Nations looking to keep their Internet traffic out of U.S. following vast revelations about mass surveillance via the NSA. Edward Snowden prompting nations across the globe to secure their Internet and observe stricter laws. Germany talking about keeping its internet traffic and email messages private within the country; planning to work with France to build a network throughout Europe reroute data away from the U.S.
Merkel is planning to discuss a European communication network that’ll keep Internet traffic away from the US with French President Francois Hollande when they meet later this week. Apart from Germany, Brazil has also expressed interest in keeping its traffic away from the US, but some are concerned that increased division of the internet along country borders would go against the very principles the internet was founded on, the report added.
NSA to EXPAND data collection?
Government lawyers are worried that, if they shut down surveillance programs, they could violate evidence preservation rules requiring them to maintain the databases amid ongoing litigation. How convenient.
Civil liberties groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation have filed lawsuits charging the surveillance program is unconstitutional. Sen. Rand Paul is also leading a class-action suit against the government program. Even Ron Paul launching a petition for Snowden clemency.
In fact, concerns over the legal challenges could even effectively expand the phone record database. At present, the government only maintains five years of call data, purging older information at least twice per year. But the government might now opt to maintain that older data in the interest of preserving evidence. 2015, the year when the Patriot Act provision authorizing bulk collection program expires.
Effects of the recent Net Neutrality ruling:
Broadband providers are finally taking their shots, and in a preliminary salvo whose ultimate compromise will be Netflix paying lots of money, have started to throttle Netflix traffic. The WSJ reports that the war between the broadband-ers and the video streaming company has finally emerged from the “cold” phase and is fully hot. The result is that the speed of Netflix traffic is crashing, something which will make watching its High Definition content increasingly more unpleasant as buffering times mean more time sitting watching spinning circle, and less time watching content.
Broadband companies end up the winners from the NFLX throttling, even as subscribers give the streaming company a chance, then promptly cast it away after a month or so of unwatchable results.What happens next is that subscribers, unhappy with the throttled distribution whose download speeds will keep declining over time, switch over to competing services and redirect their attention to Amazon Prime of course, and repeat the entire process once more, unless of course Amazon itself hasn’t become the dominant (and money-losing of course) broadband provider by then.
Who is next on the Broadband providers’ kill list?
Federal Communications Commission (FCC ) chairman Tom Wheeler said yesterday that he plans to write new rules to enforce net neutrality and prevent ISPs from blocking or slowing any sites or services.
As expected, he’s avoiding the course of appealing against last month’s Verizon v. FCC appeals court ruling. This, highly controversially, established that companies could legitimately discriminate against certain content – video streaming, for example – that competes with their own services.
Nor, though, does he plan to use Title II authority to reclassify broadband providers as common carriers, thereby making them subject to existing rules – at least, not for the time being. Instead, he says, he plans to seek public consultation and draft a new set of rules late this spring or early summer based on Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
This gives the FCC authority to remove barriers to infrastructure deployment and promote competition in order to encourage broadband deployment.“The DC Circuit recognized the importance of the Open Internet Order’s ban on blocking internet traffic, but ruled that the Commission had not provided sufficient legal rationale for its existence. We will carefully consider how, consistent with the court opinion, we can ensure that edge providers are not unfairly blocked, explicitly or implicitly, from reaching consumers, as well as ensuring that consumers can continue to access any lawful content and services they choose.Wheeler also says he plans to enhance competition by, amongst other things, re-examining legal restrictions on the ability of cities and towns to offer their own broadband services – an ability that’s been severely restricted in 20 states through the actions of ISP lobby groups.
There are real questions about how well Section 706 can be used to protect net neutrality – after all, the Dc Circuit has already ruled that it can’t be exploited to impose the common carrier principles of non-blocking and non-discrimination.
“For instance, Wheeler notes, the FCC would seem to have the power overturn state laws that ban communities from setting up their own broadband networks — laws passed with the lobbying muscle of ISPs that don’t want the competition,” he says.
“The outer bounds of section 706 are now open for discussion, and they may provide a scope of regulatory power as broad as Title II might have – in some ways, potentially broader.”
The FCC said new rules will ban Internet service providers such as Verizon and Time Warner Cable from blocking Web sites or charging a firm like Netflix more for faster and smoother delivery of content.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in January that the agency didn’t have the authority to enforce the rules under its current classification of broadband as a largely unregulated information service, but the court left an opening for the FCC to enforce blocking rules under Section 706 of the Telecom Act.
The Obama administration refuses to abandon its furious pursuit of these harmful policies to put government in charge of the Web and broadband providers didn’t seem as upset about Wheeler’s plan. The FCC has twice lost court cases after attempting to enforce Net neutrality rules.
I wonder if the NSA has had their data throttled? Forget just turning off their water and electricity let’s also restrict them to AOL Dial-up speeds! That way they can catch all of the “terrorists”. Driven crazy by dial-up sounds while trying to listen to phone calls. Disconnected if trying to spy on more than one citizen at a time. Bam!