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The FCC has Lost Its Credibility Internationally

 

What is the Internet?

Simple question, one would think the FCC could give a simple, straight and accurate answer when talking to their international regulatory counterparts, but they won’t.

That’s because they don’t want them to regulate the Internet like the FCC just has regulated the Internet in its Open Internet Order.

To try and justify regulating just the ISP-telecommunications-side of the Internet, but not regulating the Silicon-Valley-telecommunications-side of the Internet, the FCC’s, diplomatic message is as hypocritical as it is embarrassing: ‘do as we say, not as we do.’ (Translation: Adopt America’s Silicon-Valley-industrial-policy as your country’s policy.)   

The FCC has lost its credibility internationally because to claim that they are not regulating the Internet, the FCC must torture the definition of “the Internet” beyond recognition.

America’s international counterparts get the joke, they weren’t born yesterday.

And the joke is the FCC’s spin.

FCC Changed “Can-do” Internet into “Can’t-do” Internet – Daily Caller Op-ed

Please don’t miss my latest Daily Caller op-ed, “FCC Changed “Can-do” Internet into “Can’t-do” Internet.

  • It puts into perspective how the FCC’s assertion of Title II utility regulation of the Internet changes the ethos of America’s Internet.

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FCC Open Internet Order Series

Part 1: The Many Vulnerabilities of an Open Internet [9-24-09]

FCC’s “Gotcha” Game of ISP Regulation & Enforcement

The FCC’s just operative Open Internet Order, with its classification of broadband as Title II common carriage and vague Internet conduct standard, sets ISPs up for FCC “gotcha” or contrived regulation and enforcement.

FCC Commissioner O’Reilly exposed the FCC’s “gotcha!” game: “I will be vigilant in resisting any attempts by the agency to act as a referee enforcing rules known to none of the players and made up along the way.”

And the FCC’s Enforcement Chief, Travis LeBlanc, tacitly admitted to playing the contrived “gotcha!” game in an article with the National Journal entitled: “The FCC’s $365 Million Man.”

Will FCC Lock-in Net Neutrality Gains in Legislation or Risk All in Court & Ballot Box?

The appellate process will only get tougher for the FCC’s Title II Open Internet Order from here, which means both legal and electoral uncertainty over the permanence of the FCC’s net neutrality authority will only grow as the appellate process plays out and the 2016 Presidential election approaches.

Simply, do the FCC and its congressional supporters essentially cash in and keep their net neutrality gains long term for consumers in bipartisan net neutrality legislation now, or do they double down by waiting and maybe losing it all in either the Supreme Court or the 2016 Presidential election?

From their current position of relative strategic negotiating strength, an operative Open Internet Order empowering the FCC to enforce protection of net neutrality, the FCC and its congressional supporters, need to take stock of their situation and ask themselves if they want to lock-in their bright-line net neutrality protections now and permanently protect consumers against blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization, in bipartisan legislation?

Or do they want to roll both the court and electoral dice that their relative strategic negotiating position will improve from here and risk losing most all their net neutrality gains and authority, in the next 18-24 months to an ultimate court loss in the Supreme Court or to a Republican elected President in 2016, who would likely overturn the Order in 2017?  

They are Google-Driven Cars and You Are the Package

Just as people have come to appreciate that with Google you are not the customer, you are the product, with Google automated vehicles people will come to appreciate that Google is the driver and you are the package to be delivered. 

As the runaway PR leader in this emerging category of transportation, Google interestingly steered the branding of this new category towards misleading misnomers for these vehicles.

They are not truly “self-driving,” “driverless,” or even “autonomous” cars; they are very much cars driven and governed by the company whose software and algorithms automate, control, and drive the vehicle.

If you doubt these are actually Google-driven cars, the software that drives them is called “Google Chauffeur.”

Google’s unique vision is for Google-driven cars to have no steering wheel, brake pedal or accelerator; so no one possibly could drive such a vehicle but Google.

Three Big FCC Title II Privacy Questions – My Multichannel News Op-ed

Below is my op-ed “Privacy’s Big Three” on the FCC’s pending interpretation of its newly asserted Title II section 222 privacy authority. It is a side-bar in this week’s Multichannel News cover story “Who’s Watching Whom?” Click here for the full Multichannel article.

This succinct op-ed spotlights the three biggest privacy questions the FCC must grapple with here:

  1. Any privacy protection predictability?
  2. Any competitive privacy policy parity?
  3. An FCC Do Not Track List?    

 

Privacy’s Big Three

How FCC Hurt Its Title II Anti-Stay Case

The FCC’s latest legal brief opposing a stay of its Open Internet Order, hurt its legal case more than it helped.

The FCC brief unwittingly: exposed a glaring internal inconsistency with the FCC’s Open Internet Order; spotlighted its arbitrary and capricious decision-making; and exposed a big mistake in its legal strategy.    

If the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals panel rules on the legal merits of the industry’s petition, it remains very likely they will grant a partial stay of the Title II reclassification part of the FCC’s Open Internet Order.

Why Court Very Likely Will Stay FCC’s Title II Reclassification

Based on the latest best arguments this week from both the FCC and broadband petitioners, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is very likely to partially stay the FCC Open Internet Order’s reclassification of broadband as a Title II service and imposition of a new Internet conduct standard -- in the coming weeks.

Expect Court to Partially Stay FCC’s Title II Internet Reclassification

In the coming weeks, expect the D.C. Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court to grant a partial stay, of only the FCC’s Title II reclassification of broadband and its new “Internet conduct standard” (not the FCC’s net neutrality prohibitions of blocking, throttling or paid prioritization), even though stay requests normally have a low probability of success, because petitioners must convince the court that they are likely to win on the merits and that the opposed action will cause irreparable harm.

FCC’s New Do Not Track List Authority

Will the FCC create an Internet “Do Not Track” list like the FTC created the “Do Not Call” list enjoyed by three quarters of Americans?

In ruling the Internet to be subject to common carrier consumer protection law, the Obama FCC’s recently passed Open Internet Order applied common carrier privacy law (Section 222) to Internet telecommunications as part of the FCC’s unilateral efforts to modernize communications law for the 21st century.

The Obama FCC’s Open Internet Order also ruled that the Internet now encompasses the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and that an IP address is the functional equivalent of a telephone number.

Thus, logically it could follow that information that’s considered legally private in the telephone world now could be considered legally private in the Internet world.   

This central consumer protection question should come up this week as the FCC hosts a Section 222 public workshop to explore the FCC’s “role in protecting the privacy of consumers who use” the Internet.

What is Section 222?

It is a common carrier provision of the Communications Act entitled “Privacy of Customer Information.”

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths