Breaking: House Judiciary Committee Tells FCC It's Going To Block Net Neutrality Rules

from the protecting-the-Internet-by-selling-out-my-constituents dept

While the FCC may have buckled to public demand and voted to finally approve tougher net neutrality rules last week, if you thought that meant an end to the hysterical over-reaction to what appear to be some fairly basic consumer protections, you're going to be gravely disappointed. From editorials lamenting the FCC's attempt to "strangle startups in their cribs", to claims the agency is murdering "innovation angels", we're clearly entering an entirely new, bloody chapter when it comes to divorcing net neutrality reality from rhetoric.

At the vanguard of this assault are ISP-loyal politicians, who intend to throw everything but the kitchen sink at the FCC over the next few months in the hopes of if not destroying the rules -- at least delaying them -- while publicly flogging the FCC for good measure. That apparently starts with FCC Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly lagging on providing their dissenting edits so the rules can't be released, followed by a gauntlet of at least five potential hearings over the next month aimed at shaming the FCC for destroying the Internet.

A letter from the House Judiciary Committee Members (pdf) to FCC boss Tom Wheeler complains that the FCC is pursuing the "most oppressive and backward regulatory option possible," which is odd since a growing list of companies that actually sell broadband -- like Cablevision, Frontier, Sprint and Sonic -- all say the rules won't impact their businesses in the slightest, since most of the heavier utility-components of Title II won't be applied. So why is the House Judiciary Committee fighting the rules? Because they're just super worried about the health of the Internet:
"We will not stand by idly as the White House, using the FCC, attempts to advance rules that imperil the future of the Internet. We plan to support and urge our colleagues to pass a Congressional Review Act resolution disapproving the “Open Internet” rules. Not only will such a resolution nullify the ‘Open Internet’ rules, the resolution will prevent the FCC from relying on Title II for any future net neutrality rules unless Congress explicitly instructs the FCC to take such action."
Of course any measure that makes its way to the President's desk will be vetoed -- and a Congressional Review Action still requires a presidential signature or enough votes to override a veto, both of which are extremely unlikely. The only real way to overturn the agency's new laws is either via lawsuit (which the FCC has gone to great length to avoid losing this time after the courts repeatedly told them they needed to classify ISPs as common carriers to be on solid footing) or through a party change (and therefore an FCC leadership shift) in 2016.

Until then, the House Judiciary Committee hopes to keep the hysteria momentum rolling by flinging around some now well-worn falsehoods, like claiming that the White House acted improperly when it publicly proclaimed it preferred Title II rules:
"We are also troubled by the manner in which the ‘Open Internet’ rules were formulated. On November 10, 2014, President Obama urged the FCC to impose Title II regulations on the Internet. Shortly thereafter, you began making statements in support of a Title II approach. Certainly, the timing of your support for Title II following the President’s recommendation calls into question the degree, if not the existence, of the FCC’s independence from the White House."
Yes, because the "timing" of things is enough to make them illegal, right? You'll note the letter falls well short of claiming the White House broke the law, because despite whatever disdain the White House has for the law on a wide variety of topics, they did nothing wrong here. As we've noted previously, it's perfectly routine and legal for the White House to express its policy desires to the FCC, and every President in the last thirty years has done so (like when George W. Bush pushed the FCC for weaker media consolidation rules, or Bill Clinton urged the FCC to ban hard liquor ads on TV).

Republicans were already planning a rewrite this year of the Communications Act, and you can be dead certain that effort will be rekindled with a keen and aggressive eye on making regulators as ill-equipped as possible when it comes to doing anything about the nation's stagnant telecom duopoly. You know, for the health of the Internet.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 11:37am

    That's some mighty fine paranoia you've got there

    "We will not stand by idly as the White House, using the FCC, attempts to advance rules that imperil the future of the Internet.

    I love how they still insist that Obama's behind this whole thing, as though he's just got to be the cause.

    As a scapegoat, he seems rather lacking, but I suppose the alternative, admitting that the main driving forces behind the shift were the actions of the ISP's showing how needed the change was, and the massive support on both sides for said change, wouldn't fit the spin they've decided on.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 11:57am

      Re: That's some mighty fine paranoia you've got there

      Yeah, the whole thing reads pretty much like garden-grade political bullshit.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 12:00pm

      Re: That's some mighty fine paranoia you've got there

      Obama advocated for this, and they're against Obama. Combine that with the fact that the reclassification is being done without legislation, as have a lot of more questionable things lately, and you have a recipe for a knee-jerk reaction against it.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 12:15pm

        Re: Re: That's some mighty fine paranoia you've got there

        Had the issue been dealt with via legislation, and considering how in the pockets of the cable companies the ones who would be writing that legislation are, the resulting bill would have basically been little more than 'The cable companies can do anything they want, and no one is allowed to do anything about it. Also the billions in tax-breaks and subsidies they currently receive will be doubled, because money.'

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 12:46pm

        Re: Re: That's some mighty fine paranoia you've got there

        Given the current state of congress, it's bloody hard to get anything done with legislation, regardless of its necessity.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 4:55pm

        Re: Re: That's some mighty fine paranoia you've got there

        That putrid cesspool of idiots called the Tea Party doesn't have a friggin clue. Their scorched earth policy is what they will be remembered for as they have done nothing else.

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

      • identicon
        anon, 2 Mar 2015 @ 9:26pm

        Re: Re: That's some mighty fine paranoia you've got there

        It's the FCC's job to reclassify. Congress isn't needed. Why do people think the most despicable body of government is needed for everything?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 1:46pm

      Re: That's some mighty fine paranoia you've got there

      "We will not stand by idly as the White House, using the FCC, attempts to advance rules that imperil the future of the Internet."

      At least they're being honest -- they see their future of the Internet, with toll roads, kickbacks, preferred partners, etc. in peril, and want nothing to do with rules that will prevent this.

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

    • icon
      AricTheRed (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 2:30pm

      You got to know the rules of the game!

      "We will not stand by idly as the White House, using the FCC, attempts to advance rules that imperil the future of the Internet..."

      Remeber Campers, when you're playing Stupid, it is always best to double-down on an 11!

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 9:09pm

      Re: That's some mighty fine paranoia you've got there


      I love how they still insist that Obama's behind this whole thing, as though he's just got to be the cause.


      I imagine they know he isn't, but this tack lets them refer to Title II as Obamacare for the internet.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 11:48am

    All that is missing is a chart showing how little of a bump in "contributions" it took to make them keep this farce going.

    Much like the terrorism battle cry, slapping Obama on everything is losing its cache. One can only hope that we grow weary enough of the politics of fear that they get swept out and replaced with representatives of the people not just the corporate people.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 1:14pm

      Re:

      I don't think this one even required a contribution bump. This is nothing but good-will gesture (or an advertisement) to the effect of "We're willing to spout any line of BS necessary, even if it's laughable and has no basis in reality. Talk is cheap and so are we. Keep those lobbying jobs available, please."

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

  • icon
    pixelpusher220 (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 11:49am

    Timing

    "Yes, because the "timing" of things is enough to make them illegal, right?"

    Actually yes. Surveillance prior to a warrant is illegal or so I've read here...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 12:01pm

    People in power desperately clinging to that power for the sake of having power. Not for the country, not for the citizens, but for themselves.

    These people should be publicly shamed by everyone.

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

  • icon
    fgoodwin (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 12:07pm

    Nothing more than political grandstanding

    Speaking as a Republican myself, I view this as nothing more than political grandstanding.

    They don't have the votes to override the inevitable veto. This strikes as little more then whining. I'm no fan of Title II reclassification, but I think the FCC is on firm legal ground here.

    So in the event the ISPs sue to overturn the NN rules, I think the FCC wins this time around.

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

    • identicon
      PRMan, 2 Mar 2015 @ 8:03pm

      Re: Nothing more than political grandstanding

      "I'm no fan of Title II reclassification"

      So... you like your provider screwing with Netflix?

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

      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 3 Mar 2015 @ 4:50am

        Re: Re: Nothing more than political grandstanding

        No, he has correctly noted that it's got its problems but is the best fix available, under the circumstances.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 12:10pm

    Timing...

    Yes, let us make a law about timing.... but ALL timing. Like for instance suddenly shifting opinion after a fat paycheck in the form of campaign money or a vacation with everything paid from that company, or how about when you vote for or against a law that just so happens to give a big payday for the company you used your insider knowledge to invest in... because that is somehow legal.
    If you made a law about timing, I would gladly throw Title II away, because that would mean a lot less corruption and we could get something better.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 5:00pm

      Re: Timing...

      Remember Congressman Boner handing out checks on the Congressional floor immediately prior to the vote on tobacco subsidies?

      Yeah, I remember that too. And why is his skin orange?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 12:12pm

    Well, what do you expect? The FCC is now threatening the big carrier's cash cows. Can't have that, so their paid lapdogs in Congress are trying to scuttle the whole thing, AFTER it's been passed. Too bad none of them give a hoot about the citizenry.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 12:19pm

    EFF: "Details Matter"

    "Yeah, net neutrality" is utterly meaningless with a hole big enough to drive a Comcast truck through, and you may wake up one day to find out that even if you like your internet, you can't keep it:

    For example, the new rules include a “general conduct rule” that will let the FCC take action against ISP practices that don’t count as blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization. As we said last week and last year, vague rules are a problem. The FCC wants to be, in Chairman Wheeler’s words, “a referee on the field” who can stop any ISP action that it thinks “hurts consumers, competition, or innovation.” The problem with a rule this vague is that neither ISPs nor Internet users can know in advance what kinds of practices will run afoul of the rule. Only companies with significant legal staff and expertise may be able to use the rule effectively. And a vague rule gives the FCC an awful lot of discretion, potentially giving an unfair advantage to parties with insider influence. That means our work is not yet done. We must stay vigilant, and call out FCC overreach.

    The actual order is over 300 pages long, and it’s not widely available yet. Details matter.


    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/02/fcc-votes-net-neutrality-big-win

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    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 2 Mar 2015 @ 12:23pm

      Re: EFF: "Details Matter"

      Fortunately, the actual rules are only 8 pages long.

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

      • icon
        Karl Bode (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 12:50pm

        Re: Re: EFF: "Details Matter"

        And the EFF by and large supports Title II with forbearance.

        The EFF's justly concerned about vague portions of the rules (I personally am willing to be the FCC does absolutely nothing about zero rating and very little about most interconnection issues), but that doesn't mean they oppose them.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 5:02pm

      Re: EFF: "Details Matter"

      Funny ... I read they have not released the "rules" and do not plan on doing so for a few weeks, so where does this speculation come from?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 12:22pm

    So...they want to make me pay double for some stuff (ATT Sponsored Data), impose unnecessary caps & throttles (Verizon), and basically make it hard for me to get decent service (comcast).


    The ISP's basically want to screw me, and when 3 people say "enough" - they pull their lawyers/politicians out. ugh

    I wish these ISP's would innovate like ISP's in other countries - https://gigaom.com/2012/11/23/the-state-of-broadband-in-the-u-s-infographic/

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

  • icon
    gorehound (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 12:31pm

    All must Vote next Election or you will suffer the consequences.We must remove the GOP and stop them from ever winning President.
    Party full of ignorant bible thumping assholes, bigots, hateful people, greedy people,,,,,,,,,,,PEOPLE WHO WANT TO SCREW THE WORLD with their lame toll road highway Net.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 1:05pm

      Re:

      ...All must Vote next Election...

      I've been voting every election I can, but the choices I get suck!

      I wish there was a "none of the above" choice, then they might get the message.

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

      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 2 Mar 2015 @ 1:11pm

        Re: Re:

        I like Lewis Black's procedure for picking the POTUS.

        Get a map of the US. Throw a dart at it. Where it lands, you fly a plane. And on that plane is a monkey, and you push the little fucker out. With a paracute. When he lands, first person he touches, is the POTUS. We can't do any worse.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 1:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I say we pull 100 names out of random phone books. Find those people, ask each one if he/she wants to be President. The one who refuses the post most vehemently gets forced into the job.

          Politics by press gang, with a sociopath filter thrown in.

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

      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 3 Mar 2015 @ 4:53am

        Re: Re:

        That just lets the party with the most votes in by default. Can you imagine a Congress with empty seats because so many people voted "None of the above?" No, you need to pick a third party candidate with a reasonable chance of appealing to the greatest number of people and persuade as many people as possible to vote for them. That way, you have a reasonable chance of getting that person in.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2015 @ 11:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I wouldn't mind trying one of the Ranked Voting methods for elections (beyond just the instant-runoff method). They all have problems, but it can't get much worse than what we've got.

          It could provide a way out for people who subscribe to the idea that voting for a third party candidate (who they actually support/like) is "throwing a vote away." They could vote third party, and just rank their D/R candidate as their second choice.

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

          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 5 Mar 2015 @ 10:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "I wouldn't mind trying one of the Ranked Voting methods for elections (beyond just the instant-runoff method)."

            I agree. The problem is that a ranked voting method would require a Constitutional amendment to do. Instant runoff does not. So it's really a case of doing what's possible rather than what's ideal.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 12:32pm

    what a shame that Congress members dont have the balls to say what they are really doing and who they are doing it for! instead of trying to shame the FCC over 'net neutrality' rules, why not say that these members want to do as much as they can for the companies and industries that are throwing money into their various campaign funds! then perhaps they could throw their congressional weight behind the rules that need updating that they put in place to benefit themselves via 'campaign contributions' again from the entertainment industries over copyright infringement and how those industries are allowed to break as many of the rules as they like as much as they like for no penalties but an ordinary citizen can be locked up for years because some company 'logged his IP on a particular website! Congress are the most corrupt people going! they would do well to butt out of things like this just because they want sponsoring in the next election because sooner or later karma comes round and bites back!!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 1:03pm

    Not all the judiciary members

    I count 21 signatures on that letter. That means there are 18 judiciary members that chose not to sign, including 2 republicans (Chaffetz and Forbes). Kudos to them for being slaves to the party whips.

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

  • icon
    connermac725 (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 1:34pm

    All Hail the Republic

    sounds like star wars movie in the making the evil republic forcing their will on the people no matter how many protest

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 1:36pm

    Am I the only person jaded, disillusioned, and pessimistic enough to think that Obama came out as supporting Title II specifically to get this reaction?
    Of course any measure that makes its way to the President's desk will be vetoed...
    Except, of course, that the President loves working with Congress when it comes to achieving a goal that they all secretly agree on (see NSA phone record collection post).

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 1:46pm

    Inovation angels

    Less innovation, more status quo

    Status quo angels

    Less innovation, more stagnant

    Stagnant angels

    Less inovation, more old guard

    Old guard angels

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 2:02pm

    Their like children, playing the blame game, the whole lot of them, not getting anything of serious note done......none of them mature enough to take on subjects that go above their heads, like the biggest among them all, human right............america's government is so corrupt, and other foolish nations are following their and uk's lead, follow the fucking leader, followed by some jump rope in the fucking play rard..........

    Im the dude, playing the dude pretending to be another dude

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

    • icon
      Karl Bode (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 2:44pm

      Re:

      Congress really is just a room full of people playing "is not, is too."

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

      • icon
        Alien Rebel (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 4:33pm

        Re: Re:

        ". . . people playing 'is not, is too'"

        You know how we can tell it's all Kabuki? We don't see fist fights breaking out like in the Ukrainian or Turkish parliaments. If our elected reps actually BELIEVED their crap, we'd see them overdose on BS once in a while and clobber some lying sack. God knows there's enough bull flying about. (I got your snowball right here, Inhofe.)

        At least these guys' hearts are in it- https://parliamentfights.wordpress.com/

        --

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 2:34pm

    "We will not stand by idly as the White House, using the FCC, attempts to advance rules that imperil the future of the Internet."

    That's not when they said when they were pushing SOPA.

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

  • icon
    ken (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 2:35pm

    Title II does not create net neutrality.

    Title II under the Telecommunications Act does not require net neutrality or prohibit fast lanes and paid prioritization. In fact the law allows for fast lanes and paid prioritization it just cannot be discriminatory. In other words Comcast can offer fast lane service but it has to offer it to anyone who can afford to pay the extra fee. it just like an airline can offer First Class but they have to offer it to anyone who can pay for the First Class fare. They just cannot make exclusive deals.

    http://www.techpolicydaily.com/communications/title-ii-prohibit-paid-prioritization/
    So putting the Internet on Title II will not do what the backers thought it would do. It does not create net neutrality but actually codifies in law Internet companies right to offer fast lane paid prioritization.

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

    • icon
      Karl Bode (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 2:43pm

      Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

      One, Daniel Lyons (not to be confused with fake Steve Jobs Daniel Lyons) and the AEI take money from AT&T.

      Two, Title II is a framework, the actual rules will determine more specifically what is or isn't allowed, and we haven't seen them yet.

      >So putting the Internet on Title II will not do what the backers thought it would do.

      What backers thought it would do is put the FCC on more secure legal footing, and most people still believe it will do that.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 3:12pm

      Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

      Title II under the Telecommunications Act does not require net neutrality or prohibit fast lanes and paid prioritization.

      It does not, but it does allow the FCC to declare that paid prioritization or blocking is not "just and reasonable" and then build rules around that. So, yes, you can ban fast lanes and paid prioritization based on Title II. It's not that Title II does that by itself, but the rules based on Title II absolutely can.

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

      • icon
        ken (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 4:08pm

        Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

        Mike "reasonable" is a term that invites litigation which means the courts will decide not the FCC.

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

        • identicon
          Zonker, 3 Mar 2015 @ 2:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

          The same courts that explicitly told the FCC that it could only do what it wanted to do under Title II, not Section 706. I hardly expect the same court will turn around and tell the FCC now that they have to go back to using Section 706 instead of Title II to enforce the neutrality agreements all but Verizon will willing to accept (at least for a while, in exchange for being allowed to buy whatever media/competing businesses they fancy at the time to expand their monopoly power and eliminate the free market).

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

      • icon
        ken (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 4:11pm

        Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

        I really am honestly shocked that the same people that fought against SOPA PIPA are so eager for the government to take over the Internet.

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

        • icon
          JP Jones (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 4:33pm

          Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

          I really am honestly shocked that the same people that fought against SOPA PIPA are so eager for the government to take over the Internet.

          You do know there is a difference between regulation and control, right?

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

          • icon
            ken (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 9:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

            Regulation is a subset of control and their are aspects of regulation that do control. It controls competition, it controls growth, it controls innovation and incentive. So yes regulations does not mean direct control but absolutely it means indirect control and the effects are seldom good.

            Competition is self regulating and rewards those who do well and punishes those who do poorly. It is natural regulations as apposed to government regulation which is a poor substitute.

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

            • icon
              nasch (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 9:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

              Competition is self regulating and rewards those who do well and punishes those who do poorly. It is natural regulations as apposed to government regulation which is a poor substitute.

              Have you seen any reasonable analysis to suggest that strong competition in the ISP market is a realistic possibility in the next - just to make up a number - 10 years? Or do you think that Title II is even worse than the status quo?

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

            • identicon
              Pragmatic, 3 Mar 2015 @ 4:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

              LOL! Title II came up because of the LACK of competition. The last thing the incumbents want is competition, which is why they're freaking out.

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

            • icon
              JP Jones (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 1:51pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

              Competition is self regulating and rewards those who do well and punishes those who do poorly.

              Anyone who can say this with a straight face has no clue how economics works. This is exactly why we're in a financial crisis.

              Competition is only self-regulating when regulated by an outside source. Otherwise people are playing by different rules, and factors other than direct competition come into play. Those factors are not something you can just ignore.

              You're talking about free-market capitalism, which is a provably false theory. It's a popular theory, because Americans like to believe that everyone has an equal shot, and may only the best man win. It just doesn't actually work when applied to the real world. Some would argue that's a rather big problem with an economic theory (myself included), but living in an economic dream world is exactly why the world economy collapsed in 2008.

              From a "theoretical" perspective, this was caused because the markets weren't free enough. From a historical perspective, it was caused because assuming all actors in an economic system are acting rationally and in their own best interest is retarded. People don't act this way on an individual level, there's no way they'll act this way at the macro level. Exhibit A: smoking is bad for you, expensive, and gives you no personal benefit other than a temporary minor high and leaves you with a lifelong addiction. And you would argue people make decisions based on reason and their own best interest? Insane.

              You don't get to just ignore fundamental forces of human behavior, such as the fact that people will quite often act against their own best interest, and say that the market will "fix" it if left alone. Free-market economics are a great example of why free-market economics don't work...from a rational, self-interested perspective, a free-market economy is guaranteed to stifle or ruin your economy, yet millions of people still encourage it, to their own detriment. From a historical and practical perspective, an unregulated economy a) only benefits countries (to a limited extent) that already have a strong economy and b) has never actually existed in human history.

              This is a pet peeve of mine. You don't even really believe in free-market economics anyway; no one does. A lot of people think they do, because the illusion of the free market sounds great. No government telling you what to do, instead you let the market force out the weak and only the strong prevail, which means the best result for the consumer.

              Of course, that means no regulation. No regulation means no immigration laws, no anti-pollution laws, no safety standards, no child labor laws, no anti-slavery laws, no tariffs, no intellectual property laws, no government subsidies for research and development, no bankruptcy protection, and no trade agreements forcing other countries to play by our "free market" rules. Suddenly the country is dominated by foreign workers, you and your children are either slaves or forced to work in deadly factories for practically nothing, and every other country overtakes our economy due to their own regulatory protections in a few years, but hey, the market is "free."

              I'll stick with properly regulated capitalism, thanks. We can debate whether or not a specific regulation is necessary or not, but arguing whether or not regulation is necessary at all is sort of like the imaginary global warming debate, where the actual argument is what we should do about it, not whether or not it exists. You may be against Title II protections because you believe that those regulations will harm the internet, due to whatever reason you believe. But if you're against it because regulation is automatically bad, you're simply wrong.

              Sorry.

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              • icon
                Gwiz (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 2:11pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

                While I agree with the overall sentiment of your comment I do disagree with this small bit:


                You're talking about free-market capitalism, which is a provably false theory.

                Free market capitalism does exist. Black markets are market systems that are not regulated and exist without laws such as property rights. Black markets are the very definition of a free market system and exist at this very moment all around us.

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                • icon
                  JP Jones (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 6:31pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

                  Free market capitalism does exist.

                  Sorry, I should clarify. I meant free market capitalism as a theory of economic improvement. Communism is an economic theory, but is provably false as a system that improves the economy. Stealing and murder are economic agents but I doubt many people would argue they are a good system to use at any institutional level.

                  The black market, by some estimates, accounts for around (at the high end) $1.8 trillion globally, which is roughly the GDP of Canada, compared to over $72 trillion in the GDP of the world. This includes all main forms of common black market goods. It also includes $117 billion from software and movie piracy and $369 billion in counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs and electronics, which are entirely based on intellectual property estimations, so you can arguably cut a large chunk of that annual market value's economic cost due to certain sectors love of exponential imaginary numbers.

                  Likewise, I would argue it's not really a free market, at least not in the sense of an argument unaffected by regulation. The existing regulations that make black market products illegal heavily influence the competition and market forces that surround the black market. The mere fact that the black market is illegal artificially alters consumer behavior, and for items that are black market but otherwise legal (like intellectual property items) a consumer can't help but be influenced by the legal framework.

                  Finally, by most economic systems black markets are considered fundamentally harmful to economic growth, which is why I don't consider them evidence of free market captialism. Free market theory postulates that rational and self-interested individuals will naturally create competition and self-regulate against bad actors to create a net gain in economic value. You can't use an example of something that creates a net loss in economic value as an example of why free market theory is accurate.

                  In other words, free markets exist, but free market capitalism is a false theory. This is because free market capitalism hypothesizes that an unregulated free market will result in economic growth and stability, which is directly contradicted by the historical and practical record.

                  I believe strongly in capitalism, but I believe (and am backed up by historical record) that a capitalist market requires government regulation and intervention to operate at peak levels. Stability and happiness are important things that you shouldn't give up to make a quick profit, especially when it's been shown time and time again that deregulation actively hurts the economy. Granted, some regulation reform would certainly be a good goal to move towards, but removing regulations just for the sake of removing them only benefits a few individuals in the short term.

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              • icon
                nasch (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 3:33pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

                To be fair, he's right about competition. It really does do all these great things in a market. The problem is, you don't get competition for very long without regulation.

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                • icon
                  JP Jones (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 7:33pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

                  "To be fair, he's right about competition. It really does do all these great things in a market. The problem is, you don't get competition for very long without regulation." - nasch

                  "Competition is only self-regulating when regulated by an outside source...I'll stick with properly regulated capitalism, thanks." - me

                  Sorry, had to quote myself saying exactly what you just said =). Considering most forms of capitalism have competitive markets as a primary economic driving force, whether free, social, or state, I assumed that the benefits of competition were implied (and nowhere did I argue otherwise).

                  The scenario we're discussing is one where we have the current ISP situation, which is made up primarily of a few large companies that have only-slightly-hidden "gentlemen's agreements" to avoid everything except the barest impression of competition. On one hand we have the free market proponents arguing that the solution is to leave things as they are and let the market fix the problem. On the other hand you have net neutrality proponents saying that clearly market forces aren't working, so we need regulation to prevent the current and future consumer abuse.

                  I'd love it if the former were possible, and market forces would magically reverse the current situation. Unfortunately it would have to be just that...magic. And as much as we'd all love for magic to be real, well, it isn't.

                  Which is why we have laws and regulation. Sometimes we have bad laws and harmful regulation, but you can't just look at them unilaterally and decry the whole system.

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                  • icon
                    nasch (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 8:05pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

                    Yeah I didn't mean to imply you had anything wrong. My comment was probably superfluous. :-)

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                    • icon
                      JP Jones (profile), 4 Mar 2015 @ 9:43am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

                      Heh, I figured, but I felt like it was worth explaining in case someone else missed it, I can get a little verbose when discussing things I'm passionate about (understatement).

                      =)

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            • identicon
              Zonker, 3 Mar 2015 @ 2:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

              And again, it is thanks to "telecommunications service" being subject to Title II common carrier rules under the Ninth Court ruling in AT&T vs Portland (ruling and summary) that Portland was barred from requiring AT&T Broadband (now owned by Comcast) to allow competition over the TCI cable network it purchased around 1998-99. The common carrier rule (again Title II) forbade any local restrictions on a "telecommunications service" provider, and even though cable internet was properly classified as an "information service" that Portland could regulate, it was also deemed to be a "telecommunications service" that Portland could not regulate under the Telecommunications Act.

              The FCC's response to the courts ruling at the time was to continue treating cable internet services as an "information service" under Section 706 and not as a "telecommunications service" by forbearance. Somehow, AT&T (now Comcast) got to have their cake and eat it too.

              If you were truly concerned with competition as you claim, you would either have to revoke cable internet's common carrier protected status under the Ninth Circuit ruling so they can be locally required to allow competition on the existing infrastructure, or reclassify them as a common carrier in alignment with the Ninth Circuit ruling and allow the FCC to require competition.

              Unfortunately, this whole net neutrality under Title II argument has had nothing to do with opening up the last mile cable internet services to competition at all. Only whether content or communications served can be blocked, restricted, or be required to pay a bandwidth tax for preferred provider privileges by those same ISPs who were handed a free monopoly on the infrastructure by the same government you're now denouncing.

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          • identicon
            Agonistes, 3 Mar 2015 @ 1:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

            I actually don't know what the difference is except one definition seems to be more palatable to many people than the other.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 5:11pm

          Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

          How is this "taking over the internet" ?
          Exact and detailed answer would be appropriate here.

          The desired intent is to block changes ISPs have tinkered with, talked about and want to implement resulting in a really expensive, slow, crappy internet which everyone would kick to the curb. Just leave the fucking thing alone! ..... That is what the FCC ruling should say, but since they have not released it yet .......

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          • icon
            ken (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 9:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

            AC

            We conservatives have fought a long and losing battle about maintaining the original intent of any law or regulation. Fact is introducing any regulations regime is like a letting a genie out of the bottle. Once out they give you your initial wish and then become unpredictable and uncontrollable. You can never get the genie back in the bottle.

            In fact the very analogy of a genie is be careful what you wish for because they ALWAYS come with unintended consequences and the consequences cannot be undone.

            FCC scope creep is coming. We don't even know yest what we are even getting.

            Remember income tax was sold as something temporary and the government would always keep them low. it was for the war you know.

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            • icon
              ken (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 9:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

              I will ad as well the genie will grant you your wish but it never comes as intended and ends up being a curse not a blessing.

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              • identicon
                Pragmatic, 3 Mar 2015 @ 4:57am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

                We conservatives have fought a long and losing battle about maintaining the original intent of any law or regulation

                Then please explain the PATRIOT Act.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2015 @ 4:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

              You did not answer the question.

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        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 6:04am

          Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

          I really am honestly shocked that the same people that fought against SOPA PIPA are so eager for the government to take over the Internet.

          There is nothing in the rules that is a "government takeover of the internet." Saying so makes you look foolish.

          Remember, the internet was regulated under Title II until the Brand X case, just as the Republicans who passed the '96 Act intended.

          Stop rewriting history with bogus talking points.

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          • icon
            ken (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 1:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.

            I disagree Mike. The regulation genie is now out of the bottle. He may have given you your wish but as always the wish is never what the wisher expected and ends up being a curse.

            There is no way net neutrality is going to be the only thing the FCC tinkers with now that they have phenomenal cosmic powers in an Itty bitty living space!

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    • identicon
      Agonistes, 3 Mar 2015 @ 1:48am

      I'm as surprised as Ken that the crowd here thinks federal regulation is the answer to all the Internet's woes, as it is the cause of all of them in the first place. If it did not allow the huge companies to dominate through the control they've exercised over their consolidation, none of these problems would be there to need to "fix" with more of the same.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2015 @ 5:03am

        Re:

        "the crowd here thinks federal regulation is the answer to all the Internet's woes"
        - Who (exactly) stated they thought this was the case?
        - What are these nebulous woes to which you refer?

        Government caused ISPs to act like greedy bitches?
        Oh, so you claim it was a lack of government regulation that has lead to the present situation where ISPs think they can do what ever they want and thusly need to be regulated.

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        • identicon
          Agonistes, 3 Mar 2015 @ 6:14am

          Re: Re:

          Without regulation, a greedy company would change to accommodate consumers' wishes because if they didn't they'd lose money and be out on their asses. Show me a company that isn't in the business of wanting to make as much money as possible...greed isn't the problem...they can be as greedy as they want, that's the name of the game. Without regulation that greed works in the favor of the consumer, with regulation that greed works around the consumer.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2015 @ 6:36am

            Re: Re: Re:

            Your wet dream utopia is only possible in a competitive market, which the ISP space is not.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2015 @ 11:30am

            Re: Re: Re:

            Read The Jungle and tell me how good lack of regulation can be for the customer.

            "Greed isn't a problem," except that greed is what buys votes in Congress to get us to the point where there is little to no competition in ISPs in most regions of the US. Greed gets us state laws written by ISP lobbyists that bar local municipalities from competing.

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            • identicon
              Agonistes, 3 Mar 2015 @ 1:02pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I totally agree, I'm trying to figure out where we differ in our thinking. Those are perfect examples of greed working around the consumer because its cheaper than being more accommodating and pleasing their clientele. No matter how beneficial the motives are/seem to be, that influence can/will always lead to regulatory capture.

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              • icon
                nasch (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 1:43pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                No matter how beneficial the motives are/seem to be, that influence can/will always lead to regulatory capture.

                If your solution to that problem is no regulation at all, then I think that's what the AC was addressing with his comment about The Jungle. Without any regulations, you do not end up with a nice free market with vigorous competition, safe products, and humane working environments. You end up with monopolies, oligopolies, no concern for safety or environmental impact, and the working conditions most profitable for the corporations.

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 7:23am

        Re:

        I'm as surprised as Ken that the crowd here thinks federal regulation is the answer to all the Internet's woes, as it is the cause of all of them in the first place.

        Besides this being a straw man as pointed out already, the crowd here understands that regulation is not a uniform fungible substance that is only smeared in varying thicknesses on different parts of society, and the less of it the better. Some regulations are great, and others are stupid or worse. None of them are perfect, because they're created by people.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 3:23pm

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/30/buck-number-of-pot-cases_n_2219995.html

    ... Fucking Ken Buck ...

    First he is prosecuting marijuana cases after it's been legalized, and now he wants to hold us down so Comcast rape us.

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  • identicon
    Rudyard Holmbast, 2 Mar 2015 @ 4:04pm

    Hahahahaha, a blogger on this site accusing people of using over-the-top rhetoric when discussing net neutrality is like George Lincoln Rockwell calling someone an anti-Semite

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  • icon
    EconProf (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 7:51pm

    There is actually a lot of historical precedent when considering the issues here.

    The trope I would like to bring to attention is the very common occurrence of being duped into begging for our own worst nightmares. The Bolsheviks begged for socialism. 85 million died. The Mao communists begged for communism, 70-80 million died. Is that Rhetoric?


    Perhaps, but only if you think the ideas somehow separated as to causality and concurrence.

    Poverty has been solved. Right now in india and china, where the 'evils' of capitalism are for the first time being excercised in part, some million souls leave poverty every year.

    Freedom solves the problems, and regulation breeds corruption. These are universals wherever we look in history and in modern times. Those principles are like the laws of physics, and just as accepted amongst serious economists as the laws of physics are to physcists.

    Where does that lead us? Populists movements are the dupes, the useful idiots of history. The elites concoct a 'problem' where there is none, or better yet, make a problem through regulation which always fails to solve problems and only creates unintended consequences that need to be 'solved' by further regulation, and then pretend to be the Knights in shining armor come to save the day from the errors they caused by interfering in the first place.

    Net neutrality, another stupid populist movement, endorsed by the literati, the elites, to cheers of useful idiots celebrating the loss of their own freedoms.

    You want to have true Net Neutrality? You want faster speeds, at lower costs? Competition is your answer, not socializing yet another industry. You think Comcast is bad? Why? Poor service, poor accountability, large bureaucratic mess that doesn't care about customers right? Who else does that sound like? The Federal Government! That is who. Guess who made Comcast possible in the first place? Governments, that is who! Guess why Comcast has a virtual monopoly? Because governments caved to industry insiders like Comcast to regulate and uphold the status quo so that corrupt business and politicians could have untrammeled access to your wallet. Now you have guaranteed the status quo will remain just that; the status que. Why?

    Law of Economics 1) Monopolies always lead to higher prices, and poorer service.

    Law of Economics 2) Regulation must always lead to stultification and moribund markets.

    Combine the two, and you get a market that won't innovate because it has no incentive to do anything but rent seek, and ignore investment in newer technologies. Communications companies will now just rest on their laurels, and eat your lunch. Why would they do otherwise? WHo is their customer, you?! Don't make me laugh. The government is now their customer, and the NSA is their lead boss. They will let you sign a petition, to vote, and then do nothing, just like all government. You say you don't like congress and government, and we know because its approval rating is at an all time low, then why the hell would you put them in charge of getting you better internet? I trust the market, because when was the last time the government ever did anything it promised?

    TL;DR There goes your higher speeds, and your cheaper rates, but you won't realize your mistake for a decade, but by then it will be too late. Thanks useful idiots.

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    • icon
      ken (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 9:17pm

      Re:

      This one needs to go on the most insightful comment of the week.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 9:21pm

      Re:

      You want to have true Net Neutrality? You want faster speeds, at lower costs? Competition is your answer, not socializing yet another industry.

      You think Title II is socializing the internet and you want us to believe you're an econ professor?

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      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 3 Mar 2015 @ 5:00am

        Re: Re:

        He's an Anarcho-capitalist Libertarian. They're pretentious and like to call themselves economists because they subscribe to the Austrian School of economic thought.

        He hasn't told us how to break out of the monopoly and he's not going to because the last thing he wants is a free market. I have these conversations with them all the time and they always dry up when I ask how to break up a monopoly without government intervention. It's an intellectual dead end.

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        • icon
          JP Jones (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 2:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Don't you dare ask anyone from the Austrian School to use real-world examples. It all works in theory, well, the theory that assumes a bunch of things that haven't actually every been observed in a real economy. But hey, the math works out...oh, wait, we don't use math in our economics! How silly, why use math when we can use imaginary models created in our own minds?

          All joking aside, he may very well be an economics professor. One of the big economic controversies in the last ten years is that most economics courses are based entirely on mathematical models and free-market theory, especially in the "freshwater" schools. Mainstream economics is exactly what the U.S. government based their financial deregulation in the 80s and 90s on, and directly led to the 2008 bubble (which, amusingly, don't exist in Austrian or mainstream economic theories). I wouldn't be surprised for an economics professor to have no idea how economics work in actual economies.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2015 @ 5:09am

      Re:

      The Bolsheviks begged for socialism.
      The Mao communists begged for communism

      You are claiming a majority of the people in those countries at the time begged for these things?

      I doubt it. More like the common folk wanted the bullshit to stop rather than be replaced with more bullshit.

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  • icon
    Alien Rebel (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 8:47pm

    Stay where you are, make yourself comfortable. Medical help is on the way.

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    • icon
      Alien Rebel (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 2:40am

      Re:

      I'm of course addressing EconProf, who's argumentation format is typical of cult members and libertarians alike (OK, so that's redundant.) Simply lay on the baloney so fast and so thick that no one's going to bother picking the train wreck apart in order to respond in detail. Maoist communists, Title II proponents, and populists everywhere are all the same. Yep, sure. Poverty's solved. Check. Regulation always corrupts. Okeedokee. Like the laws of physics are to physicists. Geez, we're stoned now.

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      • identicon
        Agonistes, 3 Mar 2015 @ 3:31am

        Re: Re:

        Both you and EconProf want the same results - more freedom for all users to flourish and to not allow bad practices that are detrimental to innovation to calcify and stagnate the Internet, as do I. But IMO the views expressed here seem curiously oblivious to the fact that the problems we seek to overcome with Net Neutrality were laid by the same agents that many are pleading to for help, this seems to be extremely shortsighted and a path doomed to repeat circumstances we seek to stop right now. Deregulation on a wide scale, not more layers of regulation that regulate earlier regulations are the only cure. Anything less is like playing chess using checkers' tactics. A monopoly on the Internet by providers sucks, a monopoly on the Internet by providers reinforced by the state...itself a monopoly of violence...is much worse.

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        • identicon
          Pragmatic, 3 Mar 2015 @ 5:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The only thing deregulation has ever done is allow bad actors to get away with bad behavior.

          Your beliefs are based on the premise that enterprise is inherently good. It's not. It's inherently about making money. Whether it does good or not is based on who is running it and what choices they make.

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          • identicon
            Agonistes, 3 Mar 2015 @ 6:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It would allow an enterprise's patrons and only it's patrons to dictate what is allowed to perpetuate, be that a company's practices or the company itself, and not an entity who has no skin in the game or allow another 3rd party entity that can be co-opted by a misbehaving enterprise to restrict patrons' power to withdraw support in favor of a competing enterprise because of that 3rd party's power in a sphere of influence that should not be a factor in the relationship. Any bad behavior that continues in spite of consumers' dissatisfaction only can continue because of more regulation by 3rd parties. An enterprise cannot grow to become so dominant while disregarding patron's wishes like the telcos have without regulations like Net Neutrality in place. It only seems to be the savior to limit the previous regulations but over time it will just become a maze that companies with money and lawyers up the yinyang will learn to navigate with ease while the rest of us will be lost and powerless...A-Frickin'-Gin ad infinitum.

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            • identicon
              Pragmatic, 3 Mar 2015 @ 6:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "This thing or nothing" is not a choice. In a rigged market, consumers tend to take what they can get.

              Do you really want us to wait until the majority of customers end their service agreements with the monopolists?

              THIS is why we have monopolies, people! Monopolists and their apologists assume that all is well because their "patrons" actually want it that way, "The market has spoken."

              You have proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that the last thing you want is a free market. You want a monopoly, locked down and ring-fenced and if we complain, it's the government's fault for allowing it. Sheesh! And you wonder why I'm not a Libertarian? That's the best they have to offer.

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              • icon
                EconProf (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 7:15am

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

                I see Intellectual dishonesty from those who are attempting to debate me. I see no definitions of terminology which they are twisting to mean their opposites and hoping we will not notice i.e., monopoly and freedom, which according to them freedom = monopoly.

                Anyone attempting to make the flatly false claim that 'force is freedom' and 'freedom is force' is certainly pragmatic, indeed so pragmatic that justifying the use of force to steal your wallet is just a dark alley away if they can get away with it.


                In short, you disgust me. You're either a useful idiot thinking to confuse issues, or a government agent trying to drum up support for more NSA survellience and the only true monopoly: Government, since quite obviously if I am legally allowed by my own laws to initiate violence to force you to be my 'customer' then I will never go out of business.

                For those who are less obvious hacks, and are genuinly curious about what will happen next:

                http://hyperborean.liberty.me/2015/02/17/why-in-the-midst-of-success-ive-decided-to-leave-the-u s/

                The proof is in the pudding, with no insider connections closing up shop. Competition is now ending, meaning incentives to increase quality and lower prices are ending as well.

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                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 7:31am

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

                  Competition is now ending, meaning incentives to increase quality and lower prices are ending as well.

                  Well, I think that says all we need to know about your position. Anybody who claims that the market we're seeing now is full of competition and incentives to increase quality and lower prices clearly has an ulterior agenda. That position is so far divorced from reality that it's not credible that it could be an honest mistake.

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                  • icon
                    Alien Rebel (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 10:19am

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

                    We need a 4th comment rating button; "delusional." I'd really look forward to Sundays and finding out who's the winner of the week.

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                • icon
                  John Fenderson (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 10:43am

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

                  That's an interesting essay. While I disagree with your reasoning, and I disagree with your decision to run away rather than actually fight improve the nation according to what you think would improve things, I wish you well.

                  For the record, I don't agree that your vision of how things should work would be an improvement at all, but I do think that it's everyone's responsibility to agitate in accordance with what they believe is right.

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                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 11:11am

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

                  "So, a [rural ISP] I and my friends built from scratch, that doesn’t receive public subsidies or use public rights of way, will become public property."

                  I guess that is what some people actually think this reclassification means. Unless you actually received notification that you don't own your business anymore. Did you?

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                • icon
                  Alien Rebel (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 11:52am

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

                  Debate? No, debate's not possible, not when there's so little common ground in our understanding of history, sociology, and economics.

                  We could start with a little history, maybe. Look at how the free ungoverned new world residents were suddenly not-free, when Christopher Columbus' heavily armed free enterprise practitioners came ashore. So what is meant by "freedom," and for whom? We could examine the nightmare socialist nations of Scandinavia and compare standards of living there with Somalia's, where freedom reigns. We could try to unpack your "free market in India has solved poverty" claim, by working our way through several centuries of history related to that populist Ghandi (Boooo!) who helped free India from the oppressive British government (Yaaay!) which led to millions dying as Muslims and Hindus separated into Pakistan and India (Booo!) after which India formed a more stable government (Boooo!) which laid the social and regulatory framework on which business depends today. (Booo! Yaaay! I think, . . . ) Then of course delve into how a century of progress in technology independent of events in India makes your arithmetic of government and free market just a tad simplistic. But I'll leave it at that. You can stay in your corner rocking to your libertarian mantra if that's what makes you happy.

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

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 7:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Deregulation on a wide scale, not more layers of regulation that regulate earlier regulations are the only cure.

          I disagree. I think it's very unlikely complete deregulation of the ISP market would accomplish anything other than allowing the ISPs to abuse their monopoly however they wish. There would not be a rush to spend billions of dollars digging up the ground and laying redundant infrastructure to compete with these incumbents. This business is nearly a natural monopoly, and needs to be treated as such. If we pretend that the market will sort it out if left to its own devices, we'll be in an even worse situation than we find ourselves now.

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

        • identicon
          Zonker, 3 Mar 2015 @ 3:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Deregulation is precisely what eliminated competition in the ISP business. In the USA, there were more than 200 dial-up ISPs ("telecommunications services" under Title II) in 1999-2000. Technology started shifting from phone line service to cable service, which the FCC deregulated by classifying cable internet as an "information service" and forbearing their authority to regulate them as a "telecommunications service" (Ninth Circuit said they are both).

          The dot com bubble burst shortly after and most dial up ISPs went out of business while the cable service providers enjoyed their unregulated monopoly within their respective geographical regions. What used to be dozens of cable companies have since undergone merger after merger with larger and larger rivals until you have little more than five left today (Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Charter, Frontier/Verizon FIOS), soon to be only three (Comcast/Time Warner/Charter, Cox, Frontier FIOS).

          Since competing ISPs cannot use the existing infrastructure enjoyed by the cable companies, they have to build their own at great expense in the hope of making enough to recoup their investment, while the large cable companies enjoy massive profits that only get larger the less they invest in expanding coverage or capacity and higher the rates levied on their captive customer base.

          So we can see plainly that deregulation of the ISP market has not worked and reinforces the existing monopoly. When it was at least somewhat regulated back in the 1990s there was competition and a lot of it. Now there has been practically no regulation and we have fewer competitors in the nation than we have fingers on one hand, and even less than that available within the same local area (0-3 ISPs depending on where you live, most have only 1).

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

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 9:09pm

    On the positive side this gives us more names of people that are clearly committing treason by selling themselves to the highest bidder.

    Might be an American company today, but who is to say they won't sell out to a foreign power tomorrow.

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

  • icon
    nasch (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 9:22pm

    ISPs

    Is there someone else who might be hurt by net neutrality, or do the ISPs have that much clout in Washington?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2015 @ 5:15am

      Re: ISPs

      Thing is, no one will be "hurt" by net neutrality.

      Future eggs counted by those who lack chickens are not "hurt" when those chickens, they do not have, do not lay eggs.

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

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 7:34am

        Re: Re: ISPs

        I'm not sure what to make of your chicken analogy, but in any case the ISPs certainly believe that they will be hurt by Title II, which is enough to explain their actions.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 9:14am

          Re: Re: Re: ISPs

          Which is true, in the same sense as I would be 'hurt' if I had a penchant for robbing people, and someone told me to stop it.

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

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 10:12am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: ISPs

            Which is true, in the same sense as I would be 'hurt' if I had a penchant for robbing people, and someone told me to stop it.

            Exactly right. The robber guild would be equally up in arms about the introduction of anti-robbery regulations.

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

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 4 Mar 2015 @ 6:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ISPs

              'Would'? But they do, just watch the various police groups freak out any time limits are proposed with regards to armed robbery at badge point(otherwise known as asset forfeiture).

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

              • icon
                nasch (profile), 4 Mar 2015 @ 7:32am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ISPs

                But they do, just watch the various police groups freak out any time limits are proposed with regards to armed robbery at badge point(otherwise known as asset forfeiture).

                Excellent point.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2015 @ 4:46am

    Representatives should not file against the FCC if they have received even one cent of ISP funding.

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

  • identicon
    PAUL, 3 Mar 2015 @ 2:50pm

    Really ?

    How can you write anything about what this means when NO ONE HAS SEEN THE RULES?

    Is it good , is it bad, is it in between no one knows because they have not published what is in the "rules"

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2015 @ 9:16pm

    Isn't the House of Representatives supposed to represent the American public? Over a million Americans wrote the FCC in support for Title II classification. Who is the House representing? Throw the bums on the House Judiciary Committee out on the curb!

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

  • icon
    Nop (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 9:25pm

    I'm confused. I thought the entire raison d étre for the FCC was to implement the electronic communications policies of the the government of the day?

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

  • icon
    John Mitchell (profile), 4 Mar 2015 @ 12:36pm

    Republicans want to strengthen antitrust laws? LOL

    If a Republican Congress says it prefers to make antitrust laws the preferred way of dealing with something, what it really means is it doesn't want to deal with something. Ever since Reagan teamed up with the Chicago School Kool-Aid makers, "antitrust law" has been that weird uncle everyone tries to ignore during Thanksgiving dinners - a mere shadow of what it was 50-60 years ago.

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


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