Blackburn Bill Attempts To Gut New Net Neutrality Rules. You Know, For Freedom.

from the freedom-lovers-incorporated dept

During the last election cycle, Representative Marsha Blackburn received $15,000 from a Verizon PAC, $25,000 from an AT&T PAC, $20,000 from a Comcast PAC, and $20,000 from the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Surely that funding is only coincidentally related to Blackburn's recent decision to rush to the defense of awful state protectionist law written by the likes of AT&T and Comcast, preventing towns and cities from doing absolutely anything about their local lack of broadband competition.

That money surely is also only tangentially related to the fact that Blackburn has also just introduced the "Internet Freedom Act" (pdf), aimed at gutting the FCC's recently unveiled Title II-based net neutrality rules and prohibiting the agency from trying to make new ones. Whereas most of us thought net neutrality is about protecting consumers and smaller competitors from the incumbent ISP stranglehold over the last mile, Blackburn's website informs readers that net neutrality rules harm innovators, jobs, and err -- freedom:
"Once the federal government establishes a foothold into managing how Internet service providers run their networks they will essentially be deciding which content goes first, second, third, or not at all," Blackburn said in an announcement yesterday. "My legislation will put the brakes on this FCC overreach and protect our innovators from these job-killing regulations."
And here I was thinking that the FCC was responding to unprecedented public support for some of the rules aimed at keeping AT&T, Comcast and Verizon on their best behavior. Blackburn makes sure to lean heavily on that thoroughly discredited report by the Progressive Policy Institute claiming consumers will all suffer from "billions" in new taxes, and again tosses out the well-worn trope about how Title II is bad because it originated in the 1930s (because old laws are always bad, get it?).

Again though, the fact that Blackburn has received $66,750 from AT&T, $59,650 from Verizon, $56,000 from the NCTA, and $36,000 from Comcast over the last decade surely has nothing to do with her suddenly scurrying on multiple fronts to protect those companies' stranglehold over the U.S. broadband market. For freedom.

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  • icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 9 Mar 2015 @ 1:40pm

    Every time I see Marsha Blackburn's name, it's bad news. She is completely bought by big business (esp. the RIAA).

    But she's good with the buzzwords - I guess just throwing "job-killing" into everything will get some people on your side.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2015 @ 1:52pm

      Re:

      Marsha Blackburn : "job-killing" her way through the internet?

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 9 Mar 2015 @ 8:51pm

      Re:

      "Job-killing" seems to be the new "socialism". It's thrown out (and probably swallowed) without regard for whether it has any relationship to the subject at hand.

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

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 10 Mar 2015 @ 8:08am

        Re: Re:

        Whenever I see "job-killing", I read it as "hurts the profits of the powerful". It's the natural side effect to that phase we went through where the very wealthy were constantly referred to as "job creators".

        Clearly "job" means "profits" in their lingo.

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

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 10 Mar 2015 @ 12:26pm

          "Job-killing" = "Profit reducing"

          I was thinking the same thing. I was wondering if the coming robot apocalypse (as per CGP Grey's explanation) is going to be given the same Job Killing hysteria treatment, given it will actually about the end of countless jobs, but in the name of better profits.

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

    • identicon
      fuckin hate her, 10 Mar 2015 @ 8:49pm

      Re:

      ddassfdfads

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

  • icon
    themonkeyking145 (profile), 9 Mar 2015 @ 1:48pm

    According to Barney Stinson...

    ...New is better. Always.

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

  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 9 Mar 2015 @ 1:54pm

    It's all for a good cause

    I'm sure that Blackburn just uses those bribes (er, donations) to feed and house the homeless - the homeless AT&T and other poor telecom/cable execs...

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

  • icon
    kiwirob (profile), 9 Mar 2015 @ 2:00pm

    What amazes me is how cheap some of these politicians are to buy.

    When multi-billion dollar companies can buy legislation for a a few $10,000 why wouldn't they.

    It would be foolish of them not too!

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

    • icon
      Designerfx (profile), 9 Mar 2015 @ 2:08pm

      Re:

      I could make a sexually-focused epithet but it's just as entertaining to know that any political figure is basically willing to show that they don't even deserve the ground they stand on, as long as you shower them with money.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 9 Mar 2015 @ 2:58pm

      Re:

      I couldn't find the quote, so I can't attribute it, but here's my paraphrase: the real problem with corruption in the US isn't that politicians can be bought so much as the price tag is so small.

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

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Mar 2015 @ 3:33pm

        Bribery, like crypanalysis, should be expensive.

        When an entity (a nation or corporation, say) has to resort to bribery, it should be costly enough that it has to triage its resources to a small number of targets, culling for those who are going to yield the highest benefit to cost.

        I wonder if you could apply this to pretty much all less-than-honorable methods of business and statecraft, e.g. assassination, torture, lying to the public and so on.

        I think the trick would be finding a way to make these methods intrinsically costly, e.g. not put a high penalty on bribes (or high tax on them, if we legalized them), but some logistical element is particularly dear.

        In those days that we hired shades-wearing hit-men with breakdown rifles and scopes big enough to find extrasolar planets, assassinations were so dear. Something to ponder.

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

      • identicon
        Ruben, 10 Mar 2015 @ 8:31am

        Re: Re:

        I want either less corruption or more opportunity to participate in it.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2015 @ 9:07am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Opportunity without means (ie. wealth and/or power) is useless. We all have plenty of opportunity to engage in corruption but only select few have the means to benefit from it to the detriment of those without said means. Therein lies the problem with it.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2015 @ 3:05pm

      Re:

      The small amounts of money also come with post-dated passes for access to the executive revolving door.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 9 Mar 2015 @ 3:51pm

        Re: Re:

        Quite, the payments they get now to stab their constituents in the back may be rather small, but given they often come packaged with lucrative 'retirement offers', the ultimate size of the 'donations' they receive can be rather high.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2015 @ 4:08am

      Re:

      Good point, at these prices we should crowdfund a couple of politicians of our own to oppose these corp-sponsored idiots.

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

  • icon
    connermac725 (profile), 9 Mar 2015 @ 2:00pm

    What state is she from

    state a delusion

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2015 @ 2:27pm

    All I can suggest

    is to look up who your HR representative is and see if their name is on this list

    https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1212/cosponsors

    If they are, write them and express your displeasure. And if they're not, write them and express your desire that they vote against H.R.1212.

    You may not be contributing $$$ towards their election campaign funds, but you are a vote and if they see enough voters reacting to these blatant attempts to screw us over, they will vote in the manner that lets them keep their jobs.

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

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

    Somewhat shockingly none of the comments here http://blackburn.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=397695 are in favor.

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

  • icon
    Brian (profile), 9 Mar 2015 @ 2:35pm

    At least she left loop holes for national security and the police...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2015 @ 2:46pm

    "Our innovators"
    That's almost as bad as pretending to be a representative of "the people."

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

  • icon
    limbodog (profile), 9 Mar 2015 @ 2:46pm

    Question

    Why do all mentions of bad politicians not include a link to their contact info?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2015 @ 2:51pm

    Marsha Blackburn's largest contributors are AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.

    This should mean arrests for perverting the democratic process. But no, this just means a raise in campaign funds.

    Sickening.

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

  • identicon
    Nashville Guy, 9 Mar 2015 @ 6:00pm

    A product of districts

    Representative Blackburn is unfortunately quite unlikely to ever be voted out. I happen to live in the district next to hers - Nashville, Davidson County. She represents primarily Williamson County, which is a short drive away, but it is also a huge suburb with upper-middle class families. It's not the city's uber rich, but guess who is not upper middle class? Most young people. Young people don't want to live in the suburbs. Incumbents are hard to get rid of anyway, but it would take some serious battling to oust her. It goes both ways, though. No Republican even bothers to run in the Nashville district. I bet it's the same over there.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2015 @ 3:15am

    absolutely nothing to do with which companies are paying into her sponsorship then?

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

  • icon
    techflaws (profile), 10 Mar 2015 @ 4:08am

    First freedom fires and now this.

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

  • identicon
    Pragmatic, 10 Mar 2015 @ 6:03am

    Once the corporations establish a foothold into managing how Internet service providers run their networks they will essentially be deciding which content goes first, second, third, or not at all... the FCC will put the brakes on this corporate overreach and protect our innovators from these job-killing regulations.

    FIFY, Ms. Blackburn

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

  • icon
    Ed (profile), 10 Mar 2015 @ 6:09am

    Blackburn has always suckled upon the engorged organ of AT&T et.al. This isn't the first time she's been pimped out by them.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2015 @ 7:56am

    The legislator doesn't know how net neutrality works.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2015 @ 8:02am

    Representative Marsha Blackburn is a criminal. She represents her special interests by-th-bucket (is that copy righted?). What a useless parasite - just go away Marsha.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2015 @ 8:06am

    While i think Blackburn is corrupt. she is right. Net Neutrality is the beginning of US censorship of the internet.

    You sheep really dont see the trees thru the forest do you?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2015 @ 8:16am

      Re:

      You do realize the biggest problem with government regulation of US industry is that that those in government are behest to the corporate powers that pay them, right? It's not a lack of government regulation that's the problem. It's a lack or fair representation in that government regulation that is the problem.

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 10 Mar 2015 @ 8:41am

      Re:

      Net Neutrality is the beginning of US censorship of the internet.

      Citation needed.

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

      • icon
        Gwiz (profile), 10 Mar 2015 @ 9:47am

        Re: Re:

        I think I am beginning to understand where this incorrect notion comes from.

        For most morons out there the only thing they really know about the FCC is that they enforce the rules against swearing on broadcast television and terrestrial radio and they assume that is what the FCC will do concerning the internet.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2015 @ 9:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don't really think so. The same people fighting Net Neutrality (ie. the right-wing conservatives) are the same people that scream obscenity every time a boobie pops up on broadcast TV or they hear a colorful metaphor come over the airwaves and go running to the FCC to "fix" the situation. They like THAT part of the FCC. They just don't want it serving it's actual purpose and messing with their monopolistic racket.

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

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 10 Mar 2015 @ 10:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The same people fighting Net Neutrality...

            I think maybe who Gwiz is talking about are the relatively uninformed members of the public, not the powerful vested interests. And he may have put his finger on it.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2015 @ 11:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              But those uninformed and manipulated followers of the right-wing agenda are the ones that do most of the crying to the FCC about obscenity because it offends their moral biases. They love FCC censorship as long as it supports their world view. They believe the 1st amendment should only protect good Christian speech.

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

              • icon
                Gwiz (profile), 10 Mar 2015 @ 12:02pm

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

                But those uninformed and manipulated followers of the right-wing agenda are the ones that do most of the crying to the FCC about obscenity because it offends their moral biases.


                That may be true. But, I have often found that those who push their moral agendas on others are usually hypocrites who don't live up to what they are advocating.

                They may yell pretty loud about some dirty words on TV, but interfering with their porn access is a different matter all together.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2015 @ 12:18pm

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

                  Too bad they don't have Ted Stevens anymore as an advocate. It was a lot funnier back then.

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

          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 11 Mar 2015 @ 8:12am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I think there might be something to what Gwiz says. That the people who are currently trying to make everybody fear internet censorship and the same people who cry out for television censorship seems to reinforce the point to me: the ability of the FCC to dictate acceptable content over the airwaves seems to be, in these people's minds, the main purpose for the FCC's existence. It seems natural that this would be the thing they think of when it comes to the internet as well. Of course, they're ignoring the fact that the reason the FCC gets to dictate broadcast standards is that the FCC is the entity that issues broadcast licenses, and standards are a part of the licensing agreement.

            Nobody is talking about anything like "internet licenses".

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

  • identicon
    SilverBlade, 10 Mar 2015 @ 9:48am

    It stuns me how cheap these politicians are to buy.

    10K? 20K? Geez. Talk about selling yourself short.

    The politicians have the power here. Why don't they ask for millions? Make it incredibly costly on the companies bribing to the point that they may not think it's worth it.

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 10 Mar 2015 @ 10:41am

      Re:

      "Why don't they ask for millions? Make it incredibly costly on the companies bribing to the point that they may not think it's worth it."

      That's why. Plus supply and demand. If there's some other legislator willing to sell out for $10K, Blackburn is not going to be able to charge $10M.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2015 @ 10:42am

    for the blind....

    Taken from FCC website.

    2. No Blocking: That no legal content may be blocked


    What you sheep are missing here is the interpretation of "Legal Content".

    The Govt has shown over and over again to interpret laws/rules/regulations how they see fit regardless of the plain English or true intent of what the law/rule/reg was trying to enforce.

    What is going to happen is the enforcement of "legal content" will be left to corporate entities responsible for the last mile. This means blocking of any website considered potentially "illegal" but not proven illegal in a court of law.

    That website you purchased T-shirts at a discount? Well its blocked now because they didn't prove to Comcast that all of their licensing agreements include that IP address you are ordering from. Oh but allow us to route you to is Nike.com.

    Dont you people see the implications?

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

    • identicon
      outside the box, 10 Mar 2015 @ 7:11pm

      Re:

      Currently, due to this ruling not taking effect right away. Comcast would go to a business ex. NIKE and say we noticed your website is visited 1.3 million times a day from our 100 million + customers, and this could be a issue during peak time usage bogging our network.. So we are kindly asking for $xxxx.. I hope this won't be a problem I would hate for something to cause your site not to load and our customer base be forced to shop elsewhere... Corporations have been pushing and bullying not only their workers with lower wages and benefits but other companies who make revenue through the internet.

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

  • icon
    Scott (profile), 10 Mar 2015 @ 11:31am

    Her District

    I would love to see a study of broadband penetration in TN's 7th District (that she represents). I'm willing to bet its one of the least served and most expensive in the country. Go Marsha! Taking voting against whats best for your district to new heights.

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

  • identicon
    Reality bites, 11 Mar 2015 @ 10:06am

    Blackburn is a cheap crack whore.

    If her knee pads hold out she could be personally servicing the koch's soon. She will need new magnifying glasses to find it though.

    What a pity treason isn't a crime anymore where the ruling class are concerned.

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


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