IN HIS IMAGE: GAME OVER
It is hard to believe that it has been 20 years since many of us fired up our modems and ventured on to what was called the information superhighway. It was rumored that this would be a miraculous tool for information gathering and marketing. It became arguable one of the greatest inventions in the world. The information superhighway became the web, and from there we now have social media, entertainment, and information from what now known as the internet.
Fifteen years ago, the Clinton Administration proposed an archetype for how the internet should be governed that remains the most succinct articulation of a pro-liberty, market-oriented vision for the web ever penned. It recommended that we rely on civil society, contractual negotiations, voluntary agreements, and ongoing marketplace experiments to solve information age problems. In essence, they were recommending a high-tech Hippocratic oath: First, do no harm to the internet. For the first time government believed in the people to officiate and regulate its own library of sorts. Of course this was met with political fears of undue influence from pornographic sites, independent news sites and later websites that allegedly radicalized terrorists.
It is because of these so called overstatements of arguable influence of what is seen as cyber heresy that most governments across the globe including ours here in the U.S are increasingly taking a very different approach about how the internet should be governed.
While many politicians promised originally to keep their “hands off the net,” today it’s more like “Hands all over the Net.” It is difficult to name an area where policymakers are not currently threatening or at least considering controls for the Internet and related digital technologies.
In the past we would hear stories about how some politician wanted to regulate the net. We had heard about internet taxes, high load regulation and the possible turning over of all keys to the net to foreign interests that are more than happy to block content.
In January of 2012 we started seeing some aggressive activity from government regarding internet policy and control. The bipartisan cry was “Why fix what isn’t broken” and suddenly we began to see what appeared to be a manufactured rebellion against all attempts at controlling the commerce, communication, and fundamental use of the internet.
Richard Clarke the former counter terrorism Czar told Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig that there would be in the foreseeable future what he called an “I-911” or internet 911 where a major attack would take place online. This event would force Government officials to incorporate an internet “patriot act” limiting freedom of speech and freedom of movement online.
It was so predictable that in the midst of all of the struggles for control by the Obama administration, there would be attempts at rebelling against the laws and attempted take-overs.
Web blackouts occurred and and one could speculate that the attacks on the Justice Department sites, the RIAA, the MPAA, et. al. were all carried out by the government claiming to be that hacking group Anonymous.
The RIAA and the MPAA were always in the crosshairs of so-called hacking events. Recently the MPAA and Sony were allegedly hacked and that the FBI stepped in to state for the record that the hacks came from North Korea, even though there was no proof that this was the case.
Then it was announced that the hacks included leaks of well known Sony movie titles. However there was one movie title that was not leaked to the net and that was the film The Interview. This film was being used as a scapegoat for the hostility towards Sony from North Korea because it was a satirical film about the assassination of Kim Jong Un.
The whole hacker story and its ties to a controversial film was a simple intelligence play that was done earlier. It was a similar ploy that was carried out during the Bengasi attacks where intelligence blamed the film The Innocence of Muslims, for what eventually enraged angry mobs that torched a building and killed the American ambassador in Benghazi.
Armed attackers killed the U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Some U.S. officials, speaking under anonymity, said that they believed the Benghazi attack was coordinated and planned in advance, and not prompted by the film.
The false flag attack was carried out coincidentally on 9/11/2012.
Ground Zero reported immediately after the hacks that a false flag event had taken place to break up and control the Domain Name System (DNS), the backbone of the internet. Ground Zero also reported that documents were leaked about how the MPAA wanted to somehow ingratiate itself through the new proposals brought forth for the so called “net neutrality” to go after websites that pirated music and films.
It was reported that documents were leaked reveal a frightening line of attack that’s currently being considered by the MPAA: What if you simply erased any record that the site was there in the first place?
The leaked memo “sketches out a legal case for blocking infringing sites from the DNS records entirely, like wiping unsavory addresses out of the phone book.” It has been shown in the past that some of the pirating on the internet that Hollywood studios have been complaining about is done by people on the payroll of said studios. This allows them to cry “more internet control” and this DNS tactic shows just how Hollywood would accomplish it without any congressional law.
Once again we are now seeing a false flag attack with a motive and a plan and it most certainly would mean MPAA controls in order to halt the piracy of films and music.
The MPAA’s lawyers would target the Domain Name System (DNS) that directs traffic across the internet in order to simply erase them on an ISP level.
The tactic was first proposed as part of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in 2011, but three years after the law failed in Congress, the MPAA has been looking for legal justification for the practice in existing law and working with ISPs like Comcast to examine how a system might work technically. If the system works, DNS-blocking could be the key to the MPAA’s long-standing goal of blocking sites from delivering content to the US. At the same time, it represents a bold challenge to the basic engineering of the internet, threatening to break the very backbone of the web and drawing the industry into an increasingly nasty fight with Google.
DNS addresses are like phone numbers and if the MPAA was to find the “phone number” from a pirate site they could simply erase it and no one would be able to find it and use it for illegal downloads of their films. They would also be able to trace the ISP to anyone on the inside pirating their films to these websites.
Websites would be issued a takedown notice from media companies like SONY who use MPAA lawyers to prosecute pirates.
According to an MPAA memo, “A takedown notice program, therefore, could threaten ISPs with potential secondary liability in the event that they do not cease connecting users to known infringing material through their own DNS servers, While not making it impossible for users to reach pirate sites (i.e., a user could still use a third-party DNS server), it could make it substantially more complicated for casual infringers to reach pirate sites if their ISPs decline to assist in the routing of communications to those sites.”
As critics pointed out in the SOPA debate, site-blocking measures could also be used by bad actors to knock a site offline with just a bogus copyright claim. DMCA notices have already drawn criticism for overly hasty or broadly applied blocks, and extending that power to DNS records would spread those problems across the web at large. Crucially, any takedown notices deployed under this scheme would simply invoke the threat of liability and further legal action, pressuring the DNS servers to delist the site without ever hearing the issue in court.
This would once again violate constitutional rights for due process and would definitely slow the internet down and handicap its efficiency.
Now comes Barack Obama and his so-called concerns about the internet and its policies conveniently is used as the cornerstone argument for net neutrality. Net Neutrality of course is a great idea because we have had it now for 18 years. Barack Obama seems to have new ideas of what net neutrality entails, just like he had new ideas on how to improve health care.
Obama may fool people with his doublespeak, and it is foolish to say that you are against net neutrality, but do we really need an internet in his image with his principles and his forfeiture of responsibility handed over to the FCC?
Released in July 1997, their Framework for Global Electronic Commerce was drafted by President Clinton’s chief policy advisor Ira Magaziner. The choice of Magaziner to lead the initiative was originally greeted with suspicion by some in the Internet policy community since he had previously spearheaded the Administration’s controversial health care reform effort, which prescribed a heavy dose of government intervention.
Luckily, as it turned out, at least when it came to internet policy, Magaziner had far more in common with Adam Smith than Karl Marx. The administration’s Framework for net governance was rooted in five liberty-enhancing principles for net governance that still resonate today. In fact it can be said that this was an unofficial constitution or at least a basic framework for Internet law and its purpose
However Barack Obama is now saying that the Framework is no longer applicable and feels that it is time to make the internet a public utility. This is what he means by Net Neutrality. It is similar to his lack of respect for the constitution.
Allowing the government to run the internet like a utility opens the door to abuse.
The Framework for Global Electronic Commerce always stated that the private sector should be the self-governing force for the internet. As it said:
Even where collective action is necessary, governments should encourage industry self-regulation and private sector leadership where possible.
The Framework explicitly states that “governments should avoid undue restrictions on electronic commerce” and “parties should be able to enter into legitimate agreements to buy and sell products and services across the Internet with minimal government involvement or intervention.” It would be hard to articulate a more pro-capitalist recommendation than that but, better yet, the Framework continued on to note that “governments should refrain from imposing new and unnecessary regulations, bureaucratic procedures or new taxes and tariffs on commercial activities that take place via the internet.”
“Where governmental involvement is needed,” the Framework continued, “its aim should be to support and enforce a predictable, minimalist, consistent and simple legal environment for commerce.” This is where the Framework ventured into somewhat more controversial territory by trying to deal with intellectual property, privacy, and security issues. These remain hotly-contested issues today but the Framework offered a generally constructive, “light-touch” approach to dealing with those matters.
Remember it was this “Hands off the ‘Net” approach unleashed the internet’s staggering innovation. That bipartisan approach made possible the $1.3 trillion dollars of private investment that built today’s broadband networks.
Now Obama wants his hands all over the internet and he is using Net Neutrality as a cover for imposing old laws and restrictions on how you operate the net. Obama wants to hand the internet over to the FCC for control.
Some advocates are pushing for “Title II.” That’s code for 1930s-style utility regulation. Title II would put the FCC squarely in the middle of the Internet — right beside the NSA. It saddles the Internet with price controls and other heavy-handed rules from a thankfully long-gone era. The debate over Title II isn’t a debate over net neutrality, which is why many net neutrality proponents actually oppose Title II. Instead, it’s a debate between a vocal minority that wants greater government control over broadband companies, and defenders of a bipartisan consensus around a “Hands Off the Internet” approach.
Title II would crush broadband investment, and it won’t even ban the practices, like fast lanes, that its advocates worry about. It would hurt start-ups by saddling them with excessive regulation, and it would protect big broadband companies from new competitors, leaving consumers with even fewer choices. Title II would also hurt the under-served by slowing deployment in minority and rural communities. And it would vastly increase the FCC’s powers over the internet.
We already see how the FCC controls content on television and radio. Do we want restrictions online? Also, treating the internet like a utility is basically saying that the internet is like water, sewer, and electricity.
While water and electricity are necessities, the internet really isn’t. Now for many people it is a necessity for business, work and social events. The utility companies have standardized water and electricity as basic products with very little more that what you are paying for.
They can charge a lot for their standardized utilities and they run the risk of being monopolies — being a monopoly gives them the ability to be less innovative and regulation protects them from competition. Broadband providers are constantly pushing the boundaries of technology to keep pace with exploding demand. If you regulate broadband like you regulate water, competition will evaporate and with it, the incentive to keep upgrading networks.
Applying FCC controls with the Title II provisions to IP networks creates a new Federal Computer Commission with authority to weigh in on everything connected to an IP network.
This means everything.
Do we really need to have the internet of the 21st century hook up with a regulatory body that was scorned and ridiculed for its draconian controls of free speech in the 20th century?
I guess Obama feels so strongly about this and wants you to believe this is net neutrality.
In reality it is GAME OVER.