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Government Politics

Congressmen Send Letters, Hope For Net Neutrality Fades 427

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

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  • The Letters (Score:5, Informative)

    by discordia666 ( 940470 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:39PM (#32344334)
    My how I hate articles which don't reference the main subject. [] []
  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:01PM (#32344492)
    But I couldn't figure out what was going on from either linked articles ? Seeing as net neutrality has become a term that has been so completely trashed by both sides, there is really no way to tell from the information provided. I will say this liberal or conservative, democrat or republican you really don't want these people writing rules to control monopolies. They are the same people that gave us 80 years of overpriced phone service, allowed ATT to use incomprehensible invoices, and had us paying a telephone tax for the spanish american war till after the year 2000, .What we need and there is no way we are getting is laws that allow more companies to become ISPs. More unlicensed wireless spectrum, must carry laws for cable and telco isps, or anything that makes these peoples wires less of a monopoly isn't on the agenda.
  • Re:what jobs? (Score:2, Informative)

    by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:05PM (#32344520) Journal

    What phantom jobs are they talking about?

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

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

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

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:09PM (#32344556)

    This site [] has the letters on the left-hand side.

    The Democrats [], The Republicans [].

    Sure wish they'd put the names in these news articles, so people had a better idea of who to vote for or against.

  • by ebusinessmedia1 ( 561777 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:10PM (#32344562)
    From the WAPO editorial: "Disclosure: The Washington Post Co. has interests in broadcast and cable television and businesses that depend on the Internet..." That says it all. Thus, communication, one of the premier qualities that defines us as human, gets to be thrown around like a political football, to the loss and dismay of all. What is the cost to decisions like this? Answer: a continued receding of innovation and a disadvantaged American public, compared to those who have unfettered access to broadband, a theoretically unlimited resource. We are metered only because we CAN be metered, and only because someone is on the receiving end of a political or financial payoff. Damn the public interest!
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:17PM (#32344608)

    They're not wholly owned by the telcos. They just hold shares of the congresscritters, nobody needs to buy a complete polidroid. You can rent them these days, you just have to pay more than the guy opposed to you.

  • FEAR NOT! (Score:2, Informative)

    by The AtomicPunk ( 450829 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:39PM (#32344754)

    I am convinced that those of you naive enough to beg the government to regulate the Internet will eventually get exactly what you wish for.

  • by elucido ( 870205 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @12:43AM (#32345050)

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

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

  • by mellon ( 7048 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @12:59AM (#32345118) Homepage

    In case anybody's wondering if their congresscritter signed on to this letter, here's the list []. You can get a laugh out of the "threat or danger" propaganda at this site too, if you're amused by that sort of thing.

    The thing to pay attention to is that a total of just over 100 congresscritters signed either the blue dog democrat letter or the republican letter. So characterizing this as congress taking a position on what the FCC has done is nonsense, and it's unfortunate that cnet feels they can get away with such a blatant misrepresentation. This doesn't even represent a third of congress, much less a majority.

    I used to think Declan McCullough was a reasonably intelligent fellow, but this is just a propaganda piece. Congress didn't do anything, and if hopes for net neutrality fade, it's because we believe this tripe, not because congress has said anything to anyone about anything.

  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @03:25AM (#32345606)

    What happened to the hope, change and a new kind of politics?

    We haven't started any new wars for a while. That's a change.

    Anyway, are you critiquing Obama with that? You do realize that the guy they're writing to, the guy who wants net neutrality, is an Obama appointee (see the 3rd sentence in TFA). The 74 house democrats and 37 senate republicans? I can't read make out who signed their names to the house dem letter, but I'm going to assume that most of the 111 congressmen and women didn't actually run on the campaign of "hope, change and a new kind of politics."

    If you were expecting one election to bring about hope, change, and a new kind of politics immediately without any resistance, you're even more of a delusional liberal loon than I am.

  • Re:Correct (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @05:35AM (#32346054)

    The Brand-X decision said that ISPs are not telecoms because the FCC didn't classify them as telecoms. The court decision has no effect on the FCC's ability to regulate.

    You have that exactly reversed. The decision said nothing about classification, it just confirmed that the FCC had the legal authority to make the classification as it saw fit. The thing was, once the decision was made for cableco's that were also ISPs the FCC decided it should apply to all ISPs even if they didn't provide any actual information.

    So a flawed decision by the FCC based on conflating the television part of a cableco's business with its ISP business was quickly spread to all ISPs even the ones without a television business to conflate - the result of intense lobbying or utter ignorance of what was being regulated. Either way, the result was a wholesale change to the wrong classification from a one that had worked well enough for the public until that point. That the new FCC wants to reverse that big fat fail of a decision should come as no surprise.

    Dumbasses at the WSJ say that a change in classification should only be made when there has been a change in the business landscape, and conveniently brush off the fact that the first change to the wrong classification occurred without such a landscape change. So by their own reasoning this problem should have never emerged in the first place. But apparently history's too inconvenient for them.

  • Re:what jobs? (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheSpoom ( 715771 ) <> on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @10:54AM (#32348698) Homepage Journal

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

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

  • by neomunk ( 913773 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @11:22AM (#32349064)

    I don't think as many people were opposed to it as made to appear on Big Media infotainment outlets.

    Polls showed differing numbers, depending on how the questions were asked (even more deviant than normal) and the big "NO" polls were asking in a more or less roundabout way about a government takeover of healthcare, which Obamacare is most certainly not, so the Democrats went for it.

    The people that are screaming about government taking over healthcare are/were already going to vote against Democrats out of ideology, it's why they so readily believe the lie that anything this President or this Congress has done so far is "socialist" or even more hilarious "communist".

    Personally, I think Obamacare is a joke, but for pretty much the exact opposite reasons that people were railing against it. It's uber-capitalism (well, uber-modern-capitalism anyway, we all know it's different than Adam Smith's vision) in an area where I believe a more social touch is needed.

  • Re:Hypocrite (Score:5, Informative)

    by atamido ( 1020905 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:06PM (#32350380)

    Most of the immigrants that I know came to the US legally, even the ones that came from real holes. The rest made a concerted effort to learn English and make their way through the citizenship process. All of my known ancestors came across legally too (although back then the process was completely different).

    For any government interaction, nobody "loved the process." I didn't love getting my drivers license, passport, or fighting with the IRS to get them to fix their errors and get me my money back. In fact, I'd say I rather despised the processes. But I didn't throw my hands up in the air and work outside the law.

    Immigration law, like many other laws, is in dire need of fixing, and I fully support legislation to simplify it and streamline the process. But that doesn't excuse people from breaking it for 40 years straight.

    And this isn't about some obscure law that you accidentally broke. This is about immigration, something that all countries take seriously. If you're caught being an illegal immigrant in Mexico, they throw you in jail. By comparison, deportation is peanuts.

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein