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The Right's War On Net Neutrality

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the when-right-is-wrong dept.

The Internet 945

jamie writes "To understand the debate being waged in the United States over Net Neutrality, it's important to understand just how drastically one side has been misled. The leaders of the American Right are spreading the lie that Net Neutrality is a government takeover of the internet, with the intention of silencing conservative voices. (Limbaugh: "All you really have to know about Net Neutrality is that its biggest promoters are George Soros and Google.") This may be hard to believe to those of us who actually know what it's about — reinstating pre-2005 law that ensured internet providers could discriminate on the basis of volume but not content. Since the opposing side is so badly misinformed, those of us who want the internet to remain open to innovation and freedom of expression have to help educate them before the debate can really be held."

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Of course (1, Insightful)

Daverd (641119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686206)

Whenever someone disagrees with you, it must be because they are badly misinformed.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686270)

I'm not familiar with the arguments, but it seems to me that the poster has given good reason to bolster his claim that people could be misled by the opposing view.

Re:Of course (1, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686532)

People are misled on all sides by anything that's been given a political bent. Net Neutrality has been especially susceptible to this; when non-geeks can barely understand what it's about, you can't expect highly-partisan tools to understand it, either.

Re:Of course (0, Flamebait)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686300)

No, in the case of a tool like Limbaugh, I can accept that he might just be telling a lie.

Re:Of course (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686450)

I used to listen to Limbaugh (2002) until I heard him comparing the then-new Prius and Honda Insight hybrids to yugos, and claiming they can't run faster than 55. Well I owned an insight and knew that was a flat lie (its top speed was 120).

More recently he's been saying the Chevy Volt hybrid only goes 40 miles. Limbaugh ought to take a page from Glenn Beck and actually RESEARCH a topic before speaking because while the Volt Electric Mode only goes 40 miles, it also has a gasoline engine that turns-on when the battery is empty. Stupid shithead Rush... I refuse to listen to him anymore because if he can't get that basic tiny fact straight, it makes me wonder what else he's getting wrong.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686562)

He's paid to get it wrong. The more misinformed his audience the further fractured from the other news sources their internalization of the issues, the less likely they are to continue to watch real reporting (e.g. the Beeb)

Re:Of course (5, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686592)

You are misunderstanding Rush. Believe me, he has one hell of a research staff, and often he isn't saying what you think he is saying. If he is masterful at anything, it is at parsing words. If he says something like "The Chevy volt is only gonna let you drive 40 miles on batteries" and other think that means it will only go 40 miles, well, thats ok for him. He even plays back his "quotes", and again, he parses his words carefully so that in a single quote, the meaning might be obvious but in the full context, it may be misleading. Lots of "what if....[statement]" or " maybe...[statement]...who knows" type of noncommittal comments.

In other words, he talks out of both sides of his mouth. He is entertaining, and I see the attraction. I used to listen. But remember, he is an entertainer, not a journalist. Even he admits that, then acts like a journalist.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686680)

No, he's a liar who gets buckets of money by misleading a bunch of racist, uneducated, slackjawed hicks. Also by running ads for crummy products such as anything made by Bose.

Re:Of course (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686310)

Not "whenever." But in this particular case, yes, people who oppose net neutrality because they believe it's about censoring conservative voices on the Internet are misinformed.

The only way their argument makes any sense is if they believes that ANY gov't regulation will inevitably lead to oppression, which is, frankly, a pretty childish belief. Put down the Ayn Rand, folks, and come back to the real world. Gov't regulating lead-free drinking water is not an attack on liberty.

Re:Of course (3, Insightful)

Batmunk2000 (1878016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686590)

It isn't an issue of the concept being sound - it is the practical enforcement of the concept. Good ideas implemented poorly by a government that can't keep the post office viable or get aid to hurricane victims isn't going to help anyway. For me the debate over NN is moot. The real debate is can the FCC implement it without corruption or government creep? Sadly, there is little evidence to show they can.

Re:Of course (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686628)

While the idea that net neutrality is about turning the internet into a liberal nanny state is, naturally, unmitigated hogwash, there is a certain twisted "logic" to its appeal...

First, of course, is the "zOMG, only governments are capable of regulation and/or oppression, free markets are free as in freedom, all historical evidence to the contrary!" brigade. There are people who think that "free market" is some sort of god-given default state, not something created by the interesection of specific culture and rule of law. This tends to lead to a view where "free market" is what happens with no regulations, and every subsequent regulation is a brick in the road toward socialist fascism.

Second, where do conservative commentators have their greatest strength, in terms of market penetration, viewership numbers, etc? Radio and Cable. On the radio, there is pretty much Right win talk, apolitical top-40 pop drivel, and NPR coming in a distant third. On cable, you have the rabid ideologues on Fox, and the slightly more respectable-looking "centrist" corporatistists elsewhere. The left pretty much has comedy central.

Now, given that, there is an obvious ideological and economic alliance of interests between team Cable, RF broadcasters, and the major entertainment and "news" figures whose fortunes are alligned with theirs.

The ideological alignment helps; but even if Limbaugh were host of the "Glorious People's Revolutionary Communism Hour", he would probably be dismissing net neutrality as a plot of the capitalist running-dogs and their international banking masters of deceit. Cable and Radio are two media where right wing figures have played particularly well. The fact that they are standing in defense of their bread-and-butter medium against the unfettered internet access that would(through a mixture of streaming video and pressure to re-allocate spectrum toward wireless IP networks rather than AM/FM/UHF/VHF broadcasts) cut into that medium's viability seems entirely logical, even without the ideological component.

Re:Of course (3, Informative)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686734)

But in this particular case, yes, people who oppose net neutrality because they believe it's about censoring conservative voices on the Internet are misinformed

They think this because the people pushing net neutrality are usually the same ones pushing to bring back the Fairness Doctrine

Before people think about how stupid people are for making this assumption, look at all the reactions whenever Rush says anything. People are quick to assume what he meant rather than to listen to what was actually said (like the poster above stating Rush said the Chevy Volt hybrid only goes 40 miles and leaving out that he actually said Chevy Volt hybrid only goes 40 miles on battery power before switching over to gas power.)

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686404)

So, in your opinion it is informative to call net neutrality a "trojan horse for further meddling by the government" as the minority leader said? Or are you saying that the everyone can tell that Limbaugh is full of shit when he says this is about "total government control of the Internet"?

I'm not an American and nor do I take part in the unintelligent america-bashing that is all the rage nowadays, but I will say that your public debate is often useless. Somewhat entertaining, but totally void of any real debate or intent to convey information... Misinformation is an apt word in that case, I guess.

Re:Of course (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686432)

In this case, though, the pattern (seen here on /. as well as from Rush et al) is that the right wing set up a straw man of what net neutrality it is in order to knock it down. Specifically, they claimed that the proposal was about something similar to the Fairness Doctrine [wikipedia.org] , when it is fact completely different.

It was rather clever of them, really: They took the fact that "Neutrality" and "Fairness" were similar ideas, and used just that to make a large segment of the population think that what "Net Neutrality" meant was "Barack Obama ensuring that nobody can say anything bad about him on the Internet".

Mod Parent Up (4, Interesting)

ideonexus (1257332) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686492)

This has been the most infuriating aspect of this debate for me. Every time I'm challenged by people who listen to Limbaugh on the subject of Net Neutrality, they think it's all about keeping porn off the Internet and allowing the Government to censor websites. So yes, my opponents are horribly misinformed on this issue thanks to that bombastic blowhard.

Re:Of course (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686544)

It's not a Strawman when people sitting in the white house are saying, "When we pass net neutrality we should also include the fairness doctrine as part of the regulations." (Cass Sunstein and Jones). Or the new Diversity Chair in the FCC saying it's time to revive the fairness doctrine for both broadcast television AND cable news AND internet websites. I've seen the videos/heard the audios myself. Or the Congressman saying MSNBC and FOXnews should be yanked off the air and the internet. Or the White House calling TRUtv and demanding Governor Ventura's Internment Camps episode be pulled from the TV and the web. Or Youtube pulling the 'obama deception' video because they said it's wrong to criticize a sitting president.

As it turns out the NN rules passed are actually harmless, but the FCC was immediately criticized for it, because many say they didn't go far enough to censor websites they don't like (like Alex Jones).

Re:Of course (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686678)

It's still a strawman to conflate the two even if both are mentioned at the same time.

They are different things and should be treated as such. Certainly the inclination of Radio and TV trolls to muddle the two doesn't help keep these concepts isolated from one another. It doesn't add to the discussion or help governance.

Re:Of course (2)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686498)

Whenever someone disagrees with you, it must be because they are badly misinformed.

Nah, sometime they're just flat out stupid.

Re:Of course (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686564)

On this one you can't even attribute to stupidity what might actually be malice.

Re:Of course (3, Insightful)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686512)

Whenever someone disagrees with you, it must be because they are badly misinformed.

Often it can be the case, and in this case I think it is a bit of a problem. The issue is one that is being politically charged and turned into a partisan issue because those who are promoting this current concept of "net neutrality" is also doing the concept a disservice as well. From the Daily Kos article itself:

No one, other than the big telcos, seems to be particularly happy with the FCC's Net Neutrality rules, as Chris documented earlier.

Unfortunately in American politics, a clean and clear "left vs. right" paradigm doesn't work either and there are also many aspects to somebody's political beliefs that by turning this into a "liberal vs. conservative" issue is doing themselves and this issue in particular a major disservice.

The core of the problem is the FCC getting into the mix here where they clearly lack the authority to act at all, and where this really ought to be a congressional issue or better yet something where the government simply stays out of the whole issue altogether. It is also a problem where just a few gatekeepers have somehow been able to get themselves to a position where they can in theory "control" the internet, and I contend it is because of too much regulation of the internet that this situation has happened. If private individuals were allowed to connect to whomever and however they wanted for a network connection, most of these problems would go away. It is the legal restrictions which enact barriers to competition and the encouragement of government-backed monopolies which has forced this situation to a head.

While I'll be the first to admit that Rush Limbaugh is speaking out through ignorance of the issue, this politically charged reply is showing equal signs of ignorance for what is unfortunately a very complex issue with multiple "solutions" if the goal is to permit more freedom for individuals to express themselves as they so choose.

Of course I disagree (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686706)

lol just had to say it....but your right in fact ....The truth is 'social engineering' seems to be more about cultivist acts of propaganda then it does about the facts. IF people wanted just facts....the catholic church would just evaporate. One thing i see is the two polars. FEAR and HOPE. they use there religion for hope and give you FEAR of misinformed facts, twisted to there ends , that as we all know the ends never justifies the means.... funny how all these nazi sympathizers are gaining power You have the bush family for years , the current POPE.....and "conservatism" that is anything but conservative.

As the son of a politician (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686214)

This has nothing to do with right or left, but the green of the money being bribed^H^H^H^H^H^H given for campaigning. This is not something the hill knows a damn thing about, and if we're lucky 10% of them understand the issue at a high level.

Re:As the son of a politician (2)

DCFusor (1763438) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686726)

Yep, that's precisely the case. In this case it seems the "right" is completely in the thrall of the telecoms who see non neutrality as a way to increase their profits. As if they didn't already charge both ends of the 'net for the same bits -- they charge one guy to put them on there, and the other guy for getting them already.

Which I understand is partly why we get to pay about 4x for cel phone service than our brothers in europe do.

I see it as their own fault if they didn't charge enough in the first place, and personally, they should be very fearful of being hit with common carrier status -- bits is bits, after all, whether it's voice, slashdot, video, or email.

This could be a deliberate distraction from the idea of that fate, which is even more scary to them than mere neutrality.

IMO, people who carry bits shouldn't be allowed to also own content. Imagine what the music world would be like if the RIAA owned the airwaves. Oh, wait...

Meh. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686238)

Limbaugh

Isn't that a type of inedible, spoiled cheese?

Oh, c'mon ... (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686250)

Since when does any political "debate" require any knowledge of the topic?

Jeez; someone simply hasn't been paying attention. (But of course this would fit right into the tradition. ;-)

Re:Oh, c'mon ... (2)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686756)

Heh, pretty much. I'm actually not all that dissatisfied with the current state of affairs. The best Congress is a deadlocked Congress. So just don't waste any time, energy, and especially money on them or any other administrative overhead.

If the politicians aren't successful at legislating the net, then the technologists will remain in control, as they should be.

The evil "American Right"... (5, Insightful)

icebrain (944107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686258)

Yeah, like there are only two two kinds of people in this country ... and there are just as many on the "American Left" who will happily and blindly lap up what their "leaders" tell them to.

This appears to be a combined case of blind partisanship ("they support it, so we must oppose it because they're the other side"), stupidity, and "a free market isn't defined by the presence of competition or the ability for all parties to make free, informed choices, but rather whether large corporations have any restrictions on them or not".

I have no love for a lot of the "American Left" as most would think of it, nor for the "Right". But this is just fucking stupid.

Re:The evil "American Right"... (1)

JesseDegenerate (936699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686386)

cause real life is black and white.

Re:The evil "American Right"... (0)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686520)

Yeah, like there are only two two kinds of people in this country ... and there are just as many on the "American Left" who will happily and blindly lap up what their "leaders" tell them to.

There's almost no Left in the U.S.A., "right of center" seems like it's the Left only to those at the extreme Right.

Re:The evil "American Right"... (1, Informative)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686580)

..."they support it, so we must oppose it"

Just look at Michelle Obama's support of healthy diets and exercise to combat the obesity epidemic. Those republican idols Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin jump on the other side: the gubbermint is taking away our desserts! Ebil ebil gubbermint!

who is educating who? (1)

reynols (82982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686264)

"Since the opposing side is so badly misinformed, those of us who want the internet to remain open to innovation and freedom of expression have to help educate them before the debate can really be held."

HA! That will never happen.

Who do politicians work for? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686268)

Right, Left... what's the difference? Answer: a slight variation in the companies bankrolling them. But many of these companies bankroll both sides at the same time.

It is disingenuous to claim that there is any kind of political ideology involved. Any time a politician talks about ideology, he is just grandstanding in order to justify the position of his employers. The rest of their "differences" are ploys to make them look like they are distinct individuals, instead of all employees of the same interests.

Make no mistake: all national politicians are fully-owned subsidiaries of large corporations. Never be distracted into thinking that they have the slightest interest in doing anything that is actually in your interest except by accident (or occasionally in order to get reelected, if it seems like their owners' money alone isn't doing the trick).

Re:Who do politicians work for? (4, Funny)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686382)

You mean AL Gore was lying to me when he told me that Ethanol from corn was a viable and statistically proven "green" fuel that would have no impact on the price of food and provide me with ultra cheap fuel for my car, just so he could get votes from farmers?

oh wait........

Re:Who do politicians work for? (2)

TheL0ser (1955440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686650)

He also invented the internet, so he probably should be the go-to guy on this.

Re:Who do politicians work for? (2)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686700)

I don't think Al Gore was as two faced as people apparently think he was years ago. Corn Ethanol had its detractors, but it was really the only viable alternative energy game in town at the time (switchgrass Ethanol is still a no-show for instance). It's not like he was arguing against other forms of alternative energy, he was just advocating for what we could do now.

Re:Who do politicians work for? (1)

AtomicSnarl (549626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686716)

Indeed! Do we want the Internet run (or overseen) by the Post Office? DMV? Medicare? Etc...

Re:Who do politicians work for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686534)

I don't get this "they're all the same" attitude. Both parties and their associated politicians may suck in their own way, but it's pretty obvious that the evil coming from the republican side of the aisle is orders of magnitude worse than the other side. The same group who can't stop talking about budget deficits when it comes to destroying social programs fight tooth-and-nail for spending tens of billions of dollars on tax cuts for millionaires in a country where the income distribution is approaching 3rd world levels of inequality. No, it's not even fucking close.

But will they listen? (1)

RiotNrrd (35077) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686282)

Sadly, it has been my experience that the kind of people that are easily swayed by their favorite entertainers are usually not the kind of people that would be willing to listen to ANY opposing arguments. I have tried to explain the situation to people using all sorts of different analogies but all they hear is "BIG GOVERNMENT IS TAKING OUR INTARWEBS!".

What I don't get is why so many big businesses (not necessarily "internet companies" like Amazon and Google) have remained silent on the issue. You know that massive B2B e-commerce system that connects you to your suppliers and your customers? It uses the internet. Ever think about how the new FCC regulations will affect you?

Re:But will they listen? (2, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686356)

The truth is that Net Neutrality is the government taking over the Internet, while a lack of Net Neutrality is big business taking over the Internet. Sorry little man, but you can't win; what we have now is both sides being too stupid to realize that somebody has ground rent up to now on a large piece of land somebody else had a cabin on, and now they're negotiating on whether to pay the rent or buy the ground while we've been playing in the part of their back yard they didn't realize was theirs until now.

Re:But will they listen? (1)

MonChrMe (1849782) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686624)

Uh... no?

Net Neutrality - when done right - is an assertation that nobody owns or controls 'the internet'.
'Net Neutrality' - when done the way the government wants - is the government taking control.
A lack of Net Neutrality is TELECOMS taking over the internet.

The problem is that the government has co-opted the term to mean something it wasn't supposed to - which serves to confuse the argument. We could try to raise true NN under a new name, but the governments likely to try the same thing there as well, so it'd need a fast and hard blitz to get the real meaning embedded in the public consciousness before they manage that. Unfortunately, there isn't the will at the moment.

Re:But will they listen? (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686646)

Net neutrality is just a specific law as part of more general antimonopolistic regulation.

There would be no need in net neutrality whatsoever if I had a choice at least between FIOS and Comcast at my location. http://politics.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/12/28/1441255# [slashdot.org]

Re:But will they listen? (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686670)

That's not true. In what way does the government directly control the internet by requiring that providers offer their services in an equal way to all who want them. They aren't requiring them to provide service to those that won't pay nor are they telling the providers what prices they can charge. And so long as the prices and availability are the same regardless of organization they can do more or less as they have been.

Net neutrality more or less codifies the way things were done until relatively recently.

Re:But will they listen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686754)

The government is (in theory) selected by and accountable to the people. The only thing that the corporate oligarchy controlling internet access in your region is accountable to is its shareholders. If the choice is between 'big government' and corporate oligarchy, the best choice for the little guy seems pretty fucking clear.

But this isn't a any sort of takeover of the internet at all. Net neutrality would merely be a narrow set of rules limiting some of the ways telecoms might attempt to fuck over the little guy.

Re:But will they listen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686410)

They can afford to pay more for favoritism and a lack of net neutrality will help price smaller competitors (who could potentially become big competitors) out of the market.

Re:But will they listen? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686634)

>>>[Limbaugh listeners] not the kind of people that would be willing to listen to ANY opposing arguments.

This works both ways. When I share videos of cop misbehavior, such as when they killed a man's pet cat, or shot a little girl, or murdered a man holding a watering hose, or beat a man walking his dog, or threw a blind woman to the ground and killed her seeing-eye dog, or ..... I immediately get accosted by people saying that I should not be criticizing cops. These persons (almost all of them self-proclaimed Democrats) act as if cops can do no wrong and any attempt to show otherwise is met with "You shithead!" and other insults.

From the unbiased Daily KOS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686288)

Daily KOS as a source?

For a moment I thought I typo'd the URL.... slashmao.org.

lollerskates (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686312)

I agree with the basic premise of net neutrality. But if you look at what the FCC is trying to do, it's not net neutrality any more than an individual mandate is health care. Call a turd a turd.

Re:lollerskates (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686704)

You should actually read up on issues before mouthing off about it. The individual health care mandate was necessary in order to get the concessions from health insurance companies and doctors necessary to make insurance affordable and avoid the case where people don't buy until they have to have it.

The only issue I have with the FCC's efforts here is that there's an awful lot of loopholes in the proposal and that it doesn't go anywhere near far enough. But then again, the FCC tends to be pretty weak when it comes to standing up to telecoms that abuse their spectrum and tends not to be willing to just take it back when it's needed for more important things.

Karate Kid had it right (5, Funny)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686322)

Mr, Kesuke Miyagi: [sighs] Daniel-san, must talk. [they both kneel] Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later, [makes squish gesture] get squish just like grape. Here, Internet, same thing. Either you Internet do "yes", or Internet do "no". You Internet do "guess so", [makes squish gesture] just like grape. Understand?

Daniel LaRusso: Yeah, I understand.

I have to deal with this all the time.... (5, Interesting)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686326)

I'm pretty right-wing... but I have some awesome arguments about this with other right-wingers.

Some of them can't seem to evaluate the situation for themselves so they just go with whatever their media talking head tells them.

None of them can explain how the Internet is supposed to work, nor how companies are screwing it up, nor what net neutrality means.... but they are pretty sure that gay socialists are going to take over the internet.

I usually paint it like this:
What if ISPs and common carriers started deciding to block FoxNews.com because they didn't like the message? That seems to get thru to some of them.

The right-wingers have one point though:
Liberals usually work incrementally. It starts with simple net neutrality rules. Then later on, they add some more rules. And more. And more. A Killswitch and some hate-crimes legislation later and before you know the government is all up in your intarwebs.

Now before you liberals get all self-congratulatory on your enlightened position.... none of my liberal friends can think for themselves on several liberal bandwaggon issues either.

Re:I have to deal with this all the time.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686448)

Liberals usually work incrementally.

Everyone *usually* does, until they get to a point, where they're close enough to the power source to grab it for themselves. Hitler, for instance...

Re:I have to deal with this all the time.... (-1, Flamebait)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686558)

Hitler, for instance, would squarely fit the American modern liberal category.

Re:I have to deal with this all the time.... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686750)

Double Godwin! You both lose.

Re:I have to deal with this all the time.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686484)

Agreed an well said...the point is that later the companies will start charging more for certain kind of content. Or gov will start taxing certain kinds of content. The companies already want to charge more for streaming sites. That is where it starts. Then later it's any and all high traffic sites. Then at some point the gov will take over the regular media because they will "need a bailout" due to the extra fees imposed by a lack of net neutrality..

I do agree though that if Soros is involved we need to step back and tack another look at why. He has these charities which put a nice face on him, but he doesnt give a damn about America. He WANTS to see a weak dollar. This is how he works. He supports groups which want big social programs which are very expensive. No state can pay for them over the long term. So, he helps an Obama get into office, and then shorts the dollar using 10x leverage. The End.

Re:I have to deal with this all the time.... (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686508)

Heh, not bad.

Politics is a waste of time... should be minimized, like administrative overhead. At best, it's a form of entertainment.

I think I might consider myself a conservative in theory, but a liberal in practice. But as long as both sides are doing what they're good at and not doing what they're bad at, things are fine by me.

As for my friends, ironically the conservatives tend to be the nicer people, while the bleeding-heart liberals tend to be 4$$holes. But I love them all the same.

Re:I have to deal with this all the time.... (0)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686560)

The right-wingers have one point though:
Liberals usually work incrementally.

Tell them to stick that point to the end of their wedge and shove it up their own asses. "Liberals work incrementally", riiight, "hey, make the tax cuts temporary *wink*wink*". Bunch of hyprocritical... grrr...

Re:I have to deal with this all the time.... (0)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686660)

Tax "cuts" are the wrong way to think about it.

The government should get enough money from the population to act as a limited social contract among free people to secure life, liberty, and property.

Anything extra should be given back to the people who payed in.

You and Obama seem to think it's fine to use private property as communal property and the government will tell you how much to pay in.

Re:I have to deal with this all the time.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686576)

On this issue the liberals are definitely the ones to trust. I mean, odds are that they are members of the ACLU! If I had to trust any organization to not stifle free speech that would be the one. On the other hand the free-market conservatives are likely to agree that banning websites is a totally legitimate thing for a company to do and if you don't like it you can go elsewhere. Of course when you have a local monopoly there isn't anywhere else to go...

Re:I have to deal with this all the time.... (5, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686682)

Liberals usually work incrementally.

As a liberal, I can play this argument too: It starts with short-term tax cuts to stimulate spending after a recession. Then later on the short-term has become a decade and then permanent. And the cuts go deeper, and deeper. Then comes a deficit commission and Social Security and unemployment insurance is gone and you have a significant population of desperate unemployed people starving to death on the streets.

The trouble with the "work incrementally" line of reasoning is that it can be used to shut down any real evaluation of perfectly reasonable proposals solely because they come from the 'other' side. Once that short-circuiting is completed, you're halfway from turning somebody from a reasoning adult to a partisan moron. (The other half is convincing the potential partisan that they should support anything their leaders propose because it's necessary to achieve ultimate victory for their side where all their dreams can be realized.)

Re:I have to deal with this all the time.... (2)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686696)

*Politicians* usually work incrementally.

There, I fixed that for you.

Re:I have to deal with this all the time.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686702)

Liberals usually work incrementally.

Isn't that how most government works?
...like how we got to groping and nudie pictures at the airport - if they had just gone straight there people would have been more upset.. but instead it was a slow process of knocking down expectations until we expect to be raped by the TSA.

Now before you liberals get all self-congratulatory on your enlightened position

While we're on the topic of internet freedom, the [D] voters should also remember who [wikipedia.org] signed the DMCA [wikipedia.org] and 120-year-copyright [wikipedia.org] into law.

Question: (1)

alexhard (778254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686334)

Is it possible to design net neutrality legislation that still allows ISPs to charge each other for peering agreements, as they have always done?

Re:Question: (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686604)

Is it possible? It's absolutely trivial: ban ISPs from billing anyone they do not have a direct connection to. That'd solve the issue of ISPs extorting content producers from the other side of the internet. It would allow content distribution companies like akamai who run direct connections into a lot of ISPs to continue to exist.

Is that what we're going to get? Probably not.

Re:Question: (1)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686672)

Sure. The proposed rules allow for ISPs to charge by volume, not content. Ta-da! Problem solved.

Re:Question: (1)

Cidolfas (1358603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686692)

I don't see why not, as cutting off the link due to non-payment is different than going "Oh, this packet is from Level3's Netflix connection, so I'm going to block it!". At least, a good piece of legislation wouldn't have issues with it. As for what could get through congress...

Re:Question: (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686728)

Jeezus mod parent up, this is a legitimate question that needs to be covered in any Net Neutrality agreement. This is how it all fucking started, it's like everyone forgot about Mae West.

This is what I get when I pressed "read more"? (1)

fatbuckel (1714764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686342)

Really?

Funny (1)

seepho (1959226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686354)

I like how TFA calls the Democrats opposed to Net Neutrality "ConservaDems"; as if it had much of anything to do with being liberal or conservative, instead of how much money the telcos threw at them to vote on an issue that the American public at large doesn't understand.

All BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686372)

Is it possible that this is all bullcrap and there is nothing to see here?

The Democrats don't help (1, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686374)

Please note I'm quoting this from memory.
The actual videos can be found on google.

When the Democrats issue statements like, "We need a Fairness Doctrine for the internet. For example maybe you'll visit foxnews.com and a popup will ask if you want to read democrat.org too. We need to include that as part of net neutrality and other FCC regulations." Or "We need to pass a law to remove MSNBC and FOXnews from cable television." The latter came from a Congressman Kennedy who is a nobody, but the first came from one of the White House "czars" who directly advises the president and the FCC Chair. i.e. A powerful person.

And then of course there's Obama himself who gave a college speech advising them not to read the internet news sites and only listen to WH press releases as "trustworthy" sources of information. (Please note I am Libertarian, so any comment about how I am a "Bush lover" or whatever would be pointless.)

And the more-recent act where TRUtv was ordered by somebody in the White House to pull Governor Ventura's show about FEMA internment camps off the air. i.e. Censorship of a private channel. So if there's confusion by Republicans, it's because of what they are hearing coming out of the Congress and White House own administrators. The message they are sending sounds like anti-free speech rhetoric. Maybe they should stop doing that.

Re:The Democrats don't help (1, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686608)

Mod up please...

It should be noted that the Democrats actually have a completely differing idea of "Net Neutrality" than we do and it's much like the "Healthcare Reform" or "Immigration Reform" we're seeing carried out of late.

In truth, we've not the foggiest what they do/don't have in mind on the subject in DC. They might be interested in doing what we have in OUR heads for the term/name "Net Neutrality"- or, based on the rhetoric used by the Democrats on the subject, it's just as likely what the Republicans are on about and against.

Just because it uses our words doesn't mean that it's what we had in mind that they're doing. To the geek crowd, words still tend to have meaning. To the political bunch, for many, words have no meaning whatsoever.

America's Heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686384)

In the mid-west, the Heartland, we think Net Neutrality is about not having to pay separate/extra for content depending on it's protocol. We think the Big Media companies are trying to turn the internet into television... every channel for a different price, with shitty bundles to ensure you pay for something you'll never use, etc. This is not in the spirit of the "traditional" internet, where we paid the ISP simply for the privilege of consuming non-persecuted bits.

We in the Heartland wonder if it's something in the coastal waters that makes you Righties and Lefties so disgustingly greedy, and bat shit insane.

Not arguing about Net Neutrality, but Reality (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686420)

There were many people in the previous Slashdot thread about Network Neutrality, that complained that they supported the noble goal of "Network Neutrality", but that what the FCC was passing was not "the network neutrality they supported".

So the disconnect is that many people (NOT just Republicans) are warning you about the Network Neutrality you are about to get, not about the fantasy Network Neutrality the Daily Kos wishes to be. The Daily Kos claims it is "lies" because what is being said does not match the definition that the Kos holds for network neutrality - when in reality NONE of us have seen the regulation recently passed - I still cannot find the exact wording, isn't that rather a bad sign that we are not allowed to see what they pass before they pass it?

The Network Neutrality you are about to get was crafted mostly from feedback my media companies and telcos, and large companies like Amazon and Google. Worried about too much corporate control over the internet now? It doesn't get any better when you put the power of regulations into the hands of a small number of companies that have the resources to lobby the FCC on issues.

And all this to stop what EXISTING problem? There's a lot of danger in creating open-ended rules to solve problems that are only imagined, and do not exist. Have we learned nothing from handing over a lot of power to government organizations like the TSA that control to some degree how we travel now? Why would you want similar control over ISP network management on behalf of the FCC?

Re:Not arguing about Net Neutrality, but Reality (2)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686626)

Heh... And another post that needs modding up on this.

In short, we've little idea what they're on about doing in DC. Just because it uses OUR terms for things or what the Daily KOS thinks should be, doesn't mean that's what they're about to do.

The Logic of Net Neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686426)

The Logic of Net Neutrality: Obviously, to keep the internet open we must regulate it heavily.

Re:The Logic of Net Neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686656)

The Logic of Net Neutrality: Obviously, to keep the internet open we must regulate it heavily.

In right wing speak the word "heavily" must always accompany "regulate", just as currently any policy by the Obama administration must be prefixed with "job killing". Boiler plate stock phrases is what substitutes for thought on the right.

Carry on my dogmatic friend, but don't drop your talking point cards or you will be lost.

American Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686442)

Well, that encompasses both major parties. The US has no idea what a left wing party looks like, and you're getting fucked because of it. "Socialist" Europe doesn't have these problems.

Such hypocrisy (2, Insightful)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686456)

"Since the opposing side is so badly misinformed, those of us who want the internet to remain open to innovation and freedom of expression have to help educate them before the debate can really be held"

You blame the 'right' for being ignorant on your view of net neutrality without understanding theirs. You could have made your point without being blatantly offensive also.

As a conservative, freedom of expression means freedom from government intervention into my everyday life. I do not need government regulation on what TV I choose to watch, what food I wish to eat, and how I wish to use the Internet.

The answer to every problem is *not* more laws and regulation. This should be an absolute last resort, and personally I do not believe we are there yet.

Re:Such hypocrisy (1, Offtopic)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686552)

When will you believe we are ready for some simple regulation prohibiting ISPs from discriminating against your IP traffic based on destination or content?

When your ISP demands more money from a website that you subscribe to, and that site raises its rates a month later?

When your ISP intercepts your DNS requests and returns incorrect responses?

When your ISP throttles your encrypted traffic?

When your ISP demands more money from you so your traffic is not discriminated against?

Where is the line?

Re:Such hypocrisy (1)

preaction (1526109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686684)

Or better, when the major backbone providers catch on and decide they should be getting a slice of the pie? They control the pipes, and oligopolies are doing so well for consumers in the telephone and television markets.

Re:Such hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686758)

How about none of the above.

That's why there is CHOICE and a free market system. If the ISP does something you don't like, choose a different one that isn't doing what you don't like. If there no longer exists one that fits that bill, you are free to start your own! That is, unless and until there are laws that restrict your freedoms in that area. That's why the government should stay out of it: so that variations can continue to exist. Once the laws start narrowing down what is possible, you LOSE that freedom.

Re:Such hypocrisy (2)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686602)

and how I wish to use the Internet

If you somehow think that a laissez-faire telco oligopoly would let you use the Internet in the way you wish, I've got a bridge to sell you in New York.

Re:Such hypocrisy (3, Insightful)

etymxris (121288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686622)

How does net neutrality interfere with how you wish to use the Internet? Net neutrality "restricts freedom" in the exact same way that abolishing slavery "restricts freedom". In the first case ISPs are limited from restricting your freedom. In the second case replace "ISP" with "slave owner".

Re:Such hypocrisy (2)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686714)

Congratulations on being the poster child for what TFA was complaining about.

Quick help everyone's Misinformed! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686460)

Their argument is simple, if Comcast wants to stop bit torrent traffic, let them. They purchased the equipment, what gives you the right to force them to serve content? As a consumer you vote with your dollar. If you don't like Comcast because of this, go to a different provider. This isn't rocket science. They are also stating that this is step one, FCC style regulations are eventual. I agree with that, government's tendency is to grow larger. I am a small business owner myself. I could not imagine having to deal with a government entity telling me what content I must serve. And man you are such a typical Liberal, everyone else is misinformed, because they don't agree with you.

Re:Quick help everyone's Misinformed! (1)

DarkNemesis618 (908703) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686644)

The problem is that in a lot of areas, Comcast holds a monopoly for broadband internet. You're often given the choice between Comcast Internet or Dialup. You don't have the option to speak with your wallet as i'd hardly consider dialup to be a true alternative to cable.

Re:Quick help everyone's Misinformed! (1)

etymxris (121288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686666)

OK, so the only high speed providers in your town are Verizon DSL and Comcast cable. Both have made a business decision to block Fox News. Now what do you do? Go back to dial up? Move to another locality?

Grab Bag (1)

AlleyTrotte (1842702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686482)

So its OK that the large ISP's no longer have to rent bandwidth to the smaller ones Mom and Pop stores all over again The small local ISPs must carry the large ISPs bandwidth to the home without benefiting from owning ABC CBS & NBC any government action on the internet is a grab for control The FCC was founded to assign frequencies to different media nothing else...... john

Misinformation (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686486)

One of the problems is that techies think that the debate over net neutrality has anything to do with what they THINK net neutrality is. One could say that the techies are being useful idiots for promoting a government regulation of the internet, which they naively think they're protecting.

Informing the Right (1, Troll)

Tyler Durden (136036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686540)

Since the opposing side is so badly misinformed, those of us who want the internet to remain open to innovation and freedom of expression have to help educate them before the debate can really be held.

The talking heads of the American right these days have no interest in being informed. At best they are only capable of using facts like a drunk uses a light post - for support rather than illumination.

ISP monopolies are the real problem! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686554)

The introduction to this topic is as out of touch with reality as all of the coverage of this topic.

- Govt has too much regulation which allowed the ISPs to become "monopolies".
- Instead of removing the regulation to allow competition so the consumer can choose with their wallet.
- Lets have more govt regulation to prevent the ISPs from acting like monopolies.

I want net neutrality, but I want it because I have a choice in ISPs not because big brother allows me to have it.

er... (0)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686582)

...to quote an article on DailyKos regarding what the "Right" thinks, aren't you the teensiest bit concerned that might be a strawman?

One doesn't have to be a glassy-eyed rightwinger to be suspicious of anything George Soros supports (does he support Net Neutrality? I didn't get my latest issue of "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Weekly" to see what I'm supposed to think) as being somehow deeply partisan.

digging into the slashdot archives (4, Insightful)

wan9xu (1829310) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686598)

i found two pieces of the puzzle:

one, foxnews make you more misinformed.
http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/12/16/1615218/Survey-Shows-That-Fox-News-Makes-You-Less-Informed?from=rss [slashdot.org]

two, given truth, the misinformed believe the lies more.
http://idle.slashdot.org/story/10/07/14/1235220/Given-Truth-the-Misinformed-Believe-Lies-More [slashdot.org]

The real price. (3, Insightful)

redemtionboy (890616) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686630)

I definitely lean net neutrality and see the benefits of it. BUT, part of the argument for government protecting net neutrality is assuming the worst of a situation without government intervention and expecting only the best from it's involvement. Given the FCC's past behavior with other mediums, I'm not so sure that government involvement is going to give us that "free and open" internet we expect it will be once there is government oversight. Most government programs never accomplish what they promise to do and often come with significant negative consequences.

technical vs political solutions (2)

spikenerd (642677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686662)

There are two ways to stop deep packet inspection: The technical way (encryption) and the political way (net neutrality). What baffles me is why all the geeks have given up on the technical solution and are now pushing for a political solution. The best argument I've yet heard for giving up on the technical solution is that politicians *might* ban encryption, and the best argument I've heard for pursuing the political solution is that we *might* get lucky with a law based on principle instead of one that guarantees that ISPs and governments can do deep packet inspection for "legitimate" reasons. Can someone please enlighten me as to why we continue to give up on the technical solution?

The internet is NOT FREE. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686668)

The internet infrastructure is a costly adventure and it is reasonable to expect it to be based on usage. I suppose you could argue that it should be FREE under a NAZI SOCIALIST model but that is not sustainable without huge infusions of cash from taxpayers and corporations which, by the way, is simply another way of redistributing wealth. Which is also unsustainable.

wow. 'nazi socialist' ... (2, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34686736)

moron. talking about things which you dont know zit about.

nasdap was socialist only in name, in order to be able to get votes in the elections from the socialist segment of the society. they had no similarity with anything socialist apart from the wordage in their name. in fact, left was their biggest enemy, even more than the jews.

you are the perfect example of the moron that right likes to manipulate successfully. bask in your morondom.

agree in principle....but. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686688)

I tend to frown on any new governmental authority, and while i agree with the general premise of net neutrality, I disagree with the FCC or any governmental entity implementing it. A much better solution would be to eliminate the government sanctioned monopolies that the current ISP's and cable companies currently have. Having more competitors in the marketplace would make companies like Comcast too fearful of losing market share to raise their rates.

Same old song and dance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34686740)

It's no different than any of the extreme right's strategies. Don't like something? Make up shit so far out that nobody could possibly believe it. It doesn't matter what the facts are if you're loud enough and repeat it often enough the truth gets drowned out in the noise. The Obama birth certificate thing, climate gate, end of life counseling = death panels. I'm no fan of any political slant, but seriously the right wing nut-jobs need to realize that just because you're afraid that something is true or you want to believe something is true does not make it true. The last time I heard this kind of ridiculous bullshit was when I was in high school and it was from the adolescent 'anarchists' desperate to rebel against anything to make themselves appear meaningful. It's truly sad to see that it passes for news in the US now. It's even worse that everyone is willing to accept it and go about their business. No wonder it only changes in one direction.

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