Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff signed into law an internet "Bill of Rights" to protect online privacy, and promote the idea of the Internet as a public utility, or what we here call "net neutrality, preventing telecommunications companies from charging higher rates for preferential access to their networks. Stan Lehman, of AP, reports Brazil Enacts Internet 'Bill of Rights.' Last month the European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a consumer friendly net neutrality bill.
This morning in FCC to consider rule gutting Net Neutrality Joan McCarter reviews F.C.C., in a Shift, Backs Fast Lanes for Web Traffic. when noting that Tom Wheeler, chairmen of the Federal Communications Commissioner will propose rules allowing Internet service providers to charge companies and customes different rates for faster connection speeds. Consumer groups are using words like betrayal, "gutting of internet neutrality, and "sold out" to describe their feelings about this about face. The FCC decision was complicated by an adverse Supreme Court decision.
From ABC's Brazil Enacts Internet 'Bill of Rights.'
Brazil's president signed into law on Wednesday a "Bill of Rights" for the digital age that aims to protect online privacy and promote the Internet as a public utility by barring telecommunications companies from charging for preferential access to their networks.
The law signed by President Dilma Rousseff at a global conference on the future of Internet governance puts Brazil in the vanguard of online consumer protection and what is known as "net neutrality," whose promoters consider it profoundly democratic in part because it keeps financial barriers for innovators low.
The new law promotes privacy by limiting the data that online companies can collect on Internet users in this nation of 200 million people, deeming communications over the Internet "inviolable and secret." Service providers must develop protocols to ensure email can be read only by senders and their intended recipients. Violators are subject to penalties including fines and suspension.
A provision inserted into the legislation does require the telecommunications companies to keep records of all communications for six months. ABC reports that after revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency had spied on Brazil's president, commercial interests, and management of the state-run oil company Petrobras, Brazil has portrayed itself as a defender of Internet freedom, and privacy. Brazil has also set a goal to become less dependent on the U.S., for example by laying an undersea cable directly to Europe bypassing the United States.
President Obama should listen to President Rousseff who called the law's "net neutrality" clause "fundamental to maintaining the Internet's free and open nature."
We've already sold the exclusive rights to use major section of the U.S. electromagnetic spectrum to these private companies to use for their profit. Just as we did for television, phone, and cable, we can and should place reasonable restraints on how these our commercialized to protect our common interests and prevent monopoly powers from becoming greater.
In my opinion, those owning and selling access to to the bandwidth, should be prevented from owning and/or controlling any of the content companies. In lieu of this, net neutrality is a modest, prudent, and fair request. Otherwise consumes and small businesses, and political parties, have no protections against large commercial powers monopolizing vast and excess power which may never be possible to restrain gain.
This is the end of this article. I post a link and a few paragraphs of the NYT article below for the most avid reader but make no attempt to analyze it as this post was about the Brazilian bill and the U.S. news broke just as I was posting. Sorry if the mix of two story detracted rather than added meaning.
In FCC to consider rule gutting Net Neutrality Joan McCarter reviews F.C.C., in a Shift, Backs Fast Lanes for Web Traffic. when noting that President Obama's Federal Communications Commissioner said on Wednesday, that the FCC will propose rules allowing Internet service providers to charge higher fees for "faster lanes" for some customers."
WASHINGTON — The principle that all Internet content should be treated equally as it flows through cables and pipes to consumers looks all but dead.
Consumer groups immediately attacked the proposal, saying that not only would costs rise, but also that big, rich companies with the money to pay large fees to Internet service providers would be favored over small start-ups with innovative business models — stifling the birth of the next Facebook or Twitter.
“If it goes forward, this capitulation will represent Washington at its worst,” said Todd O’Boyle, program director of Common Cause’s Media and Democracy Reform Initiative. “Americans were promised, and deserve, an Internet that is free of toll roads, fast lanes and censorship — corporate or governmental.” ... If the new rules deliver anything less, he added, “that would be a betrayal.”
“The very essence of a ‘commercial reasonableness’ standard is discrimination,” Michael Weinberg, a vice president at Public Knowledge, a consumer advocacy group, said in a statement. “And the core of net neutrality is nondiscrimination.”