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Network Neutrality — Without Regulation

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the but-that's-unpossible dept.

The Internet 351

boyko.at.netqos writes "Timothy B. Lee (no relation to Tim Berners-Lee), a frequent contributor to Ars Technica and Techdirt, has recently written 'The Durable Internet,' a paper published by the libertarian-leaning CATO institute. In it, Lee argues that because a neutral network works better than a non-neutral one, the Internet's open-ended architecture is not likely to vanish, despite the fears of net neutrality proponents, (and despite the wishes of net neutrality opponents.) For that reason, perhaps network neutrality legislation isn't necessary — or even desirable — from an open-networks perspective. In addition to the paper, Network Performance Daily has an interview and podcast with Tim Lee, and Lee addresses counter-arguments with a blog posting for Technology Liberation Front."

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anal sex (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836133)

it won't do anything but make your dick stink

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836141)

first

Re:first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836187)

Stupid post FAIL

human nature (5, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836205)

As long as companies are involved with some having more sway than others, you can expect them to abuse their position in the name of greed. It's simple human nature. Say all you want about how companies will police themselves or that the market will sort itself out. However, reality has shown us time and time again that this isn't the case.

Re:human nature (1, Insightful)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836273)

I couldn't agree more. I'm tired of all economic libertarians saying the market will rule itself despite many examples showing just the oposite.

And the worst thing is that many of those so-called libertarians favor the government in the current individual freedom issues we're having (eg: the Patriot Act) and when it comes to 'impose freedom' to other nations.

Re:human nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836447)

Because government interference in the market has worked out so very well for us. Right?

Re:human nature (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837067)

Government regulation of markets is essential. Even Adam Smith knew that markets need regulation to stay free. Without regulations, markets quickly devolve into oligopolies.

Oligopolies? (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837207)

You could call the US market an "Oligopoly."

But that's understating the case.

In >80% of the US market currently, the customer is functionally given three choices: Dialup, Monopoly ISP (Cox, Comcrap, AT&T, etc), or NOTHING. They don't have a "choice" at all.

For example: no DSL is built to my home. Verizon can't/won't build out FiOS because, they claim, they don't "own the physical phone lines" so while I could switch to them as my phone provider, they have no ownership/authorization to push FiOS. Functionally, I am limited to Dialup, Comcrap, or NOTHING and even the dialup companies are dying fast.

The 'net cannot stay neutral WITHOUT legislation when you have big companies like Cox and Comcrap that have monopoly status over far too many of their customers. Hell, that's how we got this fucking-stupid "250 GB" traffic cap setup as well.

In an actual competitive market, the customer can go to the best provider. In a monopoly market, the customer is inevitably given the "choice" of either crap service or no service. Unfortunately, government regulation to protect consumer rights (which was signed away by both Clinton and Bush, little by little) is necessary because otherwise the market devolves into monopoly control everywhere, and the only "competition" happens on the fringe edges where you might have two big mostly-monopolies trying to horn in on each other's monopoly turf.

Re:human nature (5, Insightful)

Progoth (98669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836497)

I challenge you to show me an unregulated market where the government doesn't have its hands in it in some way. Go ahead...I'm waiting.

And WTF? libertarians support the PATRIOT act or unilateral action against sovereign nations? you know some funny libertarians, and I'm glad I haven't met them.

Re:human nature (5, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837229)

Ah yes, the good old libertarian cop-out. If a free market fails, find some tiny little bit of government involvement, and blame that. If a free market succeeds, take credit and ignore any government involvement.

Re:human nature (5, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837267)

"I challenge you to show me an unregulated market where the government doesn't have its hands in it in some way"

I challenge you to show me a large bunch of people where you don't get a form of government within a few years - whether it's a dictatorship or otherwise.

Similarly given a large market, you will get some form of regulation whether you like it or not.

What people should worry about is not "lots" vs "little" regulation. What they should worry about is good vs bad regulation. With Laws (like code), quality not quantity matters more.

If greedy corporations have the most say in the writing of regulation, the Public are unlikely to get good regulation, after all the creation of regulation that benefits the Public is not going to be one of their top priorities.

If the Public prefer to vote for politicians/legislators who got the most money from greedy corporations, it should be no surprise what is likely to happen...

Re:human nature (2, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836671)

And the worst thing is that many of those so-called libertarians favor the government in the current individual freedom issues we're having (eg: the Patriot Act) and when it comes to 'impose freedom' to other nations.

What? Way to build up some straw man libertarians that are completely against everything a small-L libertarian stands for. Those people are simply not libertarians.

Re:human nature (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837237)

I need a religious right comment to make sure, but it sounds like he is talking about replublicans.

Re:human nature (2, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836699)

And the worst thing is that many of those so-called libertarians favor the government in the current individual freedom issues we're having (eg: the Patriot Act) and when it comes to 'impose freedom' to other nations.

Umm, what?

From the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy [wikipedia.org] and quoted on the Wikipedia Libertarian page [wikipedia.org] :

Libertarians are committed to the belief that individuals, and not states or groups of any other kind, are both ontologically and normatively primary; that individuals have rights against certain kinds of forcible interference on the part of others; that liberty, understood as non-interference, is the only thing that can be legitimately demanded of others as a matter of legal or political right; that robust property rights and the economic liberty that follows from their consistent recognition are of central importance in respecting individual liberty; that social order is not at odds with but develops out of individual liberty; that the only proper use of coercion is defensive or to rectify an error; that governments are bound by essentially the same moral principles as individuals; and that most existing and historical governments have acted improperly insofar as they have utilized coercion for plunder, aggression, redistribution, and other purposes beyond the protection of individual liberty.

Methinks you're confusing Libertarians with some other group. Either that or deeply confused.

Re:human nature (5, Insightful)

ClassMyAss (976281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836753)

I couldn't agree more. I'm tired of all economic libertarians saying the market will rule itself despite many examples showing just the oposite.

The key to arguing for the pure libertarian point of view is that whenever you're presented with an example of the market failing, you figure out some minor way in which it is regulated, and blame that for the failure rather than the lack of stronger protections.

For instance, if a monopoly becomes abusive, it's not happening because they are unregulated and haven't been restrained from anti-competitive practices, it's because the tax system has made it impossible for smaller companies to effectively compete with the monopoly. Or maybe it's that the minimum wage has increased the cost of the monopolist's labor to the point where they must charge abusive prices in order to stay in business.

Or if a financial industry falls all over it's ass by making stupid bets left and right, it's not that the industry went wild taking on too many risks, it's that entitlement programs sent them the...uhh...implicit message that they should...lend money to people that will never pay it back..?...yeah, something like that! Maybe. Oh wait, I meant Sarbanes Oxley, err maybe the Fed's meddling...whatever, the specific reason doesn't matter, just say it forcefully enough and people will lap it up!

It's a neat trick, actually - any time one element of your preferred extremist approach turns out to fail, you simply claim that it's because the whole thing must be implemented at once, and any deviation from that can bring the whole house of cards tumbling down.

Unfortunately it's also exactly the same philosophical bullshit that Communists have been arguing since their first failed attempts at Utopia. I'm really getting tired of people failing to understand that balance is necessary in all things, including the level of regulation...I even tend to lean libertarian on a lot of these issues, as I don't think much government meddling is usually a good thing, but the tendency to pretend that there are no situations where it's appropriate seems just as deluded as the idea that the government should control everything. We should be pushing to roll back the right regulations, not abolish them wholesale without considering that some of them may actually be helping us.

Libertarians love censorship (-1, Flamebait)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837145)

If they can't refute your arguments, they will try to stop you from arguing. Most anti-libertarian arguments on Slashdot get modded down. Libertarians aren't smart enough or educated enough to argue their case, so they mod you down in the hopes that no one sees how badly their philosophy fails. Most libertarians are only capable of parroting back other people's arguments, so when you present them with an argument they haven't seen before, they don't know what to do. I think libertarian indoctrination must cause brain damage, because very few libertarians can actually think for themselves.

Re:human nature (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837377)

I think the real reason as to why there is so much fail there and with most economic or socialistic ideas is because there is no purely right or wrong answer. There's bad, worse, good, decent, OK, and all sorts of shades of gray, but I don't think there's a 100% horrible or good system. I think you can have systems which are structured so that a very liberal system "works" to some degree, and systems which are structured so that a very socialistic system "works" to some degree, but ultimately both may come with certain benefits and problems, so like you said perhaps the best may be some kind of balance.

I think the problem with extreme libertarianism is that it basically challenges all laws. Oh, you think universal health care isn't needed, well what about the fire and police? Oh, those aren't needed either, so is there any use for government whatsoever in a libertarian society? If everything will somehow run itself and nothing is needed, then what's the point of any kind of government, it should be all run by corporations. Yes, because I'm sure corporations will take really good care of everyone. I'm sure that there will be no pollution, thefts, fires, murders, rotten food being sold, and that everyone will be healthy and happy citizens.

Like you said, I think it all boils down to the fact that greed exists because assholes exist. If your idea of a good country is one living inside a bunker you built with a munition stockpile trying to defend yourself because you didn't have enough money to pay off the "police force" (mafia) to protect you, I don't wanna know what you think a bad one would be like.

There are definitely bad ways in which the government can clog the gears of real progress, and be used as tools to silence competition and screw over citizens in general, but I think there are some rules for being nice that are just common sense and needed.

human nature (2, Informative)

janeuner (815461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836397)

As long as politicians are involved with some having more sway than others, you can expect them to abuse their position in the name of greed. It's simple human nature. Say all you want about how government will police itself or that the market will sort itself out. However, reality has shown us time and time again that this isn't the case.

Re:human nature (1)

janeuner (815461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836405)

bleh, market bureaucracy

Re:human nature (0)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836429)

That's quite true, too, which is why we have ethics regulations and oversight committees. Or were you trying to imply that we don't?

Re:human nature (2, Informative)

janeuner (815461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836691)

I would imply that they [ethics regulations + oversight] are largely ineffective.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (1)

mahsah (1340539) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836947)

But who watches the watchmen?

Re:human nature (2, Interesting)

torstenvl (769732) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836627)

Let me know when the average Comcast customer has a vote on the board, because until he can elect a new CEO, your comparison falls flat.

Re:human nature (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836731)

Comcast is a great example of how regulation has failed. The government builds up and supports local cable monopolies eliminating competition. And look what happens: Comcast.

Re:human nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836789)

Wow you're an idiot.

Circular argument much? Comcast IS AN INTERNET PROVIDER.

Your argument that Comcast engages in bad behavior is NOT an effective argument for why that bad behavior should NOT be prohibited.

Re:human nature (1)

janeuner (815461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836813)

Let me know when the average US citizen has a vote in Congress, because until he can vote directly, your comparison falls flat.

Realize that even with Network Neutrality laws in place, there will still be government mandates regarding various types of service. When an open market is in place, and it is easy to enter that market, the consumer has a voice in who he chooses as a service provider. However, if a government-protected oligopoly controls access, or if the government itself controls access, then you will have no choice whatsoever.

Re:human nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836959)

Uh. No, it doesn't. A comparison between the following
a - electing someone who makes decisions
b - electing someone who makes decisions
is a pretty valid comparison.

I don't know what dope you're smoking.

Re:human nature (1)

flink (18449) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837219)

Realize that even with Network Neutrality laws in place, there will still be government mandates regarding various types of service.

I don't believe that's necessarily true. You can have a proscriptive instead of a prescriptive law. e.g. "All internet carriers are prohibited from routing traffic bound to a given destination preferentially to any other destination" or something of the sort.

Re:human nature (1)

janeuner (815461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837363)

"All internet carriers are prohibited from routing traffic bound to a given destination preferentially to any other destination" or something of the sort.

The Congressman who proposes this law must copy the entirety of RFC 1349 into the text of the bill and then strike it out with a red Sharpie.

Optional: do the same to the Squid project source code.

Re:human nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836513)

It has nothing to do with companies policing themselves. It's all about companies being forced to change in order to compete. That's what happens with competition: competition keeps monopolies in check, and greed ensures the consumers always get the best that the greedy can produce. So, if you want to make sure the Internet remains neutral, make sure there's healthy competition. Unfortunately, there isn't much competition right now. Why? As always, government regulation and interference. Just like you can always expect people to be greedy, you can always expect government regulation to make things worse off for everybody and not have the intended result.

Of course, this is all basic stuff. Did you even read the article?

Re:human nature (4, Insightful)

bmajik (96670) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836647)

It's a good thing that the human propensity to seek power and do evil only exists when that human works at a company, and never when that human works in government.

We're really lucky this is the case, since if someone in government were ever corrupt, they could fine you speciously, jail you without trial or due process, seize your home via eminent domain, or just plain kill.

Re:human nature (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836711)

Reality has not shown this because government always intercedes and imposes regulation. Can you actually point out an example or are you just relaying made up facts?

Point out where it's only government intervention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25837507)

Because you have otherwise to prove that it isn't the lack of regulation that has not caused the problems.

Go find one.

Why would ISPs even want to censor? (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836873)

The only thing ISPs care about by default is that their users aren't abusing access to the Internet through means like taking up too much bandwidth or doing illegal things. They don't care whether you spend your day on Slashdot or Stormfront. If left up to their own devices, which they have been so far, they let their users go wherever they want until the law says otherwise. What makes you think that the government is more likely to come in and say that they must do this, rather than come in and tell them they have to block access to certain sites and opinions? There's already precedent for the latter, but not the former, in many Western states.

The CATO institute? (3, Funny)

ValuJet (587148) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836227)

Since this is from the CATO institute, I will just go ahead and assume all their conclusions are bullshit.

Re:The CATO institute? (4, Insightful)

Progoth (98669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836537)

Since this comment was made by ValuJet, I'm going to stick my fingers in my ears and shut my eyes and scream "nyah nyah nyah" and hope that I don't hear anything that disagrees with my existing biases.

Re:The CATO institute? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836739)

Does Valujet have a history of bullshit, like the Cato Institue?

See (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836231)

this [slashdot.org] for an answer as to if in theory, it is going to happen.

In Other News... (5, Informative)

dcollins (135727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836235)

Another paper by the libertarian-leaning CATO institute also said this: Banks, financial lenders, and mortgage providers "work better" if they are responsible and provide only secure financial investments, and are therefore not likely to enter a worldwide financial meltdown. For that reason, financial oversight legislation is neither necessary nor desirable. QED.

Re:In Other News... (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836329)

Read that quote again, the statement makes sense to me.

The assumption is that they will be responsible and only provide secure financial investment. ie low risk loans

The problem is that most bank didn't and they provided too many bad loans.

Re:In Other News... (3, Insightful)

ClassMyAss (976281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836393)

The assumption is that they will be responsible and only provide secure financial investment. ie low risk loans

The problem is that most bank didn't and they provided too many bad loans.

...hence the initial assumption that we should trust the banks to look after themselves failed, and the idea that they are better off with zero regulation is ridiculous.

Re:In Other News... (2, Informative)

Progoth (98669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836579)

Or, more likely.....

These very same banks were required, by regulation, to provide bad loans.

And also....

These loans were mostly all bought by Freddie and Fannie, with the assumption that no matter how bad their decisions were, the government would spend any amount of taxpayer money to keep these quasi-private companies alive. Funny how that works. Perhaps the government shouldn't be in the mortgage business.

Re:In Other News... (3, Interesting)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836735)

Or, more likely..... These very same banks were required, by regulation, to provide bad loans.

It was called the Community Reinvestment Act, enacted under Carter. It was intended to stop the practice of redlining. You know, redlining, where banks would refuse to make loans into certain neighborhoods that had a high percentage of bad loans and ineligible borrowers.

The CRA forced them to make bad loans so they could stay in business. Clinton increased the regulations so they had to make more. And Bush the Recent tried several times to re-regulate the system to reduce the requirement to make bad loans, every time opposed by Franks and Obama et.al. "We don't need regulation, there is no problem", sang the Dems.

Re:In Other News... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836851)

Um I'm pretty sure Freddie and Fannie don't have much to do with credit default swaps or whatever all the other crazy, leveraged debt instruments that absolutely NO ONE can figure out now.

And I'm pretty sure those are what got us into this mess.

And by "pretty sure" I mean not sure at all, except for the fact that your theory where regulation FORCED banks to provide enough bad loans to COLLAPSE THE ECONOMY is ludicrous.

BTW, don't banks and such have something called 'lobbyists?' Don't they donate something called 'money' to politicians? As a result, isn't the U.S. one of the most regulation-free developed economies in the world?

Oh, those poor banks. All that money and all those politicians in their pocket, and they still had NO CHOICE but to follow EVIL REGULATIONS (cause companies NEVER break the law - *cough*Enron) and cause a RECESSION.

Yeah, clearly regulation is to blame.

Re:In Other News... (1)

knails (915340) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837061)

Perhaps the government shouldn't be in business

Fixed that for you.

Re:In Other News... (4, Informative)

UdoKeir (239957) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837161)

These very same banks were required, by regulation, to provide bad loans.

Except that they weren't. Stop repeating these republican blogosphere lies.

Re:In Other News... (1)

ClassMyAss (976281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837497)

These very same banks were required, by regulation, to provide bad loans.

Whether that's the case or not, the banks had a financial motive that made them take on a lot of them, and it's called "making oodles of money." Which, if you'll recall, is at the heart of capitalism.

A hiccup in the default rate was a catalyst for this, to be sure, but it only changed by a few percent, not even close to enough to dent our economy. Except for the fact that that few percent was leveraged forty to one through the swaps that banks were passing back and forth like candy, and it turned out that nobody could actually pay them out, or even value them once the market dried up.

Unregulated and super-leveraged derivatives are what caused this mess, not bad loans. House prices were merely the tulip-bulb-of-the-week that people thought would keep going up forever and were willing to take as much risk in as they were allowed. These things always tumble, and what's at fault is not the particular asset that tumbles in the end, or any regulations or lack thereof surrounding those assets, it's the process that allows the bubble to inflate so damn big in the first place, and that's called "leverage."

Unfortunately, the only way to fight leverage is through regulation.

Re:In Other News... (2, Interesting)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836765)

Banks were not under zero regulation, they were being highly regulated by the government and if you honestly believe that the free market caused this collapse, then you are sorely mistaken. Just because the federal government's solution to this debacle is more regulation and bailouts doesn't mean there were zero before.

Re:In Other News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836375)

That statement makes sense to me. Check your if-clauses.

Re:In Other News... (1)

Markimedes (1292762) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836407)

I prefer my red herring with tartar sauce.

Re:In Other News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836409)

Cite?

Re:In Other News... (5, Insightful)

readin (838620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836583)

Another paper by the libertarian-leaning CATO institute also said this: Banks, financial lenders, and mortgage providers "work better" if they are responsible and provide only secure financial investments, and are therefore not likely to enter a worldwide financial meltdown. For that reason, financial oversight legislation is neither necessary nor desirable. QED.

Our recent meltdown is due to regulations that encouraged bad loans. Our future meltdowns will be due to the assumptions by banks that they don't need to be responsible because the government will step in with billions of dollars to bail them out if anything goes wrong.

It's silly to blame the current mess on lack of regulation when the banks, financial lenders, and mortgage provides were regulated.

that's insane (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836929)

the meltdown is due to human psychology. i did not know you needed regulations to create panic and fear. i suppose if we had no regulations, the very concepts of panic and fear would disappear?

fact: an unregulated market is subject to times of irrational exuberance, and times of panic and fear. there is absolutely no prerequisite to these truths, and no escaping them. the only way to save ourselves form the excesses of irrational excitement or hysteria is regulation

if you don't believe or understand that, you ar ein some sort of denial and choking on some massive propaganda

Re:In Other News... (1)

ClassMyAss (976281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837393)

Our recent meltdown is due to regulations that encouraged bad loans. Our future meltdowns will be due to the assumptions by banks that they don't need to be responsible because the government will step in with billions of dollars to bail them out if anything goes wrong.

I totally agree that a bailout sends a terrible message to banks, that you merely need to be "too big to fail" and then your bad bets will just be taken on by the taxpayer.

But I keep hearing the line that the government encouraged bad loans and that's what caused this, and I have no freaking idea what you guys are talking about. Banks do not make loans that they don't expect to make money on. They took on bad loans because for a long time they were making loads of money off of them due to the relentlessly climbing housing prices, which meant that pretty much anyone that could sign the paper could afford to pay off the mortgage.

And hey, thanks to the magic of CDSes, the banks don't even need to worry about what happens if people don't pay them off, because they can pay someone else to take on all the risk! Yay! It's like insurance, except that the people offering it don't actually have to have any money! Hmm, I wonder how that could go wrong?

It's silly to blame the current mess on lack of regulation when the banks, financial lenders, and mortgage provides were regulated.

Yeah, because it would be totally silly to oh, say, create regulation that would require insurance providers to have money on hand to pay out claims that arise. And it would be downright Communist to suggest that the lack of such requirements had anything to do with the mess we're in now - let's just forget all those little details and make ourselves a nice little strawman called "affirmative action lending" so that we can blame it all on the black people...

Re:In Other News... (1)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837431)

I've seen this a few places, and it sounds great as a free market talking point, but doesn't actually hold water.

Most subprime loans, 75%, were not made by institutions that were regulated by the CRA(the legislation you are talking about that "forces" banks to make loans for lower income borrowers if they pool their resources). http://www.woodstockinst.org/blog/blog/the-community-reinvestment-act-no-smoking-gun/ [woodstockinst.org]

Not to mention that the bad loans were only the catalyst and the real killer was bad risk assessment on the part of the larger banks who bought derivatives based on these risky loans and then insured them multiple times with institutions like AIG.

In short, you still can't blame the borrowers over the banks as nice as it would be to blame the poor and "government regulation" for all your problems.

Re:In Other News... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836597)

You do realize that there were still regulations on the banking industry?

The only problem was that these regulations were FORCING banks to take risky loans.

If banks were allowed to act in their own best interest, they would have. Sadly, the Democrats (and Barney Frank in particular) refused to allow the banks to act in their own self interest.

And, thanks to the economy collapsing, the nation has decided to throw the power to the very people who caused the collapse in the first place. McCain worked hard to prevent it, and he got thrown by the wayside in favor of a very well-spoken but completely unknown and inexperienced candidate.

Look at the market after it learned Obama had won: it completely tanked. There's a reason for that.

You can't call this a failure of the free market, because we don't HAVE a completely free market. It's further proof that ANY regulation causes MASSIVE problems.

Re:In Other News... (1)

Progoth (98669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836645)

I agree with most everything except the McCain comment. He's just as guilty as most of congress. He also believes taxpayers should buy troubled mortgages.

Re:In Other News... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836961)

What law FORCED banks to take risky loans? Please be specific.

Re:In Other News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25837005)

You can't call this a failure of the free market, because we don't HAVE a completely free market. It's further proof that ANY regulation causes MASSIVE problems.

This is the exact same argument that Communists make to explain why all the attempts at Communist government have caused the countries to go to hell. "Not pure enough."

I called bullshit on them, and I'll call bullshit on you, too. The banks were not forced to take risky loans - this goes a lot deeper than Fannie and Freddie, all of the banks were happily scooping up all the loans they could take because they thought they could hedge the risk and still make a profit; on paper, the numbers looked right. The problem was that the way they hedged the risk was to buy "insurance" from people that couldn't afford to sell insurance, but were not prohibited from doing so thanks to the shady way that the "insurance" was carefully packaged so as to get around the regulations surrounding the insurance industry. And when the banks showed up to make claims on this "insurance," everyone got ass-fucked.

To be clear, this had almost nothing to do with the loans, except that they were the underlying assets being derivatived-up and leveraged; it had everything to do with the amount of leverage applied through these derivatives. The change in default rate that caused this was negligible, and should have been barely even a minor shock to the system, but it was amplified, and that's the problem.

Buffett knew five years ago to stay out of this shit-fest, because he knew that there was too much leverage behind these things, and that's always the first sign of trouble. If you really want to avoid situations like this, the solution is to limit the amount of leverage in our economy, not to deregulate the whole thing even further.

Re:In Other News... (4, Insightful)

ClassMyAss (976281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837117)

If banks were allowed to act in their own best interest, they would have. Sadly, the Democrats (and Barney Frank in particular) refused to allow the banks to act in their own self interest.

Please elaborate - what exactly were the banks coerced into doing that they didn't think was in their self interest? Because everyone that I know in the industry was thrilled to be offering easy loans to anyone and trading CDOs left and right, mainly because they saw massive returns on their investments while the housing market was booming, not because some Democrat held a gun to their head and told them they had to.

I know a lot of people that were in the middle of this, and many that are now unemployed as a result, and I have yet to hear any of them seriously claim that this was caused by anything but a bunch of risky and difficult to price assets spiraling off each other and running things into the ground...

Re:In Other News... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836821)

And yet, the bailout and so forth was actually foreseen by some, INCLUDING free marketeers such as (yes, him) Ron Paul...

http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul128.html [lewrockwell.com]

Now, I have no idea whether his reasoning is sound, so give it your best shot. But that does seem, to me at least, pretty impressive...

Just one thing... (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836237)

The companies in charge of access to the internet DON'T want it to work better. They would rather induce scarcity in order to scare servers like Amazon, Google, iTunes and so on into paying for their "packet protection service". Pure profit, no investment needed.

And no, as Bell Canada has just shown, thinking that competition is going to fix it is wishful thinking. Unless someone comes up with the trillions of dollars to rewire the entire internet at once and lock the behemoths out of the loop, you could make the most badass ISP ever and lose all your customers when the established players lock you out.

Re:Just one thing... (2, Interesting)

booch (4157) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836631)

But the Internet is a two-way street, with clients and servers. If the client-side ISPs decide to start throttling, then the server-side providers can decide to start throttling those ISPs as well.

Do you really think that people will stick with an ISP that has slowed-down access to Google? I think Google is in a good position to threaten ISPs into maintaining net neutrality. Imagine going to Google and seeing a note telling you that your ISP has caused your access to Google to be throttled, and suggesting that you call your ISP or move to another ISP.

first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836251)

first post /. seems neutral about this and this is nice to me ;-)

it's about the money stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836255)

It's for these same exact reasons that America has the best cell phone and cable services in the world.

Oh, wait... (2, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836289)

In it, Lee argues that because a neutral network works better than a non-neutral one, the Internet's open-ended architecture is not likely to vanish, despite the fears of net neutrality proponents,

$traceroute slashdot.org
traceroute to slashdot.org (216.34.181.45), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
  1 10.100.56.1 (10.100.56.1) 17.348 ms 17.801 ms 18.228 ms
  2 10.220.17.1 (10.220.17.1) 3.171 ms 3.270 ms 5.564 ms
  3 * * *
  4 * * *
  5 * * *

.....

28 * * *
29 * * *
30 * * *

The gist (3, Insightful)

ClassMyAss (976281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836351)

For anyone that doesn't have the effort to slog through 36 pages of Internet history that more or less tells us what we already know (that up until now, the internet has been pretty open), the gist of the conclusion is "We shouldn't bother with network neutrality regulation or worry about those in charge abusing their local near-monopoly status, because hey, the market will work it out!"

There's also a nice helping of "The government is the worst monopoly of all, and we should never allow them to pass laws to restrain the actions of near-monopolies, because hey, the market will work it out!"

In other words, we should trust that despite the massive amount of money and energy the companies controlling our "tubes" are putting into fighting network neutrality legislation, they won't ever abuse the privilege to screw us if we just leave things the way they are. But if they are not allowed to screw us, that's when we have to worry about monopolistic behavior!

Color me unimpressed by the overwhelming force of logic there...

Re:The gist (1, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836761)

Ya, that's why I can't take libertarians. For individuals, their ideas work... but once you create a legal fiction that blocks most liability for individuals, things break down. Individials leading their private lives should be left alone; corporations need to be closely watched.

Re:The gist (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837181)

This.

The main issue, really, is an issue of power. The more power an entity has, the more important it is to ensure that that power isn't abused. Libertarians (with a capital L) would have us believe that "the market" will always work this out. Maybe it will, and maybe it won't, but monopolies have been broken up, and generally speaking, the consumer is believed to have been better for it.

I think that one of the reasons that the market doesn't always sort itself out is that it can be incredibly difficult to break into a new market. If telephone lines didn't have to be shared by telcos, one can only imagine how much it would cost to break into the telephone market. You'd have to lay all new lines everywhere, and even then, the current big player wouldn't have any obligation to let your customers talk to their customers. You'd never gain enough critical mass to have leverage against the monopoly.

So what it boils down to is that the more power an entity has, the more reasonable it is that the entity be regulated. ISPs currently have a lot of power (they're just not using it completely) and are frankly not regulated very much. Unregulated, I'm sure that it won't be long before the Internet is treated like Cable/Satellite TV. You only get access to certain websites that you pay for, in various tiers and packages (such that even if I don't care about espn.com, I get it alongside Google and Yahoo.) That's the model that cable companies understand, and it's the model that gets them the most revenue.

Re:The gist (2, Interesting)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836763)

I agree with a good bit of libertarian philosophy - like the portions about the government shouldn't be able to tell you what you can and can't put in your body or what you can and can't do in the privacy of your home. I don't agree with a near-complete defanging of the government.

The government is supposed to be (in my eyes) an organization to protect us from things that can screw the individual over (other large organizations, like corporations) as well as provide for the common defense and needs of the people. Nothing more and nothing less.

Re:The gist (1)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837213)

Coming soon, ISPs which sell their service as "unfiltered".

I'm doubtful. (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836389)

The idea that neutral networks work better seems plausible enough; but that doesn't imply that neutral networks are what the market will achieve. If I can improve my position by building a walled garden and sucking everybody inside dry, that will impose considerable externalities, and probably represent a net loss in efficiency; but I'll do it anyway because I get the gains, and other people suffer the losses. Unless this paper has an atypically good reason for why externalities will be internalized in this market, I am wholly uncomforted by the fact that neutral networks are more efficient.

Internet service in Ontario (3, Informative)

Digital_Quartz (75366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836399)

Here in Ontario, I can get high-speed internet from:
  • Rogers (cable), which blocks ports, throttles BitTorrent, VPN, and any encrypted traffic. Rogers also has some stupid "web search on typo" system which breaks DNS.
  • Bell (DSL), which throttles BitTorrent [slashdot.org] .
  • Many small third party DSL providers, which don't throttle, but Bell controls the last mile for all DSL, and throttles for them.

So, it's a nice theory, but Ontario (and most of eastern Canada) disproves it nicely.

Re:Internet service in Ontario (1)

janeuner (815461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836557)

So these are your two examples of why open market doesn't work? Rogers Communications, which is a local monopoly protected by the Canadian Government, and Bell Canada, which is a local monopoly protected by the Canadian Government.
There are plenty of good examples that illustrate the damage of laissez-faire capitalism. Government-sponsored monopolies are enumerated in that list.

Re:Internet service in Ontario (1)

piranha(jpl) (229201) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837355)

You're telling me that, with a third-party DSL ISP, Bell will peek into the ATM cells passing between your equipment and the ISP's in order to detect which are associated with BitTorrent and throttle those cells accordingly?

Forgive my skepticism.

The life of the law (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836403)

"The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience. The law embodies the story of a nation's development...it cannot be dealt with as if it contained the axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

It is for this reason that the internet will continually be subject to attack. It is a public resource and history has taught us that public resources must be managed, regulated, rationed, and controlled. People here on slashdot and in the technical community believe that the internet is different, that it should not be subjected to the same restrictions that are placed on other public utilities like the roads, electricity, or other infrastructure. But our community is ignoring hundreds, arguably thousands, of years of human history which has inevitably converged towards the same result -- Public resources must be managed resources.

This is an unpleasant truth, and an unpopular one. We're terrified, in many cases rightly so, of the government coming in. But witness what the lack of government regulation has done. When the internet was first opened to the public, there was no commercial interest, but as commercial interests moved in there was no central governing authority. And so a myriad of organizational nightmares have evolved in every aspect. The DNS system has factured, with lawsuits and international pressure abounding. Peering agreements between large ISPs have become power battles that have sometimes resulted in significant fractions of the network being inaccessible to the whole, or degrading performance. We have governments erecting giant firewalls, and the thousand cultures of the world now battle for control over what goes in to their part of the network. Everybody has their own ideas, and it is now little more than anarchy. And none of these battles is concerned about performance, democracy, or the other ideals that net neutrality activists advocate.

We were so scared of the government that we let corporations come in and seize control of the infrastructure. Now the future of the internet is a question of economics, not idealism, and corporations are battling and lobbying to become the largest and most powerful. Consolidation is happening in the ISP market in every country in the world. And as that consolidation continues to occur, and fewer players are in the market, it will bias ever more heavily towards control and regulation... But it will be a control based on economics favorable to the corporate interests, not the users, not the private citizens.

It's time to admit that we need government involvement. It's time to sit down at the negotiating table and decide what the fairest way to ration and regulate this resource is. That's the only consideration of the law, and it's best we do it soon before these corporations become so entrenched that only the most desperate of solutions will bring relief. And once we decide what we, as a country, want to do with this resource, then we need to set about making treaties with other countries to bring some level of regulation to a global level.

This is going to happen. It has to happen. The only consideration now is how to guide this process toward a fair outcome.

Corporations cannot self-regulate. (5, Insightful)

Kaenneth (82978) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836421)

Surveying the wreckage of the credit crisis, Alan Greenspan says he made one very big mistake.

The free-market cheerleader and former maestro of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board conceded yesterday that he wrongly thought banks had an inherent interest in shielding their institutions and their shareholders from risk.

That assumption turned out to have been dead wrong as financial institutions brought the banking system to the brink of failure in recent months after loading up on exotic mortgages and risky derivative products such as credit default swaps.

"I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms," Mr. Greenspan bluntly told a U.S. congressional committee exploring the role of regulators in the financial crisis.

"Something which looked to be a very solid edifice and, indeed, a critical pillar to market competition and free markets did break down.

"And I think that ... shocked me. I still do not fully understand why it happened."

The staunch belief that banks could manage their own tolerance for risk underpinned Mr. Greenspan's aversion to heavy-handed banking regulation during his record 18-year tenure at the helm of the Fed.

Mr. Greenspan was an early devotee of author Ayn Rand, whose 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged inspired a generation of libertarian thinkers who believe in the right of individuals to live entirely for their own interest.

Re:Corporations cannot self-regulate. (3, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836521)

"Mr. Greenspan was an early devotee of author Ayn Rand, whose 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged inspired a generation of libertarian thinkers who believe in the right of individuals to live entirely for their own interest." But not at the expense of others.

Re:Corporations cannot self-regulate. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25837189)

Unless you are a native American, in which case the Queen of Libertarianism justified genocide and the theft of your land on the distinctly un-Libertarian grounds that European settlers could make better use of the land.

"Any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to take over this continent."

Ayn Rand's "philosophy" is a justification for acting like a dick. Most of us outgrew it when we went to kindergarten and learned to share our toys.

Re:Corporations cannot self-regulate. (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836681)

There is a caveat -- given the presence of an interventionist government, corporations have shown that they cannot self regulate.

I don't think the world would be better without government regulation, but the current crisis is as much a result of poor government regulation as it is a result of poor self regulation, and it doesn't really say anything about an unregulated marketplace. Call not for more regulation, but for better regulation. Judge results, not page counts.

(Two major things are that without the SEC, the stock market would not be as big as it is, and without Fannie and Freddie, the mortgage market would not be nearly as liquid as it is (was...).)

Re:Corporations cannot self-regulate. (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836841)

Mr. Greenspan was an early devotee of author Ayn Rand, whose 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged inspired a generation of libertarian thinkers who believe in the right of individuals to live entirely for their own interest.

And that is so wrong, why? Since you reference Atlas Shrugged, I would hope that you're actually familiar with it. Consider this quote from it:

I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

A man should live in his own interest, otherwise he's simply become an altruistic slave to the looters. All right, so that was a bit Rand heavy, but is there something inherently wrong with self interest? I don't achieve it by stepping on someone else or prohibiting their own self interest.

Re:Corporations cannot self-regulate. (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836979)

A man should live in his own interest, otherwise he's simply become an altruistic slave to the looters. All right, so that was a bit Rand heavy, but is there something inherently wrong with self interest? I don't achieve it by stepping on someone else or prohibiting their own self interest.

Reread the comment. The point of the comment is not criticism of self-interest but that banks were incapable of sustaining themselves, despite their logical self-interest to do so.

Anywhere humans and money intersect, logic goes out the window. This is why the Austrian school is wrong and the econophysicists are right.

$0.02USD,
-l

Re:Corporations cannot self-regulate. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25837263)

A man should live in his own interest, otherwise he's simply become an altruistic slave to the looters. All right, so that was a bit Rand heavy, but is there something inherently wrong with self interest? I don't achieve it by stepping on someone else or prohibiting their own self interest.

On the contrary, most people in this society do achieve it by stepping on someone else and especially by prohibiting others' self interest. This is the problem: that economic wealth becomes political power. Once those two are aligned and "rational self interest" kicks in, anyone who opposes the status quo gets it in the teeth. This is the crux of the current financial crisis.

This is also the reason that socialism and libertarianism both fail: Socialists and Libertarians believe that people are basically "good" and would never abuse their positions. The fact of the matter is that people will get away with as much as they can and will always require a gun at the back of their head (and an implied threat to use it) to do the right thing.

He was the chairman of the Federal Reserve though (1)

mahsah (1340539) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836997)

So he isn't REALLY a Free Market advocate.

In before "no true scotsman"

Greenspan is a liar (3, Insightful)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837057)

Greenspan was one of the people responsible for changing regulations that led to this crisis. Once he became FED chairman in the 1980's he started circumventing the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/wallstreet/weill/demise.html [pbs.org]

In 1933, Senator Carter Glass (D-Va.) and Congressman Henry Steagall (D-Ala.) introduce the historic legislation that bears their name, seeking to limit the conflicts of interest created when commercial banks are permitted to underwrite stocks or bonds. In the early part of the century, individual investors were seriously hurt by banks whose overriding interest was promoting stocks of interest and benefit to the banks, rather than to individual investors. The new law bans commercial banks from underwriting securities, forcing banks to choose between being a simple lender or an underwriter (brokerage).

In August 1987, Alan Greenspan -- formerly a director of J.P. Morgan and a proponent of banking deregulation -- becomes chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. One reason Greenspan favors greater deregulation is to help U.S. banks compete with big foreign institutions.

In December 1996, with the support of Chairman Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve Board issues a precedent-shattering decision permitting bank holding companies to own investment bank affiliates with up to 25 percent of their business in securities underwriting (up from 10 percent).

Late 1999:

After 12 attempts in 25 years, Congress finally repeals Glass-Steagall, rewarding financial companies for more than 20 years and $300 million worth of lobbying efforts. Supporters hail the change as the long-overdue demise of a Depression-era relic.

Just days after the administration (including the Treasury Department) agrees to support the repeal, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, the former co-chairman of a major Wall Street investment bank, Goldman Sachs, raises eyebrows by accepting a top job at Citigroup as Weill's chief lieutenant. The previous year, Weill had called Secretary Rubin to give him advance notice of the upcoming merger announcement. When Weill told Rubin he had some important news, the secretary reportedly quipped, "You're buying the government?"

Greenspan was the major player in repealling the legislation which would have kept this mess from ever happening. It is very doubtful that Greenspan didn't know why Glass Steagall was enacted in the first place.

Of course he is going to plead ignorance. He doesn't want to get put behind bars and flogged by the masses by admitting he is a criminal.

Re:Corporations cannot self-regulate. (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837227)

The idea of an unregulated market (which we have never seen in North America, BTW) is that corporations do not have to be trusted to regulate themselves because consumers will punish companies that sell poor products / services by voting with their wallets. How can you blame free market for the current mess when when the general public has always depended on the government to ban products that are "bad for them" and hold corporations accountable so that they don't have to do it themselves ?

In other words, how can you blame an unregulated market for the recession when the market was regulated ?

Being a business owner I sure as hell know that I wouldn't gamble with my assets if I didn't have some sort of insurance policy in place in case those risks end up screwing me over. Put yourself in the shoes of a financial institution and ask yourself why on earth you would lend money out when there's any chance in hell that you won't be able to get it back.

scale is too small for self regulation (1)

spectro (80839) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836533)

Proponents of self regulation don't get that the scale is too small for it to work, even planet-wide.

I call BS... (2, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836545)

There are enough cases, eg, NebuAdd, NX-domain wildcarding, P2P traffic disruption, where the ISP gains a large net benefit from behaving in a non-neutral manner, and as high-bandwidth ISPs are a duopoly at best for most individuals, unless you can reveal their practices AND the threat of regulation & marketplace rebellion, the net becomes unneutral.

Remember, the "market will take care of itself" was also promulgated by CATO in respect to Wall Street, and we know how well that worked out.

Re:I call BS... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836963)

Remember, the "market will take care of itself" was also promulgated by CATO in respect to Wall Street, and we know how well that worked out.

Really? When was Wall Street given the opportunity to "take care of itself"? The government has intervened to significantly contribute to creating problems on Wall Street and then used those problems as an excuse to intervene even further.

Net Neutrality Law is Necessary (2, Insightful)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836727)

The article is just full of utter nonsense that should be clear to anyone knowing anything about the internet. The ONLY way to gaurantee that ISPs will not censor the net is to gaurantee that they dont, in the only truly enforceable way, with law. It is all too easy for the ISPs to implement hardware and software that will restrict access to or impede access to certain content. The consumers, given the near monopoly position of the ISPs, would have little other choice than to put up with this. It could also be that only exorbitantly priced service tiers would offer unrestricted access to the internet, meaning access to the full internet would only be available to a small, wealthier segment of the population. Furthermore, even though an uncensored common carrier, whether it is postal or electronic, is essential to free speech, I am unsure if enough consumers would realise the great importance of this to take demand a change of their ISPs behaviour. ISPs of course can just reject that request and leave consumers without recourse.

Net neutrality can only be assured, adn free speech therefore, with it being required by law and ISPs being recognised for what they, as common carriers and that they should be required to carry all information over their networks unmodified. To allow otherwise is to open the door to censorship, and to make these corporations the functional equivalent of the Chinese government, blocking whichever sites which suit them. This would have an effect exactly equivalent to government censorship that it should be considered the same as government censorship.

Net nuetrality is also unnecessary for the ISP. They claim it is needed to raise revenue to maintain the network. This is utterly incorrect as they can use bandwidth tiers to do this. Speed and performance levels should apply without discrimination to all content flowing over the network.

Net neutrality is to protect consumers rights and free speech rights, by assuring every person can access all information made avialable on the internet and publish their own content which can be accessed to anyone else, without it being blocked.

We can expect conservative organisations to be prejudiced against the interests of free speech and the people and to be high biased towards large corporate interest whom they represent and who finances them. They are highly ideologically biased to an approach which endangers individuals freedoms in favour of large corporations, by dismantling the voice of the people, our democracy, and removing all restrictions from corporations which turns them into an unelected plutocracy which takes the functional role of a totalitarian government. I oppose totalitarianism in the form of corporation or government, often either which are different in name only, and therefore I oppose censorship of the internet by corporations or government, and I support Net Neutrality laws passed by our democratic government to assure that ISPs are not permitted to block access to content.

Net Neutrality Law is Suicide (2, Insightful)

CranberryKing (776846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836941)

Net neutrality is to protect consumers rights and free speech rights, by assuring every person can access all information made avialable on the internet and publish their own content which can be accessed to anyone else, without it being blocked.

Your crazy if you think that is what the government will actually do. Look at the direction those same governments have gone so far with respect to civil liberties and freedom of speech. You want to hand the keys to the entire communication infrastructure over to them and say, "promise to do the right thing, okay". You will be delivering censorship on a silver platter, in a more augmented and frightening way. Large corporations can become corrupt, that's inherent in human nature, but there are steps you can take to combat them. Large governments, tend to become tyrannies and removing them typically requires lots of people to die. On an unregulated Internet we are free to write our own applications, encrypt communication and take our own steps to work around greedy, short sited ISPs. Once the government is involved, you will either be a terrorist or pedophile if you do so. Think about it because once you hand it over you will never get your truly free Internet back again.

The premise does not support the conlusion (1)

DoctorNathaniel (459436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836917)

Even granted the premise that a neutral net works better, this does not mean that ISPs will tend toward neutrality - people do NOT act rationally, which is one of the many problems with libertarianism.

Much more likely the owners of networks will feel that there is a profit to be made by throttling services and then charging.. even though everything works more poorly and even though they might even make less money in the long run. That's irrelevant: what business leaders, like anyone, act upon is their PERCEPTION of what makes money. Worse, people (read: ISPs) will try to stop other people (read: Google) from "taking advantage" of them, even when it doesn't hurt their business and in fact helps it.

Regulatory Capture (1)

Jodka (520060) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836955)

The second major point of the original article which is not mentioned in the summary above is that any government agency created to regulate net neutrality would be subject to regulatory capture [wikipedia.org] .

It would be interesting to hear a rebuttal of that point here by any advocates of net neutrality.

End to end neutrality, where I own the ends. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836967)

I certainly didn't real 44 pages of ramblings. What I _did_ read was examples all based on an environment of enormous competition where anyone could provide a solution. Does anyone really think this is the case with ISPs? For the physical lines coming into my house I have two options. The telco or the CableCo. If you're lucky you get to choose your ISP, but even that doesn't seem to guarantee you neutrality if the Bell Canada story summaries are correct.

The point being, when competition doesn't exist, like is the case with most peoples choice of who provides them internet service (i.e. legal monoplies), Lee's whole argument falls apart. Comparing THAT to someone inventing SMTP, or VoIP in an open environment is a ridiculous comparison.

Government as "Them" (1)

bitspotter (455598) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837009)

It's getting easy to pigeon-hole libertarian rhetoric that seeks to divide politicians and government in general from the people they represent.

The argument that "we should do nothing, because we suck at it" (where "we" means us and our government by the people) just doesn't pull weight for me anymore. It's not as if we have more influence over commercial network operators through any other means.

Sure, market fundies are always telling us that we can exert influence within a robust, competitive marketplace. NEWSFLASH: 2 options for millions of consumers is NOT competitive! Foster some real competition in the marketplace, and then you can use the competition argument.

And, gee, who do we call to enforce competition? Could it be, government regulation?

So much for doing nothing.

The idea that a technology "works better" is also conveniently vague. There are many goals to a network. Some people want to communicate. Others want to make money. These two do not always mix. I'd like my interests in how to reconcile the conflicts of these interests represented by some policy other than "always give the businesspeople what they want".

Maybe the FCC sucks, but it's //mine//. Your oligopolist ISP is not.

neutral network works better??? (1)

Orig_Club_Soda (983823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837111)

"because a neutral network works better than a non-neutral one"

That's an extremely subjective comment. Especially when we look to other aspects of our society with non neutral paths: car pool lanes, speed limits on on trucks that are lower, express trains, buses, and lanes; affirmative action, and illegal immigration. All of the fore-mentioned allow users to skip ahead of others based on an established criteria. If load balancing or whatever the term is for biased net traffic worked in our favor, I doubt we would complain. I am sure students would not complain if their status as student granted them the privilege of faster downloads and faster media downloads over business traffic.

I think a neat experiment like this might lend some insight: Example: What if AT&T loaded balanced only subscribers to AT&T net access - while allowing non-AT&T subscribers a neural experience on their tubes. This way, the user gets to purchase privileges access through AT&T or choose neutrality by not choosing AT&T for access. Overtime we will see which system is preferred, or "works better" from the consumer point of view.

All this boils down to the have-nots wanting what the haves can afford - yet are unwilling to compensate for the preferred experience.

CATO Institute: Corporate Anarchists (1, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837157)

The CATO Institute [wikipedia.org] is "libertarian" the way that "libertarian" is "corporate anarchist". They oppose people creating governments to protect their rights, because those governments get in the way of corporate power to exploit those people.

The net works better... (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837187)

For whom? The people who provide the service and need to limit the use to limit their required investment in hardware, or the people who use the service who want things to go everywhere as fast as they can all the time?

Unfortunately, neutrality makes the net work better for the latter, and the latter don't provide the service or define the terms.

Ooooh, yes it can vanish (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837469)

the 'free market' was supposed to ensure fair competition and fair share in television and radio broadcasting, and printed media too.

did it deliver?

no.

in all countries, more than half of the publications and broadcasts belong to 1-2 cartels, which are generally aligned with a particular political party, and they ensure that the persons who will support their own ends will get elected.

the 'free market' was going to assure fair competition in finance world and would regulate it itself, according to alan fucking greenspan.

did it deliver ?

yes it delivered. it delivered RIGHT up to our butt. we are STILL on the opening stages of the crisis.

just a month ago the proponent of that sermon came up in front of u.s. senate and admitted to his fault, said that he couldnt believe what happened.

he knows what happened, we know what happened. CEOS, high level executives, shareholders are people too. there are crooks, bastards, irresponsibles, slackers, shysters, all kinds among them. there are those among them who wouldnt hesitate from breaking ENTIRE global economy to reap benefits.

thats the human factor.

human factor is there at the controlling helms of the internet connectivity providers too. which, not surprisingly generally belong to big cartels that own already trivialized broadcasting and printed media.

one would be utterly stupid as to think that repetition of what happened in financial sector is not possible.

"Libertarian" (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25837511)

the more such organizations post crap like this, the lesser my respect for that political viewpoint becomes.

it appears that libertarian view is becoming a refuge for the shysters that screwed entire world through the 'let everything be' preaching of holistic economists, since republican party is down in fortunes these days.

DONT accept them into your view. they will screw not only you, but entire world, again, if you let them.
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