FCC Commissioner Wants To Ban States From Protecting Consumer Broadband Privacy

from the states-rights!-Or-not! dept

Despite a last-ditch effort by the EFF and other consumer and privacy groups, the GOP voted back in March to kill consumer broadband privacy protections. As we noted several times, the protections weren't particularly onerous -- simply requiring that ISPs are transparent about what data they're collecting, who they're selling it to, and that they provide working opt-out tools. But because many of these large ISPs are busy pushing into the media sector (AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner being just one example), large ISPs lobbied fiercely to eliminate anything that could dent these future potential revenues.

Shortly thereafter, at least eight states and a handful of cities rushed in to fill the void. The city of Seattle, for example, passed a new requirement that ISPs receive opt-in permission (the dirtiest phrase imaginable to the marketing industry) before collecting and selling subscriber data. Meanwhile in Maine, a new privacy proposal by State Senator Shenna Bellows is seeing support from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike. Bellows cited Congress' decision to overturn the protections as a motivation for the move:

"With its reckless vote, Congress put Mainers’ privacy up for sale,” Bellows said. “Most people are rightfully appalled by the idea that their Internet service provider could be watching their every move online and selling their information to the highest bidder. We owe it to our constituents to protect their privacy."

This move by the states to do the job Congress wasn't willing to do has apparently riled the current FCC majority. Speaking at an event at the American Legislation Exchange Council (ALEC), FCC Commissioner Mike O'Rielly said he would be exploring taking some kind of action against states that move to pass new broadband privacy protections. O'Rielly's comments have previously been backed by current FCC boss Ajit Pai, who has also hinted at taking action against the states:

"It is both impractical and very harmful for each state to enact differing and conflicting privacy burdens on broadband providers, many of which serve multiple states, if not the entire country,” said Pai. “If necessary, the FCC should be willing to issue the requisite decision to clarify the jurisdictional aspects of this issue."

And to be clear, many of these state efforts may cause problems. ISPs have to adapt their business to multiple, discordant protections. In same states, you're likely to see overreach, as politicians try to craft legislation based on what's all-too-often a mud-puddle deep understanding of technology. And the patchwork rules also create confusion for consumers, who suddenly find their privacy is (or isn't) protected depending entirely on whether they're over the state line -- or just how loyal their state representatives are to the charms of large ISP and marketing industry lobbyists.

The problem with this complaint, of course, is we wouldn't be in this situation if Congress and the FCC majority hadn't mindlessly rushed to kill the FCC's basic privacy protections in the first place. It was their choice to ignore the will of the public and push policy solely because AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Charter thought it would be nice. The resulting fractured policy landscape is their responsibility.

There's also the fact that both Pai and O'Rielly have taken longstanding issue with the FCC's attempt to thwart ISP-written, state protectionist laws that hamstring local competition. Those laws, O'Rielly and Pai have long declared, are sacred and a matter of states' rights. Odd that when the states defend the anti-competitive fiefdoms enjoyed by giant ISPs, it's a matter of "states' rights," but when those same states move to buck the interests of those same providers and protect consumer privacy, it's suddenly a capital offense.

During his speech, O'Rielly repeatedly vilified support for privacy and net neutrality as the "whims of the misinformed" and "socialism":

"The members of ALEC can serve an important role as the new Commission seeks to restore free market principles to broadband offerings. Many of you know all too well of the pressure on us to buckle and acquiesce to the whims of the misinformed screaming for Net Neutrality. You likely face it at your respective statehouses as you debate the various matters before you. The ‘progressive agenda’ being pushed in so many settings is really an effort to use government as a means to redistribute hard earned assets from one group of people to favored interests. Do not let your voices go unheard as Net Neutrality advocates slowly, but surely, seek to drag the U.S. economy toward socialism."

As we've long noted, ISPs (and the politicians paid to love them) have had immense success portraying both privacy rights and net neutrality as partisan issues, therefore encouraging public bickering and stalling any real progress on policy. In reality, however, both concepts have broad, bipartisan support (only baseball and getting screwed repeatedly by Comcast tend to magically bridge this country's deep, partisan divide). Ultimately, I think we'll find that mindlessly trampling consumer broadband rights isn't quite the "red meat for the base" both Pai and O'Rielly believe it is in their own heads.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 6:42am

    Because, of course he does....

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

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 6:46am

    Other than the money, I really have to wonder why the FCC would be so adamant about gutting privacy protections, Net Neutrality principles, and basic consumer-friendly oversight. If there is a good reason for doing those things that does not involve large sums of money, I sure as shit cannot figure it out.

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

    • icon
      scotts13 (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 6:51am

      Re:

      "Other than money" is a null phrase. EVERYTHING is entirely about money - always was, always will be. In government, even more so.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 7:02am

        Re: Re:

        Power, Money, and Resources. All are a currency of politics and society.

        They are inexorably linked, however they do not guarantee a portion of the other.

        One can have power, without money, or resources.
        One can have money, without power, or resources.
        One can have resources, without power or money.

        It's just that one or two of these can usually be "easily" traded for a portion of one or both of the others.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 7:02am

      Re:

      It's to protect the freedoms of our most important citizens, like Comcast and AT&T.

      Idiot.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 8:42am

      Re:

      Idiot Paid.

      That's all you really need to know about this clown. He's received nearly $1m dollars in the last three years from major telcos, and has been in fasvour of them for a lot longer.

      He is a baby-eating dingo.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 9:12am

      Re:

      Other than the money, I really have to wonder why the FCC would be so adamant about gutting privacy protections, Net Neutrality principles, and basic consumer-friendly oversight. If there is a good reason for doing those things that does not involve large sums of money, I sure as shit cannot figure it out.

      It's a fundamental principles thing. To Pai and O'Rielly, they simply don't think the FCC should be regulating these issues at all. At best, they think of the FCC as a spectrum management agency. At worst, they think the entire agency should be shut down.

      So when you view their actions through that lens it makes sense in a manner that is not corrupt. They simply believe the simplistic concept that "regulation bad" (as one of our vocal commenters here also believes), and thus they look to undermine restrictions on telcos at all opportunities, not realizing, of course, that that is a form of regulation in its own right that does much greater harm to innovation and consumers.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 9:59am

        Re: Re:

        "At worst, they think the entire agency should be shut down."

        the FCC caused this problem, a full shut down along with all of their rules protecting business is better than them staying alive where the rules now only protect the business.

        TD is becoming a poster child for "Those who run face first into their destinies in vain attempts to avoid it!"

        The moment you turn to a politician to save your ass, is the moment you give it away!

        Go ahead, keep ignoring history, you will only repeat it!

        The only thing history teaches is that people are terrible at learning from it!

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 10:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You are free to piss off any time, you do realise that I hope.

          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, 18 May 2017 @ 10:32am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            How about you put your party's cock back in your mouth so people can be spared your noise?

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

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 4:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          the FCC caused this problem, a full shut down along with all of their rules protecting business is better than them staying alive where the rules now only protect the business.

          Um. Sort of. But not in the way that you think. Much of the success of the early internet was BECAUSE of rules not unlike today's rules (in fact, even stronger) under Title II. The "issue" came when we moved off Title II, which was an FCC decision.

          But now we're back, and your argument is "just do away with them all" which -- given the existing market -- is not just nonsensical, it's suicidal.

          TD is becoming a poster child for "Those who run face first into their destinies in vain attempts to avoid it!"

          I apologize that we actually understand the law and technology and the nuances, and you want to pretend the world is simplistic and two-dimensional. One day, I hope you will learn that things are not so simple.

          The moment you turn to a politician to save your ass, is the moment you give it away!

          Yes. Damn those politicians who created the Constitution. We should just do away with it all.

          Go ahead, keep ignoring history, you will only repeat it!

          Uh huh. Do you expect people to take you seriously?

          The only thing history teaches is that people are terrible at learning from it!

          No offense, but your statements suggest that you are incredibly ignorant of history.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 2:46pm

        Re: Re:

        To Pai and O'Rielly, they simply don't think the FCC should be regulating these issues at all.

        ...

        They simply believe the simplistic concept that "regulation bad" (as one of our vocal commenters here also believes), and thus they look to undermine restrictions on telcos at all opportunities,

        Those lines strike me as rather conflicting. If they really didn't think that it was the FCC's job to be regulating telecos, they wouldn't then be going out of their way attempting to sabotage the efforts by others to do the same, they'd simply drop any FCC regulations and wash their hands of it all.

        For their actions to match that idea they'd have to believe that it's not the job of anyone to regulate the teleco companies, them or states, and the problem with that is that as pointed out they seem to have absolutely no problem with states passing laws that favor teleco companies, they only have a problem when a state tries to pass something that could hurt teleco profits.

        For people that 'only' think the FCC shouldn't have any sort of hand in keeping teleco companies in check their actions don't seem to match. If they are operating under the idea that it's their job to help the teleco companies in any way they can then their actions make perfect sense.

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

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 6:18am

        Re: Re:

        I don't buy it. It takes a whole lot of wilful blindness not to see 1- the overwhelming support towards the rules and 2- that the justice system AND the legislative let the FCC move ahead with Title II back when Wheeler decided to move.

        I hope the dismantling fails hard wherever it needs to go through. And I hope Pai and his misguided ideology (yeah right) go away as soon as possible. If there's any Deity out there Trump will leave sooner as well.

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

  • icon
    scotts13 (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 6:49am

    Uniform rules

    All the states have to do is craft a set of privacy rules that all of them can agree to, and adopt it. Perhaps some sort of central organization to co-ordinate all of this... oh, wait.

    Scratch that. OK, what if we all just ignore the antics in Washington, and set up our OWN government - of the people, for the people...

    I see your point. Never mind.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 6:50am

    I wonder if, should it be found that Trump has been compromised, all his postings will be found to be compromised as well and a huge roll-back will be in order.

    One can only hope...

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 6:55am

      Re:

      Eh, they could argue that they were appointed in “good faith”—that is, they believed Trump was not compromised at the time of their appointments—and likely keep their positions.

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

      • icon
        SteveMB (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 9:59am

        Re: Re:

        "they could argue that they were appointed in “good faith” — that is, they believed Trump was not compromised at the time of their appointments"

        In that case, they should be disqualified under the "you should not be out in public without a keeper to wipe up the trail of drool you leave wherever you go" doctrine.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 7:05am

      Re:

      The problem here is the idea that it is only Trump that might be compromised.

      A pointless affair, the entire government is compromised. Removing Trump will fix nothing. All it will do is give a bunch of clueless nuts a feel good ego boost.

      It Trump would just shut his fucking pie hole a lot of snowflakes would begin to forget the turd.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 7:15am

        Re: Re:

        If only people didn't pay attention to what's going on. Trump could keep all the immigrants out, give the corporations and billionaires tax cuts, gut healthcare, gut net-neutrality, and release Obamas real birth certificate.

        Only then would America be great again.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 7:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If only we had no idiots like you we never would have voted in any Bush's, Obama's, or Trump's.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 8:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes, because everyone who does not agree with your opinions is an idiot - got it.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 9:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              no, I don't have that bias problem.

              I am okay with people disagreeing with me, I just called him an idiot for implying that I was pro-Trump just because I made the statement that Trump is hardly the only corrupt bastard we have to deal with in government.

              Did not vote for Trump, but I do clearly see the hypocrisy of those that have lost their marbles over the guy.

              So again, it is not the difference of opinion that makes him an idiot, just the level of ignorance of the facts.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 10:02am

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

                "I don't have a bias problem." Says man with blindingly obvious bias.

                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, 18 May 2017 @ 10:35am

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

                  Retard.

                  I said I do not have THAT bias problem.

                  Everyone has a bias of some kind, some positive, some negative. I am betting your problem is a negative bias towards intelligence.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 10:48am

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

                    Yes, anyone who misunderstands anything you say, type, or mime is a retard - got it.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 4:17pm

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

                    Your bias is that you think everyone who disagrees with you is stupid and just cannot comprehend the might of your stupendous intellect. And when called on it, you act like a petulant four year old.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 9:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That's what I'm saying!!!

            If only we had more useful idiots. We could dump that pesky old constitution and make Trump supreme leader.

            Like I said, it's too bad people pay attention. If they didn't we'd finally make America great again.

            It's a shame that Trumps presidency has activated so many people. Now we are never going to be able to keep out refugees. We probably won't even be able to start another war in Iran for a while now.

            Life sucks for us Trumpos right now.

            I'm just hopeful that Steve Bannon will still be in the administration. We need more totally not evil guys like him. Keep the whitehouse cuck free!

            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, 18 May 2017 @ 9:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Like I said, it's too bad people pay attention."

              Quite the contrary, people are NOT paying attention. They have been busy focused on a lot of superficial stuff. If they were paying attention... well let's just say Trump might be poor by now instead of sitting in an oval office.

              "Life sucks for us Trumpos right now."

              One thing I have learned from the Hillary sycophants, is that sycophants are called sycophants for a reason. The Trump sycophants are no different.

              Your problem is that you have trouble with comprehension... making you an idiot. Your lame attempts at sarcasm are at least well understood, but you should peddle those on Trump supporters for better effect.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 10:53am

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

                Myth: Everyone is either dem or rep and they all are sycophants ... except for you of course.

                Anyone who has comprehension difficulties is an idiot - got it.

                I learn something new every day, life is good :)

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 8:49am

        Re: Re:

        It Trump would just shut his fucking pie hole a lot of snowflakes would begin to forget the turd.

        The appointments, policies, and legislation pushed by the Trump administration will not “disappear” if Ol’ 45 stops speaking. They are real, tangible, and likely to damage this country for decades.

        They are also not the domain of Trump alone. He did not drop the American Health Care Act on the GOP; the GOP came up with that and asked Trump to stamp it with his approval. Every policy position held by Trump has either been approved or endorsed by the GOP at large—everything from “the wall” to “less taxes for the rich” is part and parcel of that political party.

        When laws and policies affect a wide swath of people whom politicians are supposed to serve, people do not “forget” about it. They look at those who enacted those laws and pushed those policies to either praise or berate them. As it so happens, a lot of policies and potential laws being pushed by the Trump administration will affect more people than I think even they could imagine—and not in a positive way. People should give him and the GOP hell for that. People should be telling their leaders, regardless of party, that a certain law or policy could have grave consequences for the average American citizen.

        Trump is a symptom, yes; the larger disease is the political party that enabled him. The GOP does not want to look inward, as it will find nothing but spite for the broader American populace that Republicans are supposed to govern. How else can you explain a political party that grinds the processes of government to a halt just so they can say “the government doesn’t work”? And why should the American public “forget” that sort of thing?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 10:08am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The appointments, policies, and legislation pushed by the Trump administration will not “disappear” if Ol’ 45 stops speaking. They are real, tangible, and likely to damage this country for decades."

          And people will forget about it, as history shows. They have forgotten many times already!

          "Trump is a symptom, yes; the larger disease is the political party that enabled him. The GOP does not want to look inward, as it will find nothing but spite for the broader American populace that Republicans are supposed to govern."

          I agree, but you forgot to include the democrats along with that, leading to a larger problem called the Elecorate. A group of several million people that accept the corruption in their parties while lambasting the corruption in the opponents party.

          Hypocrisy is a nasty affair, sort your own corruption before you can see clearly enough to sort another's!

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 11:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You say this incredibly obvious stuff - people are dumb! politicians are bad! - as if we all don't know, and it makes you look really oblivious and negates all of your points. You're screaming about the 101 level shit as if it matters. We're trying to have a conversation about the real world, not Politics for Dummies.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 8:56am

        Re: Re:

        "It Trump would just shut his fucking pie hole a lot of snowflakes would begin to forget the turd."

        What does one get when a lot of snowflakes accumulate upon an unleveled surface?

        The potential for avalanche that's what ... do you want an avalanche? Because this is how you create an avalanche.

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

        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 9:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Or one could build tilted snowmen, which are in some aspects similar to tilted strawmen, and lead to similar conclusions.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 9:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So... you just made the statement that George Washington, the First President of the United States along with the declaration of independence a straw-man situtation?

            I really do not expect you to have the mental fortitude to understand this, but that is quite normal around here.

            In short, the Declaration of Independence and George Washington both figuratively and literally predicted what is going on right now. Heck a lot of founding fathers as well.

            Your problem is your ignorance of history.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 10:59am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Yes, George Washington predicted that Russia would interfere with our election by hacking the internet ... literally.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 10:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            LOL - good one.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 9:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, an avalanche against Trump might be a good thing.

          I wonder if the "slowflakes" have it in them.

          (no, that was not a typo)

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

    • icon
      Berenerd (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 7:26am

      Re:

      I am also curious that if its found that the election was messed with by the Russians, would there be a new election?

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 8:51am

        Re: Re:

        I can only imagine that the line of presidential succession will be at play in such a situation. There is no precedent for a special presidential election, and I cannot believe that the federal government is prepared for such a thing.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 9:16am

        Re: Re:

        I hope no one tries to push for a new election.

        When midterms come around congress will either flip or republicans will lose the majority. Then it's just a matter of containment.

        I think America can stick it out until 2020 if the administration is contained by the people, congress, and the courts.

        But we'll see.

        I'm hopeful that sane dialogue can resume in time for 2020.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 6:50am

    The ‘progressive agenda’ being pushed in so many settings is really an effort to use government as a means to redistribute hard earned assets from one group of people to favored interests.

    I just love how everything these days is flipped upside down. If you want a good sound bite, just accuse your opposition of doing everything you're doing!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 7:19am

      Re:

      You honestly believe that your words are not ironic also. You are wrong there as well.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 8:50am

        Re: Re:

        "progressive agenda"

        I still do not know what they mean by this phrase ... it seems to morph into whatever suits their purpose, I suppose the same could be said about the "regressive agenda" being pushed by the opposition but this dichotomy seems unbalanced at the moment.

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

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 7:39am

    FCC commissioner is trying to Protect consumers

    He is trying to protect us from having our information kept private.

    If our information were kept private, nobody would be able to monetize it. This would ultimately lead to the death of capitalism worldwide.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 9:18am

      Re: FCC commissioner is trying to Protect consumers

      Agreed. We need to figure out a way to convert people into money.

      There is a lot of metal in the human body. Maybe we can boil people down to make new coins.

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

      • icon
        DannyB (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 6:12am

        Re: Re: FCC commissioner is trying to Protect consumers

        People have valuable organs.

        About 2/3 of the way through the ISP service agreement you signed, on page 223, as you can clearly see, you agreed to let the ISP sneak in the middle of the night and harvest your and your family's vital organs -- assuming your mobile phone company hasn't gotten them first.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 7:45am

    Pai: "State rights!"

    *states introduce proposals to actually protect customers*

    Pai: "No state rights!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 8:59am

      Re:

      States rights only apply to things the GOP/conservatives want and definitely does not apply to anything anyone else is interested in.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 11:30am

        Re: Re:

        Humans are primarily carbon after water. Convert humanity into coal as fuel for Trump's favorite part of the energy industry.

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

      • icon
        Vaultnode (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 6:48pm

        Re: Re:

        It does no good to demonize a political party.
        This is primarily a generation gap problem more than anything.

        Democrats and Republicans both overwhelmingly want to keep Net Neutrality. Don't forget that. The partisan division here is needless and helps no one other than telecom lobbyists and their employers.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 1:13am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The problem is that the people in FCC are voting at straight partisan lines on these issues. They are also appointed politically. Generally 3 from the presidents party and 2 from the other. Right now Trump hasn't bothered to fill it and only 2 republicants and 1 democrat are appointed.

          Pai and O'Reilley are younger guys, while Clyborn is a slightly more experienced woman. In any terms I don't see the generation gap as the controlling factor there.

          Where you may have a point is outside FCC, but that is not what is under fire here. The republicans favour economic contributions over a good political agenda on this issue and damn if they aren't running the things through with truely mindboggling comments completely opposing any logic, except maybe Trumpism.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 8:09am

    Pai and O'Rielly you are both scum bags. Nice how this article points out how you support state laws that benefit corporations but berate them when state laws protect the public. Go F yourselves you POS lobbyists (not sure if O'Rielly is, but I'm sure that will be his next gig).

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

  • icon
    afn29129 (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 8:23am

    Breakup AT&T ... again.

    It's time for some more mega-corp breakups. AT&T needs to be broken into at least 3 parts. Wired, Wireless, and Satellite (The Satellite TV services merger should of never happened).

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

  • icon
    ThatDevilTech (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 8:25am

    Curious

    I'm curious what ISP Pai and O'Rielly use. I bet they don't have usage caps. They probably get "employee pricing" since they're apparently already on the payroll of the large ISPs. I really would love to know who they use, what speeds they get, and if they get a cap or not. I'd be willing to bet they don't use the Internet like most Americans do today.

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

  • icon
    Vaultnode (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 8:33am

    Pai and O'Reily will not get the open welcome for the remainder of their political careers that they think they will.

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

  • icon
    ShadowNinja (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 8:38am

    Socialism is always bad!

    Do not let your voices go unheard as Net Neutrality advocates slowly, but surely, seek to drag the U.S. economy toward socialism.

    Yes O'Rielly, socialism is always bad.

    Except for things like Social Security, Medicare, anti-monopoly laws, the public education system guaranteeing free education to all kids, the fire departments, the police departments, the justice system, etc.

    Them and all those other things that are paid for tax payer expense are just fine despite being a socialist redistribution of wealth in some way!

    But the very idea of net neutrality is horrible, because socialism is BAD! BAD! BAD!

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

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 9:08am

      Re: Socialism is always bad!

      Also the Interstate Highway System - a wonder of the modern world - and other public roads and streets. The US Postal System. The space program, until just recently.

      And of course the military. (Excluding private militias, but if they exist they're irrelevant in modern times. America's massive military budget is as large as most of the rest of the world's military budgets combined. Even setting aside the manpower and weapons, "socialism" refers to the government controlling that much of the economy through defense contracts.

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

  • icon
    Reima Zadet (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 9:13am

    Since Pai wants to remove the power from the FCC and move it to the FTC, would his ban do anything?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 9:34am

      Re:

      Given the stated logic of 'it would get lost in all the stuff the FTC already takes care of', likely not. There would be nobody to enforce it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 9:26am

    How the F is he in charge?

    The FCC is supposed to be protecting the end consumer.. NOT big business. How do we get him out of there, as obviously he does not know how to do the job assigned to him.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 9:48am

      Re: How the F is he in charge?

      Let me consult the 8 ball...

      Well, asking any variation if Pai will be fired results in some form of yes. However, asking any variation of "Will the FCC get better during this term" results in some form of no.

      As for an answer of why... I would go for 1 of 3 choices, all of them being Lobbyists. Take your pick.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 9:51am

    States Rights

    This is why State's rights are important. We need them as a check and balance to the federal government.

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

  • icon
    Ed (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 10:01am

    ALEC and the GOP should be recognized as enemies of the US, and treated as such.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 10:44am

      Re:

      along with all of the democrats.

      go to war pissant, hopefully I will be around to take over after the two largest evil groups in America kill each other off!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 4:50pm

        Re: Re:

        Some people do not understand the dynamics of politics and the human condition - I certainly do not. However, I do know that if you remove the hypothetical "two groups" others will immediately fill the void like a gas expanding to occupy the entire volume. And then you are right back where you started - congratulations.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 18 May 2017 @ 11:31am

    'free market principles'
    I don't think you know what that means.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2017 @ 5:06pm

    Terrible Internet = Ajit Pai
    Ajit Pai = Donald Trump

    For good Internet it seems we will need to dump the Trump in 4.

    - A conservative who wants decent Internet

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

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 18 May 2017 @ 5:59pm

    Welcome to the Banana Republic of America

    FCC Commissioner Wants To Ban States From Protecting Consumer Broadband Privacy

    Welcome to the Banana Republic of America where a political appointee at the federal level can usurp the will of the people at the state level by (supposedly) thwarting their representatives ability to act.

    State assembly houses have the power to pass legislation that benefits their constituents but most choose the more lucrative path of least resistance by pretending their hands have been tied by federal fiat.

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

  • identicon
    Gerbilface, 18 May 2017 @ 6:12pm

    How the mighty have fallen...

    The FCC under Pai has become an absolute joke. Unless a piano happens to fall on his and Trump's heads in some sort of freak accident, this crap is just going to keep happening. For whatever it's worth, there's a group of people trying to raise money to sue the FCC as sort of an alternate approach: http://www.irregulators.org

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 4:24am

    ...aaaaand they're gone!

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


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