Shocker: FOIA Request Shows Yet Another Core Justification For Repealing Net Neutrality Was Bullshit

from the post-truth-apocalypse dept

We've pretty well established by now that the FCC's repeal of net neutrality is being justified by a lot of fluff and nonsense with no factual basis in reality. Like claims that net neutrality killed sector investment, which are easily debunked by SEC filings, earnings reports, and numerous public CEO comments to investors (who, unlike you, they're legally not allowed to lie to). From Ajit Pai's claims that net neutrality emboldens fascists in North Korea and Iran, to his most recent claim that net neutrality fears were overhyped because Twitter still somehow works, blatant bullshit is the foundation of this entire repeal effort.

For years now, one constant bit of bullshit spread by ISPs was the claim that the Obama-era White House somehow "illegally pressured" Tom Wheeler's FCC into passing tougher net neutrality rules. As we noted at the time that claim was nonsensical, since there's no law stopping the White House from expressing its opinion on what policy should be. From Bill Clinton urging then FCC boss Reed Hundt to ban alcohol ads on TV, to George W Bush telling then FCC boss Michael Powell to deregulate media ownership, such behavior is historically perfectly normal.

Again, this fact didn't stop ISPs and their water carriers in Congress and key media outlets from repeatedly trying to claim that Obama engaged in all manner of shifty behavior to force the FCC to create the rules. The Wall Street Journal in 2014, for example, professed that "unusual, secretive efforts inside the White House" caused FCC boss Tom Wheeler to shift his position from weaker, Title I based rules, to tougher Title II based rules. The idea that Obama's White House had undertaken a covert "federal takeover of the internet" quickly became gospel across countless partisan echoverses.

The criticism was enough to drive investigations in both the Senate and by the FCC’s Inspector General. And while nobody from either government body could be bothered to tell the public the outcome of these investigations, Motherboard recently filed several FOIA requests that now show the outcome of these investigations wound up being a giant bupkis:

"After reviewing more than 600,000 emails, the independent office found that there was no collusion between the White House and the FCC: “We found no evidence of secret deals, promises, or threats from anyone outside the Commission, nor any evidence of any other improper use of power to influence the FCC decision-making process."

Which again, was what we suggested back in early 2015. None of the claims that heralded Obama's "illegal takeover of the internet" had the slightest bit of evidence in support of them, noted the FCC Inspector General's report:

"Nothing we found refuted the factual findings in the Senate Staff Report,” the IG wrote (bolding by agency). “More importantly, nothing we found in the complete, unredacted record evidenced any undue influence that would have militated in favor of a more comprehensive investigation."

What the Inspector General found, then, were career public servants doing their job: “Nothing in these, or in any other emails appeared to indicate there was pressure to delay the Order from the December meeting from any source other than concerned FCC staffers,” the report found, adding that there was “no indication” that a draft of the net neutrality regulations had been circulated improperly.

Obama's first FCC boss Julius Genachowski was arguably a wishy washy fence sitter. But his replacement Tom Wheeler wound up actually being the rare type of person capable of changing his mind based on the available evidence. And when the available evidence (and the courts) made it clear that you can't have effective net neutrality rules without classifying ISPs as common carriers until Title II of the Communications Act, that's exactly what Wheeler did. He didn't make an evidence-based decision because of some secret White House cabal, he did it because that was his fucking job. And he's subsequently been punished for it.

Of course the very idea that net neutrality (aka wanting a healthy, competitive internet) is somehow partisan was already bullshit in and of itself. It's a construct built by the telecom industry's lobbying and policy apparatus, perpetuated by numerous ISP-funded groups. The express goal is to divide the public, sow dissent, and stall meaningful reform of a broken, uncompetitive market. If you hadn't noticed, this tactic has proven immeasurably successful.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 20 Dec 2017 @ 6:23am

    I guess we should let Oliver speak.

    https://youtu.be/1ZAPwfrtAFY

    At about 12:25.

    That's the modus operandi of this administration so no amount of evidence and hard facts is going to change it.

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    • icon
      keithzg (profile), 20 Dec 2017 @ 7:15pm

      Re: John Oliver YouTube video

      I do wish we had *full* Net Neutrality and I could actually watch that video up here in Canada, but Bell Media owns the streaming rights to HBO shows up here. I also can't get HBO without getting a cable package because as Bell Media is also a cable TV provider it's another carrot or stick (depending on how you look at it) so they haven't made HBO Now or any equivalent available . . .

      Alas, of course, instead of making things better we're going from an imperfect internet and heading at full speed towards a cyberpunk dystopian one.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 10:34am

        Re: Re: John Oliver YouTube video

        Opera web browser has a built in vpn you can turn on and off by clicking in the address bar

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

        • icon
          keithzg (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 2:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: John Oliver YouTube video

          Sure, if I'm willing to break the law—using a VPN in this way is arguably an unauthorized access of a computer system and thus technically could be prosecuted as a felony under the CFAA. It's actually one of the rare instances where copyright infringement is the lesser crime ;) so I could just hop over to a torrent site and download the whole episode.

          Anyways I was never claiming there weren't ways I could watch it, just pointing out that sadly there are a lot of existing barriers in the web already where connections are not at all agnostic as to soirce and destination, and it's unfortunate that rather than getting better we're going to be getting worse. The implicit lesson is that the next few years are probably going to often be a cat and mouse game between major corporations and people attempting to get around their restrictions, even moreso than it already is.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 6:43am

    I have no evidence for much of Google's behind-the-scenes influence, either...

    And yet favorable decisions -- which I can see -- still get made.

    Lack of evidence proves nothing. You're claiming that undue influence is fine if done by voice.

    It's a mystery how gov't works, isn't it?

    Say. Speaking of ZERO evidence -- what's the alleged Trump-Russia collusion based on? After all, Techdirt ran with that for months! -- State not just that there are allegations from the usual suspects, but three facts of what Trump or Russia did.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Dec 2017 @ 6:46am

      Re: I have no evidence for much of Google's behind-the-scenes influence, either...

      JAQ-ing off by suggesting, without evidence, that the White House and the FCC struck a backroom deal on Network Neutrality also proves nothing.

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

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 20 Dec 2017 @ 7:38am

      Re: I have no evidence for much of Google's behind-the-scenes influence, either...

      State not just that there are allegations from the usual suspects, but three facts of what Trump or Russia did.

      Wikipedia: Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections

      Where to start....

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 7:47am

      Re: I have no evidence for much of Google's behind-the-scenes influence, either...

      Can you actually name one favorable decision?

      Nah, of course you're not going to. That would mean admitting that you're full of it.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 7:50am

      Re: I have no evidence for much of Google's behind-the-scenes influence, either...

      Are you in Moscow right now or are you posting from Siberia?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 8:00am

      Re: I have no evidence for much of Google's behind-the-scenes influence, either...

      lol you're embarrassing yourself

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 8:08am

      Re: I have no evidence for much of Google's behind-the-scenes influence, either...

      Michael Flynn - met and spoke with Russian ambassador about various issues, including proposed US sanctions, and subsequently lied about it.

      Paul Manafort - met with multiple Russian agents, Russian emails show they believed they could use Manafort to influence Trump.

      George Papadopoulos - had contacts with Russian government agents and lied about it to the FBI.

      Jared Kushner - met with Russian agents and ambassadors as well, left it off his security clearance request, later said that was an error and the meetings were just about his commercial businesses. The white house contradicted this by stating they were diplomatic in nature. One of the meetings was revealed to have been in regards to getting the hacked emails from the DNC.

      That enough facts for you?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 6:10am

      Re: I have no evidence for much of Google's behind-the-scenes influence, either...

      What the hell does the Trump-Russia collusion have to do with the price of tea in China? If we were discussing how to save a sinking ship you'd be the guy who wants to discuss the fact that today's lunch wasn't as good as yesterdays and what are we going to do about it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 6:52am

    In other news: there's gambling in casinos. It's about as shocking at this point

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 6:59am

    sing along

    Secret Aji[n]t Pai[d], secret Aji[n]t Pai[d]
    They've given you a number and taken away your name

    **********************************************************
    -after his brief federal internship, he'll return to Verizon, or whatever

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 7:06am

    "But his replacement Tom Wheeler wound up actually being the rare type of person capable of changing his mind based on the available evidence."

    And still put in Zero Rating. Your messiah does not shine as brightly as you think!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 7:58am

      Re:

      Nobody has stated he was some kind of 'messiah' and nobody has said he was perfect or that he crafted perfect NN rules. What we have stated is that he actually tried to do the job he was hired for and succeeded better than most but still not perfect.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 9:22am

        Re: Re:

        "Nobody has stated"

        no, just "acting" like he did.

        "What we have stated is that he actually tried to do the job he was hired for and succeeded better than most but still not perfect."

        Some of you have yes, and I agree that Wheeler at least appears to be better than Pai. The problem is that is not better enough to bother keeping around or parroting about.

        Had either Wheeler or Pai did their jobs they would be working on dismantling the regulations that help secure these businesses monopolies and neither of them did this.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 11:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Fine then, I will restate, "nobody has been acting like he was a 'messiah'". Many, many people criticized him saying the rules were great but didn't go far enough.

          Any step in the right direction is good enough to keep around. And despite what you think, facts show and the vast majority of the American public think that the current NN rules do a LOT of good.

          Whine and complain all you want about how the real problem is the monopolies (newsflash, yeah we know, we've been saying that from the beginning), but the current NN rules do a great deal to check the power of the monopolies. And whether we magically get them split up and the root problem solved tomorrow or not, that still doesn't make the current NN rules worthless and not worth having around.

          You scream, whine, berate, denigrate, and complain because NN rules don't solve the root problem. But you have not provided one single shred of evidence or even a weak argument that NN rules shouldn't continue to exist even after the root problem has been solved.

          And that's our point. Because honestly, why shouldn't they? You say there would be no need for them if we had a proper functioning market. Fine, we're all for that, but what's wrong with having them on the books anyway?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 8:30am

      Re:

      There is a difference between "put in" and "didn't restrict"...

      Not that I would expect someone like you to understand.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 9:26am

        Re: Re:

        A distinction without a difference, basically meaningless details.

        The end result is what is important and the end result is a loop hole was created making NN more window dressing than actual substance, whether they "put it in" OR "didn't restrict" your ass still got pirated! Is that why you have a stupid grin on your face?

        So yea, I would not expect someone like you to understand either, which is why I sit here and try to explain it to you.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 20 Dec 2017 @ 9:35am

      Re:

      And still put in Zero Rating. Your messiah does not shine as brightly as you think!

      Actually... after it became evident that zero rating was being used to get around the Open Internet Order, Wheeler notified AT&T and Verizon that it was violating the rules with zero rating. And one of Pai's first orders of business was to reverse that ruling.

      But, you'd know that if you weren't so wedded to ideology over facts.

      Still, Karl never said that Wheeler was the "messiah." He noted many problems with the original order. But noted, correctly, that it was much better than the other options. Which it was.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 9:46am

        Re: Re:

        "But, you'd know that if you weren't so wedded to ideology over facts."

        No, I warned you that the "loose and nebulous rules" were going to lead to this crap...

        "Wheeler notified AT&T and Verizon that it was violating the rules with zero rating. And one of Pai's first orders of business was to reverse that ruling." ...

        a long time ago. I warned you that Wheeler was not doing you any favors and I constantly tried to warn you that whatever power you give YOUR guy you also give to THEIR guy and it bit you right on your fucking ass!

        You didn't learn, and as usual, you are accusing me of having the problem you have as a form of deflection. You are the ideological sycophant here... not me!

        It told you that this would happen! It fucking always happens!

        Do you know what the real difference between a democrat and are republican is?

        A Democrat screws you by finding a good lie to trick you into it.
        A Republican just screws you and lies about having done so!

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 10:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Both sides are bad you say? See chip this is why we make fun of you. That and your sub middle school level argumentation skills.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 12:32pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "That and your sub middle school level argumentation skills."

            I happen to follow George Washington's logic on this. Go and read his farewell address.

            He indicates that having political parties are going to doom the nation and he details why... because the alternate domination of each faction will cause people to seek more and more power to be invested into a single individual more able or fortunate enough to win power and it will all happen on the ruins of liberty resulting in a despotism.

            So you aim to call George Washington, a person practically ushered in as the President as having "sub middle school level argumentation skills".

            If my skills appear lacking, it would be because I am doing my best to dumb it down into the dirt for you idiots!

            So let me make this clear, you are dumb and stupid if you seek security under the guise of a political party. Their entire existence is to create the "party first, nation second" problem we have right now. George Washington foretold it like it was fucking prophecy and Dunning-Kruger victims like yourself are not even wise or knowledgeable to even understand it at even a basic level.

            Go back to the boob toob noob!

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

            • icon
              Roger Strong (profile), 20 Dec 2017 @ 1:28pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That's funny.

              Alabama Republicans desperately quoted the Bible to justify supporting a pedophile for Congress. In the end many Republicans stayed home rather than vote for the party's nominee.

              Meanwhile the Republican Party as a whole is tearing itself apart over being dominated by Trump and Moore supporters, plus the traditional conservatism rejecting alt-right. It can only end at best with a civil war within the party. Again leading to many Republicans just not voting, giving Democratic Party the advantage.

              Or possibly a split into two parties, one for traditional conservatives and one for the Trump/Alt-right/Tea Party crowd. But that would split the vote, again giving Democratic Party the advantage.

              You've given the obvious and predictable response from the right: "Parties are bad and wrong and anyone who says otherwise is un-American and the right has ALWAYS believed this."

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

              • identicon
                Thad, 21 Dec 2017 @ 9:37am

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

                Or possibly a split into two parties, one for traditional conservatives and one for the Trump/Alt-right/Tea Party crowd. But that would split the vote, again giving Democratic Party the advantage.

                Which is exactly why as long as we vote by first-past-the-post criteria, any party split is a temporary realignment that will eventually revert back to a two-party system. The Dixiecrats eventually became Republicans. The Republicans supplanted the Whigs, which supplanted the Federalists. First-past-the-post favors a two-party system; the only way for third parties to become viable is for them to replace an existing major-party.

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

                • identicon
                  Wendy Cockcroft, 28 Dec 2017 @ 5:43am

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

                  What would it take to get proportional representation implemented in America, Thad? Would it have to go state by state or could it be implemented on the federal level?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 3:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Is the the only thing you have ever read? Seriously I’d love to see you quote literally any other piece of literature. It’s beyond sad chip, that that’s all you got. Well that and saying sycophant so many times the word loses all meaning.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Dec 2017 @ 11:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Do you know what the real difference between a democrat and are republican is?

          A Democrat lacks a spine. A Republican will gladly rip yours out.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 2:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            and tell you it was for your own benefit while attempting to sell it for a profit.

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

          • identicon
            Justme, 21 Dec 2017 @ 1:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            One difference between a democrat and republican, if i register as a democrat, i am a democrat; If i register as a republican, i have to get fox news approval to actually be considered a republican!

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 12:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The rules are neither "loose" nor "nebulous". What part of "no blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization" do you not understand or is vague?

          Wheeler was going after ATT as little as a year ago for zero rating, as was stated in Mike's post which you conveniently ignored. The only reason it didn't get any further is because that is when Pai took office and threw it out the window.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 12:22pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You are a special kind of stupid. Mike referenced a specific example of that exact problem those "loose" and "nebulous" rules created. In a way, you are potentially disagreeing with us both, because if they were not arbitrary, then what legal standing would Pai have had to reverse the ruling?

            The rules allow the FCC to arbitrarily decide who was and who was not breaking the law based on what they considered "reasonable".

            It is nothing other that giving the FCC and Chair dictatorial rule over the winners and losers.

            What you deem reasonable is not the same as what the ISP or the FCC deem reasonable... that is all left to interpretation because what is and is not reasonable is not defined!

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 2:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You still don't get it. Zero rating is not addressed in the current rules, that doesn't make what is addressed loose or nebulous. As stated in the rules, as long as content on the internet is lawful, ISP's are restricted from blocking, throttling, or prioritizing it. How is that loose or nebulous?

              If by "reasonable" you are referencing the network management exception, that is also not loose or nebulous. They have to prove that blocking, throttling, or prioritizing something is necessary to prevent their networks from degrading. There is no arbitrary definition of that, either the network is slow and congested or it isn't.

              As far as legal standing goes, the FCC has the legal authority to classify however they want. What they can't do is re-classify something a scant two years after the other classified it just because they disagree with it and have no facts to back it up. That is what Pai is doing. He is undoing what Wheeler did because it helps out his corporate friends. He has no hard evidence, facts, or data to prove any of his reasons or claims for why he is undoing it. What evidence he has trotted out is either misquoted, misleading, out of context, or consistently debunked as being false. Meanwhile there is a mountain of evidence as to why he shouldn't be doing it.

              You call me a special kind of stupid, yet I have destroyed every single one of your arguments with easily and readily verifiable arguments and data. You, on the other hand, have provided nothing in the way of any kind of evidence to support your claims other than anecdotes and logic that breaks down under the slightest scrutiny.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 12:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "No, I warned you"
          "a long time ago. I warned you"
          "It told you that this would happen"

          OMG - I'm soooo glad you warned me about this and because of your valiant efforts I was able to make the necessary changes in order to avoid the subsequent problematic symptoms - Yippppeeeee! I'm saved!!!!!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 7:52am

    blatant bullshit is the foundation of this entire administration.

    ftfy

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

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 20 Dec 2017 @ 7:52am

    Shocker: FOIA Request Shows Yet Another Core Justification For Repealing Net Neutrality Was Bullshit

    This administration does for bullshit what Stonehenge does for rocks.

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

  • identicon
    Douglas Coulter, 20 Dec 2017 @ 9:27am

    Partisan?

    My best guess is more like corrupt loose cannon. I know a lot of "conservatives" and monitor the "alt right" quite a lot as part of my financial dealings.
    Zero of them support Pai and his actions. Well, I should say "zero whose bread isn't buttered by the ISPs/telcos/cablecos". Most of the rest seem more like "cut this crap out, you're making us look bad" - and you can see it in some new attempts at legislating this power away from the FCC (which contain their own attempts at obfuscation and loopholing).

    Kind of like if you trace climate change denial back - follow the money - other than the odd useful idiot - it always ends in a fossil fuel company providing the bucks for "some study".
    Forensic accounting is your friend if you want to know truth. The revolving door rewards are usually what happens in cases like this, with the benefit(?) that our laws don't handle "delayed bribery" very well at all.

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

  • icon
    dcfusor (profile), 20 Dec 2017 @ 10:14am

    See?

    From slashdot.

    Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced net neutrality legislation on Tuesday.

    Now, I'm not going to claim this will actually help anything, like the loophole I mentioned above, the devil here will be in the details, and any bi-partisan effort will have bribable contributors sure to fill this or any other attempt full of holes, and since this will be legislation, it'll be a lot more locked in than what an FCC commissioner can manage.

    Hate to break it to you guys, but simply agitating - keyboard wars, even bringing legal action isn't going to repeal the old golden rule - the gold rules. Trying to blame it on one team - red or blue, ignores the fact that they are all on the "gimme the green" team, and like Hitchhikers Guide mentions, just there to distract from the real power.

    I wish it were otherwise, but after 60+ years of watching this circus slide down a slippery slope that began long ago, it's hard to keep believing.

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

    • identicon
      Thad, 20 Dec 2017 @ 11:01am

      Re: See?

      Trying to blame it on one team - red or blue, ignores the fact that they are all on the "gimme the green" team,

      Trying to blame it on one team is, in this instance, entirely accurate. In the FCC and in Congress, Democrats support Title II classification and Republicans oppose it. This is not true among the general public, where net neutrality is popular among people of all political affiliations, but it is absolutely true in Washington.

      There are many valid criticisms to make that both major parties are beholden to corporate interests and campaign donors. But saying both parties are equivalent on Title II classification is just plain factually wrong. Every FCC commissioner who has voted for Title II classification has been a Democrat; every FCC commissioner who has voted against it has been a Republican.

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

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 10:16pm

      Re: See?

      "Hate to break it to you guys, but simply agitating - keyboard wars, even bringing legal action isn't going to repeal the old golden rule - the gold rules. Trying to blame it on one team - red or blue, ignores the fact that they are all on the "gimme the green" team..."

      Remind me again which team just voted to give a huge and economically unjustifiable tax cut to the companies that pretty much write the laws they got the ISP market into this problem in the first place...

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 20 Dec 2017 @ 12:42pm

    time for the big guns

    Anti competitive
    Collusion..
    Conglomerate
    ...
    ...
    ...
    Fill in the blanks..

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2017 @ 5:27pm

    "Of course the very idea that net neutrality (aka wanting a healthy, competitive internet) is somehow partisan was already bullshit in and of itself. ... If you hadn't noticed, this tactic has proven immeasurably successful."

    You missed a sentence or two. It's been incredibly successful... inside Congress. It hasn't been successful outside of Congress. But since Congress don't know (or don't care) what happens to the plebs outside, they continue to compare it to other partisian topics like the so-called Obamacare.

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

  • icon
    MyNameHere (profile), 20 Dec 2017 @ 5:36pm

    re-writing history?

    "when the available evidence (and the courts) made it clear that you can't have effective net neutrality rules without classifying ISPs as common carriers until Title II of the Communications Act, that's exactly what Wheeler did. "

    nothing like re-writing history, at least a little bit. The court thing was "available evidence", it was that the courts had shut every other avenue down. They stated without a doubt that unless you classify under Title II, you cannot apply this type of regulation.

    Title II was the last, and only way for the FCC to try to impose regulation without legislation.

    However, he forget (or ignored) one basic thing, which is the moment he is out of office, the next person can just do what Pai is doing now and remove the Title II status, which kills off NN.

    The true evidence pointed to the need for legislation and not regulation. but Wheeler didn't do it right - and now you are paying for it.

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

    • icon
      keithzg (profile), 20 Dec 2017 @ 7:23pm

      Re: re-writing history?

      Well sure, it would have been better as legislation, but Wheeler wasn't a legislator, he was a regulator, so he (eventually) made the best *regulatory* move he could make.

      I do wonder to what degree it was that he was initially trying to please the industry bigs like Verizon by making weak compromised regulatory decisions, and then when they took him to court anyways and the court said "you definitely can't do it this way, but you definitely could and arguably should do it via Title II" he went "fuckit, I guess that's what I'm doing then 'cause those fuckers at Verizon apparently hate me anyways."

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

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 3:06am

      Re: re-writing history?

      Are you that dumb? That's exactly what the sentence you are replying to said.

      "However, he forget (or ignored) one basic thing, which is the moment he is out of office, the next person can just do what Pai is doing now and remove the Title II status, which kills off NN."

      Except it's not that simple. there are procedures that must be followed (ie: public consultation) and the current head must prove that the changes are justified. Which the current FCC failed spectacularly to do and still went ahead and voted to repeal it despite plenty of evidence of fraud and general opposition against the move in the comments. This will be reversed by the courts.

      "The true evidence pointed to the need for legislation and not regulation. but Wheeler didn't do it right - and now you are paying for it."

      Legislation IS regulation. And the law EXPLICITLY allows the FCC to regulate. Laws could avoid such blatant fuckery Ajit Pay is promoting but in an ideal world he would actually listen to the constituents and experts and would leave the rules intact. That ignoring the fact that telcos will write the laws as Blackburn just showed us.

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

      • icon
        MyNameHere (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 5:32pm

        Re: Re: re-writing history?

        "Except it's not that simple. there are procedures that must be followed (ie: public consultation) and the current head must prove that the changes are justified. Which the current FCC failed spectacularly to do and still went ahead and voted to repeal it despite plenty of evidence of fraud and general opposition against the move in the comments. This will be reversed by the courts.
        "

        Doubtful, see your following comment (the FCC can regulate).

        "Legislation IS regulation. And the law EXPLICITLY allows the FCC to regulate."

        You are correct. That gives whoever is running the FCC the power to make these decisions and to publish the regulations - and the next person who occupies that chair has the same power to get rid of the rules or to change them.

        Legislation can define certain things are not being able to be changed by regulation. Define a title for internet services in law, and boom, no more wiggle room. Define it in regulation, and it wiggles away next time around.

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

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 10:25pm

      Re: re-writing history?

      *"However, he forget (or ignored) one basic thing, which is the moment he is out of office, the next person can just do what Pai is doing now and remove the Title II status, which kills off NN.

      The true evidence pointed to the need for legislation and not regulation. but Wheeler didn't do it right - and now you are paying for it."*

      So in your learned opinion Wheeler is bad because he did the thing he could do (regulation) but didn't do the thing he couldn't do (legislation). By that argument we should also be complaining about why you haven't fixed the problem yet. Well, why haven't you?!

      Also, it's constantly amazing how often TD critics constantly bitch and complain about all these things TD supposedly missed or didn't understand, despite how often and in how much detail they were covered. You think you're all smart and clever showing up us dummies, but you look like an idiot every time you bring up these obvious and well understood points. In other words, thank you Captain Obvious!

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


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