retroworks writes: A federal appeals court has struck down Federal Communications Commission rules that prohibit Internet service providers (ISPs) from restricting access to legal Web content. he ruling is the latest development in the long-running battle over net neutrality — the principle that all sites on the Internet be equally accessible. Net neutrality advocates want to preserve the Web's status quo, in which providers such as Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500) and Time Warner Cable (TWC, Fortune 500) can't auction off priority traffic rights to one site over another, or impose tolls for high-bandwidth sites such as video streamers Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Verizon's favor Tuesday. The court said that because the FCC had previously placed broadband Internet service in a separate regulatory category from phone service, it lacked the legal justification to impose the Open Internet rules. Related: What your wireless carrier knows about you But the ruling did affirm the FCC's authority in principle to regulate broadband Internet service, leaving open the possibility for the commission to rewrite its rules within a new legal framework. FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler said in a statement Tuesday that the commission "will consider all available options, including those for appeal, to ensure that these networks on which the Internet depends continue to provide a free and open platform for innovation and expression." Broadband provider Comcast (CMCSA, Fortune 500) said Tuesday that it supported the FCC's Open Internet rules, and would continue to abide by them for at least six more years regardless of how they are judged in the court system.
sunbird writes: "The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court in San Francisco on behalf of an anonymous petitioner seeking to challenge a National Security Letter (NSL) the petitioner had received. NSLs are issued by law enforcement with neither judicial oversight nor probable cause, and have been discussed on Slashdot before. In response to the lawsuit, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a separate lawsuit against the individual who had received the NSL, requesting that the court order the receipient to comply with the NSL and asking the court to find that the "failure to comply with a lawfully issued National Security Letter interferes with the United States' vindication of its sovereign interests in law enforcement, counterintelligence, and protecting national security." Both cases are filed under seal, but heavily-redacted filings are available. The cases remain pending."
sunbird writes: At 16:00 ET on April 18, federal agents seized a server located in a New York colocation facility shared by May First / People Link and Riseup.net. The server was operated by the European Counter Network ("ECN"), the oldest independent internet service provider in Europe. The server was seized as a part of the investigation into bomb threats sent via the Mixmaster anonymous remailer received by the University of Pittsburgh that were previously discussed on Slashdot. As a result of the seizure, hundreds of unrelated people and organizations have been disrupted.
sunbird writes: "The Ninth Circuit yesterday issued two decisions in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuits against the National Security Agency (Jewel v. NSA) and the telecommunications companies (Hepting v. AT&T). EFF had argued in Hepting that the retroactive immunity passed by Congress was unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit decision (.pdf) upholds the immunity and the district court's dismissal of the case. Short of an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, this effectively ends the suit against the telecoms. In much better news, the same panel issued a decision (.pdf) reversing the dismissal of the lawsuit against the N.S.A. and remanded the case back to the lower court for more proceedings. These cases have been previouslydiscussed here ."
tekgoblin writes: "I read an interesting article today on New Times News about internet pirating and a new strategy that’s being used to combat it. Lawyers log into torrenting swarms, record the IP addresses of everyone sharing in said swarm, and then file a lawsuit against all of them, using a Judge’s subpoena to gain their identities from Internet Service Providers.
The article was discussing the new strategy’s pros and cons, and including interviews of several people who had been swept into the nets accidentally, through leaving their wireless networks unlocked. I don’t want to repeat the entire article, you should go read it. But what interested me the most was at the very end.
Indeed, virtually everyone interviewed for this story agrees that the only real solution to piracy is to make more movies available online for an affordable price. As long as it remains difficult for people to access the most popular types of content from their home computer, illegal downloading will continue unabated. Services like Netflix, Hulu, and iTunes have made momentous strides in this regard, but industry observers—and frustrated movie viewers—still say that Hollywood has been too reluctant to embrace new technology."