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  • Dec 15th, 2017 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Pai is intentionally impeding an active criminal investigation...

    If it was any other subject, you guys would be going on about uppity state AGs sticking their noses into something that isn't there responsibility.

    No, pretty sure widespread fraud and using people's names without their knowledge and consent in support of positions they don't hold, made via submissions to government agencies would be something most people would support AG's looking in to.

    At this point, there is nothing to suggest it's anything more than a Boaty Mc Boatface style prank. It was done so blatantly and with so little concern for getting caught, that it has to make you wonder.

    'It was so blatant the guilty party couldn't have honestly thought it would work'? Really? That is the best you can come up with?

    I'll grant you that it was pretty blatant once people started looking into it, but if you want to go that route then the fact that the FCC is refusing to address it is pretty damning. 'Yeah we know widespread obvious fraud was committed, but eh, it's not like it's a big deal'.

    Also in that case I certainly hope no-one on the anti-net neutrality side fell for such an obvious 'prank', because boy would they have egg on their face in that case.

    I am not still trying to drag it in, it's the first time I mention it.

    In which case you might want to refresh your memory, because you are either wrong(intentionally or not) in claiming so, or you personally should really be on the other side of this since someone using your name and your account brought it up back in july over the course of multiple comments.

    The FCC isn't any more liable for comments on their website than Techdirt, by local standards.

    Good thing no-one is saying that they should be held liable for the contents of the comments then or even charged with fraud for their submissions.

    The fraud you allude to isn't done by the FCC, but by a third party.

    Correct, which is why TD isn't calling for them to be charged for the fraud, and the AG isn't charging the FCC for fraud but is instead trying to find out who did it, and rightly pointing out that the FCC is stonewalling and refusing to provide any assistance on the matter.

  • Dec 15th, 2017 @ 1:10pm

    If you're only willing to say 'I'm sorry' when there's a penalty for not doing so...

    Assuming you're not being sarcastic, what possible reason could you have for believing the second 'apology' given their history?

    If they truly regretted what they'd said they would have genuinely apologized before the Attorney General started an investigation, that a 'real' apology only came after that point smacks of nothing more than a desperate attempt to avoid being charged.

  • Dec 15th, 2017 @ 1:43am

    Re: Re: Pai is intentionally impeding an active criminal investigation...

    Except that, beyond some arm waving by state AGs, there isn't much going on here.

    Oh absolutely, nothing at all.

    ... So long as you ignore the widespread, fraudulent submission of comments submitted to a government agency for public input using people's names to submit comments without their knowledge or consent, and/or despite the fact that some of the one's who were submitting comments were dead at the time.

    But hey, I'm sure you're right and massive, widespread fraud like that will be brushed aside as a harmless prank.

    Let's also go section 230 on this.

    Let's not.

    I'd like to say that I'm surprised that you are still trying to drag 230 into this, as though it has any relevance or anyone but you is trying to make that connection, but that would be a blatant lie and I think we both know it.

  • Dec 14th, 2017 @ 11:56am


    Wow are you desperate to try and 'win' that one if you're the person I think you are.

    Just to be clear, you wouldn't happen to be the one who just yesterday was arguing that it's 'obvious' that agencies like the FCC weren't constitutional, upon which Mike pointed out that aside from your assertion it appeared that basically no-one in the government since it's inception agreed with your interpretation?

  • Dec 14th, 2017 @ 2:58am

    'Just in case' I'm sure

    It might just be me, but a government putting in place a threat of 20 years in jail for whistleblowers/leakers has me immediately wondering just what they are doing that is so bad and that they are apparently so desperate to hide.

    You don't threaten two decades for minor secrets, for a response like that I can't help but suspect that they are worried some really damning stuff might be made public and they're trying to prevent that from happening by scaring people off.

  • Dec 13th, 2017 @ 11:01am

    Re: Kinda curious as to why...

    Bottom of the page, Contact, Submit a Story. While it may occasionally seem like TD is run by magicians who know and see all, some times things slip through without their notice unless people point it out to them, and/or they're focusing on something else at the time.

  • Dec 12th, 2017 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: 'Free Speech' means you get to speak, it doesn't mean others are required to listen or assist

    NFL players you mean? Last I knew the NFL as a whole was not a government agency, nor are the team owners, so if they really object to the speech that their players are engaged in(protest or otherwise) they would be within their rights(assuming it doesn't clash with contractual obligations the two parties are under) to say 'We object to your speech and do not care to host/employ you while you engage in it. You can protest if you want, but do it on your time, not ours'.

    It would be stupid and counter-productive, but as far as I know they could do it and I would support their right to do so even as I would think doing so was foolish.

  • Dec 12th, 2017 @ 12:34pm

    That's step two, right?

    And the FTC has to worry about everything from computer chips to bleach labeling. Of course, carriers want [telecom issues] to get lost in that morass. This was the strategy all along.

    Nonsense, I'm sure that after the whole mess is dumped in the FTC's lap the very next step will be to provide the agency a significant boost to funding and resources in order to allow them to better handle the increase workload.

    I mean it would be positively crazy to dump a massive mess like that on the agency and expect them to be able to handle their current and new issues with the same resources and manpower. Under such a scenario countless problems would almost certainly slip through the cracks or otherwise not be addressed properly, and I can't think of so much as a single person, group or company that would want that to happen, so I'm sure that additional funding is just right around the corner, if not already in the works.

  • Dec 12th, 2017 @ 12:27pm

    'Free Speech' means you get to speak, it doesn't mean others are required to listen or assist

    Even worse, Techdirt asserts that "platforms" have First Amendment Right to control / remove all speech on their sites, not just their own:

    Correct, you have no 'first amendment right' to use someone else's platform to host your speech regardless of their wishes to the contrary, in roughly the same way that I would not be able to come over to your house and use your lawn to hold a rally or protest and claim that you weren't allowed to kick me off your property as that would violate my first amendment right to speak.

    a de facto censorship regime that to say the least, isn't at all tolerant of my views.

    Well at least you're honest enough to admit to why you hate the whole 'you don't have a right to someone else's platform' thing, even if you're wrong on the censorship angle.

    Or to put it another way.

  • Dec 12th, 2017 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: Hmmmm

    No, only the idiot strawmen(in both senses of the word) people in your head hold to that position.

    If you bothered to stop patting yourself on the back for being The Chosen One long enough to read what people's actual positions are you'd realize that no-one thinks that net neutrality rules are some magical cure-all that will solve everything, and things are a bit more nuanced than you portray them as.

  • Dec 12th, 2017 @ 10:29am

    Re: Is it possible...

    As a rule of thumb I generally assume that someone in a position like that isn't an idiot(there are of course some notable exceptions), and as such yes, I am quite sure that he knows full well what he's doing and now he's just mocking the public because he can.

  • Dec 11th, 2017 @ 9:10pm


    Roughly the same as gravity causing things to fall, the sun coming up, water still being wet tomorrow, the Pope waking up catholic...

  • Dec 11th, 2017 @ 8:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's a good post, but...

    Telling an ISP that they cannot offer a music service internally on their own network that zero rates discourages them from trying. Innovative products that could be offered by the ISP are lost.

    So, your example is one in which they can't give their own service an unfair advantage by allowing it to bypass the 'problem' they created? Yes, how terrible that such 'innovation' should be prohibited...

    They are long term goals because nobody is working on them. When you spend all your time fighting whatever current distraction is in front of you, you don't have energy left to fight the bigger fight.

    When a doctor is dealing with a stab wound would you complain that they're wasting all their time staunching the bleeding when the real concern is the cancer that will kill the patient a few years down the line? It is quite possible to protest killing basic rules which are meant to deal with some of the more blatant problems now, while also bringing attention to the underlying problem that necessitated the patch at the same time.

    You know, like TD's been doing basically the entire time in noting that network neutrality rules are meant to address the symptoms of the problem(abuse of monopoly positions) while the core cause(monopolies) are dealt with in the longer-term.

    With increased competition, the NN fight would be less important. You guys go on and on about how Google is dropping fiber because it's hard to install (legal issues). Well, fix that, and Google would probably roll out in every major city in short order. Other companies would likely do the same, if your assertions about local blocking is true.

    Why yes, if you do something about the current companies buying laws to keep out the competition and do something about the paid stooges they've got trying to convince people that you don't really need more options, and hey, they're just trying to protect the taxpayers from themselves in stopping local options from being explored, it's entirely possible that more companies would be willing to step in.

    Again though, that has squat to do with the current rules, which are intended to keep the current troublemakers from going overboard while the core issue of competition is addressed.

    Moreover, and this is key: What excesses were happening that couldn't be handled by the FTC? What excesses were happening that couldn't be fixed with congress passing laws to address them?

    What excesses indeed?

    The FTC that noted back in april that if the job is dumped in their laps don't hold your breath because they lack the resources to handle things and can only really hand out fines post-abuse?

    The congress who is so awash in bribes/'donations' from the ISP's in question that they were caught using talking points straight from a major telecom lobbying group? Where one of the ISP's pet congresscritters tried to kill the Title II reclassification a few years back by introducing a laughably, loophole ridden bill to 'protect the open internet', something that is likely on the burner when the next stage of this particular play comes?

    A well written bill by congress would be a better option, but between rules that are generally good(even if they don't go far enough in some place) and a law that might as well be if not is written by the ISP's I know which one I'd prefer.

  • Dec 11th, 2017 @ 5:01pm

    Re: It's a good post, but...

    So is the problem blocking, or is the real probably a lack of choice?

    Both. The former is the immediate problem, the latter means you can't effectively do anything about it by voting with your wallet, because there is no other alternative(either literally or in effectively).

    NN in it's own way cements in that lack of choice. It makes it so that the way ISPs can obtain maximum profits isn't to offer addtional or over the top services, but instead to bribe officials and launch lawsuits to keep others out of there territories, where they can charge monopoly rents for internet service.

    Which has absolutely squat to do with network neutrality rules. Bribing/buying politicians to keep out competition has nothing to do with network neutrality, enabling or preventing it, what it is aimed at is keeping the ISP's from pulling blatant shenanigans against their customers and online services that they might want to shake down for some extra cash.

    So the real problem is a lack of last mile competition. Limiting what the current ISPs can do (including their own music, video, and other services) in the name of a free market is to entirely miss the real problem and actually discourages innovation.

    [Citation Needed]. 'Don't screw over your customers' only hampers 'innovation' that should be limited, namely coming up with new and innovative ways to squeeze out another buck for less service by using their position to present a 'get service from us on our terms or don't get it, period' 'deal'.

    Imagine if you put all of this effort into pushing to have one touch make ready mandated nationwide. Imagine if local governments were mandated to install fiber in every home, and offer shared switch locations for all ISPs to operate from, giving those consumers a near endless choice of services?

    Imagine if you spent even half of the time and energy you currently allocate to disagreeing with everything TD posts into fixing the problems you seem to think they are ignoring because they are writing about what's going on now, the immediate patches that are planned for removal rather than the long-term fixes to the underlying problem.

    Those sorts of changes would help the underlying problem of no real competition, but they are long-term goals that aren't going to happen soon. In the short-term meanwhile the goal is to keep the current players in check with simple rules to curb some of the more blatant excesses.

    Innovation is never found in restrictive regulations.

    As noted above the 'innovations' these (not so) 'restrictive regulations' were designed to keep in check were ones that deserved to be stifled.

  • Dec 11th, 2017 @ 11:23am

    Who could possibly have seen THAT coming?

    32 of which are wordless, 1-star reviews.

    Beale, meet Streisand. Streisand, Beale.

  • Dec 11th, 2017 @ 11:13am


    Funny how 'harmonizing the law' only ever seems to work in one direction.

    'That other country has more restrictive copyright laws, we need to change our laws to match to provide for equal treatment.'

    'We can't change our laws to make them less restrictive, harmonization like that would be far too disruptive!'

  • Dec 11th, 2017 @ 11:06am

    They provided the gun, but you were the one to shoot your own foot with it

    Beale claimed this single review, hosted by Google, had irrevocably damaged his livelihood.

    No, pretty sure you did that all on your own, the review just provided you an opportunity to do so, and you took it and ran.

    A single, wordless one-star review isn't likely to garner much attention or cause people to pay much attention to it.

    A psychiatrist flipping their lid over said review enough to go legal on the other hand is the sort of thing people pay attention to, as it demonstrates the kind of person they might have been considering going to to help with their issues, and someone that prone to rash and excessive actions is probably not someone capable of giving good advice to others on how to deal with their own problems.

  • Dec 11th, 2017 @ 10:39am

    Not hardly

    The FBI is willing to trade away citizens' personal security for easier access -- something only the FBI benefits from.

    Nonsense, far more than the FBI benefits from crippled encryption, think of all those hackers, identity thieves, stalkers, terrorists and various other criminals who would massively benefit from such an action.

    Take them into account and the FBI is actually only a small slice of the total that would benefit from crippled security measures.

  • Dec 11th, 2017 @ 10:39am

    "I mean it this time, you'd better respect my authority(pretty please?)!"

    This ruling arrives eight months after the NYPD made a mockery of an earlier court order on records disclosure, turning over nothing more than a few pieces of paper and short, blurry cell phone recording of Black Lives Matter protesters.

    Hmm, wonder what the average new yorker would face if they flipped the bird to a judge for eight months? Pretty sure it would be just a wee bit more than 'Now you better follow orders this time or I'll be really angry and will shake my fingers at you even more!'

    Either call them on their actions and start handing out real punishments for non-compliance or get the hell out of the courtroom and let someone with a spine take the case.

  • Dec 9th, 2017 @ 12:45pm


    The magic code strikes again!

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