Headlines 

It Just Got Easier for the FCC to Ignore Your Complaints

It may soon be harder to get the Federal Communications Commission to listen to your complaints about billing, privacy, or other issues with telecommunications carriers like AT&T and Verizon. Today, the agency approved changes to its complaint system that critics say will undermine the agency's ability to review and act on the complaints it receives. On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that the controversial changes had been dropped from the proposal, but the commission voted 3–1 along party lines to approve it with the changes intact. "I believe we should…

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Odds and Ends 

Senate votes to reverse FCC order and restore net neutrality

The Senate today voted 52-47 to disapprove the FCC’s recent order replacing 2015’s net neutrality rules, a pleasant surprise for internet advocates and consumers throughout the country. Although the disapproval will almost certainly not lead to the new rules being undone, it is a powerful statement of solidarity with a constituency activated against this deeply unpopular order. To be clear, the FCC’s “Restoring Internet Freedom” is still set to take effect in June. Commission Impossible: How and why the FCC created net neutrality Until yesterday Senate Democrats, who brought the…

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Headlines 

This Is Ajit Pai, Nemesis of Net Neutrality

In March, Ajit Pai, the 45-year-old chair of the Federal Communications Commission, took to the internet—a community he joyfully inhabits and grudgingly regulates—to pay tribute to his favorite movie. “It’s not just, like, my opinion, man: 20 years ago today, #TheBigLebowski—the greatest film in the history of cinema—was released,” Pai wrote on Twitter. “Decades on, the Dude still abides and the movie really ties us all together.” And sure enough, the response to Pai’s cheerful tweet was united. You’re out of your element Ajit.—@JohnsNotHere Yes, Ajit. Stop trying to mingle…

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Headlines 

Ajit Pais Plan Will Take Broadband Away From Poor People

It’s indisputable: A broadband internet connection is vital to full participation in our society and economy. Increasingly, government services and job opportunities can only be accessed online. Indeed, homework assigned to seven out of 10 K-12 students in the US requires internet access, according to a recent study. The internet provides access to necessary information and a way to stay connected to friends and family, be they around the corner or around the world. Currently, if the Lifeline disbursements in any year meet or exceed 90 percent of that year’s…

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Odds and Ends 

Netflix has a blunt message for the FCC in the wake of the net neutrality repeal

For those who question whether Netflix is willing to fight to keep net neutrality in place, the streaming giant has made itself clear. It’s willing to go to court to battle the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Less than a month after three members of the FCC repealed net neutrality, which ensures that all internet traffic is treated equally, the Internet Association—a trade association that represents internet companies in public policy—said in a statement that it planned to “act as an intervenor in judicial action against this order.” Netflix was a…

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Odds and Ends 

Dont keep cell phones next to your body, California Health Department warns

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a warning against the hazards of cellphone radiation this week. Yes, the thing we are all addicted to and can’t seem to put down is leaking electromagnetic radiation and now California has some guidance to safeguard the public. The CDPH asks people to decrease their use of these devices and suggests keeping your distance when possible. “Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the…

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Odds and Ends 

New York attorney general announces a multi-state lawsuit challenging the net neutrality vote

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a leading voice in the fight against the FCC’s net neutrality rules repeal, has stepped forward with one of the first legal challenges to the commission’s controversial vote. Citing his investigation into the FCC’s public comments process preceding the vote, Schneiderman declared his office’s intention to sue to “stop the FCC’s illegal rollback of net neutrality” — a forthcoming legal challenge that’s sure to be in good company. In response to questions from TechCrunch, Schneiderman’s office noted that he will spearhead a multi-state lawsuit and…

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Headlines 

The FCC Says Net Neutrality Cripples Investment. That’s Not True

Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai says the agency's net-neutrality rules are discouraging investment, leaving consumers with fewer, and less robust, choices for internet service, and potentially widening the digital divide. Broadband providers' own financial reports tell a different story. In its proposal to repeal the rules, which were enacted in 2015, the FCC cites industry-funded studies concluding that investment in internet infrastructure declined 3 percent in 2015 and another 2 percent in 2016. The proposal also claims that internet providers delayed new offerings, such as home-wireless plans or streaming…

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Headlines 

Alyssa Milano is the voice we need to keep the net neutrality fight going

Fight!Image: Getty Images/Mashable A quiet resignation has begun to set in among net neutrality proponents as Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai marches forward with his plan. But Alyssa Milano is having none of it. The actress and advocate has emerged as one of the loudest and most aggressive voices in support of net neutrality. In this role as champion of net neutrality, Milano’s accomplished something few others have: She’s gotten Pai to engage, despite him mostly ignoring any and all criticism in the past eight months. SEE ALSO: The…

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Headlines 

Didn’t we already win this one? People are pissed about the net neutrality repeal

The internet is NOT taking this lying down.Image: John lund/blend images/Getty Images The open internet’s worst nightmare is about to become a reality: the FCC has announced its plans to end net neutrality. SEE ALSO: Is Making Broadband a Utility the Key to Saving the Internet? The internet is NOT pleased, to say the least. On social media, people are calling out the plan for disregarding the wishes of the American people, lamenting the end of the internet as they know it, and calling on citizens and companies alike to…

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Odds and Ends 

10 Members of Congress rake FCC over the coals in official net neutrality comment

How and to what extent the FCC should regulate internet access has been a hot question for years, and the present administration holds opposite views than the previous one, resulting in a proposal to eliminate 2015s Open Internet Order. But Congress isnt going to take that lying down: 10 Representatives who helped craft the law governing the FCC itself have submitted an official comment on the proposal ruthlessly dismantling it. You can check out the full comment here (PDF); at under 20 pages and written in a layman-friendly manner, its…

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Odds and Ends 

Weekly Roundup: WannaCry ransomware attack, Google I/O, RecordGram wins Startup Battlefield

This week the TechCrunch team threw another successful Disrupt conference, this time in New York City.20 companies took the stage at TechCrunchs Startup Battlefield, where they presented their products and took questions from our expert judges. The judges narrowed the competition down to won first place in the competition.You can reVIVE, a VR solution created by a team of high school students that can provide both a diagnostic and treatment mechanism for ADHD, won first place. WannaCry(pt) global ransomware attack wreaks havoc on systems worldwide A huge Early reports suggested…

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Odds and Ends 

The FCC officially proposes to end net neutrality rules (but its not over yet)

Today the FCC voted 2:1 to signed an open letter saying just that in April, and hundreds more have been added since. The proposed rule would remove the classification of broadband as a telecommunications service governed by Title II of the Telecommunications Act, which gives the FCC broad powers to regulate internet service providers. Critics argue that this approach is overkill and could scare away investment or result in a government-controlled internet (the refutation of these arguments will be handled at length in a separate article). It would also remove…

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Odds and Ends 

The FCCs comment system targeted by DDoS attacks during filing period for net neutrality

The FCC suffered multiple distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks Sunday night and Monday morning, submit opinions on the proposed rollback of net neutrality rules. Beginning on Sunday night at midnight, our analysis reveals that the FCC was subject to multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks, read a statement from the FCCs CIO, David Bray. These were deliberate attempts by external actors to bombard the FCCs comment system with a high amount of traffic to our commercial cloud host. These actors were not attempting to file comments themselves; rather they made it difficult for…

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Odds and Ends 

Who needs the FCC? Seattle writes its own broadband privacy rule

Hardly anyone was pleased by the rollback of the broadband privacy rule last month, opening up the possibility of ISPs collecting and selling your browsing data including, as it turns out, cities whose citizens were left out in the cold. Seattle wasted no time taking matters into their own hands, and The FCCs broadband privacy rule would have boosted requirements for transparency and security practices and more importantly would have added browsing history to the list of customer proprietary information and required ISPs to get advance permission from consumers to…

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