Forget Trump’s tweets and media bans. The real issue is his threat to the internet | Charles Ferguson | Opinion | The Guardian

Deregulation could allow the president to undermine freedom of speech in a way that was beyond even Nixon

Fuente: Forget Trump’s tweets and media bans. The real issue is his threat to the internet | Charles Ferguson | Opinion | The Guardian

Tribunal de EE.UU. respalda que Internet sea considerado un servicio público – El Mostrador

Un tribunal federal de apelaciones falló el martes último a favor de la propuesta de la FCC (Comisión Federal de Comunicaciones de EE.UU.) de considerar a Internet un servicio público, que busca aumentar la regulación para garantizar la “neutralidad” y apertura de la red y evitar los llamados “canales rápidos” de pago.

Fuente: Tribunal de EE.UU. respalda que Internet sea considerado un servicio público – El Mostrador

Critics attack FCC as it releases new rules to protect net neutrality | Technology | The Guardian

Critics attack FCC as it releases new rules to protect net neutrality | Technology | The Guardian.

Members of the audience react after the Federal Communications Commission votes to pass the new rules.
 Members of the audience react after the Federal Communications Commission votes to pass the new rules. Photograph: Yuri Gripas/Reuters

After a year of acrimonious wrangling, threats and an unprecedented online campaign, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday finally released its new rules on regulating the internet.

The 313-page document is now being scrutinised by an army of communications lawyers as the cable and telecoms industry considers whether – or more likely when – to sue the regulator in the hopes of overturning the new rules.

Last month the FCC voted to approve new regulations that will strengthen its powers to oversee broadband internet in the US. The rules followed a call from Barack Obama for the “strongest possible” regulations to protect net neutrality – the principle that all services and information should have equal access to the internet.

The new rules ban internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or “throttling” any legitimate service online. The FCC also outlawed ISPs from creating fast lanes for preferred services – a practice known as “paid prioritization.” The FCC will also have the power to step in if it feels new practices in the industry are not “just and reasonable” and will, for the first time, also oversee mobile broadband.

Critics were unconvinced. Republican opponents of the rules have already called for the orders to be overturned, charging that they give too much power to the FCC and will stifle innovation. They have also launched an inquiry into Obama’s influence on the independent regulator’s decision.

Republican FCC commissioner Ajit Pai said he was “sad to witness the FCC’s unprecedented attempt to replace that freedom with government control”. He said the regulator was turning its back on 20-years of light regulation without justification. “We are flip-flopping for one reason and one reason alone: president Obama told us to do so,” he said.

The outlines of the rules were already clear, but both supporters and critics had called for an early release of the hefty report in order to scrutinise the details. Net neutrality activists cheered the FCC’s decision last month, giving the regulator’s chairman Tom Wheeler a standing ovation for the decision.

Freedom campaigners warn against EU ministers pushing for 2-speed internet | Technology | The Guardian

Freedom campaigners warn against EU ministers pushing for 2-speed internet | Technology | The Guardian.

Federal communications commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel after the FCC vote on net neutrality in the US. The FCC adopted and set sustainable rules of the road that will protect free expression and innovation on the internet.Federal communications commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel after the FCC vote on net neutrality in the US. The FCC adopted and set sustainable rules of the road that will protect free expression and innovation on the internet. Photograph: Brian Cahn/Corbis

European ministers are pushing for new laws which would “permit every imaginable breach of net neutrality”, internet freedom campaigners have warned.

Days after the US voted to protect an open internet where all traffic is considered equal, proposals agreed by European telecoms ministers of 28 members states could allow a two–speed internet, where companies such as YouTube or Netflix could legally pay mobile networks or broadband providers for faster, more reliable delivery of their content – potentially to the detriment of other internet users.

Campaigners warn the move could stifle online innovation and undermine the digital economy.

Net neutrality is like free speech – and the internet needs rules, says FCC boss | Technology | The Guardian

Net neutrality is like free speech – and the internet needs rules, says FCC boss | Technology | The Guardian.

The FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler, said of net neutrality at a Barcelona telecoms trade show that ‘activity should be just and reasonable’. Photograph: Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images

The US’s top media regulator hit back at critics of new net neutrality rules voted into law last week, comparing them to the first amendment and saying neither government nor private companies had the right to restrict the openness of the internet.

network cablesThe Federal Communications Commission chairman, Tom Wheeler, was speaking in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest telecoms trade show, just as European governments are meeting to thrash out their own principles for keeping the internet open.
“This is no more regulating the internet than the first amendment regulates free speech in our country,” Wheeler said. “If the internet is the most powerful and pervasive platform in the history of the planet, can it exist without a referee? There needs to be a referee with a yardstick, and that is the structure we have put in place. A set of rules that say activity should be just and reasonable, and somebody who can raise the flag if they aren’t.”

Telecoms companies across Europe and America have railed against Wheeler’s reforms, saying they will discourage investment in better cable and wireless networks and simply benefit bandwidth-hungry services like Netflix and YouTube, which do not normally pay for their content to be carried across the internet. In the US, Verizon and AT&T, the two largest mobile operators, have said they will try to reverse the new rules in the courts.

Meanwhile, Wheeler told conference attendees in Barcelona: “Those who were opposed to the open internet rules like to say this is Depression-era monopoly regulation. We built our model for net neutrality on the regulatory model that has been wildly successful in the US for mobile.”

The FCC rules will treat telecoms companies in a similar way to utilities such as electricity. Internet service providers will be explicitly prohibited from blocking, throttling or prioritising internet traffic for commercial reasons. Where complaints are raised, the FCC will decide on a case-by-case basis whether what network owners are doing is “fair and just”.

The FCC has said it would not intervene areas such as pricing, network unbundling and technical operating requirements.

The European parliament is in the midst of negotiations with member states and network operators over final net neutrality rules, which could be published later this spring. A source at one of Europe’s largest mobile carriers said the fear was that Europe would introduce similar rules, only to find itself out of step when the FCC is forced to back down by a legal challenge or a change of president.

Barack Obama was elected on a promise to preserve net neutrality and has been a staunch supporter of the new rules. But America will elect a new president in 2016 and Republicans have rallied against the regulation.

EEUU aprueba la neutralidad de la red, quedando descartada la Internet de dos velocidades – BioBioChile

EEUU aprueba la neutralidad de la red, quedando descartada la Internet de dos velocidades – BioBioChile.

Steve Wozniak, cofundador de Apple, aplaudiendo decisión de la FCC | AFP

Steve Wozniak, cofundador de Apple, aplaudiendo decisión de la FCC | AFP

Publicado por Eduardo Woo | La Información es de Agencia AFP
El ente regulador de telecomunicaciones en Estados Unidos adoptó este jueves una nueva reglamentación que evita la aparición de un internet de dos velocidades, pero que causó una gran polémica en el hiperconectado país.

La Comisión Federal de Comunicaciones (FCC, en inglés) aprobó con tres votos contra dos la normativa, que prohíbe principalmente a los proveedores de internet frenar o bloquear ciertos contenidos a servicios legales en línea.

La reglamentación incluso prohíbe a los proveedores vender una conexión más rápida a algunos de los servicios en línea.

Es una nueva tentativa de la FCC para garantizar la “neutralidad” del internet, un principio que causó polémica en Estados Unidos como en otros países y pretende garantizar la igualdad de acceso a internet a todos.

Net Neutrality Is Here — Thanks To an Unprecedented Guerrilla Activism Campaign – The Intercept

Net Neutrality Is Here — Thanks To an Unprecedented Guerrilla Activism Campaign – The Intercept.

This morning, the Federal Communications Commission voted to guarantee the open Internet through so-called net neutrality rules, and with it, forged ahead with one of the biggest policy accomplishments of the Obama administration.

“This is probably the most important ruling in the history of the FCC,” says Tim Karr, campaign director for Free Press.

Net neutrality, a principle that all Internet traffic must be treated equally, was a founding concept for the web. But many Internet service providers have attempted to change that. Cell phone companies have attempted to block apps that could compete with their services and cable companies have pressed for paid prioritization, seeking extra income by forcing users to pay for faster connections to select websites.

For Internet start-ups and political activists alike, the efforts by the ISP industry to move away from net neutrality represented a transformation of the Internet, from a place in which all voices were equal to a world of big incumbent websites and corporate media-dominated information sources. “The question came down to, who ultimately controls this Internet? Is it going to be these powerful corporations?” says Karr.

And only a year ago, prospects for protecting net neutrality seemed doomed. The Internet service provider industry, including companies such as Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner Cable, had lobbied furiously against the rule, spending tens of millions on lobbying and on so-called “astroturf” efforts to pay third party groups to support their position. In January of 2014, a federal court struck down a previous iteration of the open Internet rules after Verizon filed suit. And shortly thereafter, the newly installed FCC chair Tom Wheeler, a former cable and cell phone lobbyist, began moving forward with a plan that would allow broadband providers to create Internet fast lanes and slow lanes.

Now, with the FCC voting to reclassify Internet access providers under Title II of the Communications Act, net neutrality rules are stronger than ever. The credit for such a seachange, say activists who agitated for the decision, belongs to a mix of online and traditional activism.

EE.UU. propone considerar internet como un servicio público y reforzar su regulación

EE.UU. propone considerar internet como un servicio público y reforzar su regulación.

EE.UU. propone considerar internet como un servicio público y reforzar su regulación

EE.UU. propone considerar internet como un servicio público y reforzar su regulación

El presidente de la Comisión Federal de Comunicaciones de Estados Unidos (FCC), Tom Wheeler, desveló hoy su intención de proponer que internet sea considerado como un “servicio público” de telecomunicaciones, lo que permitirá una mayor regulación por parte del Gobierno.

“Mi propuesta asegura los derechos de los usuarios de internet para que puedan ir donde quieran, cuando quieran y los de los innovadores para presentar nuevos productos sin pedir el permiso de nadie”, indicó Wheeler en un editorial en la revista Wired.

Wheeler recalcó que internet debe ser “rápida, abierta y justa”.

El proyecto del presidente de la FCC, un organismo federal de carácter independiente, pretende garantizar el conocido como principio de “neutralidad de la red”, que sostiene que no debe permitirse a los proveedores de internet bloquear o restringir el acceso a ciertas páginas web.

Asimismo, trata de evitar la creación de un “canal rápido” que permita acceder con mayor velocidad de navegación a contenidos cuyos creadores hayan pagado previamente una tasa a la compañía proveedora.

De este modo, Wheeler parece cambiar de rumbo al reforzar el marco regulador de internet, después de que en mayo la FCC publicase un propuesta que abría la posibilidad de que los proveedores cobraran por un acceso prioritario a la red, y desde entonces ha recibido más de 4 millones de comentarios del público al respecto.

El organismo, que cuenta con tres representantes demócratas y dos republicanos, debe tomar una decisión definitiva en una votación el próximo 26 de febrero.

Net neutrality battle pitches activists and FCC against Big Cable and GOP | Technology | The Guardian

Net neutrality battle pitches activists and FCC against Big Cable and GOP | Technology | The Guardian.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler
 FCC chairman Tom Wheeler used to head the lobbying group which represents the big cable firms. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

For more than three decades Kevin Zeese has been a burly, vociferous presence on the front lines of protest movements. The 59-year-old Baltimore native has organised protests against the Iraq war, run for the Senate on the Green Party ticket, and campaigned for drug law reform since the 1970s. Now he’s fighting to save the idea of an open internet. Never has he seen the arguments over such a hot-topic issue shift so quickly in his direction.

Last May, Zeese was thrown out of an Federal Communications Commission (FCC) meeting, as the regulator looked set to pass new rules that among other things would have allowed cable companies to create and charge extra for “fast lanes” and end net neutrality – the principle that all traffic should be treated equally online.

This week, FCC commissioners will start discussing a new set of rules for regulating the web that could ban fast lanes. That ban would be part of a set of rules that, if passed, will regulate the internet in the similar way to utilities like water or electricity – a move net activists have been dreaming of for decades, believing it will allow the regulator to better protect net neutrality. The change in tone has been swift and dramatic and it even caught Zeese by surprise.

Netflix leads tech giants' 'go-slow' protest in battle over net neutrality | Technology |

Netflix leads tech giants’ ‘go-slow’ protest in battle over net neutrality | Technology |

Sites including Reddit, Pornhub and Vimeo install widgets to show how the internet would look if regulators caved in to big cable companies on net neutrality

A video from Namecheap, the domain registrar and web hosting company

Much of the internet went on a “go-slow” protest on Wednesday, as some of the world’s largest tech companies began a protest over proposals that could create fast web lanes for some companies.

Tech firms including Netflix, Etsy, FourSquare, KickStarter, Mozilla, Reddit, PornHub and Vimeo installed a widget on their sites to show how they believe the internet would look if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) overturns “net neutrality” rules.

The FCC has been forced to rewrite its rules on governing the internet after a series of court defeats at the hands of cable and telecom companies. Wednesday’s protests are against one proposal that would allow cable firms to create “fast lanes” for paying customers who use a lot of bandwidth. Critics charge that move would end net neutrality – the concept that the internet is a level playing field and internet service providers can not discriminate against any individual, organisation or company.

Twitter, Tumblr and Google also issued statements in support of net neutrality. September 15 is the deadline for comments to be submitted to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. Namecheap, the domain name registrar, and Vimeo put up videos in support of the campaign.

“The internet was designed to empower people. To get online, you need to use an internet access provider. But once you’re online, you decide what to do and where to go. Anyone, anywhere can share their opinions freely – and any entrepreneur, big or small, can build, launch and innovate without having to get permission first,” Derek Slater, Google’s policy manager, said in an email.

Internet Slowdown: prepárense para una red más lenta | SurySur

Internet Slowdown: prepárense para una red más lenta | SurySur.

Internet Slowdown

Si el próximo miércoles 10 de septiembre sus sitios web preferidos demoran mucho tiempo en cargar, puede deberse a la campaña “Internet Slowdown”, un día de acción mundial organizado por Battle for the Net, un grupo que defiende la neutralidad en Internet. Quienes participen en esta acción no enlentecerán realmente la red, sino que colocarán en sus sitios web íconos animados que señalen que la página se está “cargando” para simbolizar lo que pronto podría ocurrir con Internet.

Los organizadores de la acción denominan a esta señal “la gran rueda giratoria de la muerte”. Mientras gira la rueda, se están redefiniendo las reglas de funcionamiento de Internet. Las grandes empresas proveedoras de este servicio en Estados Unidos, como Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T y Verizon, están intentando cambiar el modo en que se rige nuestra actividad en la red.

La lucha por estas reglas se está librando ahora mismo. Las empresas proveedoras de Internet quieren crear una red de dos categorías, en la que algunos sitios web o proveedores de contenidos paguen para obtener acceso preferencial a los usuarios. Las grandes proveedoras de contenidos como Netflix, una empresa gigante de transmisión de películas en línea, pagarían más para garantizar que su contenido llegue a los usuarios a través de la vía rápida. Pero si, por ejemplo, una empresa nueva intentara competir con Netflix, pero no pudiera pagar a los grandes proveedores de Internet los elevados costos de utilizar la vía rápida, los usuarios podrían sufrir grandes demoras para acceder al servicio y, por lo tanto, no se suscribirían a él.

La FCC abre el debate sobre neutralidad de la red – FayerWayer

La FCC abre el debate sobre neutralidad de la red – FayerWayer.

(cc) Brent Finnegan / Flickr

Antes de emitir nuevos lineamientos, el organismo busca escuchar opiniones de expertos en el tema.

Uno de los temas que ha provocado más discusiones recientemente con respecto al futuro de Internet es la neutralidad de la red. Mientras en la Unión Europea buena parte del debate se centró en la posibilidad de que existan servicios especializados –basados en IP, pero gestionados fuera de Internet–, en Estados Unidos la atención fue acaparada por la posible existencia de vías rápidas para cierto tipo de tráfico.

En este país, la Comisión Federal de Comunicaciones (FCC) se ha encontrado entre la espada y la pared durante todo 2014. Primero, un juzgado obligó a este organismo a elaborar una nueva versión de sus reglas para una Internet abierta, a causa de un juicio promovido por Verizon. Luego, el proyecto de las nuevas reglas fue atacado en cuanto se supo que permitiría diferenciar tráfico en Internet, abriendo la puerta al poderío económico de algunas corporaciones.

Para intentar disminuir la polémica, el organismo regulador sometió a consulta pública dicho proyecto. La respuesta de la ciudadanía estadounidense fue de tal magnitud, que la FCC debió extender el plazo para recibir comentarios, los cuales rebasaron el millón. Ahora, el organismo ha anunciado la organización de 6 mesas de debate en torno a la neutralidad de la red, con el fin de examinar con mayor detalle las implicaciones de la decisión que está por tomar.

Net neutrality is dead – welcome to the age of digital discrimination | Technology | The Observer

Net neutrality is dead – welcome to the age of digital discrimination | Technology | The Observer.

A US appeal court ruling that undermines the principle of net neutrality could spell the end for the ideal of an open internet



John Oliver

Digital discord: John Oliver triggered a strong public reaction with his comic reflections on net neutrality. Photograph: HBO via YouTube


Want to know if someone is internet-savvy? Just ask them why anyone should care about net neutrality. If they understand the technology, stand by for a lecture on why it is vital that all data on the network should be treated equally by ISPs, and why it is essential that those who provide the pipes connecting us to the network should have no influence on the content that flows through those pipes.

On the other hand, if the person knows no more about the net than the average LOLcat enthusiast, you will be greeted by a blank stare: “Net what?

If, dear reader, you fall into neither category but would like to know more, two options are available: a visit to the excellent Wikipedia entry on the subject or comedian John Oliver’s devastatingly sharp explication of net neutrality on YouTube.

The principle that all bits traversing the network should be treated equally was a key feature of the internet’s original design. It was also one of the reasons why the internet became such an enabler of disruptive innovation. Net neutrality meant that the bits generated by a smart but unknown programmer’s application, for instance the web, file-sharing, Skype and Facebook, would be treated the same as bitstreams emanating from a giant corporation. Neutrality kept the barrier to entry low.

So far, so good. But the problem with general principles, however admirable, is that they sometimes create inflexibility. In that sense, net neutrality is like the principle that one should never, ever, tell a lie, not even a small one: excellent in principle, unfeasible in practice. The internet works by breaking each communication into small data packets and dispatching them, often by different routes, to their destination, where they are reassembled into the original communication. This was fine in the early days, when most communications were files and emails, and it didn’t matter if the packets failed to arrive in an orderly stream. But once innovations such as internet telephony, streaming audio and video emerged, it looked like a good idea to give them privileged treatment because otherwise quality was degraded.

When media corporations such as Netflix came along, they were outraged that their bits had to travel in the same third-class carriages as everybody else’s. Which, of course, led big ISPs to the idea that they could put those bitstreams into a fast lane and charge their owners accordingly, thereby earning more revenue and throwing neutrality out of the window.

In the US, the neutrality buck stops with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), historically a doughty supporter of the principle. Since last January, however, the FCC has been impaled on the horns of an appeal court decision. Verizon, the huge US ISP, successfully challenged the FCC’s rules on neutrality. The court ruled that the commission did not have the right to prevent Verizon from charging a fee for traffic carried on its network and since that point Verizon has been billing Netflix for providing a fast lane for its content to Verizon subscribers.

Mulling its options in April, the FCC concluded that, to stay within the law, it would have to allow ISPs to charge for providing fast lanes so long as the terms were “commercially reasonable”. Anticipating the outrage that this violation of the neutrality principle would generate, the commission put the draft ruling out for a period of public consultation that closed on 15 July.

You can imagine what happened. The commission was deluged by public comments, most of them online. It had to add extra capacity to cope with the fallout from Oliver’s broadcast. By deadline day, it had received nearly a million submissions, the vast majority of which were probably hostile to the proposed new ruling.

Also received were a much smaller number of submissions from corporations. Verizon, for example, filed a 184-page comment written by five lawyers. Comcast, another huge ISP, submitted a 71-page document. Other companies (internet giants and telecoms mainly) did much the same.

Guess which submissions the FCC will take seriously?

1 Million Net Neutrality Comments Filed, But Will They Matter? : All Tech Considered : NPR

1 Million Net Neutrality Comments Filed, But Will They Matter? : All Tech Considered : NPR.

Complaints about Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl halftime show performance of 2004 led to a record number of public interactions with the Federal Communications Commission. This year’s net neutrality comments come in second.

Donald Miralle/Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission received more than 1 million public comments on the issue of net neutrality during a five-month commenting period that ended Friday.

It’s the biggest public response the FCC has ever gotten on a policy matter in such a short period, and the second most commented-upon FCC issue, period. It ranks just behind the 1.4 million complaints received after Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction, which isn’t a direct comparison because those were spontaneous comments unrelated to a rule-making matter.

The proposal would allow cable companies to charge content providers extra fees to deliver faster service.

“It’s great that these issues resonate with the broader public,” says Gigi Sohn, who heads public engagement for the FCC. “They want to be heard. And they want to participate.”

Now it’s the agency’s job to help cull and make sense of the 1,067,779 comments that came in over a five-month period. The FCC says it’s using technological approaches and staff from all over the country to help summarize, highlight and analyze the messages for FCC commissioners, who won’t see the filings in full.

A record-setting number of Americans weighed in with their thoughts on this matter. But there’s one problem, according to George Washington University law professor Richard Pierce.

“The vast majority of the comments are utterly worthless,” Pierce says.

He reviewed academic research on previous rule-making matters, like banking reform.

“This has been studied quite a bit by some very good academics,” he says. And the studies show that rule-making or policymaking tends to be systemically biased to favor the industries that are affected by the regulation.

In a recent example, Pierce points to the work of Kimberly Krawiec. Krawiec read all of the comments that were submitted in the rule-making that led to the Volcker rule — part of the Dodd-Frank Act’s banking reforms. She also reviewed the logs that described the meetings that agency decision makers had with parties who were interested in the outcome of that proceeding.

Krawiec found that, while proponents of strict regulation of financial institutions dominated the comment process numerically, their comments were useless to decision makers, because the vast majority of them were identical form letters without data or analysis.

The folks who do comment with the detail, data and analysis that can change minds? Deep-pocketed industries.

“Those comments that have some potential to influence are the very lengthy, very well-tailored comments that include a lot of discussion of legal issues, a lot of discussion of policy issues, lots of data, lots of analysis,” Pierce says. “Those are submitted exclusively by firms that have a large amount of money at stake in the rule-making and the lawyers and trade associations that are represented by those firms.”

The FCC’s Gigi Sohn also cautions against using the high number of comments in this matter as a tea leaf, because of the unknown content in the comments.

“A lot of these comments are one paragraph, two paragraphs, they don’t have much substance beyond, ‘we want strong net neutrality, ‘ ” she says.

La neutralidad de la red en peligro, una vez más | SurySur

La neutralidad de la red en peligro, una vez más | SurySur.


La neutralidad de la red en peligro, una vez más

eeuu collin powell

Michael Powell es el hijo del General Colin Powell. El mayor de los Powell conoce bien los asuntos de guerra. Como es bien sabido, fue él quien el 5 de febrero de 2003 expuso ante la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas los argumentos en defensa de la invasión a Irak, basándose en pruebas erróneas de la existencia de armas de destrucción masiva. Powell considera ese discurso como una dolorosa “mancha” en su trayectoria. Por lo que resulta particularmente sorprendente que ahora su hijo presagie que el Gobierno de Obama enfrenta la amenaza de una “Tercera Guerra Mundial”.

Michael Powell es el presidente de la Asociación Nacional de Cable y Telecomunicaciones (NCTA, por sus siglas en inglés), que constituye el principal grupo de presión de la industria de la televisión por cable. Es también ex director de la Comisión Federal de Comunicaciones (FCC, por sus siglas en inglés), el organismo encargado de dictar las normas de telecomunicaciones del país. Su actual blanco de destrucción es la neutralidad en la red. El campo de batalla es en Washington, D.C., dentro del cuartel general de la FCC. Los mayores proveedores de servicios de Internet, compañías como Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T y Verizon, aúnan fuerzas para terminar con la neutralidad de la red. Millones de ciudadanos, junto a miles de organizaciones, otras compañías, artistas e inversores intentan salvarla.

¿Qué es la neutralidad de la red? Es el principio fundamental de que cualquier persona en la red puede acceder a cualquier otra, de que los usuarios pueden acceder con la misma facilidad a un pequeño sitio web lanzado desde un garaje que a uno de los principales portales de Internet como Google o Yahoo. La neutralidad en la red es el amparo contra la discriminación con el que cuenta Internet. Y entonces, estos grandes proveedores de servicios de Internet, ¿para qué querrán eliminar algo tan bueno? Por codicia. Los principales proveedores de servicios de Internet ya obtienen inmensas ganancias. Pero si se les permite crear una Internet de varios niveles, en la que algunos proveedores de contenido paguen más para que sus páginas o sus aplicaciones web se carguen más rápido, podrían obtener ganancias extra. Recordemos que los usuarios ya pagan para acceder a Internet. Ahora, compañías como Comcast pretenden cobrarles también a quienes se encuentran al otro lado de la conexión de Internet, con lo que recaudarían miles de millones de dólares provenientes tanto de los usuarios como de los proveedores de contenido.

De eliminarse la neutralidad de la red, los principales proveedores de contenido, ya consolidados y con vasto capital, pagarán por el privilegio de que sus contenidos sean accesibles a través de una “vía rápida” en Internet. Los sitios web más pequeños y las nuevas aplicaciones no tendrán el mismo acceso, y quedarán atascados en los carriles de circulación más lenta. La era de los nuevos emprendimientos austeros impulsores de innovación llegará abruptamente a su fin. Ya no se fundarán compañías de alta tecnología en dormitorios de residencias estudiantiles. Llevará más tiempo cargar esos sitios que los ofrecidos por las grandes compañías.

La Comisión Federal de Comunicaciones es una típica agencia reguladora “cooptada” por las empresas a las que debería supuestamente regular, y cuyos funcionarios suelen alternarse entre la función pública y el trabajo para esas empresas. El actual director de la FCC, nombrado por el Presidente Barack Obama, es Tom Wheeler, que previamente fue presidente de la Asociación Nacional de Cable y Telecomunicaciones, cargo que hoy ocupa Powell, y luego encabezó el grupo de presión de la industria de las comunicaciones inalámbricas. Básicamente, Tom Wheeler y Michael Powell intercambiaron posiciones el uno con el otro. Lamentablemente, ambos llevan adelante la misma tarea: representar los intereses de las grandes empresas.

Duro golpe a la neutralidad de la red: FCC votó a favor de crear "vías rápidas" – FayerWayer

Duro golpe a la neutralidad de la red: FCC votó a favor de crear “vías rápidas” – FayerWayer.

(CC) Scott Beale

La criticada medida es un duro golpe al principio de neutralidad en la red.

La Comisión Federal de Comunicaciones (FCC) de Estados Unidos votó hoy a favor (3-2) de una propuesta preliminar que permitiría la existencia de “vías rápidas” en Internet. La propuesta no será implementada hasta finales de este año, luego de realizar una consulta pública para conocer primero la opinión de la gente.

La propuesta reconoce la existencia del principio de neutralidad de la red, pero si bien prohíbe que un ISP pueda bloquear un determinado tráfico, también les permitiría a los ISP a cobrar dinero a un servicio Web para llegar más rápido a sus consumidores, o sea, cobrar por una “vía rápida”.

La consulta pública de todas formas le preguntará a la ciudadanía si desean implementar este concepto de “priorización pagada”, así como también acerca de la medida más óptima para implementar fácilmente la neutralidad de la red en Estados Unidos, pero que el poder político quiere evitar para no tener problemas con los ISP: Reclasificar la Internet como un servicio de telecomunicaciones.

Si bien el principio de neutralidad de la red puede parecer un problema moderno, es algo más viejo de lo que uno cree. ¿Se han fijado que todas las llamadas telefónicas tienen una calidad similar? Cuando la gente tenía teléfonos fijos en sus casas, este principio sirvió para que una operadora no degradara la calidad de las llamadas desde o hacia otra operadora.

Actualmente, la Internet en Estados Unidos no se considera un servicio de telecomunicaciones, por lo que no se rige bajo una ley especial para las empresas telefónicas que garantiza que todo tráfico sea tratado de igual forma. Si la FCC decidiera reclasificar la Internet como un servicio de telecomunicaciones, inmediatamente se implementaría la neutralidad de la red en Estados Unidos.

EE UU aprueba su propuesta para crear un internet de dos velocidades | Sociedad | EL PAÍS

EE UU aprueba su propuesta para crear un internet de dos velocidades | Sociedad | EL PAÍS.


Los comisarios de la FCC, durante la votación de este jueves. / KAREN BLEIER (AFP)

La Comisión Federal de Comunicaciones de Estados Unidos aprobó este jueves su controvertida propuesta para crear un Internet “de dos velocidades”. La medida, rechazada por las grandes compañías tecnológicas, abre la posibilidad de que las empresas paguen por recibir un trato prioritario a sus contenidos, en contraste directo con el principio de neutralidad que ha marcado el funcionamiento de la Red hasta ahora.

La decisión de la FCC da paso a un intenso período de consultas con expertos, pero el respaldo de tres comisarios, frente a dos votos en contra, complica el futuro de la “neutralidad en la Red” en EE UU. El plan ha sido criticado por diferentes sectores como una luz verde para que los proveedores de acceso a Internet discriminen a favor de aquellas corporaciones que puedan costearse velocidades de descarga más rápidas. La Comisión lo ha aprobado además mientras autoridades internacionales y otros países como Brasil debaten también si la Red necesita un nuevo sistema de regulación.

La Casa Blanca emitió un comunicado este jueves en el que afirma que el presidente Obama mantiene su defensa de la neutralidad en Internet y que esta cualidad es la que ha “impulsado un crecimiento económico extraordinario”, permitiendo que empresas pequeñas en su día, “como eBay o Amazon”, compitieran con los gigantes. “El presidente está atento a todas las posibilidades para defender un Internet libre y abierto y estudiará cualquier opción que merezca su consideración”, concluye.

La FCC ha sacado adelante la nueva normativa a pesar del profundo rechazo de la industria. Dos de las comisarias expresaron además hace dos semanas su deseo de retrasar el voto celebrado finalmente este jueves para permitir un debate público más amplio. Ni sus palabras ni la firma de más de 100 empresas tecnológicas, entre las que se encontraban Google, Facebook o Amazon, lograron que el presidente Tom Wheeler cancelara la temida votación.

Yo hubiera dedicado más tiempo a considerar lo que va a ocurrir en un futuro. El proceso de decisión ha sido el equivocado”

“Yo hubiera hecho esto de manera muy distinta”, declaró este jueves Jessica Rosenworcel, una de las comisarias que criticó el procedimiento de Wheeler, aunque finalmente votó a favor de la normativa. “Yo hubiera dedicado más tiempo a considerar lo que va a ocurrir en un futuro. El proceso de decisión ha sido el equivocado”.

Net neutrality: what is it and why does it matter? | Technology |

Net neutrality: what is it and why does it matter? | Technology |

The FCC meets Thursday to discuss new rules for regulating the web. James Ball explains the latest challenge to net neutrality




Ethernet cables
The new rules would introduce an effective competition test which sets a bar ISPs have to pass in order to prioritise particular traffic. Photo: Lukas Coh /AAP Image


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) meets Thursday to discuss new rules for regulating the internet, bringing the debate about “net neutrality” back to the fore. The FCC was forced to rewrite the rules after its old ones were overturned in January following a court battle with Verizon. Protesters are camping out outside the FCC’s offices and some of the world’s biggest tech firms have written to the regulator expressing concern that the proposals leaked so far offer a “grave threat to the internet.”

As is common on the information superhighway, a debate on an issue like net neutrality tends to lead to a great deal of shouting but not much actually being said. So, ahead of the latest in what will be a long string of protests, decisions, rulings and challenges, it’s worth taking a step back and looking at what we’re debating and how we got here.

What is is net neutrality?

The core principle of net neutrality is a simple one: that all traffic (data) traveling across the internet should be treated the same at each stage of the process.

That roughly means that whether a particular packet of data is video from Netflix, HTML from the Guardian, or a P2P file being sent across BitTorrent, it’s given the same priority along the same routes. No-one has priority access, or a “fast lane”.

This is one of the key principles around the governance and structure of the internet, and one the FCC and Obama administration have both said they support, though people have their doubts about the FCC’s stance in particular.

Why it matters

The more lurid of the pro-net neutrality posters and articles get very dramatic about what an abandonment on net neutrality would mean. One particularly dramatic viral image shows an ISP bundle looking more like a cable subscription: charging additional sums each month for access to particular sites or services – $5 for online gaming sites, $5 for international, and so on.

It’s certainly scary – no-one wants to be hit in the pocket – but isn’t really the most realistic idea of what an abandonment of net neutrality would likely mean (though it could, in theory, happen down the line). ISPs actually blocking all but permitted content, or even just directly charging customers for particular access would be particularly easy for the FCC, even under its watered-down rules, to challenge. The courts would likely have a similarly easy time against such rulings.

Carta de los grandes de Internet a favor de la neutralidad de la Red | Tecnología | EL PAÍS

Carta de los grandes de Internet a favor de la neutralidad de la Red | Tecnología | EL PAÍS.


Más de 150 empresas de Internet, de los gigantes Google, Facebook, eBay, a los pequeños Flurry o BitTorrent, han firmado una carta destinada a la Comisión Federal de Comunicaciones (FCC) para pedir que se mantenga el principio de neutralidad de la Red (no discriminar por contenidos), que tantos éxitos ha dado a la economía norteamericana.


The FCC is about to axe-murder net neutrality. Don't get mad – get even | Dan Gillmor | Comment is free |

The FCC is about to axe-murder net neutrality. Don’t get mad – get even | Dan Gillmor | Comment is free |

The former cable and wireless industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler is re-writing rules in favor of the telecom giants – not you, me or the internet. Here’s what you can do to stop him



fcc chair tom wheeler
‘Incorrect accounts have reported that the earlier policies of the Commission have been abandoned,’ FCC chair Tom Wheeler wrote in a statement Thursday morning. So, apparently, has internet freedom. Photograph: Bloomberg via Getty


In January, a federal appeals court rejected regulations designed to assure some measure of fairness in the way America’s internet service providers (ISPs) handle information traveling through their networks. The problem, according to the court, was not so much that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) couldn’t insist on what is called “network neutrality” – the idea that customers, rather than ISPs, should decide priorities for information they get online. No, the issue was that the FCC had tried to impose broadband rules under the wrong regulatory framework. And the court all but invited the FCC to fix its own mistake and rewrite its own updated rules.

The FCC’s new chairman, the former cable and wireless industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler, said he would comply, rather than appeal. “Preserving the Internet as an open platform for innovation and expression while providing certainty and predictability in the marketplace is an important responsibility of this agency,” he said in a February statement.

Now, based on a slew of frightening news reports last night and a “clarification” from the FCC late this morning, we know how the agency – or at least the former cable and wireless industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler – proposes to respond: it won’t exercise its supreme regulatory authority in the manner the court suggested.

No, not at all.

Rather, the FCC will say – loud and proud – that it is fixing the open-web problem while actually letting it get worse, by providing a so-called “fast lane” for carriers to hike fees on sites trying to reach customers like you and me. Which, inevitably, would mean you and me start paying more to use those sites – if we aren’t already.

This is a potentially tragic turning point in American politics and policy. We are on the verge of turning over the internet – the most important communications system ever invented– to telecoms that grew huge through the government granting them monopoly status. Barring a genuine shift in policy or a court stepping in to ensure fair treatment of captive customers – or better yet, genuine competition – companies like Verizon and Comcast will have staggering power to decide what bits of information reach your devices and mine, in what order and at what speed. That is, assuming we’re permitted to get that information at all.

Do we want an open internet? Do we want digital innovation and free speech to thrive? If we continue down the regulatory road pursued by the former cable and wireless industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler, all of those good things will be in serious jeopardy.

La falta de Neutralidad en la Red pone en peligro la libertad de prensa | Periodismo Ciudadano

La falta de Neutralidad en la Red pone en peligro la libertad de prensa | Periodismo Ciudadano.


La decisión judicial adoptada por la Comisión Federal de Comunicaciones estadounidense vuelve a poner en entredicho la futura neutralidad en la red, además de entrañar numerosas implicaciones para el futuro del periodismo y la libertad de prensa.

Así lo pone de manifiesto el periodista y corresponsal en un artículo para la PBS y en

internetDe acuerdo con un estudio realizado por el Pew Research Center, Internet está aumentando la forma en que distribuimos y consumimos noticias. Según estos datos: el 50% de los estadounidenses citan Internet como su “principal fuente de noticias nacionales e internacionales. Aún por debajo de la televisión, pero muy por encima de los periódicos y la radio”. “En los jóvenes el número es del 71%”.

Este estudio confirma una tendencia al alza, en la que los medios sociales se consolidan como una fuente de noticias cada vez más frecuente ya que “el 19% de los estadounidenses vio las noticias en una red social” en 2012, más del doble que en 2010 con un 9 %.

redesEstos datos rebelan la necesidad de proteger la red y el acceso a la información. “El futuro del periodismo está ligado al futuro de Internet”, destaca Josh Stearns, de ahí que “la decisión del tribunal debería preocupar a periodistas y editores digitales”.

Todos acabaríamos por sufrir las consecuencias de esta ley que podría permitir a las grandes proveedoras de banda ancha obstaculizar la capacidad de los usuarios para acceder a otras fuentes alternativas de noticias para promover su propia información, o aquella que les resulte más rentable.

Las principales beneficiarias tras esta medida, que analiza en detalle Jennifer Yeh desde Free Press, serán las grandes compañías de contenido, además de menoscabar la capacidad de las personas para acceder en igualdad de condiciones a la pluralidad de fuentes alternativas e independientes que han ido haciéndose un hueco en la red, a pesar de contar con muchos menos recursos económicos. Bajo estas directrices, el propio trabajo de los periodistas ciudadanos se vería seriamente comprometido, de ahí que  afirme:

Ningún periodista o editor debe ser rehén de los caprichos comerciales o políticos de un proveedor de servicios de Internet.

El destino incierto de internet – Télam – Agencia Nacional de Noticias

El destino incierto de internet – Télam – Agencia Nacional de Noticias.

El 14 de enero un tribunal anuló en los Estados Unidos la neutralidad de la red, un principio que establece igualdad en el acceso y la distribución de información a través de internet, y que garantiza que no haya discriminación, bloqueos o tarifas adicionales por determinados servicios. Más allá de ser una batalla que aún no termina, el fallo vuelve a encender un debate en un mundo cada vez más conectado que, paradójicamente, parecería ir hacia la desaparición de internet tal como la conocimos hasta ahora.

En 1996, John Perry Barlow escribió la “Declaración de Independencia del Ciberespacio”. El texto es una de las piedras angulares de ese vibrato propio de los militantes de la red. “Estamos creando un mundo donde cualquiera, en cualquier sitio, puede expresar sus creencias, sin importar lo singulares que sean, sin miedo a ser coaccionado al silencio o el conformismo”, reza en uno de sus pasajes. Barlow, por supuesto, está por encima del promedio: su talento le permitió escribir algunas canciones para The Grateful Dead, entablar contacto con el consagrado psiconauta Timothy Leary y cerrar su manifiesto con esta hermosa definición: “Crearemos una civilización de la Mente en el Ciberespacio”.

Una corte federal de EE UU rechaza el principio de neutralidad en Internet | Tecnología | EL PAÍS

Una corte federal de EE UU rechaza el principio de neutralidad en Internet | Tecnología | EL PAÍS.

El presidente de la FCC, Thomas Wheeler, durante una comparecencia reciente. / STEPHEN LAM (REUTERS)

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Una corte federal de Apelaciones de Estados Unidos falló este martes en contra del principio de neutralidad en la red que defiende la Comisión Federal de Comunicaciones (FCC). La sentencia supone un golpe para uno de los principios básicos del funcionamiento de Internet en el país, que garantiza el acceso igualitario a la Red para todos los usuarios.

El tribunal, formado por tres jueces, ha determinado que Verizon, la empresa de telecomunicaciones que se enfrentaba al Gobierno, tiene derecho a establecer diferentes velocidades de descarga de datos de la red para distintos clientes de acuerdo con la regulación actual. Durante los últimos años, tanto la FCC como numerosas organizaciones defensoras de la neutralidad en la red, han argumentado que se trata de una práctica discriminatoria que perjudica a ciudadanos y pequeñas y medianas empresas.

En defensa de este principio, la FCC aprobó una normativa que prohíbe a los proveedores de Internet -como Verizon- que establezcan diferentes velocidades de acceso a la Red. La Corte, coincidiendo con instancias judiciales inferiores que han estudiado antes el caso, asegura que la FCC se excedió en su autoridad para regular la actividad de estas empresas.