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Following the Indian ban of almost 60 Chinese apps including TikTok and Weibo, many people living in the country now report not being able to access the privacy-centric search engine DuckDuckGo. The company confirms as much, saying that the problem isn't on its end. It's currently talking to local internet service providers to resolve the issue. It looks like these have blocked the service via their DNS servers, as the search engine is still accessible through most third-party DNS resolvers.
Net neutrality is still an important topic here in the US and if you've been following the news around it, then you probably heard about the Save the Internet Act getting halfway to law, passing the House of Representatives in a 232-190 vote.
Net neutrality is a hot button topic in many of our circles since it affects each of us who use the internet in the U.S. It carries such significance with a lot of voters that several politicians have made it part of their platforms since the original FCC rules were repealed. Yesterday, however, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the Democrats will introduce a bill this week that aims to bring back net neutrality.
Many don't realize that net neutrality isn't just about ensuring you aren't (directly or indirectly) charged more for data from specific services and sites, it's also about making sure telecom companies don't abuse their position to charge less in a practice called "zero rating." Being able to access some services without counting the data used against your plan might sound like a free bonus, but there could be hidden long-term costs. According to a recent multi-year study by Epicenter.works related to net neutrality enforcement in the EU, countries which have allowed zero rating have higher costs for wireless data in the long term.
The dream of an open and free internet isn't dead. Net neutrality — the principle that internet service providers must treat traffic equally, regardless of the source — is still seeing a strong fight waged on its behalf. This week, a group of 23 attorneys general from across the U.S., led by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, published a new brief reaffirming its dedication to the cause.
The Federal Communications Commission wants you to know that it is fighting on the side of the average American consumer, and not just devoted to appeasing the likes of Comcast and Verizon, by taking on the existentially crucial issue of scammy phone calls. Sort of. Like, they're thinking about it.
Today, the FCC announced that it will hold a joint policy forum with the Federal Trade Commission on March 23 on the topic of illegal robocalls and what these agencies, along with "private sector solutions," can do to stop them. On April 23, they will co-host a "Technology Expo" on the same subject, highlighting "technologies, devices, and applications to minimize or eliminate the illegal robocalls consumers receive."
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published its final rules gutting net neutrality today. But like most phone announcements these days, there were no real surprises. We all knew what was coming.
Why the actual publication of the repeal matters is because it is only now that states and internet freedom organizations can start taking legal action. Plus, now the Senate has 60 legislative days to block the FCC if it is so inclined, which would require help from Republican senators.
The FCC is ending its enforcement of net neutrality (unless the Senate can override it), but it's still an important issue. Now that it's no longer illegal, we'll probably see more carriers and ISPs begin to interfere with internet traffic as time goes on. Researchers from Northeastern University and The University of Massachusetts have published 'Wehe,' an app that can verify if your carrier or ISP is throttling or blocking some services.
In what is likely a smokescreen intended to distract from the FCC planning a vote to destroy net neutrality, the FCC has issued additional rules which permit telecoms to block robocalls, specifically those which use Caller ID spoofing to impersonate phone numbers that do not exist, are not allocated by telecoms to subscribers, or are inbound-only phone numbers— in other words, allocated to systems which are unable to make outgoing calls.