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Government The Courts The Internet Your Rights Online

The Far-Reaching Effects of Comcast v FCC 132

Posted by kdawson
from the more-than-meets-the-eye dept.
eldavojohn writes "We've had a lot of discussion about what the overturning of FCC v Comcast means for net neutrality, but CommLawBlog argues that net-neut is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the effects of this ruling. In the National Broadband Plan, local TV broadcasters might be forced to give up their spectrum 'voluntarily' to be repurposed for broadband; this decision diminishes the FCC's authority to cut such deals. Another issue at stake is how this will affect the FCC's approval of Comcast's acquisition of NBC."
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The Far-Reaching Effects of Comcast v FCC

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday May 02, 2010 @03:11PM (#32066158) Journal

    net-neut

    As the submitter, let the record show that I am not the originator of that term [slashdot.org]. I wash my hands of that wordsmithing and relinquish all credit with coining that term to kdawson or wherever he found it.

    Personally the shortened form of that term sounds a bit more like a collection tool employed at a veterinarian than an internet principle.

  • Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat tv will likely fall under monopoly laws.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "monopoly laws"???? Can you be more specific? They have names... The Sherman Act.. The Clayton Act... and usually they are called antitrust laws, and not monopoly laws...

      NBC refusing to deal with satellite companies would be a "unilateral refusal to deal." And it would be perfectly legal under current antitrust jurisprudence.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, 2010 @03:46PM (#32066340)

        in the slashdot world, there's only one 'monopoly law' and it says 'companies are not allowed to do anything i don't like'.

        • in the slashdot world, there's only one 'monopoly law' and it says 'companies are not allowed to do anything i don't like'.

          Glad to see someone else has finally said that.

          Companies do stupid things. And they screw alot of people. But they're not charities - they're out there to make money; some of which goes in YOUR pocket if you work for them, are a supplier to them, have a 401(k) or some other investment device that has stock in them, etc.

          • by Tycho (11893)

            Yes, but corporations still can't act against the interests of the public. Try making dangerous products. In such cases, the corporation would be making money, their suppliers would be making money and 401(k) accounts would be making money, but it would be dwarfed by the long term costs from people would end up injured. Making money in the short term is not a justification for bad behavior in the least.

            If Comcast thinks that its actions related to FCC v. Comcast and other unrelated behavior should have n

            • Yes, but corporations still can't act against the interests of the public. Try making dangerous products. In such cases, the corporation would be making money, their suppliers would be making money and 401(k) accounts would be making money, but it would be dwarfed by the long term costs from people would end up injured. Making money in the short term is not a justification for bad behavior in the least.

              Yes, but who defines the best interests of the public? I'm not saying you're wrong, simply playing Devil's Advocate here. True, dangerous products affect all - either directly, by those who are harmed, or indirectly - families who suffer from a loved one's death or injury, etc. Common Social Morality tells us that those products should be blocked, and companies stopped. However, you then get into gray areas - products that can cause harm when used incorrectly, or even when used correctly, but the choice

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Tycho (11893)

                FTC and FCC decisions have been overturned usually because of a perceived lack of legal authority and not due to constitutional reasons. Congress is still free to make these tools available to the FTC and FCC in the form of new legislation. Legislation that might seem more urgent if their current legal authority appears insufficient to allow then to complete their current roles.

          • by sjames (1099)

            However, no matter how poorly enforced, all corporate charters are contingent on their being in the public interest. In theory, it means any of then can be dis-incorporated at any time if as a whole they do more harm than good.

        • by Tumbleweed (3706)

          in the slashdot world, there's only one 'monopoly law' and it says 'companies are not allowed to do anything i don't like'.

          It depends on what rules you agree to beforehand, though. The most common additional rule is that all taxes/fees are paid into a pot in the middle, and whoever the next person to land on Free Parking gets it. Some add $100 to the pot to start with, and each time the pot is emptied, the starting money goes up by $100.

      • by jgreco (1542031) on Sunday May 02, 2010 @04:30PM (#32066576)

        "monopoly laws"???? Can you be more specific?

        They're printed inside the box lid of every Monopoly game.

    • Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat tv will likely fall under monopoly laws.

      I'd imagine it would also make a lot of stockholders irate, reducing the earnings and profit potential of NBC.

      Falcon

  • ...communications interface.
    • by tagno25 (1518033)
      and the internet uses RF spectrum to get to your computer. Even if it comes to your home on fiber it is converted to cat5 at some point.
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Sunday May 02, 2010 @03:20PM (#32066210)

    Hold comcast to the same laws fox / directv where under when Directv was owned by fox and they where not able to make fox directv only.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Easy decision for the FCC. Sorry Comcast, your purchase of NBC will harm consumers. No Deal.

    • Easy decision for the FCC. Sorry Comcast, your purchase of NBC will harm consumers. No Deal.

      Except that under the Law, they have to be able to PROVE that - not just have a feeling. Plus Comcast would have a perfect avenue of appeal, should the FCC make that determination without evidence - to any jury, regardless of their feelings about Comcast, it'll look like the FCC is saying "Well, since we can't hurt you there, we can do this instead." Would you really want the FCC's authority to be further diminished by loosing two appeals against the same company? What kind of precedent do you think that

  • Hype (Score:5, Informative)

    by Thinboy00 (1190815) <thinboy00NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday May 02, 2010 @03:31PM (#32066260) Journal

    The only real impact is that the FCC will start using Title II instead of Title I [arstechnica.com].

    • Re:Hype (Score:4, Insightful)

      by butlerm (3112) on Sunday May 02, 2010 @06:15PM (#32067300)

      The only real impact is that the FCC will start using Title II instead of Title I.

      As they should have if they weren't engaged in politically opportunistic word mangling in the first place. The Supreme Court occasionally allows the FCC an unusual amount of latitude in that sort of thing (which was probably a mistake). If the FCC was doing its job, it would have classified Internet access providers as common carriers under Title II, for exactly the same reasons telephone network providers are considered common carriers.

      Instead they essentially (temporarily) abdicated virtually all of their authority to regulate the Internet by classifying the whole thing as one big "information service". Youtube is an information service. Wikipedia is an information service. Internet access service, in the terms contemplated by the Communications Act of 1934, is not.

      An "information service" is "offering of a capability for generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information via telecommunications" (47 USC 153). Anyone think that sounds like what an Internet access provider does?

      An "information service...does not include any use of any such capability for the management, control, or operation of a telecommunications system or the management of a telecommunications service." (ibid) Internet access is the latter. The opposite conclusion is specious in the extreme.

  • by camg188 (932324) on Sunday May 02, 2010 @03:37PM (#32066288)
    This is a failure of Congress.
    What is needed is clear legislation from Congress that enumerate what exactly the FCC is allowed to regulate. Regulation should come from our elected officials, not from the policy statements of unelected commissions.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      This is a failure of Congress. What is needed is clear legislation from Congress that enumerate what exactly the FCC is allowed to regulate. Regulation should come from our elected officials, not from the policy statements of unelected commissions.

      Exactly. But unfortunately, Congress isn't interest, at least not very much, at the moment. And you always run the risk of over-regulation when Congress gets involved. The correct way to do this is to give the FCC the authority, with a high and low limits, and then let the FCC run with it. I'm afraid, however, that Congress will end up setting the exact rules, and as a result, things might get too tightly regulated.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DigiShaman (671371)

        Congress by its very nature is incompetent because they put politics ahead of principle. Case in point, look at taxation and the new health care reform. They're both disasters of epic proportions. In fact, I'm willing to bet the only portion of the bill they read is their own amended riders they put into them, not the bill itself.

        And you guys want Congress to regulate the Internet? I can only see this going from bad to worse!

        • Congress by its very nature is incompetent because they put politics ahead of principle. Case in point, look at taxation and the new health care reform. They're both disasters of epic proportions. In fact, I'm willing to bet the only portion of the bill they read is their own amended riders they put into them, not the bill itself.

          And you guys want Congress to regulate the Internet? I can only see this going from bad to worse!

          Except that without Congress, it can be argued that at times in this Nation's history, things would've been much worse. When the stars and planets align, they can do intelligent things, though not everyone at that moment may agree that they're intelligent. Problem is, it just doesn't happen that often.

          And note that it's not about Congress regulating the Internet - it's about giving the FCC the authority and the tools to do so, which they currently don't have.

          • And note that it's not about Congress regulating the Internet - it's about giving the FCC the authority and the tools to do so, which they currently don't have.

            Three letter bureaucracies are used as control instruments by congress. Once powers are granted, rarely are they taken away, and often used as precidents when crafting new laws and regulation after the fact.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sonicmerlin (1505111)

          When your entire viewpoint of the world is binary, "regulation is bad! regulation is good!", then yes you would only be able to see regulating the internet as being a negative thing.

          The healthcare bill in its current form was severely watered down by special interests lobbying Congress. The '96 Telecom Act was severely watered down over the years by Republican FCC's and special interest groups.

          Now that we once again have a Democratic FCC, it's Genachowski's obligation to reclassify broadband under Titl

      • The correct way to do this is to give the FCC the authority

        No, the correct way to do this is to abolish the FCC and allow the airwaves to be homesteaded [mises.org].

        Falcon

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jimbolauski (882977)

          No, the correct way to do this is to abolish the FCC and allow the airwaves to be homesteaded [mises.org].

          Falcon

          So how exactly are spectrum conflicts resolved, the guy with the biggest amp wins(mine goes to 11). There would have to be court actions to resolve disputes, or an agency could be created to manage the spectrum and license parts of the spectrum to people to radiate, the licensing fees would go towards the cost of managing the spectrum. The FCC needs to be redefined with a much clearer scope the ambiguity has lead to a power grab that blew up in their face. The reason FCC vs Comcast was overturned is beca

          • The first person broadcasting on a specific frequency in a specific area has the right to do so. Anybody who comes after that and interferes has to adjust the frequency they broadcast on or stop broadcasting.

            There would have to be court actions to resolve disputes

            I know this is slashdot but if you had read the article I linked to [mises.org] you would have read where it said the courts were resolving the issue:
            "For when interference on the same channel began to occur, the injured party took the airwave aggressors int

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly. The FCC has been smacked down by the courts so many times in the past ten or so years that it should be clear to *everyone* that 1. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is a total failure AND 2. We need a complete overhaul of telecom regulation.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, but that'd be totally unfair to American corporations. Instead of just buying off a few regulatory commission members, they have to go out and buy an entire party's worth of congressmen. That could get expensive!

      • I want to give you a +1 funny, but there's too much truth to that statement.
      • The problem is they already *have* bought off Congress. AT&T has on occasion trotted out a bevy of Congressmen, both Democrat and Republican, to the FCC's compounds to emphasize their point that Congress has the telecom incumbent's back. Julius will need a very strong backbone and a willingness to plunge his career into uncertainty if he's to use his current powers to reclassify broadband under Title II and forcibly regulate telecom. I just don't think Julius is that kind of person.
    • by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000.yahoo@com> on Monday May 03, 2010 @12:18AM (#32069416)

      What is needed is clear legislation from Congress that enumerate what exactly the FCC is allowed to regulate.

      It was a failure of congress to give the FCC and before it the Federal Radio Commission [wikipedia.org], from which the FCC was created, the power to regulate the airwaves period. It was done at the behest of the large mass media companies, it allowed them to reduce a lot of their competition.

      Falcon

    • That would be called the 1996 Telecommunications Act, who if you were to ask Clinton the point of which was the give the FCC the authority to tightly regulate the internet. That's why most of these ISPs were originally under Title II regulation before a Republican FCC reclassified them to Title I in its now-failed deregulatory experiment with the broadband industry.
  • didn't the internet really take off without regulation? will regulation of the internet actually help, or just open the gateway for big business to control the markets in ways that favor themselves and hurt any chance of competition? will it give the CIA more opportunities to deal with problems like WikiLeaks, once the government gets its tentacles deeper into how the internet is managed?
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You can be skeptical of your regulators and politicians all you want, but that doesn't change the fact that net neutrality is desirable.

    • by CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) on Sunday May 02, 2010 @04:43PM (#32066664)
      Yes, it did really take off without regulation but lately, the ISPs have been trying to extend their role beyond that of "internet service provider". For example, many cable ISPs now provide phone service, via VoIP. Also, some ISPs are trying to become content providers (ex: Comcast's acquisition of NBC). In the last 5 years, ISPs like Comcast have tried to block bittorrent traffic, block competing VoIP phone services such as SKYPE and Vonage, discriminantly block emails websites and more.
      • by nurb432 (527695)

        Right, this is the real purpose of the federal government. Its NOT to meddle with things, but instead to step in when the people are being taken advantage of and steer things clear, then step back out of the way.

        Don't forget about Timewarner.. they already had what Comcast wants.

      • by initialE (758110)

        Revocation of common carrier status then? Who gets to make that call?

      • by sonicmerlin (1505111) on Monday May 03, 2010 @03:12AM (#32070102)
        The broadband industry took off after the passage of the '96 Telecom Act. It came to a screeching halt after the first 5 years, when a Republican FCC and Congress gutted the Act and the FCC's regulatory powers.
    • by dwye (1127395)

      > Didn't the internet really take off without regulation?

      No, but the regulation was easier as no one was making money from it.

      Then, Al Gore ruined everything by opening it to everyone.

      OTOH, your objections are arguments in favor of net neutrality, not against (well, the CIA question is orthogonal to all that).

      On the gripping hand, net neutrality is defined in such a hand-waving fashion that it would be hard to write regulations to guarantee it without requiring excessive effort to demonstrate it, or free

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by falconwolf (725481)

        if Comcast upgrades its connection to Google but not to Bing (at least, not yet), that makes Google a faster responding search provider, customers use Bing less, and Microsoft is screwed

        Except the opposite would happen, ComCast would make Google slower not faster and Bing faster not slower. Comcast is in bed with MS [microsoft.com].

        Falcon

    • by N0Man74 (1620447) on Sunday May 02, 2010 @05:13PM (#32066816)

      If Net Neutrality was good for big business, as you suggest is possible, then why is big business so strongly against it? I'm baffled by how many people buy into the arguments coming from big businesses that this will help big businesses step over consumers. Since when has Big Business been a watchdog for themselves in order to protect Average Joe?

      The reason it took off without government regulation enforcing net neutrality was because competition was so much greater. There were tons of small internet service providers popping up everywhere offering dial-up service at increasingly cheaper prices and with better service and features. As more and more dial-up providers were born and competed, we went from paying by the minute or e-mail to unlimited usage because of competition. It led to many providers offering other services like Usenet access, extra e-mail accounts, free homepage space, and better customer support.

      With so much competition and a culture of internet freedom, nobody would even think about trying to violate net neutrality without dooming their business.

      Then came the rise of broadband. As broadband became more ubiquitous, suddenly the huge number of dial-up based ISPs began to dry up and internet access became dominated by telephone companies and cable companies. These companies usually had strong footholds in their areas, and enjoyed the luxury of limited competition.

      Now, we have less and less competition, and we see consumers gradually losing what we gained due to competition. Not many ISPs give free homepages anymore. More and more are cutting free Usenet. Dealing with many of these businesses has become much more bureaucratic than it used to be. They want to bring back caps and paying by the byte, and they want to have more control over how you use the internet with less responsibility to their customers.

      It's also important to remember what ignoring net neutrality can mean for Comcast. It's not just about them controlling the level of bandwidth customers use, it's about them controlling who is piping all that data to you. As they try to make you sympathetic to them by invoking images of bandwidth hogs committing rampant piracy, they are setting themselves up so that they can potentially make it more costly for you to stream any video that is not from their service (or NBC) and reduce the performance of VoIP services that are from competitors. I won't even go into the other potential cans of worms that this could open up, if they are allowed to continue on this course.

      I don't believe that much regulation is needed as long as market forces are working in healthy ways, but when the number of competing companies shrink while their individual power grows, then sometimes regulation is needed to keep them from abusing this position of power.

      • by orthicviper (1800010) on Sunday May 02, 2010 @05:52PM (#32067094)
        but the market hasn't really been free. people here don't forget how these internet providers wasted 200 billion that was supposed to be used to build up the internet infrastructure here. 200 billion just completely wasted... http://www.tispa.org/node/14 [tispa.org] the point is, the reason why we have limited competition might be because that 200 billion was just pocketed by those big companies, strengthening their ability to compete with anyone else not getting that loan. why did that loan go to businesses that were already big?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sumdumass (711423)

      Two different types of regulation is at stake here. One is regulation of the internet itself, the other is regulation of the regulation on the internet itself.

      You see, one is setting limits on the internet, the other is setting limits on those who attempt to set limits on the internet. Net Neutrality attempts to limit those wanting to limit the internet, not the internet itself.

      And yes, this might limit start ups and new ventures to some degree, but no more so and perhaps quite a bit less than not regulatin

      • You are terribly over-examining this. There is only one type of regulation, and it's the type that requires violent intervention or the threat of some sort of power if you want to enforce it. Telling ISPs what they cannot do is regulation, period. You are in no position to say what is best for the consumer or the ISP.

        The only possible recourse (and a far better one I think) would be perusing them for fraud: They are offering Internet access, which implies unfiltered access, where packets are not modified by

        • The only possible recourse (and a far better one I think) would be perusing them for fraud: They are offering Internet access, which implies unfiltered access, where packets are not modified by the ISP (but they may be prioritized or even dropped for network reasons, that's how IP and TCP was engineered).

          No, another recourse is to have competition. Because of the limits on how many cables or fiber can be laid down in an area, the only way to have competition in land-line services is by separating ownership

          • Oh sure, government regulations have a crippling effect on competition, or diminish the threat of competition. But don't imply that competition is necessary or that we somehow force it, redundant resources to provide the same service is not economical, nor would a free market choose competition in the case of services like Internet or electricity.

            We don't need competition, we need more threats of competition which the government often unintentionally removes, and we need true private property in the communi

            • We don't need competition, we need more threats of competition which the government often unintentionally removes

              How is there a threat of competition when you've excluded the possibility "we don't need competition" of competition? There may be one in an imaginary world but not in the real word.

              and we need true private property in the communications industry as you point out, not this government-controlled licensing scheme.

              You exclude competition with the first part in your post but then you allow competiti

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      "Without regulation" just means the US gov gave a science netowrk away to the world.
      Net neutrality means every packet on any network is treated the same. Your request for a fan site on old computers, a faith based radio station, a multinationals sports cast, youtube, Apple, MS, Linux, Adobe all move around the net with the same priority.
      The telcos hate this as they become utilities - moving packets with average isp/user payback over years after all they the tax breaks and grants they invested in optical
    • The last time telcos had to worry about the meddling regulators was after the 1996 law passed. I remember...there was a period of about 5 years where the ILECs stumbled because they didn't know what hit them. There was budding competition, plenty of CLECs, that's when cable got in the broadband and telephony business. ILECs were fined for delaying facilities and repair orders for CLEC customers. You could get dial tone or DSL from a dozen competing providers.

      Eventually, the ILECs regrouped, merged their w

  • in fact, any student of economic history knows that corporatism, monopolies, oligopolies are greater threats to capitalism than socialism or communism ever could be

    the libertarian naivete that a free market of equals is a natural balance and that governments can only interfere in that is nonsense

    the truth is that some players in the free market grow and begin to use their heft to suppress smaller players. this is completely natural. the way to fight that is to have a government with strong regulatory powers to enforce equality amongst 800 pound gorillas and tiny players. you want to be taxed to do this, and you want the "bureaucracy" that does this. or you will suffer far more than any inefficiency or waste in the government. fight the inefficiency and waste in government, don't fight government itself

    insomuch as the government is merely a tool of the big time players is the extent which corporate dollars warp and infect and corrupt the government that is supposed to regulate them

    in other words, if you are a true believer in capitalism, you will lose your libertarian naivete and insist on a strong regulatory government to keep the marketplace healthy

    and you will recognize the greatest threat to capitalism is not the government, it is corporations and their corruption OF government

    stop fighting government. start fighting corporations, or more exactly, the immoral infuence of corporate dollars on a government that is supposed to represent you, but is bought off by corporate dollars to work against you

    and i didn't say it was easy. but when you fight government itself, you are actually making it worse

    fight the corporate infection of government, even though you are working against powerful addicted junkies of corporate money and it is a hard fight. but please, stop fighting government itself. it is supposed to represent your interests, so get it to do that

    • I agree with this
    • While we are refining threats to capitalism (and democracy), I think you'll find that it's not the fact that lobbyists are representing corporations, more that corporations are obscenely rich, and can afford lobbyists. Would it change your mind if it was an individual pushing a law you disagree with, instead of a corporation? The system should be more or less invariant to the amount of money you have, and the problem is that isn't towards the "very rich" end of the scale. We desperately need some kind of re

      • absolutely (Score:5, Insightful)

        but i am not "refining" threats to capitalism or democracy, i am clarifying

        because currently there is a lot of fud out there that it is the government itself which is the enemy, when we both know that is a red herring

        if the people who believe that fud could see that (bought and paid for) demagogues are redirecting their righteous anger in the wrong direction, then maybe we could finally pull the curtain back and see the wizard for what he is

        financial influence in a democratic system warps and weakens it. we both see this. so let's keep hammering that point home so the fools who believe the blame lies somewhere else for our troubles wake the fuck up from their tea party delusions. their anger is valid. where they are directing their anger is invalid

        • by Z34107 (925136)

          If only an incorruptible government can protect us, we're better off without any.

          I understand the points you're making - but I think blame is placed perfectly as it is. "Corporations" (as if they're a single, monolithic entity) have been wildly successful within their intended purpose - make money.

          Government, on the other hand, is characterized by failure, the largest of which is the one you mentioned - failure to regulate the Corporations.

          Granting the legitimacy of both Corporation and Government, which s

          • you imagine society and civilization is possible without government

            for your sake, i hope you are 13 years old, with a lot to learn in front of you. any older, and you're simply low iq

            • by Z34107 (925136)

              I'm tempted to hope you're much older than my naught-and-twenty, because someone younger would hardly be justified in accusing me of having "a lot to learn in front of me." Then again, you have the same success with capitalization as 13-year-old texters.

              Society and civilization are definitely "challenging" at best without government. But, I challenge the assertion that we should be angry only at corporations. They're just playing the game whose rules are decided by a corrupt government.

              • you ignorant moron

                that's what you get

                no government=no security, no stability, no progress, no prosperity, no education

                its mad max

                furthermore, government is self-creating. its an inevitable byproduct of humans in groups to regulate the group. if you magically removed all the governments in the world, after a period of great suffering, governments would reemerge

                all your words signify is that you are woefully out of touch with the reality of human nature

                you're just... dumb

          • If your entire analysis of history is binary ("government is characterized by failure", "only an incorruptible government can protect us"), then your understanding of reality will be warped and inexorably wrong. Corporations were only successful because of government protection- ie consent of the governed. Now corporations want to have their cake and eat it too: protection by government without consent of the governed.

            You simply fall for their FUD by believing government is unsuccessful. In fact, the c

            • by Z34107 (925136)

              The post I was replying to was arguing that we should hate corporations and corporations exclusively because they corrupted the government.

              My argument is just that if only an incorruptible government is good, we're doomed.

              • there will ALWAYS be corruption. there ALWAYS was corruption. the point is to simply minimize it

                the problem is your idealism that thinks the only valid government is one which has 0% corruption. but this is an impossible goal. the real metric you should be using is 0.1% corruption is better than 10% corruption

                currently, according to your way of thinking, country A of 10 million people that had no murders, no rapes, but 10 robberies is the same as country B of 10 million people that had 10,000 murders, 1,000

                • by Z34107 (925136)

                  0.1% corruption is better than 10% corruption, but both are unacceptable from men who have a monopoly on force and create the rules by which we all have to live.

                  Again, if government has to be incorruptible to be useful, we're doomed.

                  • we're talking about reality here. all you seem to be able to do is deal in idealistic platitudes that never existed and never will

                    when you accept that your standards are impossible, and you want to say something that matters to reality, with its essential imperfections, rather than your ridiculous pointless fantasy life of complete absolutes, get back to us

                    • by Z34107 (925136)

                      "Idealistic platitudes?" You argue that government is perfect, beyond reproach, and responsible for all progress. Anything bad is entirely the fault of the corporation.

                      I haven't heard anything like that since the rage-against-the-machine Luddites of the industrial revolution.

                    • i am arguing that government is permanently imperfect, subject to constant doubt, and yes: responsible for a stable and secure society (which leads to progress)

                      you seem to be arguing that since government can't ever be perfect, we're doomed, and we shouldn't even try to improve it. which makes you a hopeless, useless idealist, who doesn't matter in reality

                    • by Z34107 (925136)

                      I'm arguing that you can't argue corporations are entirely to blame for all of our problems. If government is corruptible, they share blame for corruption - especially when they make the rules.

                    • the government is corruptible. i'm corruptible. you're corruptible. what is the point of pointing that out?

                      "If government is corruptible, they share blame for corruption - especially when they make the rules."

                      yes... and?!

                      the government is a supposed to be an extension of your will. to the extent it is NOT an extension of your will is the extent it is corrupt. so we need to channel the anger in the country right now in the direction of ROOTING OUT CORRUPTION

                      why is it so hard for you to grasp this?

                    • by Z34107 (925136)

                      It's "hard to grasp" because your call is to "stop fighting government. start fighting corporations."

                      If The Corporations are to be the only target of our anger, that means the government has to be beyond reproach - which it obviously is not. Anger against government is therefore not misdirected.

                    • that's your bizarre interpretation of my words. of course what i am talking about involves government reform. that the government is "beyond reproach" is some bizarre assumption on your part

                      and anger against the government IS misdirected because the root of the problem is corporate money. and the anger at the government's goals is dissolution of government, which is of course counterproductive. duh

                    • by Z34107 (925136)

                      And that's an interesting dichotomy. We have more options than 1) support the government's goals exactly as they are right now, or 2) dissolve the government.

                      You say anger at the government is misdirected because 1) government will always be corruptible, and 2) it's really corporate money anyway. If government can't be faulted for corruption because it's an intractable part of its existence, why are corporations faulted for having money? In fact, money is the reason for a corporation to exist; the same c

                    • you seem to be taking potshots at a clear and obvious point i making from all over the place

                      let me restate my thesis, and then you clearly and concisely criticize it, because right now all i get form you is randomness:

                      corporate money infects government. therefore, we should labor to remove corporate influence from government as best we can. we should redirect the current atmosphere of anger at the government to be instead anger at CORPORATE CORRUPTION of government

                      that's my point. EXACTLY where do you have

                    • by Z34107 (925136)

                      Your understanding of "real-world" problems ends at calling people "twatstains." "We should be angry at people who offer money instead of those who take it" is an infantile thesis that does nothing to solve "real-world" problems.

                      The problem you are grasping at is called "regulatory capture." Your thesis is "it's bad and it shouldn't happen." Well, good luck with that.

                      I'm not going to play the last-post-wins game. Come back when you grow up.

        • because currently there is a lot of fud out there that it is the government itself which is the enemy, when we both know that is a red herring

          As I stated in my prior post, you're wrong again. Government is the problem. Big businesses were able to grease the palms of politicians.

          if the people who believe that fud could see that (bought and paid for) demagogues are redirecting their righteous anger in the wrong direction, then maybe we could finally pull the curtain back and see the wizard for what he is

          fin

          • government is the solution to corporate influence

            you tell me how to solve the problem of corporate influence if you weaken the government

            you need a strong government with strong regulatory powers to manage the corporations. do you know a way of managing the power of corporations and the potential abuse there without government?

            the point is to FIX the government, get the influence of corporate money out of it

            but you want to weaken the only tool you have against corporate power

            • you tell me how to solve the problem of corporate influence if you weaken the government

              Deh, it is government that gives corporations their power and influence. Government is the only thing that can give corporations their limited liability. You end corporate influence by reducing the government that makes them powerful. How dense must a person be not to realize that?

              Falcon

    • in other words, if you are a true believer in capitalism, you will lose your libertarian naivete and insist on a strong regulatory government to keep the marketplace healthy

      I agree with you that those who advocate free markets should focus much more on the problems of corporatism, and I agree that corporations are currently a greater threat to economic and even personal liberty than socialist proposals are, at least in the U.S. I don't understand those who claim to support a free market but don't recognize

      • All you need to do is look at Western Europe to support his point, or the US government before 1980. It's not the size of government that lends itself to being corrupted, it's the ever-burgeoning size of international corporations that is the real problem.
        • All you need to do is look at Western Europe to support his point, or the US government before 1980. It's not the size of government that lends itself to being corrupted, it's the ever-burgeoning size of international corporations that is the real problem.

          Just as bank robbers rob banks because that's where the money is, those who want power over others will corrupt government because where the political power is. I would agree that size of government is not the only factor, since campaign finance regulatio

      • call "europe"

        they seem to have a much better grasp on corporate power and undue financial influence than the usa does

        there's another magical make believe land called "canada"

        take a look at their finance laws some time

        what i'm talking about is not naive. its pretty obvious. the only hurdle is our legislators who are like heroin junkies with corporate money. i didn't say it would be easy to get rid of corporate influence, but its obviously the direction we need to go in, no matter how hard

        the problem is the p

    • in fact, any student of economic history knows that corporatism, monopolies, oligopolies are greater threats to capitalism than socialism or communism ever could be

      the libertarian naivete that a free market of equals is a natural balance and that governments can only interfere in that is nonsense

      Where did you get your education so that you know more about economics than Dr Milton Freidman [wikipedia.org] who won the Nobel Prize in Economics?

      the truth is that some players in the free market grow and begin to use their heft

      • here, let me break it down to the most bare bones obvious choices:

        1. no government or weakened government = unfettered corporate power (what you get with your ideology, but don't admit it or don't realize it)

        2. corrupt government = unfettered corporate power (our current state)

        3. strong government = curtailed corporate power (where we should go)

        so what we need to do is FIX the government, get the corporate influence out if it with strong finance laws. it won't be easy, our current legislators are like heroi

        • Better smack it harder.

          here, let me break it down to the most bare bones obvious choices:

          1. no government or weakened government = unfettered corporate power (what you get with your ideology, but don't admit it or don't realize it)

          No, let me break it down to the basics. The government grants corporations [wikipedia.org] their corporate charter [investorwords.com]. With no government there are no corporations.

          3. strong government = curtailed corporate power (where we should go)

          Any government powerful enough to give you everything you want is

    • Are you sure you're not the scrawny guy who is asking the question in this clip? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdLBzfFGFQU [youtube.com] .
  • by Newer Guy (520108) on Sunday May 02, 2010 @04:47PM (#32066692)
    The FCC should DENY the transfer of NBC's broadcast licensees to Comcrap (which is the approval that Comcrap is seeking). Giving the largest cable operator and ISP in the country ownership of network TV stations that cover 2/3rds of the population, and control of a major TV network (and all their cable channels and retail) is monopolistic. It's bad enough that Comcast has the pure arrogence to challenge the FCC's control over them-now they want it ALL, with NO oversight whatsoever!
  • Comcast needs let Directv have CSN Philly and NW as well as all over flow feeds. No moving games to TCN just to lock out directv!

    CSN Chicago (all feeds) has been on Directv for years and they even had the CSN + and CSN + HD feeds even back in days when they where on the cable only MOJO HD and cltv.

  • We are talking about the Federal Communications Commission which is ostensibly charged with ensuring that everyone works and plays well together when sharing and implementing communications technologies.

    According to the FCC's site

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The F

  • by Undead Waffle (1447615) on Sunday May 02, 2010 @07:48PM (#32067970)

    I watched the congressional committee on the National Broadband Plan. Everyone should really watch C-SPAN once in a while as it can be very insightful. Every so often you see a congressman that isn't too bad and it would be a shame to kick these people out of office because you're so angry at party X.

    Most of it was everyone just giving speeches for camera time and repeating the same thing as everyone else in their party. The Democrats pointed out all of the studies showing how we're far from the top country in terms of broadband access, while the Republicans waved their hands and said "We're the best! Don't change anything!" without any facts to back it up. So of course on the topic of net neutrality the Republicans were very vocal about this evil "net neutrality" business and how terrible it is that the FCC wants to "regulate the internet." Not one of them appeared to have any grasp of what net neutrality is really about. Genachowski tried to explain it to one of them but didn't do a very good job. Even the Republicans in the FCC were against net neutrality. One of them (I forgot his name) said he thinks it doesn't need enforced because the free market will fix it as broadband speeds increase, showing he doesn't really understand the problem. Not to mention even if he was right this is just another incentive for the ISPs to make sure speeds don't increase too much.

    But the Democrats had an equally scary complaint. Most of them were bothered by the fact that the National Broadband Plan didn't lay out ways to police the internet for copyright and IP infringement. It does mention the need to address the problem (and Genachowski said several times that this is a problem), but it doesn't lay out anything specific, which is why they were complaining. Off the top of my head the lady from Tennessee was the most vocal about how "her constituents" demand strict enforcement of intellectual property laws on the internet.

    So for anyone saying congress should pass laws about this stuff be careful what you ask for. I feel a lot better about Genachowski making these rules than any of the congressmen I saw in that room. Though I know in general it is preferred to have elected officials making the rules, our congressmen generally don't know what they're talking about in this field.

    On an interesting side note apparently this plan mentions opening the market for set top boxes, which the congressional chairman (Boucher) pointed out they had discussed 15 years ago and nothing came of it. He told the FCC "please do this as soon as possible". I am planning on building a MythBox so I was happy about this.

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