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The Internet Censorship Government United States Politics

Net Neutrality Still Lives 102

Posted by kdawson
from the not-dead-yet dept.
BuhDuh writes "Despite previous reports, and as subsequently discussed here, it appears that Sen. Feinstein's amendment (PDF) did not make it into the approved 'HR1' version of the stimulus bill (PDF). Of course, I cannot aver to having read all 680 pages, but searching for the terms Ms. Feinstein used came up blank, so it looks like we can breathe a collective sigh of relief until someone tries to bury similar proposals in the next wide-ranging, must-pass piece of legislation."
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Net Neutrality Still Lives

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  • by ILuvRamen (1026668) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @04:42PM (#26858299)
    Well then let me be the first to say on behalf of slashdot: "Take that you stupid, bill-hijacking, lobbyist bribed bitch!"
    • This news (Score:5, Informative)

      by MRe_nl (306212) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @04:52PM (#26858365)

      Not so new...

      "I just called Feinstein's office and..." (Score:1)
      by rev_deaconballs (1071074) on Wednesday February 11, @10:37PM (#26819353)
      "It did not make it into the congress revision."

      • Re:This news (Score:4, Informative)

        by cemulli (1374641) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @11:39PM (#26860807)
        As the weirdo who's actually obsessively following the actual progress of the bill text, February 11th was after it didn't get into the Senate version. Feinstein was still trying to get it into the final version when the Senate and House met to work out a compromise to get the REAL final version of the bill done so they could vote on it and send it to Obama. The meeting finished late last night on 2/13. I haven't been able to find the updated bill text *anywhere*, so I was happy as hell when I saw this posting. Until I scrolled down to the next to last page and saw that the PDF was the version from when the House passed the initial pre-Senate version on 1/28. So yeah, the lack of Feinstein language in that PDF means nothing. The reason there wouldn't be any Feinstein language in that version of the bill was because that's the version from BEFORE the Senate got their hands on it.
  • Great! (Score:3, Funny)

    by iluvcapra (782887) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @04:48PM (#26858345)
    So we're back where we started, which is to say, service providers in the driver's seat!
  • Luckily (Score:4, Interesting)

    by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Saturday February 14, 2009 @04:49PM (#26858349) Journal

    We have this new fangled internet thingy that makes it a little more difficult to hide these things. Hope is indeed alive. As for the change part, well that's up to us. Now... about this Conyers bastard... and Hatch, and Lieberman.. I suppose there's little chance of getting rid of them while they bring home the bacon. Stop voting for these people!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Sadly, no, it does not. At least not much. Only about half of households in America even have a computer, and fewer have broadband access. The Internet only increases transparency if citizens are vigilant and pay attention to what's going on in Washington and in their state legislatures.

      Unfortunately, Joe Sixpack, when he can be expected turn his attention from his beer, his sports (Nascar, football, hockey, maybe basketball if Joe lives in an urban area), golf and/or bowling (depends on whether he's upp

      • by iminplaya (723125)

        Only about half of households in America even have a computer, and fewer have broadband access.

        That's a whole lot more people than 40 years ago. Even I, who crave instant gratification, must be patient.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Sad thing, Joe Sixpack wants laws passed to "regulate" the Internet. He thinks it will keep his computer safe when he browses pr0n, gets a malware attack, and has to take his machine to Geek Squad and pay $100 to get the box decontaminated. Even though the legislation would do nothing about this problem.

        • GeekSquad charges $200 for that particular service.

          • ...when he browses pr0n, gets a malware attack, and has to take his machine to Geek Squad and pay $100 to get the box decontaminated.

            [quote added]

            GeekSquad charges $200 for that particular service.

            [snip]

            and you know this how?

          • Its $199.99 in store or $299.99 in home. This does not include any form of protection software, just removing the nasty stuff...

      • The Internet only increases transparency if citizens are vigilant and pay attention to what's going on in Washington and in their state legislatures.

        Stop blaming citizens and hoping for the Internet. Nobody in Congress has, apparently, even read [youtube.com] the humongous bill (bigger than the cost of the Iraq war, for example). All of the Congressmen and women have perfectly fine Internet connections, I assure you...

      • by RageBot (1213750)

        Since only about half the peeps vote it may not be as bad as you make it out.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by General Wesc (59919)

      Conyers is one of the most awesome congressmen out there. He made one mistake recently, but he has an excellent track record for demanding transparency and accountability in the government.

    • I does seem like Feinstein could be primaried into oblivion in CA, ground central for net nerddom. Nobody there seems to really like her, she's just sort of there already. If net neutrality/free information partisans want to publicly flex their muscles, CA is the place for the test run.
  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @04:57PM (#26858409)
    Why is it that so many "Liberal Democrats" are against things like Net Nutrality and copyright / patent reform? I would have though they would be all over it, but instead are more repugnant on the issue than Repugnians.
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ForrestFire439 (1458475) <almostfreemind AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday February 14, 2009 @05:01PM (#26858441)
      They're just as in bed with the lobbyists as the Republicans are. Perhaps even more so in this case because the majority of media corporations are in blue states like California.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The majority of tech companies are also in blue states, and they love net neutrality.

        Feinstein especially, who is from Northern California, should remember that and stop supporting Hollywood instead.

        • maybe Hollywood lobbies harder than Google + EFF + everyone else + everyone else's kid brother ?

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Feinstein especially, who is from Northern California, should remember that and stop supporting Hollywood instead.

          Especially since when the ocean level rises, Southern California is going to be underwater first.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What is it that makes you think liberal Democrats are for anything that will/would do something to address the prevailing attempts to limit the general public's access to information?

      They want to ban conservative talk radio. That's nothing more than political censorship and restricting the right to the availability of opposing schools of thought to that which the Democrats endorse. If liberal talk radio had enough listeners it would survive in the market place. However, every attempt liberals have made a

    • For the record, Feinstein is not considered a "Liberal Democrat" by anyone.

    • by bendodge (998616)

      Because of the underlying philosophies. Both left-R's and left-D's have the notion that government is god and must solve everything. The R's do it by twiddling with business, the D's do it by twiddling with the little people. The R's appeal to traditional religions. The D's appeal to anti-religion religions. The end result is the same: more government, less freedom.

      A pretty quick litmus test of a politician is how they stand on guns and abortion. Answering those two questions answers most of all the other o

      • by Uberbah (647458)

        Because of the underlying philosophies. Both left-R's and left-D's have the notion that government is god and must solve everything. The R's do it by twiddling with business, the D's do it by twiddling with the little people. The R's appeal to traditional religions. The D's appeal to anti-religion religions. The end result is the same: more government, less freedom.

        I suppose you could see it that way, if you huffed paint on a regular basis and had little to no contact with reality.

  • Read the bills! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @05:04PM (#26858465) Homepage

    Can we please, for the love of God, pass something resembling the Read the Bills [wikipedia.org] act.

    Although I don't necessarily agree with its libertarian ideological roots, it's absolutely absurd that a 600 page bill can be proposed and voted on before sufficient time has been given to read over and debate the entire thing.

    The 7-day comment also sounds like a good idea, as long as there's a provision for emergency action.

    • Of course we want all our Congressmen to read every page of every bill in theory, but aren't they unproductive enough as it is?

      • Re:Read the bills! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Saturday February 14, 2009 @05:28PM (#26858641) Journal

        but aren't they unproductive enough as it is?

        That's their one saving grace.

      • by icebrain (944107)

        Of course we want all our Congressmen to read every page of every bill in theory, but aren't they unproductive enough as it is?

        That's kind of the point... unless you're one of those people to whom more laws = good.

        A lawyer will always admonish you to read the fine print before signing a contract. I'm an engineer; I make damn sure I check everything I design (or have submitted to me by those I supervise) before signing off on the drawing. Why, then, is it unreasonable to ask our elected representatives to exercise due diligence in the performance of their jobs? Oh wait, I remember... Pelosi wanted to go to Europe. :-/

        Were it up t

    • Get 600 people. Have each one read a page and raise a flag on ridiculous BS.
      Maybe Amazon's mechanical turk would work well for this.
      Parallel systems rock.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DragonTHC (208439)

      if the text of every bill becomes part of the official record of congress, they can pass no secret legislation. They can pass no legislation regarding national security.

      The official record will increase in size and the legislation will decrease in size. they will tackle one issue per bill. they will debate that issue and compromise on that issue until a quorum is met.

      They will no longer be able to have secret closed-door sessions. Which really makes me wonder. Why is congress allowed to have secret clo

      • by Dan541 (1032000)

        Every bill that is signed and every bit of paper should be publically avalible both online and offline.

    • Re:Read the bills! (Score:5, Informative)

      by jcnnghm (538570) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:22PM (#26859105)

      The bill wasn't 600 pages, it was 1,073 [youtube.com]. The Democrats initially promised that it would be made available online for at least 48 hours before it was voted on, however, they lied, and voted on it less than 12 hours after it was presented to the Representatives. To read the bill, it would have required reading about two and a half pages a minute from the time they received the bill until the vote. The bottom line is, the Democrats rushed it through so nobody would have a chance to read it [youtube.com].

      • by Cyrus20 (1345311)
        wait what? you cant read 1,073 pages in 12 hours and you call yourself a geek?
      • by Ashriel (1457949)

        Have you even taken a look at it? It may take up an ungodly number of pages, but it's double-spaced with large print. There's only a few paragraphs on each page. It shouldn't take that long to read...

      • by Uberbah (647458)

        Problem: the source in the video is John Boehner, and like all House Republicans, he's generally full of shit. And watching Republicans whine about Democrats shoving legislation through without time for review is like Karl Rove whining that Rahm Emanuel is too partisan - the pot is calling the kettle black.

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      600 pages should have 90days for comment, you can easily spend a week discussing just one chapter.

    • It's a sad state of affairs that an act such as the Read the Bills act is even necessary.

  • by Dupple (1016592)
    I cannot aver to having read all 680 pages

    RTFPDF?

    Just a thought ;)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    We need strict check in check out change control, who did it, when, why, etc RSS feeds, version control for all legislation and regulation for all levels of government from small town park board to the Fed.

  • by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon@NoSPAM.gamerslastwill.com> on Saturday February 14, 2009 @05:48PM (#26858823) Homepage Journal

    from page 656 of the stimulus bill

    10 (e) GRANT REQUIREMENTS.--The NTIA shall--
    11 (1) adopt rules to protect against unjust enrich12
    ment; and
    13 (2) ensure that grant recipients--
    14 (A) meet buildout requirements;
    15 (B) maximize use of the supported infra16
    structure by the public;
    17 (C) operate basic and advanced broadband
    18 service networks on an open access basis;
    19 (D) operate advanced wireless broadband
    20 service on a wireless open access basis; and
    21 (E) adhere to the principles contained in
    22 the Federal Communications Commission's
    23 broadband policy statement (FCC 05-151,
    24 adopted August 5, 2005).

    all broadband stimulus grants will be subject to network neutrality.

    • by Ashriel (1457949)

      Unfortunately, the government's idea of Net Neutrality may not mean what you think it means. Everything they've written about net neutrality has "lawful" qualifiers all over the place - "lawful use", etc.

      There's absolutely no text covering packet sniffing or similar methods in any dissertation on net neutrality. So while the ISPs may not be able to throttle or drop packets the way they want to, there's nothing currently in place to stop them from combing through all their (your) traffic (other than the 4th

  • These 500+ page bills; how is it arguable that documents of that length are not asinine? I recently tried to read the Microsoft privacy statement and EULA for Office (kind of paltry legal docs, relatively speaking) and gave up after 10 minutes.

    Something akin to cognitive dissonance had arisen, and like I do with any document/book which causes that - I tossed it.

    I can understand when computer code achieves a size like this, or scientific studies, but really - law becomes more and more esoteric, even while it becomes slower and slower to adapt to modern technological and subsequent social conventions.

    I await that hoped-for day when that mythical AI which is trillions of times smarter (or at least has trillions of times the patience and time) than us looks through these, to it, crayon drawings, and distills the circular reasonings, contradictions and plain nonsense into a succinctly digestible form understandable to that mythical 'reasonable person' so that we can all have a good laugh. ...or until it launches legions of red glowing-eyed, humanoid military robots to wipe us out.

    Either outcome is fine with me.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      tl;dr

  • by Lord Bitman (95493) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @05:57PM (#26858875) Homepage

    Surely there's some way of finding out who inserted what into a bill. Just look for a list of changes made by Feinstein.

  • You haven't read all 680 pages ?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Major lesson the leaders of this once-free country need to learn:
    1. Banning X does not stop X, it just changes how X is used.
    The biggest reason the internet would be censored & How censoring the internet would not help at all, but hurt:
    1. To protect young children from learning about insults/slang, sex, and violence. >
    A. Children are going to learn curse words & insults/slang, whether it is at school, at the park, with their friends friends, or just by hearing them on the street.
    Censoring

  • Feinstein got outed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dan667 (564390) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:59PM (#26859347)
    Feinstein probably mis-calculated that this would pass before anyone would discover this amendment. It got pulled, because of the negative publicity it generated that might have caused the whole bill from not being passed. Lieberman was outed for his negative contribution to the American Public, a new effort should be made to target Feinstein and get her kicked out of office.
  • by Dreadneck (982170) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @07:20PM (#26859491)

    (beginning on page 664 and continuing to page 665 of the stimulus bill [huffingtonpost.com])

    SEC. 6003. NATIONAL BROADBAND PLAN.

    (a) REPORT REQUIRED.- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the Federal Communications Commission shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, a report containing a national broadband plan.

    b) CONTENTS OF PLAN.-The national broadband 23 plan required by this section shall seek to ensure that all 24 people of the United States have access to broadband capability and shall establish benchmarks for meeting that goal. The plan shall also include-

    (1) an analysis of the most effective and efficient mechanisms for ensuring broadband access by all people of the United States;

    (2) a detailed strategy for achieving affordability of such service and maximum utilization of broadband infrastructure and service by the public; and

    (3) a plan for use of broadband infrastructure and services in advancing consumer welfare, civic participation, public safety and homeland security, community development, health care delivery, energy independence and efficiency, education, worker training, private sector investment, entrepreneurial activity, job creation and economic growth, and other national purposes.

    -----

    It seems to me that part (3) is broadly and vaguely worded, but given the terminology used it seems they are going to delay the attempt at killing network neutrality and possibly try to bring in through the backdoor by way of the NTIA and FCC.

    Why bother with the public scrutiny of the legislative process when you can accomplish it by fiat via the bureaucracy?

    • by Skapare (16644)

      b) CONTENTS OF PLAN.-The national broadband 23 plan required by this section shall seek to ensure that all 24 people of the United States have access to broadband capability and shall establish benchmarks for meeting that goal. The plan shall also include-

      So how many people don't have broadband now? 23 or 24?

      • by Dreadneck (982170)
        The '23' and '24' were line numbers, not part of the actual text. Just a goof on my part when I copy/pasted the text from the PDF of the legislation. Thought I had removed all of them, heh.
  • I even convinced the intern I spoke with that Sen. Feinstein was wrong for trying this. However, I do not believe senators like this care what me or any of the "little people" think. I now just try to convince their office staff to switch to another senator's office (should't be that hard in DC and most are volunteers, anyway). I long for the day that corrupt senators have to answer their own damn phone.
    • > However, I do not believe senators like this care what me or any of the "little people"
      > think.

      They care very much what you think if and only if they become convinced that a substantial number of you will decide who to vote for based on how they vote on the issue in question.

      • I called too... (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And the person who answered the phone knew EXACTLY what I was talking about. Even when I made it clear that the network policy I had read about related to network neutrality and had nothign to do with "funding broadband" or whatever. She was familiar with the issue and said she would forward it on. She also asked for my zip code.

        (She also admitted directly by the way when I asked "is this true?" that Feinstein was trying to get it into the bill.)

  • This may look like trolling, but a fact is a fact. The lot of you went knee-jerk through the ceiling regarding a sensationalist British article that avoiding some pretty glaring facts to paint an alarmist picture. Do some research before you rally the troops to fight the great fight, and maybe people won't take you for fools when a real issue comes along.
  • Says the submitter:
    >Of course, I cannot aver to having read all 680 pages,

    So the submitter is in good company. There are 535 members of congress who have also not read. In fact, the submitter is probably light years ahead of congress just by virtue of having even looked at it.

  • by cemulli (1374641) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @11:30PM (#26860773)
    Sorry guys, no fly. Try gpoaccess.gov instead - the new version isn't listed there yet either. They just agreed on a final version late last night (2/13), and that version ain't it. The linked PDF file is signed at the bottom. That's the version that the House passed on January 28th (open access language + semi-codification of the FCC internet policy statement) which is different from the version that the Senate passed on February 10th.
  • US Citizens who voted for Obama need to remind his administration of the open 48 hour Bill pledge, which would rid you of this crap once and for all. At a time when the Congress has the lowest approval in history, and the only thing that has real bi-partisan support is shady Washington business-as-usual it is time for all US citizens to send the Hill a message - That they will not stand for it!
  • Page 14 of the bill [huffingtonpost.com] specifically prohibits the State of Illinois from spending any money as long as Rod R. Blagojevich is still governor. I do not like this. First, it's unnecessary as he's already been impeached. Second, Personally, this sounds awfully like a "bill of Attainder" where someone is convicted by act of Congress. Further, it might violate some other Constitutional provisions. This sets a bad precedent, because if you allow this sort of thing it can be prostituted into any number of things

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