Your Cable Company Can Now Tax Your Favorite WebsitesS

A federal appeals court struck a blow against "net neutrality," saying the FCC overstepped its jurisdiction when requiring cable companies to treat all websites equally. This is bad news for YouTube and Hulu fans, but not all is lost.

The court ruling is likely to push net neutrality supporters, the president among them, to introduce legislation explicitly broadening the powers of the FCC and thus reinstating the rules just thrown out by the court, says the Wall Street Journal. Bottom line: There's going to be a big political fight over whether AT&T, Comcast and Verizon can throttle certain types of traffic clogging the internets' "series of tubes", like BitTorrent, and whether they can charge special fees to websites that want to run faster or, like YouTube, use lots of bandwidth. Since apparently they're not raking in enough profits from consumers for said bandwidth. As Andrew Belonsky has written here before, the cable and DSL companies have lots of lobbying muscles, so we should see net neutrality equated to communism any day now. (Oh wait, that's already happened. Expect more of it, then. Maybe even via YouTube, for extra irony.)