Posts Tagged ‘regulations’

Court Upholds Net Neutrality

June 15, 2016

Court Upholds Net Neutrality

In a 2-to-1 ruling,  the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has upheld new FCC rules prohibiting Internet service providers from selectively blocking or slowing some sites and services and speeding up favored ones, observing:

“Given the tremendous impact third-party internet content has had on our society, it would be hard to deny its dominance in the broadband experience. Over the past two decades, this content has transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, from profound actions like choosing a leader, building a career, and falling in love to more quotidian ones like hailing a cab and watching a movie.”

ISPs had argued that they provide luxury “information services” and should be lightly regulated, but the court upheld the FCC’s new rules classifying them as “telecommunications services” or utilities, which are more strictly regulated. Expect this matter to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

More:

“Cable and telecom companies just lost a huge court battle on net neutrality,” Brian Fung, Washington Post

“Tom Wheeler defeats the broadband industry: Net neutrality wins in court,” Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

“Net Neutrality Ruling Finally Rights a Terrible Wrong,” Micharl Copps, BillMoyer.com

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Feds to License Private Drones

October 20, 2015

Feds to License Private Drones

Just because a few hundred drones almost downed a bunch of airliners and emergency helicopters, Big Gummint wants to require companies and quadcopter hobbyists to get permits for their drones. Frat boys of all ages now fear that the Drone Police will yank their joysticks if when they fail breathalyzer tests. “Registering drones — that’s the first thing the nazis did when they came to power,” said some jerk sometime real soon …count on it.

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Internet Neutrality

February 27, 2015

Internet Neutrality

“The internet is the ultimate vehicle for free expression. The internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules.” —  FCC Chair Tom Wheeler

The FCC voted to adopt stronger Network Neutrality rules on Thursday. Network Neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all internet traffic equally, that ISPs shouldn’t be allowed to block or degrade access to certain websites or services or set aside a “fast lane” to allow ISP-favored content to load more quickly. Broadband providers will now be regulated as public utilities, and it is this “Title II reclassification” move that will give the agency broader authority to establish network neutrality rules.  Expect resistance from ISPs, in the form of PR campaigns and lawsuits.

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Net Neutrality: Obama Observes the Obvious

November 11, 2014

Net Neutrality: Obama Observes the Obvious

The USA, which invented the Internet, is 43rd in world Internet speed, behind Estonia. High-speed broadband access costs three times as much in the US as in the UK and France, more than five times as much as in South Korea. There are only a few broadband providers in the US, and 30% of Americans can only choose one due to monopoly local access rules. So naturally, instead of upgrading their networks to world standards, American Internet Service Providers plan to selectively slow down Web access unless customers cough up even more dough.

The FCC has been considering allowing the “Internet Fast Lanes” and opened proposed regs for public comment. 4 million outraged citizens told them to shove it.

President Obama has reasonably observed that Web access is a basic utility today and should be regulated like a utility. Naturally Comcast, VerizonTime Warner Cable, and AT&T are foaming at the mouth. They argue that regulation would stifle innovation, as if their strong-arm tactics haven’t clearly done that already (see “Estonia,” above). Republicans are raging against the Net Neutrality proposal, partly because big corporations fund campaigns but mostly because Obama is for it. But the FCC is an independent agency, theoretically insulated from presidential and congressional pressure, but a few protesters sat at the foot of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s driveway, blocking his car, so he’d have a better understanding of bandwidth throttling.

More:

“President Obama Urges FCC to Implement Stronger Net Neutrality Rules,” Ezra Mechaber, White House Blog

“Obama’s big net neutrality announcement, explained,” Timothy B. Lee, Vox

“Tim Wu says Obama’s net neutrality plan is ‘bold, courageous, and just obvious,'” Nilay Patel, The Verge

“Ted Cruz’s Net Neutrality Take Isn’t Just Dumb, It’s Dangerous,” Kate Knibbs, Gizmodo

“The legal arguments against a leading net neutrality proposal are weak,” Timothy B. Lee, Vox

Obama to the FCC: Adopt ‘the strongest possible rules’ on net neutrality, including Title II,” Brian Fung , Washington Post

“President Obama urges FCC to ban paid internet ‘fast lanes,’” Anne Flaherty, AP via PBS

“Obama calls for more regulation of Internet providers, industry fires back,” Fox News

“Obama’s Net Neutrality Push,” Ed Kilgore, Washington Monthly

“Obama’s Plan to Save the Internet,” Adam Clark Estes, Gizmodo

“Barack Obama’s support for net neutrality sets precedent for the rest of the world,” Alex Hern, The Guardian

“The FCC Fires Back At the President’s Net Neutrality Plan,” Alex Wilhelm, TechCrunch

“Obama’s Net Neutrality Statement Will Start a War on K Street,” John B. Judis, The New Republic

“Why the Public Utility Model Is the Wrong Approach for Internet Regulation,” Larry Downes, Harvard Business Review

“By Backing Net Neutrality, Obama Delivers Blow to Corporate Giveaways,” Rebecca Leber, The New Republic

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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DC Tattoo Cooling-Off Period

September 9, 2013

DC Tattoo Cooling-Off Period

The DC Department of Health has proposed regulations that would require a 24-hour waiting before customers could get tattoos or body piercing in Washington’s body art parlors. There’s a public comment period. Maybe someone will ask if there should be compulsory breathalyzer tests instead.

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Tattoo Frontier: Washington DC

December 16, 2011

Tattoo Frontier: Washington DC

“If you’re a barber in the District, you have to be licensed and regulated by a city board. But if you’re a tattoo artist or piercer, a certain libertarian ethos seems to govern your trade within city limits—currently, the District remains one of the last places in the country in which tattooing and piercing are wholly unregulated.”

More:

“Regulations on Horizon for D.C. Tattoo Artists,” Martin Austermuhle, DCist

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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From the North Pole Compliance Office

December 23, 2010

From the North Pole Compliance Office

Greetings Boy or Girl:

We have reviewed your Naughty/Nice Statement for calendar 2010. A coal-filled stocking will serve as your Notice of Naughtiness. If you are not in receipt of same, have a happy holiday.

Sincerely,

The North Pole Compliance Office

 

Image (“Santa’s Spreadsheet, after Haddon Sundblom”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Flying Home

December 30, 2009

Flying Home

If you are flying home after the holidays, please be aware that more stringent airport security measures are now in effect.

Details here, here, here, and here.

 UPDATE:Underpants of Mass Destruction.”

Hat tip: Erika Niedowski, Washington City Paper.

Image 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.

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