Since June, 2015, net neutrality — or specifically, the FCC’s Open Internet Rule — has been the law of the land. While the rule is a win for consumers, plenty of businesses and politicians still don’t care for it, to say the least. So while the court challenge against it takes its own sweet time to mosey through the judicial system, opponents are taking another approach. What’s the best way to undo a law you hate? Get a new law.
You hate getting robocalls. The FCC knows you hate getting robocalls. And so today the Commission voted to move forward with a proposal that would allow consumers to block all those annoying calls and texts.
The FCC voted 3-2 today to expand the Lifeline program for low-income consumers to include an optional credit for broadband access.
By itself, your license plate doesn’t say much except in what state, month, and year you registered your car. But start tracking where and when that license plate goes, and you’ve suddenly got a whole huge pile of personal data about all the comings and goings in someone’s life. We’ve reported before that license plate scanning by public and private entities is both widespread and unregulated. Now, the ACLU is suing police in one state to get them to stop.
It’s been two years since we found out that the NSA has been quietly scooping up basically everyone’s phone records, willy-nilly, without warrants. The revelations of widespread surveillance freaked plenty of people out, but under existing law, the agency has acted legally. To get change, then, you’d need to change the law… and Congress has 33 days remaining in which to do exactly that.
In the wake of the FCC’s vote to adopt the new net neutrality rule, Americans of every stripe have bombarded their lawmakers with feedback. Some applaud the rule; others condemn the action. And that is all well and good: it’s the American system of democracy at work, exactly as designed.
Everything you do online — on your phone, on your computer, with anything — leaves a digital wake. Put those trails together and you’ve got one massive big data industry that can (and does) track it all and sell it to the highest bidder. After decades of digital detritus building up, regulators and Congress both are contemplating some steps that would help protect consumers’ info.
In a landmark decision today, the FCC voted 3-2 to create enforceable, bright-line rules protecting the open internet using their Title II authority to reclassify broadband internet as a telecommunications service.
As expected, the FCC today has confirmed an order permitting two cities to expand their existing municipal fiber broadband networks despite state-level laws that block them from doing so.
The academic who coined the term “net neutrality,” and who has been among its most vocal advocates, is now running for office in New York. Tim Wu hopes to become lieutenant governor after what he describes as a “start-up campaign,” and he’s running with a tech-focused message: that New York needs to act against the merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
Broadband competition in the United States stinks. One alternative is for local entities — cities and municipalities — to create their own public networks, when big companies like Comcast don’t or won’t serve them. But in 40% of states, there are laws on the books implicitly or explicitly forbidding public broadband. This week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler appears to be making good on his earlier remarks and is directly challenging those state laws.
Somehow, a political group Jeff happens to disagree with got hold of his e-mail address, and started sending him junk mail. Then another got his address. And another. He’s not sure how he got on the lists, but he wants right-wing groups to stop sending him stuff and sharing his e-mail address with each other. How?
Political robocalls annoy the hell out of just about everyone, but on Election Day Eve this year in New England, things somehow got even worse. A barrage of last-minute automated calls to voters in New Hampshire and part of Massachusetts actually took down Comcast’s phone network. “Between 5:30 pm and 7pm, whenever I tried to call out on Comcast VOIP the phone either would not dial or there would be a message saying all circuits were busy,” writes David, who lives in the affected area. “I know – I should cancel the landline!” Only if the robocallers have your number.
Wondering how that Target boycott is going? Here’s a video of an in-store protest complete with dance routine and Improv Everywhere type theatrics, set to the tune of Depeche Mode’s “People are People.”
The controversial immigration law passed by Arizona’s government back in April has lead to over 20 organizations (including cities, towns, school districts, churches and universities) joining a travel boycott of the state. But is it hurting business? Too soon to tell, says USAToday.
Online news site The Daily Beast is apparently tired of this whole “floundering economy” thing, so it got more than a dozen economists and historians to come together and issue a manifesto yesterday calling on the U.S. government to “reboot America.” By the end of the day, the number of experts supporting the manifesto increased to more than 40. They argue that the government has to help return lost purchasing power to the unemployed and must use tax cuts and stimulus to boost overall demand, or we’ll never make it out of this slump.
It may not feel like it, but it turns out that you are paying really low taxes right now, the lowest in 60 years, in fact, according to a new analysis of Federal data.