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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Net policy news

Posted By on Sat, May 27, 2006 at 8:29 AM

Two new developments that are worth noting:

The 6th District Court of Appeals just ruled that bloggers can protect their sources, same as journalists can. (Thanks, Bill, for the tip.)

From Boing Boing: EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) and its allies at cyber-lawclinics argued this case, and it's an important win for bloggers andother citizen journalists who now know that the courts will give themthe same respect afforded to big corporate news-gatherers.

And  on Thursday, a bi-partisan majority on the House  Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 5147, the  Internet Freedom and Non-Discrimination Act of 2006, protecting net neutrality. Rep. Zoe Lofgren explains the bill, which she introduced, in a guest post yesterday on the Save the Internet blog:

The bill requires broadband providers to operate their networks in anon-discriminatory manner and makes sure that the phone and cablecompanies cannot favor or block access to the Web sites or onlineservices that they pick instead of the consumer. It will keep theInternet an open and free marketplace of ideas and services chosen byconsumers instead of big corporations. It will also guard against thosewho own “the pipes” gleaning profits by creating a virtual toll road...

The next hurdle for Net Neutrality is whether we will have a full voteon the House floor. If you care about the freedom that Net Neutralityprotects,
contact your Member of Congressand ask that H.R. 5417 be scheduled to come before the full House ofRepresentatives as either a separate bill or an amendment. Urge them tovote for Net Neutrality protection!

UPDATE: A post on the EFF case from Markos at Daily Kos:

Now, to be perfectly clear, this is a California case. It only appliesin the Golden State. But this is new legal territory, and courts aroundthe country, including the feds, can and will look to this decision forguidance as similar cases arise in their jurisdictions. Coming in theheels of the FEC's decisions to grant bloggers and other internet mediapracticioners the media exemption, a solid body of law is beingdeveloped upholding the principles that citizen media deserves the sameFirst Amendment protections as "professional" journalists.

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About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer is Seven Days' deputy publisher. She's an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam, and compiles a weekly tech e-newsletter every Monday. She also oversees Seven Days' free monthly parenting publication, Kids VT, and is an enthusiastic wrestling mom... more

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