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Al Franken Makes a Case For Net Neutrality

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the put-the-swiss-in-charge dept.

Censorship 604

jomama717 writes "In a post titled 'The Most Important Free Speech Issue of Our Time' this morning on The Huffington Post, Senator Al Franken lays down a powerful case for net neutrality, as well as a grim scenario if the current draft regulations being considered by the FCC are accepted. Quoting: 'The good news is that the Federal Communications Commission has the power to issue regulations that protect net neutrality. The bad news is that draft regulations written by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski don't do that at all. They're worse than nothing. That's why Tuesday is such an important day. The FCC will be meeting to discuss those regulations, and we must make sure that its members understand that allowing corporations to control the Internet is simply unacceptable. Although Chairman Genachowski's draft Order has not been made public, early reports make clear that it falls far short of protecting net neutrality.'"

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Chapter 1 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618810)

September 16, 1991. Today it finally began! After all these years of talking and nothing but talking we have finally taken our first action. We are at war with the System, and it is no longer a war of words.

I cannot sleep, so I will try writing down some of the thoughts which are flying through my head.

It is not safe to talk here. The walls are quite thin, and the neighbors might wonder at a latenight conference. Besides, George and Katherine are already asleep. Only Henry and I are still awake, and he’s just staring at the ceiling.

I am really uptight. l am so jittery I can barely sit still. And I’m exhausted. I’ve been up since 5:30 this morning, when George phoned to warn that the arrests had begun, and it’s after midnight now. I’ve been keyed up and on the move all day.

But at the same time I’m exhilarated. We have finally acted! How long we will be able to continue defying the System, no one knows. Maybe it will all end tomorrow, but we must not think about that. Now that we have begun, we must continue with the plan we have been developing so carefully ever since the Gun Raids two years ago.

What a blow that was to us! And how it shamed us! All that brave talk by patriots, "The government will never take my guns away," and then nothing but meek submission when it happened.

On the other hand, maybe we should be heartened by the fact that there were still so many of us who had guns then, nearly 18 months after the Cohen Act had outlawed all private ownership of firearms in the United States. It was only because so many of us defied the law and hid our weapons instead of turning them in that the government wasn’t able to act more harshly against us after the Gun Raids.

I’ll never forget that terrible day: November 9, 1989. They knocked on my door at five in the morning. I was completely unsuspecting as I got up to see who it was.

Read more... [avrtech.com]

Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618822)

Because politicians have such a wonderful grasp on technological issues. The only technology they understand is which side of a TV camera to stand in front of.

Re:Yay (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618936)

No, but *Comedians* on the other hand are more than qualified :)

Re:Yay (2)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619460)

No, but *Comedians* on the other hand are more than qualified :)

I despise Al Franken, but on this issue, it appears that this *Comedian* certainly has a better grasp on this issue than the *Experts* at the FCC.

Re:Yay (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619572)

I'm curious, why do you despise Franken?

Re:Yay (5, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618950)

The only technology they understand is which side of a TV camera to stand in front of.

Al Franken [wikipedia.org] standing in front of a TV Camera? You don't say.

The guy can make a good arguments without resorting to shouting or out right ignoring the public. [youtube.com] I wish my Senator would come around to the county fair and talk to his constituents like that.

TFA makes some good points and breaks down "Net Neutrality" to the lay person who just wants to use the internet. You should try reading it.

Re:Yay (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619194)

I find myself wishing he'd stick to topics like this rather than his usual left-wing diatribes.

Sigh. I suppose the one thing we can expect a comedian-by-trade to understand is the need not just for government to respect free speech, but government to work to ensure that mega-giganto-corporations can't simply squish out everyone else's freedom of speech by drowning them out. Which at this point, thanks to a collection of bought-off Supreme Court boobs, may require constitutional amendment itself. :(

Re:Yay (4, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619584)

I suppose the one thing we can expect a comedian-by-trade to understand is....

On the contrary, I have always found a strong correlation between a sense of humor and intelligence.

Why have a Senator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34619360)

Instead of hoping for better, more democracy-minded Senators (mind you, something people have been hoping for since the Roman empire with no real change), maybe it is time to start thinking about slowly working toward a system where we don't need Senators. [metagovernment.org]

To quote an old TV show: "we have the technology." That makes all the difference.

Re:Yay (2)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618952)

I'm taking the bait on this one, but how Net Neutrality will be saved or broken is a technological issue, not whether or not it should be. That is a first amendment issue, which is how Senator Franken presents it. This is about content, competition, economics, and rights - areas that hopefully all senators are well versed in, but in which Franken, as a writer and radio show host, has taken part in personally.

Shame he's an asinine buffoon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618898)

And most are already predisposed to completely tune him out.

In their minds, it just makes net neutrality another one of those kook bag non-issues, by association.

Re:Shame people tune him out (4, Interesting)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619324)

I don't think he's a buffoon, but, you're right, it is a shame that people tune him out. Maybe those who tune him out should take this opportunity to rethink their position on the guy. So few politicians are willing to defend net neutrality it's really nice to see someone buck that trend.

Re:Shame he's an asinine buffoon (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619376)

Asinine buffoon...And most are already predisposed to completely tune him out.

Funny, when people say that about Palin, they get called elitist. IOKIYAR.

Re:Shame he's an asinine buffoon (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619718)

I can safely say both Palin and Franken are complete buffoons.

Granted, I've been dubbed somehow both a "book learned elitist librul" and a "slack jawed, fascist right winger"...

Re:Shame he's an asinine buffoon (1, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619544)

Only kooks dismiss net neutrality because they hate Al Franken. Lay off the Fox News.

Oh please you old windbag (-1, Flamebait)

hsmith (818216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618906)

"Allowing corporations to control the internet is simply unacceptable" - yeah, about that.... [reuters.com] the govt track record is so much better. The US Govt would love nothing more than absolute control

Re:Oh please you old windbag (4, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618984)

Well, technically you can at least adjust the government if you don't like it.

There's no such chance with companies, unless you happen to have enough money to control them.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (0)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619084)

So you've never heard of "voting with your wallet"? Though come to think of it, we kind of do that with politicians, too.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (5, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619160)

So you've never heard of "voting with your wallet"?

Perhaps many people could do so in the form of choosing a different one of the total one broadband provider in their area.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (2)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619372)

Yeah, and that's why after removing wikileaks - amazon, visa and mastercard have now collapsed and have fallen into debt. Who are we kidding?

Voting with your wallet doesn't work unless you can get a LARGE mass of people to do so. And if we're talking about ISPs here, including some which are parts of even larger corporations...

You think that you're goign to get an entire neighbourhood to turn off Provider X and stay without internet and whatever because of this net neutrality thing? People don't care. They don't care about other video sides except X are being slowed down. In fact, it'll probably direct the market instead.

Corporations are well structured and controlled masses of power. The people are uncontrolled and have no direction. There's no chance.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619530)

The People drove Circuit City into bankruptcy.
Also GM.
And Wards.
They can do the same with any other corporation they don't like. Look at Blockbuster which is teetering on the verge of death.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619672)

So you believe that corporations should be allowed to use any old dirty tricks they want, and we should simply wait until enough people catch on and decide not to do business with them? That approach leads to fascism, my friend, and then you won't get to vote with your wallet, because there won't be any non-fascist options.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619622)

One person, one vote. Not, one dollar, one vote. Understand the difference?

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619092)

It's easier to control companies. Just don't purchase their services. There is a reason Enron doesn't exist anymore...

Re:Oh please you old windbag (5, Informative)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619252)

What are you talking about? Everyone (except California) LOVED Enron. Enron fell apart because they were corrupt and eventually their losses didn't match their earnings. They were raking in tons of dough. They just happened to be spending it too quickly.

There are very few industries where people can vote with their wallets. I live in an area with LOTS of internet options*. I can vote with my wallet between AT&T and Time Warner. Who happen to provide roughly equivalent non-service and old products. Their main competitor is Netflix, who SUPRISE, SUPRISE, they would like to run out of business by providing "tiered service". I'd say that Netflix's success shows that customers HAVE voted with their wallets FOR net neutrality.

Unfortunately, AT&T et. al have massive lobbying power and a massive anti-competitive political and legal framework on their side.

* as compared to areas that only have one

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1, Insightful)

darjen (879890) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619686)

Enron collapsed as soon as we discovered they were doing wrong. That was the whole point. Nowadays, the wrongdoers get bailed out by taxpayer money, and keep on doing wrong without repercussion.

AT&T and Time Warner exist in their current form solely because of government regulation, consolidation, and franchise of past utility companies, under the guise of "natural monopoly". Government is still the reason there is no competition. If it wasn't for that, there would still be several competing utility companies in my town.

http://mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/RAE9_2_3.pdf [mises.org]

Re:Oh please you old windbag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34619136)

That's nonsense. I've voted for a decade in California and have zero say in what the other 51% of the population wants to do against me. When I vote against a company, I stop buying from them immediately and that's an end to it.

I'm amazed at what delusion the rah-rah-government live in.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619148)

Government is a monopoly - no choice. Corporations are multiple choice - if you don't like one (google, yahoo, sony, microsoft, youtube) then simply choose another.

The only reason government should interfere is in the case of a monopoly, such as the electric monopoly, phone monopoly, or local Comcast monopoly. In places where there is no monopoly (grocery stores, carmakers, wireless internet/cell providers) there's no need to interfere.

As for "early reports", the FCC Chair has said in a speech some of his ideas include making us acquire licenses to setup websites, yanking those same sites w/o a trial if they do something undesirable (which just happened last month), applying a fairness doctrine so that when you visit msnbc.com, you also get a big popup asking if you want to visit foxnews.com too..... and so on.

It violates free speech, free press, and free expression. Liberty works best without limits.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (2)

fredjh (1602699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619656)

I agree... I want the net to be wide open, but I'd rather have it through competition; the government needs to stick to regulations making sure that healthy competition exists (anti-monopoly and price collusion, for example).

I don't like mandates like the ones proposed.

The companies that are affected could be more vocal to their customers, for example. Netflix should rightfully be telling it's customers that recent problems may have been due to Comcast interfering with the transmission instead of paying Comcast's extortion, and ought to promote providers that don't throttle ("We recommend ....")

It's true most people will stick with whatever they have because of attractive prices on bundled services or because of long term contracts, but that just makes things move more slowly, it doesn't prevent positive change from happening.

You can only fix the outer layer. (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619322)

Well, technically you can at least adjust the government if you don't like it.

You can adjust politicians - individually.

What you cannot adjust if you don't like them, are government programs. They are eternal and immutable, once they get going.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618988)

Stop spreading FUD. Net Neutrality is about preventing corporate control, not granting government control.

I agree, please stop the FUD (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619210)

The ONLY way to stop corporate control of something by a small group of companies with lobbying power is not to regulate it. End of story.

Any other ideas are pure fantasy. As we can see with the notion that "Net Neutrality" is awesome, just not THIS specific regulation. Get real, any regulation written is going to benefit someone.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619224)

You've been modded insightful, but you've not read the ideas coming out of the FCC. Their idea of net neutrality would indeed mean government control - such as the idea the UK Government proposed to block all porn (even nudity) unless the customer specifically asks for it. The FCC also discussed applying the Fairness Doctrine to the web, and 3 strike rules to ban customers for downloading songs (no need for trial - just do it).

I trust corporations more than I do a Monopoly (government). The only time government should interfere is in the case of a utility monopoly like the phone, electric, water, or cable company. But in the case of yanking websites like foxnews.com or msnbc.com (as suggested by Congressman Rockefeller)??? That's taking it too far, but that's what these guys wish to do.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34619338)

Cite your damned sources.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

Hellpop (451893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619554)

Cite YOUR sources, and your name while you're at it, Coward.

If the only way to prevent Corporate ownership is to give the Government more power, I'll take my chances with corporations, thank you.

The politicians are the ones spreading the FUD. That is their job, it's who they are, what they do.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619642)

Explain how telling corporations to not discriminate data is the same thing as government having a direct say in what can and can't be transmitted at what speed.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619352)

There might be some officials out there SAYING those things, but none of them would seriously consider trying to make it happen...it would be political suicide, and they know it.

Just because someone somewhere in the government says something doesn't necessarily mean it's going to happen. Checks and balances are limited to different branches of the government, my friend; the public plays a role as well.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619406)

Checks and balances aren't limited to different branches of the government

Fixed -_-;;

The UK government does NOT propose to block porn (2)

ctid (449118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619516)

This was a story in a tabloid newspaper for idiots. A newly-elected Conservative MP proposed it but she is a nobody. The Register has a more accurate report [theregister.co.uk] .

Net Neutrality is about preventing corporate contr (3, Insightful)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619248)

What I cannot get over is the complacency of the applications service providers, SaaS, Web 2.0 companies, and venture captilists whose entire business model is dependent upon a neutral net.

Re:Net Neutrality is about preventing corporate co (2)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619712)

What I cannot get over is the complacency of the applications service providers, SaaS, Web 2.0 companies, and venture captilists whose entire business model is dependent upon a neutral net.

Perhaps they are hoping that they will be the next big thing themselves with enough cash to buy into the platinum level Comcast tier and leave their competition down in Basic.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34619280)

This is the problem with the internet. People are getting confused, and it's the politicians that are milking it.

On Slashdot, Engadget, Gizmodo, and every other tech site that you can think of: Net Neutrality is about preventing companies from creating a tiered system.

To the government, Net Neutrality is an excuse to take control of a system that seems to be out of control simply based on the happenings of the worst government-granted monopoly: cable (specifically Comcast). Truth be told, it is out of control. However, similar to everything else in life, you do not want the government to decide what's best for the rest of us (I say the "rest of us" because Congress has a nasty habit of exempting itself from large government bills: social security, including taxes, and the recent health care bill come to mind)!

To really fix the system, they need to fix cable. Stop endorsing the local monopolies that these companies live from, and start allowing (not immediately forcing) competition. As long as cartels are blocked from forming to avoid the next-best-thing from occurring where cable companies simply agree not to compete, then competition will force these companies to open up what they're doing. This would also positively affect TV deals so that your bill can stop going up every month for the exact same service (which is why I live off of Netflix and Hulu and only pay for FiOS internet).

Once this is stepped up, then the government can talk about its end of the enforcement bargain. Talk should focus only on preventing a tiered system. Fines and levies make sense in such a system, but not control by the government. We do not need another internet kill switch, or the ability for the government to inject party-of-the-year rules over the internet. This is what we will get if the current government gets to stuff Net Neutrality down our throats. And once the government gets a taste, then it is incredibly hard to pry it away.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

ScientiaPotentiaEst (1635927) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619308)

... Net Neutrality is about preventing corporate control, not granting government control.

Given prior experience (e.g. mandatory purchase of medical insurance from corporations), how many here believe it'll end up as suggested in the above quote?

Oh please, stop the FUD... (4, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619452)

If you want to "prevent corporate control," there are better ways like forcefully divesting the telecoms of their ISP businesses. Make Verizon sell off FiOS as a new company that has to license Verizon's infrastructure like any other business.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

Andy_w715 (612829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619464)

True, So where is this Freedom of Speech infringement? Much like I would gladly pay for the inner 2 lanes of I-40 between Raleigh and Winston Salem NC to be the express lane,I also would pay extra to have my packets have priority. " Small businesses should have the same ability to reach customers as powerful corporations. " oh like they do during the Superbowl? Why should the internet be any different than TV?

Re:Oh please you old windbag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34619514)

For the same reason fewer people watch TV.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

Andy_w715 (612829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619548)

the internet contains way more crap than TV ever did.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (2)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619518)

Control is a constant. If you deny it here, you grant it here.

How can the government prevent the corporations who own these networks from having control, other than by seizing that control for itself?

Remember, the government is not a person. It's just an instrument for controlling the use of force by the collective. Net neutrality means that the collective mob has used the force of government as an instrument to gain control over other privately owned networks.

The corporations who own the networks *should* have control. It's private property. Every packet traversing their infrastructure is a guest.

Users should be able to pay for preferential treatment: bandwidth on demand, content delivery, etc.

No business should be forced to host someone who is detrimental to that business. If I run Acme ISP, and you use my network to put an anti-ACME-ISP website, it's my right to kick you off my property by shutting you down. This is not censorship. Censorship would be if the state prevented you from hosting that website anywhere (and that is exactly the sort of thing that will exist under net neutrality!)

Net neutrality is not the work of liberals, but conservatives, who ultimately want to censor content. It's only sold to the naive, greedy, socialist-leaning people as "equal access for all".

Re:Oh please you old windbag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34619654)

Oh, yeah, Net neutrality is great. That is if you want Ford to be forced to also provide a pamphlet on GM cars whenever someone browses to the Ford web site. Otherwise, Ford is discriminating. Enforced "non-discrimination" is just dandy.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619720)

Source? Do you have any proof of that claim? Nutjobs on the radio or a handful of government officials who, on their own, couldn't make a difference don't count.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618990)

yeah, about that.... the govt track record is so much better.

Is anyone supposed to get upset because a bunch of sites selling knock off products get shut down? It's funny how slashtards constantly say the government should go after the real "pirates" and yet when they do, as in the case you quoted, you still find something to bitch and moan about.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619050)

What, they shut down websites with little oversight and even shut down legitimate sites? Yeah - who would care about that!

Re:Oh please you old windbag (0)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619150)

What, they shut down websites with little oversight

And you have proof that they were selling couterfeit goods due to lack of oversight rather than doing so purposefully, right?

and even shut down legitimate sites?

Such as?

Yeah - who would care about that!

Other than criminals, I can't really tell since you've provided all of zero evidence that any legitimate sites were shut down.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619328)

>>> zero evidence that any legitimate sites were shut down

Here on slashdot an article was posted that the Union government pulled websites that were *suspected* of sharing files. Many of them were, but some were merely hyperlinking to places like piratebay.org and isohunt.com, or blogs that were misidentified as sharing sites. So there's your evidence that legit sites were shutdown - just need to dig through the /. archives.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619504)

Union government?

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619220)

with little oversight

federal agents then obtained a court order to seize the domain name.

Seriously, just stop -- you're offtopic and just wrong.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (0)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619144)

Studies have shown that 'knock off' sites actually create more demand for the 'legit' products. People buy the knock offs because they can afford them, and then when they can afford it, they buy the 'legit' stuff. By having knock offs in existence, it makes the legit stuff that much more attractive.

The fashion industry is rife with ideas being stolen...and yet it thrives. It forces the designers to make something new and exciting every year.

Imagine if software companies didn't sit on their past accomplishments, but continued to innovate such that they were selling *new* things every year? The idea that MS takes *years* between releases of Windows and Office is completely shredded with the speed that Windows 7 came out. Why? because Vista was such a dog that people weren't going to wait for another few years and MS would have lost market share. Hence they rolled out Windows 7 and by most accounts it is pretty stable. They can do it faster and better but were forced to in this instance.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619174)

And yet, you've not linked a single one.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619184)

Studies have shown that 'knock off' sites actually create more demand for the 'legit' products.

And yet your post is suspiciously absent of even one citation.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619230)

The idea that MS takes *years* between releases of Windows and Office is completely shredded with the speed that Windows 7 came out.

Vista release date: January 2007.

Windows 7 release date: October 2009.

Difference: About 2.75 years.

It would seem your own example demolishes your point.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619260)

The idea that MS takes *years* between releases of Windows and Office is completely shredded with the speed that Windows 7 came out.

You mean except for the pesky little fact that the development of what became known as Windows 7 dates back to 2004 and predates the development of what was released as Windows Vista?

Re:Oh please you old windbag (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619442)

Sounds horrible. I don't want to have to change my software every 5 years just because fashion has changed. It's bad enough I have to do that with clothing or cars.

"But the draft Order would effectively permit Internet providers to block lawful content, applications, and devices on mobile Internet connections. Mobile networks like AT&T and Verizon Wireless would be able to shut off your access to content or applications for any reason." - Franken

Well Mr. Franken..... you could just change providers. VirginMobile doesn't block anything. Neither does Sprint or Clear.

You only need to regulate monopolies where customers have no other choice, not free markets where there are many choices.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619688)

>>>The idea that MS takes *years* between releases of Windows and Office is completely shredded with the speed that Windows 7 came out..... . Hence they rolled out Windows 7 and by most accounts it is pretty stable

Unimpressed.
Windows 7 is just Vista (NT6.0) with bugfixes.
So of course it came-out fast. Seven is Vista with a new number - NT 6.1.

Microsoft did exactly the same thing when Windows M.E. flopped: Just took Windows 2000/NT5.0, incremented it to 5.1, and renamed it XP. Microsoft isn't dumb. They take old product (Vista), make a few minor and quick changes, and then convince everyone it's a new product (Mohave/Seven). So that's why I'm unimpressed.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619234)

Is anyone supposed to get upset because a bunch of sites selling knock off products get shut down? It's funny how slashtards constantly say the government should go after the real "pirates" and yet when they do, as in the case you quoted, you still find something to bitch and moan about.

You are overloading the term "pirate" - selling knock-offs without identifying them as such is fraud, not "piracy" as the MAFIAA and most 'slashtards' use the term.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (2)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619314)

You are overloading the term "pirate" - selling knock-offs without identifying them as such is fraud, not "piracy" as the MAFIAA and most 'slashtards' use the term.

No, I am not and I used the scare quotes purposefully because the exact thing you mention at the end of your sentence. Maybe you should read up on what scare quotes means [wikipedia.org] ?

It's how you do it (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619250)

It's funny how slashtards constantly say the government should go after the real "pirates" and yet when they do, as in the case you quoted

Many of the sites were real pirates, selling counterfeit goods. But at least one was simply a site with links. They were not pirating anything. And they were shut down anyway.

It was using a mechanism that's supposed to be above any one countries control, to block a site that government did not like - for whatever reason.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619652)

Its not like the FCC has a track record [fcc.gov] of censoring free speech, nor has it ever mandate that specific censor-based hardware [fcc.gov] be included with all content devices.

No, the FCC is totally for free speech and an unregulated internet, without question. We should trust them completely because they have NEVER done what the critics are afraid of. [fcc.gov]

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619078)

False dichotomy [wikipedia.org] much?

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619164)

Yeah, what about the "we aren't pressuring you but we are" from Libermans office to Amazon over Wikileaks? Which was evil there? Or will we just pretend it doesn't exist since it doesn't help the cause.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619204)

What about the fact that Wikileaks was violating the TOS of Amazon's services?

Re:Oh please you old windbag (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619482)

[sigh] I'm going to explain this as simply as possible.

There are people who want to censor the internet. Some of them are in government, some of them are in industry. There are also people who want to keep the internet free. Some of them are in government, some of them are in industry. Those of us who want the internet to remain a medium for free speech should oppose the actions of the first group, wherever they appear, and support the actions of the second group, wherever they appear. The choice is not "government control vs. industry control" but "censorhip vs. freedom," and net neutrality serves the "freedom" side.

If you oppose net neutrality, you are on the side of the censors. If you support net neutrality, you are on the side of freedom.

That's it. That's all there is.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619134)

Don't be a tool. This isn't an either-or situation where we get either oppressive government control or oppressive corporate control. Ground rules simply need to be laid that the corporations can operate in which bar them from abusing consumers.

Simply declaring them Title II carriers would help, since they'd be blinded as to the content and unable to bill piecemeal or throttle abusively. As it is Verizon, AT&T et. al. will get their way and we'll be left with a broken wireless internet that serves entirely the desires of the corporations providing access and not the people who actually use it.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (2)

Mud_Monster (715829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619138)

Amen. Saying that corporations will control the Internet is really saying that consumers will control the Internet, since corporations must comply to the demands of the consumer (reference Montgomery Wards, A&P Grocery, and Yahoo for companies that did not). Government does not need to listen to what the consumer has to say, especially if the politicians can blame bureaucrats for making the rules.

It's no surprise that someone in government wants government to control the Internet. What's surprising is that well-educated people want government to do that, too.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

Hellpop (451893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619602)

Double A-A-men to that, brother!

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619304)

Yeah.

I suppose you're in full support of monopoly cable providers like Comcrap to block off all sites like this [amplicate.com] from their subscriber base.

And you're of course in full support of monopoly cable providers like Comcrap or TW deciding to try to extort companies like Google or Hulu to "pay for more access" merely because a large segment of their subscribers access Google or Hulu services.

Just think - every cable provider, every DNS provider, could be just as fucking locked off as people behind the "great firewall of china" are now, and you'd probably love it, huh?

Re:Oh please you old windbag (5, Interesting)

Genda (560240) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619426)

Excuse me, but who do you think controls government? Over the last 30 years, there has been a steady erosion of checks and balances, middle class earning power and quality of life, and civil rights and freedom. At the heart of all of this has been the wholesale purchase of our government by commercial interests. At this point in the game, big business writes law, polices itself (or doesn't as the case may be), and has the vast majority of our representatives in it's pocket (in fact, forcing the need of multi-million dollar political campaigns for offices from Dog Catcher on up, ensures that only candidates who've been vetted by the money interests even get a chance to play in the political arena.) If government sucks, its because big business bought it, and now we're being governed by self obsessed, greedy capitalists who put personal profit ahead of justice, dignity, or the future of human advance.

If you're at all interested in government that isn't a brazen travesty, let's declare business a religion, and separate it from government so that the two might function apart as designed and immeasurably improve the human condition. While we're at it, we might also consider teaching ethics and social responsibility in our business schools... just a thought.

Re:Oh please you old windbag (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619592)

as it is the corporations who have built the internet why should they not control it? people can vote with their wallet and other competitors, wired or otherwise, can emerge.

Liberals FCC (0, Flamebait)

Biggseye (1520195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619146)

You guys are so funny it is ridicules. This FCC is run by liberals for liberals. This is Obama's FCC. He is not interested in anything but control. If you think for a minute that people like Franken give a rip about an open free internet, you are absolutely crazy. I tell you what, I would much rather have Corporations control the internet by providing ISP services that have any government at any level involved. But your hero from Wikileak has messed with the worlds Governments and believe it or not he is not supported by the masses. If and I say if cause I hope cooler heads will prevail, the governments of the world take control of the internet, you will have him and all his supporters that acted like a lawless mob to blame. Get use to it. He called the tune, the piper will be paid.

Re:Liberals FCC (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619176)

As oppposed to an FCC "run by conservatives for conservatives" where we get, what, exactly?

I would much rather have Corporations control the internet by providing ISP services that have any government at any level involved.

So you think the only options are "Government Abuse" and "Corporate Abuse"? Perhaps you shouldn't sit idly by while corporations take over the government, like you're so willing to let them do.

Man, you're just an irrational idiot. I don't know why I'm responding to you.

Should be irrelevant who controls government (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619290)

Perhaps you shouldn't sit idly by while corporations take over the government,

If you limit the power the government has over your life, then it doesn't matter who "controls" the government. That's why it's so foolhardy to regulate the internet - you then place the internet in control of whoever happens to wield a lot of power, just by tweaking the regulations.

Re:Should be irrelevant who controls government (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619392)

The problem is that maintaining this type of lack of control requires *some* amount of careful regulation. Any purely anarchistic system will eventually give birth to a totalitarian establishment unless measures are put in place to prevent it before hand.

Re:Should be irrelevant who controls government (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619724)

Any purely anarchistic system will eventually give birth to a totalitarian establishment unless measures are put in place to prevent it before hand.

Well I'm pretty sure that the very first step towards a totalitarian internet is to hand over regulatory control to the government.

Re:Should be irrelevant who controls government (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619396)

Perhaps you shouldn't sit idly by while corporations take over the government,

That's why it's so foolhardy to regulate the internet - you then place the internet in control of whoever happens to wield a lot of power

Except that this isn't about controlling the internet. Nothing in net neutrality changes what content is available on the internet. Nothing in net neutrality prevents sites from going down over carrier disputes, disasters, or DDoS (to name a few). Net neutrality is about how much your ISP can decide for you what content you can access.

Re:Liberals FCC (2)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619238)

How about you switch your ISP to Comcast then get a Netflix streaming only account and try to use it. Then after that come back here and tell me you still want to have ISPs writing laws.

Re:Liberals FCC (2, Funny)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619262)

If you think for a minute that people like Franken give a rip about an open free internet, you are absolutely crazy.

Are people with different priorities than yours always secret diabolical agents of communism, or is that just a Mondays thing?

comedians in government (1, Flamebait)

tacktick (1866274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619156)

Who would have known he would be a great senator?
We need more like him in government.

Net Neutrality needs to be passed into law and guaranteed.

How about rep/senator term limits as well? Too long in government just lets the corruption and malaise sink their claws deeper.
If a president can only have 2 terms then why shouldn't Senators?

Al Franken ticks me off (4, Interesting)

TheRealQuestor (1750940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619198)

He is the only politician I don't hate. I don't hate too many things but lawyers and politicians [normally one and the same] are my 2. I think because Franken was not a lawyer before becoming a politician is why he seems to actually care about what is going on. The rest? Just there for a way too big paycheck [and not always from uncle sam]. I nice quote of his from a while back Sen. Al Franken: "I May Not Be A Lawyer, But Neither Are The Majority Of Americans" Gotta love this man.

Simple example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34619222)

Even a congressman can understand this would be like putting up toll booths on the Interstate highway system, another government-initiated open network. Doing such a thing would slow throughput and leave the door open for selling off parts of the network operation to private firms that would then gouge the consumer.

On second thought, maybe Franken should first lobby to remove toll booth from the Interstate highway system.

The issue is monopoly control (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619226)

Net neutrality is an issue because Internet access has become a near-monopoly service. Few people today buy residential Internet connectivity from someone other than their monopoly telco or monopoly cable provider. For both of those monopolies, Internet access is a tie-in sale - both want to sell customers a "bundle" with telephony, video, and Internet connectivity. In some areas, there's only one provider.

We've already lost one deregulation battle - the right to use any ISP you want over the monopoly telco wires. [broadbandreports.com] The FCC changed the rules on that back in 2003. Until then, telcos had to provide raw DSL connections from an ISP to a customer at prices no higher than they charged their own internal ISP. Once the FCC dropped that, the ISP business became a monopoly.

Further back, telcos used to be regulated common carriers. We lost that back in the 1990s.

"Net neutrality" is the last stop before total monopoly control.

Wireless doesn't help. "Deregulation" also allowed wire-line and wireless carriers to merge, which is why AT&T is back in the cellular business. Nor does cable/telco competition. Mergers in that area are coming. In the end, you'll have one connection to the outside world, with a boot ready to step on your tube if you get out of line.

He says one thing and does another (4, Informative)

fyrie (604735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619228)

Re:He says one thing and does another (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619468)

And this invalidates his point here, how?

Re:He says one thing and does another (1)

Rinnon (1474161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619610)

While I get that one of the biggest ways to discredit a politician is to dig up their old voting records and point out some heavy hypocrisy, I don't understand why it's not acceptable for a politician to change his mind. He voted to censor the Internet in the past, but now he's petitioning to prevent such a thing... I see this as nothing but a good thing. There is a difference between this, and him saying "I'm going to vote X on Prop 1234" and then voting Y on prop 1234. That's lying about his intentions. This is a change of heart.

Liberal Loser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34619292)

This guy is a jester. he works with similar clowns, so his argument is a lie at best. Get over it, the Net was built by governments (with the help of academia) and they have no intentions of letting it get away.

Free Speech issue? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34619336)

There are a lot of reasons to argue for net neutrality, but painting it as a free speech issue is total FUD. In order to make the case as a first amendment/free speech issue, you have to also claim that every television provider ever is also violating free speech, since they don''t provide every channel ever made for the same price. Oh, and newspaper editorials, since they filter the comments. And...

Your right to free speech is not the same thing as a right to be heard. Much the same way that the right to the pursuit of happiness does not make happiness a right, and the right to work does not imply the right to have all the money you want, free speech is giving you the right to attempt to be heard.

Note that I am in favor of net neutrality, I just hate sensationalist arguments (on both sides).

Re:Free Speech issue? (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619432)

Did you read the article? Nobody said anything about freedom of speech. This is entirely about keeping companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from stifling competition.

Just in time for Christmas: (0)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619368)

Unwise men bearing Franken-nonsense.

My argument against the Net Neutrality (1, Interesting)

sageres (561626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619454)

Honestly guys, have any of you ever ran a BitTorrent on your network at the same time as you are trying to watch streaming videos? You know, most of the time your video would be crappy. (Because it requires soft real-time delivery... and your routers are busy.) So what do you do? You go into your router and put some form of traffic control on it (be it QoS or connection limitation or whatever else). Now let me ask you a quesiton: If you are a paying cable modem user / DSL user, have it not pissed you off (sometimes) when you can not download anything or stream any videos / music because your neighbor kid next door decides to run non-stop BitTorrent movies downloading service? (Few years ago I got safficiently pissed and found that kid downloading 18 titles at the same time... He left them on for weeks!) And you know that the bandwidth in your neighborhood is crappy anyways? Why should the the ISP not be able to QoS the traffic between the kid and you and allow the same bandwidth, same number of concurrent connections to him as to me? I pay for my Internet too and want to watch my NetFlix and YouTube and even simply browse the Internet unmolested by the crappy page load-times.

Re:My argument against the Net Neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34619600)

Net Neutrality does means traffic can't be prioritized based on origin or destination.

Not type.

Your argument does not apply.

It's funny. (0, Flamebait)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619506)

You don't see any Republican politicians out there fighting for net neutrality, and when a Democrat does, the Republicans can't seem to come up with anything but personal insults and FUD to make their case. Corporate stooges, every last one of them.

PBS video on network neutrality explains it best (4, Informative)

mr_majestyk (671595) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619564)

Conservatives are superficially lumping network neutrality in with the rest of the anti-Obama/government/socialism rhetoric, but the issue is far too complex to capture in partisan soundbites. This Bill Moyers broadcast from a few years ago (well before Obama arrived on the scene) explains the network neutrality issue extremely well, representing multiple viewpoints, including business, politics, consumers etc. The broadcast is about an hour long, but I have yet to come across a better way to get the complete picture of what network neutrality is all about (each of these videos gives a useful illustration of a key tradeoff): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmlpfXzSfhg>Part 1 Part 2 [youtube.com] Part 3 [youtube.com] Part 4 [youtube.com] Part 4 [youtube.com] Part 6 [youtube.com] Part 7 [youtube.com] Part 8 [youtube.com] Part 9 [youtube.com]
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