Following a federal appeals court ruling that struck down Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed rules to guarantee a free and open internet, the FCC has announced it will propose rules that would allow internet content providers to pay for special lanes to deliver content faster. Consumer advocacy groups are attacking the proposal on the basis that prices for service providers that can afford the fast lanes such as Disney or Netflix would probably be made to raise prices, while at the same time, smaller start-ups will be unable to afford the lanes which would stifle creativity and innovation online.
Intuit, the company responsible for making TurboTax, has been linked to a grassroots campaign against a long-standing proposal called Return Free to allow taxpayers the option to use prefilled tax returns from the IRS instead of having to fill out the forms or using a tax preparation service. Agents working for the public relations and lobbying firm JCI Worldwide have worked to convince community leaders to write op-eds that Return Free would be harmful to members of their respective communities. The lobbying firm listed Intuit as a client, until it had been contacted on the matter by independent newspaper ProPublica and has since called the listing a mistake.
After the overturning of a 2013 court ruling, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster will now be able to register as an official religion in Poland. The overturning was based on the parody religion not being given a requested extension to turn in documents which would have made the religion official in Poland. Polish Pastafarians, the term for followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, greeted the announcement by shouting "pasta" repeatedly in unison in front of the Warsaw court.
The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision has struck down the decades-old aggregate political spending cap on a First Amendment basis. While the $2600 per candidate per election limit is still legal, individuals are no longer limited in the total amount of political contributions that can be made every two years. Justice Breyer, in his dissenting opinion writes that the ruling would allow "a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate's campaign".
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law formalizing the annexation of Europe. While no one else is recognizing the annexation, Putin said while Bond-villainously stroking a white cat "muahahaha let them protest, first Europe, next the world". The United Nations has announced a plans to pass a resolution to send a rather strongly worded letter at some point assuming Russia doesn't veto the resolution or failing to pass the resolution, will make Russia sit with the lame countries at the UN cafeteria.