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eCounsel group

A boutique firm with unparalleled expertise in business and technology. We have good command of industrial ecology and legal practice, and have undertaken highly regarded cases. Because the small business scope, we pay more emphasis on effectiveness and efficiency, and choose clients with deliberation. The managing partner not only has extensive experiences in various legal issues more over than 20 years, but invests and manages several technology companies. In addition, he always checks each case rigorously. Clients’ business objectives are our primary focus. To achieve the same in the most cost-effective fashion trumps all seemingly sophisticated legal discussions.

Internet Neutrality Rules? Justify the Conclusion Later

2015 - 02 - 23

The current controversies  about Open Internet Order revolve around the fact that FCC is fixing things that are not broken. How

關於美國是否通過Open Internet Order(在台灣較常見的用語是Net Neutrality rules – 網路中立性規則),在美國引爆的爭議不止一端。其中最根本性的,是批評他們 “try to fix things that are not broken.”沒壞的東西,費勁修它作啥? 豈非治絲益棼?但現在看來,Obama和Tom Wheeler是吃了秤砣鐵了心,非讓FCC通過Open Internet Order不可。

2014年1月14日,基於Verizon對FCC上個版本的Net Neutrality rules的提告,美國哥倫比亞特區聯邦上訴法院作出判決,宣告FCC的規定逾越了1996年Telecommunications Act之授權範圍而無效。在那個版本裡,FCC把寬頻提供者的角色視為一般電信carrier,因此想藉而強制他們對所有內容提供者作無差別待遇。但偏偏FCC在更早時就已認定寬頻提供者所提供的並非電信服務,而是”Information Services”資訊服務,而且法院同樣不認為寬頻提供者的角色依Telecommunications Act能被解釋為一般電信carrier。因此,Tom Wheeler說 “there are currently no rules to prevent broadband providers from blocking access to or discriminating against websites, and that his plan is the fastest way to fill the void created by the court’s January decision.”…. 這,未雨綢繆得還真早啊?!

2014-01-14 Federal Appeals Court decision – Verizon vs FCC

可以想像,Verizon及Comcast拿到這份判決肯定要開香檳了,因為在日後正面對決Amazon, YouTube, Netflix時,自己終於能合法講出「敢不給我錢,我限制你流量」的這種話了。至於FCC在被法官重打一棒之後,2015年捲土重來,做出了個妥協版本。內容很長,簡單講結論就是「寬頻提供者:(1) 不准限制別家業者流量、(2) 但是可以和流量來源訂立特約,給快速通道、(3) 如果特約內容不合理不公平,FCC有權介入」。而且,上個版本沒納入行動寬頻,新版則把行動和固網一起規範。這象徵了玩法律的人〔先射箭再畫靶〕的特質,我從不覺得法律表彰正義,原因也在此。反正,「這就是我所要的結論」,理由是… 沒關係,我再找給你。

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