Trump FCC Pick Would Seize Net Freedom

Kiss-off freedom on the Internet. The Trump administration’s pick to chair the Federal Communications Commission is quoted as saying he’s in favor of FCC content regulation of the Internet.

Trump names new FCC chairman: Ajit Pai, who wants to take a ‘weed whacker’ to net neutrality.”

What’s worse? In a 2015 news story here, Pai expresses that the FCC should control web content providers:

Continuing, he said, “It is conceivable to me to see the government saying, ‘We think the Drudge Report is having a disproportionate effect on our political discourse. He doesn’t have to file anything with the FEC. The FCC doesn’t have the ability to regulate anything he says, and we want to start tamping down on websites like that.’”

Like THAT???!!! Like WHAT???!!!

WTF is this mad man saying? The free press is supposed to be just THAT – FREE!

Where is the proof of no bias, in-kind contributions, favoritism for the major television networks? Where is a CNN filing? Seen a CBS filing of the sort he’s hinting at for alt-media? No.

He’s instead defending the biggest alligators in the Swamp.

This is Ajit Pai’s war on the Net Freedom.

Will it stop at throttling? Hell no. What about sites that aggregate content or offer contexting that doesn’t agree with officialdom’s Voice of the Swamp?

Pai is being set up to Goebbels 2.0 of the Net.

With all due respect, WTF was Trump thinking on this one?

I have told you before that I would report the new president’s actions evenly and so far I have not prejudged him as so many have. Instead, as promised, I have waited to see what he puts on the table. Generally it has been good. But this one stinks.

It appears to me: The FCC chair would kill Net Neutrality – one of the few things the Obama Administration got spectacularly right.

The full perspective on this will take a minute. But I outlined how government seizure and licensing of the web would happen in my 2012 book Broken Web: The coming collapse of the Internet which is still available on Amazon.

Let me run down the likely roll-out of future history in order that we put this all in context.

I anticipate the stock market will hit its all-time high this year and we will have a major recession if not a depression.

Prior to that collapse, however, which will be the analog to the 1929 debacle, I am expecting an S&P about 10% higher than it is now.

That’s not just my opinion. It’s similar to the view held by my colleague Robin Landry (Landry Asset Management) who has equivalent targets for the market – which we’ll get into in Peoplenomics a little deeper tomorrow.

After the peak, the slide begins. Just like it did for Hoover.

Then come protests and social stresses galore. And last time around, government – as an act of control – passed the Communications Act of 1934 to rule media with an iron fist. Freedom in America? Yes, but not too much.

Here’s the replay.

Just as the Hoover administration screwed up with its populist tariff moves (Smoot-Hawley), we are in position for the newly elected populist president to screw up via traffic layering of the Internet.

Under such a regimen, sites that don’t pay for speedy delivery could be throttled so other – paying traffic – could take priority. A kind of legalized extortion.

People are impatient so ask yourself “Would I wait 60-seconds – or longer – for a site like Drudge, Politico, The Hill, or UrbanSurvival to load?”

Nope.

That’s what the defenders of the Swamp want to do: Throttle traffic.

The existing FCC ordered the Internet to treat “all bits equally” and says, in effect, that the internet is a utility and all traffic is handled the same. All bits are equal.

To be sure there are already ways for sites with proprietary content to “beat neutrality.” That’s by high-speed ultra-compression of video and audio content.

Moreover, what Pai has advocated really comes down to censorship. He – in effect – will claim it doesn’t impinge of freedom of the press to throttle, but yet it does. It could mandate Alt Media to write with “invisible Ink.” Time is ink in today’s world. Slow certain websites, but not those friendly to The Swamp and what do you have? More public alligator food.

Ever since 1934, the FCC has “seized the air” and now – with this terrible appointment screw-up by Trump – wants power to effectively censor (via digital speed-bumps) content on the net that doesn’t agree with or simply doesn’t have Big Money. Bit Extortion is a good name for it.

This is not the first time of I warned you of how the social replays of the Depression will roll into view. In fact here’s a part of Broken Web from 2012 that cites my even-earlier 2002 Peoplenomics.com review of how the replay would roll: (From 2012:)


Chapter 10: Licensing the Web?

It was a strange question to be asking back in January of 2002, yet there it was, right there as one of our Peoplenomics.com topics du jour and the issues haven’t changed much in the ten years since. Let me show you what I mean:

From 2002:

“There are two extremely important characteristics of the Internet which remain hotly debated to this day and which will shape the evolution of the Internet going forward. One aspect is content of the Internet and the other is message length. Both are diligently explored, and a direction forecast in Andrew Odlyzko’s paper: “Content is Not King” in which he proposes that as networks grow, their value changes from a broadcast medium to a point-to-point value proposition.

(G note: Since 2012, the growth of FB and Twitter have proven this out.)

In some sense, the evolution of radio illustrates Odlyzko’s point. When radio was extremely young it began as a point-to-point communications system. That’s what Marconi and early experimenters were about. Over time, however, the nature of the medium changed. Radio morphed from a point-to-point enterprise to a broadcast medium. With the addition of television, the point-to-many concept evolved until it has become the general framework of the modern broadcast network “empire”.

Presently evolving we see a gradual return to a point-to-point service, albeit in slow motion. There has been a general increase in pay-per-view programming available in American homes, although it has emerged in two stages.

First came the explosive growth of the video rental business. As Richard Roehl and Hal R. Varian have noted, there is an interesting parallel between the advent of the circulating library in England circa 1725-1850 and the proliferation of video rental stores in the U.S. between 1980-1990 [5]. They describe the growth rate this way:

“After the VCR was first introduced as a consumer item, it was viewed as a device for “time shifting” television shows to more convenient viewing hours. However, it subsequently became clear that there was significant market demand for pre-recorded videos. The first company to sell pre-recorded videos was Andre Blay’s Video Club of America. He acquired fifty titles from Twentieth Century Fox studios that had all been previously sold to network TV. At the time of his first ad (in an October 1977 issue of TV Guide), there were fewer than 200,000 VCR owners, but more than 9,000 of them joined Blay’s video club.

By December of that year competition between RCA and Sony had pushed video machine prices to below $1,000 for the first time. By the end of March 1978 Blay had sold 40,000 cassettes, and by the end of the year he had sold over 250,000.

While Blay explored the video sale market, the first individual to see the possibilities for a video rental market was one George Atkinson who ran a “Mickey Mouse little business” in Los Angeles called Home Theater Systems. Atkinson rented Super Eight film projectors, screens and old movies for $25 a night. He bought one Beta and one VHS copy of each of the fifty Fox titles sold by Blay. In order to raise capital quickly he charged fifty dollars for an annual membership and one hundred dollars for a “life membership.” Members could rent videos for $10 a day. (Lardner (1987), pp. 176-7)”

End 2002 section

How does the evolution of pay-per-view figure into our forecast of licensing of the Internet?

We need to exercise a high level of mental acuity here. Not to sound like former President Clinton, but “it depends what you mean by licensing…”

You see, licensing is control. And in a society almost totally based on finance, especially lately it seems, we see examples where government has engaged in control directly, and yet in other instances, has taken an indirect – financial burden – approach. One way this was popularized by government was through user fees, for example.

The Case of Radio:

The answer is that radio provides a wonderful illustration of how a technology may evolve from a “free” thing to something that the general population will pay for if the transition occurs at the right moment in the technology and against the proper economic background.

From Wikipedia: On December 12, 1901, the first radio signal was sent from England to North America [7]. Titled the “Communications Act of 1934”, the actual date of enactment of was June 19, 1934 [8]. In other words, it took about 32 years for radio to evolve from a scientific novelty to a totally government regulated enterprise.

If we can agree that governmental regulation of the Internet is a possibility at some point, then it may be instructive to appraise the Communications Act exemptions from regulation to see where exemptions from licensure may be expected for the Internet.

The first major exemption of licensing with Government is use of the radio spectrum, especially military use. For one thing, the language of the Act specifically makes radio something “free” for government use:

“(d)(1) The application fees established under this section shall not be applicable (A) to governmental entities and nonprofit entities licensed in the following radio services: Local Government, Police, Fire, Highway Maintenance, Forestry-Conservation, Public Safety, and Special Emergency Radio, or (B) to governmental entities licensed in other services.” [9]

Thus, as we see a maneuver toward licensing of the Internet, there will undoubtedly be exemption for government use.

The second major exemption from radio licensing requirements under the Communications Act is Part 15 use, which exempts low power transmitters from regulation provided that they do not cause harmful interference to licensed services and 2, provided that they accept any and all interference received from licensed radio services. In a discussion about shared use of certain radio spectrum between licensed services and Part 15 devices, Chris Imlay, then General Counsel for the American Radio Relay League observed that:

“Avoiding licensing is a big benefit to users, but it comes with the price tag of the complete absence of protection from interference and the absolute obligation not to cause any.”[10]

In order to see the parallel between Part 15 use and its analog on the Internet, you need to understand that Part 15 devices are generally designed as low power, very limited range devices. The general idea was that a Part 15 unlicensed device would not have a range of more than a few hundred feet at most.

Initially, Part 15 devices lived happily within these limits, there has recently been a good case made for expanding the range of Part 15 devices for specific purposes using a new kind of radio technology called ultra-wideband (UWB). The notion is that UWB devices have to be very useful and relatively inexpensive for certain applications, although they would exceed the power and range limits set forth in Part 15. Examples of UWB devices include helicopter power line avoidance radar for low altitude use, and high precision low altitude ground proximity measuring devices for precision aircraft landing. Put simply, UWB technology allows for high resolution radio imaging [11].

When one looks at Part 15 exempted devices, it’s clear that they are to radio what intranets are to the Internet. Both are designed for specific missions with limited range. Just as traffic on Part 15 devices, such as certain types of wireless LAN cards can facilitate one-to-many, many-to-one and many-to-many modes, so too does the Intranet provide for such limited use.

A second attribute of Internet licensing is that it will likely provide exemptions for Intranet uses which are equivalent to short-range radio uses. Definition of an Intranet is that it is a “Browser based network for a specific audience, not open to the public.”

One last developmental parallel is that prior to the Communications Act of 1934, the government had already set up government monitoring stations. These stations advised on signal purity, spectrum use and only the most blatant of spectrum abuses.

Now look around yourself and ask: What is the parallel for the internet? Is there unofficial surveillance underway already…? I’m willing to wager that the modern computer surveillance networks are – just as early radio monitoring sites were, manned by federal employees and all – just a stepping stone to full on regulation and licensing. The only question is when?

Internet Lost Tax Revenue

Recent U.S. news reports (again this is 2012) indicated all 50-states are now facing tax shortfalls that will result in declining state budgets for at least several years. This is in keeping with the ideas expressed on this author’s web sites that the U.S. is likely in a second economic depression of the scale of the 1929-1940 event.

One type of revenue loss is related to software piracy. Here, lost taxes on software alone are something approaching $1.6 billion per year according to the Business Software Alliance’s figures for 2001. The problem has only gotten bigger since then, although recently, Amazon was making its “sales tax peace” with major enforcing states like California and Texas. (2012)

The problem of the Internet causing a loss of tax revenue is fairly clear. Even if a form of taxes could be developed that worked for companies, there would remain a sticky problem of individual Internet sales. This can range from anything as small as an occasional sale of a household trinket on eBay to something as complex as illegal gun sales over the Internet. (We call this the gun-show paradox!)

One could assert that the recent scramble to enact vast new powers to “protect us from terrorism” constitutes a veiled effort to stifle political dissent, as there has been no demonstrated role of email in the major terrorism events to date, such as the World Trade Center attack. But since when has government policy been confined to truth? Or, will we see a false-flag attack yet to come as a preconditioning event to get the public used to the idea of their old internet going away and a new corporate/government dominated Internet – licensed Internet – replacing it.

Regardless of the motive, it’s clear that the Internet could be used for destructive purposes if a person or group had that particular bent. We should observe, as in the case of automobile licensing, that if something presents a potential threat to society at large it can be licensed effectively.

It would be lights out for the net as you now know it.

(end 2012 book extract)


The appointment of Pai – or any other Net Dictator – flies in the face of Trump promises to “do the right thing” and “reduce regulations.”

Sadly, it may be too late to derail the collapse of Net Neutrality.

All that remains to be seen are three things:

  • Will small voices be even further stifled in search and through onerous regulation and “throttling?”
  • Will the FEC hold to the standard of a “cash or in-kind contribution” to establish bias?
  • Will throttling only be applied to bandwidth-intensive content providers like the pack of doom-porners who have recently gone to “fat channel” video?

These are important questions, but one has been definitively answered.

Trump doesn’t think “all bits are created equal” at least so it appears with this terrible appointment.

Although we have held to a “wait till he does something wrong” approach to the new presidency, now he has and we’re calling him out on it.

With a person like Pai at the helm, we look for the FCC to impose use taxes – and worse – on the online retail sector, as well.

Since Trump may evolve into being The Real Estate President because folks like Amazon going consumer-direct short-circuits one of the biggest real estate investment programs of pension funds and insurance companies: Ownership of malls.

The Real Estate President may harbor a legit business model grudge against the ‘net. After all, it is solely responsible for the death of all those lucrative mall occupants once called Video Stores. Remember them?  How many rents did they generate at the peak before the web?

And now – as we recounted in our Peoplenomics.com report “Bezos and Bentonville: Barbarians at the Mall” – we see not only punitive action against alt-news sites, but punitive tariffs against brickless online retailers as a growing probability, as well.

I apologize for the singular focus of this morning’s report, but it’s potentially the largest government theft of freedom in modern times.

And we must “call ‘em like we see ‘em.”

Futures this morning are flat.

The market isn’t sure what to make of Trump’s moves of Monday.

But we are on this one.

Generally good picks so far. But this one sucked.

It’s a 24-karat screw-up. More off-balance than a washer with a big rug in it.

So it goes in our chronicle of Wars Between the Business Models.

32-years from Radio to Regulated. Now a similar time-span from first Web bytes to regulation.

Tell me history doesn’t rhyme!

Tell me I’m not the Pai’ed piper…

Comments

Trump FCC Pick Would Seize Net Freedom — 43 Comments

  1. I am pretty sure this was part of the grand slam before. before the election and even after there has been a huge push to limit ( fake News sites) those that were considered fake though are the same sites that give news not supported by MSM..and since most news is scripted so everyone hears the same story.. when I was a kid I use to get the biggest kick out of standing on a corner.. and looking into the sky.. pretty soon someone would eventually come up and say.. what are you looking at.. the response.. I am not sure.. but if you watch pretty soon you will see there is something up there just behind that cloud and will poke out every so often.. pretty soon they would stare a little bit until the third person arrived and asked.. what are you looking for.. this time the second person would say not sure but every once in a while something will poke out.. they in turn would start looking up.. at that point I could walk away and watch the fun.. by that afternoon after school you could go down to the local coffee shop and hear all about the strange thing in the clouds.. mainstream media is working on that principle.. if every news channel is saying the same thing then it has to be true.. that is why I skim so many news outlets to read the story eventually you will get the true story out of it.. if it is fake it vanishes into the voids pretty quickly..

    Only time will tell what is going to be done the other side is trying to keep the fat cat organizations that they have kept for themselves that lobbyists pour money into a few to keep going. I say give him a chance I see someone that is doing exactly what he said he was going to do.. will I disagree with some of his choices.. more than likely.. Look at the alternative though to.. the same restrictions imposed.. a system that is by far nonsustaining and headed for the cliff with hyper inflation a pure reality to be faced .A Monetary system that is only set for a very few if you can help the middle class and those at the bottom keep some income to spend they will spend in the open market.
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/obama-administration-hands-over-control-of-internet

  2. By George ure struck a cord, inflamed a tendon or something like that. 2 on mesh networks and bbs could still work, will have to look for 56k modem though.
    How many people know the number of business consolidation and subsequent closings that us mericans have endured since NAFTA, we are in a dangerous place. The loss of 80% of our machine tool manufacturers, electric motor manufacturers, bearing manufacturers, electronics manufacturers. We were and maybe still are. We need a non-globalist. So far so good.

  3. “He’s instead defending the biggest alligators in the Swamp.” But… but… but he’s making America great again! Just keep petting those nice alligators: Trump’s swamp is coming to a backyard near you (if it isn’t already there).

    Oh, and a few reports back you complained that no one marched against Obama when he was inaugurated, but you failed to remind us who Obama was replacing and why so many people felt relieved — though it was short lived as soon enough Obama began ignoring his supporters and chasing after the republicans to make friends with them, despite their hatred of him (he was actually better republican than they were, which scared them).

    • Um … well, yeah. Several POW camps were here in Texas in WWII and there were several escapes as well. If anyone knows of other locations in the U.S. I’d like to know. Due to the German speaking Texans, my family was one on Dad’s side, the escapees were treated so well there really wasn’t any problem apprehending them. Many emigrated after the war and ever hear of Operation Paper Clip? Wearing the German uniform didn’t automatically make you a Nazi. Many simply had no choice.

      Don’t know about the Japanese, though. That is a totally different society that didn’t blend well with ours until the second generation after immigrating. Hate what we did to them but you HAVE to look at in the context of that time period. Not ours. The Japanese mentality was pretty much like the blindness the snowflakes today embody but on steroids. People throwing themselves off cliffs as Allied forces took over each island one by one shows how isolated and brainwashed these people were.

  4. This is a complex issue. I’m sure that Trump is a far better option than the old housewife he was in competition with, but he’s not perfect. Personally, I’m totally pro-freedom and have no problem with porn, doom-porn, grossness or anything else as long as I’m not forced to watch it. To each their own. We won the election because we could communicate, and that prevented a much worse potential. We do need to protect our right to unencumbered, affordable, private communication in all forms with reasonable bandwidth and latency. I’m wondering about the possibility of one or more parallel private networks, darting in and out of “the internet” as to maximize efficiency. I see nothing wrong with that as long as all packets are otherwise equal. BTW, I do take issue with your definition of an intranet. To me, it’s a private network based on any physical/virtual method that supports any/all protocols desired, including browser protocols.

  5. While we do not know what tariffs are being considered, Trump is probably talking about tariffs directed at companies that move out of the USA and then tries to access our market.China also practices protectionist policies and they have not faced economic ruin.

  6. It is all much simpler than you think and too bad most of the conservative fools don’t see it yet (the liberals are even bigger fools!) Fact you will all see soon enough : Trump is the modern day HITLER! Whether you like it or not — Here it comes !!

  7. Sorry, but Ajit Pai couldn’t have picked a better poster child for a lying biased internet journalist that screams for government intervention than Drudge. Drudge is good at digging up some relevant but arcane news, but replacing headlines with something that contradicts the content of the story is plain malicious and shows Drudge’s own hatred of freedom of the press.

    If calls for more govt continue, you can expect the problem to be studied enough to find a solution. Then Amazon, Ebay, telecoms and everybody with wealth, power or fame will get together with legislators behind closed doors to decide that everybody but them should be taxed, fined, regulated more.

    • The Huffington Post is also good at creating a headline that doesn’t match the story.

      • I don’t know about HuffPo. By the time I filter out the malware and spyware it’s mostly ads and I’ve lost 5 minutes trying to get to the story. They got taken off my reading list shortly after Drudge.

  8. A disingenuous column, George! You claim to be fair in one breath and to “wait to see what Trump puts on the table” then you prejudge an outcome by linking two sources; the first is the L.A. Times – which is certainly not a Trump advocate and an outlet that has done numerous hatchet-pieces on him. Your second source quotes Pai in comments he made after he and his family were personally threatened… again hardly balanced journalism. How would YOU react if Elaine and yourself came under such fire? Would you temper YOUR comments with sound judgement or react as any other normal human being? Bear in mind: I’m NOT a fan of the FCC but I’m also rational
    enough NOT to make snap-judgements based upon a couple of spurious “news” stories.

    Then, to bolster -and divert- this over reaction, you then launch into your usual tactic of column-filling background info that only marginally relates to the subject at hand [in this case, a mini history of broadcasting regulation] and which has nothing to do with Pai’s appointment. And your comparison of Smoot-Hawley to net control is simply ludicrous, even by your standards. Not even Apples & Oranges, it’s more akin to total ignorance vs. a PhD!

    It’s also worth noting that the fear-mongering source article you quote comes from CNSNews, who despite their claims are not exactly harbingers of absolute truth in broadcasting since they too have an agenda that is first-and-foremost self-serving.

    In fact, later in that same article Pai also states that he oppposes an expansion of the blatantly entitled Lifeline program [commonly called, “Obamaphone”] that would allow free broadband service to those who cannot pay for it themselves. You need to recognize that while free speech may be a right, the rampant spread of socially-corruptive garbage is not… and if you were truly honest, you’d admit that a very sizable portion of the internet appeals only to the misanthropic nature of those who only choose to wallow in pornography and fantasy driven “realities” – and that Pai did NOT suggest a widespread control of the net, but rather an examination of -and possible putative actions against- websites
    that only offer content of “no redeeming
    social value” – remember THAT phrase? You certianly should, since the Supreme Court [and the court of public opinion] wrangled it back and forth ad nauseum in the not-so-distant past. I wonder if you would you feel the same way if instead of referencing Drudge as his example Pai had
    said, “Titties-R-Us”? I think not.

    You also squawk about suppressing allegedly subversive sites by making them slow to load. Well, old fellow, this is where JOURNALISM finally enters your argument. If the content is worthy, the reader WILL seek it out and won’t be bothered if it requires 30 seconds -or five minutes- to load. In years past I’ve patiently endured a waiting list at the public library just to read a popular bestseller, because it was WORTH THE WAIT. Guess what? Just like
    undeserved fame, gratification of the instant variety is just as fleeting and quickly replaced by the next string of endless distractions.

    It sounds like your true fear is not
    censorship but rather the discerning nature of your audience and therein lies your true enemy and not Ajit Pai.

    One more thing: on a normal, balanced day devoid of such irrational rantings I’d say that your tacky comment of “Goebbels 2.0” was beneath you. Today, it clearly was not.

    your insertion of “Goebbels 2.1”

    • As fair and “astute” response as any I have viewed on this site.
      As it appears that the “hounds of righteousness” have not been set loose upon you, perhaps even their masters have gleaned somesort of education from your example?

  9. Personally, I’d like to see much MORE regulation of the broadcast airwaves, including the return of ownership limits, the fairness doctrine, and requirements for ascertainment to SERVE the community of license. Reason being, way too few companies own way too many Radio & TV stations. Conversely I’d like to see NO government regulation of the Internet beyond a neutral party overseeing the DNS servers and we already have that with ICANN.

  10. All men of power should consider not only the short term ramifications of their agendas but also the long term effects as well. ALL of them get caught up in the power they wield. Bad decisions are made even with the best of intentions.

    To wit: The “Nuclear Option”. Sure felt good to the Dems when they went through the process , but later , it has come back to haunt them big time.

    If Trump pushes this through , in the future , this will most definitely be his “Nuclear Option” when the other powers occupy the White House again.

    BUT , in the end , its always bad for we the sheeple.

  11. George, and I’m sorry, but did you really believe that ‘Drain the Swamp’ nonsense?
    Hang in there, Mike.

  12. What is the one of the first things a take over does? Control the press/lines of communications. Trump’s supporters are just starting to awaken to how his policies are not in their favor, lots more to come. BTW, thanks for pointing to the Clinton’s shutting down their CGI – no influence to sell – sorry – going out of business (and you thought we were a charity). Thanks for your efforts on your regular postings – may you be able to continue.

  13. George-
    You have COMPLETELY misunderstood Pai’s position, and taken his quote 180 degrees out of context.

    Go back. Re-read. Listen.

    You have knee-jerked into an unnecessary fit.

    I suspect that because your opinion on “Net-neutrality” is favorable, your brain filtered what you saw, in a way not consistent with reality.

    • p.s. I’m a little concerned no one else caught on to your error, but instead just piled on.

    • From the LA Times
      “We need to fire up the weed whacker and remove those rules that are holding back investment, innovation and job creation,” Pai said in a speech last month looking ahead to Republican control of the FCC.
      Remove net neutrality?

      • You’re doubling down.

        You have misjudged his position, and you have misidentified and misrepresented his Drudge/censorship quotes – indeed the whole exchange from whence that citation originates.

        I told you.

        Go back. Re-read (directly – NOT someone elses hyperbole). LISTEN.

        THE MAN IS ARGUING AGAINST FCC POWER-GRAB AND ABILITY TO CENSOR SITES LIKE DRUDGE. He is arguing AGAINST it being the job of bureaucrats to dictate what you get to read or hear.

        You have blinded yourself to this, because he has ALSO identified “Net neutrality” law as negative in his view.

        Go ahead and REPEAT the ‘weed-whacker’ quote again if it makes you feel better. But I’m not having it. I told you where you are mistaken. I can’t overcome your cognitive dissonance FOR you.

  14. Trump has changed his mind before, the Alt. media helped him get elected and he knows it. He will probably get an ear full if this guy is anti free speech.

  15. Great *contextual* overview of a historical & future communications reality.

    This quote from 2016 should alert us whom this swamp-creature favors:

    “In a statement, Ajit Pai, a Republican commissioner who was among a minority who opposed the regulation of broadband as a utility, urged cable and telecom firms to keep going with their legal challenge.

    “I continue to believe that these regulations are unlawful, and I hope that the parties challenging them will continue the legal fight,” he said.”*

    G, funny reference to ol’ slick willy on definition! Always good to know what the “definitions” are: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/153

    Thank you George & the Urban Survival Fellowship for context & great ideas melding & moving forward…

    * SOURCE: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/15/technology/net-neutrality-fcc-appeals-court-ruling.html?_r=0

  16. “With all due respect, WTF was Trump thinking on this one?” Possible answer: ‘It is too soon for martial law.’ ;)

    If folks would just study the history of the last 100 years (and understood!!) we’d all act differently. People do it to themselves for whatever reason, IMHO.

  17. Did you see where the Trumper-in-Chief declared Jan 20th a “National Day of Patriotic Devotion”? Sounds like he hired a North Korean sycophant as a consultant…

  18. I believe you are interpreting the news incorrectly. Pai is AGAINST
    “net neutrality” which throttles free speech. You do your readers a disservice if you don’t correct this miss=understanding.

    • You need to look up net neutrality:
      “the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.”
      Pai wants to take a weedwhacker to that.
      To quote the LA Times ““We need to fire up the weed whacker and remove those rules that are holding back investment, innovation and job creation,” Pai said in a speech last month looking ahead to Republican control of the FCC.
      This is corp-sprak for “Let us shape traffic…and no, that’s not equality for all bits.
      net neutrality is specifically in favor of free speech

      • Ahh…another subscriber WHO CAN READ and contextualize.

        And another reader which you refuse to listen to.

  19. I agree with OM2. Empowering some of our locals with tech like mesh node networks, perhaps in the guise of CERT, would go far in creating resistant resilience.

  20. That is an effective column. You made the difficult to understand issue of internet regulation comprehensible to me.

  21. As the truth comes out then beliefs will change and so will the future of those pro provisional governments.

    And while that is happening there will be rest areas for those who want to keep going without change in their lifetime ,,while Provisions are made for the future thinking individuals

  22. Today and tomorrow and the future government will be a provisional government so that we will be able to go forward into the future and not be stagnated by a set of rules

  23. George, your fears of loss of “freedom of the press” especially through licensing and control of the internet are well founded. It’s unfortunate that loss of freedom has to hit close to home for you to recognize it. But many of the rest of us (at least half the country) are just as fearful of loss of other freedoms. And our fears are no more irrational than yours. Maybe you should talk to your daughter some more and find you have more in common politically than you think.

  24. The FCC pick is pretty consistent for Trump. He is surrounding himself with people that can help make him look good at all costs. We already all know he doesn’t like criticism. The narcissistic twitter jams prove that. Why are you surprised at his FCC pick? He wants to eliminate all anti-Trump sites. Don’t be surprised if they come down hard on network content like SNL and Comedy Central as well.
    Welcome to West North Korea.

  25. Trump has a mesh network down – your words.

    As cheap as they are, and unregulatable <– (Oilman2 trademark made-up word), I think you now have a cause.

    You are 100% free speech, even if it hurts your ears and sensibilities.

    I believe it's time for you to explain, in very simple non-engineering terminology, what a REAL MESH NETWORK is.

    Then on to how one can use SW to link these local mesh networks.

    They cost less than buying a washing machine and much less than a cable subscription, and the DMCA cannot control them, nor can the FCC without shutting down sections of the internet.

    Personally, the area you are in could catch fire with this, because Internet prices are high and the coverage very limited. As you well know, we have to get satellite where my farm is just to have internet. Tailor made for linked local meshes…

    • +1 on the mesh network idea. Or even a resurgence of BBS systems. Given the low cost of phone rates, long-distance calls & charges aren’t an issue any longer.