Yesterday afternoon the House subcommittee that provides Congressional oversight for the FCC held an important hearing about the agency’s current plans, including current Chairman (and former Verizon lawyer) Ajit Pai’s move to gut Title II net neutrality protections that prevent ISPs from controlling what we do online with throttling, censorship, and extra fees.
With Capitol Hill’s attention now on the FCC, and Pai’s final plan to gut net neutrality protections expected in the coming weeks, it’s extra important that Congress gets flooded with phone calls from Internet users telling them to stand up and defend the open Internet.
We’re also hearing there are key members of Congress considering whether to step in and force Pai to slow down. This means best chance to stop the FCC from breaking the fundamental principle that makes the Internet awesome is to pound Congress with phone calls right now.
You can call your reps easily with just one click here: battleforthenet.com
You’ll see a script on your screen, or you can say something like this:
“I support Title Two net neutrality rules and I urge you to oppose the FCC’s plan to repeal them. Specifically, I’d like you to contact the FCC Chairman and demand he abandon his current plan.”
You can also just call this number directly and enter your zipcode to get connected to your legislators: 202-930-8550.
If you run a website, blog, tumblr, or forum, help spread the word by putting up a sticky post, or use one of these widgets, ads, or banners: https://www.battleforthenet.com/#join
Ajit Pai is expected to circulate the text of his rule killing net neutrality on November 22, the day before Thanksgiving. Once that happens, it will move to a vote at the FCC’s open meeting in December, and it will become much much harder to stop him.
It’s clear that the FCC remains set on killing net neutrality. But Congress can stop the FCC from gutting the rules that keep the web open, affordable, and awesome.
Idgaf if this isn’t my theme we’re losing this fight tell your family tell your friends l e t ‘ s g o
I can’t stress enough how important this is. I rarely deviate from my surreal meme theme but this is something that can’t be ignored. This decision will affect the whole world!
The FCC sabotaged its own public comments process. Congress needs to stop them from voting to kill net neutrality on December 14!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 30, 2017
Contact: Evan Greer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-852-6457
Yesterday’s Pew Research study led to incorrect reports
Yesterday, the Pew Research Group released a study that triggered a number of new reports about issues within the FCC’s net neutrality comment docket. The Pew study, unfortunately, contained a number of serious inaccuracies, and lacked needed context in a way that conflated legitimate grassroots advocacy and organic online outrage with malicious attempts to manipulate the FCC docket with fraud.
“The FCC sabotaged its own public comment process for the exact purpose of sowing the type of confusion that we’re seeing now,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, “They knowingly allowed malicious actors to abuse their system and submit enormous numbers of fraudulent comments using real people’s names and addresses without their permission, and they’ve refused to cooperate with investigations or transparency laws.”
She continued, “Their goal is to obscure the fact that the overwhelming majority of people from across the political spectrum oppose Ajit Pai’s extreme proposal to gut net neutrality protections. All you have to do is look at the unique comments in the docket that people took the time to draft by hand: almost 99% of them support existing net neutrality protections. Congress must take action now to demand the FCC cancel its planned vote on December 14. It’s unconscionable that the agency would move forward with such a controversial proposal while so many allegations of serious fraud and abuse surround their rulemaking proceeding.”
Here are some key things that the Pew study got wrong:
The original Pew study claimed that there had only been 450,000 comments during the FCC debate in 2014. There were closer to 4 million. Pew has since corrected this error after we brought it to their attention, but they have not addressed the points below.
The Pew study claims that comedian John Oliver promoted our net neutrality advocacy site BattleForTheNet.com – to our knowledge that is incorrect. During his viral net neutrality segment, John Oliver directed viewers to his own page: GoFCCYourself.comThe study casts suspicion on legitimate comments using the text from BattleForTheNet.com, noting that 476,000+ were submitted at the same time on July 19. That’s because these comments were submitted as a CSV using the FCC’s “bulk upload” option, a perfectly legitimate way to submit comments to the agency, and in fact the one that the agency encouraged groups to use. Pew never asked us about this, or we would have been happy to provide them with the records of this.
The study claims that the large bulk of comments came from “a small number of organizations,” and points to BattleForTheNet.com as an example. However, this is a mischaracterization of what the site is. It’s an Internet-wide coalition effort that has been promoted by dozens of public interest organizations, hundreds of startups, and thousands of websites, apps, and online communities who participated in the July 12 day of action and other campaigns.
Overall, the study fails to give readers needed context to understand the difference between a legitimate comment submitted through a site that provides a concerned constituent to add their name to a default statement, and comments that were submitted using real people’s names and addresses, likely stolen from breached databases, without those people’s permission or knowledge. The study seemed to be unaware of the various ongoing investigations surrounding this issue – including a law enforcement investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office. By failing to include essential information about the comments they analyzed, the Pew study offers a distorted view of what’s happening in the net neutrality docket.
“Nikola Tesla For The First Time Describes His New System For Supplying Wireless Power To Run All The Earth’s Industries.”
By a series of discoveries and inventions just perfected, Nikola Tesla, the electrical scientist, has upset what has hitherto been regarded as one of the fixed laws of nature. “Every effect diminishes with distance,” is the way the textbooks have expressed it. Tesla now says that instead of decreasing like other forces, electricity may be made to increase in intensity with the distance traveled.
The full significance of this discovery may not be at once apparent. It is obvious, however, that it annihilates space. There can be no limit to the power of the electric wave which increases in intensity the further it travels.
For nearly 20 years Tesla has been working on his plan, he calls it his wireless “World System.” If it is put into successful execution it will convert the earth into a gigantic conduit, which will pass power for all earthly activities, and make possible communication with other planets.
From time to time Tesla has made partial announcements as his work progressed. This, however, is the first comprehensive account of his system as a whole that the inventor has consented to give to the world.
“Through ages past man has anyways attempted to project in some way or other energy into space. In all his attempts, no matter what agent he employed, he was hampered by the inexorable law of nature which says every effect diminishes with distance, generally as the square of the same, sometimes more rapidly.
“I saw at once that space was annihilated in all the three aspects; in the transport of our bodies and materials and in the earth, transmission of the energies necessary for our existence. You can imagine how profoundly I was affected by this revelation. Technically, it meant that the earth, as a whole, had certain periods of vibrations, and that by by impressing electrical vibrations of the same periods upon it, it could be thrown into oscillations of such nature that innumerable benefits could be derived.
“It is difficult to convey an idea of these inventions without resorting to technical terms. The first and best known of these is my transformer, which enables the production of electrical vibrations of transcending intensities. I have already attained activities of many millions of horse power; but this is nothing compared to those which I am expecting to get with my improved apparatus.
“The second is what I have termed my magnifying transmitter, which I look upon as my best electrical invention, and with which any distance can be bridged. I have already passed of this wonderful instrument and am confident that a message can be flashed to such a distance as the planet Mars.
“Some technical men would be disposed to look upon such statements as those of a dreamer, but it is only because they have not had opportunities to see experiments which I have actually performed. The third invention I have designated as the “Art of individualization,” which enables the transmission of an unlimited number of messages through a wire or wireless, without the slightest interference. Not before this improvement is universally adopted will the world fully realise the benefits of telegraphy and telephony. The fourth invention is my receiver, which concentrates the energy transmitted over a wide area into the operating device.”
What would the voltage in your transmitter be?
“In the transmission of telegraphic and telephonic messages I shall employ from five to ten million volts, but in transmitting power in great quantities, as much as one hundred million volts will be used.“
How will your “World System” compare with those now in use as regards to cost?
“We could easily afford to offer a transmission of telegraphic and telephonic messages to any terrestrial distance for five cents a word. In a short while no one will think it anything out of the way to dictate or to write a long letter across the Pacific.”
How long does it take for the transmission of a message, by your system, around the world?
“The exact time is, according to my measurements, 43-1000 of a second, which is a speed about 50 per cent greater than that of light.
“The impulse starts from my magnifying transmitter with infinite speed, slows first rapidly and then at a lesser rate until, when it has penetrated to a distance of 6000 miles from the transmitter, it proceeds with approximately the speed of light. From there on it accelerates, first slowly and then more rapidly, and reaches the opposite point of the globe again with infinite speed only to rebound and pass through the same phases on its way back to the transmitter.
“This movement of electricity through the Earth, which takes place strictly in accordance with a mathematical law, and enables a great number of accurate measurements and determinations to be made, which are of immense practical and scientific value.”
Is your universal marine service based upon this principle?
“Largely so. In setting up and maintaining stationary waves in the earth its entire surface is subdivided in perfectly definite zones of electric activity, so that any observer of all those data which are of importance to navigators as the latitude and longitude, the position with reference to a given point, the speed of travel, and the course followed. This method is quite exact and reliable, and once introduced will be instrumental in a great saving of time, life and property.”
When your system of time distribution is introduced what kind of devices will be used for indicating the hour?
“They will be ever so much simpler than the ordinary clocks or watches, being entirely devoid of wheel work. For personal use a small case will be provided resembling that of a watch which would indicate precisely the time and require no more attention than a compass for instance. The large clocks on towers and public edifices in general will be replaced by extremely simple devices operated on the same principle.
“All these will be ‘tuned’ to a wireless wave sent out at a certain time. This will automatically set the hands of every ‘tuned’ time piece.”
In operating stock tickers, will the present instruments have to be replaced by others?
“Not at all, they will remain intact. A great financier told me that this should be one of the most valuable and practical applications of my system, inasmuch as the instantaneous operation of such instruments all the world over will go far toward allaying panics and failures which are at present mostly due to the inadequacy and stagnation of channels of information.”
“A business man will be able to dictate in his office a letter which will appear in type at any other place he wishes without loss of time in the transmission. It will be exactly as though he had his stenographer close by. In the same manner it will be practicable to send a handwritten letter or even a check, and what is more important, it will not be possible to falsify the signature.”
Will the transmission of complex musical productions require complicated apparatuses?
“Not at all. The apparatus at any of the master plants, transmitting a great number of musical compositions, will be of necessity complicated, but the subscriber will need only a telephone receiver, and, if he desires exclusiveness, and individualizing device in connection, which, however, will be rarely required. He will be none the less able to listen to the most complex opera played in some remote party of the world. What is more, he can carry the entire outfit with him on his walks and travels, and whenever he desires to listen to the music he can do so.
“The wireless system which I have developed does not contemplate competition with established lighting systems in densely populated districts, but it offers an ideal solution for the illumination of isolated places. The light will be furnished by exhausted glass tubes, bent in all sorts of ornamental shapes, and is of surpassing beauty, resembling closely the daylight. The lamps will last forever. The entire apparatus for lighting the average country dwelling will contain no moving part whatever, and could be readily carried about in a small valise. It will be quite immaterial in which region of the earth the house to be lighted is located. Distance will not affect the charge.“
How far from the Earth’s surface can power be transmitted by this wireless system?
“To any distance; in fact, the greater the elevation above the ground that easier it is to supply the power to the vehicle, such as an airship crossing the ocean.”
What do you consider the most important application of your system?
"The transmission of power, of course. The operation of aerial machines alone will be of a revolutionizing influence, in as much as it will afford a perfect solution of this important problem.
"Another great field will be the irrigation and fertilization of the soil by wireless power. The time is not distance when a farmer will have installed on his place an apparatus for continuously manufacturing, from the gases of the atmosphere, nitric compounds which will be used to fertilize, while a motor will pump the water and perform other duties; all the energy being supplied from a plant perhaps thousands of miles away. This system can be extended so as to make productive vast tracts of now barren lands located in various countries. I believe that the export of wireless power will be one of the chief resources of the United States and other fortunately situated countries in times to come.“
By Marcel Roland. New York American, September 3, 1911.
If Trump FCC chairman Ajit Pai had confined his attack on Net Neutrality to merely rolling back the 2015 Title II rules, he might have gotten away with it; but like the Republic plan to kill Obamacare, the Republican plan to rob the middle class to enrich billionaires, and, well, every other Republican plan in this administration, Pai’s plan is so grotesque, so overreaching, so nakedly corrupt that it is likely to collapse under its own weight.
That’s because the Supreme Court has held that a federal agency contemplating a significant change in policy must “examine the relevant data and articulate a satisfactory explanation for its action.” But there are no new facts in evidence since the first Net Neutrality rules were enacted in 2004 to justify a change. We don’t know what evidence Pai will bring to court when it comes time to fight his plans, but the cards he’s played so far are hilariously weak: for example, he claims that the 2015 Title II rule led to a decrease in infrastructure investment by telcos. In fact, the telcos’ own filings and investor calls reveal that the reverse is true (Pai is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own fact).
US democracy has many structural deficits, but it also has strengths, and Pai has blundered into them. The first is that the administrative branch is composed of “expert agencies” like the FCC and they are legally required to provide strong evidentiary backing for their actions. As Tim Wu – the competition and internet legal scholar who coined the term “Network Neutrality” – writes in the New York Times, “A mere change in F.C.C. ideology isn’t enough.”
The other structural strength of the US system is the independent courts who act on a well-litigated Constitution whose jurisprudence is voluminous, and who have the power to overturn both the administrative branch and Congress. Again, these are far from perfect, but they are an important check on the abuse of political power, and they are much more readily available to the public than the other two branches. To saw Congress, you have to buy a majority of Congressjerks with campaign contributions; to capture a regulator, you must represent an industry that can offer them lucrative employment after they leave government life; to use the court to neutralize these other branches, you need only convince three appeals court judges or five Supremes that the Constitution supports your position.
While the courts are packed with Republican appointees (thanks to GOP Senate dirty tricks in refusing to approve judicial appointments under Obama, all the way up to a vacant Supreme Court seat that Trump stole), there is a well-established moderating effect of judicial service on long-serving judges, because working your way up through the federal courts requires a showing of adherence to the Constitution, which, overall, favors policies at odds with the right-wing agenda.
This means that when Pai’s plan gets to the courts, it stands a good chance of being struck down – and in any event, the court battle may last until 2020 and serve as a good argument to spur voters to vote against Trump and thus change the FCC leadership, mooting the whole point.
And it begins… #christmastree is up and we’re slowly adding nerdy things to it. #doctorwho #nintendo #harrypotter #starwars www.nerdylifeofmine.com (at Lebanon, Oregon)
With the excitement already building for the year-end release of the latest “Star Wars” film, the new video game “Star Wars: Battlefront II” was poised to capitalize on all the excitement for the vaunted Disney franchise.