Blackburn Bill Attempts To Gut New Net Neutrality Rules. You Know, For Freedom.

from the freedom-lovers-incorporated dept

During the last election cycle, Representative Marsha Blackburn received $15,000 from a Verizon PAC, $25,000 from an AT&T PAC, $20,000 from a Comcast PAC, and $20,000 from the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Surely that funding is only coincidentally related to Blackburn’s recent decision to rush to the defense of awful state protectionist law written by the likes of AT&T and Comcast, preventing towns and cities from doing absolutely anything about their local lack of broadband competition.

That money surely is also only tangentially related to the fact that Blackburn has also just introduced the “Internet Freedom Act” (pdf), aimed at gutting the FCC’s recently unveiled Title II-based net neutrality rules and prohibiting the agency from trying to make new ones. Whereas most of us thought net neutrality is about protecting consumers and smaller competitors from the incumbent ISP stranglehold over the last mile, Blackburn’s website informs readers that net neutrality rules harm innovators, jobs, and err — freedom:

“Once the federal government establishes a foothold into managing how Internet service providers run their networks they will essentially be deciding which content goes first, second, third, or not at all,” Blackburn said in an announcement yesterday. “My legislation will put the brakes on this FCC overreach and protect our innovators from these job-killing regulations.”

And here I was thinking that the FCC was responding to unprecedented public support for some of the rules aimed at keeping AT&T, Comcast and Verizon on their best behavior. Blackburn makes sure to lean heavily on that thoroughly discredited report by the Progressive Policy Institute claiming consumers will all suffer from “billions” in new taxes, and again tosses out the well-worn trope about how Title II is bad because it originated in the 1930s (because old laws are always bad, get it?).

Again though, the fact that Blackburn has received $66,750 from AT&T, $59,650 from Verizon, $56,000 from the NCTA, and $36,000 from Comcast over the last decade surely has nothing to do with her suddenly scurrying on multiple fronts to protect those companies’ stranglehold over the U.S. broadband market. For freedom.

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Comments on “Blackburn Bill Attempts To Gut New Net Neutrality Rules. You Know, For Freedom.”

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Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Bribery, like crypanalysis, should be expensive.

When an entity (a nation or corporation, say) has to resort to bribery, it should be costly enough that it has to triage its resources to a small number of targets, culling for those who are going to yield the highest benefit to cost.

I wonder if you could apply this to pretty much all less-than-honorable methods of business and statecraft, e.g. assassination, torture, lying to the public and so on.

I think the trick would be finding a way to make these methods intrinsically costly, e.g. not put a high penalty on bribes (or high tax on them, if we legalized them), but some logistical element is particularly dear.

In those days that we hired shades-wearing hit-men with breakdown rifles and scopes big enough to find extrasolar planets, assassinations were so dear. Something to ponder.

Anonymous Coward says:

All I can suggest

is to look up who your HR representative is and see if their name is on this list

If they are, write them and express your displeasure. And if they’re not, write them and express your desire that they vote against H.R.1212.

You may not be contributing $$$ towards their election campaign funds, but you are a vote and if they see enough voters reacting to these blatant attempts to screw us over, they will vote in the manner that lets them keep their jobs.

Nashville Guy says:

A product of districts

Representative Blackburn is unfortunately quite unlikely to ever be voted out. I happen to live in the district next to hers – Nashville, Davidson County. She represents primarily Williamson County, which is a short drive away, but it is also a huge suburb with upper-middle class families. It’s not the city’s uber rich, but guess who is not upper middle class? Most young people. Young people don’t want to live in the suburbs. Incumbents are hard to get rid of anyway, but it would take some serious battling to oust her. It goes both ways, though. No Republican even bothers to run in the Nashville district. I bet it’s the same over there.

Pragmatic says:

Once the corporations establish a foothold into managing how Internet service providers run their networks they will essentially be deciding which content goes first, second, third, or not at all… the FCC will put the brakes on this corporate overreach and protect our innovators from these job-killing regulations.

FIFY, Ms. Blackburn

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You do realize the biggest problem with government regulation of US industry is that that those in government are behest to the corporate powers that pay them, right? It’s not a lack of government regulation that’s the problem. It’s a lack or fair representation in that government regulation that is the problem.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I don’t really think so. The same people fighting Net Neutrality (ie. the right-wing conservatives) are the same people that scream obscenity every time a boobie pops up on broadcast TV or they hear a colorful metaphor come over the airwaves and go running to the FCC to “fix” the situation. They like THAT part of the FCC. They just don’t want it serving it’s actual purpose and messing with their monopolistic racket.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

But those uninformed and manipulated followers of the right-wing agenda are the ones that do most of the crying to the FCC about obscenity because it offends their moral biases. They love FCC censorship as long as it supports their world view. They believe the 1st amendment should only protect good Christian speech.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

But those uninformed and manipulated followers of the right-wing agenda are the ones that do most of the crying to the FCC about obscenity because it offends their moral biases.

That may be true. But, I have often found that those who push their moral agendas on others are usually hypocrites who don’t live up to what they are advocating.

They may yell pretty loud about some dirty words on TV, but interfering with their porn access is a different matter all together.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I think there might be something to what Gwiz says. That the people who are currently trying to make everybody fear internet censorship and the same people who cry out for television censorship seems to reinforce the point to me: the ability of the FCC to dictate acceptable content over the airwaves seems to be, in these people’s minds, the main purpose for the FCC’s existence. It seems natural that this would be the thing they think of when it comes to the internet as well. Of course, they’re ignoring the fact that the reason the FCC gets to dictate broadcast standards is that the FCC is the entity that issues broadcast licenses, and standards are a part of the licensing agreement.

Nobody is talking about anything like “internet licenses”.

Anonymous Coward says:

for the blind….

Taken from FCC website.

2. No Blocking: That no legal content may be blocked

What you sheep are missing here is the interpretation of “Legal Content”.

The Govt has shown over and over again to interpret laws/rules/regulations how they see fit regardless of the plain English or true intent of what the law/rule/reg was trying to enforce.

What is going to happen is the enforcement of “legal content” will be left to corporate entities responsible for the last mile. This means blocking of any website considered potentially “illegal” but not proven illegal in a court of law.

That website you purchased T-shirts at a discount? Well its blocked now because they didn’t prove to Comcast that all of their licensing agreements include that IP address you are ordering from. Oh but allow us to route you to is

Dont you people see the implications?

outside the box says:

Re: Re:

Currently, due to this ruling not taking effect right away. Comcast would go to a business ex. NIKE and say we noticed your website is visited 1.3 million times a day from our 100 million + customers, and this could be a issue during peak time usage bogging our network.. So we are kindly asking for $xxxx.. I hope this won’t be a problem I would hate for something to cause your site not to load and our customer base be forced to shop elsewhere… Corporations have been pushing and bullying not only their workers with lower wages and benefits but other companies who make revenue through the internet.

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