New Legal Developments

Court Overrules FCC Authority Over Net Neutrality

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, recently issued an order overturning the FCC’s August 2008 ruling against Comcast. The FCC order would have required the provider to “give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks” according to the Huffington Post.

The court held that the FCC did not have authority to regulate the broadband provider in such a way. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that this ruling is considered a threat to “net neutrality” by supporters of the FCC ruling. The FCC has plans to move forward to assert its authority to enforce net neutrality based on other legal foundations.

It does seem rather amazing that a broadband provider can decide which services are available to its subscribers. In this case, Comcast had blocked file sharing by users of BitTorrent because it supposedly used too much bandwidth. But what would stop the company from blocking any other service or content it finds objectionable?

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