Local Presentation on Net Neutrality

EFF-Austin President, Kevin Welch, will be discussing the importance of Net Neutrality on June, 28th, 2018.

Though a hot topic, it may help to freshen up on the who, what, when, where and why of the subject.

Who/When/Where

The idea of Net Neutrality was developed by American lawyer Tim Wu, in his 2003 paper, Net Neutrality. Since then, the FCC as adopted its principles and used them as guidance for regulating Internet Service Providers.

In 2017, FCC chairman Ajit Pai argued that Title II, another piece of legislation in the evolutionary line of Net Neutrality,  had hampered infrastructure investment. “Among our nation’s 12 largest Internet service providers, domestic broadband capital expenditures decreased by 5.6% percent, or $3.6 billion, between 2014 and 2016, the first two years of the Title II era,” he stated. “This decline is extremely unusual. It is the first time that such investment has declined outside of a recession in the Internet era.”

Pai and his cohorts proceeded to begin repealing Net Neutrality Laws that same year, thus bringing us to the ongoing battle to keep it alive.

Why

Essentially, the goal of Net Neutrality is to ensure that the internet remains a fertile grounds for innovation and growth.

Wu explains that in the habit of ignoring long-term growth ISPs have “shown a tendency” to ban new and emerging applications/network attachments, out of “suspicion or an interest in price discrimination.”

He stresses that ISP operators and prospect holders have a cognitive bias that makes it unlikely for them to come to the ‘right decisions,’ in terms of the development for the optimal path of innovation, that could minimize the excesses of innovative competition.

What

Net Neutrality is an attempt at striking a balance, as Wu states in the original paper: “To forbid broadband operators, absent of a showing of harm, from restricting what users do with their internet connection, while giving the operator general freedom to manage bandwidth consumption and other matters of local concern.”

Plain and simple, this translates to making sure that users and customers are able to continue using their service without ‘discrimination’ against their apps, programs etc, while ISPs are able to still police only their own local network.

Wu explains that ISPs have every right to police their local networks, but most importantly, that there shouldn’t be ‘restrictions’ across the ‘inter-network’.

Because of Net Neutrality regulations, we are able to freely and efficiently use the internet as the public utility that its become. Join us for our presentation, for these ideas help uphold the structure of the internet and its ability to nurture growth and development. Information on the event can be found here.

May 14th Meetup – The Tyranny Of Contract

Our speaker this month will be Christopher Brown. Christopher Brown is an Austin-based science fiction writer and technology lawyer. He is the World Fantasy Award-nominated author of Tropic of Kansas, a novel published by Harper Voyager in 2017 that Cory Doctorow called “spookily prescient…timely, dark and ultimately hopeful,” NPR described as “a modern dystopian buffet…the nightly news with the volume turned up to 11,” and Booklist said reads like “Cormac McCarthy meets Philip K. Dick.” His novel Rule of Capture, the beginning of a series of speculative legal thrillers about a criminal defense lawyer in an authoritarian USA, is forthcoming from Harper in 2019. He has taken two tech companies public as general counsel, including Austin fintech company NetSpend, led the corporate practice in the Austin office of Baker Botts, and served as a staff lawyer to the Senate Judiciary Committee, experiences he now brings to bear as a solo practitioner focused on the representation of mission-oriented start-ups.

Website: http://christopherbrown.com or brownlawatx.com

Twitter: @NB_Chris

Christopher is going to be speaking to us about the tyranny of contract, about how click-wrap agreements and NDAs have subverted the emancipatory potential of the Internet, indentured its creators, and enabled our current dystopias—and how new technologies may help us build a new paradigm. In the words of Prof. Joshua Fairfield: “If courts won’t protect consumers, robots will.”

———————————————————–

Join us for the discussion from 7:00PM-9:00PM, followed by drinks and camaraderie from 9:00PM-10:00PM at Firehouse Lounge (605 Brazos St).

Capital Factory is located at 701 Brazos Street, on the 16th floor of the Omni Hotel. Once on the 16th floor, there should be a sign at the front desk directing you to our meetup. If there is no sign, and no one is on duty at the desk, we are usually in the room to the left of the front desk.

Talk will be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/user/austintechlive

Parking for the Omni Garage can be validated at the Capital Factory front desk, reducing the cost from $16 to $5. Details: https://capitalfactory.com/parking/

———————————————————–

The Tyranny Of Contract

Monday, May 14, 2018, 7:00 PM

Capital Factory
701 Brazos Street, Suite 1601 Austin, TX

21 Activists Went

Our speaker this month will be Christopher Brown. Christopher Brown is an Austin-based science fiction writer and technology lawyer. He is the World Fantasy Award-nominated author of Tropic of Kansas, a novel published by Harper Voyager in 2017 that Cory Doctorow called “spookily prescient…timely, dark and ultimately hopeful,” NPR described as “a m…

Check out this Meetup →

https://www.facebook.com/events/170417760341121/

———————————————————–

cropped-EFFAustin-site-logo.png CapitalFactoryLogoBlack-300x262

EFF-Austin Presents The Cypherpunks Strike Back – Tomorrow’s Tech Activism Today

The Cypherpunks Strike Back – Tomorrow’s Tech Activism Today – Sunday, March 11th, 7:00pm-11:00pm, The High Road on Dawson

The annual EFF-Austin Cyberpunk Party is upon us! Check back at this space for additional details as they are confirmed.

In the ongoing crises of our present moment, it is easy to succumb to apathy. Our personal information stolen and compromised, our rights eroded and our privacy erased, our own technological tools weaponized by state and private actors to sow disinformation and distrust. In the midst of all this paranoid confusion, it is tempting to hunker down and hope this futureshock storm will pass us by. We wonder, what can we do to make a difference, to make sure that our rights are protected in a world in desperate need of great cognitive security.

At EFF-Austin’s beloved annual party, we will meet and engage with a variety of modern activists who are showing us how we can fight for a better world where our technology works for and empowers us. Our keynote speakers are Caroline Old Coyote and Michael Running Wolf, Native American VR/AR activists who are using technology to preserve their cultures and heritage. Additional speakers include EFF Investigative Researcher David Maass discussing police surveillance, government transparency, and legislation in California, former EFF-Austin president Jon Lebkowsky, Carly Rose Jackson with Texans For Voter Choice, and Vikki Goodwin, Democratic candidate for Texas House District 47.

In addition to this inspiring group of activists, musical acts will include Michael Garfield, Pilgrimess, and UBA. There will also be custom video game consoles, lockpicking, and cosplay. Finally, leading up to the party will be the world’s first cyborg pride parade.  As the electronic frontier moves into our bodies, it is important that we cyber-libertarians march as allies alongside the cyborgs among us and the cyborgs we will all someday become. What do we want? cyborg rights! When do we want them? Now!  We hope to see you all there!

Schedule
—–
7:00pm-7:30pm – Michael Garfield

Michael Garfield writes music for which new words must be invented. Simultaneously tender and apocalyptic, chill and energetic, intensely technical yet vulnerable tunes that re-imagine folk and psychedelic rock alike, updating “solo artist with guitar” to suit our age of planetary renaissance.
—–
7:30pm-7:40pm – Opening remarks from Kevin Welch, Jon Lebkowsky, Owen McNally

Remarks on the passage of John Perry Barlow (1947-2018)
—–
7:40pm-8:10pm – Caroline Old Coyote and Michael Running Wolf

Presentation: “Standing Rock is Everywhere – Protect the Sacred”

Connecting the water protector camps on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation with a movement sweeping the nation and addressing the needs of the world – to protest the exploitation of non-renewable energy sources, to protect our water and environment, and to resist the attacks on our humanity and sovereignty.
—–
8:20pm-8:50pm – Dave Maass

Across the country, battles over free expression and privacy are playing out in statehouses and city council chambers. The Electronic Frontier Foundation–along with local Electronic Frontier Alliance members like EFF Austin–is fighting against police surveillance, overbroad hacking laws, and mandatory porn filters. At the same time, we’re also advancing our rights through transparency ordinances and legislation that would ensure greater access to the Internet. EFF Senior Investigative Researcher will provide an overview of EFF’s activism work, including his quest to file 1,000 public records requests regarding one of the most pernicious forms of police technology, automated license plate readers.
—–
9:00pm-9:30pm – Pilgrimess

Pilgrimess presides over the religious rituals of the future, playing darkwave jams that are equally soothing and menacing while accompanied by her coterie of masked, dancing spirit animals.
—–
9:40pm-10:00pm – Vikki Goodwin and Rob Matney

We will hear from two political campaigns, Vicki Goodwin, Democratic candidate for State House District 47, and Rob Matney speaking on behalf of Steve Kling, Democratic candidate for State Senate District 25.
—–
10:00pm-10:20pm – Carly Rose Jackson

Carly Rose Jackson will be speaking to us on behalf of Texans For Voter Choice, an advocacy group attempting to use technology to allow for more third party participation in the Democratic process.

10:30pm-11:00pm – UBA

UBA (pronounced Ooo Bah) is the electro mind-meld of Mickey Delp (Delptronics) and Ricardo Acevedo (Lost Cat Magnet). This union creates music that throbs of the raw early electronica of Chris and Cosy, Suicide, while blurring the art edge with the cinematic vision of the likes of Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno, and Coil.

 

———————————————————–

EFF-Austin Presents The Cypherpunks Strike Back – Tomorrow’s Tech Activism Today

Sunday, Mar 11, 2018, 7:00 PM

The High Road
700 Dawson Road Austin, TX

48 Activists Went

The annual EFF-Austin Cyberpunk Party is upon us! Check back at this space for additional details as they are confirmed. In the ongoing crises of our present moment, it is easy to succumb to apathy. Our personal information stolen and compromised, our rights eroded and our privacy erased, our own technological tools weaponized by state and private …

Check out this Meetup →

https://www.facebook.com/events/147639109263268/
———————————————————–

cropped-EFFAustin-site-logo.png