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Government Politics

Congressmen Send Letters, Hope For Net Neutrality Fades 427

Posted by kdawson
from the making-sausage dept.
The odds of the FCC implementing net-neutrality rules just got much longer. "A bipartisan group of politicians on Monday told FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in no uncertain terms, to abandon his plans to impose controversial new rules on broadband providers until the US Congress changes the law. Seventy-four House Democrats sent Genachowski ... a letter saying his ideas will 'jeopardize jobs' and 'should not be done without additional direction from Congress.' A separate letter from 37 Senate Republicans, also sent Monday, was more pointed. It accused Genachowski of pushing 'heavy-handed 19th century regulations' that are 'inconceivable' as well as illegal. ... [U]nless something unexpected happens, the fight over Net neutrality will shift a few blocks down Independence Avenue from the FCC to Capitol Hill. (In an editorial Monday, The Washington Post called for just that.)"
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Congressmen Send Letters, Hope For Net Neutrality Fades

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  • what jobs? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:36PM (#32344312)

    What phantom jobs are they talking about? Broadband infrastructure investment in the US is dead dead dead. Verizon was the last company investing in broadband infrastructure with their FiOS deployments. They've already announced that they're stopping. No more FiOS. No more broadband.

    How can an industry with a current investment level of ZERO be providing jobs? There are no jobs, because there is no investment. Congress is protecting phantom jobs that don't exist!

    • Re:what jobs? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shakrai (717556) * on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:04PM (#32344516) Journal

      Congress is protecting phantom jobs that don't exist!

      That's not true. There's the pilot who flies the CEO around. There's the undocumented laborers that maintain his property. Toss in a few lawyer friends from University for good measure.

      Look at all these little things! So busy now! Notice how each one is useful. A lovely ballet ensues, so full of form and color. Now, think about all those people that created them. Technicians, engineers, hundreds of people, who will be able to feed their children tonight, so those children can grow up big and strong and have little teeny children of their own, and so on and so forth. Thus, adding to the great chain of life.

      • Re:what jobs? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:19PM (#32344620)
        So you're suggesting we add a little destruction to the mix? I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
      • by EdIII (1114411) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:20PM (#32344630)

        Look at all these little things! So busy now! Notice how each one is useful. A lovely ballet ensues, so full of form and color. Now, think about all those people that created them. Technicians, engineers, hundreds of people, who will be able to feed their children tonight, so those children can grow up big and strong and have little teeny children of their own, and so on and so forth. Thus, adding to the great chain of life.

        You're a monster Shakrai, but you already knew that didn't you?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TheSpoom (715771)

        This is the broken window fallacy [wikipedia.org], for those who didn't know this has been repeatedly disproven. Destruction results in a net loss, by definition.

        (Also, the Fifth Element is an excellent movie.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by fustakrakich (1673220)

      What phantom jobs are they talking about?

      Jobs for lobbyists, and for retiring regulators.. You know... money mules, of a sort

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:36PM (#32344314)

    The jobs at risk are the congressdroids' - they are fearful their corpocleptocractic campaign donors will support someone else if they don't stop this return to normalcy. Fuckers don't even realize they are acting against their own interests - just wait until they end up having to pay extra to all the ISPs so that the voters can get to their own campaign websites.

  • Correct (Score:4, Interesting)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:37PM (#32344326)

    The problem is that the approach Genachowski wants to use means adding ISPs into the existing structure used to regulate telcos. While this would insure net neutrality it would also open a giant can of worms in applying the rest of a giant regulatory structure to ISPs.

    You won't like that.

    The correct approach IS new legislation that narrowly addresses the issue of net neutrality.

    • Re:Correct (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:54PM (#32344438)

      The problem is that the approach Genachowski wants to use means adding ISPs into the existing structure used to regulate telcos. While this would insure net neutrality it would also open a giant can of worms in applying the rest of a giant regulatory structure to ISPs.

      Funny, it sure seemed to work just fine up until the Brand-X ruling [wikipedia.org] in 2005.

    • The problem is that the approach Genachowski wants to use means adding ISPs into the existing structure used to regulate telcos. While this would insure net neutrality it would also open a giant can of worms in applying the rest of a giant regulatory structure to ISPs.

      This is wrong; neither the legislative authority under which telcos are regulated nor the intended use of that authority under the approach outlined by Genachowski would apply the entire "giant regulatory structure" currently applied to telcos

  • Obvious. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fuji Kitakyusho (847520) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:38PM (#32344330)
    The government MUST control the flow of information. Otherwise, the balance of power could rest with the people.
    • Re:Obvious. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Narcocide (102829) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:55PM (#32344450) Homepage

      No, the problem is that if the government does not control the flow of information in a fair and balanced way FOR the people, the balance of power will rest briefly in the hands of the people before it gets stolen from them by the corporations, which will then go to war against each other leaving the people in their wake stranded in a marketplace that is a proverbial post-apocalyptic wasteland.

      • Syndicate wars is a documentary.
      • Who do we want in control of the infrastructure? Corporations which cannot be held accountable because they are owned by foreigners? Or the government which while still possibly owned by foreigners is at least somewhat accountable.

        It's your choice. I think as a libertarian rather than anarchist, you need a government to maintain freedom/liberty for the consumer. Corporations are on their own and in my opinion using the government to promote and support corporations is collectivism.

    • Re:Obvious. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by copponex (13876) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:56PM (#32344458) Homepage

      You seem to be unaware that you are responsible for who is in government. Law is how a civilized society addresses grievances between it's citizens without resorting to violence or terroristic threats. You don't just throw the whole idea out because you're too lazy to participate.

      "Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people.” -Lincoln

      • No, mostly because the game is rigged to ensure that nobody can rise to challenge the structures that are.

        • Re:Obvious. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by copponex (13876) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:30PM (#32344700) Homepage

          So you can't think of any oppressed group in America's history that has fought the "structures that are" and beaten them?

          The landless poor got the right to vote. Then the slaves earned their legal freedom, though they were still denied it for decades. Then the workers united in the early 20th century and fought bitterly for better wages and working conditions, and got them. Then the women's suffrage movement won their democratic rights. Then the Civil Rights movement finally resulted in the beginning of true equality for all Americans.

          The battles are still being fought for gay rights, reproductive rights, immigrant rights, indigenous rights, and now the middle class is demanding rights (though they seem to be unaware of who took them.)

          The structures can be beaten if you have a populace willing to sacrifice material comfort for real freedoms, but it seems that willful ignorance, apathy, and materialism are the most powerful structure our democracy has yet faced.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by atamido (1020905)

            The battles are still being fought for... immigrant rights

            I keep hearing this, but I can't figure out what rights immigrants are fighting for. I know lots of immigrants, and they all seem to be doing just fine.

            Or are you talking about those people whose very presence in this country is a federal crime?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by drinkypoo (153816)

            The landless poor got the right to vote.

            Self-earned.

            Then the slaves earned their legal freedom, though they were still denied it for decades.

            They didn't earn their own freedom, it was handed to them. Big difference. Not claiming it was unjust however. They were prevented from regaining their own freedom by everyone in the country who was profiting from slavery, which was nearly everyone. Of course, there have been many policies since the abolitions of slavery and segregation which are designed to maintain the imbalance and punish people for not being white...

            Then the workers united in the early 20th century and fought bitterly for better wages and working conditions, and got them.

            True.

            Then the women's suffrage movement won their democratic rights.

            Also true.

            Then the Civil Rights movement finally resulted in the beginning of true equality for all Americans.

            Not from where I'm sitting. The new division is monetary, sam

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Lloyd_Bryant (73136)

        You seem to be unaware that you are responsible for who is in government. Law is how a civilized society addresses grievances between it's citizens without resorting to violence or terroristic threats. You don't just throw the whole idea out because you're too lazy to participate.

        "Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people." -Lincoln

        "I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating." - Boss Tweed [wikipedia.org]

        The "people" haven't been in control of our government during my lifetime, simply because we're only allowed to pick a name from a list that someone else prepares. I don't expect this to change anytime soon, and see no way the citizens can change it short of armed revolution (which is all to likely to result in something worse).

        • Re:Obvious. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by copponex (13876) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @10:52AM (#32348672) Homepage

          I really don't think blaming the puppet masters for our own failure to form our own political parties is going to help. The obstacles faced by our generation are simply not comparable to the ones overcome by other oppressed groups. We have free access to information, free assembly, and we cannot be jailed for our political views. They at least have to throw some trumped up charges around instead of just the breach of thoughtcrime.

          All this talk of armed revolution is introducing a very bad idea. It's the hardest way to solve a simple problem: turn off the TV, organize local political parties, and refuse to elect candidates from the Democratic or Republican power centers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      No, government MUST prevent the corporate powers from controlling the flow of information. That's part of what government is supposed to be for -- to protect the weak from the strong. Otherwise we might as well have anarchy (followed by monarchy, as anarchy always is).

  • The way I see it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:39PM (#32344332)
    The way I see it, net neutrality needs to be mandated for ISPs using state or federal funds to "modernize" America, if they use substantial portions of public lands they also need to use net neutrality. If they use no public funds or public land, let them do what they will. But since most ISPs use public land or funds, we, the taxpayers have a say in their operations.

    This isn't about "regulations" its about getting what you paid for: to "modernize" America with faster internet access, not access to a handful of sites, no non-traditional ways of getting content, etc.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tpstigers (1075021)

      But since most ISPs use public land or funds, we, the taxpayers have a say in their operations.

      A quaint and interesting idea. In this scenario, we should have a say in how all of our tax money gets spent. What do you suppose would happen if we all declared that we wanted our tax money to go to public education and welfare rather than the military-industrial complex?

      • Re:The way I see it (Score:4, Interesting)

        by pclminion (145572) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @03:34AM (#32345648)

        A quaint and interesting idea. In this scenario, we should have a say in how all of our tax money gets spent. What do you suppose would happen if we all declared that we wanted our tax money to go to public education and welfare rather than the military-industrial complex?

        You can, it's called a "tax deduction." You get to put your money directly to certain causes of your choice. In exchange, the government does not tax that money. The mathematical result is that you have diverted taxes to the causes of your choice. Try it sometime.

  • The Letters (Score:5, Informative)

    by discordia666 (940470) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:39PM (#32344334)
    My how I hate articles which don't reference the main subject. http://netcompetition.org/House_Democrat_Letter.pdf [netcompetition.org] http://netcompetition.org/Senate_Republican_Letter.pdf [netcompetition.org]
    • The letter confirms The Corporate Welfare state that replaced the Social Welfare state provides reason to stupidity.

      We pay for what we get, what the government gets, what the business C*Os get, and what our government gives to business with privileges, tax breaks, civil rights, kick-backs-by-proxy....

      Corporate Institutions are more enfranchised than private citizens in the USA a pure plutocracy of the entitled of Corporate American Governance.

  • This November.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Vote for ANYONE but republican or democrat. Anyone. I don't care who. Whatever you do, absolutely do not vote for a republican or democrat. Please?

    Bi-partisan only means that the same corporation has bought you both. That is the only thing that word means anymore.

    • by Vekseid (1528215) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:51PM (#32344410) Homepage
      Making a viable third party in this country would require a staggering amount of time, effort, and money. Any such third party would have to have a pretty solid message, with some pretty solid heads on its shoulders, to have a hope of getting anywhere. The rank level of dissatisfaction with the current party structure means that yes, it is probably possible. But if you're going to tell me to vote for and possibly help promote a third party, you'll get a much better reaction if you show me some damned smart people working on some damned smart platforms. Most third parties are not run by the best and the brightest that this nation has to offer.
      • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:29PM (#32344688)

        Running for an office in the US, at least when you want to run for one that surpasses the office of mayor, requires a metric ton of money to get off the ground. It's pretty hard to afford that, especially given the risk and the minuscle chance of succeeding.

        That's the basic problem of the rampart lobbyism. To get anywhere in the US politics, you need money. To get money, you have to sell out to some or many corporations. If you want to eliminate the bribery, you'd first of all have to change that system.

    • Re:This November.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by extrasolar (28341) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:05PM (#32344522) Homepage Journal

      I don't think that will actually work, because by supporting minority parties you're not actually making any changes to the government. Okay, you hope that it would, that if you make enough slashdot comments you'll be able to elect a green or a libertarian, but honestly I just don't see that happening. There are a lot more voters than people reading slashdot.

      One thing I think might work is voting against incumbents. What will that accomplish? I don't really know. But it's a stark way of expressing your disapproval of the people who *have* been running things.

      • Re:This November.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:31PM (#32344704)

        What's better? Voting for the lesser evil, knowing that it's still evil and basically the same turd sandwich, or voting for someone who you know can't win but would be the right candidate for you?

        I keep hearing the myth of the "lost vote". Voting for someone who has no chance of winning is "throwing away" your vote. Know what? Casting it for someone I don't want is throwing it away.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cryptoluddite (658517)

          What's better? Voting for the lesser evil, knowing that it's still evil and basically the same turd sandwich, or voting for someone who you know can't win but would be the right candidate for you?

          That's a false choice. What's better is voting. Vote in every election for every office, from President to sanitation commissioner. If you've every missed an election because you were too lazy to get off your ass then you are the problem.

          But what's better still is voting for somebody good that can also win. That means voting for a Republican or Democrat for higher office, and voting Libertarian or Green for local offices.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by VShael (62735)

          They vote for the lesser of two evils, because if they didn't, they're afraid the wrong lizard will get in.

          =0=

          Ford Prefect, of course, had an explanation for this, as he sat with Arthur and watched the nonstop frenetic news reports on television, none of which had anything to say other than to record that the thing had done this amount of damage which was valued at that amount of billions of pounds and had killed this totally other number of people, and then say it again, because the robot was doing nothing

      • Re:This November.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by T Murphy (1054674) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:22AM (#32345206) Journal
        TLDR: read the third paragraph.

        Voting for third party candidates isn't so much about what policies you want to see in place now, as much as it is about wanting a long-term change in the voting system. In other words, your strategy is not based on winning this election, it is about just trying to win some election in the future.

        People may want to vote for third parties, but don't because they don't expect others to- it's basically a reverse tragedy of the commons. People interested in third parties may be willing to vote for such a party after seeing them get 10%, 15%, etc. of the popular vote- more additional voters would be expected as you increase how many votes you get. In that sense, it is rational to vote for a third party candidate, as you would be helping to trigger this snowball effect. Your only rational way to improve the odds of a third party eventually winning, is to continually vote for them and encourage others to follow suit (voting reform would be more helpful, but not likely until third parties get involved).

        I would love to vote for a candidate I actually agree with, but doing so right now would guarantee I will never get a good candidate in office. What we must do is pick green or libertarian and vote for them regardless of whether we agree with their platform. Don't stop until the two party system is thoroughly broken. Chances are, we will need voting reform before we move beyond 4 viable parties- we won't get that reform until we have at least 3 parties.

        In short, you aren't voting for a candidate. You are simply voting against the two party system.
  • Also in a similar self-important whiny voice of proprietary authoritarianism....
    Think Of The Children!
    Your Country Needs You!
    The War On [Insert Topical Cultural Demon Here] Must Go On
    Burn The [Insert Topical Cultural Demon Here]!!

    There are of course loads more. Anyway, it all sounds as if no-one has moved on since the 11th century so let's remind those that order soldiers around that you can't always get what you want and usually, you regret what you wish for.

  • Business as usual (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dcmoebius (1527443) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:49PM (#32344394)
    Cue the unending stream of lobbyists, please. They're on next.

    Seriously, how many people ACTUALLY think that this was anything more than Congress muscling the FCC aside to better suckle at the corporate teat?

    Maybe I'm just being cynical, but I don't see Congress getting territorial over any issue that isn't backed by multi-billion dollar industries.
  • End run (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Struct (660658) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:50PM (#32344402)

    I say the FCC should license a nice fat chunk of wireless spectrum for high power ad hoc peer to peer networking. Then people can put up their own antennas and run their own community-wide public access points. Then maybe the government can help out by connecting the major cities with the longer haul infrastructure. I have to wonder how big of a mess it would be to start, but I also kind of wonder if it might self-organize into a new internet. It'd be delightful to see Comcast's reaction to something like that.

    • Re:End run (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EdIII (1114411) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:18PM (#32344612)

      That's exactly the fucking way to do it too. It will never ever EVER be encouraged by government or corporations either.

      For one, government would just create those "long haul" infrastructure points at considerable cost without any national-security-I-can-see-you benefits. The most they could hope for is setup massive analysis points along the way to deep scan packets and possibly decrypt them. That's not possible too. For all the NSA's scariness and bluster they can't slice and dice their way through AES256 for each and every citizen in real time. I would give them credit for having the resources to do it in a reasonable time frame on a very small scale, but not at a national one. Without the ability for the National Security apparatus to at least isolate where the communication is coming from they can't be motivated to proceed. Look at Clipper and Carnivore. I seriously doubt the government would go along with the creation of any infrastructure that created technological obstructions to carry out the ideals of such data interception programs.

      The other very serious issue for law enforcement is that mesh networking would have no way to establish, without any doubt, the business-customer relationships where money was exchanging hands, and consequently, there would not exist a 1) Fairly consistent and reliable information about the customer paying the bill and 2) Reliable way from a networking perspective to establish the identity of the customer.

      Mesh Networking is the Holy Grail of Freedom, Anonymity, and Privacy on networks for average citizens. It would be extremely hard and time consuming to identify a single one person on it, especially if you added some TOR/Freenet/Darknet to the equation . At that point all the citizens in a densely populated urban area might as well be a single citizen.

      There would be so much pressure against us to get that started I sincerely doubt it could ever get off the ground. The moment that Mesh networking gets serious at all watch how fast from local municipalities up to Federal Government makes it illegal and uses the FCC to make such transmissions dangerous.

  • by Megaweapon (25185) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:50PM (#32344404) Homepage

    Kind of like modern IP laws...

    • by Nugoo (1794744) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:59PM (#32344476)
      Don't be ridiculous. The 19th century had much saner IP laws.
      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:25AM (#32345216)

        Hehe, that's what I was going to say.

        28 year copyrights with an optional one time renewal of 28 years, that's what they had in the early 1900's. It wasn't until 1976 that it went up to life of the author + 50 years. That's just insane (inspired by the French, no doubt). Then the Sonny Bonno act bumped it up to life + 70 and made copyright automatic. That's right, you actually had to apply for copyright for most of the 1900's. We have whole genres of music that almost certainly wouldn't exist today (soul, rap, rock, just to name a few) thanks to the loose copyright laws.

        The old laws actually made sense. Hell, I'd be willing to make the renewal unlimited so long as the rights ended at the author's death, provided there was some moderate fee - say $10,000 inflation-matched. That way they have to decide if it's actually worth more than $10k to renew, and if it is, then great! It obviously means it was a rare huge success.

        100% of modern culture is locked up by copyright. Everything from the 70's should be public domain today, yet we can't even get stuff from the 40's. We can get stuff from the 30's for anybody who died around the time they produced the work, but nearly everything from 1900 to the present is locked away by copyright. That is absolutely insane.

  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:51PM (#32344412) Homepage

    It accused Genachowski of pushing 'heavy-handed 19th century regulations' that are 'inconceivable'

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • by Crashmarik (635988) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:01PM (#32344492)
    But I couldn't figure out what was going on from either linked articles ? Seeing as net neutrality has become a term that has been so completely trashed by both sides, there is really no way to tell from the information provided. I will say this liberal or conservative, democrat or republican you really don't want these people writing rules to control monopolies. They are the same people that gave us 80 years of overpriced phone service, allowed ATT to use incomprehensible invoices, and had us paying a telephone tax for the spanish american war till after the year 2000, .What we need and there is no way we are getting is laws that allow more companies to become ISPs. More unlicensed wireless spectrum, must carry laws for cable and telco isps, or anything that makes these peoples wires less of a monopoly isn't on the agenda.
  • it clearly needs government regulation to fix it. :/
  • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:08PM (#32344542) Journal

    The people who pass the DMCA and the Sonny Bono copyright act lose the right to complain about g 'heavy-handed 19th century regulations'. Corruption in the US seems to have reached new lows.

    What concerns me even more is that world-wide it seems like politicians are more willing than ever to act against the best interests of the people they are meant to be representing, or pass universally unpopular legislation that a well informed public would never vote for directly. Now THAT is corruption. And there seems to be nothing and no one anywhere with the will or ability to stop the landslide.

  • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:08PM (#32344548) Homepage

    Watched a old documentary, Net Neutrality (2006) (PBS NOW).
    It was amazing how different the issues were then, anti net neutrality then is now common practice that even /.ers do not even seem to notice.

    One of the main reasons that the people back then were given to allow the anti net neutrality was that the ISPs could never go overboard and do anything really bad, since the FCC had the ability and power to stop them.

  • by jonwil (467024) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @12:38AM (#32345018)

    If the FCC has the authority to classify ISPs as "telecommunications providers" instead of "information providers" it should do so regardless of what Congress says.

    I wish more people in Washington had the guts to do what Julius Genachowski is doing and stand up to those "suits" in their fancy leather chairs in the executive offices at Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner, Cox, Verizon, Sprint, Qwest and the other ISPs. Those ISPs do NOT have a right to make profit at the expense of consumers and I applaud the FCC for having the guts to do something about it.

    Here's a tip for Comcast... Instead of blocking BitTorrent, just charge those customers who use more bandwidth (regardless of what they use it for) more money each month. And implement QoS that shoves BitTorrent packets to the back of the queue to give everything else a chance.

    Of course, if they actually did that, people might stop paying for expensive cable channels and start downloading the content instead. Cant have that now can we :P

  • What's Really Needed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BlueStrat (756137) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @03:41AM (#32345676)

    What's really needed here is something to take as much political influence out of the process as possible, and to eliminate as far as possible the resulting laws'/regulations' ability to be used to control/silence speech.

    Many people feel the internet is another world. I'd agree with this basic concept with the exception that at this point the internet is more like another country and deserves it's own Constitution and Bill of Rights in order to grow, prosper for all, and fulfill the promise the internet holds for every human on the planets' future.

    We need something along the lines of an Internet Constitution & Bill of Rights amended to the US Constitution setting out specific duties, powers, & limits to what the government, ISPs, and backbone providers may do along with a set of basic individual rights for the internet.

    We don't need to re-classify the internet under telco regulations or pass some massive multi-thousand-page monstrosity of a bill that will be a political payoff and power-grab by *somebody* in the end, with very little to address the actual concerns of most here while almost certainly making things worse in multiple ways for most internet users.

    Unfortunately, the only way I can see getting something that isn't a power/wealth grab by one political/corporate interest or another is to have it be a grassroots movement of some sort, as anything coming from politicians of any stripe is nearly guaranteed to be corrupt, or at least end up corrupted by the time it's passed. It would have to be a powerful enough popular demand to overcome fierce resistance from the entire political/governmental structure.

    Well, one can dream.

    Strat

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