Internet For the 1 Percent: New FCC Rules Strike Down Net Neutrality, Opening Fast Lanes for Fees
Federal regulators have unveiled new rules that would effectively abandon net neutrality, the concept of a free and open Internet.
The proposal from the Federal Communications Commission would allow Internet providers like Verizon or Comcast to charge media companies like Netflix or Amazon extra fees in order to receive preferential treatment, such as faster speeds for their content.
If the new rules are voted on next month, the FCC will begin accepting public comments and issue final regulations by the end of summer.
“What we’re really seeing here is the transformation of the Internet where the 1 percent get the fast lanes, and the 99 percent get the slow lanes,” says Michael Copps, retired FCC Commissioner.
“If we let that happen, we have really undercut the potential of this transformative technology. This has to be stopped.”
We are also joined by Astra Taylor, author of the new book, “The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age."
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Federal regulators have unveiled new rules that would effectively abandon net neutrality, the concept of a free and open Internet. The proposal from the Federal Communications Commission would allow Internet providers like Verizon or Comcast to charge media companies like Netflix or Amazon extra fees in order to receive preferential treatment, such as faster speeds for their content. Under the FCC’s proposal, broadband providers would have to disclose the terms they offer for the more rapid lanes and would be required to act in what it called a, quote, "commercially reasonable manner."
AMY GOODMAN: Media reform groups like Free Press denounced the new rules, saying, quote, "Giving the green light to pay-for-priority schemes will be a disaster for startups, nonprofits and everyday Internet users who cannot afford these unnecessary tolls. These users will all be pushed onto the Internet dirt road, while deep pocketed Internet companies enjoy the benefits of the newly created fast lanes," Free Press said. In fact, this statement echoes what then-Senator Barack Obama said about net neutrality in 2007, when it was a key part of his campaign platform in the 2008 presidential election.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA: I will take a backseat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality, because once providers start to privilege some applications or websites over others, then the smaller voices get squeezed out, and we all lose. The Internet is perhaps the most open network in history, and we have to keep it that way.
AMY GOODMAN: That was November 2007.
full link and video below
Hackers targeting newly discovered flaw in Internet Explorer
By Gail Sullivan
April 28 at 2:29 am
Hackers are already at work exploiting a newly discovered flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer that has left more than half of the world’s Web browsers vulnerable to attack, including those on many federal government computers.
Microsoft said it was aware of “limited target attacks” in a security advisory posted Saturday. The flaw affects Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11. However, hackers are mostly targeting versions 9 through 11, according to the security firm FireEye, which discovered the flaw.
The more “rights” a user has, the worse the attack could be. Microsoft explains in its security post:
The most vulnerable versions represent 26 percent of the total browser market, according to FireEye, which has termed the repeated assaults “Operation Clandestine Fox.” But that number jumps to about 56 percent when you include IE versions 6 through 8.
This is what is known as a “zero-day” threat because there was zero time between the discovery of the vulnerability and the first attack by someone exploiting it.
Not every vulnerable Web browser has been compromised. To exploit the vulnerability, hackers have to trick users into taking some sort of action such as clicking on a link or opening an e-mail attachment.
The flaw relies on a well-known flash exploitation technique to bypass Windows security protection. Once the bad guys are in, they can install malicious software without users knowing.
“An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.”
Microsoft says once it finishes investigating the issue it will issue a fix for the problem, either in a monthly security update or a special security update.
Until the patch is released, using a different browser such as Chrome, Safari or Firefox is good idea.
If using another browser isn’t an option, Microsoft suggests downloading its Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit version 4.1 to help guard against attacks until a patch is released.
FireEye suggests disabling the Adobe Flash plugin because the attacks won’t work without it. FireEye also said running IE in enhanced protection mode, which is only available for IE versions 10 and 11, will protect users from attacks.
This is the first major security disaster for users who still run Microsoft XP, the 12-year-old operating system that Microsoft discontinued support for earlier this month. The short-term solutions do not work with the old operating system, and no patches will be released to fix it.
Many federal agencies still use XP despite repeated advance warnings from Microsoft that impending discontinuance of support would leave their computers vulnerable.
About 10 percent of government computers still run XP, including thousands of computers on classified military and diplomatic networks, according to The Washington Post’s Craig Timberg and Ellen Nakashima.
Tech Week: Look At The Cloud, Aereo In Court, Net Neutrality
by Elise Hu
April 26, 2014 5:28 AM ET