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United States Government Republicans The Internet

Republican's 'Net Neutrality' Proposal Called 'Bait and Switch' (techcrunch.com) 121

Remember that net neutrality legislation introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)? TechCrunch is calling it "half-hearted" -- and suspect. It's not going to happen, it wouldn't help if it did and Blackburn isn't someone you want writing this kind of legislation. Among other things, she thinks it's the ISPs' job to police content, and voted to kill the Broadband Privacy Rule.
In fact, Blackburn's legislation would deal a "fatal blow" to net neutrality, argues Evan Greer, campaign director at the nonprofit Fight for the Future, writing in Newsweek: Already one of Big Cable's best friends in Congress, Marsha Blackburn, who has taken more than $600,000 from the industry, is pushing for legislation that would permanently undermine the FCC's ability to enforce open internet protections. This bait and switch has been in the works for months. The telecom lobby's end game is to use the crisis they've created to ram through legislation that's branded as a compromise but amounts to a fatal blow to net neutrality... We don't need legislation that's been watered down with kool-aid.
A better solution, he suggests, is pushing Congress to overrule the FCC with a Congressional Resolution of Disapproval.
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Republican's 'Net Neutrality' Proposal Called 'Bait and Switch'

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  • by bkmoore ( 1910118 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @07:55AM (#55799819)

    Already one of Big Cable's best friends in Congress, Marsha Blackburn, who has taken more than $600,000 from the industry, is pushing for legislation....

    That's how our political system works. You need bribes, -cough- I mean campaign contributions, to get elected. Once elected, you have to do what your donors want you to do, even if it's at odds with the best interest of your constituents or the well being of the country. Conversely, if you're a special interest group and want to enact your agenda, you need to bribe, I mean make enough campaign contributions, to get your agenda passed into law. Who's bribing politicians on the behalf of net- neutrality???

    Both parties are doing this, so this isn't a Republican or Democratic thing.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So you're saying our politicians are honest enough to stay bribed?

      Tell me another one. It's not about money.

      Marsha Blackburn is a crazy enough person that she believes her own bullshit. She's a hardcore fanatic that will let her own zealotry drive her to rationalizations that make a mockery of her own self-made assertions about her praise-worthy mindset of reason and logic.

      She's proud of her 100% record on ticking all the boxes necessary for her political agenda, and she'd do it again because that's the

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 24, 2017 @08:46AM (#55799967)

      Both parties are doing this, so this isn't a Republican or Democratic thing.

      Funny that only one party seems to be trying to kill NN. And healthcare. And a host of other issues that affect people's lives in dramatic ways. But they're both the same, surely.

      • Both parties are working to aid their people. Democrats are promoting NN (for the poor people) and Republicans are promoting No Limits Capitalism (for the rich people).
        • by Anonymous Coward

          The rich people DO NOT NEED HELP. They have the money to help themselves.

        • by liquid_schwartz ( 530085 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @10:46AM (#55800401)

          Both parties are working to aid their people. Democrats are promoting NN (for the poor people) and Republicans are promoting No Limits Capitalism (for the rich people).

          Meanwhile the middle class continues to fade away. Neither party helps the middle class, both parties see the middle class as something to be milked and woo'd.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            ... Neither party helps the middle class ...

            Obamacare (ACA) helped the poor and put limits on health insurers bypassing consumer protections, which helped those already in a healthcare plan; the middle class. This bill probably came to be because Obama was more poverty-orientated than previous presidents, as evidenced by his attempt to build a first-world infrastructure for healthcare and his speaking directly to Oklahoma prisoners (about the war on drugs). It's likely, why the Republicans threw a tantrum every time he spoke.

            Obama had a majority in

      • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @03:07PM (#55801459)
        Historically, contributions by the communications industry [opensecrets.org] has favored Democrats (every year since 1990, except '98 when they were equal). 3/4 of the top recipients [opensecrets.org] are Democrats. That's even more incredible when you consider that the party in power usually gets more lobbying contributions. The Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, and the Democrats are still receiving more lobbying money from the communications industry. (You can drill down to the cable or telecom subsets if you want. The general trend is still the same - Democrats receive more lobbying dollars from these industries. Telephone utilities are one of the few subsets whose lobbying contributions consistently favor Republicans.)

        The notion that Republicans are in the pockets of corporations in these industries while Democrats are not doesn't correlate to the lobbying money trail, suggesting that it's a narrative that's been manufactured by the media (i.e. fake news). The same thing happened with science funding during Bush 2's term. The media so badly misportrayed his science policies (excessively focusing on killing the Superconducting Super Collider and his ban on fetal stem cell research) that most of the public still think his administration was anti-science. Ask yourself - based on what you heard on the news, do you think Bush was pro- or anti-science funding? In fact his administration enacted the biggest increase in Federal science R&D funding [aaas.org] since Bush 1 and the 1960s space race.

        You can even see [opensecrets.org] when this started to happen [opensecrets.org]. Up until 2000, contributions by the print, publishing, and newspaper industries only slightly favored Democrats. But from 2000 onwards, it's skewed to wildly favor Democrats, by about a 5:1 margin today. Around 2000, the media stopped trying to remain unbiased, and skewed unabashedly towards the left. (My guess would be the appearance of Fox News favoring the Right meant the rest of the media felt they no longer had to try to restrain their bias favoring the Left.)

        Health care is more of a mixed bag.

        Don't believe everything the media spoon-feeds you just because it confirms your pre-existing biases [wikipedia.org]. Do your own research to see where the money is flowing (to and from). The Open Secrets website is a great tool that's organized to be very easy to use.
        • by pots ( 5047349 ) on Monday December 25, 2017 @01:22PM (#55805073)

          Historically, contributions by the communications industry [opensecrets.org] has favored Democrats

          Did you look at your link? They're grouping communications and electronics together. If you pick out just the communications companies - AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Cox - all favor Republicans. Be careful about how you use the term "fake news," it doesn't mean what you think it means.

          Most criticism of Bush 2's science record was climate change, the stem cell business, etc. He also supported that "teach the controversy" BS, in schools. These are things for which his record is demonstrably poor. Spending more money in other areas does make up for suppressing research.

          What your link tells me about print industry lobbying, is that the print industry doesn't spend money on lobbying. Compare to your link for communications lobbying - there's an order of magnitude difference there. (I was going to offer an alternative theory to your one about Fox News, but it doesn't seem necessary...)

          Given that the person you were replying to was only claiming that the two parties are not the same, this seems to be born out by your links.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 24, 2017 @09:03AM (#55800015)

      Bad acts are always a both party thing unless it's a Democratic thing. But I have still yet to figure out why most of the things happening now are mainly being done by the ruling Republican party and it is still the fault of Democrats.

      Not that I care mind you, but I just love to see how people convince themselves their politics are correct.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 24, 2017 @09:33AM (#55800107)

        Bad acts are always a both party thing unless it's a Democratic thing. But I have still yet to figure out why most of the things happening now are mainly being done by the ruling Republican party and it is still the fault of Democrats.

        Not that I care mind you, but I just love to see how people convince themselves their politics are correct.

        It's easy. Republicans screamed about Obama's birth certificate for 8 years, but it's Hillary's fault. Republicans chose an unrepentant birther whose tendency towards hysterical tirades and corruption is well known, but it's Hillary's fault. Republicans vote dozens of times to repeal the ACA, but it's Hillary's fault. Trump buddies up to Russia, and denies their perfidy, but it's Hillary's fault.

        Transparent as glass, everything is always and ever will be Hillary's fault. Even the American Civil War. Hillary's fault.

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )

      Once elected, you have to do what your donors want you to do

      Only if you feel like you will continue to need their contributions to win the next election.

      And it's not hard to imagine that one could be wealthy enough to not require donations to run a successful election campaign, although I also imagine that the number of people who've done this in the past and managed to win is probably pretty small.

    • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @12:15PM (#55800765)

      This behavior is required by law. A long time ago the Supreme Court altered corporate behavior forever with a ruling that corporations have a duty to their stockholders only, and aside from taxes, absolutely no responsibility to the community at large. They also recently decided that politicians have a duty to represent their supporters, not their constituents. Then they established that a corporate person has a Constitutional right to free speech, with a decision that redefined political bribery out of existence- at this point corruption can't be prosecuted unless someone can find a legal document where both parties agree to a quid pro quo.

      This is what happens when you use a few narrow issues like abortion and guns as litmus tests for judgeships. Since judges have lifetime appointments, Trump has wisely chosen to nominate Hitler Youth who apparently haven't even seen a single episode of Law and Order, and he is rapidly filling all the seats that Congress left empty during the Obama administration.

      • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday December 24, 2017 @02:17PM (#55801259) Homepage Journal

        This behavior is required by law. A long time ago the Supreme Court altered corporate behavior forever with a ruling that corporations have a duty to their stockholders only, and aside from taxes, absolutely no responsibility to the community at large.

        One thing, however, does not lead to the other. Corporations have a duty to follow their charter. If the charter includes a commitment to community service, then the investors know what they're getting into when they put their money into the company, and the corporation can do all the good deeds it likes. Corporations are generally designed first and foremost to maximize shareholder value, however, and this is reflected in their charters.

        Don't make excuses for corporate evil. The decision to write a charter which places shareholder value first is just that, a decision. It is a willful choice which we must not excuse.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Both parties are doing this, so this isn't a Republican or Democratic thing.

      Really? It seems that even though many Democrats have taken money from the telecoms they are in favor of actual net neutrality so i call bullshit in this instance.

    • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @04:54PM (#55801813)

      Both parties are doing this, so this isn't a Republican or Democratic thing.

      Both do it, but both don't do it to remotely equal extents.

      Democrats are generally a bit more supportive than their base of strong IP laws, that's probably because of donors in Hollywood.

      But Democrats also support financial regulations that their base likes but their donors hate.

      Meanwhile the GOP just enacted a massive tax reform that is almost purely a handout to their donors. And a lot of the Trump department appointees are simply industry representatives being asked to regulate themselves.

      Basically the Democratic legislators represent their voters and are nudged by their donors, the GOP represents their donors and is nudged by their voters.

    • Already one of Big Cable's best friends in Congress, Marsha Blackburn, who has taken more than $600,000 from the industry, is pushing for legislation....

      That's how our political system works. You need bribes, -cough- I mean campaign contributions, to get elected. Once elected, you have to do what your donors want you to do, even if it's at odds with the best interest of your constituents or the well being of the country.

      Both parties are doing this, so this isn't a Republican or Democratic thing.

      Yup, getting re-elected and maintaining party power is more important than actually governing for the/your people.

      As Veronica said in Better Off Ted, Season 1, Episode 4, "Racial Sensitivity":

      "Money before people." That's the company motto engraved right there on the lobby floor. Just looks more heroic in Latin.

    • by epine ( 68316 )

      Both parties are doing this, so this isn't a Republican or Democratic thing.

      Too bad Marsha through a giant bloody wrench into your equivalence argument.

      Twitter's ban on Marsha Blackburn's ad mentioning "baby body parts," explained [vox.com]

      "I fought Planned Parenthood and we stopped the sale of baby body parts," said Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in a recent ad announcing her run for Senate.

      Planned Parenthood was in the business of giving American's the tools to exercise their legal rights at their own discretion.

      Suc

      • by epine ( 68316 )

        s/though/threw

        Can't recall the last time I made that typo. It's not even on my standard finger-fuckup shit list.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @08:02AM (#55799839)

    Having the FCC destroy the internet or let congress do it.

    • Choice #3 (Score:3, Informative)

      by rsilvergun ( 571051 )
      Stop voting Republican. It's already been pointed out that they're the ones behind this. And vote in your primary. Voting doesn't do any good if your just voting for Republicans running with a D next to their name (Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelocy, I'm looking at you).
  • by MSTCrow5429 ( 642744 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @08:03AM (#55799843)

    1) The differences between Title I and Title II?

    2) Why the FTC and not the FCC should under current law handle internet regulation as such, and why no one is asking the FTC to do anything instead?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Title I is "general provisions" of the communications act of 1934. It isn't really anything in regards to behavior. If ISPs are "governed under title I", they're basically just not a common carrier (which is explicitly what Title II is about).

      The FTC has jurisdiction to enforce trade, contracts, and to punish deceptive or anticompetitive behavior. The FCC has jurisdiction over national communications. The FTC doesn't have the authority to declare rules for ISPs, only to punish them for deceptive actions.

      The

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by BlueStrat ( 756137 )

        Basically put, Title II regulates ISPs as common carriers, requires more restrictions on what they can do, and is focused on customer rights over corporate rights.

        Placing ISPs under Title II also places rgem under CALEA compliance laws and regulations. There are also hate-speech (stupid term for a stupid concept) and obscenity laws as well under Title II.

        Would this not play right into the hands of those who want 'backdoors' and those who want to control/restrict speech/content?

        Sorry, but I don't trust any "pinky-swear, we won't try to use those oh-so-tempting Title II CALEA, hate-speech, or obscenity laws and regulations against our political opponents" promises. The

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Placing ISPs under Title II also places rgem under CALEA compliance laws and regulations. There are also hate-speech (stupid term for a stupid concept) and obscenity laws as well under Title II.

          Yeah, now they'll do it on their own terms, and nobody shall dare to question the freedumbs of the private corporate market that mysteriously has no competition amongst itself.

          Would this not play right into the hands of those who want 'backdoors' and those who want to control/restrict speech/content?

          Nope, the backdoor people will gladly do so under the blandishments of "security" and "protecting our freedom" and then when it comes to speech/content, they'll attack criticism of them as endorsing "terrorism" and "hating liberty" instead. They'll be fine. Terror and outrage aren't being banned at all.

          Sorry, but I don't trust any "pinky-swear, we won't try to use those oh-so-tempting Title II CALEA, hate-speech, or obscenity laws and regulations against our political opponents" promises. They're politicians. Moving their lips.

          Hence why we reject Ajit Pai's

          • Placing ISPs under Title II also places rgem under CALEA compliance laws and regulations. There are also hate-speech (stupid term for a stupid concept) and obscenity laws as well under Title II.

            Yeah, now they'll do it on their own terms,

            Umm, perhaps you missed who wrote the original NN regulations you want back? (hint: it wasn't ISPs or the government...who's left? hmm...anyway, I'm sure they must be honest, benevolent, and fair)

            Strat

        • by Anonymous Coward

          ISPs are subject to CALEA regardless of their classification. CALEA was a separate FCC order issued back in 2005 or so.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ... no one is asking the FTC ...

      Because 1) as the name implies, the FCC is tasked with that chore, not the FTC; 2) the FTC has limited power to set conditions of service, it handles quality of service (Ie. fraud and breach) mostly; 3) the FTC functions by ensuring competition and a fair market, which doesn't exist in the communication services and isn't wanted.

      When data moved from dial-up to broadband/wireless, a lot of the protections (Title II) disappeared too. Now, the solution was easy, just re-write communications law to include tho

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      The differences are simple:
      The FTC was used to regulate the monopoly that was Bell (Federal TRADE Commission can set limits on effective monopoly trade within the market). With all the carriers like Google threatening to come into the market they wanted away from the FTC oversight which is why Obama introduced his "Net Neutrality" rules, move ISP's away from trade oversight and under the FCC which puts heavy technical requirements on new players in the market.

      Now that the incumbent ISP's have once again mer

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Among other things, she thinks it's the ISPs' job to police content

    Already one of Big Cable's best friends in Congress,

    Aren't these two at odds with each other? ISPs have widely resisted such proposals.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Jesus, what a shithole USAmericans inhabit!

  • by Monster_user ( 5075027 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @08:27AM (#55799915)
    So the new rules are "paid prioritization". https://arstechnica.com/tech-p... [arstechnica.com]

    And the concern is how to protect websites from being "down voted" out of existence, in respect to QoS priority, etc.

    My concern is what is this going to do to VoIP providers. Aside from VoIP/SIP providers, I don't know what is latency sensitive. I actually don't give a rooty toot toot if a Facebook page takes a few seconds longer to load, or a video stream has to buffer a little longer before playing (as long as it doesn't buffer during the stream). VoIP prioritization, and video game lag are about the only things that concern me.
    • by currently_awake ( 1248758 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @09:40AM (#55800135)
      If you use your ISP provided VOIP and Video streeming service then you get priortized. Competing services will be slowed. Obviously they will charge extra for these premium services, no free U-Tube here.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Look at it from the telcos point of view, they get to sell customers internet connections, then resell those customers to websites, who then have to find a way to dump that cost back onto the customers. So customers ultimately pay for this via hidden costs.

      That will work only in areas with terrible monopoly/duopoly internet access. If you have choice, costs can't be loaded because you risk the screwed internet companies making it clear costs are being loaded on by their telco.

      Look at the voting demographic

  • by Anonymous Coward

    TRUMP!

    Has AIDS from Moscow whores!

  • by SmaryJerry ( 2759091 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @09:43AM (#55800151)
    Either a new bill is fair and includes Net Neutrality or it isn't. That doesn't mean all bills on the subject will be horrible. I don't get the give up mentality by this writer. The point is to make a law about Net Neutrality so we don't have votes made of 5 people making important decisions, but congress. Hell you could make it an amendment to the constitution, it might be that important.
    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      > That doesn't mean all bills on the subject will be horrible.

      Maybe, but anything from Blackburn will be.

      "she thinks it's the ISPs' job to police content, and voted to kill the Broadband Privacy Rule".

      It's pretty obvious who owns her corrupt ass.

    • The point is to make a law about Net Neutrality so we don't have votes made of 5 people making important decisions

      But consider the alternative. A law would result in a lawsuit by parties on the other side of the debate, which would be ruled upon by a single federal judge (likely sympathetic to the challengers, of course -- they would carefully select the forum to increase those odds). The inevitable appeal would be heard by a panel of three appellate judges, and, if you're lucky, be reconsidered by the entire appellate court (generally around a dozen judges [cornell.edu]). If the Supreme Court were then to take it, the final call

  • It's got what the internet craves. You didn't see anyone in that movie use much of anything that resembles the current internet.
  • Everyone's getting nuts over speeds, and money. The real problem is that eventually it will result in a whitelist, where sites need to be approved by the service provider......
    • Depends on how the fee for "paid prioritization" is structured. If it is a flat rate, then every paying customer is on the white list, and it all evens out over the long run to be back where we were last year.

      If the prioritization is based ont he amount of money, then each line on that whitelist is auctioned off to the highest bidder for a duration agreed upon.
  • Common carrier status was the point all along. Simple Trojan horse meant to tag along with a popular idea. Donâ(TM)t tell me that you had no intentions of implementing all the restrictions and powers of Title 2 to allow Google Et al to regulate and control at will and then cry bloody murder when your same issue gets solved by altering the current status. Just another set of laws promised not to be implemented until some civil servant decides otherwise.
  • It's amazing to me how many people think that the US was this backwater, third-world country before 2008.

Bringing computers into the home won't change either one, but may revitalize the corner saloon.

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