Predictions

by Karl Bode


Filed Under:
broadband, fcc, net neutrality

Companies:
at&t, comcast, verizon



No, The Death Of Net Neutrality Will Not Be Subtle

from the in-your-face dept

If you listen to Comcast , AT&T, Verizon and their army of paid allies, nothing bad will happen now that the FCC has voted to kill net neutrality protections. In fact, Comcast argues, without government oversight of an uncompetitive market, investment and jobs will soon be miraculously springing forth from the sidewalks. It will, the industry argues, be impossible to even measure the incredible innovation that will be created by letting entrenched ISPs (and their natural monopoly over the broadband last mile) run roughshod over the backs of American consumers and smaller competitors.

But even among folks that support net neutrality, there's pretty clearly a contingent that still believes the damage caused by the repeal of the rules will somehow be subtle. Because the net neutrality debate in recent years wandered into more nuanced and quirky areas like interconnection and zero rating, they believe the ultimate impact of the repeal will likely be modest. After all, these harms (like Comcast exempting its own content from usage caps, or Verizon covertly choking interconnection points) were murky and out of the intellectual or technical reach of many Luddite consumers.

The good folks at Boing Boing, for example, warn readers that the impact of the death of net neutrality will somehow be "hard to spot." Julian Sanchez similarly shared his concerns that net neutrality advocates are harming the overall goal of the movement by warning of dire outcomes in the years to come. Actual harms, Sanchez insists, will be "pretty much invisible":

Of course most of the folks that really understand net neutrality have acknowledged that the harms initially may be muted. ISPs will initially want to be on their best behavior in the new year as they wait for the inevitable lawsuits against the FCC (for ignoring the public and ignoring rampant comment fraud) to shake out, wary of providing the ongoing proceedings with any ammunition. And, as we've noted, ISPs are well aware that even then the rules could simply be recrafted at a later date, which is why they're pushing for a fake net neutrality law that makes federal apathy on the subject the law of the land.

But should ISPs win in the courts or on the Hill, the end result of what they're trying to accomplish will be anything but subtle. Anybody believing otherwise doesn't understand the full scope of what ISPs lobbyists are (so far successfully) up to here.

That's because the FCC didn't just repeal net neutrality. The repeal of the neutrality rules is, in fact, just one part of a much larger vision the ISPs have been lobbying for for years. And that vision includes gutting FCC oversight of broadband ISPs entirely, then shoveling any remaining oversight to an FTC whose authority over ISPs is currently being challenged in court and may soon be all but worthless. With federal oversight out of the way, ISPs have also successfully lobbied the FCC to pre-empt any states that get the crazy idea of protecting consumers from these regional telecom mono/duopolies.

Subtle, nuanced violations of net neutrality (like zero rating) were the end result of fairly tepid, inconsistent regulatory oversight of administrations' past. But what we're talking about here is the wholesale dismantling of adult regulatory oversight of some of the least-liked, least-competitive companies currently operating in America. Anybody that has studied history (or watched Comcast and AT&T do business) and still thinks the resulting harms will be subtle once adult supervision leaves the building simply doesn't understand the full scale of what's being attempted here.

As such, "net neutrality violations" will only be a small part of the problem. Net neutrality infractions are just a symptom of a lack of competition. They're just "creative" efforts to abuse a lack of competition. With neither oversight nor competition, there's no longer a need to be creative or measured. And the impact will be a diverse array of compounded problems, including higher prices, expanded and tightening usage caps and overage fees, even worse customer support (if that's possible for the telecom sector) and even greater privacy abuses than we've grown accostomed to.

Should Comcast, AT&T and Verizon successfully win in court and make the repeal permanent, all bets are off. History tells us repeatedly that the one-two punch of regulatory capture and limited competition has very real, very obvious harms. With no rules and little to no real oversight, there will no need for the pretense we saw as ISPs attempted to creatively tap-dance around the FCC's modest 2015 rules. If you think these companies will be reasonable and measured when they finally receive the green light, you may soon get a very intimate lesson in regulatory capture and natural monopolies.

That said, there remain reasons for hope. The FCC engaged in so much bizarre behavior, made so many procedural gaffes and leaned so heavily on bogus data that the repeal has a good shot at being overturned in the courts. And the subsequent efforts to have ISP cronies in Congress pass bogus net neutrality rules appear to be facing too much justifiable skepticism to gain much traction (though this effort will see a renewed push with multiple legislative efforts -- and lots of phony, farmed support -- in the new year). With a little luck and some elbow grease, the doomsday scenarios quite correctly being predicted may still not come to pass.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 3 Jan 2018 @ 5:02am

    I think the bright part of all this shitty show is that people are voicing their opposition and it's gaining mainstream traction. The govt shenanigans and general bigotry are rightfully enraging people. The results can be seen already. Heck, Virginia (if memory serves) elected a transgender. I was honestly surprised Americans could pull this. That along with the millions of comments supporting NN that could only be beaten in numbers by lousy bots gave me hope that even if the doomsday scenario materializes (because this goddamned government still has plenty of time to cause serious damage) there will be tons of resistance and reverting things won't be as hard as we may be inclined to think.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 7:18am

      Re:

      >and reverting things won't be as hard as we may be inclined to think.

      There are a lot of people whose income is directly or indirectly dependent of the like of YouTube. Throttling and caps could send them into bankruptcy, or force them to seek employment. It will take a long time before similar communities are rebuilt if the existing ones are destroyed before net neutrality is restored.

      Also, the way YouTube is changing the rules, at the behest of advertisers, it is creating the conditions where a rival could take its crown, if such a rival has a chance of establishing itself. It was starting to boost Vidme, but the boost cam too late for that platform.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 7:28am

        Re: Re:

        Many of the big internet players of today will probably fall into the same pit that has trapped legacy television. It seems to be a death spiral from which it is very difficult to recover, apparently because of a stubborn resistance to change of their business model. The future is now, adapt or die.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 8:43am

        Re: Re:

        "the way YouTube is changing the rules, at the behest of advertisers"

        But it was not exactly "at the behest of advertisers" -- it was the Wall Street Journal that spearheaded the campaign to force YouTube to de-monetize popular but "controversal" content by hunting down Youtube's major advertisers and shaming them into withdrawing their support. Which, of course, these companies reluctantly obliged, since no one wants to be singled out by a major media outlet as supporting things that good people are not supposed to support, especially after having it rubbed in their faces the way the WSJ did to them.

        But while the Wall Street Journal in their new self-appointed role as morality police bore down on YouTube's independent content creators, they conveniently turned a blind eye to all Hollywood produced content, no matter how controversial, objectionable, or decadent it might be.

        It certainly appears to cross the line from journalism to activism, and in this case, self-serving activism, because the WSJ's crusade against independent Youtube creators seems to be a clear example of the "old media" trying to strike a crippling blow to the "new media" that they see as a major threat to their outdated business model.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 7:18pm

        Re: Re:

        " or force them to seek employment."

        Oh no! The horror! /s

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2018 @ 2:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I was not talking about those who run the likes of YouTube, but rather the content creators and small companies who have found a way to make a a living using the services of the Internet giants as the means of reaching their audiences. They also find a lot of support and help in building their business via and through those services.

          Kill video publishing services and a lot of individuals lose the core of their business, or a key support mechanism for their business, along with a huge amount of teaching and training material that comes from people sharing their expertise, or remotely looking over someone shoulders to see what they are doing, so that they can help the do it better.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 4 Jan 2018 @ 3:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "long with a huge amount of teaching and training material that comes from people sharing their expertise"

            That is a good point that needs to be reiterated. Lots of people who are anti-YouTube like to joke about cat videos, but it is actually a vital service for many people, both producers of and consumers of educational and professional content. Companies and individuals who have learned how to properly leverage the platform for such things lose a great deal of business opportunities, while individuals and small businesses who may not be able to pay for full access to training & seminars lose opportunities further down the line.

            You can usually tell how much someone is thinking of the realities of the situation by whether or not they are thinking of YouTube as a purely frivolous entertainment platform. Even then, there would still be thousands of people making a living from the platform who would be important to think about, but it goes way beyond people making Minecraft and makeup tutorial videos.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 8:06am

    flip the pancake

    These anti-net-neutrality laws will be overturned by the next democratic administration, and then overturned yet again by the next republican administration...on and on ad infinitum.

    We the consumers are the only ones with the power (aka: $$$) to fix this, but we won't. We're too busy whining, watching Monday Night Football, playing PUBG, or being indifferent/ignorant.

    We're paying the greedy ISPs, who in turn buy the politians, who in turn pass the laws demanded by the ISPs. The fix starts with us the consumers.

    Boycott or bend over. Even if you're unwilling to boycott your local ISP monopoly indefinitely, at least boycott buying from Amazon and the like at Christmas/Hanukkah/kwanza, etc., or boycott every Friday or something!
    or bend over

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 8:13am

      Re: flip the pancake

      What's amazon got to do with this?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 8:44am

        Re: Re: flip the pancake

        Donny does not like them - that's what.

        Apparently, Bezos owns shares in the NYT and they are not constantly licking Donny's boots like Fox does.

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 3 Jan 2018 @ 8:27am

      Re: flip the pancake

      "We the consumers are the only ones with the power (aka: $$$) to fix this"

      Yeah, because everybody has a myriad of options to choose from when signing up to an ISP. Of course, you may be talking about going without which fits squarely into the impossible territory nowadays.

      And where does Amazon fit in this specific issue?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 8:41am

      Re: flip the pancake

      >>> "overturned by the next democratic administration, and then overturned yet again"

      Though rightly go on to attack corporations, you have STILL fallen for the Corporatized Establishment's R / D show that's phonier than pro wrestling.

      Politicians and anyone with wide public influence as in "media" are ALL TOTALLY BOUGHT, with just a tiny fraction of the easily-gained tax-free income that corporations get.

      Buying influence is far and away the most effective "investment" corporations make. They've even got most of the inter-corporation rivalry smoothed out, like the mob, or Japan / Asian hereditary version of fascism, "trading families".

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 8:47am

        Re: Re: flip the pancake

        It is a matter of degrees - yes it is wrestling fake silliness but one contestant is much more douchy than the other.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 3 Jan 2018 @ 9:02am

      You first.

      I'm not sure how exactly going without the internet would work, so why not lead by example? Go without entirely for a month and then tell us how it went. Drop internet service yourself, and don't do business with anyone who uses it as that merely funds the ISP's indirectly.

      Come on then, unless you are going to be a glaring hypocrite and demand of others what you won't do yourself, show the indifferent and/or ignorant the strength of your convictions and lead from the front.

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 11:22am

        Re: You first.

        waaaaa! I don't wanna miss Stranger Things!

        Here you come again with that same wet piss argument. Take those complaints to your local Congressional Critter, instead of defending your apathy on forums.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 3 Jan 2018 @ 2:48pm

          Re: Re: You first.

          So glaring hypocrite it is then, glad you cleared that up for me.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 4 Jan 2018 @ 1:06am

          Re: Re: You first.

          That you believe that he just wants the internet to watch TV rather than, say, run his home business, says a lot more about you than it does him. You could be right, but dismissing the valid concerns of millions of Americans so you can score a point on a forum is your failing, not his.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 7:35pm

        Re: You first.

        So you bend over. OK.

        If small companies and individuals depend on the internet for their livelihood the more they should really try to boycott. Yes it would mean money or business lost now, but they consequence of bending over will be lots worse in the long run.

        You have a decision to make. Boycott and sacrifice some or bend over and lose more, way more in the long term.

        Who is the hypocrite now? Criticizing but not willing to sacrifice anything.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2018 @ 3:03am

          Re: Re: You first.

          When your business depends on the Internet, boycotting its use for more than a few days would often mean the end of your business, as when you start missing payments on bills your creditors will force you into bankruptcy. Also, there is the small matter of putting food on the table, and keeping a roof over your head, while you have no money coming in.

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          • identicon
            Wendy Cockcroft, 4 Jan 2018 @ 5:52am

            Re: Re: Re: You first.

            ^This.

            The trouble with Libertarianism is that the Golden Rule applies every time: he who has the gold makes the rules.

            This is why the market can't correct itself, it can only slash and burn until it runs out of fuel, then whoever has the gold (and can therefore make the rules) moves on. It's a George Soros*-type democracy: one dollar, one vote.

            Organising a boycott is hard enough where the target individual or group is relatively small (and local). To do so on a state or national scale requires a degree of organisation that few of us are able to commit to. And, of course, we'd need to communicate with each other to expand and enforce the boycott. What are we supposed to use — beacons? Semaphore?

            "That's your problem," said the Libertarian.

            And that's the problem. If we're only allowed to hold corporate actors to account with our hard-earned cash, the vast majority of us have no choice but to bend over; there's literally nothing else we can do. That is why we need regulation in the public interest.

            ----------------------------------------------
            *Yes, I know he's the Right's boogeyman. That was the point.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 4 Jan 2018 @ 4:57pm

          Re: Re: You first.

          So you bend over. OK.

          Right alongside you apparently, so at least I'm not lacking in company.

          If small companies and individuals depend on the internet for their livelihood the more they should really try to boycott. Yes it would mean money or business lost now, but they consequence of bending over will be lots worse in the long run.

          Damn right, if your job requires real-time communication involving anything more complex than talking to someone, get rid of it! Sure doing so might tank your job and/or business, leading you to hope that you've saved up enough to cover house/car/insurance payments less you lose them too and be unable to eat or have a roof over your head, but it's a minor sacrifice that everyone should be willing to make!

          Yeah, when you want to move on from hypocritical positions(as you yourself seem unwilling to 'sacrifice some') into something that's a viable alternative, let me know. Until then I'll keep pointing out what a stupid and unrealistic idea boycotting the internet is, and how for many it's not that simple or even viable.

          Who is the hypocrite now? Criticizing but not willing to sacrifice anything.

          Assuming you're the same person as I originally replied to, that would still be you for demanding others do something you're not willing to do. There's nothing hypocritical in pointing out a foolish idea and instead focusing attention on alternatives that stand to work without causing massive damage to large numbers of people.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 3 Jan 2018 @ 9:35am

      Re: flip the pancake

      "We the consumers are the only ones with the power (aka: $$$) to fix this"

      That only works if you don't require internet service. People who require it, and have little competition, don't have that choice, which was the major problem in the first place.

      "Even if you're unwilling to boycott your local ISP monopoly indefinitely, at least boycott buying from Amazon"

      That makes zero sense in terms of net neutrality rules.

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 11:32am

        Re: Re: flip the pancake

        waaaa!! I rely on the internet to make a living!

        just keep writing bigger checks then. Do you like bending over? Again, you have boycott options: complete boycott, partial (once a week/month boycott) Christmas shopping boycott--or-- you could write your local congressional representative, but nooooo, it's so much easier to play the victim on the forums. I bet you "require" internet access both at home and at work (right?), and there's just absolutely no other option in your world other than your local ISP (right?). If so, you're an excused exception, but most of us have options that we're just too lazy to utilize.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 4 Jan 2018 @ 1:10am

          Re: Re: Re: flip the pancake

          "waaaa!! I rely on the internet to make a living!"

          Wow. Really, you're attacking people for not being able to have their income destroyed now?

          What do you use to make a living? Roads, fuel, phones, electricity, (or more likely from your words) welfare checks? Which utility should we mock you for not being able to make a living without?

          "just keep writing bigger checks then"

          Are you really stupid enough to think that these are the only people making money from a home office?

          "Christmas shopping boycott"

          How would that change the way your ISP operate?

          "you could write your local congressional representative"

          People tried that. They were ignored.

          " I bet you "require" internet access both at home and at work (right?)"

          I do. Luckily, I'm not in the US, so ignorant assholes like you are not trying to remove my livelihood.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2018 @ 12:45pm

          Re: Re: Re: flip the pancake

          So uninformed about the real world, you are...

          "I bet you "require" internet access both at home and at work (right?), and there's just absolutely no other option in your world other than your local ISP (right?). If so, you're an excused exception, but most of us have options that we're just too lazy to utilize."

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: flip the pancake

            "So uninformed about the real world, you are..."

            Sadly, that's the M.O. of the regular ACs here - if reality does not support your argument, invent your own reality.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 7:37pm

        Re: Re: flip the pancake

        So, because people will always require internet then we are screwed. The point of the boycott is to sacrifice something now to get something better later.

        I take it you are not willing to sacrifice anything? So you are just words here in these forum. No actions.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 4 Jan 2018 @ 1:13am

          Re: Re: Re: flip the pancake

          "So, because people will always require internet then we are screwed."

          Quite possibly. Are you also willing to give up phones, water, electricity, transport, etc. whenever those utilities try to screw you? Or, do you demand that your government do something about them to favour the needs of the public?

          "I take it you are not willing to sacrifice anything?"

          Anything? Sure. EVERYTHING, as in my entire livelihood, for a gesture that, from the recent actions of the FCC, would be ignored anyway? Not really. Fortunately:

          "I bet you "require" internet access both at home and at work (right?)"

          I'm not American. There's nothing else I can personally do. I'm just trying to argue with idiots who think that nobody actually needs what's been determined a human right in other places.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 7:39pm

        Re: Re: flip the pancake

        No it doesn't. If everybody at least boycott those huge internet companies and ISPs at least once a week they would feel the pressure.

        But since you keep using their service and paying not matter what they just laugh at you and your words, and will keep doing their thing.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 4 Jan 2018 @ 1:14am

          Re: Re: Re: flip the pancake

          "If everybody at least boycott those huge internet companies and ISPs at least once a week they would feel the pressure."

          How likely is that, in the real world?

          Since it's actually not going to happen, why not advocate for action that will actually happen?

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 4 Jan 2018 @ 4:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: flip the pancake

          'Once a week?' Who are you getting internet service from that you can just drop service, and therefor stop paying, on a daily basis? Because I'm pretty sure most people pay by the month, hence why I say that any boycott would require at least that long of no internet.

          'No internet' is a lot more severe than simply 'no cat videos' as some might want to spin it as, it can be the difference between having a job or not, eating or not, such that boycotting the internet is significantly different than boycotting say a particular store or form of transportation.

          But as I noted above, if you feel so confident in your moral high ground by all means show us how it's done, put your money where your mouth is and do without, because until then, for all your derision for those that don't have other realistic options and are 'bending over', you're right there with them, bending over and being a hypocrite about it.

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    • icon
      Teamchaos (profile), 3 Jan 2018 @ 11:28am

      Re: flip the pancake

      "We're too busy whining, watching Monday Night Football"

      Not so much, many don't watch pro football anymore.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 7:25pm

      Re: flip the pancake

      "These anti-net-neutrality laws will be overturned by the next democratic administration, and then overturned yet again by the next republican administration...on and on ad infinitum."

      I would not be so sure about that. Democrats have proven time and time again to be almost one and the same with republicans. Still no single payer. And despite who is in charge some things don't change, such as war, inequality and THE MONOPOLY ON BROADBAND.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 8:31am

    Yot, "just one part of a much larger vision": CORPORATISM.

    As I've enraged you with for years, fanboys, Techdirt definitely supports a larger, utterly DARK vision. One-percenter Ivy League Masnick is actually trying to advance corporatism / globalism, and to do that tries to gain credibility by opposing only PART of the key danger.

    Masnick frequently asserts that corporations have a "First Amendment Right" to control ALL speech on "platforms" -- not just to put out the corporation's views -- while legally immune from what others publish on the platform -- by withdrawing advertising revenue, "demonetizing" Youtube streams, and close accounts, to simply shut down all opposition on all major outlets. Since deemed a "Right", that control can be arbitrary and is not answerable to gov't or We The People.

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 8:32am

      Re: Yot, "just one part of a much larger vision": CORPORATISM.

      Techdirt's pro-corporate position minimizes you and every other poor frail "natural" person by pitting you against mega-corporations Google / Facebook / Amazon that will effectively control YOUR speech.

      Why does Masnick assert -- NEVER oppose -- that alleged "First Amendment Right" of corporations to control speech? He's not railing against how lawyers have perverted law and courts but wedges it in OFTEN, clearly favorably, promoting.


      "repeal has a good shot at being overturned in the courts." -- HA, HA! -- You WILL "soon get a very intimate lesson in" how the corporations have captured the courts TOO. All long been planned, now firmly entrenched, and WON'T BE SUBTLE, indeed.

      ---
      Oh, by the way: Google news today is predictive blocking of links; Google is now beginning to openly support MPAA / enforce copyright, just as I told you would. ALL CORPORATIONS ARE ALWAYS AGAINST **YOU.** Don't be fooled FOREVER by mere phrases such as "don't be evil", that's just a tactic.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Jan 2018 @ 8:46am

        Re: Re: Yot, "just one part of a much larger vision": CORPORATISM.

        Your point would be better made if you did not write like an obnoxious troll who thinks they are better than everyone else because he hates corporations, believes in an interpretation of Techdirt’s position on corporations that the content does not support, and uses random all-caps to emphasize words that could instead be emphasized by the writing alone.

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 8:51am

          Re: Re: Re: Yot, "just one part of a much larger vision": CORPORATISM.

          >>> "Your point would be better made if you did not write like an obnoxious troll"

          It's MY way.

          SO YOU'RE GOING TO CONTROL MY SPEECH FIRST BY STYLE, EH? You are on the slippery slope, kid.

          How about you just let me have my say, way I want?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 9:08am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Yot, "just one part of a much larger vision": CORPORATISM.

            Whatever floats your boat but your point is getting lost in your trolling style.

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

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 9:19am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yot, "just one part of a much larger vision": CORPORATISM.

              >>> "Whatever floats your boat but your point is getting lost in your trolling style."

              I write distinctively with intermittent (but not random) upper case so anyone can glance and not bother. Yet for my trouble I get nothing but more complaints.

              LISTEN. If comments are within common law, then Techdirt, a business that purports to be fair and for Free Speech, is OBLIGED to not even hide them.

              These complaints are all just cover for attempt to stifle viewpoint.

              As a practical matter, since I'm not blocked and might comment indefinitely, why don't you kids take old advice to just ignore? But instead you savvy netwits go round and round with lying "hiding" tactic sure to clutter the site and infuriate anyone. -- Except ME: I just LAUGH at your futility and stupidity.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 3 Jan 2018 @ 9:30am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yot, "just one part of a much larger vision": CORPORATISM.

                "I write distinctively with intermittent (but not random) upper case so anyone can glance and not bother"

                You deliberately write in a manner intended to get people to glance at particular words without understanding their context, and ignore you without reading your full argument?

                What a strange tactic.

                "As a practical matter, since I'm not blocked and might comment indefinitely, why don't you kids take old advice to just ignore?"

                We do. Then you whine about being ignored.

                "But instead you savvy netwits go round and round with lying "hiding" tactic sure to clutter the site and infuriate anyone"

                Yes, the community you're deliberately trying to aggravate do warn each other that the content is not worth reading, although those who wish to read despite the warning are able to do so. That's actually less cluttering than your admitted deliberate attempt to distract from the conversation. But, hey, thanks for admitting you're rather annoy people with formatting tricks than indulge people in a fair discussion of the content.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 9:49am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yot, "just one part of a much larger vision": CORPORATISM.

                  just stop feeding the troll, you're making techdirt look stupid

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

                  • icon
                    Rapnel (profile), 3 Jan 2018 @ 10:11am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yot, "just one part of a much larger vision": CORPORATISM.

                    It's a pet troll.

                    It's a really fat pet troll.

                    Not to be confused with petrol, which keeps you going, this pet troll keeps rolling and usually downhill and usually really fast. No gas, just ass.

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

                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 4 Jan 2018 @ 1:15am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yot, "just one part of a much larger vision": CORPORATISM.

                    Meh, I was bored at the end of my shift, and it's always fun to see what nonsense he replies back with just in case lurkers are fooled.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 7:40pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yot, "just one part of a much larger vision": CORPORATISM.

              Ad hominem. Care to discuss the ideas and not try to smear the commenter.

              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, 3 Jan 2018 @ 8:32am

    waaaa...the truth hurts

    pressure Amazon and they'll pressure the ISPs also.

    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, 3 Jan 2018 @ 8:46am

    Oh, "Free Speech" Techdirt is back to CENSORING!

    And within 5 minutes!

    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, 3 Jan 2018 @ 8:49am

    REPEAT to UNCENSOR: Yot, "just one part of a much larger vision": CORPORATISM.

    As I've enraged you with for years, fanboys, Techdirt definitely supports a larger, utterly DARK vision. One-percenter Ivy League Masnick is actually trying to advance corporatism / globalism, and to do that tries to gain credibility by opposing only PART of the key danger.

    Masnick frequently asserts that corporations have a "First Amendment Right" to control ALL speech on "platforms" -- not just to put out the corporation's views -- while legally immune from what others publish on the platform -- by withdrawing advertising revenue, "demonetizing" Youtube streams, and close accounts, to simply shut down all opposition on all major outlets. Since deemed a "Right", that control can be arbitrary and is not answerable to gov't or We The People.


    Let's not play this game again, Techdirt. Just let me have say, then YOU have your say, not this illegal tactic -- of exactly what I comment on there, a corporation controlling speech on alleged neutral "platform".

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 3 Jan 2018 @ 9:08am

      Nope, that's still a windmill

      When you create your own site you get to determine what's on it, until then...

      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, 3 Jan 2018 @ 9:22am

        Re: Nope, that's still a windmill

        Refuted by this one https://xkcd.com/1057/

        ---
        Now after that random XKCD neither of which prove anything, a repeat of windmilling:

        Yot, "just one part of a much larger vision": CORPORATISM.

        **As I've enraged you with for years, fanboys, Techdirt definitely supports a larger, utterly DARK vision. One-percenter Ivy League Masnick is actually trying to advance corporatism / globalism, and to do that tries to gain credibility by opposing only PART of the key danger.**

        Masnick frequently asserts that corporations have a "First Amendment Right" to control ALL speech on "platforms" -- not just to put out the corporation's views -- while legally immune from what others publish on the platform -- by withdrawing advertising revenue, "demonetizing" Youtube streams, and close accounts, to simply shut down all opposition on all major outlets. Since deemed a "Right", that control can be arbitrary and is not answerable to gov't or We The People.

        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, 3 Jan 2018 @ 9:26am

          Re: Re: Nope, that's still a windmill

          Now, I'm done for THIS topic, kids, having made my point yet again: that Techdirt's "hiding" -- a tactic I don't know any other site uses and for GOOD reason -- is actually VIEWPOINT DISCRIMINATION, because you kids just can't tolerate other views, even if anti-corporate.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 9:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Nope, that's still a windmill

            It is amazing that this has been explained multiple times and yet some refuse to listen because they have their fingers in their ears or something.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 10:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Nope, that's still a windmill

            WE THE PEOPLE have told you to piss off.

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

        • icon
          Ninja (profile), 3 Jan 2018 @ 12:04pm

          Re: Re: Nope, that's still a windmill

          Wait, are you saying you want us to punch you in the face ignoring everything you say?

          Why do I have that smile in my face?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 7:43pm

        Re: Nope, that's still a windmill

        Not necessarily. Some things become too important to be privately run or at least to let an individual decide what goes and what doesn't.

        So because CNN or Fox created their own business they should be allowed to decide what to report and what not to people?

        SO because ISPs (more like AT&T) built those lines they should be able to decide what you and cannot say in "their" network?

        IF you happen to create a website, protocol, service or product that is too important and fundamental for the well being of society as a whole you are NOT allowed to decide by yourself what runs and what doesn't.

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

        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 4 Jan 2018 @ 1:18pm

          Re: Re: Nope, that's still a windmill

          Newsflash:
          The whole "websites = ISPs for NN" false equivalence argument was dead and buried by the time the Nazis tried it months ago.

          Please don't use any more zombie fallacies.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 7:45pm

        Re: Nope, that's still a windmill

        Oh I see. So ISPs get to determine what's on their networks (aka no Net Neutrality). Since they created their own networks.

        You can determine whatever you want for your site so long as you don't infringe in the freedoms of others. If you don't like people commenting things or posting things in your site you don't like then don't make your site public.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 4 Jan 2018 @ 5:14pm

          Re: Re: Nope, that's still a windmill

          That's a nice false equivalency there, pity it's so very flawed. A business that offers a connection to the internet in general is not comparable to a website that offers a platform that others can use to leave comments.

          You can determine whatever you want for your site so long as you don't infringe in the freedoms of others.

          Not a problem, there is no 'freedom to use someone else's private owned platform/property to host your speech', and as such moderation and/or providing the community that uses a platform tools for such is not a violation of any 'freedom.'

          No matter how many times you try to claim this it simply is not the case; websites can provide a platform for others to use to post their own content and engage in moderation of those comments, and/or allow their users to do so as well.

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

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 3 Jan 2018 @ 9:23am

    What will the rules be?

    Ars published a story yesterday that the FCC is still editing the rules. While they state that this exercise is merely for omissions and errors, there does not appear to be anything to prevent them from making major changes. Since the majority seem to be following Pai's lead, I don't expect a re-vote would make any difference.

    Hopefully the various court cases will put an end to this travesty.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 3 Jan 2018 @ 9:31am

    I facepalmed hard...

    Elsewhere as someone else, I saw a post from someone I knew mocking the you only get X free articles a month from a newspaper...

    One of the replies was blaming it on Net Neutrality.

    Now I have a bigger headache.

    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, 3 Jan 2018 @ 9:54am

    Back to "Comment Held for Moderation..." too!

    I'm now pretty sure that Techdirt was just playing nice to put on a good show until the defamation suit goes away...

    Now it's back to flouting the "lunch counter" rule that a business must serve everyone impartially. -- Here, to nail it down, that's free speech and NOT hidden so long as within common law.

    Oh, and I WAS done, but you kids started it up again... You cannot resist spewing hate, especially you foreigners.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 10:45am

      Re: Back to "Comment Held for Moderation..." too!

      Your xenophobia is showing... again.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2018 @ 12:56pm

      Re: Back to "Comment Held for Moderation..." too!

      The word Immbecile comes to mind, If Masnick wanted to he could make anyone who wants to comment have a login, then he could truly ban your dumb ass from commenting...but he doesn't. Let that sink in for a minute.

      "Now it's back to flouting the "lunch counter" rule that a business must serve everyone impartially. -- Here, to nail it down, that's free speech and NOT hidden so long as within common law."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 10:02am

    Comcast: nothing bad will happen.....

    Comcast raises prices and starts blocking everything except gop.com during the next election.

    Comcast: We don't consider any of the above to be "bad". so there.

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

  • identicon
    Anon, 3 Jan 2018 @ 10:38am

    You go first... no, you...

    I suspect each ISP is waiting for someone else to do the most egregious move and bring down the wrath of the internets tubes. The during all the sound and fury, the rest will sneak in slightly less nasty changes with the excuse "it's not my fault!"

    Sort of like airlines charging for meals, then checked bags, then leg room, then overhead bins... Wait for the other guy to start it.

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

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 3 Jan 2018 @ 10:49am

    i think it is high time to break up the Baby Bells... again. They are getting too big, too powerful, and too much of a douche to remain as is.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 10:53am

    Measurement difficulty

    It will, the industry argues, be impossible to even measure the incredible innovation that will be created by letting entrenched ISPs (and their natural monopoly over the broadband last mile) run roughshod over the backs of American consumers and smaller competitors.

    The industry is likely to be right, albeit for the wrong reason. History tells us that most of the innovation will be in the deceptive ways they market previously planned activities, rather than in actual new investment or innovation. Thus, with minimal or wholly absent real innovation, it will indeed be quite hard to measure that innovation.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 1:17pm

      Re: Measurement difficulty

      OMG!!! They have really been screwing themself. Innovation in the wording of their offerings can be copyrighted! Thus the wording changes will be immaterial rights with a sleuth of protection. No wonder they wanted to compete on how to screw SAC (Stupid Ass Consumers)!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 7:52pm

      Re: Measurement difficulty

      Exactly my thoughts.

      "impossible to measure the incredible innovation" is a complete bullshit talk.

      It will be impossible to measure because there will be none. If anything there will be very inventive and deceptive pricing schemes, "impossible to measure".

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Jan 2018 @ 12:26pm

    I think our best strategy at this point is...

    ...to try to push for state net neutrality laws in as many states as possible. Even if only the more indigo states do it (as opposed to the more magenta states) it'll create a legal snarl that cannot be easily resolved without title II classification.

    That is unless we can get The Guild of Calamitous Intent to launch a chain of localized pirate providers.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 2:06pm

    This guy claims to be working on a universal, decentralised mesh network that would remove all problems of middleman interference:

    https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2017/12/25/technology/will-alternet-replace-present-d ay-internet/31009/

    Hopefully this will happen in my lifetime.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 2:53pm

    Cable, Cells, Internet access, the new Crack.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 7:55pm

      Re:

      More like the new breathing air. Crack is only done by addicts a rather small portion of the population. But air, breathing air, that is needed by everybody. Especially for internet access.

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

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 3 Jan 2018 @ 5:27pm

    Who's looking?

    I'm sure that whether or not the changes are subtle depends on who's doing the looking. For example, no matter how obvious, they will be far to subtle for Pai to notice.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2018 @ 5:38pm

    out_of_the_blue just hates, hates, hates it when due process is enforced.

    (Please report this comment. out_of_the_blue, by default, takes all reported comments to be true.)

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

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 3 Jan 2018 @ 8:23pm

    I think it will a be a relatively slow buildup if only for the reason that to do too much too quickly would result in a large negative backlash from their customers. You have to turn up the heat slowly so that the frog doesn't jump out of the pot.*



    *Yes, I know that's been proven false, but it makes a punchy metaphor.

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

  • icon
    Sayonara Felicia-San (profile), 23 Jan 2018 @ 10:31pm

    It's already happening! The other day...

    ...I went to download a mature film from a content storage and sharing service.

    Now, as you well know, they are making these things ridiculously huge these days. I would happily have taken a 1GB .MP4 file, but no, all that I could purvey that night was an enormous 5 1/2 GB 4K .mkv file version.

    Well I thought to myself, that's fine, it will just be a little longer. Now ordinarily, I had been accustomed to a swift Internet current of approximately 20-30MB/s consistent throughput speeds.

    Even though I was promised 100Mbps, and a variety of official sounding tests told me I have at least 90Mbps, I knew that realistically, for large file downloads it slows down to 20-30Mbps. And I was happy as a little clam w8th that.

    Even though strangely at work, large file downloads don't seem to slow down like they do at home. (?)

    Well, imagine my horror when the download rate barely reached 1.5Mbps to 2Mbps download. Clearly, the Trump team has wasted no time in letting filthy Russian hackers get their hands on our precious Internet infrastructure.

    Long story short, I became impatient and had to visit one of those filthy establishments with all the thumbnails of 3 minute long videos. I missed a pop-under, and caught a nasty virus!

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


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