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The Internet Government Republicans United States Politics

Republicans Introduce a Bill To Overturn Net Neutrality 441

New submitter grimmjeeper writes: IDG News reports, "A group of Republican lawmakers has introduced a bill that would invalidate the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's recently passed net neutrality rules. The legislation (PDF), introduced by Representative Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican, is called a resolution of disapproval, a move that allows Congress to review new federal regulations from government agencies, using an expedited legislative process."

This move should come as little surprise to anyone. While the main battle in getting net neutrality has been won, the war is far from over.
The legislation was only proposed now because the FCC's net neutrality rules were just published in the Federal Register today. In addition to the legislation, a new lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by USTelecom, a trade group representing ISPs.
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Republicans Introduce a Bill To Overturn Net Neutrality

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  • by cybrthng ( 22291 ) on Monday April 13, 2015 @05:54PM (#49466383) Journal

    The open internet is one of the most democratizing things we have in a modern society, why is this even up for debate? What benefit would society have in enabling "Fast lanes" or "premium" connections or other nonsense? What do we get protecting commercial interests?

    • by spiritplumber ( 1944222 ) on Monday April 13, 2015 @05:54PM (#49466385) Homepage
      Campaign contributions.
      • by neghvar1 ( 1705616 ) on Monday April 13, 2015 @06:04PM (#49466441)
        campaign contributions according to politicians, judges and lawyers. but to us common folk, it's bribery.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Yes, its called graft or bribery and is illegal in most other developed countries.

          • by Frobnicator ( 565869 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @12:10AM (#49467963) Journal

            Yes, its called graft or bribery and is illegal in most other developed countries.


            What other developed countries?

            UK? Campaigners get government funds, political party funds, and unlimited contributions. There have been quite a few scandals in recent years where individuals receive over a quarter million pounds in a single donation, and it is all legal.

            Germany? Again, government funds, plus government-mandated airtime distributed to the candidates. On top of that, individuals get whatever you can buy. No campaign contribution limits to corporations and the first roughly 3000 euro are tax deductible to encourage businesses to buy their local leaders.

            France? Well, there are a huge number of tiny political factions, each well funded and owned by the local businesses. The small parties ensure the elections run favorably by making deals with other political parties (businesses).

            Australia? Three decades ago they changed the law to move toward public funding in an attempt to remove private interests. The law was quickly and quietly revised to continue to allow both. Yet wikipedia claims over the last two decades, corporate donations have gone up 5x, from just under $30M to well over $130M publicly reported and millions more through other sources.

            Italy? In most of the country, including the southern regions, the old families run everything. What most of the world terms "protection money" is considered basically a local tax. Corruption is rampant.

            India? Greece? Just kidding, we all know these are above any form of political corruption.

    • by Rinikusu ( 28164 )

      Because I have a god-given right to profit, that's why!

    • by grimmjeeper ( 2301232 ) on Monday April 13, 2015 @06:01PM (#49466425) Homepage

      The open internet is one of the most democratizing things we have in a modern society, why is this even up for debate? What benefit would society have in enabling "Fast lanes" or "premium" connections or other nonsense? What do we get protecting commercial interests?

      Calling them "fast lanes" is a misnomer. But it's shorter than calling them "paying-twice-to-get-out-of-the-technically-unnecessary-but-profit-inducing-slow-lanes".

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      If anything ever convinced me to be even less of a Republican than I ever was, it's this. They're dead to me now. This completely breaks the internet, which I use every day to make a living. How anyone could be this wrong about something is beyond me.
      • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Monday April 13, 2015 @06:37PM (#49466607)

        the republicans are like children to technology: or worse. the average 5 year old knows more than the shriveled old white guys that wear the R badge.

        they are afraid to endorse ANYTHING the 'left' wants. its the grouch marx thing: "whatever it is, I'm against it!". that's one part of it. the other is that they see this as NOT allowing a 'nice' big business to overcharge and profetize twice for the same data.

        they are not at all concerned with anyone's quality of life except what lines their own pockets. the D's are not much better, these days, but at least they are not on the wrong side of history on so many modern issues.

        they have been quite brazen in how little they care for 'mr. everyman'. if you are not in the top of the rich class, you don't exist to them; and the ultra rich have no need for faster or even reliable internet. hell, they have other people 'do the internet' stuff for them, so they are very detached from reality.

        but simply, its the grouch marx thing that really explains it all. too bad that we have such polarization in this country; progress has been a concept that has not been around for decades, now, because of it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      You actually believe the FCC won't cater to any particular group's requests?

      The fact is, while being called "net neutrality" it is not that. I support regulation free internet. IF You want to fix the "Comcast vs Netflix" problem, fix the last mile problem first. IF consumers actually had a choice in providers, beyond Cable vs others, you'd see better customer service.

      Right now, the problem is entirely franchise agreements for last mile providers, NOT with anything Comcast or Netflix are arguing about. With

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      The open internet is one of the most democratizing things we have in a modern society...

      I think you answered your own question right there.

    • by jonwil ( 467024 )

      WE get nothing at all. But the Congressmen supporting these bills get nice fat cheques from the big corporations who see net neutrality as a threat to their business model (especially those who make their money through the old legacy business model of selling linear channels instead of the new consume-what-you-want-when-you-want business model that entities like Netflix use)

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      Rich republicans protecting their rich friends.

      This is based 100% in greed.

    • I'm not against net neutrality but I am against the way it happened and all the restrictions with it.

      Here you have a government agency who completely reversed their position on the internet being an information services not subject to title II regulation that they have held since the 1970s and in effect creating regulation with the effect of legislation without any input or action from the only constitutionally approved processes or elected representatives. I don't care who you are, that should scare the h

    • by tmosley ( 996283 )
      Why have innovation and free markets when we can have government regulations?

      I'm sure this will be a great success, just like Obamacare and Amtrak.
  • Dumbasses. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I say this as a conservative. The Republican establishment are dumbasses who saw that the Democrats support NN, so the Republicans feel they need to oppose it by default. If the D's came up with a bill abolishing 50% of welfare spending, and affirming individuals' rights to carry arms at all times in all locations, the R's would oppose it just because.
  • The GOP have been and will be re-voting to overturn ACA and Net Neutrality so often they need ACA for their carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • Translation: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Monday April 13, 2015 @06:08PM (#49466459)

    "We found a way to reframe the debate from 'Republicans vs. Freedom' to 'Republicans vs. Big Government', so we're going to do that both to hammer home that 'Democrats are Dictators' meme and because we're getting fat stacks of cash from the people who stand to profit from it".

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Monday April 13, 2015 @06:11PM (#49466471)

    Sorry I'm not familiar with the ins and outs of US law/politics, but aren't these republican politicians actually breaking the law by representing the interests of national corps instead of what is in the best interest of their own consituency's voters? (and if not why not?)

    • There's no law saying you have to "represent the interests" of "their own constituency". How would you even prosecute that? If we have an objective way of determining everyone's best interest, we wouldn't need lawmakers.

      Second, the House of Representatives is citizen-elected, the FCC is an unelected bureaucracy. I'm not so naive to think Congress is acting in my best interest, but the fact that they're opposing the unelected bureaucracy should raise some red flags. Specifically, they're probably unhappy tha

      • by PRMan ( 959735 )

        FCC, all by itself, asserted its authority over the Internet, which they have no statutory authority over.

        With the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Congress gave the FCC the power to: “promote competition in the local telecommunications market”.

        Communications Act of 1934, Title II, the second subsection (202) clearly states that common carriers can’t “make any unjust or unreasonable discrimination in charges, practices, classifications, regulations, facilities, or services.”

        Using #1, they classified ISPs as #2. Seems OK to me.

    • by CAOgdin ( 984672 )
      For a meaningful answer, look up "dissembling" in any dictionary.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      As opposed to what happened at the FCC, where a bunch of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats just made up a whole bunch of new rules?

      I mean if you want to frame the argument in hte worst possible light concerning how shit gets done, at least congress is electable. Which is a far cry from what the FCC is. Even if you like what the FCC did here, it should scare the shit out of you, assuming you care about preventing tyrannical bureaucracies.

    • Sorry I'm not familiar with the ins and outs of US law/politics, but aren't these republican politicians actually breaking the law by representing the interests of national corps instead of what is in the best interest of their own consituency's voters? (and if not why not?)

      Read all about the "Citizens United" decision here. []

      Corporations are people under US law and "people" can spend as much as they want on election campaigns.

  • I used to be a republican, back in the Reagan days. But these days (hell, since Bush Jr.) my "traditional" views have all but been marginalized. The democrats aren't much better.

    Although I don't (yet) feel ashamed of the D's, as I do about the R's like when shit like this occurs. Can they make it any more plain they're bought and sold??

    (Well past) Time to find a new party...

  • by goodmanj ( 234846 ) on Monday April 13, 2015 @06:17PM (#49466499)

    This one goes out to all you libertarians who've been lining up behind the "New GOP", the Republican party that says it's looking out for individual liberties rather than corporate greed.

    And yeah, I know what the truly die-hard among you are about to say: that the people who own Comcast have a right to assemble and agree to strangle internet commerce if they want to. But I say, if you allow wealthy corporate interests to accumulate far more power than the weakened government, they effectively *become* the government, and when they "exercise their liberties" it's indistinguishable from tyranny.

  • Does nothing to open up the last mile to competition.
    Manages to insert the government even more in the internet.

    Can't be certain what it will actually do at this point.

    Still I have more hope in this than I do Comcast to do anything but completely screw things up.

    • by CAOgdin ( 984672 ) on Monday April 13, 2015 @06:38PM (#49466619)
      That's actually not true. There were three significant decisions in the same week, only one of them was about Title II (aka "Net Neutrality"). Another had to do with pre-empting state laws forbidding local communities from setting up their services...laws that were passed on behalf of telecomm lobbyists. I can cite from recent observation that a local Wireless ISP is, in fact, using two 1GB/s Comcast backhauls for servicing all their customers (in rural Northern California, where Comcast and AT&T have only spotty service). The third issue that week was they raised the definition of Broadband to be at least 25 Mb/s; below that is no longer considered "broadband" Internet access. Good decisions all, I assert.
      • I happen to love the decision regarding municipalities. It was mindboggingly insane that those laws could get passed anywhere and good reason to bring back the "He needed killing" defense.

        Redefining broadband was pointless and little more than playing around with the parameters of an already corrupt system of subsidies.

        Title II is better than nothing but not what needs to be done. I don't care if ISP X wants to set up fast lanes or not as long as I can choose not to use them. What we have from the FCC is v

    • Yes, exactly!

      However, Government can screw this up, and inevitably will. But unlike Comcast, I'll never be able to rid myself of our friendly helpful bureaucrats.

  • The Restoration of Internet Freedom Act. Let freedom ring.

The trouble with computers is that they do what you tell them, not what you want. -- D. Cohen