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Old 05-14-2006, 03:56 PM
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Default RICO suit will be needed to be filed.


Although AT&T and Verizon are already feeling the ire of Americans, if this crap included below gets passed , we need to acknowledge that the NSA, etc.. bribed them to get our phone records, with them controlling the internet, (Quid Pro Quo).

http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/05/11/war_on_the_web.php

Robert Reich is professor of public policy at the Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He was secretary of labor in the Clinton administration.

This week, the House is expected to vote on something termed, in perfect Orwellian prose, the "Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006." It will be the first real battle in the coming War of Internet Democracy.

On one side are the companies that pipe the Internet into our homes and businesses. These include telecom giants like AT&T and Verizon and cable companies like Comcast. Call them the pipe companies.

On the other side are the people and businesses that send Internet content through the pipes. Some are big outfits like Yahoo, Google and Amazon, big financial institutions like Bank of America and Citigroup and giant media companies soon to pump lots of movies and TV shows on to the Internet.

But most content providers are little guys. They’re mom-and-pop operations specializing in, say, antique egg-beaters or Brooklyn Dodgers memorabilia. They’re anarchists, kooks and zealots peddling all sorts of crank ideas They’re personal publishers and small-time investigators. They include my son’s comedy troupe—streaming new videos on the Internet every week. They also include gazillions of bloggers—including my humble little blog and maybe even yours.

Until now, a basic principle of the Internet has been that the pipe companies can’t discriminate among content providers. Everyone who puts stuff up on the Internet is treated exactly the same. The net is neutral.

But now the pipe companies want to charge the content providers, depending on how fast and reliably the pipes deliver the content. Presumably, the biggest content providers would pay the most money, leaving the little content people in the slowest and least-reliable parts of the pipe. (It will take you five minutes to download my blog.)

The pipe companies claim unless they start charge for speed and reliability, they won’t have enough money to invest in the next generation of networks. This is an absurd argument. The pipes are already making lots of money off consumers who pay them for being connected to the Internet.

The pipes figure they can make even more money discriminating between big and small content providers because the big guys have deep pockets and will pay a lot to travel first class. The small guys who pay little or nothing will just have to settle for what’s left.

The House bill to be voted on this week would in effect give the pipes the green light to go ahead with their plan.
Price discrimination is as old as capitalism. Instead of charging everyone the same for the same product or service, sellers divide things up according to grade or quality. Buyers willing to pay the most can get the best, while other buyers get lesser quality, according to how much they pay. Theoretically, this is efficient. Sellers who also have something of a monopoly (as do the Internet pipe companies) can make a killing.

But even if it’s efficient, it’s not democratic. And here’s the rub. The Internet has been the place where Davids can take on Goliaths, where someone without resources but with brains and guts and information can skewer the high and mighty. At a time in our nation’s history when wealth and power are becoming more and more concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, it’s been the one forum in which all voices are equal.

Will the pipe companies be able to end Internet democracy? Perhaps if enough of the small guys make enough of a fuss, Congress may listen. But don’t bet on it. This Congress is not in the habit of listening to small guys. The best hope is that big content providers will use their formidable lobbying clout to demand net neutrality. The financial services sector, for example, is already spending billions on information technology, including online banking. Why would they want to spend billions more paying the pipe companies for the Internet access they already have?

The pipe companies are busily trying to persuade big content providers that it’s in their interest to pay for faster and more reliable Internet deliveries. Verizon’s chief Washington lobbyist recently warned the financial services industry that if it supports net neutrality, it won’t get the sophisticated data links it will need in the future. The pipes are also quietly reassuring the big content providers that they can pass along the fees to their customers.

Will the big content providers fall for it? Stay tuned for the next episode of Internet democracy versus monopoly capitalism.

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  #2  
Old 05-14-2006, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: RICO suit will be needed to be filed.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/051106I.shtml
Proposed Rule Changes Would Tangle the Web
By Michael Socolow
The Baltimore Sun

Tuesday 09 May 2006

Congress wants to change the Internet.

This is news to most people because the major news media have not actively pursued the story. Yet both the House and Senate commerce committees are promoting new rules governing the manner by which most Americans receive the Web. Congressional passage of new rules is widely anticipated, as is President Bush's signature. Once this happens, the Internet will change before your eyes.

The proposed House legislation, the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act (COPE), offers no protections for "network neutrality."

Currently, your Internet provider does not voluntarily censor the Web as it enters your home. This levels the playing field between the tiniest blog and the most popular Web site.

Yet the big telecom companies want to alter this dynamic. AT&T and Verizon have publicly discussed their plans to divide the information superhighway into separate fast and slow lanes. Web sites and services willing to pay a toll will be channeled through the fast lane, while all others will be bottled up in the slower lanes. COPE, and similar telecom legislation offered in the Senate, does nothing to protect the consumer from this transformation of the Internet.

The telecoms are frustrated that commercial Web sites reap unlimited profits while those providing entry to your home for these companies are prevented from fully cashing in. If the new telecom regulations pass without safeguarding net neutrality, the big telecom companies will be able to prioritize the Web for you. They will be free to decide which Web sites get to your computer faster and which ones may take longer - or may not even show up at all.

By giving the telecoms the ability to harness your Web surfing, the government will empower them to shake down the most profitable Web companies. These companies will sell access to you, to Amazon.com, Travelocity.com and even BaltimoreSun.com, etc. What if these companies elect not to pay? Then, when you type in "amazon.com," you might be redirected to barnesandnoble.com, or your lightning-quick DSL Internet service might suddenly move at horse-and-buggy speed.

It might appear that the direct ramifications of this bill are somewhat obscure. Why should you care, if your Internet fee isn't altered? Or if your Web surfing will (possibly) be only minimally disrupted? (The telecoms understand that completely barring access to certain sites - especially the most popular ones - would be counterproductive.)

You should care because any corporate restriction on information gathering directly counters the original purpose of the World Wide Web.

"Universality is essential to the Web," says its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee. "It loses its power if there are certain types of things to which you can't link."

If calling up the Web site of your favorite political commentator takes far longer than surfing to a commercial site, the new laws will have a direct impact on the Web's democratic utility. The proposed laws also facilitate future steps toward corporate censorship. Do you think that the telecoms, under the proposed regulations, would make it easy to visit the Web sites of their disgruntled - or possibly striking - employees?

The proposed new rules have received surprisingly sparse media coverage. The new laws have economic, political and social ramifications. There are several explanations for the silence.

The most probable is simply that because the laws have strong bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, they do not appear particularly newsworthy. COPE has been promoted vigorously in the House by both Texas Republican Joe L. Barton and Illinois Democrat Bobby L. Rush. While a few legislators are attempting to preserve net neutrality - most notably Democratic Rep. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts and Republican Sen. Olympia J. Snowe of Maine - they are clearly outnumbered.

The history of American telecommunications regulation does not offer a promising model for the future of net neutrality. In the late 1800s, Congress approved of Western Union, America's telegraph monopoly, censoring the Associated Press. The 1934 Communications Act resulted in political discussion over the national airwaves being tightly moderated by CBS and NBC.

Most telecom laws are sold to the public as the "natural evolution" of communications technology. Yet there is no truly natural evolution to our telecommunications laws. Only very rarely is regulation completely ordained by physics or technological limits. More commonly, it emerges from the political process. This is news to many Americans unaware of their own media history.

Many people believe the Internet's decentralized structure guarantees that no company or oligopoly could control it. Internet censorship - whether by corporate or state interests - simply sounds impossible. Yet not only is it theoretically possible, but the history of telecommunications regulation tells us it is probable. By the time the telecoms start changing what you see on your screen, it will be too late to complain.

--------

Michael Socolow is an assistant professor of communication and journalism at the University of Maine. His e-mail is michael.socolow@umit.maine.edu.
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  #3  
Old 05-14-2006, 03:59 PM
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: RICO suit will be needed to be filed.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/051106I.shtml
Proposed Rule Changes Would Tangle the Web
By Michael Socolow
The Baltimore Sun

Tuesday 09 May 2006

Congress wants to change the Internet.

This is news to most people because the major news media have not actively pursued the story. Yet both the House and Senate commerce committees are promoting new rules governing the manner by which most Americans receive the Web. Congressional passage of new rules is widely anticipated, as is President Bush's signature. Once this happens, the Internet will change before your eyes.

The proposed House legislation, the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act (COPE), offers no protections for "network neutrality."

Currently, your Internet provider does not voluntarily censor the Web as it enters your home. This levels the playing field between the tiniest blog and the most popular Web site.

Yet the big telecom companies want to alter this dynamic. AT&T and Verizon have publicly discussed their plans to divide the information superhighway into separate fast and slow lanes. Web sites and services willing to pay a toll will be channeled through the fast lane, while all others will be bottled up in the slower lanes. COPE, and similar telecom legislation offered in the Senate, does nothing to protect the consumer from this transformation of the Internet.

The telecoms are frustrated that commercial Web sites reap unlimited profits while those providing entry to your home for these companies are prevented from fully cashing in. If the new telecom regulations pass without safeguarding net neutrality, the big telecom companies will be able to prioritize the Web for you. They will be free to decide which Web sites get to your computer faster and which ones may take longer - or may not even show up at all.

By giving the telecoms the ability to harness your Web surfing, the government will empower them to shake down the most profitable Web companies. These companies will sell access to you, to Amazon.com, Travelocity.com and even BaltimoreSun.com, etc. What if these companies elect not to pay? Then, when you type in "amazon.com," you might be redirected to barnesandnoble.com, or your lightning-quick DSL Internet service might suddenly move at horse-and-buggy speed.

It might appear that the direct ramifications of this bill are somewhat obscure. Why should you care, if your Internet fee isn't altered? Or if your Web surfing will (possibly) be only minimally disrupted? (The telecoms understand that completely barring access to certain sites - especially the most popular ones - would be counterproductive.)

You should care because any corporate restriction on information gathering directly counters the original purpose of the World Wide Web.

"Universality is essential to the Web," says its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee. "It loses its power if there are certain types of things to which you can't link."

If calling up the Web site of your favorite political commentator takes far longer than surfing to a commercial site, the new laws will have a direct impact on the Web's democratic utility. The proposed laws also facilitate future steps toward corporate censorship. Do you think that the telecoms, under the proposed regulations, would make it easy to visit the Web sites of their disgruntled - or possibly striking - employees?

The proposed new rules have received surprisingly sparse media coverage. The new laws have economic, political and social ramifications. There are several explanations for the silence.

The most probable is simply that because the laws have strong bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, they do not appear particularly newsworthy. COPE has been promoted vigorously in the House by both Texas Republican Joe L. Barton and Illinois Democrat Bobby L. Rush. While a few legislators are attempting to preserve net neutrality - most notably Democratic Rep. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts and Republican Sen. Olympia J. Snowe of Maine - they are clearly outnumbered.

The history of American telecommunications regulation does not offer a promising model for the future of net neutrality. In the late 1800s, Congress approved of Western Union, America's telegraph monopoly, censoring the Associated Press. The 1934 Communications Act resulted in political discussion over the national airwaves being tightly moderated by CBS and NBC.

Most telecom laws are sold to the public as the "natural evolution" of communications technology. Yet there is no truly natural evolution to our telecommunications laws. Only very rarely is regulation completely ordained by physics or technological limits. More commonly, it emerges from the political process. This is news to many Americans unaware of their own media history.

Many people believe the Internet's decentralized structure guarantees that no company or oligopoly could control it. Internet censorship - whether by corporate or state interests - simply sounds impossible. Yet not only is it theoretically possible, but the history of telecommunications regulation tells us it is probable. By the time the telecoms start changing what you see on your screen, it will be too late to complain.

--------

Michael Socolow is an assistant professor of communication and journalism at the University of Maine. His e-mail is michael.socolow@umit.maine.edu.
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