Posted with permission from Jeff Farias
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The Jeff Farias Show
April 6, 2010
at 01:55 – Art Brodsky is communications director of Public Knowledge. He is a veteran of Washington, D.C. telecommunications and Internet journalism and public relations. Art worked for 16 years with Communications Daily, a leading trade publication. He covered Congress through the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other major pieces of legislation. He also covered telephone regulation at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and at state regulatory commissions. In addition, he has covered the online industry since before there was an Internet, coming in just after videotext died but before the World Wide Web. Art was later an editor with Congressional Quarterly, with responsibilities for the daily and Web coverage of telecom, tech and other issues. He also worked at newspapers around the country.
Art’s work has appeared in publications as diverse as the Washington Post, TomPaine.com and the World Book encyclopedia. He was a commentator on the public radio program, Marketplace, and appeared on C-SPAN.
The topic is net neutrality and we will discuss three recent articles of Art’s:
Barring some unforeseen development, the House of Commons in the U.K. will approve a dreadful piece of legislation called the Digital Economy Bill being pushed by the entertainment, sports and other industries. The implications for the U.S. are enormous.
Thomas Pynchon’s epic novel, Gravity’s Rainbow came out in 1973. It’s the story, more or less, of the German rocket program in World War II. The V-2 rocket was a powerful weapon back then. Today, the book, remarkably enough, has some wise commentary that helps to destroy the latest industry attacks on the notion of an Open Internet. It’s a few words in the book, not the latest round of speeches and statements by industry executives, nor even by the emphatic statements of self-righteous politicians at a Congressional hearing, that sets the tone for the latest round of debate. Scattered throughout the 800-some pages of the novel are five “Proverbs for Paranoids.” The one relevant to our discussion of the Open Internet is #3: “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”
Every time a Congressional Committee has a hearing on the Comcast-NBC merger, the topic of regulating Internet access usually surfaces. The canard floated by those who don’t want a free, neutral Internet is that their opponents are trying to “regulate the Internet.” Today, Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) brought it up at a Commerce Committee hearing on the merger. Nothing is farther from the truth. We want to regulate the access to the Internet, controlled tightly by the telephone and cable companies, but the only ones who want to regulate Web sites and online services are the telephone and cable companies. They complain that if they are to be regulated, then everyone else has to be also.
It’s Our Internet, Not Theirs
An outrageous federal court decision could hand over control of the Internet to companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon. The FCC can act to reassert its authority and stand with the nearly 2 million Americans who have demanded Net Neutrality — the one thing stopping these companies from interfering with your experience online.
Thursday deadline: Protect net neutrality
UPDATE: On April 6, the D.C. Court of Appeals issued a ruling that has made this cause more urgent. See below for more information on how this action relates to the court decision.
One of Glenn Beck’s latest conspiracies involves a “gang of communists” who want to turn the Internet into a “Marxist utopia.” That dangerous gang of communists he’s warning Fox News viewers against? They’re net neutrality supporters.
Appeals Court Rules FCC Lacks Authority to Enforce Net Neutrality
April 7, 2010
A federal appeals court has ruled the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to prevent internet service providers from blocking and controlling internet traffic. The FCC has long sought to force internet service companies to give web users equal access to all websites, a concept known as network neutrality. But the decision grants the companies further control over internet traffic while threatening the future of internet regulation. We speak with Josh Silver, co-founder of FreePress.net. [includes rush transcript]