back to article US Senators force vote on Ctrl-Z'ing America's net neutrality death

The controversial repeal of net neutrality rules in America will go to a formal vote in Congress after sufficient lawmakers backed an effort to scrap it. There are now more than 30 Senators that have cosponsored a resolution [PDF] under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the effort by the Federal Communications …

Re: Likely won't pass, but...

Sorry John, a mouse roar is still a pip squeak.

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Re: Likely won't pass, but...

"Repubs have made it a partisan issue, so they will likely vote exactly along the party lines."

What ISN'T a partisan issue anymore? If one party want Charmin in the congressional bathrooms then the other is going to scream for Quilted Northern, and there will be a couple people off in the corner crying out for Angel Soft.

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Windows

Follow the money

Yeah, Pai just wants to "return the Internet to the pee-ple." Yep. His actions have NOTHING to do with the fact that the big players all sponsor him or the fact that he's a whore for Verizion, Comcast, et al. Naw, he's doing it for the little guy. (Anyone who believes that, please contact me-I have a bridge for sale.)

Pai makes me sick. (Icon as close as I can find to puking.)

I doubt Congress will be able to do any good, but at least some in there are trying, which is something.

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Re: Follow the money

So, Google, Facebook and Twitter are not "big players?" Gotcha.

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Re: Follow the money

They are the case of the lesser evil in this. They want you consuming as much cheap bandwidth as possible to target more ads your way, and Concast and Derizon will charge you and them more for the the distracting kitteh videos.

At least you can ignore or block ads and use privacy filters with the Ad networks. The word Pigopolist that Orlowski used to use was invented for US Big Cable and Telco. Remind me was anyone actually jailed for the bill stuffing debacle?

Although as a RightPondian the whole furore over NN amuses, it's really just a US thing after all.

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Re: Follow the money

> "They are the case of the lesser evil in this."

More precisely, they are the hidden evil, as I see no one but me even mentioning their names.

Wonder why that is...?

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Re: Follow the money

There are somewhere between 4000 and 7000 tech companies in the US, all fighting for survival. Collectively, they are driving roughly 30% of the US economy.

That's what's at stake.

China will be perfectly to have said tech companies. They are already taking the lead in clean/green tech and free trade.

Just keep working at making China great again, because that will make great future for your kids.

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Re: Follow the money

More precisely, they are the hidden evil, as I see no one but me even mentioning their names.

I'm not really sure why their names matter. Its a massive ad-hominem. Do I like Facebook? No, not really. Do I think they're on the right side of this issue? Yes. Just because they stand to benefit in this situation doesn't make them wrong, any more than the fact that the cable companies stand to benefit if NN is overturned makes them right.

It's not about what companies benefits from this - it's about how it ultimately affects the people. Handing more power to cable companies, who are already anti-competitive as hell, will do a disservice to their customers, and that's clearly bad for the end user, even if it goes on to benefit Google or Facebook, or any other giant business that I don't like very much.

Look, this legislation wouldn't even be relevant if there was a healthy market for ISP's in the US, but there's not. If there were we could indeed just let the market sort it out, and have consumers leave en masse from any ISP who tried to stiff them over pay-per-access pricing. We are all well aware however that there is NOT a competitive market for broadband in the US, and given the sheer size of the incumbants and the enormous barrier to entry cost for getting into the market in the first place (laying fibre isn't cheap, and if I own fibre, why the hell would I let a competitor use it without putting up a fight?) there's not going to be a competitive market any time soon.

Perhaps if something had been done about that problem at some point in the past then we wouldn't be having this fight over this one now.

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Re: Follow the money

Because it's off topic and your post is just shameless whataboutism. We are discussing Pai and his dismantaling of NN. If Google, Facebook, et al are an issue then that is something else that can be discussed later. Their sins (if any) do not excuse what Pai is doing so why bring them up? For more about whataboutism watch John Olivers segment about it.

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Re: Follow the money

Because it is irrelevant?

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I'd just like to have Pai, twit-in-chief, congress-critters of the repuglican variety

All subject to the whims of some BUREAUCRAT deciding what you can watch, how much, and have the ability to insert ads.

Of course these aforementioned individuals are _currently_ in charge and probably have ways to influence the ISPs. But can you imagine if the twit is deposed and only gets 144 characters per week?

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Anonymous Coward

These senators must realise that at some point this is going to bite them in the ass, don't mess with peoples internet as it will harm your votes. Therefore I predict it will be kicked into touch.

That's my optimistic opinion.

Disclaimer: I'm not American but I see how we are never far behind with these things.

Epilogue: Pai is a d*ck.

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"These senators must realise that at some point this is going to bite them in the ass, don't mess with peoples internet as it will harm your votes. Therefore I predict it will be kicked into touch."

The Internet as we know it is already gone, and people are congregating into easy-to-manage echo chambers where any sort of challenge is quickly shot down. Consider why so many Congressional elections are uncontested.

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Facepalm

"rather than lawyers and accountants and bureaucrats"

Which is exactly the exact description of Pai himself.

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Unhappy

" recent weeks..Republican lawmakers..

following pressure from their constituents who worry that they will be forced to pay more for the content they want."

Wow, because realizing this law is f**kbrained stupid isn't a good enough reason to vote against it.

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The one and ONLY reason ISPs want to be able to throttle internet access is money. Data flows via electricity and electricity flow at near light speed. The cost of switches and routers is still dropping and the ISPs pay even less than the general public thru economies of scale. The fact they can throttle internet speeds at will is proof enough there is no economic reason to do so except to squeeze the cajones of a captive market.

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It will be solved by California and NY

They along with smaller blue states will pass laws saying no state contracts can be given to ISPs that don't abiding by net neutrality within their state. Pai has stated the FCC will try to block such state level laws but it is unclear how he could do that (especially since republicans claim to believe in 'states rights' which this would be completely against) and even if he did I can't see how it would pass muster in court since the FCC can't regulate against states doing this any more than the EPA can block states from adopting more strict pollution laws.

So one of two things will end up happening. One, ISPs who operate in those states will abide by net neutrality across the US because they deem it not worth operating differently in blue and red/purple states. Two, ISPs will operate one way in blue states that pass such a law and differently everywhere else, and if those differences end up being noticeable and negative for consumers net neutrality advocates will make sure they become well known and public pressure for net neutrality will force congress to act.

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Re: It will be solved by California and NY

"Pai has stated the FCC will try to block such state level laws but it is unclear how he could do that"

Simple. Internet traffic is normally interstate if not international in nature. He'll just invoke the Interstate Commerce Clause and cite that since most Internet traffic (like a lot of road traffic) is interstate in nature, the federal government is mandated to step in.

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Re: It will be solved by California and NY

True; but, the key is how the states go about it. If they try to directly regulate the ISPs within their state boundaries they could be over ruled. However, if, as the original poster suggested, they refuse to do business with companies that do not follow a set of rules they prefer that may pass muster. States are still allowed to choose who they do business with. And, there is always repealing the monopolies many ISPs have to operate.

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Re: It will be solved by California and NY

So what if they just take the "from the outside in" approach and become interstate businesses by default? Then fed regulations can kick in and trump the state ones. When it comes to loopholing, business are if anything cleverdicks (or as we Americans term them, smartypants).

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Re: It will be solved by California and NY

Doesn't matter if they are regulated solely by the Feds, the states can still choose what companies to award their contracts to and the federal government has no way of interfering. A company like AT&T or Verizon can't afford to shut itself out of lucrative state government markets like California or New York.

There's no way Pai could stop that. The only thing that could would be if Congress passed a law making net neutrality or lack of a "protected class" similar to discrimination on the basis of sex or race...good luck with that!

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Re: It will be solved by California and NY

New York and California are historically Democratic states. Congress is currently Republican-led with a Republican president. They can easily paint is as a case of the Big Dems trying to take freedom away from the rest of the country. Don't count it out.

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Anonymous Coward

So the "Network Neutrality" rules that Google wrote to benefit itself is a good thing?

And their repeal, which would just roll things back to the original state, is the end of civilization and democracy?

My guess is that the majority of commenters - and the author of this column - have no clue what was encompassed in those rules, who were "exempt" and who stood to benefit.

I'm outta here.

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Mushroom

@Etatdame:

> My guess is that the majority of commenters - and the author of this column - have no clue what was encompassed in those rules [ ... ]

How true. We did not and do not have a clue what's in those rules. We're all a bunch of unwashed illiterate peasants. Most of us can barely read.

Fortunately, we have your brilliant mind to guide us towards the light.

Teach us, O Enlightened One!

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Rule of thumb

When any part of the US government gives something a name or acronym that purports to guarantee, provide, or restore freedom / liberty / democracy / etc., you can be sure that it is in fact designed to do the opposite.

c.f. USA Patriot Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism); USA Freedom Act (which codifies indefinite detention, secret searches based on secret "warrants" that are rubber-stamped by a secret kangaroo court, secret and gag-ordered warrantless electronic searches via National Security Letter, etc.).

Now add the "restoring internet freedom order" to that list; except in this case, it's expanding the censorship and taxation powers of private companies instead of the government.

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Re: Rule of thumb

"When any part of the US government gives something a name or acronym that purports to guarantee, provide, or restore freedom / liberty / democracy / etc., you can be sure that it is in fact designed to do the opposite."

George Orwell's estate will soon be calling you to remind you that 1984 is still in copyright in the US.

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Re: Rule of thumb

Not for much longer. The clock runs out in only 7 years (Orwell died in January 1950, add 75 years).

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"The controversial repeal of net neutrality rules in America will go to a formal vote in Congress after sufficient lawmakers backed an effort to scrap it."

Rewrite that.

Scrap what? The repeal? Or net neutrality rules?

What is "sufficient lawmakers"? Do you mean "a sufficient number of lawmakers"? (As opposed to sufficiently fat ones, for example.) Also, clarify what "lawmakers" are.

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Devil

USA: Freedom Freedom Freedom !!!

Pssst: you can make a buck out it.

Money Money Money !!!

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Anonymous Coward

The Trump Affect strikes again.

He has actually got Congress talking about doing their job on this issue. This is something they should have done years ago. If memory serves the current Chairman of the FCC has stated this is something Congress needs to address. I know the Supreme Court has used the Interstate Commerce Clause to take more and more power for the Federal Government, including locking up Hemingways cats, but this really is a Federal issue and not one for the states.

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> Later, he wrote: "It is time for the Internet once again to be driven by engineers and entrepreneurs and consumers, MBAs rather than lawyers and accountants and bureaucrats"

There, fixed it for him.

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Anonymous Coward

Overcompensating?

Nadella.. Pai? I've seen awful managers like this before: People with self-perceived social inadequacies make the worst tyrants.

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Re: Overcompensating?

"Nadella.. Pai? I've seen awful managers like this before: People with self-perceived social inadequacies make the worst tyrants."

Stalin too.

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Re: Overcompensating?

"Nadella.. Pai? I've seen awful managers like this before: People with self-perceived social inadequacies make the worst tyrants."

Agree. But I'm not sure about the difference between the worst tyrants, and the best tyrants?

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Pint

@anonymous boring coward -- Re: Overcompensating?

Agree. But I'm not sure about the difference between the worst tyrants, and the best tyrants?

Nicely done! For you! --->

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America, where everything has a price and selling is job 1 through 1,000. Watching commercials on TV is the hard sell. "Medicine One is new. It treats mental illness and stupidity. See your doctor and ask if it is right he/she prescribe it for you!" It is a socially failed experiment no matter how many billionaires it makes through lop sided taxes.

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Megaphone

It's enough to make you wonder why bother with the hassle expense of maintaining a federal government in this day and age!

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Because SOMEONE has to intervene when two states butt heads. I mean, who gets the call when a New York business gets a call from a client in Delaware? That's why things like the Interstate Commerce Clause exist: to prevent states from trying to dominate one another in interstate matters.

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Oh, dear. The robot that powers Wee John and Tiny Trump must have beddy time.

Interesting pattern about when the data dumps arrive at the troll headquarters and the WH.

Their algorithms need to be tweaked a bit to make it appear that the messaging is not coming from the chasm that separates real humans and lots of silicon.

Maybe the twitchy nature of the US profiteer-in-chief and the scripted/mechanic nature of the entourage suggests that finer tuning is necessary.

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The usual hysteria

No, your ISP is not goiing to charge you an extra £5 a month to use Facebook. It's time these idiotic rumours were finally put to rest.

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Re: The usual hysteria

Wanna bet? Cable companies STILL won't let you buy third-party converter boxes (like the OLD AT&T days when you couldn't buy a phone, only RENT them). And before you say "Switch ISPs," (1) most places only have ONE ISP due to infrastructure issues, and (2) those with more than one can easily choose to act in cartel.

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