Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet United States Your Rights Online Politics Technology

FTC Could Gain Enforcement Power Over Internet 134

Posted by timothy
from the who-above-all-else-desire-power dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that under a little-known provision in financial overhaul legislation before Congress the Federal Trade Commission could become a more powerful watchdog for Internet users with the power to to issue rules on a fast track and impose civil penalties on companies that hurt consumers. 'If we had a deterrent, a bigger stick to fine malefactors, that would be helpful,' says FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, who has argued in favor of bolstering his agency's enforcement ability. This power would stand in stark contrast to a besieged FCC, whose ability to oversee broadband providers has been cast into doubt after a federal court ruled last month that the agency lacked the ability to punish Comcast for violating open-Internet guidelines. The provision to strengthen the FTC is in the regulatory overhaul legislation passed by the House, and although it is absent from the legislation before the Senate, some observers expect the measure to be included when the House and Senate versions are combined."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

FTC Could Gain Enforcement Power Over Internet

Comments Filter:
  • by Rijnzael (1294596) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @04:03PM (#32020448)
    FCC is the besieged agency the summary is actually referring to, not the FTC.
  • It should be the FCC (Score:4, Informative)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @04:03PM (#32020458)

    The FCC has the jurisdiction, they should be enforcing the rules. But since they don't have the teeth, let the FTC do it, those guys are sharks.

    Oh and the summary says FTC when it would say FCC - "FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, who has argued in favor of bolstering his agency's enforcement ability. This power would stand in stark contrast to a besieged FTC, whose ability to oversee broadband providers has been cast into doubt after a federal court ruled last month that the agency lacked the ability to punish Comcast for violating open-Internet guidelines."

  • Re:Uh... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @05:13PM (#32021824)

    From what I understand, the FCC regulates the use of the channel. They make sure you're putting appropriate material in your allocated slice of the spectrum. That includes a small amount of actual content control to ensure that, for example, you don't have a parade of nipples during a family event, such as the Superb Owl. They'll also make sure that your transmitters are of a certain power, etc.

    The FTC makes sure that customers are getting what they paid for. For example, if you're paying $X for a 10MB/s connection and you're only ever getting 3MB/s, then they'll step in and slap the provider around with a haddock. The FCC can't regulate this because it's outside their jurisdiction, nor can they prevent a provider from filtering results or blocking traffic. The FTC will put limits on font sizes so they can't say "actual bandwidth depends on network conditions and by "internet" we mean only HTTP and SMTP" in 3pt on the back of the inside cover of the modem.

    Please bear in mind that I'm not from the US so I could just be dead wrong. Also, I didn't read the article or any of the other comments.

  • Re:Uh... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ocyris (1742966) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @05:27PM (#32022046)
    Thank you Wickard v. Filburn
  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @06:00PM (#32022604)
    Certainly our little excursions into Afghanistan and Iraq haven't helped the Federal Budget, but these are considered anomalies, not continuous spending. I think you really need to look at is Federal Spending as a percentage of GDP. Currently, it appears to be at about 45%, a level it hasn't been at since WWII. I think we need a constitutional amendment capping spending as a percentage of GDP, with an exception for war-time spending. But what percentage is reasonable limit? 10%? 25%? 50%? I'd like to see a maximum of 10% of GDP, but it hasn't been that low in a very long time [usgovernmentspending.com].
  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @06:05PM (#32022678)

    I know, you'd think though with the FCC being what it is and the mandate it has, that it would have the jurisdiction, but the court said nope.

    It doesn't matter what you think, it matters what laws Congress has passed. The court said that Congress has not passed any laws giving the FCC jurisdiction. The FCC is part of the Administrative branch, that means they can only regulate those things that Congress has explicitly passed a law giving them the authority to regulate.
    Note, the court did not say that some other federal agency had jurisdiction. The court said that the FCC had failed to point to any law giving it jurisdiction.

  • Re:Uh... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Blink Tag (944716) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @06:34PM (#32023096) Homepage

    Says you. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled a long time ago that the federal government can regulate entire industries, even though portions of them are decidedly local. (Including quotas on grain grown on one's own land that were not trafficked in any way.)

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerce_Clause [wikipedia.org]

    IANAL.

  • by myspace-cn (1094627) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @08:35PM (#32024608)

    B.S. The FCC can't even stick to it's original mission statement, they have squandered the "public spectrum" to be nearly completely "corporate owned."

    Managing power and frequency from a fascist point of view as opposed to an engineering point of view in the public interest.

    The FCC can't even realize and stick to it's original (now missing) mission statement.

    And you want to give the FCC more Authority.

    It's a fascism death wish.
    And remember if they are given this authority, it will NEVER GO AWAY! It will incrementally piss people off and eventually destroy what we have.

    FIX NET NEUTRALITY ANOTHER WAY,
    NOT WITH GOVERNMENT REGULATION!

    Half you stupid fuckers don't get it, but if you served in the military you would understand, how this shit only gets worse.

    NO FCC, NO FTC Neither agency can do their EXISTING JOB correctly to this very date!!!!!!!!

    NO NO NO NO NO!!

    God damn it NO!
     

  • by forumsnow39 (1800160) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @11:04PM (#32025886)
    I absolutely love humor

Good salesmen and good repairmen will never go hungry. -- R.E. Schenk

Working...