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Verizon Sues FCC Over Net Neutrality Rules

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the you're-not-the-boss-of-us dept.

Communications 275

The Washington Post reports that Verizon has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission over the net neutrality rules they adopted last month. Quoting: "Verizon argues that the FCC does not have the legal authority to mandate how Internet service providers treat content on their networks. A legal challenge was widely expected, and the FCC has said it thinks Congress enabled the agency to pursue its rules under several interpretations of telecommunications laws. The FCC's rules are supported by consumer groups and Web giants such as Google and Facebook. Verizon filed its case in the same federal court — the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia — that ruled last April that the FCC overstepped its authority in trying to sanction Comcast for blocking Web traffic. 'We are deeply concerned by the FCC's assertion of broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband networks and the Internet itself,' said Michael E. Glover, Verizon's senior vice president and deputy general counsel. 'We believe this assertion of authority goes well beyond any authority provided by Congress, and creates uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers.'"

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Of course they did (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951622)

Verizon asked (nay, demanded!) they get their way. They didn't, so they're crying like little babies. Hmm...the rules are applauded by websites, and pissed on by ISPs. I am jack's complete lack of surprise.

Re:Of course they did (5, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951892)

We, as consumers, wholeheartedly support the FCC and net neutrality.

We pay for our bandwidth. We are tired of the shyster games that the ISP's play.

We are tired of being told that it's "in our interest" that 90% or more of us can get only one ISP because decades ago our county or city sold the area off to one fucking cable company as a monopoly.

We are tired of being told that this is "the free market at work" when there is no fucking competition for service.

We are tired of the content cartels playing stupid fucking games like wanting to block or reduce speeds to competing services (youtube, hulu, etc) and then telling us "but it's ok, you can pay $EXTORTION each month for our shitty-quality, pixelated as hell 'on-demand video' service if you also buy our cable package at $MONOPOLYEXTORTION/month prices."

And we heartily invite Verizon, and the rest of the companies like them, to GO FUCK THEMSELVES.

Re:Of course they did (2)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951924)

/signed

Re:Of course they did (5, Insightful)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952192)

Weren't we all 'against' this version of FCC's net neutrality??? It wasn't exactly what most people wanted, and it only passed because it appeased to cable lobbyists (ie. ATT, Level 3, etc.).

As the net neutrality rules were about to be passed, this was posted on slashdot: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/12/21/1510232/Obama-FCC-Caves-On-Net-Neutrality [slashdot.org] which pointed to this article -> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/timothy-karr/obama-fcc-caves-on-net-ne_b_799435.html [huffingtonpost.com] . Sorry I don't know HTML....

What I don't get here is that a lot are praising the net neutrality and are against Verizon, but if you read through that earlier slashdot post, a lot of people were against this version of Net Neutrality because it really didn't give that freedom we wanted, not all of it, and nowhere near it..... I wonder what changed since the rules by FCC have not changed...

Just thought I'd point out this old slashdot article out..

Re:Of course they did (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952538)

Yes, I looked too, and it was a pretty hard slam on the passed version of the law.

Car Analogy Time!

Still, the answer to your question is that it is possible to both be upset that anything over Pi axles gets a tax, and be glad that they didn't outright ban anything with a diesel engine.

I had forgotten that it was even possible to sue the government. It just has an odd feel to it. Why do citizens "just have to lump votes for change" while Corp$ can just sue to reverse a rule they don't like?

Re:Of course they did (3, Insightful)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952850)

So what happened to tort reform?

Oh that's right, it's a CORPORATION that's suing, not an PERSON.

Maybe we need to get the Supreme Court to declare that people are corporations, that way we can have the same rights.

Re:Of course they did (2)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952200)

Same thing here in Canada, only replace Verizon with Rogers, and it's word-for-word applicable.

Fuck them, you're absolutely right. /signed.

You go fuck yourself you brainless commie (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34952224)

Your Mommy Government created this problem by imposing monopolies like Verizon, and now it is using this as the excuse to impose ever-more tyranny. How would you feel if I came over your house with a gun and imposed some "neutrality" into your life? Idiots like you should move to North Korea and leave America alone!

Signed: Alex Libman's sockpuppet.

Re:Of course they did (4, Interesting)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952242)

As a consumer I support net neutrality, but what the FCC is implementing isn't it. This is worse than nothing. [huffingtonpost.com] What is wrong with the world when Al Franken is the voice of reason?

Re:Of course they did (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34952262)

To put it another way you want others to invest and support infrastructure that you want to use for free.

Re:Of course they did (1)

said213 (72685) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952612)

free? the prices levied to access that infrastructure are unreasonable already. free? i think you may have just given me thought cancer.

Re:Pixelated (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952424)

Charge per pixel!

"Vanna, can I buy yellow?"

Re:Of course they did (0)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952684)

We, as consumers, wholeheartedly support the FCC and net neutrality.

Maybe you do, but I don't. The federal agencies are lately (last 40 years or so and getting worse) running roughshod over we the citizens. Unelected federal employees from the EPA to the FCC to the NRO are making sweeping decisions based on their personal agendas (and with barely tacit consent of the chief executive) without legislative oversight or any recourse for complaint against them other than lengthy and expensive lawsuits. And the rules stand until the lawsuits are resolved in most cases! Beware that you applaud a federal agency's arbitrary ruling just because you like this particular one; the next one will just as likely bite you.

Re:Of course they did (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952928)

Verizon is that you?

Re:Of course they did (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34953156)

Hey, feel free to send a note of complaint to your municipality. They are usually the ones to issue exclusive contracts for service.

And your existing utilies, either electric or phone, are usually the ones renting pole space, though big cities do that too.

It's not the FCC that dictates monopolies in the cities. It's the cities.

Re:Of course they did (2, Interesting)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952112)

The FCC should let them have their way.

And then revoke their common carrier status.

And then prosecute them for piracy and every other illegal thing that passes through their links.

Re:Of course they did (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952468)

...and then every property owner through whose property their lines run can demand Verizon pay for that use.

Re:Of course they did (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952608)

We seriously need a write-in mod field.
Underrated = this is +1 Funny but in that heartbreaking way it shouldn't have to be.

Re:Of course they did (1)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952674)

Thank you for getting it. Apparently the guy who modded it as flamebait only read the first line. :\

Verizon is correct (5, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951640)

The FCC has authority over the public EM spectrum (as given to them by Congress) such as radio. They have no authority over private cables owned by private companies purchased by private homeowners. Nor do they have authority to censor content on the private cables.

Re:Verizon is correct (4, Insightful)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951678)

Whether you're for or against net neutrality, the above post is correct. The FCC doesn't have the authority to impose net neutrality by fiat and regulation.

Abolish the FCC (2, Informative)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951884)

I've done a 180 on this recently and this just solidifies it. The FCC is out of control. I used to think my radio hobbyist friends were a little overboard with it when they were saying the same thing a few years ago.

The FCC is outside of its charter, one that needs to be revoked anyway and recast into something very limited, if at all.

Re:Abolish the FCC (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951952)

The FCC is outside of its charter, one that needs to be revoked anyway and recast into something very limited, if at all.

So...you want to retcon the FCC's authority?

Re:Abolish the FCC (2)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952154)

This is how an essentially political administrative agency works.

We've seen it other places (see: FDA with nicotine delivery, EPA with carbon emissions).

Verizon will win this case, but the politicians in charge of the FCC probably still won't the the message. They certainly didn't the last time they lost in court.

And Congress could have fixed it, but they didn't. It's not at the top of the list of things they failed to do, but it's up there.

Re:Abolish the FCC (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952280)

Thanks for reminding me I want the EPA abolished too!

Re:Verizon is correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34952688)

This is just factually untrue. The FCC has regulated wired private telecoms under various laws for decades.

Ultimately, when something is classed as a utility and not just a service, the rules change when it comes to government's ability, authority and justification in regulating it (within proper jurisprudence, of course). So it was with radio, then with phones, then with TV, now with the Internet. None of those were born regulated, but they became too essential (and, ultimately, too much of a threat to a free society) to operate without oversight of the people.

The man who owns the microphone decides what is heard, by whom and when. That principle is both fascist and capitalist, and it's the worst of both. Ideological purists sacrifice the best tenets of their chosen platform to preserve that purity at any cost. That why purist societies have a tendency to rise fast and soon fall very, very hard.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952744)

The problem with the argument is that the rules - as written down in a society under the rule of law - have NOT changed. If the FCC needs or wants the authority, it can only properly be granted by Congress, not assumed by the agency as some sort of "natural authority."

Re:Verizon is correct (3, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951680)

If they're privately owned, why do they bitch at the government for money? Here's just one example. [techdirt.com]

I'm aware that article covers multiple countries, but it's rare nowadays for an ISP to be truly considered 100% privately owned...or at the very least, privately funded.

Re:Verizon is correct (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951704)

Actually, a better way to look at that article would be "spreading the wealth around"...only with private companies instead of private citizens.

SOCIALISM, OH NOES

Re:Verizon is correct (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951962)

Don't know, but obviously the government should say "NO" every time a private company begs for money. The company has no right to raid the taxpayer (our) wallets for cash. I consider that theft.

Re:Verizon is correct (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951986)

That's our point, CPU...they HAVEN'T told the ISPs no, and, at least in the USA, ISPs have received billions in direct and indirect subsidies. Arguing that the FCC has no authority here became meaningless the instant ISPs benefited at the expense of taxpayers.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952284)

Disagree.
Just because you accept money from the government (example: scholarship, unemployment, subsidy for a hybrid,diesel,electric,or other green car) should not mean the government automatically gains authority to regulate everything: your person, your property, your home. And yet: That's what you just argued.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952466)

You're arguing that the same standards should be applied to people and corporations. That's the standard, but it's not a given.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952620)

Just because you accept money from the government (example: scholarship, unemployment, subsidy for a hybrid,diesel,electric,or other green car) should not mean the government automatically gains authority to regulate everything: your person, your property, your home. And yet: That's what you just argued.

No he didn't. For example, if the government gives you subsidies/grants to go to school and you decide to smoke pot with it they will cut off your funding. If a agency that receives government funding or benefits tries to not hire a black person because of their race, the government steps in. The point is Verizon doesn't own the airwaves, doesn't own most of the land their cables go under or above, and doesn't completely own their own network because it was built with government money with the purpose of networking the US together. Once you restrict access you violate this agreement. For example, in my work if I sign a contract that I will do such-and-such research for such-and-such organization and I do not do it, I will have my contract revoked and owe them money. If I receive grant money for research and I do not make a reasonable effort at it I will never ever again receive grant money from that institution and I will have damaged my own reputation as well as the institution I am at. Verizon wants to eat their cake and have it afterwards, which is fine, but if they actually do it now they owe use for the use of public lands, access to public lands, and access to airwaves.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952796)

Ex post facto laws are unconstitutional. Verizon received that money with No Strings attached. The US Government can not later append rules to the money after the fact - that's illegal.

However the STATES could regulate Verizon, since verizon is on state land. Still: That means the FCC has zero authority. State land belongs to the Member State, not the FCC.

Re:Verizon is correct (5, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951684)

They have no authority over private cables owned by private companies purchased by private homeowners.

Yes they do, because those same cables rely on poles and underground tunnels on public land, and in some cases were built with public subsidies, and are considered a public resource. The FCC also has authority over land-line phones for similar reasons.

Nor do they have the authority to censor content on the private cables.

They are proposing no such thing. Net neutrality takes away the power of private cable companies to censor content, but it does not give the government authority to do so.

Re:Verizon is correct (4, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951868)

Net neutrality takes away the power of private cable companies to censor content, but it does not give the government authority to do so.

And further, this is an example of the government doing exactly what it's meant to - stopping private companies walking all over everyone in the pursuit of profit.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951878)

Yes they do, because those same cables rely on poles and underground tunnels on public land, and in some cases were built with public subsidies, and are considered a public resource. The FCC also has authority over land-line phones for similar reasons.

The FCC rule makes no such distinctions regarding networks that use public land or easements. The rule is a blanket rule that would apply to all networks. Also, the poles are typically owned by the power or telephone companies.

They are proposing no such thing. Net neutrality takes away the power of private cable companies to censor content, but it does not give the government authority to do so.

If the government has the authority to tell private companies what their networks must carry, they also have the authority to tell them what they cannot carry. Or soon will.

Re:Verizon is correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34952600)

Just as a FYI, any company that has cables that run under the roads, or the 4 feet of yard next to the road (which would be just about everyone) uses public land or easements in the USA. Those 4 feet of yard next to the road belong to the City/County/State which is why they can come in and demand sidewalks put in and people have no choice in the matter. The roads belong to the City/County/State which is with the appropriate road department has to clean them during snow storms, fix pot holes, etc. The only way a network would not be using public land in any way, shape or form would be if they owned an entire block/blocks, had their HQ and datacenter on that block, and only provided internet services for those block(s).

Now that land is owned by the State, not the Federal gov. but you also have to remember the interstate commerce clause which does give the Federal Government authority to regulate interstate commerce, and, seeing as Time Warner has datacenters all throughout the US and when I call my ISP I might get a tech support location in California (not the state I live in) it is very obvious that interstate commerce is in fact occurring. Therefore by a combination of public land use and interstate commerce clause I don't see how anyone could argue that the Federal Government and, by extension, the FCC does not have authority, unless they are fooling themselves.

Re:Verizon is correct (2)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951914)

Just because the government hires you to plow snow from public roads with your truck does not give them title to your truck.

Re:Verizon is correct (2)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952030)

True, but it DOES give them the authority to dictate what equipment you use and how you use it, in the form of vehicle requirements, safety requirements, and manufacturing requirements based on the previously mentioned vehicle/safety stuff.

Re:Verizon is correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34951920)

The real problem here, that Verizon is attempting to hide, is that any business excuse for an ability to control network content can be misused/converted into "permission" to control political content. And one form of political content is all forms of negative feedback about a business! Too bad, Verizon. Nobody has a right to stifle the opinions of others.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952770)

Nobody has a right to stifle the opinions of others.

That is 100% false in the United States.

Re:Verizon is correct (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952046)

private cables rely on poles and underground tunnels on public land

Yes but that public land is owned by the STATE not the FCC. The commission (and the us congress) has zero authority to regulate lands owned by the Member State Government/legislature.

FCC are proposing no such thing as censoring.

Well you're right and I'm wrong. That's true. But the Congress has introduced bills to give the FCC authority to regulate what can/cannot be said on *private* cable channels and private news websites. That shouldn't be allowed (violates amendments 5, 14, 9, and most importantly: 10). But you're right: Has no relevance to net neutrality. It's a separate issue and I shouldn't have mentioned it.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952206)

Care to cite the bills you're talking about? I'd love to see how they can phrase that without stepping over the amendments you named plus the first on it's face.

Re:Verizon is correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34952648)

the gov't long ago stopped caring what the amendments say

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952442)

What law says that? When the judge asked the FCC that question in the Comcast case, they didn't have an answer. Unless there is a law giving them that authority they don't have it. Just because you can make an argument as to why the FCC could have authority to order the cable companies to do something does not mean that Congress has passed a law giving them authority over to order the cable companies to do that.
How much, if any, of that "public land" is federal land? The Federal government does not have any more authority over land owned by the local township (or by one of the states) than it does over land owned by the local barber.

Re:Verizon is correct (5, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951752)

Considering it was the FCC who allowed broadband providers to not be subject to the same rules and regulations that phone providers are, it would seem that the FCC does have the authority. If you tell someone they aren't subject to X rules, then obviously you do have the power to dictate what they can or can't do or you wouldn't be able to tell them what they can or can't do.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952034)

I will allow you to keep posting on slashdot and to eat cookies if the you have the desire.

I can now dictate that you can and can't do in the future right?

Re:Verizon is correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34952216)

Actually it's more like this:

Usually, nobody is allowed to eat cookies.

Suddenly you allow him to keep posting on slashdot and to eat cookies if he has the desire.

You can now either dictate what he can and can't do in the future or he can stop eating cookies again since you haven't been allowed to permit him to eat cookies in the first place.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952136)

The post above is fallacious logic.

If Congress says to you, "You are not subject to 'no antennas on roofs' neighborhood housing rules per the 1996 Telecommunications Act," that doesn't automagically give them authority to demand you paint your house white. INSTEAD you must first read the Constitution and find where the Member States granted authority to the Congress (or FCC) to regulate the color of your house. The answer is: They didn't (amend.10).

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34953028)

No need to abolish anything. Just amend the Constitution to make the EPA/FCC legal. I would support such an action rather than ignore our Bill of Rights, part 10.

Re:Verizon is correct (4, Interesting)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951770)

I think you mean "private" cables bought with public money as part of public improvements. Except in those areas where the ISPs basically told the cities that they were only allowed to have one ISP's cables in the city, and that ISP was it.

Public is public, and monopolies are (supposed to be) illegal. So what is their standing again?

Re:Verizon is correct (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952220)

I think the solution is to use the Sherman Antitrust Act to break-up the local Cable/ISP monopolies. Also the public lands belong to the MEMBER STATES not the Central Union government or the FCC. The FCC has zero authority to regulate lands owned by State Legislatures. Only the local state politicians have that authority.

(Cmon people - this isn't hard. It's called separation of powers between States and the federal.)

Re:Anti-Trust (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952894)

That's a tricky suggestion. If you break up the monopolies, do we get any chances of "ISP-trolls" grabbing weird little chunks of backbone and operating like the patent trolls are now, by putting tolls everywhere?

P.S. I glanced at your sig-article. The net def. makes people smarter. I'd call it an Ultra Flynn Effect. Any 7 related slashdot items plus the comments gets you past newbie on any subject.

Re:Verizon is correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34953120)

But Congress does have the authority to regulate interstate commerce.

I can't think of to many things more directly related to interstate commerce than an (inter)national communications network which is commonly used for buying and selling goods shipped between states.

The FCC wouldn't have the authority to regulate the Internet, until specificly granted it by Congress, but Congress _does_ have the authority to grant that power.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

jasenj1 (575309) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952252)

As others have pointed out "public" != "Federal". The States may be able to impose net neutrality on the carriers since it is State land that the easements use, but the Feds can take a hike. I'd much prefer net-neutrality, but this really does raise issues of Federal authority creep. (Not that that's stopped the Feds before, but it is another instance of Federal overreach.)

- Jasen.

Re:Verizon is correct (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952516)

This is one of those times when the interstate commerce clause actually applies. The internet isn't just interstate, it's international. Clearly this brings it within the purview of the federal government.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952896)

Sometimes that clause is used to regulate stuff that should not fall under the feds, but clearly in this case it does. An example of it being abused was the argument "selling medical pot affects the price of it across state borders so the DEA has the authority to prosecute medical growers in states where it is legal". I am not sure if that is still in effect but for a time it was.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

madmark1 (1946846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952694)

Its called the "commerce clause" of the constitution, look into it. It says Congress has the power to regulate commerce among the states. Unless you can show me an ISP that only handles traffic within its own state, then they qualify under this clause. It isn't "federal creep", its been there since day 1.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952906)

Unless you can show me an ISP that only handles traffic within its own state

I can but the list is thousands of companies long. With names like MOM&popISP or County XXX Cable or Suburban Cable and so on. Since these are only involved in INTRAstate commerce, the union government has zero authority.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951784)

The FCC has authority over the public EM spectrum (as given to them by Congress) such as radio. They have no authority over private cables owned by private companies purchased by private homeowners. Nor do they have authority to censor content on the private cables.

They are empowered by the Executive Branch whose jurisdiction covers all of the US and it's territories. Get over yourself.

Re:Verizon is correct (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952634)

Sorry, nowhere in the Constitution is the Executive Branch given authority to make this kind of rule. So, the question is, what law did Congress pass giving this authority to the FCC?

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952646)

The FCC has authority over the public EM spectrum (as given to them by Congress) such as radio. They have no authority over private cables owned by private companies purchased by private homeowners. Nor do they have authority to censor content on the private cables.

They are empowered by the Executive Branch whose jurisdiction covers all of the US and it's territories. Get over yourself.

The Executive branch doesn't have those powers. It would be up to Congress to add those powers to those it has already given the FCC. The Executive cannot legislate and/or create new powers and laws.

Then again, the Executive branch (both 'R' and 'D') of late has had a nasty habit of bypassing Congress completely through Executive Orders and regulation-creep whenever those pesky People and their representatives get in the way. And all three branches have had a real problem with granting themselves powers not granted them in the Constitution the last 100 years. The Constitution *is* a "living document". That's what the amendment process is for. It was intentionally made hard to change *for a reason*. Political expediency is not a valid reason to bypass or plain ignore the Constitution.

Strat

Re:Verizon is correct (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951932)

Those cables run over and under public property and cross state boundaries, they also enter the private properties of citizens whose rights must always be protected.

Net Neutrality, us a neutral digital communications system, no censorship, no prejudicial traffic bias, no communications disruptions to suit profit or political goals, basically it is all about treating the internet as an extension of the private telephone system, exchanging analogue voice communication for digital communications but maintaining the same principles of not monitoring, no censorship, no traffic blocking, no purposeful disruptions of service.

Laws of the land are created by the government based upon the constitution, corporations regardless of their psychopathic greed are bound by those laws. If you want to communications companies the laws will govern how you operate, don't like the laws, well simple go into some other industry.

Re:Verizon is correct (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952506)

Laws of the land are created by the government based upon the constitution, corporations regardless of their psychopathic greed are bound by those laws.

Except the FCC is not a law making body. In the U.S., only Congress may make a law. The question is, what law gives the FCC the authority to do this? When the judge in the Comcast case asked them that question, the FCC did not have an answer.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952248)

Verizon runs their network service over public airwaves if you have a phone.

They run their network "land line" setups on owned/purchased lines but under grants of local monopoly that put them under the purview of the FCC as government-licensed and government-controlled.

The FCC's authority also covers "interstate telecommunications"; this covers fax, data transmission, and voice phone, whether ip-phone (which is what FiOS is tied to) or old-style landline.

Have they always been perfect? Of course not. Are they on the correct side in the case of net neutrality? Hell Fucking Yes.

Re:Verizon is correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34952430)

Fair enough. That being the case, the people should demand payment back, with interest, the govt tax breaks and subsidies given to these private companies to erect this infrastructure, this divesting the "people" in this venture.

In addition, the govt should relinquish their false authority over produce grown by private farmers, shipped by private trucking firms, sold by private store to private eaters.

Isn't analogy fun?

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952478)

Three words. Public land use. Verizon gets to access public lands to make repairs, do installations, etc. for their cables. Furthermore their cables run under public and sometimes private lands. If they want to use this argument to have more control over their network then they need to 1) Pay each and every one of us a yearly stipend for using our airwaves. 2) Pay private landowners, city government, federal government, and county government each and every time they have to access public land to work on "their" cables, and 3) Pay to even have the presence of their cables on any of the aforementioned lands. They must come to an agreement with each and every person or local/state/federal government their cables and access needs affects based on land ownership. Maybe we should also throw in a charge for blocking sunlight with their cell towers. After all, the sun belongs to everyone.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

SteveAyre (209812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952486)

The FCC has authority over the public EM spectrum (as given to them by Congress) such as radio. They have no authority over private cables owned by private companies purchased by private homeowners. Nor do they have authority to censor content on the private cables.

Actually, their current charter is to "make available so far as possible, to all the people of the United States, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication services with adequate facilities at reasonable charges."

So yes, it is within their jurisdiction.

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

SteveAyre (209812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952524)

And from U.S.C. 47 S151...
For the purpose of regulating interstate and foreign commerce in communication by wire and radio so as to make available

Re:Verizon is correct (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952666)

So, you're claiming that the FCC hasn't had the authority to regulate the telcos, as they've been doing since the 1930's? LOL. The FCC was created by Congress to regulate both radio and wireline. When they only had authority over radio, they were the Federal Radio Commission.

I suggest you go back and actually read the Telecommunications acts of 1934 and 1996.

Re:Verizon is correct (0)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34953066)

Listen douche bag, do some research before posting your little conspiracy theories.

The FCC has the right to regulate communication providers, that includes cable companies not just telecom companies.

These so called cables are not private. Cables run through people's property. As such they no longer private. More importantly, I do not receive any payment for the use of my land.

Cable companies receive special treatment by municipal government to operate as a monopoly and they receive tax payer funds.

So get a fucking clue!

Uncertainty (2)

Atticus83 (1197397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951852)

If I hear the word "uncertainty" one more time...well I'm not sure what I'll do....

Re:Uncertainty (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952010)

So there's some uncertainty in what you'll do?

Re:Uncertainty (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952056)

...and boom goes the dynamite.

Re:Uncertainty (1)

hercubus (755805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952596)

nice one Heisenberg
not sure if that joke's funny, or not

'creates uncertainty for innovators and consumers' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34951860)

'We believe this assertion of authority goes well beyond any authority provided by Congress, and creates uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers.'

Uncertainty of the benefits to the communications industry and it's investors sure... for innovators and consumers it provides certainty that you don't block shit you don't like. The FCC wasn't created to protect ISP's pockets.

Just a sign of a big battle to come (2)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951864)

All's I know is that I just signed up for Netflix on New Year's, and my monthly download is poised to go up by 4X from all the streaming (25GB -> 100GB). I have Comcast and only buy Internet - no cable. This is a fight that is going to get damn ugly.

FUD (2)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951874)

creates uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers.'"

Because a simple, straightforward, clear and strict rule is less certain than a jungle of individual, impenetrable, constantly changing ISP "innovations" ?

Suuuure...

If the FCC can't save us, how bout the DOJ? (4, Insightful)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951900)

It's sickening that their stance is "The FCC has no right to get between us and our customers' sweet, tight anuses". Maybe they'd prefer the Deparment of Justice. They've been allowed to abuse their monopoly/duopoly in every one of their markets for far too long.

The United States vs. Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and Time Warner has a nice ring to it.

Re:If the FCC can't save us, how bout the DOJ? (1)

squidvt (1549891) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952174)

There one minor thing you forgot to consider. Who runs the DOJ (i'm not talking political party either!). Yep that's right POLITICIANS! They get a LOT of money from these companies, and the political class won't bit the hand that feeds it!

Wish I could afford to sue (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951966)

every time the gov't did something I didn't like.

If they have their way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34952070)

If they had their way...

They would consider websites to be "channels". And our Internet bill / menu of choices of service will look like cable tv channels:

"The Basic Plan" - $39 (includes wikipedia and most basic websites)

"The Social Networker" $59 - Everything included in the Basic plan but also the Social Networking sites you love: Facebook, Myspace and Friendster

"Big Downloader" $99 - Love Netflix? We do to, with this plan you can access netflix and another movie site as well.

Need to access your corporate intranet from home? (you know so you can work and pay for the bill) we can let you access it for an additional $9.95

What the FCC should do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34952072)

Require all cell phones to be unlocked.

Allow any company who can pass certification to sell a phone on any wireless service
that its phone supports, with or without a multi-year contract, without having to pre-load
the wireless services software, without restrictions on what apps are on the phone.

Data plans should not be required if you own a smartphone outright. Why does the voice
service need to be from the same vendor as the data service.. Maybe the data service
uses something other than the cell network. Or maybe the customer only wants to use
wi-fi.

Can you imagine if the phone companies still required you to buy a wired phone from
them. It's like we have gone back to the 60s...

These companies lease the spectrum from the people. They do not own them.
They are also large utilities which supply critical infrastructure. They do not operate
under a competitive business environment which supports fundamental supply/demand
principles (i.e. look at text rates). The government has every right, and should be
in the interest of its people, be ensuring that these utilities balance profitability with
fairness to the people.

Re:What the FCC should do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34952656)

Require all cell phones to be unlocked.

How about a compromise. If you buy it subsidized with the 2 year contract, you get the unlock code at the end of it(some carriers I think will let you get the code 90 days into the contract if you are in good standing). Also, have the subsidized cost as a separate line item on the bill that goes away when the 2 years are up, and never exists if you bring your own device. (With my current phone, that works out to about $10/month till Dec 2012)

I can see why they want people to have a data plan when they charge $2/MB (rounded up to nearest MB) with pay as you go, but only $25/2GB(~$0.244/MB)... (only really familiar with my carrier's pricing)(And of course, $45/2GB+Tethering. Why do they charge more for tethering if you are limited to the same amount of data? For an unlimited plan I can kinda see it. Isn't this kinda like charging me extra for having more than one phone plugged into my home phone line? )
And of course, text messaging. 140 characters limit for SMS, so lets say 160 bytes/message (140+10 sender number+10 receiver number), at $0.10/message works out to about $655/MB ($0.10/160 bytes * 2^20).

As far as using separate voice and data on the cell network, sounds like(I think) a variation of the wired telephone company where one company has the physical lines, someone else sells you voice service, and another company sells you data service (that can be done right?).

Verizon should be careful what they wish for (1)

voss (52565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952186)

If FCC rules dont force net neutrality then Department of Justice might begin Antitrust investigations and
force pipeholders to lease their lines in areas where there is only 1 broadband provider including to municipalities. Also the FTC
could prohibit broadband providers from using terms like "high speed" for 768k connections and "unlimited"
for bandwidth caps and throttled providers.

Lesser of two evils (1)

kronosopher (1531873) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952208)

A telecom telling the gov't that they have "overstepped their authority." That's rich.

The FCC advocating for net neutrality, on it's surface, may appear a genuine effort to sequester corporate control over our networks. I'm inclined to believe the opposite. In other words, this is a bait and switch tactic wherein the FCC invokes the valid concerns of net neutrality advocates to seize regulatory control. And then with their newly acquired purview betray the open internet groups by implementing draconian regulations that will inevitably consolidate control even further.

On the other hand, the idea of an internet controlled almost entirely by only two corporations doesn't exactly evoke warm fuzzies either, at least the FCC is somewhat beholden to elected representatives. Hopefully the court of public opinion can discern the lesser of two evils here.

Wow. welcome new feudal overlords (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952232)

of intellectual/information world. not only they can monopolize thinking through their endless resources with patents, but apparently now they also think that they can decide who gets access to what information, and at what cost.

What's funny (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952306)

... is that the same companies who are now claiming that the FCC doesn't have the authority to impose net neutrality were singing another tune just a few years ago. Back then, the States were requiring net neutrality from the carriers under their general business regulation authority and the carriers fought for -- and won -- the decision that only the FCC could do that.

ORLY (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952352)

"Verizon argues that the FCC does not have the legal authority to mandate how Internet service providers treat content on their networks.

Well, then I think Verizon should have to pay every time they have to use public lands to access their network cables and cell towers, and they should have to buy all the property their cables run underneath, or they must pay for its use, and they should pay each and every one of us a yearly stipend for using our airwaves.

NET (1)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952360)

Verizon has a net income of upwards of $10 billion per year. Upgrade the damn lines already and stop trying to squeeze usage.

My answer would be.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34952394)

Ya know what, lets do this instead.

You turn over your physical wire and glass infrastructure to county wide co-ops who instead will run it.

Then you have have any damned policy you want applied to the packets to the customers you get on said leased network.

And, because we believe in freedom of choice, the customers can choose if they want a different provider with a different policy.

You were allowed right of ways for certain 'concessions'. You don't like the "terms" - how about some new terms - the metal and glass infrastructure becomes the publics for the public co-op to rule as they see fit.

Pray I do not alter your agreements further.

The Federal Trade Commission might in part (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952426)

The FTC may be able to enforce SOME aspects of net neutrality today using truth in advertising rules - It's there job to make sure advertisers deliver what they advertise.

Companies that say they advertise "Internet access" but in fact only give you partial Internet access are by definition lying. If they block Slashdot or MyFavoriteTorrentSite or even outbound port 25 beyond their own mail servers without my permission (which IMHO they SHOULD be doing unless I ask it to be turned back on), they are technically lying.

This means nothing less than not blocking any traffic that rides over IPv4 and after a reasonable transition period IPv6 regardless of content and regardless of source. ISPs should only block traffic where required by law (e.g. court orders, embargoes, etc.).

Unfortunately, I don't think false-advertising can be used to prevent non-neutral activities like throttling or not providing a quality of service that allows real-time services to work well. From a truth-in-advertising perspective, "Internet for $39.99/month" does not necessarily mean "in real time enough to to play games, do live video, or play live music, or have phone conversations."

I celebrate this lawsuit! (2)

jimmy_dean (463322) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952536)

This lawsuit is exactly what is needed to put Congress and the FCC in their place. They really think that they can regulate anything in their pompous way. Congress does not own Verizon's infrastructure, Verizon does. Just like Congress does not own your house, or your car, or you, they should not be able to infringe on private property at their whim. Of course Google and Facebook don't like Verizon or any other ISP being able to discriminate traffic. So why doesn't Google and/or Facebook open their own ISP operation and compete with Verizon and prove to them that the better business model might be to not discriminate traffic? Please, government is not the answer! It very rarely is. Politicians do not represent us nor do they have god-like knowledge of the best way to do things.

IS it ? (1, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952622)

Congress does not own Verizon's infrastructure, Verizon does.

the infrastructure that was built on PUBLIC land, with PUBLIC subsidies and with PUBLIC permission ?

what are you ? a moron ? people paid for that infrastructure. when did verizon get the right to usurp public land ?

Re:I celebrate this lawsuit! (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34952686)

Ok. Well, I hereby proclaim that I may use your property whenever I feel like it as part of an agreement we had that I will clean and maintain your house for you and make sure that you can get from room to room with ease. You must pay me to access various rooms in your house depending on how you are going to use the room. For example. using the bathroom for a shower will cost you 1 dollar. Using it for the toilet will cost you 2 dollars. If you just want to walk around your house you owe me nothing. That is sort of what Verizon is doing.

Re:I celebrate this lawsuit! (1)

madmark1 (1946846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34953084)

Firstly, there isn't anything about Verizon's infrastructure that is "private". It was originally funded by the government and handed over to them. Since then, the primary upgrades to that infrastructure have come primarily from public money, via things like the Federal Universal Service Fee, which taxes customers and gives the money to the telco to expand their networks. You should also take into consideration the fact that Verizon just accepted government bailout money, and has NOT spent the universal service fee money they have received on their infrastructure, as required. All of their lines run under public land, via an easement lease. They also carry out their business across state lines, and country borders, which means they qualify for regulation under the interstate commerce clause of the constitution.

Hungry hungry Hyppo's (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34953050)

Verizon to the RIAA: "We cant control whats on our networks!"
Verizon to the FCC: "We must be allowed to control whats on our networks!"

I

This gives me hope... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34953088)

"Verizon argues that the FCC does not have the legal authority to mandate how Internet service providers treat content on their networks".

When you put it that way, Verizon is right. Their networks are their networks.

Now, when I get Internet service from Verizon, I expect to get the Internet, unless they say otherwise in my contract, and disclaimers like network management or not impacting other users are just weasel-speak.

But this gives me hope. It is the ONLY reason I've had in a decade to get back into the ISP business. If only it didn't take a hundred million to get started. Gone are the days of a T-1 and box of modems. Now you need a GigE uplink and peering and hugely expensive border routers just to serve your half of the city.

But, again, there's opportunity there to get in and provide unfiltered Internet. It just takes enormous capital. So we are probably gonna fail.

I'm beginning to think this is a contract law issue. Make ISPs state in advance what they will or will not provide as part of their service. Vague 'network management' disclaimers should not be allowed.

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