Archive for the 'Internet Regulation' Category

International Trade Commission and Digital Data Regultation: "Brief of PK and EFF in ClearCorrect v. ITC"

Posted in Internet Regulation, Legislation and Government Regulation on October 17th, 2014

The EFF has released "Brief of PK and EFF in ClearCorrect v. ITC."

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

In the sweeping and unprecedented decision below, the International Trade Commission found that its authority to regulate trade extends to pure "electronic transmission of digital data" untied to any physical medium. Generally, by statute, the Commission's jurisdiction is limited to oversight of "importation . . . of articles." However, the Commission expansively construed the term "articles" to potentially include anything "bought and sold in commerce," thereby leading to its conclusion that digital data was an article of importation. This broadly sketched statutory construction fails to indicate clearly any limiting principles on the Commission's power.

Among other things, the Commission's decision leaves open the question of whether all transmissions of telecommunications data are within the scope of its authority.

Digital Scholarship | "A Quarter-Century as an Open Access Publisher"

Be Sociable, Share!

    Net Neutrality: U.S. Court of Appeals for DC Rules FCC Lacks Authority to Regulate Comcast's BitTorrent Throttling

    Posted in Internet Regulation, Net Neutrality on April 7th, 2010

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled in Comcast v. FCC that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to require Comcast to stop throttling BitTorrent traffic.

    Here's an excerpt:

    Although the Commission once enjoyed broader authority over cable rates, see id. § 543(c)(4), its current authority is limited to setting standards for and overseeing local regulation of rates for "basic tier" service on certain cable systems. See id. § 543(b). In the Order, the Commission does not assert ancillary authority based on this narrow grant of regulatory power. Instead, the Order rests on the premise that section 1 gives the Commission ancillary authority to ensure reasonable rates for all communication services, including those, like video-ondemand, over which it has no express regulatory authority. . . .

    It is true that "Congress gave the [Commission] broad and adaptable jurisdiction so that it can keep pace with rapidly evolving communications technologies." Resp't's Br. 19. It is also true that "[t]he Internet is such a technology," id., indeed, "arguably the most important innovation in communications in a generation," id. at 30. Yet notwithstanding the "difficult regulatory problem of rapid technological change" posed by the communications industry, "the allowance of wide latitude in the exercise of delegated powers is not the equivalent of untrammeled freedom to regulate activities over which the statute fails to confer . . . Commission authority." NARUC II, 533 F.2d at 618 (internal quotation marks and footnote omitted). Because the Commission has failed to tie its assertion of ancillary authority over Comcast's Internet service to any "statutorily mandated responsibility," Am. Library, 406 F.3d at 692, we grant the petition for review and vacate the Order.

    The FCC issued the following statement about the ruling:

    The FCC is firmly committed to promoting an open Internet and to policies that will bring the enormous benefits of broadband to all Americans. It will rest these policies—all of which will be designed to foster innovation and investment while protecting and empowering consumers—on a solid legal foundation.

    Today's court decision invalidated the prior Commission’s approach to preserving an open Internet. But the Court in no way disagreed with the importance of preserving a free and open Internet; nor did it close the door to other methods for achieving this important end.

    Read more about it at "Comcast 1, FCC 0: What to Look For in the Inevitable Rematch"; "Court Rejects FCC Authority Over the Internet"; "Is Net Neutrality Dead? (FAQ)"; and "Public Knowledge Explains: The Comcast-BitTorrent Decision."

    Be Sociable, Share!

      Internet Domain Names to Contain Non-Latin Characters

      Posted in Internet Regulation on November 1st, 2009

      ICANN has appoved the use of non-Latin characters in Internet domain names.

      Here's an excerpt from the press release:

      The first Internet addresses containing non-Latin characters from start to finish will soon be online thanks to today's approval of the new Internationalized Domain Name Fast Track Process by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers board.

      "The coming introduction of non-Latin characters represents the biggest technical change to the Internet since it was created four decades ago," said ICANN chairman Peter Dengate Thrush. "Right now Internet address endings are limited to Latin characters—A to Z. But the Fast Track Process is the first step in bringing the 100,000 characters of the languages of the world online for domain names."

      ICANN's Fast Track Process launches on 16 November 2009. It will allow nations and territories to apply for Internet extensions reflecting their name—and made up of characters from their national language. If the applications meet criteria that includes government and community support and a stability evaluation, the applicants will be approved to start accepting registrations.

      "This is only the first step, but it is an incredibly big one and an historic move toward the internationalization of the Internet," said Rod Beckstrom, ICANN's President and CEO. "The first countries that participate will not only be providing valuable information of the operation of IDNs in the domain name system, they are also going to help to bring the first of billions more people online – people who never use Roman characters in their daily lives."

      Be Sociable, Share!

        Informed P2P User Act Hearing

        Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Internet Regulation, Legislation and Government Regulation, P2P File Sharing on May 5th, 2009

        On 3/5/2009, Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) introduced the Informed P2P User Act. The Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection of the Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on the bill today.

        Here's an excerpt from Marc Rotenberg's testimony (Rotenberg is the Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center):

        In the consideration of this bill, it is important to understand that P2P programs are used for a wide variety of function from the sharing of music to Internet-based telephony as well as scientific research. Even the military makes use of P2P networks. The technique is also important in countries where Internet censorship is a threat.

        In the most generic sense, a P2P network is a technical description, much like saying a telephone network or the Internet. It is no intrinsic application, other than architecture that allows nodes to exchange information equally with other nodes in the network. Some Internet scholars have observed that this architecture reflects the collaboration among individuals that has helped spur the growth of the Internet. Professor Yochai Benkler refers to this as "Commons Based Peer Production."

        No doubt part of the bill aims to discourage the use of file sharing techniques that may infringe copyright as well as making users vulnerable to certain types of inadvertent file sharing. But there is some risk that the bill would also discourage the use of file sharing techniques that do not raise such concerns. More generally, it appears to be posting a warning sign on a very wide variety of applications that most likely have little to do with the sponsor’s concern.

        Read more about it at "H.R. 1319 Wants You to Know When You're Sharing Files, but Will Drown You in Pop-Ups" and "P2P Bill Could Regulate Web Browsers, FTP Clients."

        DigitalKoans

        Be Sociable, Share!

          Bill Would Prohibit Internet Use Caps: Congressman Eric Massa to Introduce “Broadband Internet Fairness Act”

          Posted in Internet Regulation, Net Neutrality on April 14th, 2009

          Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY) has announced that he will introduce the "Broadband Internet Fairness Act," which would prohibit Internet use caps.

          Here's an excerpt from the press release:

          The Massa Broadband Internet Fairness Act would prohibit unfair tiered price structures from internet providers. The bill will also address the importance of helping broadband providers create jobs and increase their bandwidth while increasing competition in areas currently served by only one provider.

          "I am taking a leadership position on this issue because of all the phone calls, emails and faxes I've received from my district and all over the country," said Congressman Eric Massa. "Time Warner has announced an ill-conceived plan to charge residential and business broadband fees based on the amount of data they download. They have yet to explain how increased internet usage increases their costs." . . .

          In the past week, there has been a significant uproar in the Rochester, NY area regarding Time Warner's announcement that they will "test market" a plan to charge customers based on how much they download. The initial proposal was to introduce a 5, 10, 20, or 40 gb/month downloading cap. If customers went over the cap, they would start mounting additional fees.

          Then today Time Warner announced a new tiered plan similar to the previous one. However, for a consumer to receive the same unlimited internet that they currently do for around $40 per month, they would be billed $150 per month under the new plan.

          Read more about it at "Congressman: There Should Be a Law against Internet Caps!" and "Time Warner Faces Backlash on Broadband Caps."

          Be Sociable, Share!

            COPA, RIP

            Posted in Internet Regulation on January 21st, 2009

            The Supreme Court has refused to hear a government appeal of Mukasey v. A.C.L.U., a case about the constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act of 1998 (COPA). This action effectively kills COPA after a very long legal battle.

            Read more about it at "After 10 Years, an Infamous Internet-Censorship Act is Finally Dead," "Supreme Court Deals Death Blow to Antiporn Law," and "Ten Years of Futility: COPA Finally, Truly Dead."

            Be Sociable, Share!

              Welcome to the Filtered Internet: No Opt-Out for Australians

              Posted in Digital Copyright Wars, Internet Regulation on October 15th, 2008

              Australia's Plan for Cyber-Safety will not offer an Internet filtering opt-out. Rather, Australians will have to choose between two filtered options: one blocks inappropriate content for children, the other "illegal" content.

              Read more about it at "Australians Censor the Internet," "Australia Continues Down the Slippery Slope of Censorship. . . 'For The Children,' of Course," and "No Opt-Out of Filtered Internet."

              Be Sociable, Share!

                Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future

                Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Digital Rights Management, Internet Regulation on October 2nd, 2008

                Noted copyright freedom fighter and science fiction author Cory Doctorow has released a free version of Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future under a Creative Commons U.S. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. Doctorow is also a major contributor to the Boing Boing Weblog.

                Be Sociable, Share!

                  Page 1 of 212

                  DigitalKoans

                  DigitalKoans

                  Digital Scholarship

                  Copyright © 2005-2014 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

                  Creative Commons License

                  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.