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Libby Jacobson
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Thoughtful analysis of yesterday's #netneutrality decision by an informed tech journalist.
 
Today's #NetNeutrality ruling by a federal appeals court should come as no surprise. Because Congress never gave the FCC the authority to impose Net neutrality regulations on the Internet, the regulations were illegal. The same court already slapped down the FCC once, in 2010, remember: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20001825-38.html

It's worth remembering that legislation that actually would have granted regulatory authority to the FCC came up for a vote in Congress, and it came close to passage: it was reported favorably out of a Senate committee but was defeated in a House floor vote in 2006: http://news.cnet.com/2100-1028_3-6081882.html

Even if you adore the principle of Net neutrality, it's reasonable to demand that federal regulatory agencies stick to what Congress authorized them to do. Otherwise you have illegal regulations and bureaucratic turf-grabbing that will not treat the Internet well. Remember Hollywood's successful efforts to lobby the FCC to impose "broadcast flags" on computers by bureaucratic fiat? A federal appeals court correctly struck it down as exceeding the agency's legal authority, as I wrote here in 2005: http://news.cnet.com/2100-1030_3-5697719.html

If Net neutrality violations become an actual problem, there's no shortage of publicity-hungry politicians in Congress (hi, Ed Markey!) who will hold hearings and push legislation forward. Obama will happily sign it. Until then, other government debacles including NSA domestic surveillance and Obamacare should make us wary of federal agencies exceeding their legal authority -- especially after Congress considered and rejected a law that would have given it to them in the first place.
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All I can say is that I'm pumped that Facebook is coming down!
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Interesting and smart take on how the current broadband business model might change when gigabit networks and software-defined networking collide.
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Have them in circles
318 people
Lindsay Gsell's profile photo
Julian Sanchez's profile photo
Evan Kunath's profile photo
Tanner Hunter's profile photo
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