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Governor Murphy Moves to Control Search Functions and Limit Consumer Choice for New Jersey Internet Users

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Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Requiring All ISPs that Contract With New Jersey to Adhere to Fake Net Neutrality Principles

February 6, 2018

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Trenton NJ,  in another huge step backwards for New Jersey ,Governor Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order mandating that all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that do business with the State of New Jersey follow the principles of net neutrality, a critical step in securing a free and open Internet for state residents.

Murphy once again shows he is a dangerous threat to personal freedom .

Governor Murphy’s Executive Order responds to a recent decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to rescind net neutrality and potentially limit access to the Internet, allow companies to pay more to have their content treated favorably, or force consumers to pay more to access websites.

Murphy seems dead set to attempt to limit choice and control and manipulate internet searches instead sending New Jersey backwards with fake “Net Neutrality”.

Making the straw man argument,  “We may not agree with everything we see online, but that does not give us a justifiable reason to block the free, uninterrupted, and indiscriminate flow of information,” Governor Murphy said. “And, it certainly doesn’t give certain companies or individuals a right to pay their way to the front of the line. While New Jersey cannot unilaterally regulate net neutrality back into law or cement it as a state regulation, we can exercise our power as a consumer to make our preferences known.”

Governor Murphy’s Executive Order will make New Jersey the third state –along with New York and Montana—to mandate that ISPs adhere to net neutrality rules or lose the ability to contract in state. The Executive Order will apply to all contracts between state entities and ISPs that are executed on or after July 1, 2018. The Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Affairs will work with the Division of Purchase and Property to carry out the Executive Order and monitor its enforcement.

Desperate to limit and manipulate what you can access on the internet ,Governor Murphy’s Executive Order coincides with an announcement from Attorney General Gurbir Grewal who today announced that New Jersey will join 21 other states and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit aimed at blocking the FCC’s rollback of net neutrality. That lawsuit was filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in December.

With your freedom in their sights Murphy says , “We are committed to taking whatever legal action we can to preserve the internet rights of New Jersey consumers, and to challenge the federal government’s misguided attack on a free and open internet,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Our position is that the Federal Communications Commission acted arbitrarily and against the evidence before it when doing its about-face on net neutrality.”

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No Neutral Ground: The Problem of Net Neutrality

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December 14,2017

by Brian Dellinger

On November 21, the Federal Communications Commission announced plans to revisit its Obama-era internet regulations. It seems likely that the resulting vote will repeal the policies often referred to as net neutrality. The name is, perhaps, misleading; to support net neutrality is to support placing the internet more fully under government supervision. The related political debate often divides traditional allies with arguments for free expression pitted against defenses of small government.

To understand net neutrality, one must see its position in technical history. Traditionally, internet service providers (ISPs), such as Comcast and Verizon, have guaranteed their customers a certain quantity of bandwidth – that is, a certain amount of data per unit of time. It was assumed that even a voracious user would rarely use his maximum bandwidth, and services were priced under this assumption. ISPs also de facto allowed customers to access whatever websites they wished; while there was no legal protection for this behavior, technical complexities made discrimination by website infeasible. The result was a largely open web: anyone with a blog could potentially reach millions.
In the early 2000s, the situation changed. Technological innovations enabled providers to determine which site a user visited and so potentially to restrict access. In principle, an ISP could now sell “packages” of websites, in a fashion resembling cable television: “basic internet” for news and Facebook, say, or “premium internet” for those who wanted more. These years also saw the rising popularity of streaming video services like Netflix and YouTube. Users now binge-watched videos, consuming their maximum available bandwidth for hours at a stretch. Such trends increased costs for the ISPs, leading them to investigate new responses: restricted access to high-usage sites, artificially slow downloads, and so on.

Net neutrality stands in opposition to these changes. Broadly, under net neutrality, the government requires ISPs to treat all web traffic in the same way: no limiting access, no reducing speed. Since 2005, the FCC has several times established net neutrality regulations; inevitably, the courts struck down such rules on the grounds that the FCC lacked the authority to regulate ISPs. In response, in 2015 the FCC redefined broadband internet as a telecommunications service, placing it under FCC jurisdiction, and promptly passed net neutrality rules. With the political shift of the 2016 elections, new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai began rolling back these regulations – hence the upcoming vote.
Both sides of the debate have merit. Concerns that ISPs might slow targeted websites are not idle speculation; Comcast did precisely thatto Netflix in 2014. Indeed, Comcast and others have done little to engender public trust in their behavior. Comcast had pledged for years not to “prioritize Internet traffic or create paid fast lanes.” That pledge disappeared from its website less than a day after Pai announced policy changes.

It is also true that the meritocratic nature of the internet – its enabling of anyone to win a following through quality work – has been one of its most notable virtues. A world of “basic internet,” in which new entrants might be simply unreachable, would reduce its value as a platform for new ideas.

Despite these fair concerns, arguments against the FCC rollback seem insufficient. It is difficult to deny that price incentives have drastically shifted over the last decade; if streaming video is generating much of the ISPs’ expenses, it makes intuitive sense that providers might demand Netflix share those costs, or might price service by total consumption rather than maximum bandwidth. Nor are the corporations supporting net neutrality any more trustworthy than the ISPs. Setting Netflix aside, supporters such as Google and Facebook seek to block ISPs from trading in users’ private information – a trade on which these companies themselves depend. For them, net neutrality eliminates the competition.

Other objections rely too heavily on speculation. While a “fast lane” internet would be a marked shift, the brief history of the web is one of constant change. Indeed, the rise of mobile browsing, which often limits the user to app-specific websites and now constitutes a majority of all web usage, may produce a greater alteration than that net neutrality would prevent.

Further, the internet is historically the result of market activity rather than top-down regulations. If one approves of its remarkable evolution to this point, it seems peculiar to assert that this is the moment to freeze it through government action. Given how few accurately predicted that evolution, it seems hubristic to assert how it will change next. Perhaps, as the ISPs argue, the increased revenue from a non-neutral internet would enable the expansion of broadband networks, ending regional monopolies of service providers. Such a change might ultimately produce a faster, more accessible internet – or it might not, but the experiment seems worth the risk.

Finally, whatever one’s feelings on net neutrality, the 2015 rules should be seen for what they are: a staggering expansion of bureaucratic power, by decree of the bureaucracy itself. The result is an ugly patchwork of overlapping authority between the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission, with ISPs disfavored over similar services. This reclassification can never be a stable solution; it will always be vulnerable to precisely the kind of unilateral repeal currently occurring. If the public supports net neutrality, then let it be defended through the proper channel: by laws, and not bureaucratic fiat.

Dr. Brian Dellinger is an assistant professor of computer science at Grove City College. His research interests are artificial intelligence and models of consciousness.

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If the Internet becomes a public utility, you’ll pay more. Here’s why.

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If the Internet becomes a public utility, you’ll pay more. Here’s why.

By Grover G. Norquist and Patrick Gleason
January 6, 2015

The Federal Communications Commission is in the middle of a high-stakes decision that could raise taxes for close to 90 percent of Americans. The commission is considering whether to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service and, in doing so, Washington would trigger new taxes and fees at the state and local level.

The agency would like to make Internet service a public utility, placing broadband under Title II regulation of the Communications Act of 1934. This move would make broadband subject to New Deal-era regulation, and have significant consequences for U.S. taxpayers.

Under this decision to reclassify broadband, Americans would face a host of new state and local taxes and fees that apply to public utilities. These new levies, according to the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), would total $15 billion annually. On average, consumers would pay an additional $67 for landline broadband, and $72 for mobile broadband each year, according to PPI’s calculations, with charges varying from state to state.

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/01/05/treating-internet-like-a-public-utility-brings-a-new-tax-for-the-new-year/