Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

Net Neutrality Bill: Broadband Internet Is An Essential Service

August 1, 2022

Net Neutrality Bill: Broadband Internet Is An Essential Service

Last Thursday, House and Senate Democrats introduced the Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act, a bill to reclassify broadband Internet as an essential service and giving the FCC power to prohibit discriminatory practices like blocking and throttling certain lanes of internet traffic. The essential nature of broadband should be obvious to all, especially after COVID lockdown moved so much public sector, education, and business activity online.

In 2015, the FCC voted to regulate broadband as a common carrier under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, ensuring utility-style regulation and non-discrimination rules, but this was reversed by Trump appointees in 2017.

According to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “the Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act will secure a fairer, more accessible digital future by enshrining into federal law a common-sense value: everyone deserves access to affordable, high-speed internet service.” A United Nations report declared Internet access a human right in 2011.

The Congressional effort is being led by Rep. Doris Matsui (D, CA-6) and Senators Edward Markey (D-MA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

More:

“Net neutrality bill unveiled to codify broadband Internet as essential service,” Darryl Coote, UPI

“Democrats revive the fight for net neutrality,” Makena Kelly, The Verge

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Cult-Like Online Conspiracy Theory Groups

March 10, 2022

Dr. Janja Lalich explains the cult-like nature of many online conspiracy theory groups, how people get caught up in them, and what can be done to help those who have fallen into them. A Wired video.

Related:

“Why people believe Covid conspiracy theories: could folklore hold the answer?” Anna Leach and Miles Probyn, The Guardian

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

How to read privacy policies like a lawyer

February 28, 2019

Digital privacy policies are . . . complicated. The Verge asked a couple of lawyers for some tips.

More:

“How to read a privacy policy,” Ashley Carman, The Verge

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More Than Half the World Is On the Internet

June 19, 2018

More Than Half the World Is On the Internet

Today more half the world’s population uses the Internet, says venture capitalist Mary Meeker in her 2018 Internet Trends report:

“At 3.6 billion, the number of Internet users has surpassed half the world’s population. When markets reach mainstream, new growth gets harder to find — evinced by 0% new smartphone unit shipment growth in 2017.”

Other takeaways:

Adults average 5.8 hours per day with digital media, 3.3 hours of that via mobile phones or tablets.

“Google, in effect, is evolving from an ad platform to a commerce platform”; Amazon is doing the reverse.

More:

“More than half of world population now uses the Internet,” Dan Primack and Ina Fried, Axios

“Here’s Mary Meeker’s essential 2018 Internet Trends report,” Josh Constine, Techcrunch

“Mary Meeker’s 2018 internet trends report: All the slides, plus analysis,” By Rani Molla, Recode

Presentation video

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Image (“Women of WiFi, after Caillebotte”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length. Not all comments are posted. Got a problem with that? Write about it on your own blog.

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Cambridge Analytica & the Trump Campaign

March 22, 2018

Cambridge Analytica & the Trump Campaign

During 2016 the Trump presidential campaign paid $5.9 million to data firm Cambridge Analytica, which harvested information from 50 million Facebook users in order to develop psychographic data it used to micro-target advertising to individual voters. Unless it didn’t.

Cambridge Analytica illegally mined FB user data for the Trump campaign. Unless Cambridge Analytica was merely using Facebook the way it was designed to be used, and it’s really Facebook that’s at fault.

Trump Campaign factotum Jared Kushner brought in Cambridge Analytica, funded by the U.S. conservative Mercer family, with links to a Chinese firm through U.S. mercenary Erik Prince, and Steve Bannon was a board member. SCL Group, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, is British. At the same time, the Make America Number 1 Super PAC paid Cambridge Analytica $5.7 million to develop negative ads targeting Hilary Clinton. The PAC-Trump campaign coordination and foreign involvement are violations of federal election law. Maybe.

In short, Cambridge Analytica was the secret weapon that helped get the 70,000 Trump votes in key states that swayed the 2016 presidential election. Or it wasn’t.

Clear?

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Don’t Let the FCC Break the Internet!

December 14, 2017

Don't Let the FCC Break the Internet!

Today, Thursday, December 14th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote to replace current rules enforcing net neutrality. Who thinks that’s a good idea? The gatekeepers who will become toll collectors: Comcast, Verizon and AT&T. Who thinks that’s awful? The guys who built the Internet and the people and companies who actually use it. Even the FCC’s own chief technology officer thinks it’s a bad thing.

What can you do? Answers here.

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Don’t Let the FCC Break the Internet!

December 13, 2017

This Thursday, December 14th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote to replace current rules enforcing net neutrality. Who thinks that’s a good idea? The gatekeepers who will become toll collectors: Comcast, Verizon and AT&T. Who thinks that’s awful? The guys who built the Internet and the people and companies who actually use it.

What can you do? Answers here.

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Don’t Let the FCC Break the Internet!

December 12, 2017

This Thursday, December 14th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote to replace current rules enforcing net neutrality. Who thinks that’s a good idea? The gatekeepers who will become toll collectors: Comcast, Verizon and AT&T. Who thinks that’s awful? The guys who built the Internet and the people and companies who actually use it.

What can you do? Answers here.

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Short link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-qOS

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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If Net Neutrality Goes, the Web Will Be Full of Tollbooths

July 12, 2017

If Net Neutrality Goes, the Web Will Be Full of Tollbooths

The Internet is a utility, a vital public asset in a free society. Who could disagree with that? The Trump Administration. Learn more here:

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