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Phone Companies' $100 Billion Rip-off -- Where Is That Hidden $6 a Month Going in Our Phone Bills?

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The phone companies are soaking all of us for a good chunk of money every month, and they're allowed to conceal it in the fine print of your monthly bill.

David Rosen and Bruce Kushnick, AlterNet

Next time you open your phone bill, check out the numerous anonymous charges listed on it.  In particular, note the one identified as the "FCC Line Charge" or the "Federal Subscriber Line Charge" (SLC).  Ask yourself two questions:  What is it for and why am I paying it?

If you look at your bill, you'll likely have a hard time finding the SLC.  Each state's phone billing method is different and the SLC is often hidden in what is labeled the "taxes and surcharges" section or the "monthly service" section -- or completely missing but added to the bill.   
(An example of an SLC can be found here.) 

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Section(s): 

Wikileaks, Julian Assange and Corporate Media

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  • What makes this most ironic is that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks has been
doing that which the local and corporate media have not. Real investigative 
journalism.
Rather than expose the guilty, the media in this country have chosen an
attempt to attack and smear the whistle-blower.
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  • WikiLeaks Cables Reveal "Profound Hatred for Democracy on the Part of Our Political Leadership"
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  • The Shameful Attacks on Julian Assange
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MichaelCavlan, Twin Cities Daily Plant | MN

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

For weeks now, we here in Minnesota and the broader United States
have been exposed to the corporate media and it's take on WikiLeaks
and founder Julian Assange.

Their position could have been taken from the Pentagon playbook. It 
very well may have. From MPR to Fox News, CNN, NBC, Minneapolis Star
Tribune it has been the basic same narrative. Julian Assange may 
have "harmed US credibility and risked American lives." To one degree
or another, Julian Assange is the villain.

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Not the US government, military, diplomats or other officials.



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Related:

Special Report | Wikileaks, David Culver<evergreenedigest@earthlink.net>, ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • WikiLeaks Cables Reveal "Profound Hatred for Democracy on the Part of Our Political Leadership"
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  • Wikileaks Exposes Complicity of the Press
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Special Report | Wikileaks II, David Culver<evergreenedigest@earthlink.net>, ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • The Shameful Attacks on Julian Assange
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  • The WikiLeaks Cables And U.S. Foreign Policy
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Section(s): 

Web surfers beware of the fee tsunami

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Comcast's attempt to introduce fees for Netflix streaming has consumers on red alert. Appropriately so. The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is rumored to be open to pay-as-you-go charges.

Seattle Times | WA

Access to old movies online via Netflix has nicely defined key Internet regulatory issues in a way that arcane debates over net neutrality never captured consumer attention.

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Web users are watching how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) handles a dispute between Comcast and Level 3 Communications, the Internet distributor of Netflix videos. Whose side is the FCC on when it comes to access — the public's or self-serving corporate interests with the ability to erect toll booths on the Internet?

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This tension foreshadows an announcement later this month by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski over net neutrality and its core elements of consumer protection. The slippery slope is evident in hints the chairman is open to pay-as-you-go plans. Consumers would pay for the amount of time they use the Web. Tiered pricing is the term of art.

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The FCC's Guide to Losing Net Neutrality Without Really Trying, Craig Aaron, Huffington Post
Apparently FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski expects the millions of Americans who have spoken out for Net Neutrality to buy this lemon when the FCC meets to vote on his rules on Dec. 21.
Reactions To FCC Net Neutrality Proposal Mixed

Section(s): 

The FCC's Guide to Losing Net Neutrality Without Really Trying

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  • Apparently FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski expects the millions of Americans who have spoken out for Net Neutrality to buy this lemon when the FCC meets to vote on his rules on Dec. 21.
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  • Reactions To FCC Net Neutrality Proposal Mixed
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Craig Aaron, Huffington Post

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

Ever have to negotiate a contract or try to sell a used car?

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Would you start the give-and-take by naming the lowest price you're willing to accept and then try to get a better deal?

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Of course not. Yet somehow, that's the exact "strategy" the Obama administration seems intent on pursuing -- and not just on tax cuts for the richest Americans.

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The Washington Post's Greg Sargent described this pathology among Democrats in a post last week.

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Reactions To FCC Net Neutrality Proposal Mixed, Amy Lee, Huffington Post

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  • Response to the proposal as it stands has been far from unanimous praise. Initial excitement that the matter had been officially introduced at all was quickly subsumed by wariness over ambiguities in the proposal that seemed to allow broadband carriers to continue their old practices under the cover of a false openness.
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  • Why The Federal Trade Commission' s (FTC's) Online Privacy Plan Won't Stop The Information Free-For-All
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Section(s): 

From Jefferson to Assange

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  • It is outrageous for any journalist, or respecter of what every American president has claimed is our inalienable, God-given right to a free press, not to join in Assange's defense on the WikiLeaks issue.
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  • The Shameful Attacks on Julian Assange
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Robert Scheer, Huffington Post

All you need to know about Julian Assange's value as a crusading journalist is that the New York Times and most of the world's other leading newspapers have led daily with important news stories based on his WikiLeaks releases. All you need to know about the collapse of traditional support for the constitutional protection of a free press is that Dianne Feinstein, the centrist Democrat who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, has called for Assange "to be vigorously prosecuted for espionage."

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Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Feinstein, who strongly supported the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, has the audacity to call for the imprisonment of the man who, more than any other individual, has allowed the public to learn the truth about those disastrous imperial adventures -- facts long known to Feinstein as head of the Intelligence Committee but never shared with the public she claims to represent.

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Related:

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The Shameful Attacks on Julian Assange, David Samuels, The Atlantic

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  • The truly scandalous and shocking response to the Wikileaks documents has been that of other journalists, who make the Obama Administration sound like the ACLU.
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  • From Jefferson to Assange
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