Originally published October 3 2008
FCC Ruling Against Comcast Is a Victory for Net Neutrality
by Richard Stossel
(NaturalNews) The FCC stood up and did its job recently. It's the first time that the FCC has gone to such lengths to assert users' right to an open Internet. In a landmark ruling against internet giant Comcast, approved by a bipartisan FCC majority, the FCC ordered that Comcast must stop blocking internet access to its customers by year's end.
What is it that Comcast was doing? According to an FCC press release on August 1, 2008, the FCC found that Comcast had "...deployed equipment throughout its network to monitor the content of its customers' Internet connections and selectively blocked specific types of connections known as peer-to-peer connections. Comcast has a deceptive motive to interfere with customers' use of peer-to-peer applications. These applications, including those relying on BitTorrent, give users the opportunity to view high-quality video that they might otherwise watch (and have to pay for) on cable television. Such video distribution poses a potential competitive threat to Comcast's video-on-demand ("VOD") service."
Comcast tried to hide the truth with tactics that vary from flat out lies to playing down its interference with customers' internet bandwidth and services. The company initially claimed that it only did this during peak traffic times and tried to use that as justification of its practices. Then it tried to say that they were not responsible for their customers' internet problems. After tests were conducted by the AP and Electronic Frontier Foundation that suggested that Comcast was in fact interfering with customers' attempts to share peer to peer file sharing applications, Comcast then changed their story and admitted that it did in fact target peer to peer traffic. When the amount of evidence gathered against Comcast increased, they later admitted that it "interferes with peer-to-peer traffic regardless of the level of overall network congestion at the time and regardless of the time of day". The FCC's extensive investigation into this matter which included at least two public hearings, significant input from experts, thousands of comments from companies, organizations and the public, demonstrated that Comcast's interference was far more widespread than the company first admitted.
Harold Feld of the website WetMachine.com said this;
"The FCC's Comcast order doesn't solve all the problems of keeping an open Internet, but it is a huge step in the right direction. It has very good First Amendment language, puts a real definition into the "reasonable network management" standard, and creates another positive precedent for future FCC policy or congressional legislation."
"So to summarize, here are the good parts of today's Order:
1) Firmly establishes the basis for FCC jurisdiction and makes it clear that any member of the public impacted by blocking or degrading of content may file a complaint and expect FCC action.
2) Providers must give clear notice to users if they intend to employ network management practices that target specific applications or otherwise block or degrade access to lawful content or applications;
3) Establishes that a complainant need only establish an initial prima facie case that a provider is blocking or degrading content or applications, at which point the burden shifts to the provider to explain whether it is blocking or degrading and if so whether it is justifiable as reasonable network management.
4) Sets a very high standard for proving that deliberate interference with a subscriber's use of legal applications or content is a "reasonable network management" practice, and practices that target specific applications raise anti-competitive concerns that trigger a greater burden of proof. A network management practice that is not protocol agnostic must be a "tight fit" between a very explicit and important goal of the network operator and the practice adopted.
5) States clearly that protecting the open and vibrant character of the internet by prohibiting blocking or degrading of applications does not raise First Amendment issues. To the contrary such action furthers First Amendment values. (In my opinion, this finding alone makes this Order a huge win.)
The one flaw in the Order is the FCC's decision to give Comcast 30 days to disclose its management practices and until the rest of the year to come into compliance."
The FCC concluded that the end result of Comcast's conduct was the blocking of Internet traffic, which significantly impeded its customer's ability to access the internet and to use the applications of their choice. They also concluded that they (The FCC) had the "...authority to promote the competition, consumer choice, and diverse information across all communications platforms..." In 2005, the FCC unanimously adopted an Internet policy that "extended these rights to Internet users -- including the right to access the lawful content, applications and services of their choice."
The website SavetheInternet.com said this:
"The commissioners were especially outraged by Comcast's lies and deception. When it first got caught blocking the Internet, the cable giant "misleadingly disclaimed any responsibility for its customers' problems," according to the FCC order, followed by "at best misdirection and obfuscation." Contrary to the spin of Comcast's lawyers, the FCC can protect the rights of Internet users, and promote openness, free speech and competition on the Web.
ISPs Don't Own the Internet
"The Internet is a world-wide system that does not belong to any one operator," wrote David Reed, a pioneer in the design of the Internet's fundamental architecture. "The design of the Internet Protocols specifies clear limits on what operators can and cannot do... Happily, the FCC recognized and exposed Comcast's transgressions of those limits."
While this order doesn't solve all the problems of "Net Neutrality" it is a big step in the right direction. With all the big companies and those in power trying to limit the openness and free sharing of information and the truth, we must still keep a solid eye on this and many other fights that are still being fought even at this present time.
There are forces and people out there who want to totally do away with a free internet because it's been a huge thorn in the side of those who are trying to implement their own evil plans for world control and domination. The internet is the one thing that they don't yet control and are desperately trying to get their hands. Big companies like Comcast, Verizon and others are all part of that plan and much more which is why they keep pushing for control of the 'net, all under the guise of saying that they need this control to manage bandwidth and keep everything working. As a network engineer myself I know that there is as usual, truth mixed with error in statements like that. There are other solutions but of course they either never want to implement them complaining about cost or they're simply looking to provide a solution to bandwidth management while spying on their own customers who they mostly don't care about at all and following the will of those who truly want to control and limit our freedoms on every level.
The internet is the last true frontier in the sharing of information, ideas and freedom left which is why those who have their evil agendas are so desperately trying to get a hold of it. The internet was a huge factor in the successful presidential run of Texas congressman Ron Paul who broke records in the amount of money that he made strictly through the use of the internet. Sadly most people still don't even know who Ron Paul is because the mainstream media went way out of their way to not talk about him, even though he only gave up his presidential run a couple of months ago.
The internet is a powerful tool for truth of all kinds as of course those who are reading this article and so many other great ones on Natural News know full well. This ruling goes a long way to help keep the internet open and give everyone free access to great articles on websites like this one and so many more. As we heard with the Olympics and China censoring and blocking various internet websites, we know that there are countries and people out there who want to follow that example for the U.S. and the whole world. The movie "Endgame" by Alex Jones talks about this and much more and is worth taking a solid look at to really be on the up and up on this issue and so much more. Here is the link for "Endgame" on google videos (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1070...) . I strongly recommend that everyone interested in internet freedom and freedom period make time to view this documentary.
For now at least, this solid decision by the FCC will help to quell some of the momentum against "net neutrality" and can be used as a precedent against those trying so hard to take away more and more of our freedoms all under the guise of "security and protection", but the end is not yet here. With my Chinese Health and Fitness video, I'm doing my small part to help get the truth out there in the true health and fitness area which is a huge part of how those negative forces are trying to limit and remove out freedoms. Most do not realize that loss of health freedoms and choices is a major step to the removal of all other freedoms as well and can eventually lead to the very enslavement of the human race.
I conclude with a quote from Dr. Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence; member, Continental Congress; B.S. Princeton University:
"Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship... To restrict the art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic..., and have no place in a republic... The Constitution of this Republic should make special provisions for medical freedom as well as religious freedom."
About the authorRichard is a network engineer and longtime practitioner of Chinese martial arts, medicine and chi-gung for over twenty six years. Having learned many Chinese health and healing arts from old world gung-fu and healing masters and practitioners, he has helped many people to overcome their health issues and achieve their fitness goals. Through diligent study and experience he has taken this knowledge even further over the years including reading scores of books on Chinese medicine, health, chi theory, science, physics, nutrition, supplements, meditation, martial arts, and many other subjects. Utilizing the web, health and fitness videos, newsletters, articles, teachings and lectures, Rich is passionate about spreading the true knowledge of health, healing, fitness and spiritual truths. I'm proud to be writing articles for NaturalNews.com You can read many articles, hear audio interviews, and learn more about the highly praised Chinese Health and Fitness video by visiting Chinese Health and Fitness.com
All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing LLC takes sole responsibility for all content. Truth Publishing sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. NaturalNews.com is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. For the full terms of usage of this material, visit www.NaturalNews.com/terms.shtml