Sunday, March 22, 2015

Net Neutrality may make it illegal for ISPs to block spam, popup ads, and some malware

In the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules,

II. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY, A. Strong Rules That Protect Consumers from Past and Future Tactics that Threaten the Open Internet, 1. Clear, Bright-Line Rules, 15. No Blocking:

Consumers who subscribe to a retail broadband Internet access service must get what they have paid for—access to all (lawful) destinations on the Internet. This essential and well-accepted principle has long been a tenet of Commission policy, stretching back to its landmark decision in Carterfone, which protected a customer’s right to connect a telephone to the monopoly telephone network.16 Thus, this Order adopts a straightforward ban:

A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or nonharmful devices, subject to reasonable network management.

Spam, popup ads, and most malware are neither illegal nor harmful to your computer or mobile device; they’re just annoying.  Some broadband providers, especially those that offer email services, provide this additional service to their customers to make their Internet experience more enjoyable.

But under the FCC’s new Net Neutrality rules, it may be illegal for ISPs to do this from now on, and we may start seeing lawsuits filed by advertisers and software companies that have had their ads or software blocked at the ISP before ever reaching the customers’ computers.

Stay tuned.

Read the Net Neutrality rules yourself, downloaded from the FCC’s web site in three formats: PDF | Word | Text

The FCC mistook special interest lobbies for well-informed public opinion when they considered the Net Neutrality rules

In section II. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY, #13, the FCC claims that there was diverse input from the public in support of Net Neutrality, after some 4 million comments were received.
Congress could not have imagined when it enacted the APA [Administrative Procedure Act, 1946] almost seventy years ago that the day would come when nearly 4 million Americans would exercise their right to comment on a proposed rulemaking. But that is what has happened in this proceeding and it is a good thing. The Commission has listened and it has learned. Its expertise has been strengthened. Public input has “improve[d] the quality of agency rulemaking by ensuring that agency regulations will be ‘tested by exposure to diverse public comment.’” There is general consensus in the record on the need for the Commission to provide certainty with clear, enforceable rules. There is also general consensus on the need to have such rules. Today the Commission, informed by all of those views, makes a decision grounded in the record. The Commission has considered the arguments, data, and input provided by the commenters, even if not in agreement with the particulars of this Order; that public input has created a robust record, enabling the Commission to adopt new rules that are clear and sustainable.
This is such nonsense.  The FCC first passed a form of Net Neutrality 5 years ago and has publicly thrown its full support behind every measure they’ve considered.  There was never any attempt to consider all viewpoints in their public forums nor closed-door meetings.  Even worse, the public opinion which consumed their ears had a strong pro-Net Neutrality leaning, as it was led by anti-broadband and anti-business groups that lean hard to the Left.

These groups activated their support networks of like-minded individuals across the country and successfully lobbied on social media, television commercials, blogs, news columns, and interviews for Net Neutrality.  And since they’ve always had the majority of the mainstream media on their side, they easily cast any opposition to Net Neutrality as shills for big business and broadband providers.

There was never any fair consideration of the free market opposition to Net Neutrality.  The FCC had already made up their minds of which laws they were going to write, then went through the motions—as required under the APA—to make it appear as if they solely had the public’s interests at heart.  But they’ve shown repeatedly they care much more about expanding their power base than allowing the free market to grow and prosper.

Download the Net Neutrality rules from the FCC’s Web site in three formats:

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The FCC falsely claims in their Net Neutrality rules that the Internet will only continue to expand if they clamp down on broadband providers by restricting their decision-making ability

From the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules, section II. Executive Summary, #11, it reads:

Three overarching objectives have guided us in answering these questions, based on the vast record before the Commission: America needs more broadband, better broadband, and open broadband networks. These goals are mutually reinforcing, not mutually exclusive. Without an open Internet, there would be less broadband investment and deployment. And, as discussed further below, all three are furthered through the open Internet rules and balanced regulatory framework we adopt today.

Again, this is ridiculous.  The FCC is trying to claim that the only way for Internet access options and broadband performance to continue to improve is if they FORCE broadband carriers to cater to every whim of every content provider on the Internet and have no discriminatory powers over their own private networks whatsoever.

Take a retailer analogy.  Under the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules, every retailer in the United States would be required to resale every product from every single supplier and would have no legal right or recourse to either charge more to specific suppliers or ban a supplier altogether.  That’s totally absurd.

It is BECAUSE retailers have the legal right to refuse certain suppliers or certain products that we have so many types of retailers today!! 

Imagine a Wal-Mart in Honolulu being approached by a manufacturer of snow shovels.  Under the FCC’s rules, that Wal-Mart would be required to stock those snow shovels on their shelves AND they would not be able to charge the snow shovel supplier a higher shelf rate than they charge other suppliers, nor would they be allowed to transfer those snow shovels to other Wal-Marts in colder zones where customers would actually buy snow shovels.

Wal-Mart would be required to stock those snow shovels…FOREVER.  Even if a single shovel was never sold, Wal-Mart would still be required to let those dusty snow shovels take up valuable shelf or floor space in their store.  Forever.

That is exactly what the FCC is trying to do with Net Neutrality.

Read the Net Neutrality rules yourself, downloaded from the FCC’s web site in three formats:  PDF | Word | Text

The FCC is using Net Neutrality to lock down the Internet under the guise of keeping it “open”

From section II. Executive Summary, #8, the FCC wrote:

Threats to Internet openness remain today. The record reflects that broadband providers hold all the tools necessary to deceive consumers, degrade content, or disfavor the content that they don't like. The 2010 rules helped to deter such conduct while they were in effect. But, as Verizon frankly told the court at oral argument, but for the 2010 rules, it would be exploring agreements to charge certain content providers for priority service. Indeed, the wireless industry had a well-established record of trying to keep applications within a carrier-controlled “walled garden” in the early days of mobile applications.

This is very dishonest and disingenuous by the FCC. Sure broadband providers hold all the tools necessary to “disfavor the content they don’t like”. As do cable providers, satellite companies…blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Instagram accounts, Reddits, Diggs, radio stations, TV stations, music halls, movie theaters, football stadiums, public libraries, churches, schools, even the town square.  EVERYONE who controls a venue has that kind of power at the fingertips.  And guess what: they all use it!  All of them!!  Even public schools, public libraries, town squares, sidewalks, streets, national parks, the U.S. Senate floor.  NONE of these places allow 100% unfettered access WITHIN THEIR VENUES to say or publish whatever content you want.  NONE of them!

And just like a coaxial cable line coming into your house, a broadband provides Internet access to you over their own private property, private network lines, private routers, switches, data centers, management hubs, employee labor, etc. They own these things.  THEY PAY FOR THEM.  So of course they should have the rights do decide what content flows through them!  And they turn around and charge you as their customer to use their services.  If you don’t like it, find another ISP.  There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them.  Every single square inch of the United States is covered by 1 or more Internet Service Providers.  Everywhere.

For the FCC to say that a broadband provider shouldn’t have the rights to disallow certain types of content through their private property, that’s exactly the same as REQUIRING cable companies to carry every single channel in the entire world, regardless of whether they have a contract with that content provider or not AND regardless of the nature of the content.  So the FCC, using the rules akin to Net Neutrality, world force Time-Warner Cable to carry a Nazi-propaganda channel piped out of Austria right into your living room or an ISIS channel that depicts the daily beheadings of Syrian Christians.

But no!  The Internet will be slowly deteriorated by Net Neutrality as it seeks to quash the profits and legitimate business practices of Internet Service Providers.  As the number of ISPs dwindle over the next decade, your speed, reliability, and price of Internet access will suffer.  I promise you this.

Net Neutrality is bad for the Internet, bad for consumers, bad for Americans, bad for Internet Service Providers, bad for the economy, bad for our freedoms, and bad for the future of the United States.


Download the Net Neutrality regulations from the FCC and read them yourself:  PDF | Word | Text

Operation to retake Tikrit from Islamic State stalled by heavy casualties

Iraqi forces of over 20,000 have already lost over 1000 fighters in the now-stalled operation to retake the small city of Tikrit from ISIS. If this is any indication of how well things will go next Fall when they attempt an assault on Mosul, which was lost to the Islamic State last summer, that operation will need more than 1 million fighters and will result in some 50,000 military and civilian deaths, on the Iraqi government side alone. ISIS will likely lose at least 30,000 and will simply pull back farther into northern Iraq and Syria, mend their wounds, rebuild their ranks, and attempt to retake Mosul back from the Iraqi government within a year or two.

Thanks, Obama, for letting down our new allies in Iraq and making sure the 5000 Americans that lost their lives trying to secure that country died in vain.

Read more at the Post-Gazette

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dr. Thomas Sowell gives dire warnings about the world downplaying the ISIS threat

"Just recently, a State Department official in the Obama administration said that Americans have remained safe in a nuclear age, not because of our own nuclear arsenal but because 'we created an intricate and essential system of treaties, laws and agreements.'

If 'treaties, laws and agreements' produced peace, there would never have been a Second World War. The years leading up to that monumental catastrophe were filled with international treaties and arms control agreements.

The Treaty of Versailles, which ended the First World War, imposed strong restrictions on Germany's military forces -- on paper. The Washington Naval Agreements of 1922 imposed restrictions on all the major naval powers of the world -- on paper. The Kellogg-Briand pact of 1928 created an international renunciation of war -- on paper.

The Munich agreement of 1938 produced a paper with Hitler's signature on it that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain waved to the cheering crowds when he returned to England, and said that it meant "Peace for our time." Less than a year later, World War II began.

Winston Churchill never bought any of this. He understood that military deterrence was what preserved peace. With England playing a leadership role in Europe, 'England's hour of weakness is Europe's hour of danger,' he said in the House of Commons in 1931...

'Not one of the lessons of the past has been learned, not one of them has been applied, and the situation is incomparably more dangerous,' Churchill said in 1934. And every one of those words is more urgently true today, in a nuclear age."


The UN finally acknowledges ISIS war crimes and other atrocities

"There was a 'manifest pattern of attacks' by Islamic State on Yezidis as well as Christians and other minorities as it laid siege to towns and villages in Iraq.

The U.N. investigators also cited allegations that ISIL had used chlorine gas, a prohibited chemical weapon, against Iraqi soldiers in the western province of Anbar in September.

Captured women and children were treated as 'spoils of war', and often subjected to rape or sexual slavery, it said."

Read more at Newsweek

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Saudi Arabia sentences gang rape victim to 200 lashes and 6 months in prison

A 19-yr-old woman in Saudi Arabia was kidnapped along with a male friend, driven to a secluded location, then gang-raped by seven men. Her friend was also brutally attacked and raped by 3 men. While the rapists have received justice as well, the Saudi courts initially sentenced the victim to 90 lashes but later increased it to 200 + 6 months, supposedly for discussing the case with the media.

Her attorney's law license was revoked for the same reason, and he has been barred from defending her again.

The issue is Saudi Arabia's Islamic law and judiciary that bans women from being out in public with a male whom they're not related to, and then a harsh public sentence for violating their archaic "indecency" laws.