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Communications The Internet Government Network Networking Republicans United States

FCC Refuses To Release Text of More Than 40,000 Net Neutrality Complaints (arstechnica.com) 64

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Federal Communications Commission has denied a request to extend the deadline for filing public comments on its plan to overturn net neutrality rules, and the FCC is refusing to release the text of more than 40,000 net neutrality complaints that it has received since June 2015. The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) request in May of this year for tens of thousands of net neutrality complaints that Internet users filed against their ISPs. The NHMC argues that the details of these complaints are crucial for analyzing FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to overturn net neutrality rules. The coalition also asked the FCC to extend the initial comment deadline until 60 days after the commission fully complies with the FoIA request. A deadline extension would have given people more time to file public comments on the plan to eliminate net neutrality rules. Instead, the FCC yesterday denied the motion for an extension and said that it will only provide the text for a fraction of the complaints, because providing them all would be too burdensome.
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FCC Refuses To Release Text of More Than 40,000 Net Neutrality Complaints

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  • Too burdensome (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    So hard to copy the whole folder so I'm going to manually hand pick a few. So I'm going to do the same action many times and act like that easier than doing it once to the whole folder...
    Incompetent fool should be fired.

    • So, they refuse to release the text of complaints that nobody actually wants to read, and someone is complaining.
      • by hackwrench ( 573697 ) <hackwrench@hotmail.com> on Tuesday July 18, 2017 @06:59PM (#54835945) Homepage Journal
        Yes because picking and choosing what someone wants to read should not be their job.
      • the fcc refuses. give it a few days... it'll leak.
      • So, they refuse to release the text of complaints that nobody actually wants to read, and someone is complaining.

        You assume that "nobody" actually wants to read. That's a very dangerous assumption in most cases because of "there exists" cases...

        • So, they refuse to release the text of complaints that nobody actually wants to read, and someone is complaining.

          You assume that "nobody" actually wants to read. That's a very dangerous assumption in most cases because of "there exists" cases...

          How is it dangerous in this particular case? Do you really think there is something contained in 40,000 complaints that hasn't already been pounded to death? I'm just being realistic. Who wants to read them?

          • So, they refuse to release the text of complaints that nobody actually wants to read, and someone is complaining.

            You assume that "nobody" actually wants to read. That's a very dangerous assumption in most cases because of "there exists" cases...

            How is it dangerous in this particular case? Do you really think there is something contained in 40,000 complaints that hasn't already been pounded to death? I'm just being realistic. Who wants to read them?

            You have proven my point (see bold).

            • So, they refuse to release the text of complaints that nobody actually wants to read, and someone is complaining.

              You assume that "nobody" actually wants to read. That's a very dangerous assumption in most cases because of "there exists" cases...

              How is it dangerous in this particular case? Do you really think there is something contained in 40,000 complaints that hasn't already been pounded to death? I'm just being realistic. Who wants to read them?

              You have proven my point (see bold).

              No, your point is based on YOUR erroneous assumption that I assume people don't want to read complaints in most cases, or even in any other case. I never said so. So if you want to make assumptions and prove yourself right, no need to involve me.

    • by rhazz ( 2853871 )
      The comments submitted are likely to contain personally identifying information. Each one would have to be vetted and potentially redacted to be released to the public - this takes time and resources. If they released them in their entirety as-is, they would get sued by many people. Any incompetent fool that did that would be fired.
  • Popular opinion to us and lies to them.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    To run a script that only pulls the comment on a data set and then zip it?

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      This.

      40,000 files is a light day surfing porn.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Vrekais ( 1889284 )

      Yeah, I'd love for that to get brought up in court.

      Judge: "How are the comments stored?"
      FCC: "Digitally in a database system fed by an online submission website"
      Judge: "What part of rertrieveing comments from this system is burdensome?"
      FCC: "We've only got one computer than can access it."
      Judge: "How is that a burden?"
      FCC "It's in the basement, in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door that says beware of the leopard." "And it runs Windows 98"

    • To run a script that only pulls the comment on a data set and then zip it?

      The FCC is saying that they would have to go through and have staff members redact all personally identifiable information in the comments.

      https://transition.fcc.gov/Dai... [fcc.gov]

      • To run a script that only pulls the comment on a data set and then zip it?

        The FCC is saying that they would have to go through and have staff members redact all personally identifiable information in the comments.

        https://transition.fcc.gov/Dai... [fcc.gov]

        Which is of course bullshit. I've made public comment to government agencies and it is exactly that - public. Those comments and identifying information including names and emails are right there posted on a government web site for all to see. For example : http://csrc.nist.gov/publicati... [nist.gov]

  • by sit1963nz ( 934837 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2017 @06:36PM (#54835855)
    The fraction supplied will however be carefully culled to put the best light on the FCC plan. All that time "selecting" that few leaves no time to supply everything.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      The fraction supplied will however be carefully culled to put the best light on the FCC plan.

      All that time "selecting" that few leaves no time to supply everything.

      1. Program an AI to read them and them score each one with how much they support the current propaganda.

      2. select message from messages where score > 50 UNION select message from messages where score 50 Limit 10

      3. Send those.

      Of course they could just dump them all with something like
      call csvwrite('c:\temp\messages.csv','select * from messages order by date') but that would be too hard.

      Or if they wanted to be really thorough they could filter the IPs by removing any non american and known bots, plus mak

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 18, 2017 @08:01PM (#54836235)

      The FCC has absolutely no intention of allowing the public any say whatsoever in this decision. They have a plan, and they intend to carry it out, and that's it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 18, 2017 @10:31PM (#54836891)

      No kidding. They sure as hell didn't have a problem releasing the 58,000+ fake comments [thehill.com] submitted by some anti-net-neutrality company's bot net. Those had personal information included, which is how they were revealed as fake. Reporters started calling the people who had supposedly made the comments, only to be met with total confusion because no one had actually submitted them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 18, 2017 @06:36PM (#54835857)
    Hey, don't you silly Americans say nobody needs regulations, you can vote for your wallets. You make fun of European consumer protections laws.

    Well, vote with your wallets, cancel your ISP accounts. They need you more than you need them, right?

    And most of all, enjoy your free country with it's freedom from all these burdensome regulations, where everyone if free to squeeze every penny of profit they can as they squeeze the life from the corpse of their once great country.

    Make American Great Again. Yeah right. You're living in the land of profit for free, suffering for most.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 18, 2017 @06:55PM (#54835939)

      That's right! The Free Market will cure everything! Ditch your slimeball ISP. Oh, wait, the other local ISPs - if any - are also slimeballs. So vote with your wallet, Oh wait, you have one vote and there are 10 million customers who annoyingly aren't co-operating by doing likewise.

      No Worries! Someone will come along and address that market need for a non-slimeball ISP. Oh wait, no one did!

      No Worries! Just create your own ISP! All it takes is a few million for capital equipment and staff. Or maybe just form a company big enough for you and your friends. Doesn't matter - the cost to hook into the Internet backbone is the same high price - or maybe a little more, whether you have 100,000 customers or 10. And if you're lucky, the nearest backbone provider will be - guess what - an established slimeball ISP!

      Libertarian fantasies are great, but like Communism, they fail to allow for human nature. They expect people to be educated and rational when most will fight tooth and nail for the right to be neither, and they assume that you can become competitive in any industry with whatever small change you can dig out of your pocket as long as the damn gubmit don't get in the way.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Libertarianism (as opposed to authoritarianism, not the Libertarian Party) is a great thing. On an individual level a generous but not unlimited dose of libertarianism is the only ethical choice. The problems come about when libertarian philosophies are applied to groups equally to individuals under the premise of "groups are composed of the choices of individuals, therefore groups should be treated like individuals." Group dynamics among humans cannot be granted the same rights as the composition of the gr
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The opposite of Authoritarianism is Anti-authoritarianism not Libertarianism.
          I think that the problem is power accumulation, economy has too much power and where is power corruption lingers, this is an example: They are using ecnomic resources to produce social changes in favor of a few.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 18, 2017 @10:02PM (#54836743)
          Libertardians want nothing less than the absolute death of society and everyone in it. If you believe otherwise, you're a total idiot.

          In this case, the Libertardian point of view isn't that the FCC is deciding policy for the million customers but that the million customers are free to choose an ISP and the ISPs are free to shape traffic as they see fit. It's not Ajit Pai choosing for anyone, but everyone free to choose for themselves. Forcing net neutrality is taking away choice, so anti-libertardian.

          Libertardians believe there should be no roads (how dare you tax me to build a road my impoverished neighbour can freely use). They believe the air should be toxic (how dare you stop my factory from pumping what ever toxic waste I want into the air, I have my right to free profits -- if my neighbour wants to breathe they can important their own damn canned air from Canada, and damn you to hell if you think you'll tax me to buy them air). Libertardians don't think their should be any policing or national defence. How dare you tax me to hire cops and soldiers. If I have something worth protecting, I'll buy my own damn gun.

          Broad concepts don't map directly. But this libertardian view that regulation is automatically bad is a grotesque cancer on society. And this issue is a great example. The pathetic American excuse for health care is another.

          The funny part I see as a non-American is that the dumbass Americans see themselves as the greatest country on Earth while the rest of the world is ignorant barbarians. The reality is that rest of the world sees America as middle-of-the-pack for a third world country in how you treat your own people and below that for the sheer ignorance if your own people.
          • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

            by danbert8 ( 1024253 )

            Seriously mods? An Anon Coward modded up to +3 Insightful for what is obvious trolling?

            • Seriously mods? An Anon Coward modded up to +3 Insightful for what is obvious trolling?

              It may read like trolling to you, but as an American who currently lives here, and has lived abroad in both Europe and Asia, I would say it's actually rather kindly put. We have no idea how far off the rails we've gone, how utterly ignorant and stupid we are, and sound, to everyone else, and how far we're falling behind the rest of the developed world in just about every metric (except willful ignorance and engineered st

              • Calling them "Libertardians" is flamebait at best.

                You have some good points, but they're wrapped in a shit-blanket and served by pure anger. Ease up Francis.

                and how far we're falling behind the rest of the developed world in just about every metric

                And GDP.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              Fuckoff snowflake.

    • This kind of ruthless, hateful attitudes are why so many Americans are questioning why we're allied with Europe. Why should we defend a bunch of jerks who despise us and laugh while they refuse to defend themselves? Jerks who take great joy in the suffering of others? I can't imagine why nobody wants to defend your ungrateful, hypercriticial asses.
  • The FCC has starving lawyers to feed.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    just happen to be the ones that best reflect the *actual* thoughts from *actual* people, where over 80% of the population wants network neutrality-powered big dumb pipes and for the current fcc 'leadership' to 'fuck off'.

  • When I give this argument to my supervisor, he'll make sure I got tonnes of more burdensome stuff to do.
    But as any parent would also tell you: 'Shut up and get to work ya lazy bum!'.

  • I really wonder how long it will take before the american public realizes how much they and their government get effed in the ass by big companies.
  • What should be obvious for anyone with eyes is that Ajit Pai, the FCC Chair is on the take and is feathering his nest for a cushy job at one of the service providers after he is done destroying privacy and gilding the Internet at the FCC. He needs to be kicked out of the FCC and investigated for fraud.
    • by volkris ( 694 )

      If you read the FCC's proposal, which I'll link below, you'll see that it's about getting the FCC out of micromanaging the Internet itself while promoting stronger privacy protections for consumers.

      Quoting from the proposal:
      Historically, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) protected the privacy of broadband consumers, policing every online company’s privacy practices consistently and initiating numerous enforcement actions. When the Commission reclassified broadband Internet access service as a common

  • In the US the notice and comment process isn't about voting or voicing opinion. It's about identifying specific concerns and then making sure they've been accounted for in finalized regulations.

    Since this isn't a voting process, giving more people time to comment is not a relevant goal.

    In short, since the notice and consent process is about identifying problems, it doesn't matter whether one person or one thousand bring up an issue. It's still only one issue. If a thousand people mention the one issue, then

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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