Court Strikes Big Blow to Net Neutrality
Says ISPs can discriminate against traffic
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 14, 2014 11:56 AM CST
A man checks his cell phone during a smoke break outside the Verizon headquarters in lower Manhattan, Thursday, June 6, 2013.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(Newser) – A federal court has rejected FCC Open Internet regulations to ensure Internet service providers can’t discriminate when it comes to web traffic. In Verizon v. FCC, the Washington, DC, court found that ISPs can legally prioritize or block some traffic, the Washington Post reports. The court did, however, rule that providers have to tell users when they’re doing so, the Verge notes. ISPs, according to the court, aren’t "common carriers" like older telecom firms—so they're not subject to rules against prioritizing information.

"Given that the Commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers," law "expressly prohibits the Commission from nonetheless regulating them as such," judge David Tatel wrote in the court opinion. The FCC "made a grave mistake when it failed to ground its Open Internet rules on solid legal footing," says a net neutrality activist. "Internet users will pay dearly for the previous chairman's lack of political will." The commission says it will consider an appeal. In the meantime, Ars Technica sees net neutrality as "half-dead."

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Showing 3 of 44 comments
Jan 15, 2014 11:19 AM CST
When Chinese officials exercise authority over the net it's called authoritarianism and censorship. When we give that right to corporate America it's called capitalism. Seimens was just exercizing capitalism during WWII. The court has opened yet another door to abuse by America's growing fascist oligarchy. Unternehmen uberalis!!!!!
Jan 15, 2014 9:56 AM CST
Well, it was fun while it lasted. Always figured Big Bro would take over the Internet. No such thing as 'free' in this country, and never was. Pay an 'extra fee' to get access to the websites like eBay? Hell no, I won't pay one cent extra! About the only real freedoms we have is to drive were we want and to breath air. But I think they plan to tax our mileage and state borders. H2O tax, anyone? ...Right around the corner!!
Jan 14, 2014 10:29 PM CST
Back in the old days, there was a term for that : Double standards