In a completely expected but still crappy move, the US FCC voted today to move ahead with Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to roll back net neutrality rules enacted under the Open Internet Order of 2015.
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Last week, we reported that tens of thousands of fraudulent comments had been filed in favour of FCC chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to roll back net neutrality rules in the US, using text taken from the Center for Individual Freedom (though, according to the CFIF, they aren't behind the fake comments). We spoke to several people who had comments filed under their names and addresses, as did reporters from other outlets, and several more supposed commenters responded to our emails after publication saying they hadn't filed comments with the FCC.
The US House of Representatives voted today to repeal rules preventing internet service providers from selling their customers' web browsing and app usage data without explicit consent. The Senate passed the same bill last week, which means the only obstacle that remains is a signature from President Trump — and the White House has already signalled he will do so.
Until today, March 2 marked the date that internet service providers in the US would be required to adopt "reasonable" measures to protect sensitive customer info like browsing histories, location data and Social Security numbers. Thanks to the Federal Communications Commission's new leadership, however, that deadline will now be extended indefinitely, and we have no idea if or when those rules will be enacted.
In what appears to be a violation of the federal ethics rule that prohibits a government employee from using "his public office for his own private gain, for the endorsement of any product," Ajit Pai, the controversial new chair of the FCC, tweeted and subsequently deleted praise for Amazon's PrimeNow service.
"Needed something in pinch and decided to try @amazonprimenow. Very impressed! Item was cheap and arrived early. May not leave the house again," Pai posted to on his official FCC Twitter account, only to delete moments later.
United States presidential hopeful Jeb Bush just published a love note to big business that would be amusing, if it didn't give me second-hand embarrassment at witnessing a governor so explicitly express his adoration for corporatism.
When PayPal updated its user agreement earlier this month, people were pissed off. The agreement left people with two options: Agree to receive robocalls from PayPal, or stop using the service. Now the company is back-pedalling on the whole "deal with our obnoxious, aggressive automatic calling or GTFO" policy.
In the future every car will talk with other cars on the road through vehicle-to-vehicle communications (V2V). But the US government doesn't think that tech is coming soon enough. The US Department of Transportation announced yesterday that it will accelerate efforts to mandate V2V on American roads.
This is it. This is the day that your overly specific and impressively sceptical questions about the Federal Communications Commission's new net neutrality rules can finally be answered. The agency just released the full text of the policy that will protect the open internet.
You may have heard that the internet is winning: net neutrality was saved, broadband was redefined to encourage higher speeds, and the dreaded Comcast-Time Warner Cable megamerger potentially thwarted. But the harsh reality is that America's internet is still fundamentally broken, and there's no easy fix.
Let's all agree on one thing: The Federal Communications Commission passing the strongest net neutrality rules in America's history is a step in the right direction. But that didn't stop an army of naysayers from crowing about an imaginary government takeover of the internet or how the new plan would slash their profits. Some chose half-intelligent ways to make those arguments. Others did some pretty dumb stuff.
The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote on a proposal today that effectively bars Internet companies from prioritising some internet traffic over others. As John Oliver famously explained, "ending net neutrality would allow big companies to buy their way into the fast lane, leaving everyone else in the slow lane."
It's a historic day for the internet. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just passed the strongest net neutrality rules in this country's history. This is great news! But let me repeat: The battle for net neutrality is still not over. In a sense, the real battle begins now.