News Dump Thursday: Goodbye Net Neutrality Edition

ISP's get their ROI

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission swept aside rules barring broadband providers from favoring the internet traffic of websites willing to pay for speedier service, sending the future of net neutrality on to a likely court challenge.
The Republican-led commission voted 3-to-2 on Thursday to remove Obama-era prohibitions on blocking web traffic, slowing it or demanding payment for faster passage via their networks. Over objections from its Democrats, the FCC gave up most authority over broadband providers such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. and handed enforcement to other agencies. The changes won’t take place for at least two months.
...Opponents of Pai’s rules are expected to ask U.S. judges to overturn the ruling and restore the old rules. Issues before the judges will include whether the FCC has adequate grounds to reverse a decision taken less than three years earlier. Judges last year upheld the previous rules.
Congress could write a law to overrule the FCC’s action, but it hasn’t acted as Democrats dismiss Republican invitations to legislate to a permanently weaken the 2015 rules. The Democrats’ “wall of resistance” may weaken in the new year after partisan fervor heightened by Thursday’s vote has a chance to abate, Cowen & Co. analyst Paul Gallant said in a Nov. 21 note. A bill might restore some basic net neutrality protections and also bar the FCC from regulating rates, Gallant said.

Blackwater founder Erik Prince implicated in murder

A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company’s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”
In their testimony, both men also allege that Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq. One of the men alleges that Prince turned a profit by transporting “illegal” or “unlawful” weapons into the country on Prince’s private planes. They also charge that Prince and other Blackwater executives destroyed incriminating videos, emails and other documents and have intentionally deceived the US State Department and other federal agencies. The identities of the two individuals were sealed out of concerns for their safety.

U.S.-Iran Clash Over Yemen Highly Likely

Yemen is the riskiest flashpoint between the U.S. and Iran at a time when tensions between the two powers are at a “critical level,” the International Crisis Group conflict-resolution center said.
Overlapping Middle East conflicts increase the potential for intentional or inadvertent clashes, the group said in a report released Thursday. An escalation in Yemen, such as a successful strike by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels on a Saudi or Emirati city, could prompt Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E or even the U.S. to retaliate against Iran, the group said.

How did ISIS get U.S. weapons so fast?

In one instance, PG-9 73mm rockets, sold by Romanian arms manufacturers to the U.S. Army in 2013 and 2014, were found sprinkled across both battlefields. Containers with matching lot numbers were found in eastern Syria and recovered from an Islamic State convoy in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, the report says. The rockets, adapted by the Islamic State to use in their launchers, gave militants a potent weapon against U.S.-supplied tanks and armored Humvees.
Records obtained by CAR from Romanian officials include agreements indicating the United States would not re-export those and other weapons, part of an effort to curb weapons trafficking. Saudi Arabia was another source of unauthorized weapons transfers to Syria, the report says.
The report says the U.S. government did not respond to requests to trace this and other weapons documented by CAR. A Defense Department spokesman did not return requests for comment.
On Dec. 12, 2015, Bulgaria exported antitank missile launcher tubes to the U.S. Army through an Indiana-based company called Kiesler Police Supply. Fifty-nine days later, Iraqi federal police captured the remains of one such weapon after a battle in Ramadi, Iraq, the report says. In another instance, a U.S.-backed rebel group in Syria was photographed using a launcher tube with an identical lot number, indicating it probably came from the same batch, the report says.

British troops breached Geneva conventions in Iraq, high court rules

British troops breached the Geneva conventions and subjected Iraqi civilians to cruel and inhuman treatment by hooding them and taking turns to run over their backs, the high court has ruled.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) breached the conventions as well as the 1998 Human Rights Act in the way in which it detained civilians after the 2003 invasion, the court concluded on Thursday.
The judgment comes 10 days after the international criminal court (ICC) declared there was “a reasonable basis” to conclude that British troops committed war crimes against Iraqi detainees.
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Comments

Remember you would get a letter from someone with 2 or 3 addresses on them and have to write back to the person who sent the letter along with the addresses in the letter? I think one of my grade school classes did this. Please write me! (a little play on the words of Jeb: "please clap"!)

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divineorder's picture

@WIProgressive

Heh.

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Eagles92's picture

@divineorder And if she thinks bombarding Congress with anything, with demands from the little people, will get us anywhere ... then, well, I'll have what she's having.

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Eagles92's picture

@Eagles92 Really?! Lol.

I laugh, so that I don't cry.

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Citizen Of Earth's picture

@divineorder
was on camera today bragging about the gutting of Net Neutrality.
He pitched it as fulfilling his campaign promise to remove intrusive regulations that are ruining 'merica. Hahaha. Not kidding he actually said that.

If Donnie boy has more than 1% approval rating after this, it will prove his pea-brained supporters are indeed the dumbest fucks on the planet.

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8 users have voted.

Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. The Douchebag Who Would Be King.

gulfgal98's picture

@Citizen Of Earth of Americans support net neutrality, including 75% of Republicans.

A recent poll from the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation found that 83 percent of Americans favor existing net neutrality regulations, including 75 percent of Republicans. Even if you don’t like that poll I’ve yet to see a single survey that doesn’t make it abundantly clear that this repeal is something the overwhelming majority of Americans do not want, and yet three unelected bureaucrats are ramrodding it down their throats anyway.

Let's remember that Ajit Pai was originally appointed to the FCC by none other than that socialist, Barack Obama. Pai is just another of Obama's legacies that continue to blow up in the face of all Americans.

As much as I despise Trump, we have to recognize just how much Obama paved the way for this corporatist to be able to place his boot on our necks.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

The Aspie Corner's picture

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detroitmechworks's picture

have control over the internet right now.

Because you know that the FCC, assuming there's no stay order, will be happy to hand the job off.

Probably could find out by researching, but that does feel like the media's job, especially considering that it's the people who will be making the decisions for the media.

Edit: Buncha states are suing the FCC. I'm happy to see that Oregon is among them. Course, Willing to bet this gets thrown out on a "Standing" issue or something equally idiotic.

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You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

The Aspie Corner's picture

@detroitmechworks ....after he's done handing the internet over to them.

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@The Aspie Corner
And neither does Trump.

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The Aspie Corner's picture

@Timmethy2.0 Comcast was one of her largest backers, so I have no reason to believe this would have ended differently under Billary. Both parties are just arms of the Corporate Uniparty anyway.

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@The Aspie Corner
I doubt it myself. But sometimes Hillary doesn't need to be brought up when Trump is the reality we must deal with. That's doing Robert Mercer's bidding.

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gulfgal98's picture

@The Aspie Corner by Barack Obama. Trump elevated Pai to chairman. Pai is a former attorney for Verizon. Talk about stinking! Bad

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

@gulfgal98 @gulfgal98
That Ajit just overturned at Trump's behest, so that's a false equivalence.

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smallaxe's picture

@Timmethy2.0

BO knew Pai was a Verizon lawyer/consultant when he appointed him. Revolving door just bit our butts!

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They shouldn't be f**cking with our government to benefit themselves at the expense of an open internet. I'll be signing up with Sonic and saving money. Time to join the effort to create a new internet of, for and by the People.

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@Timmethy2.0
Finally cut the Comcast cord, and saved a few bucks.

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@gjohnsit
I guess the real problem is that only a few companies, like Comcast and Verizon, own the actual core internet addresses on which all other addresses are based. The smaller ISPs, like Sonic, I believe have to pay the greedy gate masters for access to those core addresses. My limited understanding is that all computers on the internet have an IP address which is a 16 digit number. We're connecting to the IP address of the server that hosts Caucus 99 right now. The big Telecoms own the first 4 digits of that 16 digit number which is why they are the gatekeepers. Fuck em.

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@Timmethy2.0 to provide internet access in the first place. Pretty much any provider even using another platform will still travel that same fiber, etc and go through company owned switches. So, not only do they get a nice juicy tax cut, high stock prices due to even more buybacks, but they get to regulate who and how their pipe is used. I'd bet there's LOTS of celebration for them today....

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@Timmethy2.0
I've had no reason to regret switching to them

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divineorder's picture

@Timmethy2.0

....

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15 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

QMS's picture

wantsa have control over US. Gangsta's keep the Fed fed. Vices and verses. Same, same. No peeps from the press?

One wonders who's calling the shots. As the curtain falls...

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14 users have voted.

changing the world, one thought at a time

Mark from Queens's picture

goons who grease right through the Revolving Door of DC make me sick.
Amy Goodman on Democracy Now:

I wanted to talk about Ajit Pai's background and this remarkable moment. A joke made by the FCC chair Ajit Pai when he was the featured speaker last week at the Federal Communications Bar Association's annual dinner, in response to accusations that he's a corporate shill for the telecommunications industry. Pi is a former Verizon lawyer. Pai played what he jokingly called a quote 'leak of fourteen-year-old video,' that was actually a recorded skit supposedly set in 2003 and Verizon's DC office where Pai worked as an attorney before joining the FCC in the video of a rise in executives tells Pai the FCC is captured by the industry but quote 'not captured enough. So we have a plan. What plan?' Pai asks the executive. His response was 'we want to brainwash and groom a Verizon puppet to install as
FCC chair, think Manchurian Candidate,' to which Pai replies, 'that sounds awesome.'

This guy appears to be one of the more shameless examples, a former Verizon lawyer now heading up the very agency that is supposed to regulate his former client. It's a farce really. According to wiki, he's "served in various positions at the FCC since being appointed to the commission by President Barack Obama in May 2012, at the recommendation of Mitch McConnell. He was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on May 7, 2012,[1] and was sworn in on May 14, 2012, for a five-year term.[2]

In January 2017, President Donald Trump designated Pai as FCC Chairman.[3][4] In March 2017, Trump announced that he would renominate Pai to serve another five-year term as FCC Chairman.[5] Pai was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for an additional five-year term as FCC Chairman on October 2, 2017.[6] Before his appointment to the FCC, Pai held positions with the Department of Justice, the United States Senate, the FCC's Office of General Counsel, and Verizon Communications."

All political appointees such as ambassadorships, heads of agencies, etc come via the auction house to the highest bidder that the Presidential Elections campaign finance system allows.
Our government is simply the pillage house of corporate raiders, grifters and oligarchs who are addicted to the continued rape of the public.

What is it going to take to wake people up to this sheer, brazen quid pro quo bribery and theft of the public coffers?

Re: the Dark Crypto-Fascist "Christian" Prince. Few things would make me happier than to see his ass behind bars. But we all know our Injustice System is two-tiered. One for the 99%, and the other for well-connected politicians, Wall St Economic Terrorists and cops.

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17 users have voted.

(thirty three and a third at TOP)

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

divineorder's picture

@Mark from Queens has the latest:

For any here not familiar with Tom:

TomDispatch
@TomDispatch
For those seeking a deeper understanding of our post-9/11 world & a clear sense of how our imperial globe actually works. (link: http://facebook.com/tomdispatch) facebook.com/tomdispatch
tomdispatch.com
361 Following
20,513 Followers

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

@divineorder

U.S. Special Ops, Elite Commandos Deployed to 149 Countries in 2017

I doubt 1 in 1,000 Americans can even name 149 countries.

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divineorder's picture

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit have been to 49.

I went to take a look at TomDispatch after people were discussing in your DRC essay whether or not US Troops were in the DRC.

The Nick Turse article TD featured has a handy dandy map. Looks like the DRC is surrounded.

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8 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

riverlover's picture

T3 Lines upgraded to whatev 5 miles away. It was never about equal. Ever. Always class and "substance".

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9 users have voted.

Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

@riverlover a truly public broadband as a utility - then you would have actual access without needing a T3 into a switch, etc but NO, far better you pay for that T3 line as that money goes to another "service provider" that at one time was regulated as a utility but now, it's a private enterprise bonanza!

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9 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

@lizzyh7 start their own!

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11 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

riverlover's picture

@lizzyh7 for $10K for the friggen wire up through the woods. Nope.

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5 users have voted.

Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

Eagles92's picture

@lizzyh7 And, after a debacle that's too complicated to recap here, had the chance to keep it that way.

The (largely "D" majority) City Council sold us right down the river.

Pardon my french, but fuck all of them.

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dervish's picture

and not Congress? What accountability do they have, and who elected them?

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15 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

detroitmechworks's picture

@dervish

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13 users have voted.

You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

Bisbonian's picture

@dervish , but would it make any difference if 535 people decided it?

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

@dervish @dervish
From wikipedia

The FCC is directed by five commissioners appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate for five-year terms, except when filling an unexpired term. The U.S. President designates one of the commissioners to serve as chairman. Only three commissioners may be members of the same political party. None of them may have a financial interest in any FCC-related business.

That's why Obama had to appoint Ajit but also got to appoint Tom Wheeler as chairman of the FCC. Yes we can.

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WoodsDweller's picture

I looked up "sore loser" in the dictionary and it showed me this:

Of interest, he doesn't wear an American flag lapel pin, he wears a cross.

Did you really think that someone who places his own interpretation of the Bible above a Supreme Court ruling is going to accept the will of voters? God promised him that seat, no dirty citizens can take it away.

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15 users have voted.

The lesser evil is still evil. Vote your conscience, not your fear.

Socialprogressive's picture

@WoodsDweller
It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

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11 users have voted.

My God can kick your Gods ass.

divineorder's picture

Planning to sue the bastards!

Sumbeeches.

Yo.

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12 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

divineorder's picture

In support of #DAPL? We did. Everyone I see going into Wells Fargo branches I want to Scream 'Do you know wtf this company has done?'

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12 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

riverlover's picture

@divineorder I am not proud. Defunding ASAP.

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6 users have voted.

Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.