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FCC Will Also Order States To Scrap Plans For Their Own Net Neutrality Laws (arstechnica.com) 280

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In addition to ditching its own net neutrality rules, the Federal Communications Commission also plans to tell state and local governments that they cannot impose local laws regulating broadband service. This detail was revealed by senior FCC officials in a phone briefing with reporters today, and it is a victory for broadband providers that asked for widespread preemption of state laws. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's proposed order finds that state and local laws must be preempted if they conflict with the U.S. government's policy of deregulating broadband Internet service, FCC officials said. The FCC will vote on the order at its December 14 meeting. It isn't clear yet exactly how extensive the preemption will be. Preemption would clearly prevent states from imposing net neutrality laws similar to the ones being repealed by the FCC, but it could also prevent state laws related to the privacy of Internet users or other consumer protections. Pai's staff said that states and other localities do not have jurisdiction over broadband because it is an interstate service and that it would subvert federal policy for states and localities to impose their own rules.
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FCC Will Also Order States To Scrap Plans For Their Own Net Neutrality Laws

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  • B-b-b-b-but (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @07:15PM (#55599519)

    states rights!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by shaitand ( 626655 )
      We need net neutrality but this is interstate commerce is one of the few things that actually is within the authority granted to the federal government. That's why you don't have to pay sales tax on online purchases and mail order. Just like that sales tax there is nothing giving them authority over transactions within the state even if they are of the same nature that potentially could cross state lines though...

      We really really need to stop supporting twisting the law and watering down the Constitution wh
      • Re: B-b-b-b-but (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @09:59PM (#55600383)

        I think all the intelligent things about net neutility have already been said. Now it's just fuck Ajit Pai, and fuck Donald Trump, and fuck rich corporations that just look for ways to screw people more instead of adding something of value to society.

      • Re:B-b-b-b-but (Score:4, Informative)

        by Immerman ( 2627577 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @12:06AM (#55600877)

        Actually I believe you are still required by law to pay sales tax on internet purchases. It's simply that the merchant isn't required to collect those taxes and pay them for you when they are operating out of a different state.

        • Partially correct; you have to pay a use tax for products bought out-of-state. It is always pegged at the same rate as a sales tax, but it is not a sales tax - it is a use tax. And the purchaser must report it to their own state, for all out-of-state products you brought back to your state or purchased and had delivered.
      • We really really need to stop supporting twisting the law and watering down the Constitution when it means getting some policy we want. The ends do not justify the means. There hasn't been a single policy change seriously considered or implemented in this country that provides more benefits or prevents more harm OVERALL than the limitations on government power in the Constitution

        What does that have to do with the issue at hand though? You can almost always make an argument about something is/is not constitutional. This is no different. Nothing is squarely unconstitutional, and the constitution is intentionally NOT a guide for every policy question.

        Please, tell me what is twisting the constitution to regulate ISPs as common carriers. Or what is twisting the constitution to NOT regulate them that way. Or to tell the states they can't regulate ISPs by claiming it's interstate comme

        • Re:B-b-b-b-but (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Talderas ( 1212466 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @07:51AM (#55602151)

          Interstate commerce has frequently been abused since the 1942 ruling in Wickard v. Filburn which pretty much held all economic activity as interstate. Electing not to purchase something is interstate commerce that can be regulated because you are participating in the interstate market by lowering the demand in the market. If you want to talk about twisting the Constitution around, this is probably one of the most egregious rulings from the Supreme Court permitting twisting.

      • Re:B-b-b-b-but (Score:4, Insightful)

        by gtall ( 79522 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @06:01AM (#55601889)

        Bullshit. You recall the FDA, not in the Constitution. Yet they prevent Joe's Bait and Pill Emporium from poisoning your mother with fake headache pills, or you with fake erectile dysfunction "medicine". The NiH does research into diseases with your name on them, not in the Constitution. The FAA prevents airlines from using accounting methods to find the correct price point between crashes and loyal ridership. They also have vehicle emissions standards so we don't revert to LA circa 1960's air, much as the alleged Administration looks back in fondness at those times. Rules and laws against workplace discrimination, again the alleged Administration looks back fondly at the 1950s, which is strange because most minorities do not have such fond memories. Neither do women.

        The list goes on.

        • Re:B-b-b-b-but (Score:5, Insightful)

          by slinches ( 1540051 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @10:44AM (#55603153)

          So pass an amendment that gives the federal government those authorities. Undermining the constitution, even for good reasons, still weakens our rights and threatens the fundamental concept of consent to govern. How can we feel represented when the fundamental rules of our government are ignored whenever it's convenient for whoever is in power?

    • "ISPs that do not conform to state regulations (which specify net neutrality) will be denied business licenses in our state as will anyone contracting for such ISPs."

      Seems like states could, if they wanted, find a way to force the issue.

      I mean, sure, they won't, because state and local legislatures are even worse than the national legislature...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @07:18PM (#55599539)

    Thanks again, Trump voters! I really can not express strongly enough what an awesome decision you made.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @07:19PM (#55599541)

    I cannot think of a better way to kill the tech sector.

  • Bonus (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mrwireless ( 1056688 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @07:21PM (#55599557)

    "And if you can kill it at the state level too, we'll throw in a private jet"

    Sigh.

    It's a sad thing for the world.. but a great opportunity for Europe.

    • Don't worry, I'm sure the next step will be to charge European countries for access to web servers on US soil.
    • Re:Bonus (Score:4, Informative)

      by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @07:57PM (#55599775)

      >It's a sad thing for the world.. but a great opportunity for Europe.

      For the rest of the world, services can be hosted outside the USA and we won't have a problem. Any American content that can be locally cached in our countries will be fine, too. So maybe we'll have issues with American sporting events, possibly trouble if we want to join a multiplayer gaming server in the US. I don't think it'll hurt the rest of the world enough to care. If anything, it'll reduce American media influence around the globe.

      For you Americans, though... if your American ISP decides to charge based on packet type AND either the origin or destination, you're done. It's not like you can use a VPN connection to access services from outside a 'no-net-neutrality zone', because they'll be charging the highest rates for that kind of traffic specifically to prevent such behaviour.

      Americans will get less choice and higher prices as ISPs promote vertical integration by adding costs to services they don't own (or aren't owned by).

    • It's a sad thing for the world.. but a great opportunity for Europe.

      You misspelled "China."

    • Don't forget Canada, it's a bit closer than Europe and has a thriving tech sector.
  • We heard you hate regulation, so we put some deregulation in your regulation so you can deregulate while you regulate.

  • by Tinsoldier314 ( 3811439 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @07:23PM (#55599571)
    Somehow the rationalization that the internet is simultaneously a vital interstate service that precludes state regulation and a purely market driven business seems like a big business wet dream.

    States can regulate and tax most businesses but not *this* business because it's special for "reasons".
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Are you old enough to remember life before the Internet? Some of us are, and some of us are prepared to go back to living without it, if necessary.
      • Yeah, I remember. It doesn't make much difference. Last time the net went down on my block for nearly four hours we were close to declaring a national state of emergency.
      • by BancBoy ( 578080 )
        Not old enough to remember life before the internet. I remember life before _I_ was on the internet. But I was on the internet in the early to mid 1980's, so that's not saying a lot. Life before the world wide web, I remember well.
      • Some of us are, and some of us are prepared to go back to living without it, if necessary.

        So just to be clear, you live on a remote, inaccessible farm which receives enough rainfall every year for all of your purposes? Because anyone who doesn't live in such a situation will be absolutely and totally fucked right in their ignorant arsehole if the internet goes away. And frankly, so will all of those people too, when the hungry come around.

    • by Tailhook ( 98486 )

      Indeed. Entities that simultaneously have no Title II obligations yet enjoy Title II-like protection from liability for criminal activity conducted using their facilities.

    • Verizon AKA MCI AKA Former AT&T has managed to be protected by telco regulation while avoiding any inconvenient telco regulation as a broadband provider for decades. This is just the next generation of the wet dream.
  • by Ichijo ( 607641 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @07:24PM (#55599587) Homepage Journal

    "Pray I don't alter it any further."

  • Dear Mr. Pai (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @07:27PM (#55599601)

    Fuck you twice, then. Once for letting the foxes into the henhouse, and once more for locking the door behind them.

  • is it will be used as ammo by anti-federalists to push states rights issues, completely ignoring the fact that it's cheap as free to buy off state legislatures and that with few exceptions they're all in the hands of the likes of the Koch bros. et al. e.g. in the absence of the FCC forcing NN we wouldn't have had it in the first place as each of the State legislatures was picked off one at a time by the elite ruling class. Anyone else remember that picture of the snake cut into 13 pieces? Anyone?
  • Tell the FCC to fuck off and die.

    • I'm sure. The Constitution explicitly gives the feds the right to regulate interstate commerce, it never stopped states from requiring you to disclose your interstate purchases on state income tax forms.
      • by Chas ( 5144 )

        It also never stopped the various states from enacting laws that ameliorate the effects of (or completely counter) federal law either.

    • Tell the FCC to fuck off and die.

      In more polite terms, I would not be surprised if individual states begin to do exactly that, through the courts. I wish them luck, sincerely. IMHO, I would tell them to reset their mission to one that protects consumers from thoe who provide service to them.

      The internet, from its beginnings, has aspired to be a communication medium. In the hands of ISPs and their allies in government, it has slowly evolved into a broadcast medium. Imagine a telephone company that only lets you say one word for every X that

  • I found his office's phone number on an imgur post: 202-418-1000

    Not verified, but feel free to check it out and leave love messages!

  • we will build our own internet, we dont need you telling us how to surf the internet anyway, as far as i am concerned this is federal government overreach and the FCC needs to go find something else to do
  • by sphealey ( 2855 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @08:05PM (#55599823)

    - - - - - In addition to ditching its own net neutrality rules, the Federal Communications Commission also plans to tell state and local governments that they cannot impose local laws regulating broadband service. - - - - -

    I suspect that tomorrow will not be a big day for my hard Radical Right coworkers to expound on the centrality of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, nor to opine on "states' rights". Just a guess.

    • by Ogive17 ( 691899 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @10:04PM (#55600399)
      They can't count past the 2nd Amendment.
      • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

        Not even that far, given how they skip over "well regulated militia". Maybe someday they'll get to the part where if they were to take up arms against the government, not only would they be traitors, but the Constitution allows Congress to suspend habeas corpus in times of rebellion. So the government wouldn't even need trials to throw their dumb asses in prison.

    • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

      Or maybe just maybe not everyone is as partisan as die-hard Democrats, and they can have voted for Trump but still oppose the end of net neutrality because they don't have to support everything he does? Just a guess.

  • I remember something about Tennessee...
    http://www.opn.ca6.uscourts.go... [uscourts.gov]

    Maybe related?
  • Does anyone think that having different states putting their fingers in the mix will help anything? Whether NN dies or not, I don't want ANY mix of states stickign their noses into the traffic when the purchase I'm making is on an E-commerce site hosted in California, for a company whose physical presence is in Oregon, but incorporated in Delaware, but shipping from Texas... (Yes, I want NN, but mixed state regulations for medical marijuana and guns make things into a clusterfuck as it is. No need for more.

    • >, I don't want ANY mix of states stickign their noses into the traffic when the purchase I'm making is on an E-commerce site hosted in California, for a company whose physical presence is in Oregon, but incorporated in Delaware, but shipping from Texas...

      An interesting problem. In terms of customer taxation, I think the sale should count from the last physical location owned by the merchant on the item's route to you. That works for 'cloud' services, too... wherever the server you connect to is locate

    • That clusterfuck is exactly the way things are supposed to be... so you can move to Oregon, Texas, or Deleware freely and pick the radically different legal environment the residents have selected in what should definitely not just be effectively a clone of every other state with almost entirely the same laws. That clusterfuck is supposed to make an entire swath of bullshit effectively unenforceable.
  • I used to pay taxes monthly to the bank. Every month, I sent a decent sum to the govt for not much. One day, I was told no more. I needed to go "on Line" and pay that way....not only the Feds, but New York State too.... Now, I go online, and like sort of the inverse of buying stuff on Amazon, I pay taxes. I am required to do it this way. The internet is the post office.
  • Pai's staff said that states and other localities do not have jurisdiction over broadband because it is an interstate service and that it would subvert federal policy for states and localities to impose their own rules.

    It's actually an international service, so by the same logic surely the federal government shouldn't have jurisdiction either?

  • Smells like... oligarchy. Some day, this country's gonna end...

  • I hear see comments, but I still do not think it matters!!

    Net Neutrality!!!! The Holy Grail, Oh my god we have to have it!!
    I feel this is about common carrier law legal liability isolation the phone companies got back in the day!!
    If they peek, route or tier the trial lawyers will carve them up, Maybe?
    Under common carrier, how can they peek and not be responsible for bad things.
    I think they feel they can do it, I am not a lawyer, but I think the system will teach them an expensive lesson!

    Just my 2 ce
  • With blackjack and hookers - in fact forget the blackjack.

  • It's simple to set up a GoFundMe to cover the legal bills related to punching Ajit Pai in the nose. Just sayin'.

  • by eyenot ( 102141 ) <eyenot@hotmail.com> on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @12:41AM (#55601011) Homepage

    a few things before i start in:

    * I actually remember when the EFF was about preventing unecessary regulations and legislation for the sake of avoiding creating bubbles of fantasy land bullshit. The old thinking was that computers don't obey legislation. Now I'm dosheartened to see the EFF actively calling for regulations and laws to force things to be convenient for them. Who the fuck is writing this shit?

    * I'm all for net neutrality, because I like the internet as a vital and growing platform for business and creativity, networking and socializing.

    So, let me start in.

    This shit is a fucking non. Issue.

    Look, nobody is paying for the internet just to make a modem connect across miles of line to a distant server just for the wow factor. Nobody is paying for internet service just to ssh to the ISP and >message everyone else who's logged in.

    And nobody is paying for internet service just to connect to the WWW pages of their favorite sites just for wow factor, either. The front pages of most web sites and services are really fucking boring and typically just offer shit like legal things to read, contact pages, "about us", etc. Most sites these days don't even offer a site map, so we're talking immensely boring.

    EVERYBODY who connects to the internet is connecting to see other users' content.

    Nearly every major web site or service exists to host user content: forums; photo hosting; facebook; twitter; youtube, vimeo, vidme; reddit; amazon, ebay, craigslist; they all host user content. The exceptions like netflix, hulu, other entertainment services, let's leave them out of the discussion. Even fucking redbox has a website; so does your local library. But let's acknowledge that even though those sites don't host user generated content, they wouldn't exist without the users who show up to drink from the media tap.

    No sites exist just to be on a hard drive somewhere. Well there's weird shit like Zombo.com but I think you get my point: the biggest sites online are all about connecting people to people, and the rest are about connecting people to companies.

    Nowhere in ANY of this is the user left out of the equation. The user is part of the flowchart every step of the way. If you think otherwise, sorry, you're fucking retarded.

    Which means that the user is in a position to place demands. You want congress to do that for you, that's great, have fun going round and round the cycle of bubble-bust bubble-bust while you strive to maintain the illusion of fantasy land and work on suspending your disbelief.

    Some people, notably Stephen King (check his twitter) think net neutrality is about censorship.

    Guess what, jerky? It's got shit to do with censorship. We have net neutrality right now, and facebook, twitter, youtube, and google have been censoring what you are allowed to see for over a year, and it's all been politically motivated. If you aren't aware of any of that, either you just got out of prison or, sorry, you're retarded.

    Net neutrality is about whether your service providers, the content-less middle men just passing data between you and the sites that exist only to serve you, will get to start charging you to reach those sites. Of course you should feel a little discouraged at that prospect, considering by and large those sites work by not charging you anything (at least not up front. And in the case of twitter, I hear that for $99/mo. you can buy a sponsored content account and boila, no more bans). Without those sites being able to offer that service, those sites don't work out to be as big as they are today. Without those sites being that big, ISPs have nothing much to sell the vast majority of users. Now you can see how and why the user has control, complete and utter fucking control, of the situation.

    So here's the fucking deal. Here's how and why net neutrality is a non issue: the user can flip the table by getting the websites on their side.

    Here's the proposal:

    1. Users get the major sites to agree that ISPs mon

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @04:46AM (#55601671)

      The problem is that the ISPs actually don't want the internet in the first place.
      So they just black list any site that doesn't pay them, their customers are locked in to the ISP since they have a monopoly where they live, so they just can't access those sites.

      In the end every website is blocked and the only thing you can do is get to the ISP's content (News/Movies/TV Series) because of vertical integration. And this is exactly what the ISP would like the best.

      It is win-win for the ISP, either sites pay them and they got money, or they become a content monopoly and they get more money by increasing prices.

    • First off, good post. Secondly, I'll admit that I am not up to date on the latest proposals (which is why i was reading this, actually). That said...

      I don't see it the same way. I thought the worry was that the major ISPs would charge the sites for preferential access. So you sign on w/ comcast and cnn is fast but craigslist is slow. Some, like facebook and google, are probably big enough that comcst wouldn't dare charge but there is a large middle ground that would think it is worthwhile marketing to

  • Ajit Pai apparently does not understand how the Constitution works.

    The fact that broadband is an interstate service gives FCC jurisdiction via the Interstate Commerce Clause.

    But there is nothing in the Constitution saying states can't "subvert Federal policy". In fact States do it all the time, as long as the business or service is confined to that state.
  • Well, that used to be in fashion. But now might be a great time to consider moving your bits to data centres in Canada. For instance, there is already one AWS centre up here, with another to follow.

  • by kenh ( 9056 )

    Pai's staff said that states and other localities do not have jurisdiction over broadband because it is an interstate service and that it would subvert federal policy for states and localities to impose their own rules.

    Seems odd that the very same people that argued against patchwork enforcement of immigration policy (clearly a federal domain) are arguing for patchwork enforcement of policies on 'broadband', another clearly federal domain.

It seems intuitively obvious to me, which means that it might be wrong. -- Chris Torek

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