Save The Internet! with Popular Resistance

February 6, 2015

Thomas Nephew:

Audio of Kevin Zeese ( remarks on FCC chief Wheeler’s announcement supporting net neutrality.

Originally posted on Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition:

Advance elements of the banner-holding, demonstrating wing of the “Save The Internet” movement met tonight at Marx Cafe for beers, music,  along with an update about recent welcome ‘net neutrality’ news (and a look ahead to the next few weeks) from‘s Kevin Zeese.

The big news, of course, was FCC chair Tom Wheeler’s announcement yesterday:

…I am proposing that the FCC use its Title II authority to implement and enforce open internet protections.

Using this authority, I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC. These enforceable, bright-line rules will ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services.

…including mobile broadband. In his blog post today (Major Historic Victory For Internet Freedom: The Fight Continues) recalling months of direct action activism, Zeese called the decision a “victory of people power over corporate power, indeed…

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Police body cameras: eyes on us, not on them?

February 3, 2015

Thomas Nephew:

Yet another surveillance tool – and one that often doesn’t even help stop bad cops the way it’s intended to.

Originally posted on Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition:

In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting and subsequent non-indictment of officer Darren Wilson, many (including Michael Brown’s family) made the understandable call for police body cameras, since such a device might have provided visual documentation for the claims or counterclaims made in that case.

But are body cameras are really going to be effective, long-term means of making police more accountable to the public?  Or will they just be another device to switch on and off as it suits the cop on the beat — while providing another surveillance stream of unwarranted, suspicionless observations to sift and analyze long after the recording?

Problems with body cams
Writing for Truthout, Bill of Rights Defense Committee director Shahid Buttar gives three reasons to suspect that body cameras are no solution to police violence:

First, there’s no guarantee that the public will ever see footage from police body cameras, especially in…

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Now that was an EPIC crypto-party

January 28, 2015

Thomas Nephew:

Seems like useful advice on encrypting your email, so I’m reposting this 2013 blog post here.

Originally posted on Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition:

Michael Carbone (Access) explains the finer points of encryption to workshop participants.

Better late than never: here’s a report back from the “crypto party” hosted by Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Public Citizen on Friday, October 25th in the offices of Public Citizen in connection with the “Stop Watching Us”rally against mass surveillance that weekend.

The evening was a pizza- and beer-fueled workshop on how and why to go about encrypting email and masking one’s Internet usage.  Much of it was (or should have been) familiar to me and MCCRC readers via our own Bill Day’s posts on the subjects (see here for an overview).

But a refresher course with hands-on help never hurts.  The email encryption workshop I joined led off with a clear, useful overview of the issues followed by excellent help from the experts on hand, via organizations like Access, Center for Democracy…

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One month left in the Battle for Net Neutrality

January 27, 2015

Thomas Nephew:

A quick reminder.

Originally posted on Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition:

What is net neutrality?  It’s the idea that no bit of data on the Internet highways and byways is more privileged than the next.  The ACLU puts it this way: it’s what makes the Internet “a place where you can always access any lawful content you want, and where the folks delivering that content can’t play favorites because they disagree with the message being delivered or want to charge more money for faster delivery” — the way companies like Comcast or Verizon would like to do.

For his part, John Oliver (“Last Week Tonight”) puts it this way:

The decision is just a month away now, and cable companies are putting big pressure on Congress to intervene and direct the FCC to make the decision they’d like.  So the Internet wing of the civil liberties community — Fight for the Future, EFF, DemandProgress, and other groups — are banding…

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Today: this just in from Facebook

May 31, 2014
Rally at 3 p.m. this afternoon #OpNSA
If you are a long-time reader here, you know why this matters—otherwise, scroll down.
(Sorry for quick post; crazy busy day.)

Speak up! Be heard! Save Our Internet!

May 16, 2014

Thanks to Occupy Wall Street NYC for this Tweet and link: Enter public comments on on the FCC site

It seems to me, from what I have read, that the FCC is playing lip service to an open Internet and ”Net Neutrality, but going ahead with plans to discriminate based on payments.  We have Congressional representatives conservative and liberal in favor; the president has said that his is in favor, but that it is not his decision (funny how htat works; he seems to pick and choose what he will decide on his own. )

We must PUSH!  Speak out!

Today’s the Day!

May 15, 2014

BREAKING (at least for me; I have not been on the ’Net since this morning): FCC voted to end ’Net Neutrality, not to regulate the ’Net as a common carrier.  Massive outcry to all 5 commissioners is needed; some of them expressed concerns.  Check with Daily Kos, EFF, etc. Verizon and ATT are against us; Netflix, Google, Amazon support ’Net neutrality.

Occupy the FCC—a group led, I believe, by Fight for the Future, together with EFF and others, have been camped outside the FCC in Washington, D.C. waiting for today’s meeting.  The FCC has proposed tw0-tiered Internet service, with preferred (read paying) content providers getting faster speeds.  They claim that no speeds would be reduced, that they would just accelerate some—but that is not the point.  Once other speeds are accelerated, what we now consider “normal”—which already varies based on the equipment with which one accesses the ’Net—would seem quite slow, and the preference would be for the sites of those entities who can afford to pay to stay in the fast lane—certainly not most of “the 99%”, not those involved in sociopolitical activism.

Already, there have been petitions, and Tom Wheeler (@FCCTomWheeler), chairperson of the FCC, has responded (at least I have received an e-mail in reply to one I signed) that he [paraphrasing; will edit when I can get back to my e-mail] “believes in an open Internet”—interesting, as he has been promoting the two-tiered approach.

We do have a partial victory—the FCC is seeking public comment on regulating the Internet as a public utility.  This seems right to me; like (almost exactly) telephone service, like water or electricity, the Internet, for better or worse (mostly, I think, better, until I wonder about what skills we might have lost) has become virtually a necessity; certainly enables us to do as much as we do and communicate more efficiently (although sometimes not as personally; we can also drown in information overload).  Telephone companies are considered “common carriers”, all phone calls are created equal—so must be all Internet communication.


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