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FCC Announces Plan To Repeal Net Neutrality (nytimes.com) 331

FCC on Tuesday said it plans to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for companies to charge more and block access to some websites. From a report on the New York Times: The proposal, put forward by the F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai, is a sweeping repeal of rules put in place by the Obama administration that prohibited high-speed internet service providers from blocking or slowing down the delivery of websites, or charging extra fees for the best quality of streaming and other internet services for their subscribers. The clear winners from the move would be telecom giants like AT&T and Comcast that have lobbied for years against regulations of broadband and will now have more control over the online experiences of American consumers. The losers could be internet sites that will have to answer to telecom firms to get their content in front of consumers. And consumers may see their bills increase for the best quality of internet service. Note from the editor: the aforementioned link could be paywalled; consider the alternative sources: NPR, ArsTechnica, Associated Press, BBC, Axios, Reuters, TechCrunch, and Slate.

FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny criticized the move. She said, "So many things wrong here, like even if FCC does this FTC still won't have jurisdiction. But even if we did, most discriminatory conduct by ISPs will be perfectly legal. This won't hurt tech titans with deep pockets. They can afford to pay all the trolls under the bridge. But the entrepreneurs and innovators who truly make the Internet great won't be so lucky. It will be harder for them to compete. The FCC is upending the Internet as we know it, not saving it."

This is what the internet looks like when there is no net neutrality. Earlier today, news outlet Motherboard suggested we should build our own internet if we want to safeguard the essence of open internet.
In a statement, EFF said: It is worth reflecting on just how wildly unsupported by the public and wrong the FCC is on its effort to end an Open Internet. More than 1000 small businesses, investors, and technology startups in all 50 states have publicly opposed the proposal. More than 900 online video creators that produce content for more than 240 million viewers oppose the FCC plan. Over 200 international businesses and organizations have weighed in opposition. Fifty-two racial justice, civil rights, and human rights organizations have filed in support of the current rules. Dozens of ISPs across the country have told the FCC to leave the rules in place. Libraries, around 120,000 in total, from across the United States support retaining the Open Internet Order. Privacy organizations have told the FCC that its proposal would further degrade broadband user privacy and therefore oppose the proposal. State Attorneys General from Illinois, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine and Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and DC support retaining the existing consumer protections. Sixty Mayors across the country have filed their opposition to the FCC plan. The National Association of Realtors expressed their support for keeping a legally enforceable Open Internet rule. And 1.52 million unique comments (as in people navigating the cumbersome FCC website directly to submit a statement rather than use a form letter website) were submitted in support of Title II and Network Neutrality versus only 23,000 supporting the FCC. A recent poll has found that 77 percent of Americans support retaining the current Network Neutrality rules (the poll broke it down to 73 percent of Republican voters, 80 percent of Democratic voters, and 76 percent of independents). The numbers are even higher when Americans are asked whether they support privacy protections, such as requiring ISPs to obtain consent from users before monetizing with third parties (85 percent Republicans, 82 percent Democrats, and 78 percent independents). So if the public and virtually every facet of Internet culture (including ISPs) oppose the FCC's plan, then why are we even going down this path? To put it simply: the FCC is not serving the public interest, but rather is serving the interests of the very few but massive vertically integrated ISPs that support the current agency's agenda.
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FCC Announces Plan To Repeal Net Neutrality

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  • Paywalled (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @02:16PM (#55597139) Homepage Journal
    The article saying that Net Neutrality is going to be dismantled is behind a paywall. This is the Internet 2017.
    • Re:Paywalled (Score:5, Informative)

      by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @04:40PM (#55598397) Homepage Journal

      The article saying that Net Neutrality is going to be dismantled is behind a paywall. This is the Internet 2017.

      Allow me to offer a reasoned response... YOU STUPID FUCK.

      People who write material designed to inform and improve your sadly deficient brain have every right to ask as much as they want in return. The right to be paid for services rendered was never the issue, and people who continue to conflate this with the actual problems solved by Net Neutrality are a mind-fuckingly vivid reminder of how we got into this bad acid flashback of a political environment in the first place. So kindly educate yourself and stop fucking making the case for euthanasia. You're not being clever, and this is the opposite of funny. This is the Slashdot equivalent of SAN DIMAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES.

      Net Neutrality is not about stopping fair pay for services rendered. It's about blocking arbitrary and prejudicial behaviour that doesn't benefit the person who produced the content, and doesn't benefit the person who wants to download it. The only party it benefits is the person who owns the pipe. They're the ones who want to charge more depending on what they think the content is worth—not to you, but to them.

      So your Netflix content gets slowed down because your provider has a sweetheart deal with Amazon. Or you never see that Walgreen's has a better price on your medication because CVS inked a deal with your provider to remove their competition from selected searches.

      Yeah, you didn't think about that part, did you? The minute you remove the Net Neutrality provisions, you open the door to your ISP doing whatever the fuck it wants to your connection, up to and including MiTM'ing your SSL traffic. And if you think that can't happen, you've never been to China, or any one of dozens of other countries that intrude on secure communications.

      If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that market forces have yet to win the race against the Greater Idiot. Thanks for taking your lap in the race. You have been a Great Idiot, although sadly not nearly the Greatest.

      Hugs,

      The sane and sensible population of the internet

    • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )
      Net Neutrality != free content
  • I wish the U.S. had a healthy government. Let's work toward that goal.
    • It won't happen (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As long as we have "news" outlets like Fox News misinforming people [usnews.com] and people not willing to be skeptical, and the Republicans using Fox News to their advantage, we will continue to have this crap.

      The tax bill that was passed by the House will screw us in the end (except if you are a 1+ percenter) and the Senate's isn't looking much better.

      How did those people get elected? Because about half of our population believes in the non-sense that's spoon fed to them or vote on single (distraction) issues.

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @05:01PM (#55598553)
      It's government which allows ISPs to abuse the people in the first place. Net neutrality is only "needed" because most Americans only have one realistic choice of ISP. And they only have one choice because their local government has granted that ISP a monopoly.

      If the local governments weren't granting service monopolies, then there would be competition between ISPs. Any ISP which degraded Netflix's speeds as part of a ploy to extort money from Netflix would be shooting itself in the foot. Its customers would notice Netflix was streaming badly, hear from their neighbor that Netflix worked fine on their ISP, and they'd simply cancel and switch their service to their neighbor's ISP. No net neutrality needed. They're prevented from doing this only because their local government has sold them out and granted their ISP a monopoly. Net neutrality is trying to fix a problem created by government regulation, with more government regulation.

      If Ajit Pai and Trump truly believe in the free market, then they'll roll back net neutrality, then follow it up by prohibiting local governments from granting local service monopolies.
      • Any ISP which degraded Netflix's speeds as part of a ploy to extort money from Netflix would be shooting itself in the foot

        Because people make the decision of provider frequently and that's the only point of difference?

        Look at cell phones. How was Verizon hurt when it was revealed that it exposed your name and history to websites you visit? Not at all, because most people don't understand what's happening and those that do are locked into multiyear contracts and forgot when it was time to renew them.

        Also

  • by Dthief ( 1700318 )
    all sites are paywalled
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @02:18PM (#55597177)

    Hope that the EFF's and ACLU's inevitable lawsuits are successful. Otherwise, good luck getting people to vote in the right people to enshrine into law some feasible NN protection.

    • by bjdevil66 ( 583941 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @03:17PM (#55597677)

      Ajit Pai (and his GOP-appointed counterpart) had their minds made up years ago, and his doggedly stubborn position feels like it's based in ideology instead of the facts presented by his opponents.

      Just compare this PBS.org interview [pbs.org] where Mr. Pai used the same selective dodging of the facts pointed out by NN advocates (especially John Oliver's piece on the subject back in the day) that don't support his point of view. Then watch John Oliver's simplistic but factually correct episodes from 2014 [youtube.com] and 2017 - Part One [youtube.com] and 2017 - Part Two [youtube.com] on the issue.

      Either John Oliver (and his writing/research staff) or Ajit Pai is an outright liar about this issue. Any bets on who's the fibber? It's either a left-leaning comedian, or a former Verizon Wireless lawyer. (TIP: Don't bet the farm on this being a bad John Oliver joke...)

      • by gtall ( 79522 )

        Ajit Pai has no ideology. His mind was made up that if he did this, he could leave government and work at some telecom for a salary the rest of us can only dream about. He's merely an industry tool.

  • A Win-Win Scenario! (Score:3, Informative)

    by franzrogar ( 3986783 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @02:18PM (#55597185)

    I'm the Company. I do charge for:

    1) (End-user) Giving "faster" access to more part of the Web.
    2) (Websites) For adding them to the "faster" list.

    It's a Win-Win! Thank you very much Trump (and start paying me right now you thieves [aka "users"])!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Comcast already tiers my internet and I pay for the Blast! one or whatever which has artificial boosts. I don't see a big difference here.

      • Wait until Comcast starts charging websites for access to their network and then slows down your internet access to extort those companies. That's the basic of NN. Without NN the last mile providers become the trolls under the bridge tolling access so that Comcast doesn't deliberately slow down their connection.

        This will start with Video where Comcast, ATT and Verizon will start extorting any new streaming video operator just as they did with Netflix. This will prevent any serious competition to Netflix eve

  • by RedK ( 112790 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @02:19PM (#55597199)
    Because that's what is actually happening. Rules that even the Obama appointed FCC chairman said were overreaching and would stiffle Internet growth, while not doing what Net Neutrality proponents were even asking for.
    • by EndlessNameless ( 673105 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @05:00PM (#55598549)

      Rules that even the Obama appointed FCC chairman said were overreaching and would stiffle Internet growth

      Except for the part where Wheeler's rules included built-in exemptions for the parts he thought were too demanding or inappropriate for the internet.

      What more do you want the guy to do? He fine-tuned the rules to exactly the level he wanted. Net neutrality advocates didn't get everything they wanted, but it was enough to prevent serious abuses.

      But sure, take his words and rules completely out of context if that's what you need to be right.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @02:25PM (#55597269) Homepage
    In light of this tremendous achievement by Chairman Pai, I and many other Slashdotters will now begin the efficient and productive streamlining of our internet traffic so as to prioritize content and improve the internet experience.
    These improvements include:

    1: null-routing all known advertisement servers.
    2: implementing our own caching DNS to avoid SRVFAIL redirection.
    3: Installation of noscript, adblock, ssl everywhere and other script and advertising element blocking extensions to our browsers.
    4: implementing open source VPN technology in our home networks
    5: returning our wireless routers -- which are used by many providers to advertise public SSID's for other network subscribers to use -- and implementing secured open-source solutions.
  • by duke_cheetah2003 ( 862933 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @03:03PM (#55597567) Homepage

    All is on course to screw the little guy and give the big companies more power, more money and less incentive to promote a healthy open internet.

    It was fun while it lasted. Let the GREATNESS of ISP's dictating what we can access and how fast. Enjoy. Hope you guys got what you wanted.

    How long before the ISP's in America start turning the screws and cutting off access to all but their approved sites list? Sigh. Is there any incentives for ISP's to keep things open? Sure is a lot of incentive now to closed the doors and tighten the screws and start nickle and diming us to death.

  • Meh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lexman098 ( 1983842 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @03:03PM (#55597569)
    This honestly doesn't worry me too much. If the Trump admin can repeal the regulation so easily then the next democratic administration can re-institute it just as easily. The ISPs know this, so I doubt they'll invest too much in paid prioritization in the near future.
    • Re:Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @03:22PM (#55597717)

      What "next democratic administration"?

      Websites run by critics of the current administration will simply fail to load. From now on the Republican Party is the only party.

      • by RedK ( 112790 )

        What "next democratic administration"?

        Websites run by critics of the current administration will simply fail to load. From now on the Republican Party is the only party.

        The Government just *ELIMINATED* government oversight of the Internet. And you believe that to mean they have taken control of it ?

        The Mental Gymnastics are reaching beyond Olympic levels here.

        • What "next democratic administration"?

          Websites run by critics of the current administration will simply fail to load. From now on the Republican Party is the only party.

          The Government just *ELIMINATED* government oversight of the Internet. And you believe that to mean they have taken control of it ?

          The Mental Gymnastics are reaching beyond Olympic levels here.

          Where did he say anything about government taking control of it? The telecoms already have control of it - without oversight, they'll be free to privilege whatever content suits them. And given that one party thinks this is a good idea and the other doesn't, it should be pretty clear whose content will be privileged.

          • Thanks for explaining it. It seems some people are really dense. Any political party opposed to this will disappear from the Internet.
        • Would you rather government control, or corporate control? Because I don't see any 'no control' option.

    • by Kirgin ( 983046 )
      Canadian here, here is how I would make sure I was still in power. I would get the voting records of everyone I could, or use analytics to determine the political allegiance. Then I do this: Sorry Mr. Democrat, you will need to pay $$$ to find the location of voting stations in your area. Sorry Mr. Democrat, you will need to pay $$$ to turn off the turdstorm of republican propaganda hitting you every internet page you visit. You can try our "VOTETRUMP" exclusion package. Sorry Senator Turbostein you have
    • The ISPs know this, so I doubt they'll invest too much in paid prioritization in the near future.

      Broken logic. Once ISP's start implementing tiered internet and all the trimmings, it will be that much harder to reverse, and they'll fight tooth and nail to prevent reversal, especially after they do their deeds.

  • NN is only an issue because there is no competition. And there is no competition mostly because only the big ISPs are allowed to do last mile service. A small mom and pop ISP could offer last mile internet to a LIMITED number of people. Just as a mom and pop sandwich shop can offer less coverage than McDonalds.

    Fiber is cheap. The backbone providers are happy to connect ANYONE to the backbone that gets to them.

    So why can't we run fiber? Because the big ISPs have exclusive franchise licenses that preclude any

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Equality sounds nice unless you understand how Soviet and grim "equality" can get. I don't want equality. I want choices and excellence.

      The US education system has failed you and the rest of your compatriots. Choices and excellence do not spring up by magic in any type of market. Regulation is needed for that, we can debate to what extent but not the if. Without regulation all you get is freedom to get fucked in the ass by the corporations.

      • True Comrade, choices and excellence in Soviet Union were all the product of excellent regulation by the glorious Communist Party. /s

        My man, choices are what everyone was born with... Excellence is what happens when competition demands it.

        Regulation doesn't create excellence or choices. There are many situations where there is lots of regulation and neither excellence or choices.

        I'm not disparaging all regulation. These hyperbolic arguments out of you people. Its either total domination by the ISPs or you s

    • A small mom and pop ISP could offer last mile internet to a LIMITED number of people. Just as a mom and pop sandwich shop can offer less coverage than McDonalds.

      Well, do'h. A small company serves a smaller area than a national one. This is "news for nerds"?

      So why can't we run fiber? Because the big ISPs have exclusive franchise licenses that preclude anyone else from competing against them.

      Exclusive franchises have been against federal law for almost 20 years.

      • Sure and you can buy the imperial gardens in Japan for a trillion dollars too... and other things which written on paper but aren't true in fact.

        When it comes to franchise agreements they often require that you commit to roll out service in a larger area than you wanted to roll it out. Sometimes the entire city. That means you can't have a local ISP in a city unless you're willing to provide service to the ENTIRE city. This puts the venture beyond the capital reserves of anything but a multi billion dollar

        • and other things which written on paper but aren't true in fact.

          It's explicit federal law. Municipalities are prohibited, by federal legislation, from creating exclusive franchises. That was done so many years ago that any franchises today are non-exclusive.

          When it comes to franchise agreements they often require that you commit to roll out service in a larger area than you wanted to roll it out.

          It is a contract between the municipality and the company. If you want to negotiate a limited size, do so.

          That means you can't have a local ISP in a city unless you're willing to provide service to the ENTIRE city.

          You would have to provide service to the area that you contractually agreed to service. It's a two-party contract.

          This puts the venture beyond the capital reserves of anything but a multi billion dollar corporation.

          I'm sorry, but most cities don't require that kind of investment to be an ISP. Given that there is

  • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @03:28PM (#55597759)
    When the Citizens United decision was handed down by the Supreme Court, this was written by Justice Kennedy in the majority opinion:

    "With the advent of the Internet, prompt disclosure of expenditures can provide shareholders and citizens with the information needed to hold corporations and elected officials accountable for their positions and supporters."

    And now these same corporations have been given the freedom to control what you can see on the Internet.

    Oops!

    • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

      Yeah, hate to rain on Justice Kennedy's parade, but people are assholes. People with money and power are even bigger assholes. Had he a clue about fundamental human nature he would have easily seen how the ISPs were positioning themselves to subsequently screw everyone and own the country. Which party do you think the big ISPs are going to support? What political ads are they going to pepper their data streams with? What are they going to censor and block, or maybe just make it prohibitively expensive to ge

  • It could potentially be the return of the likes of AOL, Compuserve, Prodigy, etc.

  • https://supporters.eff.org/don... [eff.org]
    Political opinions aside, the EFF has been pretty solid in standing up for the People in opposition to corporate greed.

  • Everyone assumes that without neutrality regulations the big guys - chiefly Google and Amazon will get priority. But I would expect Comcast to put search out for bids. Whoever bid the most would be authorized to supply search services, and that might be Bing, or much worse. The loser wouldn't get private peering, and might even be subject to unfortunate drop outs. Google might think that Comcast wouldn't dare throttle their link, but Google would be mistaken. In these restricted choice situations the aut

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