Senator Wyden To FCC Chair Pai: Hey, Stop Lying About What I Said To Undermine Net Neutrality

from the misrepresentations-all-the-way-down dept

Yesterday we posted our comments to the FCC on net neutrality. Tons of others did as well, but I wanted to call out the comment submitted by Senator Ron Wyden. For two decades, Wyden has been a leading advocate of keeping the internet free from burdensome regulations, thus allowing tremendous innovation to occur. This echoes our position as well. However, both of us have advocated strongly for keeping the net neutrality rules in place. As we've pointed out, such rules are actually necessary in keeping the internet free and open -- because access to the internet has become dominated by just a tiny handful of giant companies with a history of bad behavior towards consumers, and repeated statements about plans to defy the internet's end-to-end principles.

However, Wyden is particularly annoyed that FCC chair Ajit Pai uses Wyden's own words out of context to support his plan to do away with the open internet rules. You see, in Pai's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), he quotes a letter that Wyden sent back in 1998 about internet regulations:

Congress weighed in again two years later. Five Senators—John Ashcroft, Wendell Ford, John F. Kerry, Spencer Abraham, and Ron Wyden—wrote the Commission that “[n]othing in the 1996 Act or its legislative history suggests that Congress intended to alter the current classification of Internet and other information services or to expand traditional telephone regulation to new and advanced services.” These five members further warned that if the Commission “subject[ed] some or all information service providers to telephone regulation, it seriously would chill the growth and development of advanced services to the detriment of our economic and educational well-being.”

Later in the NPRM he quotes Wyden's letter again.

This success wasn’t an accident. In 1996, President Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and established a national policy “to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet . . . unfettered by Federal or State regulation.” In 1998, Senators Ron Wyden and John Kerry, among others, said that if the FCC “suddenly subject[ed] some or all information service providers to telephone regulation, it seriously would chill the growth and development of advanced services.” The next year, Democratic FCC Chairman Bill Kennard said that it “is not good for America” to “just pick up this whole morass of [telephone] regulation and dump it wholesale on the [Internet] pipe.” This wasn’t controversial. It was the consensus.

Except there's a big problem here. The quotes a completely out of context and misleading. What Wyden was talking about then -- and which he still supports today -- is that it doesn't make sense to apply telecommunications regulations to services on the internet. That is, we shouldn't apply such rules to VoIP and streaming services and websites. Because those are highly competitive markets where anyone can jump in and they don't need such regulations. But that's entirely different than the market for internet access providers and specifically broadband internet access providers.

This is a key point that too many people are conflating -- including Ajit Pai and other anti-net neutrality folks. They insist (some in our comments) that putting in place very limited restrictions on broadband access providers, like those in the 2015 open internet rules, is somehow "regulating the internet." It's not. It's putting in place very limited regulations for internet access. Access is not the internet. Access is the way onto the internet.

Wyden, it appears, is none too pleased with Pai misrepresenting his words, and using them to pretend that Wyden supports undoing the open internet rules:

The purpose of this comment is to specifically refute the Chairman’s willfully ignorant mischaracterization of a letter I signed in 1998, which this NPRM improperly claims as justification for classifying broadband service providers as an information service in 2017.

In the late 90’s, I led the charge against government over-regulation of the content of the internet, including by authoring Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law which maintains free speech on the internet. Similarly, I wrote the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which prohibits internet access taxes and disallows discrimination between digital goods and services and their physical counterparts. My priorities from 1998 to 2017 have not changed. Then, as today, I fought for telecommunications policies deeply rooted in a philosophy of openness, transparency, nondiscrimination, competition, and freedom online. In 1998, that meant working to make sure third-party Internet Service Providers (ISPs) continued to grow from “walled-garden” services to the services we have today. In 2017, that means protecting the internet from the balkanization — from sponsored content and zero rating to paid prioritization and blocking — that will arise from removing the protection of the 2015 Title II Order.

The internet and internet access service today both are wildly different than they were in 1998. Back then, large numbers of consumers were starting to take advantage of the whole internet, rather than just a walled-garden service. The key difference, however, was that in 1998 consumers largely accessed the internet through third-party ISPs like AOL, or Prodigy, and those consumers used the infrastructure of the common carrier telephone system to connect to that third-party ISP.

Today, those third-party ISPs are few and far between, and the same company that provides the customer with internet service owns the broadband telecommunications infrastructure used to transmit online content. While the Internet Service Providers referenced in the 1998 letter provided what was an information service “over the top” of common carrier facilities, today’s ISPs offer a transmission service to their broadband internet access customers.

This key difference means that without the strong protections of common carrier regulations, the broadband providers of 2017 have both the means and motivation to discriminate and profit from playing the internet gatekeeper, for example by turning off content from certain sources or competitors. If we lived in a world where effective broadband competition existed, and a functioning market worked to balance these incentives, that might impact the analysis if — and only if — internet users once again had dozens or even hundreds of ISPs from which to choose. Unfortunately, far too many Oregonians only have access to a single broadband provider for their home. Broadband providers that control their customers’ pathway to the entire internet cannot be permitted to interfere unreasonably with the transmission of content that those customers send and receive.

He concludes by asking Pai to "refrain from continuing disingenuous rhetoric intended to deceive Americans about the net neutrality debate." Indeed.


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 5:23am

    Hope that stings like a slap to the face

    When a letter starts with this...

    'The purpose of this comment is to specifically refute the Chairman’s willfully ignorant mischaracterization of a letter I signed in 1998...'

    And wraps up with this...

    '... refrain from continuing disingenuous rhetoric intended to deceive Americans about the net neutrality debate."

    ... I think it's a safe to assume that the one sending it is not happy. I can only imagine how angry and/or annoyed Wyden had to have been to blatantly and openly tell Pai, 'stop lying about my position, and stop lying to the public', given politicians tend to be a little less blunt than that, even to people they don't agree with.

    Can't say I'm at all surprised by such a reaction mind, given Pai has more than earned a verbal lashing like that with his actions and words, just almost impressed that he managed to push an experienced politician so far that he got such a reaction.

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    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:34am

      Re: Hope that stings like a slap to the face

      Pai hasn't just earned a verbal lashing, he's practically begging for it.

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

      Re: Hope that stings like a slap to the face

      Well, Pai is a valued member of the administration. He has learned that communicating lies is more effective than truths as long as you keep pushing them and make people denying your story part of "opposing team".

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 12:25pm

      Re: Hope that stings like a slap to the face

      I like the verbiage Senator Wyden used, but at the same time I wish we could just call a liar "a liar" and be done with it.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 8:59pm

        Re: Re: Hope that stings like a slap to the face

        From my reading he did, he just used fancier-than-normal words to do it. Saying someone is making 'willfully ignorant mischaracterizations', and using 'disingenuous rhetoric intended to deceive' strikes me as a pretty blunt accusation of lying and dishonesty.

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 6:26am

    Pai is ignoring tons of people in favor of a single bot so what would prevent him from ignoring this letter and keep pushing his own agenda?

    He is just like Trump, he is about half an year too much time in the position and even if they get dumped from their job right now it's already half an year too late.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:01am

      Re:

      As I mentioned in my comments yesterday, part of the importance of getting these comments out there is so that there's a record of what was actually happening vs. what Trump & co are claiming is happening. If and when there's someone more competent/honest in charge, they can look and see that the public mood was actually not in Pai's favour, and that Pai is lying. This will help reverse the decision, especially if the inevitable negative consequences are visible.

      If it can be pretended that what's happening was both supported by the public and that's Wyden's comments were correct, it will be much more difficult to deal with, I think. At least with the record that the entire thing was based on a lie that was being called out at the time, there may be some hope.

      This may be wishful thinking, but it's certainly better than allowing the lies be the only voice recorded for posterity.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 8:08am

        Re: ??

        The leading 'internet-regulation advocates' are outraged that Trump’s FCC is loosening its government grip on the web .... and restoring oversight to the country’s primary consumer-protection agency-- the Federal Trade Commission.

        They loudly condemn the loss of “net neutrality” -- an extremely vague & deceptive concept. When self-anointed “net neutrality” proponents use that term-- they mean they want far-reaching Internet-regulation by the FCC and politicians. The siren song of the "Open Internet" ignores the FCC’s long history as an active enemy of free speech and a tool of special interests.
        They are immune to history and have blind faith in progressive-left career politicians, like Wyden.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 11:34am

          Re: Re: ??

          Yum yum more paint chips please.

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

        • icon
          Ninja (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 11:43am

          Re: Re: ??

          We've always been at war with Eastasia, right?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 1:11pm

          Re: Re: ??

          Well done, sir! Here is an internet for you.

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

        • icon
          JMT (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 5:22pm

          Re: Re: ??

          "The leading 'internet-regulation advocates' are outraged that Trump’s FCC is loosening its government grip on the web .... and restoring oversight to the country’s primary consumer-protection agency-- the Federal Trade Commission."

          You just repeated the same lie Wyden is chastising Pai about. The government does not have a "grip on the web", it's regulating the ISP's. And nobody with a half a clue really expects the FTC will be cable or even interested in protecting consumers from nefarious ISP behavior.

          "They loudly condemn the loss of “net neutrality” -- an extremely vague & deceptive concept."

          Don't abuse your monopoly position to fuck over your customers for financial gain. Not a terribly vague & deceptive concept really.

          "When self-anointed “net neutrality” proponents use that term-- they mean they want far-reaching Internet-regulation by the FCC and politicians."

          Same lie as above.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 19 Jul 2017 @ 1:03am

          Re: Re: ??

          "They loudly condemn the loss of “net neutrality” -- an extremely vague & deceptive concept."

          Erm, no net neutrality is a very simple specific concept with a very clear definition.

          If you don't understand what's being discussed yet, perhaps you should research it first before trying to argue how it should be dealt with.

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      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 10:45am

        Re: Re:

        Agreed. Wyden slapping Pai for misquoting him is indeed important. But I can't help being cynical anyway.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:20am

    Alternative facts

    The FCC chairman has learned how to use alternative facts from Mr. Trump. It's disgusting!

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  • icon
    stderric (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:29am

    The fact that Pai thought he could get away with it, apparently didn't care if he got called out on it, and doesn't seem to care that he did get called out on it* is strangely satisfying to my inner cynic's sense of masochistic schadenfreude. I haven't given up on the lawsuit-to-be, though.


    • I can't find any news of a response from Pai at this point... maybe I missed it.

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  • identicon
    Kyle, 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:30am

    Copy editing

    Just a couple typos to fix: "Accept there's a big problem here. The quotes a completely out of context and misleading."

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    icon
    MyNameHere (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:31am

    Wyden goes "over the top"

    "This key difference means that without the strong protections of common carrier regulations, the broadband providers of 2017 have both the means and motivation to discriminate and profit from playing the internet gatekeeper, "

    This is the same arm waving we read here on Techdirt all the time. It isn't making a ton of sense. The broadband providers have little real motivation to cut anyone off or to play favorites from outside of their networks. They do have motivation to provide additional "in network" services, which may not be subject to net neutrality rules as written anyway.

    The real issue is that the nature of what is being offered by some on the internet has changed. Netflix is trying to stuff 4K full length movies down an internet connection that is made for webpages, facebook, youtube, and twitter. They use up all of the available peering and clog the networks, and then get mad because their consumers are upset that they cannot download at full speed (all at the same time).

    Making ISPs common carriers or enforcing net neutrality won't change that situation one iota. In fact, it might actually move things backwards for companies like Netflix and Google, who might have to give up their preferential peering arrangements.

    Wyden is off on a scare tactic campaign. it might play well here on Techdirt, but it's pretty laughable in the overall scheme of things.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:43am

      Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

      The broadband providers have little real motivation to cut anyone off or to play favorites from outside of their networks.

      However they have every incentive to kill of streaming video services, or haven't you heard about cord cutting impacting their cable business.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:54am

      Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

      The connection to the internet is supposed to evolve alongside the content of the internet. You're claiming that the internet is pretty much fine as it is and doesn't need to change so that the ISPs aren't burdened to evolve and improve.

      That has never been the case in the history of the internet.

      You also seem to assume that Cable Companies don't want to cut off people's access to their favorite sites, implying that they would just flip a switch and block access. That is not what would happen at all. It would be a slow change over a period of time, introducing a new, competing service while simultaneously slowing down traffic to the 'favorite' site, encouraging people to switch over to the better, faster service until the old favorite can no longer survive.

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    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 8:05am

      Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

      If Netflix is paying for the bandwidth, what does it matter how much they use?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 8:11am

      Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

      "The broadband providers have little real motivation to cut anyone off or to play favorites from outside of their networks."

      really? even when they are offering the same service? I bet you favor zero rating.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 8:27am

      Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

      "Netflix is trying to stuff 4K full length movies down an internet connection that is made for webpages, facebook, youtube, and twitter. They use up all of the available peering and clog the networks, and then get mad because their consumers are upset that they cannot download at full speed (all at the same time)."

      Okay, Mr. Cable Company Spokesman speaking directly from the press release and sponsored op-eds talking points.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 9:17am

      Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

      The broadband providers have little real motivation to cut anyone off or to play favorites from outside of their networks.

      I mean, apart from getting more money from people who don't want to be cut off...

      But nobody has ever considered money to be a real motivation before, so I'm sure it isn't a problem.

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 10:43am

      Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

      You keep spewing that bullshit even though you've been called on it several times.

      "The broadband providers have little real motivation to cut anyone off or to play favorites from outside of their networks."

      It's not about cutting but rather to severly cripple everything that doesn't pay and give unfair advantage to their own, often crappy services.

      "Netflix is trying to stuff 4K full length movies down an internet connection that is made for webpages, facebook, youtube, and twitter."

      No. I'm trying to watch 4k content on a connection I'm paying to do whatever I want, including webpages and twitter. If I wanted just webpages I'd get less speed. You keep pointing at Netflix but it has NOTHING to do with this, it's the customers who want to stuff 4k content via THEIR connections that were PAID already. Stop with this bullshit. Just stop. It's the OBLIGATION of the ISP to provide enough capacity to serve all the customers in their network if they want to Netflix all day. Interestingly, if everybody turns on their cable boxes at the same time the capacity is always available. Go figure? Yes, I'm treating you like an idiot.

      "Making ISPs common carriers or enforcing net neutrality won't change that situation one iota. In fact, it might actually move things backwards for companies like Netflix and Google, who might have to give up their preferential peering arrangements."

      Stop it. Peering arrangements are an issue of network topography and are common among infra-structure services. And again, Netflix offered to pay for the equipment in that infamous episode with Verizon. So it's NOT a NN issue. Stop.

      "Wyden is off on a scare tactic campaign."

      No, it's you who are in a let's-spew-crap-all-around campaign devoid of facts and real world basis.

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      • icon
        MyNameHere (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 4:50pm

        Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

        "It's not about cutting but rather to severly cripple everything that doesn't pay and give unfair advantage to their own, often crappy services."

        Again, aside from random attack pieces, I haven't seen anyone or any thing that support this. Gets back to my main point, which is that they will not cripple or make internet access worse intentionally. That would create the public demand for competition that would wipe them out. These are long term survivor companies not interested in shooting themselves in the head.

        "No. I'm trying to watch 4k content on a connection I'm paying to do whatever I want, including webpages and twitter. "

        Exactly correct. But your internet connection is (say) 10 meg a second as a peak speed, not as a sustained long term speed. Your 10meg is on a network built to give you peak speed about 10% of the time (ie, in the pattern one might load a web page or perhaps a you tube video). ISPs did not build their network on a 1:1 basis that would give you 10 meg right to their peering and also give you 10 meg a second on each of their peers in case you want to go somewhere else. You can download your 4k video, but you have to assume that you are getting 1 to 2 meg a second average and not 10.

        "Stop it. Peering arrangements are an issue of network topography and are common among infra-structure services. And again, Netflix offered to pay for the equipment in that infamous episode with Verizon. So it's NOT a NN issue. Stop."

        But it is. What if the big companies all "pay for the equipment" to have exclusive very high speed peering for their sites only? That has exactly the same result as 'pay to play", they will have higher speed, exclusive connections to the ISP that other companies will not have. As soon as you allow companies to pay ISPs to connect them, you have broached NN rules.

        "No, it's you who are in a let's-spew-crap-all-around campaign devoid of facts and real world basis."

        While I respect your security expert stuff, I have to say that your understanding of all of the implications of Net Neutrality appears to be stuck squarely behind Mike's ass. You can't see anything other than what's coming out at you.

        If a company can "pay" an ISP for an exclusive connection, explain to me how that doesn't violate NN rules.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 5:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

          Gets back to my main point, which is that they will not cripple or make internet access worse intentionally.

          Introducing caps and zero-rating their own stuff or the content of those that pay them for cap-exempt status. They're already doing what you say they wouldn't, so your claim here doesn't seem to hold up, it's just not a blatant as some claim it would be.

          As TD has noted in the past no ISP is likely to outright block a competitor's site or the site of someone they don't like, but they can get the same result via caps and cap-exemption status by providing a negative incentive to use a site/service, while providing a positive incentive to use a different site/service. If a customer is faced with two streaming services for example, one that does count against their data cap and one that doesn't, they are much more likely to choose the latter. In this way an ISP can essentially cripple or severely harm a site by driving it's customers elsewhere.

          That would create the public demand for competition that would wipe them out. These are long term survivor companies not interested in shooting themselves in the head.

          And yet, despite that very demand already in place, they still exist, because it's not nearly as easy as you seem to be implying for someone else to enter the market and provide real competition.

          As the multiple stories about attempts at introducing municipal broadband have shown plenty of people are interested in alternatives, however often the current companies in the market do everything they can to shut them down and ensure that no competition rises to allow people to vote with their wallets, leaving them stuck with the current companies no matter how bad they treat their customers.

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          • icon
            MyNameHere (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 6:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

            "Introducing caps and zero-rating their own stuff or the content of those that pay them for cap-exempt status. They're already doing what you say they wouldn't, so your claim here doesn't seem to hold up, it's just not a blatant as some claim it would be."

            Caps are an issue but it does not suggest blocking of any sites. There is also no indication that NN would make caps go away - it might actually make them more prevalent as a way to drive revenue.

            Stuff that exists inside a network should always be allowed to be zero rated because they don't have to peer to get it. If it's hosted inside their borders, it would be no different from AOL having their own content. There is no way you can regulate what happens within the ISP's private network. You can regulate how stuff comes into the network and assure it comes in freely, but beyond that, you are in trouble.

            Best explanation: IPTV is essentially reserved bandwidth for a TV product. In your version of net neutrality, the ISP wouldn't be allowed to have an IPTV product, as they are clearly giving themselves "free" bandwidth and assured delivery that no outside party can have.

            "it's not nearly as easy as you seem to be implying for someone else to enter the market and provide real competition."

            It would be easier if the companies did not exercise levels of regulatory capture at the local, state, and federal levels. They do this in no small part because they don't piss off enough of the public for politicians to have to act. Cut off the vast majority of the internet for a large area, and watch the public outcry. The critters will work as fast as hell to get someone else approved to fiber up the area as quick as they can, blasting away any regulation in the way. You don't have competition because, like it or not, the incumbent companies do just enough to keep the public from screaming (loudly). The politicians have no desire to change anything (and lose their campaign funds) so we have status quo. But anything changes, it all goes out the window, and fast.

            We know how quickly Google put fiber into most areas once they started working on it. Any move by an ISP puts about a 1 year clock on them facing stiff new competition.

            "As the multiple stories about attempts at introducing municipal broadband have shown plenty of people are interested in alternatives, however often the current companies in the market do everything they can to shut them dow"

            Municipal broadband is a horrible idea. Can you imagine your internet provided by the same people who can't keep less than 10% of the water from leaking out of the fresh water system?

            Municipalities should be putting fiber to the home and making it available in switching cabinets to multiple providers. The last mile is the problem, so local governments should be working to get the cable from house to centralized point, and let the ISPs take over from there. Getting into actually providing internet access is a boondoggle in the making.

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 8:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

              Caps are an issue but it does not suggest blocking of any sites.

              As I noted in the very next paragraph this is a strawman propped up by those claiming that network neutrality rules aren't needed because the ISP's wouldn't do that. The only time I ever see this claim made is when people are arguing against the rules by claiming that ISP's wouldn't do this, yet those same people are the only ones suggesting that as a possibility.

              Instead, the point I brought up is that they wouldn't need to block a site/service, they just need to provide incentives for people to not use it and use something else instead, which they can manage easily with caps and zero-rating.

              There is also no indication that NN would make caps go away - it might actually make them more prevalent as a way to drive revenue.

              Properly written and enforced network neutrality rules wouldn't likely impact caps, no(the best cure for those would likely be getting more competition), but without the ability to zero-rate they become less of a cudgel to drive people to and/or away from certain sites/services. If everything is treated the same then they're all on an even footing and people can decide how to spent their monthly allotment based upon what they prefer, rather than what the ISP would prefer.

              Best explanation: IPTV is essentially reserved bandwidth for a TV product. In your version of net neutrality, the ISP wouldn't be allowed to have an IPTV product, as they are clearly giving themselves "free" bandwidth and assured delivery that no outside party can have.

              I'm not sure how well your example works in this case, as from what I'm reading IPTV looks to be more comparable to cable than internet access, two different products.

              As for zero-rating within a network, no, as once again that allows them to give preferential treatment for the sake of profits for their own stuff. If the ISP's are offering a connection to the internet in general, as certainly seems to be the case, then costs associated with that are on them, and they should still be required to treat all traffic equally with regards to source and destination.

              It would be easier if the companies did not exercise levels of regulatory capture at the local, state, and federal levels.

              The large companies buying politicians doesn't help, no.

              They do this in no small part because they don't piss off enough of the public for politicians to have to act.

              I'd say a larger reason is that they spend, lavishly, to convince the public to vote against their own interests by convincing them it's a partisan game rather than something that affects both parties, as well as flat out lies about what having 'The Government' in the form of muni-broadband would mean.

              It doesn't help that most people don't even realize what's going on, just how badly Comcast and company are screwing the public over, due to the mainstream news pretty much completely ignoring the issue, such that unless someone is a regular at sites like this crappy internet service from one(maybe two) option is just part of life.

              Cut off the vast majority of the internet for a large area, and watch the public outcry.

              Not going to happen as noted above, so useless even as a hypothetical.

              You don't have competition because, like it or not, the incumbent companies do just enough to keep the public from screaming (loudly).

              I'd say buying protectionist laws to ensure that no competition can crop up might have a bigger impact on the competition or lack thereof.

              Municipal broadband is a horrible idea. Can you imagine your internet provided by the same people who can't keep less than 10% of the water from leaking out of the fresh water system?

              Compared to some of the stories regarding the 'wonderful' service people get from the current options even that level of dysfunction would be an improvement. However, a blanket 'government involvement = lousy service' does not necessarily hold up, as it depends on the local government. Some of them are going to be bad, some quite good, just like pretty much anything else.

              As pointed out in another article local communities aren't trying to get into the municipal broadband sector because it's fun, they're doing so because the options currently available to them are crap and not serving their needs.

              Getting into actually providing internet access is a boondoggle in the making.

              Just because it can go wrong doesn't mean it will, and with some areas and the level of service they get(or don't) the local options would have to crash and burn pretty spectacularly to do worse.

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              • icon
                MyNameHere (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 11:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

                I think where you run into an issue is that Net Neutrality should not touch what a company does within their own "garden" on their network.

                Zero rating an external product (say Netflix) would be a no-no. But having a zero rated internal product (Our Videos) would very likely fall outside of the scope of true Net Neutrality. Caps only really apply to traffic outside of the network (if they choose to measure it at the gateway and not at the user modem). It would seem to be a point that the ISPs could very much argue in the courts (and possibly win).

                Most important point (and the type of thing Mike likes to use often): The commercial internet has 20 years of experience without net neutrality, and everything has worked out pretty well. We have gone from 110 and 300 baud dialups to multi megabyte connections, wifi, wireless, fiber... it's gone from amusing passtime for nerds with no life to giving everyone a chance at having no real life. All of this without a single real regulation.

                The proof is there.

                "As pointed out in another article local communities aren't trying to get into the municipal broadband sector because it's fun, they're doing so because the options currently available to them are crap and not serving their needs."

                Muni broadband remains a really risky affair, and seems to be a model propped up by using existing passage and air rights granted to the municipal governments to install and operate - which isn't really a fair situation. Even then, networks like Sandynet still have to charge $60 a month for service just to break even, without having to pay any passage costs to setup. A standard business trying to set up the same network might have to charge twice that once they pay all the fees the municipal governments want for passage and pole access.

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                • icon
                  Dan Audy (profile), 19 Jul 2017 @ 1:06am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

                  So your claim is that vertical monopolies aren't anti-competitive? That is an ... interesting .... point of view.

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                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 19 Jul 2017 @ 1:37am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

                    You know the phrase that has been coined recently about "alternative facts"? This guy lives in an alternate reality.

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                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 19 Jul 2017 @ 1:38am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

                  "The commercial internet has 20 years of experience without net neutrality"

                  So, which is it? You don't know what net neutrality actually means, or you don't know how the internet works? Because what you just said is so laughably false you're clearly working from a fiction somewhere.

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                  • icon
                    MyNameHere (profile), 19 Jul 2017 @ 5:15am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

                    Hi Paul. Your comment is so full of information, it's like a whole library of nothing.

                    I put forward the idea of true net neutrality. That would mean no preferential deals to anyone. Get a private "paid for" connection from Google? That's not neutral, that gives them a big advantage over other search engines and ad networks that have to work through aggregated peering.

                    hat Netflix, Facebook, Google, and many others have done is build private networks to the doorsteps of the ISPs, and offering up peering directly with those ISPs so they don't have to deal with network congestion. That seems to create an unfair situation or preferential traffic.

                    Yes, net neutrality is about zero rating as well. But even without zero rating, you can create situations where one provider has better network access than another. That isn't neutral, is it?

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2017 @ 5:25am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

                      You're like the George Foreman of being wrong. No matter how many time PaulAli hits you with the truth, you just shake it off, and keep throwing jabs of pure bullshit.

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                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 19 Jul 2017 @ 5:45am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

                      "Hi Paul. Your comment is so full of information, it's like a whole library of nothing."

                      Well, yes. If you were as interested in honest debate as you were in broadcasting smug ignorance, you'd have noticed that my comment was phrased in the form of a question. That is, it was intended to gather information from you, not supply it. I just wanted to ascertain exactly what you were wrong about before I corrected your many strange delusions.

                      "hat Netflix, Facebook, Google, and many others have done is build private networks to the doorsteps of the ISPs, and offering up peering directly with those ISPs so they don't have to deal with network congestion. That seems to create an unfair situation or preferential traffic."

                      Yes. One caused by the ISPs who refused to operate as neutral providers, forcing the larger providers to get special deals to allow them to compete on an equal level with the services provided by said ISPs. Deals, by the way, which had to be struck before the FCC made the ISPs obey Title II provisions. So, this is what the future looks like without net neutrality rules, not with.

                      Another question, then - are you so deluded that you think that the providers are the ones who demanded the need to spend extra money to give them the same access as Comcast's own customers. Or, so ignorant that you can't see that the reason for demanding true net neutrality is so that Netflix's less affluent competition don't need to do this?

                      "Yes, net neutrality is about zero rating as well."

                      You truly operate on a different plane of existence to us mere mortals who have to operate in the real world.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2017 @ 11:05am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

                      >That would mean no preferential deals to anyone. Get a private "paid for" connection from Google?

                      The ISPs also have their own private networks for delivering their own content.

                      Note Anybody who wishes to deliver high volumes of data either pays someone to carry their traffic, or puts in their own system. Even Techdirt pays a Cloudfare to deliver its traffic to ISPs.

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        • icon
          Ninja (profile), 19 Jul 2017 @ 3:39am

          Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

          "But your internet connection is (say) 10 meg a second as a peak speed, not as a sustained long term speed. Your 10meg is on a network built to give you peak speed about 10% of the time (ie, in the pattern one might load a web page or perhaps a you tube video)."

          Interestingly my provider has been consistently giving me 50/30 mbit for much more than 10% of the time and they have never complained about it. I'm a very heavy user even if you disconsider Netflix. And my ISP has NEVER ever complained and NEVER ever throttled anything. Guess my ISP is from another dimension, eh? Keep bullshitting.

          "But it is. What if the big companies all "pay for the equipment" to have exclusive very high speed peering for their sites only?"

          And that's why I know you don't understand what you are talking about. The equipment would make customer access to ANYTHING outside the ISP internal network better. Unless you are telling me that the Internet is inside their network except for Netflix and Googles of the world. It's a total brainless stupidity. But I wouldn't be surprised if you believed it. So It's actually very simple. The equipment is a 1 time investment that would make everybody's lives better. Fast lanes would be a constant toll booth that would screw everybody permanently.

          "While I respect your security expert stuff, I have to say that your understanding of all of the implications of Net Neutrality appears to be stuck squarely behind Mike's ass. You can't see anything other than what's coming out at you."

          Actually, I tend to follow the EFF here, they are the experts and I trust them and throw my spare money at them when I can. Mike simply seems to agree with them as well so obviously I agree with him.

          "If a company can "pay" an ISP for an exclusive connection, explain to me how that doesn't violate NN rules."

          If a company can pay to put an equipment that the ISP should be buying that will benefit ALL services outside of their network? Nope, it's going to benefit everybody outside the ISP network. If you can't understand something that simple at the very least the comment will be here for others to read and get better informed. I'll point to EFF again, they have very good articles on NN that anybody can understand. Maybe except for you and a few other shills.

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          • icon
            MyNameHere (profile), 19 Jul 2017 @ 5:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

            "Interestingly my provider has been consistently giving me 50/30 mbit for much more than 10% of the time and they have never complained about it. I'm a very heavy user even if you disconsider Netflix. And my ISP has NEVER ever complained and NEVER ever throttled anything. Guess my ISP is from another dimension, eh? Keep bullshitting."

            For a guy in security and networking, you seem to work pretty hard to misunderstand. The 10% figure is how much bandwidth they plan to have per user. Now if you are in an area with a bunch of users who aren't around on your time, you might get your 20 to 30 at 100% of time as far as you can tell. But as a whole, ISPs don't buy 1 to 1 connectivity, nor do they network 1 to 1 connectivity. It's called contention ratio. Let me Wikipedia that for you:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contention_ratio

            So sorry, no bullshitting, I accept your apology.

            "And that's why I know you don't understand what you are talking about. The equipment would make customer access to ANYTHING outside the ISP internal network better."

            it depends on two things: If it was only fixing the problem created by Netflix and their desire to use ONLY level3 and nobody else, you would be correct. Netflix needed ISPs to peer directly with Level3 or they would have major network problems of their own. Not all ISPs choose to peer directly with Level3, many use aggregation services or peer directly only with other providers. Should an ISP be forced to add bandwidth or pay for more peering to satisfy the business models of others?

            Oh, and I am not a shill. I would think someone as intelligent as you could understand the difference between not seeing things the same way and shilling. Son You Disappoint.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2017 @ 8:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

              You're right. Shills get paid to lie. You do it for free.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2017 @ 11:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

              Ahh. The contention ratio. 10% figure is really generous if you are talking about Centurylink. One of my employees was talking with one of their contract employees that they completely oversaturate their DSL lines with no plans to ever upgrade them.

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              • icon
                MyNameHere (profile), 19 Jul 2017 @ 11:40pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

                The point is important - without considering the internal architecture of and ISPs network and how those ratios are set at each step along the way means that all the NN in the world and all the connectivity in the world at the gateway won't change what consumers see. Their networks are just plainly not designed to handle a sheer volume of end users all trying to download an stream netflix and their ilk at the same time. The process to upgrade that isn't a nickle and dime toss 20k at it and it's fixed problem.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2017 @ 12:57pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

                  The answer to those problems is not to increasing cap and throttle data, but rather to upgrade networks, unless of course that means you cable business will suffer, and then making the Internet worse to use makes perfect sense.

                  Until the cable/content and ISP businesses are separated, there will be good reason to suspect ulterior motives in not improving the Internet service.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 1:35pm

      Re: Wyden goes "over the top"

      So, "because the ISP is providing a service that varies in price based on usage, the extra cost is to be covered by either the public or the pages with high bandwidth usage!"

      The problem is that on its face it will be unbelievably easy for the page-owners to get around and it will not even come close to being to the consumers advantage.
      Furthermore, if the argument is that reducing bandwidth usage should be a responsibility that encourage peoples choices, the only possible solution would be for the ISP to make a deal for a fast lane with the page-owner and thus break with any consumer-interest in the matter (again, "the free market" on ISP-level is the biggest lie ever. It has never existed and will never exist unless you completely separate service and infrastructure. Good luck with that can of worms!).

      As much as economists see an economic advantage in the double edge market, the lack of an actual market on the consumer end is screwing the quality delivered to the consumer every step of the way.

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    icon
    afn29129 (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:32am

    a letter that Wyden sent back in 1998 .....

    Bigger issue it that there is another career congress-critter that been there decades! Since Feb 1996 actually. Ron.. you have over stayed your welcome, you have over stayed your usefulness.

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    • icon
      ShadowNinja (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:40am

      Re: a letter that Wyden sent back in 1998 .....

      That's irrelevant.

      Also, term limits to get rid of experienced congressman often backfire, and empower the special interest groups and lobbyists. Long term congressmen are better able to shake the special interests off and say no. New congressional members however much more often depend on their help to win reelection.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:51am

        Re: Re: a letter that Wyden sent back in 1998 .....

        "Also, term limits to get rid of experienced congressman often backfire, and empower the special interest groups and lobbyists."

        Indeed. There is a reason why politicians that serve congress have no term limits. The desire to voted back into office is the ONLY thing keeping them even remotely interested in listening to the people.

        With Term limits, well, all you will ever get is a rotation of "why should I work for the people when I can get so much more working for big business" politicians.

        In this way, republicans will sabotage themselves just as the democrats sabotage themselves with pro-regulation ideals.

        We have spent the last 2 centuries working to destroy just about the most perfect possible system of government that has ever graced the face of this planet. All because its citizens have grown to largely take so much for granted.

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        • icon
          jupiterkansas (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 8:03am

          Re: Re: Re: a letter that Wyden sent back in 1998 .....

          I find it hard to believe that citizens were more interested in their government 200 years ago, but I guess if you included only the white landowners who could actually vote you might be right.

          I'd argue that citizen today are better informed and more interested in politics than ever.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 8:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: a letter that Wyden sent back in 1998 .....

            "I'd argue that citizen today are better informed and more interested in politics than ever."

            I'd say "more informed," but not necessarily "better informed."

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 10:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: a letter that Wyden sent back in 1998 .....

              All we have is history to rely on. And if current history is any indication of past history, well... lets just say people have NEVER been interested in their government until it serves their politics.

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          • identicon
            Thad, 18 Jul 2017 @ 2:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: a letter that Wyden sent back in 1998 .....

            Per the stats at Wikipedia, you're right; voter turnout used to be much higher as a percentage of eligible voters, but much lower as a percentage of the entire population.

            In terms of raw numbers, the highest turnout we've ever had was last year.

            As a percentage of eligible voters, the highest ever recorded was, unsurprisingly, 1860; the highest since women's suffrage was 1960; the highest since the Voting Rights Act was 1968; the highest since the voting age was lowered to 18 was 2008.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 8:33am

      Re: a letter that Wyden sent back in 1998 .....

      He's my senator and he actually represents my interests. I'll keep voting for him as long as he keeps standing up for good causes like net neutrality and transparency in government. You're literally saying you don't like democracy with this comment. It doesn't matter how long he stays as long as he is doing good work, which he is.

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    • identicon
      Thad, 18 Jul 2017 @ 11:22am

      Re: a letter that Wyden sent back in 1998 .....

      I'm generally in favor of term limits for senators (though ShadowNinja makes a fair point of how they can backfire), but what, specifically, do you believe Wyden is doing that disqualifies him from office?

      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 Jul 2017 @ 7:44am

    "For two decades, Wyden has been a leading advocate of keeping the internet free from burdensome regulations, thus allowing tremendous innovation to occur. This echoes our position as well. However, both of us have advocated strongly for keeping the net neutrality rules in place."

    Hello, Mr. Corrupt Politician, I would like you to keep "my thing" free of burdensome regulation to allow for innovation, but I also want you to keep rules in place to protect me from "insert bad thing here". I also don't want you abuse this power I am asking you to take on and to simultaneously be immune from those PHAT stacks of cash big business will have "laying around" for ahem... reasons.

    Is it possible to find a person that can resist? Yes, definitely very possible. Is it possible for 100% of the people that go to Washington to do this? Well... I know a good fairy tail when I see one.

    Just like how a couple of bad cops spoil the police force by turning the other way all we need are a select few bad politicians in the mix and wham... might as well just consider them ALL to be corrupt. They protect their own, and for the obvious reasons.

    If you want government to decide who, where, and how you get to participate in the economy, why not just take all ownership away from everyone and just let the government own all business. Sure is funny that the one thing that will always exist is the one thing NO ONE plans to combat, except the founding fathers... they were the only ones.

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    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 9:29am

      Re:

      This sickens me - one of the scant few DECENT politicians in Congress out of the hordes of corrupt gold-diggers, and we get trolls coming here bad-mouthing him. Fuck you, AC!

      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 Jul 2017 @ 10:04am

        Re: Re:

        Then you missed the entire point of the post.

        1 decent politician will not save us from the hordes of corrupt gold-diggers, is the point. And sadly, the way things tend to work, is that it is 1 bad apple that spoils the bunch, and usually not the one good apple making them all better.

        Just as your post makes it clear that you failed miserably to understand the problem, you are a poster child for how the electorate continues to get things wrong and then votes in people like Trump.

        By all means be sure to shoot the messenger, because that always solves the problem!

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 10:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Nice equivocating there, chiding some one for supporting a decent person because he's some how responsible for the votes of other people going to people like Trump?

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      • identicon
        Thad, 18 Jul 2017 @ 11:12am

        Re: Re:

        Haven't you noticed? We've got single-issue trolls (like our paint-chip loving friend who only shows up in threads about the FCC, or Alexander Hamilton's beloved descendant who only ever talks about Ayyadurai's lawsuit), but we also have trolls (MyNameHere and the guy who thinks the subject line is where the body of his post is supposed to go) who are just knee-jerk contrarians. If Techdirt is for something, they're against it, no matter how reasonable Techdirt's position is.

        Techdirt's against Prenda? The trolls love Prenda.
        Techdirt's against police abuse of civilians? The trolls blame the victims.
        Techdirt likes Ron Wyden? The trolls hate Ron Wyden.

        If only Techdirt would post an article about how you shouldn't hit yourself in the head with a hammer, maybe we'd finally be rid of them.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 3:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Look, I know you folks at TD want an echo chamber here, but people are able to tell that you guys lie way too much around here.

          "(MyNameHere and the guy who thinks the subject line is where the body of his post is supposed to go) who are just knee-jerk contrarians. If Techdirt is for something, they're against it, no matter how reasonable Techdirt's position is."

          I was here and congratulated when Mike came to his senses over the Redskins trademark issue.

          I have also had several of my posts, over time, featured during "funniest/most insightful of the week" articles as well.

          I do not agree with TD on FCC and Regulation, because it is suicide to ask the people that businesses pay to fuck you over to save you instead. How smart does that make you?
          I do agree with TD on copyright reform, it is well out of hand. O wait, I forgot my knee jerk reaction.
          I did not like Prenda, my only complaint was that the courts entertained those ass-clowns too much.
          I do agree with TD over constitutional issues as well, but TD is not as strong on it as I am. In fact most of you barely even know much about it and have allowed agenda driven politicians to tell you what it means. Most of you would happily burn the constitution on a pyre the moment you thought it would silence your political enemies.

          The vast majority of you would rather hide under the dress of a corrupt politician rather than stand on your own two feet and make your voices heard and claim liberty. You would rather die in your beds as housed and fed slaves than to assert your liberty! You need government to tell you which businesses should operate, how they should operate, which person is bad and which person is good. You stand in like at the TSA like good little cattle and you eat every lie politicians toss your direction. You like to shoot the messengers and created hatred while claiming to be against it. Everyone that does not espouse your views and dogma are racist, xenophobic or homophobic. You claim to know and want democracy when all you would do with that democracy is silence your enemies and systematically ostracize anyone that does not think and act like you think they should as very much evidenced by the flagging that goes on here.

          You lot are ignorant hypocrites. If people say anything contrary to your dogma you would like to be nothing more than to lie in every attempt you can to misconstrue and straw-man your opponents arguments into oblivion. You also like to play passive aggressive insults along with ad hominem attacks while attacking others for the very same.

          Yes, coming in here and discussing issues with a bunch of people that have developed Stockholms syndrom over regulation is exactly like hitting myself over the head with a hammer.

          but the difference between me and you folks. I do not want to silence you, I want to help you understand better. I will never want to silence anyone, because if you are a fool, it is better to let you make a fool of yourself and for the world to see it. Those who like to silence others, are often the ones in the wrong.

          So do me a favor and prove me right, flag this message... you know you want to... don't you?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 3:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Is the view nice up there on that cross you've climbed up?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 5:40pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              lol, no, it is a sad sight instead.

              I wish that the democrats that claim to be so tolerant would actually be tolerant instead of rabid hate spewers.

              I wish the republicans that claim to love the constitution would stop working night and day to create a police state.

              I wish the people of both parties would think of being fellow Americans instead of "those guys" and quit playing patsy to the political elite that drivel their bullshit rhetoric like they actually give a damn about the people.

              I wish my fellow Americans would first vote out corrupt politicians BEFORE making sure that "other guy" does not get in. I wish my fellow American would take jury duty seriously and help stop law enforcement from screwing the innocent and I am tired of everyone believing TV shows about how the government, courts, and law enforcement works.

              I am tire of everyone, EVERYONE jumping to a fucking conclusion about everyone innocence or guilt without a single fucking fact at their disposal!

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

    • icon
      McGyver (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 10:49am

      Re:

      Quote: "If you want government to decide who, where, and how you get to participate in the economy, why not just take all ownership away from everyone and just let the government own all business. Sure is funny that the one thing that will always exist is the one thing NO ONE plans to combat, except the founding fathers... they were the only ones."

      Uh... Yeah, sure... Asking corporations to abide by reasonable rules of fair play is draconian law that will destroy the economy and end innovation.
      The standard tired retort of those who fear playing fair or being bound by rules.
      I love the way corporate shills and blind fools always turn the word "regulation" into a link to socialism or communism.
      Citizens abide by law.
      Corporations must have some regulations, because that is their equivalent.
      People who advocate against regulations are either stupid or wishing to do something illegal or unethical.
      Criminals and cheats decry law and fair play.
      Plenty of companies play by the rules and do well, it is always those that wish for an unfair advantage, to exploit consumers and desire no threat of responsibility for their actions, that cry the loudest when they are faced with rules.

      The final part of the statement shows a complete or willful misunderstanding of the intentions, beliefs and warnings to future generations that the founding fathers espoused.
      In their time they fought to bring about a democratic government and wrest power from the monarchy and give it to the people.
      In our time we must wrest democracy back from those that stole it and flat out bought it from those that never cared for it to begin with.
      Democracy is much more then doing as you please and answering to to no one.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 10:51am

        Re: Re:

        "People who advocate against regulations are either stupid or wishing to do something illegal or unethical."

        Or they believe in some non-existent anarco-capitalistic utopia that totally wouldn't devolve into horrendous monopoly or re-instating regulations almost immediately. (but maybe you covered that under "stupid".

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 5:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "People who advocate against regulations are either stupid or wishing to do something illegal or unethical."

          People who advocate for regulation are either stupid or wishing for politicians to do something illegal or unethical.

          The ISP's are heavily regulated and last I checked they are still breaking the law, with government blessing. They screw you, me, and the rest of us here without a care in the world.

          In what world do you seriously think you can run to a bought and paid for politician to actually protect you?

          Those willing to give up liberty for safety deserve neither liberty or safety. You are willing to give up your choice to say who will do business with in the market place for the safety of government picking them for you and making sure they don't screw you.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2017 @ 3:33am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If the governor isn't willing to pay for the militia he doesn't deserve protection from the redskins. Nice one Benjamin!

            There is a difference between legislation and enforcement. What you seem to describe is lack of the latter which is universally a problem.

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

  • icon
    Vidiot (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 8:32am

    Next up in "Techdirt Deals": Ron Wyden T-shirts. Pictured as St. George in armor, impaling a Pai-headed dragon.

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

  • icon
    Ed (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 9:06am

    Why are almost all the ones attacking Wyden and advocating Pai's position "Anonymous Coward"?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 1:51pm

      Re:

      A lot of "self-made" type of people going around here. They are even so "self-made" as in enforcing their moral laws themself.

      I don't blame people for wanting to remain anonymous on Breitbart either if they argue for multi-culturalism or even lean towards that side of the "war against muslims".

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

  • identicon
    Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 9:13am

    Blatant!

    PaiD should be legally required to recuse himself from any decision which may involve Verizon, i.e., the internet, since he was an industry shill/lawyer for Verizon.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 11:32am

      Re: Blatant!

      While that sounds nice, I don't think Pai recusing himself from Verizon-related tasks would be a good idea. Just look at Wheeler; it took him a while, but he used his industry insider knowledge to protect the people from the industry in the end. Pai is still capable of this, as people do change over time. Plus, it sets a bad precedent.

      Also, at this point, Pai's official connections with Verizon are a long time in the past. Sure, he's probably still got cozy relationships with lobbyists and insiders, but that has nothing to do with his prior place of employment. He could get to that place just by making the right phone calls to get himself appointed to the FCC in the first place.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2017 @ 12:00pm

        Re: Re: Blatant!

        If Pai reads the feedback about NN and follows the majority, then I will respect him. I don't believe that will be the case though. The majority wanted NN the last time, I am betting the majority still want NN.

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

  • icon
    Jinxed (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 9:21am

    Damn it, Wyden. Just run for president already.

    Please.

    For the sake of this country.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 10:12am

    Whose book are ANY of these people reading from??

    Love Pulpit pounders..
    That mis-read and mis construe things they read and conceive.
    This person has no IDEA of basic economics, Business Fair play, or the reading of OTHERS comments..

    He is either a DITZ or is being PAID to much money for a JOB, he does NOT understand..

    #1, he is in ENFORCEMENT and regulation...NOT the creation of LAWS..

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 10:18am

    It's not "lying"...

    it's "alternative truth", from yet another Trump team member!

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

  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 3:25pm

    I have yet to see what it is in Title II, or anything else for that matter, which is burdensome to ISPs.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2017 @ 2:28am

    I, just once, want to see Sen. Wyden punch a lying sack of shit in the face on the Senate floor.

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

  • icon
    farleygoodman (profile), 19 Jul 2017 @ 8:52am

    Using alternative facts like this is not very Chairman-ly. But, there is just so much information out there that it is becoming difficult to separate the correct from the phony information. I recently came to know that Spectrum actually agreed to a ‘net neutrality’ commitment while acquiring TWC. So, the company cannot indulge in favoritism at least for 3 years. Spectrum has committed to net neutrality (https://www.s9.com/charter/blog/how-charter-spectrum-is-handling-the-net-neutrality-debate/) Who would have thought?

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


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