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Posts Tagged ‘FCC’

Voted Obama? Embarrassed Yet?

Internet Censorship is coming your way.

How embarrassing that this country elected President Obama.  I don’t care for the white part of him or the black part.  Throw the race card right out the window.  I do find it admirable that voters can see past a persons color, and disgraceful that they couldn’t see what Joe The Plumber warned of the socialistic tendencies coming down the pike.  I don’t mean those stupid Recovery Signs down the Turnpike either.

Will Ahrcanum and similar web sites now be black listed by Google and the government new Internet police for saying I disagree with the President?  Should I fire myself for expressing my opinion? Does that constitute an Internet Crime?  http://www.cyberlawenforcement.org/

From day one, President Obama’s campaign was an orchestrated masterful manipulation of the press and continues to this day, as the Administration seems to be working towards an all out government run media including the Internet.  Transparency my ass.

The right to free speech, the communication of ideas and opinions has its history in numerous documents. John Locke established the individual as the unit of value and the bearer of rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. It is supposed to be the role of  Government to protect these rights, not take them away.  The First Amendment to the Constitution states,  “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”.

You have to take your chances on the repercussions of having free speech though.  Can’t be yelling “Fire” in a theatre and common decency kind of things.  Helen Thomas broke protocol when sharing her personal views that the Jews in Israel should go home.  In response, she was forced into retirement as a columnist for the Hearst News Service. http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2010/06/helen-thomas-dean-of-white-house-press.html

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, a former black ops leader and commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan couldn’t keep his opinion to himself either.  Even prior to the Rolling Stone article put the end to his career, [sic, previous] “remarks earned him a smackdown from the president himself, who summoned the general to a terse private meeting aboard Air Force One. The message to McChrystal seemed clear: Shut the fuck up, and keep a lower profile.” http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/119236

McChrystal may have been unimpressed with the commander-in-chief from the start, but the General worked for him. Not always smart to disrespect the boss.  The President on the other hand, is supposed to work for you and I and defend the Constitution, not against us or it. 

Fighting homegrown terrorism by monitoring Internet communications is a civil liberties trade-off the U.S. government must make to beef up national security, the nation’s homeland security chief said Friday. 

As terrorists increasingly recruit U.S. citizens, the government needs to constantly balance Americans’ civil rights and privacy with the need to keep people safe, said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/18/napolitano-internet-monitoring-needed-fight-homegrown-terrorism/

I buy the nation’s security plea, not the censorship Kool-Aid sale. Not withstanding, I still hate referring to America as The Homeland.   Is there some sort of global conspiracy to limit free speech and on-line discussion?  There are Internet censorship bills in Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. with more to come.  Say nothing of the black holes where there is no Internet at all. 

Will America Turn into the Black Hole of The Internet?

 By a 3-2 vote, the FCC on June 16 — under the chairmanship of Julius “Caesar” Genachowski — moved the agency toward the power to regulate the transmission component of broadband Internet service. Genachowski — Obama’s Harvard law classmate — thus sets the table for regulating the Internet under rules that were written for the telephone company in the thirties. http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/vernon/100712

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has received fleeting public attention, yet it has been quietly evolving for a number of years.  On it’s face ACTA is described as a countermeasure directed at the rise of counterfeit goods, medicines and pirated copyright protected material, including “piracy over the Internet”.

If officially ratified, however, ACTA would mark the formation of a major new global legal infrastructure with relation to standards on intellectual property rights enforcement.  It would also see the formation of an international governing body to oversee implementation of the agreement. http://truth11.com/2010/07/12/acta-flagship-of-the-growing-internet-censorship-armada/

Obama Administration regulatory czar Cass Sunstein is on the record in support of the latest in a series of proposals to regulate political speech on the net. 

“The site’s of one point of view agree to provide links to sites of the other point of view. So if you’re reading a conservative magazine, they would provide a link to a liberal site. And vice versa, just to make it easy for people to access to competing views. Or maybe a popup on your screen that would show you an advertisement or maybe even a quick argument for a competing view

If we could get voluntary arrangements in that direction, it would be great and if we can’t get voluntary arrangements maybe Congress should hold hearings about mandates.” http://deathby1000papercuts.com/2010/05/obama-czar-cass-sunstein-internet-mandates-spread-the-link-love/

Government mandates for the Internet?  In his book Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech Sunstein says there is a need to reformulate First Amendment law. And recall Sunstein, ” has a secret aim to push a radical animal-rights agenda in the White House. Sunstein supports outlawing sport hunting, giving animals the legal right to file lawsuits, and using government regulations to phase out meat consumption.   http://www.prweb.com/releases/Cass-Sunstein/Animal-Rights/prweb1868134.htm

No steak dinner, no unrestricted Internet?  Pop up ads for a competing point of view? Rewrite the First Amendment?  Where’s Ted Nugent when you need him?

Further challenging first amendment rights is the DISCLOSE Act under the guise of election reform.  http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h5175/show The DISCLOSE Act is a desperate attempt to influence the November elections, and minimize Democrat losses writes http://biggovernment.com/dbossie/2010/07/12/will-senate-democrats-stifle-free-speech/

Discussions, bills and laws like The Fairness Doctrine and Net Neutrality aren’t going away anytime soon.

There is some hope for keeping the First Amendment in tact and further limiting big brother with the Enumerated Powers Act that requires that each bill cite its authority under the Constitution. http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s1319/show The sad thing about this bill is that it takes a bill or legislation to remind our elected officials to do something they should have been doing all along- you know, a little something called upholding the Constitution to which they were elected to and swore an oath to support and defend.

Oh that’s right, the President is after all a Constitutional Lawyer, I think.  I’ve never seen his diploma or birth certificate for that matter but numerous times he has made reference that the Constitution does not address social inequities. 

DC Downsizer Michael Mitchell of Alaska compiled this list from Article I of the U.S. Constitution. These are all the powers that the Congress has-

  1. Borrow money
  2. Regulate commerce among the states
  3. Regulate naturalization
  4. Regulate bankruptcies
  5. Coin money
  6. Fix weights and standards
  7. Punish counterfeiters
  8. Establish post offices
  9. Establish post roads
  10. Record patents
  11. Protect copyrights
  12. Create federal courts
  13. Punish pirates
  14. Declare war
  15. Raise an army
  16. Provide a navy
  17. Call up the militia
  18. Organize the militia
  19. Makes laws for Washington, DC
  20. Make rules for the Army and Navy

Mitchell continues, “According to the 10th Amendment, all else is controlled by the states or the people.” https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/campaigns/87/background

Gee, I don’t see government mandate for health care in there.

In case you’ve forgotten what else The Constitution says, here’s a great link at http://www.upinjustice.com/knowyourrights.htm

Based on Constitutionality or a coming to their senses, Democratic governors are already complaining about the Obama administration’s first lawsuit against Arizona’s immigration enforcement law, Attorney General Eric Holder is already planning a second.  When setting one little pinkie toe on U.S. soil, one of the first things you have is the right to remain silent, thanks to the Constitution.

Perhaps President Obama should revisit his use of free speech by talking about things like the BP Oil Spill which he hasn’t bothered to mention publicly since June 22. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-after-cabinet-meeting  Among today’s duties he will honor the WNBA champion team.  http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-obama-honor-wnba-champion-phoenix-mercury-white-house.  By the way we are about to begin war games off the Korean Peninsula.  Comment please?

When it comes to governments restricting the Internet I am reminded of George Carlin’s, “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television”.  Today, I take the opportunity to write:  Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits, just because I still can. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_dirty_words

How’s that for freedom of speech and freedom of religion too? Now I have to go to confession to saying and writing those dirty words.

Updated July 15- The federal appeals court ruled that the FCC agency’s ban on “fleeting expletives” unconstitutional. Great reading at http://reason.com/archives/2010/07/15/the-obsolescence-of-federal-ce/

God Bless America.

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internet

The SEC and Department of Homeland Security are saying we need a web backup plan in the event the H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic forces people to stay in their homes to use computers even more than usual for work or play.

Homeland Security Department accused the GAO of having unrealistic expectations of how the Internet could be managed if millions began to telework from home at the same time as bored or sick schoolchildren were playing online, sucking up valuable bandwidth….Private Internet providers might need government authorization to block popular websites, it said, or to reduce residential transmission speeds to make way for commerce.  http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN2620750120091026?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0

Are politician looking craft new ways to get more control on the last free media frontier we have? We believe it is essential that the Internet remain unrestricted with an open platform. 365 days a year, 24/7.  President Obama on the other hand has not been quiet about pushing for Internet legislation.

The government wants to make sure everyone has access to the Internet and have set aside $7.2 billion in stimulus dollars for construction.http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner~y2009m10d21-Net-Neutrality-enforcement-may-reach-into-your-computer Again with the stimulus dollars.  Private investment and the private sector is what has spurned it’s growth.  As we have been witness to banks and car companies who accept bailout funds, they also accept government control and regulations. 

Last week the FCC begin consideration of the rules that would protect and promote open broadband pipes to the Internet. Over the next several months, an official rule making proceeding will take place, along with public workshops and technical advisory discussions, allowing everyone to provide feedback before the Commission adopts a final set of rules.  The proposed rules can be found here as a pdf http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-09-93A1.pdf  We found it interesting that on p. 97  the document quotes Thomas Jefferson, “The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases.”

Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam showed in a joint blog post that stakeholders can work together with mutual respect to find common ground, even as we acknowledge and defend important policy differences.  http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/10/finding-common-ground-on-open-internet.html

One significant issue, is that the government apparently uses the same Internet protocols and the same operating systems as the private sector, making cyber security a universal problem as opposed to a governmental problem.  Hackers may find a greater payload in targeting critical infrastructure such as power grids, financial or communication networks or air traffic control systems than in attacking the CIA or the Pentagon.  An attack by an adversary nation, much less a cyber extortionist or terrorist, is not so far-fetched. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-zirin14-2009oct14,0,603775.story 

 internet2usamap2

The federally funded Next Generation Internet (NGI) project (http://www.ngi.gov/) exists parallel to and complementary with Internet2, http://www.internet2.edu/ We have trouble believing that America’s nuclear weapons arsenal operate on the standard net. Internet2 is not available to the general public, even though our taxpayer dollars support it.  More about that here https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2009/07/15/internet-censorship-shocking-treatment-of-taxpayer/ The speed of information-sharing network on Internet2 is now 100 Gbit!

Thomas has the draft of the Rockefeller Cybersecurity Act S 773 here,  http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.773.  It  gives the president powers to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” and shut down or limit Internet traffic in any “critical” information network “in the interest of national security.”  More of our previous thoughts here https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2009/08/29/obama-internet-controcybersecurity/

The proposed rules claim that Cisco’s built Internet routers have over 28.1 million lines of code- does anyone realistically foresee the government being able to regulated something so large?  Are attacks of the Swine Flu more common than cyber security breaches?  We we do know that the nation has done a pretty miserable job coordinating it’s response to past emergencies as evidenced by Hurricane Katrina, the financial bailouts, and now the H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic.  If big brother takes over the Internet, the last bastion of freedom of speech in what is left of our democracy, could be gone.

photo props to Bikes Over Baghdad http://bkachinsky.transworld.net/,

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Reuters is reporting that the Senate passed a bill on Monday 1/26/09 to delay the nationwide switch to digital TV signals, giving consumers nearly four more months to prepare.  The transition date would move to June 12 from February 17 under the bill that was fueled by worries that viewers are not technically ready for the congressionally-mandated switch-over.

Not technically ready?  You have got to be kidding me, how much money has the FCC spent on those stupid commercials warning of the impending doom of the rabbit ears for TV reception?  How many $40 coupons have been sent and spent? 

For years, the feds have been pushing and prodding broadcasters to complete their conversion to digital broadcasting, opening up spectrum space that has been long earmarked for other uses.  What those uses are remains up for debate. 

Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless most certainly have plans for the new space and more than likely, it will become easier to the government to track communications -all in the interest of national security. 

“The transition from analog to digital television is a historic change and brings with it considerable benefits for the American consumer,” said [sic then] Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez. “Not only will the transition help expand consumer choices, but more importantly, the digital transition will enable more efficient use of the nation’s airwaves providing new advanced wireless services and increased public safety services for all Americans.” http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/03/digital_tv.html

Having had more than FOUR FRIGGING YEARS TO PREPARE, “In a letter to key lawmakers Thursday, Obama transition team co-chair John Podesta said the digital transition needs to be delayed largely because the Commerce Department has run out of money for coupons to subsidize digital TV converter boxes for consumers. People who don’t have cable or satellite service or a TV with a digital tuner will need the converter boxes to keep their older analog sets working.  Obama officials are also concerned the government is not doing enough to help Americans — particularly those in rural, poor or minority communities — prepare for and navigate the transition.”  http://www.kjrh.com/content/programming/hdtv/story/Will-Congress-delay-the-digital-transition/OPlhRwH6JUahec59CPTQ5Q.cspx

“The Obama administration deserves time to bring order to what has been an appallingly mismanaged process by the Bush administration,” Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller, D-W. Va., said in a statement.  Oh, give me a break. 

Oh, just change the channel or shut the TV off to prevent another Democrat from accepting responsibility for an inept constituent who can’t figure out that you need cable, a satellite dish or a converter box to watch TV. 

The lawmakers worry that an estimated 20 million mostly poor, elderly and rural households are not ready for the switch.  Rural? Poor?  My ass.   The whole reason Direct TV started out so successfully in the first place was because it was too damned expensive to run CAT 5 or standard cable to the boondocks of nowhere in the constituency.  Without cable people were forced to to buy Direct TV or another dish service or else see fuzz from the local network and PBS..  We’ve all seen the home trailers in the middle of butt frig Egypt middle America, with the couch on the porch and the damned satellite dish hanging off the side of the trailer.

Go ahead and get me started on GMH- General Motor Hughes stock and Loral Communications two of the great proponents of satellite technology not only for TV transmission but for weapons.  Oh Bill and Hillary- what did you do? What didn’t you do? More important- What are you doing now?

Despite an ongoing FBI investigation into the unauthorized transfer of advanced missile-guidance technology to China, Loral Space  http://www.loral.com/  requested and received Clinton administration approval to sell communications satellites to Beijing in 1996, a secret National Security Council memo obtained by WorldNetDaily shows.

Congressional investigators raised concerns that the satellite technology shared with the Chinese may have allowed them to improve their capability of launching intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear tips aimed at the at the United States.  Hello- aimed at the USA – Loral’s then Chairman  Bernard Schwartz donated more than $1 million to the Democratic National Committee, according to FEC records, and  made contributions to Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the U.S. Senate in New York. That $1 million contribution was the single largest individual donation to the DNC that year. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=20606

Rural folks ain’t stupid and neither are consumers.  Judged by Wal Mart’s recent sales figures and with its  massive buying power and store presence in big cities and rural communities offering flat panel LCD and Plasma televisions that are digital ready, so is the American TV watcher.   

When in doubt, if your converter box not quite cutting it for good digital reception- if you’ve got some extra coat hangers laying around then John Park can show you how to make a DTV antenna out of spare coat hangers. Check out the video and the PDF for all the instructions! http://www.tvsnob.com/archives/cat_digital_tv_transition_2009.php

If John Park can do it with a coat hanger, certainly there was no reason to have delayed what has been shoved on us for the past four years. 

I want my MTV and I want it in mandated digital- NOW.

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Video Killed the Radio Star is a song by the British group Buggles and was released in 1979. It celebrates the golden days of radio, talking of a singer whose career is cut short by television.  It was the first music video shown on MTV in North America when the music channel debuted on August 1, 1981, at 12:10 A.M.  Obama would have been about 20 years old. [If I saw his birth certificate I could tell you exactly how old he was -but alas, it has never been shown to the public-only a copy of a COLB. 

Leave it to Obama to kill what is left of radio listenership.   With an, in your face- I don’t need the radio attitude toward Rush Limbaugh, Obama continues to capitalize on the Internet and “for the first time, the weekly Democratic address has been released as a web video rather than the traditional radio address. http://change.gov/newsroom/entry/your_weekly_address_from_the_president_elect/  and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zd8f9Zqap6U By posting the address on You Tube we can see that more than 550,000 people have viewed it.  Too bad the comments and ratings have been disabled.

His campaign on the net was masterful and again we are witness to the landscape of change in communications.  Communicating will change even further this winter when TV will only be broadcast under the digital domain.  February 17, 2009, all full-power broadcast television stations in the United States will stop broadcasting on analog airwaves and begin broadcasting only in digital. The FCC claims digital broadcasting will allow stations to offer improved picture and sound quality and additional channels. http://www.dtv.gov/ 

That means that people who use an antenna to watch TV will likely get no more service after Feb. 17. The exceptions are if the TV is a digital TV, TV service comes from cable or another paid source or you bought one of those digital converter boxes (two $40 coupons are available at www.DTV2009.gov). See my “Guide to the 2009 Digital TV transition.”  What no one fails to mention is the jackpot each of the license holders has been given.  http://unusualmusic.livejournal.com/293881.html  writes  “Although the airwaves are the property of the public under US law, and broadcasters receive their licenses from the FCC only on the condition that they serve the public interest, neither Congress nor the FCC, have attached any public service or public interest requirement to the thousands of new DTV channels that current broadcasters will receive. And current broadcasters, according to the deal worked out by Congress and the FCC back in the 1990s, are the only ones upon whom the new stations made possible by DTV will be bestowed. They’re in. Congress and the FCC, in their wisdom didn’t think local governments, schools, colleges, libraries, unions, community organizations, local churches, blacks, Latinos or females deserved a shot at any of the thousands of new DTV channels. They’re out. That’s it and that’s all.

Since airwaves are free we are now being held hostage to paying for cable in order to receive good reception but cable broadcasters are not the only one to actually use cable.    Comcast, AT&T, Sprint, and the others all make use of cable but fail to talk about all the dormant dark fiber laid in the 1990’s cris-crossing the country that is not being used. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_fiber  We see companies charging and limiting band with, capping usage, and charging for bytes of traffic to boost revenue.  Another major media shift has been underway for some time regarding CNN, who is underway to surpass The Associated Press, Reuters, and UPI as a news source available to the media.  “So in addition to cablecasting, web casting and mobile casting (its big three destination plays), it [sic- CNN] figures it can make some money offering the same content to other news outlets. Call it syndication, call it distribution or call it, in the old parlance it has chosen, the CNN Wire.    http://www.contentbridges.com/2008/11/cnn-changes-the-wire-game.html ” I call it a big monopoly.

http://www.techpresident.com/ reports that The Obama-Biden transition team has just named the staunchly pro-Internet Susan Crawford its co-lead in the review of the FCC, Federal Communications Commission.   Crawford, a leading expert on communications policy, is the founder of OneWebDay, called “an environmental movement for the Internet ecosystem.” She was, until recently, also a member of the board of directors of ICANN, the organization charged with overseeing some of the Internet’s operations.* Here more of her thoughts here http://onewebday.org/?page_id=310 and her thoughts on the “man in the middle”- the government’s role in monitoring the Internet.

Seeing as Al Gore invented the Internet is should seem only fitting that a government entity should monitor it, right?  ROFL.  http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9595_22-151059.html notes that programs more intrusive than Carnivore may be in use and in  in violation of the Wiretap Act and the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. ” Instead of recording only what a particular suspect is doing, agents conducting investigations appear to be assembling the activities of thousands of Internet users at a time into massive databases, according to current and former officials. That database can subsequently be queried for names, e-mail addresses or keywords. ”

Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section is a busy place.  http://www.scmagazineus.com/Study-Internet-service-providers-facing-more-larger-threats/article/120828/  Internet service providers (ISPs) are facing more security threats, while attacks are becoming larger and more sophisticated.
That finding is from Arbor Networks’ Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report, The report compiles survey responses from 66 lead security engineers from North America, South America, Europe and Asia. They were asked questions relating to Internet security threats and engineering challenges occurring between August 2007 and July 2008.The scale of attacks have been growing steadily since 2001, but this year’s largest reported distributed denial-of- service (DDoS) attack reached 40 gigabytes per second against a single target, the report states.

[I]n a final statement that’s likely to send shivers down the spines of telecom company executives, she [Crawford] said that she believes Internet access is a “utility.”

Hic up, most utilities are taxable.

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