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FCC Wants Net Neutrality Suits Stopped 108

Posted by timothy
from the you-bet-they-do dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "The FCC moved to dismiss the net neutrality challenges filed by MetroPCS and Verizon, claiming they were 'filed prematurely.' Verizon and MetroPCS have both sued the FCC, arguing that the commission did not have the authority to hand down its December net neutrality rules. The FCC maintains that it does indeed have the right to regulate broadband, thanks to provisions in the Communications Act."
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FCC Wants Net Neutrality Suits Stopped

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  • The FCC loses... (Score:4, Informative)

    by j0nb0y (107699) <.jonboy300. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Sunday January 30, 2011 @09:25AM (#35048448) Homepage

    The FCC loses... because the FCC *always* loses. They've lost every major case for the last fifteen years.

  • Not suprising. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by novar21 (1694492) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @09:48AM (#35048506)
    Corporations don't want to be regulated because it can cut into their profits. The FCC wants to regulate the corporations not the Internet. The corporations want to regulate the Internet for profit. So they jump the gun on filing a law suite. They will refile and in the meantime they push the cost of the law suite onto their customer. It's just a sad state of affairs. Actually the FCC should just proceed and get the law suite over with and not challenge that they filed to early. Why postpone the inevitable?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 30, 2011 @03:00PM (#35049890)

      They don't pass anything on. They're constantly charging what they think the market will bear. They think that the market will bear more if they say they're passing on the costs from some other jerk.

      Here's an example. A number of years ago the cost of milk went up in New York. All the pizza places upped the cost of a slice by a quarter the same day. They can't possibly have incurred any additional costs yet.

    • by Starcub (527362) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @05:44PM (#35050862)
      Premature not because the rules haven't been published, but because the FCC probably has no intention of enforcing them, and even if they attempted to, they would probably fail in the courts, again. Despite what the FCC says publicly, there is now certainty in the market, which is why we're now seeing more companies than just Comcast jump on the bandwagon to stovepipe the net.
    • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @10:03PM (#35052694)
      Corporations love to be in a regulated business because it keeps competitors out. In his case, cellphone providers don't want to be regulated as bing in the same market as ISPs (even though they are starting to be).
    • by gangien (151940) on Monday January 31, 2011 @12:37AM (#35053454) Homepage

      The FCC wants to regulate the corporations not the Internet.

      why is it that on slashdot, with the talk of violation of civil liberties by the government, this general attitude about the FCC/net neutrality still exists? It's so sad that you guys who understand the value of civil liberties do not understand the government really is not pro individual or pro freedom. it's pro power. If the FCC had the power to regulate the internet and did so, and even assuming everything was as people wanted, how long do you think that would last? how long until we get the FCC spying to protect the children?

    • by commodore6502 (1981532) on Monday January 31, 2011 @09:36AM (#35055536)

      If the government can regulate the packet, it can also regulate the content of the packet. Remember: The FCC started as an organization to prevent radio stations from sharing the same frequency.

      From that humble beginning as a "radio frequency allocator", they then Usurped Power to become a censorship organization that banned certain songs from the radio (like "War - what is it good for"), blocked certain words from television, and even imposed an "equal time" requirement on local stations such that Christian stations had to give air time to atheists. (That FCC regulation was over-turned in the mid-1970s.)

      When dealing with government, you need to think about more than just the present. You need to think about the Precedent set and how some future lawyer or politician will use that precedent to extend his power. If the FCC gains power to regulate packets, they can also take one more step to regulate the content (example: outlaw nudity online, as they did with television).

  • by unity100 (970058) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @09:51AM (#35048520) Homepage Journal
    its built on public land, but WE own the infrastructure and can decide what you can do with it.

    this is what the ISPs say. they are attempting to do make monkeys out of the people, on people's land, with people's money, with people's rules.
    • True, and the decision we made was for the FCC to keep it's regulatory hands off.
    • by khallow (566160) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @10:18AM (#35048646)

      its built on public land, but WE own the infrastructure and can decide what you can do with it.

      That is correct. And what's the problem with that? Does the public own all cars parked or driven in public places (like highways, public parking, etc)? After all, you are using public resources just as much as the ISPs are. Of course not. The peoples' rules on who owns what are clear.

      this is what the ISPs say. they are attempting to do make monkeys out of the people, on people's land, with people's money, with people's rules.

      This pathetic whine again. Too bad you don't see how these sorts of complaints backfire. The only way to screw over these companies is to break the peoples' rules. That opens the door to other entities (hey, like the FCC or those very same ISPs) to do worse.

      The point you seem to miss is that the rule of law is more important than your misguided sense of fairness. One can always change laws through lawful means, if they are unfair. But if one ignores the law in the first place, then anything goes. The same power that allows the FCC to decide that it should arbitrarily implement some sort of policy which may or may not end up being net neutrality, allows it to screw over you in many ways.

      That is why all powers of the FCC should be granted explicitly by Congress. That is how the peoples' rules work.

      • by unity100 (970058) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @10:29AM (#35048708) Homepage Journal

        That is correct. And what's the problem with that? Does the public own all cars parked or driven in public places (like highways, public parking, etc)? After all, you are using public resources just as much as the ISPs are. Of course not. The peoples' rules on who owns what are clear.

        public owns all the roads, and they have the right to travel on them HOWEVER they like. no road operator can decide who can travel on the road, and who cannot, and who will pay how much, separately from their vehicle classification.

        The point you seem to miss is that the rule of law is more important than your misguided sense of fairness. One can always change laws through lawful means, if they are unfair.

        dont use stupid wordage like 'pathetic whine' etc when you dont get shit about what you are talking. the rule of the law, is the commission you named as FCC has the authority to CLASSIFY methods of communication.

        fcc ITSELF has classified the internet as something before. now, it is classifying it as something else. it has the authority to do it. arguing the opposite means that you also do not recognize the prior classification based on lack of authority, which went on for two decades and you have ACCEPTED that status quo. if anything, no moron has the right to object to something they had went along with, accepting as legal, for two decades.

        however foremost, a commission that has the authority to classify something, has THE RIGHT TO CLASSIFY IT AGAIN.

        if you have not been able to perceive the above concepts, dont reply to me. youll be ignored.

      • its built on public land, but WE own the infrastructure and can decide what you can do with it.

        That is correct. And what's the problem with that? Does the public own all cars parked or driven in public places (like highways, public parking, etc)? After all, you are using public resources just as much as the ISPs are. Of course not. The peoples' rules on who owns what are clear.

        The roadway equivalent would be me setting up a private toll booth for anyone wanting to drive on the public roadway that passes in front of my house.

        • by khallow (566160) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @11:04AM (#35048844)

          The roadway equivalent would be me setting up a private toll booth for anyone wanting to drive on the public roadway that passes in front of my house.

          No, the original poster argued that ISPs didn't really own their infrastructure because part of it uses public land. That's exactly analogous to the typical car. A driver occasionally uses public roads and public parking lots. Hence, the same claim to ownership can be made for cars.

          • by zeroshade (1801584) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @03:20PM (#35049984)
            Not at all. Assuming your analogy has any accuracy (which it doesn't) A driver occasionally uses public roads and public parking lots. Hence, the driver must follow the rules that these public roads and parking lots have. They must observe the speed limit, traffic laws, etc. They must make sure their car meets the inspections required for their state. They must go the correct way down a one way street. So an ISP who uses public infrastructure made with public money must follow certain rules to use it. A driver who uses public roads does not make the rules, thus an ISP who uses public infrastructure should have to listen to public rules for their infrastructure.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 30, 2011 @12:08PM (#35049094)

        First the parent post isn't a troll. But as usually /. uses troll to mean I don't like it.

         

        The point you seem to miss is that the rule of law is more important than your misguided sense of fairness. One can always change laws through lawful means, if they are unfair. But if one ignores the law in the first place, then anything goes.

        Second with response to the above quote...with all due respect you're simply wrong. Individuals make moral or immoral, ethical or unethical choices all the time. The law is simply a badly codified manifestation of the social contract. The rule of law is important to the preservation of a stable democratic society but that doesn't imply blind obedience is required. In point of fact anything does go and it is the individual as a sentient entity to determine his/her actions and choose what goes and what doesn't. The law is just an attempt by the collective society to stop individuals from choosing too radical a path...sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it's broken for ill (murder, rape, kidnapping) and sometimes for good (civil rights, helping slaves escape, protesting government oppression) it is not however some sort of sacred mandate and the legal path to change is not the only righteous path to change, just the safest lowest risk path which generally makes it the number one choice all else being equal.

      • The same power that allows the FCC to decide that it should arbitrarily implement some sort of policy which may or may not end up being net neutrality, allows it to screw over you in many ways.

        This is a really important point. Allowing a federal government agency, any agency, to assume powers not specifically granted under law, is a bad, bad idea. Just because the FCC is doing things we like today does not mean that will be the case 10 years from now. Allowing them to assume this power now means they could just as easily change their minds later.

        Net neutrality must be a decision of law, not policy.

        • the powers to classify communication has been granted to FCC by LAW. its appalling that the morons who are arguing AGAINST fcc reclassifying internet, had not opposed to FCC classifying it as what it is now in the first place. it was LAW before that allowed it to classify internet, and now, the same law that allows it to classify things gone where ? to dust ?

          so, its all legal and good when something is done in the way you like it, you dont object, and it turns exactly the other way, when its not to liking of some private parties ?

          screw that.
          • the powers to classify communication has been granted to FCC by LAW. its appalling that the morons who are arguing AGAINST fcc reclassifying internet, had not opposed to FCC classifying it as what it is now in the first place. it was LAW before that allowed it to classify internet, and now, the same law that allows it to classify things gone where ? to dust ?

            so, its all legal and good when something is done in the way you like it, you dont object, and it turns exactly the other way, when its not to liking of some private parties ?

            screw that.

            I think what I took away from your semi-coherent rant is that you adamantly believe the FCC is entitled under existing law to do whatever they like with the Internet, and anyone that doesn't agree with you must be stupid.

            I'm probably just feeding a troll, but while I do wholeheartedly support net neutrality, I do not support a carte blanche for the FCC as the right path towards that goal. I want a clear law, voted for by Congress and signed by the President.

            If it were law protecting net neutrality instead of agency policy, there would be no concern about the policy changing anytime the administration felt like it. Ask yourself if you'd be making the exact same argument, if I can call what you wrote an argument, if the FCC were anti-neutrality.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 30, 2011 @03:31PM (#35050042)

        Why is this post marked as "troll"? Oh i get it, it doesn't fit into your nerdy-cult's leftist views. What most of you fools don't get, that if that greed wasn't there, your precious internet would still be in research labs at the universities.

        • there is no correlation in between 'greed' and 'patents' and this or that, and innovation and invention, as THOMAS JEFFERSON, the founder and first director of PATENT OFFICE, puts it :

          http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_8s12.html [uchicago.edu]

          .....Accordingly, it is a fact, as far as I am informed, that England was, until we copied her, the only country on earth which ever, by a general law, gave a legal right to the exclusive use of an idea. In some other countries it is sometimes done, in a great case, and by a special and personal act, but, generally speaking, other nations have thought that these monopolies produce more embarrassment than advantage to society; and it may be observed that the nations which refuse monopolies of invention, are as fruitful as England in new and useful devices......

          if you are going to talk about economy and science history and make synthesis out of in between either of them, learn BOTH first. dont sell generic shit you have been conditioned to memorize in for-profit education institutions to 3rd parties. its an insult to faculties of mind and cognition.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:29PM (#35050372)

        One can always change laws through lawful means, if they are unfair.

        That doesn't change the brand new laws that effectively override the older, more fair laws. Change those all you want, the corps will still have new laws passed for them to sidestep it all just like they have for decades now. Corporations can buy laws; it doesn't even seem frowned upon anymore, and is actively championed by some very, very confused individuals who seem willing to act against their own best interests. An individual's only recourse is to knowingly ignore unjust laws as an act of civil disobedience, which you seem to condemn; considering that almost every representative in Congress is knowingly and unashamedly in the pockets of corporations and thus outside of the influence of the people they are supposed to represent.

  • by Haedrian (1676506) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @09:51AM (#35048522)

    We shall fight them in the lawcourts, we shall fight them in the media... you may take our lives but you'll never take your freedom.

    Love

    Corporate Exec

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 30, 2011 @10:05AM (#35048574)

    Our choices seem to be to trust a small (but increasing) number of companies with our Internet access or to trust a single government organization of non-elected officials. I say increasing because it costs a fortune to run fiber, but LTE is starting to look promising as a sole means of Internet access. And while I wouldn't trust Joe's Family Cellular to get me phone service outside of town I would certainly consider using him for a fixed LTE broadband connection.

    Considering I can't find a single offence these "evil corporations" have done that bothers me (I couldn't care less if my BitTorrent traffic is throttled, BitTorrent is something I'd rather download overnight anyway) and considering the FCC's habit of censoring anything that goes out on the airwaves I'd much rather see Verizon and Comcast fight for my business than have the FCC tell me what their vision of the Internet should be.

    • by Haedrian (1676506) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @10:17AM (#35048636)

      Strawman argument.

      Net neutrality = "Every packet is treated the same on the internet". It has nothing to do with the government enforcing regulations on the internet. It has everything to do with the government enforcing that NOBODY should enforce regulations on the internet.

      • by Rockoon (1252108) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @10:24AM (#35048672)
        Its not a strawman when the FCC is not proposing net neutrality. They are just proposing something called net neutrality.

        The fools are those that care so much for net neutrality that they will bend over and let the FCC stick it directly into them, just because the FCC uses the words you care so deeply about.

        Here is an idea.. wake up and feel the shaft that is being introduced to your rear end by the FCC. They are slowly injecting it right now and you don't seem to notice, or care.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 30, 2011 @10:59AM (#35048824)

        "Every packet is treated the same on the internet"

        Simplistic definitions like this are always fun. This is not a technical possibility. Small packets are queued differently from big packets within routers. ICMP is dropped before TCP. TCP flow control packets slow down connections. The idea that every packet is treated like every other packet is nonsense.

        Every website needs to be equally accessible? What about CDNs? Don't they violate net neutrality or is it OK that companies that can afford them get better access?

        Anyone who can summarize "Net Neutrality" in one phrase doesn't really understand what the issues are and they're the ones giving an autocratic bureaucracy control over the Internet. In the early days the FCC divvied up the EM spectrum to radio stations - a necessary function. Later they decided they needed to protect us from naughty language. This extended to TV. Then to TV over cable. History says this is a bad idea.

    • Comcast has repeatedly been caught, and admitted to, committing offences that would be in violation of net neutrality rules, unfortunately the FCC had previously classified the internet as something that it couldn't regulate so they suffered no penalties.

      When given a choice between government control or corporate control, I will always choose government control. The government may be slow or difficult change, but at least the people have the ability to affect change in it's policies. We don't have the same control over corporations, despite what free market zealots claim.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 30, 2011 @11:12AM (#35048882)

        "When given a choice between government control or corporate control, I will always choose government control."

        Tell me, who are you going to vote for the next time the FCC chairman elections come around? The FCC is not "the government", they're appointed positions and the actual government (Congress) said they can't have the power they're looking for.

        • by Nikkos (544004) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @12:13PM (#35049106) Homepage
          Are you that clueless? Or are you being deliberately obtuse?

          The FCC is appointed by elected representatives of the people, they can be unappointed at any time if the people elect new representatives, or if the people apply sufficient pressure to the existing representatives to act. The FCC gets its mandate from the government.

          By your reasoning, the fire department and the police are not "the government" because they're hired positions instead of elected. Besides the Chief/Sheriff/Commissioner in some cities/counties, the rest are all appointed positions chosen by elected officials. Are you saying that police officers have no authority because they were not elected?

          Nitwit.
        • by sjames (1099) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @05:16PM (#35050652) Homepage

          I will vote for the presidential candidate whose policies will most likely cause him to appoint a good FCC chairman. If a president appoints a net nazi, I will not vote for him again and will consider his party suspect in the upcoming election.

          Now, if your local cableco (the one and only choice for decent internet in many areas) hires a net nazi CEO (the sort that would use Sandvine products to shoot down connections he doesn't like for instance), exactly who will you vote in to or out of office in order to get rid of him?

    • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Sunday January 30, 2011 @01:16PM (#35049400) Journal

      Considering I can't find a single offence these "evil corporations" have done that bothers me

      How very noble of you.

      Here's a thought: When the ISPs have the right to throttle or ban a protocol outright, that will eventually hit a protocol you care about. Also, throttling implies banning:

      (I couldn't care less if my BitTorrent traffic is throttled, BitTorrent is something I'd rather download overnight anyway)

      You clearly have no idea just how much torrent traffic can be throttled. Try a download that should take a few hours (or overnight) instead taking over a week. Do you care yet?

      I'd much rather see Verizon and Comcast fight for my business than have the FCC tell me what their vision of the Internet should be.

      Are you sure? Because Verizon and Comcast are both doing things we'd rather they stop doing. Who, exactly, am I supposed to be switching to? There isn't exactly a "Joe's Family Cellular" in my area to sell me Internet service, and where I have seen local ISPs, they generally have to buy their service from a larger ISP anyway.

      I don't own stock in Verizon or Comcast, and without any other options, I have exactly zero leverage to get them to stop what they're doing. By contrast, I do at least have a vote -- I get to elect the people who appoint positions within the FCC.

      When the free market works, I prefer it to government intervention. It's failing pretty badly here.

  • by Max_W (812974) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @10:17AM (#35048642)

    This is already happening. The ISP owners open its Internet shop and do not let other Internet shops into their network. I have this problem with at least 2 ISPs.

    The ISPs should be watched carefully. They should, speaking figuratively, maintain the bridge technically, but not be traffic regulators.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 30, 2011 @10:42AM (#35048758)

    End the FCC

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @12:11PM (#35049104) Homepage

    ...has moved for dismissal.

    Amazing. I'm sure glad you told us this. I certainly never would have guessed that the defendant in a lawsuit would move for dismissal.

  • by flimflammer (956759) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:52PM (#35050502)

    Wish there was an undo button.

  • by Undead Waffle (1447615) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @05:52PM (#35050940)

    I saw this article [arstechnica.com] on Ars yesterday which is much better.

    There is one very interesting bit covered in the Ars article which is not covered in the pcmag one. Verizon is asking for the same court that ruled in favor of Comcast and has hired the same lawyer that represented Comcast. The FCC wants the court chosen by lottery.

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