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FCC To Make Move On Net Neutrality

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the why-don't-we-try-this-again dept.

Government 232

GrApHiX42 writes "The FCC will announce on Thursday it plans to pursue a 'third way' forward in the fight for tough net neutrality rules, opening a new front in an ongoing legal battle that could come to define the commission under Chairman Julius Genachowski. A senior FCC official said Wednesday that the chairman 'will seek to restore the status quo as it existed' before a federal court ruled it lacked the authority to regulate broadband providers and set rules that mandate open Internet. The goal is to 'fulfill the previously stated agenda of extending broadband to all Americans, protecting consumers, ensuring fair competition, and preserving a free and open Internet,' the FCC official said."

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The middle path? (0)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106736)

Good luck with that

Re:The middle path? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32106810)

Offer them a deal..

Common carrier status in exchange for net neutrality.

Re:The middle path? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32106922)

Why the iPad will fail and help Windows 7 to succeed

Yesterday Apple finally launched its much hyped iPad to the world, presumably avoiding the rumoured name iSlate after realising how much of gift it would have been to journalists. Apple products do tend to create a huge amount of anticipation and good will but on this occasion it's, if you read around the internet, a case of OOH! OOH! OOH! oh!

So why will the iPad fail and what's this rubbish I'm pedalling about it helping sales of Windows 7? This is simple. Quite simply this time Apple have got it wrong. All the tech press is saying the same thing and comments made by readers of those websites are echoing, mostly anyway, their sentiments.

The iPad is nothing more than a large iPod Touch. It's lacking a 16:9 screen and while the bezel has to be of a reasonable size to allow for holding the device with your hand without your thumb poking the screen all the time, it's simply too big. Finally those few people who've already used it are saying that having a standard keyboard on a device that you can't rest easily on your lap and that is intended to be used one-handed is lunacy. Just look at the curved corner keyboards Microsoft introduced with the tablet editions of Windows to see how they should have done it.

If all of this isn't enough to cause the iPad to fail then the price will certainly put everybody else off. With a starting price tag of $500 it's simply too expensive, twice the price of a better specification netbook and the same price as significantly better laptops. At this price it's unique selling points of multi-touch and... erm... whatever the others are, are simply not enough to win hearts and minds.

However...

For one reason or another, and I have no idea why this turned out to be such a coincidence, certain other companies such as MSI and Dell chose today to release details of their own forthcoming tablet devices, and both look gorgeous, especially the Dell (pictured).

These devices are similarly specified to the iPad and run everything from Windows 7 to Google Android, but the big difference will be in the price. They will all undercut Apple considerably and provide tablets for the price of a netbook, the price they should be.

This is excellent news FOR Windows 7. Firstly this new type of device, obviously based on something that's been around since 2002 but we'll skip lightly over that one, is a very interesting form-factor that, now popularised will enable just about everybody to produce a clone tablet.

This will help sales of Windows 7 because of its multi-touch facilities and, in turn, should tempt a very many XP and Vista laptop owners to upgrade to a tablet. Let's face it there are thousands of people who, if a device such as this had been available five years ago, would never have bought a full laptop.

The knock-on repercussions for all this will be enormous. It will help people move away from the troublesome Internet Explorer 6, help boost the hardware industries of the world as we move out of recession. It'll create jobs and wealth and so much more.

All this will have come about because Apple have done the R&D and released a product that's been instantly derided as ugly and not what people want. If I were Steve Ballmer today, I'd be splashing out on an extra skiing holiday.

Re:The middle path? (0, Offtopic)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107004)

Yesterday Apple finally launched its much hyped iPad to the world

Seriously? I mean, come on dude...if you fail at shilling, you need to really examine your life.

Re:The middle path? (-1, Offtopic)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107042)

Yesterday Apple finally launched its much hyped iPad to the world

Seriously? I mean, come on dude...if you fail at shilling, you need to really examine your life.

Really. They've already sold a million of the things in less than a month. Hardly seems like failure to me.

Re:The middle path? (2, Insightful)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106816)

Personally, I fear this won't be "middle path" so much as "Third Position."

in other words (1, Insightful)

gangien (151940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106752)

fuck the law, we'll do what we want

Re:in other words (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107014)

fuck the law, we'll do what we want

Yes, that's exactly what the activist judges on the federal court said.

Re:in other words (2, Insightful)

pipedwho (1174327) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107034)

Or more precisely, 'bought and paid for' judges.

Re:in other words (5, Insightful)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107152)

Um. No, the judges correctly noted that it was the FCC that was saying "fuck the law," by making up their own laws.

Do you really want federal judges who are going to allow federal agencies to do whatever they want, even when the law says they can't? That's scary stuff.

Re:in other words (1)

Kirijini (214824) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107316)

Do you really want federal judges who are going to allow federal agencies to do whatever they want, even when the law says they can't?

The problem the FCC had wasn't that the law said they can't enforce net neutrality. The problem was that their prior interpretations (i.e., the laws they made up previously, in their rule and order Computer II [cybertelecom.org] .) are inconsistent with what they want to do now.

Re:in other words (3, Informative)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107398)

The problem the FCC had wasn't that the law said they can't enforce net neutrality.

It's that the law says the FCC can't write new laws, and this was, in effect, a new law. From the ruling:

... notwithstanding the "difficult regulatory problem of rapid technological change" posed by the communications industry, "the allowance of wide latitude in the exercise of delegated powers is not the equivalent of untrammeled freedom to regulate activities over which the statute fails to confer ... Commission authority." ... Because the Commission has failed to tie its assertion of ancillary authority over Comcast's Internet service to any "statutorily mandated responsibility," ... we grant the petition for review and vacate the Order.

The FCC must be able to point where in a law, passed by Congress, they have the authority to do this. They failed to do so. They can't make up a new law on their own. It's basically that simple.

Re:in other words (4, Insightful)

Kirijini (214824) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107606)

Through the Communications Act of 1934 as amended over the decades Congress has given the Commission express and expansive authority to regulate common carrier services, including landline telephony; radio transmissions, including broadcast television, radio, and cellular telephony; and “cable services,” including cable television. In this case, the Commission does not claim that Congress has given it express authority to regulate Comcast’s Internet service. Indeed, in its still-binding 2002 Cable Modem Order, the Commission ruled that cable Internet service is neither a “telecommunications service” covered by Title II of the Communications Act nor a “cable service” covered by Title VI. The Commission therefore rests its assertion of authority over Comcast’s network management practices on the broad language of section 4(i) of the Act [which the courts have come to call ancillary jurisdiction] [citations omitted]

Yes, the DC Cir. ruled that the FCC didn't have ancillary jurisdiction. But way up at the top of the opinion is the bit quoted above, where the court recognizes that this issue is raised because the FCC determined, in a still binding order, that internet service was not a telecom service, which it can regulate under title II, common carriage.

If the FCC determines that internet access is a telecom service - which they have the authority to do - then it can enforce net neutrality using its normal common carriage authority. No new laws from Congress required.

Re:in other words (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107832)

If the FCC determines that internet access is a telecom service - which they have the authority to do - then it can enforce net neutrality using its normal common carriage authority. No new laws from Congress required.

That's unlikely. It would cause a lot of practical problems (which is the reason it changed in the first place ... to change it back just for Net Neutrality is short-sighted), and the change itself could be challenged on various grounds.

And why bother? We have a process for doing this: it's called "Congress." :-)

Re:in other words (-1, Offtopic)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107344)

I like you, Pudge. You can come over to my house and fuck my sister!

More government encroachment (1, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106764)

I'm not being facetious when I suggest this, but why doesn't the government just nationalize the communications infrastructure?

If they are so worried about every kid missing out on viagra spam and cartoon porn, they should be out there putting lines into the ground instead of waiting for the efficient hand of business (laff) to reach out and touch the poor and underclass who aren't going to be able to pay anyway.

The idea that everyone needs internet is mistaken. Let's concentrate on getting real books into the hands of students. And ones without little penises drawn on them and without Creationism taught alongside Evolutionism.

It's a noble idea to get unfettered, free access to everyone, but if you want to keep business in the loop, you're either going to get extremely draconian with laws and enforcement or you'll have to give up trying to police them altogether. There isn't any way to trust businesses to do anything that isn't in their own interest without threat from above.

Take away that business and the government can run the Internet as it sees fit.

Re:More government encroachment (1, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106788)

If they were to do that they would be unable to disguise their real goal: suppressing the ideas of their opposition.

Re:More government encroachment (-1, Troll)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106826)

You mean as opposed to know where the conservatives in media just make stuff up and get to do so with impunity?

Re:More government encroachment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32106868)

uhh.. really? the slashdot crowd hasn't seen through this smokescreen yet?

wake up. both parties are full of shit. so are their talking heads in the media.

Re:More government encroachment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107196)

you're fucking idiot. "Congress shall make no law...". Not too hard to understand, yet campaign finance reform stifles free speech while protecting incumbents. Go cry about faux news while ignoring msnbc, cnn, abc, cbs, nbc... (don't worry, viewers are ignoring them too).

Re:More government encroachment (2, Interesting)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106840)

Just what we need, a government takeover of another entire industry.

How 'bout we do something to increase competition, instead.

Re:More government encroachment (5, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106876)

Like having the government take over the parts of the industry that are inherently monopolistic (ie. wires; the barrier to entry for that essentially amounts to putting your own set of wires around the entire country) and having them rent out those wires to ISPs, who would then become competitive?

It's really the only way to have a free market in internet service at this point.

Re:More government encroachment (2, Insightful)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107054)

Like having the government take over the parts of the industry that are inherently monopolistic (ie. wires; the barrier to entry for that essentially amounts to putting your own set of wires around the entire country) and having them rent out those wires to ISPs, who would then become competitive?

It's really the only way to have a free market in internet service at this point.

Just a quick question: Who put all those wires there in the first place?

Re:More government encroachment (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107130)

Sure as hell not the corporations. They're the local governments, and therefore the people's.

Re:More government encroachment (3, Insightful)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107364)

Guess again. The utilities run the wires and are responsible for them. When wires get blown down in a storm, how many 'local government' trucks do you see out there fixing them?

Re:More government encroachment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107536)

Just a quick question: Who paid for/subsidized those wires?

Re:More government encroachment (4, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107640)

> Just a quick question: Who paid for/subsidized those wires?

You are getting close to the truth of the matter. Yes the telcos paid to put in the wires but it was subsidized in a way. It was part of a deal where AT&T would run wires to MOST[1] of the country in exchange for a monopoly.

So every time this topic comes up I remind people of the only long term solution that would actually work and get ignored. Break up the phone companies one more time, this time along the correct lines. Company A gets the monopoly, the local loops and the COs and sells access at rates set by the government. Company B puts dialtone, IP or video on the wire along with as many other companies who want to compete. And do it for the cable companies as well, they have had enough time extracting monopoly rents they can be split along the same lines of the natural monopoly vs the value added services.

But of course what we get is the government will essentially nationalize the Internet. Service will go to hell if you can even get past the political cleansing. And with Big Media having achieved regulatory capture decades ago the p2p scene will be toast.

[1] Even then they carved out a lot of really rural areas that they wouldn't serve, which is why there are small local phone companies that have been around for a really long time. But all are way out in flyover country where 'real' people never go and thus are ignored.

Re:More government encroachment (1)

ffreeloader (1105115) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107876)

You are getting close to the truth of the matter. Yes the telcos paid to put in the wires but it was subsidized in a way. It was part of a deal where AT&T would run wires to MOST[1] of the country in exchange for a monopoly.

Really? AT&T put in all the miles of fiber we now have back in the 40's? AT&Ts deal with the government was so many years ago that the lines they installed have long ago been outmoded. They were never designed to carry the amount, or type, of traffic that our modern communications systems use.

Re:More government encroachment (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107656)

Just a quick question: Who paid for/subsidized those wires?

The company that put them there. Actually, they're required by law to do so.

Re:More government encroachment (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107722)

Like having the government take over the parts of the industry that are inherently monopolistic (ie. wires; the barrier to entry for that essentially amounts to putting your own set of wires around the entire country) and having them rent out those wires to ISPs, who would then become competitive?

You realize that the only reason that the wires are "inherently monopolistic" is because of governmental interference, right? Your local government signs "franchise agreements" that give a single cable and/or telco company exclusive rights to service your town. Even if you had the capital to lay your own wires you are prohibited by law from doing so.

Re:More government encroachment (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106998)

Just what we need, a government takeover of another entire industry.

What's up with people saying this? Look around, especially to wall street and the gulf of mexico. I see industry messing up on the exact same scale or bigger than the government messes up.

I'm not saying "Some companies have messed up so lets give it all over to the government," I'm just saying "Government takes over an industry" isn't as scary to me as it once was.

Re:More government encroachment (1)

gangien (151940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107544)

What's up with people saying this? Look around, especially to wall street and the gulf of mexico.

wall street was largely because of the government(dot com bubble collapsed, what's the response? to try to reinflate the bubble. Housing bubble collapses, whats the response? to try and reinflate the bubble. We're going to go through another crash). the oil spill sucks, and shit does happen, but who's gonna pay for it? the company that spilled it. And Likely no one will die. There will be some damage, it's true, but there's a huge incentive for this not to happen (like it costing BP 3billion, the number i got from CNN).

Re:More government encroachment (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107950)

There are problems with the free market. There are far bigger problems with government control. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-o0kD9f6wo [youtube.com]

Re:More government encroachment (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107104)

Just what we need, the government to regulate safety standards on off-shore oil rigs. Just what we need, the government to regulate the largest banks. Just what we need, the government to regulate environmental rules and protect wetlands.

You're fucking A-right.

Just what we need, for Comcast to turn the Internet into the Disney/TimeWarner Channel.

When the federal government was building the Internet, were you saying, "Just what we need, a fast open data network that anyone can connect to".

If you had waited for AT&T to build the Internet, you'd still be waiting. And I guarantee, that whatever they had built wouldn't have allowed for political blogs and bittorrent trackers and news aggregators and open source HTML standards. No YouTube. No Slashdot. And no teabaggers (well, I guess there would be some good points).

Re:More government encroachment (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107218)

Oh, you mean like prodigy?

And furthermore... (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107324)

Actually, we don't have to guess at what the broadband carriers would have built had they been entrusted to create the Internet, because they already have done it.

It's called "cable television".

Those of you who are old enough can remember that when the internet was still Darpanet, the big telcos and media companies were telling us how "cable television" was going to revolutionize communications. It was going to be small-d democratic, with tons of opportunities for local programming and public access.

And what did we get? Spike. And fucking infomercials out the ass. And some very expensive programs (with commercials no less) and lots of reruns. For this, they were given the right to public lands and the right to gouge customers. And we got "pay television" where you have to pay to watch the baseball game you used to watch for free. And monopolies. Don't forget monopolies.

The "free market" and "competition" had their shot at the internet, and they gave you cable fucking television.

Re:More government encroachment (2, Insightful)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107348)

Reasonable regulation where it's due.
Not taking over entire industries, though.

Competition is what drives quality of product in other segments of the economy.

There is not sufficient competition in internet service though, even with the available choices of dialup, DSL, cable, fios in some locations, several cellphone companies, satellite and terrestrial wireless.

With all those choices, why isn't competition driving prices down and quality up, like in other industries?

My guess is that there is already too much government regulation that stifles competition.

Oh, and "teabaggers?"
Why the homophobic language?

Re:More government encroachment (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107778)

Oh, and "teabaggers?"
Why the homophobic language?

Whoosh [wikipedia.org] .

Re:More government encroachment (1, Flamebait)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106962)

The idea that everyone needs internet is mistaken.

I think the hypocrisy here would be a little less obvious were you not making that argument on the internet.

Free as in speech (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106974)

It's a noble idea to get unfettered, free access to everyone, but if you want to keep business in the loop, you're either going to get extremely draconian with laws and enforcement or you'll have to give up trying to police them altogether.

Free Internet access isn't the big deal here as far as I'm concerned. Libraries provide free Internet access, and while like you say the internet isn't needed, neither are books technically speaking. Having information available for free is a good thing. It's just not something I think we need to be spending a lot of energy providing with tax money and regulations and what not.

Having a Free Internet, on the other hand, is of the utmost importance to me.

Re:Free as in speech (1, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107170)

Having a Free Internet, on the other hand, is of the utmost importance to me.

Chris, I'm afraid your arguments are casting pearls before swine.

You can reach a point where some peoples' heads are so filled with free-market talking points that they just can't see the monitor in front of their face.

If we let Comcast and AT&T decide what the internet is going to become, the one technological advance that has actually brought to reality the hopes and foresight that I read about in science fiction way back when will disappear faster than coke up a super-model's nose.

Maybe there aren't flying cars, or AI's that can pass the turing test, or domed cities, but goddamn it, we've got a fucking internet onto which any fucking human being with a connection can broadcast information and ideas to the entire world.

All you free-market fantasists ask yourself this: If AT&T and Comcast decide who gets bandwidth and who doesn't how long do you think there will be a Wikileaks? Why the fuck am I asking you anyway, because you don't lack the foresight to even understand why that's such an innovation (not you, Chris, but the butterbrains who think the "free market" is anything but a mechanism to siphon wealth from the bottom of society to the top).

Re:Free as in speech (1)

gangien (151940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107598)

You can reach a point where some peoples' heads are so filled with free-market talking points that they just can't see the monitor in front of their face.

that's because the monitor was provided by the free market. And people love to over look all the good things they have because of the free market.

If we let Comcast and AT&T decide what the internet is going to become, the one technological advance that has actually brought to reality the hopes and foresight that I read about in science fiction way back when will disappear faster than coke up a super-model's nose.

Well, they can't really just decide, can they? no. they have plenty of competition. And if they somehow bought up competition, and they started to be to restrictive, guess what? new competition would be born. So long as they haven't bought off the regulators (in other words, so long as we still have a free market)

All you free-market fantasists ask yourself this: If AT&T and Comcast decide who gets bandwidth and who doesn't how long do you think there will be a Wikileaks?

like i said above, it wouldn't happen.

Why the fuck am I asking you anyway, because you don't lack the foresight to even understand why that's such an innovation (not you, Chris, but the butterbrains who think the "free market" is anything but a mechanism to siphon wealth from the bottom of society to the top).

in a free market, you cannot force others to pay you. So the only way you get their money, is to offer them something the want. So the net wealth goes up. You think the world would be better off without bill gates? I don't think so. look at all the jobs he created. you think it'd be better off without ted turner? same thing. People get rich, largely, by providing something other's want. Of course, with regulations you and everyone else wants, they can then also get rich by bribing government officials.

It boils down to a simple principle: freedom. You know, what we supposedly cherish in this country(US). What you and most people don't get is, it means freedom for everyone, not just the people you choose.

Re:Free as in speech (4, Insightful)

Big Boss (7354) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107850)

I agree with the basic principle, but you're overlooking the fact that the telecom industry is NOT a free market and hasn't been for over 100 years. They have been granted monopoly status by government action. That's exactly the opposite of a free market. Cable TV has never been a free market. There is no competition that is legally allowed to come in and fight back. The only hope of any competition is wireless, but they can't compete with the raw speed a wired line can. And the entrenched monopolies can just lower prices and push speeds up to force new competition out of business. With protected monopoly profits no less.

In this industry, there is no freedom, no free market. Even removing the laws preventing competition isn't enough in this case. The existing companies also got huge subsidies and tax breaks to pay for the networks. Can you think of a business plan that can compete with that?

Re:Free as in speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107672)

Yeah, once the government has its claws around the ISPs, Wikileaks is finally going to be safe! Because fucking with its bandwidth was the real threat, not, say, censorship.

What gets me is that technologists think ISPs can actually DO this. You can't think of like 1000 ways around bandwidth restrictions or filters? How about starting with end-to-end encryption and DNSSEC, and then adding in proxies? Woops. Done.

Re:Free as in speech (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107762)

> If we let Comcast and AT&T decide what the internet is going to become...

Yes, letting Comcast or AT&T decide the fate of the net would be a disaster. So would letting the government decide. Putting that decision into ANY select group's hand means we get hosed, the only difference is HOW we get hosed by WHO. Don't know about you but I don't like getting hosed. So why not pick a course of action that doesn't involve getting hosed?

> You can reach a point where some peoples' heads are so filled with free-market talking points that they just can't see the monitor in front of their face.

You are missing the point. The current telco situation isn't a Free Market. Two massive government sponsored/controlled enterprises wielding monopoly power has exactly zero to do with a free market. Sure they are listed on the stock exchanges, big whoop. So do Freddie and Fannie. None of them take a dump without government permission right now and act safe in the knowledge that it is pretty much ILLEGAL to compete with them.

We need more free market not less. Break off the monopoly over the physical plant and make it lease out access to all comers, including the other part which could then be safely deregulated almost entirely.

Re:More government encroachment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107136)

"The idea that everyone needs internet is mistaken. Let's concentrate on getting real books into the hands of students. And ones without little penises drawn on them and without Creationism taught alongside Evolutionism."

You're assuming the people concerned about the internet are the ones defunding schools and substituting pcs for actual education.

Announcing your intent to circumvent the law? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32106778)

FCC: We have now made rules and regulations that mean violating net neutrality is forbidden
Court: Actually, that was not part of the authority given to you in your mandate
FCC: Oh, in that case we will use the powers everyone agree we do have in creatively interpreted ways so that we create the same effect as if we wrote the laws

Uh, how is this OK?

Re:Announcing your intent to circumvent the law? (0, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106798)

because we need a fucking free internet so that mega cartels wont make it into another cable tv clone.

by blood or by words if necessary. that is as important as any independence struggle in the history of universe.

Re:Announcing your intent to circumvent the law? (1)

Agarax (864558) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106824)

by blood or by words if necessary. that is as important as any independence struggle in the history of universe.

You. Are. High.

Re:Announcing your intent to circumvent the law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32106850)

By blood or by words? Take a pill, amigo. This is a mortal empire of a mortal race. You don't need to martyr yourself to get things done. Some strategy and a little time will usually suffice when facing off against lumbering beasts.

Re:Announcing your intent to circumvent the law? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107052)

by blood or by words if necessary. that is as important as any independence struggle in the history of universe.

Says the pasty armchair general from his parents' basement.

Re:Announcing your intent to circumvent the law? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107120)

hahahaa. says the stereotyping american with his 'parent's basement' bullshit, while not having even served time in his country's military.

Re:Announcing your intent to circumvent the law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107408)

Dude, you could at the very least try to persuade us by using capital letters in the appropriate places. Maybe even try "parent's basement" in double quotes so the possessive apostrophe doesn't look out of place. And you need some quotes around your "hahahaa", and you need to replace that "." with a "," unless you think it's some sort of non-American decimal number.

And whose country is "his" country referring to? Would that be you? If so, you should really watch a little more Seinfeld so you could use the 'third person' self-reference properly as in "George's country!".

Come to think of it, your fight with grammar and creative writing "is as important as any independence struggle in the history of universe" (except with a 'the' in front of that "universe" reference). Me fail English? That's unpossible.

Re:Announcing your intent to circumvent the law? (4, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106900)

There's nothing illegal about circumventing the law. That's why it's called "circumventing", and not "breaking". The court is reminding the FCC that there are limits on their power, the FCC is working within those limits. Provided that you agree with the limits that the court gave the FCC, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

Re:Announcing your intent to circumvent the law? (1)

DirkBalognapantz (609779) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107516)

Nice clarification regarding circumvention, selven. I like the way you put that.

Re:Announcing your intent to circumvent the law? (1)

gangien (151940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107612)

There's nothing illegal about circumventing the law. That's why it's called "circumventing", and not "breaking".

Which is a nice indication of the system being broken.

We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (5, Interesting)

onionman (975962) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106792)

Without net neutrality regulation, I fear that providers will have far too much power to censor content. In my area, there is only one choice for broadband: Comcast. My provider has already demonstrated a willingness to censor based on protocol and re-direct DNS lookup failures to their own search engine. I don't trust them at all to act in the best interest of the consumer when sites like Hulu and iTunes start directly competing against cable TV offerings for content.

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32106802)

But what about their right to free speech through censorship? It's just their own way of communicating with you!

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106804)

There's another provider in your area, that gives access to quite a few other providers.

Downside is, 56 kbps downstream.

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (3, Insightful)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106844)

For a lot of people, that isn't an option.

Boss: I need those reports back from the 20 MB spreadsheets I gave you.
Employee: Sure thing, boss! You should have the first one a couple days from now!

Even for standard "web surfing and email" type access, dialup is inadequate. For any type of real work, it's not an option at all.

That's quite aside from the fact that fewer and fewer people need or want POTS anymore at all. To get POTS just to accommodate dialup, plus the dialup, you'll probably be paying more than basic broadband.

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107820)

You know, I remember my 128 kbit ISDN. I seem to recall having no issues uploading or downloading 20MB within a reasonable amount of time.

And I remember that cost about $1,000 to install when I had it.

Show me a $1,000 56kbit POTS line, please.

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107934)

ISDN is barely broadband, much less "basic broadband" so what exactly was your point?

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (3, Insightful)

GrApHiX42 (543910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106834)

What stops the government from doing exactly the same thing?

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (4, Insightful)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107126)

Even a politician racing after power can't keep up with a corporation chasing money.

There is money to be made breaking net neutrality, so as soon as corporations think they can get away with it, they will. With politicians, though, we've seen that there is power to be had both supporting and fighting net neutrality, so at the very least we get a little longer before neutrality is gone.

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (4, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107158)

Nothing. That's why you don't give government the power to take over the wires, but to bitchslap the people using the wires.

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107470)

Assinine companies suing them when they try.

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (1)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106846)

In my area, there is only one choice for broadband: Comcast.

Surely you have more choices than that. There's satellite broadband and cellular broadband available just about anywhere, or you could VPN past your ISP's traffic shaping (they can't shape what they can't inspect), or you could get a leased line, or set up a neighborhood Internet co-op.

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32106920)

I can't even get comcast where I live, no cable, no dsl, terrain blocks access to satellite, no cel signal.. dialup is the only option now that the phone company doesn't offer isdn anymore.

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (1)

smidget2k4 (847334) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107670)

Do you live on the moon?

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (3, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106956)

They can shape everything that they cant inspect.

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (4, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107064)

they can't shape what they can't inspect

Sure they can. They'll just throttle any encrypted traffic that isn't on standard ports.

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (3, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107968)

And they will know it's encrypted how, exactly? Yes, your typical encrypted data stream looks like random bits, but so does well compressed data.

So either you have to block all data that looks compressed or encrypted, which is a nice way to fuck yourself as a bandwidth provider since people will stop compressing shit to get past your filter, or you have to actually attempt to decompress and look inside any high-entropy data stream. How many reasonably well-deployed compression methods are there? Well, I'd guess about a hundred, if you include various audio and video codecs. So you need to run a number of decompression attempts just to distinguish compressed data from encrypted data. And you really have to DECOMPRESS IT, not just scan for magic numbers or certain headers, because hell, I'll just throw those on there for good measure to confuse you.

Okay, so now that you've established that the data is a compressed stream, you need to look inside the decompressed data to see if that itself looks like its encrypted. Sure, it's boneheaded to compress encrypted data, since it's already such high entropy, but how can you know? Especially when there are people like me trying to get around your filter? You can't, unless you try the whole process again recursively. Obviously, at some point you'll give up. Say you set the bar at two levels of nesting -- at that point it's just too expensive to keep analyzing. Well, that's going to have a shitload of false positives, because people do stupid shit like zip up a video file, which doesn't really gain you that much but is certainly widely done, and would trigger your "give up" signal -- at that point, do you fail open or fail closed? Do you reject a huge amount of traffic that's not encrypted, pissing everyone off and rendering your own service unusable and therefore worthless -- or do you throw your hands up and let the data stream through?

Yeah, sure. They'll just "throttle any encrypted traffic." Good luck with that.

Wrong (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32106984)

"We need [to give the government the power to censor] to prevent [private] censorship."
.
There I fixed your comment for you.
.
Don't be too quick to bring the Trojan Horse into the city walls.
.
I don't like private or public censorship but I can tell you that private censorship is a lot easier to get away from and likely to be a lot shorter lived.

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107078)

You're confusing censorship with rights.

Sorry, but you don't have the right to any content, anywhere, anytime, just because you want it.

Re:We need net neutrality to prevent censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107734)

Really? Just Comcast? So there's no DNS provider, and no wireless providers, and no cell providers? Yeah, right.

This should be under the FTC control... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107818)

....if it isn't already.

I don't understand why a commission that was supposed to assure orderly communications by managing the radio spectrum has their hands in this anyway.

This should be handled by the Federal Trade Commission. It already manages consumer protection from phone scams, handles the do-not-call list, cracks down on shady business practices. They definitely have the power to handle network neutrality.

Better to me (4, Funny)

DirkBalognapantz (609779) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106822)

I think this is a much more admirable endeavor than being the nipple and potty mouth police. I always considered the FCC toothless moralists. I welcome our new internet overloads.

Just make them common carrier (3, Interesting)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#32106968)

Just make ISPs common carriers like the phone companies. Then the FCC can enforce the rules it wants.

Re:Just make them common carrier (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107720)

Just make ISPs common carriers like the phone companies. Then the FCC can enforce the rules it wants.

Not "common carriers" but rather just "telecommunications services" rather than "information services."

Ironically, it was the FCC itself that recategorized ISPs as "information services" [wikipedia.org] and thus opened the door for all of this bullshit in the first place. You would think that since the trouble started with the FCC, they could just change their minds and put things back the way they were so that IP was treated the same as Voice and all the neutrality rules would then apply again.

Common carrier (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32106976)

Why don't they just make ISPs common carriers. A common carrier has to take anyone's traffic without favor or discrimination (as long as the customer can pay). The concept has served us very well for things like telephones and railways. I find it hard to understand why it doesn't automatically apply to ISPs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_carrier [wikipedia.org]

Re:Common carrier (5, Insightful)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107206)

Telephones and railways have gone through antitrust cases. ISPs have not. My guess is we need a full-fledged monopoly to form before things get better.

Re:Common carrier (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107290)

Why don't they just make ISPs common carriers. A common carrier has to take anyone's traffic without favor or discrimination (as long as the customer can pay). The concept has served us very well for things like telephones and railways. I find it hard to understand why it doesn't automatically apply to ISPs.

ISPs don't have the history of monopolistic abuse that telcos and railways do.
Fundamentally, that's why they've managed to play by a different set of rules.

IMHO, the FCC is changing the regulatory landscape because of ISPs' greed.
It was pretty much over for them once they started saying things like:
"We're going to filter what we want"
"Google should pay us to reach our customers"

They really did this to themselves.

Grabby Genachowski (0, Offtopic)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107030)

The single "A Question of Time" comes to mind...ick.

Can someone please explain this? (1)

toiletbowl (1344587) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107162)

I mostly understand that our elected representatives are beholden to the corporations that help them earn that office, and that has a trickle down effect to appointed positions. But wouldn't it be possible for the head of the FCC to explain to people how his ruling will affect them? Maybe if things were explained in simple terms?

... OR (2, Insightful)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107164)

The FCC could just, you know, respect the fact that we live in a representative democracy and that as unelected bureaucrats that don't get to invent new laws restricting the free behavior of the people. The FCC could lobby Congress to write a law implementing what they want, instead of trying to tyrannically decide for us what they think is best.

I am mostly in favor of Net Neutrality (especially in cases where there's a de facto monopoly for a particular broadband provider). But I am not in favor of the FCC making up its own rules. I am in favor of elected representatives voting so we can hold them accountable in the end.

Re:... OR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107268)

Allowing Congress to write the Net neutrality laws is a recipe for red-tape and a sure fire way to disaster, especially with a partisan atmosphere and the-party-of-NO-GO republicans.

At least with the tyranny of FCC we have this sizable probability of it actually being relevant.

Let the FCC come up with a framework and guidelines and have it be voted upon by the representatives via a quick simple procedure.

Our representatives are too vulnerable to be swayed by ISPs and their lobbyists, so lets not turn into another debacle.

Re:... OR (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107360)

Allowing Congress to write the Net neutrality laws is a recipe for red-tape and a sure fire way to disaster, especially with a partisan atmosphere and the-party-of-NO-GO republicans.

Irrelevant.

At least with the tyranny of FCC ...

It is NOT LEGAL. It VIOLATES OUR CIVIL RIGHTS. You're not getting it. This is simply unacceptable. Unelected bureaucrats have no right to make laws to tell us what to do. Period.

Let the FCC come up with a framework and guidelines and have it be voted upon by the representatives via a quick simple procedure.

The FCC can writes laws any time it wants to, and give them to someone in Congress to submit as proper legislation.

Our representatives are too vulnerable to be swayed by ISPs and their lobbyists

No moreso than the members of the FCC.

And you forgot to mention "and other special interests" (which includes groups like the EFF) If you make this government-vs-ISP then you're already setting it up to fail. It's about doing what is best for everyone, not for going against the ISPs.

Re:... OR (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107476)

You are either uninformed or choosing to ignore the facts, so either you're ignorant or an ideologue who doesn't let the facts get in their way.

Telecommunications services ARE WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE FCC, they have the power to classify the services how they see fit. Previously ISP services were Title II, and I could buy DSL from a third party company buying access through the local monopoly(Verizon).. and things were better. Then, during the Bush admin the FCC changed the rules to make them Title I, 'to foster competition'. That hasn't worked so well, in addition the ISP's are now messing with MY and YOUR traffic. The court case was about the FCC not having the right to add extra rules to Title I services as already written under congressional laws.

So, in effect they sell you a service, X Mbps, and then muck about with your communication. Imagine if they could do that with your phone calls.. 'Excuse me sir, are you sure w=you want to be talking to that illegal bookie?'

This will put the ISP's back in the pen, and hopefully the 'third way' will do more than just 'net neutrality and will do a bit to open up the ability of 3rd party resellers to use existing infrastructure.

Remember, capitalist monopolies will do whatever they can get away with to wring the last cent from your grasp and by definition since they are local monopolies you don't have a choice to go elsewhere.

Re:... OR (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107790)

You are either uninformed or choosing to ignore the facts

Identify such a fact. (You didn't. You added more to what I didn't say, but nothing you said contradicted or argued against anything I said.)

they have the power to classify the services how they see fit.

False. They have to do it within the standards set by the law. But they do have significant latitude, yes.

And -- at the very least -- since the FCC did change the classification, they have to abide by the laws governing that classification until it changes again. And I can't see them changing it again any time soon, but, you never know.

and by definition since they are local monopolies you don't have a choice to go elsewhere.

Yes, again, this is why I said -- in the comment you replied to -- I am in favor of at least SOME Net Neutrality regulations, especially for de facto monopolies, where they exist (which is probably in most places). But it has to be done, you know, legally.

Re:... OR (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107860)

I am in favor of at least SOME Net Neutrality regulations, especially for de facto monopolies

Why don't we get rid of the regulations (i.e: franchise agreements) that created those de-facto monopolies in the first place?

Re:... OR (3, Interesting)

astar (203020) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107492)

something off center about your argument. fcc is executive, but it also has legislative and judicial functions. In fact, these extras are impossible to get rid of.

this area is called administrative law. It is supposed to be simple, informal, and navigateable without a lawyer :-)

the reason it is constitutional is that while you have go into the admin court system, when you exhaust your remedies, you get to go to the usual courts in the other branch of government.

as far as rules, agencies can make all sorts of binding rules, persumedly from within their enabling language. and all the admin judges will take them as gospel. but once you leave the admin system, the other judges will feel quite free to slap the agency around.

Actually, having rules is a positive. I have seen programs repeatedly try to run without any rules! for the admin review judge, a question becomes "do i shut this program down". Interesting considerations at that point.

Re:... OR (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107808)

the reason it is constitutional

It's not. That's why the FCC lost the case 3-0.

Re:... OR (1)

astar (203020) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107952)

yah, this particular rule was unconstitional, presumedly because the fcc could not make a good case that congress had given them that particular authority area. I admit i have not read the actual decision. but no one is ever going to say the fcc cannot make rules. but originally, someone was seemingly complaining about the existence of fcc rule making apparatus.

The appeals court’s 3-0 decision, which was written by one of the court’s more liberal members, Judge David S. Tatel, focused on the narrow issue of whether the F.C.C. had authority to regulate Comcast’s network management practices.

 

Re:... OR (2, Insightful)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107910)

Your argument makes sense, but the flaw is that democracy doesn't work that way. Yes, in theory, we could remove any elected official that blocks net neutrality, or any other law that would make sense to any reasonable, moral human being. In truth, all that matters is how much PR you pull, how much the lobbyists bribe you, etc. that wins you an election.

Where everything really gets derailed is in the court's ruling that gave cable companies a monopoly on their lines. If you open up the lines to allow competition, then maybe you'll get a decent service provider (which again falsely assumes that consumers are smart enough to support the right ones).

But if this is what it takes to get net neutrality, well better than nothing I say.

FCC Go Away! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107312)

What value do we get out of the FCC? Nothing! Why can they regulate the terms of a private contract between a customer and the ISP?

Here's a novel idea: if I don't like the actions of my ISP, I dump them and get a new one. I've done just that before and I'll do it again, if I need to. I now have an ISP that does not throttle bit torrent and I was able to get that through *gasp* capitalism.

Net Neutrality is just another example of people falling for the whole nanny state idea. I'm just a dumbass internet user who's too lazy to vote with my dollars. I'll just rely on big brother to punish that nasty ISP instead.

Re:FCC Go Away! (1, Insightful)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107356)

Here's a novel idea: if I don't like the actions of my ISP, I dump them and get a new one.

Hey, I never thought of that! I'll dump Comcast and choose another ISP from this list of ISPs that serve my area:

  • Comcast

...oh wait.

Re:FCC Go Away! (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107866)

So start your own cable company to compete with them.

...oh wait, your local government won't allow you to do that, because it gave Comcast exclusive rights to service your town. Never mind.....

hi (-1, Troll)

janejordan (1805290) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107682)

The problem the FCC had wasn't that the law said they can't enforce net neutrality Search for Croatia Apartments [welcome-to-croatia.com]

Mod down please (0, Offtopic)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107874)

This user has a history of comment spam.

Third way? (1)

javakah (932230) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107892)

Hmm, I'm guessing large subsidies for improving broadband, but with strings attached, such that the businesses receiving the money have to abide by net neutrality and respect the FCC.

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