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Contents:


  1. Net Neutrality’s Day in Court
  2. How Hackers Turn Microsoft Excel's Own Features Against It
  3. The FCC's Authority to Regulate Net Neutrality After Comcast v. FCC - Digital Library
  4. The Latest
  5. The FCC Just Killed Net Neutrality. Now What?

EFF brought this litigation on behalf of security researcher Matt Green, technologist bunnie Huang, and bunnie's company Alphamax, in order to Washington D. Patent Act—the section that defines, and limits, what can get a patent—will upend years of case law that ensures only true inventions, not basic practices or rudimentary ideas, should Such a massive infusion of federal dollars would reshape the United States communications market and help put the This is one of many patent cases filed by Uniloc--one of the most active patent trolls in the world that filed more than lawsuits in a year.

Since then, various Uniloc entities have filed hundreds of patent suits, including this one against Apple in the Northern District of Congress took a big step today toward protecting net neutrality, competition, and privacy for Internet users. Please join us in urging your members of Congress TikTok is an app that makes it easy for people to make short lip-synching videos, which unsurprisingly makes it a goldmine of creativity and memes. COPPA requires With only days to go before the final EU debate and vote on the new Copyright Directive we're told the debate will be at h CET on Tuesday, 26 March , and the vote will happen at h CET , things could not be more urgent and fraught.

That's why Last month, we asked EFF supporters to help save Alice v. CLS Bank , the Supreme Court decision that has helped stem the tide of stupid software patents and abusive patent litigation. The Patent Office received hundreds of comments from you, telling it to do the right thing and apply Due to an editing error, a draft version of this article was published prematurely.


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Internet websites and forums are continuing to censor speech with adult content on their platforms to avoid running afoul of the new anti-sex trafficking law FOSTA. Join Our Newsletter! Title I Information services are not common carriers. By prohibiting a broadband provider like Verizon from negotiating with an edge provider like Google or Facebook for prioritization, the FCC was forcing broadband providers to act as common carriers and setting the rate for carrying edge provider traffic back to the broadband subscriber. Because the Communication Act explicitly prohibits the FCC from treating Title I services or other non-common carrier services as common carriers, the Court struck down the non-discrimination rules and the no blocking rules -- the core obligations of net neutrality.

Additionally, the Verizon Court dropped some very broad hints in it opinion that if the FCC reclassified broadband as a Title II service, the common carrier prohibition would disappear and the FCC could adopt no blocking and non-discrimination rules. The opinion noted several times that the Commission had resisted calls to reclassify broadband as a Title II service, and that therefore the Commission must accept the limitations that flow from choosing to classify broadband as Title I.

If the Court opinion in Comcast v. FCC was a total smackdown loss for the Commission, the Verizon opinion represented a much more mixed result. The FCC won a great deal, but the decision also made it clear it could not impose real net neutrality rules, i.

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Net Neutrality’s Day in Court

Initially, Chairman Wheeler wanted to avoid going the reclassification route. Not only did it look like political suicide with no chance of becoming law, but Wheeler also thought he could provide enough protection under Section authority. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this approach pleased no one. Opponents of network neutrality found even this level of oversight on broadband providers as intolerable and insisted -- despite the clear language in the Verizon decision -- that Section does not give the FCC authority to impose any rules on broadband providers.

Supporters of network neutrality protested that allowing paid prioritization under any circumstances was the exact opposite of net neutrality.

How Hackers Turn Microsoft Excel's Own Features Against It

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking explicitly asked whether the FCC should reclassify broadband as Title II and adopt an actual ban on blocking and paid prioritization as a common carrier obligation. As we now get to the part that folks reading this probably remember, we can speed this up some.

Comcast Ruling: Now What?

Public interest groups submitted petitions garnering over a million signatures calling for the FCC to save real net neutrality -- the kind with no fast lanes. Everywhere Chairman Wheeler went, from Silicon Valley start ups to Oakland community meetings to Silicon Alley venture capitalists, Wheeler heard the same message over and over.


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No blocking, no paid prioritization. As the millions of comments and letters poured in, and as the activism and protest refused to die away, Chairman Wheeler did something rare in Washington.

The FCC's Authority to Regulate Net Neutrality After Comcast v. FCC - Digital Library

He actually started to rethink and reevaluate his initial position. This did not happen overnight. Getting to full reclassification took a long time, cycling through every other alternative first. This debate occurs in the context of repeated attempts by the Federal Communications Commission FCC to realize those standards by regulating Internet service providers ISPs under broad statutory authority that it derives from the U.

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The nature of that authority has been debated in Congress and litigated in federal courts, providing incrementally more clarity to the boundaries of the FCC's jurisdiction, but leaving the questions of whether and precisely how the U. This article elucidates the disputes that have led to this fulcrum point for the FCC and specifically evaluates the effectiveness of reclassification as an opportunity to settle the net neutrality debate. Federal agencies, lawmakers, United States Courts, advocacy groups, businesses and journalists refer to the concept interchangeably as net neutrality, Internet neutrality, Internet freedom or the open Internet.

For consistency, I use the term net neutrality throughout this article. Net neutrality has been a fiercely contested concept since the inception and wide adoption of the Internet in the United States. For roughly the last decade, lawmakers, advocacy groups, entrepreneurs, telecommunications companies and legal scholars have attempted to define the core practical measures and, importantly, the federal legal framework for codifying and enforcing this ethos.

While no conclusive balance of the competing interests among these communities has been struck, the FCC has produced the most comprehensive national standards and guidance to date. Since , the conversation has been framed by the Open Internet Order [ 1 ], which sought to codify net neutrality's principles of transparency and equity through the FCC's authority to regulate interstate and international telecommunications under the Communications Act of , as amended by the Telecommunications Act of [ 2 ]. ISPs have consistently challenged this authority in U.

Net neutrality advocates charge that the replacement would enable discriminatory ISP practices, shedding new light on the long negotiation over the federal government's responsibility to steward freedom of speech, innovation and entrepreneurship, and an informed citizenry. The Communications Act of , a New Deal law that empowered the new independent federal agency to implement and enforce broadcast, telephone and other wire communications standards, initiated the FCC's regulatory authority in this arena.

The FCC Just Killed Net Neutrality. Now What?

Given the need to update federal law and the FCC's statutory mandate to emerging telecommunications technologies like broadband Internet, congress amended the Act in Whether and how the FCC could implement and enforce regulations upon ISPs as these newly codified Title I information service providers was a question left open after legal challenges to two attempted FCC enforcement procedures. In the U.

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Finding that the U. In , however, the U. Supreme Court ruled [ 5 ] in the FCC's favor on the case brought against it by the cities of Arlington and San Antonio, Texas, over the commission's interpretation of enforcement procedures pertaining to satellite broadcasting. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that the commission, like other federal agencies, had broad freedom to interpret the bounds of its regulatory jurisdiction where those bounds are left ambiguous by lack of specificity in the statutory mandate provided by Congress.

In keeping with the license effectively granted it by the Supreme Court, the FCC had by this time built its legal framework for regulatory authority over broadband Internet services from the foundation laid by Section of the Telecommunications Act of , which reads, in part:.


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The Commission…shall encourage the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans…by utilizing, in a manner consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity, price cap regulation, regulatory forbearance, measures that promote competition in the local telecommunications market, or other regulating methods that remove barriers to infrastructure investment. If the Commission's determination is negative, it shall take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market.

The term advanced telecommunications used in Section is explicitly defined within the Code as including broadband Internet. The order describes the history and principles of net neutrality, extolling its norms and de facto rules for stewarding innovation and entrepreneurship, free speech and an informed citizenry online.

It furthermore documents explicit financial incentives for ISPs to hinder these pursuits by arbitrarily blocking or degrading services, and so briefly outlined the rules, implementation and enforcement procedures that it devised to protect net neutrality under authority specifically derived from Section Shortly thereafter, the FCC exercised this authority to again protect net neutrality norms against the financial incentives of Comcast in particular.

In a January memorandum opinion and order [ 6 ], the FCC approved the proposed merger of Comcast and NBC Universal with the strict provision that Comcast not discriminatorily act to slow Internet traffic. Such wielding of regulatory authority drew new challenges, both in the courts as well as on the floors of Congress. Walden's amendment and the greater appropriations bill passed the House, the bill passed the Senate, but nothing ultimately reached the president's desk by the end of the congressional term.