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美国联邦法庭裁决FCC无权要求互联网厂商遵守网络中立

kira86 于2010-04-09发布 l 已有人浏览
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'Net Neutrality,' Gene Patents Face Legal Setbacks in US高速下载 This is the VOA Special English Economics Rep
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'Net Neutrality,' Gene Patents Face Legal Setbacks in US


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This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.

Two rulings in the United States could change how information is controlled online and in our bodies.

On Tuesday, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled that current laws limit government power over Internet traffic.

The court rejected an order against America's biggest cable company. In two thousand seven, officials ordered Comcast to stop interfering with file-sharing programs used by its Internet customers. Comcast said big files slowed its network.

All three judges agreed that the Federal Communications Commission had no legal basis to tell Comcast what to do. The F.C.C. supervises communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. But its power over Internet and wireless communications has long been questioned.

Now, unless Congress changes the law, network providers can slow or block services of competitors.

The decision comes just weeks after the F.C.C. announced its National Broadband Plan. The aim is faster, lower-cost connections for almost all Americans.

The F.C.C. says the court "in no way disagreed with the importance of preserving a free and open Internet." The agency could seek new powers to regulate Internet service and enforce net neutrality. That is the idea that all content on the Web should be treated equally.

In a different case, a ruling last week in New York has renewed debate about who can "own" genetic information.

Myriad Genetics received patents for methods to identify women with genes that create a high risk of breast cancer. Patents involving the two genes made Myriad the only company able to offer the costly tests.

But federal Judge Robert Sweet cancelled seven of twenty-three patents related to the genes. He said they violate the law against patents for products of nature.

Yet companies and universities often claim human genes as intellectual property. An estimated twenty percent of human genes have been patented in the United States.

Judge Sweet said the patent office thinks DNA should be treated like any other chemical compound. The idea is that its removal from the body and purification makes it into something different that can be patented.

The judge said many consider this a "lawyer's trick" to avoid the ban on the direct patenting of DNA, but the result is the same.

Cancer activists and researchers fought the patents. Myriad is appealing the ruling.

And that's the VOA Special English Economics Report, written by Mario Ritter. I'm Steve Ember.

来自联合新闻网的相关新闻:

美国联邦上诉法庭6日裁决,美国联邦通讯委员会(FCC)无权要求网络服务供应商(ISP )对所有形式的数据传输一视同仁。这结果对提倡「网络中立性」的Google、Skype等属性提供业者,无疑是一大打击。

美国哥伦比亚特区上诉法院的这项判决,也形同让美国最大有线业者康凯斯特(Comcast)得以成功挑战FCC管辖网络的权力。FCC在2008年指控康凯斯特以不当作法,阻碍消费者利用P2P 分享软件BitTorrent传输电影等大型文件。

Google、Skype、Facebook、雅虎(Yahoo)和亚马逊(Amazon)等业者向来支持FCC戮力推广的网络中立性(net neutrality),即要求康凯斯特、AT&T和Verizon等ISP业者不得独厚特定形式的数据传输。

如今在FCC的网络中立规定缺乏法源依据的情况下,甚至可能让FCC推动的宽频网络普及化计画受挫。

康凯斯特的胜利可能激化舆论分化。ISP业者宣称,主管机关不该加诸太多法律约束,因为市场竞争本身就能保障网络的开放。

但消费者团体抨击,业者未来可能限制用户连上YouTube和Hulu.com等占去大量带宽的影音站点,或者依照数据传输流量分级收费。

曾为eBay打响知名度的干净科技创投家卫斯里(Steve Westly)认为,这项判决甚至可能影响美国的就业机会,因为ISP业者设下的分级收费门槛,意味着消费者若不想付钱,就只能使用较慢的网络,在几乎各家企业都需要大量带宽上网卖东西的年代,这项判决将冲击就业市场。

这项判决也可能让国会加速通过遗忘已久的网络中立性相关法案。

网络中立性是欧巴马政府的重要施政方针,也是民主党籍的FCC主席杰纳乔斯基(Julius Genachowski)首要目标,但遭到电信业者和多数共和党议员反对。

FCC当前有两个应对方法,一是选择更改宽频服务的管辖类别,由轻度管制的信息服务改成须背负更多义务的传统电信服务,如此一来就有直接管辖ISP业者的权力,不过这个作法得经过数年的判决和法律程序,旷时费日。另一个选择则是向美国最高法院上诉。

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