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Al Franken Says FCC Proposed Rules Are "The Opposite of Net Neutrality" 282

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-keep-using-that-word-I-do-not-think-it-means-what-you-think-it-means dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Senator Al Franken can be counted among the many who are at odds with the FCC's proposed net neutrality rules. From the article: 'Senator Al Franken has a pretty good idea of what the term "net neutrality" means—and that, he says, puts him head-and-shoulders above many of his colleagues in the U.S. Congress. "We literally have members of Congress—I've heard members of the House—say, 'We've had all this innovation on the Internet without net neutrality. Why do we need it now?'" he told TIME in an interview last week. "I want to say, 'Come on, just try to understand the idea. Or at least just don't give a speech if you don't know what you're saying. Please—it hurts my head."'"
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Al Franken Says FCC Proposed Rules Are "The Opposite of Net Neutrality"

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  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @07:23PM (#46975763)
    When Al Franken sounds the most rational, things have gotten WAY out of hand...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2014 @07:35PM (#46975827)

      If all our senators at least gave as much thought to issues as he does, we'd be in a much, much better place.

      • by cold fjord (826450) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:10PM (#46976165)

        If all our senators at least gave as much thought to issues as he does, we'd be in a much, much better place.

        Al Franken thinks that the "place" for America is under NSA surveillance. Is that the place you were thinking of?

        Franken defends NSA surveillance [thehill.com]

        Al Franken is often wrong and not especially thoughtful or informed on the issues. He is a pretty reliable "progressive" vote and hence the confusion.

    • How else are people going to listen to his remote satellite uplink?

  • Secret! (Score:5, Funny)

    by WalksOnDirt (704461) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @07:24PM (#46975765)

    Way to go, Al. The stupidity of your colleagues was supposed to be a secret!

    • And it still is! The whole US population, Europe, and the rest of the intertubes are keeping it a secret from this man:

      Mr. Alphonse Di Rossi
      1352 8th Avenue South #510B
      Sarasota FL 34231

      As long as he doesn't find out it is still a secret.

      Mums the word. ;)

  • Good for Al Franken (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thermopile (571680) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @07:24PM (#46975769) Homepage
    From Stuart Smalley [jt.org] to drawing all 50 states from memory on a blank sheet of paper [youtube.com], Al Franken continues to earn my respect. Would that more politicians were as astute as he is.

    Good for him.

  • Congress (Score:2, Insightful)

    Those congresspeople are well paid (lobbied) to hold those confusing, illogical views and spout whatever uneducated claims they can to defend them.
  • Al Franken (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rick Zeman (15628) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @07:36PM (#46975829)

    ...is the only person in the Senate who seems to have not been bought and sold by lobbyists.

    • by alen (225700)

      really?

      check out open secrets. he's been bought by lawyers and hollywood

    • by s.petry (762400)
      Depends on the topic. For the most part Al is just one of the few good ones, but on occasion I scratch my head. He voted [votesmart.org] on some extension to the Patriot act, but then later voted against them.
    • Re:Al Franken (Score:5, Informative)

      by cold fjord (826450) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:45PM (#46976307)

      ...is the only person in the Senate who seems to have not been bought and sold by lobbyists.

      But he is a strong defender of the NSA [thehill.com]. Are we still here to praise him? Or can we criticize him without being mod bombed?

      • Re:Al Franken (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2014 @11:23PM (#46976717)

        ...is the only person in the Senate who seems to have not been bought and sold by lobbyists.

        But he is a strong defender of the NSA [thehill.com]. Are we still here to praise him? Or can we criticize him without being mod bombed?

        That's not all he did. He is also a big defender of the NSA [thehill.com]. Still a fan of Franken?

        You keep posting that link with an irrational seeming fervor, and it doesn't seem like that's something Franken would do so I checked it out. Have you even read it?


        "Sen. Franken voted against reauthorizing the FISA Act because of the lack of transparency after he cosponsored and voted for three separate amendments that would have improved the bill on transparency and privacy," Franken press aide Alexandra Fetissoff said.

        In the interview on Tuesday, Franken says he does think the government programs should be more open, even if there was a reason for some government secrets.

        “I don't believe that the American people should have to take the government's word for it," Franken said. "I think there should be enough transparency so that the American people understand what's happening.”

        It seems like he's saying not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. He's hardly defending the NSA vacuum everything position.

        • ... it doesn't seem like that's something Franken would do so I checked it out. Have you even read it?

          You seem to have skipped some things there. (Was it an "accident"?) Lets add a bit more, shall we?

          Franken defends NSA surveillance [thehill.com]

          The Minnesota lawmaker told the St. Paul CBS affiliate that he "was very well aware of" the classified government programs that gathered personal data on telephone and Internet users.

          “I have a high level of confidence that this is used to protect us and I know that it has been successful in preventing terrorism,” Franken said, adding that "this is not about spying on the American people."

          Franken also defended the program as striking the right balance between national security and the right to privacy, echoing recent assurances from the White House.

          “There are certain things that are appropriate for me to know that is not appropriate for the bad guys to know,” Franken said.

          The senator also said it was appropriate for the Justice Department to investigate Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old defense contractor who has claimed responsibility for the leak.

          It seems you may not really understand Franken's position as well as you think. Or do you actually understand it, and want to confuse people so they don't realize what Franken has actually been up to?

    • Re:Al Franken (Score:5, Informative)

      by fustakrakich (1673220) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:52PM (#46976327) Journal

      He is owned by Time Warner, among others [opensecrets.org] and is probably why we see him defending things like SOPA. And in regards to our privacy, he's busy defending the NSA. I am certain that the industries that support him expect a return on their investments.

    • by Aighearach (97333)

      Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)
      Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

  • by redelm (54142) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @07:37PM (#46975841) Homepage

    If I happen to think Al Franken is a moron on the basis of past actions, does that mean I have to agree with the FCC? Ouch! Easier to re-examine Franken!

    • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:30PM (#46976049) Homepage Journal

      If I happen to think Al Franken is a moron on the basis of past actions, does that mean I have to agree with the FCC? Ouch! Easier to re-examine Franken!

      Or... you could just realize that it's possible for someone to agree with you on some topics and disagree with you on others. And it's even possible for someone who is not a moron to disagree with you. Personally, I disagree with Al Franken in far more areas than I agree with him, but I'm in complete agreement on this one.

      • by Nemyst (1383049) on Monday May 12, 2014 @12:17AM (#46976939) Homepage
        This is how politics is supposed to work, too, but partisan politics have corrupted this. You should be able to associate with the politicians that are doing what YOU want on a case by case basis. Senator X is pushing for a healthcare reform you like, you support him. Senator Y is pushing for net neutrality, support him. And so on. The parties shouldn't matter as much as they do, they should just act as approximate indicators of tendencies (so a right wing party wouldn't be expected to enact many left wing policies, for instance). Right now, though, instead of being able to cherry pick the politicians on each case you have a stance on, you need to take not just the politician, but their entire party whole and suck it up. Such a system cannot possibly represent you faithfully.
    • Hell I hate the guy and I don't think he's a moron. I mean you have to be pretty smart to come up with some of the stuff he does where everything he says is correct yet the overall picture is paints is just false.(Go ahead, read his section in "The Truth" on Eric Shinseki but first read up what actually happened on factcheck.org. He doesn't write anything that isn't true but you can see how he gets people to jump to the wrong answer, it's masterful dishonesty.) I've even started calling what he does as "Tel
  • What the FCC is doing is the opposite of what people on the internet thought Net Neutrality is.

    But anyone who knew better was warning you what the FCC is doing now is what Net Neutrality being implemented actually was or would be.

    Yes, this is a told you so. And I will keep telling you all so until you realize asking the government to help you with something is like asking the man in the old windowless van to watch your kids for an hour while you go get a tan.

    • by suutar (1860506) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @07:47PM (#46975891)

      I agree this is not much of a surprise. I gotta ask, though. If not the government, exactly who has enough power to get the telecom industry to actually behave?

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        I gotta ask, though. If not the government, exactly who has enough power to get the telecom industry to actually behave?

        The FCC is nakedly captured by telecom industry interests.
        That leaves the SEC, the IRS, or the FBI.

      • If the content providers and telcos have approximately equal power (which they do), over time they will behave because they have to work together.

        Any time you bring in a singular more powerful force that always has the effect of INCREASING inequality, not improving it.

        • by Aighearach (97333)

          Uhm, I'm not sure which Adam Smith you read, but my Capitalist Bible (Wealth of Nations) says that unless the government regulates them to ensure a level playing field, including for new players, then they will collude and the most established players will loot the customers and any smaller competition.

      • by Aighearach (97333)

        I agree this is not much of a surprise. I gotta ask, though. If not the government, exactly who has enough power to get the telecom industry to actually behave?

        I think a Martian invasion is our last, best hope for that one.

  • Mobile Uplink Unit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nadaou (535365) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @07:53PM (#46975917) Homepage

    a bit off-topic, but it's worth noting that Senator Franken has a long history as leader on the forefront of new communications and broadcast technology.

    some of his reports from his earlier journalism days are very informative, one might even say daring:

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Al+Franken%27s+Mobile+Uplink+Unit+ [youtube.com]

  • by sunking2 (521698)
    If you look at the way things are moderated on here you'd think Slashdot were owned by MSNBC
  • It's becase everyone here knows that Verizon, Comcast, etc. have not invested te resources needed to ensure that your 50mpbs plan is actually providing 50mbps reliably. There's always an asterick and that leads to a note that says "well, you'll get 50mbps provided the rest of your neighborhood isn't trying to hit the pipe hard at the same time." You want neutrality and speed? Pay up. When the average consumer is willing to pay the cost of delivering Netflix to them without hosting their content on the ISPs'

    • by Vaphell (1489021) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:21PM (#46976217)

      There's always an asterick and that leads to a note that says "well, you'll get 50mbps provided the rest of your neighborhood isn't trying to hit the pipe hard at the same time."

      there is nothing wrong with it in principle. Even excellent road systems get congested during rush hours, even the best cellular networks shit their pants on the new year's eve at 23:59, even the best delivery companies experience massive delays around Xmas. The reason is that having huge capacity that goes mostly unused most of the time is expensive, you pay huge maintenance costs yet there is not much going on on the revenue side.

      • by laird (2705)

        This is correct.

        To elaborate a bit, reserved bandwidth is not the same as shared bandwidth.

        The bandwidth that companies buy is reserved bandwidth, which is guaranteed capacity allocated to you and nobody else. That kind of bandwidth is expensive - let's say $10/Mbps (it's more in small quantities, less in large quantities, but let's make the math easy). So if you want 100 Mbps guaranteed, it'll cost you $1000/month. plus circuit fees, etc. In return for that money, you "own" the bandwidth, it's guaranteed a

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        Even excellent road systems get congested during rush hours, even the best cellular networks shit their pants on the new year's eve at 23:59, even the best delivery companies experience massive delays around Xmas. The reason is that having huge capacity that goes mostly unused most of the time is expensive, you pay huge maintenance costs yet there is not much going on on the revenue side.

        massive delays: check
        mostly unused: check
        huge maintenance costs: check
        not much going on on the revenue side: check

        Are you sure you weren't also describing Congress?

    • by Aighearach (97333)

      There's always an asterick and that leads to a note that says "well, you'll get 50mbps provided the rest of your neighborhood isn't trying to hit the pipe hard at the same time."

      Sorry buddy, but you should really re-read your fine print because that isn't the hedge at all. Worse, it really says "up to 50mbps." That is actually your hard cap, NOT a speed they are promising even under perfect conditions with no other load. They never promise you could actually get that speed. Just that you can't get more than that speed. Except that they don't promise that you can't get more, either. A totally useless metric, for all parties, but it is the one they're selling their account tiers base

  • by fightinfilipino (1449273) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:09PM (#46975977) Homepage

    he promised strong Net Neutrality on his platform, and yet his Administration appoints the CableCo foxes to live in the FCC hen house.

    sign this to demand Net Neutrality and to remove Tom Wheeler and other lobbyists out of the FCC! [wh.gov]

  • We need one more big surge of traffic, ideally starting Monday or Tuesday morning at around 10 AM Eastern, to get the Net Neutrality petition [whitehouse.gov] to 100k votes on time. I've been tracking the vote rate and it runs fastest on Tuesday, during the work day. We will get the most traction if as many people as possible promote the petition on their social network channels starting early this week. Please consider raising the issue and the petition on your social network channels to help generate the final surge in traffic we need to hit 100k signatures. The petition may not have as much legal authority as we would like, but at least it is a potent rhetorical device for Jessica Rosenworcel [wikipedia.org] and Mignon Clyburn [wikipedia.org], the two FCC commissioners who are already raising opposition to allowing a fast lane [arstechnica.com].

  • I'm a conservative (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:11PM (#46976173)

    In just about every category of politics, I lean more conservative than Slashdot's median. But I respect Al Franken than perhaps any other Congressman out there. Not because I agree with all of his positions, but because he seems to act with real integrity in striving to help the American people.

  • The problem here is we didn't make them utilities 15 years ago for EXACTLY this reason. We were afraid of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Its not a completely Luddite-type statement.
  • by StripedCow (776465) on Monday May 12, 2014 @04:12AM (#46977555)

    Senator Al Franken has a pretty good idea of what the term "net neutrality" means

    We should subject our congressmen to quizzes more often. Let them explain their understanding of the problem to the press. I'd love to see them stuttering.

  • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Monday May 12, 2014 @04:09PM (#46983739)

    So, I'm surprised no one has come up with this term yet to describe the vision of the FCC: Net Neuterality.

    I'm sure it has Bob Barker's support.

A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do. -- Dennis M. Ritchie

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