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

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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  • Congress (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Travis Mansbridge ( 830557 ) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:25PM (#46975777)
    Those congresspeople are well paid (lobbied) to hold those confusing, illogical views and spout whatever uneducated claims they can to defend them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:35PM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:37PM (#46975839)

    Are you kidding? Al Franken is one of the most intelligent, ethical, fair, and progressive-minded people in the Senate. It drives people like you crazy he's in there, doing good works, is loved and appreciated, and is there to stay.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:46PM (#46975879)

    Just imagine the hoopla and media sound bites if there were a Republican in the White House while the FCC was doing this.

    Yup, the FCC isn't run by the White House but if a Republican were in the White House all the fingers would be pointing there.

  • Mobile Uplink Unit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nadaou ( 535365 ) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:53PM (#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: []

  • 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 cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @10:10PM (#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 []

    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.

  • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @10:20PM (#46976201) Homepage Journal

    Al Franken is one of the most intelligent, ethical, fair, and progressive-minded people in the Senate.

    Indeed he is, and given his level of sheer stupidity and making his mind up before he has facts, that says a lot about the rest of the Senate, and the People who voted them in.

    There are days when I think the Senate would be better off if it consisted of random people from the unemployment lines.

  • by Vaphell ( 1489021 ) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @10:21PM (#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.

  • Re:ya (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Duhavid ( 677874 ) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @10:41PM (#46976293)

    "and the ISP makes a deal with Netflix to put in a separate exclusive pipe"

    You should have a problem with it.

    Netflix's costs are higher than they should be.
    ISPs should not be picking winners and losers.
    As the ISP's customer, you are being defrauded.

    It's extortion.
    Netflix paid for their connection to the internet
    The customer paid for their connection to the internet. The whole reason the customer pays for their connection is access to such sites.

  • by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @10:46PM (#46976315)
    To be fair, he also introduced a bill to make NSA more transparent.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2014 @11:04PM (#46976389)

    Eh, felons should be able to vote, anyways. The fact that they aren't is immoral, anti-democratic bullshit.

    Voting is a right, and they're still people, even if they did make some dumb mistake when they were young.

  • Re:ya (Score:1, Insightful)

    by laird ( 2705 ) <> on Sunday May 11, 2014 @11:14PM (#46976423) Journal

    There are more variations.

    If Netflix pays for their bandwidth to their ISP to serve their content, and you pay your ISP for your bandwidth to get to the internet (including Netflix), that's the deal. If your ISP slows down Netflix' content to try to get Netflix to pay for improved performance, that's wrong. If Netflix tries to get bandwidth for free, as they were trying to do with Comcast, that's wrong, too.

  • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @11:36PM (#46976521) Homepage Journal

    The law is the law when it comes to voting. You can lose the right to vote by committing a felony just like you can lose your freedom. It may not sit well with you, but there it is. Do you want a society that respects the rule of law or not?

    Most Western countries allow felons to vote. It's considered an inalienable right.
    And those countries appear to have more respect for the law than here in the US, where the ratio of imprisoned to free men is higher than most any other country.

    What people have here in the US isn't respect for the law. These days, it's fear of it. That doesn't seem to work too well.

  • Re:ya (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Duhavid ( 677874 ) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @11:38PM (#46976533)

    What variations?
    Netflix was not a Comcast customer. ( they are now, because of extortion ).
    The various Comcast customers are the Comcast customers. And they paid for access ( bandwidth ).
    So, Netflix was not trying to get anything for free, they are providing a service on the web that is part of what makes it attractive for Comcast's customer's to pay them for *their* bandwidth ( to Netflix, among other destinations ). Netflix paid their ISP for their access to the internet.

    Nothing more should be required.

  • by GrahamCox ( 741991 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @12:00AM (#46976625) Homepage
    way to[sic] left for me

    Which means that by the standards of most of the rest of the world, he's probably a little to the right of centre. I can't understand you Americans - what's exactly so terrible about a little bit of social justice and equality? That's all the left stand for. You've been so brainwashed by years of anti-communist propaganda that anything that even slightly whiffs of "the left" is automatically, viscerally rejected without any real thought. For whatever the left's faults might be, the right's are far, far worse. We've now had thirty-odd years of right-wing government across most of the developed western world, and where has it got us? The rich have got richer and the poor are poorer, and no-one is any happier. What a great system! How about considering a few mild alternatives, or at the very least some moderation?
  • by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @12:51AM (#46976835) Homepage

    You should probably pare down your petition to asking for just one thing. Asking for a bunch of things, some of them poorly worded, means that even if I think I probably agree with what you meant, I'm not going to agree with the entire package as stated. And that will probably always be the case when you have more than 1 thing on a petition.

  • by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @01:17AM (#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.
  • by dryeo ( 100693 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @01:53AM (#46977049)

    Criminal behaviour is often based on class, race, sex, age and other factors. A black person is way more likely to be stopped, and if caught doing something illegal such as having a small amount of a banned substance, much more likely to be charged, convicted and have a worse sentence handed down then a well off white person. Amongst other things this makes them politically impotent as in unable to vote to change a law that was originally enacted for racist and economical reasons rather then hurting other people.
    What's to say that the felons didn't vote for the libertarian or green candidate or even write themselves in?
    Though I would agree that if people who shouldn't have voted, did vote and there was enough of them to swing the election then the election should be declared null by a judge and a bye-election held. Unluckily the American system seems pretty rigid when it comes to elections and their timing so I don't know if bye-elections are allowed.

  • Re:ya (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @02:44AM (#46977195) Homepage Journal

    Either way, when it comes to no-cost peering, what's actually important is not the traffic direction, but rather that both parties send approximately the same amount of traffic through the other one to another network—that is to say, that both parties get approximately the same benefit out of the link.

    Incidentally, this is why traditional ISPs like Comcast pay the backbone ISPs to carry their traffic, rather than being allowed to peer at no charge. They are essentially a leaf node in the graph, which means they benefit greatly from connecting to an upstream ISP, because such connections enable their customers to connect to the Internet. However, they don't provide any benefit to the upstream ISP, because the upstream ISP can't usefully route any traffic through Comcast to other ISPs.

    The general rule is that backbone ISPs peer amongst themselves, but don't usually peer with traditional customer ISPs. Customer ISPs in the same region often peer with one other, because they're on the same level and can benefit from faster connectivity with one another and from having additional redundancy in their upstream connections. However, that peering only remains free so long as they route similar amounts of traffic over each other's upstream links. If the balance gets too skewed, they'll depeer each other.

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents