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House Passes Amendment To Block Funds For Net Neutrality 393

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-way-or-another dept.
Charliemopps sends this quote from the National Journal: "The House passed an amendment Thursday that would bar the Federal Communications Commission from using any funding to implement the network-neutrality order it approved in December. The amendment, approved on a 244-181 vote, was offered by Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., to legislation that would fund government agencies for the rest of fiscal year 2011. Walden and other critics of the FCC's net-neutrality order argue it will stifle innovation and investment in broadband. "
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House Passes Amendment To Block Funds For Net Neutrality

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:07PM (#35245786)
    Thank them again if years down the road you have to pay another $50 a month just so you can stream youtube and netflix to your computer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by HermMunster (972336)

      I swear to you, we have a bunch of nutjobs in the House. How on earth could these people know enough to make such a complex decision in such a short period of time? It's not possible. Most of them don't know the slightest thing about the internet, how it works, and what drives it. It baffles me to see them making such a statement.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        The Democrats did the same thing. How fast was that Bailout Bill passed? 20 days? I think the Stimulus Bill was rammed through even faster, within two weeks of the president taking the oath (in order to beat the Feb 11 Analog TV cutoff). That's 1500 billion spent in less than two months, for legislation none of them had time to read.

        It's about time people learn: Both Rep and Dems suck ass.

        • Not sure why you were modded Troll, but truer words were never spoken. The two party system has failed us yet again.
          • by poetmatt (793785)

            Two party hasn't worked for us since Nixon, basically. Maybe even before that. I'm not enough of a history buff to be accurate, but basically regulatory capture and corporate capture fuck us over the most. I remember there being some act in the 70's or 80s that really made it about 100x worse, some law that was repealed, which had originally stated that corporations may not lobby towards getting laws passed.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Or the republican union busting bill that was proposed Friday, and they are trying to get it rammed through today. (In Wisconsin)

          • Or the Obamacare bill, rammed through a procedural loophole in the middle of the night, during a brief period where Dems were accidentally in control of both houses and the presidency (not because they had mandate to make this kind of huge changes but due to unpopularity of the previous president) and voted in by congressmen who by their own admission did not read it.

            Major bills should not be passed without some bipartisan support. Otherwise we are just waiting for Republicans to chance upon an opportunity

        • by skids (119237) on Friday February 18, 2011 @03:28PM (#35247102) Homepage

          Most people already think both parties suck.

          It's why they don't vote.

          And it's a problem. What people need to learn is that they should pick the better party even if the difference is only marginal, and vote in that party's primaries to make that party better, and then do more than just vote to improve our aggregate level of intelligence when it comes to deciding who to give power to.

          Just sitting there and saying "everything sucks" isn't going to get you anywhere.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by lazn (202878)

            no. vote for anyone other than those two parties.

            Till we actually throw the bums out they will continue to be the bumholes they are.

            Vote libertarian, green, independent, heck communist if you must. Just get everyone to NEVER AGAIN vote for a Rep or Dem and perhaps we can change things.

            • by dkleinsc (563838)

              Not quite. If you're (for example) a Green, go ahead and vote in the Democratic or Republican primary (whichever is most contested) to get the most Green-like candidate you can, which will encourage candidates in that party to at least sound like a Green and make Green ideas mainstream. Then in the general election, vote Green unless your most Green-like candidate won in the primary.

      • by kidgenius (704962)
        Of course they have an idea.... See, the internet is like a series of tubes
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by poity (465672)

      Implying that by not allowing ISPs to charge Google or Netflix for disproportionate use of bandwidth, those ISPs would give up their pursuit and absorb the costs themselves rather than pass it on to subscribers. The "you'll be paying more money if we don't get Network Neutrality right now" is an unrealistic argument, a canard, I'd even call it FUD.

      You want a good argument for Network Neutrality, you can talk about providing an even playing field for new small media with little money and old entrenched congl

      • by sstamps (39313) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:50PM (#35246516) Homepage

        The problem is, though, that Google/Netflix aren't the ones "using" (as in "consuming") the bandwidth as those who are complaining about it claim. They are producers. The ones who are "using" (as in "consuming") the bandwidth are the ISPs' USERS, who are requesting the content from Google/Netflix. It doesn't make any sense to bill content providers for bandwidth consumed by users.

        Well, it does make sense if you look at it from a competitive angle.. one where the ISPs so complaining have a vested interest in competing content provider services.

        Google, Netflix, and everyone else pay for their access to the internet. They pay a LOT already. If every ISP who carries their content at the behest of the ISP's own users/consumers could charge an extra "fee" to carry "popular" content, then there wouldn't be any "popular" content, except from each particular ISP.

        This is why I believe that true "Net Neutrality" is where content providers and bandwidth providers should not be allowed to be the same entities -- they are simply an untenable conflict of interests waiting to happen. Indeed, this is why the internet grew explosively and prospered, because, for a long time, the bandwidth providers had little interest in content, and the old "walled garden" combo access/content providers died out like the dinosaurs they became (AOL/Prodigy/Compuserve/etc). That's all changed now. Companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T want to go back to that model, which might be lucrative for them, but it impacts the freedom of their customers, and the free market overall.

      • by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Friday February 18, 2011 @03:05PM (#35246734) Homepage

        "Disproportionate use of bandwidth" by Google and Netflix? What a joke.

        The fact is that Google and Netflix each pay their respective ISPs for all the bandwidth they use. What they *don't* pay for is the bandwidth their customers use, nor should they have to. If Google has a contract with ISP A and ISP A in turn has a contract with ISPs B and C, it's really not B and C's place to charge Google for that which is already covered by their contract with ISP A. Otherwise Google would have to sign contracts with the entire alphabet of ISPs to account for what you call their "disproportionate use of bandwidth", which I'm sure you know is bullshit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by QuoteMstr (55051)

      The GOP is a monstrosity. As Brad Delong says, they "lie about everything all the time." More than that, though, every single Republican initiative exacerbates inequality, smashes our dignity, and adds to the sum of human misery. There are no exceptions. There are no moderates left in the Republican party. What remains is an organization dedicated to aristocracy, superstition, and the snuffing out of curiosity. This party is a scourge, and to see its members elected against and against forces one to d

  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:08PM (#35245810)
    The Senate won't pass this so it's merely symbolic on the part of the House. Way to manage your time well, boys and girls. Now get back to work on real problems!
    • Yeah, no more screwin' around... time to get serious.
    • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:14PM (#35245908) Homepage Journal

      Don't be so sure they won't pass it. It's an amendment, not a bill; IIRC, that means they would have to vote specifically to strip the amendment out before they vote on the entire bill, and I'm not at all confident that enough members of the thin (and historically spineless) Democratic majority in the Senate have the will for that fight. Adding riders to "must-pass" bills is a time-honored technique for sneaking all kinds of looniness into law.

      • by Xacid (560407) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:42PM (#35246370) Journal

        "Adding riders to "must-pass" bills is a time-honored technique for sneaking all kinds of looniness into law."

        And this nails precisely why this technique needs to be abolished. It's dishonest politicking. Each section of a bill ought to be required to be voted on.

        • Adding riders to "must-pass" bills is a time-honored technique for sneaking all kinds of looniness into law.

          And this nails precisely why this technique needs to be abolished. It's dishonest politicking. Each section of a bill ought to be required to be voted on.

          Then they'd start inserting it into "must-pass" sections of a bill.

          Or sub-sections...

          Or paragraphs...

          Or sentences...

          If you think we've got logjam now, wait until they have to vote on every word in a bill.

          [Not to imply that logjam isn't sometimes a good thing.]

        • by Symbha (679466)

          Line item veto. One of the few things I think Reagan was right about.

      • by DarkOx (621550) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:47PM (#35246456) Journal

        Not only that if they amend the bill to remove the amendment it will have to go back to the House. As it stands this morning I doubt the final bill can even get through the House. There is possibility of a Government Shutdown at this point because the Speaker has stated he will not let an temporary extension of current funding bill go to vote. Personally I'd like to see that!

        I don't know how I feel about Net Neutrality being forced by government. I am pulled in multiple directions on that but I do know that I don't like an executive agency like FCC deciding to do it on their own, it should be done or not done in the legislative branch. The FCC should just enforce whatever the Congress decides. So I am for Congress preventing the FCC from acting, in the mean time.

    • Real Problems (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tmack (593755) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:31PM (#35246208) Homepage Journal
      Like making sure "Obama is a one term President!" Yeh, gotta get priorities set right, cause thats what the people want! Conflict and inaction to make sure someone else is elected, not any actual work on any real issues... ugh, makes me sick

      -Tm

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now why would politicians do something that makes corporations more powerful at the expense of individuals?

    I thought this was a democracy. (Taaaa haaaa ha.)

    Politicians thrive on anything that gives them more power. Here is just example #724,249,196 this month.

  • The usual. (Score:4, Informative)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:08PM (#35245818)
    Sneaking an amendment into an appropriations bill. Everyone says it's an underhanded cheat, but it's just too *useful* to prohibit.
    • Re:The usual. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:18PM (#35245968)

      Sneaking an amendment into an appropriations bill. Everyone says it's an underhanded cheat, but it's just too *useful* to prohibit.

      It's only an underhanded cheat when the other party does it.

      • It's only an underhanded cheat when the other party does it.

        I'm not sure whether it's optimistic or pessimistic, but I think most members of congress probably realize how underhanded and cheating it is while they themselves do it. Maybe with a little "Eh, the other guy would have done more" or "Eh, voters should have voted for someone else" or "When I was younger, this would have bothered me, but after those protests about me not wearing a flag pin nearly cost me reelection, I don't give a fuck."

        Congress people at the national level don't really seem to be -stup

    • Re:The usual. (Score:5, Informative)

      by phantomcircuit (938963) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:35PM (#35246272) Homepage

      That's not at all what they're doing here. The article is intentionally misleading.

      This is a bill HR. 68 [loc.gov] "To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit Federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting after fiscal year 2013. "

      Further they didn't even pass this yet, they merely referred it to committee. Indeed there isn't even any pork in it. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.68 [loc.gov]:

      • Re:The usual. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Friday February 18, 2011 @04:04PM (#35247606)

        This is a bill HR. 68 [loc.gov] "To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit Federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting after fiscal year 2013. "

        That seems unconstitutional. It seeks to strip the 2014 (and beyond) house of representatives of an ability that is specifically mentioned in Section 8 and clause 1 of the constitution which states "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States" not to mention clause 3 which states To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;"

        What I'm trying to say is how can the current house of representatives take away a future's house of representatives ability to fund anything (which in this case being the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) which is described as one of the functions of that body by the constitution without a constitutional amendment?

        I suspect they can't.

        It's well within their power to allocate the government's money during this session, but trying to dictate what a future congress can do seems like a stretch.

        Funny how the party that sells themselves as adhering to the constitution always seems to be the ones that do everything possible outside the bounds of the constitution...

    • by Dredd13 (14750)

      You're right. It's crazy talk, sneaking an amendment that addresses "whether or not to spend money on PROJECT_X" into an appropriations bill. Because if there's one thing that shouldn't be part of an appropriations bill, it's decisions about what we do and do not spend money on.

      Er, wait a minute....

      • by skids (119237)

        Not as simple as that.

        It's generally considered poor form to de-fund things that the last congress funded last year, in this year's budget. Also it's poor form to tell an executive branch agency what it can and cannot do by placing restrictions on their general funding. Congress can change the mission scope of the agency, or pass laws that the agency must adhere to, rather than resorting to this sort of quackery.

        As it is, big R's have a problem on their hands because the small-r's and teabaggers seem to t

  • whores. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by unity100 (970058) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:09PM (#35245832) Homepage Journal
    "it will stifle innovation and investment in broadband"
    wait. it did NOT. it was de facto rule of internet up till this day, until you corporate whores had been instructed to kill it.

    land of the !free! *rich ... give me !freedom! *dollars or give me death ...
    • Know what you're talking about [slashdot.org].

      • by msauve (701917)
        Same to you, bub. Where are all these "loopholes" in the FCC rules? If they were created "with the sole purpose of winning the endorsement of AT&T and cable lobbyists," then why are those same ISPs trying to block its implementation [internetnews.com]?

        Rule 1: Transparency
        A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services sufficient for

    • by Spykk (823586)
      Is "freedom dollars" what they call francs in the US?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Not just whores: temple whores. It is an article of their faith that the free market is always more innovative than the government and no government program has ever done anything good for the economy. The fact that this belief serves the interest of the people lining their pockets is a nice bonus. In other words, they're whores, but they'd be happy to do it for free, because God in His form of the Invisible Hand told them to. I'm not exactly sure how this dogma fits in with the Christianity so many of

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        >>>It is an article of their faith that the free market is always more innovative than the government

        YES competition is always more innovative than a government monopoly. That is a self-evident truth, because the many produce more ideas than the one. Problem: ISPs are not a free market and never were (except during the brief dialup era). ISPs are monopolies and just like the utility monopolies, need to be regulated. (Or even price fixed.)

        • by Dredd13 (14750)

          Or, alternatively, we need to banish the idea of allowing municipalities to bestow monopolies on last-mile providers and say that "anyone can be a cable provider" or "anyone can be a telco provider" in any given town. And that where towns have bestowed monopolies in the past, those incumbent folks must provide wholesale-cost use of their outside plant for the next, say, 25 years, enough time for other folks to invest and deploy parallel infrastructure to support their own business.

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

          by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday February 18, 2011 @03:21PM (#35247016) Journal

          YES competition is always more innovative than a government monopoly. That is a self-evident truth, because the many produce more ideas than the one.

          Was the steel industry more innovative than a government monopoly?
          Was the oil industry more innovative than a government monopoly?
          Was the railroad industry more innovative than a government monopoly?
          I could go on and on.

          Most of the giant corporations competing with one another are left over from the trust busting era in the early 1900s.
          Maybe you meant to say that "regulated competition is always more innovative than a government monopoly"?
          Because, while it may not be self evident, history has shown that truly free markets will lead us directly to monopolies.

        • YES competition is always more innovative than a government monopoly. That is a self-evident truth, because the many produce more ideas than the one.

          I don't buy that. Competition is very, very good at incremental improvements that retain the power structure of their markets, but very bad at revolutionary innovation that creates new markets.

          The internet is a prime example; corporations have added on to it, but we are still using the same TCP/IP and HTTP protocols that were developed by government research grants 15 or 25 years ago. The landline phone companies still give twisted pair copper lines to a majority of customers in the US, because they can't

        • Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

          by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday February 18, 2011 @03:47PM (#35247406) Journal

          What produced the Internet in the first place? The government or private industry?

      • by ichthus (72442)
        Your "faith" starts looking a lot more like science when you have the entire history of the internet to present as proof. Net neutrality is a solution in search of a problem. Additionally, it is a power grab for an unelected (yet demonstrably partisan) entity.

        BTW, *golf claps* to you for, somehow, making this a Christianity issue. ?? _The_ most retarded thing I've read all week, and it's Friday.
    • Re:whores. (Score:5, Informative)

      by commodore6502 (1981532) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:27PM (#35246144)

      >>>it was de facto rule of internet up till this day,

      Since when was net neutrality the defacto rule? I don't recall that ever being the case - in fact I remember the earliest ISPs like AOL, Compuserve, Genie, and so on used to put the internet behind a wall and charge extra. Then they opened the wall, but filtered which websites or newsgroups you could visit.

      • by dave562 (969951)

        The internet has never been open if you're a tool. On the other hand, back when AOL et al were walling off "the internet", anyone with half a brain and a modem could setup a SLIP connection and do whatever they wanted on the net.

      • Re:whores. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Jay L (74152) <{mf.yaj} {ta} {hsals+yaj}> on Friday February 18, 2011 @03:58PM (#35247530) Homepage

        AOL, Compuserve, Genie, and so on used to put the internet behind a wall and charge extra.

        Wait, what? AOL never charged extra for Internet access; it was part and parcel of the AOL client. ("AOL is the Internet and so much more!") I don't believe the others charged extra either.

        Then they opened the wall, but filtered which websites or newsgroups you could visit.

        You have your history reversed. First AOL offered newsgroup access without any client changes, via a server gateway; once it was technically feasible, we built a browser and then a sockets library into the client so you could do whatever you wanted (short of connecting to port 25, which we redirected for spam filtering). I don't remember if we filtered out the porn newsgroups from our server gateway, though it wouldn't surprise me - we thought at the time that it was important for us to remain a "family service", though we were simultaneously developing automatic newsgroup-to-binary download capabilities, and of course you could use your own newsreader and a commercial news spool like giganews if you wanted full newsgroup access. We didn't filter any web access that I recall.

        Jay Levitt, AOLer, 1989-2001

    • Yeah, that was the funniest quote FTS. Who's really investing or innovating in broadband? There's no real investment seeing as America's internet service is embarrassingly slow and the only innovation is taking services away and then adding them back for a fee to improve profits.

      I say it's time to strip the ISPs of their ownership of the broadband lines and give it to someone who's actually going to invest in them. I'm sure it'll happen in America, right?

  • Seems Legit (Score:5, Funny)

    by Flyerman (1728812) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:10PM (#35245848) Journal

    Remember, these are some of the smartest people in the country. They have evaluated the issue from all angles and determined that "net neutrality" as regulated by the FCC is not in the interest of their constituents.

    They know exactly how it works and what it means for various businesses and especially in terms of the First Amendment. They have been completely unbiased in their review and I applaud them for their actions.

    • Ahahaha oh man, I can't believe you kept a straight face.

    • Re:Seems Legit (Score:4, Insightful)

      by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:45PM (#35246424)

      You laugh.

      But of course, lurking in the back of everyone's mind is the simple possibility that it might not be possible to pay for a non-tiered, flat-rate, uniform quality-of-service internet of sufficient capacity to deliver on-demand HD video or SIP telephone from any particular content provider in the US, independent of geography and service provider, to every terminal in the United States with flat monthly or even per-byte pricing on either end. The costs of building and maintaing the system simply don't map to consumption of the system's resources. Some parts of such a price structure are really lucrative for a network operator and some of them don't pay off for decades.

      And if there were ways of doing it this way, it would require a hell of a lot more regulation than mere mandatory "Net Neutrality."

      • by paiute (550198)

        You laugh.

        But of course, lurking in the back of everyone's mind is the simple possibility that it might not be possible to pay for a non-tiered, flat-rate, uniform quality-of-service internet of sufficient capacity to deliver on-demand HD video or SIP telephone from any particular content provider in the US, independent of geography and service provider, to every terminal in the United States with flat monthly or even per-byte pricing on either end. The costs of building and maintaing the system simply don't map to consumption of the system's resources. Some parts of such a price structure are really lucrative for a network operator and some of them don't pay off for decades.

        And if there were ways of doing it this way, it would require a hell of a lot more regulation than mere mandatory "Net Neutrality."

        I would be with you except for one thing: the company which is delivering the content is becoming the company which makes and profits from the content. If Comcast were to say that video - from any source - was expensive, and those who wanted to send/deliver it should pay more, then maybe you would have a point. But we all know what is going to happen: NBC Universal traffic goes to the head of the queue. E!, Style, G4, Golf Channel, Versus - web traffic out of my way! Content from competitors will come along

        • by iluvcapra (782887)

          Content from competitors will come along when there is an opening.

          Right, but content is only worth something if you can get it in front of eyeballs -- network operators aren't just dumb pipes, they're what make content valuable. If you have a 10 second video of your dog barking at a dalek [youtube.com], 20 years ago that'd be worth absolutely nothing, but now it's worth thousands of dollars in monetized advertising. The only reason that it's worth something is because networks put the video in front of eyes. You need b

      • Re:Seems Legit (Score:5, Interesting)

        by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Friday February 18, 2011 @03:25PM (#35247056) Homepage Journal

        ... lurking in the back of everyone's mind is the simple possibility that it might not be possible to pay for a non-tiered, flat-rate, uniform quality-of-service internet of sufficient capacity to deliver on-demand HD video or SIP telephone from any particular content provider in the US, independent of geography and service provider, to every terminal in the United States with flat monthly or even per-byte pricing on either end. The costs of building and maintaing the system simply don't map to consumption of the system's resources....

        Well than that thought needs to be purged from everyone's mind like puss from a zit on a HS kid's prom night. It is not impossible to build and deploy a nation-wide infrastructure capable of delivering high quality service to every part of this country. We've done it before. We've done it multiple times before. We managed to build and deploy a high quality (at the time) electricity network in this country that could reach every single home, rural or urban, that wanted it. We managed to build and deploy a high quality (at the time) water delivery infrastructure to every home and business in this country, rural or urban, that wanted it. We managed to build and deploy a high quality (at the time) interstate and state level highway system that could deliver transport goods to just about anywhere in the country. We build the rails before that and (at the time) they were very high quality. We built and deployed the telephone network, and managed to rig it to deliver high quality analog voice signals to every damn place in this country!

        There was a time (there were multiple times) when the United States invested in developing itself. There was a time when we weren't piss scared to spend the money to connect every freakin' corner of this country to the latest technology of the period. We have the man power. We have the resources. We have the know how. We can and should build and deploy a high capacity, high speed network system of computer (internet) because it is the next great investment in the future. Internet access, hands down, is the world-changing infrastructure of our era. As the leaders of the free world (supposedly) and the premier technology power in the world (supposedly) it should not take this much politicking, bullshitting, and corporate cock sucking to deploy free (as in libre) and open internet access to the whole fucking country!

        How the hell has our population been convinced that this is somehow acceptable or normal? America used to be capable of seizing upon a new invention (rail, steam engine, internal combustion engine, electricity, telephony) and deploying it, broadly and fairly, to the whole fucking population. And yet today we piss away one of the greatest infrastructure opportunities (cheap, open, frree (as in libre) access to the world's whole sum of knowledge) all because a few sacred telco monopolies have convinced us "It's just too hard, nigh, impossible to undertake such a large project."

        Fuck That!

        We built the transcontinental railroad. We built the interstate system. We let Ma Bell build the telephony system and then broke them up when they abused their monopoly powers. We have built nuclear power plants and the Alaskan pipeline. We built the California Aqueduct. We put a human being on the fucking moon for Christ's sake and we're going to accept the notion that we, as a country and society, cannot get fast, unfettered access to the internet like every other first world country?

        Bullshit!

        Will it cost money? Yes! Will it take a lot of hard work? Yes! Will it take time, higher taxes, and the spine to tell the multinational telco's to go fuck themselves? Yes!

        But will it pay off in the end? Anyone who thinks it won't is stuck in the stone age, fooling themselves, or just downright lying.

        You bet your sweet ass that we could build and deploy a strong, open access platform for the internet nation wide. The only problem seems to be that people are too chicken shit scared or stupid to push for it.

  • by commodore6502 (1981532) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:16PM (#35245948)

    Monopolies need to be regulated Mr. Congresscritter.

    Jeez. Maybe we can appeal to our Member State Legislatures to regulate the Comcasts, Verizons, and other monopolies inside their borders.

    • Monopolies need to be regulated Mr. Congresscritter.

      Not in the view of the party that now controls the House.

      (And increasingly, not in the view of the party that now controls the Senate.)

      • Before you go too far with your Republican 5-minute hate, remember which party established Commissions and Czars to help track-and-prosecute copyright (monopoly) infringers and downloaders, for their Hollywood and Record company friends.

        That would be the D's.
        Both parties suck.
        "We don't have two parties - we have ONE party. The Big Government party with two branches - both of which want to limit your person and your liberty." - Judge Napolitano, http://freedomwatchonfox.com/ [freedomwatchonfox.com]

    • Monopolies need to be regulated Mr. Congresscritter.

      Funny you mention that. I was just thinking that one of the easiest ways to identify monopolies is by how often their advocates bandy around the term "innovation". I can't actually recall it being mentioned very much before Microsoft used it in their PR push at the height of their powers.

    • Unless every state did this, they'd laugh their way to court and then sue the state for damages. Besides state reps and senators are very, very easy to buy out. You could probably swing a vote with a bottle of good scotch or here in the south a case of Coors.

      No, things are going to have to get bad, really, really, really bad before they get better.

  • Just to be clear... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anubis IV (1279820) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:20PM (#35246012)

    This lack of funding is aimed at the FCC's version of "net neutrality" [slashdot.org], not to block net neutrality in general. This is a good thing. That version of "net neutrality" was in name only. Obviously there are interests on both sides of the aisle at play here (Big Business wants even less restriction, consumers want what they've always had), but we all agreed that the FCC's current idea sucked, so this is a win.

    • by hedwards (940851) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:32PM (#35246214)

      And once the Republicans repeal the health care reform bill, they'll be replacing it with a new reform package, right? Just because the current idea sucks, does not mean that if it gets repealed we're guaranteed something better. At least with what we have we can fix it and adjust it as needed, whereas if we repeal it then we have to start over and every interest group and corporation is going to be eyeballing it to see what they can get slipped in.

    • Yep, clearly since proposed regulation wasn't enough, we should scrap it and have none. That will be so much better.

      • by DarkOx (621550)

        Honestly YES, we should scrap it and NONE would be better, until we can start over. The biggest problem we have with all this regulation at this point is there is so much of it. Nobody knows what will happen, what is in conflict etc etc.

        When you have a legal code that is so complex, that corporations of any size need full time compliance people and individuals of any wealth need attorneys on retainer you legal code is long past morally bankrupt!

        • Yep, all those child labor laws need to go to. They really cut down on the jobs.

          Perhaps you should pick a better metric for gauging regulation and its impact on business?

    • So how is going from rules that are not strict enough to no rules at all a win? Especially during a congress that will not pass stricter rules? That doesn't make any sense to me at all.

    • by commodore6502 (1981532) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:56PM (#35246610)

      >>>This is a good thing.

      It is? What was wrong with the FCC's latest rules? I didn't see anything objectionable about them, and I'm usually anti-government. The rules seemed reasonable - block ISPs from discriminating against sites or charging extra to reach them.

  • a proposal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:22PM (#35246048)

    There is an interesting proposal in an essay in the latest Scientific American: allow differential charges on the basis of quantity of traffic, but not on the basis of content.

    That would all the (IMO) reasonable approach of charging the heaviest users more and/or throttling their bandwidth, but wouldn't allow Comcast to put competing Netflix out of business.

    • You're making the faulty assumption that the folks in Congress actually want a reasonable approach.

      Based on their track record, I'm just going to go ahead and say they don't like reasonable. If they do, then they suck too much at implementing it to ever expect them to get this one right.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      That wouldn't be prohibited under net neutrality rules, you'd just have to make the formula used the same for everybody.

  • Innovation! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Grapplebeam (1892878)
    It's the new old synonym for completely unregulated capitalism!
  • I wrote to my Congressman in support of net neutrality and got a note back saying that he also supports net neutrality.

    Obviously, he must be a communist loon..... Wait, what does that make me?
  • Exasperating (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:34PM (#35246256) Homepage Journal
    Does anyone else just feel worn out by all political BS in the U.S these days? I mean, it seems like Congress is nothing more than a group of professional trolls at this point. They never, ever seem capable of doing anything useful, or beneficial for the citizens of this country anymore. It's exhausting. Every single time a story pops up (on Slashdot or anywhere else) that involves politics or a political decision, you can basically just assume that it's going to screw over everyone in the country that isn't already a politician.

    Being a U.S. citizen today feels just like playing the role of Sisiphus [wikipedia.org], consistently pushing a boulder uphill (trying to improve the world by being a responsible citizen, voting, jury duty, etc.) only to realize that you have to push it up again when you reach the top (Congress critters keep passing bills that fuck things up even more). It's exhausting, to keep reading about how those folks we elect to power just stumble around and fuck things up so badly....It's so consistent that it very nearly serves as a dataset to debunk that old meme of, "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence."

    Our leaders are just fucking terrible. It's exhausting.
    • by Xacid (560407)

      "Does anyone else just feel worn out by all political BS in the U.S these days?"

      YEP.

    • Re:Exasperating (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nidi62 (1525137) on Friday February 18, 2011 @02:46PM (#35246452)

      Does anyone else just feel worn out by all political BS in the U.S these days? I mean, it seems like Congress is nothing more than a group of professional trolls at this point.

      Politics HAS become a profession. You work in politics for years, make 6 figures per year, then retire to the lecture circuit, or work for one of your supporting corporations as a lobbyist. Back when this country was first founded, politics was a calling, a sacrifice. Representatives were lawyers, farmers, merchants, doctors. A couple months out of the year they would give up their time(and therefore their money) to go to the capital and legislate. But politics was not how they made their living. But we've gotten away from this. People no longer see public service as a sacrifice. They see it as a tool for personal enrichment, a way to gain power for their family, and(this is the worst part) a means to an end. That end is power and influence, both while in office and once out of it.

      Basically, it's not the system that is broken. It is the people within it.

    • Does anyone else just feel worn out by all political BS in the U.S these days?

      Was there ever a Good Old Days when it was different?

      Much as I like the idea of representative democracy, it comes with the unavoidable price tag of being ruled by politicians.

      (An Enlightened Absolute Monarch would get the job done, but the 'Enlightened' requirement makes them hard to come by. Unenlightened Absolute Monarchs are a dime a dozen, but who wants to be governed by one?)

  • I can't really get how so many Slashdotters are rooting for this bullshit legislation like it will be a cure all for the internet.

    Ok, providers will be forced to treat torrent downloads as normal traffic, but once the government has that foothold on the internet, it will never let go and you can kiss privacy, anonimity and other basic stuff we take for granted in the now 'unregulated capitalist' internet.

    People never learn when it comes to government intervention, it seems.

    • Lol, I meant kiss it GOODBYE, not just kiss it.

      Not that those very nice things about the internet don't deserve kissing.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      you can kiss privacy, anonymity? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A [wikipedia.org]
      as for 'unregulated capitalist' aspects are very locked down http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/01/municipal-fiber-needs-more-fdr-localism-fewer-state-bans.ars [arstechnica.com]
      • Dude, thats my point. The little privacy and little 'unregulated' aspects that there are will be GONE.

        When government starts intercepting traffic, it will do so in broad daylight and nobody will be able to do or say shit about it.

        When it starts 'leveling the playfield' by breeding a myriad of regultations, AKA further stifling competition against established players, prices will go up, not down.

        As H.L. Mencken once said "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve t

  • believing that monopolies and soulless corporations can make things better. I wish Jebus would come back; his first order of business would be gutting all these scumbags like fish.
    • believing that monopolies and soulless corporations can make things better. I wish Jebus would come back; his first order of business would be gutting all these scumbags like fish.

      Talk about fucked-up priorities... My first order of business would be to spank all the pretty girls who've misbehaved.

  • We all know the reason why ISPs are against net neutrality is so that the Time Warner Cables and Comcasts of the world can kill off the competition like Netflix and Vonage. And the Netflixes of the world are pretty much powerless to do anything about it. What are they going to do? A boycott from a single content provider is not going to be noticed my many.

    However, if the proponents of net neutrality (i.e. Google, Vonage, Yahoo, Microsoft) formed a NATO-like pact, they could ALL boycott any ISP found to

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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