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Government United States Democrats Network The Internet

Senate Bill to Block Net Neutrality Repeal Now Has 40 Co-Sponsors (thehill.com) 106

New submitter Rick Schumann writes: The senate bill to block the FCC repeal of Obama-era internet net neutrality rules now has 40 co-sponsors, up from the 30 co-sponsors it had yesterday. The bill, being driven by Senate minority Democrats, requires only a simple majority vote in order to be passed, although Washington insiders are currently predicting the bill will fail. "The bill would use authority under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block the FCC's repeal from going into effect," reports The Hill. "And with more than 30 senators on board, the legislation will be able to bypass the committee approval process and Democrats will be able to force a vote on the floor."
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Senate Bill to Block Net Neutrality Repeal Now Has 40 Co-Sponsors

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  • OK... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brett Buck ( 811747 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @08:32PM (#55897327)

    So, they are actually making a law about it, as they should have in the first place, rather than a proclamation from an unelected regulatory body? Seems like that is exactly what *should* happen.

    • Re:OK... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @08:37PM (#55897353)

      So, they are actually making a law about it,

      No, this is not a law about NN, it is a law ordering the FCC to continue an Obama policy, which was a proclamation from an unelected regulatory body. Kicking the can, so to speak, instead of doing what they should.

      • Re:OK... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by RedK ( 112790 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @08:47PM (#55897413)

        You know, instead of passing a law to order the FCC to enforce arbitrary policies set by a commission, they could use the opportunity to pass actual consumer protection type Net Neutrality rules.

        Leave it to Congress to not do anything right.

        • You know, instead of passing a law to order the FCC to enforce arbitrary policies set by a commission, they could use the opportunity to pass actual consumer protection type Net Neutrality rules.

          Leave it to Congress to not do anything right.

          To be fair, a law would be like texting your intentions to a partner in a sketchy relationship versus promising something verbally with neither witnesses nor readily available recording equipment.

          A reversible Presidential proclamation has the ambiguity necessary for those in power to get behind vigorously until the test proves out.

        • I think your response has one to many words "Leave it to Congress to not do anything right." Should be Leave it to Congress to not do anything.
      • The reason we have these regulatory bodies, collectively like a fourth branch of government, is that Congress always hyperfocuses on the most controversial parts of its agenda (implementing Obamacare, repealing Obamacare) first immediately upon taking office. It leaves the details of regulation to a committee of experts who aren't lobbyists, which works until someone comes into office who appoints lobbyists. If these agencies weren't there, Congress probably wouldn't pick up the slack.
      • So, they are actually making a law about it,

        No, this is not a law about NN, it is a law ordering the FCC to continue an Obama policy, which was a proclamation from an unelected regulatory body. Kicking the can, so to speak, instead of doing what they should.

        That could explain why it doesn't have the support we would think it would have; it's not really the right way to go about it.
        Politicians use this as a tactic against each other all the time in debates, bringing up opponent's voting records; "Senator foo voted against Bill xyz ..Clearly, he hates you!"... in reality, Senator foo maybe liked a a number of the provisions included and the general theme, but thought the bill was written half-assed and didn't go far enough or cover enough contingencies; or that

    • NOPE. They aren't making a law. They are voting to prevent new FCC rules from going into effect. The FCC can turn right around and resubmit the rules.
      • Actually no.. If they manage to get Congressional Review passed though both the house and Senate (unlikely to be sure) and Trump actually signs it (a snowballs chance of that) it reverses the FCC's decision. Further the FCC cannot re-issue the rule making and Net Neutrality would remain in force unless congress acted. Lucky it won't get out of the Senate... It would be a huge mess if this actually happened. The CR process is supposed to stop rules from being made, not deleted, and the unintended side effe
    • So, they are actually making a law about it, as they should have in the first place, rather than a proclamation from an unelected regulatory body? Seems like that is exactly what *should* happen.

      Nope, they are *trying* to use the Congressional Review process and reverse the FCC's rulemaking that reversed the NN rules made 2 years ago.. Complex sounding? Yea, but the simple truth is they will fail, likely in the Senate, but if they manage a majority there, in the House.. IF they get really lucky and manage to swing the House, then it will be vetoed by Trump... At that point, the Senate would have to override the veto... No chance we get a veto override...

      What they really are doing is trying to cr

      • Sometimes it's worth it to get a vote on record. By being able to force a floor vote, during a mid-term election year, they can force these Senators to either side with the 80% of the public that disagrees with the FCC, or side with the monopolistic corporate asshat ISPs that are jamming this down everyone's throats through lobbyists and schmoozing 5 unelected guys who apparently set the rules with their sole oversight being a Congressional rubber stamp session.

        Let them vote no, and then hammer them with i

        • Interests are in the eye of the beholder.... NN doesn't matter to the majority of voters as long as their Netflix works.

          I suppose the democrats can try to *make* it an issue by yammering on and on about unfairness, but that takes time and money, both of which are in short supply on the left. So if this is all they got, they are in serious trouble.

          Truly, the left needs to stop wasting time on the trivial like NN and come up with some bigger issues for their stump speeches and campaign ads. Times a wast'

        • Sometimes it's worth it to get a vote on record.

          Mostly if you are trying to create a symbolic issue that you can disparage your opposition over. Like "Senator Foo voted NO on NET NEUTRALITY! He wants you to pay more for Netflix and let the greedy ISPs charge you more! He's not on your side! I am."

          The truth is, this is not the way to go about it, and voting "no" doesn't mean you don't support NN anymore than it means you hate kittens.

          Let them vote no, and then hammer them with it relentlessly for the next 10 months,

          In other words, let's turn NN into a hotbutton political issue with lots of heat and very little light.

          but 4 out of 5 voters' interests

          Citation required.

          • You want a citation? here it is. [thehill.com]

            This is one of the biggest slam dunks in bipartisan issues going today. 83% overall support keeping the rules. 75% of Republicans polled support keeping it. 89% of Democrats polled want the rules to stay the same. 86% of Independents polled want the rules.

            Very rarely do issues come along where it is a slam dunk with voters.

      • Problem is, nobody but the left really cares as long as their Netfilx keeps streaming,

        Actually, Americans have spoken to the Pollsters and by 2/3, WANT NET NEUTRALITY!

        • LOL... Yea, but does it matter enough to get them to vote when "Hey look, my Netflix still works even with out NN... What in the (h e double hockey sticks) are they yammering on about?"

          I think you wildly over estimate the importance of the issue to voters or the ease with which the issue is defused by the "We don't need government regulation messing up the internet" argument.

          So, what polls tell you this? Can you give us a reference that includes the poll results, raw data and the method used?

          • It will matter more than you imagine once your favorite RW spew site is too slow to read.
            Or they'll have to sell out to the Koch Brothers or their ilk
            • LOL... Don't understand history eh? Think we need government protection form the evil corporations on the internet eh? That's just stupid talk.

              On the Koch brothers... Do you even know who the Koch brother are or where they live?

              Not that I've actually met them, but I've seen them in public, know people who work for them and even know precisely where they live (drove by it around Christmas time and saw their Christmas lights actually). I can tell you they are not Satan in the flesh or worthy of your scor

        • Actually, Americans have spoken to the Pollsters

          "Dewey beats Truman!"

          Push-polling is a wonderful perversion of the political process. If you don't know the specific questions, then you don't know what a poll means. I've had push-pollers call me and I've heard what kinds of leading questions they ask for myself.

          • Yeah, and Rasmussen is the master
            That said, 8 DIFFERENT polls said Americans agree "Screw you" to the Tax cuts for the very richest
            Oh, Dewey beats Truman was even closer than Trump Beats Hillary, which we all know didn't happen among the voters.
            But dirt apparently decides whose vote counts more.
      • Re:OK... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by spitzak ( 4019 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2018 @01:11AM (#55898511) Homepage

        nobody but the left really cares

        This is because some are being lied to, capitalizing on their inability to distinguish the word "neutrality" from "communist plot".

        When the right sees the internet turned into a giant Safe Space where nonconforming opinions are not allowed because they hurt business, and there is no more free porn, they might realize they were misled.

        • LOL... Keep trying to amp up the riot... Crying "Give us Barabbas" from the back of the crowd isn't going to work long term.

          First, I see no advantage for ISP's to filter content. That takes equipment and manpower to do. Both cost money and impact profit so there is no incentive to do it. They also didn't do this before NN was made a rule so why do you think they would suddenly decide it's a good idea now, two years later? What changed? Nothing I can see.

          Second, Net Neutrality didn't regulate conte

          • by spitzak ( 4019 )

            Holy fuck you people are stupid.

            Without NN there will be nothing *but* facebook! Don't you get it? Do you have a clue at all? The stupidity being presented here, and the endless confusion of NN with some kind of "fairness doctrine" is disgusting.

            You have to realize that within a few years the "slow lane" will have a speed of ZERO. Think about it and stop being an echo chamber.

            • Without NN there will be nothing *but* facebook!

              How so?

              I've been around for *most* if the internet's history and personally witnessed the rise and fall of all sorts of "They will take over the world!" things it spawned.

              I remember when Netscape was the only browser, when AOL was pretty much the world's ISP and Yahoo was the only search engine anybody ever knew. None of that is true today and it all happened without the help of Net Neutrality regulations mandated by some government agency. We developed HTTP, got annoyed by animated GIFS, then struggled

              • by spitzak ( 4019 )

                Endless repeating of the lie that there was "no NN before this" is not going to make it true. But this appears to be the lie that your overlords have chosen. Sad.

                • Endless assertions that it's not true, with no evidence doesn't make it false either... But that's all the cards you have left to play...

                  Are there no lessons to learn from history? Are we really that stupid to think it doesn't have anything to say here?

                  So you proceed to repeat your claims that the sky is going to fall and kill us all if we don't keep these rules around.... Lather up the crowd, rinse and repeat.

                  Look, if we actually end up having an identifiable issue and not these "it might happen" thing

              • Competition has worked on the internet thus far because the means of transmission have traditionally been landline phone cables. You mention AOL being pretty much the "world's ISP", but there were still local upstarts that would/could compete because ultimately you connected to AOL through a dialup service. These days the fiber has been laid and the cell towers have gone up and they're all owned by a few massive entities. Net neutrality comes from people's worry that these large companies (who actually comp
                • So, this is based on a hypothetical "Wow, this COULD happen you know!" set of events? That's not a good idea, given the thing being regulated has survived just fine for two decades.

                  How about we forego regulations until they are necessary to correct some thing that's actually happening instead of just going off half cocked throwing massive regulations to cover a load of hypotheticals that may or may not happen? That way we can write targeted regulations which have fewer unintended side effects, which are ea

                  • So why didn't you lead with that 3 posts ago instead of disagreeing based on falsehoods? It seems you're just against it regardless of what anyone says.

                    As to your latest rebuttal, I'm pretty sure "wait until it's a problem" isn't a good strategy. At that point a lot of damage could be done and it may be too late to fix with the glacial pace that the government moves.
                    • That ridiculous there libby... The FCC can easily make a regulation anytime it is necessary.

                      What prevents the FCC from passing Net Neutrality in it's current form in the future? Nothing, but folks like me objecting. So if you come up with a reason that justifies it and people like me don't object, it can be done. Your fears are unfounded and your objection is moot.

                      And I DID say "Let's wait for a problem, then regulate" multiple times in this thread in other branches.

    • by naubol ( 566278 )
      Your point is regulatory bodies shouldn't regulate?
      • Actually, my point is that lawmakers shouldn't ever in any circumstance be permitted to create regulatory bodies in the first place. Every single law should be voted on by Congress. It would then be *impossible* to have a spew of regulations emitted at the whim of the participants, but that the representatives would be personally responsible for the effects at the polls.

    • Regulatory bodies are the appropriate place for REGULATION.
      That is why Congress authorizes those bodies,yes?
    • by pots ( 5047349 )
      I think I'm going to repeat this every time someone apes this stupid talking point:

      It is a law. The short explanation is that congress has made a couple of laws which apply here, the most recent is the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In that law they set some standards how to classify different services and assigned the FCC to apply and enforce this law. Initially the FCC classified DSL as a telecommunications service and in 1999 applied the provision of the law which required line sharing of telecommuni
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This could have been First Post ! if only my ISP wasn't throttling Slashdot.

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @08:42PM (#55897383)

    ... literally the whole problem is the result of government created monopolies where in a few companies are allowed to run cable and no one else is...

    https://www.wired.com/2013/07/... [wired.com]

    A little competition and the entire argument becomes moot.

    • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @08:46PM (#55897405) Journal
      The problem with 'competition' in this case is this: who owns the cables on the poles? Lots of smaller ISPs have to lease lines from, say, AT&T for instance. There's nothing preventing AT&T, in this example, from either saying "nah, we don't want to lease them to you" or "okay, but we're going to charge you up the ying-yang for them". Even making everything wireless won't solve this problem, there's only so much bandwidth.
      • "... who owns the cables on the poles?"

        Cities and counties should own and lease dark fiber. The Internet is a necessary public utility, like water, electricity, natural gas, sewage, and trash pickup.
        • And tax their citizens 80% of their income to pay for it.

          • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2018 @12:52AM (#55898435)

            I get charged a pretty reasonable rate for my utilities. I see no reason why a fiber optic network should be significantly harder or more expensive to maintain than a bunch of water or sewer pipes, or electric lines.

            I see a reasonable case for eminent domain here. I think municipalities should be allowed to pay market price to the ISPs for the fiber they've laid and set up last mile connections in local communities if they want to do so.

        • In theory I agree with you and almost said that myself but it's better that someone else said it first.
          Internet has reached the point where you can't think of it as a 'boutique' or 'luxury' service, not when the government uses it to conduct business with the citizenry. Therefore private companies shouldn't be allowed to have a business model that treats it as such. If that continues it'll kill the Internet entirely.
      • The cables should belong to the ISPs the poles and conduits should be a public utility like roads.

        Any ISP no matter how small or humble should with reasonable limited regulation and fees be allowed to run their own cable from any point A to any other point B. Like roads. You pass some very basic regulation, you are licensed to travel on the road, you pay taxes and fees to pay for the maintenance of the road system, and then you do as you like on it.

        You want a Ma Bell Monopoly to run the cables... probably u

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Literally the whole problem is government created monopolies not being regulated as utilities strictly enough to prevent them from abusing their monopoly.

      Competition is not the answer in every case, and Adam Smith knew this and wrote about it hundreds of years ago, however, the problem with regulation is and has always been regulatory capture, such as installing your own lobbyist as head of the agency regulating you.

      • Sure, if you won't simply stop granting them monopoly power you must regulate them heavily.

        That is one path.

        Consider the other... break the monopolies by allowing competition. Then you don't need to heavily regulate them. If any ISP does something shitty, another ISP will eat their market share.

        Running cable and running an ISP is not expensive. If you look at what it costs to run out cable to a single neighborhood, it is comparable to starting a sandwich shop as far as what it costs. That isn't expensive ei

    • You nailed the real problem. Let's not forget that a number of telecoms also actively lobby for (and win) legislation against any form of community broadband, condemning vast areas of the country outside of urban centers to outrageously expensive wireless or dial-up.

    • by pots ( 5047349 )
      This argument is about competition. You are arguing for redundant infrastructure, but that isn't necessary to promote competition: there are line sharing rules baked into the Telecommunicaitons Act. Why haven't these line sharing rules been implemented? Because they only apply to telecommunications services, and ISPs were only (re)classified as telecommunications services in 2015. What is this argument about? The current FCC is trying to reclassify ISPs away from telecommunications services.
      • Sure it is, because who says the reigning ISP has to provide good infrastructure in teh first place. You're assuming that ATT or Verizon's cables are WORTH subletting in the first place.

        As to redundancy, we have redundant sandwich shops. We have redundant shoe factories. We have redundant search engines.

        Redundancy ALLOWS competition because you can switch from X to Y. If there is no redundancy then I can't because the alternative does not exist.

        So yes, I am arguing for redundancy because competition and red

  • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @08:43PM (#55897387) Journal
    If this passes a vote, then Net Neutrality lives to see another day.
    If it doesn't pass, then those who voted against it will have declared themselves on the issue.
    Either way it's time for them all to get off the fence.
    • If this passes a vote, then Net Neutrality lives to see another day.

      If it doesn't pass, then those who voted against it will have declared themselves on the issue.

      Either way it's time for them all to get off the fence.

      If this passes a vote in the Senate then Paul Ryan can simply ignore it and it will never come up for a vote in the house (and congressional GOP members won't be on record as voting against it).

      If Paul Ryan does schedule a vote, and it does pass congress, then Trump still has the option of vetoing it.

      In fact, if they were being really devious, the Senate could pass the bill unanimously and the House could never schedule a vote. So NN is still dead and no one is on record as opposing it.

      • by naubol ( 566278 )
        Dems have quite a good shot at taking back the house, but not so great a shot at taking back the senate. Having republicans vote for NN in a cynical vote, that could later be flip-flopped on when R is no longer the majority, does not help republicans and it especially wouldn't help Paul Ryan whose got to run for reelection if he refused to have a floor vote. Essentially, the republicans do not want a vote on this in the senate. Dems know it has little chance of reaching DJT's desk, and less of being sign
      • You are assuming the GOP want it to fail. I'm sure some of them do, their opinions are bought and paid for after all. However, the problem with the old NN ruling was...well..what we saw. Administration changed, and suddenly things like DACA and NN are out the window. Why? Because they weren't rule of law. How do we make these things rule of law if procedurally there's no pressure to do so?

        Do I think the GOP is crafty enough to force the issue in such a manner? No. Do I think they all are anti-NN? N

    • to veto it. As for Trump, this is mostly an issue that matters to east/west coasters. Middle America and the rust belt don't really care. Politically speaking that is, e.g. there's not enough people who will vote against Trump over this in those regions.

      California Repubs are gonna hurt a little, but they'll manage. Meanwhile Trump's message of economic populism will catapult him to another win unless the Dems follow suit, but with Trump nobody really expected him to do anything, so he can get away with
    • If you believe that net neutrality should be the law of the land then make it apply to wireless carriers as well as wired carriers. The former was exempt from the old version of NN.

    • then those who voted against it will have declared themselves on the issue.

      You say this in bold as if this makes any difference what so ever.

  • haven't signed on yet. Just sad.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @09:09PM (#55897509)

      They are:

      Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
      Tom Carper (D-Del.)
      Bob Casey (D-Pa.)
      Chris Coons (D-Del.)
      Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.)
      Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)
      Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.)
      Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.)
      Doug Jones (D-Ala.)
      Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)
      Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
      Bob Menendez (D-N.J.)
      Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
      Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
      Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)
      Tina Smith (D-Minn.)
      Jon Tester (D-Mont.)
      Tom Udall (D-N.M.)
      Mark Warner (D-Va.)

      No surprise for Patty Murray since she's always worked to prevent people in the Seattle area from having faster than dial-up access to the Internet.

  • FUCK AJIT PAI (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nick ( 109 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @09:39PM (#55897635) Journal
    Fuck Ajit Pai
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It only covered the bottom 3 MEDIA layers of the OSI model https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSI_model#Description_of_OSI_layers/ [wikipedia.org] but not content providers up in the FINAL TOP layer(s)!

    Thus, so they could censor or delete anything they don't like & promote their own BULLSHIT instead - yes, that includes /. or Google, YouTube + FakeBook!

    * Under OLD "net neutrality", content providers (like /., facebook, YouTube + google) are notorious for this to promote "their own agenda"!

    (Especially these latter 2 ala face

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