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Why the FCC Is Likely To Ignore Net Neutrality Comments and Listen To ISPs

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.

Businesses 140

Jason Koebler writes: Time and time again, federal agencies like the FCC ignore what the public says it wants and side with the parties actually being regulated — the ISPs, in this case. Research and past example prove that there's not much that can be considered democratic about the public comment period or its aftermath. "Typically, there are a score or so of lengthy comments that include extensive data, analysis, and arguments. Courts require agencies to respond to comments of that type, and they sometimes persuade an agency to take an action that differs from its proposal," Richard Pierce, a George Washington University regulatory law professor said. "Those comments invariably come from companies with hundreds of millions or billions of dollars at stake or the lawyers and trade associations that represent them. Those are the only comments that have any chance of persuading an agency."

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No shit really? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47470615)

I am shocked, Shocked I say.

Re:No shit really? (4, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 3 months ago | (#47470881)

Yep. Just like the rest of the government. Citizen input is an illusion at best, and even then, only one that takes in the highly gullible and blindly nationalistic.

And to the mods: The A/C's comment was harshly sarcastic, but that is entirely appropriate in this circumstance. Modding the A/c (parent) comment down is stupid. It's topical, accurate, and to the point. Mod it back up. Mod mine down instead if you must mod something down just to vent your spleens, or whatever your problem is.

Re:No shit really? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471333)

Citizen input is an illusion at best, and even then, only one that takes in the highly gullible and blindly nationalistic.

  That includes voting. The biggest illusion of them all.

This may be the new telco talking point (3, Insightful)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 3 months ago | (#47471453)

give up, the system is rigged. If they can't fool us, maybe they can persuade us to give up.

Re:No shit really? (3, Insightful)

preaction (1526109) | about 3 months ago | (#47470887)

Well, not that shocked.

Re:No shit really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471337)

So how is that kickstarter project to buy "We the People" a congressperson of our own coming along?

Re:No shit really? (3, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 months ago | (#47471955)

If you want public comments, you want them from knowledgeable members of the public. That's a good thing on the surface. The problem is that the most knowledgeable members of the public in a subject area are very often the same people affected by the regulations. Thus, the experts on nuclear energy production are usually employed or funded by nuclear energy producers. In this case, the experts on network interactions on the large scale are often from the very big network providers or network transport companies, and experts with a neutral position or neutral technical perspective will be relatively rare.

So what's the alternative? I don't see one. Either the corporations control it all, or the government relies upon so-called experts with a change of inadvertently causing regulatory capture, or the government attempts to regulate without expert advice. None of those are good. Essentially right now we have the worst possible system, except for all the other systems.

This just in... (5, Informative)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 3 months ago | (#47470625)

Government agency run by former lobbyists support current lobbyists. In related news it's reported that water makes things wet.

Re:This just in... (3, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47470657)

In related news it's reported that water makes things wet.

  Not necessarily [wikipedia.org] .

Re:This just in... (4, Insightful)

HermMunster (972336) | about 3 months ago | (#47470805)

Herein lies the kicker. Yep, Wheeler was placed there specifically for that purpose. It's an old Scientologist trick. They couldn't get the OK as far as their tax exempt status so they got their own people hired into those positions in order to make the decision in their favor. And, you know what? You can't do anything about it other than try to show proof that they did so with that intent, the intent to subvert the democratic process. It is a subversion of it but they know you can't do anything about it, so all they have to do is feign the desire to have the public concern heard even if they never intended to listen, and then make the decision in the ISP's favor. Wheeler, and his masters, knows that once the decision is made it will take Congress to counteract it. Then of course you have the President and the Vice President both of which favor the big corps that pay for this lobbying.

Your comment apples both to Dem and Rep (4, Informative)

rsborg (111459) | about 3 months ago | (#47470989)

Herein lies the kicker. Yep, Wheeler was placed there specifically for that purpose. It's an old Scientologist trick. They couldn't get the OK as far as their tax exempt status so they got their own people hired into those positions in order to make the decision in their favor. And, you know what? You can't do anything about it other than try to show proof that they did so with that intent, the intent to subvert the democratic process. It is a subversion of it but they know you can't do anything about it, so all they have to do is feign the desire to have the public concern heard even if they never intended to listen, and then make the decision in the ISP's favor. Wheeler, and his masters, knows that once the decision is made it will take Congress to counteract it. Then of course you have the President and the Vice President both of which favor the big corps that pay for this lobbying.

The amusing thing is that if you remove mention of a specific agency or actor, the above tactic is what all the big corporations and industry groups are using to subvert the public interest to serve their profit interest and this infestation of governmental agencies works regardless of who is in power (as long as you contribute to both parties - or at least the party in power).

There's even a term for it: Regulatory Capture [wikipedia.org]

Re:This just in... (2)

theskipper (461997) | about 3 months ago | (#47471529)

And there's no shortage of Congress folk who will spread their legs really wide for telecom. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee is probably the spreadiest:

http://motherboard.vice.com/re... [vice.com]

Re:This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471731)

http://largelabiaproject.org/ [largelabiaproject.org]

Re:This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47470849)

But when people ask the FCC to censor content ('obscenity'), or fine stations that do not do so--which is 100% unconstitutional--it happily complies.

Re:This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47470889)

This is no surprise because the USA is not a Democracy it is a Corporatocracy. Nothing to see here... Move along.

Re:This just in... (1)

Agares (1890982) | about 3 months ago | (#47473873)

Lies all lies! (please note the sarcasm)

They aren't looking for public comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47470641)

They're RFPs. In other words, if you don't like it, give them another option, don't just say "this sucks."

Re:They aren't looking for public comments (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47470803)

Uh, the other option is to not allow pricing for prioritized traffic based on where it's sourced.

This is not rocket surgery.

Re: They aren't looking for public comments (4, Informative)

supersat (639745) | about 3 months ago | (#47471007)

The problem is that the FCC has limited regulatory power unless it reclassifies Internet access as a telecommunications service, which is considered the "nuclear option." Prior attempts to enforce neutrality have been thrown out by the courts. At this point, to do anything meaningful they'd probably have to involve Congress... And I bet you can figure out how likely that is.

Re: They aren't looking for public comments (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471039)

Let's not kid ourselves here, internet service absolutely IS a telecommunications service by every measure of the word. It should be classified and regulated as such.

Re: They aren't looking for public comments (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 3 months ago | (#47472609)

The problem is that the FCC has limited regulatory power unless it reclassifies Internet access as a telecommunications service, which is considered the "nuclear option."

At this point, reclassification is exactly what pretty much every pro-net-neutrality group (and therefore, every citizen who uses their automated comment-submission systems) is asking the FCC to do.

Re:They aren't looking for public comments (4, Interesting)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 3 months ago | (#47471409)

No, the other option is to force infrastructure owners to stop selling ISP services and create a compulsory license fee for ISPs that wish to have their signal carried over the infrastructure.

Over night you have market competition.

Re:They aren't looking for public comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47473229)

the other option is to force infrastructure owners to stop selling ISP services

Which will in effect, change little as they are still commercial entities located at a choke-point.

The game pieces will change, but the end result will remain the same, trying to squeeze as much outof their monopolic position as they can.

This is because.... (4, Insightful)

mlauzon (818714) | about 3 months ago | (#47470643)

'...time and time again, federal agencies like the FCC ignore what the public says it wants and side with the parties actually being regulated...' This is because the FCC -- just like the CRTC here in Canada -- are run by former employees of the companies, and will side with their former employer every time, as they'd rather help them than the public at large. It boils down to conflict of interest, but nothing is ever done about it.

Re:This is because.... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47470687)

Regulatory agencies and lobbying are usually sugar-coated versions of corruption for the benefit of the general public.

Re:This is because.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47470751)

The huge banana republic of the USA.

Re:This is because.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47470781)

Benefit of the general public? Only in the sense of an accidental side effect.

Re:This is because.... (4, Insightful)

suutar (1860506) | about 3 months ago | (#47471013)

The important aspect is not so much that the companies are _former_ employers as that the companies are _future_ employers.

Round and Round She Goes... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47470681)

...where she stops, everybody knows. They are going to listen to the ISPs because the current head of the FCC is the former head of a communications lobby group, and the current head of a communications lobby group is the former head of the FCC.

You don't say... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#47470691)

Really? Amazing, if you staff a regulation body with the people from organizations that are supposedly being regulated by that body, it fails? Really? Who could have possibly imagined that!

Re:You don't say... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471149)

This is a very natural (and I believe very intended) consequence of the drumbeat campaign in this country against people who work for the government. The notion at the outset was that government work is supposed to be compensated well but not lavishly, there's supposed to be job stability, and retirement stability. The idea is that you give up a lot when you work for the government: a good deal of your privacy, the ability to earn a lot of bonus money and other incentives, and of course dealing with blood pressure raising rules more than a bit.

The idea was you trade the possibility of becoming extremely rich for the probability of being comfortable. Some personalities prefer that sort of arrangement, and government work has its share of superstars and super losers just like any organization.

Enter the right wing: we need to stop raises, get rid of job security, get rid of pensions, and generally make working for the government have none of the benefits of the private sector and none of the previous benefits of the public sector either.

What this promotes is the revolving door. It promotes corruption. It promotes regulatory capture. It promotes people doing whatever they have to do in order to get back what was taken from them.

This was very, very intentional on the part (primarily) of right wing and libertarian types whose mantra should be "government is broken, and in case you find someplace it actually works just put us in charge and we'll break it for you". Those of you who hire people: would you really seriously let someone work for you whose opening in a job interview is to tell you that he or she doesn't believe in your organization, its mission, or anything about it? I think not. Yet that's exactly how a lot of people elect their politicians these days.

Let's face it: government can be oppressive and controlling, and in fact these days is very much so where ordinary people are concerned at least. It is ALSO the only force that can stand up to monied interests when it is controlled by the people it represents. We don't have that now. The solution is to take back government and force it to do what we want. Throwing it away or gutting it simply gives power over to the huge corporations and the ultra wealthy that you cannot control by any other means.

Of, For, and By the People (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#47470705)

And corporations are people, my friend...

Re:Of, For, and By the People (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47470755)

And corporations are people, my friend...

"I'll Believe Corporations Are People When Texas Executes One"

Re:Of, For, and By the People (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47470909)

"I'll Believe Corporations Are People When Texas Executes One"

http://www.corporatesecretary.... [corporatesecretary.com]

"In January 2005, Texas revoked TA’s certificate of authority for failure to pay its annual franchise tax...Sometime thereafter, one of the loans that First Community had purchased went into default. Subsequently, First Community was unable to recover on the loan due to TA’s breach of the dealer agreement. In 2007, First Community brought suit on TA’s breach of the dealer agreement and won a judgment against TA and against TA’s president individually...The judgment against the company’s president was upheld on appeal because Texas statutes provide that if a corporation loses its certificate of authority, the directors and officers are liable for any debts on the part of the corporation thereafter.

Re:Of, For, and By the People (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471167)

That corporation was not executed a much better way of looking at it is tnhat Texan Automotive shot itself in the stomach and thought it could survive.

 

Re:Of, For, and By the People (2)

NormalVisual (565491) | about 3 months ago | (#47472143)

In January 2005, Texas revoked TA’s certificate of authority for failure to pay its annual franchise tax

Any state will do that - it's hardly an "execution". In my state it's a whopping $150 per year that goes to $400 if you fail to pay by the designated date. They don't do an administrative dissolution until much later.

Re:Of, For, and By the People (1)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 3 months ago | (#47470761)

So if someone were to open a million numbered companies, then is each one like a little slave baby that has all the rights of a person, but not the self determination?

Re:Of, For, and By the People (1)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 3 months ago | (#47470779)

In its landmark 5-4 decision in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out years of campaign finance law by ruling that corporations and labor unions have the same First Amendment freedom of speech rights as individuals in using their funds to support or oppose candidates for election. In his dissenting opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens raised an interesting, if somewhat sarcastic question: does this mean corporations can vote now?
"Under the majority's view, I suppose it may be a First Amendment problem that corporations are not permitted to vote, given that voting is, among other things, a form of speech," wrote Justice Stevens.

-- So, Can Corporations Vote Now? [about.com]

Re:Of, For, and By the People (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47470859)

What I want to know is... will the next republican president try and appoint a corporation to the SCOTUS? If you look at the rules for who may be appointed a judge.. there are NONE, only that they be confirmed. You could put a literal chimp on the court, as long as you can get it confirmed.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if all this corporate personhood bullshit was setup to start placing corporations as members of SCOTUS - the current CEO of which would sit in as the representative. The powers that be could then hire whomever they want as CEO to vote in the interests of the corporation - basically a seat that will never become vacant, because the corporation will never die.

Re:Of, For, and By the People (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471359)

What I want to know is... will the next republican president try and appoint a corporation to the SCOTUS?

There will never be another Rebublican president. George W Bush was enough to get Americans to dicard that idea.

Re:Of, For, and By the People (0)

Bodhammer (559311) | about 3 months ago | (#47471753)

There will never be another Rebublican president. George W Bush was enough to get Americans to dicard that idea.

There will never be another Progressive president. Barack Hussein Obama was enough to get Americans to dicard that idea.

TFTFY

Re:Of, For, and By the People (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 3 months ago | (#47472625)

Since when was Obama a progressive? Sure, he campaigned as one, but his actions upon taking office revealed that to be a blatant lie.

Re:Of, For, and By the People (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#47474123)

Right, which means people have soured on the term, and thus if a real progressive ever runs, they're pretty much guaranteed to lose short of a miracle.

Same thing happened to the term "communist" back in the 1950's.

Re:Of, For, and By the People (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 3 months ago | (#47471023)

Why would they want to? Comcast can get a lot more done by throwing money at lobbying than by adding one more vote to the congressional race in whatever district they're incorporated in. Sure, I suppose if they were granted the right they'd have someone go cast that vote, but it's not important enough for them to actually work towards.

Re:Of, For, and By the People (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471205)

Okay... but what about the thousands of shell corporations their lawyers can setup? They'd all get to vote too, right?

RE: To whomever modded this "Flamebait" (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#47474143)

RE: To whomever modded this post "Flamebait" -

Thank you. If only we could publicly point that shit out when politicians say it on the campaign trail.

time for a car analogy (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about 3 months ago | (#47470731)

Henry Ford quipped. "If I asked the American people what they wanted, they would have said - faster horses".

Re:time for a car analogy (2)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 3 months ago | (#47470893)

Which is exactly what he gave them. What is an engine rated in? Horsepower. Eats less hay, though, and doesn't crap directly on the street.

Re:time for a car analogy (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 3 months ago | (#47471615)

Henry Ford quipped. "If I asked the American people what they wanted, they would have said - faster horses".

How is that analogous? He didn't ask the people "do you want cars or faster horses".

Re:time for a car analogy (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about 3 months ago | (#47472045)

The analogous part is asking the people for opinion and the rejection thereof.
Q.E.D.

Re:time for a car analogy (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 3 months ago | (#47472321)

But Henry Ford didn't ask the people for opinion, nor did he - as is being done with net neutrality - present a choice and ask for feedback on that.

Re:time for a car analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47472345)

Even if the analogy was accurate (which it isnt, because Ford didn't ask for opinions and the supposed answer is, unlike net neutrality, infeasible) what's your point? One guy assumed the public would be wrong therefore the public is always wrong?

Re:time for a car analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47472419)

Henry Ford quipped. "If I asked the American people what they wanted, they would have said - faster horses".

So Net Neutrality is as silly an idea as faster horses? The American people are idiots and should be ignored? The FCC knows best and shouldn't bother asking the public?

Simple Solution.... (5, Insightful)

felrom (2923513) | about 3 months ago | (#47470763)

Turn the EFF into the NRA of online rights. If the EFF had 5,000,000 dues paying, donating, voting, vocal, invested members, we wouldn't be having these discussions about ISPs writing their own laws. The hardest part is already done: organizing some people who know what they're doing into what is now the EFF.

People just need to decide that their rights are worth at least $25/year.

Re: Simple Solution.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47470885)

Hey, that's cheaper than my NRA Dues!

Re:Simple Solution.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47470929)

This is the truth, because here's the nut.

We are a "Republic", a "Representative Democracy", not a Direct Democracy. We elect the representatives to REPRESENT us. The assorted government agencies do not need to "listen" to us directly, they need to listen to our Representatives.

The NRA is effective because it can rally it's base to interact with the Representatives in Washington. It doesn't take millions of people to swing local elections, it takes a few hundred or thousand.

If the EFF was able to become the "NRA of Internet Policy", if the EFF could rally it's several million members to weigh in on Congress, the EFF would have a stronger voice in government policy.

The NRA was not always this way, it hasn't always been a powerful political force. It takes time, numbers, action, and history for this to happen. The NRA has a proven track record of being effective at election time, otherwise it wouldn't be given the time of day. People ignorant of the issues that the NRA represent listen to the NRA anyway, because of its reputation and history.

The EFF, or someone like them, needs to get similar momentum in order to be a voice worth listening too, even if the individual lawmaker doesn't understand the topics being discussed. If the EFF had similar capability to the NRA, the lawmakers would pay attention anyway.

Re:Simple Solution.... (3, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 3 months ago | (#47471921)

The NRA has its deep pockets and resultant clout not (necessarily) from numerous individual private members but from effectively being an arms industry trade group, the USCoC of arms manufacturers and dealers.

And so long as we continue to have the kinds of wealth disparities we haven't seen since 1929, catering to rich corporate interests (with varying levels of populist veneer) is the only way to get enough money to actually influence policy.

Re:Simple Solution.... (1)

heypete (60671) | about 3 months ago | (#47473425)

The NRA has its deep pockets and resultant clout not (necessarily) from numerous individual private members but from effectively being an arms industry trade group, the USCoC of arms manufacturers and dealers.

The NSSF [nssf.org] is the arms industry trade group. The private arms industry in the US is relatively small compared to, say, the oil, tobacco, alcohol, etc. industry and doesn't have anywhere near the same political clout as those industries. The largest source of income for the NRA is membership dues, and it's from their 5+ million members that they derive their political clout.

EFF (1)

RoloDMonkey (605266) | about 3 months ago | (#47473861)

I pay them every month. If you are reading this, are you paying your share?

Then we need more shaming (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47470767)

Like Netflix has done, and YouTube is starting to do. Point out which ISP's are not providing you with the bandwidth YOU bought to download the content YOU requested.

Google can even do better. In order to not detract from the bandwidth YouTube has available for an ISP users, it can stop crawling web sites on the ISP's network. After Verizon or Comcast sees that none of their hosted platforms are indexed on Google, then Google can offer to sell them separate 'hi-speed' indexing peering points.

Provide Solutions. (3, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 3 months ago | (#47470829)

When you respond to a call for comments from a federal agency, don't say it sucks. Say what's wrong and provide solutions.
Solutions should come in the form of exact text changes that the editor can copy and paste into the document. People are lazy. Text talks.

See this: http://csrc.nist.gov/publicati... [nist.gov]

In my comments, each comment comes with a resolution..
E.G.

The diagram shows inputs to functions including entropy, personalization string, nonce and Additional input. However the text calls out only the
nonce input as being optional. By omission it leaves the optionality of the other inputs ambiguous. In a specification, where there is a list of items,
some optional, some mandatory, it is necessary to identify the optional or mandatory nature of every item.
Also, “depending on the implementation” is redundant and adds no meaning.
Proposed resolution:
Replace
Figure 1 provides a functional model of a DRBG (i.e., one type of RBG). A DRBG uses a DRBG mechanism and a source of entropy
input, and may, depending on the implementation of the DRBG mechanism, include a nonce source. The components of this model are
discussed in the following subsections.
With
Figure 1 provides a functional model of a DRBG (i.e., one type of RBG). A DRBG shall implement an approved DRBG algorithm and at
least one approved source of entropy input, and may include additional optional sources including a nonce source, personalization string,
and additional input. The components of this model are discussed in the following subsections.
 

Re:Provide Solutions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47473159)

Didn't you read TFS? It will explain exactly why comments to the FCC go directly into /dev/null. Your comments sent to the FCC are summarily ignored. If you want be heard, take the FCC into the courtroom.

Captain Obvious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47470835)

So what's being said here is that well-reasoned, evidence-backed, meaty, professional arguments outspeak the masses shouting "they took our jerbs!"

I'm shocked.

I don't see this evidence of the system being broken. Maybe the educational system for the masses, but not the agency.

More like Captain Clueless (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 3 months ago | (#47470917)

Well, let's see how "shocked" you are when the "well-reasoned, evidence-backed, meaty, professional arguments" result in your surfing becoming a lot slower, and any websites YOU decide to publish somehow don't get much traffic, because people won't wait on slow websites, as is well known. Yeah, I'll bet you'll just be happy as a clam with that, won't you? You won't see any evidence of the system being broken then, either, will you? Clearly, the problem will resolve itself you only just educate yourself a little more (presumably with what benefits the corps, and not you.)

Sure. Brilliant.

Re:More like Captain Clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471005)

We're on the same side here--I don't want Net Neutrality to die either. No need to get uppity :-)

My point at its core is that our side needs to up its game and that merely calling out the rabble to complain is a data point perhaps, but not a reasoned argument. An agency that listens to well-formed arguments and can cut through noise seems to me on the whole not-broken. It may still be full of corruption; it may make bad decisions; but letting the mob rule is worse.

We might be better off spending our efforts croudfunding a professional (or funding the EFF or similar) to work this thing rather than DoSing them.

Re: More like Captain Clueless (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47471029)

Go host your site on amazon

If you want it to be fast hosting it on a home connection wont do it

Re: More like Captain Clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471435)

Nope, that's not how this internet stuff works. The slow lane will be throttling by the last-mile ISP as the data enters its network. The content site could be hosted anywhere in the world.

If you meant Amazon will be paying the fast lane extortion fee to Comcast, Verizon, et al, then you're correct, but didn't state it correctly.

Stockholm Syndrome (2)

troll -1 (956834) | about 3 months ago | (#47470839)

I first heard about regulatory capture in an economics class where it was referred to a the Stockholm Syndrome for regulators. It's a well documented phenomenon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R... [wikipedia.org] It also doesn't help when regulators are guaranteed well paid future jobs within the industries they are currently supposed to be regulating.

Re:Stockholm Syndrome (3, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | about 3 months ago | (#47470867)

Can it really be Stockholm Syndrome though?

That would be like saying that with Stockholm Syndrome you are paying the hostages.

I think when money changes hands you would go, IMHO, from "hostage" to "collaborator".

Re:Stockholm Syndrome (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 3 months ago | (#47471077)

That's is money changes hands. It's possible that the regulators simply sympathize and go directly to collaborator/protector.

Re:Stockholm Syndrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47472233)

... Stockholm Syndrome ...

My explanation: When the victims of mild aggression identify the perpetrators as victims themselves and thereby excuse or encourage the crimes being perpetrated.

So how has the tel-co sector of industry become a victim? They provide a service and receive payment per their choice. They get stability and constancy under commerce law and corporations law. They receive protection under other laws: protection of property, monopoly rights, exemption from certain responsibilities to consumers and third parties (eg. 'safe harbour').

Who Needs an Article to Tell Me This? (3, Insightful)

mendax (114116) | about 3 months ago | (#47470899)

The government is corrupt, morally bankrupt, and will do what those with the most money want them to do. As someone suggested above, if the EFF was the NRA of Internet it would be a different matter. But, in the end, since this really is an issue of two conflicting corporate interests, and one of these interests just happens to mirror that of the people.

Frankly, I think net neutrality will win out in the marketplace because of the things some companies, e.g., Google, are doing to let their users know that the ISP's are throttling them. The ISP's can't prevent them from doing this and ISP's customers can choose another ISP that doesn't do it, or at least offers better performance. Another possibility is that the content providers the ISP's are throttling will eventually become ISP's themselves, especially Google.

Re:Who Needs an Article to Tell Me This? (1)

barc0001 (173002) | about 3 months ago | (#47470967)

"he ISP's can't prevent them from doing this and ISP's customers can choose another ISP that doesn't do it"

Until a) they ALL do it to level the playing field and ensure that all ISPs get to bleed the major content providers equally, or b) Comcast finishes buying every last major ISP like they seem to be planning based on their past and pending acquisitions.

Re:Who Needs an Article to Tell Me This? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471379)

You are assuming that people have a choice in ISPs. There are areas around here where, due to lack of competition, the telecom hasn't even layed out nodes and the country side is dialup or satellite at best.

Re:Who Needs an Article to Tell Me This? (2)

Shadowmist (57488) | about 3 months ago | (#47471535)

The ISP's can't prevent them from doing this and ISP's customers can choose another ISP that doesn't do it, or at least offers better performance. Another possibility is that the content providers the ISP's are throttling will eventually become ISP's themselves, especially Google.

Waiting for Google to save us is essentially waiting for something that's not going to happen. Most users are stuck between a choice of one ISP or perhaps two, both of which engaged in the same practices.

Re:Who Needs an Article to Tell Me This? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471851)

If the EFF was the NRA of the Internet, then it'd be in the pocket of the corporate interests.

Re:Who Needs an Article to Tell Me This? (1)

steelfood (895457) | about 3 months ago | (#47471943)

Another possibility is that the content providers the ISP's are throttling will eventually become ISP's themselves, especially Google.

Google's doing exactly this, and Google's quickly [bloomberg.com] backing off supporting net neutrality. I wouldn't look to them to take the lead. In fact, I'd probably shy away from any relying on corporations. They only do what's in their best interest, which if we're lucky, aligns with public interest. The EFF does good work, but I think the EFF is not very visible and probably could use a new PR/marketing guy along with a ton more money.

Net neutrality would largely be moot if there wasn't government-granted monopolies on internet infrastructure everywhere, or if the communications was declared an essential public utility (like water, sewer, etc.), or if ISPs were even given common carrier status (like phone companies). None of these things happened during Clinton's deregulation-happy administration when ISPs were just starting up, and now we've got yet another big mess on our hands (not nearly as large as the other mess, but it's still pretty damn big).

Re:Who Needs an Article to Tell Me This? (1)

spyke252 (2679761) | about 3 months ago | (#47472175)

Frankly, I think net neutrality will win out in the marketplace because of the things some companies, e.g., Google, are doing to let their users know that the ISP's are throttling them.

I'm not so concerned for Google or Netflix as I am concerned about startups who would otherwise be able to compete with the content provided by ISPs. What would've happened had Verizon and Comcast slowed down traffic to Netflix when it was first created? What about if it were possible when Facebook, or Google, were born?

I think it sets a dangerous precedent when one or two companies literally get to decide what new services are good ideas and then create their own, shitty version of it that competes only on the basis of not being fucked with by the ISP.

The ISP's can't prevent them from doing this and ISP's customers can choose another ISP that doesn't do it, or at least offers better performance.

When 37% of Americans have only two wired broadband providers, 28% have just one, and 2% have no wired broadband ISPs at all [extremetech.com] , I don't think this is really as much an option.

Wat (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 3 months ago | (#47473611)

Frankly, I think net neutrality will win out in the marketplace because of the things some companies, e.g., Google, are doing to let their users know that the ISP's are throttling them. The ISP's can't prevent them from doing this and ISP's customers can choose another ISP that doesn't do it, or at least offers better performance.

Since we are talking about the US 'market' here; what the fuck are you smoking?

Of course (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471033)

Have you ever read the comments on a site such as, let's say, reddit? Sure, good ones get modded up, but on the whole, the average person's opinion on economics or politics or technology is half-baked, ill-informed, self-serving, rustic, two-dimensonal, unsophisticated and ignorant. Bunch of dullards, derps and dopes.

THAT is what is submitted to the FCC in matters like this. And that is why the FCC completely ignores them, as they should.

money is speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471051)

if a comment isn't in the form of big piles of $$$, then it's not worth paying attention.

Understanding 'consultation' (2)

Bruce66423 (1678196) | about 3 months ago | (#47471089)

Consultation is NOT about demonstrating that there are a lot of people opposed to a decision; that's what the democratic process of the commision, congress etc is for. Consultation properly is to raise specific issues that the bureaucrats haven't thought of, to ensure that the final regulations will achieve what the bureaucrats want it to do, or to identify why the implementation will fail. So lots of identical objections will achieve nothing; a detailed examination of why the regulation will have unintended consequences in area 'X', will get attention - as long as the people tasked with reading them don't give up because there are so many.

why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471109)

I see your prediction the government will ignore the country, not your explanation as to why.

Devil's Advocate (2)

AudioEfex (637163) | about 3 months ago | (#47471113)

While I'll agree that largely they are going to be ineffectual anyway, I don't think we help the cause with the current "copy/paste this as your comment" mentality. Just go to any of those public comments sections on the government sites and a massive majority of comments are identical, usually a complete set, one each of a pro and a con argument that someone just simply is told to copy/paste to "help the cause" from whatever side sent them. I just cringe when they also contain awkward wording, or even spelling/grammar errors in the original text - that of course propagate to every single one that someone pastes in. There are so few original comments it all just looks like PR/social media campaigns, not citizens giving actual, thoughtful comments.

That said, again, yes, I'm sure a lot of folks don't want to waste time because they don't think it matters any way, and it probably doesn't - but like I said, it doesn't help the cause or likely make anyone monitoring/reviewing them pay attention when they have read the same exact comment worded the same exact (often poor) way hundreds or even thousands of times. It's not a vote, it's an invitation to comment - but we treat it like one.

the FCC = (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471175)

the FCC fucking communist cunts

Ready to be sued Tom Wheeler? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47471207)

You'd better be ready for it.

If you do not crack down on these companies and their greed, then we the people will sue you for everything you have, ever had and ever will have, along with every other person in on the decision making process at the FCC.

It's our lives you are messing with, our ability to make ends meet, our ability to communicate effectively.

Since we know it's not in the people's interests to allow the ISPs and backbone operators to do whatever they want, there is only one reason the FCC would not push all of them to title II entities and mandate Net Neutrality in the strictest sense of the term. That reason would be to line your own pockets, either today, yesterday or sometime in the future.

Don't let your own greed misguide you to making a very unsound decision. We the people will be watching.

And in other news (1)

tom229 (1640685) | about 3 months ago | (#47471289)

The sky is blue.

This should be the FTC's responsibility (3, Insightful)

supersat (639745) | about 3 months ago | (#47471391)

The FTC seems like they have the right tools to tackle net neutrality, whereas it's not clear that the FCC does. For example, they could declare that ISPs letting certain peering links saturate to unreasonable levels without disclosure is an unfair and deceptive trade practice. If a customer purchases Internet access, they expect equal access to all of the Internet. They could also declare that cable franchise monopolies interfering with competing video services (like Netflix) is an anti-trust violation.

Re:This should be the FTC's responsibility (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 months ago | (#47472497)

The FTC seems like they have the right tools to tackle net neutrality, whereas it's not clear that the FCC does.

The right place to do this is congress. Really, simple, a single law, and it's done. I don't think this is an issue enough people care about, though. It's something we care about, but we're kind of a minority.

Usually does not mean always (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 3 months ago | (#47471413)

we can still win this fight.

Re: Usually does not mean always (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47473045)

You misunderstand: this is not a fight, but a business deal between business people, and we're not one of the involved parties.

FCC doesn't have a mandate to answer to the public (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about 3 months ago | (#47471651)

The FCC is supposed to answer to Congress. Congress makes the laws that define the scope of FCC responsibilities. The FCC should only listen to the public as it pertains to regulated entities doing something wrong or the FCC not doing its job.

I do agree that the FCC head should never be a shill for the regulated industries.

The real reason why... (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#47471665)

The chairman of the FCC is a dirty industry insider and does not give a fuck about the American public. All I know is that the next president had better fire his ass and put someone in there that will not game the system.

Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47472155)

The ISP'ers are gaming-up for a multi-trillion dollar game.

The FCC Chair and subordinates stand to gain billions in cash, drugs, prostitutes and property (world wide).

The FCC Chair and subordinates have called for Billion Dollar Bribes to them for favors !

The ISP'ers are happy to abide.

longer comments get used/quoted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47472589)

having written several comments to the FCC over the years, and had them quoted in subsequent actions..

A comment like "I hate it" or "I love it" isn't very useful to the guys and gals writing the new regulation or report and order.

A multi page report with references, charts, diagrams, and lots of written material helps the regulator writing their output. It helps them in many ways: you've done some of their "justification" analysis and they can paraphrase you (and perhaps cite you in a footnote).

Maybe not. (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | about 3 months ago | (#47473071)

I think the FCC may end up postponing the change in net neutrality because it could have a tremendous effect on the upcoming 2014 Congressional elections if they go against the overwhelming wishes of the people commenting on its proposal.

Also because net neutrality as a concept is dumb? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47473091)

p.s. beta has not stopped sucking, the data consistently show

Insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47474057)

Who in their right mind would want to listen to billionaires over thousanaires?

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