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FCC Begins Crafting Net Neutrality Regulations

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the nomenclature-of-righteousness dept.

The Internet 297

ceswiedler writes "The FCC has begun crafting rules for network neutrality. The full proposal hasn't been released yet, but according to their press release (warning, Microsoft Word document) carriers would not be allowed to 'prevent users from sending or receiving the lawful content,' 'running lawful applications,' or 'connecting and using ... lawful devices that do not harm the network.' There will be a three-month period for comments beginning January 14, followed by 2 months for replies, after which the FCC will issue its final guidelines." Reader Adrian Lopez notes that US Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain has introduced legislation that "would keep the FCC from enacting rules prohibiting broadband providers from selectively blocking or slowing Internet content and applications." McCain called the proposed net neutrality rules a "government takeover" of the Internet.
Update: 10/24 16:32 GMT by KD : jamie found a Reuters story reporting that the Sunlight Foundation has revealed John McCain to be Congress's biggest recipient of telco money over the last two years — "a total of $894,379..., more than twice the amount taken by the next-largest beneficiary, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev."

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And who ... (5, Insightful)

durin (72931) | about 5 years ago | (#29844507)

decides what is lawful?

Re:And who ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29844541)

Judges? Based on .. the law?

Re:And who ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29844641)

Judges? Based on .. the law?

In theory. In practice many times it never reaches a court/judge.

They may have a guess that you MAY break the law, they don't need a judge decision and they can refuse to carry/throtle your packets. The collateral damage (false positives - innocents) may be considerated acceptable, since almost nobody has the money/knowledge/determination to actually go to court.

As far as I see it nothing changes - someone just wants to be seen as righteous, political crap.

Re:And who ... (3, Interesting)

piotru (124109) | about 5 years ago | (#29844639)

More important: Who checks the content for "lawful" or "not lawful"?

Re:And who ... (4, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | about 5 years ago | (#29845247)

More important: Who checks the content for "lawful" or "not lawful"?

No one, unless they want to go to jail for violating state and federal wiretapping laws. If it's illegal for me to monitor my neighbor's phone calls to determine whether or not he's breaking the law it ought to be illegal for my ISP to monitor my traffic to determine it's legality.

At least in NYS, this may already be the case:

250.05 Eavesdropping: A person is guilty of eavesdropping when he unlawfully engages in wiretapping, mechanical overhearing of a conversation, or intercepting or accessing of an electronic communication.
Eavesdropping is a class E felony.

From another section: "Unlawfully" means not specifically authorized pursuant to article seven hundred or seven hundred five of the criminal procedure law for the purposes of this section and sections 250.05, 250.10, 250.15, 250.20, 250.25, 250.30 and 250.35 of this article.

Looks like they can't do it in NYS without a court order. So how exactly does my ISP determine whether or not my traffic is "lawful"?

Re:And who ... (3, Insightful)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | about 5 years ago | (#29844667)

Indeed. And what does this mean for those crappy terms-of-service "agreements"?

If my ISP's TOS forbids me from running a webserver from my house over my home internet connection, but there is no government law written to prevent it, it appears at this point that this law would trump the TOS. Of course, given the past actions of large ISPs, I wouldn't be surprised if they ignored the law and disconnected customers based on outdated TOS "agreements" (is it really an agreement if it gets shoved down your throat?) until a multi-year, multi-bazzillion dollar class-action lawsuit forced them to acquiesce.

But that also begs the question, what legal status will the law give to the ISPs' TOSs? If the law gives them legal effect, what is to prevent ISPs from circumventing net neutrality in their TOS? For example, "by using this service, you agree to surrender your right to host websites, or offer other server-based services, through your ConGlommoISP, Inc. home account, and agree not to hold ConGlommoISP, Inc. liable in the event we disconnect you and charge you a bunch of fees up the wazoo for violating these Terms of Service."

No, I didn't read the proposed law. Yes, this might be answered in there. I'm waiting for someone who can decipher legalese to do a more informed job than I can.

Re:And who ... (1)

visualight (468005) | about 5 years ago | (#29845143)

They still have the argument that your server can "harm the network" as described in the summary.

Re:And who ... (2, Insightful)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | about 5 years ago | (#29845289)

Point taken. I was thinking of the clause that states that an ISP

"2. Would not be allowed to prevent any of its users from running the lawful applications or using the lawful services of the user’s choice;",

but you are talking about

"3. Would not be allowed to prevent any of its users from connecting to and using on its network the user’s choice of lawful devices that do not harm the network;".

I would tend to view a webserver as a lawful application rather than a device, but I suppose the courts could interpret it the other way. But even so, the text (which isn't the actual proposal, but a summary, so I might be wrong) states "devices that do not harm the network", rather than "devices that MAY harm the network", implying that the ISP would have to demonstrate damage of some sort. IOW, it seems to state that a lawful device is fine until it harms the network, which seems like it would place the burden of proof on the ISP.

The next question is what consitiutes "harm"?

Re:And who ... (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about 5 years ago | (#29845301)

is it really an agreement if it gets shoved down your throat?

Yes, because unless you were dealing with Vito Corleone, nobody forced you to accept it. There's a difference between "take this or leave it, we don't care" and "either your brains or your signature will appear on this contract"

Re:And who ... (4, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | about 5 years ago | (#29844737)

Forget the lawful part. Who decides what's damaging to the network! Could an ISP suddenly declare that more than 1% usage of a pipe over the course of a month is considered damaging?

AT&T already does it for their mobile broadband cards (According to them 3gb per month is excessive. So 3gb/month over a 2mbit line (It is more, I know) is only 0.45%)...

Re:And who ... (0, Offtopic)

Jhon (241832) | about 5 years ago | (#29845049)

Change "network" to "patient". Change "ISP" to "hospital" change "pipe" to "budget".

Re:And who ... (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | about 5 years ago | (#29845091)

That was my thought exactly with that phrasing. As it is all of the web hosts who offer the impossible (i.e. limited or extremely high limits for low costs) have a "if you're impacting performance we'll kick you off" condition. Surely "impacting performance" is 'damaging' to the network and its service, therefore all use is effectively damaging it to some degree.

government? (1, Insightful)

p51d007 (656414) | about 5 years ago | (#29844765)

The libertarian side of me gets really worried when the government gets involved in anything that says "neutrality" I'm sorry, but freedom of speech is freedom of speech...PERIOD! Do I like about 75% of the garbage on TV, radio or the internet? Hell no! But, I always side on freedom. No one is FORCING me to watch or listen to something I do not want to hear or see. When government gets involved, it usually screws everything up. Truer words were never spoken when someone said the scariest thing every said was... "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help". I don't want ANY regulation on speech, though, or expression. That includes the KKK, pro-gay, pro-abortion, anti-abortion, pro-religion, anti-religion or anything else. If you don't like it, don't watch, read or listen to it.

Re:government? (4, Insightful)

TimHunter (174406) | about 5 years ago | (#29844855)

"Net neutrality" has nothing to do with freedom of speech. RTFA.

Re:government? (2, Insightful)

FutureDomain (1073116) | about 5 years ago | (#29845165)

Except that our current politiscum like to take otherwise innocuous laws and twist them to their own advantage. Remember TARP? It was supposed to help keep the banks stable and encourage lending. Except that it has now been used to give money to businesses (and control their salaries), bail-out automakers and violate bond laws, and the banks are in even worse shape than before. If it works out to only prevent ISPs from blocking and/or throttling sites and services that they don't like (or don't pay them money), then I'm all for it. It's the large potential for abuse that concerns us libertarians, and makes us think that maybe we'd prefer Comcast to throttle our Bittorrent than for the government to block/throttle sites or services that they don't like (such as Wikileaks or Bittorrent).

Re:government? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29844885)

LOL there is no such thing as pro-abortion

Re:government? (3, Insightful)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 5 years ago | (#29845153)

The libertarian side of me gets really worried when the government gets involved in anything that says "neutrality" I'm sorry, but freedom of speech is freedom of speech...PERIOD!

Maybe I'm being naive, but isn't the ultimate goal of Network Neutrality to ensure that people have the freedom to use their Internet connections however they want, without some entity between the endpoints interfering solely for that entity's financial gain?

Re:And who ... (1)

deAtog (987710) | about 5 years ago | (#29845349)

I completely agree. Remove the word "lawful" from all sections and I'll be much more supportive of their efforts. If all content and application communications were protected under the First Amendment then word "lawful' would only serve to restrict that right in the future by designating specific things as "unlawful". The last thing we need is government overview of what applications or content are considered "lawful".

McCain (3, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 5 years ago | (#29844509)

As usual McCain has no clue what he's going on about, surprise, surprise.

Re:McCain (0)

EdIII (1114411) | about 5 years ago | (#29844587)

The hell he doesn't.

He knows exactly what this about, who it affects, and who stands to profit from it. Corruption at it's highest and finest'

Re:McCain (3, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 5 years ago | (#29845009)

Yup, I'm quite sure the $216,938 from AT&T for his 2010 campaign committee has absolutely nothing to do with his principled stance on this issue.
source [opensecrets.org]

Re:McCain (3, Informative)

Jhon (241832) | about 5 years ago | (#29845131)

So? You need to drill down and see who AT&T donated money, too.

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000076 [opensecrets.org]

You'll be surprised.

Re:McCain (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 5 years ago | (#29845189)

Where exactly did I say that other politicians across the political spectrum weren't also on the take?

A "tu quoque" argument doesn't make any sense here. Just because Harry Reid (D-NV) is also getting bribed by AT&T doesn't mean that John McCain's (R-AZ) positions aren't based in large part on AT&T's corporate sponsorship of his campaigns.

Re:McCain (3, Insightful)

TheUglyAmerican (767829) | about 5 years ago | (#29845333)

In the interest of equal opportunity corruption, you can find another example in one of the current health reform proposals - tax "Cadillac" health insurance plans but exempting government and union employees.

Government cannot do ANYTHING of any significance without this kind of corruption. That is the single best reason to keep government out of it.

Re:McCain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29844663)

It's interesting how he works. He was the fellow that introduced the bill to force libraries and schools to install Internet filters (by threatening their funding) -- filters that often didn't work properly.

Apparently, putting mandatory restrictions on the Internet doesn't count as a government takeover, whereas maintaining the more-or-less even playing field of the Internet does. Or this is just more of that nonsense about how any activity the Democrats do is socialist, communist, taking away freedom, etc.

I'm embarrassed that I supported this guy for President in 2000, even if only until the above information came to my attention. Can we just figure out how to keep the Internet more or less like it's been? It's brought a lot of fun and a lot of money to people as-is, and that's only gonna get better if the people running the series of tubes continue to have reason to upgrade them once in a while.

Re:McCain (1, Flamebait)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 5 years ago | (#29844753)

I thought it was awesome watching him go from a "maverick" to a completely bought & sold man as the GOP started grooming him for his runs at the Presidency.

Re:McCain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29844861)

Funny. I watched the exact same thing happen to the Obungler. Left, right, it doesn't really matter. They both serve the same master. This is but a distraction as our leaders continue to send our wealth and power overseas and groom us for a life of high-tech serfdom. They already control your money. Each of us owes more than we can possibly ever repay. When they control your health and your energy, will you still call yourself a free man?

Re:McCain (2, Informative)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 5 years ago | (#29844711)

Actually McCain has a point, the FCC has no authority to regulate the internet. The internet is and has been doing just fine without government intervention adding government regulation into the mix will stifle innovation, the little companies the net-neutrality is designed for will not invest in infrastructure they don't have the capital and the evil large companies will have to cut infrastructure investments to compete with the small companies who use their infrastructure for free. The Good Intentions of net-neutrality will have grave consequences.

Re:McCain (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29845017)

Uh hey, stupid? The telcos barely invest in infrastructure as it is, and they've grifted over 200 billion from us in public money and rate hikes for upgrades they never even planned to deliver. Those 'little companies', which include content providers, add value to the infrastructure, which is kind of the point. (But I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's probably way over your head.) Competition between ISPs would encourage them to actually invest some of the obscene goddamn mountains of money they've been siphoning off of us into their networks, which is something that we honestly don't have now. They have no incentive to innovate! They have no incentive to even try, and nothing to prevent them from hike-hike-hiking those rates without delivering anything better in return for it. (Just look at Comcast, sweet Jesus.) Also, look at how much it costs to place a landline international call here versus, uh, anywhere else in the industrialized world. We're so far behind the curve it's not even funny.

I'll keep my unintended consequences. Thanks to that free market bullshit you're smoking, I'm already used to it!

What Infrastructure Investments? (5, Interesting)

ratboy666 (104074) | about 5 years ago | (#29845027)

Sure, those "large companies" can (and did) cut their infrastructure investments... but those investments were paid by public money.

You are not legally allowed to dig your own cables -- Easements were given by the government to the incumbents.

So, tell me again how the government ISN'T involved?

Personally, I don't like to bail on something I have already paid for, but I don't need the Internet "24/7" that much. I can easily deal with "web by mail" and UUCP, or even data transfer via "truck of tapes" again. Strangely enough, if hackers go that route, AND we control the "good stuff" -- that is, the good pirated music/videos and technical information, the "Internet" will go down that path instead.

Which puts the attempted controls by the "other" cartel at risk. Basically, the content cartel wants a centralized Internet, if there is an Internet at all. The delivery cartel wants to put road-blocks into that centralized Internet, to maximize their profits. The hackers are willing to Balkanize the Internet, screwing both of the cartels.

The "end-users" really want the product the hackers produce.

You tell me how this plays out...

Re:McCain (2, Insightful)

cheshiremoe (1448979) | about 5 years ago | (#29845039)

The FCC is already regulating the companies that provide internet infrastructure. Telecoms and Cable companies tubes carry voice and video over the same hardware/physical layer that data does and that is Regulated by the FCC. Was it not the FCC that fined Comcast for playing man in the middle and sending stop packets to torrent users.

Just because the internet has been fine so far does not mean that it will be fine in the future... As the internet provides more and better competition to the traditional services of the Telecoms and Cable COs they will have more and more incentive to use there control over the network to crush their competitors or to extort companies to pay for fast lane service over their portion of the network. If their allowed to do that the internet will stop being a free market. The providers will still charge customers for the last mile, but inside the cloud you packets will be free to go as fast as the network can handle.

You don't want your home service to be come outrageously expensive, being charged by the megabyte do you?

Re:McCain (3, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 5 years ago | (#29845043)

the FCC has no authority to regulate the internet

Sillyness, Dave. That's like saying the FAA has no authority to regulate airplanes, only airports.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC's jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions.

Re:McCain (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 5 years ago | (#29845225)

. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable

Now that's a confusing sentence. It implies that the Communications Act of 1934 granted the authority to regulate satellite communications. Quite forward thinking legislation since there were no artificial satellites in 1934.

And 'television' jumps out at me. The other items listed in that sentence refer more to the physical transmission medium, whereas television is just a nickname we gave to broadcast video signals.

I'm not knocking on you, but that definition is by no means a proof of your statement for the authority of the FCC.

Re:McCain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29845393)

How do satellites communicate? Magic?

Radio, you fuckwad.

Re:McCain (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 5 years ago | (#29845355)

Authority comes from the entities mandate in law, not its title. Does the FCCs mandate extend to the internet?

Re:McCain (0, Redundant)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 5 years ago | (#29845441)

At least read my posts before replying, kthxbye.

Re:McCain (0, Flamebait)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | about 5 years ago | (#29844779)

After all these years, I still can't decide whether McCain is pure evil or just plain retarded. His RAH RAH Reagan bullshit and applications of some mythical Reagan principles to contemporary issues is akin to trying to reconcile modern justice system to levitical law.

McCain also came out recently as a "gang of 30" member of Pro-Rape Republicans [thedailyshow.com] who simply won't recognize a good legislation if it crawled up their ass.

Before anyone accuses me of being an Obamabot or a free-range coastal hippie, I dislike Democrats and their nanny-state horseshit equally, but they don't go out of their way to incite a gut-level "wtf" every time they set out to ratfuck the common sense.

Re:McCain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29844975)

"I dislike Democrats and their nanny-state horseshit equally, but they don't go out of their way to incite a gut-level "wtf" every time they set out to ratfuck the common sense."

This doesn't make you think "WTF?"

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1009/28586.html [politico.com]

As in, "Where the Fuck" is this money going to come from? Is the Fed going to move more money from one pocket to the other by buying more Treasury notes and printing more dollars as they have been to create the current stock market bubble in support of their phony "jobless recovery", thereby continuing to destroy our nation's credit and the value of our currency? The Chinese and the Europeans are getting very vocal about our shitty economic policy. Why do you think several nations recently came out in favor of dumping the dollar as the world's reserve currency? Obama has merely accelerated the process of collapsing the dollar so that you, the average citizen, will be left completely powerless to resist him. What little money you thought you had will be gone overnight very soon. You will have no choice but to line up for your hand-out from the one-world government that has been decades in the making and is now seizing it's opportunity...

Re:McCain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29845223)

Yes, sure it raises questions. But I don't think "the gov wants to spend more money" is as shocking or surprising as "30 Republicans don't want to ban protections for gang rape in gov contracts".

Warning? (-1, Troll)

flipper9 (109877) | about 5 years ago | (#29844533)

Why is there a warning that the press release is a Word document? It's a frickin' document format, not some evil-doer conspiracy! Plenty of word processing programs can open Word documents. What about PDF? I'd prefer a word document over PDF any-day because I can edit it, annotate it, and open it faster than a PDF. Just because something is from Microsoft doesn't mean it's bad.

Note: I'm writing this on Ubuntu, and running Open Office in the background.

Re:Warning? (1)

durin (72931) | about 5 years ago | (#29844549)

You're right!
Among other advantages, you can get viruses a helluva lot quicker and easier opening windows docs on windows ;P

Re:Warning? (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | about 5 years ago | (#29844591)

Why is there a warning that the press release is a Word document?

In case you'd assumed that a press release from a communications agency on the subject of the Internet would be a web page?

Re:Warning? (0, Offtopic)

flipper9 (109877) | about 5 years ago | (#29844617)

True, I'd prefer a web page. But a press release would typically be a printed document, especially from a governmental agency. I don't think "warning" is appropriate...makes it out to be some kind of dangerous thing. Sounds more like anti-Microsoft type behaviour.

Viruses? If you aren't running a virus scanner, you're gonna get a virus by just going to web pages or via other means and other document formats.

Re:Warning? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | about 5 years ago | (#29844909)

LOL, stop seeing conspiracies where there are none, any non-html page gets a warning because they need plugins which are often slow and unwieldy. Also .doc/.docx is a format for editable text not release documents, pdf/djvu (which if you take a look around tend to contain a warning) are much more appropriate.

The EFF is your friend (1)

aeroelastic (840614) | about 5 years ago | (#29844559)

For all you federal employees, donate through the CFC: charity code 10437.

Re:The EFF is your friend (1)

db32 (862117) | about 5 years ago | (#29845429)

But do you get the fancy gear if you do that?

Drudge (4, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 5 years ago | (#29844561)

This article was linked on the Drudge Report as "Julius [Caeser, implied] wants to regulate the internet."

I consider it, rather, a common carrier issue, akin to the situation we had with the railways 100 years ago - they were able to leverage their power over transit into other areas. You know, like how Microsoft used its OS dominance to destroy a rival in another field (web browsers). While all the networks are crying out that its a solution in need of a problem, the whole issue was raised because the telco's all started talking excitedly about how they could do all sorts of shady things, like double-dipping for bandwidth charges, that network neutrality would stop.

I'm a libertarian, and I support net neutrality, since oligopolies are market failures (see for example the price of cell phones in America over time). The actual implementation? Seems to actually have too many loopholes to me. They can, for example, tier service in order to deal with "net congestion". Hah.

Re:Drudge (1, Insightful)

bmajik (96670) | about 5 years ago | (#29844853)

I'm a libertarian, and I support net neutrality, since oligopolies are market failures (see for example the price of cell phones in America over time).

Please turn in your libertarian credentials at the desk on your way out.

There is no such thing as a market failure. There is only government failure. Want to know why cell phone services are expensive here? Because if you start your own cell phone company, the FCC puts you in jail.

Re:Drudge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29845147)

If people actually thought about what they were doing, maybe this would work.

Shouldn't libertarians support the free internet market, though? If there is no net neutrality, it's kinda hard not to have a restrained market on the internet. If there is, you restrain the ISP market. Hmm...

Re:Drudge (2, Informative)

Thalaric (197339) | about 5 years ago | (#29845155)

No, if you are an anarcho-capitalist there is no such thing as a market failure. Libertarians that believe in *some* government can recognize that lack of competition is a market failure. Certain industries that have a large barrier to entry or are inelastic are prime targets for monopolistic abuse. Industries such as water, power, roads networks etc. You know, the commons.

Adam Smith said that for an economy of "perfect liberty" you must have competition and the laws of supply and demand. Thomas Jefferson tried to get a "restriction against monopolies" into the bill of rights (but failed). You'll find no two individuals more concerned with the idea of liberty.

Re:Drudge (2, Insightful)

moeinvt (851793) | about 5 years ago | (#29844923)

I'm libertarian leaning, and after much internal struggle, I also concluded that I support the "concept" of network neutrality.

It's extremely unfortunate that the only institution in the U.S. with enough power to enforce something like that is the Federal Government. With that in mind, I do not trust any "implementation" of network neutrality that the D.C. crowd will come up with. They may give a piece of legislation a nice label, but you can be sure that in the end, the big money special interests will get everything they want. Our government is currently unwilling to pass any major legislation, or even enforce existing laws that might benefit the average citizen at the expense of wealthy special interests.

It sucks, but I think that we're on our own here. Hopefully we can generate enough backlash against corporations that start throttling bandwidth, discriminating based on data type, content, source or destination to make them reconsider their practices. If we have to put our trust in D.C. we're screwed.

Re:Drudge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29845053)

You know, like how Microsoft used its OS dominance to destroy a rival in another field (web browsers).

I'm sorry, when did that happen? Did you ever actually USE Netscape 4?

Netscape destroyed themselves. Netscape 4 was a large, bloated, out of date, piece of shit. Internet Explorer 3, compared to Netscape, was a clearly superior product. It was faster, it was smaller, it offered more features. It was simply better.

And you seem to forget that for a time, Netscape was trying to use their dominance over web browsers to try and take over the server market. (Why do you think every browser has to identify themselves as "Mozilla/4.0"?)

And, in the end, the superior product won, and Netscape's attempt to take over the server market failed.

Not exactly what I'd call a "market failure."

Lawful? Harmful! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29844569)

I'm less concerned about the definition of Lawful than I am about the definition of Harmful. Law is at least ... a matter of law, even if I don't agree with it. How do courts determine whether something is or is not harmful to a network?

Re:Lawful? Harmful! (1)

aicrules (819392) | about 5 years ago | (#29845219)

That is filed next to the definition of excessive bandwidth usage on unlimited bandwidth plans.

McCain is right, which is surprising. (0, Flamebait)

will_die (586523) | about 5 years ago | (#29844577)

McCain is right, one of the few times, and this would affect free markets and should be stopped.
As various free market groups have put out there is no evidence or even examples of a problem. Until there is an example or even a discussion of a company going to implement something like this* there is no reason for greater government takeover of the Internet or wireless. The only thing we are going to see from any proposal at this time less inovation and something like the CAN-SPAM law that will make it harder to get a need law passed if something does happen.

*Some people having been saying that things like the international Kindle are examples that a net neutrality law needs to stop. Sorry I am not counting blocking pictures as something that ISPs should be blocked from providing.

Re:McCain is right, which is surprising. (1)

piepkraak (989721) | about 5 years ago | (#29844609)

You're kidding, right?

Re:McCain is right, which is surprising. (4, Informative)

Malenfrant (781088) | about 5 years ago | (#29844637)

This was not in the US, but a couple of years ago my ISP decided to throttle connections to MMOs, making these games practically unplayable. As I was tied into a 12 month contract which still had 8 months to go, this was extremely annoying. This is a practical and actual example which net neutrality laws would have prevented.

What does your contract say? (1)

BarkingIguana (1662809) | about 5 years ago | (#29845293)

Did your contract say that the ISP was allowed to monitor and shape traffic if they felt it may adversely affect their network? If not you should have been able to get out one some breach of contract clause. If they did say they might shape traffic and you didn't want them to do it then why did you agree to the contract?

Re:McCain is right, which is surprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29844689)

you forgot the sarcasm tags.

Re:McCain is right, which is surprising. (5, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 5 years ago | (#29844695)

Somebody hasn't been paying attention. The FCC is already in charge of regulating communications. They've had guidelines for Net Neutrality since 2005. Now they are just going to take those existing guidelines & make them laws so that they can fine companies for not following them. None of this would have happened if said ISPs weren't getting hard-ons over trying to screw-over their customers both big (Google) & small (me & you).

Re:McCain is right, which is surprising. (1)

will_die (586523) | about 5 years ago | (#29844845)

And if there were examples of this you would get some support but right now it is not a problem so any laws would cause more problems, see CAN-SPAM.
The 2005 guidelines are great and should be kept and maybe modified(4 years is a long time for the Internet), but they should be kept as a trip wire and if companies do start disregrading them then FCC or Congress should clamp down.

Re:McCain is right, which is surprising. (1)

rotide (1015173) | about 5 years ago | (#29845065)

You're suggesting we wait until it becomes a big problem and only at that point attempt to pass laws to stop it?

No, I'm sorry, the writing is already on the wall. Comcast started it here in the US. At least they started the "oh shit, look what is coming" fear.

Burying our heads in the sand now and just hoping it doesn't become a problem isn't the right answer here. And guidelines aren't enough to stop multi-billion dollar companies from making decisions that screw their customers.

Just look at how cable TV is now being threatened by internet sources (Hulu, Amazon VOD, etc, etc). Comcast, Time Warner Cable, etc, etc, have a lot of means to absolutely _crush_ the new web tv technology so their customers stay locked into very expensive cable tv plans. "Oh hey, looks like a few of our customers are dropping cable tv and their internet usage is spiking to that Hulu site. Lets just throttle all connections to Hulu and make it unplayable. We can just claim it is to stop congestion at prime time and keep customers using our cable service!"

And that doesn't even take much imagination at all, it's going to happen unless we tell the companies there are _legal_ repercussions to doing something like that. We have to tell them it's time to adapt or die, not squash new tech and continue business as usual since it is easier.

How about we _don't_ wait until customers get royally screwed any more than they have already and stop the obviously-coming-down-the-pike problem now?

Re:McCain is right, which is surprising. (1)

GizmoToy (450886) | about 5 years ago | (#29845099)

There are plenty of examples, you just choose to ignore them. The most blatant in recent years in the US was Comcast, who blocked P2P traffic across its network. They only backed down because the FCC threatened to consider additional regulation over the matter, which it has now chosen to do anyway.

And I suppose you've been deaf to the comments of nearly all major telecoms about how Google and other web sites are getting a "free ride?" On numerous occasions they've said they would like to charge web sites more to allow traffic to flow to them. It does not matter to them that Google pays their ISP and you pay yours, they're pushing for a system where you both pay both ISPs for the same traffic (which is typically referred to as 'double-dipping').

Then you've got the cellular data networks, which discriminate against practically all traffic that's not web-based.

Re:McCain is right, which is surprising. (2, Interesting)

will_die (586523) | about 5 years ago | (#29845381)

And the courts stopped Comcast under existing laws, so why the need for new laws that will just cause problems in the future when something does start happening?
In the event that companies do start charging major sites to carry the traffic then yes it should be passed. Until then they are passing laws that will give more examples of the government controlling what is on the Internet and does not solve a problem for the consumer.
I want more competition in the marketplace, I want a ISP(or series of ISP) that cater to gamers and delays P2P and videos during prime gaming hours.

Re:McCain is right, which is surprising. (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 5 years ago | (#29845177)

That's just silly. Just cause your Google fingers are broke, doesn't mean there haven't been many examples of exactly what NN laws are going to hopefully prevent.

Re:McCain is right, which is surprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29845151)

It's not really appropriate to talk about free markets and the telecom industry at the same time. The telecommunications industry has largely emerged as a product of Government infrastructure investment and the privatization of the infrastructure has not created a free market.

Re:McCain is right, which is surprising. (1)

cowscows (103644) | about 5 years ago | (#29845199)

Let's just step back, take a deep breath, and think about this for a second. Now repeat after me:

"The telecoms do no operate in a free market"

Phone and cable companies are basically giant collections of government granted local monopolies. I live in a large urban area that has about a million people within a 20 minute drive from my house, and yet I only have two crappy options for broadband. My situation is not unique.

These companies have guaranteed markets, and basically guaranteed profit. In exchange for that, they should be expected and legally required to provide a certain level of service. In regards to my internet connection, unless I'm doing something to actively harm the network, they've got no business telling me where I should or shouldn't get my packets from.

All that being said, I'm curious what innovation you've been seeing from the telcos that you think is so important to protect? These guys are basically dumb pipes. They just string the infrastructure across the land. They don't design and manufacture switches and servers, they just plug them in and connect them with wires. They don't design the web services that I use, nor do they create the content that I read. They don't make the movies that I watch, and they don't design the games that I play.

They, at best, provide the infrastructure that other people/companies use to innovate. If you can't see how placing arbitrary restrictions on that infrastructure can negatively affect those other people/companies, then you're not trying very hard.

Re:McCain is right, which is surprising. (5, Insightful)

Jon_S (15368) | about 5 years ago | (#29845207)

How can you sit there with a stright face (I assume you have a straight face) and say this is a government takeover of the internet?

All this is saying is that your ISP, which you have practically no choice of who it is (at best a choice between one DSL and one cable TV Co.) can't decide which websites you can visit at the full bandwidth you paid for.

Let me assume you are a republican and like to visit foxnews.com. What if your ISP got into marketing agreement with MSNBC and throttled its competitors, including foxnews.com, so much it became almost unusable. Would that be OK in your book?

The ISPs should not have the power to decide what web sites and net services you can reasonably visit/use. If there were true competition in the ISP market, then maybe so. But that is not the case, and probably will never be the case. That is why we need net neutrality regulations.

Re:McCain is right, which is surprising. (1)

visualight (468005) | about 5 years ago | (#29845217)

You are confused.

It's already _not_ a free market, it is entirely monopolistic, and built with _public_ funds to boot. Also, it's way more expensive than it should be with intentionally substandard connection speeds.

I'm not defending this particular tact by the FCC, just saying your -wait a minute have I just been trolled?

Government takeover (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 5 years ago | (#29844585)

McCain called the proposed net neutrality rules a "government takeover" of the Internet.

Does he have a problem with that then? Is the Echelon not a government takeover? Is ACTA not a government takeover?

Ha! (5, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 5 years ago | (#29844607)

Oh I love this part.

"McCain protested the FCC's proposal that wireless broadband providers be included in the net neutrality rules. The wireless industry has "exploded over the past 20 years due to limited government regulation," McCain said in the statement."

Wireless has exploded in the past 20 years because the damn technology has only become feasable for mass market computing in the past 20 years.

Re:Ha! (3, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | about 5 years ago | (#29845021)

With incredibly stiff government regulation.. The companies screamed and moaned about E911, but now, they have apps that take advantage of knowing where you are. (and tout a cell as a safety device when traveling).

They screamed about number portability. yet they now all encourage you to port your number to them. (Would the iphone have been as successfull if everyone had to ditch their old numbers?)

Re:Ha! (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 5 years ago | (#29845399)

I.e. we should ignore companies when they are kicking & screaming.

Re:Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29845081)

...and the banking/finance industry nearly imploded due to limited government regulation.

Regulation (2, Insightful)

spikenerd (642677) | about 5 years ago | (#29845351)

I hate regulation. I'm so sick of Comcast regulating my Internet habits that I want my government to regulate Comcast. Net Neutrality is the least-regulation possible.

Define "lawful" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29844611)

All the carriers need to do is suck a senator off to get him to classify any devices which are running things they don't like as "unlawful" and they're okay.

a "government takeover" of the Internet. (1)

wiredog (43288) | about 5 years ago | (#29844615)

Yeah. Next thing you know the feds will be trying to take over medicare.

Openoffice shows it flawlessly (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | about 5 years ago | (#29844651)

Even though .doc format remains an abysmally poor choice for a document produced by a government agency for public distribution, the days when non-Windows users would be inconvenienced by that are long gone.

Re:Openoffice shows it flawlessly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29844709)

What do you expect out of the website that STILL feels the need to drone on about products that failed over a decade ago?
 
This place is such a waste anymore.

We need document neutrality first (2, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 5 years ago | (#29844675)

Why is FCC doing its press releases in a proprietary vendor lock in format? Haven't they heard of ODF? We should demand FCC and all government agencies to release their documents in a vendor neutral or vendor agnostic format.

Re:We need document neutrality first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29845063)

They do, so I don't know how this is modded "informative," unless informative means "do your homework before spouting bullshit" today.

"Lawful uses" (2, Insightful)

surmak (1238244) | about 5 years ago | (#29844835)

I wonder how they plan to enforce the "lawful uses"/"lawful content" clause. That could turn out to be a hole big enough to drive a truck through. What if the providers say that the only way to insure that legal content is available to to limit access to the few sites that they have vetted and partnered with.

I can fully understand giving ISPs the right a prevent DDOS and other attacks on the network, but the enforcement of what is lawful should be limited to that, and not be a license or directive to police the sites and protocols allowed on a network.

Something about this bugs me (1, Insightful)

davide marney (231845) | about 5 years ago | (#29844847)

The proposed rules only apply to "lawful content", "lawful applications", "lawful services", and "lawful devices". I'm not sure what I think about this. By way of analogy, do we have laws for our public highway system that limits our use of the road based on what content we carry in our vehicles? Is our use of the roadway illegal if we intend to use something we're carrying for an evil purpose or application? I can see where my vehicle (device) might be unlawfully configured (over the maximum weight limit, for example), and that might be analogous to a lawful network device, but even then, only in so far as it affects use of the network itself, not in any other context.

Why do we need this automatic extension of contexts? It will mean that anything illegal in one context (say, money-laundering), is going to also be automatically illegal in the entirely different context of how it is being conveyed. It would not only be illegal to launder money, but if one uses the Internet, it would be additionally illegal to have merely conveyed instructions to do so.

That we will get all manner of unintended, unhappy side consequences out of this mixing of contexts seems almost guaranteed.

Re:Something about this bugs me (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 5 years ago | (#29844947)

...and only the Police with reasonable suspicion can stop and search your vehicle ... they cannot ask the highways agency to blanket search every vehicle for them ..Try doing the same on the phone ... the police need a court order for a wiretap to find that you are using the telephone system to do illegal activities, it is illegal for the phone company to tap your line with a court order ...

"lawful applications", "lawful services" and also (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 5 years ago | (#29844949)

"lawful applications", "lawful services" and also be used for unlawful things.

GURBAMINT TAKEOVER! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29844871)

Gurbamint takeover! Gurbamint takeover! Run run! Free murkits, not duh soh-shul-izzum! Gurbamint!

Hey everybody, look! I'm a Republican! I'm dumb enough to believe that corporations can police themselves! Never mind that with the hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and land grants we give to the telcos, they might as well be publicly owned. Also never mind that when it comes to abusing their monopoly power to restrict 'lawful' content, double-dip with bandwidth fees, and send rates skyrocketing for practically everybody, the telcos have been giddy with anticipation. This isn't about being tech savvy, Ted Stevens already embarrassed his party enough over that. This is about having the common sense to realize that a major piece of essential infrastructure the public has had an enormous role in building - which is now subject to abject mismanagement, worsening obsolescence, and a total dearth of competition thanks to the companies that are now in charge of it - should be subject to some simple rules to make sure it continues functioning as desired - by us.

In conservative la-la land, capitalism is only fair if you can't ask for lube while the rich skullfuck you. Maybe we should start asking for all that subsidy money back, especially for the shit the telcos never intended to deliver.

So he wants to prevent.... (1)

mario_grgic (515333) | about 5 years ago | (#29844891)

the "government takeover" of the Internet (by the way Internet is an entity larger than USA and its government), by government takeover of the FCC, and indirectly government takeover of the Internet by disallowing anyone to prevent any illegal practices that might ensue.

You could pilot the Titanic through that loophole (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about 5 years ago | (#29844945)

"Allowed to throttle content that is not legal". That loophole is big enough to pilot the Titanic through. That could easily be interpreted to block everything from p2p traffic to VOIP. This loophole would flat kill P2P in entirety and severely hurt VOIP and all with the ISP's having governments blessings. Many things are legal in one country and not in another.

This loophole needs removed in entirety for all such rules, I can guarantee you that any type of traffic you can think of is illegal, somewhere (Dutch trying to shutdown Swedish P2P, nazi artifacts illegal in France, most newspapers are illegal in certain hardline islamic countries and so on). The Internet is international by nature, it needs to be a neutral platform for the sake of international peace. If someone is breaking a local law (kiddie porn or the like), we already have plenty of laws to send them to prison as needed.

I see the FCC managers follows the money too... (1)

distantbody (852269) | about 5 years ago | (#29844955)

...concidering the ISP legal-slime logic:

We're not supposed to drop 'legal' connections but we still don't want the high traffic users. We'll filter all high traffic connections. Configure the sandvine filters to increase latency 50% on P2P connections and website x. When the high traffic users complain say 'we're entitled to filter to remove 'illegal' connections. When they cry 'net neutrality' politely inform them that we comply with the rules because we aren't 'preventing users from sending or receiving lawful content', just hindering aka throttling.

Oh, brother (1)

HangingChad (677530) | about 5 years ago | (#29844967)

McCain called the proposed net neutrality rules a "government takeover" of the Internet.

Somebody wake up grandpa.

Mr. McCain? (1, Troll)

Pollux (102520) | about 5 years ago | (#29845087)

McCain called the proposed net neutrality rules a "government takeover" of the Internet.

Mr. McCain, since the government pretty much invented the internet [wikipedia.org] , please feel free to step in occasionally to make sure capitalism doesn't drive it back into the ground.

Are We There Yet? (2, Interesting)

mindbrane (1548037) | about 5 years ago | (#29845113)

I was one of those quintessential brats in the back seat of my parent's car mindlessly chanting the eternal question, "Are we there yet?". When addressing questions that incorporate government oversight of national infrastructures that are run by near monopolies there are no destination solutions. There are tentative, context sensitive solutions. The answer isn't unregulated free enterprise, nor is it heavy handed government control. IMHO the answer is the solution offered by mature democracies that have in place the institutions and laws that permit tentative solutions to be put in place then publicly monitored and honed.

What works in our modern, mature democracies are the checks and balances, supplemented by free speech, and, government and business oversight, that allow us to find a workable middle ground. I'm a liberal but I'm always glad for the common sense conservatives who try to limit government interference. Solving social problems by way of democratic institutions is a messy, contentious affair but, I think, modern history has amply demonstrated that the current crop of mature democracies are the best way to go and it's the somewhat efficient functioning of our institutions that allow us succeed more so than does any other form of government. We succeed because we have in place institutions that allow for open debate and venues to address things when they go wrong. We aren't there yet, but then we aren't ever gonna be so we might as well enjoy the ride given that we've got the best vehicle on the road.

just my loose change in a contentious debate

It says a lot (-1, Offtopic)

Dunbal (464142) | about 5 years ago | (#29845123)

Just the fact that their press release is in Microsoft Word format says a lot about what we can expect for so called "net neutrality".

FIGHT THE IDIOT, MORON, DEMOCRAT NET NEUTRALITY!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29845213)

What is it with the idiot, moron, Marxist, democrats? They seem to think that any business model other than "give things and services away for free, by taxing the living daylights out of the populace" is an evil business that needs to be changed!

It is obvious to anyone that engages their brain, thinks, and actually researches the news of the day - both sides of the argument, that the programs and policies of the democrats (Marxists, socialists, progressives, etc.) ARE the policies, laws, etc., that are leading to the destruction of the United States economy!

It is plainly obvious that the words and actions of the democrats (Marxists, socialists, progressives, etc.) ARE transparent - their lies, greed, graft, corruption, etc. are plainly obvious!

WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMEN AND TELL THEM THAT NET NEUTRALITY NEEDS TO BE STOPPED!!

Tell them that all democrats need to be impeached and removed from office. Then the independants, communists and finally the republicans.

Tell them that they need to stop spending NOW. That the Government Accounting Office (GAO) has recently said that the current spending levels ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE! Translated for the idiot, moron deomcrats, that means THE VALUE OF THE DOLLAR FALLS TO NOTHING!!!

Tell them that Americans DO NOT WANT HEALTHCARE FROM THE GOVERNMENT! Because we know that all government programs prove that the government can not operate within budget! They continually drive up costs and reduce service! THAT IS PRECISELY WHY PRIVATE COMPANIES DO SO WELL!!!! Because the government fails and the private sector takes the same thing and excells!

Tell them that WE WANT ENFORCEMENT OF CURRENT IMMIRATION LAWS AND THE REMOVAL OF "SANCTUARY CITIES"! Illegal aliens are just that - ILLEGAL!!! DEPORT THEM!! and the children of illegals should not have automatic U.S. citizenship!!!

Tell them to REMOVE THE CZARS!!!! They do not have congressional oversight and they are not needed!!!

Tell them to reverse all bills that have been passed into law since the innaguration! They have all been perverted by items attached by democrats and are either wastefully spending our hard earned tax dollars, foolsihly reducing the strength of the dollar and our millitary or are otherwise bad of The United States.

Tell them to vote NO for any democrat bill - they are all corrupt!

Tell tehm to pay down the deficit!!

Nice wording (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#29845255)

"'connecting and using ... lawful devices that do not harm the network.'"So, anything with a network card must be switched off, then? Malware, poor configuration, malicious intent all turn a connected device into a DoS device.

Net Neutrality.. or Common Carrier status.. (2, Interesting)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 5 years ago | (#29845279)

Let the Telcos choose (this does not apply to cable unfortunately)...

If they want to keep the protections that common carrier status affords them, then they must support net neutrality and remain essentially a dumb pipe. They used public land and massive tax incentives and subsidies to deploy the initial infrastructure (with the exception of FIOS, which I believe Verizon is eating the total cost, but still using public land, and in some cases tax breaks).

Or, if they do not want to implement neutrality in anyway, and they want to double dip on charging for bandwidth, discriminate on the types of traffic so that their own services do not have to compete etc, strip them of their protections, let every content company, every person who has been libeled, every politician who wants to shut down $x type of service/product/content and what not sue the telcos and ISPs into oblivion.

Seriously, the only reason telcos have protections is because they were just the intermediary carrying traffic between end points, and could not be held liable for what those entities did. But if they want to start manipulating the types of traffic and data, then they should be held liable for whatever that data contains.

For the record, I agree with the principles, I may not neccesarily agree with how the gov will implement them. Also, I did not vote, I was taught to vote my believes, not the lesser of 2 evils, and honestly, there is very little difference between them from my viewpoint.

How about this.. we have a public referendum on what the public wants. Sure the public can be swayed, but atleast the public as a whole will have some visibility in front of the politicians, as it is right now, the politicians only real view is of whatever the lobbying entities put in front of them.. he who has the money makes the rules I guess.

Can't run XP on SPARC (0, Troll)

Mp3Brick (1661347) | about 5 years ago | (#29845287)

The BIGGEST problem I have with Net Neutrality (regardless if it is initially for the good or bad) is that your are removing the checks and balances from the free market (aka capitalism) and handing it to government.

I mean, don’t these sorta things always start out as “good intentions”?? There are a bunch of short-range thinkers on here who are only thinking of measures to equalize the rights of consumers against the big evil ISP’s. While there are valid points where these ISP’s are tipping the playing field in their favor, be careful what you wish for is what I say. If you give these powers to your government, are you also naive to think your government will always have your best interests in mind? I’d say historically speaking this is not always the case.

Net Neutrality is really a means to an ends. Nope, I didn’t get that backwards. Consider this:
If one wants to implement a communist/socialist structure within America, one would agree that due to the existence of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, this would be a very difficult task to achieve. In true nerd fashion, kind of like trying to run Windows XP on SPARC hardware (the software cannot function on the hardware). So how do you get around this?? Easy, install an emulator or virtualization layer. In this case I believe it is capitalism, aka big business. For example, government cannot directly infringe on your rights... to smoke a cigarette let’s say. But a company can, because your employment is mutual which "volunteers" you for anything the company wants. Therefore, a communist regime need not change this country’s fundamental laws in order to implement dictatorial control of the masses, they only need to control the corporations. Net Neutrality installs the transport layer needed for a government to control the Internet and that sector of our lives. Is it just me or does GE bother anyone else?? The sad irony here is that communism can use its arch nemesis “capitalism” against itself like a parasite uses a host.

I know most slashdotters here are a mixture of young IT professional's and students alike, and the vast majority being tilted to the liberal side - and there's nothing wrong with that. The danger (and this is historically substantiated) is that the ambitious youth as a whole are vulnerable to communist ploys. Ask yourself this honest question; would you recognize a communist ploy if you see one? How do you even know what to look for? Granted, like capitalism communism has it's good and bad parts. The difference is that capitalism incorporates both good and bad at any given time (check and balance) while communism starts out with good intent like "Net Neutrality", but then evolves into something nefarious. "Net Neutrality", oh sounds so fair doesn't it? I think communists like to use oxymoron’s for naming things. Like "Free Press" founder Robert McChesney is a Marxist. Sad that many of you have bought into the "business is evil" and "capitalism is evil", there always has to be a villain etc... and you are being fooled into doing the ground work for true communists. The sad part is by the time you all "figure it out" it'll be too late. I used to think the Germans were soooooooo stupid for falling for the Nazi’s and Hitler. But knowing history now, it was mainly the youth and the big unions that gave power to that movement. You all forget that those German unions and students all were fighting for the exact same stuff you all are fighting for today: social justice, equality, freedom from big business, better jobs, unifying the country (Nationalism), environmental concerns, community service, etc... Any of this sounds familiar? I'm not saying give up on those core beliefs - after all they are noble causes, just be careful what and whom you vote for, and recognize the hidden agendas. Ironically with all the slams I see on here about big business being bad for the ‘little guy’, you same individuals see nothing wrong with ‘big government’?? A word to the wise; governments can change and this one does every four years!

I never would have thought in my day’s time aka 2009 we'd be dealing with a real Communist threat within our country. What is this – the sixties all over again? I would have never thought some of you right here right now reading my post are communists (of course – that’s if this post didn't get "moderated"). Some out spoken about it - others being stealthy and hiding under the "liberal" and "progressive" labels. I just want to ask one question; historically speaking... do you honestly think communism is the best model for governing civilization??

I’m tired about all these pro-democracy points of view. News flash – the USA is a “Republic”. Do you think our fore-fathers played rock-paper-scissors to come up with that for of government? Or do you think they saw a fundamental flaw in a true Democracy frame of government? Capitalism is predicated on the individual, while communism is predicated on the collective. The most important difference is that "power" is distributed to everybody in capitalism. Some say however might say due to this wide distribution, the power is too small for one individual to make a difference. BUT this is also the advantage in that if it gets corrupt, it cannot take down the whole system. In communism power concentrated to the leadership which if gets corrupt (as history confirms it will) is bad for everyone. It is very unfortunate that in a quest to amplify your individual power by joining with others, you eventually lose all your power and rights to the people at the top.

Who are these consumers? I want to see one. (4, Insightful)

visualight (468005) | about 5 years ago | (#29845385)

Robert Mcdowell:
"Consumers are telling the marketplace that they don't want networks that operate merely as 'dumb pipes,'" he said. "Sometimes they want the added value and efficiency that comes from intelligence inside networks as well."

I wish I could interview politicians, "You just made that shit up didn't you?"

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