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Proposing a Model For Locally Imposed Net Neutrality

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the good-thing-they-know-the-future-already dept.

The Internet 153

newscloud writes "Envision Seattle has posted a model legal ordinance (pdf) for communities wishing to enshrine status quo net neutrality as law. The ordinance is co-authored by the legal group that helped Pittsburgh's city council ban fracking and corporate personhood last November. The concept of local municipalities defying FCC authority is troubling to some but the group counters that FCC authority actually violates certain rights that we hold as people, and the right to govern our own communities as an element of the right to community and local self-government. If we have a 'right to internet access' or a 'right to communicate' via these pathways, there are certain actions that can be taken by government which infringe on those rights. In our view, it's up to us to create these rights frameworks, and then enforce them at higher levels."

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Could work (4, Informative)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570132)

if you get a few good sized markets to require it then it'd be too expensive to maintain one net for the non-neutral and another for the neutral. The best part is since the Cable companies have chased off the FCC you can't even say it's their job. The only real trouble is the markets aren't usually big enough to stand up to Comcast et al, and it's just divide and conqueror. That's kinda why we have a federal gov't in the first place.

Re:Could work (3, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570186)

I wouldn't count on Seattle getting anything done. I've lived there my entire life and it would be quicker to push through change at the federal level. Decisions don't get made until the courts step in and say no more discussion. Seriously, we were going to have a monorail, and it would've been done by now, but after about four redo elections the permits were eventually yanked killing the project. The tunnel is in the middle of the same process where the opponents are trying yet again to vote it down even though so far they've failed miserably to do so. This debate has been ongoing for over 20 years since we learned that the design could collapse in an earthquake. And even a couple earthquakes in the meantime hasn't pushed the debate much closer to conclusion.

In 2005, the mayor proposed building our own municipal fiber to cover the last mile from the local IXP to the individual homes. Comcast wouldn't comment and Qwest claimed that they were already on it. It's been 6 years now, and Qwest hasn't done shit. I'm still stuck at virtually the same connection speed I've had for over a decade. Having increased from 4mbps to 5mbps.

Re:Could work (3, Insightful)

newscloud (1037538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570226)

This kind of ordinance makes sense once you realize how colonized by corporate lobbying our federal govt has become. If it weren't for legalized "corruption" inherent in Congress, we might not need more local law.

Re:Could work (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571108)

Exactly. The Federal government has become so utterly corrupt that States and municipalities are trying to enact their own laws to do things that are supposed to be responsibilities of the Federal government. But then, the FG is suing them for it! This is for many different issues, including illegal immigration, net neutrality, and more.

The solution is simple: the country needs to break up into smaller, more-manageable units. Republic-style (representative democracy) government simply doesn't work in large countries; the government just turns corrupt. Of all the democratic countries, it's the small ones where the government is most effective and least corrupt.

With the federal government suing Arizona, Mexico suing Georgia (WTF?), states suing the Federal government for not doing its job, municipalities trying to set up their own municipal networks and being sued by cablecos and telcos that refuse to do their jobs but don't want anyone else doing it either, it's time for the madness to stop. The various state governments need to start meeting and agreeing on a separation plan. They need to recall their state national guard units, form alliances with neighboring states, and declare secession.

Let's take a look at Seattle, for instance, since we're already talking about it: if Washington state and Oregon decided to create a new country, and northern California split away from southern California, these three states combined would have a larger economy than the rest of the remaining USA, and in fact one of the largest economies in the world. If they joined with Idaho, Wyoming, perhaps northern Nevada, and maybe western Montana, this should even make them completely self-sufficient as far as food production goes. Ideally, they could convince British Columbia to secede from Canada and join them. The resultant country would be certainly large enough to be self-sufficient, would have a very strong and productive economy (the Bay Area, Portland, and Seattle are home to tons of tech companies), and if you really think about it, they don't need the rest of the USA at all. The people in that part of the country also think alike more than people in other parts of north America; Vancouverites, Seattleans, and Bay Area residents have much more in common with each other than they do with people in Arizona, Florida, Texas, Kansas, Alabama, or New York. Without constantly fighting with other parts of the USA on various issues like gay marriage, abortion, etc., they can agree on many things more quickly, and move on to other issues like transportation (a high-speed rail system from SF to Vancouver would be a boon).

Similarly, other regions can separate and do their own thing. The Southeast region can finally separate (they've been wanting to for 160 years now), and do things their way, whatever that may be (banning abortion and gay marriage probably). The midwest (KS, OK, NB, etc.) can do the same, and stop bothering everyone else.

The Rights of Nature (2)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570166)

This goes beyond simple net neutrality.

The article also says Pittsburgh has also recognized the rights of nature. (Not natural rights, but the rights of the flora and fauna.)

http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/drafting-natures-constitution [yesmagazine.org]

That's really quite amazing that an industrial city like Pittsburgh would adopt such a radical provision, which could be good or bad depending on your view.

I wonder what the rights of nature would mean in practice. After all, Bambi can't file a lawsuit on her own.

Re:The Rights of Nature (2)

newscloud (1037538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570212)

Under the Clean Water Act, you only have legal standing to file a suit if you own property along a river or water system that's been damaged. You can only sue to recover monies equivalent to your loss e.g. you can no longer eat fish from the river. Monies recovered go to the Federal government, not to your local ecosystem for cleanup. With Rights for Nature, anyone shall have the authority to sue with an action in equity brought in a court of appropriate jurisdiction. See section 5b of the net neutrality ordinance.

Re:The Rights of Nature (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570464)

No, what's really amazing is that they needed to do this. The accusations of influence over teh Pennsylvania government outlined in the linked article, if true, are nothing short of fascism. I don't disbelieve them. I've been saying privately for quite some time that both major parties are just moderate fascists, and that the US has become a fascist country. People just don't believe me, and then I start citing other examples of the kind of manipulation they're working against.

And yes. I feel like I have to post this as AC. It bothers me a great deal that I feel like this--in the USA, where we used to point to other countries and talk about this kind of thing.

Re:The Rights of Nature (3, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571138)

The accusations of influence over teh Pennsylvania government outlined in the linked article, if true, are nothing short of fascism. I don't disbelieve them. I've been saying privately for quite some time that both major parties are just moderate fascists, and that the US has become a fascist country.

Moderate? Both parties are absolutely fascist, and the US has been a fascist country for some time now, it's just a lot more obvious now than it used to be.

People just don't believe me,

The problem is the "fascist" label. Poorly-educated Americans only associate it with Nazi Germany and Hitler and the Holocaust, and don't really understand the meaning of the term, which is corporate control over government. "Corporatism" means the same thing, but it doesn't carry the same weight that "fascism" does.
Other even more poorly-educated Americans think it has something to do with Communism because it ends in "ism" and started in Europe at roughly the same time Communism did.

Re:The Rights of Nature (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571728)

Actually as I understand it, in Fascism the government uses the corporations for consolidation of power and to build the war machine.

What we have in the U.S. is slightly different. It's the Corporations using the government as a puppet to rule. So I have often called it "Reverse Fascism," but Corporatism is the same thing. Both are about corporations having so much influence in the government that they're affectively ruling the country. If we aren't there yet we will be there shortly.

Re:The Rights of Nature (2)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570630)

"That's really quite amazing that an industrial city like Pittsburgh would adopt such a radical provision, which could be good or bad depending on your view."

Pittsburgh used to be industrial, but now there are only offices of the industries that used to have plants there (like US Steel). Now it's mostly healthcare, banking, and universities now.

Learn about state preemption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570238)

State preemption is an important concept, one which should not be faulted.

Regarding the drilling in PA, it is state preempt. Pittsburgh will lose in any court case regarding the challenging of drilling. They can make all the illegal ordinances they want, it will not be legal to enforce.

The same goes for firearms laws in PA, they are completely state pre-empt, as they should be. Cities wanting to ban guns in parks can't enforce such ordinances. The communities are safe from bigoted morons who believe lawful firearms owners are a danger. If they feel so endangered, they can move to another country.

Re:Learn about state preemption (2)

newscloud (1037538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570248)

This came up in a thread with Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing, CELDF's Thomas Linzey replied "There are many things that currently prevent us from engaging in this new type of activism - one is preemption (both at the federal and state level); Dillon's Rule (the flip side of preemption which treats municipalities as children compared to the state "parent"), and corporate "rights" (that activism such as this violates corporate constitutionally embedded rights, including bill of rights and 14th amendment protections, as well as commerce clause "rights" under the constitution). Our organizing designs municipal laws to frontally challenge each of those impediments." Ultimately it comes down to who should decide in communities? Should corporate lobbyists influencing congress set the law and should we abide by these laws? Or, should we challenge them?

Re:Learn about state preemption (1)

topham (32406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570278)

Laws like this pass because there's no reason to oppose them vary hard. They are illegal to enforce on their face and would result in potentially billions of dollars in liability for even attempting to impose them.

So the laws get passed, the companies ignore it and go forward anyway.

Re:Learn about state preemption (2)

newscloud (1037538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570292)

Maybe but in Pennsylvania, drilling companies have backed away: "Major gas exploration companies such as Chesapeake and Cabot are reducing their drilling significantly — and others like Talisman Energy have shifted some of that drilling to places like Texas where taxes are close to nil and where there is little opposition to the drilling unlike western Pennsylvania where environmentalists have come out strongly against the drilling and the city of Pittsburgh has passed an all-out ban." http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/01/24/drilling-companies-reduce-investment-in-pennsylvania/ [cbslocal.com]

Re:Learn about state preemption (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570472)

You have made the classic correlation = causation error in your assumption that the local ordinance in the Pittsburgh city area is causing reduced drilling over the entire state of PA. It is far more likely that aggressive state regulations, high nat gas inventories, a plethora of shut in wells and low nat gas pricing is what is causing reduced drilling in PA.

Re:Learn about state preemption (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570838)

I would submit that your substitution of your causes is no more valid than the GP's.

After all, if drilling persists in other areas of PA, but not in Pittsburgh itself, then the GPs attribution of causes is at least as valid as your own.

Re:Learn about state preemption (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571304)

Yeah, except there NEVER has been any nat gas drilling in Pittsburgh, and there were no plans to do such drilling at the time the ordinance passed.

Minor but important facts.

There is no 'right to Internet access' (0, Troll)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570294)

There are some things that are not a matter of opinion. Anyone who has taken an introductory algebra class recalls the transitive property of equality. It states that if A = B and B = C, then A = C. A doesn’t “somewhat” equal C. It does not equal C most of the time. There is no moderate or extremist way to look at this theorem. It is just absolutely true without exception or qualification.

This mathematical/logical principle applies directly to our example. Consider the following:

If (A) a right = (B) healthcare

And (B) healthcare = (C) the labor of other people

Then the right to healthcare must equal “a right to the labor of other people (slavery).” The words “moderate” or “extreme” do not apply to this statement. It is simply true. One cannot partially agree or disagree with it.

In order to disagree with it, one must reject one of the first two statements in the theorem. Assuming that one does not want to reject the first statement (healthcare is a right), then one must take the absurd position that healthcare is not the labor of other people. Without accepting this absurdity, one cannot deny that a right to healthcare constitutes a right to the labor of other people. If that is not the definition of slavery, then what is?

The same goes for the bogus 'right to internet access' or 'right to education' or any other State created right that causes the property, work and money of other people to be put to use for the benefit of other people by force.

Net Neutrality is nothing more than a form of 'right to internet access'; in it, your ISP equipment and bandwidth are taken out of your control for the 'greater good' by force. Your company and your capital are being made other people's property, and you and your staff are being made into slaves because you are being forced to maintain these immoral rules.

If people want Net Neutrality, they should get together and form an umbrella organization made up of people and ISPs where the companies that own the bandwidth and equipment promise to follow the rules laid down by the 'Net Neutral Association'.

If the idea catches on, it will become the de-facto standard, otherwise, it will die. What is for sure, forcing people to cooperate with each other is not moral and people who have intact moral centers do not use force to make others do what they believe to be right.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (2, Informative)

newscloud (1037538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570318)

The United Nations has proposed to make Internet access a human right. This push was made when it called for universal access to basic communication and information services at the UN Administrative Committee on Coordination. In 2003, during the World Summit on the Information Society, another claim for this was made. In some countries such as Estonia,[3] France,[4] Finland,[5], the United Kingdom Greece[6] and Spain,[7] Internet access has already been made a human right. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_Internet_access [wikipedia.org]

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570398)

The United Nations has proposed to make Internet access a human right.

That's as far as I got before I rolled my eyes. Is the UN paying for it? It seems the people who call for things like internet access to be a basic human "right" are A) unable to pay for it themselves and want someone else to, or B) people who advocate for those previously mentioned, but also expect someone else to pay for it.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570624)

None of the human rights are "free as in beer". Even your right of freedom would be meaningless unless enforced and protected, and that requires resources.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (4, Insightful)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570642)

Just because it is a right does not mean you get handed the access.... I have a right to keep and bear arms...did the government hand me a rifle or hand gun? NO.

A right to internet access means that if I pay to have the access, it can not be taken from me with out due process of law. (I.E. no 3 accusations and you are banned for life) and given that, I can not be banned from having access for the remainder of my life and more than likely, given the types of violations that would cause sanctions, the law would simply be able to reduce my connection speed tot he point that circumventing copyright would be impossible (think... dial up)....That is IF I CHOOSE TO EXERCISE THE RIGHT FOR AN INTERNET CONNECTION.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (0)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571060)

The right to free speech precludes you being charged a fee every time you climb up on a soap box or stand on the street corner waving your "the end is near" sign. Nobody is obligated to provide you with the soap box or the sign but you still can shout your message even without the tools.

But since you can't get on the internet EVEN if you do have the tools unless you pay someone else (carrier or ISP), it can never be a RIGHT, unless someone supplies the network for free, or as a tax supported facility like sidewalks.

So not the same thing at all as the right to arms. Anything that requires the participation of another party or the access to that other party's property or labor can ever be a right. (At least not since the Thirteenth Amendment).

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570910)

The United Nations has proposed to make Internet access a human right.

That's as far as I got before I rolled my eyes. Is the UN paying for it? It seems the people who call for things like internet access to be a basic human "right" are A) unable to pay for it themselves and want someone else to, or B) people who advocate for those previously mentioned, but also expect someone else to pay for it.

My kingdom for a mod point!

Further, there is inherent in this declaration of the Right to Internet Access the assumed obligation of someone to build that internet. Its not just a matter of someone having the RIGHT to BUY internet access. After all, a RIGHT (to free speech) is not something you have to pay for each time you open your mouth. Poll taxes were declared illegal, in part because they interfered with the RIGHT to vote.

So its a small step from the Right to internet access to mandating a government provided internet, computers, etc.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (2)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571240)

Nobody ever notices the most important part of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, namely Article 29.

(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

THAT'S the problem! When your rights come from government, then the government can limit them or even take them away entirely. Do as we say or lose your rights! Still want to depend on the United Nations to protect your rights?

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570368)

Anyone with even the slightest knowledge of logic can smell your bullshit a mile away. You tried (and failed, miserably) to hide a third premise in there. That a right to the labor of other people is slavery. That's pure, grade A bullshit right there. If a parent is required to care for their child, rather than drop it in a dumpster, is that slavery? When I am required to stop at a red light, is that slavery?

You anarcho-libertarians are so fucking full of yourselves that you think that you can exist as an island. You can't. Everyone in this world relies on the labor of others. That isn't slavery, and for you to call it that is absolutely disgraceful. Real slavery is when a child in India gets pulled out of school, locked in a room, and raped several times a day until she's too old and ugly, at which point she ends up dead in a gutter.

Requiring people to help each other out is how society has worked for all of human history. If you don't like it, feel free to end your life, as that's the only way your existence won't in some small way burden others.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1, Insightful)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570408)

Hey, my car is dirty. I have the right to a clean car, my friend over there says so. I require you to wash it, right now. After all, society works by helping each other out, doesn't it?

Saying "Say, how about helping me out with this?" or "Do this for me and I'll do something for you in return" is how society cooperates. Saying "I convinced some powerful organisation to put you in jail unless you give me that" is not cooperation, sorry.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570528)

If it was impossible for you to wash your car yourself, and in most of the country there was only a single organization you could possibly go to to get your car washed, then damn right it would make sense to impose government regulation. Fortunately, this situation does not exist for car washing like it does for internet access.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (0)

bmajik (96670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570634)

It's impossible for me to fellate myself, and worse than there being only one organization I can go to to receive this service, there is NO organization in my area that can do this for me.

Presumably, the government should step in and regulate/provide this service for me.

Is that accurate? Or do I misunderstand you?

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571200)

Bad analogy.

If you want someone to fellate you, there's a giant number of "providers". Just go downtown and look for scantily-clad women standing on street corners. There's lots of providers all competing with each other, not one single organization. Of course, in most places this is an illegal service, but that's bad government, but you can still go to Las Vegas to find legal providers.

Finally, there's no reasonable argument that you need to be fellated. If you want to get off, use your hand, or convince your wife/girlfriend to do it for you. Access to open communications is a real need in order to have an advanced civil society. The American Founding Fathers recognized this, which is why they enshrined freedom of speech into the Bill of Rights at position #1, and also why they explicitly authorized the Federal Government to own and operate the Postal Service in the Constitution, with the requirement that it deliver mail everywhere in the nation, not just in profitable areas. The Founders would be ashamed if they came back today and saw us fighting over net neutrality; it's certain they would have supported this. (Don't forget, the Founders were not fans of big corporations.)

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (0)

bmajik (96670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571246)

Never-the-less, it's much easier for me to legally get good internet than a good blow job.

If you recognize that laws against prostitution are bad government do you also recognize that the reason we have sole-provider problems in some areas for internet service are _also_ bad government?

Usually, the fix for bad government is not more government..

I am not convinced the founders would support net neutrality.

Also, the USPS doesn't deliver mail everywhere in the nation. In many small towns and certainly rural areas you pick your own mail up somewhere else, at a central location. Ironically, UPS and Fedex deliver mail to the door in these locations -- presumably profitably.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571302)

If you recognize that laws against prostitution are bad government do you also recognize that the reason we have sole-provider problems in some areas for internet service are _also_ bad government?

Of course, but the thing is, the solutions are different. For prostitution, the proper governmental action is to legalize it and regulate it in the interest of public health and safety (i.e., make sure the hookers get weekly STD tests, and don't allow them to work if they're infected). Prohibiting something that lots of people want has never worked.

For internet access, the solution can either be having the government provide it directly (as it does with the USPS, while still allowing competition from private companies), or having the government strictly regulate it as a utility monopoly(/oligopoly).

Usually, the fix for bad government is not more government..

What's your proposal then? No government at all? I've never heard of any successful anarchist societies. This is what's called "throwing the baby out with the bathwater".

The fix for bad government is to fix the government. You can't do without government; it's been a necessary part of human society since they created communities and invented agriculture.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

bmajik (96670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571712)

I'd like to beleive there was a government that would protect my rights as its first and only priority and functoin. But so far, no such thing has existed in world history.

And so one wonders, "is the baby the same as the bathwater"?

As I said elsewhere, I am somewhere between a libertarian and a voluntaryist. If i were convinced that an ethical state were possible, I'd be a libertarian. But I'm no longer convinced the state can exist morally.

The USA was the most exciting experiment in limited or self government that had been tried at that point in history. I'm not aware of a society that has done a better job since. But suppose that the 1700s model of the USA was not the endpoint on the gradient of prosperity and individual rights, but merely as far as we've gone thus far? What if there is something better waiting ahead?

In other words, the lack of existance of a well known, successful anarchy doesn't preclude one from ever existing. And anarchy isn't my goal per se, my goal is more liberty.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (0)

bmajik (96670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570594)

You're absolutely right that I rely on your labor for the wonderful standard of living that I have. Thank you.

You're absolutely wrong that I have _coerced you_ into providing it. If you feel that I haven't compensated you for everything you've ever done for me, I apologize, and I'd like to talk so we can resolve this.

People can and do cooperate and build off of the labor of each other while still engaging in purely voluntary transactions.

That is the sole ethical model of human interaction - voluntaryism.

For any other model of interaction, there is an element of coercion involved. There's a hidden gun just around the corner.

Your point about the _practice_ of those who are recognized to be slaves vs. how most of us live is of course accurate.

But the frustrating thing about libertarians is that we are not pragmatists, we deal in principle and ideology. Someone who is held against their will, made to do tasks they do not wash to do, and who is only beaten or raped once a year certainly has it better than someone who is held against their will, made to do tasks they do not wish to do, but who is raped every hour.

We agree that both are slaves, even though their treatment and perhaps the magnitude of their suffering differs.

So then, what is the essential nature of slavery?

http://www.duke.edu/web/philsociety/taleofslave.html [duke.edu]

What's your answer to the question of "the tale of the slave?"

What makes us not slaves? The infrequency of our rapes?

Incidentally, if you are curious about one an-cap viewpoint on the ethics of parenting and children, of course, Murray Rothbard's "The Ethics of Liberty" is a fantastic starting point. You can find the text online.

I hope you'll take the time to read and think about the link provided. Please also note that I did not denigrate you or your beleifs in my response, a courtesy you did not grant to the OP.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (2)

TheTyrannyOfForcedRe (1186313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571034)

You rely on the coercion of others all the time. People have to eat. People need a roof over their heads. As a result they toil away the majority of their lives at work.

How many people would work voluntarily if there wasn't a basic need for food, clothing, housing, etc? They might do something "cool" of their own choosing but they certainly wouldn't be making your morning coffee at Starbucks, flipping your burgers at McDonalds, killing and cutting up animals for you, growing vegetables for you. Modern capitalist societies are giant coercion machines by their very nature.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (0)

bmajik (96670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571162)

Yet people used to be able to satisfy their needs for food, shelter, and clothing without government and without me. And some can even do it without any other humans around at all.

I reject the premise that I am coercing a barista at starbucks. SHE decides what she wants and how to acheive it. Whether I show up there, that day, or EVER, the government will still demand restitution from her via taxation, and the ONLY way she can do that is to do something for somebody that will give her dollars in exchange.

She could be a self sufficient woman living in a hut somewhere. And the government would demand she pay taxes on something or other. And for that reason only would she be required to transact with others.. to somehow have a way to get dollars, the only thing that will satisfy the government.

The government is the coercive entity in the picture.. in every picture. Coercion is its nature.

Conversely, with no government, if she didn't feel like showing up to work, she'd have no need of government paper, and no _coercive_ reason to show up to work. If she didn't like being a barista more than any other consideration in her life (like not having to build her own house and hunt her own food), she and I would never meet.

Humans do not continue to live by default -- food, clothing, and shelter do not appear for us out of thin air. We must exert effort in our lives to secure our wants and needs. That isn't the coercion of man on man or state on man.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (3, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571264)

Yet people used to be able to satisfy their needs for food, shelter, and clothing without government and without me. And some can even do it without any other humans around at all.

Not really true any more. It's not possible to just go out and "live on the land"; that land belongs to someone, either a private party or the government, and they're not going to let you just live there. Moreover, there simply aren't enough resources for people to live like this. That's why the hunter-gatherer societies disappeared roughly 9,000 years ago, and were all replaced with agricultural communities. There have been a few aberrations, such as the Native Americans in North America until 150-200 years ago, and also settlers moving out to "the frontier" and doing the same, but that's all over now and only existed because the Americas were geographically separated from the rest of the world by water. There simply isn't enough land and wild animals for everyone to go back to being a hunter-gatherer, or even a small number of people. The lifestyles aren't compatible (as good land is in short supply); your ideas are several thousands years out-of-date.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (0)

bmajik (96670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571688)

You're being a bit disingenuous here. "my ideas" are not that we live in huts by ourselves (although that would almost certainly be an _ethical_ improvement from today, in terms of the absense of coercion and denial of rights to individuals)

There are still people who manage to live without the assistance of others or participation in society, inspite of the very real societal obstalces to doing so you've mentioned. So, I have to disagree with your comments here.

Again, I am not proposing a return to hunter gatherer. I was illustrating the nature of coercion and providing concrete pictures of non-coercive interactions. I beleive there are non-coercive models for society that are compatible with something more resembling modern life, but rather than have my point rest on what is imagined, it is easier to describe it based on what has already been.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570764)

If a parent is required to care for their child, rather than drop it in a dumpster, is that slavery?

Parents have a duty to care for their child, they are not required to do it. That is a pure straw man argument.

When I am required to stop at a red light, is that slavery?

Stopping at a red light does not take anything away from anyone, so this example fails utterly.

Everyone in this world relies on the labor of others. That isn't slavery,

It is not slavery if people work for each other voluntarily; this is what you are deliberately missing out. You need to miss this out because if you do not, you are admitting that you are a supporter of the violent theft of people's work, money and property for the "greater good".

Requiring people to help each other out is how society has worked for all of human history.

That is a lie, and the logical fallacy known as 'Appeal to Tradition':

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-tradition.html [nizkor.org]

Im sorry that I rubbed you up the wrong way, but the logic of this air tight. You may be for the theft of other people's resources. Fine. Just admit it and be done, instead of flailing about with your ill thought out arguments.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571206)

He had me up until he tried to make the healthcare issue the same as net neutrality. As in many ways the healthcare issue is exactly like he says. People want their 'free shit'. That is how many people are putting it 'give me the free shit and I dont care how it is paid for'. Try talking to a few people who live in a ghetto if you dont think it is this way (I have).

Net neutrality was cleverly made into a partition issue. There was a small opportunity where we as a country could have got together and told them to fuck off. It is too late now. When the real issue is just a simple money grab. Caps being a way to gouge the customers. Then a 'limited pipe, see we have caps its limited' they can charge the end company for 'using their pipes'. Who gets to pay that, oh yeah the customers. It was just simple 3x charging. Im sure they are trying to figure out a 4x way. Due to limited competition in many areas there is no price erosion. Despite overall costs going down and capacity going up. You do not charge less just because it cost you less. You charge where MR=MC. When you are in an oligopoly that ends up being being much higher and not as efficient for society. Many of these very oligopolys exist by law from the very people who need more providers by signing stupid contracts.

Requiring people to help each other out is how society has worked for all of human history
Then you havent paid much attention to history. Typically there is some sort of exchange (even if it altruistic). Hey we are a greedy species...

If you want to see why laws are passed just follow the money. I know it is a crappy way to look at it. But it is very true these days. For example look who benefited the most from the healthcare bill. Hint it is not us or the few millions of uninsured. It is insurance companies. Doctors will I 100% guarantee it will jack their prices up. As they can. There is a larger demand and more money in the system. Simple econ 101 there. The demand curve flattened out and moved to the right. The supply curve did not move. So the MR=MC will move upwards. If you do not think so just wait about 10-15 years. It will be 3x-4x what it is now. So now there are less doctors per person. Meaning they will be worked harder (and make more mistakes and need more insurance). So they will charge more as they can (hey its free to me what the hell do I care what it costs). Insurance companies must carry meaning they have larger risks of defaults and must overall charge more.

Both are not slavery per se. But more like stealing.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571220)

If a parent is required to care for their child, rather than drop it in a dumpster, is that slavery?

Where exactly are parents required to care for their children?

Here in Arizona, if a woman doesn't want to take care of her child, she can drop it off at any fire station, no questions asked. It's really too bad that more young women don't take advantage of this service, as so many of them are in poverty and doing a terrible job of raising their children.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

kaiser423 (828989) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570434)

Have you read the writings of Jared Loughner, the man whom shot congresswoman Giffords? Your first five paragraphs could have been lifted from him verbatim.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

bmajik (96670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570490)

That really raises my opinion of him, if what you're saying is accurate.

However, your assessment disagrees quite strongly with what I've read about him.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570452)

By that standard you have no rights at all, as all rights require someone else's "slavery".

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

temcat (873475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570706)

No, by that standard you have a right *not* to be subjected to aggressive violence. This doesn't imply anyone else's slavery.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570802)

By that standard you have no rights at all, as all rights require someone else's "slavery".

This is not so. All the rights you have come into existence when you are born. They all stem from your right to self ownership. You own yourself, and all the fruits of your labor.

Property rights are the root of all rights. Your 'right to a free press' is actually a property right in the paper and ink you buy or make to distribute. Your right to publish is actually your right to distribute your property as you see fit. Your right to association is actually your right to take your own body to any place where you have a right to be (i.e. not violating someone else's property right in their house or land).

When you look at rights from the correct position, it is easy to spot what a right is and what a right is not.

have a look at this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-Lb8YitPs8 [youtube.com]

for a very good lecture on rights.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1, Insightful)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570478)

I like math too, but I like it for it's purity. Applying simple Algebra to society seems like a simplistic model.

Then the right to healthcare must equal "a right to the labor of other people (slavery)."

Yes look at all the Doctors being enslaved by the masses. Oh wait, that's right, you can't even give me a single example of that. However I could give you thousands of examples where people have become enslaved in debt, merely for getting medical care to survive.

This is why I hate philosophical debates that have no connection to reality, and worse, ignore the actual problems we have.

There are no such things as "human rights", you are born into this World, and hopefully are lucky enough to be in a 1st world country where you aren't a slave.

Freedom of speech enabled Hitler to rise to power and kill millions, I don't think free medical care will have the same side effects.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1, Insightful)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570818)

Yes look at all the Doctors being enslaved by the masses. Oh wait, that's right, you can't even give me a single example of that.

I think you are not going deep enough into this; if a country taxes people (theft) to pay for the healthcare of others, the doctors who perform the work are being paid with stolen money, and the people who provide that money are the slaves.

Its the same with the BBC. They take stolen money (the 'TV License' collected under threat of jail) and then provide programmes for 'free'. In every case, the taxpayer is the slave.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570860)

So then stop working. Slaves are forced to work, you aren't forced to work. Especially in the UK, you can stop working, go on welfare and not be a slave at all. By being a citizen of whatever country you are in, you are bound by their laws and contractually obligated to pay taxes. Move to Amish country if you want to get out from big government, you can ride your horse all day without being taxed.

I suppose you could think of having to pay taxes making you a slave, but what's the alternative. Without taxes your entire country wouldn't exist, nevermind roads, schools, police, and all the rest that go along with civilized society.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571004)

So then stop working. Slaves are forced to work, you aren't forced to work. Especially in the UK, you can stop working, go on welfare and not be a slave at all.

I'll bite. First of all, you cannot collect welfare if you are able to work, so you are indeed forced to work, and have a portion of your labor stolen from you. When you do so, money is stolen from you. Every time you spend money, 20% of the transaction is stolen, and if you are buying gasoline, alcohol or cigarettes the percentage is much more than that. Do you really think that its 'fair' that people can simply stop working and have everything provided to them by the people who do work? Even if it was moral, do you really believe it is sustainable? If you do, I have some beach front property in Arizona for you cheap!

By being a citizen of whatever country you are in, you are bound by their laws and contractually obligated to pay taxes

This is not true. When people are born in a country, are you claiming that they are automatically bound by a contract? That is the same as being born a slave, with no option to opt out. By what right does a country claim a human being as its property, simply because it is born inside an artificial border? Its completely absurd.

Without taxes your entire country wouldn't exist, nevermind roads, schools, police, and all the rest that go along with civilized society.

This is not true. America (for example) was built without taxes as we know them today. Roads, Schools and police could exist very well, and in better forms without these theft based services being provided by the state.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571260)

I have sympathy for what you are saying, but there's another point of view.

When you do so, money is stolen from you. Every time you spend money, 20% of the transaction is stolen, and if you are buying gasoline, alcohol or cigarettes the percentage is much more than that.

This is only when you purchase something using currency provided by the State. Bartering is legal and is not taxed, however when you use Dollars, there are lots of hidden costs that need to be paid for, like the fed reserve and all that jazz. When you purchase from a store, there are many more hidden costs, and the taxes pay for them. Food inspection, safety inspections, contractual laws, infrastructure, and all the other things that have allowed that store to exist and offer you merchandise. Take a trip to country that lacks much government and sure you don't pay taxes, but things are more expensive or not available at all.

Your advocation for zero taxes isn't realistic anyway, and you are railing against both income and sales taxes, what's left, property?

As far as taxes on gasoline and alcohol and tobacco, those three cost huge amounts of money. Considering beer is still about the same price as water, $1/beer or $1 bottled water, I don't consider that a high tax. Gas taxes were supposed to be used to pay for roads, which makes perfect sense, instead of a toll on every single road in the country, just tax gasoline. Cigarette taxes help reduce tobacco use somewhat, and you can always roll your own for a fraction of the cost, but people would rather pay more for Marlboros.

The income tax came into effect for war time spending and without it Germany would be ruling the world, so yes the country wouldn't exist without the income tax.

By what right does a country claim a human being as its property, simply because it is born inside an artificial border? Its completely absurd.

Yes, exactly. You are born in the US, you have to abide by US laws and tax codes. You can't go kill someone without consequences, and those consequences cost money to enforce. The transition from local taxes and authorities to national taxes and authorities is a natural consequence of communication and transportation technologies making the world smaller. It's completely impractical to go back to locally controlled communities. Even if we did, it would allow safe havens for racism, strict religious views, high pollutions pockets, high crime pockets, and everything else that led to a more national approach.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571280)

Perhaps I should concede that going on the dole just because you don't want to work and would rather live of the taxes from other people is ridiculously immoral and is becoming a huge problem in many 1st world countries.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571316)

I was a lot more Libertarian before I found out Australia has a $15/hr min wage with 4 weeks paid vacation and has lower unemployment than the US, which goes against the libertarian view that you can't just legislate wage increases

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570920)

Taxes are a fact of life for anyone living in a civilized society.

Taxes are used for the betterment of said society, either through security, communications, transportation, or the helping of it's citizens who are in need (among other things, overly short/simplistic list).

Taxes being used to help those in need of medical help, is a good use, in my opinion. It doesn't make me a slave because I pay taxes that might someday save YOU or the life of someone you care about. That's just misusing the word, slave, to try to give weight to your argument, which apparently needs the help of emotion laden words.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571098)

if a country taxes people (theft)

The moment you start redefining words from their common meaning to support your extreme viewpoint, is the moment when everyone stops listening, because the rest of your logic becomes completely incomprehensible (how could it be otherwise, when you speak words but mean something entirely different from how people normally understand them?).

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571468)

The fault is with 'common meaning' and not with the truth of what taxation really is. Its up to you to come to an understanding of what the truth is.

In all societies, public opinion is determined by the intellectual classes, the opinion moulders of society. For most people neither originate nor disseminate ideas and concepts; on the contrary, they tend to adopt those ideas promulgated by the professional intellectual classes, the professional dealers in ideas.

Throughout history, despots and ruling elites of States have had far more need of the services of intellectuals than have peaceful citizens in a free society. States have always needed opinion-moulding intellectuals to con the public into believing that its rule is wise, good, and inevitable; into believing that the "emperor has clothes." Until the modern world, such intellectuals were inevitably churchmen (or witch doctors), the guardians of religion.

While opposing any and all private or group aggression against the rights of person and property, the libertarian sees that throughout history and into the present day, there has been one central, dominant, and overriding aggressor upon all of these rights: the State.

In contrast to all other thinkers, left, right, or in-between, the libertarian refuses to give the State the moral sanction to commit actions that almost everyone agrees would be immoral, illegal, and criminal if committed by any person or group in society. The libertarian, in short, insists on applying the general moral law to everyone, and makes no special exemptions for any person or group.

But if we look at the State naked, as it were, we see that it is universally allowed, and even encouraged, to commit all the acts which even nonlibertarians concede are reprehensible crimes.

The State habitually commits mass murder, which it calls "war," or sometimes "suppression of subversion"; the State engages in enslavement into its military forces, which it calls "conscription"; and it lives and has its being in the practice of forcible theft, which it calls "taxation."

The libertarian insists that whether or not such practices are supported by the majority of the population is not germane to their nature: that, regardless of popular sanction, War is Mass Murder, Conscription is Slavery, and Taxation is Robbery. The libertarian, in short, is almost completely the child in the fable, pointing out insistently that the emperor has no clothes.

Throughout the ages, the emperor has had a series of pseudoclothes provided for him by the nation's intellectual caste. In past centuries, the intellectuals informed the public that the State or its rulers were divine, or at least clothed in divine authority, and therefore what might look to the naive and untutored eye as despotism, mass murder, and theft on a grand scale was only the divine working its benign and mysterious ways in the body politic.

In recent decades, as the divine sanction has worn a bit threadbare (slashdotters are almost all atheists, so divine arguments always fall flat), the emperor's "court intellectuals" have spun ever more sophisticated apologia: informing the public that what the government does is for the "common good" and the "public welfare," that the process of taxation-and-spending works through the mysterious process of the "multiplier" to keep the economy on an even keel, and that, in any case, a wide variety of governmental "services" could not possibly be performed by citizens acting voluntarily on the market or in society.

All of this we libertarians understand is a lie: we see the various apologia as fraudulent means of obtaining public support for the State's rule, and we insist that whatever services the government actually performs could be supplied far more efficiently and far more morally by private and cooperative enterprise.

And we can prove it.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571656)

I won't bother with your points as such, since they have been re-hashed and debunked countless times already (as an ex-libertarian of the most extreme variety, I should know, having been on the receiving side of that!). Google is out there for everyone to use. Sapienti sat.

However, one thing I would like to recommend is that you do not speak for all libertarians ("we libertarians" etc). Your position is that of an anarcho-capitalists. Many - in fact, I would expect, the majority - of libertarians are minarchists: they understand that state is needed to enforce property and contract rights, that defensive war in response to outside aggression is a necessary evil to maintain a libertarian society, and that some taxes must be collected to provide for those state services. Being a social democrat, I do not agree with their position, but I respect it as internally consistent and implementable - a viable option in the spectrum of choices of a democratic society. What I do know, further, is that most of those folks very much dislike when someone ridicules anarcho-capitalism while referring to it as "libertarianism" without any further qualification - they agree that it is quite worthy of ridicule, and would prefer to distance themselves from such views.

(as a side note, coming from a proponent of the most extreme individualist philosophy ever in existence, "we" is quite an oxymoron regardless of anything else!)

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571520)

By this sort of logic any set of laws puts those governed into a state of slavery.

So given that all humans are subject to laws we are all slaves.

Since this is established we can eliminate this terminology as being meaningless and move on to something that has meaning.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (2)

internetizen12 (2308476) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570650)

You seem to believe that the right to property as you envision it is inherent in the matter of the world and has nothing to do with the State. In order for us to be able to choose to hold property laws in the way we do - a social choice that could take many different forms, and in fact does across countries and cultures and time periods within the U.S. (can I assume you're from the U.S.?) - we have a State to provide enforcement of the "right" to property (and money as a medium of exchange for property, etc.). Sure, you are welcome in a (purely imaginary, of course) state of anarchy to try to beat up anyone who tries to take what you declare to be your property, or to find someone who holds the same beliefs as you do about the meaning of contracts and then to cooperate via a contract to achieve whatever ends you want to agree on. In other words, there are social mechanisms for enforcing a group's view of property outside of the bounds of a modern State. But if you apply your algebra-as-social theory model to the modern State in which you presumably live, you have, congratulations, enslaved everyone who helps to defend your property for you.

But wait! We pay police officers, the National Guard, or maybe your private security team, or whomever to take care of our property for us. Some people are willing to provide those services, and expressing that there is a "right" to receive those services does not imply that anyone will be forced to provide them. Just so, a "right to healthcare" or a "right to Internet access" is a formulation not necessarily premised on the use of conscription. In fact, I suspect the vast majority of people(s) who talk about these kinds of rights do not intend for them to be meant in that way - and it is not an algebraic fact that rights (with the magical exception of certain kinds of property, of course) entail slavery.

Of course, I have expressed an opinion, based though it is on logic and facts, with which it is possible to disagree and still use logic. Your algebra demonstration was perfect logic. Your flaw was to assume that human interactions are premised on the exact definitions and perfect logical properties of abstract mathematics such that a demonstration of logic applied to an ethical/social/political question is unproblematically appropriate.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570932)

If you are going to invoke math in this sort of discussion at least get the frelling math right. Transitive equality is NOT a theorem. It is an axiom. It's truth in not proven, only assumed in most mathematical systems.

Therefore your use of it outside the context of math where it is an axiom is a logical FAIL unless you provide a set of axioms and a proof of it. Which you didn't.

So you FAIL.

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571320)

This mathematical/logical principle applies directly to our example. Consider the following:

If (A) a right = (B) healthcare

And (B) healthcare = (C) the labor of other people

Then the right to healthcare must equal “a right to the labor of other people (slavery).”

By your logic:

If (A) a right = (B) voting
And (B) voting = (C) the labor of other people
Then the right to vote must equal the labor of other people, which you call slavery. Don't believe me? Then you must hold the absurd position that ballots and counting votes doesn't require human labor. Doesn't the paper for the ballots cost money? Doesn't earning money require labor of other people? Don't the counters get reimbursed for the time spent counting votes and verifying their results?

I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want that precious tool that could provide people that share your ideologies power taken away, now would you?

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571566)

A major problem here is that there are two definitions of "rights": rights as freedoms from some form of coercion, and rights as entitlements to some form of benefit. These two, and the differences between them, are akin to negative and positive reinforcements in behaviorism.

For example, the right to bear arms, as someone else pointed out, is the right not to have weapons summarily confiscated at the whim of the government and without due process, as well as the right to be able to purchase various weapons: it's a freedom from undue restrictions on bearing and buying weapons. The right to bear arms does not, however, guarantee cheap or free access to weapons, or that the government will hand them out to everyone: it's not an entitlement to a good or service.

On the other hand, some people use "right" to mean "entitlement," in a socialistic sense of providing at public expense goods or services to those who cannot or will not pay for them (in better-organized societies, this is somehow restricted to those who cannot afford them rather than who choose to pursue laziness at the expense of others). This can still be a net benefit to society: for example, entitlements to vaccination and sanitation may help improve the quality of life for everyone within a city, and its long-term effects may, by increasing the overall profitability of a city, repay those whose capital was used to fund the entitlements. This form of "right" can be abused, of course, to reward laziness and punish endeavor, but such abuses are naturally infrequent, because the lazy rarely cooperate for their own benefit, which would take effort, and the endeavoring generally exercise more real control in any given society than the lazy. Fear of such abuse of entitlements is much more often a rhetorical strategy to manipulate the successful than it is a well-founded anticipation of some sort of social upheaval.

Since the two sorts of "rights" are not identical, there is no correlation between the net neutrality story and the healthcare example provided by the parent post, since the labor/slavery argument clearly relies on the idea of an entitlement. The parent really ought to be marked offtopic for making such a bad analogy: health care and Seattle's internet access ordinance are nothing alike, to the point that health care serves only as a straw man.

Getting to the main point of this story, the model net neutrality ordinance is an example of the former type of right, a freedom from restriction, not of an entitlement. Nowhere in the ordinance cited does Seattle guarantee free service to all residents. Rather, it prohibits restrictions from being placed on that service for customers. Restrictions, contrary to the beliefs of some in the sway of monopolistic abusers of the free market, do not arise solely from governmental coercion: restrictions are also a tool of manipulating markets unfairly to eliminate competition. Under Seattle's ordinance, all customers get unrestricted access to whatever sites they wish to view: an ISP isn't allowed to block Fox or MSNBC because of political leanings or to retard access to a site to prevent video streaming or to make a site unusable. This is in no way slavery: no one is being coerced into yielding up capital or labor for the benefit of others. Rather, customers are protected from companies attempting to create monopolies by silencing competition: on the one hand, customers are protected from companies in the service provision market from colluding with companies in the content provision market to preclude other entrepreneurs from using their own labor and capital to compete honestly in the content provision market (i.e. if an ISP blocked Fox to keep them from competing with MSNBC); on the other hand, customers are protected from companies in the content provision market from colluding with companies in the service provision market to preclude other entrepreneurs from using their own labor and capital to provide access to the content providers (i.e. if MSNBC blocked access from ISP B because ISP A was giving kickbacks).

Re:There is no 'right to Internet access' (0)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571854)

Since the two sorts of "rights" are not identical, there is no correlation between the net neutrality story and the healthcare example provided by the parent post

Thanks for an insightful reply.

There is only one meaning for the word 'rights', and its important that when we talk about rights, we use language carefully. You do not (as others have pointed out in this thead) have a right to other people's property or labor. If you use the word 'right' when you are talking about something that can only be provided by someone else's work, then Q.E.D. you are not talking about rights. Just because other people have a poor understanding and control of English, it not mean that the meaning of words or reality changes to suit their level of illiteracy.

Net Neutrality, where ISPs are forced to provide a service at a certain quality, is pure slavery. If I want to run an ISP where I block MSNBC, the state forbids me from doing this. They are forcing me to allow the traffic of other people to pass through my servers to my customers. If I do not want to do that, by what right does the state demand that I put my resources into something that I do not consider to be in my self interest?

If I run an ISP and I let my customers know in advance of entering into a contract with my company that I traffic shape and block sites, they can choose to use another ISP. I am not for fraud, where an ISP advertises a product and then provides a crippled service to maximise profit; that is immoral.

The state should not have the power to make me carry anything that I do not want to carry, wether it be the cost of other people's healthcare or bandwidth. The analogy fits because in both cases, people are being forced to do something by the State.

The state should also not have the power to control 'monopolies' in fact, it is the state that creates these monopolies through crony capitalism and patents, where single companies can stop others from using an idea and freely competing.

Internet access is not the business of the State. They should have no say in it whatsoever. Internet access and the regulation of it works fine through contract. The fact that the internet is everywhere now without the help of the State is proof of this.

They appear to be idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570310)

I can get behind locally-enforced net neutrality. It makes sense, you set rules on how businesses in your community can operate. But tying this to a regulation that bans "corporate personhood" is going to doom it to failure. If it's a Right, a city council can't vote to take it away. If the Supreme Court says an entity has rights, a city council can't overrule that. The Supreme Court ruling may have been stupid, but it's the law of the land now and we sure as shit don't need city councils deciding who does and does not have rights within city limits.

Re:They appear to be idiots (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571814)

I agree. If the county or city is allowing use of its right-of-way or equipment there should be no reason why it can't regulate it and require any company using it to be neutral. Charters for such things occur at the local level.

But I see no way a community could have any say about corporate personhood. The only way we are ever going to get rid of corporate personhood is constitutional amendment... and it's a constitutional amendment we most desperately need. Corporate rights were deliberately left out of the constitution because the founders did not want to give corporations too many rights (because of the East India Company). The only reason we have corporate rights is because of judicial activism in the mid-1800s. Every time the "strict constitutionalist" judges vote for corporate rights the hypocrisy is almost palpable.

A major issue... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570320)

Aside from the(no doubt sticky) legal issues, there is the problem that for most purposes, the most 'local' portion of the network is not the limiting factor in the network's utility:

There've been a number of real-world cases, I believe in Canada, where the local good-guys-mom-'n-pop ISPs have been "neutral/non-throttling"; but the Evil Telco Empire from which they had to lease their access was engaged in throttling, so the fact that they weren't touching customers' packets didn't end up mattering much. Either you could buy direct from Evil Telco, and have your packets die, or buy from the good guys, and have your packets die when they went further upstream.

In practice, I suspect that a much better deterrent to various nefarious telco practices is simply municipal fiber installs. Based on the frankly vicious legal maneuvering that comes up every time one is mentioned, it would appear that the incumbents are very, very afraid of them. This suggests that they are a good thing. Obviously, one wants to ensure that the local godbots/RIAA flacks/national security fascists don't insert a "no evil upon the people's internet" provision into the municipal fiber buildout; but, as best I've been able to tell, net-nonneutrality efforts, so far, have pretty much entirely been rent-seeking measures that crop up because of seriously tepid competition. It's not that telcos have some ideological axe to grind, they just want to squeeze as much as they can out of you. Compete with them, and they'll either stop dicking around with things that customers hate, or at least make sucky internet extremely cheap.

Section 7 – Exploration of the City of Seatt (3, Informative)

newscloud (1037538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570336)

Section 7 – Exploration of the City of Seattle as a Direct Broadband Provider - If broadband internet access service providers providing service to residents of the City of Seattle violate this ordinance in ways which evidence a pattern and practice on behalf of those providers to interfere with the rights secured by this ordinance, the City Council of the City of Seattle shall explore the potential for the City of Seattle to become a direct broadband internet access service provider to the residents of the City of Seattle.

Re:Section 7 – Exploration of the City of Se (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570354)

That seems logical. I suspect that that is the part, if any, that would give it teeth.

Re:A major issue... (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570614)

Well considering many states have monopolies by law ( 1 company for dsl, 1 for cable), competition will never exist.

As far as the RIAA throttling down your torrents so my online video gaming has low lag, I don't see the problem. Throttling has it's purpose, and if they were more open about it, they could offer me higher speeds. I'm in Maine with a 15mbit connection, that'll do 30mbit for like 15 seconds. If it wasn't for people freaking out over throttling, they would just give me a 30mbit connection and just throttle it down to 15 whenever it's necessary.

Prioritizing packets through DPI isn't all bad either, YouTube and Netflix can wait a 100ms more so my headshot packet goes through on time.

Throttling torrents doesn't matter, it's when Wikipedia is throttled to death, and the highest bidder (perhaps FOX or MSNBC) is the only website that is fast enough to use, that's the issue that matters.

Re:A major issue... (1)

deapbluesea (1842210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571326)

I suspect that a much better deterrent to various nefarious telco practices is simply municipal fiber installs

Absolutely. If you want this, lobby your city council, get involved, go to meetings, get elected to the board if you have to. The whole point is that you are going to have to build grassroots support outside of the walled garden that is /. if you want to see this happen. There are a number of cities and municipalities that have done this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Municipal_wireless_network#Cities_with_municipal_wi-fi [wikipedia.org] , so you'll have plenty of lessons learned to work from.

In short, this doesn't need to be a federal government thing, it just needs to be done in the local community. The feds only have to get involved in fixing the long-haul problems in the network related to peering, etc.

My proposal: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570324)

FUCK YOU

Glad to see this (2)

bmajik (96670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570328)

Disclosure: I'm somewhere between a libertarian and voluntaryist, and I'm against net neutrality laws/regulations.

But I'm happy to see this for a few reasons.

1) the idea of federal supremecy really rubs me the wrong way. States and municipalities, so long as they are not violating incorporated individual protections, should do whatever they like and tell uncle sam to fuck off. This idea that every single detail of our lives has to be managed from DC and has to be the same for everybody everywhere is really, really stupid and is very counter to the original vision of America.

2) If some people want something like net neutrality specifically, not doing it at the federal level is a great approach
2a) I don't think the FCC really has any constitutional right to exist, but that ship sailed a long time ago. The idea that it has the power to impose and enforce net neutrality regulatoins is dubious at best.
2b) I don't see that _all_ internet businesses eveyrwhere should play by arbitrary rules decided in DC. You could certainly envision high-density municipal internet services being provisiioned, used, and regulated differently than RRTA farmers in the dakotas. Let's let the people decide what they want at a _local_ level, and make businesses put up with it.
2c) incidentally, having different rules and regulatinos for every little locality PROMOTES small businesses and regional operators, and dissuades mega-corps who want to push out local incumbents with federal power

Now, I used to live in seattle and hated the politics of that whole festering sore of hippie socialists. But, I long for the idea that their right of supreme self-determination should trump and invalidate whatever Uncle Sam has to say about it.

Re:Glad to see this (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570724)

You argument sounds like you would want the USPS to be broken up into 50 state entities with different laws and regulations in each state. National infrastructure needs to be regulated on a national level. The internet goes across state lines, just like radio waves, therefore it's entirely constitutional for the federal government to regulate it, and was in fact the vision from day 1.

TV channel 37 is reserved for radio astronomy, do you really think scientists would have been able to purchase this from whoever owned that part of the spectrum? Would cell phone manufacturers enjoy a set of 50 different laws to comply with? Would some states allow high radiation devices that give people cancer because they want some extra revenue?

Re:Glad to see this (1)

bmajik (96670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570844)

Re: USPS

that would be wonderful. It shouldn't exist at all, naturally, but breaking it up would be a fine start :)

Without conceding your overall point, I'll entertain that if you want to say that the feds should regulate trunks or long-haul links, you might have an argument. That argument wouldn't however extend to local ISP service, which is what we're talking about here.

Re: what some states would allow: absolutely. People come in at all different levels on the taxonomy of wants and needs. If you're worrying about how much radiation your phone puts out, you're not one of the farmers in the rural dakotas who was bitterly clinging to his AMPS phone unti the day service ended, because that was the only thing he could count on to have service when he was 3 hills over the horizon and there was a bad accident in the field.

Any farmer would gladly trade "NO I FUCKING MEAN IT" levels of radiation, at least in emergency situations, if it was the difference between completing or not completing the call. That's something that just doesn't weigh on the minds of phone regulators in DC because they haven't been there.

If there are people who are willing to pay for a super-handset that can be used in all 50 states despite diverse laws and regulations, and there are not local government obstacles to building/selling such a device, somebody will make it.

As far as owning parts of the spectrum and FCC involvement: I'm not convinced the current way this works is optimal, but I'm not well read enough on it to suggest one of the superior-sounding alternatives I came across.

Re:Glad to see this (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570918)

that would be wonderful. It shouldn't exist at all, naturally, but breaking it up would be a fine start :)

I think in the 1800s there was a need for the USPS, today snail mail is irrelevant.

you're not one of the farmers in the rural dakotas who was bitterly clinging to his AMPS phone unti the day service ended

My uncle has 3g service in remote parts of Tanzania, I'm sure with a little bit of national funding we could get some 3g in the Dakotas. Places like Egypt even have 3g across most of the country.

Any farmer would gladly trade "NO I FUCKING MEAN IT" levels of radiation, at least in emergency situations,

They could just get a HAM license and put out 1kw, that should go for a couple hundred miles

and there are not local government obstacles to building/selling such a device

That's why there is national regulation, otherwise obstacles would exist

Re:Glad to see this (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570924)

Oh and as far as not regulating the major trunks, then it won't make any difference, as that's where all the control is.

Re:Glad to see this (1)

TheTyrannyOfForcedRe (1186313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571140)

Disclosure: I'm somewhere between a libertarian and voluntaryist,

Translation: I think it would be way cool if all of the lazy unproductive people would starve to death and/or die from lack of health care so that all of us hyper-productive individualist heros could have more cool toys to play with.

Re:Glad to see this (1)

bmajik (96670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571184)

Translation: I think it would be way cool if all of the lazy unproductive people would starve to death and/or die from lack of health care so that all of us hyper-productive individualist heros could have more cool toys to play with.

Nonsense. I think that would be tragic.

But should that remain an accurate description of them or their behavior, absent voluntary charity, that would certainly be the _just_ outcome.

And any other outcome that relied on non-voluntary action would be, in aggregate, less just and less ethical.

Are you prepared for the opposite as well? (2)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570362)

Are you willing to take the bad with the good? What if some communities want to do away with net neutrality, or regulate any of a myriad of other things we've looked to the feds to regulate up to now? Pushing those decisions down to the local level means that along with stuff you like, you're going to get stuff you don't.

Re:Are you prepared for the opposite as well? (1)

protektor (63514) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570652)

You already have this. Cities pass ordinances that some people like and other find really annoying or wrong. So exactly how would this change anything? You don't like something then get people to rally around it and get it voted on to be removed or added or whatever. It happens at the local level and its the people directly around you deciding how they want to live rather than someone far away who has never been to your town telling you how you have to do things.

Read the papers written before and after the US Constitution. Each of the states fought hard to limit the power of the federal government and to decide for themselves how they wanted things done. I have no idea how we got away from that idea, but we have. I guess some people think they have the right or they know better than everyone else what every single person in the country should be allow and not allowed to do, even though they never met them and never set foot their town.

Re:Are you prepared for the opposite as well? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571410)

Yeah, local pre-emption of FCC regs. Like this has never been tried before.

It's good for a laugh.

Re:Are you prepared for the opposite as well? (0)

reifman (786887) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570660)

A lot of people bring this up ... e.g. Seattle could re-legalize slavery or re-segregate. Thomas Linzey again: "On the issue of segregation, our ordinances actually expand rights-frameworks; so example, some of the ordinances adopted in rural communities borrow from UN materials to expand rights for communities and people; while reasserting and validating federal and state bill of rights protections. So, it isn't about a 'race to the bottom', but a 'race to the top' - a new civil rights movement which expands and accelerates rights protections which then come into fundamental conflict with rights claimed by corporations and higher units of government."

Re:Are you prepared for the opposite as well? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571338)

Are you willing to take the bad with the good? What if some communities want to do away with net neutrality, or regulate any of a myriad of other things we've looked to the feds to regulate up to now? Pushing those decisions down to the local level means that along with stuff you like, you're going to get stuff you don't.

Yes, so long as freedom of movement is undisturbed.

Pushing those decisions down to the local level means that you get much more stuff that you like and much less stuff that you dislike, provided that you're living in a like-minded community. And it's not all that hard to provide for that. You may never find a place where the consensus is in agreement with 100% of your views, but you can get a reasonably high approximation. On the other hand, when you have 300 million people voting over a single issue, it's not reasonable to speak of a consensus, or perhaps even of a community as such (is "American values" even a meaningful term, given the size of the country?).

Note that the basic freedoms (speech etc) would be protected by the Feds, with states having no right to encroach upon them, even in the most minimalist interpretation of the Constitution.

I was excited for a moment there (2)

ace37 (2302468) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570392)

I thought this was a submission requesting Slashdot users come up with frameworks for software-based net neutrality tools. Obviously there are some issues that can't be solved that way, but something like that could be turned into a simple browser add-in that would at least stop some types of abuse. If flat out filtering and bandwidth control were the only ways net neutrality could be harmed, THAT issue would be easier to tackle since it's pretty black and white, and everyone knows the right answer. When we're dealing with shades of grey on shaping traffic and such, we're in danger of having our rights creep away bit by bit.

Here's an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570418)

How about instead of fighting the government to support net neutrality, we instead encourage the government to keep its hands off the Internet entirely? Why don't we let the free market decide on net neutrality and allow ISP's to use the issue as a point of competition? Let the ISP's who want to tier traffic do so and those that don't want to not do so. Then, let customers decide with their dollars which ISP's live or die because of their policies.

Keep in mind, having the government mandating net neutrality is specifically saying the government has a right to regulate the Internet AND increasing government control of our lives. Why would we want that?

Re:Here's an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570612)

Why don't we let the free market decide on net neutrality and allow ISP's to use the issue as a point of competition?

The barriers to entry for providing broadband to the home are high enough that competition is essentially nonexistent.

having the government mandating net neutrality is specifically saying the government has a right to regulate the Internet

Wrong. It says they have a right to regulate ISPs, and prevent them from censoring non-corporate-approved content like they want to. It has nothing to do with whether the government can take down illegal websites (which, like it or not, they already do regardless of net neutrality).
Complaining about net neutrality is like complaining that the 13th amendment is bad for freedom because it takes away your right to own slaves.

Worst law ever (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570454)

http://celdf.org/pittsburghs-community-protection-from-natural-gas-extraction-ordinance?

Section 4.1: Right to Water. All residents, natural communities and ecosystems in Pittsburgh possess a fundamental and inalienable right to sustainably access, use, consume, and preserve water drawn from natural water cycles that provide water necessary to sustain life within the City.

Section 6.3: Any City resident shall have the authority to enforce this Ordinance through an action in equity brought in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. In such an action, the resident shall be entitled to recover all costs of litigation, including, without limitation, expert and attorney’s fees.

So this basically says that if I live in Pittsburgh I can hire my lawyer friend to argue that I am entitled to get water supplied to my home for free, since it would be an excessive burden (and hence a bar to my rights) to expect me to actually travel to such a "natural water cycle", and then recover the costs of him and any experts I choose to hire?

With the current Supreme Court? (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570550)

Good luck on that one. Corporation v. Community... Corporation will win every time.

Re:With the current Supreme Court? (1)

reifman (786887) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570676)

Um, so best just to give in?

Re:With the current Supreme Court? (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570738)

No... cities should just keep going. I am just citing the inevitable.

Re:With the current Supreme Court? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570774)

Oh well, at least we have people like you to balance out the Tea Party.

Re:With the current Supreme Court? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571794)

Corporation v. Community... Corporation will win every time

The companies that actually run the networks, including the mom-and-pop operations in small towns, "win," in the sense that they're the ones actually providing the service. "Community" doesn't run a giant network of networks. You might have something to go on, there, if you could point to the success of municipal networks that don't more or less immediately run out of cash and fold up (see countless recent examples that city taxpayers all across the country have become fed up paying for, and kill off). If you want to set rules that make it intolerable for a business to run a particular business in your city, just don't complain when they simply stop providing that service. The people who invest in, and work for those companies are also people, and part of "the community." Right? Or do you like to ignore that part? Yeah.

Bigger issue (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570862)

The "the right to govern our own communities as an element of the right to community and local self-government" is a can of worms that will cause major issues for any large companies or companies that work in many jurisdictions.

Here is a site with many state laws that have been struck down due to their effect on interstate trade. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/statecommerce.htm [umkc.edu]

If every jurisdiction was allowed to make laws abut everything then the country would become a patchwork of sometime conflicting statutes. No company that works nation wide could deal with it.

Local self government has its limits. Should a local government be able to ban hazardous goods shipments(they can go around)? Should they be able to ban trucks built before 2005 for emission reasons? Think of the issues for a long haul trucker. At every state, county and municipal border he would have to check it see if he could take his load in the current truck through.

This whole issue seems to forget that DC is not a separate country. Everyone votes for representatives that go to DC. If you want a law that is controlled by the federal government changed the lobby your federal representative.

Re:Bigger issue (1)

reifman (786887) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570880)

You make it sounds like democracy is a can of worms :) Ha, it is. Besides, there already is a patchwork of sometimes conflicting statutes across our country. From the blog post ... This work is about giving up hope that Congress is going to do the right thing, or State legislatures are going to do the right thing; and beginning to craft a structure of "rights" at the municipal level that challenges the hegemony exercised by those other levels of government; and then using the combined force of that municipal strength to push upwards against those higher levels of government to get the change that we want and need. This organizing is about turning away from traditional activism (which is mired in letter writing campaigns and lowest common denominator federal and state legislation) and dipping our hands into a new activism in which the grassroots forces themselves begin to craft and model rights-based laws which then stitch together to change state constitutions, and eventually, to change the framework of the federal constitution itself. It's a realization that the only way substantive change is going to happen - especially that change that runs counter to the interests of a relatively small handful of corporations - is a revolt from the bottom, from the municipal level. It's promising and hopeful work involving people who have given up on higher levels of government doing what's needed; who are refocusing themselves on change that matters at the local level.

Re:Bigger issue (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571376)

The "the right to govern our own communities as an element of the right to community and local self-government" is a can of worms that will cause major issues for any large companies or companies that work in many jurisdictions.

Are you seriously arguing that democracy (and make no mistake: local government is what makes democracy actually work) should be curtailed because it makes life harder for big business? You have some rather strange priorities, in my opinion.

This whole issue seems to forget that DC is not a separate country. Everyone votes for representatives that go to DC. If you want a law that is controlled by the federal government changed the lobby your federal representative.

This assumes that it is possible or desirable to have a single law that's good enough for everyone. In practice, it often isn't. Pushing these things down on local level lets minorities (on federal level) decide what's best for them without having their preferences being overridden by the majority for no good reason.

Re:Bigger issue (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571542)

No company that works nation wide could deal with it.

you say that like it's a bad thing.

Re:Bigger issue (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571736)

How do you expect your food, clothing and energy to get to you without nation wide companies? Not all companies can or should be local.

Gotta love the hypocrisy of people who hate big companies yet consume their products on a daily basis.

I like the idea (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570888)

There are some problems with enacting a local ordinance enforcing net neutrality: the measure can be taken to the courts and nullified even less expensively than it would take to fight a county-wide or state-wide law or the ISPs can simply refuse to improve infrastructure in the local municipality that enacts a net neutrality law as a form of retaliation. If the ISP refused to invest in infrastructure, it would cause some adverse reactions like diminishing land values because no one will want to live in an area that won't have good access and school quality might be affected because access to information would be hindered. Although, I suppose the municipality could in turn create its own state of the art infrastructure should the ISP want to retaliate.

Again, see Section 7 of the ordinance (1)

reifman (786887) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570942)

Section 7 – Exploration of the City of Seattle as a Direct Broadband Provider - If broadband internet access service providers providing service to residents of the City of Seattle violate this ordinance in ways which evidence a pattern and practice on behalf of those providers to interfere with the rights secured by this ordinance, the City Council of the City of Seattle shall explore the potential for the City of Seattle to become a direct broadband internet access service provider to the residents of the City of Seattle.
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