The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Internet

The Internet is Alive and Well as of June 11, 2018

On June 11, 2018, the Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIFO) went into effect.  The hysteria over its impact nearly rivaled the doomsday scenarios created around January 1, 2000, when wild claims were made that every computer system in the world would be unable to adjust to the new century. 

Online Sales Tax Debate to See Day in Court

During the first week of April, 2018, a number of organizations filed amicus briefs with the Supreme Court with respect to the case of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., Overstock.com, Inc., and NewEgg, Inc.  The petitioner in the case seeks to overturn the physical nexus requirement specified by the Supreme Court in 1992, when it ruled on Quill Corp. v. North Dakota.

An Open Internet Excludes Net Neutrality

There is a huge misunderstanding regarding net neutrality.  Silicon Valley dot-coms and big e-commerce corporations are pushing the idea that the Restoring Internet Freedom Order approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on December 14, 2017 somehow rolled back protections for consumers, and will lead to the end of the internet as we know it.  But, it did nothing of the sort.  It simply rolled back the heavy hand of government over the internet, and restored consumer protection to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which was stripped out by the 2015 Open Internet Order.

The Sky is Not Falling, and the World isn't Going to End

The sign that appears in quaint shops and businesses across the country, “Keep Calm and Carry On,” originated from a 1939 British motivational poster.  This applies universally and over time; it is particularly relevant in a world that responds instantaneously to social media and “news.”

NYT Is Completely Wrong on Internet Freedom

The New York Times’ April 30 editorial on the effort by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to restore internet freedom gets everything wrong, particularly the claim that giving something for free as an inducement to sell services is somehow bad for consumers and small businesses.

Time to Address FCC's Privacy Order

There is a point where over-regulation can lead to uncertainty.  Such is the case with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Privacy Order.

Keeping Internet Governance in the U.S.

On March 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) would not renew its contract to oversee the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in September 2015.  The announcement called into question what governing body would provide the necessary oversight of the organization in order to prevent another government from taking control of the Internet.

The FCC Should Keep Its Hands Out of Our Wallets

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems to be taking a fast and furious ride through America’s pockets lately.  The FCC, under the helm of Chairman Tom Wheeler, announced plans to expand the Lifeline program to give away broadband Internet subsidies to low-income individuals.  What this means for the average consumer is an increase in their telephone bills, by requiring the payment of higher contributions to the Universal Service Fund (USF).

Broadband Fiction versus Fact

Every year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is required to report to Congress the progress being made in deploying advanced communications services in the U.S. On January 29, 2016, the FCC released its latest review of broadband deployment in the U.S.

A Twentieth Anniversary Not Worth Celebrating

In 1996, Bill Clinton resided in the White House; science produced the first cloned mammal, a sheep named Dolly; folks were dancing the Macarena; and the Simpsons became the longest running prime-time animated series. Unfortunately, not all twenty year flashbacks are as much fun because in 1996, cell phones were the size of a brick and performed two functions -- calling people and text messaging; the Internet was merely a blip on the radar; and, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was enacted.

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