Absent Facts To Support Repealing Net Neutrality, Ajit Pai Wildly Attacking Hollywood Tweeters

from the well,-that's-one-strategy dept

As the old lawyer saying goes: "When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither is on your side, pound the table." It appears that FCC chair Ajit Pai has taken that to heart. Neither the law, nor the facts are on his side with regards to his attempt to gut net neutrality, so he's done the modern equivalent of pounding the table: blame Hollywood and the internet companies for the fact that almost everyone disagrees with his plan to kill net neutrality.

The law is against him, because in order to reverse the order from the previous FCC, Pai needs to show that this change is not "arbitrary and capricious." Many people falsely assume that the FCC can just make whatever rule it wants, and thus with every change of the FCC the rules can flip flop. But that's not how it works. While the courts give strong deference to administrative agencies in their decision-making capabilities, one area where the courts will push back is if a regulatory change is found to be "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law." The courts have already upheld the 2015 Open Internet Order by Tom Wheeler as legitimate, where that FCC showed that reclassifying broadband as a Title II service was perfectly reasonable based on the changes to the market conditions since broadband was declared a Title I information service a decade or so earlier. So, for Pai's plan to actually pass judicial scrutiny, he has to prove that the market has changed so much in the past two years, that an obvious correction is necessary. So far, the only thing he's been able to rely on are clearly bogus studies that are easily debunked by the companies themselves in their statements to Wall Street about the impact of the 2015 rules. Thus, both the rules and the law are against him.

Of course, rather than face up to the fact that the vast majority of Americans (Democrats, Republicans, everyone) support keeping net neutrality rules in place, Pai has spent the last week or so only retweeting his supporters and ignoring detractors entirely. And, now, apparently, his "pounding the table" is to lash out at famous Hollywood stars... and internet companies (note: not internet access companies), as if they're the problem.

On both Tuesday and Wednesday he decided to lash out. In this post, we'll focus on the weird lashing out at famous people, and in a follow up, we'll talk about his misguided attacks on internet companies. But, really, it's kind of frightening that Pai -- who has regulatory power over some actions of the entertainment industry would randomly call out some actors and slam their pro-net neutrality tweets. How dare they do such a thing, according to Ajit Pai.

Next, I’d like to take on the main criticisms I’ve heard directed against the plan and separate fact from fiction—one claim at a time. And given that some of the more eye-catching critiques have come from Hollywood celebrities, whose large online followings give them out-sized influence in shaping the public debate, I thought I’d directly respond to some of their assertions.

He then proceeds to namecheck Kumail Nanjiani, Cher, Mark Ruffalo, George Takei, and Alyssa Milano -- claiming to rebut each of their tweets that he found offensive. Not surprisingly, with each one he either misrepresents what these actors said, or the facts around what his plan will do. It's almost pathological.

For Nanjiani, Pai repeats his big lie that he's just returning things to where they were pre-2015, and that it will be just like the way the internet was from 1996 through 2015.

Perhaps the most common criticism is that ending Title II utility-style regulation will mean the end of the Internet as we know it. Or, as Kumail Nanjiani, a star of HBO’s Silicon Valley put it, “We will never go back to a free Internet.”

But here’s the simple truth: We had a free and open Internet for two decades before 2015, and we’ll have a free and open Internet going forward.

As we've explained in fairly great detail, that's hogwash. Since 2004, every previous FCC chair has sought to put forth and enforce net neutrality rules, and from 2008 on, they've been shot down by the courts every time, saying that to enforce the net neutrality rules the FCC wanted, it had to reclassify under Title II. At no point was the internet under the regulatory regime that Pai is pushing with his order.

Regarding Cher, he stated:

Another concern I’ve heard is that the plan will harm rural and low-income Americans. Cher, for example, has tweeted that the Internet “Will Include LESS AMERICANS NOT MORE” if my proposal is adopted. But the opposite is true. The digital divide is all too real. Too many rural and low-income Americans are still unable to get high-speed Internet access. But heavy-handed Title II regulations just make the problem worse! They reduce investment in broadband networks, especially in rural and low-income areas. By turning back time, so to speak, and returning Internet regulation to the pre-2015 era, we will expand broadband networks and bring high-speed Internet access to more Americans, not fewer.

Except, again, there is nothing in the rules that are onerous. Well, unless you're trying to screw over subscribers. As successful smaller ISP Sonic has noted, the only regulatory burden from Title II is if you're behaving badly towards customers. That's why over 40 small ISPs told Pai that they supported keeping the rules, and that removing the 2015 order gives the giant broadband companies -- Verizon, Comcast and AT&T -- too much power to cut them out of the market. For Pai to argue that this order will magically restore competition and broadband deployment is laughable.

And, on a separate note, for someone claiming to support expanding rural and low-income broadband, Pai has some serious explaining to do. Since taking over the FCC he's eliminated rules that stopped telcos from ditching copper networks, he's argued that a single broadband provider can count as "sufficient competition," has downgraded what counts as broadband to pretend there's more competition when there isn't, and has basically made up out of thin air claims that uncompetitive markets are competitive. In short: Pai is not credible on this. He's done everything to give more power to the giant internet access providers, who have shown little interest in providing broadband to rural and low-income households.

Pai's "responses" to Mark Ruffalo and George Takei were similarly misleading (a key point with Ruffalo is that Pai totally misinterpreted Ruffalo's tweet, which was concerned about giant ISPs controlling the internet, for the government "controlling" the internet -- which it does not), but let's jump forward to his response to Alyssa Milano:

Shifting gears, Alyssa Milano tweeted, “We’ve faced a lot of issues threatening our democracy in the last year. But, honestly, the FCC and @AjitPaiFCC’s dismantling of #NetNeutrality is one the biggest.” I’m threatening our democracy? Really? I’d like to see the evidence that America’s democratic institutions were threatened by a Title I framework, as opposed to a Title II framework, during the Clinton Administration, the Bush Administration, and the first six years of the Obama Administration. Don’t hold your breath—there is none. If this were Who’s the Boss?, this would be an opportunity for Tony Danza to dish out some wisdom about the consequences of making things up.

First off, the reference to "democracy" by Milano isn't specifically about Title I v. Title II, but about how the internet itself works. A weakened internet, controlled by a few giant monopolists, who have the power to block or diminish access to content can absolutely harm democracy. But, even more to the point, the fact that Pai is ignoring the fact that the overwhelming majority (98.5% by one report) of unique -- non-bot, non-pre-filled form -- comments to the FCC on this matter supported keeping the rules.

Meanwhile, one of Pai's mentors and strongest supporters -- who lead the Trump transition team for the FCC and recommended Pai become chair -- Jeff Eisenach showed exactly the contempt he feels towards "democracy" when it comes to the FCC, directly spitting on the idea that the FCC should reflect democratic ideals:

So... maybe Pai and Eisenach should confer on whether Verizon, Comcast and AT&T want them to be supporting democracy this week or undermining it. Because, they seem to be confused.

Meanwhile, it appears that Pai assumed these Hollywood folks didn't understand the issue so they wouldn't possible hit back with facts. Not so with Milano, who responded in fairly great detail about why net neutrality is quite important to democracy, and why Pai is being misleading in his claims.

Either way, the whole thing is weird. Tons and tons of people have been speaking out on this issue. Why Pai decided to pick on five famous actors/singers, when they're hardly a representative sample is anyone's guess. Perhaps he's hoping that his audience would think that the vast, widespread criticism and backlash he's facing was just driven by "liberal" Hollywood. Perhaps he's hoping that by naming famous names it will distract from his lack of facts. But all it really highlights is just how weak Pai's case really is.

Stay tuned for our next post on his even odder decision to attack internet companies.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Nov 2017 @ 11:01am

    Pai has taken a page from the Trump handbook.
    Claim the elites are against it to rile up "real 'mericans" to support things that will harm them.

    We live in a nation where a "news" outlet has run a story that flat out said, if Moore had touched my daughter I would have beaten the crap out of him, but we need him in Congress because he supports the right ideals.

    Pai is just doing what works, these people are for it so of course it would be horrible for you, these elites don't understand you & your needs and don't care!

    Makes them sound a lot like the FCC board...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2017 @ 11:48am

      Re:

      " if Moore had touched my daughter I would have beaten the crap out of him, but we need him in Congress because he supports the right ideals."

      This is just more of "The End Justifies The Means" silliness.

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

  • identicon
    JEDIDIAH, 30 Nov 2017 @ 11:11am

    Little details matter.

    "if Moore had"

    Very important bit there... IF. We all see what we want to see and then distort reality to fit our opinions rather the other way around.

    This kind of nonsense undermines the trustworthiness of all journalism.

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

    • identicon
      Thad, 30 Nov 2017 @ 11:50am

      Re: Little details matter.

      I see a guy who's been accused of being a child molester by a dozen different people about to be elected to the Senate by voters who would believe the allegations if he belonged to a different political party. What exactly is it that you're distorting your reality to see?

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

      • identicon
        David, 30 Nov 2017 @ 12:56pm

        Re: Re: Little details matter.

        I see a guy who's been accused of being a child molester by a dozen different people about to be elected to the Senate by voters who would believe the allegations if he belonged to a different political party.

        See: here is your mistake. You are assuming those electing him into the senate don't believe the allegations.

        His party affiliation shows that he has his heart in the right place even if his fingers end up in the wrong place time and again. You can't really judge a man by where his trouser snake is slytherin. He wouldn't share a party book with you if he didn't share your values.

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

        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 30 Nov 2017 @ 1:15pm

          Re: Re: Re: Little details matter.

          Trolling malls and high school events for 14-year olds while in his thirties may be acceptable for Republican officials.

          Being removed from his judge's position - twice - for unconstitutional abuse of power, may be acceptable for Republican officials.

          That doesn't make it "a mistake" for everyone else to reject him on that.

          YES, you CAN really judge a man for trolling malls and high school events for high school students while in his thirties.

          And we can judge you for claiming otherwise.

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

        • identicon
          Thad, 30 Nov 2017 @ 2:07pm

          Re: Re: Re: Little details matter.

          See: here is your mistake. You are assuming those electing him into the senate don't believe the allegations.

          Fair enough.

          I probably should have said "voters who would be (rightly) outraged at the prospect of electing an alleged child molester if he belonged to a different political party," or some variation.

          Point being, if the allegations were exactly the same and the party were different, we'd be looking at very different opinions from the exact same people.

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

          • identicon
            David, 1 Dec 2017 @ 7:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Little details matter.

            Well, then he'd be a child molester for nefarious rather than well-meaning reasons, as to be expected from someone subscribing to the views of a different party.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2017 @ 4:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: Little details matter.

          Hold on a sec ....

          1) You are assuming those electing him into the senate don't believe the allegations.

          2) His party affiliation shows that he has his heart in the right place

          3) He wouldn't share a party book with you if he didn't share your values.

          Are you saying those who voted for him also think hitting on underage girls is completely acceptable? Do they think the age of consent should be lowered?

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

          • identicon
            David, 1 Dec 2017 @ 7:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Little details matter.

            Of course hitting on underage girls is not completely acceptable. But you have to start campaigning somewhere.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2017 @ 10:42am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Little details matter.

              What - demonstrate a commonality with your constituents?
              lol, subtle dig is subtle.

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 1 Dec 2017 @ 7:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Little details matter.

            "Are you saying those who voted for him also think hitting on underage girls is completely acceptable?"

            Maybe not acceptable, but they seem to consider that and removal from the bench for violating the constitution less problematic than membership of the Democratic Party. Cultism at its finest.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2017 @ 8:40am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Little details matter.

              I think some of them actually believe the age of "consent" should be lowered. Never mind the fact that getting pregnant at that age has a high rate of complications. These are the same folk who want to remove womens right to vote. They also do not recognize rape as being a bad thing.

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

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 1 Dec 2017 @ 9:31am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Little details matter.

                Having grown up in a country with an age of consent of 16, I can always understand the arguments for raising it to the age of majority. It does seem a little strange that there's a gap between when a girl is apparently old enough to consent to getting pregnant and raising a child, but then has to wait a year before they can drive a car and 2 years before they can vote or buy alcohol (all these according to UK laws). I can totally understand why some people would want to raise it to match the voting age (though it would be as effective as the age limit on alcohol!).

                But, *lowering* the age of consent? That just seems... strange. Unless there's a real reason for wishing it to be lowered below the age of majority in other areas (or combined with a plan to lower those as well), it's hard to think of a reason to wish to reduce it below the age at which girls are allowed to make other important decisions in life - apart from not wanting to wait to get them into bed. I honestly can't think of a non-pervy reason.

                "They also do not recognize rape as being a bad thing."

                I'm not normally vindictive, but I'd actually wish the experience on anyone who doesn't think it's a bad thing and see how they act. Sadly, some proportion of them would probably still get off on it somehow.

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

                • identicon
                  David, 2 Dec 2017 @ 5:05am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Little details matter.

                  it's hard to think of a reason to wish to reduce it below the age at which girls are allowed to make other important decisions in life - apart from not wanting to wait to get them into bed.

                  That's a perfectly valid reason. In the Middle Ages, something between 12 and 14 was the age of consent (or rather of bedability) for girls.

                  When the educational goals are not dissimilar to those for lifestock, why wait significantly after fertility sets in? Waste of breeding capacity.

                  Nowadays, education is much more relevant for females and their ability to lead a life and provide their own children with a reasonable anchor for education. So the age bar has been raised even with agreement of conservative factions. But some of them still have problems seeing this as limiting their own interests.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2017 @ 11:34am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Little details matter.

                    "But some of them still have problems seeing this as limiting their own interests."

                    Yup, and to hell with the interests of the child - these people are sick.

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

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 30 Nov 2017 @ 11:50am

      Re: Little details matter.

      If it were a "he said / she said" situation, you'd have a point. If the situation hadn't been impeccably investigated, you'd have a point.

      The Moore case situation is "he said / six or seven women plus Moore's co-workers plus a couple police officers plus various others at the mall and YMCA said." With even his closest supporters not even disagreeing, but giving Biblical and political justifications for why trolling for 14-year-olds is acceptable.

      The Washington Post did a thorough enough job that they caught onto and rejected a false victim, a hoax claim put forth by James O’Keefe's "Project Veritas" disinformation group.

      This has been quite good actually, for the trustworthiness of journalism.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2017 @ 1:18pm

        Re: Re: Little details matter.

        Based on the evidence I would not vote for Moore, but Jedidiah does have a good point.

        We are quite willing to assume guilt all too often, when we still need solid evidence. This would not be the first time a group of females got together and lied about someone to fuck their life up.

        But like you said... the evidence appears to be solid enough for most folks to need to take a serious look at the allegations. You also cannot fault people for choosing to not believe them due to politics because the last few years I have seen lie after lie falling like Niagara all over the place.

        For me... all those coming forward should have done so sooner.

        It sucks that shit happened to you, but I damn sure going to be more suspect of your claim now that the person you are accusing is running for office. You are not the only person that got fucked, raped, or molested in life.

        If you choose to not report you are potentially condemning another person to their next assault. When you are in a position to do something do it... don't excuse yourself away.

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

        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 30 Nov 2017 @ 2:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: Little details matter.

          but Jedidiah does have a good point.

          Again, he would've had a good point, if it weren't for all the other accusations and a thorough investigation.

          This would not be the first time a group of females got together and lied about someone to fuck their life up.

          Again, there's all the other accusations - not just from "a group of females", but coworkers and police officers and more - and an investigation thorough enough to spot a hoax accusation.

          For me... all those coming forward should have done so sooner.

          A woman accuses an ADA or judge of sexual misconduct. One who has crafted an image with his 10 Commandments and same-sex marriage stands and more as Protector of the Faith and all that is good and holy. In Alabama.

          What do you think happens next to that woman?

          C'mon. Be realistic.

          but I damn sure going to be more suspect of your claim now that the person you are accusing is running for office

          Well, sure. But the flip side is that once running for high office, your life gets put under the magnifying glass by both opponents and the press. That's NORMAL. And it's NORMAL for any skeletons to come out of the closet. When a reporter starts hearing the same stories about candidate over and over, they start an investigation. This is the result.

          You are not the only person that got fucked, raped, or molested in life.

          And....? That doesn't mean that you stay quiet about it when finally given the opportunity to speak out.

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

          • identicon
            David, 2 Dec 2017 @ 5:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Little details matter.

            And....? That doesn't mean that you stay quiet about it when finally given the opportunity to speak out.

            "Opportunity to speak out" was there before. The problem is that this fuckhead is going to represent you and other women and make decisions concerning them unless you finally put your own interest in keeping this quiet behind.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2017 @ 11:40am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Little details matter.

              Yeah, go ahead and make the complaint - better start looking for a new job first.

              There are many reasons people do not come forward in these cases. Broad brush victim blaming is so chic these days, no wonder so many are gleefully participating in the decadence.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 1 Dec 2017 @ 1:47am

          Re: Re: Re: Little details matter.

          Spoken like a man who has never been raped or molested. But, blame the victims. It doesn't matter how damaged they were, or how little they would have been believed at the time. They didn't deal with their attacker in the random period of time you think was acceptable, so it's all their fault, right?

          Here's the thing - molestation and, especially, rape are as much about power as they are about sex. These men do these things because they know they have the power to get away with it. It's the weight of these accusations that gets noticed, a single complaint from some random woman does not. If, for example, Weinstein's accusers had come forward immediately, they would have been written off immediately and the actresses would never find work again. They wouldn't have stopped the next victim. His deeds finally had consequences because a bunch of people finally felt empowered to tell their story and be believed. Same with Moore - a man who is somehow fairly successfully running for office on the back of a judicial career that saw him kicked off the bench twice is not going to be stopped just because a woman complained about being victimised at the time.

          "This would not be the first time a group of females got together and lied about someone to fuck their life up."

          It also wouldn't be the first time that a powerful man used his position to fuck up the lives of numerous women. It's telling that you don't consider this.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2017 @ 8:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Little details matter.

            I do not like these arm chair quarterbacks as much as they like themselves. Preaching from their bully pulpits, wagging fingers at whole segments of society while completely devoid of any experience or understanding of that segment. And they call anyone who objects a lot of silly words.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2017 @ 11:51am

      Re: Little details matter.

      What a simplistic mindset, all journalism is the same?

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

  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 30 Nov 2017 @ 11:16am

    Reason is clear

    Why is he targeting popular celebrities? The answer seems pretty clear to me - he's trying to provoke the most virulent of fans of those celebs so that he can wave print-outs of hate mail in front of the cameras as "proof" the other side is made of crazies. It's one of the oldest tricks in the book.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2017 @ 12:59pm

      Re: and then there is this

      If I had $50 and a condom I could get an opinion piece in Amazonian Post too.

      "The Sherman Act".? Are you fucking kidding? When was the last time you saw a company with over $1B in revenue litigated under the Sherman act? When was the last time you heard of one litigated under the Sherman Act AT ALL?

      If you going to talk about telecom, step 1. is understand something about telecom. If your going to write an article about telecom, step 2. is to understand something about telecom. If your going to suck corporate cocks for a living, step 3. is to get a job writing opinion pieces for the Amazonian Post.

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

    • identicon
      Bob, 30 Nov 2017 @ 1:36pm

      Re: and then there is this

      Yup. More false statements. Good call to point it out.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2017 @ 11:31am

    Pai is playing stupid

    Pai loves to conflate telecom service provider with information service provider. They are wildly different things and while both may be regulated, it wouldn't be with the same set of rules.

    Frankly nobody wants the FCC to regulate the internet. What needs to be regulated are ISPs. There's a huge difference. Telecom service companies can't be the ones to pick winners among information service companies.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2017 @ 11:56am

      Re: Pai is playing stupid

      "Pai loves to conflate telecom service provider with information service provider. They are wildly different things and while both may be regulated, it wouldn't be with the same set of rules."

      And ISPs and friends love to bounce back 'n forth taking the things they like from each one and rejecting the things they do not like, all the while ignoring the fact that they have not decided which one should be used.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2017 @ 11:54am

    "At no point was the internet under the regulatory regime that Pai is pushing with his order."

    Out of curiosity, what regulatory regime was the internet under? I presume it was not under the "watchful eye" of the FCC, but this is just a guess on my part.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2017 @ 11:56am

    Re: easily debunked by the companies themselves

    Well lying to the SEC is different than lying to the FCC. There are two whole other letters!

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

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 30 Nov 2017 @ 12:29pm

    Doctor Strangepai

    Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the throttling.

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

  • identicon
    zippy, 30 Nov 2017 @ 2:33pm

    Looks like Milano showed Pai Who's The Boss...

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

  • icon
    MyNameHere (profile), 30 Nov 2017 @ 7:12pm

    Pai is actually playing everyone against themselves, and it's working out for him pretty well.

    NN supporters have a very hard time producing quantifiable evidence that their beloved cause "works" any better than the internet worked before NN rules were put in place. So every time the support degrades into a "look at this ISP in Portugal who is actually offering top ups" for mobile users, and not home users.

    Anti-NN have an equally hard time to prove anything, because the period of time since NN went into force is too short. Companies are still spending the money planned three to five years ago. Any drop in investment or pulling back on projects will take time to show up.

    In the meantime, Pai is letting everyone eat themselves. Those who are not eating are getting poking online, and that in turn leads to a self-immolating frenzy.

    Two things are clear, however: 1) there isn't much proof the NN rules have really improved anything, and 2) if the FCC was in it's mandate to move everything to title II, then they have the mandate to reverse that choice.

    Meanwhile, you can all go eat yourselves, I guess. It makes Pai smile.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 1 Dec 2017 @ 1:48am

      Re:

      "NN supporters have a very hard time producing quantifiable evidence that their beloved cause "works" any better than the internet worked before NN rules were put in place."

      That because you're using the evidence right now, you frigging idiot.

      Net neutrality is not something new, it's there to protect the way the internet has always worked. Yet again, either you invent your own reality or you're paid to ignore the real one.

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

      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 1 Dec 2017 @ 7:12am

        Re: Re:

        "I don't see the harm of no NN, so obviously NN doesn't work."

        "I've never had smallpox, so obviously vaccines don't work."

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 1 Dec 2017 @ 7:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You joke, but there are groups of idiots who think exactly that about vaccines and are trying to stop children from having them. They're a generation or 2 removed from widespread polio and death or disfigurement from preventable childhood disease, so that means it's all a government conspiracy to give kids autism.

          But, hey, if NN is removed and one of the larger ISPs decides to hire an anti-vaxxer as their CEO, their customers might stop having access to information about how wrong they are made much more difficult, so there's that.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2017 @ 8:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I have this rock that prevents lion attacks.

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

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 1 Dec 2017 @ 3:18am

      Re:

      "NN supporters have a very hard time producing quantifiable evidence that their beloved cause "works" any better than the internet worked before NN rules were put in place."

      If you have been living under a rock that may be true but there are plenty of evidence. And NN has been the standard for decades, it's only recently that cozy duopolies are allowing companies to mess with your packets. Which is what NN rules were designed to prevent. It's not regulating the Internet, it's keeping it neutral and safe from these duopolies.

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

      • identicon
        Thad, 1 Dec 2017 @ 9:29am

        Re: Re:

        Here's a handy list that's been making the rounds. This version is combined from a post here by JoeDetroit and another one on Ars Technica by Happysin; I don't know where it originally came from. It is not exhaustive.

        2005 - Madison River Communications was blocking VOIP services. The FCC put a stop to it.

        2005 - Comcast was denying access to P2P services without notifying customers.

        2007-2009 - AT&T was having Skype and other VOIPs blocked because they didn't like that there was competition for their cellphones.

        2011 - MetroPCS tried to block all streaming except YouTube. They actually sued the FCC over this.

        2011-2013 - AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon were blocking access to Google Wallet because it competed with their own wallet apps. This one happened literally months after the trio were busted collaborating with Google to block apps from the Android marketplace.

        2012 - Verizon was demanding Google block tethering apps on Android because it let owners avoid their $20 tethering fee. This was despite guaranteeing they wouldn't do that as part of a winning bid on an airwaves auction.

        2012 - AT&T tried to block access to FaceTime unless customers paid more money.

        2013 - Verizon literally stated that the only thing stopping them from favoring some content providers over other providers were the net neutrality rules in place.

        2014 - Netflix & Comcast sign a deal where Netflix will pay Comcast to stop throttling the service. The very next day, streaming problems vanish.

        I've written a couple of blog posts, yesterday and today, rounding up various NN stories. Not that the trolls are going to read them, but they may be a handy guide for the grownups in the audience.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2017 @ 8:37am

      Re:

      Yet when it comes to copyright enforcement all standards of evidence suddenly go flying out of the window, and we're supposed to take your randomly generated IP addresses as gospel.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2017 @ 9:00am

      Re:

      Are you forgetting about the case that really kicked the net neutrality debate into the mainstream? It involved Vonage and a small ISP that didn't want their customers using a cheap third party IP-based phone service rather than their more expensive land line service.

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

  • icon
    Lord Lidl of Cheem (profile), 1 Dec 2017 @ 1:47am

    Ajit Pai is basically Trumps conscience.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.