Sunday, April 9, 2017

Thanks to Trump and FCC: Internet and Student Privacy Gone, Schools and Library discounts disappearing!!!

Net neutrality is going away, along with your privacy, and it's going to cost Americans billions.

Remember when Republicans has a fit over collecting anonymous student data from our public schools? It was an invasion of our kids privacy.

Well, they have just reversed course on that, and targeted their own rural conservative areas for big program cuts that will cost their voters so much more. 

The following actions by Trump and the now conservative “free market” FCC will result in the loss of internet privacy, especially for our kids, and cost taxpayer billions. EDWEEK:
1. On February 3, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai reversed an earlier FCC decision to approve nine companies as eligible broadband providers under the federal Lifeline program, which provides low-income consumers with a monthly subsidy of $9.25 to help offset the cost of phone or internet service.

2. A week later, Pai quashed an internal report documenting the success of the multibillion dollar E-rate program (which) provides discounts on certain services and products that are essential for classrooms and libraries to receive Internet connections (discounts depend on the level of poverty and location). Discounts range from 20% to 90% of the cost of eligible services.

3. In late March, Pai announced that the FCC would relinquish responsibility for designating eligible Lifeline providers to states.
As you can see, the costs for schools and libraries could suddenly skyrocket if the E-rate program is no longer supported, just so internet providers can rake in huge profits. Thank-you free market Republicans. 

And since this is insider stuff, American won’t directly see how the FCC’s irresponsible moves today will hike costs. Republican lawmakers will then use that to turn taxpayers against those costly government libraries and schools. Hey, it’s worked so far.

But giving up privacy was another profit driven move by Trump and the FCC:
On April 3, Trump signed a law overturning internet privacy protections. The former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said: 
“Every student ought to be worried about that. And every school ought to be worried about that. Because suddenly, all of the information that goes across the network is available to be sold.

Let's go back. So the first thing [the new administration did] was come in and pull back on the E-rate report. The second thing was make it harder [for companies to get designated as a Lifeline provider.] The third thing was gut the privacy protections. The fourth thing is the Trump administration proposes a budget that cuts back heavily on education. And we're supposed to sit here and think that this is a benign environment? 

The most important part of the Open Internet Rule was that we put a referee on the field. Because who knows how the internet is going to evolve? You need to have somebody there to throw a flag and say, "No, that's not just and reasonable."

I think the people who don't support Lifeline in the first place, or don't support E-rate in the first place, always go and hide behind the ‘waste, fraud and abuse’ smokescreen. I wish they had an agenda in which they were looking forward and saying, ‘Here's some of the new opportunities and new challenges of the new connected society.’ Instead, they seem to be looking backwards and saying, ‘How do we undo everything we voted against when were in the minority?’"

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