There is no technical reason why one data plan should be able to access FaceTime and another not.Public Knowledge lawyer John Bergmayer • Discussing a controversial letter written by AT&T describing why the company plans to charge more to allow the usage of the iOS app FaceTime on its network, forcing consumers to switch to the company’s new Mobile Share plans to use the service. Their reasoning? “The FCC’s net neutrality rules do not regulate the availability to customers of applications that are preloaded on phones,” the company’s Bob Quinn writes. The decision may violate the FCC’s neutrality rules, though the FCC hasn’t responded on the matter. Hey Apple: Consider taking the app out of iOS6 and instead putting it prominently on the App Store, just to screw AT&T over.
If Comcast is violating the administration’s orders, it should face significant penalties so consumers know they can count on the administration to protect it from anticompetitive conduct.Senator Al Franken • In a statement, after sending a letter to the FCC and Department of Justice, requesting an investigation of possible violations of the conditions that Comcast agreed to when the company merged with NBC last year. “When the Obama administration signed off on Comcast’s merger with NBC Universal, it laid out a set of rules to prevent Comcast from squashing its competitors,” added Franken. Comcast has denied allegations of wrongdoing, saying that its On Demand service is subject to cable rules, but not internet regulations. source (via • follow)
They didn’t say anything about cash or jewelry, but the SEC did side with three AT&T investors — including the Beastie Boys’ Michael “Mike D” Diamond — who believed that shareholders should have a vote in the company’s net neutrality policy, because it has become part of the national debate. AT&T argued that the vote would “directly interfere with its network management practices”, but ultimately the SEC ruled that wireless providers must now allow for shareholder votes on net neutrality proposals. Should such proposals pass, providers would be required to “operate a neutral network with neutral routing along the company’s wireless infrastructure.” source
» But only if you used Megaupload to store them. Megaupload wasn’t just a place to share pirated movies; it also served as webspace for people to store their personal documents, pictures, hard drive backups, and the like. But Megaupload didn’t actually own the servers on which its data was stored—they outsourced that two other companies. Now that Megaupload’s been shut down, its assets have been frozen, and so it can’t keep paying the storage centers their fee. So, according to a letter from the US Attorney’s Office, the two data centers could start deleting the data as soon as this Thursday. That would be a shame for many, many people (although it should have been clear from the outset that Megaupload wasn’t the wisest place to back up one’s data). An attorney for Megaupload says he’s “cautiously optimistic” that they’ll be able to keep the data from being erased.
» This means there were 41% fewer websites accessible to China’s residents at the end of last year, compared to a year earlier. And the statistic comes directly from the Chinese government itself (well, a government-run think tank, at least), so it’s probably not an overstatement.
Wait, wait! Before you upload that episode of “Lil’ Bush” to YouTube, stop and ask yourself: Would I like to be a felon? Because if a new bill sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX) passes, you could be. Under current law, streaming copyrighted content is considered an unauthorized public performance, which isn’t a felony. The new law would change this classification, meaning that the seemingly-benevolent act of sharing “Freddie Got Fingered” with the world could land you in prison for five years. The law wouldn’t apply to viewers of illegal streaming, only providers, but still. Five years? source
This would harm investment, stifle innovation, and lead to job losses. As Americans become more aware of what’s happening here, I suspect many will be as alarmed as I am at the government’s intrusion.Senate Minority Leader Mitch “I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about” McConnell • Talking about net neutrality, which proves that he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. If only Ted Stevens were still alive to remind Mitch that the ‘net is a series of tubes. What happens to your own personal Internet when an obstructionist jerk like McConnell tries to favor large corporations over consumers? It won’t be like a dump truck. It’ll be like your own busted series of tubes that you’re paying out of the wazoo for. All because McConnell wants you to think that all government regulation is bad, even when it’s not bad. While this net neutrality policy is kinda weaksauce, it’s better than letting AT&T and Comcast regulate usage. source (via • follow)
Every time and in every way that the telecommunications careers have had power or control, we the people wind up getting screwed. Every audience that I speak this statement and phrase to bursts into applause.Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak • Offering up his take on the whole net neutrality battle, an argument he explains in great detail by noting how he, being the inventive guy he is, has run up against the big telecommunications companies multiple times in his life, first with his dial-a-joke service (which he had to stop because the cost proved to be way too expensive), and then, years later, with his nice-guy attempt to wire up his entire neighborhood with free cable access (no, really). The Woz’s main argument in this case? “Local ISP’s should provide connection to the Internet but then it should be treated as though you own those wires and can choose what to do with them when and how you want to,” he writes, “as long as you don’t destruct them.” That’s something that a lot of people can certainly get behind, for sure. source (via • follow)
In case you’re concerned about this net neutrality mess, you might want to keep an eye out this week. See, the FCC is about to decide on a compromise proposal which would force network providers to accept all traffic, while conceding that it’s OK for them to manage network congestion and charge users more based on their usage. This policy would have the support of the three Democratic members on the FCC’s board, but the two Republican members would prefer that the Internet remain free of regulation. Which we, by the way, seriously don’t understand. This is one of those cases where, if the government doesn’t step in, consumers will seriously get trampled on. source