human rights are standards of behavior that are inherent in every human being," O'Rielly said Thursday [6/25/2015] in a speech to the Internet Innovation Alliance, a coalition of business and non-profit organizations.  "They are the core principles underpinning human interaction in society.  These include liberty, due process or justice, and freedom of religious beliefs.  "I find little sympathy with efforts to try to equate Internet access with these higher, fundamental concepts," O'Rielly stated.

Net Neutrality Regulations Make Their Debut.  At precisely 12:01 am Friday [6/12/2015], the new net neutrality regulations took effect after the D.C. Appeals Court declined petitioner's request for a delay in the case.  The day prior, a three-judge panel ruled the petitioners failed to satisfy the stringent requirements for a stay pending review.  Had the stay been granted, the new rules would have been put on hold until the broader court battle is settled.  In denying the request, the new FCC regulations took effect first thing this morning.  This means the FCC has the power to regulate ISPs, which are now classified as Title II telecommunication service providers and subject to common carrier regulations.

Republicans take aim at net neutrality in spending bill.  A House appropriations bill unveiled Wednesday [6/10/2015] would prevent the Federal Communications Commission from using government funds to implement net neutrality regulations until after a series of legal disputes are settled.  That could delay the controversial policy, which allows the agency to regulate the Internet like a public utility, for an untold number of years.  For net neutrality enthusiasts, that essentially spells a death sentence.

Net neutrality rules will take effect on Friday.  The new federal rules for net neutrality were allowed to take effect on Friday after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied a motion to stay the regulation.  "Petitioners have not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review," the three-judge panel said in its Thursday [6/11/2015] decision, which allowed the rules to kick in Friday [6/12/2015] at 12:01 a.m.

Congress must keep the Internet free.  12:01 a.m. Friday morning [6/12/2015] officially marked the end of the "permissionless" Internet.  The curtain has come down on the greatest deregulatory success story of all time as a result of the Federal Communications Commission acting to regulate the Net like an old fashioned phone monopoly with 81-year-old laws — starting on June 12, 2015.  This is nothing more than command-and-control government utility regulation packaged as something new called "net neutrality."

Obama has an offer that AT&T can't refuse.  Regulators routinely have to sign off on such mega-deals.  At least in theory, they do so in the interest of protecting the freedom of the marketplace from monopolistic practices.  But in this case, the regulators are not protecting consumers — instead, the Washington Post reported last week, the Federal Communications Commission appears to be using this deal as a bargaining chip to buy off one of the larger and better-funded sources of opposition to its Democratic commissioners' net neutrality agenda.  Essentially, it appears that AT&T will get its deal as long as it agrees to stop resisting and accept the FCC's restrictions on its Internet service.  It's a quid pro quo in which the regulators make trades to increase their own power instead of protecting consumers.

Subsidized Broadband: FCC Chairman Plans to Expand 'Obama Phone' Program to Internet.  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler announced on Thursday [5/28/2015] that he intends to expand Lifeline, popularly known as the "Obama Phone" program, to the Internet.  "I am circulating new proposals to "reboot" Lifeline for the Internet age," Wheeler wrote in a blog post on the FCC's Website.  He said the reboot would include "establishing minimum standards of service for voice and broadband," in addition to subsidies for low-income consumers.

You need an Obama-modem to go with your Obamaphone:
F.C.C. Chief Seeks Broadband Plan to Aid the Poor.  For 30 years, the federal government has helped millions of low-income Americans pay their phone bills, saying that telephone service is critical to summoning medical help, seeking work and, ultimately, climbing out of poverty.  Now, the nation's top communications regulator will propose offering those same people subsidized access to broadband Internet.  On Thursday [5/28/2015], that regulator, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will circulate a plan to his fellow commissioners suggesting sweeping changes to a $1.7 billion subsidy program charged with ensuring that all Americans have affordable access to advanced telecommunications services, according to senior agency officials.

FCC Commissioner: Feds May Come for Drudge.  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) member Ajit Pai said over the weekend that he foresees a future in which federal regulators will seek to regulate websites based on political content, using the power of the FCC or Federal Elections Commission (FEC).  He also revealed that his opposition to "net neutrality" regulations had resulted in personal harassment and threats to his family.

Why does Team Obama want to give control of Web to "global multi-stakeholder community"?  Later this year, our own government plans to give away control of the Internet to "the global multi-stakeholder community."  It would be hard to conceive of a plan more pointless and potentially harmful.  At issue is ultimate U.S. government control of a key part of the Internet:  its directory.  Your ability to reach your bank when you enter its URL, for example, ultimately depends on an assigned web address that is unique and registered.

Public outcry forces FEC Democrats to junk bid to regulate Internet, Drudge.  The Federal Election Commission, facing punishing criticism for suggesting that political activity on the Internet should be regulated, rejected talk of new rules Thursday [5/21/2015], a victory for GOP commissioners who feared Democrats were targeting conservative sites, even the Drudge Report.  During a public meeting, Democrats on the FEC said they were responding to the public outcry in saying that no new rules are required.

Kerry: Internet 'Needs Rules to Be Able to Flourish and Work Properly'.  In a speech today [5/18/2015] in South Korea, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the Internet "needs rules to be able to flourish and work properly."  This, according to Kerry, is necessary even for "a technology founded on freedom."  Speaking on behalf of the Obama administration, Kerry said that Internet policy is "a key component of our foreign policy."

ICANN sees privatization of Internet management soon.  The head of the nonprofit group that oversees the world's Internet addresses expressed confidence Thursday [5/14/2015] that it would be privatized and out of US government control by year's end.  Fadi Chehade's comments came despite criticism in the US Congress, where some lawmakers have resisted the plan to end Washington's key management role in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Get Ready for $11 Billion in 'Net Neutrality' Taxes.  Not long after FCC chairman Tom Wheeler swore that the FCC takeover of the Internet wouldn't result in new taxes or fees, it appears likely that new taxes will show up on Internet bills in the near future.

'National Emergency': US to Slap Sanctions on Hackers.  Cyber-attacks against the U.S. have become so bad that President Obama today declared it a "national emergency" and announced the first ever sanctions program designed specifically to go after foreign hackers.  In an executive order signed today and released by the White House, Obama said the "the increasing prevalence and severity of malicious cyber-enabled activities originating from, or directed by persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States."

The Editor says...
This sounds to me like a pretense for some completely unrelated restriction on the internet.

Google controls what we buy, the news we read — and Obama's policies.  A former Google officer is the president's chief technology adviser.  Google employees contributed more to President Obama's re-election than did employees of any other company except Microsoft.  Google lobbyists met with Obama White House officials 230 times.  By comparison, lobbyists from rival Comcast have been admitted to the inner sanctum a mere 20 or so times in the same period.  Oh, and on Election Night 2012, guess where Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt was?  Working for the president.  In the president's campaign office.  On a voter-turnout system designed to help the president get re-elected.

Welcome to a surrealistic world run by Google.  The mighty corporate techie giant with assets of $131 billion has nestled so long among us it is almost like family.  Website owners tell people who want things removed off the net:  "No can do 'cause Google is forever".  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rocked the online world world when its 313-page 'Net Neutrality' initiative was revealed last month.  But in reality, Net Neutrality was devised not by FCC but by Google.

Net neutrality: Obama's FCC puts Internet, American innovation at risk.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its disastrous new network neutrality rules earlier this month, officially signaling to the world that the U.S. will adopt a policy destined to stifle technological advancement and put network investment into neutral.  By heeding President Obama's call to make the Internet a government-regulated public utility, the FCC has adopted a system equipped to regulate public utilities and monopolies, not the dynamic and fast paced Internet economy.

ATF director steps down after bullet ban controversy.  The director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is stepping down following controversy surrounding the agency's proposal to ban certain types of ammunition.  The ATF announced Friday that Director B. Todd Jones is resigning at the end of the month "to pursue other opportunities in the private sector."

Net Neutrality: Yes, Mark Cuban, Atlas Is Shrugging.  Billionaire investor Mark Cuban recently commented, about a push for new regulations on the Internet, that "In my adult life I have never seen a situation that paralleled what I read in Ayn Rand's books until now with Net Neutrality."  He continued, "If Ayn Rand were an up-and-coming author today, she wouldn't write about steel or railroads, it would be Net Neutrality."  She certainly would, but if he thinks this is the first time real life has imitated Ayn Rand's fiction, he needs to be paying a little more attention.  Atlas has been shrugging for a long, long time.

FCC Chairman Concedes Future Internet Tax Is Possible After All.  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler acknowledged in congressional testimony today that an Internet tax — which he had previously said would not be imposed — could be imposed in the future.  Wheeler's remarks came during a Tuesday [3/17/2015] appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he was asked to shed light on the process by which the FCC passed rules last month regulating the Internet.

FCC net neutrality regulations include one really scary sentence.  At long last, the FCC has released its 400-page tome of net neutrality regulations. [...] But at least one sentence of the regulation is giving many analysts pause.  "A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non- harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management," reads page seven of the new Internet regulation adopted by the FCC.  Who then, now that these regulations are in effect, will determine which Internet content is lawful and unlawful?

Will the FCC Decide How Much You Pay for Internet?  The Federal Communications Commission has a new way to oversee how much companies can charge for Internet access, but swears it won't use it.  Can it be trusted?  That's the potential billion-dollar question.  Internet providers already don't like last month's FCC net neutrality decision, saying it will lead to intrusive government meddling in their businesses.  But as they raise the alarm about the FCC's action, they are pointing to language they say could result in government price controls.

Net neutrality enables Washington to say whose speech is free.  Two weeks after the Federal Communications Commission voted to regulate the Internet as a utility, the masters of the universe at the FCC, three unelected Democrats, are finally allowing Americans to see the actual order on exactly how they intend to ruin one of the major free speech and free market successes in the world.  Boy, do they have a plan.  Their new rules for the Internet requires 313 glorious pages of vague, regulating terminology, allowing the agency to make up the rules as it goes along.  Ever since the FCC started sidling up to the Internet like a dirty old man next to a supermodel, conservatives and other free marketeers have been channeling Cassandra, warning the nation that "net neutrality" was a pretext for the FCC to issue regulations putting them in charge of the Internet as a whole.  That is just what has happened.

The FCC Has Finally Released Its Net Neutrality Internet Regulations.  After more than a month of heated debate between regulators, lawmakers, companies and interest groups, the FCC on Thursday [3/12/2015] finally released the Internet regulations the agency voted to adopt two weeks ago.  The agency's 313-page Open Internet Order is accompanied by an additional 70-plus pages of individual statements by the five commissioners, two of whom dissented in the vote to adopt the new regulations.

FCC Minority Report Warns That New Internet Tax May Be Coming Soon.  The Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) two Republican members warned Americans that a new "Internet tax" may be only months away in their dissent on the FCC's net neutrality decision, which was publicly released Thursday [3/12/2015].  "Net neutrality proponents are already bragging that it will turn the FCC into the 'Department of the Internet,' Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai wrote in an exhaustive 63-page dissent that lamented the FCC's ruling for reasons ranging from higher taxes and fees to the plan's questionable legality.

Time to hit 'delete' on net neutrality.  Think about how the Internet has changed our lives in the last few years alone.  Would have been possible with the bureaucrats in Washington empowered to oversee what service providers can and cannot do?  We'd be lucky to even have dial-up service today.  It simply makes no sense to yoke the Internet of 2015 to any portion of the Communications Act of 1934.  The good news?  This fight isn't over.  As I mentioned earlier, we've been here twice before, once in 2006 and again in 2010.  Both times, net neutrality didn't survive a court challenge, and that's where we look now.

Obama's Other Internet Power Grab Is to Expand Policy.  February 26 was a particularly terrible day — in a six-plus year history of terrible Barack Obama Administration days.  That is the day the Obama Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — without benefit of Congress — unilaterally imposed on the free Internet the uber-heinous regulatory nightmare mess that is Title-II-Reclassification-Network Neutrality.  But that's not all the FCC — without any actual authority — did to the Web.

King Barry.  Obama is a lawless leader, choosing to rule by memorandum, regulation and executive order — he is not a president; he is a king. [...] Most egregious is his impending takeover of the internet.  Talk about finding solutions to things that aren't broken.  No one yet knows his plans for the future web — it's finished, but it's secret.  There are, however, two things that will be in the soup.  You can bet your bottom dollar there will be more fees and more taxes.  Render unto Obama what is Obama's — and it's all Obama's, so shut up and pay.  The FCC wants to control access to internet bandwidth, who gets it, when and how much, as well as pricing, taxes and fees.  Did I mention taxes and fees?  But what Barry really wants is to control content.

Netflix tries to explain its apparent sudden flip-flop on net neutrality.  A top Netflix exec is probably wishing he'd stayed in bed.  The company's chief financial officer, David Wells, told an investor conference Wednesday [3/4/2015] that Netflix isn't "pleased" about the Federal Communications Commission's recent vote on net neutrality, which slapped strong new rules on Internet providers.  It's a shocking admission for a company that led the charge on aggressive regulations for Comcast, Verizon and other broadband companies.  Last week, the FCC handed Web companies a big victory when it decided to regulate Internet providers under Title II of the Communications Act — just like legacy telephone companies.

Liberals Mugged by Obamanet.  When Google's Eric Schmidt called White House officials a few weeks ago to oppose President Obama's demand that the Internet be regulated as a utility, they told him to buzz off.  The chairman of the company that led lobbying for "net neutrality" learned the Obama plan made in its name instead micromanages the Internet.

After 'net neutrality' win, FCC's power needs to be dialed back.  In one of the most important decisions in its history, the Federal Communications Commission, a pernicious government agency set up more than 70 years ago to regulate radio interference, may undermine key aspects of the Internet.  But most media outlets provided coverage of last week's controversial decision, a 3-2 vote along party lines, for just about one 24-hour news cycle.  Many outlets described the new policies as a victory for consumers over the Internet Service Providers, such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.

Who wins with Obama's net neutrality?  The Barack Obama Administration's Thursday Internet uber-power grab is awful for just about every American.  It will lead to dramatically more expensive Web access — because of both raised service costs and huge new taxes.  And we will see a spiraling, regressive devolution of speed.  It will be a return to the spinning wheel of Web-waiting death.  When government regulation increases — private investment decreases.  When investment goes — forward progress goes with it.  And this Obama power grab is lots and lots and LOTS of regulation.

Bozell: Left Using IRS, FEC and FCC to End Free Speech.  President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell told an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday [2/27/2015] the "radical left" is using government agencies in "a relentless campaign to destroy the last vestiges of freedom in America."

Can We Impeach Now?  First Barack Obama decided to overreach and extend amnesty by executive order.  [Scroll down]  Then the FCC decided to declare internet a public utility.  They overreached, rushed it through, and committed to as little transparency as possible to make it happen.  Congress did nothing on this front and the FCC decided to replace the Congress on the matter.

Net Neutrality Will Become the Internet's ObamaCare.  Almost behind the public's back and with little fanfare, the FCC acceded yesterday [2/26/2015] to an Obama administration demand and voted that the internet be regulated like a public utility. Pro "Net Neutrality" activists hadn't bothered to convince the public that the FCC needed expanded power to keep the internet "open," but Democrats have the majority on the FCC.  They claimed that more industry regulation was needed, but destroying the free market which until now has driven innovation in communication and the internet was hardly a victory for the little guy.  Unless you just happen to have a blind faith in government and government bureaucrats, it's hard to see the upside in allowing the federal government to throw its suffocating embrace over the heretofore-dynamic internet.

What are the consequences of the Net Neutrality rules?  Now that the battle over net neutrality is over — except for the inevitable legal braying and squabbling — what difference is it going to make in your life?  With everything from cars to Crock-Pots connected to the Internet, high-speed Web access has become the water that nourishes all businesses.  So it's not surprising that the Federal Communications Commission's decision this week to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility (so-called Title II regulations) was preceded by a lot of spin and misinformation.  Here's a truth-or-consequences rundown of the popular Title II myths and what it all means to you.

The Truth About "Net Neutrality".  Paul Joseph Watson of Prison Planet and InfoWars explains how the federal government is about to seize control of the Internet and most Americans don't even know about it.  [Video clip]

If the FCC's 'Net Neutrality' Plan is So Great, Why Can't Anyone See It?  If the FCC's plan to "protect" net neutrality and rein in the power of greedy corporations is so fantastic, then why haven't its 332 pages been released for public consumption? [...] Despite this mammoth change in the function of the web, no Congressional debate took place, no bills were introduced and no legislation was signed.  The vast majority of Americans are unaware that this is even taking place since the news networks are offering scant coverage.

Obama's Little Shop of Horrors.  Obama continues to feed on America's freedoms everyday, taking more and more, never satisfied.  Most recently, the FCC passed Net Neutrality Regulations.  Obama and Democrats fully supported the takeover of the Internet, demanding it become a public utility controlled by the government, regardless of opposition from the American people.  The FCC is supposed to be an independent government agency, but as we are discovering, there are no boundaries honored by this administration.

Battles loom over tough new neutrality rules.  Despite the Federal Communications Commission's historic vote Thursday in favor of net neutrality, the fate of the Internet is far from settled.  The FCC's action triggered jubilation among open Internet enthusiasts, but the powerful telecom industry is poised for a legal challenge to the new rules.  And Republicans in Congress are pushing legislation that would supersede the FCC's approach.  In a 3-2 vote along party lines, the FCC acted to implement net neutrality rules designed to ensure that Internet service providers (ISPs) treat all legal content equally, eliciting howls of protest from the ISPs.

Obama Sent Reddit a Hand-Written Note to Thank Users for Net Neutrality Push.  While you were all engrossed by CPAC and rampant llamas, the Federal Communications Commission today voted in favor of new net neutrality regulations that, if fully implemented, would mean internet service providers could not discriminate in which sites and services customers would get access to.  Websites like Reddit were at the forefront of net neutrality advocacy, and President Obama even voiced support of it months ago.

FCC Net Neutrality rules worst example of government intervention... ever.  Of all the government interventions by the Obama administration, the plan released Thursday by the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the Internet is the worst. [...] The FCC's plan to muddy the pure waters of the Internet pollutes the one free flow of information on the planet.  And what hurts as much as witnessing the pollution of the Internet with bureaucratic interference?  With the exception of the Republican FCC commissioners, most are being blasé about the whole thing.

We can't protect free, open Internet by dusting off old regulations.  The courts have already overturned two sets of FCC rules, but this so-called "independent agency" is poised to vote this week on its most aggressive rules yet.  At the urging of President Obama, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler submitted a proposal that included more drastic changes and regulations than ever before.  This government takeover of the Internet follows the President's position that reclassification of broadband services to Title II common carrier status — which were originally designed and implemented to protect against 1930s monopolies — is the only option.

The FCC set to approve strong net neutrality rules.  The Federal Communications Commission for the first time classified Internet providers as public utilities Thursday [2/26/2015], a landmark vote that officials said will prevent cable and telecommunications companies from controlling what people see on the Web.  The move, approved 3 to 2 along party lines, was part of a sweeping set of new "net neutrality" rules aimed at banning providers of high-speed Internet access such as Verizon and Time Warner Cable from blocking Web sites they don't like or auctioning off faster traffic speeds to the highest bidders.

Comrades for Net Neutrality.  Today's [2/26/2015] vote by a bitterly divided Federal Communications Commission that the Internet should be regulated as a public utility is the culmination of a decade-long battle by the Left.  Using money from George Soros and liberal foundations that totaled at least $196 million, radical activists finally succeeded in ramming through "net neutrality," or the idea that all data should be transmitted equally over the Internet.  The final push involved unprecedented political pressure exerted by the Obama White House on FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, head of an ostensibly independent regulatory body.

Department of the Internet.  More government control, tax hikes and a stop to innovation online — that's how opponents of President Obama's call for so-called net neutrality described the FCC vote Thursday to regulate the internet under federal law.  Net neutrality is the concept that no service or website is given priority, or special pricing, over others by internet service providers.  While that idea has backers from all sides of the political spectrum, the move to classify internet service as a public utility similar to home phone service is seen by many as a death knell to the culture of fast-moving innovation online.

FCC approves sweeping Internet regulation plan, Obama accused of meddling.  On its surface, the plan is aimed at barring service providers from creating paid "fast lanes" on the Internet, which consumer advocates and Internet companies worry would edge out cash-strapped startups and smaller Internet-based businesses.  Chairman Tom Wheeler said it would ensure an "open, unfettered network."  But the rules, more broadly, would put the Internet in the same regulatory camp as the telephone by classifying it like a public utility, meaning providers like Comcast or Verizon would have to act in the "public interest" when providing a mobile connection to your home or phone.  Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai, who delivered some of the most scathing criticism of the plan Thursday [2/26/2015], warned the policy represents a "monumental shift" to "government control of the Internet."

Federal Communications Commission approves 'net neutrality' Internet regulations.  The new rules say that any company providing a broadband connection to your home or phone would have to act in the public interest and conduct business in ways that are "just and reasonable."

Historic vote set for Internet rules.  The vote — which is expected to fall 3-2 along party lines — will usher in the next stage of the decadelong war over rules for people's access to the Internet.  In coming months, that new fight will play out in the court of public opinion as well as the halls of Congress and the nation's judicial system.  Congressional Republicans have already unveiled legislation to replace the rules, and that effort is likely to continue in coming weeks, when they hope the momentum will shift back in their favor.  Lawmakers have also raised concerns about improper coordination between the White House and the FCC. Major cable companies have already said they are nearly certain to sue over the rules.

Soros, Ford Foundation shovel $196 million to 'net neutrality' groups, staff to White House.  Liberal philanthropist George Soros and the Ford Foundation have lavished groups supporting the administration's "net neutrality" agenda, donating $196 million and landing proponents on the White House staff, according to a new report.  And now, as the Federal Communications Commission nears approving a type of government control over the Internet, the groups are poised to declare victory in the years-long fight, according to the report from MRC Business, an arm of the conservative media watchdog, the Media Research Center.

Hollywood's creative class cheers FCC passage of net neutrality rules.  The Federal Communications Commission's landmark vote on open Internet rules is being cheered by some in Hollywood who see the Internet as the new frontier for creativity and free expression.

Sen. John Thune Will Lean on FCC Over Net-Neutrality Rule.  On the day the Federal Communications Commission is poised to take a historic vote to reclassify the Internet as a public utility, a major victory for open-Internet advocates, the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee had other ideas.  He is bringing the five FCC commissioners before the committee in two weeks to ask them, more or less, what they were thinking.

Obama's Ongoing Assault On The First Amendment.  We're talking, of course, of the looming decision by the Federal Communications Commission to declare the Internet a utility for regulatory purposes and to impose "net neutrality" — a fancy word for government control — on Internet and content providers.  Such a declaration would give the government sweeping powers to determine the content of the Internet and who will have access.  As the proposed new rule stands, all the FCC would have to do is make a finding that a certain practice may "harm" consumers or a company.  Then it could basically do whatever it wants to fix the situation.

'Net Neutrality' Is a Problem, Not a Solution.  The oldest trick in the collectivist playbook is to create a problem through government regulations, let it stew for a while, and then propose even bigger government as the only possible solution to the "crisis" it planted, nourished, and harvested.  We watched government tinkering in health care make it more expensive and complicated, year after year... until the time was ripe to stuff the biggest, sloppiest, most poorly-thought-out Big Government power grab of the modern era down our throats.  Are we really going to fall for that again with the FCC's new Net Neutrality regulations?

Obama Doesn't Want an Open Internet, but a Government Regulated Monopoly.  Will Obama oppose the Comcast and Time Warner merger the way that he opposes Keystone?  Of course not.  You don't spend that much time hanging out with the CEO of a company whose dreams you're going to shoot down.  The fix is in and it's a revealing fix.  What Obama wants isn't an open or transparent internet.  He wants a cable monopoly for a terrible internet run by a friendly company that depends on government regulation and bribes.  He wants control of the internet not for the benefit of the public, but to centralize power over it.

Is the FCC lawless?.  The sad reality is that, without any convincing evidence of market failure and consumer harm, the FCC is poised, on a 3-2 party-line vote, to expand its control over Internet providers in ways that threaten the Internet's future growth and vibrancy.  Here is the nub of the matter: By choosing to regulate Internet providers as old-fashioned public utilities in order to enforce "neutrality" mandates, the commission will discourage private-sector investment and innovation for many years to come, if only as a result of the litigation that will be spawned and the uncertainty that will be created.

GOP House Chairmen Blast FCC Chairman's Refusal to Testify.  [Scroll down]  "The last time a rule of this magnitude was voted on by the FCC, then-Senator Obama was motivated to call for transparency at the commission," the congressmen said.  "We continue that call today."  The FCC is set to vote on the proposed net neutrality regulations on Thursday.  However, no one outside of the commissioners and their staff are permitted to see the regulations until they are passed.  Even members of Congress are barred from reading the 332-page draft.

GOP retreats on bill to block unprecedented 'net neutrality' regulations.  With the Federal Communications Commission poised Thursday [2/26/2015] to impose unprecedented regulations on the Internet, congressional Republicans have quietly backed down on a plan to block the looming FCC rules ahead of time with their own legislation.  Republican lawmakers blamed Obama administration officials, who they say have interfered in bipartisan talks to produce legislation that would ban some of the onerous practices the FCC seeks to stop, but with far less government regulation than the pending agency rules proposed.

Eleventh-hour drama for net neutrality.  A Democrat on the Federal Communications Commission wants to see changes that could narrow the scope of new net neutrality rules set for a vote on Thursday [2/26/2015].  Mignon Clyburn, one of three Democrats on the FCC, has asked Chairman Tom Wheeler to roll back some of his provisions before the full commission votes on them, FCC officials said.

Obama's Move To Regulate Internet Has Activists' 'Fingerprints All Over It'.  The Obama White House has worked directly with online activists to pressure the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the internet.  The Commission is expected to vote on the president's "net neutrality" policy on Thursday [2/26/2015].  According to White House visitor logs, on September 23, 2014, Obama senior internet advisor David Edelman met with 30 netroots activists and executives from Spitfire Strategies.  Spitfire is a public relations firm that received over $2 million from the Ford Foundation since 2009 to create PR and media strategy relating to net neutrality.

House Chair Demands FCC Net Neutrality Gag Order Lifted.  Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) demanded yesterday [2/23/2015] that the Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler make public the details of the proposed net neutrality regulations that will regulate the Internet under the same rules as the old AT&T monopoly.  Chaffetz also asked the FCC Chair to appear and answer questions at the House Oversight hearing Wednesday [2/25/2015], prior to the planned Agency vote on the draft rules now scheduled for Thursday.  The 332-page final draft FCC order was only delivered to the four other FCC commissioners three weeks ago.

From Internet to Obamanet.  Critics of President Obama's "net neutrality" plan call it ObamaCare for the Internet.  That's unfair to ObamaCare.  Both ObamaCare and "Obamanet" submit huge industries to complex regulations.  Their supporters say the new rules had to be passed before anyone could read them.

Losing the Internet.  The administration's plan to create a "free and open Internet" means, as usual, the opposite of what it says.  As Gordon Crovitz explains in the Wall Street Journal, it is really a monumental, bare-faced power grab. [...] The very success of the Internet doomed its independence.  Like any rich, glittering center of wealth that springs up in the desert sands, it would inevitably be coveted by nearby chieftains.  And if there's anything this administration — and to a lesser extent any administration — hankers after it is power.  So a-raiding they will go.  So here is prince Barack, at the tech city gates, demanding the keys.

Obama's regs will make Internet slow as in Europe, warn FCC, FEC commissioners.  As the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Election Commission toy with regulating aspects of the Internet, critics on those agencies are warning that speed and freedom of speech are in jeopardy.  In a joint column, Federal Communications Commission member Ajit Pai and Federal Election Commission member Lee Goodman, leveled the boom on the Obama-favored regulations, essentially charging that it will muck up the freedom the nation has come to expect from the Internet.

Neutralize Obama's Hijacking of the Internet.  Barack Obama is knocking all little people in civil society off the Information Highway — but leaving the coast clear for all Islamic terrorists.  Average citizens who depend on the Internet to get their message out will be 'regulated' off beginning three days from now, but ISIS which recruits new members from off the 'Net will continue to send its threats and gruesome YouTubes online.  In fact, when all regulations from Obama's 332-page book of 'Net Neutrality' are in place, only governments and terrorists will be free to blog and post.

Republican lawmakers investigate White House net neutrality push.  Congressional Republicans are demanding to know how much the White House influenced the Federal Communications Commission while the agency crafted net neutrality rules.  The FCC has until Monday afternoon [2/23/2015] to produce unredacted email messages, focused on net neutrality rules, between FCC staff and officials with the Obama administration, U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz said in a letter to the FCC Friday.

Obama's Plan to Regulate the Internet Risks Content Control.  This risk is dismissed as a myth or even a "lie" by proponents of the president's plan.  A few years ago an employee of Free Press — a group founded by a Marxist college professor who famously said "the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control" — accused me of "a crackpot conspiracy" because I was concerned that economic regulation could lead to content control.  Those who live outside Obama's cult of personality take a far more cautious view of today's federal government.  A new poll by Rasmussen Reports found that 68 percent of registered voters are concerned that "if the FCC does gain regulatory control over the Internet it will lead to government efforts to control online content or promote a political agenda."

FCC, FEC look to ruin the Internet.  We knew this was coming.  Within the last couple of weeks, both the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission declared their intention to regulate the Internet.  Fascists always explain their actions as efforts to either make something more efficient, "fair," or to supposedly "protect" their target. [...] Make no mistake:  The Internet is under assault and saving it is up to us.

'Net Neutrality' is Hijacking the Information Highway.  "Quickly and quietly", high-handed Barack Obama and the Democrats are working on hijacking the Information Highway.  Big Government takeover of the Internet will become a fait accompli by February 26, 2015, with a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote.  By the time the public becomes aware of it, the Internet will already belong to Obama.  Suffering in silence with no means of communication to others is exactly what Obama wants on his mission for his ever-expanding Fundamental Transformation of the Free West.

Obama's Internet Power Grab.  [FCC Chairman Tom] Wheeler, Obama and the rest of their Democratic Party allies want to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service and regulate ISPs like utility companies, or "common carriers," rather than "information services" that fall outside FCC regulatory power.  The ostensible purpose of the change is to implement "net neutrality" rules.  Net neutrality is about preventing ISPs from blocking, slowing down, or diminishing the quality of applications and websites, from charging them higher prices for providing prioritized access, aka "fast lanes," or giving preferential treatment to their affiliates.

NSA/FBI will want you to "vaccinate" your computer.  Be very, very careful what you wish for.  The exact same arguments for forcing parents to vaccinate their children will be used to force everyone to "vaccinate" their computers with NSA/GCHQ-approved spyware prior to being allowed to connect to the Internet.  The Chinese are nearly there already.  Once everyone's computers have been "vaccinated", it [would then be considered] "safe" to introduce Internet voting.  From then on, a simple hack can silently steal elections.

FCC and Net neutrality: What you really need to know.  After a year of discussion and table-setting, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler this week submitted his proposed set of rules for ensuring an open Internet.  As is so often the case with rule-making, that Net neutrality proposal is rubbing some powerful interests the wrong way.  So it is that the future of the Internet is at stake.

Net Neutrality: The FCC Has Picked Our Poison.  FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's latest Net neutrality plan should be hard to stomach for anybody expecting Internet-fueled innovation to continue

FCC Commissioner: 'Unprecedented Involvement Of Executive Branch In Our Decision-Making'.  Republican Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Ajit Pai hosted a press conference on Tuesday to discuss with reporters about his concern about President Obama's proposal "to regulate the internet."  Pai cited concerns ranging from the proposal causing heavy-handed FCC regulations on the internet to the plan being a "gift to trial lawyers."  Under the idea of net neutrality the president, along with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, is pushing the plan forward prior to the Feb. 26 FCC vote on the matter.

How about banning political discussions over the telephone?  Is there any difference?
Federal Election Commission to Consider Regulating Online Political Speech.  The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is holding a hearing today to receive public feedback on whether it should create new rules regulating political speech, including political speech on the Internet that one commissioner warned could affect blogs, YouTube videos and even websites like the Drudge Report.  The hearing is a response to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC last year, which struck down the FEC's previous cap on aggregate campaign contributions from a single donor in an election cycle.

FCC Keeps Its 'Open Internet' Plan Hidden From View.  How's this for irony? The Federal Communications Commission, which wants to regulate the Internet heavily to make it more "open," is refusing to let the public see its proposed rules before the commissioners vote on them in two weeks.  Perhaps it's because, while talking publicly in reassuring tones about how the FCC merely wants to secure "net neutrality," it's planning to do much, much more.  That, at least, is what Ajit Pai, one of the FCC's two Republican commissioners, is claiming.

Republican FCC Commissioner: Public Is Being Misled About Net-Neutrality Plan.  The Federal Communications Commission is misleading the public about its 332-page plan to regulate the Internet, a Republican member of the commission said Tuesday [2/10/2015].  The net-neutrality plan could in fact open the door to new fees and taxes, as well as government control over the prices that Internet providers charge their customers, Commissioner Ajit Pai told reporters.  The claims echo attacks from Republicans on Capitol Hill, who are also scrambling to thwart the new regulations.

Railroad Regulations For The Internet!.  The Federal Communications Commission is seriously contemplating whether to put one of the strongest sectors of the U.S. economy under laws that were originally modeled after railroad regulation from early in the last century.  On February 26, the FCC is set to vote on whether to reclassify Internet service to fall under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.  It's true that the act was amended in 1996 — but that was still clearly prior to the emergence of the Internet you see before you.

President Obama's FCC Overreaches Yet Again.  Lacking support of the people's representatives, President Obama's administration has usurped congressional authority and has, effectively, attempted to rule by presidential decree enforced through regulatory agency mandate. [...] The FCC is trying to impose many transformative regulations without following the proper regulatory process, and often lacking the statutory authority to promulgate the proposed regulations in the first place.  Perhaps the most damaging part of the FCC's onslaught is the proposed Open Internet regulations, which would impose a 1930s style regulatory structure on the web.  These regulations are not only inappropriate, they are harmful, because they view the 21st century Internet as a 20th century public utility.

Republican FCC Member Warns Net Neutrality Is Not Neutral.  Ajit Pai, the sole Republican Commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), inferred in a Tweet that President Barack Obama's secret, 332-page "Net Neutrality" document is a scheme for federal micro-managing of the Internet to extract billions in new taxes from consumers and again enforce progressives' idea of honest, equitable, and balanced content fairness.

Congress Looking Into White House's Role in FCC's Net Neutrality Regulations.  The secrecy surrounding the Obama administration's plans for regulating the Internet has prompted a congressional inquiry into whether the independent Federal Communications Commission or the White House and its allies are calling the shots over the future of the nation's broadband networks.  A top adviser to Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), defended Wheeler's decision to hide his latest draft of Internet regulations from the public until after the agency voted on them at the end of the month during a public question and answer session on Twitter held on Friday, Feb. 6.

Congress looking into White House's role in FCC's net neutrality regulations.  The secrecy surrounding the Obama administration's plans for regulating the Internet has prompted a congressional inquiry into whether the independent Federal Communications Commission or the White House and its allies are calling the shots over the future of the nation's broadband networks.  A top adviser to Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), defended Wheeler's decision to hide his latest draft of Internet regulations from the public until after the agency voted on them at the end of the month during a public question and answer session on Twitter held on Friday, Feb. 6.

After Choking Telecom Innovation for 80 Years, FCC Plans to Take on the Internet.  On Wednesday [2/4/2015], FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced plans to regulate the Internet like a utility and impose the "strongest open Internet protections ever proposed by the FCC."  Under his plan, the commission will prevent "paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services."  "All this can be accomplished," he argues in an essay published by Wired, "while encouraging investment in broadband networks."  It's all music to the ears of the "net neutrality" crowd, who want to prevent ISPs from being able to freely manage their own network traffic by using variable rates.

Republican FCC Commissioner Slams 'Obama's 332-Page Plan To Regulate The Internet'.  Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai on Friday raised the first of many criticisms to come about FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's aggressive net neutrality plan distributed to commissioners Thursday [2/5/2015], which Pai described as "President Obama's 332-page plan to regulate the Internet."  In a statement released Friday, Pai lamented the fact that the 332-page plan, which he tweeted a picture of himself holding next to a picture of Obama, won't be released to the public until after the commission votes on its implementation later this month.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: This Is How We Will Ensure Net Neutrality.  After more than a decade of debate and a record-setting proceeding that attracted nearly 4 million public comments, the time to settle the Net Neutrality question has arrived.  This week, I will circulate to the members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed new rules to preserve the internet as an open platform for innovation and free expression.  This proposal is rooted in long-standing regulatory principles, marketplace experience, and public input received over the last several months.

In Net Neutrality Plan, F.C.C. Chief Sees Internet Service Regulated as Public Utility.  For the last year, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has been working on new rules to ensure so-called net neutrality, or an open Internet.  Over that time, his hints and comments have shown a steady shift toward stronger regulation — and a more direct confrontation with the cable television and telecommunications companies that provide high-speed Internet service to most American homes.  But on Wednesday [2/4/2015], Mr. Wheeler went further than some industry analysts had expected and even beyond the recommendations of President Obama, who in November urged the commission to adopt the "strongest possible rules," in a surprising public admonition to an independent agency.

FCC chair proposes 'bright-line' net neutrality rules.  Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed Wednesday he's seeking strong net neutrality rules that regulate broadband service like a utility, matching a vision laid out by President Barack Obama and setting up a high-stakes standoff with the telecom industry and congressional Republicans.

White House Claims Power to Regulate, Tax Internet Without Congress.  The White House dropped a bombshell on Thursday [1/15/2015] by announcing that FCC already has the authority to take over regulating and taxing the Internet without Congressional approval.  Under "network neutrality" proceedings, the FCC could extend its 16.1% fee on interstate telecommunications services and relay fees to the Internet.  The action would more than double the "universal service" revenue it collected in 2014, from $8 billion to $16 billion.

Net Neutrality Compromises the Internet's Future.  Perhaps President Obama envisions that the Internet is operated by Ernestine, the condescending telephone operator played by Lily Tomlin on Laugh-In.  Otherwise, it is difficult to justify why he would want to hobble the 21st century broadband industry with regulations designed in the early 20th century.  Even FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler earlier this year wrote, the FCC is "not going to take over the Internet," or "dictate the architecture of the Internet."  And yet, the FCC is now under pressure to follow President Obama's statement on November 10 to regulate the Internet under obsolete 1930s laws.

Obama's calls for government-run Internet service stoke GOP ire.  President Obama's call for more cities and towns to create their own broadband Internet services to compete with private companies like Comcast is meeting stiff opposition from many Republicans.  Unlike the president's previous proposals this week to bulk up U.S. cybersecurity and protect Americans' identities online — which were largely welcomed on Capitol Hill — he waded into hotly partisan waters on Wednesday [1/14/2015] by unveiling a plan to eliminate state laws limiting local government-run Web connections.

Congressional proposal offers Internet rules of the road.  For the past decade, a debate has raged in Washington and across the country about the best way to protect an open, unfettered Internet.  The increasing use of smartphones and web-connected products and services make finding the right answer more important than ever. [...] We need unambiguous rules of the road that protect Internet users and can help spur job creation and economic growth.  The rules we propose would prohibit blocking and throttling (the selective slowing of data), and also ensure that Internet service providers could not charge a premium to prioritize content delivery.

Net neutrality takes new twist as Congress appears ready to step in.  A political battle in Washington, D.C. is heating up as the Federal Communications Commission strongly hints its new Net neutrality rules, which will be voted on next month, will include President Barack Obama's directive to reclassify broadband as a utility.  On Wednesday, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said during a discussion at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the FCC plans to vote February 26 whether to reclassify Internet service providers as common carriers under the Title II of the Communications broadband traffic.

RLC Urges Congress to Block Obama Proposed 'Net Neutrality' Rules.  The Republican Liberty Caucus has urged Congress to intervene to prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from adopting President Obama's so-called "Net Neutrality" rules, which would stifle free speech, technological innovation and competition in the marketplace.

If the Internet becomes a public utility, you'll pay more. Here's why.  The Federal Communications Commission is in the middle of a high-stakes decision that could raise taxes for close to 90 percent of Americans.  The commission is considering whether to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service and, in doing so, Washington would trigger new taxes and fees at the state and local level.  The agency would like to make Internet service a public utility, placing broadband under Title II regulation of the Communications Act of 1934.  This move would make broadband subject to New Deal-era regulation, and have significant consequences for U.S. taxpayers.

FCC to vote on net neutrality rules in February.  The U.S. Federal Communications Commission plans to vote on new net neutrality rules during its February meeting.  FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will bring a proposal to a vote during the commission's Feb. 26 meeting, FCC spokeswoman Kim Hart said Friday [1/2/2015], following a report in the Washington Post.  It's unclear, however, what form those rules will take.  Hart declined to comment further on the net neutrality order Wheeler plans to circulate in February.

The End of a Free Internet?  In 2015, the Obama administration plans to hand over control of ICANN — the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — to international governance.  ICANN oversees the superstructure of the Internet, and the American Department of Commerce oversees ICANN.  The plan for handing our authority to the global community would mean oversight by censors and despots in China, Russia, and Iran.

Ed Henry Grills Earnest: Where Does WH Get 'Moral Authority' to Condemn Torture?  Fox's Ed Henry put White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on the spot today about why the Obama administration believes it has the "moral authority" to condemn torture when they're overseeing drone strikes.  Henry said that drone strikes have ended up killing innocents, so he asked, "How do you have moral authority when innocent civilians are killed by drones?"  Earnest argued there's a difference because "there is significant care taken" to reduce civilian casualties.  The Fox reporter pointed out that such "care" doesn't stop it from happening anyway.

Which set of crony capitalists do you prefer?  Net neutrality is not the simple "government intervention versus laissez-faire" debate so depicted by both Republicans and Democrats.  Net neutrality, once you peel the onion, is really a dog-eat-dog battle between the incumbent cable/telephone monopolies (often referred to as "the duopoly") and Internet application providers, ranging from Google to the smallest start-ups.

Net Neutrality Compromises the Internet's Future.  Perhaps President Obama envisions that the Internet is operated by Ernestine, the condescending telephone operator played by Lily Tomlin on Laugh-In.  Otherwise, it is difficult to justify why he would want to hobble the 21st century broadband industry with regulations designed in the early 20th century.  Even FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler earlier this year wrote, the FCC is "not going to take over the Internet," or "dictate the architecture of the Internet."  And yet, the FCC is now under pressure to follow President Obama's statement on November 10 to regulate the Internet under obsolete 1930s laws.

Like Gruber's ObamaCare, the Net Neutrality They're Selling Isn't the One They'll Foist Upon Us.  Unless you only get your news via the Jurassic Press — or you are a government school victim who as a result doesn't pay attention to anything at all — you are now intimately familiar with the on-camera stylings of Jonathan Gruber.  Gruber is a college professor, and virulently anti-American — please pardon the redundancy.  He teaches alleged Economics at the allegedly esteemed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) — when he's not gleaning nearly $6 million in consulting fees from the federal government.  And he is a primary architect of ObamaCare.

Net Neutrality Power Grab is Worse Than Obamacare.  [Scroll down]  So dead was the notion of Net Neutrality legislation that — despite the Democrats taking over in 2007 — the Purveyors of the Pathetic abandoned their attempts at persuading the People's representatives and set their sights on the FCC.  Where, again, the number of votes they needed to accrue was a much more manageable three — and, again, amongst folks who do not have to face those nasty elections.  So after two years of quietly building the fraudulent case for unilateral FCC Net Neutrality regulatory fiat — the Media Marxist Nirvana arrived.

Perry: Obama Net Neutrality Internet Regulations are From 'Era of the Great Depression'.  Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the latest presidential hopeful to go after President Obama on his plan to regulate the Internet.  On Wednesday [11/12/2014], the Republican criticized a Monday announcement from Obama calling for strict Federal Communications Commission regulation of the Internet as a way to ensure the fair treatment of Internet traffic by Internet service providers.

FCC official warns Obama-backed net neutrality plan would bring 'immediate' Internet tax.  Internet users would be forced to pay a new federal tax on their monthly bills if the government approves regulations recently endorsed by President Obama, a member of the Federal Communications Commission predicts.  Commissioner Mike O'Reilly addressed what's known as "net neutrality" at a Washington seminar on Friday [11/14/2014].  He spoke after Obama backed stricter rules by calling for preventing service providers from charging more for speedier service and for regulating them like telecommunications companies under a decades-old law.

Here's What 'Net Neutrality' Is.... And What To Think About It.  Unless you're a dork, you will have no idea what "net neutrality" means, although chances are you've seen a headline about it in the last few days.  Fortunately for you, I am a dork.  So let me explain as simply as I can what it's all about — and what you should think about it.

Obama veers left after red wave.  President Obama has taken significant steps to the left since his party's devastating losses in the midterm elections.  In a surprise, he announced a major deal on climate change with China during a trip to Beijing Tuesday [11/11/2014].  That followed another unanticipated move — a Monday statement pressuring the Federal Communications Commission to adopt new net neutrality rules for the Internet.

Regulating the Internet threatens entrepreneurial freedom.  Never before has it been so easy to turn an idea into a business.  With a simple Internet connection, some ingenuity and a lot of hard work, anyone today can create a new service or app or start selling products nationwide.  In the past, such a person would have to know the right people and raise substantial start-up capital to get a brick-and-mortar store running.  Not anymore.  The Internet is the great equalizer when it comes to jobs and opportunity.  We should make a commitment, right now, to keep it that way.  The next generation of Internet-connected devices, apps and services will generate trillions of dollars of global economic growth in the years ahead.  And Americans are perfectly poised to take maximum advantage — if the government doesn't take those opportunities away in the form of crushing taxes, rules and regulations.

FCC chair distances himself from Obama on Net Neutrality.  That would be the Democratic, Barack Obama-appointed FCC chair, who spent yesterday backpedaling from his boss on a major policy announcement.  Obama went so far as to push out a video demanding unilateral action from the FCC on Net Neutrality, the latest White House distraction from the disastrous midterm elections and an attempt to show that Obama is still relevant.

Obama's Internet invasion.  Leave it to President Obama to try to lasso the galloping freedom of the Internet with the "strongest possible rules."  If he succeeds, expect to see competition and innovation collapse.  The president Monday [11/10/2014] urged the Federal Communications Commission to declare broadband Internet service a public utility that would be heavily regulated.  The president fears the Internet will become divided into fast and slow lanes, with broadband providers such as Verizon and AT&T charging heavy-content companies such as Netflix more for speedy service.

Obama's call for an open Internet puts him at odds with regulators.  Hours after President Obama called for the Federal Communications Commission to pass tougher regulations on high-speed Internet providers, the agency's Democratic chairman told a group of business executives that he was moving in a different direction.  Huddled in an FCC conference room Monday [11/10/2014] with officials from major Web companies, including Google, Yahoo and Etsy, agency Chairman Tom Wheeler said he preferred a more nuanced solution.

Obama on 'net neutrality' just another power grab, says Motley.  President Obama's push for regulators to reclassify the Internet continues to draw reaction.  He said this week that Internet providers shouldn't be allowed to cut deals with online services like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube to move their content faster.  Meanwhile, the president also suggested federal regulators should reclassify the Internet as a public utility under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act.

Tech at Night: Post-election, Barack Obama endorses far left extremism at FCC.  Back in June I warned about the latest plan by the Net Neutrality extremists.  They're playing a shill game where one side promotes one illegal idea, the Open Internet order already thrown out by the Courts, and the other side promotes something even more extreme, a total hijacking of the Internet through a procedure called Title II Reclassification.  Monday [11/10/2014], Barack Obama endorsed that extremist procedure, which would redefine the Internet as a phone service, and regulate the entire Internet under 1930s-era big government control.

Obama calls for more regulation of Internet providers, industry fires back.  President Obama threw down the gauntlet Monday with cable companies and Internet providers by declaring they shouldn't be allowed to cut deals with online services like YouTube to move their content faster.  It was his most definitive statement to date on so-called "net neutrality," and escalates a battle that has been simmering for years between industry groups and Internet activists who warn against the creation of Internet "fast lanes."  The president's statement swiftly drew an aggressive response from trade groups, which are fighting against additional regulation, as well as congressional Republicans.

Obama urges net neutrality; Cruz calls it 'Obamacare for the Internet'.  President Obama has called on federal regulators to toughen proposed net-neutrality rules for Internet traffic, including taking the controversial step of changing the way the law treats broadband providers so they are subject to stricter utility-like regulation.  In a two-page statement and a two-minute online video Monday, Obama came out in favor of the toughest possible regulation of Internet service providers on an issue that has flooded the Federal Communications Commission with a record of about 4 million public comments.

Internet Reclassification: President Obama Tosses Another Grenade After Second Election Shellacking.  President Barack Obama this morning released a statement calling for his administration's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — allegedly an independent agency — to execute a unilateral, complete rewrite of existing law.  He wants reclassification of how the Internet is regulated — so as to then impose network neutrality.  Twice before the FCC has tried to impose net neutrality — twice it was unanimously rejected as overreaching by courts.

Saving the Internet.  ABC News says: "Net Neutrality: How President Obama Wants to Rescue the Internet". Business Insider says, "President Obama wants to reclassify the internet as a utility, according to a new statement from the White House.  This would allow the Federal Communications Committee to enforce heavier restrictions on it and protect net neutrality." [...] So do you want president Obama to 'save the Internet'?  It depends on how bad you think the Internet is now, and how much better you believe it will become when Obama saves it.

The only way the internet will remain 'free and open' is if Obama keeps his hands off it.
Obama calls on FCC to keep Internet 'free and open'.  President Obama urged the US government to adopt tighter regulations on broadband service in an effort to preserve "a free and open Internet."  In a statement released Monday, Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to enforce the principle of treating all Internet traffic the same way, known in shorthand as Net neutrality.  That means treating broadband services like utilities, the president said, so that Internet service providers would be unable "to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas."

Common Core Seizes Control of Future Internet Education.  While the Common Core program is overtly directed at public, private and home elementary and secondary education, it quietly captures higher education as well, since control of the high school exits provides control of the college entrances.  Additionally, a bill now in Congress carries the Obama administration proposal to regulate private colleges that provide career training; that plus Common Core represents a fair start toward total federal control of U.S. education.  It seems telling that so comprehensive and far-reaching a shift in a democracy is not seen as newsworthy.

More about Common Core.

You're not paranoid, Dems actually do want FEC to silence internet speech.  This is just another case of Democrats doing something they would be outraged about if Republicans tried it.  In this instance, they want to use the power of government to silence opposition.

Obama's FEC Wants to Criminalize Political YouTube Videos.  What is it with this administration and YouTube videos anyway?  Obama and Hillary blamed Al Qaeda terrorism on a YouTube video and sent a guy to jail over it.  Now Obama wants to ban political YouTube videos.

FEC deadlock keeps Internet free from broadcast campaign ad regulations.  The Federal Election Commission deadlocked in a crucial Internet campaign speech vote announced late last week, leaving online political blogging and videos free of many of the reporting requirements attached to broadcast ads — for now.  All three Republican-backed members voted against restrictions, but they were opposed by the three Democrat-backed panel members, including Vice Chairwoman Ann M. Ravel, who said she will lead a push next year to come up with rules for government political speech on the Internet.

Dems on FEC move to regulate Internet campaigns, blogs, Drudge.  In a surprise move late Friday, a key Democrat on the Federal Election Commission called for burdensome new rules on Internet-based campaigning, prompting the Republican chairman to warn that Democrats want to regulate online political sites and even news media like the Drudge Report.  Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel announced plans to begin the process to win regulations on Internet-based campaigns and videos, currently free from most of the FEC's rules.  "A reexamination of the commission's approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long over due," she said.

FEC Democrat pushes for controls on Internet political speech.  The FEC deadlocked in a crucial Internet campaign speech vote announced Friday, leaving online political blogging and videos free of many of the reporting requirements attached to broadcast ads — for now.  While all three GOP-backed members voted against restrictions, they were opposed by the three Democratic-backed members, including FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel, who said she will lead a push next year to try to come up with new rules government political speech on the Internet.

Democrats Push for New Heavy Regulations on Internet Postings, Drudge, and Blogs.  As the media prepared to vacate newsrooms for the weekend, Democrats snuck in a last minute proposal that the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) be allowed to heavily regulate political content on internet sites such as Youtube, blogs, and the Drudge Report.  Obama FEC Vice Chairperson Ann M. Ravel announced late on Friday that the FEC was preparing new regulations to give itself control over videos, Internet-based political campaigns, and other content on the web.  She insisted that, "A reexamination of the commission's approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long overdue."

The feds' 'truthy' new chill on free speech.  Earlier this week, the federal government's National Science Foundation (NSF), an entity created to encourage the study of science — encouragement that it achieves by awarding grants to scholars and universities — announced that it had awarded a grant to study what people say about themselves and others in social media.  The NSF dubbed the project "Truthy," a reference to comedian Stephen Colbert's invention and hilarious use of the word "truthiness."  The reference to Mr. Colbert is cute, and he is a very funny guy, but when the feds get into the business of monitoring speech, it is surely no joke; it is a nightmare.  It is part of the Obama administration's persistent efforts to monitor communication and scrutinize the expressions of opinions it hates and fears.

Government Sponsors Truthy Study of Twitter.  Ajit Pai, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, just wrote an eye-opening op-ed on how the government is supporting a study of your tweet content.  This time the agency of interest is not the NSA, it's the National Science Foundation (NSF) — an institution that was founded to "promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; and to secure the national defense."  According to Pai, the NSF has already spent $1 million to fund a project to collect and analyze your Twitter data — including (and perhaps focusing on) political data.

Nancy Pelosi urges FCC to reclassify broadband as a utility.  A good number of politicians have recently made statements in favor of net neutrality, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is going further than most of them today [9/8/2014] and asking that the Federal Communications Commission reclassify broadband as a utility using Title II of the Communications Act — exactly what net neutrality advocates have been pushing for.

The NSA and GCHQ Campaign Against German Satellite Companies.  Treasure Map is a vast NSA campaign to map the global internet.  The program doesn't just seek to chart data flows in large traffic channels, such as telecommunications cables.  Rather, it seeks to identify and locate every single device that is connected to the internet somewhere in the world — every smartphone, tablet, and computer — "anywhere, all the time," according to NSA documents.

This is why it may be hard to use the Web today.  Today, September 10, a coalition of extremists and cronyist rent-seekers are going to join together to 'protest' freedom of enterprise, by having a fake slowdown of the Internet.  In particular Netflix, already known for lying about congestion issues, will join this attempt to deceive the American people into thinking we need, right now, a massive expansion of government regulation onto the Internet.  Don't be fooled.

UN Internet Control [is] As Bad As Feared.  Faced with international passions whipped up by Edward Snowden's leaks — often framed inaccurately by those seeking to amplify his revelations into something more nefarious — [the Obama administration] agreed to complete the handover of Internet regulation to the United Nations earlier this year, a move which will become final in a year.

The U.S. Should Reject the U.N.'s Authoritarian Control of the Internet.  The explosion of Internet capabilities, specifically over the past seven years, has engendered seismic shifts in societies around the globe.  This dynamic game changer challenges the economic and political status quo by providing a venue for sharing ideas and practicing innovation.  According to a 2011 report by the McKinsey Global Institute, the Internet "accounted for 21 percent of the GDP growth in mature economies" from 2007 to 2011, and greatly benefited "consumers and small, upstart entrepreneurs."  Together with other economic, political, and social benefits, the value of an unchained Internet is apparent.

The government wants to wiretap online communications — or in some cases hack them.  In 1994, the government passed the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, which mandated that phone companies make their systems wiretap-ready.  Richard "Dickie" George, a former NSA technical director until he retired in September 2011, recalled how in the mid-1990s, "in the early days of CALEA," the NSA tested several commercial phone systems with intercept capabilities and "we found problems in every one."  Making the systems hack-proof, he said, "is really, really hard."

This is why the government should never control the internet.  Net neutrality rules have been sold for a decade as a way to keep the Internet "open and free" by keeping Internet service providers (ISPs), such as phone and cable companies, from blocking or degrading Web sites.  Its advocates have argued that ISPs have an economic incentive to act anti-competitively toward consumers and competitors.  In a common hypothetical they cite, ISPs would slow — or buffer — traffic for Netflix unless it unfairly pays for more access points, or "off ramps," and better quality of service.  In truth, however, market failures like these have never happened, and nothing is broken that needs fixing.

The senate is still trying to jam through its hugely controversial cybersecurity bill.  The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014 "incentivizes the sharing of cybersecurity threat information between the private sector and the government and among private sector entities," according to a press release published on Sen. Dianne Feinstein's website on Tuesday.  "It responds to the massive and growing threat to national and economic security from cyber intrusion and attack, and seeks to improve the security of public and private computer networks by increasing awareness of threats and defenses."

The FCC's Net neutrality plan is much worse than it looks.  We've spent the past few weeks with at first some knowledge of the FCC's "Slow Lane" plan (to call it "Fast Lane" is to be disingenuous), and later with the full plan.  In that time, there has been a massive outpouring of disagreement — clearly plenty of it on this side of the screen.  But with more time spent thinking about this awful plan come greater distaste and outright concern that this terrible set of guidelines may actually end up as the law of the land.  For instance, this plan turns ISP peering points and their own internal network interconnections into straight-up revenue generators in the worst possible way.

FCC Tries (Again) to be Lord of the Internet.  The Federal Communications Commission this week voted 3-2 to establish new net neutrality rules that would prevent broadband networks from selectively blocking traffic, but allowing those companies to enter into deals with content providers for preferred access to their networks in "commercially reasonable" ways.  Scott Cleland, policy advisor for The Heartland Institute and chairman of NetCompetition, says this development indicates the FCC is moving ever closer to regulating broadband under "Title II" — as if it was a utility, such as telephone service.  "The primary problem of Title II regulation is it would abruptly decelerate the fast-speed of Internet business to the slow-speed of government," Cleland said. "

Internet Subversion.  In addition to turning the Internet into a worldwide surveillance platform, the NSA has surreptitiously weakened the products, protocols, and standards we all use to protect ourselves.  By doing so, it has destroyed the trust that underlies the Internet.  We need that trust back.

Obama's Internet ID Plot Being Tested in Two States.  A plot by the Obama administration to impose Internet IDs on Americans is now officially being rolled out, with pilot programs for the controversial online "driver's license" scheme already beginning in both Michigan and Pennsylvania.  According to the White House, the virtual "Identity Ecosystem" being funded and pushed by the federal government is supposed to make the Internet more "secure" and "convenient."  Critics across the political spectrum, however, are warning that the Orwellian scheme only makes it more convenient for the feds to spy on people, control the public, and suppress dissent.

Ted Cruz bill would ban 'FCC's latest adventure in net neutrality'.  Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wants Congress to ban "the FCC's latest adventure in 'net neutrality,'" saying the proposed changes to Internet regulations would damage the industry.  "A five-member panel at the FCC should not be dictating how Internet services will be provided to millions of Americans," Cruz said in a Wednesday afternoon [5/14/2014] statement.  "I will be introducing legislation that would remove the claimed authority for the FCC to take such actions, specifically the Commission's nebulous Sec. 706 authority.

Is the Internet a Public Utility?  Is the Internet a public utility? And what would happen if federal tech regulators classified it as one?  Those are the questions at the heart of debate over net neutrality — the concept that all information that travels over the Internet should be given equal access and equal priority.  Today, those questions are playing out in the ongoing fight over the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) proposed Internet traffic rules.

FCC votes on net neutrality, allows prioritized lanes.  With at 3-2 vote on Thursday [5/15/2014] — and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, appointed by President Obama last fall, casting the deciding vote — the agency approved proposals that call for equal treatment of all legal data traffic on the Internet.  Critics of the rules complain that they wouldn't block wealthy content providers from paying for special treatment.  Now the FCC wants all the parties involved — and since the Internet is involved, that means virtually everyone — to comment on how the agency should proceed.

FCC moves ahead with Internet 'fast lanes' in net neutrality rules.  The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to move ahead with Chairman Tom Wheeler's controversial plan to overhaul net neutrality and allow Internet providers to charge websites for faster service.  The commission voted 3-2 to take up the proposal for Internet "fast lanes," though the two Democrats who joined Wheeler in voting yes, Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn, expressed major reservations.  Wheeler stressed the vote was only a first step and vowed that the agency will not allow people's Internet services to be slowed down.

FCC to cripple the Internet.  The Federal Communications Commission thinks the Internet in the United States can be run at two speeds.  Backtracking from an earlier proposal, the FCC now believes it will be just fine to let Internet service providers (ISPs) control what you access online, with a few exceptions that the FCC would police.  While this new proposal might not kill the Internet, as it exists now, it would certainly cripple it — at least for American consumers and businesses.

House GOP warns FCC could 'derail' Internet.  Top House Republicans are telling the Federal Communications Commission to tread lightly with new rules governing the way Internet companies treat customers.  Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) warned FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on Wednesday that issuing expansive rules would "needlessly inhibit the creation of American private sector jobs, limit economic freedom and innovation, and threaten to derail one of our economy's most vibrant sectors."

GOP lawmakers urge FCC to ditch effort to regulate Internet.  House Republican leaders are calling on the Federal Communications Commission to back off proposed open Internet rules, warning that allowing service providers to control content on their networks threatens to "derail" the Internet. [...] "At a time when technology businesses need certainty to innovate, this is not the time for the FCC to engage in a counterproductive effort to even further regulate the Internet," the lawmakers wrote to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Baffled by 'Net Neutrality'? Read This, a WSJ Primer.  Net neutrality is the principle that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally — broadband providers shouldn't be able to pick and choose which websites consumers can access.  Is that the plan?  Not really.  Mr. Wheeler's plan, which he calls "open Internet" rules, would ban broadband providers from blocking or slowing down access to websites or services.  However, his plan would allow the providers to strike deals with content companies for preferential treatment, like if Amazon paid AT&T so their streaming video service reached consumers without interruption.

Should the U.S. Regulate Broadband Internet Access as a Utility?  The days of dial-up are long gone, and thanks to faster connections, Americans have come to rely on the Internet for business, personal communication and entertainment.  But the fact that high-speed Internet service has become so vital to society has sparked a debate about how strictly the government needs to regulate it.  The Federal Communications Commission currently has some power to regulate broadband, but not to the extent it does utilities, and its attempts to enforce "net neutrality" — the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally — have been tossed out in court.

Memo Reveals Clinton White House Paranoia Over Free Internet.  A heavily redacted memo from then-President Bill Clinton's White House, released last week as part of a vast cache of papers from the Clinton Library, revealed that the disgraced administration was frantic about the rise of the free Internet and its implications.  The radical document expresses paranoia about the fact that Americans — especially those on what it calls the "right wing" — could now bypass the establishment media to spread the truth and ideas, all of it "unregulated."

Obama Administration Opposes Bill to Delay Transfer of Internet Powers.  The Obama administration has come out against legislation that would temporarily keep certain Internet management functions under U.S. control.  The U.S. government plans to transfer oversight of the Internet's address system to the "global community" next year.  Republicans fear the move could allow Russia, China, or other authoritarian regimes to seize power over the Internet and even censor websites.

U.S. domain deregulation could fragment World Wide Web into 'Splinternet'.  Last month, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which is under the Commerce Department, announced that it would lessen the government's role in overseeing website addresses.  The nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers will help guide the transition.  Critics say the administration is ceding control to foreign countries.  Although few nations besides North Korea can afford to cut themselves completely from the Internet, digital rights advocates caution that [Lutfi] Elvan's comments reflect how governments are threatening to chill online liberties.  At stake are the innovation and free exchange of information that have transformed global culture and business over the past two decades.

Governments Grab for the Web.  The Obama administration still doesn't seem to understand the whirlwind it reaped with its decision to give up stewardship of the open Internet.  The first Internet governance conference since that surprise March announcement was held last week.  The State Department issued a statement before the conference urging everyone to avoid the issue:  "We would discourage meeting participants from debating the reach or limitations of state sovereignty in Internet policy."  But deciding who gets to govern the Internet was precisely why many attendees from 80 countries came to last week's NetMundial conference in Brazil.

Pretty soon, we could all be using the Dark Net.  The term "Dark Net" is shorthand to describe the hidden and encrypted part of the internet beyond the reach of normal browsers, accessible only using the anonymous browser Tor.  Its protected by a clever traffic encryption system which makes it very difficult to locate the servers which host sites — called Tor Hidden Services — and the IP addresses of the people the visit them.  Tor used to stand for The Onion Router, and so some call this world "Onionland".  Anonymity and freedom rule Onionland, not censorship.

Reversal: Obama may not surrender control of the Internet after all.  We told you a few weeks back that the Obama Administration was prepared to take an astonishing step of surrender, even for this crew, in giving up control of the Internet's domain name system.  That would threaten the Internet's independence as it would create an opportunity for regimes far less friendly to freedom to step in and gain power and influence.  Well, this idea was so horrendous that even Bill Clinton, in addition to 35 Republican senators, spoke up and told the administration not to do it, as well as a great many other voices.

The Editor says...
At least this crisis didn't go to waste -- it kept Lois Lerner and Benghazi and Obamacare and voter fraud out of the headlines for a couple of weeks, and it made us all aware of what an incompetent doofus we have in the White House.

Team Obama must reverse decision on Internet control.  Whether through taxes or net neutrality regulations, the Obama administration has seized every opportunity to expand federal control over the Internet.  But at least until now, we've always been able to rely on Washington to defend the Internet as a global beacon of freedom and democracy.  Unfortunately, this seems to be changing, as the White House recently announced plans to transition from supervising the Internet's architecture and may shift some of these responsibilities to countries like Russia and China, which would portend disaster for advocates of political dissent and Internet freedom.

The Progressive March to the Future is Destroying America.  The progressive march to the future is destroying America.  What the Democrats and the progressives are doing behind the scenes is a more frightening and unjustified power grab than Putin's on the Ukraine. [...] [I]n spite of the dysfunction of our House and Senate there is a more pervasive danger — and it is the people who are behind the scenes — people who in the dead of night write laws and bills that no one seems to know what [...] is in them.  Or decisions that give up America's sovereignty to an organization that has now changed what its initial purpose once was to an institution preparing for a one-world government, The United Nations.  So the freest, most stable nation in the world gives up the Internet to forces that could advance it being stifled?  Does this make sense?

Republicans worry about Internet freedom; Democrats put total faith in non-existent international bureaucracy.  I have yet to hear any convincing argument from preventing some degree of authoritarian mischief from the Administration, other than "trust us, we'll never let that happen."  If you like your free Internet, you can keep your free Internet.  No one will take it away from you, period. [...] What's so crazy about doing this slowly and carefully, with the option to conclude that we shouldn't do it at all, when the decision is irrevocable?

More Democrats Coming Out Against Admin's Web Plan.  Two more key Democrats are questioning the Obama administration's decision to cede some of America's control over the Internet.  Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) told Breitbart News there should be a "high burden" for making such a change and that he's reviewing the decision, while Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) said he's inclined against the change.

Keep the Internet free.  [T]he Internet has become one of humanity's greatest treasures.  It must now be protected as such.  For, while the Internet has given much to people all over the world, it has also posed a great threat to those governments that seek to subjugate and control their people.  Many of these governments — 42 to be exact — have already taken action to limit or restrict their people's access to the Internet.  Many of them have demonstrated a desire to take this a step further by exercising control over the way the Internet is governed internationally.  The United States must vocally and vehemently oppose any attempt to allow the Internet to fall under the control of foreign governments or international organizations like the United Nations.

Obama's 'one world' fantasy for the internet.  Internet users beware.  We are about to surrender our freedom of speech — and, quite possibly, put our national and economic security at risk.  Last month, in a move that most people outside the Beltway barely noticed, President Obama announced plans to relinquish U.S. control over the administration of the Internet to a community of "global multi-stakeholders."  Translation?  Obama is putting the infrastructure of the Internet up for grabs.  And, inevitably, those who do not share America's core values and respect for freedom will be the first ones to reach for it.

But ICANN Can't.  Critics on the right worry that the Obama administration is giving away the Internet to foreigners.  It's an understandable concern, given the administration's general approach to foreign policy.

Bill Clinton defends American control of Internet domain name system.  Former President Bill Clinton presided over a star-studded panel Friday evening, voicing his preference that the United States maintain control of the Internet's domain name system, which will soon be ceded to an international body.  Clinton appeared on stage for a Clinton Global Initiative event with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, among others, to discuss how social change could come about through online engagement.  "Whatever you think our country has done wrong, the United States has been by far the country most committed to keeping the Internet free and open and uninterrupted," Clinton said at Arizona State University.

Michelle Obama says internet access should be 'universal right'.  Michelle Obama has declared that access to the internet should be a universal right, in a rare and controversial foray into the world of international politics during a cultural visit to China.  The US first lady, who is on a week-long trip to the communist state with her daughters and mother, risked upsetting her hosts in Beijing by declaring access to information as a birthright.  During a speech at Peking University's Stanford Centre, she called for greater freedoms while refraining from a direct attack on the controls over information in China.

Press banned as first lady touts free speech.  First lady Michelle Obama told students that freedom of speech should be a universal right during her extravagant, no-press-allowed tour of China — a hypocritical move that will surely draw the ire of critics, according to an expert.  "That is troublesome.  That goes beyond hypocritical, and I think the American media and the international media has every right to call her and the Obama administration on that — that they permitted that to happen," said Tom Whalen, a political history professor at Boston University. [...] The first lady stopped at Peking University in Beijing yesterday [3/22/2014] during a weeklong trip that was billed as cultural rather than political.

Next: Federal Department of Internet Gambling?  A war over online gambling is about to spill out in Congress as opponents move to restore a long-standing Internet gambling ban and block Uncle Sam from creating a sprawling new federal department to police the web.  Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., plan to introduce legislation next week to challenge two bills introduced earlier this session that would either create an "Office of Internet Poker Oversight" in the Commerce Department or a broader "Office of Internet Gambling Oversight" in Treasury.  Those bills, also sponsored by Republicans, were inspired by states eager to cash in on gambling and the Justice Department's abrupt December 2011 move to re-interpret the 1961 Interstate Wire Act that effectively banned Internet gambling.

House panel to examine Internet governance.  The House Commerce Committee will hold a hearing next month to examine the Obama administration's recent move to relinquish oversight of the technical back end of the Internet, the committee announced Tuesday [3/18/2014]. [...] The hearing comes after last week's announcement by the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration that it will relinquish its oversight role of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which manages the technical side of the Internet's domain name system.

Obama Administration Denies 'Abandoning the Internet'.  A top Commerce Department official pushed back Wednesday [3/19/2014] against concerns that the Obama administration is opening the door to an Internet takeover by Russia, China, and other authoritarian regimes.  The fears stem from the Commerce Department's announcement last Friday that it plans to give the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, an international nonprofit group, control over the technical system that allows computers to connect to Web addresses.

The Editor says...
Apparently Mr. Obama doesn't see anything wrong with communist countries taking over the internet, because he was raised by communists.  I suspect he has the same antipathy for capitalism that the rest of us have for communism.

Handing Over the Keys to the Internet.  For the uninitiated, this is tech-speak for "the basics." The "DNS's authoritative root zone file" is effectively a master directory of website addresses, kept in one place to avoid duplication and to guarantee that when everybody types "nationalreview.com" into their browser, they get the same page; [...] As you might imagine, it matters a great deal who is in charge of this compendium, for whoever controls it can use the thing essentially as a global on/off switch.  As it stands, a tyrant is able to restrict access to certain parts of the Internet in his own country, but he is unable to make a page or a server or a service disappear completely.

Obama Surrenders U.S. Internet Control To Globalists.  U.S. officials plan to relinquish federal control over the administration of the Internet to something called the "global Internet community," which is full of tyrants to whom the free flow of information is a threat.

When U.S. Steps Back, Will Russia and China Control the Internet?  The United States is planning to give up its last remaining authority over the technical management of the Internet.  The Commerce Department announced Friday that it will give the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an international nonprofit group, control over the database of names and addresses that allows computers around the world to connect to each other.  [Obama] Administration officials say U.S. authority over the Internet address system was always intended to be temporary and that ultimate power should rest with the "global Internet community."

The Editor says...
Until today, when have you ever heard anyone claim that "U.S. authority over the Internet address system was always intended to be temporary"?

You Bought His Ticket; He Took You for a Ride.  Perhaps there is some true justice in the revelation today that Barack Obama, apologist to the world for American greatness, has just given a huge part of that scientific and engineering eminence to a world body that has no legal claim to all that which has come from America's technological genius.  Yes, Silicon Valley, it's true, your messiah is telling you, "You didn't build that."  How does it feel to have your legs cut from beneath you by this global leveler who has no regard for the huge amount of endeavor and intellect that has gone into this world-changing technology you have created?

Did The Administration Just Weaken Internet Security And Set The Stage For A Global Web Tax?  The Obama administration on Friday [3/14/2014] announced plans to relinquish U.S. control over management of the Internet to the "global Internet community."  While the announcement of the plan was sure to please international critics (and some Democrats), it created concern among business leaders and others who depend on a smoothly functioning web.  Oh, and it may lead to a global web tax, as well. [...] The Department of Commerce announced the decision to give up control of the Internet's core infrastructure, in part, as a result of international pressure following revelations by Edward Snowden about the NSA's global surveillance program.

Internet transition triggers GOP backlash.  The Obama administration's decision to relinquish oversight over the group that manages the Internet's architecture has raised an early red flag with Republicans, who blast the move as a threat to free speech.  The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has managed the Web's domain-name system under contract with the U.S. government for more than a decade — but the Los Angeles-based nonprofit has worked to transform itself into a global organization free of U.S. ties.

ICANN 101: Who Will Oversee the Internet?  The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration said Friday it plans to give up control over the body that manages Internet names and addresses.  The action means that the U.S. government will relinquish its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, which manages a number of technical functions that help computers locate the correct servers and websites.  Here are some basics of what's happening. [...] How did the U.S. get oversight of it in the first place?  The Internet was pioneered in the U.S., and for a long time the folks that helped invent it were also in charge of managing it.  Until 1998, a computer scientist named Jon Postel at the University of Southern California managed a host of functions related to Internet names and addresses, collectively known as IANA (Internet Assigned Names Authority).  When Mr. Postel died in 1998, the Commerce Department issued a contract to ICANN to manage the IANA functions.

US transfer of Internet control years in the making, fueled by foreign pressure.  The decision was announced nonchalantly, in trademark Washington fashion on a Friday afternoon:  The U.S. government will cede its last bit of control over the Internet.  The government has maintained that influence through contracts with the organization that administers the Internet, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.  But a Commerce Department agency announced Friday that it would relinquish control over ICANN, presumably when its contract expires in September 2015.  The office said it wants the group to next convene "global stakeholders" to come up with a transition plan — a transition to what remains unknown.

Hiding Behind 'Global Internet Community' the ravening United Nations Wolf.  Like the bully taking candy away from the proverbial baby, high-handed President Barack Hussein Obama is giving away the Internet that is in no way his to give.  His latest act of out-and-out thievery graduates him from the most unpopular American president of all time, to Enemy of the Free World Numero Uno. [...] The Information Highway known as the Worldwide Web has been the main form of communication for everyday people, and now Obama is taking it away from an America he loathes and, just as been long feared, is handing it over to the United Nations.  Make no mistake, the falsely named "global internet Community" they're trying to sell is the ravening wolf in sheep's clothing.

U.S. to relinquish remaining control over the Internet.  U.S. officials announced plans Friday [3/14/2014] to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move that pleased international critics but alarmed some business leaders and others who rely on the smooth functioning of the Web.  Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade and was supercharged by the backlash to revelations about National Security Agency surveillance last year.

The Editor says...
Barack Obama announced (on a Friday, of course) that he is relinquishing U.S. control of the internet to an international body yet to be announced — probably the UN — because he hates America and wants to wreck the economy any way he can.  This malicious act can now be added to the long list of impeachable offenses that have accumulated over the last five years.

U.S. to relinquish remaining control over the Internet.  U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move that pleased international critics but alarmed some business leaders and others who rely on the smooth functioning of the Web.  Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade and was supercharged by the backlash last year to revelations about National Security Agency surveillance.  The change would end the long-running contract between the Commerce Department and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a California-based nonprofit group.  That contract is set to expire next year but could be extended if the transition plan is not complete.

US to relinquish control over Internet management system.  The U.S. government on Friday announced it is taking steps to relinquish control over the back end of the Internet.  The Department of Commerce announced it is beginning a process to transfer control over the technical system that operates the Internet's domain name system, which ensures that Internet users can get to the websites they're looking for.  Currently, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration — an agency with Commerce — oversees that technical system, named the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).  Historically, it has contracted the operation of IANA out to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number (ICANN) on a biennial basis.  The current contract is set to expire in September of 2015.

U.S. To Give Up Key Internet Governance Role.  Obama administration officials moved late Friday to end the U.S.'s role in overseeing Internet domain names and addresses, announcing plans to relinquish its role by the end of next year and turning the keys over to the global Internet community.  Commerce department officials announced that the U.S. government would relinquish its role overseeing Internet addresses in favor of a to-be-determined global body.  The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has managed the use and governance of domain names and Internet addresses for the U.S. government since 1998, when it was awarded the task by the Commerce Department.  Based in Los Angeles, ICANN oversees the Internet's address system and has moved in recent years to open up new domain names.

U.S. Government to Give Up Key Internet Powers.  Facing international pressure, the U.S. government said Friday it will give up control over important technical aspects of the Internet.  The Commerce Department will no longer oversee the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers, a nonprofit group that manages the Internet's address system.  Larry Strickling, the assistant secretary of Commerce for communications and information, said the "global Internet community" will have the final say over the database of names and addresses that allows computers around the world to communicate with each other.  The Internet was invented in the United States, and the country has long maintained a central role.  But as the Internet has grown, other countries have demanded a greater voice in its governance.

Obama hits a restraining wall.  A federal appeals court struck down the administration's attempt to impose new rules on the Internet, and the Supreme Court, based on questioning by the justices — not always a reliable guide to their intentions — appears likely to tell Mr. Obama that, as important as he is, he can't make an end run around the Constitution to appoint certain senior officials in the executive branch.

13 House Democrats offer bill demanding government study on Internet hate speech.  Thirteen House Democrats have proposed legislation that would require the government to study hate speech on the Internet, mobile phones and television and radio. [...] The Hate Crime Reporting Act, H.R. 3878, is meant to update a 20-year-old study from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).  That study, delivered to Congress in 1993, looked at hate speech on radio, TV and computer bulletin boards.

The Editor says...
If "hate speech" is outlawed on the internet, it will then be only a matter of time before it is prohibited on the telephone, and ultimately in any public place.  The danger here is that the definition of "hate speech" will be written by those on the political left, and the law will be enforced by Big Brother's heavy-handed goons.

Court ruling overturns Net Neutrality, threatens online access, experts warn.  Thanks for watching that YouTube video!  That will be 50 cents, please.  Sound unrealistic?  It's actually a distinct possibility, after a Federal appeals court on Tuesday [1/14/2014] struck down an FCC ruling meant to prevent an Internet service provider — the company you pay for online access — from prioritizing some website traffic over others.  And because that rule was wiped off the books, those ISPs are suddenly able to do just that.

Google: Surge in pressure from govts to delete chunks of the web.  Today [12/19/2013], the advertising giant said that, in the first six months of 2013, it received 3,846 demands from public officials to remove 24,737 personal blog posts, YouTube videos and other pieces of content it hosts.  That's up 68 percent on the second half of 2012.  And according to the web giant, which has just published its latest transparency report, 93 requests focused on content that was critical of people in public office.

Court: Homeland Security Must Disclose 'Internet Kill Switch'.  The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is seeking "Standard Operating Procedure 303," also known as the "Internet kill switch" from Homeland Security.  The protocols govern shutting down wireless networks to prevent the remote detonation of bombs.  The broad government power to shut down communications networks worries civil libertarians.  However, the agency argues the protocols must be kept secret to protect national interests and the safety of individuals.  EPIC filed a FOIA request for the protocols in July 2012.  The Department of Homeland Security originally said it could not find any records on the kill switch.

President Obama, Julius Genachowski ignore law to regulate the Internet.  In the Comcast case, the FCC admitted that nothing in federal law grants the government the express authority to regulate cable Internet services.  Instead, Obama's FCC argued that it has an "ancillary authority" to regulate broadband thanks to section 4(i) of the Communications Act of 1934.

More Legal Trouble for FCC's Open Internet Order & Net Neutrality.  The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals 3-0 decision to overturn the FCC in Comcast v. FCC/Tennis Channel spells more trouble for the ultimate legality of the FCC's Open Internet Order.  That decision spotlights that three additional D.C. Circuit Appeals Court's judges do not agree with the FCC's reading of the law and the facts concerning lawful network discrimination.

Memo To Dick Durbin: All Americans Are Journalists.  Congress, when controlled by Democrats, already has the mainstream media under its thumb.  So it's not ABC, NBC, CBS, the New York Times and the Washington Post that Durbin is worried about.  It's the bloggers, tweeters and Facebook users that he wants to control. [...] With the mainstream press in their pockets, what Durbin and others truly fear are citizen journalists and the free and open dissemination of ideas that threaten the political class' agenda.

Durbin wonders: Does [the] First Amendment apply to bloggers, Twitter?  Thanks to the Obama administration's attacks on the Associated Press and its representation in federal court that Fox News' James Rosen is a spy for asking questions, one has to wonder whether the First Amendment applies to anyone in the Age of Hope and Change.

Dear Chairman Wheeler, Please Stop the Attacks on the Internet.  As Taxpayers, we are paying for the government's lawyers to defend the defenseless.  And as Internet users, we are all paying again.  All the time, money and effort the industry has to waste attempting to undo the FCC's overreach could and would be much better spent improving for us their goods and services — and thus the Internet.

Obama: Increase in domestic terrorism fueled by Internet.  During his foreign policy speech Thursday afternoon, President Obama warned that domestic terrorism would increase in the modern age of the Internet.  "[T]his threat is not new," Obama said.  "But technology and the Internet increase its frequency and lethality."  Obama warned Americans that materials on the Internet could influence people to commit terrorist acts.  "Today, a person can consume hateful propaganda, commit themselves to a violent agenda and learn how to kill without leaving their home," he said.

Obama Continues His War on the Fourth Amendment.  White House wants legislation enacted that will punish Internet service providers who fail to cooperate with FBI requests and court orders.

The Internet Sales Tax Rush.  Every time Congress has taken a serious look at proposals to boost Internet sales taxes, it has rejected them.  That's probably why pro-tax Senators are trying to rush through an online tax hike with as little consideration as possible.

To Attack the Internet, Obama Admin is About to Lie About It, Again.  The mostly regulation-free Internet has become a free speech, free market Xanadu.  So of course President Barack Obama and his Left want to regulate the daylight out of it.  In their efforts to do so, they will spin any tale to try to engender any public support for new Web regulations.  For instance, the Barack Obama Administration is likely about to totally fabricate a U.S. mobile broadband assessment report.

Obama Seeks Broad New Powers in Digital War.  A confidential legal review has just decided that the President should have broad power to issue preemptive cyber attacks, says the NYT. [...] But some fear the Obama Administration is going too far — especially in arguing that presidents should have preemptive strike power in conflicts where preemptive action isn't clearly necessary.

The Left's Warped Definition of 'Internet Freedom' and an 'Open Internet'.  The Left has long demanded the implementation of their definition of an "Open Internet" and "Internet Freedom."  Sounds great, right?  Who could be opposed to that?  Then again, who could be against a "Fairness Doctrine?"  Or "Network Neutrality?"  All represent terrible government policy.  But the Left is very good at naming very bad policies.

Another job for which Obama has no qualifications:
Obama Is Now America's Hacker in Chief.  As the possibility of destructive cyberwarfare inches towards reality, the government is scrambling to figure out who holds the keys to America's malware arsenal.  Obviously, it's President Obama.  The New York Times just published the findings of an investigation into a secret legal review that set out to determine who actually had the power to order a cyberattack.

Obama's New Year's Resolutions: Power Grab the Internet — and Your Wallet.  It's the New Year, the pre-dawn of President Barack Obama's second term — in which he is free to be more "flexible," and is resolved to engage in even more illegal, unilateral power grabs.  Long on the Obama-Leftist power grab hit list has been the Internet.  Pre-Obama, the 'Net was just about regulation-free — and thus became a free speech, free market Xanadu.

The UN's ITU and the Internet: A Cautionary Tale.  As the United Nations heads deeper into its Internet grab, a.k.a its 11-day telecom treaty conference, in Dubai, things aren't going so well for America and the friends of freedom.  The Hill reports that "A joint proposal from the United States and Canada aimed at keeping Internet regulations out of a global telecommunications treaty failed to secure early approval from other countries on Tuesday" — though talks may continue along these lines.

U.N. Readies Attack on Internet as Obama Dithers.  While talk of the United States tumbling over a so-called "fiscal cliff" dominates news cycles in the nation's capital and other major cities, on the other side of the planet, the United Nations is quietly but relentlessly pressing to take control of the Internet.  It is being aided in this illicit endeavor by various totalitarian regimes, and by many smaller states that routinely use their strength in numbers to bash America.

The Fate Of The Free Internet Goes Up For Vote In December.  The fate of the free Internet will be decided at a private meeting in Dubai on December 3.  UN member nations will argue for or against a plan that would give control of the Internet to the ITU, instead of the current NGO multiple stakeholder approach.  Some within the US government have already voiced their opposition, and now the EU is joining them.  Wired UK reports that the European Parliament has issued a resolution against a potential takeover of the Web by the ITU.

U.N. Readies Attack on Internet as Obama Dithers.  While talk of the United States tumbling over a so-called "fiscal cliff" dominates news cycles in the nation's capital and other major cities, on the other side of the planet, the United Nations is quietly but relentlessly pressing to take control of the Internet.  It is being aided in this illicit endeavor by various totalitarian regimes, and by many smaller states that routinely use their strength in numbers to bash America.

Global Governance Begins on December 14.  The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an imprint of the UN, is holding its World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) from December 3-14, 2012.  The stated purpose of the WCIT is to update the UN's "global treaty" on telecommunications to deal more directly and comprehensively with the internet.  Knowing who controls the UN, it is not hard to see that a primary aim of the updated "treaty" will be to give credence to the regulation and monitoring of online activity in ways that are desirable to the (authoritarian) majority of member states.

Congressman proposes 2-year ban on bills about Internet.  In an unusual step, a U.S. congressman is proposing a two-year ban on all new federal legislation regulating the Internet.  Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from California who has been an advocate for Internet freedoms, has posted online a draft of his legislation, the Internet American Moratorium Act of 2012.  The bill would "create a two-year moratorium on any new laws, rules or regulations governing the Internet."

Will thugs rule the web?  If delegates have their way at next week's World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai, the man in charge of the Web will be a Soviet-trained apparatchik from Cold War days.  Don't count on the Obama-appointed US delegate to stop the threatened changes in how the Internet works, and how much power governments have to decide what their citizens see on the World Wide Web.  Pushing the agenda at Dubai are Russia and China.  And anything China, Russia and the United Nations agree on can't be good for America — or the cause of freedom.

Free Internet Under Fire.  A Russian government proposal to amend a U.N. treaty at a meeting of the world body's World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai next week contains a provision that calls for bringing "IP-based networks" under U.N. control.  The U.N. treaty, called the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR), is currently limited to regulating international telecommunications services.  The Russian proposal to amend the treaty has the support of other non-democratic states such as China and Iran.

The U.N.'s Internet Sneak Attack.  Who runs the Internet?  For now, the answer remains no one, or at least no government, which explains the Web's success as a new technology.  But as of next week, unless the U.S. gets serious, the answer could be the United Nations.

Will Obama Let the U.N. Seize The Internet?  The U.N. plans to control the tool that tyrants fear most — technology that promotes free speech and intellectual freedom — by imposing a global tax in the name of fairness.

Aw Shucks, Why Not Let the UN Control the Internet?  The UN, in one way or another, has been eyeing the internet for years as a potential font of cash and lever of control.  And the UN these days is the kind of place where Iran now chairs the Non-Aligned Movement, which consists of 119 member states plus the Palestinians — and accounts for well over half the membership of the UN General Assembly.  All the usual old troubles apply:  The UN remains an unaccountable, murky bureaucracy, lending itself to the manipulations of its worst members.

China Hails ITU Internet Takeover By Blowing Its Favorite Trumpet: Distrusting The US.  While there's been plenty of talk about the upcoming ITU process, the ITU keeps attempting to downplay what it's trying to do — and insisting that Russia, China and other regimes aren't looking to use the process to clamp down on the internet.  Of course, proposal leaks from Russia suggest otherwise.

Obama signs secret directive to help thwart cyberattacks.  President Obama has signed a secret directive that effectively enables the military to act more aggressively to thwart cyber attacks on the nation's web of government and private computer networks.  Presidential Policy Directive 20 establishes a broad and strict set of standards to guide the operations of federal agencies in confronting threats in cyberspace, according to several U.S. officials who have seen the classified document and are not authorized to speak on the record.  The president signed it in mid-October.

UAE Clamps Down On The Internet.  As we recently discussed, the world is seeing what amounts to a global clamp down on internet freedom, spurred in part (but not entirely) by the various revolutions that have occurred in the Arab World over the past several years.  Having said that, not all restrictive censoring governments are created equal.  While we in the West have our censors and internet detractors too, one need only look at what is occurring in China, Thailand, or Saudi Arabia for that matter to see how fearful some governments are of an internet in which free ideas are exchanged.

Ron Paul: Internet is the alternative to 'government media complex' that controls the news.  During part one of his farewell speech to Congress, Rep. Ron Paul insisted that the internet remain free, as it is an important alternative to the "government media complex."  "The internet will provide the alternative to the government media complex that controls the news and most political propaganda," Paul stated.  "This is why it's essential that the Internet remains free of government regulation."

Transcript  of Ron Paul's farewell address to Congress.

Showdown set on bid to give UN control of Internet.  When delegates gather in Dubai in December for an obscure UN agency meeting, fighting is expected to be intense over proposals to rewrite global telecom rules to effectively give the United Nations control over the Internet.  Russia, China and other countries back a move to place the Internet under the authority of the International Telecommunications Union, a UN agency that sets technical standards for global phone calls.

The Government Wants To Know How Fast Your Internet Is.  Apparently the FCC, which has been licking its chops at the idea of regulating the internet for some time now, has set up a new bandwidth test site and they want Americans to go there, provide the agency with an address and do a bandwidth test.  The FCC is going to keep track of the testing, and the addresses are apparently needed to correlate internet speeds to geographic locations.

Obama: As Weak on Global Internet Takeover as on Global Islamist Uprising.  The Barack Obama administration has been engaged in non-stop global bungle-buffoonery.  And that's giving them the benefit of the doubt — it may be that these horrific anti-American Interest results are their intention. [...] Looming before us is a prospective titanic international attack on American Internet interests.  The Web wing of the UN is the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) — and they in December will vote on whether or not to power grab much greater control of all things 'Net.

US ambassador: Internet fee proposal gaining momentum.  U.S. Ambassador Terry Kramer warned on Friday [10/12/2012] that a proposal to give a United Nations agency more control over the Internet is gaining momentum in other countries.  Proposals to expand the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) authority over the Internet could come up at a treaty conference in Dubai in December.

Stop UN Regulation of the Internet.  Behind closed doors, the nations of the world are negotiating a treaty — initiated by Russia and China — to regulate the Internet through the United Nations.  There are only two reasons we know about these talks in the first place.  One is through a WikiLeaks anonymous posting by a participant in the talks and the other is that a signing ceremony has been scheduled in Dubai in December of this year.

EU Official: Time running out on online privacy.  A European Union official warns that time's running out to create a system to prevent Internet users from having every click recorded.

Reid Seeks Federal Online Gambling Law.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is trying to get Congress, after the November elections, to pass into law language that would preempt from the states the right to regulate Internet gambling and would instead provide for federal regulation of this activity.

Senate GOPs to Obama: Put Brakes on Cybersecurity Executive Order.  A group of Republican senators today urged President Obama to work with Congress on cybersecurity legislation instead of ramming the languishing bill through by executive order.

The Internet Doesn't Need More Regulation.  Supporters of the FCC's rules are hard pressed to point to any actual examples of market failure.

Napolitano: Executive order on cybersecurity is 'close to completion'.  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Wednesday [9/19/2012] said the cybersecurity executive order that the White House is drafting is "close to completion."  At a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, Napolitano said the executive order is "still being drafted in the inter-agency process" and "is close to completion depending on a few issues that need to be resolved at the highest levels."

The Editor says...
This whole country is "close to completion", thanks to people like Janet Napolitano, who think it's normal and permissible for a president to rule by executive order, bypassing the Congress.

Executive Order in the Works to Enact GOP-Blocked Cybersecurity Bill.  "In addition to the problems with the information sharing provisions, the critical infrastructure language grants too much authority to the government, failing to consider the innovative potential of the private sector," [Senator] McCain said.

FCC Chair Defends Regulations, Calls FCC a 'Cop on the Beat'.  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski defended his agency's role in regulating broadband Internet, saying that the FCC needed to act like a "cop on the beat."  "We need to protect and promote competition," Genachowski said at a speech to media firm Vox Communications in Washington on Tuesday [9/25/2012].

Trashing the Constitution.  Constitution Day is Monday, Sept. 17, so I compiled a non-exhaustive list of the ways Barack Obama has violated the Constitution. [...] [For example,] Allowing the FCC to grab the Internet.  The Telecommunications Act gives the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authority over wire and broadcasting, but not broadband.  Congress and a federal appeals court rejected the FCC's claims of authority, yet the FCC released "net neutrality" rules in December 2010.  This violates the First Amendment's protection of free speech.  The FCC has no more authority over the Internet than it does over the musings of Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

Obama's Internet tax.  The government doesn't handle technology well.  When Uncle Sam comes into contact with something new, his first instinct is to impose familiar regulations and taxes regardless of whether doing so makes any sense.  So it's no surprise the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to apply telephone-era rules to the Internet, making it more expensive than ever to log in to keep in touch with friends and family.  In late July, the FCC — a relic from the New Deal — moved to replace the Universal Service Fund with the cheerily titled "Connect America Fund."

FCC backpedals from Internet tax.  The Federal Communications Commission is rapidly backpedaling from a proposal to tax broadband Internet service after a public outcry over the issue.  Democrats and Republicans at the agency are now blaming each other for pushing the idea in the first place.

Spread the bandwidth around.
FCC eyes tax on Internet service.  The Federal Communications Commission is eyeing a proposal to tax broadband Internet service.  The move would funnel money to the Connect America Fund, a subsidy the agency created last year to expand Internet access.  The FCC issued a request for comments on the proposal in April.  Dozens of companies and trade associations have weighed in, but the issue has largely flown under the public's radar.

"If you do not have the right to speak freely about food, what do you have a right to speak freely about?"
From Licensing to Censorship.  Every day, millions of Americans dispense advice to friends, relatives, and complete strangers through blogs, websites, and a variety of online publications.  And each time they do so, many of these Americans could be risking substantial fines and perhaps even imprisonment. [...] Across the nation, more than eight hundred different professions require a state license.  Among those professions are:  manure spreaders in Iowa, upholsterers in Utah, and florists in Louisiana.

The Internet Tax: Another Government Assault On Prosperity.  Across America politicians of both parties will tell you the number one issue facing our country is job creation.  They're right — yet what they continually refuse to acknowledge is that creating these jobs is not their responsibility.  Government's role in economic development should always be passive — confining expenditures to core functions while keeping taxes low in an effort to allow the optimum conditions for private sector growth.  "Get out of the way," in other words.

The Obama Administration is Killing the Internet.  Bad policy after bad policy.  Often illegally imposed.  As a result, the Tech Sector — 1/6 of our nation's economy, as big as health care — is hemorrhaging jobs. [...] And our Internet service would be better, faster and cheaper were it not for this Administration.

White House considers executive order, leaves Internet takeover a possibility.  The White House has left open the possibility of enacting its Internet agenda via executive order after the failed effort to bring the Democrat-supported cybersecurity bill to a full vote in the Senate last week.  In response to a question from The Hill, a Washington, D.C. political newspaper, about whether President Obama was considering advancing his party's cyber-plan through an executive order, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney didn't rule out the possibility.

Dictator Obama considers executive order on recently blocked 'cybersecurity' bill.  Obama is America's version of Kim Jong Il.  After Senate Republicans killed the Marxist 'cyber-security' bill last week, Obama is considering implementing it anyway via executive order.

New Hampshire fights Internet sales tax.  A bill pending in Congress would turn New Hampshire businesses that sell over the Internet into tax collectors for other states if they have more than $500,000 in remote sales.  "By imposing collection requirements on businesses that have no physical presence outside of their home state, the legislation under consideration stands to erode existing protections on state sovereignty," U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday [8/1/2012].  Ayotte is a member of the committee.

No Internet Taxation Without Representation.  Our nation was born from the idea of "no taxation without representation" — that citizens should not be taxed by governments in which they have no political voice.  Yet now lawmakers in Washington want to overturn that bedrock principle in order to extract more revenues from American consumers.  The Marketplace Fairness Act recently introduced in the Senate would require online retailers to collect and pay sales taxes to states where they have no physical presence or democratic recourse.

New sales tax likely cost every internet shopper an extra $125 a year.  Internet shoppers could soon be hit with a new sales tax, making online purchases up to 11 percent more expensive.  Congress is considering new legislation that would allow states to force sales tax on internet purchases, which would help make up states' budget shortfalls.  Meanwhile Amazon, the world's largest internet retailer, is making deals with individual states to collect sales taxes regardless of what Congress decides.

After defeat of cybersecurity bill, Obama weighs executive order.  Senate Republicans recently blocked cybersecurity legislation, but the issue might not be dead after all.  The White House hasn't ruled out issuing an executive order to strengthen the nation's defenses against cyber attacks if Congress refuses to act.

The Editor says...
Opposing, resisting, or even blocking the President's agenda is not a refusal to act.  The President indicates that he is determined to get his way through unmitigated tyranny if necessary.  And why shouldn't he?  The current Congress doesn't have the collective backbone to stop him.

GR8, Obama Is Texting Me.  Friday, July 6 was the day many Americans were on an extended 4th of July vacation and paying more attention to barbecuing and lighting fireworks than the news.  Obama seized the day to bypass Congress and release an executive order whereby he effectively gave himself control over the infrastructure that supports your smartphone, internet, radio, TV and satellite dish.  This infrastructure includes "...wireline, wireless, satellite, cable, and broadcasting, and... transport networks that support the Internet..." according to the website for the Department of Homeland Security's National Communications Systems.  The President argues that that he "must have the ability to communicate at all times and under all circumstances" for the sake of "national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP)."  There's one teensy weensy problem with this executive order:  It's unconstitutional.

Too technical?
Net Neutrality Violates the First and Fifth Amendments.  In December 2010, the FCC adopted Preserving the Open Internet, a "network neutrality" order regulating broadband internet access service.  Issued under authority (ostensibly) derived from 24 disparate provisions of federal communications law, Preserving the Open Internet is predicated on three basic rules:  transparency, no blocking, and no discrimination.  Broadly speaking, "transparency" requires broadband providers to "disclose network management practices, performance characteristics, and terms and conditions of services."  The "no blocking" rule forbids fixed broadband providers from "blocking lawful content, applications, services, and non-harmful devices."  Meanwhile, mobile broadband providers are restricted from blocking "lawful websites" and certain applications.  The "No Discrimination" rule prohibits broadband providers from unreasonable discrimination in transmitting lawful network traffic.

Grain of salt:  This comes from a Russian news site.
Battle for internet on, Big Brother at the gate.  The battle over control of the internet is not just about the freedom of speech, but our global future.  It is the choice between a Big Brother and democracy unseen before, insists Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the Swedish Pirate Party.

Tilting at the UN Windmill.  Lots of people like the Internet, right?  Well, good news!  The U.N. wants to take it over.  The International Telecommunications Union, a U.N. organization, is secretly debating proposals to claim jurisdiction over the Web and take it out of America's hands.  The major forces behind this push:  authoritarian regimes eager to censor their domestic Internet and monitor their citizens.  Russia and some Arab countries, reports the Wall Street Journal's Gordon Crovitz, want the power to read private email.  Others want to tax cross-border Web traffic.  And countries like China are working hard to bribe, bully or barter votes in favor of the U.N. takeover.

In Obama's America, A Somewhat Less-Free Press.  You owe it to yourself to do an online search, and read about [Cass] Sunstein and the ideas that he advances in his book.  In particular, many of the thoughts that Mr. Sunstein expresses about the internet seem consistent with present-day behavior of both the Obama Administration, and the Obama re-election campaign.  Perhaps most disturbing is Mr. Sunstein's vision for the future of web content, as he argues for a so-called "notice and take down" law.  Under this provision, those who operate websites — The Washington Post, radio stations, private bloggers, and perhaps even you, yourself — we would all be required "take down falsehoods upon notice" from the U.S. government.

UN Wants to Control Internet: Censorship, Taxes, Surveillance Next.  One of the fastest ways to ruin the Internet would be to put the United Nations in charge of it.  Unfortunately, that is exactly what the United Nations wants.  The United Nations is now pushing very hard for complete control over the Internet.

Next Six Months Could Determine Fate of the Internet, FCC Commissioner Warns.  Actions taken — or not taken — by proponents of online freedom within the next six months will decide the fate of the Internet, according to Federal Communications Commission commissioner Robert McDowell.  "Six months separate us from the renegotiation of the 1988 treaty that led to insulating the Internet from economic and technical regulation," McDowell, a Republican, told lawmakers during a hearing on Capitol Hill last week.

The U.N. Wants to Run the Internet.  Authoritarian regimes want to prohibit anonymity on the Web, making it easier to find and arrest dissidents.

U.S. officials to further discuss possible U.N. plans to takeover Internet.  United States officials are expected to take further action next week to address the threat of a U.N. takeover of the Internet.  The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology is scheduled to hold a hearing Thursday [5/31/2012] to discuss the various international proposals to regulate the Internet, which are backed by Russia, China and several former Soviet satellite countries.  India and Brazil are also on board with the idea of reforming the "multi-stakeholder process" that currently regulates the Internet.

UN to Regulate the Internet? House of Representatives Set to Examine Bill Next Week.  The Hill is reporting that the United States House of Representatives is due to consider an international proposal that would give the United Nations more control over the Internet sometime next week.  Backed by China, Russia, Brazil, India and other members of the international body, the proposal is drawing fire on both sides of the aisle in Congress, as members of the Obama administration even move to criticize it.

Lawmakers introduce measure to fight UN regulation of the Net.  A bipartisan group of lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee introduced a resolution on Wednesday urging the Obama administration to oppose efforts to give the United Nations more control over the Internet.  Proposals to give the UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU) more control over the governance of the Internet could come up at a conference in Dubai in December.  The move is backed by China, Russia, Brazil, India and other UN members, but is opposed by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as the Obama administration.

Internet Regulation Returns to the International Agenda.  A long running debate over regulating the Internet is set to intensify in the coming months, culminating in a December meeting of a United Nations agency that some governments think should control what has been the most open and effective communications tool in history.  Past attempts by countries like Russia, India and China to expand international authority — through the U.N. — over the Internet have been unsuccessful, but are expected to make a reappearance at the World Conference of International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai.

NYC councilman rails against 'Big Brother on the Internet' bill.  New York City Councilman Daniel Halloran isn't pleased that fellow Republicans in the New York state legislature are trying to ban anonymous online speech.  "This is an unconstitutional attempt by New York State to play Big Brother on the Internet," said Halloran.  "Will it soon be illegal to publish an anonymous novel or distribute an anonymous work of art?"

The Editor says...
I've never heard of a novel by an anonymous author, and the only anonymous works of art I've seen around town were spray-painted on highway bridges and telephone poles.

EU Plans to Impose National Internet IDs.  While the European Union — many of whose member states are facing dire economic crises — struggles to convince the world of its significance and necessity, it has taken on a controversial new agenda:  Internet control.  Reports indicate that the EU will soon be creating a mandatory electronic ID system for all citizens of the European Union.  The EU's Digital Agenda Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, asserts that the legislation will promote "the adoption of harmonized e-signatures, e-identities and electronic authentication services (eIAS) across EU member states."

Net Neutrality Fails the Reality Test.  Network Neutrality is disastrous Internet policy, cooked up in the fevered swamps of university faculty lounges and Media Marxist grievance group offices.  Every encounter with Reality has been for Net Neutrality and its proponents an abysmal failure.  Net Neutrality is Socialism for the Internet — it guarantees everyone equal amounts of nothing.

Feds pressing for Internet control.  After the backlash Congress faced earlier this year from Internet activists over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), one might hope members had learned a lesson, and would actually carefully consider legislation that would dramatically impact the fundamental privacy of the magnificent communications mechanism that is the Internet.  Alas, it is not to be.  No sooner had the dust begun to settle from the SOPA mess than the House began once again to ram through unnecessary legislation with serious privacy implications for users of the Internet, in the hallowed name of "cyber security."

White House rejects Boehner's claim Obama wants to control the Internet.  An administration official slammed House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday [4/26/2012] after he claimed President Obama wants to "control the Internet."

Draconian CISPA Bill Picking Up Sponsors Ahead of Vote Next Week.  CISPA was pushed through following public outrage over SOPA and PIPA, two sneaky attempts to undermine internet freedom earlier this year under the guise of protecting the copyrights of Hollywood and its transnational "entertainment" corporations.  CISPA is far worse than its forerunners.  It would amend the the National Security Act of 1947 — legislation that created the national security state and the CIA — and centralize "information sharing" between government agencies, intelligence agencies, and the Pentagon.

Obama's Internet police.  It's the same old story.  Ever since the Internet became popular, politicians have looked for a way to sink their claws into it.  They hate the idea that the public might communicate and engage in commerce largely free from governmental red tape.  So President Obama last month announced a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights to give Uncle Sam more of a role in shaping the online experience.

Homeland Security Officials Caught Hiding Online Spying Program from Congress.  Writers aren't the only group to be watched by the never-blinking eye of Homeland Security.  According to the report, "anchors, newscasters, or on-scene reporters who are known or identified as reporters in their post or article or who use traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed" may also be spied on and have their "usernames and passwords" recorded for future reference.  How many people might be shoe-horned into one of those categories if the federal government decided it wanted to put them under online surveillance?

Obama Quiet as UN & Dictators Push to Control Internet.  A new effort to hand control over the Internet to the United Nations is underway as oppressive regimes such as the communist dictatorship ruling mainland China clamor for more censorship and regulation of the World Wide Web.  The Obama administration has remained silent so far, having failed to even select a leader to defend U.S. interests at upcoming talks on the subject.  But critics of the global move are already striking back, warning that transferring Internet governance to the UN would be a massive blow to freedom and prosperity for the whole planet.

Obama Quiet as UN & Dictators Push to Control Internet.  A new effort to hand control over the Internet to the United Nations is underway as oppressive regimes such as the communist dictatorship ruling mainland China clamor for more censorship and regulation of the World Wide Web.  The Obama administration has remained silent so far, having failed to even select a leader to defend U.S. interests at upcoming talks on the subject.  But critics of the global move are already striking back, warning that transferring Internet governance to the UN would be a massive blow to freedom and prosperity for the whole planet.

The Department of Homeland Security Is Searching Your Facebook and Twitter for These Words.  The Department of Homeland Security monitors your updates on social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, to uncover "Items Of Interest" (IOI), according to an internal DHS document released by the EPIC.  That document happens to include a list of the baseline terms for which the DHS — or more specifically, a DHS subcontractor hired to monitor social networks — use to generate real-time IOI reports.

List reveals keywords feds monitor on Facebook, Twitter.  Have you ever wondered if the government — or more specifically, the Department of Homeland Security — is monitoring your Twitter or Facebook posts?  If the answer's "yes," give yourself a pat on the back because you're right and not simply paranoid.  There's even a list of keywords for which subcontractors hired by the DHS check social networks.

Words like Cyber Command, 2600, spammer, phishing, akdart.com, rootkit, phreaking, dransp, dirty bomb, enriched, nuclear, chemical weapon, biological weapon, ammonium nitrate
EPIC Obtains New Documents on DHS Media Monitoring, Urges Congress to Suspend Program.  EPIC has submitted a letter to Congress following a hearing on DHS monitoring of social networks and media organizations.  In the letter, EPIC highlights new documents obtained as a result of a FOIA lawsuit and points out to inconsistencies in DHS' testimony about the program.  Though DHS testified that it does not monitor for public reaction to government proposals, the documents obtained by EPIC indicate that the DHS analysts are specifically instructed to look for criticism of the agency and then to redirect reports that would otherwise be circulated to other agencies.

Obama Forcing Private Companies to Have Board Votes on Illegal Policy.  Another day, another Barack Obama Administration totalitarian diktat.  In other words, whatever Obama wants — by any means necessary.  Behold Obama's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Which last week handed down from on-high a mandate that telecommunications companies AT&T, Verizon and Sprint MUST have Board votes on Network Neutrality.

Emergency powers for president dropped from cybersecurity bill.  A comprehensive cybersecurity bill introduced Tuesday [2/14/2012] abandons proposals that would give the president emergency powers over the nation's networks. ... Public apprehension about the possibility of handing the White House a "kill switch" for the Internet has dogged the cybersecurity debate, fueled by a proposal that would have codified emergency powers for the president in the event of a catastrophic attack.

States with enacted or pending online tax rules:  Attention, online shoppers.  The days of tax-free online shopping may be coming to an end.  More than a dozen states have enacted legislation or rules to force online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases, according to tax publisher CCH.  Similar legislation is pending in 10 states.

Democrats to continue Internet coup with new cyber bill.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, following a recent anti-piracy legislative debacle with SOPA and PIPA, will lead his second effort of 2012 to push Internet-regulating legislation, this time in the form of a new cybersecurity bill.  The expected bill is the latest attempt by the Democrats to broadly expand the authority of executive branch agencies over the Internet.  Details about the bill remain shrouded in secrecy.

A World Tax? Keep Your Eyes on the Internet.  [Scroll down]  The internet is the perfect vehicle to fund such programs because it's global in nature and it's easily accessible to anyone with a computer or a smartphone no matter where he or she lives.  What does that mean in practical terms?  It means that we are moving toward a global government with teeth.  By that I mean a global political body with taxing and enforcement powers.  As things stand now, the U.N. is a paper tiger because it depends on the goodwill of governments around the world to operate, but if a global governing authority had direct access to a substantial tax revenue stream, things would change with lightning speed.

Obama administration seeks more eavesdropping on Internet.  President Barack Obama and his national security team are seeking to expand the government's role in eavesdropping on the Internet including emails, social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as BlackBerries.  According to reports, the Obama White House plans to submit a bill after the new congress takes over both houses next January that would require all online services that provide communications between users to be enabled to comply with federal wiretap orders.

Obama's Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps.  [#4]  Set up an internal surveillance system.  Obama has set up and is setting up a heavy internet surveillance.  DHS has special spy technology capable of seeing through walls and has vans cruising city streets, spying on Americans indiscriminately.  And don't forget Obama's "Truth Squad" in Missouri, where elected Democrats were cruising the internet looking for examples of "misrepresentations" and threatening to use legal means to suppress opponent's "Lies."

Internet Access Is Not a Human Right.  Over the past few years, courts and parliaments in countries like France and Estonia have pronounced Internet access a human right.  But that argument, however well meaning, misses a larger point:  technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself.  There is a high bar for something to be considered a human right.  Loosely put, it must be among the things we as humans need in order to lead healthy, meaningful lives, like freedom from torture or freedom of conscience.

'Internet access not a human right,' says 'Father of the Internet'.  "Internet access is not a human right," wrote Vinton Cerf in an OpEd in the New York Times on Thursday.  Cerf is a prominent computer scientist who worked on the DARPA project that gave rise to the Internet, and is revered as the "Father of the Internet."  Cerf, who wrote the piece in response to the United Nation's drive towards declaring Internet access a human right, is Google's Chief Internet Evangelist.  He argued that "technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself."

NDAA Would "Quash Dissent" on Internet.  Critics of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) have pointed to its provisions that permit the indefinite detention of American citizens, without charges and without trial.  Additionally, the measure violates individual liberties in another way: by waging war on the Internet.  A major component of the criticism against the NDAA is that it labels all of the United States as a "battlefield" in the "War on Terror," thereby treating virtually all American citizens as potential terrorists.  But in addition to that, buried deep in the massive paperwork of the bill is a provision that would allow the Pentagon to treat the Internet as a "battlefield" as well, in order to "defend our Nation, Allies and interests."

FCC commissioner delivers warning on threat to 'Internet freedom'.  The United States is unprepared for an international fight that's brewing over whether the Internet will remain free from government regulations or fall increasingly under the control of emerging global powers, Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell warned Monday.  "The proponents of Internet freedom and prosperity have been asleep at the switch," Mr. McDowell, the lone Republican serving at the FCC, told editors and reporters at The Washington Times.  "Or maybe I should say asleep at the router."

The Editor says...
Aha!  There's only one Republican Commissioner at the FCC.  That's the problem!

What's At Stake In the Net-Neutrality Fight:  Two fundamental issues lie at the heart of the contentious battle over the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) attempt to establish "network neutrality" regulations over the freewheeling Internet.  Freedom of speech is not one of them. ... This fight, like most fights in Washington, is about power and money.  Do we really want to empower a political agency to regulate the most vibrant marketplace of products, people, and ideas that has ever bubbled up from the genius of a free people?  It is naive to think that, once the FCC gets a foot in this door, rate regulation will not follow as the ultimate means to achieve the vague and shifting goal of "fairness."

Senate in party-line vote rejects measure to overturn FCC net-neutrality rules.  The Senate rejected a bid to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's controversial net neutrality rules on Thursday [11/10/2011] in a party-line vote.  The measure passed the House in April, but failed in the Senate on a vote of 52 to 46.  It needed 51 votes to pass and was not subject to a filibuster.  The White House threatened earlier this week to veto the measure if it cleared the Senate, which came as no surprise since President Obama made net neutrality part of his campaign platform.

Will Senators Reassert Their Constitutional Authority, or Capitulate to Obama's Authoritarianism?  The vote on Senate Joint Resolution (S.J. Res) 6 — the Resolution of Disapproval to undo the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s illegal, unilateral Network Neutrality Internet power grab — is a watershed moment for the members of the Senior Circuit.

Rubio: Net-neutrality claims 'ridiculous'.  Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) punctuated several hours of Senate floor debate on net neutrality Wednesday afternoon by forcefully dismissing arguments that overturning the Federal Communications Commission's rules would jeopardize the freedom of the Internet.  Rubio went through a litany of innovations and achievements of the technology industry in recent years, including the expansion of broadband, tablet computers, mobile devices and the creation of jobs despite the recession, noting all took place before the FCC's Open Internet Order.

WH will veto legislation to overturn FCC Internet regulation.  The White House delivered a widely expected statement Tuesday [11/8/2011], saying that it will veto any legislation to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's "Open Internet" regulations.  Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison recently called that legislation a "jobs proposal," stating to a D.C. audience that net neutrality sets up the FCC as the Internet's government gatekeeper and would hamper private sector growth.

Obama's Regulatory Excess and Abuse.  [Phil] Kerpen discusses in detail the FCC's adoption of net neutrality regulations on December 21, 2010.  The foundation for those regulations is that the companies that invest in and build the Internet infrastructure can't be trusted to manage it, arbitrarily favoring some users over others.  So the government needs to step in and manage it, eventually taking over control of the Net.  Of course, the experience has been that under private management in the competitive market, the Internet has been the freest institution in the world.  But wherever the government has stepped in to control the web, that freedom has been restricted or squelched.

UN Internet agenda tied to George Soros.  Frank La Rue, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression who made summer headlines when he proclaimed Internet access as a basic human right, conducted his research and delivered his conclusions with the support of organizations funded by liberal financier George Soros, The Daily Caller has learned.  La Rue's statements on Internet freedom caused alarm among conservatives who believe "net neutrality" is a vehicle for a government takeover of the Internet.

Verizon sues to overturn 'net neutrality' rules.  Verizon Communications, the largest U.S. cell phone carrier, is suing to overturn new government regulations governing the flow of Internet traffic.

Next Up for Nationalization:  the Internet.  Following the nationalization of investment banks, Fannie and Freddie, consumer banks, and private insurance companies, taxpayers are likely asking:  What's left for the federal government to nationalize?  How about the Internet?  Network neutrality, or net neutrality, is the beneficent-sounding name for sweeping new government regulatory power that would prohibit Internet service providers from innovating in their own networks.

Hutchison slams net neutrality rules.  "I'm very disappointed that the FCC has decided to move forward with its misguided net neutrality order," [Senator Kay Bailey] Hutchison said.  "Companies and industries that use broadband communications have flourished over the last decade without government intervention, yet the FCC has chosen to 'fix' a problem that does not exist."

FCC: Your Internet belongs to us.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filed a final version of its net neutrality rules Thursday [9/22/2011], one year after they voted to pass the framework defining the principles of an 'open Internet.'  The vote on the framework was passed on partisan lines, 3-2.  The rules, published on the Federal Register's website, will go into effect November 20th.  Touted as a major victory for a free and open Internet by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Republicans have begun building a last-ditch challenge to a principle they believe will kill markets.

House panel approves broadened ISP snooping bill.  Internet providers would be forced to keep logs of their customers' activities for one year — in case police want to review them in the future — under legislation that a U.S. House of Representatives committee approved today [7/28/2011].

Pentagon declares the Internet a war domain.  The Pentagon released a long-promised cybersecurity plan Thursday [7/14/2011] that declares the Internet a domain of war.  The plan notably does not spell out how the U.S. military would use the Web for offensive strikes, however.  The Defense Department's first-ever plan for cyberspace calls on the department to expand its ability to thwart attacks from other nations and groups, beef up its cyber-workforce and expand collaboration with the private sector.

FCC sends net neutrality rules to White House.  The Federal Communications Commission sent its semi-final draft of net neutrality rules to the White House for approval Thursday, bringing the controversial Internet rules one step closer to enforcement.

Virginia AG to sue FCC over 'net neutrality'.  Wading into another fierce ideological battle, Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II has announced plans to sue regarding new federal regulation of the Internet and has urged other states to jump on board his fight against "net neutrality."

White House to cut access to half of federal websites.  As part of the Obama administration's campaign to promote transparency, the White House announced today it intends to eliminate the public's access to half of the federal government's websites within the next year.  The White House said there are nearly 2,000 websites operated by the federal government, which it said confuses people. ... White House officials didn't say how the administration will determine which web sites to cut.  But the president is creating an 11-member "government oversight and accountability board," comprised of current executive branch officials, "to help federal agencies improve their performance."

The Editor says...
Oh, good.  More czars!  How much will that cost?

Who Was Behind Net Neutrality?  A FOIA request by the advocacy group Judicial Watch show that there may have been more behind net neutrality than we were first led to believe.  The organization announced on Thursday [6/2/2011] that it uncovered documents showing that the FCC worked with a left-leaning organization who campaigned to regulate the internet.

Radical Anti-Free Press Group Consulted with FCC to Push Obama's Internet TakeoverJudicial Watch has obtained documents that show that Free Press, a progressive group funded by George Soros and other leftist benefactors was colluding with the FCC to push through its plan for the government control of the internet known also known as net neutrality.  In December 2010, the FCC voted 3-2 to pass its net neutrality program, despite the fact just seven months earlier a federal appeals court ruled that the FCC had exceeded its authority in seeking to regulate the Internet and enforce "net neutrality" rules.

House Republican slams Free Press 'collusion' with FCC commissioner on net neutrality.  Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) strongly condemned what she described as "collusion" between media reform group Free Press and members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on net-neutrality regulations, an issue she has taken a lead role in opposing.  Her comments come a day after the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch released emails between Commissioner Michael Copps and his aides and members of Free Press.  The emails showed Free Press lobbying the aides to advocate strongly for net-neutrality policies, which Copps supports.

U.N. Report Declares Internet Access a Human Right.  A United Nations report said Friday [6/3/2011] that disconnecting people from the internet is a human rights violation and against international law.

Senate debates president's power during cyber-attack.  Senators squared off with Obama administration officials Monday [5/23/2011] about plans to give the president emergency powers to protect vital U.S. electronic networks from attacks by hackers, cyberterrorists and foreign governments. ... "I must say this baffles me," said Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, of the administration's plan to rely on the 1934 statute.  Ms. Collins accused administration officials of relying on "outmoded yet potentially sweeping authorities granted in the Communications Act of 1934" that gave the president the power to take over radio stations in a time of national emergency.

FCC 'Process Reform' Should Be About Reducing FCC Power.  The Barack Obama Administration has at their dictatorial behest a LOT of rogue Agencies, Departments and Commissions. ... And perhaps none of the Administration's Big Government divisions has since the election been more illegally active than the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Fairness Doctrine for the Internet?  Given the premises of both Obama and the FCC, how much of a stretch is it to establish a Fairness Doctrine for the Internet?  Or government-mandated public service announcements on private websites?  In principle, this would be no different from what the government has already done to radio and television through the FCC.  Plus, given the arbitrary nature of the FCC's powers, government could do a lot more to control both broadcast and the Internet content. ... Political websites required to offer equal time for different points-of-view (that is to say, for Democratic liberal and socialist ones)?  In principle, there's nothing to stop it once Obama and the government take control of broadband.

The Editor says...
How do you measure "equal time" in a medium that is not constricted by time?  Radio and TV stations dispense their programming at a fixed rate.  If you buy 30 seconds of advertising time, that advertisement is gone when the 30 seconds has expired.  On a web page, the adverising (if any) stays in view during your your entire visit.  Please note once again that akdart.com carries no paid advertising, and is completely free of annoying pop-up tabs and windows.  The Editor hopes you find that to be a refreshing change from the ordinary.  Tell your friends.

Bill Clinton: Create Internet agency.  Bill Clinton doesn't like all the misinformation and rumors floating on the Internet.  And he thinks the United Nations or the U.S. government should create an agency to do something about it.

Internet Data Caps Cometh.  With its vision of millions of users engaging in live video chat across the Internet, the Microsoft-Skype deal is one more business plan that treats broadband as basically an unmetered resource.

FCC Internet Regulation: Not So Fast.  In the House, HJ37, the resolution to disapprove the FCC action, has been approved on a floor vote of 238 to 174.  Last December, under cover of the holidays and the spectacle of the lame duck Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defied a federal court and enacted an internet regulatory takeover.  In answer, the House began moving House Joint Resolution 37 through committee.  The resolution will cancel the FCC rulemaking and bring the policy discussion back to Congress.  Thus, the FCC and the House of Representatives have begun a classic Separation of Powers struggle.  The debate involves a simple yet critical question:  is policy established by an elected Congress or imposed by appointed agency bureaucrats?

FCC chief to Congress: Leave Net neutrality alone.  The head of the Federal Communications Commission will warn Congress not to repeal the controversial Internet regulations enacted last December, CNET has learned.  Undoing the agency's Net neutrality rules will "increase uncertainty, decrease investment, and hurt job creation," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will say, according to a draft of his prepared remarks.

The Editor says...
The FCC reports to Congress.  Nobody at the FCC is in a position to tell the Congress what to do.

Obama administration unveils online ID system.  A plan to create a national online identity system was launched today [4/16/2011] to help combat cyber crime.  Commerce Secretary Gary Locke claimed the move will protect Internet consumers from fraud and identity theft.  Unveiling the scheme, he insisted the cyber ID was not a Big Brother plan by the government to snoop on web users.

Obama Administration Unveils Internet ID Plan.  The Commerce Dept. unveiled a plan Friday to create a national cyber-identity system that would give consumers who opt in a single secure password and identity for all their digital transactions.  The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) will be a voluntary system designed to protect consumers from online fraud and identity theft — which hit 8.1 million people last year, at a total cost of $27 billion.  The problem:  The current system of half-remembered passwords jotted down on post-it notes and based on pets and maiden names simply isn't good enough.

The Editor says...
Must we all lose our liberty and relative anonymity, just because there are so many fools who select weak passwords?  This sounds to me like a plan to create an Internet User License.

Internet Freedom: A Time for Choosing.  As the Internet becomes more important, the claims on it increase.  Those claims cannot all be met.  It is a time for choosing.  Defining the Internet as the sum of the design decisions that are now ubiquitously deployed, the Internet deeply embeds American values.  Just as close examination of DNA explicates sources in bio-history, close examination of Internet's methods of communications does the same.

House approves legislation to repeal FCC net neutrality regulations.  The House of Representatives voted Friday afternoon [4/8/2011] to repeal the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality regulations.  The Republican-supported legislation passed by a vote of 240-179, with six Democrats and two Republicans bucking their parties.  During debate, Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton, who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee, said that "the Internet is not broken, and this bill will ensure that the FCC will not break it."

Big government in your browser.  Administration officials are determined to grab hold of the Internet — for your protection.  The latest scheme will be the subject of a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday [3/16/2011] on "The State of Online Consumer Privacy."  Regulators claim various online nuisances such as spam, identity theft and other privacy invasions cry out for government intervention.  It's a classic Washington power grab for the digital era.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Commerce kicked off the latest push in December with reports that suggest Internet commerce is doomed unless Uncle Sam steps in to "coordinate" the private sector's efforts.

Issa: White House Helped Draw Up Net Neutrality Rules.  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is denying a charge that White House officials improperly influenced the commission's net neutrality rules.  In a November 2009 letter to Genachowski, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said media reports suggest "that Obama administration officials had knowledge of and potentially contributed to [the] crafting of" the controversial net neutrality rules.

Battles Looming Over First Amendment Rights.  With all of the takeovers of various aspects of society by the Obama administration, none are as perilous as the one takeover we could be on the brink of — namely the First Amendment.  It is under assault in so many very real ways, and the media are largely silent about it.  That is because they are aware of the goals, and they share them.  The goal is to silence conservative and Republican voices, to regulate the Internet, to favor certain news organizations — in essence to pick winners and losers when it comes to First Amendment rights and freedom of speech.

Tyranny vs. the Internet.  For those who aspire to tyranny, those who seek to control and dictate to the people, to undermine and limit the people's freedoms, to expand their own power at the expense of the people's liberties — in a word, those whose ambitions and machinations cannot stand the light of day among a free people — an uncontrolled, free internet is an intolerable obstacle and threat.  As surely a these ambitious people will work and are working to deprive the people of their firearms — the people's ultimate means to resist government tyranny — they will work, they must work, to deprive them of the free flow of information.  The free flow of information is essential to liberty.  The power to control and limit the flow of information is essential to tyranny.

Bill Allows Feds to Take Over Private Networks During Cyber Attacks.  The federal government could take over private firms' networks in the event of a widespread cyberattack in the United States, under a broad infrastructure security bill introduced in the Senate this week.  The draft bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), gives the Department of Homeland Security authority to keep "critical infrastructure" up and running during a "cybersecurity emergency," Wired reported.

Citizen Uprising Over Internet Regulation.  Just as a majority of Americans now opposes the Administration's increased spending and government intrusion into the free economy, a clear majority opposes the President's move to assert authority over the Internet.  According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 53 percent of Americans oppose FCC regulation of the Internet — and only 27 percent support such regulations.  In fact, support for Internet regulations has plunged by 22 points just since June 2008.

A bill to shift cybersecurity to White House.  Forthcoming legislation would wrest cybersecurity responsibilities from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and transfer them to the White House, a proposed move that likely will draw objections from industry groups and some conservatives.

"Big Brother" Obama Coming After the Internet.  The White House will have new powers to access private online data, regulate the cyber security industry and even shut down Internet traffic under the provisions of Senate bills No. 773 and 778, introduced by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V.  It's called the Cybersecurity Act of 2009.

Senate Proposal Could Put Heavy Restrictions on Internet Freedoms.  The days of an open, largely unregulated Internet may soon come to an end.  A bill making its way through Congress proposes to give the U.S. government authority over all networks considered part of the nation's critical infrastructure.  Under the proposed Cybersecurity Act of 2009, the president would have the authority to shut down Internet traffic to protect national security.

New Cybersecurity Regime Proposed.  Introduced just last week in the Senate, rather quietly, was the new Cybersecurity Act of 2009.  Proposed by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), the legislation, in part, calls for the establishment of a national cybersecurity adviser, a cyber czar as it were. ... [Scroll down]  Some experts have interpreted this rather cryptic paragraph to mean that perhaps a unique digital ID will be required of each user, not only not protecting civil liberties, but instead making each user and said user's Internet activities much easier to track, limit, and ultimately shut down.

Obama's Surveillance State.  According to civil liberties watchdogs, the Obama adminstration has already staked out claims of executive power which exceed that of the Bush administration.

Privacy May Be a Victim in Cyberdefense Plan.  A plan to create a new Pentagon cybercommand is raising significant privacy and diplomatic concerns, as the Obama administration moves ahead on efforts to protect the nation from cyberattack and to prepare for possible offensive operations against adversaries' computer networks.  President Obama has said that the new cyberdefense strategy he unveiled last month will provide protections for personal privacy and civil liberties.  But senior Pentagon and military officials say that Mr. Obama's assurances may be challenging to guarantee in practice...

Gag the Internet!  Cass Sunstein, a Harvard Law professor who has been appointed to a shadowy post that will grant him powers that are merely mind-boggling, explicitly supports using the courts to impose a "chilling effect" on speech that might hurt someone's feelings.  He thinks that the bloggers have been rampaging out of control and that new laws need to be written to corral them.

Bill would give president emergency control of Internet.  Internet companies and civil liberties groups were alarmed this spring when a U.S. Senate bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet.  They're not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors.  CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773, which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.

Could Obama Rule The Web?  What do you think the response would be from our ideological counterparts if they found out George W. Bush could use the excuse of some national emergency to take control of the Internet?  Whether or not it could really be done is another issue, but the libs would be having collective aneurysms.

White House control of the Internet:  The Senate Commerce Committee wants to hand control of the Internet over to the Obama White House.  Increased government intervention isn't the answer to the nation's cybersecurity problem.

An Unconstitutional Internet Power Grab.  [Scroll down]  The original introduced in April was so bad that it was quickly deemed legislative garbage and sent back for complete re-work.  This revised version was meant to address the concerns of lawmakers, trade groups and citizens by narrowing its focus and refining its goals.  Instead it has unleashed a flood of criticism (mostly on the internet, mind you) on how this would give the government a "kill switch" for the Internet whenever they deem there to be a national crisis or emergency.

Would Obama hit the internet kill switch?  Tyrants have always been keenly aware of the importance of propaganda.  The enormous agitprop machinery, a central feature of all totalitarian regimes, exists to misinform rather than inform; its primary task is to keep the subjugated people in the dark.  The Soviet rulers regarded their extremely expensive effort to jam foreign radio broadcasts to be money well spent, for they understood that their propaganda could be effective only if shielded from competition with real information.

Could The Feds Seize The Internet?  A Senate bill lets the president "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "nongovernmental" computer networks and do what's needed to respond to the threat.  Didn't they just collect our e-mail addresses?

What's really wrong with the Cybersecurity bill?  The problem with S.773 is not what it purports to do but the fact that Barack Hussein Obama happens to be the president of the United States.  Despite the fact that the United States is at least nominally a democracy and citizens have the right to go to the polls and freely vote every two or four years, Obama and the Democrats in Congress are governing exactly like a fascist state.  They impose their will regardless of how many Americans oppose it.  Whether their policies and actions actually make the country better off are of no consequence.

The Internet power grab by the Obama White House.  A Senate bill (S.773) if passed would give the President of the United States the authority to declare a "cyber emergency" and close down the Internet by disconnecting users.  In addition, it will require professional IT people to be certified by the federal government, something that angers many IT technicians and those who believe in the First Amendment.  Americans are being deceived by the news media and their elected officials in Washington, DC and it's Americans who will suffer from that deception, according to information technology experts.

U.S. as Traffic Cop in Web Fight.  The U.S. government plans to propose broad new rules Monday that would force Internet providers to treat all Web traffic equally, seeking to give consumers greater freedom to use their computers or cellphones to enjoy videos, music and other legal services that hog bandwidth.  The move would make good on a campaign promise to Silicon Valley supporters like Google Inc. from President Barack Obama, but will trigger a battle with phone and cable companies like AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp., which don't want the government telling them how to run their networks.

The Editor says...
The White House is in no position to tell any private company how to run its business, whether it's Chrysler or Comcast.  If ordinary Americans tolerate this kind of interference, it will only get worse.

Obama Bytes.  Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski will announce today his intent to put in place rules that would allow the federal government to regulate the Internet. ... "We couldn't give them a Guantanamo shut down, or ending the Patriot Act, so this is the immediate payoff to MoveOn and Free Press and the those guys who worked so hard for us during the campaign," says a White House source.

Bad News for Broadband.  In his first major policy speech yesterday, the head of the Federal Communications Commission proposed new government rules for how Internet service providers handle traffic on the Web. ... The reality is that the Obama Administration wants the government to replace Internet operators as the Web's traffic cop.

Neutering the 'Net.  Broadband growth is leveling out in the U.S., and suppliers increasingly grow only by stealing customers from each other.  Two-thirds of Comcast's new broadband subscribers signed up in a recent quarter were defectors from DSL.  "Churn" is the biggest challenge to broadband profitability, especially as competition drives down margins.

How much government control of Web in cybercrisis?  [Scroll down]  Early versions of the second draft are more vague, giving the president only the authority to "direct the national response" to a cyberthreat.

Net 'Neutrality' is Government Theft.  Despite the claims of Al Gore, the Internet was not, like the light bulb or the telephone, the invention of one person.  But rather the Internet is the ultimate example of widely dispersed creativity, investment, and response to consumer demand — the essence of Adam Smith's "invisible hand" — which is bettering the lives of people around the world, rich and poor, black and white, in dozens of languages, forever.  And it comes as no surprise that Democrats want to regulate it.

Internet Security in the Age of Obama.  Internet security is no longer for the paranoid only.  James Lakely recently wrote ... an article about our New Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, and his desire to quell the internet.  This was followed by another [American Thinker] article regarding Obama's Czar of Chillin'.  What we need are methods and means to deal with such threats.  How to hide in plain sight, or encrypt and obscure information.

The Strange Philosophy Behind the Movement for Net Neutrality.  The election of Barack Obama as president ushered in a new era of regulatory zeal in Washington, with both Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) determined to solve alleged problems with access to and management of the Internet.  Advocates of "network neutrality" have the federal government's ear and seem closer than at times past to achieving their goal of greater government control over the Internet.  Their success would change the online experience of every American.

U.S. regulatory czar nominee wants Net 'Fairness Doctrine'.  Barack Obama's nominee for "regulatory czar" has advocated a "Fairness Doctrine" for the Internet that would require opposing opinions be linked and also has suggested angry e-mails should be prevented from being sent by technology that would require a 24-hour cooling off period.

The Editor says...
Since when is the government in the business of regulating anger?  How is he going to know if I'm angry when I send an email?  How does the "regulatory czar" feel about angry phone calls?

Internet Heavyweights Push Net Neutrality.  A group of top Internet execs, including the CEOs of Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, and eBay have sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in support of net neutrality. ... The FCC is due to release its proposed net neutrality rules on Thursday [10/22/2009].

Hurdles Remain As FCC Ponders Internet Data Rules.  With Democrats in charge in Washington, supporters of so-called "net neutrality" rules seem poised to finally push through requirements that high-speed Internet providers give equal treatment to all data flowing over their networks, CBS station KPIX-TV reported.

The Expanding Net of Online Regulations.  [Scroll down]  The FCC would essentially require ISPs to charge consumers the same for internet activity that uses a lot of bandwidth, like downloading music, as they do for activity that uses relatively little bandwidth, like reading text on a web page.

FCC votes to move net neutrality rules forward.  The Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to open the proceeding that could lead to open-Internet regulations, although the two Republican commissioners dissented on whether rules are warranted.

FCC moves on Net neutrality rules.  While technical, the issue of network neutrality — or Net neutrality — has sparked a furious, expensive lobbying war, as well as a raging debate in cyberspace over the government's role in setting the rules of the road for the Internet, with some even arguing that the right to free speech in the Information Age is at stake.

Critics attack FCC's net neutrality proposal.  The opposition to the FCC's net neutrality proposal is wasting no time voicing their resistance and getting their proverbial ducks in a row.  Almost simultaneously with the FCC's action on net neutrality, Verizon chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg criticized the commission's proposal in a speech at SuperComm in Chicago.

Obama's Media Control Strategy.  You may not have noticed that the Obama Administration, in addition to trying to seize control of the health care and energy sectors, is implementing a national "broadband plan" to redefine the media and transform America's system of government.  It's designed, they say, to provide "open government and civic engagement."  But it looks increasingly like an excuse for the federal government to control the Internet and access to information and even tell us what is truth.

Net Neutrality Regulation vs. Internet Freedom.  Network neutrality regulation is more than just another pesky law; it is a floodgate to government control of the Internet and the reduction of consumer choices.

Is Net Neutrality a FCC Trojan Horse?  On Thursday [10/22/2009], Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to unveil draft rules aimed at imposing network neutrality obligations on Internet Service Providers (ISPs).  In the excitement surrounding the announcement, however, many have overlooked the fact that the this rulemaking is built on a shoddy and dangerous foundation — the idea that the FCC has unlimited authority to regulate the Internet.

Preserve Internet Freedom — Beware Obama's Net Neutrality.  It doesn't seem possible that the tens of millions of Americans that use the Internet daily would put up with a government takeover of the Internet.  I sure hope they don't.  It should be an epic struggle.  Nonetheless, just in case the American public doesn't acquiesce to strict government control of the Internet, there's a bill in Congress (S. 773), sponsored by Senator Jay Rockefeller, to give the President complete control of the Internet to preserve cybersecurity in case of "emergency."

Net Neutrality enforcement may reach into your computer.  The internet legislation policy will encompass three key positions.  First the government wants to make sure everyone has access to the internet and have set aside $7.2 billion in stimulus dollars for construction. ... This will not only be tricky, but very expensive because there are not enough subscribers in rural areas to pay for the hundreds of miles of cable that must be put in place.  Providing internet access for all residents would be a first for the country.  In the past, government didn't ensure every citizen had a radio during World War II, or televisions in the 1950s or even cable in the 1980s.  Why internet?  The second platform is social justice or classic redistribution of wealth.  And finally the third is controlling internet content.

"Net Neutrality" Nets Out to Government Control.  Masked beneath the comfort language of the net neutrality bill are provisions that will effectively turn over management of the internet within the United States to the federal government via the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  It's a power for which the FCC hungers.  Perhaps it envies China.  So there's nothing neutral about the Obama administration's push for net neutrality.  "Neutrality" is a D.C. comfort word for control.

The Strange Philosophy Behind the Movement for Net Neutrality.  The election of Barack Obama as president ushered in a new era of regulatory zeal in Washington, with both Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) determined to solve alleged problems with access to and management of the Internet.  Advocates of "network neutrality" have the federal government's ear and seem closer than at times past to achieving their goal of greater government control over the Internet.  Their success would change the online experience of every American.

Net Neutrality Fight Causing New Rifts On the Left.  In the wake of reports that the Obama administration may be inching away from a national broadband policy that encompasses strong net neutrality provisions, observers of the ongoing net neutrality debate say that a major rift may be developing between big-name groups on the left.

Is FCC Declaring 'Open Season' on Internet Freedom?  The FCC, in proposing to change the definition of an "open Internet" from competition-driven to government-driven is setting a very dangerous precedent; that it is acceptable for countries to preemptively regulate the Internet for what might happen in the future, even if they lack the legitimacy of constitutional or legal authority to do so, or even if there is thinnest of justification or evidence to support it.

The Plan to Silence Dissent.  One provision of S.773 would grant the president authority to "declare a cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic" including that on private systems designated as critical.  Not surprisingly, the bill gives the president wide discretion in designating private systems as "critical."  Would an H1N1 pandemic qualify as such an emergency allowing the president to shut down voices opposing his socialized medicine plans?  Another provision of the bill is to federally-license certain information technology professionals making it illegal for those not holding such a license to access any IT systems.

FCC looks at ways to assert authority over Web access.  The FCC, which regulates public access to telephone and television services, has been working to claim the same role for the Internet.  The stakes are high, as the Obama administration pushes an agenda of open broadband access for all and big corporations work to protect their enormous investments in a new and powerful medium.

FCC Overreach.  The FCC and the rest of the federal apparatus should keep their hands off the Internet.  The Web is doing fine without the "help" of Washington.  There are no compelling reasons for the government to be involved.  It has neither the moral nor constitutional authority to interfere with peaceful, noncriminal private affairs that are voluntarily entered into.

FBI wants records kept of Web sites visited.  The FBI is pressing Internet service providers to record which Web sites customers visit and retain those logs for two years, a requirement that law enforcement believes could help it in investigations of child pornography and other serious crimes.  FBI Director Robert Mueller supports storing Internet users' "origin and destination information," a bureau attorney said at a federal task force meeting on Thursday [2/4/2010].

The Editor says...
Laws like this are almost always sugar-coated with something about "protecting America's children."  The FBI has phrased their demand in such a way that in order to oppose this idea now, you have to appear to endorse kiddie porn.

Why Obama is Wrong about Net Neutrality and His Scheme Must Be Defeated:  As Capitol Confidential noted the other day, net neutrality is an issue that that is dear to the left, but has flown under the radar of most Americans.  It's a rather technical and arcane subject, but can be summed up rather simply:  Net neutrality rules enforced by the Federal Communications Commission would allow government bureaucrats to micromanage the Internet...

Former Obama aide:  'Anonymity is over' on Web.  A former White House official believes "anonymity is over" in the blossoming world of Internet commerce.  When asked as part of the Pew Center's latest Web survey how online businesses and services might treat users' identities 10 years from now, former National Economic Council member Susan Crawford predicted:  "We'll be known to others as a condition of doing all we want to do."

Taking Title to the Internet.  In the fight over the Obama Administration and Federal Communications Commission's attempts to regulate the Internet via a policy known as "net neutrality," a court case involving a cable company and an online company that enables Internet content sharing is forcing the Obama Administration to look for new ways to gain control of Internet networks.

Cybersecurity bill to give president new emergency powers.  The president would have the power to safeguard essential federal and private Web resources under draft Senate cybersecurity legislation.  According to an aide familiar with the proposal, the bill includes a mandate for federal agencies to prepare emergency response plans in the event of a massive, nationwide cyberattack.  The president would then have the ability to initiate those network contingency plans to ensure key federal or private services did not go offline during a cyberattack of unprecedented scope, the aide said.

The Editor says...
How would you know if such a "cyberattack" took place?  You'd have to take Obama's word for it.  And by now, I think we all know how good his word is.

US government rescinds 'leave internet alone' policy.  The new approach is a far cry from a US government that consciously decided not to intrude into the internet's functioning and growth and in so doing allowed an academic network to turn into a global communications phenomenon.

What the "cyber-emergency" bill is really about:  [Climategate] set the criminals behind the curtain on their heels.  Again.  And that's when the Wizards of Oz had an epiphany.  It dawned on them that to further their agenda — controlling the globe's food, fiber, water, minerals, money, land, information, people, jobs, hope, and their planned world government they'd been maneuvering towards — in the secret manner they've been accustomed to lo these many decades, they were going to have to somehow take control of what was being fed onto the Internet and failing that, the Internet itself.

US government rescinds 'leave internet alone' policy.  The US government's policy of leaving the Internet alone is over, according to Obama's top official at the Department of Commerce.  Instead, an "Internet Policy 3.0" approach will see policy discussions between government agencies, foreign governments, and key Internet constituencies, according to Assistant Secretary Larry Strickling...

FCC Plan Calls for 'Additional Funding' for New 'Public Media'.  The Federal Communications Commission's National Broadband Plan calls for Congress to spend more tax dollars than it currently does on public broadcasting in order to push PBS-style government-funded journalism onto the Internet to compete with private-sector Internet journalism.  The plan, submitted to Congress on March 15, envisions so-called Internet-based public media as the 21st century successor to the local public broadcasting television and radio stations of today.

The Editor says...
The internet is already a public medium.  One thing this country doesn't need is "government-funded journalism", because it will inevitably become a fountain of propaganda.  Many "internet journalism" sites — like this one — are non-commercial.  Is anyone, other than government propagandists, concerned about unfair and imbalanced journalism on the internet?

FCC Adviser Backs 'Filter' and 'Megaphone' for Govt-Funded Internet Journalism.  An adviser to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to see an increase in government-funded journalism and is an advocate for a "public media" that could serve as a "filter" and a "megaphone" for a network of government-funded journalists competing with other, non-government-backed reporters.

Internet taxation is on the way.  The Obama Era has become a protracted, nightmarish Whack-A-Mole game of tax increases and bureaucratic self-enlargement.  In sector after sector of American life, another scheme to expand government and wrench more earnings from Americans' pockets pops up.  Its next targeted sector?  The Internet.

"Socialize" Equals Censorship:  The Government Takeover of the Media.  The Federal Communications Commissions Chief Diversity Officer, Mark Lloyd, wants government to socialize the media. ... Lloyd advocates billions in new taxes on the private media, while the Founders reviled the 1765 Stamp Act, which sparked the chain of events climaxing in the Revolution, in large measure because it taxed the press.  Lloyd calls for federal regulations over commercial broadcast and cable programs regarding political advertising and commentary, educational programs for children and even the number of commercials they can run, while the Founders solemnly declared that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.

The FCC Doesn't Need to Be.  As exercises in bureaucratic hairsplitting go, it is tough to beat the sheer audacity of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski's recent declaration, "I've been clear repeatedly that we're not going to regulate the Internet."  In reality, between its recently released National Broadband Plan and proposed Net neutrality guidelines, that's exactly what the agency is planning to do.

FCC dealt significant blow in net neutrality ruling favoring Comcast.  A federal appeals court on Tuesday [4/6/2010] dealt a significant blow to the Obama administration and net neutrality advocates, ruling that the Federal Communications Commission has no authority to regulate how Web providers manage their network traffic.

Court:  FCC has no power to regulate Net neutrality.  The Federal Communications Commission does not have the legal authority to slap Net neutrality regulations on Internet providers, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.  A three-judge panel in Washington, D.C. unanimously tossed out the FCC's August 2008 cease and desist order against Comcast, which had taken measures to slow BitTorrent transfers before voluntarily ending them earlier that year.

Court Ruling Threatens FCC's Net Neutrality Scheme.  In a unanimous ruling, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned a 2008 FCC order saying that Comcast could not block P2P applications, essentially the first step in the FCC's plan to implement the Orwellian-named scheme called Net Neutrality, based on an argument that Internet Service Providers must treat all content "equally."

Hands off the Internet.  A federal appeals court ruled this week that Congress never granted the Federal Communications Commission authority to impose "network management" regulations on Internet service providers and that the FCC's overly "expansive view" of its power did not merely strain the outer limits of its authority but "seeks to shatter them entirely."  In real terms, this rebukes the commission for its effort to order high-speed Internet service providers such as Comcast to treat equally all traffic that flows through their pipelines.

Regulating the Internet, One Way or the Other.  For the past several years, the Left has breathlessly claimed that without the imposition of government oversight and control, the Internet as we know it will cease to exist.  Just try and follow the Left's logic for a moment.  The Internet — whose ingenious development and explosive growth has occurred almost entirely free from the heavy hand of the government — will cease to exist as we know it without the heavy hand of government?

Obama's Secret Power Grabs:  The FCC was smacked down in court last week in Comcast v. FCC, which held that the Commission has no jurisdiction to regulate the Internet.  Yet FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a close friend of Obama's, is now considering Internet regulations of an even more extreme nature and by an even more dubious mechanism — reclassifying the Internet as a phone system to regulate it like an old-fashioned public utility.

Net Neutrality Further Neutralized.  News that Colin Crowell was resigning his post as a senior adviser to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski sent shock waves through Washington late yesterday.  Crowell, who prior to going over to the FCC was one of the most influential Democrat legislative and policy advisers on Capitol Hill when it came to telecommunications and Internet policy, was believed by many to be one of the most vocal advocates inside the FCC for regulating the Internet and imposing "Net Neutrality," which is to the Internet what Socialism is to private property.

FCC to make move on net neutrality.  The FCC will announce on Thursday [5/6/2010] that it still plans to pursue tough net neutrality rules, opening a new front in an ongoing legal battle that could come to define the commission under Chairman Julius Genachowski.  A senior FCC official said Wednesday that the chairman "will seek to restore the status quo as it existed" before a federal court stripped the commission of the authority to regulate broadband providers and set rules that mandate open Internet.

Shutdown.fcc.gov.  Increasingly, some groups contend there's a crisis in journalism, even to the extent of advocating government support of news organizations.  The dangers to freedom inherent in the concept of government-funded ideas and the impact on critique and dissent seem not to bother them.  Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission plays along.  Its Future of Media project seeks "to help ensure that all Americans have access to vibrant, diverse sources of news and information that will enable them to enrich their families, communities and democracy."

FCC now wants to reclassify the Internet as a telephone system.
The FCC Goes for the Nuclear Option.  As I have repeatedly warned and noted on www.ObamaChart.com, when Congress blocks the Obama administration, the White House always finds a way to get around the normal policy-making process and pursue its agenda by other means.  Today's reclassification assault on the Internet is the latest — and perhaps the most egregious — example.  In its effort to imposing crippling net neutrality regulations on the Internet — an idea with very little support from the American public or Congress — the Obama administration first turned to the FCC simply to pretend Congress has given it authority to regulate.

FCC to seek net neutrality using new legal framework.  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski on Thursday [5/6/2010] announced his agency would seek to regain its lost grip on broadband by applying some of the rules that govern everything from phone companies to Internet providers.

Boehner slams FCC for 'takeover of Internet'.  House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) is using language from the just-completed healthcare debate to blast the FCC's attempt to rein in broadband providers.  Boehner accused the agency Thursday [5/6/2010] of pursuing a "government takeover of the Internet," just hours after FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski unveiled the plan, which would place broadband providers under some of the same rules that have long governed phone companies.

New U.S. Push to Regulate Internet Access.  In a move that will stoke a battle over the future of the Internet, the federal government plans to propose regulating broadband lines under decades-old rules designed for traditional phone networks.

Obama's Attempt To Take Control Of The Internet.  Quite frankly, the government does not have the expertise, common sense, or restraint necessary to handle this kind of legislation.  That means if it were to go through, it would almost be guaranteed to expand over time.  You can also be sure that this power would lead to abuse.  Moreover, it's extremely ironic that this is even being proposed given all the carping we heard about the Patriot Act and some of the other tactics being used by the government over the last 8 years.  This is considerably more dangerous and intrusive than anything that was done during the Bush years.

FCC Broadband Reclassification:  An Agency Out of Control.  The FCC's latest attempt to expand its powers in the name of consumer protection will undermine the future of broadband and distort the communications marketplace.  Title II reclassification of Internet providers will yet again place the FCC in dubious legal territory, especially since today's broadband market is as competitive as ever and growing more so all the time.  Competition and consumer choice come from innovation and market entry, not from regulation and reclassification.

Julius Caesar of the Internet.  A federal appeals court ruled last month that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to regulate the Internet.  No worries, mate.  This week the Obama Administration chose to "reclassify" the Internet so it can regulate the Web anyway.  This crowd is nothing if not legally creative.

Obama planning a Dept of Truthiness?  Is the Obama Administration preparing the ground for a Ministry of Truthiness?  The President's latest wide-ranging speech at Hampton University made a halt at a very strange outpost, before moving on to education.  Obama, it seems, is vexed by the idea of conspiracy theories.  Apparently people aren't thinking the right thoughts.  Obama's internet Yoda, Professor Cass Sunstein, is also besotted with the idea.  Two years ago, Sunstein proposed what you might call an 'active government solution' to conspiracies.

What you need to know about the FCC's broadband plan:  So is the Federal Communications Commission really going to place common carrier restrictions on Internet service providers?  Well, yes, but not too many of them.  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Friday said he would move to reclassify ISPs as common carriers, while at the same time insisting that ISPs be exempt from the vast majority of regulations in the current common carrier rules.

Obama's Internet nanny.  The Obama administration refuses to take no for an answer in its desire to control the Internet.  Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals Court for the District of Columbia delivered a unanimous and unambiguous repudiation of the Federal Communications Commission's attempt to dictate how a cable company should run its business as an Internet-service provider.  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski responded last week by proposing a "third way" around the court decision:  He will redefine the Internet as if it were a telephone.

Bill would require FCC report before reclassifying broadband.  A Florida congressman has introduced legislation to require the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to deliver a detailed cost-benefit analysis to Congress before moving forward with a plan to reclassify broadband as a regulated common-carrier service.

Leave Them Tubes Alone.  As there is no real problem with the Internet, it's not surprising that some of our top minds have been working diligently on a solution.  In a 2001 interview (one that only recently has gone viral and caused a brouhaha), Cass Sunstein, now the nation's regulatory czar, is overheard advocating for government to insist all websites offer opposing viewpoints -- or, in other words, a "Fairness" Doctrine for the Web.  This was necessary because, as hundreds of millions of Internet users can attest, ferreting out competing perspectives online is all but impossible.

Congress rebukes FCC on Net neutrality rules.  The Federal Communications Commission's plan to impose Net neutrality regulations just became much more difficult to pull off.  A bipartisan group of politicians on Monday told FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in no uncertain terms, to abandon his plans to impose controversial new rules on broadband providers until the U.S. Congress changes the law.

U.S. Congress to Consider Updating Communications Law.  Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate said they will consider proposals starting next month to update the law that has regulated telephone, cable and broadcast companies for the past 14 years.  The lawmakers will begin "a process to develop proposals" to revise the 1934 Communications Act, which was last rewritten by Congress in 1996, leaders of two committees said today [5/24/2010] in an e-mailed statement.

74 Democrats defy Obama man's net neut plans.  Seventy-four Democratic members of the US House of Representatives have sided with telcos in the ongoing dust-up over the Federal Communications Commission efforts to preserve net neutrality.

Top Democrats' Actions Confirm FCC Has No Authority to Regulate Broadband.  Four senior congressional Democrats inadvertently confirmed Monday that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — which, under Chairman Julius Genachowski's leadership has been trying for months to impose contentious net neutrality rules — lacks the authority needed to regulate the Internet.

New Bill Gives Obama 'Kill Switch' To Shut Down The Internet.  The federal government would have "absolute power" to shut down the Internet under the terms of a new US Senate bill being pushed by Joe Lieberman, legislation which would hand President Obama a figurative "kill switch" to seize control of the world wide web in response to a Homeland Security directive.

Engulfing the Internet.  [Scroll down]  "The American public really has no idea how devastating these policies are going to have on free speech and the Internet," says a Republican Senate staffer.  "If they are able to impose these regulations, they would be able to impose a host of different regulations that would limit free speech online and essentially give the left the upper hand.  First the auto industry, then health care and the financial services industry, now this."

FCC could boost power over broadband firms.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved closer to boosting its authority over broadband providers on Thursday [6/17/2010] in a controversial vote that the panel's Democrats said would protect consumers and its Republicans contended would freeze investment in broadband networks.  The commission voted 3-2 to open an inquiry into how the industry is regulated, the first step toward giving the agency the authority to police broadband service providers such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T.

Does the Internet Need a 'Kill Switch'?  A proposed bill could effectively give the president an Internet "kill switch."  Senator Joseph Lieberman has proposed the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act (PCNAA), a bill that would give the president the power to control or even shut down the Internet in emergency situations.

Obama to be given the right to shut down the internet with 'kill switch'.  President Obama will be given the power to shut down the Internet with a 'kill switch' in a new law being proposed in the US.  He would be able to order popular search engines such a Google and Yahoo to suspend access their websites in times of national emergency.

FCC Moves to Regulate Internet.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on Thursday to begin the formal process of bringing the Internet under greater federal control — a move sought by both President Barack Obama and FCC Chairnman Julius Genachowski — even though federal law calls for an Internet "unfettered by Federal or State regulation."

Can Obama Shut Down the Internet?  Is cyberspace about to get censored?  Confronting threats ranging from Chinese superhackers to the release of secret documents on WikiLeaks and other whistleblowing websites, the Obama administration may be on the verge of assuming broad new powers to regulate the Internet on national-security grounds.  The powers are granted to the White House under a bipartisan bill that was introduced in the Senate only last week but is already moving quickly through Congress toward passage.

FCC set to reconsider broadband regulations.  Federal regulators are reconsidering the rules that govern high-speed Internet connections — wading into a bitter policy dispute that could be tied up in court for years.

FCC Moves to Regulate the Internet.  The Federal Communications Commission is set to begin a move to regulate the Internet.  According to CNSNews.com, by a "3-2 party-line vote on Thursday at the FCC," the agency "began the formal process of reclassifying the Internet as a telecommunications service instead of an information service — it's current classification."  Currently, as an information service, the FCC can exercise only "ancillary" authority, which does not allow it to regulate the Internet directly.  If the Internet is reclassified, the agency would gain greater regulatory control.

Obama Internet kill switch plan approved by US Senate.  A US Senate committee has approved a wide-ranging cybersecurity bill that some critics have suggested would give the US president the authority to shut down parts of the Internet during a cyberattack.  Senator Joe Lieberman and other bill sponsors have refuted the charges that the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act gives the president an Internet "kill switch."  Instead, the bill puts limits on the powers the president already has to cause "the closing of any facility or stations for wire communication" in a time of war, as described in the Communications Act of 1934, they said...

The Editor says...
Now for the bad news:  We're always in a "time of war".

Homegrown Terrorism Begins at Homeland Security Department.  The most totally biased and inefficient government official at any level is unquestionably Janet Napolitano the Homeland Security Agency Secretary.  She really isn't even capable of being a secretary to the Secretary.  And I might add, she is one scary woman. ... Unable (or unwilling?) to provide adequate protection to the American people, Ms. N now wants to monitor the Internet communications industry.

Silencing Citizen Dissent:  The internet kill switch.  [Scroll down]  A bill proposed by progressive Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Thomas Carper (D-Del.) recently passed that the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs with the support of the Administration, would give the President the power to turn off the internet for a period of four months before the shut off can be reviewed by congress.

TSA to Block "Controversial Opinion" on the Web.  The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is blocking certain websites from the federal agency's computers, including halting access by staffers to any Internet pages that contain a "controversial opinion," according to an internal email obtained by CBS News. ... The email does not specify how the TSA will determine if a website expresses a "controversial opinion."

Three days later...
TSA withdraws 'controversial opinion' restriction on web use.  A new policy blocking access of Transportation Security Administration employees from websites with "controversial opinion" content has been withdrawn, a spokesman tells The [Washington] Examiner.

FCC Can't Regulate the Internet.  In recent years, the question of whether and how the government should regulate the Internet has moved to the forefront of the telecommunications debate.  Before we can answer that question, we must look at existing law to determine whether Congress has even granted the government this authority.

Future of the News.  It's a frightening thought:  government takeover of the media.  But having tightened their grip on health care, financial services, and energy, it's only logical that the Democrats should turn their attention to the media.  Discussions underway at the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission point toward a dangerous new effort to regulate what Americans read and hear.  The takeover under discussion would apply across the board to print media, radio and television, and the internet.  The result of proposed regulations would be nothing less than an end to free speech in America.

White House proposal would ease FBI access to records of Internet activity.  The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual's Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation.

DOJ Pushing to Expand Warrantless Access to Internet Records.  This morning's Washington Post reveals that the Department Of Justice has been pressuring Congress to expand its power to obtain records of Americans' private Internet activity through the use of National Security Letters (NSLs).  NSLs, you may remember, are one of the most powerful and frightening tools of government surveillance to be expanded by the Patriot Act.

Uncle Sam Wants You to Have an Online ID.  The Identity Ecosystem would allow Americans to choose to obtain a single authenticated ID for online transactions.  Like a passport, this single ID could travel with them online and be used to access everything from e-mail, to online health records and banking information.  Furthermore, the Identity Ecosystem would only reveal the least amount of information necessary for each transaction.

The Editor says...
It is easy to predict how this will evolve into a national ID card:  If the online ID successfully identifies everyone (uniquely) on the internet, it will become mandatory for online transactions.  When it is accepted as proof of identification at pharmacies, it will become mandatory there, too.  Banks — ditto.  Once it becomes necessary for license renewal or income taxes, the adoption will be complete.

More about the proposed National ID card.

U.S. Internet traffic talks collapse.  U.S. regulators halted closed-door negotiations about net neutrality rules with phone, cable and Internet companies on Thursday [8/5/2010] after reports of a side deal between two participants, Verizon Communications Inc and Google Inc, surfaced.

ObamaCare for the Internet.  With housing, automakers, banking, student loans, and health care checked off the list, next on Team Obama's agenda is the National Broadband Plan, better known as Net Neutrality.  Quite simply, it is a plan allowing the federal government to take over the nation's telecommunication platform, giving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) centralized control of the internet.  The fact that the FCC has no legal authority to regulate internet providers has not deterred administration efforts to regulate all electronic speech, news, and information.

Free Press under-reported amount spent lobbying Congress, FCC, and the NTIA.  Free Press, the public face of the net neutrality movement, is a moral see-saw when it comes to transparency.  The think tank and lobbying group has publicly slammed the FCC for meeting behind closed doors with net neutrality opponents like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T, and has called the FCC's transparency pledge "lip service" to the concept of open government.

Net-neutrality group challenged by ties to MoveOn.Org, ACORN.  A bipartisan coalition in favor of net neutrality has lost a key conservative supporter amid signs that the issue is becoming more divisive.  The Gun Owners of America (GOA) severed ties with the net-neutrality coalition Save the Internet after a conservative blog questioned the association with liberal organizations such as ACORN and the ACLU.

FCC extends comment time on Net Neutrality.  The FCC has champed at the bit to find ways to regulate the Internet under chair Julius Genachowski, garnering rebukes from both the courts and from Congress for overstepping its authority.  So their decision to request more comment time on their latest Net Neutrality proposals may seem a bit strange, given a distinct sense of aggressive acquisition of jurisdiction from the FCC during the Obama administration.

Will Geopolitics Muddle Control Of Cyberspace?  Trouble may be brewing in cyberspace a year after the U.S. loosened its oversight over the nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.  ICANN manages the Web addressing system that enables computers to connect to each other as well as Web site domains.  Ahead of the International Telecommunications Union's Plenipotentiary Conference in Mexico next month, there's concern that Geneva-based ITU may try to get more involved in Internet governance and managing the domain name system (DNS), which uses IP addresses to identify Web sites, computers and services connected to the Internet.

The 'cybersecurity bill' is back.  During the summer, a proposed "cybersecurity" bill co-sponsered by Senators Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins, and Tom Carper stirred up a large amount of controversy because of its provision that would allow the government to shut down portions of the internet for up to four months without congressional approval if a so-called "cyber emergency" occured.

The FCC again resumes its unauthorized internet agenda.  The estimable John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable reports:  ["]The (Federal Communications Commission-FCC) is issuing a public notice to "improve the FCC's understanding of business broadband needs," calling it the "next step" advancing the FCC's small business broadband agenda.["]  Only one problem with this FCC assertion.  They're not supposed to have a small business broadband agenda.  Or a broadband agenda.  Or any sort of Internet agenda at all.
[Emphasis in original.]

Let The Net Roll.  Last week the Internet Governance Forum met in Vilnius, Lithuania, with the goal of "developing the future together."  At the meeting, the Council of Europe proposed a treaty to establish 12 "principles of Internet governance."  The idea behind the treaty implies the Internet is broken or troubled and needs to be placed under the control of governments.  It is not.

This is why control of the internet is so important to Obama and the Democrats:
Tea Party Movement A Political Tsunami, Thanks To Internet.  Type TeaPartyPatriots.org into your Web browser, and the roots of the upstart political movement are quickly exposed.

Just like he promised not to raise taxes...
Obama vows to preserve open Internet.  During his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday [9/23/2010], President Obama promised the United States would continue to support a "free and open Internet" and would call out nations that censor content.

U.S. Wants Broader Internet Wiretap Authority.  The Obama administration is developing plans that would require all Internet-based communication services — such as encrypted BlackBerry e-mail, Facebook, and Skype — to be capable of complying with federal wiretap orders, according to a report published Monday [9/27/2010].

FBI agents seek the right to tap texts, emails and websites.  US intelligence services would be allowed to tap text messages, emails and networking websites under new powers being considered by Barack Obama's administration.

Republicans who support net neutrality caught between industry, Tea Party.  House Republicans who support net-neutrality legislation could face political consequences for "regulating the Internet" from Tea Party activists.  While telecommunications groups appear ready to provide cover for Republicans who want to support the legislation, the Tea Party movement that has defeated several incumbent Republicans in primaries this year has been skeptical of net-neutrality proposals backed by Democrats.

Engineers Slam Internet 'Censorship' Bill Ahead of Key Senate Panel Vote.  Internet entrepreneurs are in a panic over a fast-tracking Senate bill they say will censor the Web, stifle Silicon Valley startups, damage the United States' credibility on free speech and ultimately trigger the creation of an alternate-universe Internet.  The West Coast engineers say they were blindsided last Monday [9/25/2010] when the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act was introduced in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Beware the Cyberscare.  The same people who brought you the global warming and Y2K scares have dreamed up a scheme to assert greater federal control over the Internet in the name of cybersecurity.  According to Reuters news agency, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, intends to pass legislation on the subject authored by Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, and Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, West Virginia Democrat.  The forthcoming effort will trade the freedom of an important communications medium for the illusion of safety.

Obama administration to appoint 'web privacy czar'.  US President Barack Obama would reportedly introduce a more aggressive approach towards Internet privacy, pushing new laws and appointing a czar to oversee the initiative.  The battle over more government control of the Internet has been raging for years, as civil liberties groups have expressed concern over government intervention in private-sector computers.

Republicans prepare to fight possible FCC net-neutrality push by year's end.  Republicans are preparing to make things very difficult for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman if he tries to push ahead on net neutrality in December.  Chatter that the agency may move to create net-neutrality rules before year's end has put the GOP on high alert, crafting plans this week how it would oppose any such effort.

FCC may regulate Internet lines days before Christmas.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a Christmas gift in store for the phone and cable industry:  it may move ahead on its controversial net-neutrality regulations three days before Christmas.  An FCC source confirmed on Friday [11/19/2010] that the commission plans to push its December meeting back by a week, meaning it will fall on the 22nd of the month.  That's the same meeting in which analysts say the agency may move forward on its controversial net-neutrality proposal.

It's Official — The FCC Will Vote to Take Over the Internet in December.  Details have been sketchy, and successive reports often contradictory, but what follows is what seems to be looming over us in December.  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski appears to be preparing to dramatically increase the FCC's regulatory role over the Internet.  He is doing so without the necessary Congressional authority — which he himself acknowledges he doesn't have.

Homeland Security seizes domain names.  The investigative arm of the Homeland Security Department appears to be shutting down websites that facilitate copyright infringement.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has seized dozens of domain names over the past few days, according to TorrentFreak.  ICE appears to be targeting sites that help Internet users download copyrighted music, as well as sites that sell bootleg goods, such as fake designer handbags.

Net Neutrality and Your Internet Bill.  The Wall Street Journal reports today [12/2/2010] that the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) plan to impose net neutrality will include an authorization for Internet providers to meter net usage and charge more to those who move more data around on the Web.  Today the average customer pays for a certain minimum level of bandwidth, regardless of how much data he interacts with.  Under net neutrality, he will be charged for a capped amount of data per month, beyond which he will pay extra.

New FCC plan to oversee Internet draws GOP fire.  Attracting immediate fire from congressional Republicans, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday outlined a modified "net neutrality" plan that would expand the federal government's power to regulate traffic over the Internet.

Congress Must Stop FCC's Internet Regulations.  It's an eerie echo of last year's health care debate, but without nearly as much public attention.  Another Christmas Eve, another sixth of the economy taken over by Washington.

Who Runs the Internet:  What Lobbying Is Really All About.  Rather than trying to understand the issue's confusing contours, you should instead look at the key question:  who benefits?  The truth is that net neutrality is about who controls broadband — the pipe through which we now connect to the Internet.

Wave goodbye to Internet freedom.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is poised to add the Internet to its portfolio of regulated industries.  The agency's chairman, Julius Genachowski, announced Wednesday [12/1/2010] that he circulated draft rules he says will "preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet."  No statement could better reflect the gulf between the rhetoric and the reality of Obama administration policies.

Why is Homeland Security Seizing Domain Names?  I find it bizarre (and somewhat alarming) that the Department of Homeland Security has apparently taken as its mission the enforcement of copyright laws, and is seizing domain names of websites that reportedly violate copyrights. ... But what does this have to do with Homeland Security?  There are laws in place to handle copyright violations.  The fact that Homeland Security takes upon itself the seizure of websites is alarming.  Once they establish this precedent, it can be expanded to include shutting down any website (including this one) that incurs its wrath, since there appears to be no legal basis for seizing domains that facilitate copyright infringement.

Hands Off Our Net.  The Internet is once again under attack, not from hackers intent on spilling secrets or causing mischief, but by an administration intent on controlling the free flow of information that it views as a threat to its expanding power.  According to the Hill, which obtained a copy of the FCC's tentative December agenda just after midnight Wednesday [12/1/2010], the government agency will seek to impose rules concerning "net neutrality" at a Feb. 21 meeting.

Recognizing the Revolution.  Having successfully killed off patriotism in the school room, having completed the long march through all of our institutions, the next move of the Marxists is to cut off communication lines.  In other words, the Internet.  In order to proceed from here, those actively involved in the fundamental Transformation of America need the Silence of the Lambs.  Their telltale signs, which trump conspiracy, are everywhere for those who are awake and watching.

Franken: FCC should bury net-neutrality proposal unless it is strengthened.  Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is urging the Federal Communications Commission to abandon its latest net-neutrality plan unless it is significantly strengthened.  In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Friday [12/10/2010], Franken became the first Democrat to argue that having no rules would be preferable to the ones the agency proposed last week.

Net Neutrality: Treating the Internet Like a Utility.  The FCC's proposed power grab could end up sticking you with a usage-based internet bill, costing many of us high-volume users our employment. ... The problem commences with who gets to regulate the Internet.  The usual suspects in Washington, from Henry Waxman (D-CA) to Federal Communications Commission Chair Julius Genachowski, are pushing for rules which would take things in a radically different direction.  Recall the "Fairness Doctrine" in radio was an FCC regulation — not a law.  What's currently being pushed as "net neutrality" is in many ways simply a fairness doctrine for the Internet.

Key net-neutrality advocates oppose Genachowski's plan.  A who's-who of the most influential net-neutrality advocates has decided to oppose Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski's plan for regulating Internet lines, which he announced earlier this month.

Silencing voices of Internet dissent.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) apparently is headed for a 3-2 party-line vote to regulate the Internet on Dec. 21, which Commissioner Robert M. McDowell (a stalwart free-market champion who opposes the regulations) points out is the darkest day of the year.  In doing so, the FCC is putting the new Congress to a key first test of whether it can muster the will to overturn the Obama administration's backdoor efforts to push a far-left agenda through regulation.

Obama's Malice Aforethought:  [Scroll down]  This is precisely the kind of speech that Obama and his unelected czars and wannabe censors wish to monitor, judge, squelch, punish, crush, and eradicate.  Permanently.  Napoleon shared the same touchiness:  "I fear the newspapers more than a hundred thousand bayonets."  And those newspapers, together with the bayonet thrusts of bloggers, conservative (and non-conservative) news and commentary websites, have needled Obama and his staff and advisors beyond endurance.  Any words critical of Obama or the government has been regarded as the equivalent of blasphemy, slander, libel, and the subverting the "community harmony" of the nation.

Obama and security team to spy on Internet users.  For most of his time in the White House, Obama has been critical of information about him and his administration posted on the Internet.  He's frequently denigrated bloggers and Internet conservative news and commentary web sites for their efforts to cover stories the so-called mainstream news media refuse to cover, according to critics of his plans to control the "Information Highway."

In this case, the only possible reason for secrecy is deception.
House leaders blast FCC for secrecy.  The trio of House Republicans who will hold top tech leadership positions next year excoriated the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday [12/16/2010] for failing to make the text of its Net neutrality order public.

Don't Tangle The Web With Rules.  The U.N. is talking about regulating the Web.  Meanwhile, Washington is moving toward regulating online news and information content.  Though not unexpected, these are deeply disturbing developments.

The FCC's Threat to Internet Freedom.  'Net neutrality' sounds nice, but the Web is working fine now.  The new rules will inhibit investment, deter innovation and create a billable-hours bonanza for lawyers.

Al Sharpton Helping FCC Design Rush Limbaugh 'Free Speech' Show Trials.  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has in fact conducted the entire process leading up to this unelected bureaucrat Web power grab shrouded in shadow.  One of the many authoritarian facets of this authoritarian procedure has been the lack of any public hearings on the new Internet order on which the FCC is about to vote.  This is a move to commandeer control of one-sixth of the nation's economy — we should at least be given an opportunity to weigh in prior, right?  Apparently not — because apparently the FCC is looking into warping beyond all recognition its definition of "public hearing" — with the Reverend Al Sharpton lending a hand.

FCC poised to approve net neutrality rules.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will pass Internet line regulations for the first time ever on Tuesday [12/21/2010], shoring them up with a shaky legal argument that could get shot down in court.  But the agency will not close the door on using a stricter legal framework that might be more likely to survive a court challenge — even though the tougher regime is seen as anathema to broadband investment.

FCC's Michael Copps Demands His Critics Be Silenced.  Most of the insidious bureauweenies eating away America from within remain as faceless as they are unaccountable.  But a few distinguish themselves for their open belligerence toward our fundamental liberties.

This can happen here:
Chavez defends plan for Internet regulations.  Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez defended plans for a law that would impose broadcast-type regulations on the Internet, saying Sunday [12/19/2010] that his government should protect citizens against online crimes.

FCC Net Neutrality Rules Slammed From All Sides.  The federal government's new internet fairness policy — designed to prevent the nation's cable and DSL internet service providers from meddling with the open, free-wheeling nature of the internet — was met with boisterous criticism Monday night [12/20/2010] from all sides of the political spectrum.

FCC Gives Government Power to Regulate Web Traffic.  The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday [12/21/2010] voted 3-2 to back Chairman Julius Genachowski's plan for what is commonly known as "net neutrality," or rules prohibiting Internet providers from interfering with legal web traffic.  President Barack Obama said the FCC's action will "help preserve the free and open nature of the Internet."

FCC Ruling is Irrelevant.  Despite a court ruling earlier this year which limited the FCC's jurisdiction over the Internet, and Congressional pressure to leave well enough alone, [Robert] McDowell warned that the FCC's decision yesterday is "likely to have the perverse effect of inhibiting capital investment, deterring innovation, raising operating costs, and ultimately increasing consumer prices."  He concluded that this decision "may end up marking the beginning of a long winter's night for Internet freedom."

F.C.C. Is Set to Regulate Net Traffic.  The Federal Communications Commission appears poised to pass a controversial set of rules that broadly create two classes of Internet access, one for fixed-line providers and the other for the wireless Net.

The Net Neutrality Coup.  President Obama, long an ardent backer of net neutrality, is ignoring both Congress and adverse court rulings, especially by a federal appeals court in April that the agency doesn't have the power to enforce net neutrality.  He is seeking to impose his will on the Internet through the executive branch.  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a former law school friend of Mr. Obama, has worked closely with the White House on the issue.  Official visitor logs show he's had at least 11 personal meetings with the president.

FCC Approves Controversial 'Net Neutrality' Regulations.  Supporters of "Net Neutrality" have been disappointed by the proposed rules, saying they heavily favor the industry they are supposed to regulate.  Democratic Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Michael Copps both voted with Chairman Julius Genachowski in favor of the new rules, despite saying they believed the Open Internet Order to be too weak.  Republican Commissioners Robert McDowell and Meredith Attwell Baker voted against it.

FCC to Vote on Internet Regulation Plan Despite Economic Warnings.  Lawmakers are on high alert as the Federal Communications Commission prepares to vote on a plan to regulate the Internet despite warnings that it could choke industry investment and hurt the economy as a whole.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn promises to undo FCC's Internet regulations.  Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), a longtime advocate of Internet freedom, said she's undaunted by the Federal Communications Commission's decision to adopt net neutrality rules today.  Instead, she thinks the FCC's action will be a catalyst for renewed commitment on the issue in the 112th Congress.

DeMint vows to reverse FCC's 'Internet takeover'.  Sen. Jim DeMint, R-SC, says Federal Communications Commission should be renamed the "Fabricating a Crisis Commission," following a vote by the panel's three Democrats to approve proposed rules that amount to a hostile takeover of the Internet by a government agency acting illegally.

Worse for Internet Freedom: Hugo Chavez or the FCC?  The administration brings the Obamacare touch to the Internet.

The First Amendment Blues.  What part of the First Amendment does the Federal Communication Commission, led by Chairman Julius Genachowski, and three of its five appointed commissioners, not understand?  If the Internet is not about free speech, then nothing is.

Net Neutrality:  For some, 'Big Brother' regulation is OK.  It's been interesting watching the spin on net neutrality.  PC Magazine online offers one of those little-of-this, little-of-that "journalistic" pieces that put me to sleep.  Heck, I was even beginning to think, "Neutrality" has a nice ring, reminds of Switzerland during the war, studiously impartial to all and sundry — well, except for safeguarding hoards of Nazi gold and other loot.  Not content with that, PC Magazine also offers an opinion piece, though it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish news from opinion.  The title was provocative:  "Do We Need FCC's Net Neutrality Order?"

Save the 'Net; abolish the FCC.  Congressional Democrats could not find the votes to pass "net neutrality."  No problem.  Three un-elected officials will impose rules on hundreds of millions of satisfied online consumers.  A federal appeals court stops the FCC from employing authority over the Internet.  Again, not a problem.  Three out of five FCC commissioners can carve out some temporary wiggle room, because as any crusading technocrat knows, the most important thing is getting in the door.  It's not that we don't need the FCC's meddling, it's that we don't need the FCC at all.

FCC set to OK rules on Internet.  With the Obama administration on the verge of embracing new "network neutrality" rules increasing government oversight of the Internet, it's difficult to tell who objects more:  Republicans who denounce the move as a federal power grab or Democrats who dismiss the reforms as too weak to do the job.

Internet Access Is Not a 'Civil Right'.  When bureaucrats talk about increasing our "access" to x, y or z, what they're really talking about is increasing exponentially their control over our lives.  As it is with the government health care takeover, so it is with the newly approved government plan to "increase" Internet "access."

The Ultimate Troll: Democrats Plan For Media Management.  The federal government must never be given control of the internet and the airwaves.

Kill Off The FCC.  Two days after the FCC voted to take over the Internet, it stands in the way of an agreement between private companies.  This is an agency that should be targeted for elimination.

Somewhat related:
UN, Islamists & Communists Push Global Internet Regime.  The United Nations and some of its most oppressive member states are clamoring for global regulation of the Internet, including possible censorship.  Toward that end, the UN is working to set up an "intergovernmental task force" to figure out how to better control the web at the international level and how to "harmonize" policing of Internet content.  Led by the Brazilian delegation, headed by "former" Marxist revolutionary Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva, advocates for the new Internet regime include some of the most despotic governments on earth.

Islamic Supremacists Envision a Takeover of the Internet.  It was hardly noticed at the time, but its consequences could be catastrophic.  Late last September, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which assigns internet domain names, approved a huge change in the way it operates.  Europe and North America will now have five seats on its Board of Directors, instead of ten, and a new "Arab States" region will have five seats as well.

2010 Was the Year of Government Without Bounds.  [Scroll down]  The year closed with a new dose of government over-reach.  Days before Christmas, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) claimed authority over the Internet and moved to impose "net neutrality."  Net neutrality is the term used for the FCC's move to determine the rules for "reasonable" network management, and limit Internet providers from charging content providers to deliver their services.  The "net neutrality" concept has been voted down in Congress, and a federal court has already ruled the FCC lacks authority to regulate the Internet.  Yet in spite of this, the FCC felt free to simply expand its authority and change the rules of our information superhighway.

www.internet.gov.  On the eve of Christmas Eve, while you probably weren't paying attention, the Obama Administration released the text of its new Internet regulations, which mark a significant pivot from the hands-off approach to the Web observed by previous Republican and Democratic Administrations.

Hands off the Internet!  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to get its grasping hands around the throat of the Internet, the international town hall where Americans have been free to express their opinions without Big Brother's permission or interference.  That makes the FCC unhappy.  It seems that this taxpayer-supported, intrusive federal agency simply can't bring itself to allow anything having to do with Americans communicating with each other in public without their lordly oversight or permission.

The Goulash of Right, Left and Center.  [Scroll down]  How is "democracy" jeopardized by a popularly elected despot?  Is this not democracy at work?  Is this not the essence of democracy?  Is this not how Hugo Chavez in Venezuela gamed the democratic system there?  That "massive system of surveillance and control" — think the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration — and how effective they are, not in "combating terrorism," but in watching everyone and obstructing Americans in their business and pleasure.  It also portends the FCC's initial steps to regulate the Internet here with so-called "net neutrality," which, as I remarked in an earlier commentary, is a euphemism for neutering speech and the power of ideas.

Net Neutrality: Obamacare for the Internet.  Obama's FCC has passed new rules requiring private companies who provide Internet services to submit to control under the government.  What will government's rules be?  Those are yet to be determined.  But the government alone will decide what those rules are, how they are to be implemented, and to whom they will apply, and to whom they will not.  They call this:  "Net Neutrality."

Finding Reverse Gear in the New Year.  Slipped into the chaos of the holiday season by three FCC commissioners, this appalling power grab will interfere with free expression, gum up the works of the Internet, and stifle vitally needed capital investment.  It's deeply unpopular with voters, with 54% opposed in a recent Rasmussen poll, while only 21% approve.  Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) has already declared his intention to slip a choke chain on the FCC, by promoting legislation to "ensure that the FCC can only use its rulemaking powers where there is clear evidence of a harmful market failure," combined with "the accountability of a Congressional vote before any government agency's proposed major regulations may be finalized."

An Internet Divided.  Americans paid little attention in September 2009 when the Obama administration relinquished the traditional U.S. role in supervising policy for the global Internet.  The eyes glaze over, after all, at the profusion of acronyms and the allusions to obscure functions in uninteresting federal agencies.  When the U.S. Department of Commerce terminated its exclusive policy relationship with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the tech world was aflutter, but the event seemed to have no impact on the average American's interactions with the Web.

A nation choking on endless laws.  [Scroll down]  A second example is the Federal Communications Commission's December party-line vote to enforce "net neutrality."  It's a complex, debatable subject, but it's not the wisdom of the decision that's at issue here.  Rather it's the fact that the FCC under Julius Genachowski, a classmate of President Obama's at Harvard, went ahead despite a) the clear wishes of Congress, which expressly declined to give the commission authority over the Internet and b) a ruling by a DC federal court pointing out precisely that.

Obama Administration Reportedly Plans to Create Internet ID for All Americans.  President Obama is putting plans in motion to give the Commerce Department authority to create an Internet ID for all Americans, a White House official told CNET.com.  White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt told the website it is "the absolute perfect spot in the U.S. government" to centralize efforts toward creating an "identity ecosystem" for the Internet.

Obama to hand Commerce Dept. authority over cybersecurity ID.  President Obama is planning to hand the U.S. Commerce Department authority over a forthcoming cybersecurity effort to create an Internet ID for Americans, a White House official said here today [1/7/2011].  It's "the absolute perfect spot in the U.S. government" to centralize efforts toward creating an "identity ecosystem" for the Internet, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt said.

Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans.  President Obama is planning to hand the U.S. Commerce Department authority over a forthcoming cybersecurity effort to create an Internet ID for Americans, a White House official said here today.  It's "the absolute perfect spot in the U.S. government" to centralize efforts toward creating an "identity ecosystem" for the Internet, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt said.

Who created the phony mass movement for net neutrality?  Last month, when Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski won approval of his "net neutrality" rules on a party-line 3-2 vote — supposedly to protect the freewheeling Internet from corporate predators intent on running it their way — they got slammed from all sides.  Republicans, including FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, blasted the rules as Democrat over-reach.  Democrats, including Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, called the rules woefully inadequate to protect the public from Internet service providers giving stripped-down performance to the masses and premium broadband to the wealthy.  Franken's response is what the Pew Charitable Trusts calls "raging incrementalism":  get what you can now and scream loud enough to come back and get more later.

Obama's Internet passport.  Federalized security screening at airports has been such a success that President Obama wants to apply the same government "expertise" to the realm of online commerce and commentary.  The White House cybersecurity adviser joined Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on Jan. 7 to announce what amounts to a national ID card for the Internet.  Their plan is straightforward.  Instead of logging onto Facebook or one's bank using separate passwords established with each individual company or website, the White House will take the lead in developing what it calls an "identity ecosystem" that will centralize personal information and credentials.

The dangerous internet passport proposal.  [Scroll down]  If we allow these "internet passports" to become law, we will surely end up with health care passports, carbon credit passports and, of course, food and nutrition passports.  We know with 100% certainty that the government cannot keep these programs secure.  We know with 100% certainty the government will gleefully track every web site you visit, every keystroke you send, every purchase you make, every deposit and withdrawal, every blog comment, and every Facebook and Twitter post.  A simple algorithm will create lists of your acquaintances and friends and inform the government of your political affiliations, political donations, clubs, interests and hobbies.  This would not only be the end of personal privacy; we would have good running start at an authoritarian American gulag.

Misnamed "Net Neutrality" Merely Picks Winners and Losers.  The internet has changed with the rapid rise of online services like YouTube, Netflix and Skype which consume large amounts of bandwidth, slowing down internet service for others.  Proponents of Net neutrality insist that it merely keeps the status quo, prohibiting "discrimination" by a few dominant internet providers, and "ensuring" free speech.  In reality, it will increase regulation and costs by restricting companies from making marketwise choices.  Moreover, additional government rules and regulations rarely increase freedom of speech.

Obama's Internet passport.  Federalized security screening at airports has been such a success that President Obama wants to apply the same government "expertise" to the realm of online commerce and commentary.  The White House cybersecurity adviser joined Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on Jan. 7 to announce what amounts to a national ID card for the Internet.

More about the proposed National ID Card.

Internet 'kill switch' bill will return.  A controversial bill handing President Obama power over privately owned computer systems during a "national cyberemergency," and prohibiting any review by the court system, will return this year.  Internet companies should not be alarmed by the legislation, first introduced last summer by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), a Senate aide said last week.  Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The Fight For Internet Freedom.  Al Gore didn't invent the Internet, but if Thomas Jefferson could have he would have.  The Internet, with its Facebooks and Twitters, is the perfect venue for and example of the free speech the Founding Fathers enshrined in the Constitution's First Amendment.  Perhaps even as much as the first printing press, it has freed the minds of men from the tyranny of those gatekeepers who know that if you can control what people say and know, you can control the people themselves.

Obama the Internet pharaoh.  Big-government types can't resist the urge to control things they feel are currently beyond their grasp.  The Internet remains perhaps the only venue with the freewheeling flavor of the Old West.  This irritates those who would become Net Nannies just as much as it does those who want to maintain power by any means necessary.  The temptation to squelch inconvenient speech is too great; no politician should ever be given a button to silence the Internet.  That rule applies to Washington as much as Cairo.

FCC Commissioners: FCC Lacks Authority to Regulate the Internet.  Two of the five commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said that the Commission lacks the legal authority to regulate the Internet, predicting that the recent regulations issued by the commission in December will be struck down in federal court.

Internet Cop.  From his first major speech to a hurried and secretive rulemaking procedure in the final weeks of 2010, [Julius] Genachowski has made it his mission to plant the seeds of government control within the core of the Internet — all under the guise of "preserving Internet freedom."

Somewhat related:
Obama Launches Total Takeover of Media System.  Even the Washington Post describes it like something out of Orwell's 1984.  The FCC has approved a presidential alert system.  Obama may soon appear on your television or call your cell phone to warn you about the next specious al-Qaeda underwear bombing event.  Commissioners voted last week to require television and radio stations, cable systems and satellite TV providers to participate in a test that would have them receive and transmit a live code that includes an alert message issued by the president.  No date has been set for the test, according to the Post.

Internet 'Kill Switch' Cedes Battle over Government Accountability.  The Internet works as a means of keeping government accountable, however, only if the "on" button is in individuals' hands.  Employ an Internet "kill switch," as some pundits observing recent events have recommended — and which Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has proposed as part of his Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010 legislation — and all bets are off.  That is a tool of dictatorial regimes, not representative government.

'Kill Switch' Internet bill alarms privacy experts.  Just as the Egyptian government recently forced the Internet to go dark, U.S. officials could flip the switch if the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset legislation becomes law, say its critics.  Proponents of the bill, which is expected to be reintroduced in the current session of Congress, dismiss the detractors as ill-informed — even naive.

Killing the 'kill switch'.  Sens. Joe Lieberman, Tom Carper and Susan Collins introduced a cybersecurity reform bill that explicitly prohibits the president from shutting down the Internet.  The Cybersecurity Freedom Act of 2011, introduced late Thursday, is nearly identical to the legislation introduced last year by the trio, except for two changes.  First, it adds language explicitly stating the president can't shut down the Internet. ...

Obama to the Internet: No ICANN.  Freedom of information and communication on the Internet is playing a key role in supporting pro-democracy demonstrators in the Middle East and developing norms for civil society elsewhere around the world.  But just when freedom is beginning to flicker, the Obama administration is seeking to give authoritarian regimes more power to impose censorship on the Web.

The Powers of This President.  Not all the powers President Obama has wielded or claimed seem clearly identifiable in the U.S. Constitution. ... [For example, the] Federal Communications Commission (FCC) assumed regulatory authority over the internet and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assumed regulatory authority over greenhouse gases though Congress had not empowered either to do so.

The Internet kill switch rebooted.  Dumb ideas never die in Washington; they're just re-invented.  One chestnut that simply refuses to expire would grant the president Mubarak-like power over the handful of private companies whose services provide the backbone of the Internet.  Last month, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut Independent, reintroduced legislation that had been widely panned last session as the "Internet kill switch."  Now the scheme has been re-imagined with a warm-and-fuzzy title meant to allay concerns.

Hooray for the U.S. House For Standing Up to Regulatory Tyranny.  [Scroll down]  On the FCC side, President Obama's close friend Julius Genachowski has been running the supposedly independent agency as an extension of the White House, pursuing so-called "net neutrality" regulations to give the FCC a toehold over regulating broadband Internet access despite the fact those regulations were rejected by Congress (where they had almost no support), the American people, and the courts.

As Putin Crushes Russia's Internet, Obama Stands By.  In America, the opposition party candidates began jockeying for position and the incumbent declared his intentions.  In Russia, where there is no opposition party and the incumbent is a mere figurehead, the corrupt dictatorial regime began systematically eradicating political dissent on the Internet. ... In fact ... Obama may actually support the Kremlin's efforts to wipe out privacy on the Internet.  His administration is actively seeking to crack open Skype and Gmail, just like the Putin Gestapo.

How Will States Tax Internet Downloads? Congress May Decide.  Here's an interesting conundrum, posed by Representative Dennis Ross (R-Florida), at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing held on Monday:  "Imagine you are sitting in Dulles airport in Virginia, waiting for a flight back to Florida," Ross began in his opening remarks.  "You download a music file from Apple, which is headquartered in California.  The music is sent to you via a server in Oklahoma."  Which of these states should be allowed to tax the sale?

The Editor says...
I think I see where this is headed:  A federal sales tax for the internet.

Hands off the Internet.  The international bureaucrats and influence-seekers who want to hand the Internet over to the United Nations just got a major boost from the European Union.  In an apparent about-face from its previous positions, the EU announced last month that it supports transferring the assigning of Internet domain names — currently handled by a California nonprofit — to an international body.

Who Should Control the Internet?  The United Nations next week will hold the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunisia, at which national representatives will discuss strategies to bridge the "digital divide" and harness information and communication technologies.

Will the Internet become the UNTERNET?  The United Nations wants control of the internet. [...] At the WSIS Preparatory Commission meeting held this past September in Geneva, the European Union joined with countries like China and Iran in rejecting the concept of not fixing what is not broken and decided that increased international supervision — maybe even international control — of the internet has become necessary.

US retains hold of the internet.  The US has won its fight to stay in charge of the internet, despite opposition from many nations.

Here's Why Trump Is Right About 'Shutting Down' Parts Of The Internet.  If you are a moron, you could interpret Donald Trump's statements in the GOP debate tonight to mean he wants to start shutting down specific websites or services on the internet.  He clarified later that he was talking about geography: limiting access to, say, Syria or wherever Islamic State is operating from.  Trump is right not only that limiting or knocking out the internet is the best way of hampering Islamic State, but also because there is at least one solution that is eminently feasible.  It's just that sneering commentators aren't educated enough to know about it.

More about The FCC and the internet.

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2022 by Andrew K. Dart

Egypt hits the internet kill switch

Civil unrest in Egypt led to the cutoff of internet and cell phone service, to protect the government from its unhappy citizens.  Will President Obama use the same tactic in this country when dissent gets more widespread than he would like?

Dictators Shutting Down the Internet.  Cory Doctorow asks:  "Why would a basket-case dictator even allow his citizenry to access the Internet in the first place?" and "Why not shut down the Internet the instant trouble breaks out?"  The reason is that the Internet is a valuable tool for social control.  Dictators can use the Internet for surveillance and propaganda as well as censorship, and they only resort to extreme censorship when the value of that outweighs the value of doing all three in some sort of totalitarian balance.

How to Shut Down Internets.  Egypt turned off the internet by using the Border Gateway Protocol trick, and also by switching off DNS.  This has a similar effect to throwing bleach over a map.  The location of every street and house in the country is blotted out.  All the Egyptian ISPs were, and probably still are, government licensees.  It took nothing but a short series of phone calls to effect the shutdown.

What the Feds Can Learn From Egyptian Internet Control.  Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google services all have been disrupted by Egyptian governing authorities in pursuit of clamping down on protests.  And we don't think the U.S. government would do the same?  Tell me, what's the difference between the Egyptian government's shutting down social networks to "bring order" to protests and the U.S. government's shutting down the Internet if there is an "imminent cyber threat"?  Answer:  nothing.

Egypt's Internet still offline.  Egypt has gone offline.  In a stunning development unprecedented in the modern history of the Internet, a country of more than 80 million people has found itself almost entirely disconnected from the rest of the world.

After Egypt, Will U.S. Get 'Internet Kill Switch'?  With reports of Egypt's government completing shutting down the Internet in the country, talk about an "Internet kill switch" bill in the U.S. has reemerged.  Could it happen here?

How Did Egypt Kill the Internet?  No Google.  No Facebook.  No Twitter.  No Skype.  Since about 5:20 a.m. ET Thursday, virtually all of Egypt has been living in a Web-less world.

Mubarak demonstrates the Internet 'kill switch'.  President Hosni Mubarak hasn't been able to stop the protesters who took to Egypt's streets on Tuesday, so in the ensuing days, he's attempted to stop them from communicating with each other and the outside world.  Several American sites — Twitter, YouTube, Hotmail and Google — as well as the Chinese search engine Baidu were blocked by Mubarak and the Egyptian government on Wednesday, Jan. 26.

Egypt's Web blockade raises concerns about 'kill switch' for Internet.  The news of Egypt's crackdown on Web access is raising new concerns over a comprehensive cybersecurity bill that critics claim gives the president a "kill switch" for the Internet. ... Civil rights advocates such as the ACLU also raised concerns about the bill, which they claim gives the president the ability to shut down the Web in the event of a catastrophic cyber-attack.  Specifically, observers are concerned the new version of the bill will reportedly not allow for judicial review when the administration shuts down a network under attack.

Chinese Government Blocks Internet Searches for 'Egypt'.  The Chinese government is taking precautions to make sure the people of China don't get any ideas from the Egyptian protests. News of the revolt is being tightly controlled, and Internet searches for "Egypt" have been blocked on China's state-run Internet search engines and microblogging sites.

As Egypt goes offline US gets internet 'kill switch' bill ready.  As Egypt's government attempts to crackdown on street protests by shutting down internet and mobile phone services, the US is preparing to reintroduce a bill that could be used to shut down the internet.  The legislation, which would grant US President Barack Obama powers to seize control of and even shut down the internet, would soon be reintroduced to a senate committee, Wired.com reported.  It was initially introduced last year but expired with a new Congress.

Shutting Down American Cyberspace.  While the revolts which have occurred in Tunisia and Egypt against historically oppressive regimes involve different issues, there is no question that the impetus for both was technologically driven.  Facebook and Twitter have been integral components in not only organizing and coordinating large-scale demonstrations, but also in providing critical, real-time updates to anti-government forces.  The Egyptian government has responded to this reality:  as of 5:20 AM Thursday morning [1/27/2011], Egypt shut down nearly all Internet and mobile phone access. ... Question:  could a similar blackout be imposed in the U.S. as the result of a "national emergency"?

Kill The Internet 'Kill Switch'.  Virtually the first thing an authoritative Egyptian government did to quell dissent was to shut down its Internet.  So why are we debating a bill to give our government the same power?

Hosni Mubarak fined for cutting internet.  Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been fined $34m (£20m) for cutting off communications services during the uprising that ousted him.  The fine of 200m Egyptian pounds is the first clear ruling against Mr Mubarak since he left office in February.  Two other senior officials were also fined.

Cuba hits the internet kill switch

Cuban Govt.  Blocks Internet and Ham Radio Signals.  Could It Happen Here?  On July 11, Cuban citizens rallied in the streets to protest food and medicine shortages and electricity outages.  The demonstration was one of the biggest since the days of Castro.  Cuba is going through its worst economic crisis in decades, along with a resurgence of coronavirus cases.  Cuban officials blame the decades-long embargo with the United States for the collapsing economy.  The internet, basically unavailable until 2008, has only been widely available in Cuba Since July 2019, when the Cuban government began lifting restrictions on internet access.  Since that time, Cuba has slowly entered the digital world, with mobile access to the internet becoming available in December 2018.  As Cuba's citizens protested, many of them pulled out their cellphones to post videos and images across social media platforms.  The Cuban government began immediately blocking access to those platforms.  This is reminiscent of Arab Spring, when the governments of Egypt, Libya, and Syria completely shut down the internet to quell the protests.  Other governments in the Arab world were rumored to have arrested and even executed people for things they posted on the internet.

Libya hits the internet kill switch

Internet traffic in Libya goes dark.  Internet services in Libya, already spotty throughout the country's violent upheaval, appeared completely halted in what analysts consider an attempt to stifle information about the insurrection.

Syria hits the internet kill switch

In 2011:
U.N. Report Declares Internet Access a Human Right.  A United Nations report said Friday [6/3/2011] that disconnecting people from the internet is a human rights violation and against international law. ... The report, by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, comes the same day an internet-monitoring firm detected that two thirds of Syria's internet access has abruptly gone dark, in what is likely a government response to unrest in that country.

In 2012:

Internet service goes out across Syria.  Activists said President Bashar Assad's regime pulled the plug on the Internet, perhaps in preparation for a major offensive.

Congo hits the internet kill switch

Tyrants Kill Internet To Quell Riots.  The "Democratic" Republic of Congo (DRC) recently ordered national telecom companies to turn off internet and text messaging (SMS) services in order to suppress political insurrection.  Telecom minister Emery Okundji explained that the action was to prevent "violence that is being prepared."  All tyrants make broad, general statements like this that are essentially meaningless, to justify their outrageous behavior.  The effect of online bans and restrictions work for a while, but eventually, regular folks become really annoyed at not being able to conduct daily business and personal affairs.  At this point, there is more to protest, not less.  The African country has a history of political struggle and human rights abuses under DNC leaders Laurent Kabila and, now, his son Joseph Kabila.

Algeria hits the internet kill switch

Algeria completely turns off Internet to buckle down on exam cheating.  Two years ago, Algeria made an unusual move to end cheating on standardized tests by temporarily blocking student access to Facebook and other social media websites.  But now Algerian schools have decided that this method is simply not enough — and the country is going further by effectively cutting off access to the Internet nationwide.  The country has announced that its Internet service — through June 25 — will go down an hour after the start of each of the high school diploma exams, which are expected to be taken by more than 700,000 students, according to the BBC.

Bangladesh hits the internet brakes, at least

Bangladesh Slows Down Mobile Internet Speeds Ahead Of Election:  Daily Star.  Bangladesh has ordered the shutdown of high-speed mobile internet services ahead of this weekend's national election, the Daily Star reported on Friday [12/28/2018] citing an email sent to mobile operators by the telecom authority.

Russia puts up a national firewall

Russia disconnects from global internet in tests:  Move sparks fears Putin will strengthen his grip on free speech.  Russia disconnected itself from the global internet during tests in June and July amid fears Vladimir Putin will crackdown further on free speech, it has been revealed.  The country adopted legislation, known as the 'sovereign internet' law, in late 2019 that seeks to shield the country from being cut off from foreign infrastructure.  It was implemented to stop what Russia branded the 'aggressive nature' of the US's national cyber security strategy.

Russia Will Test Its Ability to Disconnect from the Internet.  Russia will test its internal RuNet network to see whether the country can function without the global internet, the Russian government announced Monday [10/21/2019].  The tests will begin after Nov. 1, recur at least annually, and possibly more frequently.  It's the latest move in a series of technical and policy steps intended to allow the Russian government to cut its citizens off from the rest of the world.

Putin Begins Installing Equipment To Cut Russia's Access To World Wide Web.  Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the Russian Internet (RuNet) into law to protect the country's communications infrastructure in case it was disconnected from the world wide web — or so he said.  Critics argued it was opening a door to a Chinese-style firewall disconnecting Russia from the outside world.  Now, Alexander Zharov, the head of the federal communications regulator Roskomnadzor has confirmed to reporters that "equipment is being installed on the networks of major telecom operators," and RuNet will begin testing by early October.  Such testing, reporters were told, is known as "combat mode."

Russia wants to unplug its internet from the rest of the world.  Is that even possible?  Russian lawmakers want to tighten the screws on Russia's internet access by creating an "sovereign" network that the Kremlin could shut off from the greater World Wide Web.  Proponents of a bill now working its way through the Russian parliament say passing the measure will protect the country's internet from foreign cyberattacks or other threats.  But international human rights groups and opponents say the law is an attempt to create a firewall around Russia's internet and restrict information flow.  The law's introduction has drawn comparisons to China's restrictive Great Firewall.

Myanmar hits the internet kill switch

Myanmar in midst of 'national-scale internet blackout' — monitor.  Myanmar is in the midst of a "national-scale internet blackout", a monitoring group said on Saturday, as thousands of people take to the streets to protest a coup that unseated the government on Monday [2/1/2021].  The NetBlocks Internet Observatory said in a post on Twitter that real-time network data showed connectivity had fallen to 54% of ordinary levels and witnesses reported a shutdown of both mobile data services and wifi connections.

Sudan hits the internet kill switch

Sudanese PM, Cabinet Arrested, Internet Curtailed In Apparent Military Coup.  Following weeks of rising tensions between civilian and military members of a state council attempting to guide Sudan to Democracy two years after the fall of longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese military has decided to end Sudan's Democratic experiment — arresting the prime minister and a large number of senior cabinet members and pro-government party leaders, and shutting off the Internet — with a coup, per reports from Reuters and the AP.

Facebook cuts off Australia

Facebook Censors Australia from Posting News, Censors Australian Publishers Globally.  A proposed law from the Land Down Under did not go over well with Facebook.  Facebook has decided to block all news in and from Australian users in response to a proposed law that would require the platform to pay news publishers for stories that appear on Facebook.  "In response to Australia's proposed new Media Bargaining law, Facebook will restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content," said William Easton, Facebook's Managing Director, Facebook Australia & New Zealand in a blog post.  "The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content.  It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship, or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia.  With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter," Easton continued.

Prime minister Scott Morrison attacks Facebook for 'arrogant' move to 'unfriend Australia'.  The Australian government has been blindsided by Facebook suddenly blocking all news on the platform in Australia but says the "heavy-handed" move will not stop parliament from passing landmark laws to force tech giants to pay for journalism.  Australians woke up on Thursday [2/18/2021] to discover they couldn't view or share news on the social network after Facebook blocked the content in an escalation of a row over whether it should have to pay media companies for displaying their content.  Facebook is opposed to the federal government's news media code which has already passed the lower house of parliament and is expected to soon pass the upper house.

Facebook Blocks News From Australia — Yes, The Entire Country.  Australian officials are pushing back against the totalitarian grip of Big Tech.  As a result of investigations into Google and Facebook the Australian government is set to establish fines against tech companies for anti-trust violations.  However, some officials are now discussing taking actions that are beyond civil lawsuits, and are now advocating for arrest of company officers for unlawful conduct.  The battle lines are being drawn, and in response to the Australian government position on anti-trust Facebook (feeling they are elite and above the law) has now decided to block all news articles from the entire country from their social media platform.

Following Australia's Lead Russia Has Passed A Law On Fines For Censorship Against Russian Citizens The Law Will Apply To Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.  Big Tech's efforts to restrict user access to various Internet platforms are a serious challenge, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with leaders of parliamentary factions on Wednesday [2/17/2021].  He responded to the recent statements made by Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the State Duma (lower house), who put the spotlight on Big Tech's violation of freedom of speech.  "What you said about these so-called platforms, IT companies, is a serious challenge not only for us — we see what has happened in the [United] States," Putin noted.  According to him, it is quite obvious that such an "ideological divide" runs throughout the world.

An ISP cuts off Russia

Internet backbone provider shuts off service in Russia.  Cogent Communications, an internet backbone provider that routes data across intercontinental connections, has cut ties with Russian customers over its invasion of Ukraine, as first reported by The Washington Post.  The US-based company is one of the world's largest internet backbone providers and serves customers in 50 countries, including a number of high-profile Russian companies.  In a letter to Russian customers obtained by The Post, Cogent cited "economic sanctions" and "the increasingly uncertain security situation" as the motives behind its total shutdown in the country.  Cogent similarly told The Verge that it "terminated its contracts" with Russian customers in compliance with the European Union's move to ban Russian state-backed media outlets.


Any dictator with an internet kill switch is going to use that switch when his own political future is in jeopardy.

"You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered."
- Lyndon B. Johnson        

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Updated April 8, 2022.

©2022 by Andrew K. Dart