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GOP Senators Move To Block FCC On Net Neutrality

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the who-regulates-the-regulators dept.

Government 709

suraj.sun writes "Seven Republican senators have announced a plan to curb the Obama administration's push to impose controversial Net neutrality regulations on the Internet." "The FCC's rush to take over the Internet is just the latest example of the need for fundamental reform to protect consumers," says Sen. Jim DeMint, who I'm sure truly only has the consumer's needs at heart — since his campaign contributions list AT&T in his top five donating organizations.

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709 comments

WTF (5, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 4 years ago | (#32991306)

The FCC's rush to takeover the Internet is just the latest example of the need for fundamental reform to protect consumers.

The FCC is trying to protect consumers, you fuck. Honestly, do these people believe that anyone will swallow lies like that?

Re:WTF (1, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 4 years ago | (#32991344)

What makes you think the FCC is trying to protect consumers? Can you give me an example of government regulation that did not end up favoring entrenched incumbents in the industry more than potential competitors or consumers?

Re:WTF (4, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 4 years ago | (#32991382)

How about the FCC's action on Comcasts' interference with BitTorrent traffic?

Re:WTF (1, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 4 years ago | (#32991794)

You do realize that the FCC is just making a power grab here, right? Like most power grabs, they start off as something the public can really get behind.

Are we better off with the FCC calling the shots? The trouble is that if they do maneuver themselves into Internet Regulator status, we will never see the alternatives.

The FCC imposes fines for broadcasting nudity, right? Even half-a-million-dollar fines for accidental nudity on live broadcasts (superbowl halftime show...) that must later be thrown out in appeals court, right?

When I was growing up, "Fuck the FCC!" was a common "rebel nerd" thing to say. The FCC arent altruists by any stretch. They are another bureaucracy of control.

how about the CSN Philly mess. I don't want nbc (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 4 years ago | (#32991988)

how about the CSN Philly mess. I don't want nbc to end up like that.

Re:WTF (3, Funny)

HerculesMO (693085) | about 4 years ago | (#32991514)

I actually am grateful that there are no more wardrobe malfunctions due to the FCC.

Re:WTF (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32991828)

I'm not. There's no reason why there shouldn't be toplessness on American TV as seen on European TV. I routinely what Euro TV and I'm amazed how much is blurred by the FCC censors. Instead we get to see Jack Bauer slitting people's throats which is far more harmful than a naked chest.

Re:WTF (1)

Unequivocal (155957) | about 4 years ago | (#32991644)

How about FCC's programs: E-rate and universal lifeline service. The former helped schools and libraries get connected at the expense of higher prices on cell and landline phone bills. Universal lifeline gives low cost phones to poor people. I heard the chairman of the fcc speak on Thursday about potentially changing universal service so that it also offers broadband services to poor people or underserved communities (where they don't have the middle mile backbone to offer internet service to anyone living there).

To be fair, e-rate ends up back in telcos pockets frequently, but FCC recently introduced proposed rule changes [fcc.gov] to make it possible for schools/libraries to obtain lower cost i-net services from sewer companies, hospitals, city gov'ts or other "anchor institutions" who might already have fiber or other assets to available to reduce costs.. So they are honestly trying (at least under the current chairman).

Re:WTF (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32991884)

>>>I heard the chairman of the fcc speak on Thursday about potentially changing universal service so that it also offers broadband services to poor people or underserved communities (where they don't have the middle mile backbone to offer internet service to anyone living there).
>>>

Good idea. Bad technology. The wireless internet spectrum is already close to full, and the last thing it needs is more people adding more congestion. The FCC should be proposing WIRED internet and requiring the telephone companies to do the upgrade from Phone to DSL (or FiOS) internet.

Re:WTF (2, Insightful)

StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) | about 4 years ago | (#32991646)

It's true the Republicans got in and killed the fairness principle that said that broadcast media had to be fair and balanced as part of the agreement that they can license the 'publicly owned' airwaves, and presto, Fox "News". They lease part of the spectrum from us in exchange for obeying certain rules. The FCC used to be in a better postion to protect consumers but the Republicans have fought hard to have control of the message and with the net neutrality issues, get the more wealthy more priveledges as a way of generating more profits for them. The new departments that actually did news were an outgrowth of the priciple that the holders of those leases of the airwaves needed to provide value to the consumer. Now that is less the case and journalism, esp TV journalism is all but dead. The recent butchered video about racism is a good current example. They don't even check their stories anymore, just parrot what other outlets have come out with.

The FCC's censorship of dirty words is a case in point where they (I think mistakenly) are trying to protect the consumer. It would be hard to argue that that practice just favored entrenched incombents in the industry.

They do monitor transmission frequencies to make sure stations broadcasting stay on frequency which protects adjacent stations which in a sense protects consumers by making sure stations on the air can be heard without interference.

So the FCC is the organization that can protect the consumer if it has the laws and regulations to do so. It has done more in the past and with net neutrality and maybe recovering the fairness doctrine we can get back to a more friendly place in the airwaves that is part of the public trust.

Re:WTF (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32992002)

>>>Fairness Principle..... as part of the agreement that they can license the 'publicly owned' airwaves, and presto, Fox "News".

FOX News doesn't use the public airwaves. FOX is wholly-and-completely distributed by private cable lines. The same is true for all cable channels (TNT, FX, USA, et cetera). Perhaps you should learn how things *actually* work? The Fairness Doctrine only applied to over-the-air television.

As for balance on *public* spectrum several AM/FM stations routinely air liberal talkshows to counterbalance the Becks and Limbaughs. On TV there's the left-leaning PBS and NBC. I also have a local station called "MiND" that shows Democracy Now and GritTV and other liberal programs. There's really no need for a Fairness Doctrine, since there's already plenty of programs on both left and right.

Note when I say liberal I refer to pro-"making government bigger"
You rarely here the counter-argument that government should be smaller.

Re:WTF (5, Insightful)

kenj0418 (230916) | about 4 years ago | (#32991718)

Can you give me an example of government regulation that did not end up favoring entrenched incumbents in the industry more than potential competitors or consumers?

Telephone number portability

Re:WTF (0)

jshackney (99735) | about 4 years ago | (#32992004)

My phone number is not as portable [fcc.gov] as I am.

Besides, if I really want a portable number now, I just point Google Voice to my new phone number. It's far less painful and time-consuming.

Re:WTF (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32991772)

>>>What makes you think the FCC is trying to protect consumers?

Good point. Read Chile's "net neutrality" law. It now gives the government power to block anything they don't like - such as bittorrent (they consider it stealing), or pornography (bad for children), and who knows what else the politicians might decide is bad. If a similar law passed here in the US the internet as we know it (free, libertarian) would become a locked-down network.

Plus:

Considering the FCC's recent proposal to swipe channels 25 through 69 from Free TV, I think it's reasonable to ask: Is the FCC protecting consumers? Or are they serving a different master called "megacorp", where megacorp is whatever corporation currently holds the FCC's attention (ATT and Comcast in this case).

Okay, now you're stretching it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32991874)

Can you give me an example of government regulation that did not end up favoring entrenched incumbents in the industry more than potential competitors or consumers?

Honestly. There are loads of regulations that end up favoring the industry over individual consumers.But if you can't think of a single example... Hell, if you can't think of a lot of examples... where government regulation favors consumers, you have stuffed your head pretty far up your ass (probably by listening unhealthy doses of right wing propaganda).

Re:WTF (1)

pugugly (152978) | about 4 years ago | (#32991876)

Gee, I don't know . . .

Vaccination Programs
School Lunches
Schools, in general
The road you drive on
The Internet I'm typing on
Social Security
Medicare
Food Stamps

Pug

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32991900)

"What makes you think the FCC is trying to protect consumers? Can you give me an example of government regulation that did not end up favoring entrenched incumbents in the industry more than potential competitors or consumers?"

What was your plan here? To hope that no one would answer your challenge, and you could bask in absolutist glory? Of course there are examples of govt regulation favoring the incumbent AND there are examples of regulation favoring newcomers. See this lecture by Lessig http://lessig.blip.tv/file/3485790/
At 7:47 and 8:04 you will find examples that favored the incumbent (Comcast and AT&T respectively). At 10:28, 11:30, and 12:27 you will find examples that favored the newcomers (Carterphone, MCI and other long distance companies, and mom and pop ISPs respectively). The world is not black and white and you are not smart enough to play here. Shouldn't you be at a tea party?

Re:WTF (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 4 years ago | (#32991942)

Can you give me an example of government regulation that did not end up favoring entrenched incumbents in the industry more than potential competitors or consumers?

That's easy - FDIC deposit insurance. And if you want to know why that benefits consumers, think about what would have happened to your savings account in late 2008 (even if your bank was solvent).

Re:WTF (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 4 years ago | (#32991348)

"OMG THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO CONTROL THE INTERNET!"

That is what typical people who do not understand the net neutrality issue think when they hear that the FCC wants to enforce net neutrality. It does not help that Fox news, the most popular news network in America, has people like Glenn Beck calling net neutrality a socialist plot.

Re:WTF (-1, Troll)

XanC (644172) | about 4 years ago | (#32991554)

How can you describe this as anything other than the government deciding what's allowed and what's not allowed on the Internet?

This is far, far scarier than anything that an ISP might try to pull. The government can't be routed around even in theory. And they're the only entity legally allowed to use guns to enforce their will.

Re:WTF (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 4 years ago | (#32991628)

How can you describe this as anything other than the government deciding what's allowed and what's not allowed on the Internet?

Well, you can start by realizing that net neutrality has nothing at all to do with "the government deciding what's allowed and what's not allowed on the Internet," and go from there.

Re:WTF (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | about 4 years ago | (#32991650)

What? The whole point of net neutrality is to prevent ISPs (and the Government) from selectively blocking/degrading certain content. This is the government "deciding what's allowed" on the internet only in the sense that they're saying they aren't allowed to say what's allowed on the internet. Where are people getting these crazy conspiracy theory notions of what Net Neutrality is?

Re:WTF (1)

clone73 (1832616) | about 4 years ago | (#32991798)

The same place most people get their crazy notions about secret government takeovers: Ron Paul.

Re:WTF (2, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 4 years ago | (#32991742)

You seem to be confused about the meaning of net neutrality. Net neutrality has nothing to do with what information is allowed on the Internet. Net neutrality regulations are concerned with the level of service that ISPs provide -- in particular, we are talking about a requirement that ISPs provide non-discriminatory service.

Yes, I know, the government is involved, so automatically we should be distrustful. Never mind that it was Comcast that was caught deliberately interfering with BitTorrent traffic, and when this particular government agency told them to stop (an unequivocally pro-consumer move), Comcast sued them for it. Never mind that Time Warner, a company which controls both the production and distribution of a tremendous amount of news and entertainment, has been airing commercials on its cable networks opposing net neutrality.

Re:WTF (1)

yankeessuck (644423) | about 4 years ago | (#32991752)

Are you for real? +3 Informative? Net neutrality is about making sure Internet access providers do not discriminate against content providers which is pretty much the exact opposite of what you think it is.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32991786)

I tend to agree with this. The Internet has worked just fine the way it is. "Net neutrality" is a big government solution to a made up crisis. We may think it is all about preventing ISPs from favoring traffic, but the government usually has much different purposes in mind when it regulates something like this.

idiot (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 4 years ago | (#32991850)

the government is not an alien entity come here to turn you into a duracell battery or a food source for their eggs

your government is A REPRESENTATION OF YOUR WILL

read the FIRST FUCKING SENTENCE:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

WE THE PEOPLE

get it you paranoid schizophrenic?

corporations, meanwhile, genuinely do not have your interests in line with them at all, and they are actively corrupting your government and lying to you about YOUR OWN GOVERNMENT because they want MORE PROFIT and LESS REGULATION and LESS TAXES (taxes that pay for your services, like roads, braodband, and yes YOUR HEALTHCARE, moron)

and you would rather believe the propaganda outlets and the demogogues in their employ, actively convincing you to disbelieve the ONLY ENTITY WHICH CAN PROTECT YOU (which is YOUR GOVERNMENT, moron: YOUR. GOVERNMENT.)

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32991920)

The government can't be routed around even in theory.

FAIL. Elections, they happen every two years.

But *you* can't route around it because you are too stupid to dig into the regulations and determine if they are fair, too lazy to give a shit whether they are a good long term idea, and too ignorant to realize that the government is nothing but elected citizens.

Re:WTF (1, Insightful)

dpolak (711584) | about 4 years ago | (#32991566)

It does not help that Fox news, the most popular news network in America, has people like Glenn Beck calling net neutrality a socialist plot.

Which is the fundamental problem in the USA. A totally biased, lying, piece of shit ultra conservative program that makes it's own definition of news is followed by millions of sheep in the US.

Until the US does something to curb this blatant BS that Fox, Rush L. and the other ultra conservative groups put out, the US will continue to spiral into hell and eliminate the dream that every American lives for.

Opinion is fine as long as it is defined as opinion and not FACT. They should have a disclaimer bar that scrolls across the top of the screen at all times stating this network (Fox News) is not reporting news, just their opinions on what they consider the news.

Re:WTF (3, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 4 years ago | (#32991882)

Why is the post above me, which is pretty much a fucking call to censor free speech that the poster disagrees with, +insightful for an article about the FCC and net neutrality?

Re:WTF (2, Interesting)

polar red (215081) | about 4 years ago | (#32991960)

FREE SPEECH != NEWS.

Re:WTF (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 4 years ago | (#32991898)

Until the US does something to curb this blatant BS that Fox, Rush L. and the other ultra conservative groups put out, the US will continue to spiral into hell and eliminate the dream that every American lives for.

The governments' hands are tied on this matter by that pesky thing called the First Amendment.

Wait a minute (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | about 4 years ago | (#32991652)

Wasn't it just a couple years ago the GOP was trying to get net neutrality passed. Net neutrality specified as a tiered cost based internet.
WTF happened, we traded one bunch of asshats leaning right for a bunch of asshats leaning left.
Hard to tell the good from the bad these days except the old method of: "You must be lying, your lips are moving"

Re:Wait a minute (1, Troll)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 4 years ago | (#32991808)

When did Democrats start leaning left? When last I checked, they were a centrist party.

Re:WTF (1)

camg188 (932324) | about 4 years ago | (#32991660)

Let's not rush to start regulating the internet in the name of net neutrality. So far, the market/publicity/etc. has kept problems regarding net neutrality in check. The government has a bad record of piggybacking a lot of bad legislation in the name of the hot issue of the day. I would prefer that legislation that could have such far reaching effects comes from debate in congress, not an unelected commision.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32991704)

It does not help that Fox news, the most popular news network in America, has people like Glenn Beck calling net neutrality a socialist plot.

If Glenn Beck's local dry cleaner lost his suit, he'd call THAT a socialist plot, too, so that's not saying TOO much...

Re:WTF (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | about 4 years ago | (#32991374)

I want to know something.

Why are we all worried over 7 republicraps when yesterday it was 73 paid-off democraps [arstechnica.com] doing precisely the same thing?

The problem is ALL OF THEM, corrupt boobs on both sides of the aisle, not one side or the other. Sheesh.

Re:WTF (4, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 4 years ago | (#32991448)

I know that. I never said otherwise. I was addressing this particular liar's statement. Unlike most of my countrymen (and a surprising number of posters here), I'm not stupid enough to think that one party is less corrupt and power-hungry than the other.

Re:WTF (1)

euroq (1818100) | about 4 years ago | (#32991460)

How egalitarian :)

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32991768)

Playing partisan politics is one of the ways you control people. Manufacture outrage and controversy. You get people into this mindset of "the other side is ruining everything! My guys will fix it!" Bush fucked over our privacy. Obama continued the tradition without a second thought. There is no hope until a third party makes it big. And by then, I fear they would be just as corrupt.

Re:WTF (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | about 4 years ago | (#32991422)

Honestly, do these people believe that anyone will swallow lies like that?

Well, yes. Because they do. They also continually believe the lie that votes will somehow lead to real change.

With so many tyrants in government and corporations oppressing us; I've started telling my friend and family this mantra: "bullets are now more effective than votes."

Re:WTF (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 4 years ago | (#32991468)

Honestly, do these people believe that anyone will swallow lies like that?

Given the hysteria that greets any attempt at ensuring net neutrality, the answer to your question appears to be "yes." And I'm not just talking about telecom industry shills and their bought-and-paid-for politicians, either. Read any story that mentions net neutrality on Slashdot -- where people really ought to know better -- and you'll see that many people have swallowed the propaganda hook, line, and sinker. There are a lot of people, including many technically literate people, who actually believe that (a) net neutrality decreases broadband users' freedom of choice, (b) telling telcos that they can't discriminate based on packet origin will somehow morph into forcing discrimination based on content, or (c) some combination of the above. And it seems that there is simply no amount of explanation of what net neutrality actually is, and how it works, which will get through to people who think like this.

Re:WTF (1)

Unequivocal (155957) | about 4 years ago | (#32991674)

Well said - mod up!

Re:WTF (1)

philipborlin (629841) | about 4 years ago | (#32991792)

I think the problem is that anything that passes through the political system does not come out the way it is sent in. My main concern with what the FCC is pushing is that it is Net Neutrality plus exceptions. Net Neutrality is great and I fully support it, the question is whether Net Neutrality plus exceptions is going to leave loop holes that businesses can exploit to make the whole thing meaningless.

Re:WTF (-1, Troll)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 4 years ago | (#32991816)

Have you ever considered the possibility that you might be the one who has "swallowed the propaganda hook, line, and sinker". I am somewhat conflicted on the whole issue, but to me giving a government agency ANY authority over the content on the internet is a huge flashing red light and and potential slippery slope, and it would take some major abuses by the telcos to justify, not some speculation about what they might do.

Re:WTF (4, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 4 years ago | (#32991956)

I am somewhat conflicted on the whole issue, but to me giving a government agency ANY authority over the content on the internet is a huge flashing red light and and potential slippery slope

And I agree with you. Fortunately, net neutrality has NOTHING AT ALL to do with content.

Net neutrality means this, and only this: all packets are created equal. Comcast has to treat packets originating from Google the same as those originating from Bing, and treat packets sent in response to http requests the same as packets sent in response to ftp requests. That's all it is. The whole thing, right there. Content has absolutely nothing to do with it. And the ONLY role the FCC has in this is enforcement of this simple rule.

Oh yes (5, Insightful)

adamwright (536224) | about 4 years ago | (#32991536)

Oh yes, they believe that people will swallow them. I'm making a kind of personal anthropological study of the changes to the US right (which, to most of the Western world, is becoming the "far right", or possibly "So far right, it's in danger of wrap around"). These people truly seem believe that *any* kind of government is an evil threat to liberty (how these people can draw a salary as a government employee is an excellent example of living with cognitive dissonance - *my* government job is OK, *my* farm subsidy is an exception to the rule of free markets). There seems to be a growing group who would prefer that the sum total role of government would be to issue all newborns with a bible and a gun, then vanish for all eternity.

I caricature, of course. Not all republicans are this far gone. Unfortunately, It's getting hard to find any vocal examples who are not.

Re:WTF (5, Interesting)

KarrdeSW (996917) | about 4 years ago | (#32991538)

The FCC's rush to takeover the Internet is just the latest example of the need for fundamental reform to protect consumers

Oddly enough he still uses the words "fundamental reform", which would imply a piece of legislation.

DeMint probably supports McCain's Internet Freedom Act of 2009 [loc.gov] . Which prohibits the FCC from placing any regulation over the internet.

Of course, not to be confused with the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009 [loc.gov] . Which is the actual net neutrality bill that asks the FCC to enact consumer protections.

Though neither bill is technically aptly named, since in both cases the "freedom" of one body is going to limit another. Consumers and corporations just have competing interests here. That's how it goes.

Re:WTF (2, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | about 4 years ago | (#32991622)

Consumers and corporations just have competing interests here.

please explain me how internet neutrality is bad for corporations ?

Re:WTF (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 4 years ago | (#32991904)

It means that their profits will not increase as rapidly as they increase right now. Yes, amazingly, that has become the definition of "bad for corporations."

Re:WTF (4, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | about 4 years ago | (#32991916)

It is bad for specific, very large, very profitable, very influential corporations who currently happen to enjoy local and regional monopolies or duopolies.

Re:WTF (1, Informative)

KarrdeSW (996917) | about 4 years ago | (#32992034)

Consumers and corporations just have competing interests here.

please explain me how internet neutrality is bad for corporations ?

It's not necessarily detrimental, but it does hinder their profits. You should not that the legislation doesn't have to hurt a corporation in order for their interest to be at odds with the consumers' interest. If your interest might be detrimental to corporate profits, then that's likely a competing interest.

Remember in Politics . Follow the money (1)

guzzirider (551141) | about 4 years ago | (#32991616)

Unfortunately lies are in the ears of the beholder, and this is about fundamental political ideology. In the long run Big Bucks will kill Net neutrality. Just like it is killing the public airways. Free is not a source of revenue for big industry. If file sharing could not be stopped by DRM .. well we will just throttle any un-trusted / unregistered connection to 75 Baud. I truly believe this is where this is going, and it Sucks

they do swallow his lies (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 4 years ago | (#32991720)

in the united states, you have people who will vociferously fight even legislation that is good for them and increases their rights, like common sense healthcare reform, because they would rather believe demagogues on the radio and propaganda outlets on the television that report "the news"

behind these demagogues and propaganda outlets are big business concerns, who have realized they can pay to have opinion swayed in their direction by demonizing brain dead obvious common good legislation that costs corporations money. they have convinced the idiots to fight for the reduction of their own rights. they call legislation in the name of the common good "socialism," "liberalism," or any number of demonized words whom those who oppose "socialism" or "liberalism" don't even really understand

all they know is "socialism is a bad word." well, what does socialism mean? "its means bad stuff." could you define it ideologically please? "it's anti-american." would you like to know the 19th century american history of labor rights- "shut up you communist fascist terrorist"

this is what intelligent americans are up against: corporations whipping up the low end of the iq curve into a rabid hysteria

americans: go to europe. ask a european about socialism. you will find out the word is boring and just common sense. europeans have a much higher standard of living then you, dear propagandized low iq americans. they also have much higher taxes... but they DON'T PAY FOR SERVICES YOU PAY A LOT MORE FOR

truth, idiots: you're still taxed, whether for health care or oil or broadband, but by corporate boardrooms instead of uncle sam, and you are taxed a heck of a lot more! idiots: you are being manipulated by trolls in the employ of big business to think things against your own self-interest, and you are too stupid to see it. wake the fuck up

rest of the world: i apologize that the american experiment in democracy has been warped by corporate influence. there are still americans who recognize the threat and would like nothing more than to remove that corporate financial influence from our democracy. unfortunately, it is very difficult to fight billions of dollars in lobbyists and media buys. but we're trying. wish us luck. if we fail, then the usa becomes nothing more than a slave state to corporate interests, and any slave who dare suggests big business should pay more for the care of their slaves is "unamerican." unbelievable

Re:WTF (2, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 4 years ago | (#32991844)

The FCC's rush to takeover the Internet is just the latest example of the need for fundamental reform to protect consumers.

The FCC is trying to protect consumers, you fuck. Honestly, do these people believe that anyone will swallow lies like that?

The strategy of "if you say something enough times, it becomes true" is so common in politics these days that it might as well get it's own sunday morning talk show. If his statement upsets you, seriously, either your ears just started working or your head is about half a second away from exploding.

"Say whatever puts you in the best light and hope at least half of the people believe it" is a staple of the brave new partisan world we find ourselves in. Good luck out there.

Re:WTF (1)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | about 4 years ago | (#32992022)

Sort of off topic. But, do politicians ever refer to people as citizens anymore? Seems we're only ever called consumers or voters anymore.

Jim DeMint (3, Funny)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 4 years ago | (#32991312)

That's what happens when you put Clemson grads in the Senate. :-)

Ends don't justify... (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 4 years ago | (#32991368)

I like that the FCC is trying to ensure net neutrality but I have two problems with it.

First and foremost, if you're being honest with yourself, these kinds of decisions are too important to leave up to people in non-elected positions. Just because I agree with the decision they made doesn't make it right to try and do an end run around the politicos to get their way. Imagine if the FCC were doing the opposite, and trying to encourage a non-neutral net.

Secondly, this wouldn't be a law on the books. All it would take for this policy to change would be a new management at the FCC. That means both that businesses couldn't count on it staying the same for any kind of long term and that the next election cycle could see it thrown out the window without so much as a vote in congress.

Put it through congress the way these kinds of policies were always meant to be. At least give the American people the chance to pretend that they can still influence their congressmen and make it a bit more difficult for the policy to be overturned when the political winds change.

Re:Ends don't justify... (5, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 4 years ago | (#32991532)

Unfortunately, our elected representatives no longer represent our interests. Case in point: both democrats and republics in congress are taking a stand against net neutrality regulations, and there just are not enough third party representatives right now.

Re:Ends don't justify... (3, Interesting)

Grond (15515) | about 4 years ago | (#32992012)

First and foremost, if you're being honest with yourself, these kinds of decisions are too important to leave up to people in non-elected positions. Just because I agree with the decision they made doesn't make it right to try and do an end run around the politicos to get their way.

The FCC can only do what the law that created it allows it to do, plus other powers granted to it by Congress through additional legislation. This isn't an "end run around the politicos." The legislature has already given the FCC the power to do this. It's the whole reason we have agencies: we grant rule-making power to experts so that Congress can focus on other issues.

Imagine if the FCC were doing the opposite, and trying to encourage a non-neutral net.

Then we'd have to live with the consequences of an agency exercising the powers duly granted to it by Congress. We could petition the FCC not do so, and we could lobby Congress to override it, but there wouldn't be anything inherently inappropriate about it as long as it's within the FCC's rulemaking authority.

Secondly, this wouldn't be a law on the books. All it would take for this policy to change would be a new management at the FCC. That means both that businesses couldn't count on it staying the same for any kind of long term and that the next election cycle could see it thrown out the window without so much as a vote in congress.

As a technical point it would be "on the books" (the Code of Federal Regulations) and it would probably carry with it the force of law. But anyway, your argument could just as easily be applied to all regulations. The fact that they can be changed without Congressional approval is a feature, not a bug. It allows the regulations to be updated more frequently, for one thing. For another, deference to the executive branch is a decision Congress made when it passed the law giving the FCC the power to make these kinds of rules.

And anyway, that argument basically amounts to "since this good thing might be taken away later, we shouldn't bother with it in the first place," which isn't a very good argument at all since ultimately everything is subject to change, even the Constitution.

And who will protect consumers from comcast & (5, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | about 4 years ago | (#32991370)

huh ? especially when these and 2 other companies hold almost all american backbone infrastructure in their own hands ? and for some reason, they are acting in unison. gee. i wonder why that is.

really. who will protect the consumer from their stranglehold ? 'invisible hand' of the market ? fairies ? what do you do when 4 companies hold an entire nation hostage, act together ? wait for 4-5 years for a new backbone provider to come up ? do you have that time ? and dont bullshit me about 'competition' by the way - it has never been a reality in between mega companies at the very top. they always act in conjunction.

Re:And who will protect consumers from comcast &am (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32991482)

Don't you know? According to Ane Rand, praise be upon Her Holy name, the invisible hand of the Free Market will sort things out! If the evil government left the corporations alone, they'd do the right thing. AT&T and Comcast, really, really, really want to do the right thing, but the Muslim feminist atheists nazi Marxists won't let them!

Re:And who will protect consumers from comcast &am (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32991496)

The same people that granted them a municipal monopoly.

Let me get this straight... (2, Insightful)

DaHat (247651) | about 4 years ago | (#32991406)

Noting that an evil republican has AT&T (the PAC and its employees on their own) be #3 on his donors list makes him bad... but the fact that both the Telecom Services & Equipment [usnews.com] AND Telephone Utilities [usnews.com] (just to name a few industries) overwhelmingly has been giving to Democrats makes them... good? Or is that just not worthy of mentioning?

Re:Let me get this straight... (5, Insightful)

chaboud (231590) | about 4 years ago | (#32991542)

I imagine that this is why Obama is trying to do this with the FCC (and not congress).

That said, I'm fairly convinced that Julius Genachowski and his crack squad of broadband-all-the-time lawyers and business types have no friggin' clue how the technology works or how to address problems of scale.

Net Neutrality, yes, good. Massive hand-over of wireless spectrum to private wireless providers instead of building up a national infrastructure? Dumb.

Re:Let me get this straight... (3, Informative)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 4 years ago | (#32991572)

If you look at the "major political campaign donations" lists, I believe telecoms have overwhelmingly given to Democrats as well... as have most tech companies. For AT&T specifically [opensecrets.org] , they favor Republicans by 2% at the moment. It has shifted back and forth.

Legislation Title Misleading (3, Insightful)

supermariosd (1854156) | about 4 years ago | (#32991412)

"Freedom of Consumer Choice" implies that most consumers have a choice when selecting a broadband provider. Lots of folks are stuck with good ol' Comcast because they're the only provider in the area.

Re:Legislation Title Misleading (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 4 years ago | (#32991528)

Well, then instead of campaigning for "net neutrality" (whatever the government decides that means), you should be campaigning for the government to break up the high speed Internet monopolies.

Re:Legislation Title Misleading (3, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 4 years ago | (#32991932)

The problem is that it isnt the federal government enforcing the monopolies, hell.. its not even the state governments doing it.

Its every little community preventing the build-out of alternative infrastructure.

Re:Legislation Title Misleading (2)

raddan (519638) | about 4 years ago | (#32992016)

There's no reason why you can't support both causes.

Government is worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32991430)

Any problems caused by the telcoms would be dwarfed by problems caused by gov't regulators.

Re:Government is worse... (2, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | about 4 years ago | (#32991666)

you must not have a phone or cable tv.

ironic Net Neutrality prevents a corp takeover (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about 4 years ago | (#32991458)

and keeps the internet like it is today.

"Protecting the Consumers" (1)

RafaelAngel (249818) | about 4 years ago | (#32991464)

All the broadband companies interest is just protecting themselves to a constant stream of income without regard to the health of the internet. The Internet to them is just a revenue stream. Their interest is shaping the internet to maximize that stream. "Protecting the Consumers" is just a phrase used to blanket the problem of broadband trying to shape the internet into cable.

And so the cycle continues (2)

Spiked_Three (626260) | about 4 years ago | (#32991504)

People get pissed at the government, and after the economy crashes and we have the biggest loss of freedoms this country has ever seen we vote out the brain donor bush, and bring in Obama. Then people get pissed that the economy still hasn't recovered, and both wars are still on-going, so we will vote out the democrats and bring back the same ignorant moron party we had before. Somewhere in there is a lesson - its not the parties that are broken, its the entire system, and it isn't going to change. And until some country like Iran or China gets far enough ahead that they can successfully invade and take over the US, we are stuck in this life sucking loop.
It shouldn't take much longer, with the republicans again in charge they can replace all education with bible schools, and deprive everyone of the internet, thus providing the total mind control they so desperately seek, making the country ripe for attack (again).
I have given up arguing with people in my area. The Republicans make some of the stupidest talking points, and my town soaks it up like a sponge, the weak minded bunch that they are, willing to be lead to any demise, because Jesus will save them.

Re:And so the cycle continues (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 4 years ago | (#32991552)

The public are broken, not the system.

Some of us don't deserve the shit government we have, but most of us do, and they relentlessly make choices to perpetuate it.

fixed (3, Funny)

pjrc (134994) | about 4 years ago | (#32991512)

"The FCC's rush to takeover the Internet is just the latest example of the need for fundamental reform to protect big cable companies".

There, fixed that for you Jim (Sen. Jim DeMint)

Re:fixed (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 4 years ago | (#32991584)

You mean like comcast? [opensecrets.org]

So let me get this straight. (1)

wholestrawpenny (1809456) | about 4 years ago | (#32991520)

It's ok to oppose gov't regulation of the internet, unless a republican opposes it too, then it must be bad?

Re:So let me get this straight. (3, Informative)

Vahokif (1292866) | about 4 years ago | (#32991612)

This is regulation of the companies so they can't regulate the internet, so to speak. Slashdot has always been for net neutrality.

Re:So let me get this straight. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32991746)

Maybe the type of regulation matters as well?

I'm in favor of any regulation that increases or guarantees access to content (Net Neutrality), and opposed to that which does not (censorship). It's not blowing hot and cold to get annoyed with the FCC on the one issue and support them on the other.

And traditionally, Republicans have been pro-censorship (for "family values" purposes) AND anti-consumer with regard to oversight of the business practices of the communications industry. If they're so opposed to regulation, why not realize that the market has access to all the content-blocking technology it needs and reel in the FCC on obscenity, rather than trying to push into cable and satellite with the censorship?

It's needed doing for a long time... (0, Flamebait)

petrus4 (213815) | about 4 years ago | (#32991556)

The Republican party needs to be disbanded; forcibly if necessary. Whenever there is the potential for doing something suicidally stupid, totalitarian, or both, the Grand Old Party can be counted on to lead the charge. Truthfully, if we could just get rid of the Right in general, it'd be a major step forward, I tend to think these days.

The older I get, the harder Left I get.

Re:It's needed doing for a long time... (2, Insightful)

Jmanamj (1077749) | about 4 years ago | (#32991670)

Because forcibly disbanding a party with views opposing your own is the best way to stop totalitarianism! :D

I honestly don't see much difference between ANY "hard liners."

Re:It's needed doing for a long time... (2, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | about 4 years ago | (#32991774)

So you want to get rid of both Democrats and Republicans then? Seriously, there is no left party in the US. Maybe if the Pirate Party gets enough clout that they can be put on the ballot, you may be able to see a centrist party but all the rest (Current Ruling Party, Previously Ruling Party and Independents) have been respectively fascist/nationalistic, far right and right.

Whatever you get, it won't be neutrality (1, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | about 4 years ago | (#32991560)

What amazes me... absolutely amazes me... is how people can honestly be so stupid (yes, stupid ) as to believe that Bush III^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HObama would actually go for genuine network neutrality, openness and freedom (or even an approximation of those).

This is a nothing more than a second attempt at a power grab. There is only 1 thing worse than the current system, and that's the current system backed by force of law and convoluted regulation from the FCC which will only entrench the established players even more.

Hmm.. (1)

Flowstone (1638793) | about 4 years ago | (#32991606)

Sounds like the programmable senator couldn't "reform" his way out of a paper bag. All i read is "AT&T really doesn't want the FCC to take away their ability to rape and sell the internet by the pound(Or Mbit, however you want to see it.)" [Sarcasim] Clearly socialist commie bastards are plotting to conquer the internet and enslave the american population. Lets entrust the internet to the telecomm giants that way they can completely enslave us! [/Sarcasim] For the love of god let the obama administration do their job to give the internet back to the people.

Customer protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32991608)

The real form of customer protection these guys are advocating for is protecting customers from having too much money or choice. What do I have to do to stop them?!

His ideas (1)

somaTh (1154199) | about 4 years ago | (#32991630)

Are DeMinted.

Talk about a corporate sell-out (2, Insightful)

Dynedain (141758) | about 4 years ago | (#32991664)

"The FCC's rush to takeover the Internet is just the latest example of the need for fundamental reform to protect consumers" says Sen. Jim DeMint

Fucking hell. What about the need for fundamental reform to protect citizens?

I'm glad my elected officials feel they need speak up for consumers, and not constituents.

Hold the Spin (5, Informative)

The Altruist (1448701) | about 4 years ago | (#32991676)

And READ THE -~=*FRIENDLY*=~- ARTICLE. All of it.

DeMint's received contributions from ATT: $37,500. Total Funding Received: $6.33M
As far as Candidates receiving funds from Computer and Internet Industries: DeMint ranks #35.
Telecom Services & Equipment: #20.
Both of those rankings are WELL below several names of Democrats.
If DeMint's in anybody's back pocket it's Old People. Retirement. Insurance. Real Estate. Securities and Investment.

Quoted:
"In theory, many Democrats favor Net neutrality. President Obama recently reiterated through a spokesman that he remains "committed" to the idea, as have some Democratic committee chairmen.

But theory doesn't always mesh with political practice. More than 70 House Democrats sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski instructing him to abandon his Net neutrality plans. A majority of Congress now opposes Genachowski's proposals. "

I'm sorry, what were we talking about again?

Re:Hold the Spin (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 4 years ago | (#32991890)

I agree.
Why Include the parties at all?
And do you have a list of of the members of congress that oppose net neutrality?
All of them?

I want to know of any of them from Florida are on the list so I can contact them and let them know how I feel about this subject.
Maybe all of us should start contacting our senators about this no matter what party they are in.

FCC = Censorship (0, Troll)

2obvious4u (871996) | about 4 years ago | (#32991730)

What is wrong with the way that Internet has been run for the last 20 years? Nothing, and when something did go a little awry they got hit with a civil lawsuit and it got fixed real quick. The FCC is the same organization which fines stations for saying words that are deemed inappropriate and finds the showing of skin offensive. What is to stop the FCC from imposing those same standards on the Internet? So the FCC gives us net neutrality, but at the same time starts censoring the web the same way it does public airwaves. Is that really what you want?

Re:FCC = Censorship (4, Insightful)

casings (257363) | about 4 years ago | (#32991888)

Does the FCC censor your telephone calls? No.

Because making ISP's common carriers would give consumers the same protections to the internet that the FCC gives for telephony.

Learn what the fuck you are talking about before you post, please.

the US vs the rest of the net enabled world (2, Insightful)

grapeape (137008) | about 4 years ago | (#32991758)

Im usually not pro regulation, but in this case I cant see how doing nothing is pro-consumer. The arguments about regulation stifling innovation would have made more sense 15 years but today its usually just small companies creating stuff that gets bought up by the big companies. The costs are already passed to the consumers so its not like regulation would make that any different, if anything it would encourage the companies to actually become competitive and put some effort into support and network quality rather than just sitting back and enjoying their monopoly knowing that in many areas you have no choice.

In the area I live, I have 2 choices for Internet access, Time Warner or AT&T, i can opt for 3rd parties for DSL but have to pay local loop and access charges that make 3rd party solutions more than twice as expensive. Many parts of town have one or the other but not both. The rural areas south of me have no choice other than hughes net since the cable and phone companies don't feel expansion out that way is worth their time and money. Both the cable and phone company bundle their services to the point where the "cheap" access ($30 a month) is barely better than dial up. The area is so over subscribed and even on a good day in the off peak hours I rarely get half the advertised speeds. I support my clients via vpn connections and regularly do offsite backups, etc. I was forced to move from a residential connection to a business class because according to the cable company I used too much bandwidth. I now pay around $100 a month for a slower connection than I had 5 years ago and each year sees an increase in prices of at least a couple bucks.

I was involved in a project years back to attempt to bring municipal wifi to our downtown area, the cable and phone companies pitched a fit and managed to block it. 3 years ago a second cable company tried to expand into the area, it too was blocked.

The US model of telecommunications is extremely flawed IMHO, between locked carriers, subsidized phones, local carrier monopolies, and free reign to change the "rules" at any time the current model is a mess and as is there is absolutely no hope of it getting better.

The biggest problem I see is that the carriers want the best of both worlds, they want us to pay for their buildouts and upgrades through tiffs and tax incentives, but then want to be the sole provider as well. Rather than spend money expanding capacity, they throw in caps to artificially increase capacity while at the same time advertise streaming media, online gaming and other bandwidth intensive things as the reason to get them in the first place. I cant see things really improving until something changes.

Make sure you correctly define "Net Neutrality" (3, Insightful)

Androclese (627848) | about 4 years ago | (#32991820)

There is the Geek way of defining it: "No filtering, blocking, or censoring of content going across the wire." (simplified, but you get my point)

The other is the politician way of defining it: "all speech on the Internet must be neutral and balanced". Essentially, the equivalent of the "Fairness Doctrine" that was imposed (and revoked) on the visual and audio media years and years ago.

Unfortunately, this distinction is lost in a lot of these discussions. Do not assume that just because it says "Net Neutrality", that it is defined as you think it is.

For the record, I am for the former and against the latter.

What I want to know is... (1)

sporkenstien (1574851) | about 4 years ago | (#32991856)

Won't someone think of the children?

Streaming movies, or more spam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32991894)

I'm not sure who should be allowed to choose priorities for network traffic. Is there one entity who has the omnipotence to know which data streams are "good" and which data streams are "bad"? It depends on the viewpoint.

To consumers, packets containing their streaming movies are the most important. Those nerds with their WoW or CoD movements are less important.

To the ISP, their goal is to serve packets as cheaply as possible over existing infrastructure. They would flag streaming movies as less important, because of the volume of packets, or because it competes with their own streaming movie offerings.

My problem is I can't trust the capitalists to make decisions favoring the consumer, because of their devotion to quarterly profit (build less infrastructure), nor can I trust a government agency beholden to Congress (and their campaign fund contributes) to make decisions in favor of the consumer.

So far, the solution has been to treat (most) every packet (mostly) equal. (Try sending RIP or IS-IS packets to your ISP -- they're rejected.) If more infrastructure was built, would internet traffic move faster? Would the additional bandwidth fill with more spam and ads, or would the proportions remain equal, just more of it?

We have laws to use against spammers, but they're hard to track down, and the software that generates spam lives on consumer's computers (usually without their knowledge). The ISPs implemented changes to how email is handled (no SMTP access except to your ISP's server), but that was decisions on their own, private network connected to the Internet. What I don't want are changes at core routers to favor one type of traffic over another, or to just drop packets they don't like.

Now, a real fix would be to give companies an opportunity to provide choices to consumers, instead of the physical duo-opoly (cable or DSL) we currently have. Is there a WiMax option? Can we get real speeds via mobile phone and tethering? Maybe point-to-point meshes for remote locations? The taxpayers subsidized a humongous infrastructure build-out to the baby bells, did any of that get built? Cable companies cry about the cost of running coax as the reason they need the physical monopoly, but I don't see them running new cables to existing service areas. Those costs should have been recouped decades ago.

Good (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 4 years ago | (#32991918)

The current version of "net neutrality" has loopholes in it that allow ISPs to continue the behavior that got us to this point in the first place.

These aren't the regulations you are looking for.

give me choice (1)

WillgasM (1646719) | about 4 years ago | (#32992000)

Issues of net neutrality in either way seem far too slippery of a slope. I like my internet to remain relatively unfettered, so I can completely understand wanting to place limits on ISPs traffic shaping. However, as a libertarian I believe the government should keep it's nose out of everyone's business. The free market solution would be to encourage more competition between broadband providers. In my area, for example, you're pretty much locked in with either Time Warner or AT&T. If we installed a municipal fiber network between housholds and a central office, broadband providers would have a centralized location to deliver their services to. Then all the different ISPs can battle it out for your dollar based on price and type/quality of service they offer. "Where do we get the money for this fiber infrastructure?" I hear everyone asking. Sounds like the FCC has a bit too much budget on their hands.

Call your Senator (4, Informative)

tibman (623933) | about 4 years ago | (#32992010)

Called my Senator's office and gave my opinion. I keep their numbers in my phone so this kind of thing is easy to do.

Everybody (US Citizens) should call theirs to shoot this bill down. The FCC has been doing a good job so far to protect consumers. There's no need to limit them like this. You can find your senator's contact information here: http://senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm [senate.gov]

When you call the number, just tell the person who answers that you'd like to give your opinion. They will ask for your name and address and what message you wish to pass along to the senator. You might get a letter back in the mail concerning your opinions and what actually happened with the bill. You can hang these letters on your fridge and any ladies passing by will be impressed with your official correspondence with the government.

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