First news that the FCC is actually going to promulgate net neutrality rules this coming Monday.
This essentially means the FCC has put its collective foot down on the issue. Here’s the thing, a lot of people are shocked that the FCC is doing this but I have to make it clear how the FCC operates.
The FCC runs on comments to its proposals. Every now and then the FCC will put out a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) and invite relevant parties to voice their support or rejection of the NPRM. The thing is, the FCC counts every submission as unique even if provided by the same person over and over.
So in this case it worked in our favor but remember, other groups like the Parents Television Council (all six of the people who probably belong to the group!) uses this to support the obscenity provisions that all broadcasters must follow.
In other news, a bill called the “JUSTICE” Act has been submitted. This bill corrects some of the more onerous parts of the “PATRIOT” Act but it goes further. It revokes the immunity granted to telecom carriers over the Bush era warrantless wiretap program. Only one telecom carrier didn’t roll over for the program, that was Qwest. Every other company including at&t, Verizon, et al rolled over for it.
I hope this bill passes. I want to see at&t and Verizon pay through the nose for allowing the NSA to spy on U.S. citizens.
From the article linked above:
One of the most significant aspects of the JUSTICE Act is that it will remove the retroactive immunity grants that were given to the telecom companies that participated in the NSA warrantless surveillance program. The companies that cooperated with the surveillance program likely violated several laws, including section 222 of the Communications Act, which prohibits disclosure of network customer information. The immunity grants have prevented the telecommunications companies that voluntarily participated in this program from being held accountable in court.
They should be held accountable and as I said, at least the legal team at Qwest knew it was wrong. Why didn’t the legal teams at at&t and Verizon not know this?
You know now that I think about it, this really isn’t a good week for the telecom companies.