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First POST: Overdue

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, January 8 2015


  • Speaking at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler strongly implied that the agency will be voting to reclassify Internet service providers under Title II of the Communications Act, invoking the common carrier frame to protect net neutrality, Megan Geuss reports for Ars Technica.

  • Susan Crawford explains why "zero-rating" services that give users free data to access a limited portfolio of web services like Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia are pernicious. She writes,

    "… the cost of such services is the future of the Internet. Those users may never move to “real” Internet access, satisfied with their “free” access to a walled garden of chosen services. And carriers will have no particular incentive to provide them with that open Internet access. Instead, vertical discrimination will become the norm: the Internet as cable TV.

  • The FBI's director James Comey says the agency has little doubt that the Sony hack came from North Korea since the attackers routed some of their messages directly from IP addresses associated with the country.

  • Almost two years to the day that activist coder Aaron Swartz killed himself, the White House finally roused itself to respond to two "We the People" petitions that had called on President Obama to fire Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Heymann for his "overzealous prosecution" of Swartz, and to a similar petition calling for the firing of US DA Carmen Ortiz. The official response expresses sympathy to Swartz's family and friends but completely avoids addressing "agency personnel matters."

  • Both petitions hit the required threshold for an official reply days after they were posted, back in 2013. The White House offered no explanation why it took two years to basically say, "we have no comment." According to, there are still 18 unanswered petitions that have earned official replies that are overdue by an average of 372 days, including one calling for a presidential pardon of Edward Snowden.

  • BuzzFeed's Charlie Warzel takes a step back from his close coverage of the Uber wars to discuss why the "move fast and break things" philosophy of many tech start-ups can't apply to a company like Uber whose core product is delivered by people.