No, The FTC Won't Save You Once Net Neutrality Rules Are Killed

from the tricksy-and-false dept

If you understand anything about the net neutrality fight, it should be this: repealing these popular rules is just one small part of a long-standing ISP plan to reduce meaningful oversight of one of the least-competitive industries in America. So far this year we've already watched as the Trump administration gutted broadband privacy rules, defended price-gouging prison phone monopolies, made life easier on business broadband monopolies, and began weakening the standard definition of broadband to help obfuscate a lack of competition in the sector.

And they're only really getting started. The next big push, lobbied for by Comcast, AT&T and Verizon, is to gut meaningful FCC oversight of giant ISPs, then shovel any remaining authority over to the FTC. This week the FCC and FTC released a joint statement declaring that this new "coordination of online protection efforts" would be a massive boon to consumers while protecting a "free and open internet":

"The Memorandum of Understanding will be a critical benefit for online consumers because it outlines the robust process by which the FCC and FTC will safeguard the public interest,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “Instead of saddling the Internet with heavy-handed regulations, we will work together to take targeted action against bad actors. This approach protected a free and open Internet for many years prior to the FCC’s 2015 Title II Order and it will once again following the adoption of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order."

Again (as if pointing out facts matters with this FCC), there are numerous falsehoods being pushed here. One being that the 2015 net neutrality rules were "heavy handed," since by international standards they're pretty modest. Two being that the internet somehow magically flourished under Title I throughout history, which ignores the fact that ISPs were classified under Title II with no ill effect for years. Cable (2002) and DSL (2005) were only re-classified under Title I because ISPs promised this reduced oversight would result in incredible levels of competition that you may have noticed never actually materialized.

But the biggest problem the FCC is ignoring is that the FTC doesn't really have much solid authority over broadband providers, and what authority that exists is at risk of being obliterated by an ongoing AT&T court battle with the FTC.

So one, the FTC agency lacks rule-making capabilities, meaning it can only act after bad behavior has already occurred, and only if that behavior can be classified as "unfair or deceptive," which will give companies like Comcast ample wiggle room to pretend bad behavior was necessary for the health of the network. And the FTC is already over-extended and under-funded, so most meaningful ISP oversight will likely fall through the cracks. According to an interview earlier this year with former FCC boss Tom Wheeler, this of course was the ISP lobbyist plan from the beginning:

"In the Trump administration, people are talking about stripping regulatory power from the FCC, and essentially taking the agency apart (including moving jurisdiction over internet access to the Federal Trade Commission [FTC]). “Modernizing” the FCC is the lingo being used. What’s your thought about that?

It’s a fraud. The FTC doesn’t have rule-making authority. They’ve got enforcement authority and their enforcement authority is whether or not something is unfair or deceptive. And the FTC has to worry about everything from computer chips to bleach labeling. Of course, carriers want [telecom issues] to get lost in that morass. This was the strategy all along.

So it doesn’t surprise me that the Trump transition team — who were with the American Enterprise Institute and basically longtime supporters of this concept — comes in and says, “Oh, we oughta do away with this.” It makes no sense to get rid of an expert agency and to throw these issues to an agency with no rule-making power that has to compete with everything else that’s going on in the economy, and can only deal with unfair or deceptive practices.

Ironically, this doesn't even cover the biggest problem: that an AT&T legal battle against the FTC could obliterate what little authority the FTC does have over broadband providers. That case, revolving around AT&T's decision to throttle unlimited data customers then lie about it, could result in any company with even a modest common carrier component being able to dodge FTC authority almost entirely. Should AT&T win, the FTC is already on record clearly stating that companies could simply acquire small common carrier oriented businesses to dodge regulatory oversight:

"The panel’s ruling creates an enforcement gap that would leave no federal agency able to protect millions of consumers across the country from unfair or deceptive practices or obtain redress on their behalf. Many companies provide both common-carrier and non-common-carrier services—not just telephone companies like AT&T, but also cable companies like Comcast, technology companies like Google, and energy companies like ExxonMobil (which operate common carrier oil pipelines). Companies that are not common carriers today may gain that status by offering new services or through corporate acquisitions. For example, AOL and Yahoo, which are not common carriers, are (or soon will be) owned by Verizon. The panel’s ruling calls into question the FTC’s ability to protect consumers from unlawful practices by such companies in any of their lines of business."

Mentioning this massive, looming loophole appears to simply have slipped Ajit Pai and the FCC's mind as they sell the public on this turd of a policy proposal. But it gets worse. According to telecom policy expert Harold Feld, even if the FTC manages to win that case, its authority over broadband ISPs remains so shaky, most of the net neutrality violations we've long been familiar with (from ISPs letting interconnection points congest to drive up costs for Netflix, to AT&T blocking Facetime to force users on to more expensive plans) wouldn't be policeable under this new regime.

In short, Feld makes it clear (again) that those stating that FTC authority and existing antitrust will protect us in the wake of net neutrality repeal don't have a solid understanding of how regulatory oversight of the broken telecom market actually works:

"...if you think AT&T or any other broadband provider has the right to decide what content and services subscribers should access — then this Order eliminates what you have considered nasty FCC overreach for the last 15 years (more, really, but at least since the 2002 Cable Modem Order). Don’t bother with handwaving about how you think it won’t happen, or how consumer pushback will keep ISPs from doing bad things, etc. On the question of “does the FTC have the power to stop a broadband provider from saying ‘I’m not going to let you use a particular service or access particular content,’ the answer is a flat out straight up “no.” Because for normal everyday businesses, absent a specific enforceable regulation, offering you some limited service is not “unfair” under 15 USC 45(a). Period. Full stop.

These are all notable, telling omissions by those claiming that fleeting FTC authority will be enough to police massive, predatory duopolies like AT&T and Comcast. It's simply not the case. And again, the goal here isn't just more reasonable or less heavy handed oversight of these giant companies, the goal is the elimination of nearly all meaningful oversight entirely. And while there's still numerous "free market" folks who believe gutting FCC oversight of natural monopolies like Comcast magically fixes a very broken market, that's simply not supportable by history or factual data.

Anybody that believes gutting oversight of some of the least liked and least competitive companies in America magically forges Utopia is either being willfully obtuse for personal financial gain, or they're taking ideological lessons from elsewhere and misapplying them to a broken market they simply don't understand. If allowed to pass, this push to gut oversight of these apathetic duopolies is going to have a profoundly negative impact on the health of the internet, the ability to innovate, and content and service competition for a generation. Pay attention, and don't be part of the problem.


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    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 12:18pm

    More than one fraud going on

    "It’s a fraud. The FTC doesn’t have rule-making authority."

    Constitutionally the FCC does not have it either. The constitution does not give Congress the power to create rule making agencies, only rule enforcing agencies.

    Since you are don't seem to care about one fraud, you lack standing to bitch about another.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 1:26pm

      Re: More than one fraud going on

      Citation needed. Please provide link to where in the Constitution it expressly forbids the creation of rule making agencies. Because I just read through the original document and I didn't see anything in there about it.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 1:55pm

        Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

        Your premise is a logical fallacy, the constitution is a document that defines how the government is to be setup and the powers each branch will have. This means if a power is not granted, it IS denied.

        "Because I just read through the original document and I didn't see anything in there about it."

        Exactly! It does not grant congress the power to unburden itself from the responsibility and power of law making and foist them upon another branch, agency, office, or appointment. If the FCC, FTC, DOJ, ABC, or any other alphabet soup agencies want a new law they are constitutionally required to be pass by Congress, no exception.

        Section 8 generally defines the powers that congress shall have. And giving away their power is not something that defined as possible in the Constitution. An amendment must first be written and ratified and I do not know of any such amendments that alter Congresses law making powers in this way.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 2:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

          That's funny, the last paragraph of Section states:
          "To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the Untied States, OR IN ANY DEPARTMENT OR OFFICE THEREOF." Emphasis mine.

          I don't know man, seems pretty cut and tried that Congress can create any agency/department/office it wants if it deems them to be "necessary and proper". And since the FCC and others like it were created to be an "expert" agency to make rules and regulations when Congress may not have a full understanding of the various and assorted fields that make the world go 'round, that seems pretty necessary and proper to me.

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            Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 2:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

            *Section 8

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 2:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

            Understanding is critical here.

            I did not say they could not create agencies or departments.

            I DID SAY, they could not GIVE those agencies or departments the power to CREATE LAW!

            There is at least one metric fuckton of difference between those two statements! Get with the program! It really helps if you can stop trying to misrepresent what I am stating.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 2:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

              I don't see anything in the Constitution that says Congress can't make a law establishing an agency of experts that can then act and make law on behalf of Congress in their particular area of expertise.

              The agency is still under Congress's purview and if they create a bad law Congress can invalidate it. And in cases where it directly conflicts with either the Constitution or other laws passed directly by Congress, it is immediately invalidated in favor of the Constitution or direct congressional law.

              It also does not state the agencies created can only be "rule enforcing" and not "rule making".

              However, if you know of a passage explicitly stating otherwise, please share it for the enrichment of all.

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                Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 3:13pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                "I don't see anything in the Constitution that says Congress can't"

                Do you know what else the Constitution does not say that congress can't do? Create an Agency to oversee the president but as stupid as you are, I am willing to bet you understand enough to know that they cannot do that despite there not being a single word in the constitution saying they can't do that.

                Your understanding of this discussion is so lacking that you are not competent enough to discuss it. You should go and read up on the Dunning-Kruger effect, it definitely applies to you. You think you know far more than you actually do.

                The Constitution is a literal document for how the government is to be run, this means any power not expressly granted, is a power expressly forbidden. Morelike a WhiteList of Powers as opposed to a Blacklist of them. If it's not in the whitelist... its auto denied!

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                  Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 3:23pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                  Congress doesn't need to make an agency to oversee the president because it already exists. It's called the Judicial Branch.

                  We can agree to disagree on whether powers are expressly granted by the Constitution or not but, given the thought and care the Founders put into writing it, I can't believe they would have been so rigid in writing it that it didn't allow for some flexibility in new situations. That's why so much of the Constitution is written in broad terms like "To make all laws". Doesn't say what kind of laws.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 3:46pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                    "Congress doesn't need to make an agency to oversee the president because it already exists. It's called the Judicial Branch."

                    huh... yea, you definitely do not understand. They are not there to oversee anything other than judicial cases. Says so right there in the constitution Article III Section 2 part 1.

                    it does not say shall oversee the president or executive branch.

                    "We can agree to disagree on whether powers are expressly granted by the Constitution or not but, given the thought and care the Founders put into writing it, I can't believe they would have been so rigid in writing it that it didn't allow for some flexibility in new situations."

                    It was their best attempt to stave of ignorant people like you.

                    "That's why so much of the Constitution is written in broad terms like "To make all laws". Doesn't say what kind of laws."

                    What you define as broad is actually pretty narrow, but you lack the understanding of why and how that is. And because of that lack of understanding, you are easily tricked into allowing government and agency to usurp too much power to the point where you are nothing more than a serf willingly shackled to the mandates of the state rather than being free to express your individual liberty. You are a slave that does not even understand enough to know that you are a slave and it is only by your ignorance that you remain one!

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 8:32pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                      Those judicial cases also include any laws or executive orders signed by the president. The Supreme Court has the power and authority to invalidate any law deemed to violate the Constitution. That kind of seems like oversight of the president to me.

                      You say I don't understand yet you don't explain why. Please explain exactly why what is "broad is actually pretty narrow" and then we can have a discussion about it. But until you do, "all laws" seems rather broad to me. Now, bear in mind, I don't mean they can pass a law that would go against the Constitution, but again, I do not see anywhere in the Constitution where it says they can't grant power to an agency to make regulations relating to that agency's area of expertise. Quote the exact passage in the Constitution where it says otherwise if you disagree with me. You have yet to do so.

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                • icon
                  Mike Masnick (profile), 12 Dec 2017 @ 3:49pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                  Do you know what else the Constitution does not say that congress can't do? Create an Agency to oversee the president but as stupid as you are, I am willing to bet you understand enough to know that they cannot do that despite there not being a single word in the constitution saying they can't do that.

                  Hmm. While you seem pretty damn sure of your position, over 100 years of administrative law case law says you're wrong.

                  Your understanding of this discussion is so lacking that you are not competent enough to discuss it. You should go and read up on the Dunning-Kruger effect, it definitely applies to you. You think you know far more than you actually do.

                  Hmm. Well, if this is true, then the same is true of the Supreme Court, as you're arguing that they got Heckler wrong, Accardi wrong and even possibly Chevron wrong. None of those cases would have turned out the way they did if what you seem to be arguing is obvious was the actual law.

                  The Constitution is a literal document for how the government is to be run, this means any power not expressly granted, is a power expressly forbidden. Morelike a WhiteList of Powers as opposed to a Blacklist of them. If it's not in the whitelist... its auto denied!

                  I know that you are claiming to be a Constitutional law expert, but you don't seem to know much about the history of administrative law or why it's long been deemed Constitutional... So... uh... don't know how to say this, but for all your angry outbursts, either every other Constitutional expert, including the Supreme Court, is uninformed... or, maybe (and I'm just throwing this out there)... you are wrong.

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                    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 4:46pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                    Ha ha ha... this is rich.

                    The founding fathers are on record saying that idiots like you would be along and that the government over time is just going to get more and more corrupt as time goes by and that eternal vigilance would be required to keep things working.

                    You has written plenty of articles about how much the government gets it wrong and yet you have the nerve to say...

                    "Hmm. While you seem pretty damn sure of your position, over 100 years of administrative law case law says you're wrong."

                    It's really not that hard to trick and fool people. It is also not hard to get corruption in government. The difficultly is keeping it out of it!

                    "I know that you are claiming to be a Constitutional law expert, but you don't seem to know much about the history of administrative law or why it's long been deemed Constitutional"

                    it is simple to understand... it was deemed constitutional a long time ago because the citizens just roll over and accept it. And because it has been left to sit and rot in that state for so long, it just becomes accepted fact, no matter how wrong it is... just like a lie repeated often and long enough, it becomes the only thing you know.

                    The founding fathers all predicted this outcome for America and warned us about it a lot and we still didn't listen. We frequently support unjust laws and corruption every single chance we because it serves our politics.

                    Your constant bitching about these politicians on TD means that you in practice agree with the things I say, but just do not have the strength or wisdom to admit. The dissonance is not working to your benefit.

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                      Mike Masnick (profile), 12 Dec 2017 @ 5:15pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                      Ha ha ha... this is rich.

                      It's "rich" (and apparently funny?) to point out that there are literally zero experts who think your "obvious" interpretation of the Constitution and administrative law is correct? How's that?

                      The founding fathers are on record saying that idiots like you would be along and that the government over time is just going to get more and more corrupt as time goes by and that eternal vigilance would be required to keep things working.

                      "Idiots like me" who simply pointed out the reality that administrative law has been deemed Constitutional for basically a century? Hmm. And I don't disagree with you about concerns of corruption, but I'll be honest with you, I think your response here, in which you laugh and insult me, rather than actually addressing the points I made, don't seem to be indications of someone who knows what they're talking about. Rather they seem like indications of someone who got caught not knowing what they're talking about and is lashing out.

                      You has written plenty of articles about how much the government gets it wrong and yet you have the nerve to say...

                      Yes. The government often gets things wrong. I point those things out all the time. But I do so explaining how and why they get things wrong. You, on the other hand, insisted that it was "obvious" that administrative law is unconstitutional and that anyone who didn't agree with you was an ignorant idiot. Can you see how those are not the same things? You can address why you think the Supreme Court and Congress have consistently been ignorant idiots in your words, or you can just insult everyone. I'll just say that your approach is not convincing.

                      it is simple to understand... it was deemed constitutional a long time ago because the citizens just roll over and accept it.

                      It was not "citizens" who "rolled over and accepted it." It was the Supreme Court. Does the Supreme Court sometimes get things wrong? Yes. But, usually when that happens there's a lot of outcry, and plenty of experts will step up to explain why it's wrong and to look for cases to help fix the errors of SCOTUS. I can find literally no efforts from anyone anywhere in the US to invalidate the entirety of administrative law. This seems to be something that only you -- and anonymous commenter -- seems to think is a thing. It does not exist outside of your mind.

                      This is not "the citizenry" rolling over. This is an issue that is considered clear and settled law with no one agitating that it is wrong. Other than you. I'm curious, will you be bringing the case to prove yourself?

                      Because, frankly, you have made some pretty wild claims about what is obvious and who are idiots here, and yet there appear to be literally no one among a wide variety of experts who agrees with you. So... I'm left wondering, should I agree with you, whose only "evidence" has been to throw insults, and whose only stated credentials are the ability to get on the internet, open an internet browser and come to Techdirt, and the entirety of the judicial system, including all practicing legal advocates.

                      Can you see why your extraordinary claims appear to be lacking the extraordinary, yet "obvious" proof you state that is so obvious that you don't need to supply it?

                      And because it has been left to sit and rot in that state for so long, it just becomes accepted fact, no matter how wrong it is... just like a lie repeated often and long enough, it becomes the only thing you know.

                      Again, if this were actually the case, we'd seen activist groups filing cases to invalidate admin law. It isn't happening.

                      The founding fathers all predicted this outcome for America and warned us about it a lot and we still didn't listen. We frequently support unjust laws and corruption every single chance we because it serves our politics.

                      No offense, but you sound like a high school kid who just discovered Ayn Rand.

                      Your constant bitching about these politicians on TD means that you in practice agree with the things I say, but just do not have the strength or wisdom to admit. The dissonance is not working to your benefit.

                      No, I have explained my position in great detail. I believe the government gets lots of stuff wrong, but I will explain how and why -- and, generally speaking, others will agree with me and will be part of efforts to fix it, including filing lawsuits, passing laws, etc. So, again, where are the experts who agree with your interpretation of the Constitution that is so "obvious" that you must be an "ignorant idiot" not to recognize it?

                      Or, wait, are you the sole enlightened being on this planet?

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                        Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 7:09pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                        "It's "rich" (and apparently funny?) to point out that there are literally zero experts who think your "obvious" interpretation of the Constitution and administrative law is correct? How's that?"

                        No, its rich that you post a lot of articles to try to expose corruption but when you disagree with someones position you have no problem joining the corruptions side. You can bet its not a shocker that expert after expert can get a lot of things wrong. Expert is just a piece of paper showing that they did a good job regurgitating what they were taught.

                        ""Idiots like me" who simply pointed out the reality that administrative law has been deemed Constitutional for basically a century?"

                        Gun Control laws are generally considered to be "constitutional" by a lot of folks when the 2nd clearly states otherwise. Tell me Mike, if so many people are so damn wrong on English that plain, how is it you expect me not to think you guys do not have intellectual problems?

                        SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

                        Here is the definition of infringed

                        in·fringe
                        inˈfrinj/
                        verb
                        past tense: infringed; past participle: infringed

                        actively break the terms of (a law, agreement, etc.).
                        "making an unauthorized copy would infringe copyright"
                        synonyms: contravene, violate, transgress, break, breach; More
                        disobey, defy, flout, fly in the face of;
                        disregard, ignore, neglect;
                        go beyond, overstep, exceed;
                        infract
                        "the statute infringed constitutionally guaranteed rights"
                        antonyms: obey, comply with
                        act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on.
                        "his legal rights were being infringed"
                        synonyms: restrict, limit, curb, check, encroach on;

                        This means that they cannot constitutionally create a law that requires a background check, mental check, or remove your rights to own a firearm just because you committed a felony with or without a firearm.

                        So yes Mike, you can damn sure bet that all those "experts" are damn well expected to toe the fucking line or be laughed at! If you were going to be laughed at by everyone would you have the strength to stand by the truth? No you wouldn't, not even when there is plain text English along with the very words of one of the principal fucking authors Thomas Jefferson behind the document you "claim" that all these "experts" know so much about.

                        So yes Mike, you along with any number of other experts you want to cook up can damn sure get the constitution wrong. Not because you are specifically stupid, but because you corrupt politics will not allow you admit you have it wrong or because you are beholden to a politic that controls you like a puppet on a string!

                        "You, on the other hand, insisted that it was "obvious" that administrative law is unconstitutional and that anyone who didn't agree with you was an ignorant idiot."

                        Oh my my, Mike, I know you are not that butt hurt over being called an idiot. I think everyone that gets something this obvious this wrong is an idiot. I do idiotic things too, but I will take correction when it is due. You often will not, but occasional do to your credit. It took a while to get you change your mind on the redkins shit so I know you are at least willing to listen from time to time.

                        The only people that think the constitution is some archaic hard to understand document are people with agenda's to corrupt. Congress is the only power that can write federal law. Agencies cannot and if you think that the Constitution is consistent with them creating law making agencies then I had no words of respect for that level of incompetence.

                        The founders really did make a big mistaken. They were victims of the corollary to the Dunning-Kruger effect. They knew what they were doing and expected people to figure this out, but apparently they overestimated the intelligence and intellectual integrity of people exposed to too much peace and tranquility!

                        I wish I could resurrect one of the founding fathers so they could tell you to your face and your litany of experts that not only do you have it wrong, you have it so wrong that the only conclusion is that you read and write a different language than they used, an truth be told we do. We no longer write and understand things the same way they did back then, and you have taken that as an advantage to trick others into believing untruth things about the constitution.

                        There is no reason to say congress cannot give agencies the power to create law, because congress is the agency given that power.

                        I want you to explain to me how you think the founders would have missed a loophole that allowed un-elected people to create laws that are not required to be voted on or signed by the president? Do you not realize how stupid you and your experts sound? Corrupt or ignorant is how you sound? The government has been on a more than lengthy road towards the complete destruction of the constitution.

                        People saying that the constitution is being used as toilet paper in all 3 branches of government is not exactly a joke, but a sentiment that anyone that knows what corruption looks like will share!

                        The police can murder you and usually get away with it.
                        You can be arrested for anything.
                        You will definitely not get a fair trial.
                        You will definitely not get a speedy trial.
                        The people are about to elect a fucking pedo as a senator in Alabama.

                        Tell me that most people can't possible get this stuff wrong! They can and they can certainly get a lot of experts to back them up when their reputations are on the line!

                        "Or, wait, are you the sole enlightened being on this planet?"

                        Nope, just a loud one that gets a lot of attention for coming into the lions den poking them. There have been several will informed people that have been proven right over the long haul and many times only after they were long gone did people finally say... oh... oh damn... they were right! Fuck me how did so many people get this wrong?

                        Because it was not politically or economically expedient for them to desire or listen to the truth... that is why. The truth is hard, most people want NONE OF IT!

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                          Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 8:59pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                          And you have officially lost any meager shred of credibility you had with that post.

                          The sheer idiocy and total disconnect from recorded history and fact you display in that one single post is unmatched in my entire career and experience with people. And this is coming from someone who has spent a great deal of time debating good friends who take everything Alex Jones says as absolute gospel. At least they presented some form of factual basis for their claim.

                          Congratulations sir.

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                            Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2017 @ 8:33am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                            ha ha... you guys don't have any respect for anyone you don't agree with as proven by the fact that their post was flagged.

                            TD just wants to be an echo chamber were anyone saying something you don't like is piled on.

                            I remember when out of blue was here and mynamehere and several others were regulary being flagged just becuase you all got but hurt about stuff.

                            If their posts really have no merit you should let their stupidity stand for all to see not hide it.

                            I always uncover and read other peoples flagged posts because every time I read one, there is an element of truth to it that you sycophants want to keep hidden.

                            I bet that said something that got your sorry goats and its hilarious.

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                              Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2017 @ 9:09am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                              Whether their posts get flagged or not is irrelevant, as you yourself stated, you can easily unhide it, it is not permanently hidden.

                              If you see an element of truth in a post that was flagged, please state what it is and provide proof of its veracity. Otherwise you aren't helping his argument and are merely making yourself look as idiotic as he did.

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                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2017 @ 11:26am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                                I am just making an observation about your self-righteous claims bro, not complaining.

                                Additionally you do understand that I was not talking about this post specifically having an element of truth that got your goats... but all of the posts that have been flagged by the community because someones sad feelings were hurt.

                                I have no desire to go fact finding for you. Do that shit for yourself. I am just here to laugh at you.

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                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2017 @ 11:37am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                                  Please read my post again, I said "in A post that was flagged", not this particular one.

                                  My claims are only self righteous if they are not true. Since I have based them upon, and provided, verifiable fact of their authenticity, if you want to claim they are self righteous you are going to have to provide facts that prove me wrong.

                                  If you feel that all of the posts that have been flagged were simply because someone's feelings were hurt, then you should provide evidence that what they were saying was factually correct and all the evidence provided to the opposite was wrong.

                                  I have provided facts in this and other posts, I have already done my fact finding. Since you have no interest in doing any of your own, we can safely assume you are just spouting off hot air and honestly don't really know what you are talking about.

                                  If you just want to laugh, do so. But if you laugh at us in the comments, be prepared to defend your statements.

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                        • icon
                          Mike Masnick (profile), 12 Dec 2017 @ 11:58pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                          No offense, but your analysis remains lacking.

                          Your 2nd amendment example is unavailing, because there are many people who have made the exact argument you are making, that the 2nd amendment is sacrosanct and that any gun laws violate it. But here's the point THOSE PEOPLE BRING CASES to make that point. That's what Heller was. It was a legal case to prove the point.

                          So, you have not proven your point, but you have shown again your own ignorance. People with expertise in the 2nd amendment have tried to get that point made in court (with lots of success).

                          But, again, no one out there is arguing what you are saying concerning administrative law. So, again, why is that? Your examples so far again suggest that everyone is a brainwashed zombie or something, but on the 2nd amendment there are a whole bunch of people making the arguments you make (and, I won't even bother getting into why they're misreading the 2nd amendment, because that's a whole different can of worms).

                          On the 4th amendment, I believe strongly that SCOTUS made a huge mistake with Smith v. Maryland. But that's why I'm so interested in the cases being brought to challenge that. But, again, it's an area where lots of people are searching out challenges.

                          There's not happening with your admin law claim. Why?

                          You seem to paint things with an extraordinarily broad brush. When I ask for experts you dismiss ALL experts. It's fine to point out why some experts are wrong and to discuss why. But when everyone disagrees with you... and your only response is to say all experts are corrupt. Well, son, that's not convincing. That sounds like you're just not that knowledgeable.

                          Similarly, yes, we talk about corruption all the time, and point to examples. But we back it up with facts. And at no point would we claim that many examples of corruption mean EVERYTHING is corrupt. That, again, is extrapolation well beyond what the facts actually suggest.

                          So, here, again, let me make myself clear: you are making extraordinary claims without extraordinary evidence, and in a case where you have actually presented no evidence to back up your position, other than a desire to reanimate dead corpses to tell me I am wrong. That's not convincing. If you wish to convince someone of an extraordinary claim, on which there appears to be approximately zero public support from the courts or anyone who actually understands the nuances (from your comments, it's fairly obvious that you have only just learned about these issues), the burden on you is to provide the evidence.

                          So, with all due respect: present a shred of evidence to support your position or maybe, just maybe, admit that you jumped in ass first on a topic you know fuck-all about, and are now too dug in and too embarrassed to admit that you made a colossal fool of yourself.

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2017 @ 8:46am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                            "On the 4th amendment, I believe strongly that SCOTUS made a huge mistake with Smith v. Maryland."

                            But they are the experts.

                            I noticed you waste no time disagreeing with the experts while trash talking someone doing the same.

                            Hypocrisy much Mike?

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2017 @ 11:39am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                              Disagreeing with one expert on one decision is different than saying you can't trust any of the experts for the last 200 years, which is exactly what the commenter was stating.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2017 @ 12:15pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                          I just want to point out that your argument that the Constitution doesn't allow for the creation of agencies with the power to enforce and create law is total bunk.

                          And the proof of that is the establishment of several agencies in the immediate years following the ratification of the Constitution, namely the State Department, Treasury Department, Attorney General, Department of War, Department of the Navy, and the Postmaster General. The majority of these were all enacted while a Founding Father was sitting as President of the US.

                          So either the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution and immediately ignored it, making them a bunch of hypocrites, or you are wrong.

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 1:11pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                            "And the proof of that is the establishment of several agencies in the immediate years following the ratification of the Constitution, namely the State Department, Treasury Department, Attorney General, Department of War, Department of the Navy, and the Postmaster General. The majority of these were all enacted while a Founding Father was sitting as President of the US."

                            These only enforce law they do not create them.

                            You are the liar. Name one law that any of these agencies have created during the time any founder was sitting in office.

                            There have been multiple ruling against agencies creating laws, heck parts of the new deal were dismantled under it too! You people are so stupid it burns!

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 2:13pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than one fraud going on

                              And yet the Administrative Procedure Act essentially blesses rule making by agencies.

                              Also, you do know that regulations are not the same as laws right? Laws determine in general what should be done and regulations determine the details of how it is to be accomplished.

                              In the case of the FCC, one of the laws is that the FCC is to encourage the quick and broad deployment of broadband internet access to US citizens. The Net Neutrality regulation provides one particular detail on how to accomplish that.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 12:18pm

    NO big loss! "Net Neutrality" wasn't going to "save" us, either!

    You keep floating out the notion that all was/is fine, when in fact Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Netflix pretty much have the available turf divided into non-competing feudal realms.

    Even worse, Techdirt asserts that "platforms" have First Amendment Right to control / remove all speech on their sites, not just their own: a de facto censorship regime that to say the least, isn't at all tolerant of my views.

    We're in the mid-stage of full-blown fascism. I kind of think this whole flap is good to awaken people to the corporate control, besides slightly hinder the presently ascendant corporatists who have the worst and most insidious methods.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 12 Dec 2017 @ 12:27pm

      'Free Speech' means you get to speak, it doesn't mean others are required to listen or assist

      Even worse, Techdirt asserts that "platforms" have First Amendment Right to control / remove all speech on their sites, not just their own:

      Correct, you have no 'first amendment right' to use someone else's platform to host your speech regardless of their wishes to the contrary, in roughly the same way that I would not be able to come over to your house and use your lawn to hold a rally or protest and claim that you weren't allowed to kick me off your property as that would violate my first amendment right to speak.

      a de facto censorship regime that to say the least, isn't at all tolerant of my views.

      Well at least you're honest enough to admit to why you hate the whole 'you don't have a right to someone else's platform' thing, even if you're wrong on the censorship angle.

      Or to put it another way.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 12:34pm

        Re: 'Free Speech' means you get to speak, it doesn't mean others are required to listen or assist

        What is your take on the NFL taking a knee during the national anthem stuff? Does the NFL have the right to stop it, or does the NFL have to host its players political activities?

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 12 Dec 2017 @ 12:46pm

          Re: Re: 'Free Speech' means you get to speak, it doesn't mean others are required to listen or assist

          NFL players you mean? Last I knew the NFL as a whole was not a government agency, nor are the team owners, so if they really object to the speech that their players are engaged in(protest or otherwise) they would be within their rights(assuming it doesn't clash with contractual obligations the two parties are under) to say 'We object to your speech and do not care to host/employ you while you engage in it. You can protest if you want, but do it on your time, not ours'.

          It would be stupid and counter-productive, but as far as I know they could do it and I would support their right to do so even as I would think doing so was foolish.

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          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 12 Dec 2017 @ 1:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: 'Free Speech' means you get to speak, it doesn't mean others are required to listen or assist

            If there were no "player has the right to express an opinion" clauses in player contracts before, there probably are now.

            Complete with "because the player's identity is closely tied to this here sport, the sport may in some way be the platform for expressing his opinion."

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 1:28pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Free Speech' means you get to speak, it doesn't mean others are required to listen or assist

              NFL players are still just employees at the end of the day. You always take a risk if you decide to protest on company time.

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              • icon
                Roger Strong (profile), 12 Dec 2017 @ 2:33pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Free Speech' means you get to speak, it doesn't mean others are required to listen or assist

                Hence the word "contract." Contracts go both ways. The owner takes a risk when they refuse to allow freedom of speech in any contract.

                As I wrote, that may not have been important before, but it will be now.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 2:51pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Free Speech' means you get to speak, it doesn't mean others are required to listen or assist

                  The intention was not to countermand what you have said... just to add to it.

                  "The owner takes a risk when they refuse to allow freedom of speech in any contract."

                  That goes for anything, contracts, online platforms, personal agreements, social events... anything.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2017 @ 7:29am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Free Speech' means you get to speak, it doesn't mean others are required to listen or assist

                    Ok - cool.
                    Lets see a top team let their QB go because it does not like the QB attitude.

                    lol - like that will ever happen

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 1:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: 'Free Speech' means you get to speak, it doesn't mean others are required to listen or assist

            Yes, the Players, sorry for not being more clear.

            I remember reading a whole lot of people saying that the players had a constitutional right to protest during the games and wondered if you held the same view after stating what you did.

            Thank you for your reply, it is nice to see intellectual consistency around here.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2017 @ 7:30am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Free Speech' means you get to speak, it doesn't mean others are required to listen or assist

              Out of curiosity, what does that have to do with the topic at hand?

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 4:47pm

      Re: NO big loss! "Net Neutrality" wasn't going to "save" us, either!

      Gobble, gobble that RIAA-flavored meatpole!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 6:19pm

      Re: NO big loss! "Net Neutrality" wasn't going to "save" us, either!

      Last I checked, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook (in the US) and Netflix were not ISPs. Some of them aren't even in the same competitive fields. Perhaps you should check your facts before you embarass yourself.

      Or not... I like to view comments on net neutrality articles to see how people like you can be so damn wrong and yet so sure of yourself. It's kind of amusing. It's also reassuring: it means no-one has a serious argument against net neutrality yet.

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    • icon
      JMT (profile), 13 Dec 2017 @ 6:53pm

      Re: NO big loss! "Net Neutrality" wasn't going to "save" us, either!

      "...Techdirt asserts that "platforms" have First Amendment Right to control / remove all speech on their sites, not just their own..."

      Are you really claiming that private companies don't have full legal control of content on their own websites? The First Amendment is irrelevant in this context. If the government tries to stop you from posting something on your website then come back and tell us all about it.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 12 Dec 2017 @ 12:34pm

    That's step two, right?

    And the FTC has to worry about everything from computer chips to bleach labeling. Of course, carriers want [telecom issues] to get lost in that morass. This was the strategy all along.

    Nonsense, I'm sure that after the whole mess is dumped in the FTC's lap the very next step will be to provide the agency a significant boost to funding and resources in order to allow them to better handle the increase workload.

    I mean it would be positively crazy to dump a massive mess like that on the agency and expect them to be able to handle their current and new issues with the same resources and manpower. Under such a scenario countless problems would almost certainly slip through the cracks or otherwise not be addressed properly, and I can't think of so much as a single person, group or company that would want that to happen, so I'm sure that additional funding is just right around the corner, if not already in the works.

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  • identicon
    anonymoud dutch coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 1:48pm

    safe distance

    looking on from a safe distance, I wonder where it went wrong. From being a leader of the free world to this corrupt and incompetent third world nation in half a century?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 2:07pm

      Re: safe distance

      "I wonder where it went wrong."

      Read George Washington's farewell address. It essentially prophesied this outcome.

      In short, the gradual yet continual division between the parties will sacrifice all liberty in a stop at nothing attempt to destroy the other.

      We 'literally' run from liberty to forge shackles to wear for ourselves and beg for tyranny out of fear that our fellow citizens might take financial or emotional advantage of us.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 1:59pm

    So the FTC is really so incompetent they cannot handle another industry? That is a weak arguement. Every federal agency with broad authority has to prioritize enforcement, and the FTC will do so as well. I assume your critisism is that the FTC will not prioritize an enforcement agenda you like, but that is also a somewhat strange arguement given that a Pai led FCC would have given net neutrality enforcement about zero effort even if the agency was not repealing it.

    This is the problem with agency rule making to begin with. Once you give that power to an unelected group of bureaucrats and let a presidentially appointed chair set the entire agenda, you get whatever rulemaking and enforement he wants. It is an incredibly undemocratic system that changes arbitrarily with the administration. I am sure in four years net neutrality will be back in style and these rules will be forced on the system again.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 2:18pm

      Re:

      Surprisingly well stated, but this goes back to the "its okay as long as it agrees with my own politics" problem people on both sides have.

      What saddens me is that we are here directly staring down the failure of the FTC & FCC in regulating the market yet they want to force them to continue the regulation in the expectation that with "these new rules" they are somehow going to start performing their duties in accordance with the citizens wishes in any beneficial way. These agencies have not for the past several decades. The insanity is the expectation that they are going to start doing things right, for a reason they have yet to offer, if we just keep NN around.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 2:26pm

        Re: Re:

        Just because some police officers don't enforce the laws does that mean we should get rid of those laws and shut down all police agencies across the country? Because that is no different than this.

        Just because one group of "enforcement officers" are not doing their jobs, doesn't mean the rules are bad and the entire agency needs to be thrown out the window.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 2:56pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I guess the question comes to then... why not throw them out?
          If they have no fear of punishment for failing to do their jobs then why should they get to skate off scot-free at the expense of the citizens? Allowing agencies to arbitrarily enforce law results in unequal treatment before the law and therefore tyranny!

          Is that what you want? Two classes? Those that get away with shit and those that don't?

          Why do you choose to give these agencies such a free pass to cause more harm than good?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 3:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You misunderstand or deliberately ignore my point. The agency is not the problem. The problem is the people who are currently running the agency. Just because you have a bad driver doesn't mean the car is a junker.

            By all means, yes, please, let's throw out Pai, O'Reilly and whatever the other guy's name is (and the two Democrats if it is found they also have shirked their duties). They are the problem, not the FCC as a whole, and there should be consequences for those employed at the FCC if they fail to do their jobs. But that doesn't invalidate the entire existence of the FCC anymore than it would invalidate any other private, public, or commercial entity where it's taken in the wrong direction by one or a few crazy people at the helm.

            Society needs a certain amount of rules to properly function. Without them you have anarchy, whether that is one small sector or society at large doesn't matter, anarchy is never good for society. Don't believe me? Read a history book.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 3:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The irony here is amazing. Some say that NN is a bad idea because of the unaccountable power accorded the FCC and its potential for abuse. You turn around and say, "No! The agency structure is fine, it's just that the wrong people are in charge and they are abusing their power." If o ly someone had forseen this....

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 8:40pm

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

                I think you are confused, the people who are saying the FCC is too out of control and the ones who are saying the agency structure is fine are not the same two people. They aren't even from the same groups.

                Positions of power and authority will always have the potential to be abused by the people who hold those positions. That doesn't make the position itself a bad thing. Take the President of the United States, some people claimed Obama was Satan himself, some think Trump is running us into the ground. Cases can be made that both men abused the office of president at one time or another. I, so far, have not heard of anyone calling for the position of president to be eliminated, merely a change of who holds that office.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 3:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "You misunderstand or deliberately ignore my point."

              I am not certain you understand your own point. You are just making basely platitudes about how things should work without any forethought.

              "But that doesn't invalidate the entire existence of the FCC anymore than it would invalidate any other private, public, or commercial entity where it's taken in the wrong direction by one or a few crazy people at the helm."

              Agree, it does not directly invalidate the agency in the immediate sense, but if the agency just keeps getting it wrong. Time to smash it and start anew. How is it that people can grasp the concept of people trying to make a fresh start with people or things but NEVER with government agency? You should only be allowed to fail so much before the process needs to just stop and be evaluated from its foundations.

              "Society needs a certain amount of rules to properly function."

              Because that is totally what is going to happen if the FCC is defanged or destroyed? Total Anarchy. I am sick of everyone advancing the notion that any and all calls to deal with corruption are tantamount to asking for anarchy. Get a grip!

              I don't care if NN says or goes, I am just saying nothing is going to change. NN is mostly window dressing... they are going to find more than enough ways to screw you no matter what.

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                icon
                MyNameHere (profile), 12 Dec 2017 @ 6:21pm

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

                "Because that is totally what is going to happen if the FCC is defanged or destroyed? T"

                I think part of the problem in all of this is that you confused about the FCC's mandate and power.

                The FCC is not part of the legislative branch of government. The are administrative. They are suppose to apply and administer the laws as passed by the elected congress and signed by the President.

                Can you show us exactly where the congress passed the Title II and Net Neutrality Act of 2015? Oh wait, they didn't. The FCC took it upon itself to create new rules and regulations where none existed, without having them codified into law. So desperate they were that they used Title II and then struck off the parts they didn't like.

                It made me think of the M*A*S*H episode where they can get a popcorn machine by striking off "machine gun" on the right form and replacing it with "popcorn machine".

                The FCC should never have moved internet services to Title II to start with. That should be something codified in law, not summarily decided by a partisan, unelected officials. What Wheeler did was ignore 20 years of internet growth and instead impose his own will on it.

                Getting upset about Pai doing the same is laughable. If you feel Pai shouldn't have the power, then Wheeler should not have been able to do it either.

                It gets back to the very simple thing: if you want net neutrality and all sorts of regulation, then you need to get it codified into law. The FCC should enforce the law and not write it.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 7:20pm

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

                  What is your brain damage man?

                  The FCC not having constitutional law writing power was my original spiel! check the top muthafuckin post up in dis bitch!

                  The FCC actually SHOULD have moved ISP's to title II.

                  As an administration they do have the power to classify what a business is in regards to already established law... the problem is them creating laws without congress voting on it and the president signing them into actual fucking law, NOT how they classify business.

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                • icon
                  Mike Masnick (profile), 13 Dec 2017 @ 12:34am

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

                  Can you show us exactly where the congress passed the Title II and Net Neutrality Act of 2015? Oh wait, they didn't.

                  Um. Yes. I can. It's the Telecom Act of 1934, amended in 1996, which gave the FCC the power to classify services under Title II, as confirmed by the Supreme Court in the Brand X case.

                  Or were you unaware of all of that?

                  The FCC took it upon itself to create new rules and regulations where none existed, without having them codified into law. So desperate they were that they used Title II and then struck off the parts they didn't like.

                  So you're just like, totally ignoring the Brand X ruling then? Because if you're correct, then you still have it backwards, because the problem was not with classifying things under Title II, but the original decision to classify broadband under Title I. Even if you were correct (which you're not...) then these services would clearly be under Title II (as Scalia noted) before the FCC reclassified them.

                  The FCC should never have moved internet services to Title II to start with. That should be something codified in law, not summarily decided by a partisan, unelected officials. What Wheeler did was ignore 20 years of internet growth and instead impose his own will on it.

                  Um. Except the parts where the FCC first reclassified these services from Title II to Title I you mean? Again, your argument totally backfires, because the reclassification went the other way first. All Wheeler did was move these services BACK to their original classification.

                  Getting upset about Pai doing the same is laughable. If you feel Pai shouldn't have the power, then Wheeler should not have been able to do it either.

                  Again, this statement seems to show a pretty profound ignorance of administrative law and the ruling in Brand X. The FCC can reclassify, but only if it can show that there is underlying fundamental changes that require the reclassification. Which Wheeler did (which is why 2 courts have upheld his reclassification). Pai is going to have to show that the world changed so dramatically in the past 2 years that it required a new classification.

                  So you can't just change it on a whim.

                  It gets back to the very simple thing: if you want net neutrality and all sorts of regulation, then you need to get it codified into law. The FCC should enforce the law and not write it.

                  You say stuff like this that makes it obvious that you don't know the first thing about the law on these issues.

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                  • icon
                    MyNameHere (profile), 13 Dec 2017 @ 2:59am

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

                    "Or were you unaware of all of that?"

                    Very aware. But Congress did not pass any law related to the internet. Title II is used, but as you previously mentioned, most of it is crossed out because it doesn't really apply.

                    Title II as a way for the FCC to follow with further regulation not defined in law.

                    "Um. Except the parts where the FCC first reclassified these services from Title II to Title I you mean? Again, your argument totally backfires, because the reclassification went the other way first. All Wheeler did was move these services BACK to their original classification."

                    Actually, not entirely true. Internet services were generically under Title II only because they were built on existing cableTV and phone cables. Otherwise, there would have been no specific title applied. Title I is essentially the lowest level of control the FCC has. it's more a question of them saying "wait, the internet isn't a common carrier in the same sense as phone service".

                    Effectively, the FCC never actually placed the services in Title II, they just landed there by default. They didn't "reclassify" them, they finally classified them.

                    "The FCC can reclassify, but only if it can show that there is underlying fundamental changes that require the reclassification"

                    I am not debating that at all. What I am saying is that moving it from Title I (ie, just barely under FCC prerogative) to Title II is the wrong move. What should have happened is something similar to Title VI, specifically created to deal with the cable industry. There really should have been a Title VIII specifically to deal with the internet, passed into law by congress.

                    "Pai is going to have to show that the world changed so dramatically in the past 2 years that it required a new classification."

                    Not true. Pai will only have to show that the previous choice didn't generate the expected results, and that there is no reason to continue to support rules that have no proven beneficial effects.

                    "You say stuff like this that makes it obvious that you don't know the first thing about the law on these issues."

                    I understand it quite well actually. A big part of the ruling was that the rules were quite vague, and ni the end, to resolve the issue, the FCC classified internet as information services so that there was no wiggle room for BrandX (which lost it's case). What the FCC did at that point was apply what the courts had decided, namely that Title II was vague in relation to internet services.

                    I also understand that the idea of NN was struck down twice by the courts before Wheeler moved internet services into Title II, otherwise the FCC would not have had the power to enact the NN rules.

                    I also think you need to more clearly read judgements related to Wheeler in court. One of the best is this nugget "Critically, we do not “inquire as to whether the
                    agency’s decision is wise as a policy matter; indeed, we are forbidden from substituting our judgment for that of the agency.”

                    This is significant. Read straight, it says essentially that the courts should not rule if a policy is intelligent or wise, only that it is within the scope of the rules for the agency as set by congress. Quite simply put, if the FCC can classify something as Title II, then the can rescind that classification, it is within their power.

                    Pai only has to show that (a) they are allowed to do it, and (b) that it's not unreasonable. There is no need to show it as the single correct choice, only reasonable and within the agency's prerogative. Remember, he isn't trying to enact rules or remove them. He will just reclassify the service out of Title II and thus render the rules moot.

                    https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/net-neutrality-dc-circuit.pdf

                    That's a pretty good history there, with plenty of annotated back information. Essentially, many of the arguments shut down by this court can read in support of Pai and the choices of HIS FCC.

                    The lack of a Title for computer and internet services means that your congress critter buddies have failed you. While 39 of them signed a letter to the FCC, there doesn't appear to have been any move to bring forward laws to regulate the internet as an internet service. Had this been done, we wouldn't be having this discussion now, as it would be codified in law and the FCC would be in the position to enforce it rather than trying to write it.

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

                    • icon
                      JMT (profile), 13 Dec 2017 @ 7:03pm

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

                      "Pai will only have to show that the previous choice didn't generate the expected results, and that there is no reason to continue to support rules that have no proven beneficial effects."

                      I doubt that's entirely true, but even if it is, the rules literally just said "don't do bad shit". So the ISP's didn't do the bad shit the rules told them not to do. How is that not the expected result, and how is that of no benefit?

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

                      • icon
                        MyNameHere (profile), 14 Dec 2017 @ 6:29am

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

                        Wrong rules.

                        Remember, Pai isn't so much trying to repeal the Net Neutrality rules as much as just pulling the Title II classification. It's a bit like the Republican trick of defunding things that they cannot get repealed (like Obamacare).

                        With Title II reversed, the NN rules aren't even really on the table anymore, the courts have already ruled that without Title II status, NN style rules cannot be applied.

                        Pai can easily make the case that Title II isn't appropriate for information services, that there is really no specific title that does apply, and as such, it would be more appropriate to have them back under the general title I until such time as the critters get off the lazy butts and actually regulate. The whole specific question of NN is then sidestepped.

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

                    • icon
                      The Wanderer (profile), 14 Dec 2017 @ 9:34am

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

                      it's more a question of them saying "wait, the internet isn't a common carrier in the same sense as phone service".

                      The Internet is not.

                      Internet access is.

                      Please stop conflating the two in your arguments.

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

                • icon
                  The Wanderer (profile), 14 Dec 2017 @ 9:32am

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

                  The FCC should never have moved Internet service providers away from Title II to start with.

                  You know, something like 20 years ago.

                  Sure, classify their non-ISP services - which at the time were things like providing Website hosting, E-mail accounts, and so forth - as information services; that's reasonable.

                  But Internet access service itself is clearly a Title II telecommunications service, and classifying it as an information service was the original mistake in this.

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

                  • icon
                    MyNameHere (profile), 14 Dec 2017 @ 6:38pm

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

                    That's not really true. It has some things like Title II, but Wheeler had to do some wholesale crossing out of provisions to try to make it fit. It's like making an oversized show fit yoru foot by stuffing the toes and wearing 5 pairs of socks. You can get it to stay on, but it's not really right.

                    The FCC needs an "internet Title", and they need congress to pass it into law. They need to do it at the same time that they simplify things so that new competition can come into the market place, so that new last mile competition can flourish, so that NN isn't the only thing keeping the US internet from doom.

                    NN is dead. The internet is doomed. DOOMED!

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

                    • icon
                      The Wanderer (profile), 15 Dec 2017 @ 5:45am

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

                      Just for a moment, don't look at it in terms of the change to Title II classification which took place under Wheeler.

                      Look at it in terms of the change from Title II classification which took place back in (IIRC) the late '90s - at how things were regulated before that, and at exactly what effectively changed in the regulation as a result of that change.

                      Was the regulation which was in place before that change heavy-handed and inappropriate for the Internet-access industry, as distinct from the other businesses in which ISPs were also engaging?

                      If so, isn't Wheeler having refrained from going back all the way to that full regulation a good thing?

                      And if not, how would having that full regulation in place be a bad thing?

                      No, Wheeler didn't apply the entirety of Title II's restrictions to the Internet-access industry - but that doesn't mean that Title II isn't the best available fit for that industry; there's a reason the FCC is permitted in the first place to forbear from applying some of the law's restrictions, after all.

                      As for "this needs to be handled by Congress"... while good legislation on this would be better than having it handled under existing law, that doesn't mean that handling it under existing law is bad, and it's certainly far more likely that bringing Congress into the mix would produce a worse result than that it would lead to actual good legislation. (Partly because of today's overall political climate, partly because of the stupid framing of the issue as a partisan one, and partly because most members of Congress - even more than members of the public in general - don't even realize the extent to which they don't understand the issue.) As such, bringing up Congress is a distraction from the (part of the) argument which is actually at hand.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 8:41pm

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

                If you don't care whether NN stays or goes then why are posting about it on every article that mentions it? Doesn't sound like someone who doesn't care about it to me.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2017 @ 3:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          This is not really on point. The FCC is not the police here, it is a (constitutionally suspect) combination of legislator and police. And for better or worse, the FCC is using its ability to write rules to determine the reach of it police powers. That is not to say all.laws and police forces are being thrown out, the FTC still exists and can still the laws written by congress.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2017 @ 7:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Just because some police officers don't enforce the laws does that mean we should get rid of those laws and shut down all police agencies across the country? Because that is no different than this."

          Actually - yes, it is very different.

          In addition, what do you think would happen if all existing laws were enforced (as if were even possible).

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2017 @ 11:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Please explain how it is different.

            I don't know what would happen if all laws were enforced (citation needed that they are not currently). What do you think would happen?

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 12 Dec 2017 @ 4:00pm

      Re:

      So the FTC is really so incompetent they cannot handle another industry?

      That's not what the post said at all, but nice strawman.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    MyNameHere (profile), 12 Dec 2017 @ 4:52pm

    Impressive piece of writing. Ignore everything said in the last year, and point to statements made BEFORE NN was enacted and Wheeler was actively campaigning to get the FTC to say it couldn't do the job.

    Wow.

    The FTC has said in the past that it isn't able to deal with individual consumer complaints in regards to information privacy, in part because that is a state level issue. Personal privacy however is not truly related to Net Neutrality.

    When it comes to anti-competitive behavior by monopoly players, it's not doubt that it's the FTC's job.

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

  • icon
    Drew_Wilson (profile), 13 Dec 2017 @ 12:13am

    Another Nail in the "FTC Will Save Us" Coffin

    The FTC will not protect the open Internet. They lack the skills and capabilities. This is not a theoretical argument. FTC commissioner Terrel McSweeney herself made those remarks (along with some pretty detailed examples and explanations I might add). This is coming straight from the horses mouth IMO. If that doesn't say the FTC is hardly capable of supporting the open Internet, not much will.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2017 @ 8:46am

      Re: Another Nail in the "FTC Will Save Us" Coffin

      I would say they lack the honesty to do it.

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

    • icon
      MyNameHere (profile), 13 Dec 2017 @ 6:01pm

      Re: Another Nail in the "FTC Will Save Us" Coffin

      McSweeney is a Democrat, and of course, will poo-poo any suggestion that the FTC should actually do it's job.

      If she thinks it would take years for them to get a court order to stop blatant blocking of sites, then she perhaps needs to resign.

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

      • icon
        Drew_Wilson (profile), 13 Dec 2017 @ 9:32pm

        Re: Re: Another Nail in the "FTC Will Save Us" Coffin

        Well, McSweeney laid out her case, feel free to lay out your counterpoint. Please, explain how federal court cases, with the appeals process taken into account, are so instantaneous.

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

        • icon
          MyNameHere (profile), 14 Dec 2017 @ 7:47pm

          Re: Re: Re: Another Nail in the "FTC Will Save Us" Coffin

          My point is only that this has turned into a partisan issue. McSweeney is part of the "Obama Gang" that supported NN from the start, so I don't expect her to say anything that would support it being abolished.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2017 @ 2:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Another Nail in the "FTC Will Save Us" Coffin

            In which case, why would she not have welcomed a chance to enforce net neutrality?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2017 @ 8:35am

    too bad I missed this one yesterday

    I see all the nuts out spewing the bullshit.

    congrats folks, I have my popcorn and eating it!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2017 @ 6:11pm

    Pot, meet kettle.

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


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