Fears About Internet Freedom: New U.S. Push to Regulate Internet Access

Draft of Secretive International Copyright Treaty Leaked Confirms Fears About Internet Freedom

By Michael Geist

On the table: losing internet access due to infringement allegations, and widespread data sharing across national borders.


US Ban on Arab Satellite TV Channels


Early December the US House of Representatives voted by an overwhelming majority to pass a bill in order to stop satellite TV channels from 17 Arab nations from being transmitted to American audiences due to their engagement in 'anti-American incitement to violence'.


Cyberattacks: Washington is hyping the threat to justify regulating the Internet

Networks have been under attack -- and successfully handled by operators -- as long as they've been around. Be wary of calls for more government supervision of the Internet.


Obama FCC Expected to Abandon Net Neutrality, Universal Internet

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is "leaning toward" siding with the most powerful phone and cable lobbyists on a crucial decision: whether the FCC will have any authority to protect an open Internet and make it available to all.


New U.S. Push to Regulate Internet Access

The decision, by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, is likely to trigger a vigorous lobbying battle, arraying big phone and cable companies and their allies on Capitol Hill against Silicon Valley giants and consumer advocates.


From Information Clearing House


The Case for Net Neutrality

Bill Moyers Journal: "The Internet has transformed business, politics and culture - but will a corporate agenda kill freedom of the web? With radio and television dominated by mega-corporations, more and more Americans have turned to the Internet for news - but a recent court ruling gives Big Telecom more control over broadband."



Free Press: 250,000 People Ask the FCC to Save the Internet

Obama's FCC to Abandon Net Neutrality?


Press freedom falls around the world

Christian Science Monitor


The glory days of global press freedom appear to be long past, with a Washington-based freedom watchdog organization finding that a retrenchment of press freedoms continued in 2009. In its annual report on press freedom in the world, Freedom House finds an overall decline for the eighth year in a row — with noticeably negative movement in China, the Middle East, and parts of Latin America. The trend is particularly worrying, advocates say, because press freedom often acts as a kind of bellwether of the direction an array of political and social freedoms are taking. … Press freedom reached new heights in the years following the fall of the Berlin Wall, and not just in states of the former Soviet Union that were expanding freedoms generally...


Government controlled speech on the Internet?

Hawaii Reporter
by Bartlett D. Cleland


Whether it is ‘little punk staffers,’ or talk radio chatter, or the various Tea Party groups, suddenly a chorus of our elected representatives on Capitol Hill is calling such comments or speakers ‘dangerous’ or ’scary.’ Really? Occasionally impolite perhaps, but more likely they just don’t like what’s being said, and then feel free to engage in their own overblown hype undergirded with hubris...


FCC announces plan to seize control of Internet

Business Week


U.S. regulators will claim authority over companies offering Internet access in a setback for AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. and a win for Web content providers such as Google Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and EBay Inc. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski plans to say tomorrow that the agency will extend rules used for telephone service to Internet providers, a commission official, who declined to be identified, said today in an e-mailed statement. The agency will pledge to stop short of provisions such as the authority to control rates...


Stand up to the enemies of Internet freedom

Christian Science Monitor
by Bernard Kouchner


In 2015, 3-1/2 billion people — half of mankind — will have access to the Internet. There has never been such a revolution in freedom of communication and freedom of expression. But how will this new medium be used? What new distortions and obstacles will the enemies of the Internet come up with?


From banning books to banning blogs

by Bradley Smith & Jeff Patch


The Obama administration has announced plans to regulate the Internet through the Federal Communications Commission, extending its authority over broadband providers to police web traffic, enforcing ‘net neutrality.’ Last week, a congressional hearing exposed an effort to give another agency — the Federal Election Commission — unprecedented power to regulate political speech online. At a House Administration Committee hearing last Tuesday, Patton Boggs attorney William McGinley explained that the sloppy statutory language in the ‘DISCLOSE Act’ would extend the FEC’s control over broadcast communications to all ‘covered communications,’ including the blogosphere...


Meet your new Commander-in-Geek

by Katherine Mangu-Ward


On Friday, newly-created U.S. Cyber Command — that’s USCYBERCOM to those in the know — got itself a general. One small problem: It’s not clear that anyone, even four-star general and National Security Agency head Keith Alexander, knows what U.S. Cyber Command is supposed to do now that it exists. The commerical Internet has been around since about 1995, but in recent years folks at the Pentagon and White House seem to have been struck with a similar thought: ‘Hey, we should do something about those Internets, huh?’ The longing for a cyber command of some kind dates back at least to President George W. Bush, and the project continued merrily along under President Barack Obama with the inexorable force of a government program that nobody really wants, but no one wants to be the one to kill...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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