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Lawmakers Continue Fighting For Net Neutrality in the US Senate, Courts, and States (cnet.com) 57

Here's the latest developments in the ongoing fight over net neutrality rules:
  • CNET reports that Democrats in the Senate "have been pushing to use the Congressional Review Act to roll back the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules. They've gotten the support of 50 senators for the measure, including one Republican, Susan Collins of Maine. Sen. John Kennedy from Louisiana , who's been undecided in his support of the CRA bill, was being courted by Democrats as the tie-breaking vote to pass the measure in the Senate...

    "On Wednesday, Kennedy introduced a piece of legislation that would ban companies like AT&T and Comcast from slowing down or blocking access to websites or internet services. But the bill wouldn't prevent these broadband and wireless companies from offering paid prioritization, which many critics fear could lead to so-called internet 'fast lanes.'"
  • The Associated Press reports that on Monday, Washington became the first state to set up its own net-neutrality requirements. But they add that governors in five states -- Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Montana and Vermont -- "have signed executive orders related to net-neutrality issues, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Montana's order, for instance, bars telecommunications companies from receiving state contracts if they interfere with internet traffic or favor higher-paying sites or apps."

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Lawmakers Continue Fighting For Net Neutrality in the US Senate, Courts, and States

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  • by DeplorableCodeMonkey ( 4828467 ) on Saturday March 10, 2018 @04:53PM (#56240153)

    We need these legislators to just stop putting bullshit laws like this [arstechnica.com] into place. If Wilson, NC can build a viable fiber ISP wire up another tiny town, we don't need net neutrality. Wilson is not a rich town AFAIK. If they can do it, then so can most communities.

    By comparison, look at Facebook and YouTube. You'd have to be a window-licking moron to defend net neutrality at the ISP level and then claim "da magic free market's gonna take care of the big platform companies." To build a service that can compete with Google-subsidized YouTube (still losing like $2B/year!) is significantly more expensive. It would cost at least as much private cash as expanding FiOS to the entire Western half of North Carolina so that every nook and cranny of Appalachia has 500mbps.

    • We need both (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Saturday March 10, 2018 @05:04PM (#56240169)
      Muni broadband is still going to get stuck running over large parts of infrastructure owned by Comcast, AT&T and Cox.

      What we really need is a shift in American politics where nobody get elected unless they refuse all corporate and PAC money. Show up to your primaries and vote for candidates who refuse corp & PAC money. If you don't have one and you've got time run. Politicians can't (or won't) serve two Masters.
      • Same with union money, right? No more of that either?

        https://www.huffingtonpost.com... [huffingtonpost.com]

        • by dryeo ( 100693 )

          That's how it is in Canada. Only flesh and blood humans allowed to donate and those donations limited to about $1100 (it's tied to inflation).

          • by Maritz ( 1829006 )

            That's how it is in Canada. Only flesh and blood humans allowed to donate and those donations limited to about $1100 (it's tied to inflation).

            Far too late for the US. The foxes run the hen house and you'll not see any changes to how this bribery works now.

    • We need these legislators

      Actually we don't need them, since they are the problem and the reason that no sensible progress on this issue will be made. They've taken something that shouldn't be political, and polarized it into extremes that cannot be resolved. In fact, the politicians are not really interested in what is better for the people . . . they are only interested in how they cause use the issue in their political strategic game.

      The Republicans are against Net Neutrality, because the Democrats are for it. The Democrats a

      • Partisan politics is definitely a major issue, I agree. And after enough people have forgotten about which side fought for what, it sometimes comes up again but the opposite way, and the parties ignore that they flip flopped, and just still support their side.

      • by dryeo ( 100693 )

        It's always political. If allowed, ISP's can easily swing an election. Make the other parties web sites unreachable, make certain neighbourhoods unable to reach the registration website are 2 simple means. Works best with a minimal number of ISP's and if those ISP's goals are in sync, and they usually are as they all want to maximize profits while doing the least work possible.

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      Get rid of your monopolies, and then you actually, really don't need NN. We don't need it in Europe because we have a choice of broadband providers. But hey, enjoying paying twice for netflix because you have a corrupt FCC. lol.
  • to have something to distract attention from all the people screaming for gun control.

      All that sweet, sweet NRA lobby money has nothing to do with it.

    • All those voters might matter more.. NRA has lots of members but a lot less money than any cableco (or FB or GOOG or.....). And unlike the noisy shouters, the members DO vote.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Brett Buck ( 811747 )

      Not that many people are "screaming for gun control". Lot of people who are "able to get on TV with histrionic appeals" are "screaming for gun control" and the politically-driven media lap it up.

      You can get all the gun control you want - you just have to alter the constitution. There's perfectly well-described process for that, but you know for certain that it will fail, so you are trying to do it with an administrative end run, like so many other illegal things you want done.

      • You can get all the gun control you want - you just have to alter the constitution. There's perfectly well-described process for that, but you know for certain that it will fail, so you are trying to do it with an administrative end run, like so many other illegal things you want done.

        It makes me wonder about what their actual agenda might be.

        By creating methods of 'end-running' the 2nd Amendment, they've also created methods for 'end-running' all the rest. You cannot weaken one Amendment without also weakening all the rest. I refuse to believe that the overwhelming majority of those attempting to create an 'end-run' around the 2ndA do not understand this. If they valued the other amendments, would they not refrain from attempting to weaken just the one amendment knowing it will weaken

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Not that many people are "screaming for gun control". Lot of people who are "able to get on TV with histrionic appeals" are "screaming for gun control" and the politically-driven media lap it up.

        The majority actually:

        Overall, 52% of Americans say gun laws should be stricter than they are today, while nearly as many say they are about right (30%) or should be less strict than they are today (18%). [...] Substantial majorities also favor creating a federal government database to track all gun sales (71%), banning assault-style weapons (68%), and banning high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition (65%).

        * http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2017/06/22/views-on-gun-policy/

        You can get all the gun control you want - you just have to alter the constitution. There's perfectly well-described process for that, but you know for certain that it will fail, so you are trying to do it with an administrative end run, like so many other illegal things you want done.

        The idea that the Second Amendment gives people an individual right is actually a (relatively) recent idea, only first showing up in the literature in 1960:

        * http://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3286&context=cklawreview (PDF)
        * https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/12/16418524/us-gun-policy-nra

        For the 150+ years before that, it was considered a "group right" for people who belonged t

    • by JBMcB ( 73720 )

      All that sweet, sweet NRA lobby money has nothing to do with it.

      Ever notice how nobody actually says how much money the NRA spends on campaigns? That's because, in relative terms, it's almost nothing.

      https://www.opensecrets.org/or... [opensecrets.org]

      Median payout to individual campaigns? $1,000. Average cost of a congressional campaign? $10,000,000.

      Whoo boy, with the NRA funding a whopping 0.1% of your campaign, you had better toe the line!

      • by dryeo ( 100693 )

        They can get the vote out. Say some politician is going to take their guns and out come the members. Say some politician is going to allow the wrong people to be armed, out come the members.
        Many elections are decided on who gets their voters out and guns seem to do it.

  • OK state efforts may be useful, but Congress and the courts? Forget about it.

    At the federal level, just plain stupid.

    What happens if Congress or the courts overturn the FCC? Let's say Comcast violates net neutrality. What happens then? How do you handle it. Answer: file a complaint with the FCC. Which then sits on it.

    The way to federal enforce net neutrality is create an agreeable FCC. The chances of that are gone for the foreseeable future. They were gone when the ISPs pushed the idea that net neu

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Funny how "states rights" are compartmentalized: abortion and medicaid in one compartment, net neutrality in another.

  • I stopped commenting on Canadian web sites long ago as no matter how innocuous said comments were, they were ALWAYS deleted, censored, etc.

    That's pretty much the case throughout North America today. Recently, on a local NPR/fake news show, Week in Review (Seattle, WA, USA), the douchey interviewer asked a "reporter" from The Stranger (whose readership plummeted after it began an extraordinary campaign of censoring its commenters and barring and banning many outright) about "free speech" ????

    Somehow
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Oh please. What is happening now on reddit and Facebook with armies of Russian trolls proves we need more government control of the Internet.

      And as to The Stranger, it has been severely harmed by all of the conservatives here in Seattle. They hate it because it tells the truth. It even won a Pulitzer Prize, and in the past has published addresses of people with Republican political signs in their yards. They fight the good fight.

  • OK, so governors sign orders barring interference in network traffic. So what happens if the carriers call their bluff and do it anyway?

    • by Memnos ( 937795 )

      It would perhaps depend on the state barred interference and how many of them did so. California, for example, is about a $2.7 trillion GDP state with about $120 billion in revenue that the government spends on stuff each year. Part of that is their cable bill, so to speak, and it's a big number. California, and any other state, can say "we'll spend our money with the companies that interfere less according to our laws, and not use the ones who interfere more." Again, it can be a big chunk of change, and it

    • Well that's not a mystery, as it clearly says the government would not do any business with them. Cut off their cash cow of taxpayer money.

  • True net neutrality means not being able to censor web content - it would be illegal to restrict the transmission of "bad/fake information".

    And, attempting to stop a denial of service attack would require "non-neutral" traffic management.

    • by dryeo ( 100693 )

      Usually there are exceptions for illegal traffic, much like the highways being neutral doesn't mean you can block the highway and that there are rules about vehicles needing to meet basic requirements.
      The lack of net neutrality is more like the highway being owned by Amazon and blocking all competitors from even using it or forcing them all into one lane out of the six while Amazon gets 3 lanes to itself.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Or they would be working to making neutrality an ACTUAL LAW.

    THEY DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT NET NEUTRALITY.
    What they want is being able to put the fcc 'standards and practices' (censorship) to the internet.

    Thats why they keep going the fcc route instead of making neutrality an actual law. They don't give a shit about that....

    But lord being able to say 'that website is a hate crime!' and have it shut down.
    Thats a democrats wet dream to combat all those evil nazi frogs...

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