Weekly Roundup 7/9/2012

Verizon: Net Neutrality Violates Our Free Speech Rights
Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, July 3, 2012

Synopsis: As debate continues over "net neutrality," Verizon argues that requiring Internet providers to treat all content equally would violate its free-speech rights as the Internet's owner and publisher.

Takeaway: "Broadband networks are the modern-day microphone by which their owners [e.g. Verizon] engage in First Amendment speech,” Verizon writes. Verizon believes that it's entitled to the same kind of control over the content that flows through its network as newspaper editors exercise over what appears in their papers. That includes the right to prioritize its own content, or those of its partners, over other Internet traffic."

For more, see our report on "Internet Regulation," April 13, 2012.

-- Marcia Clemmitt, Staff Writer


The Drone Zone
Mark Mazzetti, The New York Times Magazine, July 9, 2012

Synopsis: Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico is the Air Force’s primary training center for Predator and Reaper pilots, who can become certified in less than two years. But problems with flying planes from the ground remain.

Takeaway: Much is known about the government’s drone program, but much remains under wraps. The Pentagon, which is increasing its drone fleet by 30 percent, has acknowledged its drone operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. But programs run by the CIA and Joint Special Operations Command remain classified.

For background see the CQ Researcher report "Drone Warfare," Aug. 6, 2010, updated April 27, 2012.

-- Thomas J. Colin, Contributing Editor