Things you might have missed: Net neutrality up for debate

By Miki Shine, Editor in Chief
On November 26, 2017

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Over the break, students surely saw a variety of internet memes concerning net neutrality. However, the issue is more complicated than a single image can explain. 

Simply put, net neutrality is a regulation by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that keeps internet providers from charging extra for certain sites.

In April, the FCC announced it was reconsidering the regulation and opened itself up to public comments on the issue.

Pulling back this regulation would allow internet providers to impact the speed at which its consumers can access certain sites.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai insists that there’s no evidence of this happening. He’s suggested having providers voluntarily agree to not obstruct or slow down consumer access to web content by putting the agreement in their terms of service, according to Reuters. He’s also argued that it puts too much regulation on companies.

Those arguing in favor of net neutrality say it creates an equal playing field for all creators, which protects innovation and ensures everyone has the same freedom of expression online while still monitoring illegal behavior.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wrote a letter to the FCC addressing an additional concern that the process used for the public to provide input into the decision has been corrupted by hundreds of thousands of fake or automated comments.

He wrote that some of these comments were made using fake names and addresses while others used actual citizens’ information. He said the FCC has not provided further information, such as data logs, that would allow for his office to properly investigate the incident.

Some consumers have complained directly to the FCC about their names and addresses being used to submit false comments that they did not support, according to the Washington Post. They sent a letter to the FCC back in May asking for an investigation and for the FCC to delete the “dishonest and deceitful” messages made in their name. The FCC declined to comment on the potential issue.

 

President continues backing Roy Moore despite sexual assault allegations

 

The special election for a Senate seat in Alabama is set to be held in a little over two weeks between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones. The election is to fill now Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ old seat.

Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, most while they were still underage and he was in his 30s.

While multiple high-ranking Republicans have come out in support of the women with some calling for Moore to step aside, President Donald Trump has stayed in support of him.

This was reinforced Sunday morning when Trump tweeted that Jones is weak on crime and border patrol, is bad for the military and the second Amendment, and that he wants to raise taxes.

Jones’ spokesman responded to the New York Times saying they are staying focused on finding common ground and “getting things done for real Alabamians.”

Current polls have Jones and Moore neck and neck.

 

AAAS Honors six faculty members

 

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced accepting six USF faculty members for research in biology, marine science, engineering and business. 

Mya Breitbart with the College of Marine Science is being honored for research developing new virus detection methods and discovery of single-strand DNA viruses.

Clifford Henderson with the College of Engineering is being honored for advance chemical and material science.

Jennifer Lewis with the College of Arts and Sciences for chemical education research.

Lynn Martin II with the College of Arts and Sciences for discoveries in ecological immunology.

Jason Rohr with the College of Arts and Sciences is being honored for contributions to disease and climate change ecology.

James Stock with the Muma College of Business is being honor for research into supply-chain management.

Last year USF had five faculty members honored by the AAAS with a total of 62 faculty members honored in school history.

 

Military Times ranks USF second best public university for veterans

 

The university has been in the top five universities in the nation for veterans for the six years in a row. This year, USF was placed second by the Military Times. The publication highlighted USF’s veteran-centered programs and increased number of veteran students.

“We are once again honored to be recognized by Military Times,” Larry Braue, director of the Office of Veteran Success, said.  “At USF, we believe our comprehensive and innovative approach to supporting student veterans as they transition out of the military truly leads to academic success.”

Last year, the university was named first in the nation for veterans by the Military Times.

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