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Court Ruling Calls into Question Net Neutrality Regs, Broadband Plan

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 6 2010

This morning, the DC Circuit Court issued a decision that affects many of the policy matters of interest to our readers. In short, the court found that the Federal Communications Commission was exceeding the bounds of its authority when it went after the Internet provider Comcast for throttling BitTorrent's peer-to-peer traffic. That, more or less, is the same authority that the FCC is relying upon when it talks about enforcing net neutrality or even implementing some (but by no means all) of the provisions of the National Broadband Plan we've talked about in this space. To boil things down, there's a few different things that can happen now. The FCC can work to figure out how to justify its authority over the networks that make up the Internet. And/or Congress can pass some laws that give the FCC detailed power on Internet matters. Either approach could involve heavy doses of citizen engagement. Stay tuned.

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New Media Sites in Iran Blur Lines Between Citizen Journo, Professional Journo, & Activist

In 2010, Newsweek declared Iran the “birthplace of citizen journalism.” Iranian bloggers were hailed by Westerners as “brave” for their coverage of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election. A 40-second video of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during an anti-government protest won a prestigious George Polk Award, the first anonymously-produced work to be so honored. And then came the 2013 study “Whither Blogestan,” which sought to explain Iran's shrinking blogosphere. Of nearly 25,000 highly active and connected blogs in 2008 and 2009, only 20 percent were still online in September 2013.

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