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GOP Senators Move To Block FCC On Net Neutrality 709

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the who-regulates-the-regulators dept.
suraj.sun writes "Seven Republican senators have announced a plan to curb the Obama administration's push to impose controversial Net neutrality regulations on the Internet." "The FCC's rush to take over the Internet is just the latest example of the need for fundamental reform to protect consumers," says Sen. Jim DeMint, who I'm sure truly only has the consumer's needs at heart — since his campaign contributions list AT&T in his top five donating organizations.
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GOP Senators Move To Block FCC On Net Neutrality

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  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Informative)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:18PM (#32991382)
    How about the FCC's action on Comcasts' interference with BitTorrent traffic?
  • by CannonballHead (842625) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:29PM (#32991572)
    If you look at the "major political campaign donations" lists, I believe telecoms have overwhelmingly given to Democrats as well... as have most tech companies. For AT&T specifically [opensecrets.org], they favor Republicans by 2% at the moment. It has shifted back and forth.
  • by Vahokif (1292866) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:32PM (#32991612)
    This is regulation of the companies so they can't regulate the internet, so to speak. Slashdot has always been for net neutrality.
  • Hold the Spin (Score:5, Informative)

    by The Altruist (1448701) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:36PM (#32991676)

    And READ THE -~=*FRIENDLY*=~- ARTICLE. All of it.

    DeMint's received contributions from ATT: $37,500. Total Funding Received: $6.33M
    As far as Candidates receiving funds from Computer and Internet Industries: DeMint ranks #35.
    Telecom Services & Equipment: #20.
    Both of those rankings are WELL below several names of Democrats.
    If DeMint's in anybody's back pocket it's Old People. Retirement. Insurance. Real Estate. Securities and Investment.

    Quoted:
    "In theory, many Democrats favor Net neutrality. President Obama recently reiterated through a spokesman that he remains "committed" to the idea, as have some Democratic committee chairmen.

    But theory doesn't always mesh with political practice. More than 70 House Democrats sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski instructing him to abandon his Net neutrality plans. A majority of Congress now opposes Genachowski's proposals. "

    I'm sorry, what were we talking about again?

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Informative)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:39PM (#32991742)
    You seem to be confused about the meaning of net neutrality. Net neutrality has nothing to do with what information is allowed on the Internet. Net neutrality regulations are concerned with the level of service that ISPs provide -- in particular, we are talking about a requirement that ISPs provide non-discriminatory service.

    Yes, I know, the government is involved, so automatically we should be distrustful. Never mind that it was Comcast that was caught deliberately interfering with BitTorrent traffic, and when this particular government agency told them to stop (an unequivocally pro-consumer move), Comcast sued them for it. Never mind that Time Warner, a company which controls both the production and distribution of a tremendous amount of news and entertainment, has been airing commercials on its cable networks opposing net neutrality.
  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nadaka (224565) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:50PM (#32991916)

    It is bad for specific, very large, very profitable, very influential corporations who currently happen to enjoy local and regional monopolies or duopolies.

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Informative)

    by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:51PM (#32991956) Homepage Journal

    I am somewhat conflicted on the whole issue, but to me giving a government agency ANY authority over the content on the internet is a huge flashing red light and and potential slippery slope

    And I agree with you. Fortunately, net neutrality has NOTHING AT ALL to do with content.

    Net neutrality means this, and only this: all packets are created equal. Comcast has to treat packets originating from Google the same as those originating from Bing, and treat packets sent in response to http requests the same as packets sent in response to ftp requests. That's all it is. The whole thing, right there. Content has absolutely nothing to do with it. And the ONLY role the FCC has in this is enforcement of this simple rule.

  • Call your Senator (Score:5, Informative)

    by tibman (623933) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:55PM (#32992010) Homepage

    Called my Senator's office and gave my opinion. I keep their numbers in my phone so this kind of thing is easy to do.

    Everybody (US Citizens) should call theirs to shoot this bill down. The FCC has been doing a good job so far to protect consumers. There's no need to limit them like this. You can find your senator's contact information here: http://senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm [senate.gov]

    When you call the number, just tell the person who answers that you'd like to give your opinion. They will ask for your name and address and what message you wish to pass along to the senator. You might get a letter back in the mail concerning your opinions and what actually happened with the bill. You can hang these letters on your fridge and any ladies passing by will be impressed with your official correspondence with the government.

  • Re:WTF (Score:2, Informative)

    by KarrdeSW (996917) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:57PM (#32992034)

    Consumers and corporations just have competing interests here.

    please explain me how internet neutrality is bad for corporations ?

    It's not necessarily detrimental, but it does hinder their profits. You should not that the legislation doesn't have to hurt a corporation in order for their interest to be at odds with the consumers' interest. If your interest might be detrimental to corporate profits, then that's likely a competing interest.

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Informative)

    by ArcherB (796902) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:12PM (#32992282) Journal

    Uhhh... Newsflash: this moral panic was brought to you by social conservatives. You know, people who almost always vote Republican.

    And the previous comment was brought to you by the willfully ignorant and political ideology blinded. However, it's not too late as he can still read the article, but I can't guarantee that anything will ever open his mind.. Here's a snippet that may help him get educated.

    "But theory doesn't always mesh with political practice. More than 70 House Democrats sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski instructing him to abandon his Net neutrality plans. A majority of Congress now opposes Genachowski's proposals."

    and

    "The new bill--called the Freedom for Consumer Choice Act, or FCC Act--doesn't eliminate the FCC's power over broadband providers. But that power would be narrowed in scope, and come to resemble the antitrust enforcement power of the Department of Justice."

  • Re:FCC = Censorship (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:14PM (#32992320) Journal

    What is wrong with the way that Internet has been run for the last 20 years? Nothing,

    Exactly. For the past 20 years, Net Neutrality has been the default situation. We just want to codify it so it doesn't change.

  • Re:WTF (Score:2, Informative)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:42PM (#32992822) Journal

    >>>Guess what? You just argued in favor of regulation. If you want consumers to have choices for broadband, then you are talking about forcing companies, through regulation, to make their infrastructure available to everyone.
    >>>

    No I didn't. And your comment shows you don't understand how things actually work. The only reason Comcast has a monopoly in my neighborhood is because government GAVE them a monopoly. That's right: Government regulated the monopoly into existence. Bravo. What the government needs to do is *step away* and allow other providers like Cox and T-W and ATT and Verizon to enter the market, run their own fiber optics in parallel with Comcast's, and give customers multiple choices to choose from.

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Informative)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:48PM (#32992934)

    Look you troll, she was talking about something she did wrong. If you see the whole video, not the FOXNews version you will see this was about a time in her life when she learned to change, not what people should do.

    The simple answer to why fox news beats other cables news channels is their lack of news. Rather than reporting they concentrate on angering crazed rednecks.

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Informative)

    by Burz (138833) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:51PM (#32992996) Journal

    Why do you think Comcast doesn't have a right to regulate traffic on its own networks?

    Not a hard question. Because in the past they didn't have enough self-restraint to keep from interfering with and falsifying customer data packets.

    The government FUCKS UP EVERYTHING IT DOES.

    Mainly at the hands of people who espouse that bullshit libertarian-right philosophy. The LAST political candidates you should trust are the ones saying that government is necessarily evil; they sneer at government's stated purpose to promote the COMMON good and end up running the nation into the ground with their greed.

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Informative)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:04PM (#32993224)
    This explains, of course, why the constitution explicitly forbids a particular group of people -- the government -- from doing certain things that individuals are not forbidden to do.
  • Re:WTF (Score:2, Informative)

    by city (1189205) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:10PM (#32993326)
    Unfortunately, the supreme court disagrees with you. It has ruled in favor of corporate personhood, especially lately in regards to interpreting the 1st ammendment and their rights to "freedom of speech" [wikipedia.org].
  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Informative)

    by riverat1 (1048260) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:27PM (#32993578)

    Did you listen to all 40+ minutes of her talk? This is a woman whose father was murdered by a white man when she was 16 years old. She had reason to dislike white people. It's a story about how she overcame her racism and came to understand it was more about the haves and have nots than race. When you cherry pick a line or two to make a point opposite to the point the speaker was trying to make I'd call it butchering.

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Informative)

    by Solandri (704621) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @04:05PM (#32995116)

    I wonder what the old phone system would be like if it hadn't had common carrier net neutrality status, or roads, or railroads, or airplanes.

    You might want to read up on airline deregulation [wikipedia.org]. It's actually a pretty good argument for a free market approach. Prior to deregulation, the government mandated which routes were flown and what the fares were. Post-deregulation, fares dropped, service expanded, and quality of service went down. But more people could get to where they wanted to go for cheaper, so on the balance they were happier.

    Not that I think this changes the net neutrality debate. I'm actually for net neutrality. I'm just against silly "leaving businesses to their own devices is always bad" or "more government regulation is always bad" one-sided non-reasoning.

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Informative)

    by ultranova (717540) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @04:39PM (#32995578)

    Sure there is, it's called negative user feedback. Amazon would backpedal so fast your head would spin. Look at what happened when Blizzard tried to make all their users use their real name on their forums. They reversed course the next day due to the overwhelming negative response.

    Negative user feedback requires both consumer choice and consumer awareness. Amazon and Comcast could simply keep their dirty dealings secret.

    Unlike the current administration, businesses realize that if they piss off their customers, their customers will go elsewhere.

    They have nowhere else to go. The businesses understand this very well, which is why they cry out against Net Neutrality.

    The competition between Comcast and whoever else may be scant in some areas, but it does exist.

    No, it doesn't exist. There have been numerous stories on this very website discussing htis matter. But even if it did, the profit potential by abusing customers is simply too great in a market with such high barriers of entry for losing the lucky few who can choose to matter.

    Net neutrality means nothing of the sort. Net neutrality tells the providers that they can't charge for tiered access, something they already do. So your $40 per month cable bill will instantly go to over $100.

    This is in an outright lie. Net Neutrality means that an ISP may not throttle or block traffick based on what remote machine it's going to or coming from. Of course they can still offer different connection speeds for different pay.

    If they have to give the same quality of service to everyone, you can bet your ass that they're going to make sure you pay for it.

    I already pay for bandwidth. Net Neutrality simply makes it impossible for the ISP to try and make the other endpoint of my communications also pay.

    This bill removes the freedom we all enjoy right now.

    This, again, is a lie.

    I'll take throttled traffic over a tripled bill any day of the week.

    This is a non-sequitur based on your earlier lies.

    You're either an astroturfer being paid to spread lies, a libertarian spreading lies due to ideology, or a moron who has no idea what you're talking about. Which one is it?

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Informative)

    by dryeo (100693) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:29PM (#32998778)

    You do realize that the old phone system was a government granted monopoly because they (the government) felt it was a waste to have multiple companies running lines in parallel, right? Competition was alive and well until the government handed AT&T a monopoly and said "It's all yours"

    Where do you guys get this bullshit? While true that government granted patents helped with the creation of the AT&T monopoly by giving them a head start, they already were a monopoly when the government got involved and forced them to play nice with other phone companies (they had a policy that no others could use their long distance network, the best in the land due to owning most of the vacuum tube patents) and were on their way to buying up every other phone company as well as the telegraph companies.
    When AT&T realized that they were under anti-trust investigation they offered a compromise to the government which ended up officially making them a monopoly.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingsbury_Commitment [wikipedia.org]

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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