In a 2016 Federal court ruling, the courts decided that high-speed internet service is a utility. This was a victory for start-up tech firms, microbusinesses and everyday consumers. They all use and depend on the internet on a daily basis. While some Americans cannot afford high-speed internet, many Americans find it difficult to function without it. Therefore, the Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) decided high-speed internet is a necessity and the courts agreed. This ruling affirms that high-speed internet is as important as telephones and electrical power in the lives of Americans. It is not a luxury.
The decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was made in a case about net neutrality. Net neutrality is a rule that ensures internet service providers deliver the same internet service to all its consumers. This keeps companies who can afford to pay for faster speed and broader service from having an unfair advantage over their competitors who cannot afford it. Without net neutrality broadband providers could allow some content on the web to be delivered at slower speeds. Consumers could be charged extra for better service and have to pay more to be able to receive some content. Only two judges were in agreement. The dissenting Judge, Stephen Williams referred to the rules an “unreasoned patchwork”. He felt that competition in the broadband industry would be jeopardized by the ruling of the F.C.C. Google and Netflix are in favor of the neutrality rules.
When the rule was put in place Ajit Pai was a commissioner with the F.C.C. He was appointed by President Obama in May 2012. Ajit Pai, a Republican commissioner, was outspokenly against the regulation of broadband as a utility from the very beginning. Ajit Pai encouraged cable and telecommunications firms to continue the legal challenges against the rule. Cable, telecommunications and wireless internet providers sued to overturn the regulations put in place by the F.C.C, claiming that the F.C.C. exceeded its authority. This resulted in the 2016 ruling, upholding the decision by the F.C.C. The legal battle is anticipated to continue.
In January 2017, President Trump named Ajit Pai the new Chairman of the F.C.C. Since Mr. Pai took office, the F.C.C. closed an investigation involving T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon. The investigation was concerning their zero-rating practices. Some view this as the dismantling of net neutrality by the F.C.C.
In 2010, the world was rocked over and over again as confidential diplomatic cables from the US government were leaked to the press and the world at large. Behind it all was a man named Julian Assange and the organization that he started for this express purpose, Wikileaks (an organization that publishes information from whistleblowers who wish to stay anonymous). Since then, Wikileaks has continued its mission even as Assange has been hounded by governments from both Europe and the United States of America. This comes from two sexual assault allegations and at least allegation of rape that occurred in Sweden that has had Assange on the run and hiding out.
For the past few years, Assange has been locked away and hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy in the United Kingdom due to the lack of an extradition treaty between the two countries. He has been holed up and unable to leave due to the fact that he would immediately be arrested by the police that have been watching the embassy waiting for that very occurrence to happen. The UK police have been staking out the embassy since Assange took refuge there and have cost taxpayers millions of pounds since it started.
Now a UN panel is expected to rule that Assange has been arbitrarily held captive in the embassy and recommend that he be freed. While the panel isn’t legally binding, it will certainly put pressure on the Swedish government, the UK government, and the EU as a whole when it comes to this manner. Assange first complained to the UN about his arbitrary detention in the embassy in 2014 due to the fact that he couldn’t leave since he would be arrested. The UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is going to announce its verdict on Friday but all signs point to them siding with Assange. That being said, Assange has also announced that he will be leaving the embassy regardless of the verdict and will accept arrest if that is what is going to happen due to the fact that he feels that there are no more courses for appeal.
If you’d like to read more, the link is here.
Since he first burst on to the political scene in the republican race for the presidential nomination, Donald Trump has been confusing pundits and throwing polls askew as he has gained more and more support above his actual politician rivals. Even with an increasingly inflammatory rhetoric that has shocked and disturbed many of the more terrified citizens of these United States of America, Trump has managed to stay ahead of establishment candidates like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush while also outpacing renegade outsider Ted Cruz in both the polls and in vocal support. That is, he had been outpacing Cruz until recently.
When the Iowa caucuses rolled around, everyone thought that the polls would hold true and that Trump would win with Cruz coming in second. However when the numbers came through, Donald Trump had come in second and Ted Cruz had taken first place, much to the surprise of all involved. While many other candidates would have accepted these results in stride and started to focus on the next primary, Trump decided to do what he does and complain about how he was robbed. Not only that, but he floated that Cruz very well may have broken the law in the process of stealing Trump’s caucus.
So what laws did Cruz break when “stealing” Trump’s win away from him? There is no answer and the original tweet saying so was quickly deleted and edited, removing the word “illegally”. While there is a chance that Cruz did break a law, it wouldn’t be up to Trump to bring him to justice. There’s no denying that Cruz may have engaged in some shady behavior in regards to helping sink Ben Carson’s already dismal chances at victory (staffers and supporters somewhat spread rumors that Carson had dropped out). That being said, there is no evidence as of now that Cruz broke any laws and a presidential candidate getting caught engaged in libel would be a bad move. With Trump liking to call himself a winner who never loses, this lose clearly stung and he’s lashing out once again.
If you’d like to read more, the link is here.