Untangling the Web Bishops back 'net neutrality'

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					PAGE 14        IDAHO CATHOLIC REGISTER, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2009                                                                       NATION/WORLD
Untangling the Web: Bishops back ‘net neutrality’
      By Mark Pattison                cess to the Web, or charge Web        or applications over others in          Peer-to-peer blocking by one      cable modem service. Comcast
    Catholic News Service             sites a fee if they wanted their      the connection to subscribers’       provider, he added, was found        had appealed the FCC’s decision,
                                      sites to be accessed at a higher      homes,” he said. “Nor can they       “only after an engineer and hob-     made in August 2008, contend-
    WASHINGTON — Now that             speed, or block content alto-         disfavor an Internet service         byist living in Oregon realized      ing the FCC had no jurisdiction
the Federal Communications            gether – especially if the Internet   just because it competes with        that his attempts to share public    to enforce the principles of net
Commission has declared its           service provided started offering     a similar service offered by         domain recordings of old barber-     neutrality.
intent to adopt a set of rules                                                                                                                            Other Internet service provid-
on “net neutrality” – a policy of
keeping the Internet open to all
                                       Three years ago, the USCCB was one of dozens of organizations                                                  ers have not copied Comcast’s
                                                                                                                                                      file-blocking tactics, and believe
lawful traffic – sides are hastily     across the ideological spectrum to back net neutrality. They                                                   that guidelines are better than
being taken.                           realized that Internet service providers, without net neutrality in                                            hard and fast rules.
    Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-                                                                                                                              Of course, money is one of the
Calif., chairman of the House En-      place, could charge computer users extra fees to get equal access                                              issues driving the debate.
ergy and Commerce Committee,           to the Web, or charge Web sites a fee if they wanted their sites to be                                             Aug. 20 marked the first
announced Sept. 22 that he will
be added as a co-sponsor to the
                                       accessed at a higher speed, or block content altogether – especially                                           deadline for broadband service
                                                                                                                                                      providers looking to get a piece
Internet Freedom Preservation          if the Internet service provided started offering competing content.                                           of the $4.7 billion that will be
Act, which would protect net                                                                                                                          doled out in the initial phase of
neutrality under the Commu-           competing content.                    that broadband provider. The         shop quartet songs over a home       stimulus spending – two-thirds
nications Act, safeguarding the           This is not the first time the    Internet must continue to allow      Internet connection were being       of the $7.2 billion committed to
future of the open Internet and       FCC has visited the issue. In         users to decide what content and     frustrated.” When his complaints     broadband expansion as part of
protecting Internet users from        2005, it adopted four principles      applications succeed.”               – using the Internet – picked up     the American Reinvestment and
discrimination online.                of Internet use:                         The sixth principle? “Provid-     steam, they also got noticed         Recovery Act
    Congressional Republicans             – Internet service provid-        ers of broadband Internet ac-        by the FCC, which, in essence,           And AOL’s DailyFinance site
just as quickly banded together       ers cannot prevent users from         cess must be transparent about       blocked the blocking.                reported Sept. 22 that AT&T,
to say they would try to stop the     accessing the lawful Internet         their network management                 The same day Genachowski         another Internet service pro-
FCC from spending any money to        content of their choice.              practices,” Genachowski said.        made his speech, the FCC filed       vider opposed to the new rules,
enforce net neutrality policies,          – Users also have the right       “Broadband providers have the        a brief in a federal court defend-   gave $400,000 in campaign and
although they backed away from        to use the applications of their      technical ability to change how      ing its right to act against Com-    political-action contributions
that stance Sept. 24. GOP leaders     choice.                               the Internet works for millions      cast for blocking peer-to-peer       over the last four years to the
have said in the past, though,            – Users further have the          of users – with profound con-        files, arguing that it has general   six Republican senators who had
that net neutrality is a solution     right to use the services of their    sequences for those users and        jurisdiction over all interstate     introduced the measure to block
in search of a problem.               choice.                               content, application and service     communications by radio and          the FCC from spending money to
    The U.S. Conference of Catho-         – Internet service providers      providers around the world.”         wire – including the company’s       enforce net neutrality.
lic Bishops declared its support      cannot bar users from attach-
for net neutrality in 2006. At the    ing nonharmful devices to the
time, it may have seemed like a       network.
more esoteric concept, but by             Under new FCC chairman
the end of the following year,        Julius Genachowski, the FCC
reports had come in that Com-         is ready to add two new prin-
cast, one of the nation’s largest     ciples.
Internet service providers, was           “Broadband providers cannot
purposely blocking peer-to-peer       discriminate against particular
file sharing.                         Internet content or applications,”
    Three years ago, the USCCB        Genachowski said in a Sept. 21
was one of dozens of organiza-        address at the Brookings Institu-
tions across the ideological spec-    tion, a Washington think tank, in
trum to back net neutrality. They     voicing the fifth principle.
realized that Internet service            “This means they cannot
providers, without net neutrality     block or degrade lawful traffic
in place, could charge computer       over their networks, or pick win-
users extra fees to get equal ac-     ners by favoring some content

            WORLD                                                             SOLDIERS STAND GUARD OUTSIDE                         Manuel Zelaya outside the Brazilian Embassy

           Mission Sunday
                                                                            BRAZILIAN EMBASSY AFTER OUSTED                         in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Sept. 22. Zelaya
                                                                            PRESIDENT RETURNS TO HONDURAS —                        returned to Honduras almost three months
                                                                            Soldiers stand guard after the dispersal of            after he was toppled in a coup. (CNS photo
                  “ a Eucharistic celebration for all                       supporters of ousted Honduran President                by Oswaldo Rivas, Reuters)

                                                                            Bishops hint Rome might
                  the missions of the world ”

              October 18, 2009
                                                                            mediate Honduran crisis
                                                                              By Catholic News Service              A representative of Mi-           church’s credibility as a media-
                                                                                                                 cheletti and four candidates         tor, which some observers said
                                                                               TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras             planning to run in presidential      was undermined by a statement
                                                                            — Days after deposed Hondu-          elections in November also           by the bishops in early July that
                                                                            ran President Manuel Zelaya          visited Zelaya.                      was widely seen as supporting
                                                                            returned secretly to the coun-          Jesuit Father Ismael Moreno,      the coup.
                                                                            try, there were signs that the       director of Radio Progreso,             Although retired Bishop Real
                                                                            leaders who ousted him were          called the events “hopeful signs     Corriveau of Choluteca told
                                                                            considering negotiations, and        that we could be nearing a way       Catholic News Service that the
                                                                            the foreign minister said the        out” of the three-month-old          statement was misinterpreted
                                                                            Vatican might help mediate a         political impasse.                   and that the bishops found fault
                                                                            solution to the crisis.                 The overtures came after          with both sides, the bishops’
                                                                               On Sept. 24, Auxiliary Bishop     several days of protests in          failure to insist on Zelaya’s
                                                                            Juan Pineda Fasquelle of Tegu-       which at least one person            return to office contrasted with
                                                                            cigalpa spoke with the main          was killed and various others        the stance of the Organization
                                                                            players in the political standoff.   injured or arrested.                 of American States and most
                                                                            The bishop visited Zelaya and           On Sept. 24, Acting Foreign       other governments.
                                                                            Roberto Micheletti, who heads        Minister Carlos Lopez Contre-           Grass-roots church workers
                                                                            the de facto government that         ras announced that Micheletti        have been critical of the coup.
                                                                            ousted Zelaya in a coup June         was willing to begin talks. When     Jesuit-run Radio Progreso was
                                                                            28.                                  a reporter asked who might par-      closed briefly after the coup in
                                                                               As he left the Brazilian Em-      ticipate in the dialogue, Lopez      June. Father Moreno said police
                                                                            bassy, where Zelaya took refuge      mentioned the Vatican. Church        surrounded the station after
                                                                            after returning to Honduras          sources said Tegucigalpa Cardi-      Zelaya’s return in September,
                         hn Kozar
                         hn E. Koza
           Monsignor John E. Kozar + National Dir
                                           tional Director
                                            i nal                           Sept. 21, Bishop Pineda told         nal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga        and he received a death threat,
        70 West 36th Street, 8th Floor + New York NY 10018                  reporters he hoped the visit         had spoken with Pope Benedict        but local people occupied the
           212.563.8700 + www.onefamilyinmission.org                        would be a “first step” toward       XVI earlier in the week.             station to keep authorities from
                                                                            dialogue.                               This could restore the            closing it.