Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Trump’s Global News Network and the ‘Fiction of Reality’

My initial reaction to President Trump’s call earlier this week for the creation of a new, state-run global-news network was: “Wait. Don’t we already have that?”

We do. Sort of.

In the midst of World War II, the U.S. government created Voice of America (VOA) to transmit pro-U.S. propaganda to German citizens who might want a different view than the messages being broadcast by Josef Goebbels and the Nazi information machine.

Following the war, VOA morphed into a global network with a principal aim of countering the pro-Soviet narrative with one of our own.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Why Pai Lied About Net Neutrality Comments


Ajit Pai has a lot of explaining to do.

The Federal Communications Commission chairman will go before a Senate oversight committee on Thursday just days after 
an investigation by his agency’s inspector general revealed that the FCC had been ... umm ... less than truthful when it insisted a cyberattack crashed its public-commenting system during last year’s Net Neutrality proceeding.

On Tuesday, four Democratic members of the House Commerce Committee sent a series of questions to Ajit Pai, seeking to understand what the chairman knew about the comment system’s failure and when he knew it. 

The questions speak to a curious timeline where Pai and his staff took considerable pains to bolster the FCC chief information officer’s claim that the May 2017 crash was due to outside forces beyond the agency’s control.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Net Neutrality Is Not Dead Yet, or Ever

In a hilarious scene from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” a would-be corpse protests when a relative attempts to deposit him prematurely on a cart stacked high with bodies.

“I’m not dead yet,” he tells the body collector.

“He will be soon. He’s very ill,” his relative says, to which the man insists: “But I’m getting better.”

Net neutrality is getting much better thanks to the fierce public opposition that’s met Trump-administration efforts to kill off the principle that protects the open internet…

More at the Seattle Times

Monday, June 11, 2018

Net Neutrality Can Still Be Saved

Originally published at HuffPost

A future without net neutrality is here. Well, almost.

The Federal Communications Commission will take away the rights of internet users on Monday. Officially, the repeal of the 2015 net neutrality protections ― a repeal that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Trump pick, had pushed for ― will take effect.

That means that internet providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon will be able to block, throttle and otherwise interfere with online content without any real legal consequences.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Red Alert for Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know


Starting this Wednesday Net Neutrality supporters will raise the alarm in defense of an open internet.

Since December of last year — when the Federal Communications Commission voted to strip internet users of their Net Neutrality protections — millions of advocates of every political stripe have been organizing to nullify the ruling and restore the safeguards we expect every time we go online.

This week and next, we are joining with organizations and online companies are calling on the Senate to pass a “resolution of disapproval.” If passed by both chambers and signed by the president, the resolution would reinstate the Net Neutrality protections we won in 2015. These baseline open-internet rules prevent companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with our rights to connect and communicate.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Addressing the Federal Overhaul of the Lifeline Program and Its Effect on Low-Income New Yorkers


Testimony of Timothy Karr, Free Press 
Before the New York City Council Committee on Technology
February 28, 2018 

Hello. My Name is Timothy Karr and I’m the senior director of strategy for Free Press. At Free Press we fight for everyone’s rights to connect and communicate, which includes advocating for policies that promote universal access to an affordable and open internet.

As such, we often cross swords with the Federal Communications Commission. And we’ve been particularly busy during the Trump administration. President Trump appointed as FCC chairman a person who’s devoted his career to handing telecommunications giants special favors at the expense of the people he’s supposed to be serving.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Net Neutrality Politics is Local

“All politics is local,” the late House Speaker Tip O’Neill famously said. O’Neill is less known for another saying that also holds true: “You can’t assume anything in politics. That’s why every Saturday I walk around my district.”
It’s easy for cloistered Washington politicos to assume that Net Neutrality is dead, undone in December by the Trump FCC and its Verizon-friendly chairman, Ajit Pai. But any elected official who follows O’Neill’s advice and walks beyond the Beltway is hearing a very different story.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Trump’s Appalling Record on Internet Freedom at Home Makes Him a Weak Champion of Rights Overseas

Donald Trump wants to make the internet great again … in Iran.

But it’s another story when it comes to defending online rights in the United States.
On Tuesday, Under Secretary of State Steve Goldstein told the Iranian government to stop blocking social-media sites being used to help organize protests across the country. Goldstein also encouraged Iranians to use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to circumvent state-network controls.
Goldstein’s comments followed up to a Trump tweet from earlier in the week calling out the Iranian leadership for “[closing] down the Internet so that peaceful demonstrators cannot communicate.”
Indeed, Iran has gone to new extremes to restrict its people’s access to the free and open internet.