Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Comcast wins against FCC in effort to control what we see on the Internet

It seems to me that we have too many federal judges who are more loyal to business interests than to the constitution of the United States. Recently the Supreme Court said businesses can spend as much as they want on political ads; now a federal court says owners of cable networks can actually give privileges in exchange for money (or political favors?) as to what information is provided to the public via the Internet.

FCC loses key ruling on Internet `neutrality'
By JOELLE TESSLER, AP Technology Writer
April 6, 2010

People use computers at an internet cafe in Wuhan Reuters – People use computers at an internet cafe in Wuhan, Hubei province, January 23, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer
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By JOELLE TESSLER, AP Technology Writer Joelle Tessler, Ap Technology Writer – 3 hrs 1 min ago

WASHINGTON – A federal court threw the future of Internet regulations into doubt Tuesday with a far-reaching decision that went against the Federal Communications Commission and could even hamper the government's plans to expand broadband access in the United States.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacks authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks. That was a big victory for Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable company, which had challenged the FCC's authority to impose such "network neutrality" obligations on broadband providers.

Supporters of network neutrality, including the FCC chairman, have argued that the policy is necessary to prevent broadband providers from favoring or discriminating against certain Web sites and online services, such as Internet phone programs or software that runs in a Web browser. Advocates contend there is precedent: Nondiscrimination rules have traditionally applied to so-called "common carrier" networks that serve the public, from roads and highways to electrical grids and telephone lines...

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