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Senator Al Franken Accuses AT&T of "Skirting" Net Neutrality Rules 81

McGruber writes In a letter to the U.S. Federal Communication Commission and the Department of Justice, Senator Al Franken warned that letting AT&T acquire Direct TV could turn AT&T into a gatekeeper to the mobile Internet. Franken also complained that AT&T took inappropriate steps to block Internet applications like Google Voice and Skype: "AT&T has a history of skirting the spirit, and perhaps the letter' of the government's rules on net neutrality, Franken wrote."
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Senator Al Franken Accuses AT&T of "Skirting" Net Neutrality Rules

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  • verizon, comcast? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by steak ( 145650 ) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @06:54PM (#47427907) Homepage Journal

    why not go after the worst offenders?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      that's the problem, after the recent list released showing which politicians are receiving "campaign funding' or bribes as I call them. its going to be impossible for any of this to be enforced or any rule/law changes that block out any loopholes. after reading about ponzi schemes I just realized the entire country is nothing more then one. and these reports and other investigations into corporate monopolies, corruption at every level from local/state/federal only really bitch slaps me into that reality.

      • 'Bribes' is outdated. Here's what happens:
        Somebody window-dresses nicely, like Al Franken in the present case. You buy that product, and become owner of said Al. In time, dear Al performs the function that you expect from that product. It's not a conincidence that elections are won by Advertising moguls.

        • by Jawnn ( 445279 )
          Outdated or not, "bribe" more accurately describes the transaction - "Here's some money. Vote the way I say. OK?"
    • Re:verizon, comcast? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Technician ( 215283 ) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @07:22PM (#47428099)

      I was stuck on Comcast when I upgraded from Dialup. Due to the games with non working services, I jumped ship as soon as Qwest offered DSL. Skype, VOIP via SIP, Google Voice/Talk, etc all working fine. I feel for those without the option. Comcast has been trying to win me back, but I'll take the slower DSL speed for everything working properly anyday.

      • Just try and use it away from home. Out get used to a technical usage,of part of the product, and then the third world of you cannot do that here, because you live in the wrong neighborhood, or visiting the wrong side of the street. After all, I'm not paying the bill there, am I. But, my service says "mobile". And it's not....
    • "why not go after the worst offenders?"

      "go after" means the Federal Government to **enforce** laws or pass new ones

      Republicans block every effort to pass new Net Neutrality laws or enforce currenet ones

      > enforcement: GOP excuse: "can' money to do it...we got us a budget crisis b/c of government spending"
      > pass new laws: GOP excuse: "can' laws are 'regulation' and that's bad for business and jobs"

      So the answer to "why not go after..." is simply BECAUSE REPUBLICANS

      if you must

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by qeveren ( 318805 )

        No fan of the Republicans here, but enforcement is the Executive Branch's bailiwick. :/

        • No fan of the Republicans here, but enforcement is the Executive Branch's bailiwick. :/

          yeah...I addressed your point, directly...from the post you responded to:

          > enforcement: GOP excuse: "can' money to do it...we got us a budget crisis b/c of government spending"

          the GOP controls the budget...exec branch included...this is the end of the discussion

      • Funny, here I was thinking that Republicans and Democrats were two sides of the same coin. Now, they're uniquely and blameably wrong? I swear, this is exactly the same "we have always been at war with Eurasia" doublethink that Orwell wrote about. One day, the first idea. The next day, the other - with no acknowledgement of the other idea ever having been uttered.

        I thought it was idiotic when I read 1984 way back when, but here it is, live and right in front of my face.

      • You do know that Al Franken is VERY much a Democrat, right?

        The GP post was asking why Senator Franken was only accusing ATT and not Verizon / Comcast / Time Warner.

        Blaming the other guys isn't constructive, and only deepens the division without solving a damn thing. Stop it.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by operagost ( 62405 )

        Sure, let's ignore the two years when the Ds controlled both houses and the Presidency, yet nothing changed.

        Sure, let's ignore the fact that the Senate is still controlled by Ds.

        Sure, let's ignore the fact that the White House is still occupied by a D, who has executive power on the regulatory department capable of making some of the changes.

        I'm sure it's all because of one party, and if we just eliminate that party, the Democrats will fix everything. Don't think of it as one-party rule, think of it as one

      • by tomhath ( 637240 )

        if you must contradict my dual thesis

        You haven't proven anything to disprove. Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the White House and did nothing. They still control the executive branch (i.e. the FCC) and do nothing. Your thesis is nonsense.

    • why not go after the worst offenders?

      Because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best way to promote network neutrality is to keep monopolies from forming in the first place.


  • by SpzToid ( 869795 ) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @06:56PM (#47427919)

    Guess who won't be receiving much, if any campaign contributions for the next election from ATT? (Or Verizon, or Comcast).

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      I don't think he cares. []

      • by SpzToid ( 869795 )

        OK, I get your point, but what about the money ATT, Verizon, Comcast, etc. will be pumping into his opponent?

        • by geekoid ( 135745 )


          There used to be a saying the all Jr.s Senator were told:
          "If you can't take their money, drink their liquor, fuck their women and still vote against them, you don't belong in politics."

        • by swb ( 14022 )

          As a Minnesotan, I don't see unknown Mike McFadden making a lot of headway against Franken. The dedicated ideologues may vote for him but Minnesota isn't the kind of a state where hard-core ideology will win elections. And he surely won't win campaigning against Franken on a platform of letting Comcast do whatever it wants.

          I think he'd be most vulnerable in his own party to someone like Betty McCollum (a current House member) if she wanted the Senate.

  • by disposable60 ( 735022 ) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @06:56PM (#47427921) Journal

    They'd make quite a team, and the debates might finally be watchable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by geekoid ( 135745 )

      That would have my vote.
      OTOH, I think they might be better in the house.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I don't know. I definitly respect Franken's views and politics since he became a senator, but oh my god is he a terrible entertainer. Can not stand his comedy.

      • My view is pretty much the reverse - ok entertainer (long, long ago, in a TV show far, far away), but Senator? Ugh.

        • I'm afraid I can not respect anyone who respects him as an entertainer. We can have diametrically opposed views on politics, thats all cool. But, appreciating talent-less hacks, is not something I can support in good conscious.

          • I understand your perspective. Nonetheless I thought he was OK as Baggage Handler #1 in Trading Places, although maybe that is the "halo effect" of being such a brilliant movie.

    • Not a chance (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rsilvergun ( 571051 )
      they'd never make it out of the Sheldon Primary []

      For those of you that don't know, any serious candidate for office in America gets approved by the top 1% here before they're allowed to run because without the support of the very rich they can't win.
    • They'd make quite a team, and the debates might finally be watchable.

      Yeah, then add the matching pair Paul/Cruz on the other side, and the debates will be as good as this one [].

  • by Meshach ( 578918 ) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @07:19PM (#47428063)
    From the article:

    Those rules were written in 2010 — and AT&T has pledged to abide by them for three years if its DirecTV purchase goes through — but were knocked down by a federal court in January.

    Even if AT&T did abide by these rules in three years their commitment is over and they can do what they want.

  • by __aanbvm4272 ( 1071718 ) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @09:37PM (#47428753)
    I have to appreciate the Senator going off on what could be a win for us. Although huge corporations have the lobbyists behind them Al Franken only has us. And I sure love the guy, crying out loud for the little consumer getting raked over the coals. Thanks Al Franken Go get 'em!. I wish you all the support you'll need.
    • You know in his early days on SNL he wasn't all that funny. I never thought he'd be a Senator but you know he actually makes a lot of sense.

      • He's a senator because the Democrats learned from the mistakes of the 2000 Presidential election and this time, made sure the ballots were counted "properly".
        • He's a senator because he got very slightly more votes than his opponent, as determined in a painstaking recount that took months. This recount was overseen by a three-judge panel, and then examined at length by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Half of those judges were Republican appointees, and only two were DFL appointees. The Republican governor then signed the election certificate without any demur.

          There were some problems found in the voting (most notably that the absentee ballot instructions didn't

  • I am Vinz, Vinz Clortho, Keymaster of Gozer...Volguus Zildrohoar, Lord of the Seboullia. Are you the Gatekeeper?

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"