The hits keep coming under the new administration and with the new FCC chair. This time, Pai’s FCC has removed a condition of Charter merging with TWC and Bright House Networks. The agency’s thought process reads like the sort of double speak we’ve come to expect: by removing the requirement to provide meaningful access, they ensure the ISPs can focus on providing meaningful access.
The dilution of strong network neutrality continued yesterday with the FCC approving the draft plan as released earlier in a three to two vote. Matthew Lasar at Ars Technica has a good summary of the proceedings, including initial reactions from those supporting network neutrality.
Even before today’s vote, some reform groups expressed their disappointment with the mildness of the decision; for instance, here’s a dispatch from the Media Access Project.
“MAP respects and admires the work of Commissioners Michael J. Copps and Mignon Clyburn on this important issue, but MAP cannot support the watered-down, loophole-ridden option that the FCC appears to have chosen,” the group’s statement last night declared. (Note that Chairman Genachowski doesn’t share in this admiration.) “The inadequate protections for wireless technologies are especially troublesome, as wireless services provide an onramp to the Internet for many of the nation’s poor and minority citizens.”
Cellular internet is to be held to the weaker, partial standard already mentioned. So-called special services are still granted a troubling exemption except for some vague notions of monitoring for anti-competituve behavior. For the most strictly regulated wired internet, loopholes abound in the form of allowances for “reasonable” network management where the measure of reasonableness isn’t clearly defined.
Ryan Singel at Wired, with help from Sam Gustin, has some more supposition on how we came to this lamentable pass, namely the nigh unstoppable lobbying power of AT&T. He at least concedes that part of the reason for the weakness of the new rules stems from the commission’s unclear authority in the wake of the ruling against it in the Comcast case over the cableco’s throttling of BitTorrent traffic.
What we’re left with is undoubtedly a long chain of future case law to try to pin down the shape and size of the various loopholes in this plan. Meanwhile, ISPs and carriers will no doubt get a pass to pretty much carry on as usual. Like many others, I am left wondering why the commissioners who supported Title II re-classification didn’t push harder. That too would have led to any number of court cases but would have been far more fruitful, in the meantime, and in the process of whittling down a coarse but strong set of rules would have been far more certain to yield a final set of compromises giving as much weight to public interest as to the unending rent-seeking of the ISPs and carriers.
- Bjarne Stroustrop reflects on 25 years of C++ , Slashdot
- Wikileaks donations account shut down, Slashdot
- FCC approves changes to cable box rules
Slashdot links to a post at Hillicon Valley discussing this latest news in a long standing fight for competition and consumer choice. I can’t help but think that if the FCC, or Congress, had worked to keep DRM out of our media stack, as its embedding in the HDMI connector standard, that there would be less of a need for pushing Cablecard. On the flip side, with the first Google TV devices coming out, this could open the way to smarter set top devices being able to integrate much more seamlessly into our media ecosystem than ever before.
- French government may subsidize music downloads
There isn’t much more detail in the article to which Slashdot links, especially as to the detailed reasoning. This is an anti-piracy move but once the vouchers are spent, the effective prices will rise returning everything back to where it was. I’ll give them credit for trying but a more thorough shift is required, one that incents labels as much as young people to meet over legitimate online distribution sites.
- Blocker bugs snarl next Firefox 4 beta release, The H
- Stuxnet analysis backs Iran-Israel connection, Slashdot
- Clues point to Israel as author of Stuxnet, or not, Wired
- Iran claims it’s tamed Stuxnet, arrested Israeli spies, ReadWriteWeb
- Could wiretapping law curtail quantum crypto development?, Scientific American
- Latest ACTA round ends with near agreement, Michael Geist
- More on largely finalized ACTA draft, Ars Technica
- EU parliament members not at all happy about ACTA, Techdirt
- Mexican senator proposes Mexico withdraw from ACTA, BoingBoing
- Latest draft of ACTA released, KEI
- US cave on ACTA internet chapter complete, Michael Geist
- OLPC gets $5.6M grant to develop tablet with Marvell, Slashdot
- Open Stack will be an option for Ubuntu’s server offering, The Register
- Oracle declines to join Document Foundation and its Libre Office fork, Computer World, via Groklaw’s news picks
- Google denies infringing Oracle’s patents, Wired
- Google cites history of Java in response to Oracles patent claims, ReadWriteWeb
- AT&T isn’t going to let FCC rules deter its use of paid prioritization, Ars Technica
- French ISP refuses to send out infringement notices, Slashdot
This is news cast 225, an episode of The Command Line Podcast.
In the intro, thanks to Steve for his latest donation which also means he gets the signed copies of Wizzywig 1 & 2. Also, an announcement of audio and feed changes to go in effect on October 3rd.
This week’s security alert is a more in-depth look at the Stuxnet worm.
In this week’s news Intel to use DRM to charge for processor features and why that is problematic, an Ubuntu designer shares his thoughts on a context aware UI, a course on the anthropology of hackers (one I wish UMD’s MITH would offer), and the FCC finalizes rules for white space devices (including details on those rules) prompting one commissioner to speculate we no longer need net neutrality rules.
Following up this week the MPAA wants to know if it can use ACTA to block WikiLeaks and one judge quashes a US Copyright Group subpoena.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Matthew Lasar at Ars Technica not only shares the news but includes some more crunchy detail on the APIs themselves. His article actually serves as a pretty good survey of what is possible with the APIs. It also hints that more data will be accessible in a similar manner soon.
“The release of these APIs marks an important day for us at the FCC,” Byrne says. “The FCC has long published many data sets. Now we are allowing developers direct access to our data via live queries. Your feedback on these APIs—what you think, how you are using them, what needs to be improved—helps us continue in this direction.”
This is an encouraging development from such a high profile agency beyond the broad and often frustratingly vague commitment to open data under the Obama administration. Information at this detail is key to enabling and encouraging the kinds of analysis and mash ups promised by mere transparency. Getting projects hacking is key to moving past the reactionary criticism of transparency solely as an end and reinforces its nature as a means to generating interest and actual knowledge.
- FCC chief may demand neutrality conditions in Comcast, NBC merger
- USCG dumps two of its lawsuits but only to refile against individuals
- Why USCG abandoned its first two law suits
- Achieving net neutrality by removing incentives
- The case against net neutrality
- AT&T keen on Google-Verizon net neutrality proposal
- Google-Verizon should prompt FCC to demand net neutrality
Via Hacker News.
- Protesting net neutrality proposal at Google’s HQ
- Viacom suit against YouTube continues
- Moglen sees Bilski as setting back patent reform a decade
- Further analysis of DMCA exemptions from EFF
- Next ACTA round yet again to be shrouded in secrecy
- ACTA agenda for round 10 revealed
This is news cast 221, an episode of The Command Line Podcast.
In the intro, my thanks to Mike for his donation for which he has earned a merit badge. A final reminder there will not be a feature cast this coming week, I’ll be out in San Francisco for most of the week. Also, a quick review of George Mann’s “The Osiris Ritual“. I reviewed his first novel, “The Affinity Bridge”, earlier in the Summer.
In this week’s news an algorithm to improve the energy efficiency of mesh networks, concerns over a citizen vigilante group monitor ISPs though the groups claims may be overstated, Google ends Wave development though is dedicated to learning from its failure in this case probably from its complexity despite adding more resources and opening up to more users, and unpacking what exactly went on between Google and Verizon especially as they deny claims of an anti-neutrality pact (even on Twitter). Odds are good they are still meeting and talking to some end which may be why the NYT is sticking to its story. Cringely has the most intriguing guess at their possible goal.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
- FCC’s third way plan isn’t bringing the two sides of net neutrality any closer together
- Next round starting against initially named defendants in USCG’s massive demand campaign
- US caves on anti-circumvention demands for ACTA
- Winamp gains WebM and VP-8 support
- Understanding geographic indications the EU desires be protected under ACTA
- China says Google agreed to obey censorship rules in exchange for license renewal
- US States’ top law enforcers question Google over WiFi data snafu
- RIAA appeals reduction of Tenenbaum damages
- GOP senators move to block FCC on net neutrality
- Sony now facing single class-action suit for removing PS3 other OS option
- Could the EU walk away from ACTA?
- FCC dodges pointed questions about broadband plan
- SCO evidence of Linux copying finally provided, not very compelling
- Ruling that reduced Tenenbaum damages compares p2p to unlicensed public performance
- More detailed analysis of constitutional questions in reduction of Tenenbaum damages
- Annotating the C-32, radical extremists speech
- Minister behind C-32 backs down from invitation to debate the bill
- Even US intellectual property organizations are concerned over ACTA
- Next round of ACTA talks in DC and Japan
- Full draft from Lucerne round of ACTA negotiations leaked
- First post-Bilski ruling to cite that SCOTUS case
- French legislators have 2nd thoughts on three strikes
- Google fiber project gets a web site but no winners yet
- Lack of funding may bring Chinese censorware to an end
- NZ stands firm against software patents
- Guns and Roses uploader dodges serving up RIAA propaganda
- FCC ignores concerns over transparency, continues closed door discussions of net neutrality plan`
- Thousands more to be sued for infringement by likes of USCG