Leaked E-mail Shows Even The FCC's Own CTO Thinks Gutting Net Neutrality Harms The Public

from the dysfunction-junction dept

So by now we've pointed out how 200 engineers, internet legends, nearly 1000 startups, countless internet companies, 30 small ISPs, and millions of American consumers have told the FCC its plan to repeal net neutrality is extreme and will harm competition, innovation, and the health of the internet. But we've also pointed out repeatedly how this makes absolutely no difference at Trump's FCC, which appears mindlessly dedicated toward one singular purpose: pleasing entrenched telecom duopolies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon.

You can add the FCC's own CTO to the long list of folks who think the FCC's net neutrality repeal is neither in the public interest, nor good for the health of the internet. In a leaked e-mail this week, FCC CTO Eric Burger (hired by Ajit Pai last October) warned that once the rules are repealed, there's really nothing in place to stop these entrenched duopolies from throttling or hamstringing services or websites they compete with:

"In an internal email to all of the FCC commissioner offices, CTO Eric Burger, who was appointed by Pai in October, said the No. 1 issue with the repeal is concern that internet service providers will block or throttle specific websites, according to FCC sources who viewed the message.

"Unfortunately, I realize we do not address that at all," Burger said in the email. "If the ISP is transparent about blocking legal content, there is nothing the [Federal Trade Commission] can do about it unless the FTC determines it was done for anti-competitive reasons. Allowing such blocking is not in the public interest."

So if you buy the FCC/big ISP argument here, the net neutrality repeal and the gutting of FCC authority over giant ISPs isn't a big deal -- because the FTC will rush in and protect consumers. But we've already noted in great detail how that's simply not going to be happening. The FTC's currently losing a lawsuit against AT&T that could obliterate that ability almost entirely. Even if they win that case, we've explored in detail how the FTC's existing authority is so limited, clever ISPs like Comcast will be able to simply tap dance around enforcement.

Another source at the FCC told Politico that Burger's concerns were just part of the everyday back and forth chatter that occurs at the FCC, and that his concerns had somehow been addressed by an update to the NPRM:

"An FCC official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the internal deliberations, said Burger's concerns have been addressed since his message Wednesday morning. The discussion, the official said, is part of the normal back-and-forth process of editing an FCC order.

The official said that some clarifying language was added to the order and that Burger replied Wednesday afternoon to say his concerns were "fully addressed." The official also noted that the CTO was focused on one section of the order and not the part that dealt with the rules.

The problem is that there's no way that this issue was "fully addressed," because it's the entire foundation for Pai's order. Gutting FCC authority, then throwing any piddly remaining oversight of ISPs to an FTC ill-equipped to handle it is the entire plan. The fact that enforcement will fall through the cracks at the FTC is the whole damn point and is precisely why ISPs are lobbying for this. The FTC can't make new rules, can't act until after offenses have occurred, and even then -- only if it can be clearly proven that the ISP was being "unfair" or "deceptive" --something that's easy to dodge just by using TOS mouse print.

In the world of net neutrality violations, where ISPs often hide anti-competitive behavior under faux technical nonsense or breathless claims they were only trying to protect the network -- ISP lawyers will run circles around the FTC. And again, this is only if the FTC wins its court case against AT&T. If it loses, there's really nothing stopping giant ISPs from being as large of an anti-competitive ass as they can imagine. And should any states get the funny idea to step in and protect consumers or competitors, Pai's FCC incumbent ISPs want to hamstring those efforts as well.

Experts have been pointing out this fatal flaw in Ajit Pai's plan for much of the last year. That includes the two-time former FCC CTO, who has repeatedly pointed out how easy large ISPs will be able to abuse a lack of competition under this new paradigm. And while it's nice to see the FCC's current CTO recognize the problem as well, these concerns will likely only join the now-towering pile of discarded feedback that didn't quite line up with Comcast, Verizon and AT&T's vision of the internet.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 14 Dec 2017 @ 4:46am

    Good. More evidence to be used in the inevitable lawsuits to stall the repeal until the Republicans inevitably get shoved out of the legislative.

    I mean, that's only so much contempt you can show the people before they decide enough is enough.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 10:20am

      Re:

      Pfff. People equal s*** like Slipknot said.

      Thankfully legal proceedings are a lot more friendly to facts, than sir Pai is. Baring a very strong order, the facts certainly seems to suggest that either Pai is incompetent at communicating or he is not acting on strong factual grounds.

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  • icon
    aerinai (profile), 14 Dec 2017 @ 5:10am

    Fail in grand style...

    I'm just hoping that the ISPs piss off too many people too quickly that the next FCC re-establishes Title II and mandates local loop unbundling... I'd love to have real competition in America...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 7:08am

      Re: Fail in grand style...

      There are too many billions of dollars at stake for the IPSs to let the public have a say.

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

    • identicon
      Isle, 14 Dec 2017 @ 8:07am

      Re: real competition

      "... I'd love to have real competition in America..."


      well, your in luck --- "real competition" absolutely depends upon government bureaucrats supervising private voluntary markets... and forcibly intervening with very extensive & totally arbitrary rules. America has that in abundance now. There is no practical alternative whatsoever to thorough government regulation of markets --- it would be chaos.

      Real Americans understand that real competition is synonymous with government regulation. A few minor tweaks to FCC and real ISP competition will blossom abundantly.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 9:11am

        Re: Re: real competition

        "A few minor tweaks to FCC and real ISP competition will blossom abundantly."

        I wish. The fact is that state governments will continue to make deals that are anticompetitive in the local markets.

        The fact is that states are staggeringly under invested in domestic infrastructure for telecom. And this has been so since the telegraph was first run along rail lines.

        Part of the issue is that right of way is a total clusterhump. (You see TD, I can be offensive without using the naughty words!) Probably there needs to be a constitutional amendment granting the fed the ability to designate right of way.

        There are huge infrastructure issues that free up a lot of space for the market to run. But all the various governments are playing hot potato with the infrastructure expenses, and playing rice bowl politics with the contracts.

        So we are going into an economic recession because there is no real leadership. Just a bunch of hustlers patting themselves on the back with one hand and covering their bung holes against each others lascivious intentions with the other.

        I tell you. This G rated forum thing is sure going to do wonders for my vocabulary.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 9:32am

          Re: Re: Re: real competition

          "(You see TD, I can be offensive without using the naughty words!)"

          People worried about bad words are more of a problem than the people using them. If you are so emotionally weak that you can't handle them, then you likely have something of little value to offer yourself.

          "Probably there needs to be a constitutional amendment granting the fed the ability to designate right of way."

          Nope, bad idea. How can you think a sane solution to a corruption problem is to provide a tool that allows for even more corruption? You are either nuts, ignorant, or evil.

          "There are huge infrastructure issues that free up a lot of space for the market to run. But all the various governments are playing hot potato with the infrastructure expenses, and playing rice bowl politics with the contracts."

          This is so wrong its not even funny.
          #1. The people are only paying for infrastructure because they let their elected officials subsidize them to attract jobs so they can get more votes, which leads to...
          #2. It does not fix natural monopoly problem, which leads to...
          #3. Business having the power to manipulate elected officials and basically write protectionist laws/regulations at the local, state, and federal level. Basically the problem we have now!

          "So we are going into an economic recession because there is no real leadership. Just a bunch of hustlers patting themselves on the back with one hand and covering their bung holes against each others lascivious intentions with the other."

          We are going into a recession? I have been looking at the reports and see different news. But you are right about all the hustlers.

          "I tell you. This G rated forum thing is sure going to do wonders for my vocabulary."

          Your vocabulary aint da problem... yo knowledge and solutions be.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 6:53am

    The issue was "fully addressed" he was clearly told to say all was well or lose his job.

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  • identicon
    kingstu, 14 Dec 2017 @ 7:08am

    Support: Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix
    Against: AT&T, Charter, Comcast

    This is one group of large corporations against another group of large corporations. Regulation is always bad for innovation and consumers ALWAYS end up worse off. Regulatory capture is an absolute certainty under every administration.

    While regulators are captured by ISPs today, regulators were captured by content providers during the Obama years. If you really believe this is about the “little guy” then Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix have better lobbyists and PR firms than AT&T, Charter and Comcast.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 7:21am

      Re:

      PSA:
      Whenever one makes use of all inclusive terminology, the results are usually incorrect.

      for example:
      "Regulation is always bad for innovation "
      - is incorrect
      "consumers ALWAYS end up worse off"
      - is correct, but not for the reason stated
      "Regulatory capture is an absolute certainty under every administration."
      - I doubt this, got any data in support of same?
      "regulators were captured by content providers during the Obama years"
      - somehow, I think the capture to which you refer started and completed many decades prior

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 8:21am

      Re:

      "Regulation is always bad for innovation and consumers ALWAYS end up worse off"

      Cmon you live in a land where the richest corporations are allowed to write their own laws and then use these broken laws to argue that it's just better to have no laws.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 14 Dec 2017 @ 8:23am

      Re:

      "This is one group of large corporations against another group of large corporations."

      Yep, because the arena is set up so that nobody smaller has a chance. At least those corporations on the side of the consumer are young enough to remember that it was only due to the existence of a neutral platform that they managed to get where they are today.

      "Regulation is always bad for innovation and consumers ALWAYS end up worse off"

      Once again, easily proven false by looking at markets in other countries where proper regulation has fostered competitive markets at the behest of the consumer.

      I can understand hypotheticals, but why do people always insist that something's impossible, when there's dozens of examples showing that it's not.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 8:52am

        Re: Re:

        Good point. I'm most definitely NOT a fan of Facebook -- I'd be happy if the place burned to the ground, and Zuckerberg is a sociopathic monster much like Trump. But if they're willing to weigh on the side of NN, I'll be glad for the temporary support. Idealogical purity is great but not when it gets in the way of larger strategic goals.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 9:47am

      Re:

      "Regulation is always bad for innovation and consumers ALWAYS end up worse off"

      Why don't you test that with the following experiment: Remove all the stop signs in your neighborhood, and see what happens.

      The tripe that your spouting is called "Free Market Fundamentalism" and it is a view that forms a foundation for most of the pimping that goes inside of the beltway.

      What we are looking at is a Peredo distribution in the telecom market. Working capital has over consolidated to the point where it is having severe negative effects on economic growth. The market should be correcting right now. The carriers know this, which is why they are strangling the 1st amendment like a newbie serial killer.

      They can't grow anymore unless they steal. Ajit Pai is just a bag man. Character wise, the guy might as well be slinging crack to prostitutes on a street corner. His words are fancy, but his total disregard for the welfare of his own people is straight up street thug.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 1:57pm

        Re: Re:

        "Why don't you test that with the following experiment: Remove all the stop signs in your neighborhood, and see what happens.

        Something this?

        https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2011/09/shared-spaces/116/

        "In Europe, the result has proven to be safer and more efficient – and more social – for everyone involved."

        so in short...

        "This concept, known as Shared Spaces, contradicts pretty much all conventional thinking about traffic engineering, and partly for that reason, it has never caught on in the United States."

        You are what is known as a conventional thinker. You have no original thoughts, you just regurgitate what you "think" you know because you have economic Stockholm's Syndrome.

        Next time that little voice in the back of your head tells you to shut up before you put your foot into your mouth?

        might wanna listen to it!

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 15 Dec 2017 @ 12:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You might have wanted to carry on reading:

          "And his ideas have sometimes been mistranslated across the Atlantic to suggest that he advocated removing all signage from every intersection everywhere. In reality, he believed the idea was only a good fit in the right contexts."

          So, even your sources are way more nuanced for you, who advocate removing ALL regulations, regardless of context.

          There certainly are places that would benefit from removing unnecessary signage. Removing it from places that actually need it, however, is guaranteed disaster. Same with internet regulations.

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    • identicon
      kate, 15 Dec 2017 @ 2:16am

      Re: Regulation

      "Regulation is always bad for innovation and consumers ALWAYS end up worse off."

      This is the stupidest thing I have seen today and I watched Pai's "all the things" Daily Caller video this morning.

      How were consumers better off being sold unknown, harmful, addictive substances advertised with entirely false claims of benefits and no warnings whatsoever as to dangers? What is the motivation to innovate actual advances in medicine when you can make a lot of money right now convincing people you made them better by giving the euphoric feeling of well being that comes from being higher than a kite on opium? Good luck convincing an opium addict that your antibiotics are working better than Doctor Felix's Magical, All Heal, Feel Good Elixor of Vitality. The patient knows very well which immediately relieved their pain and made them feel good.

      Just one example.

      Food is an even better one. The US had a higher rate of food borne illness when it had a simple and relatively local supply chain than it does now, sourcing food from all over the world, food that commonly has undergone multiple processes at multiple facilities, sometimes in multiple countries and commonly by entities who are not even known to the consumer as involved in producing what they are eating. Without protections, such innovations wouldn't be sustainable; every link in the supply chain introduces another risk of mishandling/contamination and producers commonly are not even aware of all the suppliers of upstream of them (they often don't even know who has had a hand in producing, processing, storing or transporting foodstuffs upstream of the supplier they purchase from). The food market can innovate such convoluted supply chains without causing regular mass illness and common fatality because of regulatory protections. So long as they source from a supplier subject to sufficient regulation, they don't need to source and inspect the facility and practices of a Waikato Farmer do the same for a local milk tanker operator, and contract services at a milk processing plant they send their own people to go inspect before then finding and inspecting the facilities and practices of a transport company who can milk powder onto a ship and a shipping company they've inspected and trust to bring it across the ocean, to a transport and logistics company they've inspected who can get it through customs, and onto truck to a factory so the chocolate maker can finally use it, but only after they sort out the same logistical nightmare for their cocoa, sugar, and all other ingredients.

      Regulatory protections are why the food market became so innovative. You couldn't pull off the convoluted supply and manufacturing chains needed without routinely sickening and killing many, most, or even all of your customers.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 15 Dec 2017 @ 3:25am

        Re: Re: Regulation

        "Regulatory protections are why the food market became so innovative. You couldn't pull off the convoluted supply and manufacturing chains needed without routinely sickening and killing many, most, or even all of your customers."

        I'd look at the other way, actually. Capitalism guarantees that if those people can save money by expanding food sources like that or increase revenue by using substandard, or even dangerous, ingredients then they will do. Barring that opportunity, normal competition and innovation are encouraged, but that's harder than simply cutting the cost of incoming supplies. Regulation is there ensure that they have to hold themselves to a higher standard than whether or not a certain number of illnesses and deaths will affect their profits.

        There's plenty of information from investigations into food processing to look at, if you make sure you haven't eaten much before reading it. A few minor scandals from the highly regulated European should give an indication of the corners they'll cut if regulations are removed (in the ones I'm thinking of, frozen ready meals such as lasagne were found to contain horse meat, and in another the food supply was reintroducing meat already found to be unfit for human consumption and destined for pet food, but ended back in the human food supply).

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

    • identicon
      Chip, 15 Dec 2017 @ 9:09am

      Re:

      I am Tired of the "government" limiting the Innovation of Paint Chips! Many "fine" Innovators want to sell Paint "chips" with Innovative Ingredients such as Lead, and also Mercury and Lead! They should be "available" in many Fine "flavors", such as Nacho cheese, roast "beef", and Blue!

      Government "regulations" have Stifled Innovation for far "too" long! I want my Nach Cheese Paint CHips!

      Every Nation eats the Paint chips it Sedserves!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2017 @ 6:18pm

      Re:

      Listen idiot, it is this simple:

      Net neutrality rules protect us people from seeing internet traffic discriminated by ISPs. Do you want the opposite aka no net neutrality aka ISPs dismcriminating all kinds of internet traffic?

      The strongest argument of PAI and friends against NN is that it is stiffling investment. But all legal reports to shareholders that any ISPs have made and (must make by law) show the amounts of dollars in investments keeps increasing.

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

  • icon
    MyNameHere (profile), 14 Dec 2017 @ 7:29am

    all of this...

    All of this of course assumes that consumers are not going to raise a fuss and that absolutely nothing will come of any type of blocking that you seem to feel will occur.

    Let's flash back to each and every one of the issues that NN supports point to (all of which happened before 2015, where there were no actual "rules"). Each and every one of them without exception was resolved because there was no way that they would be tolerated.

    Everything got resolved in the past without NN rules. That is the empirical proof.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 7:44am

      Re: all of this...

      Each and every one of them without exception was resolved because.....

      Because of the threat of regulations to stop that sort of behavior. The ISPS have decided to get rid of the FCC before going back to throttling,blocking etc. to shape the Internet more to their liking.

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

      • icon
        MyNameHere (profile), 14 Dec 2017 @ 8:00am

        Re: Re: all of this...

        Except they aren't rid of the FCC, and the same regulations could get reimposed if things get stupid.

        My guess is anyone straying out of line will encourage congress to actually get off their collective, Luddite asses and do something about it for good.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 14 Dec 2017 @ 8:28am

          Re: Re: Re: all of this...

          So, you want to strip protections from consumers, then depend on the same congress who's too bought to step in right now to step in later on the side of the consumer?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 2:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: all of this...

            The creation of a regulatory entity WAS the stripping of consumers.

            I want the liberty to directly connect to the internet or create my own ISP if I decide I don't like the shit these fucks are pulling! The regulatory landscape makes that so fucking hard that even Google with its fat fucking stacks of cash is giving up.

            You "claim" you are for consumer protections but the results of your support are getting them screwed instead.

            Besides I though you are not even an American Citizen? Why do you care?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 2:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: all of this...

              I want the liberty to directly connect to the internet or create my own ISP if I decide I don't like the shit these fucks are pulling!

              How will you run in your connection, and to which peers? Where will you put your routers?

              Or do you regulation to unbundle the local loop?

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 15 Dec 2017 @ 12:07am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: all of this...

              "I want the liberty to directly connect to the internet or create my own ISP if I decide I don't like the shit these fucks are pulling!"

              So, why do you support giving everything to the monopolies who benefit from continuing to block you? Why not keep the regulation and improve it to force the ISPs to break up their monopolies, as regulators have done in Europe?

              "Besides I though you are not even an American Citizen? Why do you care?"

              Because I've seen it work properly elsewhere and I don't like seeing people get screwed over. Even if I don't know them. I know, crazy, like I've got human emotions like empathy or something.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2017 @ 2:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: all of this...

              "The creation of a regulatory entity WAS the stripping of consumers."

              No, it wasn't; your example has nothing to do with net neutrality

              "I want the liberty to directly connect to the internet or create my own ISP if I decide I don't like the shit these fucks are pulling! "


              Net neutrality doesn't prevent you from doing that.

              Just to be clear, if you're not evilly lying to convince people that something you know is bad is good, then you are unqualified to have an opinion even as useful as something your ass deposited in a toilet because that at least could be used for fertilizer whereas an opinion about net neutrality from someone who doesn't know what net neutrality does has no purpose or use whatsoever.

              Fact: big ISPs are in favor of repealing net neutrality while little ISPs are in favor of keeping it. Even without any more detail than this, it's obvious which of those types of providers benefits from a playing field titled in favor of established providers and which benefits most from a more even playing field. Even knowing nothing about what net neutrality does, you can ascertain if the big ISPs don't want it but the little start up ISPs do, that net neutrality doesn't favor big ISPs over little and startup ISPs.

              If net neutrality favored established ISPs over new ISPs, the big established companies would fight to keep it and the little ISPs would want it repealed. The opposite is true.

              "The regulatory landscape makes that so fucking hard that even Google with its fat fucking stacks of cash is giving up."

              But net neutrality has nothing to do with why that is. You might as well argue traffic lights should be banned because the regulatory landscape makes it hard to get into manufacturing cars.

              I propose that you're either deceitful (and if so, evil; literally lying to trick people into thinking something bad for them will be good for them) or completely incapable at this time of forming a useful opinion about net neutrality because you have no clue on which to base one.

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

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 15 Dec 2017 @ 3:16am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: all of this...

                Sadly, this all seems to be a theme. The people arguing against net neutrality the most vehemently seem the most likely to genuinely not understand what it is.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2017 @ 1:24am

          Re: Re: Re: all of this...

          Are you willfully ignoring that this fight started because things were getting stupid and the FCC went back to title II to deal with it?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 7:59am

      Re: all of this...

      Sites were taken down without SOPA. That is the empirical proof.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 14 Dec 2017 @ 8:27am

      Re: all of this...

      So, your answer is don't try to block the problems before they happen, just let everything go to shit and hope the consumer still has enough power to turn things back later on?

      Sterling logic, as usual.

      "Each and every one of them without exception was resolved because there was no way that they would be tolerated."

      ...but many of them were made worse (e.g. anti-competitive mergers between ISPs that double as content providers). I assume you'll ignore those issues, as you do everything that doesn't match your neat simplistic fantasies?

      "Everything got resolved in the past without NN rules"

      Indeed. Then, when the majors ISPs started violating the unspoken agreement of neutrality, someone had to step in and make them honour it.

      As usual, though, your solution is just to hand everything over to the people you need protecting from in the first place. Very strange, but at least it keeps you from coming up with actual answers in other threads after you've been called out on your lies again, I suppose.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 8:50am

      Re: all of this...

      That's not "proof". It's not even evidence.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2017 @ 6:23pm

      Re: all of this...

      You are ignorant. NN rules did exist before 2015. The 2015 rules put in place by Wheeler's version. But such rules existed before 2015.

      In many places even if consumers protest they have no choice because there is only ONE ISP in their area. Is that too difficult to understand you idiot?

      If NN is truly stopping investments then why don't AT&T or Verizon just get the fukk out of that business?

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

  • identicon
    stine, 14 Dec 2017 @ 7:33am

    so, the order's changed?

    Doesn't this mean a new proposal has to be published and a new comment period allowed?

    Or is this the shit like congress does where one house passes a law and the other house passes the same law, but only after replacing everything after the title.

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

    • icon
      R.H. (profile), 14 Dec 2017 @ 3:18pm

      Re: so, the order's changed?

      The comment period for this one was earlier this year and ended in September. The one where there were all the false entries and downtime caused by, as yet, unproven attacks.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 7:58am

    Highlighting a Nasty Flaw In Our System

    What makes me angry about this whole situation is how a single non-elected person should have so much power in what is supposed to be a democratic country. Something of this magnitude and importance should be given to the people to decide. The fact that Pai is continuing with this vote despite the clear lack of public support shows that there is a significant flaw in our system of government.

    While the decision to eliminate net neutrality will eventually get decided in the courts, that is not without the loss of significant time, money, and energy. I am willing to bet that during the time the case is in the courts, the ISPs will do their best to extract as much money from the public as possible. And, without a free and open internet, they can work to suppress/filter dissension and do their best to eliminate or hamper alternate means of establishing internet freedom or market competition. Instead, they will make the fight as long and drawn out as possible since that enables them to profit the most.

    I would also like to point out that relying on a court settlement to restore net neutrality might also turn out to be a dead end. There is no guarantee there will be a win at the end. The Supreme Court has not always supported the public at large. Their ruling that corporations are only beholden to their share holders (no matter how harmful they are to the public) and that corporations are "people" (which gave companies carte blanche to buy off our political representatives) leaves me feeling less hopeful for a pro-consumer outcome in the end. Still, some things are worth fighting for and net neutrality is one of them.

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

    • identicon
      Isle, 14 Dec 2017 @ 8:22am

      Re: Nasty Flaw In Our System

      ....so the concept of government-regulation is a nasty flaw in our American system? Are you perhaps a Tea Party member or some kind of mild anarchist? Real Americans support regulation. /s

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2017 @ 6:27pm

        Re: Re: Nasty Flaw In Our System

        It is not regulation. It is PROTECTION of people's rights against abusive corporate practices.

        Many ISPs have been caught in the past throttling, blocking and shaping traffic.

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

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 14 Dec 2017 @ 8:43am

    vote is going live at FCC now

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 9:10am

    too all you pro regulation folks out there

    How many of you think we have a democracy?
    How many of you think having a democracy is compatible with a market that is controlled by regulations created/destroyed by regulators that are not elected persons.
    How are you not able to figure out that "free-market" IS democracy for the masses? Yet you run from it every chance you get while talking about wanting democracy.

    Monopoly, Regulation, Oligarchy are all anti-free market. Democracy is meant that the people make their own choices through power of the majority.

    Big business wants monopoly, so it can control things.
    Regulation wants monopoly, because it is easy to control 1 vs many.
    Economic drivers want Oligarchy, because it wants to control things.

    You don't want fair, democracy, or balance. You want control, and you want it done your way to literal hell with everything else that disagrees.

    You are going to lose, no... you have already lost whether NN lives or dies, you just don't know it.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2017 @ 6:34pm

      Re: too all you pro regulation folks out there

      Bullshit.

      In a free market those who already have lots of money and means of production end up dominating the rest and eating most of the income. There needs to be not regulation to PROTECT the people and their rights against abusive corporations.

      Oligarchy is control by a few, not necessarily just from government, you ignorant. Oligarchy could be a very few from government and corporate controlling everything, which is the case in USA.

      Yes, we want control over greedy corporations. We want control over them so they don't abuse our rights for their profit.

      And yes we want control as to how much profit they can make. If anything when corporations become too big and rich is when they can start corrupting everybody in government through money.

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

  • identicon
    David, 14 Dec 2017 @ 9:23am

    Facepalm

    If [the FTC] loses, there's really nothing stopping giant ISPs from being as large of an anti-competitive ass as they can imagine. And should any states get the funny idea to step in and protect consumers or competitors, incumbent ISPs want to hamstring those efforts as well.

    Experts have been pointing out this fatal flaw in Ajit Pai's plan for much of the last year.

    That's not a "fatal flaw in Ajit Pai's plan". That's its purpose.

    It's time that people stop ascribing to incompetence what is clearly and openly malicious.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 9:35am

      Re: Facepalm

      "It's time that people stop ascribing to incompetence what is clearly and openly malicious."

      If they do that, then they have to start axing their own political hacks... Political Party or Fraternity is life fucker!

      It even comes before family for some, that is just how fucked up people are! My liars are better than your liars!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2017 @ 10:16am

      Re: Facepalm

      EXACTLY.

      Here's an easy prediction for you: one of the first casualties of the lack of NN will be news. Pai is Trump's obedient muppet and Trump absolutely hates the press. (No, boys and girls, Fox and Breitbart are not press. They are propaganda organs for Trump and Nazis.) Any ISP that throttles the New York Times or the Washington Post or CNN or MSNBC or The Atlantic or any press organization that Trump despises will face zero repercussions.

      Watch. Wait and watch.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2017 @ 6:37pm

        Re: Re: Facepalm

        I agree with you. But, they should already kill CNN, MSNBC, WAPO, NYT, and also FOX and the right wing MSM. It is not as they just serve their govenment rulers. It is not as if both sides of MSM haven't lied to us to take us to war, many times.

        Rise of INDEPENDENT, NON CORPORATE, NON SPONSORED media and news needs to happen.

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


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