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Senate Votes To Save Net Neutrality (gizmodo.com) 288

In a monumental decision that will resonate through election season, the U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted to reinstate the net neutrality protections the Federal Communications Commission decided to repeal late last year. From a report: For months, procedural red tape has delayed the full implementation of the FCC's decision to drop Title II protections that prevent internet service providers from blocking or throttling online content. Last week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai confirmed that the repeal of the 2015 Open Internet Order would go into effect on June 11. But Democrats put forth a resolution to use its power under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to review new regulations by federal agencies through an expedited legislative process. All 49 Democrats in the Senate supported the effort to undo the FCC's vote. Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska crossed party lines to support the measure. Further reading: ArsTechnica.

Senate Votes To Save Net Neutrality

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  • by Tulsa_Time ( 2430696 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @03:56PM (#56622462)

    The FCC was never authorized.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @04:11PM (#56622586)

      The FCC was never authorized.

      Of course they were and the court agree. [uscourts.gov]

    • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @04:17PM (#56622632)

      How do you figure? The FCC's congressional charter and subsequent amendments specifically authorize them to classify services under Title I and Title II and then regulate them accordingly, and the courts specifically upheld the FCC's authority to either enforce (or not enforce) Net Neutrality via Title II regulation. While I stridently disagree with what the FCC has done under Pai with regards to Net Neutrality, it's still well within their authority (though perhaps contrary to their purpose and mandate) to have done it, just as Wheeler's FCC was well within its authority to have classified the ISPs in a different manner.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tulsa_Time ( 2430696 )

        The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

        Let a few states pass laws that say they will not do business with ISPs that are not Neutral and problem solved...

        10th Amendment - Underrated and under appreciated.

        • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @08:32PM (#56623884) Journal

          Let a few states pass laws that say they will not do business with ISPs that are not Neutral and problem solved...

          In other words, you're expecting California to save your asses. Again.

        • by pots ( 5047349 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @10:30PM (#56624454)
          The FCC very obviously falls under the interstate commerce clause. Are you seriously trying to claim that a simplistic reading of the constitution is enough to invalidate their authority? An argument that eighty years of extremely litigious broadcasters and telcos and ISPs have never been able to sell in a courtroom, with judges who actually know something about constitutional law?

          Where does this constitution-thumping bullshit come from anyway? This stuff is complicated, and thoroughly examined. Is some laymen really going to come along and say, "Hey, I read the constitution once. Did you know that everything I don't like is illegal?"
          • Years of a media diet where the underdog saves the day produces them. It is a fundamental human glitch related to our desire to be special. Our "fresh and unique" perspective sees what others, blinded by their own mundanity, cannot. Part of growing up, that many never do, is accepting that we aren't that special. Before the Pollyannas jump on me, yes, we are special to the people who care about us and those connections are why "we are here," but that doesn't grant us special insight into fields that experts

        • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @12:49AM (#56624944)
          it's not even a stretch to put it under the commerce clause. How do you think Title II got created in the first place. Commerce Clause was created for _precisely_ these situtaions (e.g. having a level playing field among states for things that impact the business between states).

          Also, if you'll allow me to go off the rails a bit and vent: I'm getting a tad tired of folks hoping NY and CA will pull their fat out of the fire everytime the red states do something boneheaded (and yes, killing NN happened by a Republican and the vote that kills it in the House in a week or two will be along party lines, so let's stop kidding ourselves about which party is killing NN). I swear, I wish we'd have just let the bloody South go.
          • I swear, I wish we'd have just let the bloody South go.

            Unfortunately, those really bright boys down in the great state of South Carolina had to go and fuck up a so-far-so-good secession by opening fire on a fucking federal fort and prompting the greatest ass kicking in American history.
            You're right though. Shoulda swallowed the ol' pride and let em keep the fort.

    • The FCC literally exists to exert such authority.

  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @03:58PM (#56622474)

    From the article:

    Still, todayâ(TM)s vote means the proposal will have to go the House where Democrats will need to convince 25 Republicans to support net neutrality in order for the measure to passâ"and they have until January of next year to do it.

    So, as of right now, this is largely a gesture but still a good first step.

    • by barc0001 ( 173002 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @04:00PM (#56622492)

      Yes, but all the House seats are up for re-election in November. It could very well be by January they no longer need any Republican support if the Dems take the House.

      • True, but by then the window to invoke the Congressional Review Act will be closed.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GregMmm ( 5115215 )

        Not true. Everyone could vote for it in the House, and then it will go to the president...

        Veto. Dead and done.

        One the other hand, how about those same people in the Senate and the House stop wasting time with this stupid gesture and make a law. Eh that would take real work... Lets just play the politics game.

        • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @04:07PM (#56622558)

          This isn't a law, it's an Act of Congress (enabled by an existing law). The President has as much legal right to veto it as you or I do.

          • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @04:36PM (#56622752)

            "Act of congress" or not, Acts under the Congressional review act have been made invalid by a presidential veto 12 times --- every time it was Obama.

            There's no real provision in the constitution for an act of congress that can't be veto'd, aside from setting house rules, impeachment proceedings, or constitutional amendments.

          • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @07:01PM (#56623438)

            This isn't a law, it's an Act of Congress (enabled by an existing law). The President has as much legal right to veto it as you or I do.

            Aside from the parenthetical statement, pretty much everything you said is factually incorrect.

            TL;DR: Yes, it is a law; no, it is not an Act of Congress; no, being an Act of Congress isn't to the exclusion of being a law; and yes, the President can veto it.

            Getting into the specifics...
            1) The House hasn't voted on it yet, so it's not a law yet if we want to get technical, but it will be if it successfully goes through the rest of the political process, the same as any other law that began in Congress. As such, it's fair to colloquially refer to it as a "law" (e.g. "The Senate passed a law"), just as you might with a bill or whatnot (more on the "whatnot" in a minute), even though those aren't technically laws yet either.

            2) By that same token, it's not an Act of Congress [wikipedia.org] yet either, since it needs to pass both chambers of Congress to be an Act of Congress.

            3) Of note, laws are Acts of Congress, so saying, "This isn't a law, it's an Act of Congress" makes about as much sense as saying that an orange isn't an orange because it's a fruit. The one isn't to the exclusion of the other.

            4) What passed today was technically an accelerated joint resolution [wikipedia.org] per the Congressional Review Act [wikipedia.org] (the "existing law" you referred to). Joint resolutions are basically just bills by another name, so far as you and I are concerned. Both are used to pass laws using virtually identical procedures. They get used in different situations, but otherwise the only everyday difference is that bills create laws known as Acts (e.g. Congressional Review Act), whereas joint resolutions create laws known as Resolutions (e.g. Iraq Resolution [wikipedia.org]). Again, both of them create laws.

            5) As with bills, the President absolutely can veto this, since joint resolutions cross his desk the same as bills do after they pass both chambers of Congress with a simple majority (with one notable exception: a joint resolution to amend the US Constitution does not cross the President's desk). Should he veto it, Congress can override him with a 2/3 supermajority of both chambers, again, the same as with bills.

        • by suutar ( 1860506 )

          if they made a law, that would be subject to veto.

        • Fine. If it comes to that, then it's one more nail in Trump's political coffin, proving yet again that he doesn't give a rats' ass about common everyday citizens, is in the pocket of corporations (and who knows who else), and needs to go.
        • Everyone could vote for it in the House, and then it will go to the president. Veto. Dead and done.

          I'd love to see Drumpf veto it. Last nail in his coffin, dead indeed.

        • Not true. Everyone could vote for it in the House, and then it will go to the president...

          Veto. Dead and done.

          I think Trump is closer to gone than many people are willing to admit. When Mueller gets around to indicting Princess Ivanka, Trump will fold faster than a cheap suit.

          • I hope you're right. I think Trump has the uhhh... let's just call it "what it takes"... to cause a full-blown constitutional crisis and refuse to acknowledge the authority of anyone who tries to remove him. It's not like there's a fucking enforcement mechanism outside of coup.
      • Don't count your chickens until they hatch.
        In politics there can be any little spark that can change the polling.
        There are a good number of people who will always vote for their Party no mater what they do, Many of the state are gerrymandered in a way to keep people who trend toward a different political party separated enough to prevent a majority vote, or concentrate them so they get only one seat.
        The economy is still strong.
        If the democrats just run on an Anti-Trump speaking points, they may not spark en

      • The cynic in me assumes that'll be just long enough for them to stop caring about it.

        You ever see those videos of dogs barking at each other behind gates. Only to stop the moment that the gate opens?

      • in Red States? This was almost completely along party lines. So unless a lot of Republican seats flip (and those seats don't give filled with "Blue Dog" Corporate Dems who sell us out for campaign cash) we're right back where we started. The question is will the Bernie wing of the Democratic party get anywhere this election. Yeah, the Corportists supported NN in the Senate, but they did that knowing full well it would get shot down in the House. Will they keep doing that when there's a chance of it actually
    • bah, you left out the good part that came right after that!

      The viper pit of morons in that chamber will likely get distracted by Diamond and Silk or some shit before they ever get close to a positive vote.

    • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @04:30PM (#56622714) Homepage Journal
      It's worse than that, due to the Hastert rule the bill will never even be allowed a vote unless a majority of Republicans support it. So it's essentially dead in the water.
  • by Mark4ST ( 249650 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @03:59PM (#56622488) Homepage
    Thank goodness! Now I can get back to using the internet for what it was invented for: pornography.
  • by nwaack ( 3482871 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @04:02PM (#56622506)
    This should not have been a vote across party lines! This vote, and others like it, just prove that congress-critters couldn't give a flying f#ck about the people they're mean to represent.
    • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @04:09PM (#56622574)

      This vote, and others like it, just prove that congress-critters couldn't give a flying f#ck about the people they're mean to represent.

      Actually, it proves that 52 of them do

      • Actually, it proves that 52 of them do

        Actually it proves 3 do. Some of the 49 democrats may do, but then they could just be voting along party lines. Actually caring about people involves more than deciding which colour of tie you are wearing.

    • This should not have been a vote across party lines! This vote, and others like it, just prove that congress-critters couldn't give a flying f#ck about the people they're mean to represent.

      If Net Neutrality is a measure of how much Congress cares about its constituents, then perhaps Congress should have actually passed a Net Neutrality bill, rather than leaving it up to the whims of the current administration.

      • by suutar ( 1860506 )

        a bill... which can be vetoed by the current administration?

        • by Pete Smoot ( 4289807 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @05:45PM (#56623138)

          Sure. That's why they should have tried to pass a bill under the previous President. Oh wait, that would have been DOA in Congress too.

          This, and things like the Iran Nuke deal, underscore how shaky it is to bypass Congress and administer "with a pen and a phone". Anything done unilaterally by one administration can just as quickly be undone by the next, as we're now seeing. If a President wants to accomplish something lasting, he or she needs to get Congress to go along with it and pass some legislation. Otherwise, your legacy is built on a foundation of sand.

          Yay Founding Fathers for making it harder to implement controversial policies without getting broad support. That's not sarcasm, this is why we have separate branches.

          In this case, I'm happy with current outcome. The Net Neutrality regulations were a bad solution to a non-problem. I'm sure there are other cases where I'll be less glad policy is flip-flopping every four to eight years.

          • by synaptik ( 125 ) *

            The Net Neutrality regulations were a bad solution to a non-problem.

            Cable internet companies throttling people's Netflix streams because they want those people to get frustrated w/ Netflix and switch to their cable TV packages, is a non-problem?

            • Cable internet companies throttling people's Netflix streams because they want those people to get frustrated w/ Netflix and switch to their cable TV packages, is a non-problem?

              Correct because this has never happened, or at least not to any significant extent.

              If you think that's a problem needing regulation, we also need to regulate attacks by hippogriffs.

    • but I don't think the Republican party is redeemable. The Democrats at least have the Bernie wing and Liz Warren. I can't name one person on the Republican side that seems to have American interests at heart unless you count some of the warhawks push for US Hegemony at all costs (John Bolton I'm looking at you). The Republicans have gone too far down the rabbit hole of accepting corporate cash.

      I think the defining moment for me was when those Parkland shooting victims called Mark Rubio out on the NRA do
    • Well... no. The party lines are pretty obvious here. The Republicans like big business, and business in general. They don't like regulation and have that laisee-fare "let the market decide" attitude. Democrats also like big business, and business in general, but they like to have the government regulate them into playing nice and fair.

      And let me be REAL CLEAR about this: Prior to the FCC's ruling about common carriers, the Internet WAS AND IS (mostly) network neutral. There are some exceptions, but the

    • What this does, successful or not, is show everyone in the country who gives a damn about the Internet and who doesn't, and more to the point, who gives a damn if the Internet is fair, free, and open for every citizen, or if it's just going to continue to be leveraged, monetized, and milked by corporations. Congresscritters will have to declare which side of the line they're on, no escaping it.
    • by dog77 ( 1005249 )
      Or maybe Republicans (wrongly or rightly) are just convinced that net neutrality equals more government regulation.
  • As was discussed here a few weeks ago this bill does not reinstate Net Neutrality, that's just the name they gave it for publicity purposes. Stop being played for fools by these people.

    • Here's the summary: https://www.congress.gov/bill/... [congress.gov]

      Summary: S.J.Res.52 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

      This joint resolution nullifies the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission entitled "Restoring Internet Freedom." The rule published on February 22, 2018: (1) restores the classification of broadband Internet access service as a lightly-regulated "information service"; (2) reinstates private mobile service classification of mobile broadband Internet access service; (3) requires Intern

    • this bill does not reinstate Net Neutrality

      What else would you call it?

      The FCC's classification of ISPs under title ii of the Communications Act of 1934 means that they can get fined for fucking with the pipes. It was a fantastic and perfect way to force the major telecoms into maintaining network neutrality. It fullfilled the FCC's goal of promoting unfettered communication and trade. And it didn't let clueless congressmen pass along legislation written by the very companies they're trying to regulate.

      This most CERTAINLY reinstates the FCC's threa

  • This is just a minor bump, if that. The Republican party is determined to overthrow any and all measures that might actually people vs corporations. Its quite ridiculous that things have come to this. But the people are to blame, we are the ones who elected Trump, and polls show that if the elections were held today, he'd win again. After all the lies and hypocrisy. America is stupid.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah. Those mean old Republicans are spoiling everybody's fun. Taking away our Net Neutrality and beating up on those poor, defenseless Democrats. This meaningless gesture will show them! The Democrats won't take this kind of act laying down!

      Oh wait. They will take it laying down, because that's the part they play in this little charade. They are The Party Not Currently In Power (tm) and so they must shake their fists at The Party Currently In Power (tm) and tell the Unwashed Masses (tm) (that's you and me,

    • Yeah, we'll forget the fact that the Dems, specifically the DNC and Wasserman-Shit, did everything in their power to ensure their candidate would be the only person Trump could beat in an election.

      fuckwits. Brainless fuckwits.
  • by jbmartin6 ( 1232050 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @04:28PM (#56622696)
    Three Republican senators voted in favor: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
    • To be clear too - every single republican except those 3 voted against, every single Democrat voted for.

      For those who spout "both parties are the same!" ;).

  • by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @05:35PM (#56623088)

    WTF happened to good government in the USA? Sense of decency in 96% of republicans?

    • WTF happened to good government in the USA?

      A few things come to mind, in reverse chronological order. Most recent, the Obama administration passing the ACA without any Republican support using a legal but marginally ethical procedure. IMHO, that burned any remaining bridges between the two parties and they haven't cooperated ever since.

      Before that, the chaos after the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. The invasions pretty broad support at the start but the blood bath afterwards (and the slow reveal that the invasions were based on false pretens

      • the Obama administration passing the ACA without any Republican support using a legal but marginally ethical procedure. IMHO, that burned any remaining bridges between the two parties and they haven't cooperated ever since.

        The republicans were completely uncooperative, and arguably completely dysfunctional long before that.

  • So what are the Democrats going to do if they fail to preserve net neutrality and then the internet apocalypse which they forecast fails to materialize?

  • Suck it Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and Charter! This is what happens when democracy works. It's rare but it works.
  • Alabama: Richard Shelby
    Alaska: Dan Sullivan
    Arizona: Jeff Flake
    Arkansas: John Boozman
    Arkansas: Tom Cotton
    Colorado: Cory Gardner
    Florida: Marco Rubio
    Georgia: David Perdue
    Georgia: Johnny Isakson
    Idaho: James E. Risch
    Idaho: Mike Crapo
    Indiana: Todd Young
    Iowa: Chuck Grassley
    Iowa: Joni Ernst
    Kansas: Jerry Moran
    Kansas: Pat Roberts
    Kentucky: Mitch McConnell
    Kentucky: Rand Paul
    Louisiana: Bill Cassidy
    Mississippi: Cindy Hyde-Smith
    Mississippi: Roger Wicker
    Missouri: Roy Blunt
    Montana: Steve Daines
    Nebraska: Ben Sasse
    Nebraska: D

  • your monopoly ISP and its paper insulated wireline.
    Welcome back to federal rules and a telco monopoly.
  • In the early days of telephones, you had to turn a crank and tell the operator which line you wanted to connect to. An undertaker by the name of Almon Brown Strowger was an undertaker who noticed that one of the operators was married to one of his competitors. That operator was connecting people who wanted to talk to Strowger to her husband. Strowger was thus motivated to create his Step-by-Step automatic switching equipment and the rotary dial. What Strowger's competitor's wife did is no different than

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