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Al Franken's Warning On Net Neutrality

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the hate-when-the-comedians-are-right dept.

Government 564

An anonymous reader writes "Democratic Sen. Al Franken weighed in on Net Neutrality over the weekend at the Netroots Nation conference of liberal activists in Las Vegas, calling it 'the First Amendment issue of our time,' and warning against Republican plans for less regulation. More from a blog post on CBSNews.com: 'Speculating on what the Internet could morph into under the Republicans' preferred lack of regulation, Franken asked the audience of bloggers how long it would take before the Fox News website loads significantly more quickly than the Daily Kos website. "If you want to protect the free flow of information in this country, you have to help me fight this," he said.'"

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"Netroots Nation" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33030994)

at the Netroots Nation conference of liberal activists

is he just telling them what they want to hear or has he actually done anything to promote net neutrality?

Re:"Netroots Nation" (3, Informative)

Winckle (870180) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031128)

Given what he said in the summary (which i'm sure you read carefully) it sounds like he's asking for help fighting the cause.

First Network Neutral Trout! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33030996)

I am a FISH!

More Wisdom from Al (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031004)

"I'm going to die homeless and penniless. I'm still twenty-five pounds overweight. No one will ever love me. I could just kill myself. "

how many web 2.0 companies (4, Insightful)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031008)

understand that their whole business model is dependent upon a neutral net?

Re:how many web 2.0 companies (4, Funny)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031198)

What business model?

/sorry

Re:how many web 2.0 companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031314)

What business model? /sorry

1. Code Ajax-heavy website
2. ....
3. Profit!

most excellent! (3, Insightful)

swschrad (312009) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031010)

when unfettered access is outlawed, only outlaws will have unfettered access.

A big fat idiot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031012)

Typical elitist liberal agenda. It's pretty much what you would expect from someone like Franken. Hopefully common sense will prevail, but you never know.

Re:A big fat idiot (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031066)

Typical elitist liberal agenda.

Ensuring that ISPs can't discriminate against the little guy (such as myself) is elitest?

What the fuck are you smoking?

Re:A big fat idiot (1)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031176)

Ensuring that ISPs can't discriminate against the little guy (such as myself) is elitest?

Sure, that's what they call "reverse discrimination." How dare you discriminate against people who discriminate!

Re:A big fat idiot (0, Offtopic)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031428)

That's not what reverse discrimination is. That would be unduely favouring a minority, such as hiring a completely unskilled person for a skilled position, just because she was a woman, or he was black, and you had qualified people who weren't in a minority applying for the position.

I get you were probably trying to be funny, but next time, don't abuse a poor term so in your attempt.

Re:A big fat idiot (-1, Troll)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031236)

Ensuring that ISPs can't discriminate against the little guy (such as myself) is elitest?

How about setting the precedent that the government can?

First it will be FCC's "Net neutrality", then it will be a mandatory proprietary iCHIP for parental controls in every ethernet adapter.

Or it will be Congress's "Net Neutrality", then it will be a mandatory tax on certain kinds of traffic.

Meanwhile, more Democrats in Washington oppose net neutrality than do Republicans. This Al Franken guy just wants to make sure that the FCC doesnt claim the power.

Re:A big fat idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031644)

What the fuck are you smoking?

Ignorance. It's bliss.

Re:A big fat idiot (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031518)

You're a fucking idiot. It's precisely because of government intervention that you're capable of carrying out a safe, happy, healthy life.

That is, unless you wan't the government to cease all regulation with regards to transportation safety standards, food safety standards, building codes, etc. I suppose that's all typical liberal elitism too, eh?

Moron.

yes, please. (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031024)

This is one of those areas where I WANT the government to intervene. "But they fuck up everything, what makes you think they can get this right???" How about the fact that ISPs already fuck with us, and if left unchecked, they will just get worse anyway.

We should at least TRY to get things under control. The "free market" theory is obviously worth as much as tits on a bull when it comes to ISPs.

Re:yes, please. (4, Funny)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031062)

The "free market" theory is obviously worth as much as tits on a bull when it comes to ISPs.

Blasphemy! Are you suggesting that the "free market" might not be able to solve all our problems?!

Re:yes, please. (3, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031164)

Blasphemy! Are you suggesting that the "free market" might not be able to solve all our problems?!

If he's not, I will.

Re:yes, please. (5, Insightful)

spikenerd (642677) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031210)

The "free market" theory is obviously worth as much as tits on a bull when it comes to ISPs.

Blasphemy! Are you suggesting that the "free market" might not be able to solve all our problems?!

Will someone please define "free market" for me? I'm serious, I really don't know what you mean when you say it? Is a free market one in which Comcast controls everything b/c the government keeps its hands off? Or is a "free market" one in which I am free to choose among competitors, because they are free to do business, b/c the government breaks up monopolies? Obviously one of these is more "free" than the other. Has a "free market" ever even been tried in this domain?

Re:yes, please. (4, Insightful)

imamac (1083405) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031336)

I have yet to see a "Free market" as far as ISPs go.

Re:yes, please. (5, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031414)

Will someone please define "free market" for me?

Literally, one with as few rules as possible. A market scenario in which whatever happens in the market must be good, because the "invisible guiding hand" ensures that the market always makes the best decision.

In practice, nobody has ever had a free market. There's always some degree of regulation.

And, when the greedy bastards manipulate the system to get as much money for themselves and screw everybody else over, you get to see all sorts of reasons why the free market isn't such a good system. The entire banking fiasco of the last few years is what happens when the financial industry has as close to a free market as they can get.

According to strict, laissez fair capitalism, the BP spill happened because that was the optimal market outcome, and in the long term if it is good business to prevent such things, and if not, it will keep happening. I would argue letting oil companies self regulate gives them no incentive to actually fix things if it might impact their bottom line.

It's about as brutally Darwinistic as you can get, and its proponents like to think that any form of regulation and rules placed on industry is an impediment to their proper role of making as much money as they can. Effects on society be damned since in the long term, society will vote with their dollars and get the optimal outcome.

In short, it's something people hold up as in ideal, which never actually produces the results and good things that people like to ascribe to it.

Re:yes, please. (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031454)

It's a lot free-er in Europe, which is probably why Europe has better (and cheaper) service.

Re:yes, please. (3, Insightful)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031724)

They do? I seem to always read about Europeans complaining about their ISP and download caps, overage charges, etc.

Meanwhile I pay my $50/mo for unlimited usage at speeds right on average with the rest of the world (according to publicly available metrics anyway).

Re:yes, please. (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031470)

Let's say you're a cable company, telephone company, or electric company. To operate, you need certain right of ways, you need poles, underground cable, etc. Stuff that's expensive and disruptive to set up and repair. So local governments grant these companies a monopoly and throw in some regulation to counter the lack of free market competition. I've lived with deregulated free market electricity, regulated free market electricity, and unregulated government-owned electricity and the first two were more or less similar (California/Enron were not involved) while government electricity has meant higher rates, poorer service, and outlandish spending on buildings.

Re:yes, please. (2, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031480)

"Free markets" don't actually refer to the capitalist ideal. The "free market" really means "the system that best maximizes corporate profits." Usually that means as little regulation on corporations as is possible, except when it comes to regulations that create a barrier to entry. So for example, with ISPs, "free market" means that the ISPs can make whatever changes to their policies that they want, and that the regulations on installing fiber or providing wireless access are sufficient to keep new ISPs out of the market without hurting the profits of existing ISPs too much.

At least that is how I understand the term "free market."

Re:yes, please. (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031430)

The free market could solve our problems, but given that ISP's are granted local monopolies by the fricking government, there is no free market.

The solution is to actually CREATE a free market, and let fair competition solve the issue.

Re:yes, please. (3, Insightful)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031772)

Problem: Limited physical lines, and unwillingness to grant everyone who wants to run lines across X people's property permission to do so.

Without forcing the lines themselves into a state where arbitrary competing companies can use them interchangeably on equal terms, you can't have real competition.

Re:yes, please. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031196)

Funny,

Last night i was told by my ISP that they would charge extra to get fast access to hulu.com

Oh wait no .... no they didn't

I smell government wanting to get their grubby hands on my Internet.

OH and BTW that "free market" theory has been working pretty well so far .... ya might not want to kick dirt into the face of the system that puts food in your noise hole.

When did liberals start listening to comedians for their politics .... oh guess that been every sense pelsoi and friends have been a joke of a government.

Re:yes, please. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031290)

Last night i was told by my ISP that they would charge extra to get fast access to hulu.com

Oh wait no .... no they didn't

The point isn't that they are doing it, it's that they could be.

I smell government wanting to get their grubby hands on my Internet.

Let me guess...you don't want "the googles" to be inaccessable?

OH and BTW that "free market" theory has been working pretty well so far .... ya might not want to kick dirt into the face of the system that puts food in your noise hole.

http://www.nathannewman.org/other/ENODE-ISP_hypocrisy.html [nathannewman.org]

When did liberals start listening to comedians for their politics

I'm a registered Independent, and have been since I turned 18. I've also never voted in the two presidential elections I've been old enough for because all of the choices are just as corrupt. Yes, that includes third, fourth, and fifth parties.

oh guess that been every sense pelsoi and friends have been a joke of a government.

Right...because before Nancy Pelosi, our government was squeaky clean and perfect. ::facepalm::

Re:yes, please. (2, Insightful)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031700)

Last night i was told by my ISP that they would charge extra to get fast access to hulu.com

Oh wait no .... no they didn't

The point isn't that they are doing it, it's that they could be.

That's right. More to the point, they have already been trying to do so for almost 5 years (although in a more inconspicuous manner - they won't charge you extra for accessing hulu, but in addition to hulu paying its ISP and you paying yours they would want hulu to give your ISP extra money or else degrade your internet access, along with everyone else on your network, whenever you try to access hulu. Yes, it's that convoluted.). The only reason this isn't actually happenning is because of net--neutrality activists fighting tooth-and-nail to prevent this scenario from coming to pass.

I'm a registered Independent, and have been since I turned 18. I've also never voted in the two presidential elections I've been old enough for because all of the choices are just as corrupt. Yes, that includes third, fourth, and fifth parties.

Good on you. I must admit though that I find the term "registered Independant" somewhat amusing.

Re:yes, please. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031840)

I must admit though that I find the term "registered Independant" somewhat amusing.

I had to check at least one box, and I didn't want to be referred to as "other" :-)

Re:yes, please. (5, Insightful)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031686)

When did liberals start listening to comedians for their politics

About 40 years after conservatives started listening to a shitty actor for theirs.

Re:yes, please. (3, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031274)

Why do you bring 'free market' into something that has no free market around it for a million miles?

Who built their own infrastructure without government's money? Who built their own infrastructure without various tax deals/breaks?

So if government gives money, where is 'free market' in that?

--

If an ISP/Telco actually spent their own money to buy all of the necessary equipment and to pay all of the fees associated with laying all of the infrastructure themselves, then they should have all the rights to charge whatever they want for whatever service they like to deliver, and if this means they want to discriminate between packets on the networks, all they have to do is write it into the contract.

However if someone knows of a Telco/ISP that did that, paid for everything out of their own pocket, please step forward. Looks to me like there is no free market in this industry and never was, so why are you expecting Free Market to take care of this NOW?

Re:yes, please. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031342)

I...think you misunderstood what I was saying. My point was that people shouting "free market" are mistaken, because mostly leaving ISPs alone has so far been proven to be ineffective. Your points are valid as well.

We're on the same side here :-)

Re:yes, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031458)

I agree with what you are saying, but would say it a different way. If the government would fuck the mother fucker ISP's, maybe they would think twice before fucking the consumers. So, the more fucking that goes up the line, the less fucking going down hill.

Re:yes, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031354)

Net neutrality is best ensured by competition. If the environment is right for ISP competition, then you'll get net neutrality. If not, no law can prevent ISPs from overselling their networks to the point where they're unusable for interactive use, and then offering local (non-free) peering to anyone who can afford it. It's the government's job to create an environment for healthy competition, not to micromanage monopolies. The easements for laying fiber across public ground should, for example, always be tied to the requirement that competitors get access to the last mile for a reasonable price.

Re:yes, please. (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031396)

It would be more effective to pass legislation to end the local monopolies that are granted to service providers, and to force pipe owners to lease to competitors at reasonable market rates (or, frankly, to move the infrastructure into the public sector, as we've done with every other major utility).

If consumers were allowed real choice, we wouldn't need to worry about net neutrality legislation...This is the same as passing a law to make everyone drive the same car, and then another law to make them run the same speed on all grades of gasoline.

Re:yes, please. (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031410)

Letting the corporations self-regulate worked so well for BP Oil!

Re:yes, please. (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031504)

The crowd that maintains that "all government is incompetent and all regulation is bad" are composed of liars and the people who swallow their lies. I, for one, am exceeding glad there's an EPA and an OSHA, because I've lived in a time when they didn't exist. You young people can disbelieve me if you want to, but workplaces are far safer thanks to OSHA meddling, and the air and water are far cleaner than they were before EPA meddling.

There is such a thing as too much regulation, and such a thing as too little regulation. In the case of net neutrality, the fact that most ISPs who offer high speed access are monopolies demands that they be tightly regulated. There is no free market in regards to any monopoly. Anyone who thinks monopolies should not be regulated shouldn't take so much oxycotin.

Re:yes, please. (1)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031538)

> This is one of those areas where I WANT the government to intervene.

As rampaging institutions go, in this case the government is a much smaller, more transparent, more containable, more democratic beast than the telecoms and media companies.

So yeah, on this issue I'll go with those bastards over the other bastards any day.

Re:yes, please. (1)

Solandri (704621) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031576)

The "free market" theory is obviously worth as much as tits on a bull when it comes to ISPs.

The problem is that there is no free market of ISPs here. Most municipalities have government mandated monopolies. In most cases, one cable provider and one telephone provider. Only those two have been "blessed" by the local government to provide service in the area. If your phone service hasn't run fiber to the home yet, the speed difference between cable and DSL effectively means you have one choice for high-speed broadband. So I don't see how the fact that it's not working is a repudiation of the free market. If anything, it's saying that government-granted monopolies don't work.

Re:yes, please. (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031594)

There has been no "free market" in ISPs as they have ridden on the backs of government sanctioned telco and cable monopolies. The solution to government created problems is not more government.

Re:yes, please. (3, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031606)

I think you guys should calm your enthusiasm down a bit and consider the possibility that you are being misled here. Ask yourself why is there such a mad rush to have FCC regulate the ISPs when there is really no problem with them discriminating between content providers in reality, only in theory. Here is a crazy conspiracy theory for you: how about if net neutrality is being used as a first step towards the FCC regulating content on the Internet. It's the same way we lose most of our liberties - you start with regulation about a valid concern that everybody can get behind (think of the children!, terrorists are coming!, evil ISPs! etc) and after that its much easier to modify and expand that regulation that it is to get it in in the first place.

Re:yes, please. (1)

saider (177166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031646)

The problem isn't the ISPs. It is the fact that the last mile is not free. This tilts an advantage to the monopoly telco also being the ISP since you have to get their line service in order to get internet service.

Monopolies are not innovators. They do the minimum amount of work in order to create profits. This is why they want to dip their hands into the pockets of successful web companies. It is minimal work for maximum profit.

Free the last mile from the telco and cable monopolies and the market will move towards a more healthy "free market".

Re:yes, please. (0, Flamebait)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031678)

The "free market" theory is obviously worth as much as tits on a bull when it comes to ISPs.

That's funny, I feel the same way about anything Al Franken has to say about, well, anything.

He's not funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031032)

But damm.. He's right...

It is Called Competition (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031048)

So because one company is willing to spend more for servers to provide their information, they should be punished by the government? I don't watch or read fox news myself, but if they want their sit screaming fast, then the others have the right to do the same, but it is their choice. It drives me nuts that just because you don't agree with someone that you think they should be stopped or hampered in their business.

Re:It is Called Competition (5, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031190)

What about someone like me? I run a little website because I enjoy it and because there is a small cadre of people out there that enjoy reading what I have to say.

Now let's say Comcast says that unless I pay them $10 a month, they will slow down people browsing my site through their ISP. Then say Verizon tells me the same thing. And Cox. And Time Warner. Suddenly, my little $120 investment per year in my hobby is an order of magnitude bigger, and I can no longer afford it.

THAT is why net neutrality is important. It isn't to protect the big guys, it's to protect the little guys. ::generalization time:: I find it funny that republicans say they are always "for" the little guy, yet net neutrality is some kind of boogyman amongst them, waiting to come and murder their children.

It's really weird. And hypocritical.

Re:It is Called Competition (4, Interesting)

Americano (920576) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031442)

If this were really such a cut & dry partisan issue, why have 70+ democrat members of congress also asked the FCC to drop it's plans to impose net neutrality rules?

http://arstechnica.com/telecom/news/2010/05/73-democrats-tell-fcc-to-drop-net-neutrality-rules.ars [arstechnica.com]

I'm not a big fan of the FCC having this power, and not because "I'm a republican," (I'm actually not, in point of fact), but because I see what moronic regulations the FCC has imposed on television & radio. If you look at the "content controls" they've enacted on those formats, is it all that hard to imagine that they'll soon be tasked with "content regulation" on the internet as well, in the form of mandatory parental controls & staggering fines on sites deemed to violate some obscure and arbitrary FCC ruling?

They do it with TV and radio today. If you give them the same control over the internet, I won't be surprised to see them attempting the same regulations there within a few years. I'm all for the concept of net neutrality, but I'm not convinced the FCC is the body best suited for 'regulating' a 'free and open' internet. I'd like to see a dramatic limitation of their powers to impose anything more than "thou shalt not filter or shape traffic," at the very least.

Re:It is Called Competition (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031572)

If this were really such a cut & dry partisan issue, why have 70+ democrat members of congress also asked the FCC to drop it's plans to impose net neutrality rules?

Likely because they have doners or other special interests that would be negatively affected by it, just like any other politician working for themselves and not the people.

That being said, I referenced Republicans insofar as the overall party, elected and electorate. It is kind of a moot point though...for every person that understands what Net Neutrality is about, there are a BUNCH of people that have either no idea or an inaccurate idea.

Re:It is Called Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031516)

It's really weird. And hypocritical.

Well, allow me to relay their angle for you. Your case is important although probably pretty sparse to the common argument I hear. That argument is that a small percentage of the users are torrenting and downloading way more than anyone else and that all becomes a chokepoint somewhere up the chain for everyone. So they're thinking of the really little guys that just want to check their e-mail and read news when they traffic shape the torrenter's packets. That's what they mean by "little guy" not "little website" but "little household."

Re:It is Called Competition (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031524)

HAS Comcast said that? Or Verizon? Or Cox? Or Time Warner?
What, other than your paranoid fantasies makes you think that they would?
Why should we establish YET ANOTHER government bureaucracy with STILL MORE power over us to prevent your fantasies from becoming reality?

Re:It is Called Competition (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031586)

Let's not center the blame on the Republicans. Democrats are just as guilty when it comes to protecting corporate profits at the expense of "the little guy," and a lot of Democrats are lining up against net neutrality. America does not really have a "two party system," we really have a one party system in which there are two factions.

Re:It is Called Competition (5, Insightful)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031598)

To the Republicans, the "little guy" is Enron. The Big Guy is the government.

You are not the little guy. You are less than nothing.

Re:It is Called Competition (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031230)

Not the point.

The point is that fox news is owned by the same company that owns the monopoly rights to high speed internet in much of the country.

And that corporation would start to filter and restrict its users free access to competing news sources.

Re:It is Called Competition (3, Insightful)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031288)

Ahem.

It's not about their servers -- how many there are, or how fast they are -- it's about them colluding with the ISPs to throttle other sites.

In a pure capitalist, free market, collusion happens, and I suppose everyone is okay with it.

But the internet was originally built with my tax dollars, and I don't want rich pricks colluding to slow down some content and not others.

Re:It is Called Competition (3, Interesting)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031632)

This isn't an issue of Fox News paying more for their servers. That's a fair way to improve infrastructure.

The fear is that without Net Neutrality there will be pay-for-play. Let's use something less politically involved so that it's easier to look at the real issue. MySpace has lost a lot of market share to Facebook, so they decide to pay AT&T 'x' amount to make sure that Facebook doesn't load well for their users. Perhaps they block a style sheet so the site becomes visually unusable. It's basically an ISP protection racket.

There's a substantial difference between fair (upgrading servers, buying more bandwidth, etc.), and unfair (paying to cripple competition).

And remember you shouldn't get up in the politics of whether you like Fox News or not. If you happen to like Fox News just imagine MSNBC does this to Fox on your internet connection.

If less is more (1)

wsxian (689313) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031070)

"If less is more, imagine how much more more would be!" From a Frazier episode which is on point.

The internet (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031080)

In the beginning, the internet was just a series of tubes.
Over time, and much to most people's delight, it morphed into a series of boobs.
Without net neutrality, it will become no more than a series of cubes (ie: Television 2.0)

Ditch the 300bd modem (-1, Troll)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031084)

Someone should tell the folks running the Daily Kos to upgrade to a faster connection. If Fox News loads faster, it will only be because they invest in the equipment to serve up the web pages, and the Internet band width.

The problem with the way that Franken would even the playing field would be by handicapping the side that they didn't like.

Strawman (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031202)

Nobody is talking about crippling anyone. Please stop spreading lies about what net neutrality means. Net neutrality only means that ISPs will provide nondiscriminatory service. Fox News has significantly more money than The Daily Kos, and would therefore benefit far more from a non-neutral net (as they could pay for faster service from ISPs across the board) than The Daily Kos would.

Re:Strawman (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031372)

People think that those who oppose government mandated "net neutrality" don't know what somebody like you means by "net neutrality", when in fact they understand perfectly well what you mean. They just don't believe that that is what a politician means when they say "net neutrality".

Re:Ditch the 300bd modem (3, Informative)

casings (257363) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031228)

you are a fucking moron.

Re:Ditch the 300bd modem (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031238)

I know this is going to come off a bit trollish, but ... do you have any knowledge of what the net neutrality debate is about? At all? Because what you wrote is absolutely irrelevant in this context.

Re:Ditch the 300bd modem (1)

Domint (1111399) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031370)

Except that without 'Net Neutrality, the reason Fox News loads faster than any competing news outlet could have nothing to do with the size of the pipe heading there - it would be based on the fact that the ISP I use and Fox News are both owned by the same parent Corporation; A Corporation that decides to throw my packets on the floor if they're destined for a competitor's page. The Daily Kos can throw millions of dollars at getting a "phat pipe" to handle the load, I'd still connect as if over a 300 baud modem regardless.

we vs they (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031090)

Typical in this argument is the 'we vs they' that phone/isp providers are trying to create.

Do not let the phone company dictate the argument. Using democrat vs republican is a good way to polarize your audience.

These companies are playing you by using this tactic. Al Franken has just fallen for it. Instead of talking about what he will do he is talking about what someone *ELSE* will do. Follow the money 'campaign contributions' and you will see how the argument is being dictated by fake 'grass roots' campaigns.

warning against Democrat plans for less regulation (2, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031098)

Where was he when the 70 Dems were against NN? Why didn't he warn against "how long it would take before the Daily Kos website loads significantly more quickly than the Fox News website"? Hopefully it just took him this long to learn about the reality of the issue, and he's not just a partisan spew nozzle. I sent the same warning to Rush Limbaugh when the 70 Dems opposed NN, but I never heard him change his tune regarding "Gubmint takeover of the 'Net"

Re:warning against Democrat plans for less regulat (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031406)

For the same reason Republicans protect their own...it's the only way for them to stay politically alive in this country.

I'm not sure who pisses me off more: the corrupt politicians who manipulate the electorate, or the electorate that allow themselves to be manipulated by corrupt politicians.

enough double think/speak (0)

dlt074 (548126) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031108)

it's been fine up till now. we don't need more government control. 2 + 2 = 5? how does more government control mean more freedom of information? they want to have full power over information. they are shoring up their control of the media and the internet is the last thing in their way.

Re:enough double think/speak (4, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031334)

how does more government control mean more freedom of information?

How did government control of the postal service mean more freedom of information (getting a letter from A to B in less than several months!)? How did government control of highways mean more freedom of movement (Fewer highway robbers and turnpike toll bandits)? How did government control/regulation of telegraph, radio, television, telephones mean more freedom of information? NN is not about "make content fair", it's about "make queuing/lining up for service fair"

Re:enough double think/speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031578)

Except, right now, the internet has all those things: Freedom of movement, freedom of information, etc. The Internet is, right now, where you are placing government-aided highways, post office, etc. The state of freedom on the internet cannot get any better*. And frankly, with recent developments like the Patriot Act, I actually think the Feds would harm, rather than help.

* Of course, I don't mean that we have perfect freedom, but the current problems we face are more with Anonymity than "Big Business forcing my homepage to disney.com"

Re:enough double think/speak (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031676)

How did government control of highways mean more freedom of movement (Fewer highway robbers and turnpike toll bandits)?

*cough* You've obviously never driven around New England. The governments here are quite happy to erect toll plazas "just to pay for construction of this road," and then leave those toll plazas in place indefinitely because, hey, once you've got that revenue stream flowing, why would you cut it off and put your completely unqualified nephew and his even-less-qualified girlfriend out of a job? :)

As long as the government can turn it off (2, Insightful)

cgfsd (1238866) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031112)

I am sure the government wants net neutrality as long as the government can shut it off.

Oh, and when the Internet is not shut off, I am pretty sure the government will require it to be completely monitored and filtered.

Just think of the children!

Re:As long as the government can turn it off (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031642)

So complain when the government starts filtering. For crying out loud, a slippery slope normally has to have some justification.

How is, companies cannot perform QoS based on the the two endpoints of what they are serving (unless the provide the last mile to one of two said endpoints) going to lead to filtering?

Quite possible (5, Insightful)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031126)

Franken asked the audience of bloggers how long it would take before the Fox News website loads significantly more quickly than the Daily Kos website.

The more likely model of what will happen is not that the internet companies will favor conservatives over liberals, but rather that they will favor companies by size. The cable companies will say that companies need to pay their fair share for bandwidth, and so they'll announce that any internet hosting that doesn't pay a certain amount of usage fees to the ISP will be throttled. So yes, it's likely under this model that Fox News will load faster than DailyKos - and that MSNBC will load faster than the Drudge Report - because those large media organizations will have the cash to give kickbacks to Comcast to make sure that they get full speed downloads, while the smaller bloggers and indie organizations may find themselves unable to meet the ISPs' demands.

Re:Quite possible (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031328)

or even worse, they will create 'packages' akin to cable channel packages.

Foxnews.com and msnbc.com will be in the 'Basic package'. dailykos and drudge will be in the 'premier internet' package for an extra $15 a month.

There will still be kickbacks of course. That's how you get into the 'Basic' package. But they won't stop there. They want to get paid by both Producers AND Consumers.

Re:Quite possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031604)

The problem is that Net Neutrality regulations wont be comprised of a mere ban on throttling practices by ISP's. Such regulations will also include new powers for the FCC to regulate content on the internet. And forgive me, but I trust the federal government even less than I trust money-hungry corporations. If Franken wants net neutrality, let's see a one page regulation with a ban on ISP throttling and the whole preferred site favoritism thing. Otherwise, government, please stay the f*ck out of my Internet, kthx.

New movie idea! (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031144)

Stewart Smalley Saves the Internet!

Re:New movie idea! (5, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031590)

This reminds me of something that really bugged me about this story on CNN. When CNN reported basically this same story yesterday, the link from their front page read "Former SNL Alum talks Net Neutrality" or something like that. Then you click, and it turns out they're talking about Senator Franken. It struck me as really disrespectful to refer to him that way. It would be like referring to the governor of California as "Former Body Builder Schwarzenegger" or our 40th president as "Former Actor Reagan".

Yes, Franken started out as a comedian, but he's now an elected United States Senator and should be afforded the same respect as any other Senator. Of course, the amount of respect we give to our senators tends to be vanishingly small (in most cases deservedly so), but we at least give them the dignity of referring to them by their proper title.

I'm probably overreacting, but I was surprised to see a supposedly serious news organization do something like that.

And with the hypocrats in charge... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031178)

you won't be able to load Fox News at all. Blogs will uniformly praise the Dear Leader, or they won't be accessible at all.

More government regulation? This country is becoming the Soviet Union very rapidly.

What a joke we all are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031200)

The people get the type of government they deserve. Which is why I did not vote for Al Franken or Barry Soetoro.

Oh puhlease (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031232)

Franken asked the audience of bloggers how long it would take before the Fox News website loads significantly more quickly than the Daily Kos website. "If you want to protect the free flow of information in this country, you have to help me fight this," he said.

If this were RedState warning the exact opposite, it would never make front page. It'd be written off as right-wing paranoia.

Here's a little interesting bit of news: the Republicans aren't the majority party. Here's another one: the Democrats are at least as much in bed with the telecoms as the Republicans. Franken's own damn party is as likely to create a pro-telecom, anti-everyone else regulatory environment as the Republicans if their past behavior on... pretty much any issue that concerns Democratic donors is any indication.

The FCC is, at this point, a textbook example of regulatory capture. Like it or not, that's what it is. Stridently defending what could be is not even remotely compatible with what currently is and likely will be if the FCC is given the power to act. The odds are much greater that the FCC will end up fucking Google, Apple, etc. up the ass than maintaining a policy of genuine openness.

blow it up (3, Funny)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031240)

When the Internet blows up, you guys are more than welcome to dial up to my BBS and we can play LORD, go back to Fidonet, and enjoy the finer things in life.

No competition (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031256)

The main problem is that the pro-business argument here (mostly Republican, but plenty of Dems too) tries to predicate this on "free market" principles. But there is no real free market in the ISP sector, because there is no real competition. You have a handful of large broadband ISP's (AT&T, Verizon, Time-Warner, and Comcast alone probably represent about 80%+ of the entire market). And most consumers have all of two (three if they're lucky) choices for ISP. In my area, you can choose between Comcast (cable) and AT&T (DSL) and that's it. If both those companies degrade or block a particular website, that's it. There is nowhere else to go for decent performance (and even AT&T's DSL is inferior to Comcast, so there is really only ONE place to go for anything above 3Mbps).

Re:No competition (1)

alta (1263) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031532)

Unfortunately for competition, and us, those damn wires are so damn hard to get into the ground. They are expensive as hell to put down, even IF you can get a permit to lay them. The problem is, cities are stingy with those because they don't want some telcom/cable company ripping up the streets every time someone has enough capital to do so. If that wasn't the case most markets WOULD have more than one DSL and one cable company to choose from.

Hopefully the wireless stuff will be a viable option for usable broadband. At my house, it's all I have, 1.5MB down, .5 MB up (not capped at 5GB thank you grandfather clause)

Satellite will never be an option in my opinion because of latency. You just can't move a packet that far in a timely manner, no matter what you do. Hard to beat physics.

note (3, Insightful)

ceraphis (1611217) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031260)

I always liked the idea of net neutrality, and obviously there is something to be said about one website loading faster than another, but aren't there many more far reaching implications than just "Fox News loading faster than Daily Kos"? Like throttling of any downloading whatsoever unless it's a Fox News PDF or torrents being completely handicapped or something just because they are torrents.

I just feel like he could have used a much more hard hitting example than that.

Re:note (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031628)

I just feel like he could have used a much more hard hitting example than that.

Well he was talking to moonbats. So there really is nothing harder hitting than using Fox News as the boogeyman and Daily Kos as the poor, little, helpless underdog.

"the First Amendment issue of our time" (1, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031278)

If the two events were to be truly compared, then the First Amendment should have made anyone with a printing press unable to refuse to print and distribute whatever someone else wants based on content, and that includes the major newspapers of the time - the First Amendment did no such thing, but network neutrality will do if it were to be implemented as trumpeted on Slashdot.

Re:"the First Amendment issue of our time" (0, Troll)

casings (257363) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031398)

Yea your analogy sucks big fat donkey dick and highlights your lack of understanding of this issue.

Try again when you're not a fucking moron.

Re:"the First Amendment issue of our time" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031824)

Yea your analogy sucks big fat donkey dick and highlights your lack of understanding of this issue.

Try again when you're not a fucking moron.

Hmmmm...Such an artistic, interesting recursive argument. Sir, your mastery of the English language astounds me. Your ability to articulate your viewpoint leaves me in awe. I'm sure that you'd be modded 5-insightful, except that moderators wouldn't want to waste points on a post that speaks for, to and of itself.

Re:"the First Amendment issue of our time" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031842)

Yea your analogy sucks big fat donkey dick and highlights your lack of understanding of this issue.

Try again when you're not a fucking moron.

Such a truly cogent rebuttal. Why you, sir, should not only be on the debate team, you should BE the debate team.

I never thought it was possible... (1)

stakovahflow (1660677) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031322)

I never thought it was possible, but for once, I agree with Al Franken. But, sadly, the Internet is consistent of many corporations, governments, etc. How are we to think that "Big Brother" hasn't been filtering our Google & Yahoo searches, emails, etc, for over a decade? That would just be naive.

It doesn't seem like a lot of people care about that part, though. It's the "speed" that we care about? Hmm... Confused priorities much?

To quote "South Park", "Rabble, rabble, rabble!"

--Stak

there is no net neutrality. (2, Insightful)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031338)

both sides of the "Net Neutrality" issue are NOT NEUTRAL. both sides want to act to remove the possibility of the other side. it's political double speak. you'd sound like less of an idiot to me by referring to the internet as "a series of tubes".

the phrase "Net Neutrality" is political propaganda designed to discredit the debate... similar to "conservatives" vs "liberals"... you can be liberally conservative or fight to conserve liberalism. it's designed to confuse. if you think "Net Neutrality" is a good idea, being neutral about it is probably the last thing you want, and if you think doing nothing is the right move, you probably don't want the suggested neutrality being offered.

please use the phrase "Priority Traffic Shaping" if you'd like to discuss the issue.

Al Franken is a Jackass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031438)

Nothing more needs to be said. Regulation in the telecom industry, having worked there, has not promoted advancement in any way. CLECs being able to lease lines and equipment from the owners of the physical plant for less than the carrier can provide them to customers for, and then resell those lines to customers for less, isn't competitive. It's competition stifling. A "competitive local exchange carrier" needs to have some investment in the game, rather than just sucking the life out of the Verizon/ATTs out there. Furthermore, the fact that the cable companies are not regulated, don't have to provide service to people that live 20 miles away from the nearest line, serves to extend their advantage. If a CLEC had to invest some amount of money in physical equipment or transmission medium, maybe our broadband infrastructure would be better than it is now.

I suppose my main point is, the government intervening in telecom hasn't helped anything at all, as exemplified by the huge gap between cable and telephone providers, except in the instance of Fios and like services, which are not regulated in the same way.

Summary Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031506)

This summary is is confusing and unclear, how did this make the frontpage like this?

Oh man, this again... (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031536)

For the last time, folks, it is not censorship if there is no force of law. If you can't make speech illegal, then anything toward that bent that you do still doesn't put you in the same league as real censorship: you're a severe nuisance, yes, but not a censor.

Still, perhaps there should be a word for when non-governmental entities (corporations, religious groups, "the public," etc) try to stifle or otherwise control the flow of information. It's a real problem, but overloading the word "censorship" cheapens it. Any ideas out there?

Ideal versus Reality (4, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031570)

In an ideal world, we wouldn't need the government to intervene. If my ISP suddenly started loading their "preferred" sites faster, I would simply leave them and go to any of my dozens of other choices. Information on which ISPs were mucking with speeds would be public and well documented for everyone to access in order to make informed purchase decisions.

In the real world, however, most people have only one or two broadband ISPs. If my cable company mucks with site speeds, I might be able to go to my phone company. If they muck with the speeds also, I have no options. (Actually, I'm stuck after the cable company as Verizon doesn't have FIOS where I live.)

Network Neutrality opponents argue that "the market" will fix any problems, but how can "the market" fix the problem when you have a monopoly or duopoly? I'm not a huge fan of government regulations, but there are places where they should be and this is one of them.

non regulation -- good or bad? (3, Insightful)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#33031580)

"Speculating on what the Internet could morph into under the Republicans' preferred lack of regulation,...

Well, just look how well lack of regulation worked with Credit Default Swaps in the financial markets, e.g., these past few years.

Not that I'm necessarily keen on big government, or more regulation.

Fox News more quickly than Daily Kos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33031688)

What will happen when Stossel's or Judge Napolitano's websites load?

Will the talking points that overlap with the Republicans load faster while the ones that overlap with the Democrats will be supressed?

Will the progressive war protestors that went quiet get better bandwidth or the neocons that all the sudden don't think the war is being run right get better throughput?

Will those jornolisters doing the non-journalistic coordination of talking points for an incumbent administration get fatter pipes if they do the same for an incumbent administration of another party?

I wouldn't let someone who touts that dunderheaded fiction of a standard narrative of the big meanies at Fox and "the vast right-wing or x-wing conspiracy" run a roll of toilet paper let alone a network of media subsidy.

All I know is that EVERYTHING that gets handed over to congress gets fucked. In this case status quo would be better than whatever legislative nonsense that would come from the Franken worldview. Or the neocon worldview for that matter.
   

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