The Hypocrites Of Congress: Who Voted Against Net Neutrality, But For SOPA/PIPA

from the just-checking dept

An interesting article by Grant Gross over at PC World notes the hypocrisy of many in Congress who screamed loudly about how net neutrality was a dangerous attempt by government to “regulate the internet,” but are now the main supporters of SOPA. We already highlighted one of these, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who went so far as to create a video hysterically warning about the dangers of regulating the internet:

As we noted at the time, many of her arguments apply equally to SOPA’s regulation of the internet, but she just doesn’t seem to get it. Here are just a few of her arguments:

But some people fear that without government intervention, that entrepreneurs and innovators are going to hijack the internet that you enjoy… the World Wide Web! This has never happened and there has never been a time that a consumer has needed a federal bureaucrat to intervene…. Here’s what they want to do: Take the private internet and put it all under government control. Think about it: what’s going to happen to the next Facebook innovator, if they have to go apply with the government to get approval to develop a new application. And what would happen to your small business, if you had to depend on internet speeds that Uncle Sam says is going to be okay…. We want to keep [the internet] open, free and prosperous.

How that doesn’t apply equally to SOPA… I don’t know. But she’s listed as a co-sponsor. Funny, that. Especially since SOPA is likely to have a much more direct impact on “the next Facebook innovator” than anything in the (yes, poorly designed) net neutrality rules put forth by the FCC.

Unfortunately, Gross’s article only names a few names. But not all of them. So we thought we might as well do that. Below, for your viewing pleasure, the list of hypocritical Congressional Reps and Senators who claim to be against regulating the internet, but have no problem doing so when it comes to SOPA or PROTECT IP (PIPA):

  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee
  • Rep. Mary Bono Mack, California
  • Rep. John Carter, Texas
  • Rep. Steven Chabot, Ohio
  • Rep. Elton Gallegly, California
  • Rep. Robert Goodlatte, Virginia
  • Rep. Tim Griffin, Arkansas
  • Rep. Peter King, New York
  • Rep. Thomas Marino, Pennsylvania
  • Rep. Alan Nunnelee, Mississippi
  • Rep. Dennis Ross, Florida
  • Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana
  • Rep. Lee Terry, Nebraska
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee
  • Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire
  • Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri
  • Sen. John Boozman, Arkansas
  • Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Georgia
  • Sen. Thad Cochran, Mississippi
  • Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee
  • Sen. Michael Enzi, Wyoming
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina
  • Sen. Charles Grassley, Iowa
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah
  • Sen. John Isakson, Georgia
  • Sen. James Risch, Idaho
  • Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida
  • Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana

Of course, the really amazing thing is that SOPA and PIPA are much more about regulating the internet than the FCC’s “net neutrality” rules are. I already think the FCC’s rules are pretty silly (designed more to protect a few big businesses), but they’ll have little to no impact on everyday internet startups. That’s not true of SOPA/PIPA. Those rules will have a massive impact on every day startups. So how can supporters of SOPA/PIPA claim to be against “regulating the internet” while signing on to a bill that is almost entirely about regulating the internet?

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Comments on “The Hypocrites Of Congress: Who Voted Against Net Neutrality, But For SOPA/PIPA”

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Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It is very much a gender slur, used quite often to undermine women when they express empathy instead of just reason.

I have always heard it applied equally to men and women. I’ve never heard it used as gender specific.

I just looked it up on, and it makes no reference to gender at all:

 [hi-ster-i-kuhl] Show IPA
of, pertaining to, or characterized by hysteria.
uncontrollably emotional.
irrational from fear, emotion, or an emotional shock.
causing hysteria.
suffering from or subject to hysteria.

Ok. We can also look up hysteria:

 [hi-ster-ee-uh, -steer-] Show IPA
an uncontrollable outburst of emotion or fear, often characterized by irrationality, laughter, weeping, etc.
Psychoanalysis . a psychoneurotic disorder characterized by violent emotional outbreaks, disturbances of sensory and motor functions, and various abnormal effects due to autosuggestion.
Psychiatry . conversion disorder.

Again absolutely no reference to gender.

It’s not a gender slur.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“All well and good to call out the hypocrisy, but “hysterically” is a gender slur. Might do well to watch out for that.”

Wait what? Since when is “hysterical” gender specific? I’ve never heard it used that way *at all*.

Have to agree with Masnick on this one. He should know, he’s constantly in hysterics over the Chicken Little scenarios he invents for himself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

We know you are. Hence daily showing up on the site and trying to dismiss everything Mike and others say or denounce them and attack them with ad homs.

If you weren’t scared, you wouldn’t feel the need to do any of that (unless you’re just acting like a child or a troll that is).

Your fear that people are waking up to what you just tried to have passed without their knowledge and are now responding in turn is evident to all. You are indeed scared. Poor AC. You were so close. You’d have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

out_of_the_blue says:

SOPA needed because Grooveshark is GRIFTING:

‘”The only thing that I want to add is this: we are achieving all this growth without paying a dime to any of the labels,” wrote Sina Simantob, Grooveshark’s chairman, in an e-mail on Dec. 1, 2009.’

You can try some weenie legalism to excuse it, but this is EXACTLY the kind of grifting that Mike denies goes on, and why there’s actual need for SOPA.

A Guy (profile) says:

Re: SOPA needed because Grooveshark is GRIFTING:

I’m not going to defend Grooveshark. Grooveshark will fail in court because they paid employees to upload music. If the labels make the argument in court, Grooveshark will lose their safe harbor because of that. The DMCA is sufficient to deal with groovshark.

SOPA goes beyond punishing bad actors. It provides tools that will be used to hurt legitimate businesses and public forums and will drive investment out of the United States. As written, it is bad public policy.

Steve R. (profile) says:

Government Regulation - the Perpetual Bogyman

Blackburn simply regurgitates the too easy mindless blame government regulation mantra. –> “Take the private internet and put it all under government control.” These proposals for so-called government control are being pushed by private industry for the benefit of companies that can “buy” our politicians.

Blackburn goes on to say: “Think about it: what’s going to happen to the next Facebook innovator, if they have to go apply with the government to get approval to develop a new application.” Again, it is private industry that is attempting to use regulations to quash competition.

Blackburn should be demanding that the private refrain from manipulating the politicians and to let the free-market work.

mickeywhite says:

Why does Marsha Want Congress to Regulate the Internet? Why not just say NO FEDERAL branch (the FCC and congress and the federal courts included) has any authority to decide or rule on any aspect concerning the Internet?

BUT Marsha Blackburn did Vote FOR: Patriot Act Reauthorization, Electronic Surveillance, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes ?Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening, Patriot Act extension; and only NOW she is worried about free speech, privacy, and government take over of the internet?

Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
See her ?blatantly unconstitutional? votes at :

anonymous says:

because they have no clue about the internet, no clue about the impact the bill(s) will have on EVERYBODY, including them, that use the internet, because they are more concerned with their pockets than the people that put them where they are and are supposed to be representing and basically, because they dont give a flying f**k for anyone other than themselves, even though they are making themselves look like absolute twats!

Erik (profile) says:

Not surprised about Sen. Hatch, he's a big-time recording artist

Just take a look at his portfolio on

If PIPA doesn’t pass, he may have to give up his dreams of being a performing artist! Then he’ll be completely dependent upon whatever scraps his loyal lobbyists might deign to toss his way!

Save his dream! Support PIPA!

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