Tag: internet

Obama to regulate the internet with a mystery proposal

federal court
President Obama wants his executive branch to resemble the opaque, power-hungry political machinations in Chicago, he seems to be succeeding in the area of Internet regulation. Last April, a federal court told the Federal Communications Commission that it has no business regulating the Internet. Unfortunately, judicial rejection of the commission’s first swing at the “net neutrality” ball — the idea the FCC must regulate the Internet to insure everybody has equal access — didn’t deter Obama’s FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski, from taking another whack. He’s bringing a new set of proposed net neutrality regulations to the five-member panel Tuesday. Unfortunately, nobody knows any details of the new proposal because Genachowski has kept them secret until the last possible minute even as he rushed them forward for a vote. How ironic that the Internet, the great and empowering liberator of information that “wants to be free,” is being chopped up behind closed doors by an unelected panel. Note, too, that this is being considered by the FCC on the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year.
In their net neutrality quest, Genachowski and two of his fellow Democratic appointees are working to expand government power into an area where the commission has no jurisdiction, under the guise of solving a problem that does not exist. Meredith Baker, a Republican FCC appointee, summarized the situation well: “We have two branches of government — Congress and the courts — expressing grave concerns with our agency becoming increasingly unmoored from our statutory authority. By seeking to regulate the Internet now, we exceed the authority Congress has given us and justify those concerns.” Incoming House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., has called on the FCC to “cease and desist.”

Has Julius conquered the Web

Contentious Internet traffic rules facing a vote next week are likely to be adopted without radically veering from a proposal unveiled earlier in the month, telecommunications policy analysts said on Wednesday.

The Federal Communications Commission will vote on Dec. 21 on whether to adopt regulations that ban the blocking of lawful traffic but allow Internet service providers to ration Web traffic on their networks.

The proposal laid out two weeks ago by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski was met with concern from the other members of the FCC, putting in question the likelihood of winning over a majority of the five-member FCC.

The EU wants to govern the internet

would enshrine in law the founding principles of open standards and net neutrality, and protect the web from political interference.

The EU wants to set out principles to govern the internet. The proposal was presented at the Internet Governance Forum in Lithuania last week, and outlined 12 “principles of internet governance”, including a commitment from countries to sustain the technological foundations that underpin the web’s infrastructure.

The draft law has been likened to the Space Treaty, signed in 1967, which stated that space exploration should be carried out for the benefit of all nations, and guaranteed “free access to all areas of celestial bodies”.

Internet users ‘could suffer brownouts due to YouTube and iPlayer’Under the proposed terms of the law, there would be cross-border co-operation between countries to identify and address security vulnerability and protect the network from possible cyber attacks or cyber terrorism.

Snapshot of global internet speeds revealed

The data, from network giant Akamai reveals the average global net speed is only 1.7Mbps (megabits per second) although some countries have made strides towards faster services.

The fastest broadband city in the world is Masan in South Korea.

The UK has slipped slightly compared to its 23rd ranking in the last Akamai report, which are compiled quarterly.

“Other countries have got faster,” said David Belson, head of market intelligence at Akamai.

The Akamai State of the Internet report finds that the average maximum speed enjoyed by UK surfers is 12Mbps.

Even in South Korea, which tops the speed league table and is often perceived as enjoying super-fast broadband as the norm, the average speed is a relatively slow 12Mbps, with the average maximum hitting 33Mbps.

Is Google running the world (or Trying To)?

Whoever controls the gates of the Internet and the flow of its information controls the world — and right now, Google, with its massive reach, is in control.

But the immense — and growing — power of America’s search giant poses risks for privacy and competition, and raises the question, Is Google too big?

Obama internet kill switch plan approved by US Senate

A US Senate committee has approved a wide-ranging cybersecurity bill that some critics have suggested would give the US president the authority to shut down parts of the Internet during a cyberattack.

Senator Joe Lieberman and other bill sponsors have refuted the charges that the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act gives the president an Internet “kill switch.” Instead, the bill puts limits on the powers the president already has to cause “the closing of any facility or stations for wire communication” in a time of war, as described in the Communications Act of 1934, they said in a breakdown of the bill published on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee website.

Senate Bill Would Give President Emergency Control of Internet

A Senate bill would offer President Obama emergency control of the Internet and may give him a “kill switch” to shut down online traffic by seizing private networks — a move cybersecurity experts worry will choke off industry and civil liberties.

Details of a revamped version of the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 emerged late Thursday, months after an initial version authored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., was blasted in Silicon Valley as dangerous government intrusion.

“In the original bill they empowered the president to essentially turn off the Internet in the case of a ‘cyber-emergency,’ which they didn’t define,” said Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which represents the telecommunications industry.

Washington is hyping the threat to justify regulating the Internet

Networks have been under attack — and successfully handled by operators — as long as they’ve been around. Be wary of calls for more government supervision of the Internet.

We marched into Baghdad on flimsy evidence and we might be about to make the same mistake in cyberspace.

Over the past few weeks, there has been a steady drumbeat of alarmist rhetoric about potential threats online. At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing this month, chairman Carl Levin said that “cyberweapons and cyberattacks potentially can be devastating, approaching weapons of mass destruction in their effects.”

The increased consternation began with the suspected Chinese breach of Google’s servers earlier this year. Since then, press accounts, congressional pronouncements, and security industry talk have increasingly sown panic about an amorphous cyberthreat.