Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
United States Democrats Government The Internet

Net Neutrality Rollback Faces New Criticism From US Congress -- And 16 Million Comments (techcrunch.com) 147

An anonymous reader quotes TechCrunch's newest update on the FCC's attempt to gut net neutrality protections: 10 Representatives who helped craft the law governing the FCC itself have submitted an official comment on the proposal ruthlessly dismantling it... The FCC is well within its rights to interpret the law, and it doesn't have to listen to contrary comments from the likes of you and me. It does, however, have to listen to Congress -- "congressional intent" is a huge factor in determining whether an interpretation of the law is reasonable. And in the comment they've just filed, Representatives Pallon, Doyle et al. make it very clear that their intent was and remains very different from how the FCC has chosen to represent it.

"The law directs the FCC to look at ISP services as distinct from those services that ride over the networks. The FCC's proposal contravenes our intent... While some may argue that this distinction should be abandoned because of changes in today's market, that choice is not the FCC's to make. The decision remains squarely with those of us in Congress -- and we have repeatedly chosen to leave the law as it is."

In another letter Thursday, 15 Congressmen asked FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to extend the time period for comments. They note the proposed changes have received more than 16 million comments, more than four times the number of comments on any previous FCC item. The Hill reports that the previous record was 4 million comments -- during the FCC's last net neutrality proceeding in 2014 -- and "the lawmakers also noted that the comment period for approving net neutrality in 2014 was 60 days. Pai has only allowed a 30-day comment period for his plan to rollback the rules."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Net Neutrality Rollback Faces New Criticism From US Congress -- And 16 Million Comments

Comments Filter:
  • Am I wrong? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Marc_Hawke ( 130338 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @09:19PM (#54953563)

    It seems that Ajit Pai is the most openly corrupt government official that I've seen in United States politics. Am I missing something?

    Keep in mind, I'm not saying he's the most 'corrupt,' but rather the most open about it. And when I say 'corrupt' I just mean pandering to special interest groups.

    The instant he was appointed he basically said, "We're going to hand the Internet over to big corporations, and smile while we do it." Then just laughed whenever anybody said that it's contrary to what everyone wants. For example, the comments thing, "We nominally have a comment period, but we've decided to just ignore them."

    I just don't get it. I'd expect speeches trying to justify what he's been doing, or trying to convince people to come around to his way of thinking...but really it seems like he just doesn't care. On one hand, that's kind of refreshing in a 'no bullshit' kind of way, but on the other hand, I don't agree at all with how he's handling the situation.

    • Re:Am I wrong? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Gojira Shipi-Taro ( 465802 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @09:24PM (#54953591) Homepage

      I agree. Personally I think he should be thrown in prison.

      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @11:19PM (#54953927)

        Personally I think he should be thrown in prison.

        Prisons should only be used for violent people that must be separated from civilized society. For everyone else, there are more constructive punishments. For instance, Ajit could wear an ankle tracker will cleaning bedpans in nursing homes everyday for the next 10 years.

        • by arth1 ( 260657 )

          Ajit could wear an ankle tracker

          One not subject to net neutrality...

           

        • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Monday August 07, 2017 @07:39AM (#54955213)

          Prisons should only be used for violent people that must be separated from civilized society.

          How do you propose to deal with guys like Bernie Madoff then? He robbed people of a lifetime of hard work - made it all mean nothing. Just because he didn't use violence to achieve his ends makes him no less worthy of separation from society. In a way I fear guys like him more than a thug who tries to beat me up.

          For everyone else, there are more constructive punishments. For instance, Ajit could wear an ankle tracker will cleaning bedpans in nursing homes everyday for the next 10 years.

          How is tracking his whereabouts going to matter? We already know where he is and it's not stopping him from being an asshat. Plus I've cleaned bedpans. While not fun work it isn't nearly awful enough. If you want to do creative punishments you need to get a lot more creative.

          • How to deal with people like Bernie Madoff? Have him live on minimum wage. Regardless of what job he actually ends up doing, he only gets to take home $5.75 an hour. Everything else goes to reparations to his victims. Oh, and he has to live within those means, too.
            • No, he should have an agent who's job it is to ensure that he makes as much money as legally possible in a 40-hour work week. He should be giving $100k keynote speeches three times a week, from which he receives minimum wage.
              • That may work decently if the point is to extract money from him - but then why not just have him pay the equivalent fine? The net result would be roughly the same.

                I would think part of the point of punishments beyond fines are to temporarily strip the accused of the ability to repeat their crimes, and hopefully discourage them from resuming after the punishment ends. Letting him continue in his chosen occupation doesn't accomplish that, and the gains from his ongoing corruption aren't going to show up on

                • Two reasons. He swindled so much money and spent so much of it that he cannot make full restitution with his remaining funds. Absolutely, his accounts should be and were drained, but there's still remaining debts. Second, you can sometimes hide funds and play around with bankruptcy to absolve debts (IANAL, and I've heard that many of these loopholes are closed, but you know how sneaky people can be). I'm not proposing he be allowed to invest other people's money. I'm proposing that he talk to people who bel
          • How do you propose to deal with guys like Bernie Madoff then?

            He can clean bedpans too. He is not a violent person, and is not going to attack the patients. Or he can work in a recycling center, sorting trash. How is society better served by him sitting in a prison cell, rather than doing constructive work?

            Plus I've cleaned bedpans. While not fun work it isn't nearly awful enough.

            I have cleaned bedpans, and I have been in jail. While in jail, I spent my time reading books and watching TV. It was much nicer than cleaning bedpans.

            Using incarceration as the default punishment is idiotic. It is expensive and wasteful. It should be a last

          • by Agripa ( 139780 )

            How do you propose to deal with guys like Bernie Madoff then?

            Sentence him to be President?

    • Re:Am I wrong? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06, 2017 @09:36PM (#54953639)

      But isn't that the attitude of the entire administration?

    • Re:Am I wrong? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06, 2017 @09:49PM (#54953689)

      He's taking a gamble that, in the Trump administration, the way to catch the boss's eye and get ahead is to model your behavior on his.

      He's imitating Trump himself. Sincerest form of flattery, and all that. If Trump holds on to the White House for, all gods forbid, eight years, you can expect pretty much every senior civil servant to act like this by then.

      Fig leaves are for statues. Real men do their graft loud and proud, in the open. Heck, they even put their names to (ghostwritten) bestselling books about it.

      • You have to be careful with that though... Scaramucci took the emulated behavior just a smidge too far and well...

    • Re:Am I wrong? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by H3lldr0p ( 40304 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @10:25PM (#54953799) Homepage

      For example, the comments thing, "We nominally have a comment period, but we've decided to just ignore them."

      I just don't get it. I'd expect speeches trying to justify what he's been doing, or trying to convince people to come around to his way of thinking...but really it seems like he just doesn't care.

      To address the two observations.

      First is that he doesn't care. You're not wrong. You are seeing the same thing that everyone else is. Ajit Pai does not care one little whit about this or anything else the general public wants.

      As for the second part, the "Why" part. That's a bit tricky.

      Right at this exact moment, he's untouchable. There are absolutely no consequences for his actions. After this is done and buried, he will be able to go on doing the same job in the same way for the same people. This is because the GOP controls the two of the three branches. The likelihood of Congress being able to pass a Net-Neutrality law in the next couple of years is close enough to zero to assume zero. The non-zero part is covered by Trump in the White House.

      And that's it. That's why he's behaving like this. There are no consequences for him. None. So he is going to fuck everyone over and over for so long as he can get away with it.

      • It's entirely possible that he expects to get a niche cushy no-show "consulting" job at Comcast or some other telco, or perhaps at a "think tank" when his term at the FCC ends.

      • Re:Am I wrong? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @11:29PM (#54953949)

        the GOP controls the two of the three branches.

        Uhh .. no. They control three of three. In addition to the presidency, senate, and house, 5 of 9 justices on the supreme court are Republican appointees. The Republicans also control 2/3 of the governorships and state legislatures.

        The Democrats really need to figure out how to start winning some elections.

        • The Democrats really need to figure out how to start winning some elections.

          They need to gerrymander the way the republicans have for the last 20 years or even better, get rid of gerrymandering altogether. The party in charge on the years we do the census gets to decide how the political districts are drawn in most of the US. The republicans by happenstance or luck have won the majority in the elections during these years and so they got to draw districts largely favorable to them. Honestly they've been very clever about this and I think they caught the democrats sleeping about

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Gerrymandering can have effects in some races and not in other races. US House, State House and State Senate races can be influenced by gerrymandering. Governors and US Senators are elected from the whole state. Gerrymandering is factor in some races and not in others. The Democrats have real problems electing people.

          • What about Senate seats? Governorships? State legislatures? Even if you leave out the fact that Democrat-controlled states gerrymander Congressional districts just as much as Republican-controlled ones (as you have conveniently done), that doesn't explain why the Ds have been getting their asses kicked over and over in all the races I mention above.
            • by Anonymous Coward

              What about Senate seats?

              Impacted by turnout reduction due to gerrymandering, and voter restrictions.

              Governorships?

              Add above, plus off-year elections for more manipulation.

              State legislatures?

              You mean the groups doing the gerrymandering in all but a handful of states?

              Even if you leave out the fact that Democrat-controlled states gerrymander Congressional districts just as much as Republican-controlled ones (as you have conveniently done),

              That's [prospect.org] actually [princeton.edu] not [politifact.com] true [washingtonpost.com].

              I get it, you want to believe it is true, despite the facts not supporting it. However, even the most strident defenders have to admit that Republicans have obviously done it in more states. But so what if it were true? That means nothing, it is still immoral and a betrayal

              • The GOP is significantly worse, but the main reason the Dems lose is because they have provide nothing other than being "Republican-lite." That's why, as pointed out, even in states where the GOP doesn't have control, they still aren't doing all that well.
        • Re:Am I wrong? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by currently_awake ( 1248758 ) on Monday August 07, 2017 @08:37AM (#54955469)

          The Democrat party might be more electable by having a party platform that differs from the Republican party, and I mean more than just the "Window Dressing" stuff that neither party does anything about like abortion (that the Republicans could ban right now because "own 3 houses", but aren't even trying). Both parties do exactly the same stuff in office, everything else is just PR.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Both parties do exactly the same stuff in office, everything else is just PR.

            yeah, tell that to transgender, gay, or poor people.

            This "both parties are the same" shit translates to "both parties appear the same TO ME, because I'm in the majority and am in a high and comfortable position in society." It sickens me.

            If both parties are the same, then let's put the Democrats in charge of all 3 branches of government. Somehow, I think things would be different. Like, Net Neutrality wouldn't be threatened like it is now.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Monday August 07, 2017 @12:18AM (#54954101) Homepage Journal

        ...it just seems pretty strange that FCC is repealing a law it has no authority to repeal.

        FCC doesn't make the law, it is not up to them to decide if they want to follow it or not, which is exactly the congress guys point?

        why bother with congress making any laws if fcc doesn't follow them anyways?

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by slashrio ( 2584709 )
      Yes, you're wrong.
      The worst case of FCC corruption was when the brother of Colin Powell, as head of the FCC, allowed the concentration of news outlets into a few corporate hands, which now control nearly all the news published in the US. So no, there is no more free press in the US except for the 'alternative' news sites which are now despised by the main stream media for allegedly being 'fake news', where in fact the traditional media are the fake news producers now.
      • Fake news (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Dr. Evil ( 3501 ) on Monday August 07, 2017 @01:57AM (#54954331)

        "Fake news" referred to something which happened during the election. There were sites which generated names similar to the legitimate new sites, had short-lived domains which looked vaguely respectable. They would fabricate headlines, with clear political motives, and their links would be shared through political echo-chambers like Facebook endlessly.

        The term was quickly co-opted by certain political groups to dilute the meaning and de-legitimize criticism by the mainstream media. It's not the "fake news" people were talking about.

        As for alternative news, beware the sites which produces news with shock DJ-like banter, expanding fabrications into sensational rants which go on for hours. Their headlines are engineered to echo the worst fears of their supporters and drive them into a tizzy of rage (and ad impressions, subscription increases). The fake news sites were modeled to pander to these bases and draw their immediate attention.

      • Re:Am I wrong? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Monday August 07, 2017 @04:37AM (#54954727)

        Fake and alternate is something that did not exist before 2016. It previously was split into mainstream, non-mainstream, and utter bullshit.

        Labeling all of traditional media as fake is incredibly ignorant.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        So you are saying that Bannon has the "right" news?

        • I really have no idea what all of you are replying about.
          H3lldr0p wrote, and I quote:

          It seems that Ajit Pai is the most openly corrupt government official that I've seen in United States politics. Am I missing something?

          To which I replied that it was actuall Colin Powell's brother who was the most openly corrupt official.
          Well, or of course he hasn't ever seen the guy.
          The replies following that reply of mine... I have no idea what they all are about...

      • Re:Am I wrong? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday August 07, 2017 @06:56AM (#54955059) Homepage Journal

        The worst case of FCC corruption was when the brother of Colin Powell, as head of the FCC, allowed the concentration of news outlets into a few corporate hands,

        Bill Clinton is not Colin Powell's Brother, nor was he head of the FCC [wikipedia.org].

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Neither were all the congresspeople who passed this act.

        • Actually I had this [wikipedia.org] in mind. But thanks for having me looking it up because it wasn't Colin Powell's brother, but his son, Michael Powell.
          • Actually I had this in mind.

            But that is just the head of the FCC following the law... as signed by Bill Clinton. If he were trying to protect our rights, he would have sent that one back to Congress and made them fix it, or pass it without him.

            I think they're both heels, mind you

      • by ( 4475953 )

        'alternative' news sites', where in fact the traditional media are the fake news producers now.

        Right, because those blogs, political activist sites, youtube channel owners and tabloid sites like Breitbart employ large networks of full-time journalists and correspondents all over the world who provide them with a constant stream of actual news, texts, sound and images. Totally unlike these corrupt mainstream medias who just copy everything and make things up.

        If you get all your information from 'alternative sites', then you don't have to be surprised when you ultimately turn out to be clueless and uni

    • He's not even close (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Monday August 07, 2017 @12:29AM (#54954129)
      I mean, you've got Dick Cheney for raw, open corruption. And the stuff that gets done on the local level would make even him blush. I remember reading a story of a land owner that wanted some land that had some endangered goats. Couldn't have the land because of the goats. So he bought some nearby land, but up some broken, rickety fences and stuck sheep with syphilis on the land. The goats jumped the fence and the sheep, died of syphilis and blammo, he got the land. City turned a complete blind eye to the entire scheme.

      There's still a small chance Pai's drinking his own Kool-aid. Those city reps and the goats? No chance whatsoever.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      No, Donald Trump is the most openly corrupt government official in the the federal government. Mr. Pai is only following in Trump's footsteps.
  • by thadtheman ( 4911885 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @09:23PM (#54953581)
    then the story is worthless.

    The way to get net neutrality is to convince Republicans that it is important, not cater to the 0.01% of the population who might actually change their votes over this.

    • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @10:01PM (#54953737) Journal

      The way to get net neutrality is to convince Republicans that it is important,

      Now that Trump TV has gotten off the ground, and we have our first official state-run media outlet, there is no longer a need for net neutrality, which is so 2015.

      http://www.marketwatch.com/sto... [marketwatch.com]

      • WTF? (Score:2, Troll)

        by s.petry ( 762400 )

        The way to get net neutrality is to convince Republicans that it is important,

        Now that Trump TV has gotten off the ground, and we have our first official state-run media outlet, there is no longer a need for net neutrality, which is so 2015.

        http://www.marketwatch.com/sto... [marketwatch.com]

        You have a monopoly controlling all media in the US which despises everything except the extreme leftist view, and worry about TrumpTV which has never aired a show? 98% of CNN's coverage is negative, and refusal to air non-leftist positions for nearly a decade, MSNBC at 97% and the same. NYT and WAPO both openly stated last summer that they would no longer have a neutral position and would try to destroy Trump, promoting fabricated news just like CNN to further their leftist ideology. And to be sure we d

        • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday August 07, 2017 @11:07AM (#54956377) Journal

          Hell, even Fox which gets accused of supporting Trump has 52% negative coverage

          Let's think about this. Is there any other possible reason that the coverage of Trump is overwhelmingly negative? Can you possibly imagine that it might not all have to do with "media bias"? Is there a scenario where negative coverage of Trump doesn't have to do only with bias?

          Use your imagination.

          • by s.petry ( 762400 )

            Quite a few, if you yourself are unbiased. Immigration reform, promised for the last 40 years and finally some activity. Tax reform, promised for 30 years and finally some activity. Trade deals which benefit Americans as opposed to harming Americans, ignored by Democrats in all branches for the last 30 years and seeing some positive results. A valid replacement for the Constitutional originalist Antony Scalia, definitely a positive. Attempting to reduce federal power and push issues back to States, als

            • There are surely negatives as well,

              You were just unable to name a single one. Well done. You've proven my point.

              Don't worry, the coverage on Trump TV is 100% positive, so you now have a safe space where you can get all of your news.

              • by s.petry ( 762400 )
                I just gave a string, you just chose to ignore facts. You must want to work for CNN^W PRAVDA^W CNN. Or perhaps you do
                • My trees are selling faster than they are cutting them. I did not vote for Trump. There needs to be some perspective. There are 16 people working overtime. I get paid, regardless. So, I can personally speak to the increase in domestic wood sales. There does need to be some perspective.

        • Google, Facebook, and Twitter have all been censoring opinions from the right and promoting far Leftism as well.

          This actually concerns me more than net neutrality because at least everyone understand that access to the pipes shouldn't be restricted (either its slow or expensive access isn't restricted by policy).

        • Truth is not a troll. Read the study from Harvard, which is not a "right wing" organization. Slashdot Admins need to address this chronic shit moderation by people who despise facts found harmful to extreme leftist ideology and start promoting unbiased moderation. Read your own fucking moderation guidelines!

    • then the story is worthless.

      The way to get net neutrality is to convince Republicans that it is important, not cater to the 0.01% of the population who might actually change their votes over this.

      A very insightful post.

      One of the problems with the current implementation is that a) it isn't what most people think of, and b) it was an FCC overreach of jurisdiction that should have been done by a different department.

      This whole thing could be solved instantly by a law passed by congress. That way there would be no arguing, and the administration would be required to implement it.

      If the law isn't passed because you don't have the majority, then you can base the upcoming elections on the merits of that l

      • This whole thing could be solved instantly by a law passed by congress. That way there would be no arguing, and the administration would be required to implement it.

        If the law isn't passed because you don't have the majority

        There are two major reasons you don't have a majority are...

        1) bribes aka "campaign donations"
        2) an absurd amount of legislators literally don't understand the issue and fear/shun technology in general

        All it will take is one example of an ISP interfering with online political donations and we'll suddenly have net neutrality.

        • 1) The irony about the "bribes" is that the party (democrats) that spent more money lost. So, that didn't effect the last few elections like you think it did. Moneyed candidates have been losing. More money != coronation like Clinton thought.

          2) That is why they have advisors and experts. The problem is when those experts and advisors have their own agenda. I don't trust Google, Facebook, or Twitter to give expertise that is beneficial to people when they actively censor political opinions they don't like.

          ISP interfering with online political donations and we'll suddenly have net neutrality.

          Fa

          • 1) The irony about the "bribes" is that the party (democrats) that spent more money lost.

            A) That is not irony.
            B) The impact on election results is varied but it's impact on which laws elected officials vote for or against is quite pronounced in relation to who gives them campaign funding.

            So, that didn't effect the last few elections like you think it did.

            A) The president is a single elected official. There are hundreds of elected officials that get bribes and that's just on the federal level.
            B) My point was never about election outcomes but what elected officials do while in office.

            More money != coronation

            This should be obvious. it should also be obvious that nobody can run a succes

            • The president is a single elected official. There are hundreds of elected officials that get bribes and that's just on the federal level.

              yes, and if you look at the history of the elections since Citizen United, it isn't clear that money determines the victor that is why I said "the last few" because the most recent ones in memory were the special congressional elections in addition to the presidential. The moneyed candidates lost.

              what elected officials do while in office.

              That has always been the case and probably always will be as it is intrinsic to a Republic. See arguments for the 17th amendment to see what that argument looks like from the last century.

              An ISP could literally prevent you from visiting sites that are specifically for donating money to your cause of choice.

              Again, that hasn't happene

              • yes, and if you look at the history of the elections since Citizen United, it isn't clear that money determines the victor that is why I said "the last few" because the most recent ones in memory were the special congressional elections in addition to the presidential. The moneyed candidates lost.

                Yes, gerrymandering has much to do with that. People should choose their representatives. Representatives shouldn't choose their people. We would have more representative state democracies if districts were decided by independent councils.

                That has always been the case and probably always will be as it is intrinsic to a Republic.

                Defeatism isn't a winning strategy. Identifying the problems in a system and then improving upon it is a better idea.

                Really? I would have never guessed but who puts those politicians into office also count. People do vote politicians out of office for not doing what they promise to do. Incumbency be damned.

                LOL! How perfectly reductive!

                Ok, then I will be sure to vote and convince others to vote for politicians that do what you don't like. Democracy is fun.

                The irony is that the political views of the Republican party are actually in my interest but not their own voter's interes

  • I may be wrong, but congressional intent is also worthless. If they intended something else, they should have written a better law. That's why the courts exist. They determine if the interpretation was correct or not. Congress may be law maker, but they are not law enforcers.
    • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Monday August 07, 2017 @07:36AM (#54955205)

      Yer wrong. Just about every law can be gamed. Human, and lawyer, ingenuity will find holes you couldn't possibly have predicted.

      You and your fellows believe you have written the perfect law, covered all the loopholes. Except that it must now reside in the tessellation structure of the rest of the laws, and there are a lot of those. Now the interaction between your perfect law and the rest opens wounds you never expected.

      A more concrete example of this is systems and security. You write the perfect module, it has been proven secure. However, now you plunk it down in the rest of the system and the interactions with other parts show your perfect module opens up unwelcome interactions.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser

Working...