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Behold Obama’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Which last week handed down from on-high a mandate that telecommunications companies AT&T, Verizon and Sprint MUST have Board votes on Network Neutrality.
SEC to Telcos: Yes, Net Neutrality is a Significant Policy Issue
The problem for Obama’s SEC is – Net Neutrality isn’t even a LEGAL policy issue. Because Congress has never passed a law making Net Neutrality actual policy.
The federal government – via the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – first tried to unilaterally impose Net Neutrality in 2008. And the D.C. Circuit Court in April 2010 unanimously threw the government out on its ear.
Because the FCC “has failed to tie its assertion” of regulatory authority to an actual law enacted by Congress, the agency does not have the power to regulate an Internet provider’s network management practices, wrote Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Tuesday’s decision could doom one of the signature initiatives of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat. Last October, Genachowski announced plans to begin drafting a formal set of Net neutrality rules–even though Congress has not given the agency permission to do so.
But it didn’t doom Genachowski and Obama’s illegal Net Neutrality intentions. It didn’t even daunt them. Just eight months after this stinging rebuke, Obama’s FCC went ahead and illegally jammed through Net Neutrality anyway.
Trillium is representing three individual AT&T investors -- Michael Diamond, better known as Mike D of the hip-hop band Beastie Boys; his wife Tamra Davis, director of films including “Billy Madison” and “Half Baked”; and John P. Silva, of Silva Artist Management, which represents recording artists Foo Fighters and Beck.
AT&T argued the proposal “would directly interfere with its network management practices and seriously impair its ability to provide wireless broadband service to its customers,” David B. Harms, a lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, wrote in a letter to the SEC on behalf of the company. Mike Balmoris, a company spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the response.
Back in December 2006, as part of its agreement to merge with former regional Bell operating company BellSouth, AT&T made a pledge to the Federal Communications Commission. In that pledge, AT&T promised it would maintain a fair and neutral policy toward all Internet packet routing, applying no privileges based on packets' origin, content, or destination.
It's perhaps the clearest definition of net neutrality that has ever been devised. So a group of AT&T shareholders have been wondering why the company is running from it. Last month, they sought a shareholders' vote to effectively embed AT&T's 2006 net neutrality language as network policy. AT&T sought the Securities and Exchange Commission's permission to block that shareholders' proposal. Yesterday, after five Democratic senators weighed in, the SEC denied AT&T's motion, and the proposal now must go forward.
Michael Diamond may be best known as Mike D of the Beastie Boys, but he's also an AT&T shareholder, and he's now played a central role in forcing a shareholder vote on net neutrality. He, along with his wife Tamra Davis and John P. Silva of Silva Artist Management previously submitted a proposal to AT&T arguing that shareholders should be allowed to vote a resolution that recommended the company "publicly commit to operate its wireless broadband network consistent with network neutrality principles." AT&T unsurprisingly rejected that proposal, stating that it would "directly interfere with its network management practices," but the SEC has now stepped in and said that net neutrality has become a "significant policy consideration," and that it can no longer be excluded from shareholder ballots.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has told AT&T Inc. and other telecommunications companies they must include a resolution supporting wireless net-neutrality in annual shareholder votes.
In a letter posted on the SEC website, the agency asserted that net neutrality -- the idea that Internet service providers must treat traffic equally -- has become a “significant policy consideration” and can no longer be excluded from shareholder ballots. AT&T, Verizon Communications Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. must now grant shareholder requests for votes this year on resolutions that would support net neutrality.
The shareholder resolution would recommend each company “publicly commit to operate its wireless broadband network consistent with network neutrality principles,” the letter said. The companies should not discriminate based on the “source, ownership or destination” of data sent over their wireless infrastructure.
Mike D is simply part of a small group shareholders...
Originally posted by neo96
The op made a thread about the current Potus and the largest expansion of power in this nation since FDR as the evidence piles up nope that's not the issue.
It's "Brietbart is trolling".
The simple fact we live under a "king" he just gets called "President" and the power grab is A-ok by those who claim to be liberal and yet have no clue of what the word means.
The shareholders have a voice at the annual meetings. It's not the job of the SEC to force the vote. What we are seeing now is the SEC flexing new muscle granted to it via Dodd-Frank.
Regulating the substance of corporate control standards is a matter for state corporation law not the SEC. SEC is supposed to focus on anti-fraud, disclosure and procedural rules.
Why the urge to force this issue? Net Neutrality in all of its various forms and alias' will simply serve to open pandora's box and to leave the back door open to endless govt. interference.
The U.S. Security and Exchange Commission said Wednesday that AT&T and other wireless telecom companies will have to let shareholders vote on net neutrality, thanks in part to a proposal from a group that includes Mike D of the Beastie Boys.
Net neutrality, the notion that online traffic must be treated equally by ISPs, is now a “significant policy” issue, the SEC said in a letter posted on its website. The agency is recommending that AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon include a resolution in their annual shareholder votes declaring that they won’t treat data differently based on its “source, ownership or destination.”
The move comes in response to a proposal sent to the SEC by Trillium Asset Management, which represents Mike D and two other AT&T shareholders. Previously the SEC found net neutrality wasn’t a large enough issue to include in shareholder votes. But thanks to the policy push by the likes of Trillium, as well as the FCC’s own support of net neutrality for landline ISPs, it seems the tide is finally beginning to shift in favor of those who want fair wireless-web access.
Of course, the SEC’s recommendation doesn’t guarantee that carrier shareholders will vote in favor of net neutrality. But at least shareholders can now get their say, instead of just accepting the carrier’s position.
Originally posted by jibeho
reply to post by Blackmarketeer
Dodd-Frank granted the SEC sweeping authority over areas in which they never had it before. To the point that the SEC is now overwhelmed. You see this as procedural I see this as Corporate Control. This is state level stuff not the domain of the SEC. The SEC is now bloated more than ever, their budget is short by a couple of hundred million and the need to hire close to 800 new workers to handle the new workload.
Yes, Dodd-Frank has granted the SEC more power and a bigger set of stones to step in places where they don't belong. All Dodd Frank will accomplish is increasing the size of our bureaucracy and another avenue to spend money. It is the biggest piece of govt. dung since the recovery act of 1933.
Let's just end the debate. The greatest power that a shareholder has is the power to exit. You don't like what the company is doing. SELL you Shares!! and invest in a more like minded company. That's free enterprise.
This is a STATE corporate law issue involving internal corporate affairs! SEC is out of bounds and on a quest for more power. Breitbart is correct... The encroachment continues.