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Cable Companies Duped Community Groups Into Fighting Net Neutrality 170

walterbyrd (182728) writes Last week, it transpired that the big cable companies were bankrolling fake consumer groups like Broadband for America and The American Consumer Institute. These 'independent consumer advocacy groups' are, in truth, nothing of the sort, and instead represent the interests of its benefactors, in the fight against net neutrality. If that wasn't bad enough, VICE is now reporting that several of the real community groups (and an Ohio bed-and-breakfast) that were signed up as supporters of Broadband for America were either duped into joining, or were signed up to the cause without their consent or knowledge.
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Cable Companies Duped Community Groups Into Fighting Net Neutrality

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  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @05:44AM (#47220445) Homepage
    other things that are known to happen in american democracy with seemingly little if any recourse:

    Oil company dupes community groups into fighting EPA regulations
    Major food company dupes citizens into fighting a tax on soda
    Cigarette company dupes consumers into thinking smoking is a right, not a crippling addiction
    President dupes country into fighting country with no WMD's
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12, 2014 @06:30AM (#47220541)
    I can get all the shows I want without paying any premium or renting their shitty hardware, and they can't do anything about it ;)

    Take whatever you can get from them, my friend. They'll certainly take all they can from you.
  • by Travis Mansbridge ( 830557 ) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @06:33AM (#47220557)
    Actually, he was only elected once.
  • Cigarette company dupes consumers into thinking smoking is a right, not a crippling addiction

    Why can't it be both?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12, 2014 @07:37AM (#47220735)

    I've posted on slashdot regularly for 5 years now, and first was very suprised about the new look of Slashdot Beta. Now I'm accustomed to it and I really would miss it when Dice abandons Beta. I have asked all my friends who also have been on slashdot for a long time. They share my thoughts, and they also like the new comment system.

    I believe that the opposers of slashdot beta are only a tiny minority of the users fearing change. When humanity had followed their strategy, we would still live on trees. I think now is the time for progress and to turn off non-beta slashdot.

    You can help this (real) grass roots movement by copying this post into every story.

  • by C0R1D4N ( 970153 ) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @07:42AM (#47220759)
    More popular stations help subsidize the cost of less popular more niche stations. Also, a la carte wouldn't help your bill; the pricing for a la carte would ensure that you are still paying as much or more than you are for bundled tv.
  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @07:54AM (#47220823) Homepage

    Or at least some consumer protection law which prevents companies from engaging in blatantly deceptive marketing campaigns.

    However, fake 'grassroots' foundations seems to have become the norm.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12, 2014 @08:04AM (#47220863)

    Don't forget, fox news sued for their right-to-knowingly-lie and won in court.....

  • by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @08:09AM (#47220893)

    Oh, right, of course ... corporations are people with free speech, and entitled to actively lie to us.

    What? That is utter nonsense. Corporations are not people!

    Corporations are "Very Rich People". A class with little or no relation to "people".

    VRPs have the inalienable right to do whatever they very much please and it is legal by Axiom*.

    *: The axiom being: "Legal is what very rich people decide it is at any given point."

  • by Vermonter ( 2683811 ) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @08:12AM (#47220907)
    I really, really want to be against net neutrality, because free market and such, but when I look at Time Warner and Comcast, they are the best argument *for* net neutrality. I guess it comes down to who I trust more, the government, or the cable companies.... and it's kind of a tie at zero... Now if the FCC would decide that the infrastructure could be used by startups, allowing for actual competition, then we might get somewhere.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12, 2014 @08:16AM (#47220941)

    A la carte would mean individual channels will be priced much higher. It's very likely your bill will remain the same or increase.

    Broadcasters, like the one i'm employed at, send their signals to cable and satellite companies. A la carte would lower are viewers by a fair bit, equating to less ad revenue. That will force us to toss niche channels, and cause the remaining channels to be priced much higher.

  • by Desler ( 1608317 ) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @08:20AM (#47220967)

    They have plenty of excuse:

    1) We don't want to. Fuck you.
    2) We don't want to. Fuck you.
    3) We don't want to. Fuck you.

    And lastly: We don't want to. Fuck you.

    What benefit does alacarte give the cable companies that they would provide it?

  • by thaylin ( 555395 ) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @08:23AM (#47220997)
    Because in this context the "right" is ensuring that your crippling addition can be done in ways that harm / potentially harm others, violating their rights.
  • Re:Idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by morgauxo ( 974071 ) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @08:45AM (#47221129)

    You mean no wonder they elected GWB four times right? OK, he has had more of a tan these last two terms, big difference!

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @09:00AM (#47221245) Homepage

    I really, really want to be against net neutrality, because free market and such

    Well, then let me disabuse you of that notion.

    There is no 'free' market, and there never has been. The 'free' market is predicated on the belief that all players will act honestly, and make informed choices based on available information. This is a completely false assumption, and has been proven so time after time.

    It completely ignores human nature whereby someone will always lie, cheat, and steal to achieve their own ends -- this is what we see here.

    Industry players will always form cartels and collude in anti-consumer behavior -- price fixing being the prime example.

    Without someone to keep corporations in line, the market would steadily skew to all of the power being in the hands of a few.

    There is no such thing as a 'free' market, and there simply never has been. It's a utopian myth which can never be true.

    People who go around spouting about the 'free' market are either naive, self deluded, or actively lying.

    What proponents want is a situation in which corporations are free to do as they choose, under the premise that, in the long run, consumers will have perfect information and be able to make informed choices.

    A 'free' market is incapable of addressing things like pollution, product safety, and ethical behavior. In fact, it's almost designed to encourage it.

    When Adam Smith wrote "Wealth of Nations", he wasn't writing a rule book, he was making a series of observations. The problem is things have become so skewed, that what we see is an ever-increasing trend where corporations hold all the cards.

    Governments who actively support de-regulation have been putting more and more power into the hands of corporations. By allowing industries to 'police' themselves (which isn't what actually happens) they can do as they see fit, for their gain, and to our detriment.

    Economics isn't a science, and it isn't based in fact. It is an ideology of how things should work assuming impossible conditions and premises. And, like all ideologies, it is inherently blind to its own flaws, and taken as a matter of dogma to be true.

    Taking steps towards a 'free' market has the net effect of removing restrictions on corporations -- which are typically there because we've already seen examples of grossly bad behavior.

    The US has been steadily creating (and forcing other countries to adopt) a global oligarchy whereby the corporations call all of the shots. For instance, the TTIP []:

    The consultation has been called largely to assuage growing pressure from civil society groups concerned about the rights being granted to corporations under the guise of âinvestor protectionsâ(TM), and the system of private tribunals - the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism - that allows corporations to sue governments when they feel that these rights have been breached by a government policy or court decision.

    Basically, governments are no longer free to set evidence based policy if it would impact the bottom line of corporations which are the ones causing harm in the first place. They can be over-ridden by these private tribunals which exist to protect the interests of investors and corporations, to the detriment of the rest of us.

    This is an oligarchy, and definitely NOT a free market. You could not transition from an oligarchy to a 'free' market by simply removing the laws and regulations governing corporations -- this would not magically create a free market, it simply removes their obligations to society, and frees them to do as they please.

    The free market is a complete and utter myth. It has never existed. And the reason society has had to develop laws and regulations around their behavio

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.