back to article Pre-Trump FCC – get a grip on mobe data caps, racist Stingray spying, urge Dem senators

Leading Democrat senators are pushing the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to address a number of hot topics, including zero rating and the use of the Stingray cellphone-tracking technology, before the Trump Administration takes over in January. In a letter [PDF] sent Friday, seven senators including Elizabeth Warren …

  1. BillG
    Facepalm

    Janus

    Leading Democrat senators are pushing the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to address a number of hot topics, including zero rating and the [racist] use of the Stingray cellphone-tracking technology, before the Trump Administration takes over in January.

    Because these things are only O.K. when Democrats do it.

    1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

      Re: Janus

      No. Because these Congresscritters see a problem, are trying to address it, and firmly believe that the Trump administration will strongly oppose their efforts. And OBTW they happen to be Democratic senators.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Janus

        Well, Bernie Sanders is actually I-VT, rather than D-VT.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Janus

        "these Congresscritters see a problem, are trying to address it, and firmly believe that the Trump administration will strongly oppose their efforts"

        translated: These Congresscritters see a potential power-grab opportunity, fear that their party/position is being DE-THRONED permanently, and firmly believe that the Trump administration WILL follow through on the campaign promises, so they better "get" while the "getting" is still good...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Because these Congresscritters see a problem, are trying to address it....

        Yes, it is a problem.

        It is not a new problem - it has also been a problem for the past 8 years of a Democratic administration.

        A person less charitable than myself might question the timing and motivation of their concern.

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Holmes

    "Changes before January"

    Eight years of Obamashit (including finding Hitler and "red lines" in faraway lines that have nothing to do with Amuricca) and now we are in a hurry all of a sudden.

    I have the burning sense of HATE, just HATE in the spirit of "I have no mouth but I must scream". I actually get the post-Weimar-Republic spirit all of a sudden.

    Also: Commander-In-Chief Donald Trump Will Have Terrifying Powers. Thanks, Obama.

  3. John H Woods

    "Because these things are only O.K. when Democrats do it." -- BillG

    It's very annoying when people are hypocrites but, like the fat doctor who tells you to exercise more, it doesn't invalidate their position.

    1. BillG

      It's very annoying when people are hypocrites but, like the fat doctor who tells you to exercise more, it doesn't invalidate their position.

      Actually, it does because the Dems can't claim any moral high ground. Opinion polls show that independents see the hypocrisy first.

      FYI Bill Clinton tried to do the same thing when he was leaving office.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > "Actually, it does because the Dems can't claim any moral high ground."

        That never stopped them before!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >Opinion polls show that independents see the hypocrisy first.

        Takes a pretty special kind of hypocrite to say you are going to clean up congress and then get drummed out for ethics violations as well as impeach a president for lying about an affair while having an affair at the time yourself. The kind that is probably going to get a plum administration job here very soon more than likely. Oh well maybe we will get our moon bases after all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I guess unlike one of his successors as Speaker of The House at least he wasn't a kiddie fiddler. Ladies and gentlemen the moral majority.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          impeach a president for lying about an affair

          He was impeached for lying under oath.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: impeach a president for lying about an affair

            >He was impeached for lying under oath.

            Yeah because asking questions about adult consensual sexual behavior when no crime has been committed under oath is perfectly acceptable use of government power (and tax payer money, not to mention the millions spent on Starr's fishing expeditions, though in his defense he does know a lot about coverups as he showed running Baylor, nope no hypocrisy there) but its not ok to question the massive conflict of interest nearing outright corruption shit show that is about to unfold. Hate to break it to you but breathtaking hypocrisy is one of the few things still truly bipartisan in DC.

  4. Mephistro Silver badge
    WTF?

    The cheek!

    "Most of the original motivations for having an FCC have gone away."

    If this Mark Jamison was Pinocchio, the tip of his nose would have crossed Pluto's orbit a short while ago.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: The cheek!

      I don't know about that being a blatant lie, or even an attempt to grossly represent facts, but I'd have to wonder what 'most of the original motivations' means.

      I understand that the FCC is there primarily to regulate frequency bands and public communications services (like telephones), and not the CONTENT on those frequency bands. Hopefully he didn't mean THAT. More 'modern' usages included the (now defunct) "fairness doctrine" which was a form of CENSORSHIP. The explosion of talk radio (and saving of AM stations with news/talk formats), once it was appropriately REMOVED from the list of FCC regulations, is proof of that. The censorship of the 'fairness doctrine' was IMPEDING commerce.

      Similarly we have another 'fairness doctrine' at issue with the FCC with respect to the intarwebs. Only THIS time it's mislabeled 'net neutrality'. Its objective is SIMILAR to 'fairness doctrine', to provide a mechanism through which unelected gummint regulators can CONTROL.

      The intarwebs best serves the world by remaining an ANARCHY. The only thing that should be regulated is the communication protocol, so that actually WORKS. Beyond that, there's no need for ANY regulation. (although I wouldn't *mind* a regulation that *requires* U.S. IPv6 support by 'some reasonable date', the way it was for HDTV - we're all better off from THAT)

      Let it be the 'wild west' web, not the 'world whipped' web.

      So what DID Jamison mean by 'original motivations' anyway?

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        Re: The cheek!

        "So what DID Jamison mean by 'original motivations' anyway?"

        Don't know what he meant, but IMO the original motivations for the creation of the FCC were to protect communications from things like spectrum land grabs, interference, monopolies gouging the consumers and similar crap, in such a way that society as a whole profits from these improved communications. These motivations remain today and are even more important today than 82 years ago.

        "The intarwebs best serves the world by remaining an ANARCHY"

        That depends on the definition of anarchy. Wild West style anarchy is when the big guys are either fighting among themselves -and usually harming/killing lots innocent bystanders in the process- or conspiring to rob, enslave or murder the general public. In the real world, to prevent this kind of situations, you need some government regulation, oversight and enforcement. Where it not for governments regulation and the FCC and similar entities, we'd probably be having this discussion in a BBS accessed through an eye-wateringly expensive 14,400 bauds connection.

        If you don't agree with this, please try to replace the word "intarwebs" in your comment with "banking", "industries", "army", "hospitals", "food production", "firefighting" or "law enforcement" and see where that takes you.

        Not saying that the FCC and comms regulations are perfect. My point is that without the FCC and regulation the situation would be far far worse than what is now.

  5. Suncoast

    Common Carrier not a stretch

    There has been too much fear mongering regarding these issues. If the internet were still a phone company, then an analogy would be requiring toll charges to call your next door neighbor only because they are with a competing phone company. Letting companies charge or throttle data based on it's source is just bad for all consumers. If I have problems with my voip provider, I don't want my internet provider telling me they only provide good connectivity for their voip product. If I want to watch an Amazon TV show, I don't want my ISP telling me I have to pay extra for that data because it's not DirecTV. Viewing consumer internet connections through the same lens as telephone lines is not a stretch.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Common Carrier not a stretch

      You wouldn't have a VOIP provider because the company that pipes your internet undoubtedly also sells mobile or landline phones, so would be allowed to block any competing product on their connection. But you won't be reading this because they have a deal with Murdoch corp so that only Fox news sites are allowed.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Common Carrier not a stretch

        "the company that pipes your internet undoubtedly also sells mobile or landline phones, so would be allowed to block any competing product on their connection"

        I would expect that 'internet services' would be defined (by the FCC) as NOT having this level of content blocking applied. And think about it: would YOU want YOUR company, or the company YOU invest in, to engage in THESE kinds of anti-competitive practices? Keep in mind that existing laws on the books in the USA regarding anti-trust, etc. would probably make this sort of thing illegal. As an example, you can't own the oil fields, refineries, pipelines, *AND* gasoline stations and THEN use them to control the market by inflating the wholesale prices to competing stations. Existing regulations already prevent THAT kind of abuse, something that apparently happened a LOT before Teddy Roosevelt was elected. And that's the point.

        So have a little trust in the system for some common sense. Don't believe the ridiculous made-up paranoid rantings of anti-Trump'ers. De-regulation is a GOOD thing, when common sense is applied.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Common Carrier not a stretch

      "Letting companies charge or throttle data based on it's source is just bad for all consumers"

      This is true ONLY when you have no choice of providers, like a telco with hard wires. If the telco is required to 'rent its wires' [such as it is NOW in the USA], to allow competing services to provide an alternative, OR when there are 'competing wires' available, then it's no longer the same thing.

      CELL PHONES already have 'overage' policies, which include things *like* throttling and charging for additional bandwidth. Yet they COULD say "this bandwidth is always free" if they wanted to.

      So here's a thought: what if it's not "charge for bandwidth" to the receiver, but to the SENDER ? AND, only when your plan includes something to justify it, such as PRIORITIZATION? With 'neutrality' we all *MUST* stay in the *SAME* bandwidth ghetto, like good little communists [except for the elite, who always seem to be able to escape such limitations].

      1. Gnosis_Carmot

        Re: Common Carrier not a stretch

        You forget the days of Compuspend, America Offline, Stodgity, etc, where yes, you could get *most* content over the interwebs but some was reserved exclusively for a single provider. UPN when it first appeared was only available on AOL. Didn't have AOL? You were told sign up for AOL or shut up.

        These carriers are wanting to return to that level of gouging. Net Neutrality, in theory, prevents that. In practice, maybe not so much, but it would be better than nothing....

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