Bad Take: Rep. Sensenbrenner's Response Over Internet Privacy Concerns: 'Nobody's Got To Use The Internet'

from the and-nobody's-got-to-vote-for-you-either dept

As we've explained, with Congress voting (and the President signing) a bill to kill off the FCC's broadband privacy rules, things are not necessarily as bad as some might have you believe, but they're still bad. And lots and lots of people seem to be asking their elected representatives why they did this. After all, despite the fact that the vast majority of both Republican and Democratic voters supported the rules (as they did with net neutrality rules as well...), in Congress everyone lined up along party lines over this issue, with Republican members of Congress voting down the rules.

At least some are now facing backlash over this... and they don't seem to be handling it well. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner seems to have what may be the worst possible take on this after being asked about it. He told a constituent, to maybe just not use the internet if you don't like it. That linked article only has part of the quote, but here's the video of the question and the response:

The questioner points out, correctly, that for individual services, like Facebook, people have a choice of how much they actually use them or what info they give, but for your overall ISP that's not true -- and also notes that there aren't competitive options. Sensenbrenner's answer is... maddeningly nonsensical and wrong, and basically ignores everything the questioner just said to him:

"You know, again, nobody's got to use the internet. And the thing is, if you start regulating the internet like a utility, if you did that right at the beginning, we'd have no internet. Internet companies have invested an awful lot of money in having almost universal services, now. And the fact is, you know, I don’t think it’s my job to tell you that you cannot get advertising through your information being sold. My job, I think, is to tell you that you have the opportunity to do it and then you take it upon yourself to make the choice that the government should give you. And that's what the law has been and I think we ought to have more choices, rather than fewer choices, with the government controlling our everyday lives.”

Now, it's a live situation, and perhaps Rep. Sensenbrenner misspoke. But, no, his press office doubled down on this when someone called it out on Twitter. Amusingly, the press office was trying to parse the difference between "don't use the internet" (as a Tweeter claimed Sensenbrenner said) and "you have a choice" which is... well... not a very big difference, despite his press office claiming it's a "big difference."

The idea that people "have a choice" in using the internet today is laughably out of touch. Indeed, so many things that people rely on today pretty much require the internet. Jobs, transportation, housing and more frequently require the internet. And, to put an even stronger "WTF" on Sensenbrenner's misguided statement: a big part of the problem here is the very lack of choice. The vast majority of Americans have no real choice when it comes to getting true broadband access -- as the very questioner stated, and which Sensenbrenner totally ignored. Thanks to bad policies, we have a non-competitive market, where if you want broadband, you basically have to go with one company, and then it gets access to a ton of data about you.

If Sensenbrenner truly meant what he said here, he'd have been against rolling back the rules. As small ISP boss Dane Jasper recently noted on our podcast, without these privacy rules, it actually gives the giant providers that much more power over the smaller upstarts, and makes it harder for the small providers to compete.

Also, Sensenbrenner is simply flat out wrong with his argument about "if the internet was regulated like a utility at the beginning" because it WAS regulated like a utility at the beginning and it resulted in tons of competition and innovation. Indeed, for most of the internet's early rise it was treated as a utility in terms of things like open access and line sharing. And privacy rules. It's only more recently that that went away.

Also, I have no clue what Sensenbrenner is trying to say when he says: "I don't think it's my job to tell you that you cannot get advertising through your information being sold. My job, I think, is to tell you that you have the opportunity to do it and then you take it upon yourself to make the choice that the government should give you." What does that even mean? First of all, it was the FCC's job, and it did so. What Sensenbrenner did here was to roll back what the FCC said. Second, even with the rules, it never said that "you cannot get advertising through your information being sold." All the rules did was say that ISPs had to tell you about it and offer clear options on how you controlled your data. Third, seriously, what is he saying when he says his job is "to tell you that you have the opportunity to do it and then you take it upon yourself to make the choice that the government should give you." I honestly keep reading that sentence and cannot parse it. The privacy rules were what gave individuals choices. It gave them choices in how their data could be used. Rolling back those rules takes away the choice.

For years, we've pointed out that Congress appears totally and completely out of touch when it comes to basic tech policy -- especially related to the internet. Jim Sensenbrenner's vote and statements on this issue have only confirmed that basic fact.


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  • icon
    D.C. Pathogen (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 6:32am

    Cut off his internet

    If you don't have to use the internet - don't.
    Back up you stance Sensenbrenner, go internet free for just 30 days. Your office, your staff and your residence, no internet, no wifi, no cellular data.

    I'm sure someone out there can help him with this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 7:26am

      Re: Cut off his internet

      Keep in mind that this is a guy who still writes his letters on a 1971 IBM Selectric II typewriter.

      Dunno if it's because he likes the old technology, or if - like several Congressman who say "they don't use email" and have their aides use it for them - it's about bypassing email archiving laws.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 10:03am

        Re: Re: Cut off his internet

        I doubt he knows how to type, it is probably an unpaid intern that prints out stuff with an old font and tells the idiot they typed it on a typewriter.

        Can you still get ribbon for those old things?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Chombs (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 11:21am

          Re: Re: Re: Cut off his internet

          Well somebody got to get close to that intern and let him/her know the tremendous power he/she has and use it responsibly and heroically.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 8:07am

      Re: Cut off his internet

      also, cut off his credit/debit cards too.
      Pretty much all electronic payments these days are processed via internet connections. Let's see how he manages without.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 8:18am

        Re: Re: Cut off his internet

        And forbid any method of withdrawing cash that requires net connection such as ATMs, cashback, branch locations of the bank, etc.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 12:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: Cut off his internet

          There isn't even a need for that. Even if he doesn't know it, he is using the internet every single day at work and at home... it doesn't matter what he himself believes. Telling your assistant drone to send a message to somewhere is the same as using a google home (or whatever your favorite smart voice recognition device is) and I believe that no one could say with a straight face that you aren't using the internet when using one of those.
          Just cut off his access to the internet through the 5 closest people and this guy would be in trouble.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Median Wilfred, 17 Apr 2017 @ 6:34am

    Republicans, free market, and totalitarians

    For the last 20 years, it appears that Republicans are against government being in charge, but are 110% in favor of churches and corporations being absolute rulers. Citizens exist solely to vote Republican, get fleeced by churches and overpay already bloated monopoly corporations. What the fuck?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 7:02am

      Re: Republicans, free market, and totalitarians

      Apparently that is what makes America "Great Again" ...

      Who knew ... not like any of those liars actually detailed wtf they were talking about while spewing that total bs. Dog whistle for some, complete bs for most everyone else. But they won the electoral college and that means everyone marches in lock step - right? ... lol. What's next, a law forbidding any criticism of these asshats?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Chombs (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 11:47am

      Re: Republicans, free market, and totalitarians

      Monopolistic company: "if you don't like the price don't buy it"

      The 3.6 billion poor in the world: "what?"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 6:37am

    My job is to screw the people who elected me for a few silver coins from the industry.
    I serve you up on a plate for them, because I care about them more.
    They told me this was fine and only unamerican bastards would be against it.
    They pay me to do what they want, so suck it up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ed Allen, 17 Apr 2017 @ 6:42am

    Drink the poisoned water or go without.

    That is closer to the "choice" he provided us.

    Not even any unpoisoned alternative for us.

    No Internet is nothing to him just like going through a checkout line was
    a first time experience for Geoege Bush.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 7:08am

      Re: Drink the poisoned water or go without.

      It appears that some of our elite congressional representatives are a tad bit ignorant - I'm shocked.

      When called out on their ignorance they deflect in several ways, some of which are a big concern as it sheds light upon how screwed we all are - including the ignorant idiots, but they are too stupid to even realize or acknowledge same.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Chombs (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 11:49am

      Re: Drink the poisoned water or go without.

      Drink the poisoned water or do without.

      THIS. You totally nailed it.

      And then the guy dares to talk about choice, how is that for hypocrisy?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 6:48am

    BREAKING: Old, out-of-touch man who doesn't use something thinks no one else needs to as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 8:54am

      Re:

      ^^^ This. ^^^

      Let's take away his typewriter, abacus, and quill pen and see how this wrinkled bag of pus gets along.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 9:10am

        Re: Re:

        Just take his phones away, especially the ones in his private offices, and lets see what happens to his campaign funding.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Unanimous Cow Herd, 17 Apr 2017 @ 9:25am

      Re:

      I'm convinced, now more than ever, that there should be a civics test on current events and an IQ test for anyone wanting to run for a national office.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 9:30am

        Re: Re:

        That won't help, as they all know the answer to give on such a test, and does not stop them doing whatever is best for them and their cronies.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 17 Apr 2017 @ 6:53am

    If I was an opponent, I would plaster, "You know, again, nobody's got to use the internet."- R-Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner everywhere.

    And every time you see him, asked if he, or anybody he knows, used the Internet in the past 24 hours.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TheOtherDude, 17 Apr 2017 @ 6:59am

    1984

    Shut up and do as your told citizen!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Rob (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 7:02am

    "You know, again, nobody's got to use the internet. And the thing is, if you start regulating the internet like a utility, if you did that right at the beginning, we'd have no internet."

    Seems to me when the internet was dial-up it was regulated. There were at least 6 different ISP's in my area and prices were competitively lowered to about $7.00 a month. Now I have 1 ISP with truly fast speeds (Comcast).

    The biggest mistake was never opening up the last mile.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 7:16am

      Re:

      What you consider to be a mistake, they call a huge success - big surprise huh.

      This implies they do not have your best interests in mind.
      And yet we still refer to this as a representative form of government ... really? I thought everyone was supposed to be represented, not just the uber riche. Now I'm told that the proles simply need to suck it up. You got yours, screw everyone else.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 7:27am

      Re:

      The last mile was opened up! I don't know if people remembered this, but you could get DSL service from a number of company's. I in fact had SDLS service from this one company early on which most DSL service is ADSL. So that last mile, the one going to your house was OPEN. Of course they ended up going out of business. I lost high speed Internet. So I tried getting DSL service from AT&T and they told me I was to far away, so I ended up getting ISDN. That was 64kbps per B channel. Which was faster then a Phone Modem, not by a whole lot, and you could double that using both B channels. It wasn't exactly fast, and it wasn't exactly cheap. Especally using both B channels at once. I couldn't wait until Comcast Internet came to town. I heard it was coming, so I went out and got a cable modem, Plugged it in and waited until it made a connection after a few weeks. Called Comcast, at first they said they didn't have service in my area yet, but in the end I finally was connected up. So I must of been one of the first in town back then to get Cable Internet.

      It was way back then when the last mile closed up and it was AT&T or whoever your local phone company was for DSL service or your cable company for Internet and that was pretty much it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Thad, 17 Apr 2017 @ 12:44pm

        Re: Re:

        The last mile was opened up! I don't know if people remembered this, but you could get DSL service from a number of company's.

        All of whom were renting it from the same phone company. Which is why the market dried up.

        It turns out that, if your choice of ISP is between Qwest and Joe Blow's Local ISP renting Qwest, then Qwest is getting paid either way -- meaning it can charge little or nothing for its ISP offering (at least for the first year or two before it jacks up its prices) and still turn a profit.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 7:13am

    Let's stop calling them "out of touch" because now it is just a euphemism for "lying and selling us out". He knows he's being an obtuse dickweed and we should call him as such. Who says we should respect dickweeds like this?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 7:14am

    TSA Precheck

    Recently I applied for and received TSA Precheck authorization. I had no choice but to apply over the web. After the initial application was approved, I had to visit a TSA office in person. But, the initial stuff HAD to done over the web.

    See! I don't have a choice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 7:17am

    Nobody's got to use Google either, but sadly that doesn't stop tools like My_Name_Here from throwing a hissy fit about it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 7:28am

    FTFY

    This phrase: "...completely out of touch when it comes to basic tech policy"

    would be far more correct as "...completely out of touch when it comes to basic technology"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous, 17 Apr 2017 @ 7:36am

    Had an anonymous sound-off letter published in the local paper today:

    Thank you, Congressman Mike Bost, for voting to end our internet privacy. Your browsing history can now be sold by ATT and Charter. Imagine the fun of discovering from Walmart or any other retailer that your 14-year-old daughter is pregnant.

    Sorry for putting this here, but it needs wider attention.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 7:54am

    reminds me of the Dilbert Y2K cartoon.


    Loud Howard: "WE CAN ALL LIVE IN AN AGRARIAN SOCIETY!"

    a little bit later...

    Loud Howard: "THAT'S IT, WE'RE ALL FARMERS!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 8:01am

    <edit> A problem understanding technology == a problem understanding reality

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JD, 17 Apr 2017 @ 8:18am

    To me, he'll always be the petulant politician who was so mad that people were talking about Guantanamo Bay at a PATRIOT Act hearing in 2005 that he abruptly gaveled the session to a close, took the gavel with him and then cut the mics of the other reps.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/10/AR2005061002110.html

    I'm shocked -- shocked -- that someone with that thin of a skin would show even greater levels of contempt for the public.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 8:21am

    I have got my popcorn

    I have my entertainment...

    what could be better?

    Like I said before Trump was in power, the actions that democrats are taking will help ENSURE that someone like Trump will be elected into office.

    Now, we have the reverse of it at play. Right now the actions of the republics will help to put someone like Hillary in next time around.

    Just as George Washington foretold in his farewell address if we keep sticking to political parties... "the dominance of one party over the other, sharpened by the spirit of revenge will reduce government to a despotism!"

    If you liked Obama, then you have ZERO standing to bitch about Trump, because you helped bring him here, you need to sleep in the bed you helped make. Those of you that like Trump, your hate for Obama was bankrupt!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 10:10am

      Re: I have got my popcorn

      Take off those blinders, they are not helping.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 11:18am

      Re: I have got my popcorn

      Yes yes. Everyone (but you) is stupid for doing anything. *Yawn* No really you're not boring me with your tired old tropes. I was just up late last night.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Chombs (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 12:24pm

        Re: Re: I have got my popcorn

        Well keep doing the same (voting for either) and you shall have the same results, that is the definition of insanity. Keep believing and doing things for a system that clearly DOES NOT WORK.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          R.H. (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 7:21pm

          Re: Re: Re: I have got my popcorn

          Given the turnout for the 2016 Presidential election, I'm pretty sure that many people decided to not vote for either (or anyone for that matter). I don't think that made things better.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    wshuff (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 8:37am

    Corporations: "All Your Lives Are Belong To Us!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 8:37am

    exhibit b in why our government no longer works.

    when this kind of buttikus maximus is presented as a party's offering you realize why we shouldn't have political parties.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 8:45am

      Re:

      Oh, government WORKS, just not in the way we want it!

      Better analogy is to state that government is terrible at everything it does, so if you want something done right, get government involved. Sure there are some things you cannot avoid the involvement of government, those are narrow and few, and SHOULD kept that way!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 10:12am

        Re: Re:

        Implied that corporations can do it better?
        That is a huge turd, no wonder it does flush easily.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 11:22am

        Re: Re:

        Of course! Now the decision can be left to the corporations, who will inevitably do what's right.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Chombs (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 12:27pm

        Re: Re:

        Agree. But the solution won't come from private capital either. Both sides, government and corporation have proved and proved time and time again that they are not in it for the best interests of people.

        If anything, true solutions and true information and critique will come from ORGANIZED CIVIL SOCIETY.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 8:52am

    > "You know, again, nobody's got to use the internet."

    Even churches share information primarily through the internet these days. During Easter service on Sunday the church I was in read off a web address to locate materials. I suppose nobody has to eat, or leave their own home, but they certainly feel necessary to modern life each in their own right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    UniKyrn, 17 Apr 2017 @ 8:56am

    "... Congress appears totally and completely out of touch ..."

    And We The People keep electing them, so who's further out of touch?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 9:37am

      Re:

      oh snap!

      don't talk like that around here... many folks at TD don't understand that! They call it...

      "victim blaming"

      No responsibility here friend!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 10:13am

        Re: Re:

        Dear citizen,

        Please pick one of the two following persons for the position of president.

        Wow, huge choice there Biff.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 10:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's a cop-out. The citizens had a good selection of choices including:

          Bernie, a center-left Democrat
          Hillary, a traditional center-right Republican
          Trump, an alt-right Republican

          And of course Jeb! and the rest in both parties. But those simply didn't get any traction at all with the public.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Thad, 17 Apr 2017 @ 12:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Sure, but there are systemic biases that grant advantages to certain types of candidates.

            The crowded Republican field and first-past-the-post vote certification certainly worked in Trump's favor. Do you think he could have gotten the nomination in an instant-runoff system, or any other designed to advantage consensus candidates over polarizing ones?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Roger Strong (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 2:08pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I do think so. Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015, was leading in the polls within a month, and kept the lead for the rest of the election. Contrast that with 2012 where everyone including Herman Cain got their turn in the lead.

              I can name a few problems within the party that led to Trump's nomination, but I don't think that first-past-the-post is one of them.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Thad, 17 Apr 2017 @ 4:21pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I do think so. Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015, was leading in the polls within a month, and kept the lead for the rest of the election.

                And even after all that, he still only got 45% of the vote. Most Republican primary voters did not vote for him; that's my point.

                Of the people who voted for Rubio or Kasich, how many people do you think would have picked Trump as their second choice? Hell, of the people who voted for Cruz, how many do you think would have picked Cruz as their first choice (as opposed to just voting for him because he had the best shot at beating Trump)?

                Trump had more people pick him as their first choice than anybody else. But for most people, he was, demonstrably, not their first choice.

                How many people do you suppose considered him their absolute last choice? If the number is any higher than 5.1%, then it's a mathematical certainty that he would have lost under a system with instant runoff and proportional delegate assignment.

                And that's assuming the votes broke down exactly the same otherwise, and not getting into other events that could have made the numbers even worse for Trump, such as candidates like Walker, Rubio, and Bush staying in the race longer (as their chances would certainly have been better under a system that rewarded second, third, and fourth choices).

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Chombs (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 4:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Out of 320 million people and these were the best 2 we could come up with?

            - Glen Greenwald

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 4:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Cop out? - Not really, when you consider that some states do not allow independent voters to participate in the primary, if they even have one. The decision is already made for many because they do not associate with any party, they do not have a voice until the election.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 10:20am

      Re:

      Its not the people here that you need to convince to vote for better politicians, its the 80 plus percent of the population that have decided to always vote for the same party, if they can be bothered to vote..

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JoeCool (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 3:33pm

        Re: Re:

        I certainly can't be bothered to vote, and you know why? I spent more than two decades voting third-party and not a single candidate ever won. Not even close. If the candidate I voted for was mentioned, it was to laugh at how few votes they got. So yes, I can't be bothered to vote since there is NO ALTERNATIVE.

        Of course, I don't call it not being bothered to vote, I call it BOYCOTTING A CORRUPT SYSTEM. I get to laugh at all you idiots who keep voting Dem or Rep. You keep voting for Kodos and complaining about your chains. I'd move to another country, but they're all at least as bad or worse these days.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 9:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's not a corruption problem; that's an education problem.

          Here in Canada we have a first past the post system. And yet we still have viable 3rd and 4th parties. Most people know that a vote for a third party isn't a spoiled ballot. They still have influence.

          Even with only a small handful of seats in Parliament, a third party is often the deciding factor in many votes. The two main parties would have to make deals or form coalitions with the third party to get their majority. And that means adopting a few of the third party's policies.

          Or the one of the two main parties will see a third party's policy earning points in the polls, and they'll adopt it for themselves. And so the third party's policy gets enacted without the party being elected.

          It also means that a party on the left or right can't take the voters on their own side for granted. There's often another party that can step in to take their place. 20 years ago one party went from running Canada to being effectively voted out of existence.

          US voters don't seem to realize this, so there's a negative feedback loop. They don't believe in third parties, so the third parties don't get votes. Which in turn means - as 2016 made clear - they don't attract viable leaders. Which means they don't get votes...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            The Wanderer (profile), 18 Apr 2017 @ 5:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That just means that Canada hasn't devolved to the natural end-point of a single-choice, first-past-the-post voting system yet. There was a time when America hadn't either, and yet here we are.

            The real problem isn't first-past-the-post itself; it's the spoiler effect, and the perverse voting patterns which it incentivizes. That effect exists under first-past-the-post, and there's no way to eliminate or minimize that fact; the only solution is to switch to a voting system which does not produce that effect.

            (The best-known ranked-choice voting system, known as IRV - the one in which the candidate with the most last-place or fewest first-place votes is eliminated, and then the results are recalculated on the basis of the remaining candidates - doesn't have the same spoiler effect as does FPTP, but does still leave situations in which ranking your preferred candidate a certain way can actually decrease the chance of that candidate winning. A Condorcet system, although much harder to understand, is the most ideal option known as far as perverse incentives goes.)

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Roger Strong (profile), 18 Apr 2017 @ 7:09am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That just means that Canada hasn't devolved to the natural end-point of a single-choice, first-past-the-post voting system yet.

              Faced with a working system, you simply made that up.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                The Wanderer (profile), 18 Apr 2017 @ 9:02am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                No - that line is based on a persuasive analysis I ran across last year which explained/argued the ways in which the structural incentives of single-choice first-past-the-post drive inevitably towards a two-party system, purely out of people attempting to vote in their own best interests.

                Unfortunately I don't remember where that analysis was or who presented it, so I can't cite it effectively, and I don't remember its arguments well enough to persuasively present them myself.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 9:23am

    All your bandwidth are belong to us

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 9:30am

    I don't care for the FCC because of the whimsical way in which our politicians seem to control the regulations that govern it. I think if the laws/regulations can be manipulated before they even go into effect, they are useless and stand to do more harm than good. It's not that I think regulation is bad, it's the ability to change it so easily by whatever idiot that I, and my fellow countrymen, have chosen to elect that I have a problem with.

    With that said; This guy is an idiot. All I heard after ""You know, again, nobody's got to use the internet." was blah blah blah... my mind had already dismissed any/all explanations that came out of his mouth. I haven't witnessed this kind of stupid since I watched that youtube video where the guy tried to shoot a bottle rocket from his butt, and ended up cooking his balls.

    This is a perfect example of why I think regulation in it's current form is "bad". This guy has absolutely no clue what he's talking about. At best he should be working as an announcer at the local bat-shit-crazy right wing bingo hall not making laws.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 9:40am

      Re:

      "It's not that I think regulation is bad, it's the ability to change it so easily by whatever idiot that I, and my fellow countrymen, have chosen to elect that I have a problem with."

      that's uhh.... kinda what makes them bad!

      Sure objectively regulation is the same as bias! Both words that can be used in positive or negative light. The problem is that are simply subjective terms with identity politics unfortunately intertwined rendering new definitions for them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 17 Apr 2017 @ 12:52pm

      Re:

      Ah, the old "regulations are bad because removing this regulation was bad" argument. Never get tired of that one.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 3:06pm

        Re: Re:

        Nice straw man ass hat. No one but you said ""regulations are bad because removing this regulation was bad"". I said, in a nut shell; Regulation in it's current form is "bad". Don't make weak ass regulations that are subject to the political whims of people that have no idea what the fuck they are doing, or are bought and paid for by their corporate masters. If that's what your going to do, then I would rather you do nothing at all.

        But hey, who am I to stop you? Go ahead! Climb up on your high horse, pour on a heavy dose of snark, and watch your regulation go right down the damn toilet.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Thad, 17 Apr 2017 @ 4:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Nice straw man ass hat.

          It's not a strawman, it's a reductio ad absurdum.

          No one but you said ""regulations are bad because removing this regulation was bad"".

          Well, me and some dumbass in every single comments thread about regulations.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 4:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Well, me and some dumbass in every single comments thread about regulations."

            Nope. Just you.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Thad, 17 Apr 2017 @ 5:33pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Nono, the line is "I know you are, but what am I?" If you're going to get your comebacks from Pee-Wee Herman, at least get them right.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 4:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The proof is in the outcome. The regulation is gone. The organization that enforced the regulation is gutted. It may not ever come back. If it does, it will only be until the pendulum swings to the other side again... tick tock. Keep playing the partisan game thug. From the losing side no less.. LOL.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 5:02pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              ... and the winning side?

              Probably the ones who lie, cheat and steal are the winners in this person's mind.

              Promote anarchy? .... don't tell me what to do !!!!!

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Thad, 17 Apr 2017 @ 5:38pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The proof is in the outcome. The regulation is gone. The organization that enforced the regulation is gutted. It may not ever come back. If it does, it will only be until the pendulum swings to the other side again... tick tock.

              Let me get this straight: you've noticed that laws can be changed depending on which politicians are elected to office...and you have concluded that this is a bad thing? That's what representative democracy is, Jack. I may not always agree with the outcome (and I think it's quite clear that in this instance the representatives are voting contrary to their constituents' wishes) but what alternative do you propose? Laws that can never ever be repealed? Yeah, I can't imagine any way that could ever go wrong.

              Keep playing the partisan game thug.

              Game Thug? Is that like a Game Boy with a gold chain?

              From the losing side no less.. LOL.

              This is a partisan issue, Mr. Coward. 100% of the people who voted for it are Republican. I'm not the one making it a partisan issue; they are.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2017 @ 4:54am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "This is a partisan issue, Mr. Coward. 100% of the people who voted for it are Republican. I'm not the one making it a partisan issue; they are."

                Exactly my point. When laws only have the support of one side in 2 party system, they are doomed from the start. As soon as the other side comes to power, and it's inevitable that they will, they will stop at nothing to destroy it. As they are. I'm just stating what is already happening.

                The rules started partisan. "The 3-2 party line vote by the FCC’s five commissioners, " and they ended just as you said, partisan.

                "Let me get this straight: you've noticed that laws can be changed depending on which politicians are elected to office...and you have concluded that this is a bad thing? "

                How about we make laws that are supported by all players and not just one side? Perhaps then they may survive when the political winds change? If you can't get the support from one side, at least SOME support, perhaps no law at all would be better? As it stands; It was doomed from the start and a complete waste of time.

                The good news is you can say whatever you want, the proof is right here in this story. I don't have to be right. I'm just pointing out what is already happening.



                https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/10/27/the-fcc-just-passed-sweeping-new-rules- to-protect-your-online-privacy/?utm_term=.9b73da92c7fa

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 19 Apr 2017 @ 7:46am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "How about we make laws that are supported by all players and not just one side? "

                  You're kidding, right? How do you get two diametrically opposed people to agree on anything? I suppose you could put them both in a room and let them decide whether they should blow themselves up - you think they might agree upon this one item or will they be thinking about how they can trap their opponent in the room while at the same time escape.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 8:50pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "The proof is in the outcome"

              The proof of what?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 17 Apr 2017 @ 9:31am

    Huh?

    "...you take it upon yourself to make the choice that the government should give you."

    Okay Representative Sensenbrenner, if the government should give us a choice, why are you taking it away?

    Senile much?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 9:40am

    Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner = another clueless dolt or paid for politician. What a scumbag.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chombs (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 11:19am

    Drinks diet coke on a "very important" meeting! looool, enough said.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 11:24am

    Further proof that these people don't live in the same world as the rest of us.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chombs (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 11:34am

    Ah yes, the old: "if you don't like the price, don't buy it"... has never worked. Say that in regards to food, transportation, medicine/health, clothing, and so many other basic and secondary goods/services to half of the world population which is poor and cannot afford. Utter ridiculous non-sense.

    Now this "if you don't like the internet then don't use it" like this dude is barfing if so full of itself, especially in the 21st century, the era of information.

    First, the correct phrase would be "if you don't like the internet how we are trying it to be for the profit of a few then don't use it"...that would be a bit less misleading.

    Second, free access to information IS a universal human right. Right to privacy is a universal human right. So he does not have a say on how the internet should be, or should we use it or not, it is a universal human right, above him and his party, his interest buddies and even above the American constitution.

    What an idiotic person, so archaic. If we all thought like him, we would all be back in the stone age.

    He claims that if the internet was regulated as a utility then there would be no internet at all, but that is just his very biased opinion (obviously) with no proof or data to support such ridiculous claim.

    Electricity, water, etc are all considered utilities and they are still here, then why not the internet?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 17 Apr 2017 @ 12:00pm

    Senseless in Wisconsin

    Bad Take: Rep. Sensenbrenner's Response Over Internet Privacy Concerns: 'Nobody's Got To Use The Internet'

    US congressman Frank James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin has no sense at all.

    He and his congressional ilk are less than zero's they are negatives.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 2:11pm

    DO I??

    REALLY NEED A CAR??
    DO I REALLY NEED A HOUSE??
    DO I NEED CLOTHING??

    NOPE..I get to walk 20 miles in the nude and back...
    Anyone got a horse? or are they Illegal also??

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2017 @ 5:07pm

      Re: DO I??

      No - I think they are saying you do not need to live.

      Just look at their legislation, local, state & fed - everything is geared towards a Bizarro Robin Hood world where the rich steal from the poor. This is what makes America Great Again .... for these small minded folk.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DNY, 18 Apr 2017 @ 7:37pm

    Perhaps he can champion legislation to make that so...

    These remarks being made at the end of tax filing season are beyond risible. I invite Rep. Sensenbrenner to actually file his own Federal Income Tax and find a way to do it without using the internet. His office can then start working on legislation to make it so one doesn't need to use the internet to file one's Federal taxes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Apr 2017 @ 7:50am

      Re: Perhaps he can champion legislation to make that so...

      Good luck finding all the forms you need at the local library, you would probably need to visit your local irs office - if there is one.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    website, 21 Apr 2017 @ 2:55am

    Stop wasting so mutch time

    Hey guys! it's time to develop a new addiction..... A healthy addiction. Something like fitness or running in the park. Stop wasting so mutch time on the web!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2017 @ 5:01pm

    According to the United Nations, the Internet is a human right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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