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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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  • WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:12AM (#32991306)

    The FCC's rush to takeover the Internet is just the latest example of the need for fundamental reform to protect consumers.

    The FCC is trying to protect consumers, you fuck. Honestly, do these people believe that anyone will swallow lies like that?

  • Re:WTF (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:16AM (#32991344)
    What makes you think the FCC is trying to protect consumers? Can you give me an example of government regulation that did not end up favoring entrenched incumbents in the industry more than potential competitors or consumers?
  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:16AM (#32991348)
    "OMG THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO CONTROL THE INTERNET!"

    That is what typical people who do not understand the net neutrality issue think when they hear that the FCC wants to enforce net neutrality. It does not help that Fox news, the most popular news network in America, has people like Glenn Beck calling net neutrality a socialist plot.
  • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:17AM (#32991368)

    I like that the FCC is trying to ensure net neutrality but I have two problems with it.

    First and foremost, if you're being honest with yourself, these kinds of decisions are too important to leave up to people in non-elected positions. Just because I agree with the decision they made doesn't make it right to try and do an end run around the politicos to get their way. Imagine if the FCC were doing the opposite, and trying to encourage a non-neutral net.

    Secondly, this wouldn't be a law on the books. All it would take for this policy to change would be a new management at the FCC. That means both that businesses couldn't count on it staying the same for any kind of long term and that the next election cycle could see it thrown out the window without so much as a vote in congress.

    Put it through congress the way these kinds of policies were always meant to be. At least give the American people the chance to pretend that they can still influence their congressmen and make it a bit more difficult for the policy to be overturned when the political winds change.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:17AM (#32991370) Homepage Journal
    huh ? especially when these and 2 other companies hold almost all american backbone infrastructure in their own hands ? and for some reason, they are acting in unison. gee. i wonder why that is.

    really. who will protect the consumer from their stranglehold ? 'invisible hand' of the market ? fairies ? what do you do when 4 companies hold an entire nation hostage, act together ? wait for 4-5 years for a new backbone provider to come up ? do you have that time ? and dont bullshit me about 'competition' by the way - it has never been a reality in between mega companies at the very top. they always act in conjunction.
  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Moryath (553296) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:18AM (#32991374)

    I want to know something.

    Why are we all worried over 7 republicraps when yesterday it was 73 paid-off democraps [arstechnica.com] doing precisely the same thing?

    The problem is ALL OF THEM, corrupt boobs on both sides of the aisle, not one side or the other. Sheesh.

  • by DaHat (247651) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:19AM (#32991406) Homepage

    Noting that an evil republican has AT&T (the PAC and its employees on their own) be #3 on his donors list makes him bad... but the fact that both the Telecom Services & Equipment [usnews.com] AND Telephone Utilities [usnews.com] (just to name a few industries) overwhelmingly has been giving to Democrats makes them... good? Or is that just not worthy of mentioning?

  • by supermariosd (1854156) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:20AM (#32991412)
    "Freedom of Consumer Choice" implies that most consumers have a choice when selecting a broadband provider. Lots of folks are stuck with good ol' Comcast because they're the only provider in the area.
  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:22AM (#32991448)
    I know that. I never said otherwise. I was addressing this particular liar's statement. Unlike most of my countrymen (and a surprising number of posters here), I'm not stupid enough to think that one party is less corrupt and power-hungry than the other.
  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:23AM (#32991468) Homepage Journal

    Honestly, do these people believe that anyone will swallow lies like that?

    Given the hysteria that greets any attempt at ensuring net neutrality, the answer to your question appears to be "yes." And I'm not just talking about telecom industry shills and their bought-and-paid-for politicians, either. Read any story that mentions net neutrality on Slashdot -- where people really ought to know better -- and you'll see that many people have swallowed the propaganda hook, line, and sinker. There are a lot of people, including many technically literate people, who actually believe that (a) net neutrality decreases broadband users' freedom of choice, (b) telling telcos that they can't discriminate based on packet origin will somehow morph into forcing discrimination based on content, or (c) some combination of the above. And it seems that there is simply no amount of explanation of what net neutrality actually is, and how it works, which will get through to people who think like this.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:26AM (#32991528)
    Well, then instead of campaigning for "net neutrality" (whatever the government decides that means), you should be campaigning for the government to break up the high speed Internet monopolies.
  • Oh yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by adamwright (536224) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:26AM (#32991536) Homepage

    Oh yes, they believe that people will swallow them. I'm making a kind of personal anthropological study of the changes to the US right (which, to most of the Western world, is becoming the "far right", or possibly "So far right, it's in danger of wrap around"). These people truly seem believe that *any* kind of government is an evil threat to liberty (how these people can draw a salary as a government employee is an excellent example of living with cognitive dissonance - *my* government job is OK, *my* farm subsidy is an exception to the rule of free markets). There seems to be a growing group who would prefer that the sum total role of government would be to issue all newborns with a bible and a gun, then vanish for all eternity.

    I caricature, of course. Not all republicans are this far gone. Unfortunately, It's getting hard to find any vocal examples who are not.

  • by chaboud (231590) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:27AM (#32991542) Homepage Journal

    I imagine that this is why Obama is trying to do this with the FCC (and not congress).

    That said, I'm fairly convinced that Julius Genachowski and his crack squad of broadband-all-the-time lawyers and business types have no friggin' clue how the technology works or how to address problems of scale.

    Net Neutrality, yes, good. Massive hand-over of wireless spectrum to private wireless providers instead of building up a national infrastructure? Dumb.

  • Re:WTF (Score:1, Insightful)

    by dpolak (711584) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:29AM (#32991566) Journal

    It does not help that Fox news, the most popular news network in America, has people like Glenn Beck calling net neutrality a socialist plot.

    Which is the fundamental problem in the USA. A totally biased, lying, piece of shit ultra conservative program that makes it's own definition of news is followed by millions of sheep in the US.

    Until the US does something to curb this blatant BS that Fox, Rush L. and the other ultra conservative groups put out, the US will continue to spiral into hell and eliminate the dream that every American lives for.

    Opinion is fine as long as it is defined as opinion and not FACT. They should have a disclaimer bar that scrolls across the top of the screen at all times stating this network (Fox News) is not reporting news, just their opinions on what they consider the news.

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Insightful)

    by polar red (215081) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:33AM (#32991622)

    Consumers and corporations just have competing interests here.

    please explain me how internet neutrality is bad for corporations ?

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:33AM (#32991628) Homepage Journal

    How can you describe this as anything other than the government deciding what's allowed and what's not allowed on the Internet?

    Well, you can start by realizing that net neutrality has nothing at all to do with "the government deciding what's allowed and what's not allowed on the Internet," and go from there.

  • Re:WTF (Score:2, Insightful)

    by StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:34AM (#32991646)

    It's true the Republicans got in and killed the fairness principle that said that broadcast media had to be fair and balanced as part of the agreement that they can license the 'publicly owned' airwaves, and presto, Fox "News". They lease part of the spectrum from us in exchange for obeying certain rules. The FCC used to be in a better postion to protect consumers but the Republicans have fought hard to have control of the message and with the net neutrality issues, get the more wealthy more priveledges as a way of generating more profits for them. The new departments that actually did news were an outgrowth of the priciple that the holders of those leases of the airwaves needed to provide value to the consumer. Now that is less the case and journalism, esp TV journalism is all but dead. The recent butchered video about racism is a good current example. They don't even check their stories anymore, just parrot what other outlets have come out with.

    The FCC's censorship of dirty words is a case in point where they (I think mistakenly) are trying to protect the consumer. It would be hard to argue that that practice just favored entrenched incombents in the industry.

    They do monitor transmission frequencies to make sure stations broadcasting stay on frequency which protects adjacent stations which in a sense protects consumers by making sure stations on the air can be heard without interference.

    So the FCC is the organization that can protect the consumer if it has the laws and regulations to do so. It has done more in the past and with net neutrality and maybe recovering the fairness doctrine we can get back to a more friendly place in the airwaves that is part of the public trust.

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:35AM (#32991650) Homepage Journal
    What? The whole point of net neutrality is to prevent ISPs (and the Government) from selectively blocking/degrading certain content. This is the government "deciding what's allowed" on the internet only in the sense that they're saying they aren't allowed to say what's allowed on the internet. Where are people getting these crazy conspiracy theory notions of what Net Neutrality is?
  • by Dynedain (141758) <[moc.nilcmynohtna] [ta] [2todhsals]> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:35AM (#32991664) Homepage

    "The FCC's rush to takeover the Internet is just the latest example of the need for fundamental reform to protect consumers" says Sen. Jim DeMint

    Fucking hell. What about the need for fundamental reform to protect citizens?

    I'm glad my elected officials feel they need speak up for consumers, and not constituents.

  • by Dan667 (564390) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:35AM (#32991666)
    you must not have a phone or cable tv.
  • by Jmanamj (1077749) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:35AM (#32991670)

    Because forcibly disbanding a party with views opposing your own is the best way to stop totalitarianism! :D

    I honestly don't see much difference between ANY "hard liners."

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kenj0418 (230916) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:37AM (#32991718)

    Can you give me an example of government regulation that did not end up favoring entrenched incumbents in the industry more than potential competitors or consumers?

    Telephone number portability

  • in the united states, you have people who will vociferously fight even legislation that is good for them and increases their rights, like common sense healthcare reform, because they would rather believe demagogues on the radio and propaganda outlets on the television that report "the news"

    behind these demagogues and propaganda outlets are big business concerns, who have realized they can pay to have opinion swayed in their direction by demonizing brain dead obvious common good legislation that costs corporations money. they have convinced the idiots to fight for the reduction of their own rights. they call legislation in the name of the common good "socialism," "liberalism," or any number of demonized words whom those who oppose "socialism" or "liberalism" don't even really understand

    all they know is "socialism is a bad word." well, what does socialism mean? "its means bad stuff." could you define it ideologically please? "it's anti-american." would you like to know the 19th century american history of labor rights- "shut up you communist fascist terrorist"

    this is what intelligent americans are up against: corporations whipping up the low end of the iq curve into a rabid hysteria

    americans: go to europe. ask a european about socialism. you will find out the word is boring and just common sense. europeans have a much higher standard of living then you, dear propagandized low iq americans. they also have much higher taxes... but they DON'T PAY FOR SERVICES YOU PAY A LOT MORE FOR

    truth, idiots: you're still taxed, whether for health care or oil or broadband, but by corporate boardrooms instead of uncle sam, and you are taxed a heck of a lot more! idiots: you are being manipulated by trolls in the employ of big business to think things against your own self-interest, and you are too stupid to see it. wake the fuck up

    rest of the world: i apologize that the american experiment in democracy has been warped by corporate influence. there are still americans who recognize the threat and would like nothing more than to remove that corporate financial influence from our democracy. unfortunately, it is very difficult to fight billions of dollars in lobbyists and media buys. but we're trying. wish us luck. if we fail, then the usa becomes nothing more than a slave state to corporate interests, and any slave who dare suggests big business should pay more for the care of their slaves is "unamerican." unbelievable

  • Im usually not pro regulation, but in this case I cant see how doing nothing is pro-consumer. The arguments about regulation stifling innovation would have made more sense 15 years but today its usually just small companies creating stuff that gets bought up by the big companies. The costs are already passed to the consumers so its not like regulation would make that any different, if anything it would encourage the companies to actually become competitive and put some effort into support and network quality rather than just sitting back and enjoying their monopoly knowing that in many areas you have no choice.

    In the area I live, I have 2 choices for Internet access, Time Warner or AT&T, i can opt for 3rd parties for DSL but have to pay local loop and access charges that make 3rd party solutions more than twice as expensive. Many parts of town have one or the other but not both. The rural areas south of me have no choice other than hughes net since the cable and phone companies don't feel expansion out that way is worth their time and money. Both the cable and phone company bundle their services to the point where the "cheap" access ($30 a month) is barely better than dial up. The area is so over subscribed and even on a good day in the off peak hours I rarely get half the advertised speeds. I support my clients via vpn connections and regularly do offsite backups, etc. I was forced to move from a residential connection to a business class because according to the cable company I used too much bandwidth. I now pay around $100 a month for a slower connection than I had 5 years ago and each year sees an increase in prices of at least a couple bucks.

    I was involved in a project years back to attempt to bring municipal wifi to our downtown area, the cable and phone companies pitched a fit and managed to block it. 3 years ago a second cable company tried to expand into the area, it too was blocked.

    The US model of telecommunications is extremely flawed IMHO, between locked carriers, subsidized phones, local carrier monopolies, and free reign to change the "rules" at any time the current model is a mess and as is there is absolutely no hope of it getting better.

    The biggest problem I see is that the carriers want the best of both worlds, they want us to pay for their buildouts and upgrades through tiffs and tax incentives, but then want to be the sole provider as well. Rather than spend money expanding capacity, they throw in caps to artificially increase capacity while at the same time advertise streaming media, online gaming and other bandwidth intensive things as the reason to get them in the first place. I cant see things really improving until something changes.

  • by guruevi (827432) <evi AT smokingcube DOT be> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:40AM (#32991774) Homepage

    So you want to get rid of both Democrats and Republicans then? Seriously, there is no left party in the US. Maybe if the Pirate Party gets enough clout that they can be put on the ballot, you may be able to see a centrist party but all the rest (Current Ruling Party, Previously Ruling Party and Independents) have been respectively fascist/nationalistic, far right and right.

  • Re:WTF (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Rockoon (1252108) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:41AM (#32991794)
    You do realize that the FCC is just making a power grab here, right? Like most power grabs, they start off as something the public can really get behind.

    Are we better off with the FCC calling the shots? The trouble is that if they do maneuver themselves into Internet Regulator status, we will never see the alternatives.

    The FCC imposes fines for broadcasting nudity, right? Even half-a-million-dollar fines for accidental nudity on live broadcasts (superbowl halftime show...) that must later be thrown out in appeals court, right?

    When I was growing up, "Fuck the FCC!" was a common "rebel nerd" thing to say. The FCC arent altruists by any stretch. They are another bureaucracy of control.
  • by Androclese (627848) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:42AM (#32991820)
    There is the Geek way of defining it: "No filtering, blocking, or censoring of content going across the wire." (simplified, but you get my point)

    The other is the politician way of defining it: "all speech on the Internet must be neutral and balanced". Essentially, the equivalent of the "Fairness Doctrine" that was imposed (and revoked) on the visual and audio media years and years ago.

    Unfortunately, this distinction is lost in a lot of these discussions. Do not assume that just because it says "Net Neutrality", that it is defined as you think it is.

    For the record, I am for the former and against the latter.
  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:43AM (#32991828) Journal

    I'm not. There's no reason why there shouldn't be toplessness on American TV as seen on European TV. I routinely what Euro TV and I'm amazed how much is blurred by the FCC censors. Instead we get to see Jack Bauer slitting people's throats which is far more harmful than a naked chest.

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jeffmeden (135043) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:44AM (#32991844) Homepage Journal

    The FCC's rush to takeover the Internet is just the latest example of the need for fundamental reform to protect consumers.

    The FCC is trying to protect consumers, you fuck. Honestly, do these people believe that anyone will swallow lies like that?

    The strategy of "if you say something enough times, it becomes true" is so common in politics these days that it might as well get it's own sunday morning talk show. If his statement upsets you, seriously, either your ears just started working or your head is about half a second away from exploding.

    "Say whatever puts you in the best light and hope at least half of the people believe it" is a staple of the brave new partisan world we find ourselves in. Good luck out there.

  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rockoon (1252108) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:46AM (#32991882)
    Why is the post above me, which is pretty much a fucking call to censor free speech that the poster disagrees with, +insightful for an article about the FCC and net neutrality?
  • by casings (257363) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:47AM (#32991888)

    Does the FCC censor your telephone calls? No.

    Because making ISP's common carriers would give consumers the same protections to the internet that the FCC gives for telephony.

    Learn what the fuck you are talking about before you post, please.

  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:55AM (#32992002) Journal

    >>>Fairness Principle..... as part of the agreement that they can license the 'publicly owned' airwaves, and presto, Fox "News".

    FOX News doesn't use the public airwaves. FOX is wholly-and-completely distributed by private cable lines. The same is true for all cable channels (TNT, FX, USA, et cetera). Perhaps you should learn how things *actually* work? The Fairness Doctrine only applied to over-the-air television.

    As for balance on *public* spectrum several AM/FM stations routinely air liberal talkshows to counterbalance the Becks and Limbaughs. On TV there's the left-leaning PBS and NBC. I also have a local station called "MiND" that shows Democracy Now and GritTV and other liberal programs. There's really no need for a Fairness Doctrine, since there's already plenty of programs on both left and right.

    Note when I say liberal I refer to pro-"making government bigger"
    You rarely here the counter-argument that government should be smaller.

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:57AM (#32992056) Journal

    Are we better off with the FCC calling the shots?

    The Federal Communications Commission would seem like the right agency to be "calling the shots" when it comes to the internet.
    Would you like to suggest a different agency?

    The trouble is that if they do maneuver themselves into Internet Regulator status, we will never see the alternatives.

    ::facepalm::
    What alternatives?
    Self-regulation by the industry?
    Because that's obviously going to lead to a fair and open market place?

    The FCC imposes fines for broadcasting nudity, right? Even half-a-million-dollar fines for accidental nudity on live broadcasts (superbowl halftime show...) that must later be thrown out in appeals court, right?

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

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:58AM (#32992060)
    Why should any of us give a damn about freedoms for corporations? Take a look at the constitution of the United States of America some time, and you might notice that the document does not make many guarantees about freedoms for enterprises or corporations of any sort, although it does explicitly grant power to regulate commerce.
  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by polar red (215081) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:59AM (#32992076)

    HOW does net neutrality hinder profits ?

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gorzek (647352) <gorzek@NOSpaM.gmail.com> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:03PM (#32992134) Homepage Journal

    Somebody is going to be in control of it, one way or another. Better that it be a government agency that's at least theoretically answerable to the voting populace than a corporation that is only beholden to its investors.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:04PM (#32992154) Homepage

    This issue of who AT&T donates to is really really easy to settle. All we need to do is go to research that looks directly at who's giving what to whom, which is thankfully available right here [opensecrets.org].

    As you can see, the general story is:
    1. AT&T has given more to Republicans since 1994, but gives huge amounts of cash to candidates of both major parties.
    2. AT&T has handed out more cash than any other organization in the country since 1990.

  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:08PM (#32992220) Journal

    Honestly, do these people believe that anyone will swallow lies like that?

    Um yes? Have you not been paying attention? The entire history of politics, during my lifetime at least, has been the people swallowing one ridiculous lie after another. From "trickle down economics" to Obama's "change" rhetoric, they lie and lie and lie and people still believe them.

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:09PM (#32992230) Journal

    >>>FREE SPEECH != NEWS.

    Actually it does in America. Quoting the Law: "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." It's one and the same. After all the news/press is just speech in written form. I can SAY that I think our last three presidents were tyrants. Or I can put my speech to paper. It makes no difference.

  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rockoon (1252108) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:09PM (#32992232)

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

    The FCC is influenced by politics, then, right?

    The FCC is a member of the executive branch, so will be influenced by whatever president is in office, right? Do you really want the precedent to be that the internet is to be ruled by a revolving door of figureheads?

  • by dpilot (134227) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:10PM (#32992240) Homepage Journal

    > Its every little community preventing the build-out of alternative infrastructure.

    Last I looked, it was the corporations preventing the build-out of alternative infrastructure by little communities. There are quite a few states that have laws outright forbidding municipal internet service, and quite a few more states have erected some pretty nasty roadblocks, though they haven't forbidden it outright.

  • Re:WTF (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:11PM (#32992258)

    AM radio, Fox News, Worldnetdaily.com, and other Republican nutjob sources.

  • Re:WTF (Score:2, Insightful)

    by moeinvt (851793) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:12PM (#32992298)

    " ... net neutrality has nothing at all to do with "the government deciding what's allowed and what's not allowed on the Internet"... "

    Don't be so sure until you see the government's definition of "net neutrality" and the powers they want to accumulate in order to enforce it. My expectation is that the reality will be closer to what the OP described than any sort of real network neutrality.

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KevinKnSC (744603) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:12PM (#32992300)

    Way to selectively quote the part that wasn't being responded to. Good show.

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Entropius (188861) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:16PM (#32992362)

    The government is not the one that needs to do something about it. There is more to the US than the government. The American *people* need to do something about Fox News -- namely, stop watching it, and boycott its advertisers.

  • Re:Wait a minute (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Entropius (188861) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:17PM (#32992368)

    Compared to the rest of the world they're a right-wing party, really.

  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thestudio_bob (894258) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:18PM (#32992376)

    ...Republicans have fought hard to have control of the message

    If you truly believe that this is just a "republican" agenda, then you have been suckered into believing the other sides message.

    BOTH parties are trying to do this, they aren't stupid. Once any party has some sort of power, they're not going to give it up. Don't be fooled by party "marketing" tactics.

  • Re:WTF (Score:2, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:20PM (#32992400) Journal

    >>>Somebody is going to be in control of it, one way or another.

    FALSE. Not if you operate the internet like local grocery stores. In my county I can choose from no less than 20 different stores. We should be able to do the same with internet companies. Put the power in the hands of the consumer to make his OWN choice between Comcast or Cox or Cablevision or Time-Warner or Verizon or ATT or AppleTV or MSN or GoogleNet or .....

  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Americano (920576) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:21PM (#32992424)

    From the same article under discussion:

    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.

    It's not just "the republicans" that are doing this, wake the fuck up and stop with the "My team is better than your team" bullshit - the only difference here is that YOUR whores are disingenuously claiming to be in favor of it while working to undermine it.

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gorzek (647352) <gorzek@NOSpaM.gmail.com> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:21PM (#32992442) Homepage 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.

    Thanks for making my point for me.

  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:24PM (#32992476)
    Net Neutrality means that to you. What makes you think that is what the FCC means by it? Even if the FCC means that now, how long do you think they will stick to just that? Have you seen the bill Congress proposed to make "Net Neutrality" law? It was several hundred pages long.
  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fauxbo (1393095) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:27PM (#32992536)

    Because if the ISP can't say:

    "Oh a packet from Google... that's a nice packet you got there Google, be a shame if something were to happen to it. Gimme $100 and I'll make sure it get's where it's going real quick... unlike "lucky Bing" over here"

    That hurts my profits.

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Insightful)

    by T Murphy (1054674) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:28PM (#32992542) Journal
    The closest thing he suggested to censorship was forcing Fox to display a message clarifying the subjective nature of their content. He seems to imply people in general need to do something about biased media (i.e. stop watching it and make it clear why). It is on-topic due to the highly politicized nature of the net neutrality issue.
  • by FatSean (18753) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:31PM (#32992606) Homepage Journal

    I'm so tired of that sentiment.

  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gorzek (647352) <gorzek@NOSpaM.gmail.com> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:31PM (#32992614) Homepage Journal

    You're splitting hairs. The FCC is an executive agency that answers to the President. You do vote for President. Would we like to start voting for every last government employee, too?

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AndersOSU (873247) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:32PM (#32992626)

    Well for starters:

    Sherman anti-trust
    Glass-Steagall
    Minimum Wage Act
    Wagner Act
    The Clean Air Act
    The Clean Water Act
    the OSH Act
    FMLA
    Sarbanes-Oxley

  • Re:WTF (Score:2, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:32PM (#32992632) Journal

    Many Democrats, Greens, and Communists are already boycotting FOX News and have been for over a year now. It isn't working. Why? Because it's the only channel on TV that's not liberal-biased (pro-make-government-larger), and people sick of the liberal bias of ABC, CBS, PBS, MSNBC, and CNN decided to watch FOX News instead.

    As is their right.

  • Re:WTF (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:33PM (#32992648)

    ...and packets for SYN attacks? ...and packets for DNS cache poisoning? ...and packets for bogus BGP announcements?

    Again, tell me how the FCC, whose only purpose is to establish that the radio spectrum is utilized efficiently, has jurisdiction over what a company does with its own fiber infrastructure? I share the concern that entrenched monopolies (natural or legislative) just want to sit on their rent-seeking, but I'm also concerned with various parts of the executive branch co-opting authority that the legislative branch hasn't given them (net neutrality, ACTA, signing statements). We have a process for this, and all kinds of Bad Stuff historically happens when the checks and balances are ignored.

  • by crovira (10242) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:36PM (#32992708) Homepage

    I trust bureaucrats very little but I trust politicians not at all.

    I live in New Jersey... I KNOW better.

    A promise is something a politician breaks at the first smell of a dollar bill waved in his tax fattened face.

    We'd do a lot better without elected officials (who owe favors and/or money to the people who paid for 'em.)

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:38PM (#32992738)

    Can you give me an example of government regulation that did not end up favoring entrenched incumbents in the industry more than potential competitors or consumers?

    The Superfund cleanup projects. Breaking up Standard Oil. The limitations on media homogenization.

  • by FatSean (18753) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:39PM (#32992782) Homepage Journal

    dpolak said nothing about censorship. You, however, are twisting his words.

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:46PM (#32992892) Homepage Journal

    You seem to forget that the Internet is an Internet, not an intranet.

    If these companies don't cooperate, it ceases to be the Internet at all.

    Cooperation is KEY to the Internet's existence. It is not and was not designed to be a private enterprise.

  • Re:WTF (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kalidor (94097) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:50PM (#32992974) Homepage

    And that's because that is really just a FAQ and a very limited explanation of the regulations in place. The least amount of leverage is applied to get things done. The regulations never say that the industry can't go above and beyond what regulations say just that they meet the bare minimum. I suspect the FCC knowing how exchanges work wrote this regulation with the suspicion that logistical costs made it such that it was better for the telecoms to make number portability universal, not just local.

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ATMAvatar (648864) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:54PM (#32993048) Journal

    Your analogy is flawed.

    The grocery stores are the content providers (those creating websites). Net neutrality deals with the roads connecting those stores.

    It may be really easy to drive to a different grocery store when one charges too much or lacks what you want, but depending upon how the roads are laid out, you may be stuck driving over the same few stretches of road regardless of which store you go to. What's worse is that the existing roads were largely subsidized with public money, and building new roads to compete with the old ones is often times difficult to impossible due to a variety of reasons (e.g. zoning).

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Insightful)

    by freedom_india (780002) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:57PM (#32993098) Homepage Journal
    What makes you think the so-called free market is trying to protect consumers?
  • now that i've equalized you're knee jerk partisan trigger points, are you with me on the rest of my words?

    or is it that you say its ok that you are a manipulated fool... because democrats are manipulated too

    seriously? that's your weak ass fucking argument?

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gorzek (647352) <gorzek@NOSpaM.gmail.com> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:57PM (#32993108) Homepage Journal

    You don't seem to have any idea how cable monopolies were established in the first place.

    Cable companies struck deals with local governments in order to get permission to lay their lines on public land and on private property. It was completely infeasible for cable companies to lay their lines without the cooperation of the local government, as private properties are not contiguous enough to permit it and it's far too much hassle to ask every single property owner for permission to lay cables on their land.

    In exchange for building this infrastructure, cable companies got their monopolies. At the time, nobody realized they would eventually be used for the breadth of data services we have now. In retrospect, it wasn't a great decision but it was the best option at the time.

    Now that the cable monopolies are fully entrenched, the only way you're going to get fair competition is to socialize the infrastructure--which cannot be done solely at the local level. For it to work, it has to be done nationally, otherwise you just wind up with varying degrees of local/regional monopolies, which we already have.

    If government at all levels just steps away from the whole thing and leaves everything status quo, you will not see more competition. The cable companies will still have their local monopolies because no one else can get in unless the local government allows someone to lay cables on public land again--which would start this whole process over and we'd be left with the same problem in the end.

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by uniquename72 (1169497) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:58PM (#32993122)

    Do you really want the precedent to be that the internet is to be ruled by a revolving door of figureheads?

    No, I want to precedent to be that I can use the Internet in any legal way I see fit without my provider telling me what sites I can and can't view, or slowing down my access to certain sites.

    If the government needs to step in to ensure that I have this freedom (and the obviously do, or Comcast wouldn't be throttling) then so be it.

    Without net neutrality, there's nothing stopping a site like Amazon from paying Comcast to slow traffic to any other retail site. Similarly, there's be great disincentive for network owners to allow access to bandwidth-hogging sites, so YouTube, Hulu, and most other video sites would never have been created, let alone new ones allowed to thrive.

    Net neutrality means that access remains free (as in freedom). Lack of it is a massive gift to network providers at the expense of free information. When the government abuses their power, then it's time to get your panties in a bunch. This bill abuses nothing, and grants no powers that the government doesn't already have.

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Insightful)

    by s73v3r (963317) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .r3v37s.> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:00PM (#32993154)
    I know, right? Just think of what BP could have done if they didn't even have to pretend to adhere to oil rig regulations.
  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by A nonymous Coward (7548) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:07PM (#32993262)

    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. In fact, I wonder about so-called business-friendly conservatives who think it's perfectly hunky dory to have racism in publicly accessible businesses. Can they even imagine a world where every single place you went, every single thing you did, was subject to a zillion different whims? Oh, no, don't shop there, the owner hates left handed people, red headed people, people taller than him ....

    The whole point of all these laws, from anti-racism to net neutrality, is to level the playing ground. These so-called business-friendly nincompoops can't think past the end of their noses, that fragmenting life like that would send the economy back to the stone ages.

    Aside from the basic fairness of it all, of course. But from the pragmatic point of view, they are short sighted beyond belief.

    Bah. The rights wingers want big business to control big government, and the left wing wants big government to control big business. Neither of them has any faith in individual power.

  • Re:WTF (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bsgk (792550) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:09PM (#32993312)
    Disagree. Government agencies are not what I consider responsive to voting populace. I'd prefer limited government interaction regarding how broadband is commercially available to me. With one exception, antitrust regulation, which is regulated by the FTC rather than the FCC. I feel the FTC should compel cable companies to open use of their infrastructure to competing companies at reasonable operating rates if they can be defined as monopolies. This would allow you to actually vote the proper way - with your wallet. If multiple companies could compete to offer you broadband, and Comcast decided to limit your traffic, you can vote by switching to one who doesn't. If that company allowed P2P or other services that clog the tubes, then Comcast will bill them for their higher usage and you'd in turn be charged more for your outrageous consumption. In the end, I think what's fundamental is that we need to be prepared to pay for what we use as these tubes can only carry finite amounts of data, and with scarcity, you find high pricing. The market will find the best solution, as long as the infrastructure is "properly" regulated (antitrust vs. net neutrality).
  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MachineShedFred (621896) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:14PM (#32993382) Journal

    Actually, net neutrality is exactly the government deciding what is allowed on the Internet, by definition.

    It just so happens that they are deciding that all traffic should be treated equally by all carriers.

  • Re:WTF (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:19PM (#32993462)

    Yes yes yes, all right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?

  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ironchew (1069966) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:24PM (#32993524)

    the ham radio space

    That, right there, is a perfect example. The FCC not only gives licensed individuals the go-ahead to transmit over the airwaves, but it specifically prohibits all commercial communication over the spectrum to prevent for-profit industries with high-power transmitters from totally ruining any competing signals. The media industry can do what it wants (unfortunately) on the commercial spectrum, but amateur radio is completely separate, as it should be. It's a shame that the usable spectrum for amateurs is getting smaller and smaller, though.

  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Paracelcus (151056) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:46PM (#32993860) Journal

    Yes! It (the Internet) needs to be regulated insofar as keeping big business from strangling it.

  • Re:WTF (Score:1, Insightful)

    by lwsimon (724555) <lyndsy@lyndsysimon.com> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:48PM (#32993892) Homepage Journal
    So.... seeing as Hulu, YouTube, and other video sites *do* exist, and net neurality isn't codified into law, how do you reconcile your political beliefs with reality?
  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:48PM (#32993906)
    However, the exception to anti-trust laws that allowed local governments to grant local monopolies was passed by Congress. If Congress had not passed a specific law granting local governments the authority to grant exceptions to anti-trust laws, you would not see cable monopolies, just as if the Federal government had not stepped in, there would never have been telephone monopolies.
    Cable monopolies were encouraged by the Federal government. If the government at all levels would stop promoting telecom monopolies, I believe that competition would arise. Especially if people were to actively campaign for it on a local level.
  • Re:WTF (Score:2, Insightful)

    by EraserMouseMan (847479) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:59PM (#32994090)
    The whole point of the Internet is that it is open and free for anyone to use however they choose. That includes Comcast. If their business model includes packet shaping for performance reasons then they should have the right to do that.

    Why does everybody think the solution is to make more laws? To have more regulation?

    Screw the FCC. Screw the local governments who give Comcast a monopolistic utility-like permit in most areas and limit people's options.

    How come no company has the freedom to make their own business decisions anymore (and live or die by them)? America is no longer a free country, folks. America is no longer worth being proud of. We're no different than Canada or any other European country. Over-regulated and given a controlled short list of options (usually just 1). So much for the notion having a competitive marketplace in the USA.
  • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:20PM (#32994396) Homepage Journal
    wow 'fierce' competition. really, is there ? microsoft dominates a certain segment of market, apple the other. both try to dominate customers, and often get fined due to their restrictive behavior.

    not only that, software market is totally different than other markets, in that if you have an app made for a certain platform, you are stuck with it, for aeons. you cant change it. there are still many banks using as400.

    whereas on ALL other fields of life, megacorporations dominate everything.

    its really capitalism, corporationism that doesnt work. we will be free of these issues once people like you realize that.
  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:20PM (#32994404)
    Please show me a historical basis for natural monopoly. The theory of "natural monopoly" was developed to justify the government supporting AT&T becoming a monopoly over telephone service back at the beginning of the 20th Century. The closest thing I know of a monopoly developing without direct intervention by the government is Microsoft.
  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tthomas48 (180798) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:22PM (#32994436) Homepage

    Well they believe Obama is a socialist, that ACORN is primarily an institution for providing tax advice to pimps, and that lowering taxes increases tax revenue no matter how low the taxes go.

    So yes. Yes I do.

  • by Americano (920576) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:39PM (#32994686)

    corporations are raping our government.

    "raping" the government? I'd say that it's a good deal more consensual than you paint it.

    see the corporations as helpless to do anything but rape, the poor little things, and the government is evil because it can be raped

    No, I see the corporations as subverting the process of government to suit their own needs - it becomes a tool by which they stifle competition, choke off competitors, and take advantage of consumers.

    I disagree that the solution is to "enact socialism," the solution is to strictly curtail the power and scope of government, and limit it as much as possible to police/military/courts, rather than giving it a vastly expanded role in managing every other aspect of society.

    nd would you STOP blaming the government for being infected by corporations. the corporations are the enemy, not your government. what other tool do you believe the average citizen has against the power of the corporation?

    I would argue that the two are so closely intertwined that it's quite hard to tell where one begins and the other ends at this point - taken independently, corporations are not necessarily the enemy, and neither is the government.

    But when they collude to oppose the best interests of the people they are supposed to serve, my solution isn't to say "Well give more power to the government then, so they can fight off those evil nasty corporations." All you're doing is ceding more power to a body that is already controlled by the people you claim to want them to fight.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:53PM (#32994916)

    How the hell is this insightful? WTF? Net neutrality has nothing to do with content. It has to do with access. Jesus. No wonder this country elected Obama.

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @03:02PM (#32995058) Homepage Journal

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

    LOL! How soon we forget [wikipedia.org].

    Don't ever be quick to blame censorship on the other guy. Both major American political groups are pretty quick to "protect the children".

  • by kenh (9056) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @03:02PM (#32995060) Homepage Journal

    Wanna make a point about Jim DeMint getting contributions from AT&T? Harry Reid got more from AT&T ($44K for Harry, $36K for Jim - see: http://politics.usnews.com/congress/reid-harry/donors [usnews.com]) - I hear he supports Net neutrality (http://mydd.com/2006/6/10/harry-reid-and-net-neutrality)... I don't think money determines support for a given bill, otherwise Harry owes AT&T donors a refund...

  • Re:WTF (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bing Tsher E (943915) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @03:22PM (#32995332) Journal

    Seriously, what happened to the libertarian Slashdot? This place has really gone left-of-center in a sort of scary way. Arguing in favor of government regulation of the media? Really surprising.

    It's ten years later. The kids joining up here now were spoon-fed from early childhood by educators who went to college in the late 60's/early 70's. They have a rather warped perspective. I was an idiot in my youth, too. So I have great hopes for them.

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @04:03PM (#32996002)

    People claiming the FCC should do it are offering the best solution they see.

    You, in turn, are offering no solution. In essence you're arguing for doing nothing.

    To beat that argument, it's only necessary to argue that having the FCC do it beats doing nothing, which people have elsewhere in this thread.

    To beat them in turn, yes, you need to offer an actual solution.

  • Re:Wait a minute (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @04:50PM (#32996674) Journal

    You don't understand what "far left" is. It's when a guy in a black leather jacket with a Nagant comes to your small store and says that it now belongs to the people - that is "far left". Socialized healthcare is not "far left".

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MadUndergrad (950779) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @05:54PM (#32997444)

    Have you looked at the sponsors of PBS? Monsanto, BP, et al. It's gotten to the point where if I see a company I haven't heard of is a sponsor of PBS, I can pretty safely assume they're more evil than Satan's BO. If PBS got uppity and started reporting real news they'd be off the air for lack of funding in a moment.

  • Re:WTF (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nschubach (922175) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @05:55PM (#32997454) Journal

    Yes, I have...

    Have you heard about the Internet Decency Act?

    You might.

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SETIGuy (33768) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @06:34PM (#32997876) Homepage

    Opinion is fine as long as it is defined as opinion and not FACT. They should have a disclaimer bar that scrolls across the top of the screen at all times stating this network (Fox News) is not reporting news, just their opinions on what they consider the news.

    Wow... that would pretty much destroy every cable news outlet in business today, at least as a "News" outlet.

    Good! And why not? They certainly deserve to die...

    I'll tell you a story. Back in the old Republic, before the dark times, before the Emperor (Reagan), in order to get a license to use the public airwaves, television stations actually had to do things that were in the public interest... Among the things they did were broadcasting public service announcement, broadcasting programming suitable for children at certain hours, and broadcasting informative news programs. The news was required to be fair and balanced. It was not allowed to pander to one political party or another. When a license was up for renewal the FCC would ask for input from the public and look to see if the station had acted in the public interest. If it had not the license might not be renewed.

    In order to ensure licence renewals the three networks spent lots of money on news programming. They had quality anchors and quality reported and the ratings weren't bad. Because there were only three networks there was nothing else you could watch. But as more and more stations came on the air and cable TV started to catch on, there started to be options besides the news. And with CNN and Headline News, now you could watch the news anytime. So the network ratings started slipping. To get their ratings back the networks started to add more fluff to their news broadcasts.

    And the FCC did notice and mentioned it. "But TBS can show the Braves game and Cheers all day long without any news! That's not fair!" the networks did cry. Their cries reached the ears of the Emperor who screamed "Requiring that corporations act in the public interest is communism! No more shall we require anything of the broadcasters except that they not kill a whole bunch of people." Later the requirement that broadcasters not kill people was rescinded.

    And the networks did try to rescue their news programs by removing news and adding fluff. The the news sunk anyway. CNN and Headline news did prosper for a while, until copycats Fox News and MS-NBC came along. With more competition, a new way to survive was reinvented: Remove all your news and add pointless fluff. The best pointless fluff was right wing propaganda that would make people angry. Americans used four news outlets. but none of them had news. Those few that actually wanted news went to the British or to the last bastion of American communism, NPR.

    And thus the fourth estate died alone, and the Republic shortly thereafter.

  • Re:WTF (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Veetox (931340) on Friday July 23, 2010 @08:13AM (#33002004)

    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.

    Unfortunately (and I think you'll agree), that's not the way the government makes decisions. Try telling Congress that content has nothing to do with it - they may even all nod their heads

    But here's how it will really go down: The core idea of net neutrality will be introduced, and the original sponsor will add in some qualifications and requirements - some having only the slightest connection to Net Neutrality. Then the House will argue about it. In the process, they'll tack on legal requirements such as net ID's for everyone, taxation on internet connection, regulation of pornography and graphic content, specific business subsidies, tax incentives for free services, and $3 million for a statue of a Vietnam War soldier somewhere in Wisconsin.

    I'm serious. Read the bills that come out of Congress, and you'll see why everything we hope for ALWAYS gets marred by a bunch of elephants and donkeys in a stampede.

    Should we give two shits about DeMint? No. Is the democratic party going to do any better? No. Is the FCC all that reliable in administering law correctly? ...NO. How many of you even watch the four major public broadcasting networks anymore? There you go. To sum it all up, yes, we want Net Neutrality, but the federal government will never make it happen without bending us over a barbed wire fence in Alaska.

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