The creative geniuses behind more than 240 television shows urged the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday to nix an agency proposal that would create different speeds for different websites on the Internet.
Such “fast lanes,” the Writers Guild of America, West cautions, would make the Internet a place where an elite, wealthy few control most of the content and hike consumer prices — just like cable television.
“If Net Neutrality is neutered, the Internet will become like cable television,” the guild wrote. “A few corporate gatekeepers such as Comcast will be allowed to decide what content consumers can access and on what terms. The danger is that blocking, discrimination and paid prioritization could occur.”
Such a market, the guild argues, would lead to the consolidation of power over the Internet within the hands of a few monopolistic service providers and lock out competition.
“That is exactly what has occurred in our traditional film and television business,” the letter reads. “After decades of consolidation and mergers, seven corporations control 95% of television production and viewing.”
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is backing new regulations that would let Internet service providers — such as Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon — charge websites for access to so-called fast lanes that would leave websites unable to pay that fee subject to lesser levels of service.
Wheeler’s rules come after a federal appeals court in January struck down the existing basis for net neutrality. Public pressure has intensified ahead of the FCC’s Thursday vote on the proposal.
What We're Following See More »
"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."