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EFF files petition to close FCC loophole

Net is neutral for all except ISPs
Fri Mar 05 2010, 13:38

THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION (EFF) filed a petition yesterday protesting the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) network neutrality loophole.

The EFF sent the petition with 7,000 signatures to the FCC, requesting that it close the network neutrality loophole. The EFF's full list of comments submitted to the FCC can be found here.

"Before the ink is dry on net neutrality regulations, we already see corporate lobbyists and 'public decency' advocates pushing for loopholes," said EFF Civil Liberties Director Jennifer Granick. "A loophole like this could swallow network neutrality, with ISPs claiming copyright enforcement as a pretext for all sorts of discriminatory behaviour."

The crux of the problem for the EFF is the FCC's "reasonable network management" loophole for ISPs in its proposed network neutrality regulations and the petition is the latest move in an ongoing battle.

We reported in January that the EFF was pushing the FCC to close the gaping legal exception in its draft network neutrality regulations. The exception could permit US ISPs to prevent all of their customers from using the Bittorrent protocol under cover of "reasonable network management" practices, as long as they can claim that those practices are intended to "prevent the unlawful transfer of content".

The EFF has a point. The terrible irony is that the loophole allows ISPs to violate the principles that the network neutrality regulations are supposed to be designed by the FCC to protect. µ


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