Category Archives: Internet Freedom

Digital inclusion and who controls the Internet

55 Progressive Groups Urge Democrats To Support Net Neutrality CRA

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55 groups (including Media Alliance) sent an open letter to the Democratic members of Congress urging them all to get on board with the Congressional Resolution of Disapproval (CRA) against the December 2017 repeal of net neutrality and avoid trying to create regulatory legislation in an uncertain Congress.

The letter states: “Internet freedom activists, grassroots organizers, social justice advocates, labor unions, and progressive organizations like ours oppose Pai’s assault on our ability to communicate and connect. The internet has been a transformative tool for free speech and for organizing in furtherance of civil rights and social and economic justice. A free and open internet enables political dissidents and marginalized communities to make their voices heard on their own terms — without being stifled or warped by corporate gatekeepers such as broadband internet service providers (ISPs)”.

2018-02-14_Progressive_Orgs_Support_CRA
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First Amendment Rights Plastered In GlassDoor Ruling

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A disheartening ruling under seal was issued  by the Ninth Circuit of the Court of Appeals when they stifled First Amendment protections for people posting online anonymously.

The hush hush sealed case itself focuses on a government request to the employer review site GlassDoor for the names of their posters about their employer in a goverment contracting fraud case against that company.

GlassDoor, rightly, did not want to hand over user information to the government and saw the broader First Amendment implications of doing so.

The case revolved around the appropriate legal standard for waiving First Amendment protections. Sadly the court chose the weaker standard (known as Branzburg vs Hayes) and rejected without even reading them amicis filed by public interest groups including Media Alliance, Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), Electronic Frontier Foundation, Committee for Justice and Public Participation Project.

Here’s our rejection letter.  Glassdoor amicus motion denied

Here’s a few blogs from our fellow amicis about why this horrible decision is so horibble.

Center For Democracy and Technology

Electronic Frontier Foundation

 

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Now That The FCC Has Scrapped Net Neutrality, Get Ready For The Legal Battles

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By Sean Captain – Fast Company

Despite protests online and in the streets, as well as appeals from Congress (including one Republican ), the FCC voted three-to-two this morning for Republican chairman Ajit Pai’s Restoring Internet Freedom order to scrap the net neutrality rules created under his Democratic predecessor, Tom Wheeler. But that won’t settle the issue. This being America, the next round will be duked out in a courtroom.

Recent experience shows how that may shake out. In 2015, the United States Telecom Association, an industry group including ISPs like AT&T and Verizon, sued the Democratic-majority FCC (and lost, in a 2016 ruling) to overturn its net neutrality regulations. Now activist groups and some companies are getting ready to sue Trump’s FCC over the abolition of those rules. “It will be the same this time except with the roles reversed to some extent,” says Matt Wood, policy director at Free Press, an organization that supports net neutrality regulations.

“We’ve essentially promised to sue, so there’s really no mystery whether we’re involved,” says Wood, and he’ll have company. “We’re pretty likely to be a plaintiff,” says Tracy Rosenberg, executive director of the press activist organization Media Alliance. The National Hispanic Media Coalition has also announced plans to sue. Continue reading Now That The FCC Has Scrapped Net Neutrality, Get Ready For The Legal Battles

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The Political Dumpster Fire Of Net Neutrality Is Just Heating Up

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By Sean Captain – Fast Company

American net neutrality policy, a decade-old dumpster fire, flared up again this week with the FCC’s party-line vote approving chairman Ajit Pai’s Restoring Internet Freedom order. It scraps the FCC’s own 2015 regulations prohibiting internet service providers from blocking or throttling (slowing down) access to certain web sites and services or charging them extra money for “fast lanes” with better access. The vote was no surprise to the many activists, businesses, and state governments who have already been planning legal counterattacks. With 2018 being an election year, they will argue the case not only to judges but also to voters—pressuring both courts and Congress to take action. Continue reading The Political Dumpster Fire Of Net Neutrality Is Just Heating Up

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Model State Broadband Privacy Law Introduced

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(Courtesy of OTI)

New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI), supported by many consumer advocacy and privacy organizations, have published model legislation to aid states in improving privacy protections for broadband customers. The model is designed to provide Americans real choices over how broadband providers like AT&T and Verizon can use, disclose, and provide access to customer information. States must consider their own broadband privacy legislation to fill the gap left by Congress when it repealed the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) broadband privacy rules. Continue reading Model State Broadband Privacy Law Introduced

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