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Maine Passes a Net Neutrality Resolution 101

Posted by kdawson
from the nice-gesture-anyway dept.
Spamicles writes "Maine has become the first state in the US to pass legislation on net neutrality. The resolution, LD 1675, recognizes the importance of 'full, fair and non-discriminatory access to the Internet' and instructs the Public Advocate to study what can be done to protect the rights of Maine Internet users. A 2005 decision by the Federal Communications Commission put in jeopardy net neutrality principles that had been in place since the inception of the Internet." Maine's resolution may be more symbolic than effective. This isn't the first time Maine has been out in front of other states on a controversial issue.
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Maine Passes a Net Neutrality Resolution

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  • by joeldg (518249) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @11:53PM (#19537847) Homepage
    and you thought Maine was only for lobsters!
    of course Maine in front of the pack, all that seafood is good for the brain..
    (of course the butter and chowders do slow you down a bit in other areas).

    Congrats Maine, we (the net) salute you!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by morari (1080535)
      I believe they prefer "chowda" throughout New England...
    • It's a pity that the economy in Maine is so messed up, because they do seem to have a state government with an unusual amount of backbone. I moved south a few years ago, and while I partially regret it and would love to move back, the numbers are just dismal.

      As a state is has one of the highest tax burdens (as percent of income). IIRC it's up close to 15% going to the state, and second only to Vermont. (Although looking at newer stats they may have cut it down some.) And that's on top of Federal taxes. That
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by spikedvodka (188722)
        Ayuah, Maine sure is great, and honestly, This is one of those times that I'm proud to be from Maine. Even if I only make less than $30k a year. My wife, son, and I can still live comfortably on that and her teaching salary.

        And I sure have to agree with you, as a rule Maine's congress-critters have a backbone. I might not agree with all that they do, but that's life. As for the tax rate, they're trying to lower it by re-organizing schools, as well as other things. we'll see how that goes.
        • With all the talk here on /. about writing Congress about Net Neutrality, why aren't we writing our STATES about it, asking them to legislate in our favor? Then write your Fed Congressman and tell him that the Fed Congress should stay out of it? Yeah, FTC, yeah FCC, yeah Interstate Commerce. Whatever. I got it. But just because they have the *right* to intervene doesn't mean they *should*. They could easily legislate that the states should handle it as they choose and be done with it.

          If enough states have
          • by Hubbell (850646)
            The tubes belong to the companies, they can do with them as they please as far as I'm concerned. If I don't like the service, I can switch to another provider.
        • by oudzeeman (684485)
          I live in Maine and make about 75k, so I am pretty lucky. However, my wife has had a hard time finding a job that pays well. She has a BS in a science dicipline and is getting a masters degree in business and has settled for a 23k/yr job while she finishins her degree part time. Who knows what her employment situtation will be when she finishes.

          with our income, which is above average for our area, we still don't have a lot of extra money. Our house was about 190k but it needs work (just finished a 6-7k
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      As a Mainer I must remind you of our motto, Dirigo, meaning 'I lead'.

      And hopefully our folksy saying "As goes Maine, so goes the nation" will hold fruit with this issue, ayuh.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dragonslicer (991472)
      Amusingly enough, the Google ads for the article are for a couple sites that sell lobsters.

      Stories like this actually make me proud of my home state. Maine has had a good streak of independence for quite a few years now. It's nice seeing independent, reasonable thought maintaining its presence.
      • Say what?! Maine passes a socialist nanny-state law to tell private industry how and to whom they will sell their services and you praise it for it's "streak of independence"?

        Perhaps it's time for Maine to change its anthem to "Someone to Watch Over Me".

    • by khaustic (802955)
      Go us! Rock the fuck on, my state!

      This means a lot to the hundred-or-so of us Maine residents who understand that the internet isn't just the blue "e" on their Windows (ME, of course) desktops.
    • Good work Maine, it will be interesting to see how, if and when other States follow. Mark Bowness
      • You know, Mark, you can append your name in a signature, and you can also set your homepage too. These are automatically applied to every post.

        Just look under Preferences.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by walt-sjc (145127)
      Keep in mind that Maine has NO next generation broadband. No FIOS. And it won't get it, EVER. Verizon is selling off it's Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine lines to Fairpoint, whose motto is "128K DSL is the wave of the future." The closest FTTP type deployment in Maine is in Lewiston / Auburn via Oxford Networks [oxfordnetworks.com], who's idea is to use fiber to deploy 2M MAX service (which is slower than available cable / DSL). Business users only have a 1M option. The brilliant Oxford Networks execs are running around wonde
      • by naChoZ (61273)

        Keep in mind that Maine has NO next generation broadband. No FIOS. And it won't get it, EVER. Verizon is selling off it's Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine lines to Fairpoint, whose motto is "128K DSL is the wave of the future." The closest FTTP type deployment in Maine is in Lewiston / Auburn via Oxford Networks [oxfordnetworks.com], who's idea is to use fiber to deploy 2M MAX service (which is slower than available cable / DSL). Business users only have a 1M option. The brilliant Oxford Networks execs are running around wondering why nobody is buying...

        So yeah. Go Maine. Unfortunately it doesn't mean jack shit because the available broadband is pathetic.

        Wrong. Verizon is selling their residential telephone service to Fairpoint, that's it.

        Part of the reason is there is so much competition now, Verizon is ready to get out of that line of business in such . Not just mobile phone companies, from big places like Time Warner Cable and small places like GWI and their VOIP offerings. And if you don't like Fairpoint's DSL offering, buy it from someone else. IIRC, GWI's DSL service was $35 for 3/768 and their coverage area is getting quite extensive.

        • by walt-sjc (145127)
          Bullshit. Verizon is not just selling residential lines, they are selling the entire wireline business. Read the press release. [fairpoint.com] Yes, part of NH has FIOS (not sure what the hell that has to do with Maine, but whatever...) and there have been questions but no answers as to what will happen to NH FIOS customers...

          Maine does have a pretty good fiber backbone, but the last mile is the issue. Please show us the press release or any other info for Standish or any other FTTP effort.
          • by naChoZ (61273)

            Well, as entertaining as it is to read battle-of-the-press-release-links threads, it isn't really necessary is it. There is already FIOS in the areas covered by the press release you posted. I don't need a press release to conclude the obvious.

            And you make it seem as if Verizon is pulling out of Maine entirely. Wrong. From the press release you posted:

            The transaction does not include the services, offerings or assets of Verizon Wireless, Verizon Business (former MCI), Federal Network Systems LLC,

            • by naChoZ (61273)
              Now that I've bothered to look, FIOS is *already* available in Kittery. Oh wait, now you'll show me press release, they seceded from Maine. ;)
      • Fairpoint, whose motto is "128K DSL is the wave of the future."

        What do you base that on? At a talk I went to [bfccomputing.com] FairPoint was pushing their 6+Mbps DSL infrastructure.

        Though I have to admit I'd be happy to pay for 128K DSL over my 26.4K modem, which is all Verizon is ever going to provide in the current regulatory environment.

    • And so it has begun... The regulation of the internet, this doesn't bode well!
  • Did you comment? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcrbids (148650) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @11:57PM (#19537875) Journal
    Your voice means NOTHING if you don't submit it via the proper channels. If you care about your politicians, then VOTE. If you care about FCC decisions, then COMMENT. It's your civic duty. When people argue politics with me, my first question is: "In the last election, did you vote?". If the answer is no, then I refuse to discuss politics, after telling them "I don't care what you think, your opinion doesn't matter!".

    I commented to the FCC, and I sincerely hope you did, too. Here's my comment to the FCC, first posted to slashdot here [slashdot.org]. Here's what I wrote:



    Airwaves belong to everyone. Although transmission is regulated,
    reception is open and unrestricted. And the only purpose of the
    regulation is to ensure that the openness of the medium is preserved
    and the utility of the radio space is not compromised.

    This is as it should be. Everybody benefits when the utility of a
    common resource is preserved. Otherwise, the phenomenon of the
    "Tragedy of the Commons" rears its ugly head. Here, overly agressive
    private consumption of a public resource causes a compromise of the
    utility of the common resource, to the detriment of all, including
    the private individuals hogging the resource!

    The Internet is, by definition, a shared resource. It's a peering
    agreement based on communications protocols which enable all of its
    parts to cooperate together, seamlessly, for the public benefit. Any
    part can access any other part as though all parts were local. It's
    the first, truly open, global communications system whose immense
    potential for benefiting humankind has barely begun.

    It is now up to you, here, to declare for our progeny, that this
    shared, common resource shall remain open and free for the benefit of
    all, to ensure its use, utility, and power so that everybody can benefit.

    Balkanizing this public medium with an "unequal" internet, where the
    common carriers of the traffic are free to degrade access to portions
    of the network not in their personal interest, serves only to pillage
    the utility of the common good. It provides enhanced short-term
    profits for the pillager, but degrades the overall utility of the
    network.

    Please, please please, follow the forefathers before you who have
    declared that this land be preserved for the common good, and those
    who declared that the roads be preserved for the common good, and
    those who have declared that the nation's power grid and telephone
    grid be regulated to preserve their utility for the common good.

    The utility of the Internet should be preserved. Please, please, keep it neutral.
    • > When people argue politics with me, my first question is:
      > "In the last election, did you vote?". If the answer is no,
      > then I refuse to discuss politics, after telling them
      > "I don't care what you think, your opinion doesn't matter!".
      >
      You sound like just the kind of guy everyone would love to have discussions with! The life of the party, Slashdot-style! Rock on!
      • by aldo.gs (985038)

        You sound like just the kind of guy everyone would love to have discussions with! The life of the party, Slashdot-style! Rock on!

        You don't get it, do you? Your voice means NOTHING if you don't submit it via the proper channels. No, I don't know what the proper channels are on this one either.

        Seriously, though, the parent does sound a little bit... intolerant. Not every abstentionist (or whatever those are called) is an ignorant moron. Some have very interesting ideas. But whatever suits him/her.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by FlynnMP3 (33498)
          Actually, your voice does matter even if you don't use the right channels.

          Public opinion does matter, just not as much. Especially in the context you and the GP seem to be soapboxing on. Criminal activity, and thus opinion in some cases, does matter. That particular bent can effect change by getting somebody else do to the political work for you. Usually to the criminal's derision. As long as we are talking about the law, let's talk about those persons that are above it. Their opinion matters very muc
          • by radl33t (900691)
            Who wants to secede?

            Lets do it!

            I hope your from Mpls, MN or we might have a hard time defending our territory. uuhh wait a minute, have you already been detained (secretly and indefinitely)?? I may have to reevaluate my position if it poses such an imminent danger to my livelihood. Are you a government agent?? I think despite widespread support, it will be pretty difficult to grow a revolution under our political climate.
          • by aldo.gs (985038)
            What the hell? Did you even read my comment? I was making fun of the guy!
            But hey, whatever man. I bet you didn't even heard a passing sound above your head or something.
    • The Internet is, by definition, a shared resource. It's a peering
      agreement based on communications protocols which enable all of its
      parts to cooperate together, seamlessly, for the public benefit.

      That's not quite true. The parts don't cooperate together for public benefit, they cooperate for the benefit of the owners of the parts (which, are mostly privately owned). The parts cooperate because, well, it is profitable for them to do so. For example, if my ISP suddenly decides to sever all links to the rest o

    • by Greg_D (138979) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @04:33AM (#19539107)
      It doesn't matter whether someone didn't vote last time. What matters is that they still have the right to vote NEXT time, and by ignoring them politically, you're isolating your voice as well as the potential for their own unique perspective to be added to the mix. If everyone you spoke to about matters told you to fuck off, sooner or later you'd take the hint.

      Well, unless you're a stalker or a husband. That's what we have the 2nd amendment and rolling pins for.
    • by k1e0x (1040314)

      When people argue politics with me, my first question is: "In the last election, did you vote?". If the answer is no, then I refuse to discuss politics, after telling them "I don't care what you think, your opinion doesn't matter!".

      Your saying.. "I can use force on you not based on if its right or wrong but based on if you voted." I don't stand on one leg when I vote.. does that matter to you?

      Government is legal fiction, it is not moral, or right, or just.. its just men using force on other men. Every single year if I could, I would vote to disband the federal government entirely. I can not and probably never will win, but I continue to try.. really though..? does it matter if I vote or not?

      The system of tyranny of the majority we ca

      • Thank the gods! Another Ron Paul supporter. I didn't think they existed outside the listenership of Alex Jones! Anyways, it's good to see fresh, reasonable approaches. That guy is as American as apple pie!

        It's really good to see that some people believe in freedom and liberty, and also realise that for the most part both parties have been bought and paid for by foreign interests and corporations. We really need a revolution, but I'll settle for Ron Paul if he can bring change.
  • Ya think? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Maine's resolution may be more symbolic than effective.

    Ya think? Maine can prevent ISPs from being asses with pipes inside Maine. Good for Maine.

    Unfortunately Maine isn't exactly the center of the Internet, nor is it really likely to be. And once the pipes leave Maine, there's nothing to prevent the ISP from throttling everything coming to and from Maine to crap.

    So good for Maine for taking a stand, even though it probably won't amount to anything. The ISPs will just do their throttling outside of Maine, an
    • Re:Ya think? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @12:50AM (#19538099)
      It's more than symbolic it's the start of a legislation patchwork policy. If there is something that large corporations hate more than just about anything else it's legislative patchwork because it costs them a lot of money.

      When it comes to mass production it will often cost more to design a product or service which conforms to two different standards than just implement the stricter standard in all of your products.

      If even 25% of the states in the US implemented a Net Neutrality Resolution the cost to ISPs to ensure that packets originating and ending in a Net Neutral state would be significantly higher than just abandoning QoS nation wide. And if someone like Google moved into your state then ISPs would need to know which datacenter IP range they need to throttle and which they can leave alone.

      If you bounce your packet through a Net Neutral state and it is throttled while in the state, they've broken the law. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to ensure that every packet you send and receive didn't pass through a state with a net neutrality law?

      Behold the beauty of de facto legislation. One of the first real gems of globalization.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kadin2048 (468275) *
        Agreed. I'm not sure if Maine necessarily has the clout to really affect anything directly, except maybe for preventing monkey business conducted at the head-ends by ISPs in Maine (thinking about it, I assume this is where you'd want to do the packet-shaping if you wanted to fudge service, so maybe it's not totally toothless). However, if they can encourage other states to do it -- particularly states where there are big peering points or other key infrastructure -- then it could, if the laws are drafted we
      • Re:Ya think? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jonwil (467024) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @03:36AM (#19538859)
        QoS is fine and ISPs should be allowed to apply QoS to their traffic to give priority to, say, VoIP over, say, BitTorrent. Taking away the rights of ISPs to apply QoS

        The 2 issues that the "anti-net neutrality" crowd should be focusing on are:
        1.When ISPs give preferential treatment to, say, CableCo VoIP over, say, Vonage. Or give preferential treatment to a customer who pays extra for the privilege.
        and 2.When ISPs deliberatly limit the speeds of certain data (based on network protocols, port numbers, source and destination address or whatever else) so that that data can never go at the full speed of whatever broadband link you have.
        • Your post has just made me realise a nice side-effect of network neutrality; it encourages open protocols. While you can't penalise one provider's SIP traffic over another, you can penalise Skype in favour of SIP traffic.
        • It should not matter what service the packet was generated from. Your are sold bandwidth and they should be held accountable to provide the full package they advertised.
          • by Fastolfe (1470)
            Your comment seems to suggest that QoS of any kind is bad here. Consider that 3rd-party IPTV and VoIP, without QoS, will be degraded equally with, say, BitTorrent. If you ran things, a customer's IPTV service would start cutting out every time they downloaded a large file (or started BitTorrent), because the connection would become saturated with your data download and no mechanisms are allowed to give preference to time-sensitive streams (VoIP/IPTV).
            • well if they had the bandwidth to handle the load for what they've sold it shouldn't be much of a problem. I don't know what the over sell amount is but I'm sure its over 1 - 1. They are surprised that they can't meet needs in peek times? With all the video sites "average people" know about, I sure am not.
              • by Fastolfe (1470)
                I don't think it's possible to provide an infinite amount of bandwidth. So long as the host from which you are transferring data has more bandwidth than you do, and that extends to every hop between them and you, downloads from that host will always be capable of saturating your own Internet connection.

                Haven't you noticed that download times tend to go down the faster your Internet connection is? The speed of your personal Internet connection is almost always the limiting factor in Internet data transfers
        • by Fastolfe (1470)
          I agree that QoS itself is fine (and necessary). The problem here is who pays for it.

          An IPTV provider (for example) can't just do QoS over the public Internet, and hope that every random ISP will respect the QoS flags and prioritize their IPTV streams over random bulk data transfers. If that were the case, it would be easily abused. The IPTV provider must contract with individual ISPs for dedicated data connections fit to carry QoS-flagged traffic to the ISP's network.

          Who pays for that?

          If the IPTV provid
    • The other side of that is that Maine's PUC (Public Utilities commission) has balls! If people complain that their connection is being throttled, Dollars to Dough nuts the PUC will investigate, and file suit to fix it. (Until the federal guberment decides that throttleing is a matter of national security, and sues to stop them)
  • Civil War v2.0? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by erroneus (253617) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @12:04AM (#19537919) Homepage
    You know, more and more we are seeing states resisting things the federal government is doing. (You know, things like the new ID thing.) And more and more, we see the states attempting to take action where the federal government is either ignoring the problem... you know, issues like net neutrality and illegal immigration. (Do open document format issues fit in there somewhere? They should...)

    It seems that not only is the federal government not acting with the interests of the people (I know, it's not news to anyone) but the state governments are actually becoming a lot more relevant than ever before.

    I know that when we think of politics and elections, many people think of presidents and US house of representatives and the US senate. But clearly, since state level policies and law making are becoming more relevant, people should start paying additional attention to their state government elections as well.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mcrbids (148650)
      You know, more and more we are seeing states resisting things the federal government is doing.

      BZZZZZTTT!!!

      What this post reflects is a young understanding of something that's been going on as long as there have been states. It's why there ARE states - the term "state" can literally mean "country", and the "United States of America" can be literally read as "United Countries of America". It's a "body politic".

      If you'd paid attention in history class, you'd remember that once upon a time, each state printed t
      • Re:Civil War v2.0? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by omeomi (675045) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @12:28AM (#19538019) Homepage
        It's why there ARE states - the term "state" can literally mean "country"

        Somewhat ironically, the 50 states in the US, however, are not states in that sense...

        They were, quite literally, separate nations until they united under the Constitution of the United States. This isn't new, and a modicum of research will reveal this.

        Their relative influence over American life, however, has gone up and down quite a bit over the years. The GP seems to be pointing out that state independence is on a bit of an upswing. He's probably right about that.
      • Re:Civil War v2.0? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kadin2048 (468275) * <slashdot DOT kadin AT xoxy DOT net> on Sunday June 17, 2007 @12:39AM (#19538059) Homepage Journal
        I won't speak for the GP, but I am not historically ignorant, and I don't think that his post should be blown off like you seem so keen on doing.

        Throughout U.S. history there are identifiable patterns or periods when power has shifted between the States and the Federal government -- although the overwhelming theme has been from the former to the latter, there have been some periods where the reverse has occurred. I think it's entirely possible that the current uber-Federalism has reached the end of its rope with the public, and we're starting to see a loss of patience for highly centralized government, and a desire to decentralize some authority back out to the States. People want more accountability, and it's just not clear that the Federal government is in a position to provide it.

        Although it's not a total non sequitur, I'm not sure that bringing up the Civil War is really relevant to the discussion; it's nearly impossible to have a rational discussion of the Civil War without getting wrapped up in the historically-related (and still partially unresolved) issues of agrarian-vs-industrial economies, slavery, and 19th century politics. (Particularly slavery -- it's hardly worth even trying to discuss the abstract issue of states' rights when anyone on the states' side of the argument is going to be called pro-slavery. It's like Nazism; it just stops the discussion.)
        • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

          by mcrbids (148650)
          Oh geez. Godwin's Law [wikipedia.org] has already reared its ugly head.

          Didn't expect that to happen THIS FAST, though... sheesh!
          • by wellingj (1030460)
            How dare you even mention Godwin's Law... You Godwin's Law Natzi!
          • by Kadin2048 (468275) *
            Yep. That was kind of my point -- in the same way that bringing up the Nazis ends all discussion about government or economics (or anything else that you link to Nazism), slavery does the same thing. So if you start even heading down that path, talking about states' rights vs Federalism, and you don't make a point of steering clear of the American Civil War, eventually someone is just going to drop the 'ol "you're pro-slavery!" bomb as a counterpoint to states' rights, and Game Over -- stick a fork in it, t
            • by mcrbids (148650)
              The point of Godwin's Law is that there are some issues that are just too emotionally laden to rationally discuss. The Holocaust is one, and I'd argue that slavery is another.

              But *you* broght up slavery. I merely brought up the issue of state's rights as "bodies politic". I didn't say why, I didn't get into it at all, other than to indicate that states have been telling the feds to screw themselves as long as there's been a federal government to yell at.

              Don't put this one on me - it's entirely YOUR doing.
              • by Kadin2048 (468275) *
                I wasn't putting it entirely on you. But you brought up the (American) Civil War [1], and while I said it's not a complete non sequitur, it's also probably the worst example of states' rights that can come up in a popular discussion. It's basically un-discussable. Just by bringing it up, because the Civil War is invariably taught as a conflict between pro- and anti-slavery forces, you put anyone arguing on the pro-states'-rights side in the uncomfortable position of seemingly defending slavery, even if that
        • by Marrshu (994708)

          It's like Nazism; it just stops the discussion.
          Ironically, you ended your post with a part about Nazism.
        • What makes you think the Civil War has anything to do with slavery? How does a war between 2 slave owners have anything to do with slavery? Just because one of them uses the tactic of telling the others slaves if you revolt I will set you free, doesn't mean that it had anything to do with slavery.
        • This thread has been Godwin-ed! :) Wow, and in under an hour, *again*! Impressive work.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by TehZorroness (1104427)
      I agree entirely and have also noticed this. What I am not sure about is if it is the Bush administration, or if by replacing him, we'll just open up a new can of worms. It's a chilling feeling, I know, but I'm quite sure that when bush is gone, the world won't suddenly be a dandy place.

      Our federal government fails miserably to realize that there are more issues then just Iraq. For example: healthcare, global warming, net neutrality, outsourcing, corruption, the patent system, gun control, our education
      • by erroneus (253617)
        Well I didn't expect my off-handed observation to stir up quite this much response. (I rather expected it to get ignored.) But here's what I predict in the near future:

        States offering "counter programs" that will allow people to opt out of programs like social security and medicare. This will bring more money to the states and less to the federal government. There will be people fighting on both sides of the issue as it's easy to see problems on each side. (Such as, what happens if you move to live out
    • Re:Civil War v2.0? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by aldheorte (162967) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @12:45AM (#19538077)
      It's good someone battles for states' rights, even if it falls to the states themselves, because neither party supports states' right anymore. The Bush administration gained power by suing in federal court to block a state court's ruling on a state issue, thus losing for the Republicans at the national level all credibility in championing states' rights, which used to differentiate the Republicans strongly from Democrats. In their heedless and desperate grab for power both then and after 9/11, they lost their party identity.

      Get the states mad enough and they can call a Constitutional Convention and effectively rewrite the Constitution to strip the federal government of power. Whether the federal government would allow this or use the military to prevent it (and whether the military would obey) becomes an interesting question after the events circa 1865, when the fundamental notion of states participating voluntarily in a union shattered, for better or for worse depending with high correlation on your latitude with respect to the Mason-Dixon line.
      • Get the states mad enough and they can call a Constitutional Convention and effectively rewrite the Constitution to strip the federal government of power.

        Not going to happen. The federal government has a much stronger and more loyal military today than it had in 1789. The individual military power of states today, consisting of local militias, municipal and state police forces and maybe a few National Guard bases, can't measure up to the power wielded by the federal government.

        What military power was once held by individuals has been legislated away in the name of reducing gun violence. Any exceptions are licensed, and thus known and tracked.

        No, there's

        • by AnyoneEB (574727)

          I think the GP was referring to the measures in the constitution allowing for the states to amend the constitution without intervention from the national level. See Article V [archives.gov] for the procedure.

          I suppose it is possible that if the states got together intending a large enough change that it would effectively strip the federal government of power, in other words, a legal non-violent revolution. The federal government could still choose to use military power to stop that, but it seems unlikely and the public w

          • That's pretty cool. I haven't read through the Constitution since early high school, and you can imagine how little interest I might have had, then. I don't think any of my civics classes in high school or college mentioned that the states could perform an end-run around the Legislative branch in proposing Amendments.
        • by ErikZ (55491) *

          The people in the US military don't come from the US federal government. They come from states.

          Good luck in getting them to attack their homes.
      • by erroneus (253617)
        Future news story:

        The ATF confuses Constitutional Convention with Religious Cult
  • YAY (Score:1, Redundant)

    by omeomi (675045)
    BOOO greedy media and telecom companies...YAY MAINE!!!
  • by Zapped.Info (1113711) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @01:40AM (#19538343) Homepage
    Perhaps now the best thing would be to contact your representative legislators and let them know that Maine has set an example that should be followed...HOWEVER...and this is a BIG HOWEVER...

    We should be careful before celebrating and actually READ the resolution. I must admit that I have not read the resolution and while everything looks great on the surface, sometimes, we the people, end up getting duped into thinking our rights have been preserved when in fact they were diminished. I doubt that is the case here, but we should read the resolution with magnifying glasses before celebrating and promoting it.

    Here is the bill text from Maine's website which must be behind the times because the leading page still reads, "Not yet determined"

    http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/billte xts/LD167501.asp [mainelegislature.org]

    Leading page:
    http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/LD.asp ?LD=1675 [mainelegislature.org]

    Well...I've got some reading to do :) - Zapped.Info
    • by olden (772043) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:49AM (#19539679)

      Call me weird, anti-/. or something, but I've read the bill (it's not that long, really), and it seems actually quite good.

      Some interesting bits (my interpretation, IANAL etc; check the real stuff [mainelegislature.org] if you're into legalese):

      • ISPs can still block spam/porn/attacks... as long as the customer is clearly notified of such filtering and can opt out
      • However ISPs aren't allowed to, say, collect money from content providers for 'improved' service... bye Goodmail! [slashdot.org] :-)
      • ISPs can implement some QoS (good!) but only based on the type of service, not its source/destination/ownership/content... In sync with this post by jonwil [slashdot.org], who I fully agree with.
      • Users can attach to their PC any device they want unless it "substantially degrade[s]" others' service -- Hello Wi-Fi sharing? :-]
        (this however certainly doesn't shield you from trouble if your line is used for illegal stuff)

      All in all, seems pretty well-thought. Good job Maine. I can't see a nasty flaw, loophole, unnecessary burden put on ISPs or end-users...; did anyone spot some problem I missed?

      • * ISPs can implement some QoS (good!) but only based on the type of service, not its source/destination/ownership/content... In sync with this post by jonwil, who I fully agree with.

        I think the law is great, but I don't agree with this part. While it will stop goodmail type schemes where companies pay for their content to get to me, it doesn't stop ISPs from charging me for a "service" like a "VoIP Package" which isn't different from any other kind of bandwidth. I do agree that as long as people aren't gett
        • by olden (772043)
          You're correct, ISPs are still free to provide any service they want, like VoIP. The way I understand this resolution though, they're not allowed to treat their own service differently than other carriers', or act in any other way that would be discriminatory, like charge you different rates depending on if, or where, you buy such extra services.
          Seems fair to me...
          • But they are allowed to charge you more for a line with VoIP prioritized. Which means they have financial incentive to prioritize VoIP down for everybody who doesn't pay. This is the biggest problem I see with the deal, it enables a QoS business model. And, heck, if Microsoft can get priority access for it proprietary non-HTTP-port-80 Office Live! product, they'll do it.

            Unless the above is incorrect, we're best off sticking with best-effort and building sufficient capacity and algorithms to handle traffi
      • This line from the bill throws me for a loop because it seems contradictory or like double-talk. You can't have it both ways can you? Clearly I must be mis-interpreting it.

        ----
        D. May only prioritize content, applications or services made available by the provider and accessed by a user based on the type of content, applications or services and the level of service purchased by the user, but without charge for such prioritization;
        ----

        What are they saying here? Content and applications written by the provid
      • by Valdez (125966)
        I haven't been the victim of one of these spam-porn attacks. Am I missing out?
      • by Fastolfe (1470)

        ISPs can implement some QoS (good!) but only based on the type of service, not its source/destination/ownership/content... In sync with this post by jonwil, who I fully agree with.

        Except that QoS can only be applied to Internet traffic after it arrives within the ISP's network. How are you going to determine what traffic is IPTV and what traffic is Other Stuff that somebody just wants to see prioritized? I could make a lot of money setting up a content distribution service that took advantage of IPTV pr

  • I totally agree with Ron Paul: this should be something the states decide.
    • I totally agree with Ron Paul: this should be something the states decide.

      Philosophically speaking, that might be the right answer.

      Practically speaking, I live in Texas, which is a good state in a lot of ways, but ughhhhh, when it comes to telecom legislation, I don't have high hopes because of the way our state government works and the fact that "the new AT&T" is headquartered in San Antonio. I predict that if it is left up to the state government, the lobbyists will push through some kind of ho

      • Philosophically speaking, that might be the right answer.

        Practically speaking, I live in Texas


        Right, you can't have a proper operating government with private funding of elections.

        But as long as we buy the "money is speech" argument, we're sunk.
  • What are the players like Google who are facing the prospect of having to pay extra to get "full speed" doing about this? Why aren't they using their resources to counter ISP FUD over this issue?
  • by Mark_in_Brazil (537925) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @09:18AM (#19540329)
    As an expat from Maine who still pays some attention to what goes on in his home state, I have already been a fan of state Rep Hannah Pingree for some time. She was the sponsor of an early law requiring a paper trail (and originally, but not in the final version passed, open source software) in electronic voting machines. I wrote about it here [slashdot.org]. Well, I went to the title page [mainelegislature.org] of the legislation, and there's Representative PINGREE from North Haven as one of the co-sponsors.
    Additionally, Rep. Pingree has become the majority leader in the Maine state legislature. I am a fan of Ms. Pingree's work and look forward to following her political career. I'm torn, though. She seems to be effective in the state legislature, but since Tom Allen has announced he will run for Senate against Susan Collins, that leaves Allen's first district US House seat available. I've heard rumors that both Hannah Pingree and her mother, Chellie Pingree, were both considering running for that seat. Much as I like Hannah's work in the state legislature, I start to wonder if she couldn't get some stuff done on the Federal level. I'd like to have somebody with a background like Hannah Pingree's (voting machine legislation and net neutrality being the two "nerd issues" relevant to this discussion, but there are others on which I agree with Ms. Pingree) representing Maine in DC.
    What kills me is the fact that, although I identify with Maine and still have a clue what's going on in Maine, I have to vote absentee in Federal elections (Congress, Senate, President) in the district in California that was the last place I lived in the USA. Even though I lived for 8 years in California, I do not identify as strongly with the state (it was a great place to live, but I'm from Maine) and, despite it getting a lot more media attention, I am not really up on California state legislation and politics. I don't need to be, because since I'm an expat, I only get to vote in Federal elections, but I really wish I could vote in the state with which I identify instead of the last place I happened to live before leaving the USA.
    I recently found out that friend of mine from childhood and adolescence is now a state rep in Maine. I just saw him a few weeks ago at my 20 year high school reunion. I didn't know about LD 1675 when I saw him, but I've already shot him an e-mail asking him about it. I'm almost sure he would vote the way I would. Even if I didn't know him and like him from when we were kids, he seems to be a politician I could like based on the issues and based on his way of doing things. Anyway, I'm following legislative and political goings-on in Maine in part because Maine is my home state, but also because Hannah Pingree (and, it turns out, a friend from my childhood) is doing things there that make me proud to be a "Downeastah."

    Ayuh.
    • by chuzzy (626789)
      Senator Ethan Strimling (ethan08.com) was the sponsor of the bill. Of course, his original version had some teeth; it was actually an enforceable net neutrality mandate. Ethan is running for U.S. Congress. So, if you want to see more reps in the federal legislature who have the brass ones to stand up for net neutrality, then support Ethan.
      • Heh. According to his Congressional campaign site, Strimling and his wife live on Brackett Street, across from Reiche School, and he even announced his candidacy at Reiche. That's walking distance (a couple of blocks) from Waynflete School, where I studied from 1979 to 1987. I used to walk (and later, drive) past Reiche on Spring Street whenever I went downtown. I must have passed right in front of Strimling's house a couple of weeks ago when I was in Portland for my high school reunion. This is someth
        • I, too, am a Maine expat, though I'm consigned to Massholeland, and have every intent to return to Maine the first chance I get. That said, I frequent Maine enough to have a good feel for what's going on in the state. Maine seems unique in a type of conservative person who nonetheless would be labeled "Liberal" at the national level. I like to think of this as the "Maine Conservative", which, in fact, is closer to what I thought Conservatives were supposed to stand for, before Maine "Native" George W. came
  • ...where it belongs? The summary is right on, this is most important for its symbolism; finally some bodies of government are taking notice of the complexities of this issue and weighing in. Even if they don't rule in favorable ways, it'll be good for the dialogs to start opening up so that voters can get to see where their candidates stand on the issue. I wonder if/when the presidential candidates will touch this. The YouTube debates might be something to watch out for after all.
  • Maine and, apparently, a fair sample of /. seem to think that the internet is a public utility. It isn't.

    • The day AlterNet came online, public investment in the internet as a fraction of total investment began to decline—to the point that today it is irrelevant.
    • The internet is not a shared resource—it's a widely distributed commercial service. The ocean is a shared resource; the ships that travel on it are not. Your right to internet service is the same as your right to sail the QE II.
    • The int
  • so glad to know that they aren't just trying to find more ways to tax us though!!!
  • This is where my karma goes down, but I don't think Net Neutrality will be a good thing.

    ISP have been allotting more bandwidth to "preferred" sites since the beginning, they even allow companies to pay for more of a preference by means of buying more bandwidth. I do not believe that there will be a time that you can only surf big sites on the internet, I think its fear mongering and I think the very worst thing we can do with the internet is allow government to regulate it.

    Let's just regulate the piss out o

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