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Content Filtering Pulled From Free Broadband Proposal 111

Posted by samzenpus
from the blocked-no-more dept.
huzur79 writes "Electronista is reporting that Kevin Martin, Chairman of the FCC, has dropped the content filtering provisions from the proposal for free wireless broadband service, according to an interview with Ars Technica. Previous drafts of the plan required protection methods to prevent users from accessing objectionable content, such as pornography. 'I'm saying if this is a problem for people, let's take it away,' Martin said. The proposal has received criticism and opposition from a variety of groups including the Bush administration, wireless companies, and consumer interest organizations. T-Mobile has argued that communicating data on the allocated frequency bands will cause interference and quality degradation. Civil liberties groups argue that the FCC would overstep its authority and violate the Constitution."
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Content Filtering Pulled From Free Broadband Proposal

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  • by Bobnova (1435535) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @01:26AM (#26276793)
    Inconceivable!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by luvirini (753157)

      Not really, it is still only a proposal, meaning there is still time to modify it to be stupid before it becomes official policy.

      • by Darundal (891860) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @02:03AM (#26277025) Journal
        Actually, I would be willing to bet that the proposal won't be modified to include filtering. That will come afterward, when the entire thing is up and running and they could wait for moral "advocacy" groups to complain continually and run campaigns to persuade people that unfiltered internet access is the worst thing in the world for the children and everything else. Then, they can proceed with whatever filtering, moral policing and otherwise they want to, and (they hope) lots of vague legislation letting them monitor and limit the people even more.

        I would absolutely love to be called a conspiracy theorist, and have that supported by a complete lack of the above happening.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Nah, if you were a real conspiracy theorist(or sane human being) then you'd know that they will still monitor and data-mine the fuck out of it and give the data to advertising and anti-dissident goverment agencies. This half-assed display of "we're fighting for your privacy" is utter bullshit, just like every other human-run outfit which seeks to alter your perception of reality.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Sure, watch where I tunnel my SSH traffic and the rates I send it at. I don't care. You're providing me free internet.

        • by mi (197448)

          That will come afterward, when the entire thing is up and running

          Yes... Not entirely unlike the speed limits [wikipedia.org] put in place on national highways after the Interstate grid was built.

          • by cayenne8 (626475)
            A more basic question comes to mind to me....on what Constitutional basis does the FCC exist anyway?
            • The authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce and in fullfilling those duties the FCC was created. That was hard.
              • by cayenne8 (626475)
                "The authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce and in fullfilling those duties the FCC was created. That was hard."

                Regulating interstate commerce? That seems a stretch...where is the interstate commerce in regulating airwaves or content on tv?

                • by Xaoswolf (524554)
                  I can watch TV stations from ohio and pennsylvania with rabbit ears...

                  Likewise, most shows are filmed in other states anyways...

                  Same for radio.

                  • by mi (197448)

                    I can watch TV stations from ohio and pennsylvania with rabbit ears... Likewise, most shows are filmed in other states anyways...

                    By this logic every product/service is within the federal government's reach — because if something still was not, they would just need one person to drive across a State's border and buy it.

                    Fortunately, this logic is not applied to much — but it is already applied to radio and TV. Which is an outrage.

                    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                      by Agripa (139780)

                      By this logic every product/service is within the federal government's reach -- because if something still was not, they would just need one person to drive across a State's border and buy it.

                      Fortunately, this logic is not applied to much -- but it is already applied to radio and TV. Which is an outrage.

                      Unfortunately, that ship sailed long ago:

                      Wickard thus establishes that Congress can regulate purely intrastate activity that is not itself "commercial," in that it is not produced for sale, if it concludes t

                    • by Xaoswolf (524554)
                      Actually, since I don't have to cross state lines to get an ohio station, it's more along the lines of a product that is shipped across state lines as opposed to something that I crossed state lines to purchase.
                • by tabrisnet (722816)

                  Radio waves naturally cross state lines. QED.

                  • by Xaoswolf (524554)
                    which is why I proposed the interstate faraday cage program. Blocks interstate radio transmissions, and also has the added bonus of preventing the loss of important birds due to migration.
        • by rastilin (752802)
          With a free internet pipe I can easily see people making heavier use of Freenet. Here in Australia where high speed internet is paid for by the GB; it's hard to run a node 24/7. However if you're getting internet through a pipe that's unlimited, but of limited usefulness and possibly tracked then it's easier to justify doing more of your stuff on Freenet. It already supports sites, P2P and usenet style message boards the last time I checked, which was a few years back.
        • by basicio (1316109)

          That's a much better thing than having the filtering tied directly to the proposal.

          I am reasonably confidant the supreme court will shoot down anything involving content filtering. If free broadband and content filtering are separate, we don't need to lose one along with the other.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by NeuroManson (214835)

        Yeah, but the problem is, the US Gov't excells at doing senseless, stupid things in record time. Logical, intelligent things, that takes decades to accomplish.

        Don't worry, they'll make it even dumber in no time.

        • by dwpro (520418)

          Just remember, whenever the government does something stupid, you are part of the stupidity as their employer (assuming you're American.)

    • ... I no think it means what you think it means.



      "They were both poisoned. I have spent the last several years developing an immunity..."
    • by Xaoswolf (524554)
      You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
  • >Civil liberties groups argue that the FCC would overstep its authority and violate the Constitution.

    The FCC is on the way into history - don't these groups read the papers...?
    • FC Isn't Evil (Score:5, Insightful)

      by maz2331 (1104901) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @02:14AM (#26277085)

      Come on, the FCC is not an evil agency by any stretch. It does have a legitimate role in issues like frequency allocations - there is only so much spectrum to go around.

      It also has a great role in the enforcement of technical standards like those that prevent one user from interfering with another's use of the airwaves.

      Only if the FCC interferes in the actual content of the communications can it be considered to be entering the category of "evil". Or if they mandate the use of a patented "standard" as a condition of use of the public airwaves, they are certainly at least in bed with "evil".

      That said, I actually applaud the dropping of a well-meaning but ill-concieved idea.

      It looks like the Chairman haas understood that what he originally wanted was impractical, infeasible, and really a bad idea.

      It's okay to propose something stupid, so long as one listens to the reasons for those who object to it and doesn't respond by a "digg in the heels, fight, and whine" attitude when the suggestion and it's rationale is challenged.

      • you say yourself that interfering with content is "evil", then you say that the concept was well-intentioned.

        Aside from the contradiction (which I do not think you intended), I say that the idea that it was well-intentioned is giving Martin and friends far too much benefit of doubt. On the contrary, it was a political move, for the blatantly obvious purpose of sucking up to a certain group of voters and businesspeople.

        Martin has been called out before for doing exactly the same kind of thing... and di
        • by rohan972 (880586)

          you say yourself that interfering with content is "evil", then you say that the concept was well-intentioned.

          Aside from the contradiction (which I do not think you intended)

          You might have heard the saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"

          Good intentions and evil are not mutually exclusive. There is no contradiction there.

          • I think you missed my point. The whole intent of the saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" is to illustrate the evil that can be done by people who intend good but are ignorant of the possible negative consequences.

            If you want to pretend that Martin is "ignorant" of the possible negative consequences, then I have a bridge I would like to sell that you might be interested in buying. It's a good investment. Really.
            • by rohan972 (880586)

              I think you missed my point. The whole intent of the saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" is to illustrate the evil that can be done by people who intend good but are ignorant of the possible negative consequences.

              If you want to pretend that Martin is "ignorant" of the possible negative consequences,

              I didn't miss your point, neither do I think his intentions are good. However I point out your use of the word "aside":
              "Aside from the contradiction (which I do not think you intended), I say that the idea that it was well-intentioned is giving Martin and friends far too much benefit of doubt."
              I don't think I was unreasonable to take the "contradiction" statement as a separate point to the goodness or otherwise of Martin and friends intentions. To clarify, it is my opinion that (1) there is no contradic

              • It *IS* a contradiction if you did not believe it was well-intentioned but called it well-intentioned anyway.

                In any case, it sounds like a misunderstanding to me.

                I warrant my bridge to be free of vampires. However, I make no promises about how many there may be under it.
      • I'd argue state-sponsored free wireless broadband is also "well-meaning but ill-conceived".
  • Interesting that the FCC makes this move before the Australian Government on their respective filtering proposals.
  • Overstepping? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @01:33AM (#26276845)

    The FCC has been overstepping it's authority for a LONG time.
     
    The FCC exists to dole out a limited public resource, content (and esp obscenity) has never been part of it's mandate and represents little more then a moral power grab.

    • Re:Overstepping? (Score:5, Informative)

      by buddyglass (925859) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @08:00AM (#26278651)

      Check out Section 5, item (D), bullet (d) of the Radio Act of 1927, which created the Federal Radio Commission. The FRC morphed into the FCC in 1934. Specifically, the Secretary of Commerce is given the right to terminate the license of operators who transmit "profane or obscene words of language". You can view the text of the act here [netins.net]

      This has been part of the FCC's mandate from the very beginning. It has been upheld by the courts, for instance in "FCC vs. Pacifica Foundation".

  • The whole free wireless internet access is not going to be all that cheap to build to the requirements of 95% of the population in 10 years.

    If you give free 768k access, it is going to be enough for quite a lot of people. For people who need more, you are normally competing with existing solutions in the market, thus you will have hard time selling them.

    Maybe FCC hopes for someone to be stupid enough to build it and go bankrupt and then someone else to buy it for a small fraction of the building cost. In su

    • by timmarhy (659436)
      they don't, the tax payer foots the bill for all unprofitable ventures like always.
      • by Firehed (942385) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @02:06AM (#26277037) Homepage

        Knowing that I'll be able to get online when I'm on the road (even with a low-quality-but-better-than-dialup connection) is worth a minuscule portion of my tax dollars. Government ventures aren't supposed to be profitable, they're supposed to be beneficial. Not paying ten bucks a day for net access at a hotel definitely falls under 'beneficial' in my books.

        • by MBGMorden (803437)

          I'll agree. Heck my home connection is only 1Mbps and while I wouldn't mind some extra speed, it suffices for me just fine. 768Kbps would probably work just as well for me on a permanent basis - having it available on the road would be just awesome.

        • "Government ventures aren't supposed to be profitable, they're supposed to be beneficial."

          Mod up.
        • by MPAB (1074440)

          What people don't seem to notice is that many times "a minuscle portion of my tax dollars" ends up in working up to (or over) 6 mo/yr just to pay taxes.
          This means half of a citizen's income goes to keep universal services that aren't free as in freedom nor as in beer. Just think of tolls, entry fees at museums, public transportation fees, the cost of snail mail ... also come to mind those "universal services" that work like cr*p.
          And, no, rich people DON'T pay a bigger percentage of taxes. They pay accountan

          • by quanticle (843097)

            And, no, rich people DON'T pay a bigger percentage of taxes. They pay accountants (or politicians, if they're big enough) to cut their taxes in half or even get subsidies (out of the middle man's taxes, of course).

            Then, isn't that sort of the fault of us "middle people" for allowing the rich to squirm out of paying their fair share for the common resources that they consume?

          • by Toonol (1057698)
            And, no, rich people DON'T pay a bigger percentage of taxes.

            Yes they do, actually. That they don't is a myth, perpetrated by groups that want to further class warfare. There are a small number of rich people that pay less due to loopholes deliberately created by a congress that wants to encourage certain types of behavior and investment... but if you simply look at data from the IRS that lists per capita tax revenue from individuals broken out by income, you'll find that rich people in general pay a m
            • by hplus (1310833)
              They pay a higher portion of the total tax revenue, but as a percentage of their total income, rich people pay less taxes than the middle class. I can dig out some citations for that if anyone wants me to, but they should be easy to find via google if it really sounds that implausible.
        • Knowing that I'll be able to get online when I'm on the road (even with a low-quality-but-better-than-dialup connection)

          If anybody can use it the connection will be much slower than dialup. Blocking porn would have done a bit to cut down on demand. It would be nice to have a pervasive network for embedded systems deployed city wide.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jorophose (1062218)

      From what I can understand they're hoping to dish out 10-100mbps speeds on the same bands as analog TV were once on.

      For once, I'd say the tax payers on both sides of the border should help pay for this, but that it remains government-managed (or whatever is best for a public service).

    • I'm more worried the other ISPs will notice a (slight) drop in their sales because of this and maybe start pulling strings. You most likely can't get good xbox live speed on 768k, but that won't stop some of the "strictly surf" or dial-up users from saying (in this tight economy) "well, it is free..." after viewing their $ISP bill and lowered paycheck/termination letter back to back.

      I would think dial-up companies would be hurt the most, then DSL users, and maybe some small businesses and a few comcast u
      • Use NAT. Or is it possible to configure some router to somehow detect NAT and deny service for its users?

      • by anyGould (1295481)

        I can't bring myself to cry too much for dial-up companies - they're the VHS of the internet: fantastic in their day, but completely overshadowed by current tech.

        Plus, they'll have more than enough warning to transition to whatever else they're going to do. (For starters, people will still need email addresses, webspace, and all the other whizbangs that go along with the 'net)

    • As it has been stated before, the reason Internet Service Providerss were willing to sell high bandwidth is because it was so unlikely anybody would ever be able to use it because very few sites can upload data to people that fast. And, this all changed when BitTorrent came along because people actually were able to use all available bandwidth. Then the ISP's started capping people's bandwidth to some very low amount rather than the several megabits they marketed. So, if the government provides unfiltered 7
  • does he want a job as a communications minister? seems Australia needs a competent one. He wont have high expectations going into the job given what his predecessors were like.
    • > does he want a job as a communications minister? seems Australia needs a competent one.

      It'd be a pretty easy job, wouldn't it? From what I understand, most communications in Australia are variations on "Oh sweet Jesus, there's a spider the size of a dinner plate on my leg, but at least it's killing the poisonous octopus that's eating the incredibly toxic jellyfish that was stinging me to death".

      • by Xaoswolf (524554)
        You forgot about beer commercials and the All Paul Hogan channel.

        Everything else is transmitted via wallaby...

  • by DrBuzzo (913503) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @02:12AM (#26277075) Homepage
    Not that I am opposed to getting something for free, but the bandwidth on the proposed free wireless band represents less than five megahertz of spectrum. That's simply not enough to provide a significant number of people with broadband internet, at least not with the kind of network topography this band is proposed for.

    How much throughput that could equal is going to depend on the way that the system is set up, how much noise there is on a given frequency, dopler shift and what kind of spectrum management is used, but no matter how you cut it it won't be much. Assuming only one to one overlapping of cells (which is very generous) and very low noise you might get a total of 4 megabits combined up and downstream to be shared by all users in a given area.

    By comparison, wifi uses about 80 mhz of total space on the spectrum with up to 20 mhz assignable to a single channel connection.

    If the FCC wants to give away free wireless internet they need to find a bigger block of spectrum for it.
    • I think "broadband" in most politician's minds is ``has access to email''---I doubt they're intending for customers to view youtube or download stuff (or play WoW :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

      That's simply not enough to provide a significant number of people with broadband internet, at least not with the kind of network topography this band is proposed for.

      I bet it will kill the market for text messages with 1000x markups though.

      • I bet not.

        I don't quite understand how any of it works, but I don't think its all that simple to run a good push service over a shitty public IP network.

        Not to mention that you would need some sort of good 2 way gateway in order for it to see any sort of wide adoption. Look at all of people with iPhones that come with "unlimited" data, but some tiny limit on text messages. You don't see too many of them using email to SMS gateways to get out of paying for texts do you?

        The fact that people still use SMS
        • You don't see too many of them using email to SMS gateways to get out of paying for texts do you?

          I dunno anyone with an iphone. But I know a few non-tech girls who have regular phones with basic internet functionality who have practically stopped texting in favor of IMing each other.

          • by Xaoswolf (524554)
            which, depending on carrier/application, may still use sms to transport the messages...
            • which, depending on carrier/application, may still use sms to transport the messages...

              It's quite possible, but their carriers don't charge them same as regular sms, which is why they go to the effort.

              • by Xaoswolf (524554)
                Ummm...

                Not always correct...

                Verizon Wireless charges the same for SMS whether it's to a phone or using an IM service

                • Nice to know, but irrelevant to the topic of "do people use alternate means to communicate when cheaper options are available?"

                  • by Xaoswolf (524554)
                    it is if the example of a cheaper option, isn't...
                    • Right, because people who are looking for a cheaper option are not smart enough to figure out if the choices available to them really are cheaper.

                    • by Xaoswolf (524554)
                      You apparently haven't worked in a position where you get to tell people how they can save money by doing something different...

                      Most people aren't smart enough to figure things out on their own...

                    • Right, the free market system doesn't work for shit. Got it.

        • by Xaoswolf (524554)
          Email on my device syncs every 15 minutes, txt is immediate
          • by charlesnw (843045)
            I'm guessing it's not a blackberry? If so then the reconcile now option is very useful. I'm on t-mobile with a pearl and personal IMAP server.
            • by Xaoswolf (524554)
              HTC Touch Pro, so I can hit Send/receive on it if I'm expeciting something, normally hitting it several times until the mail arrives. Or if I'm not expecting something, it may take up to fifteen minutes to receive with my sync settings. So if it's something that someone needs an answer to quickly, SMS will always be faster and simplier.
    • How much throughput that could equal is going to depend on the way that the system is set up, how much noise there is on a given frequency, dopler shift and what kind of spectrum management is used, but no matter how you cut it it won't be much. Assuming only one to one overlapping of cells (which is very generous) and very low noise you might get a total of 4 megabits combined up and downstream to be shared by all users in a given area.

      You mention doppler shift, despite the fact these are electromagnetic waves, and you have to be in something moving very very fast to observe this effect. Anything land based won't get near those speeds

      • by Agripa (139780)

        You mention doppler shift, despite the fact these are electromagnetic waves, and you have to be in something moving very very fast to observe this effect. Anything land based won't get near those speeds

        Going from fast to slow effects measured terrestrially: You can hear the doppler shift of a carrier transmitted by LEO satalite using a SSB receiver and it is significant enough to require continuous tuning. GPS receivers correct for doppler shift from the 12 hour orbit GPS satalites. A common police radar

  • low bandwidth only (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fermion (181285) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @02:35AM (#26277175) Homepage Journal
    In the long ago, one reason to restrict p0rn and other questionable content was simply to limit the bandwidth of the user or the disk space used at the service. This is one reason why some many services did not carry the alt.* groups. Sure this is where all the real ware p0rn was and still is, but that was secondary to the issue of the cost of hosting.

    But now lots of legitimate services need high bandwidth, netflix, iTunes, even youtube, and most kids are used high speed connections that let them play games and watch videos. They need the bandwidth. So many would say we can no longer use bandwidth as a proxy, and need filtering. I disagree.

    To me the best way to make sure that the most people can use this, and not just for play, is to limit the speed to .5 Mb/sec. Those who need the service will appreciate it, and those who can afford something faster will buy it. I would love to have free, reliable internet access even at 300 kb/sec. It might be a bummer for people who just want to play, but for most work it is fast enough.

    • by Larryish (1215510)

      Man, if CableOne would raise my upstream cap from 32k to something toward 100k I would have no complaints.

      It sucks trying to restore a decent sized hosting service using Virtualmin after a server upgrade with only 32kps (max, not constant).

      Is sucks big time.

    • are not caused by those with high bandwidth. Your problems are because of your communications supplier(s). And perhaps your geographic location.

      Blocking the bandwidth of others (except in your own small local area) will not make your own performance better.



      "You cannot embiggen the small by shortening the tall. You cannot enrich the poor by impoverishing the rich." - Abraham Lincoln
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @02:41AM (#26277209) Journal
    A great deal of the difficulty in the various internet regulatory issues seems, to me, to arise from the fact that the provider of the last mile connection and the provider of the internet access are almost always one and the same(and, worse, even reform proposals tend to assume that they will always be so, without even cursory examination). This is tricky because the two things really exhibit rather different behavior.

    Last mile network connections, wired or wireless, are pretty close to natural monopolies. On the wireless side, there is only so much spectrum, and it isn't exactly a fluid market, and there are only so many locations where you can get zoning permission and whatnot for a tower. On the wired side, legacy environments are duopolies at best, phone company and cable company; while any new deployments run into the fact that(considering the pull itself, plus right-of-way hassles and all the rest) the fixed cost of doing a pull of any bandwidth capacity is huge, while the cost of pulling a high bandwidth line as opposed to a low bandwidth line is much smaller. It isn't quite as bad as roads, where multiple runs are generally not even physically possible; but still an oligopoly at best, monopoly at worst.

    Internet access, on the other hand, has the potential to be a properly competitive market, once enough end users are aggregated at a central point. If all relevant structures in a town or geographic region are connected to a peering point, choosing any service from any provider who reaches that point is literally a matter of switch configuration, and could be largely automated.

    The trouble is, as long as the two distinct services are provided by the same entity, you have massive incentives for the people who own the last mile connection to mess with the internet access, hence all the net neutrality issues, and this content filtering stuff. We need to separate the two: treat the network link between you and the peering point as a natural monopoly similar to water mains, roads, or electrical lines(whether this means regulated private monopoly, public utility administered by private contractors, or public utility administered by public employees is a matter of implementation). This portion would be simple: dumb pipe of X speed between you and the peering point. Anything from the peering point to the internet at large would be pure free market, internet access at higher or lower speeds, quotas or no, filtering or not, various numbers of static IPs, access to various other things over IP, etc.
    • by Belial6 (794905)
      Last mile is not even close to a natural monopoly. All it would take is running conduit to the house and larger conduit to your central point. Cities already run sewer lines and storm drains. A 4 inch pipe like that used for sewage could handle more lines than any one house would likely ever need for the foreseeable future with no problem. 4 foot pipes could easily carry hundreds of data lines. Cities are already experienced with running these kinds of pipes, and once installed right of ways become a n
      • by compro01 (777531)

        You presume the copper/fibre and labour to lay that cable is cheap, not to mention right-of-ways, head-end equipment, etc.

        You propose that having to build all that infrastructure from scratch, you would be able to effectively compete with someone who already has all that in place (and got tax breaks, etc. while doing so over a span of decades), and thus is able to undercut you severely while still turning a profit.

        • by pin0chet (963774)

          The fact that running a new cable isn't cheap does not mean that the enterprise of running cable is a natural monopoly.

          You think building a nationwide wireless network, with backhaul and everything, is cheap? No, it's actually extremely expensive, yet we have at least 4 separate nationwide cellular networks. The strangest part: they all make a decent profit, at least for the most part.

          In the current climate, with greedy and corrupt city councils that make it prohibitively expensive for all but the most deep

  • Take it away (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @02:52AM (#26277265) Homepage

    'I'm saying if this is a problem for people, let's take it away.'

    Translation: We can always put it back in later.

  • Do I Have To? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DynaSoar (714234) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:19AM (#26277403) Journal

    The government wants to gives us free wireless broadband, now without content restriction.

    This is the same government that conducted warrantless wiretapping. If they own the bitwaves, there's less barrier to the same occurring.

    If there's restrictions, people wanting privacy will go elsewhere. If the restrictions are lifted, people will be more likely to feel safe using it for more sensitive matters. The government will be more able to catch more people.

    Can anyone conceive of a better way for the government to maximize its chances of catching people doing things they find undesirable while minimizing its chances of getting in trouble and so having to stop?

    • No, it's not the same government. This is a bureaucrat who realises he is going to have a new boss in around 20 days, and wants to have a chance at keeping his job.
  • I try to look at both sides of every situation, so please forgive me.

    I am very much so against any form of filtering on the internet. However, given that porn and (illegal) torrenting currently make up the majority of internet traffic, won't filtering objectionable content allow for better speeds for everyone else?

    For people who do want to download porn or torrent, that should remain on a personal connection paid for by the user (tax money doesn't count). The plan is to accommodate nearly 300 million people

    • by Belial6 (794905) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @05:33AM (#26277953)
      Actually, it is likely that these "bandwidth hogs" are INCREASING your available bandwidth. How fast of a connection do you think you would have if no one ever maxed out their 56k modems. We certainly wouldn't be seeing 6mbps connections being rolled out. We wouldn't likely even see 256kbps lines. It is the guys that are watching HD movies off of netflix and running bittorrent 24/7 that are creating the expectation that we need faster internet. They are the ones that are fighting the good fight so that you and I can get good speeds tomorrow.
  • Before the bile starts pouring in, let's take a moment to thank the FCC for having a suddenoutbreakofcommonsense. That they listened is nothing short of incredible, and we should savor this moment and reward them for it, before we start tearing down the proposal for everything _else_ we each think is wrong with it. :-)

  • For the last frickin time, can we stop saying things provided by the government are "free"? It's not free if I'm paying for it, no matter how many politicians my money is used to bribe before getting spent on my "free" services.
    • by hplus (1310833)

      Many companies advertise a "free bonus" if you purchase a product - when I see those, I know that the companies products have been marked up enough to pay for the "free" bonus.

      Organizations at my university often offer "free" pizza at their meetings - when I see posters advertising this fact, I know that my tuition pays for them, and thus there is still a cost attached to it.

      I don't see how the language is inappropriate in either case, nor in the case of federally subsidized internet access. I can see how

  • I do not think that in the present climate of competing belief systems, that there is a way to regulate content that would not end up infringing on political, religious, or scientific speech. Therefore, content regulation has to be done by the individual, and the individual sets of parents.
  • From Summary
    "Civil liberties groups argue that the FCC would overstep its authority and violate the Constitution."
    ----
    Hey, everybody violates the U.S. Constitution. Even SCOTUS. I say go for it!

    A little polemical documentation
    The Constitutional Relationship Between the People and the Law
    http://tinyurl.com/3du9ec [tinyurl.com]

    I_Voter

    My New Web Site:
    (Under Construction)
    Political Power in the U.S.
    http://tinyurl.com/2sdtvk [tinyurl.com]
  • seriously?...

One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.

Working...