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The Internet Republicans The Courts United States Politics

FCC Won't Delay Vote, Says Net Neutrality Supporters Are 'Desperate' (arstechnica.com) 347

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Federal Communications Commission will move ahead with its vote to kill net neutrality rules next week despite an unresolved court case that could strip away even more consumer protections. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says that net neutrality rules aren't needed because the Federal Trade Commission can protect consumers from broadband providers. But a pending court case involving AT&T could strip the FTC of its regulatory authority over AT&T and similar ISPs. A few dozen consumer advocacy groups and the City of New York urged Pai to delay the net neutrality-killing vote in a letter today. If the FCC eliminates its rules and the court case goes AT&T's way, there would be a "'regulatory gap' that would leave consumers utterly unprotected," the letter said. When contacted by Ars, Pai's office issued this statement in response to the letter: "This is just evidence that supporters of heavy-handed Internet regulations are becoming more desperate by the day as their effort to defeat Chairman Pai's plan to restore Internet freedom has stalled. The vote will proceed as scheduled on December 14."

FCC Won't Delay Vote, Says Net Neutrality Supporters Are 'Desperate'

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  • Freedom! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Companies will be free to fuck the consumer! Yay! Land of the free! Home of the voiceless!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 04, 2017 @05:08PM (#55675465)

    The FCC took over regulation of interstate communication in 1934 with the Communications Act of 1934. The took over this authority from the Interstate Commerce Commission. Their job is regulating interstate commerce aspects of communication. Punting this to the FTC is disingenuous and probably illegal. Perhaps the executive branch needs to be reminded to follow the law.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "This is just evidence that supporters of heavy-handed Internet regulations are becoming more desperate by the day as their effort to defeat Chairman Pai's plan to restore Internet freedom has stalled."

    Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

  • Desperation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 04, 2017 @05:12PM (#55675515)

    When contacted by Ars, Pai's office issued this statement in response to the letter: "This is just evidence that supporters of heavy-handed Internet regulations are becoming more desperate by the day as their effort to defeat Chairman Pai's plan to restore Internet freedom has stalled. The vote will proceed as scheduled on December 14."

    In other news, people being held at gun point often become desperate when nothing they do can convince the gun totter to let them go.

  • And they cannot wait for the money to be theirs....

    Seriously, while undoubtedly Google and other profit from network neutrality, the ones that profit most are ordinary citizens with not a lot of disposable income and small companies. Doing away with network neutrality is about the most anti-citizen thing the FCC could do. Does fit right in with the tax reform in that though. I guess the ones that voted for this administration just like getting screwed over...

  • Newspeak (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 04, 2017 @05:24PM (#55675621)

    "Chairman Pai's plan to restore Internet freedom...." Orwell himself couldn't write better newspeak.

  • This is just evidence that the billions of dollars to be made by doing nothing except forcing heavy-handed Internet regulations are becoming more desperate by the day.

  • Internet freedom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @05:29PM (#55675675)

    ... Chairman Pai's plan to restore Internet freedom ...

    And by that, he means the freedom for ISPs to do whatever they want to customers and their traffic.

    • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

      And that, my friends, is when we lose. The ISPs will control what we we read, see and hear on the web. They will promote the candidates they like, while removing the ones the don't, ensuring a modern day fascist relationship. They'll inject commercials and ads right into your data stream. They'll nickel and dime you for every packet, every click, every redirect. You'll use the search engines they want. You'll use the services they want. You'll view the content they want. And if you work to circumvent the ne

  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @05:36PM (#55675727) Homepage Journal

    It's not that, it's just that the comments were faked to the FCC by anti-NetNeutraility bots, and they're concerned that America is waking up to their criminal activities in hacking the "vote".

    • Bots or not, all those comments are going to /dev/null. No one is reading those. They never had any bearing on this deal.

      • Since Pai literally said that he would not be taking public comment into consideration, we kinda know that for a fact.
        • by NaCh0 ( 6124 )

          The FCC was looking for meaningful comments. Taking somebody else's form letter and attaching "me too" to the end will always go straight to the trash. It doesn't matter which side your form letter takes.

  • We need to redirect our efforts elsewhere. The internet's protectors need to be pressuring congress and senate to pass new regulations that overrule the FCC and re-implement Net Neutrality outside of Title II, it's own beast, it needs its own laws. FCC is a lost cause, wasting our time with them. Bother your congress-critters.

    • by jwhyche ( 6192 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @08:00PM (#55676775) Homepage

      We need to redirect our efforts elsewhere

      I do believe that you are correct. I think we can conclude that pressuring the FCC is a lost cause. At least until a new administration is elected in 2020. Putting pressure on congress to do the right thing is one option we have.

      Wait, Wait. I know what some of you are thinking. Congress doing the right thing. Well I was reading a story the other day where a French scientist is working on creating a avian sus scrofa domesticus. So it could happen.

      But another option that we have to take into account is we can put direct pressure on isp's. Once we become aware of a isp being a problem let them know our displeasure. Refusing to pay bills and just plan old boycotting their services are two options.

  • by Cinnamon Beige ( 1952554 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @06:10PM (#55676059)

    I'm not finding a reference for when the FCC got a law passed authorizing it to regulate the internet--the closest you get is the Telecommunications Act of 1934, but people had little concept of modern computers at the time, never mind most of the things we do with computers now. They'd consider the El Cheapo calculators we can pick up at a dollar store to be incredibly impressive and not just because those things can fit into a pocket.

    It would be...reasonable to ask that, if the internet is going to be treated as telecommunications ect ect, that Congress actually pass the damn law saying as much. Having net neutrality be baked in on that level might also be actually preferable, especially since the ISPs being defined as common carriers by the FCC and having net neutrality regulations has failed quite entirely to prevent things like the MAFIAA from trying to get the ISPs to do their enforcement. (I would suggest not going for net neutrality but rather going straight to requiring they be agnostic about the content of their pipes--with them encouraged to know only the minimum amount of information required to ensure data gets where it's going, and not a single nibble more.)

    Seriously, a lot of this feels like watching a group of people working on a program who keep implementing crocks with the assurance that these are only really temporary patches and they'll go back Any Day Now and implement a proper fix or at least a reliably-working kludge...with the distinct feeling that this 'any day' is going to be a few eons after the heat death of the universe. Can we please just implement the proper fix? One that might actually get us the real thing?

    • There is such a law, but it wasn't the FCC that got it passed. The law is the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was passed in large part to take governance of the telecommunications industry away from the US District Court for the District of Columbia (fallout from the 1956 consent decree against AT&T) and into the FCC. That law is what gave the FCC the authority to classify services as either telecommunications services or information services.

  • by Jfetjunky ( 4359471 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @06:27PM (#55676155)
    Maybe the way to scare these ISPs into leaving this alone is making it an "all or nothing" situation. If you are going to throttle or block certain data, then you become responsible for policing ALL OF IT. If you insert yourself as the keeper of the data, you better be blocking all illegal and illicit content, failing to do so at their own peril.

    Eh, wishful thinking, I know.
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @06:53PM (#55676331)
    this decision? It does seem to mesh with the philosophy that government interference in free markets is a net-negative. The argument could certainly be made that the federal government has no business telling Comcast, Cox, et al what to do with their networks. You could argue that they get preferential status, but two wrongs don't make a right. Wouldn't the correct solution be to revoke their monopolies along with the net neutrality regulations?
  • I, personally, stink of desperation.

  • We ARE desperate to save the Internet from the shitbags that are trying to destroy net neutrality, and the greedy piece of shit corporations who are looking to make yet more money when they're already raking in plenty.

Pohl's law: Nothing is so good that somebody, somewhere, will not hate it.

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