#NetNeutrality JUMBOTRON live now outside the @FCC!

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Mashable Explains the Internet and Net Neutrality

The information in this video is pretty accurate. It explains the existing problems with the Internet. What they’re not telling you is that HTTP 2.0 has been finalized, and is ready to be implemented. HTTP 2.0 should solve a lot of these problems, without government intervention. I suspect this is why companies are pushing for an Internet Fast Lane–before HTTP 2.0 comes out and increases Internet speeds by as much as 500%.

It is my belief that HTTP 2.0 will resolve most of the current issues (aside from blocking). Now, are you beginning to see why there seems to be a real sense of urgency in getting the FCC’s “Net Neutrality” rules in-place? As it stands, HTTP 2.0 should be able to circumvent Comcast’s throttling of things like NetFlix. If the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules come into effect BEFORE HTTP 2.0 arrives, that could change, much to the detriment of Internet users, everywhere. -LW

GeekBeatTV tells us about HTTP 2.0

Hillary Clinton Endorses FCC’s Title II Designation for the Internet

Here’s about all the evidence you need that the FCC’s plans for what they call “Net Neutrality” are in the interests of the Democratic Party, not the American people. What they are proposing is not in the spirit of a truy neutral internet. It’s amazing how she lies… -LW

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signaled support for the Federal Communications Commission upcoming vote to make the internet a Title II public utility.

When asked directly by Re/Code’s Kara Swisher if she supported the FCC’s upcoming vote, she said she supported President Obama’s position on the issue.

“I would vote for net neutrality, because as I understand it, it’s Title II with a lot of changes within it in order to avoid the worst of the utility regulation,” she said. “It’s a foot in the door, it’s a value statement, I think the president is right to be upfront and out front on that.”

Although Clinton defended the FCC’s attempt to make the internet a public utility, she seemed open to other ideas to bring about net neutrality.

“They have to have a hook to hang it on, so they’re hanging it on Title II,” she said, defending the FCC’s decision as “the only hook they’ve got” to bring about change.

Clinton signaled support for “another hook” for net neutrality derived from a “modern 21st century telecom technology act” but conceded that it was unlikely to happen in the near future.


Meet the Brains Behind Obama’s Plan to Regulate the Internet

Wow! The Tumblr CEO seems very naive on this subject. The truth is that regulating the Internet while companies like Comcast and AT&T exist is not the solution. Allowing municipalities to build/fund their own infrastructure. -LW

In the Wall Street Journal’s stunning expose of how political operatives at the White House overruled the FCC’s own experts to pave the way for this week’s upcoming vote to regulate the Internet, we learned that the key link between a small group of liberal tech executives and President Obama was David Karp, the president of Tumblr.  Specifically, the Journal reported:

In a lucky coincidence, Tumblr Chief Executive David Karp, who attended the meeting in New York, found himself seated next to Mr. Obama at a fundraiser the following day hosted by investment manager Deven Parekh.

Mr. Karp told Mr. Obama about his concerns with the net-neutrality plan backed by Mr. Wheeler, according to people familiar with the conversation. Those objections were relayed to the White House aides secretly working on an alternative.

So today’s CNBC interview where Karp was put on the spot to explain himself was absolutely stunning; his only example of a “problem” with the unregulated Internet was a single incident with Comcast blocking BitTorrent traffic back in 2007, a problem that could have been and successfully was addressed without any heavy-handed regulations.  And it only got uglier from there.  Watch the deer-in-headlights and boggle that this man is responsible for America now being on the brink of reducing the free-market Internet to a government-regulated public utility:

Watch the video

And then go here to urge Congress to step up, do its job, and stop this outrageous power grab by the Obama administration, an FCC that has had its independence compromised, and a small cabal of hipster CEOs led by the guy who said “Ummm, uhhhh, I confess. Not my area of expertise.”


More Information.

One More Bitcoin Exchange Bites the Dust

This is sad news, indeed, but not completely unexpected. About a month ago, I managed to stop an unauthorized transfer of funds into my CaVirtEx account. I have been a happy CaVirtEx customer since I purchased my first Bitcoin in April 2012. They were a big part of my life, before the corporate takeover of Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining took place in 2014. -LW

Canadian Exchange, QuadrigaCX, Takes Spotlight After CAVIRTEX Bows Out – Bitcoin Magazine

On Tuesday, February 17, the Canadian Bitcoin community was surprised to learn that its biggest and longest-serving exchange, CAVIRTEX, was to wind down operations by March 25. Enter QuadrigaCX, heir apparent to the title of Canada’s largest Bitcoin exchange.

An older version of the CAVIRTEX database, including 2FA secrets and hashed passwords, may have been compromised. Their website states, “We believe that damage to the company’s reputation, caused by the potential compromise, will significantly harm our ability to continue to operate successfully.” Kyle Kemper, VP of CAVIRTEX, also cited a difficult banking relationship as a contributing factor.

CAVIRTEX was the second exchange to go down in Canada this year; Vault of Satoshi also declared its intent to close as of February 5th, 2015.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase in new accounts over the past few days,” said Gerald Cotten, CEO of QuadrigaCX. He added that the closure of CAVIRTEX came as a “total surprise” to him. Like everyone else following the Bitcoin news in Canada, he knew about some of CAVIRTEX’s difficulties, but didn’t think they were serious enough to close the company. “Security and banking issues…come with the territory when one operates an exchange,” he said.

Can QuadrigaCX avoid a similar fate?

Cotten places his faith in the company’s security system. QuadrigaCX clients’ passwords are encrypted both server-side and client-side, on-site and in-browser. Even if someone managed to hack in and steal their password hashes, as in the case of CAVIRTEX, those hashes would be useless to the thief.

“Total security is incredibly hard to achieve,” Cotten said. “You make one little mistake and a hacker can and will exploit it. Banks can’t guarantee they won’t get robbed; exchanges can’t guarantee they won’t get hacked. That’s why we keep as little [bitcoin] online as possible.” The rest of the funds are kept in cold storage. Cotten added that QuadrigaCX participates in the Bug Bounty program run by Crowdcurity, so their system is continuously being tested for weak points of entry.

As for its banking relationships, QuadrigaCX appears positioned to keep legacy banks onside. When it comes to banks, said Cotten, an exchange is “always walking on eggshells.” Before its launch on December 26, 2013, QuadrigaCX registered with FINTRAC as a money services business, becoming the first exchange to do so in Canada. While it isn’t strictly required by law, such registration is perceived by banks as a sign of legitimacy, and registration has minimized the number of banking issues the exchange has had to face. QuadrigaCX was also the first Canadian exchange to integrate INTERACTM Online.

It also helps to have a little luck. Just before it was thrust into the spotlight, QuadrigaCX began a global marketing campaign to expand its business outside of Canada, targeting more international markets. At the moment, it carries CAD/BTC, USD/BTC and Gold/BTC order books, and accepts clients from most countries around the world. Due to regulatory complexities, however, QuadrigaCX does not accept U.S. clients.

As for the prospect of other foreign exchanges encroaching on the Canadian Bitcoin space, Cotten isn’t worried. He points out that Bitstamp and Bitfinex are already active in Canada, but he doesn’t foresee too many other companies making a push into the Canadian market. “Trading volume is still very low [here],” he says. “It’s not really worth it for them.” And Canadians who might try to migrate toward foreign exchanges are likely to find the process too complicated and expensive by comparison.

To see a recent, in-depth interview with Gerald Cotton, and learn more about QuadrigaCX, visit decentral.tv. For this episode of Decentral Talk Live, Cotten spoke with host Ethan Wilding and guest host Hai Nguyen shortly before the CAVIRTEX announcement.


Alaska Becomes Third State with Legal Marijuana

Alaska becomes 3rd state with legal marijuana - Nation - The Boston Globe
Legalizing marijuana is something that I haven’t covered much, because I am not convinced that what we’re being given as “legal” marijuana is the genuine article (ie. non-GMO). I have observed the mafia-style takeover of nearly all mom & pop growing operations in Canada over the last few years, as well as had an inside track on government research into medical marijuana. When combined with new “pot ATMs” for delivering the stuff, I am convinced it’s a government snow job, to deliver GMO pot to the massses, and collect taxes, without delivering the full benefits of 100% organic marijuana.

Regardless, Alaska has just become the third state in the USA to marilize legauana (Sorry, I saw it on a T-shirt down in Key West). -LW

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska on Tuesday became the third US state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, but organizers don’t expect any public celebrations since it remains illegal to smoke marijuana in public.

In the state’s largest city, Anchorage police officers are ready to start handing out $100 fines to make sure taking a toke remains something to be done behind closed doors.

Placing Alaska in the same category as Washington state and Colorado with legal marijuana was the goal of a coalition including libertarians, rugged individualists and small-government Republicans who prize the privacy rights enshrined in the Alaska state constitution.

When they voted 53-47 percent last November to legalize marijuana use by adults in private places, they left many of the details to lawmakers and regulators to sort out.

That has left confusion on many matters.

The initiative bans smoking in public, but didn’t define what that means, and lawmakers left the question to the alcohol regulatory board, which planned to meet early Tuesday to discuss an emergency response.

That’s left different communities across the state to adopt different standards of what smoking in public means to them. In Anchorage, officials tried and failed in December to ban a new commercial marijuana industry. But Police Chief Mark Mew said his officers will be strictly enforcing the public smoking ban. He even warned people against smoking on their porches if they live next to a park.

But far to the north, in North Pole, smoking outdoors on private property will be OK as long as it doesn’t create a nuisance, officials there said.

Other officials are still discussing a proposed cultivation ban for the Kenai Peninsula.

In some respects, the confusion continues a four-decade reality for Alaskans and their relationship with marijuana.

While the 1975 Alaska Supreme Court decision protected personal marijuana possession and a 1998 initiative legalized medicinal marijuana, state lawmakers twice criminalized any possession over the years, creating an odd legal limbo.

As of Tuesday, adult Alaskans can not only keep and use pot, they can transport, grow it and give it away. A second phase, creating a regulated and taxed marijuana market, won’t start until 2016 at the earliest. That’s about the same timeline for Oregon, where voters approved legalizing marijuana the same day as Alaska did but the law there doesn’t go into effect until July 1. Washington state and Colorado voters legalized marijuana in 2012 and sales have started there.

And while possession is no longer a crime under state law, enjoying pot in public can bring a $100 fine.

That’s fine with Dean Smith, a pot-smoker in Juneau who has friends in jail for marijuana offenses. ‘‘It’s going to stop a lot of people getting arrested for nonviolent crimes,’’ he said.

The initiative’s backers warned pot enthusiasts to keep their cool.

‘‘Don’t do anything to give your neighbors reason to feel uneasy about this new law. We’re in the midst of an enormous social and legal shift,’’ organizers wrote in the Alaska Dispatch News, the state’s largest newspaper.

Richard Ziegler, who had been promoting what he called ‘‘Idida-toke’’ in a nod to Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, reluctantly called off his party.

There’s no such pullback for former television reporter Charlo Greene, now CEO of the Alaska Cannabis Club, which is having its grand opening on Tuesday in downtown Anchorage. She’s already pushing the limits, promising to give away weed to paying ‘‘medical marijuana’’ patients and other ‘‘club members.’’

Greene — who quit her job with a four-letter walkoff on live television last year to devote her efforts to passing the initiative — plans a celebratory toke at 4:20 p.m.

Meanwhile, Alaska Native leaders worry that legalization will bring new temptations to communities already confronting high rates of drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and suicide.

‘‘When they start depending on smoking marijuana, I don’t know how far they’d go to get the funds they need to support it, to support themselves,’’ said Edward Nick, council member in Manokotak, a remote village of 400 that is predominantly Yup’ik Eskimo.

Both alcohol and drug use are prohibited in Nick’s village 350 miles southwest of Anchorage, even inside the privacy of villagers’ homes.

But Nick fears that the initiative, in combination with a 1975 state Supreme Court decision that legalized marijuana use inside homes — could open doors to drug abuse.

Initiative backers promised Native leaders that communities could still have local control under certain conditions. Alaska law gives every community the option to regulate alcohol locally. From northern Barrow to Klawock, 1,291 miles away in southeast Alaska, 108 communities impose local limits on alcohol, and 33 of them ban it altogether.

But the initiative did not provide clear opt-out language for tribal councils and other smaller communities, forcing each one to figure out how to proceed Tuesday.


Net Neutrality in Canada: Don’t Let This Happen to You

These are the kinds of under-handed tricks that Bell Canada does to continue to rape, pillage, and plunder its customers… Don’t let this happen to you!

In an effort to make Internet services more like cable TV, Bell is trying to overturn a CRTC decision forcing the company to respect net neutrality and treat independent video services fairly on their network

February 23, 2015 – Over the weekend, OpenMedia learned that Bell Mobility filed a motion with the Federal Court of Appeal in an attempt to reverse a recent CRTC decision that found the company to be unlawfully making competing mobile video apps and services more expensive. In the filing, Bell names several individual Canadians, including concerned citizen Ben Klass who originally filed a complaint about Bell’s practices with the CRTC in November 2013, as well as several public interest groups.

In January, the CRTC ruled that companies like Bell must stop exempting their own services from users’ monthly data caps – marking up competing video services by up to 800%. Bell was given until April 29 to stop the practice and respect net neutrality, but they are now challenging the decision.

Commenting on the case, OpenMedia Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish had this to say: “It took over a year of unpaid hard work from citizens like Ben Klass to convince policy-makers that Bell should not be allowed to artificially inflate the price of competing apps and services. And now, instead of listening to Canadians and the CRTC, Bell is dragging the little guy to court so they can regain the power to markup independent services like Netflix by up to 800%.”

Tabish continued: “Bell is doing everything in its power to make the Internet more like cable TV. They want the power to pick and choose what we see by forcing competing services into a more expensive toll lane online. Immediate action is needed to stop these discriminatory practices, and move us in a direction that improves choice – that means splitting network infrastructure off from the telecom giants to create a level playing field. Over 30,000 Canadians have called for exactly this, and we delivered their message to the CRTC back in December.”

Last January, OpenMedia and experts at The Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) supported Mr. Klass’ complaint by filing an official intervention into the proceeding. More recently, the community-backed organization took the detailed input of over 30,000 Canadians to the CRTC, urging them to take bold steps toward opening Canada’s networks and ensuring we have access to a wide range of affordable, independent Internet services.

Canadians have been asking that the CRTC compel Canada’s mobile phone and Internet giants to treat all apps and services equally at https://UnblockCanada.ca

About OpenMedia

OpenMedia is an award-winning community-based organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy by engaging hundreds of thousands of people in protecting our online rights.

Through campaigns such as StopTheMeter.ca and StopSpying.ca, OpenMedia has engaged over half-a-million Canadians, and has influenced public policy and federal law.



Josh Tabish

Campaigns Manager, OpenMedia.ca