Republican victory in US election dooms 'net neutrality'

Nov 08, 2010 by Chris Lefkow
A man uses a laptop computer at a wireless cafe. The stunning Republican gains in the US elections appear to have doomed efforts to pass a "net neutrality" bill that would require Internet service providers to treat all Web traffic equally.

The stunning Republican gains in the US elections appear to have doomed efforts to pass a "net neutrality" bill that would require Internet service providers to treat all Web traffic equally.

President , Democrats in Congress and have backed but it has met with opposition from telecom and cable companies and many Republicans who see it as unnecessary government regulation.

With the Republicans seizing control of the House of Representatives in Tuesday's vote and picking up half-a-dozen seats in the Senate, analysts said net neutrality is not expected to make any headway in Congress.

"There's essentially no prospect of a net neutrality bill passing anytime soon," said Richard Bennett, a senior fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

Bennett, in a blog post at Hightechforum.org, noted that all 95 Democratic members of the House and Senate who had signed a public pledge to protect an "" had lost their seats in the Republican tidal wave.

"This election puts net neutrality on the back burner, and raises the importance of spectrum, , and Internet privacy," Bennett said.

While disagreeing on net neutrality, many Republicans and Democrats agree there is a pressing need to auction off more wireless communications spectrum to cope with the explosion of mobile devices.

Another issue that appears headed for the back burner is immigration reform, which has been pushed by technology companies eager for visas for skilled engineers and software programmers from countries such as India.

"The Republican gains though are likely to make it more difficult to get comprehensive immigration reforms passed, which the tech industry has supported," said Ed Black, president of the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA).

While net neutrality and comprehensive immigration reform appear to be out of reach, the new Congress being sworn in in January can be expected to move forward on some technology legislation.

"Many tech issues are bipartisan," said Black, citing cybersecurity and online privacy protection as areas where Democrats and Republicans can find common ground.

A number of bipartisan cybersecurity bills are already wending their way through Congress while the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act is also being examined to bring it into the Internet age.

Tuesday's vote also saw the defeat of a US congressman who has been a prominent voice in technology issues for a long time and the election of a senator who has been a thorn in the side of technology giants.

Representative Rick Boucher, a Democrat from Virginia and net neutrality advocate who chaired the House subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, lost his re-election bid.

Elected to the Senate was Richard Blumenthal, who as the attorney general of Connecticut spearheaded probes into adult services advertisements on Craigslist and Google's "Street View" online mapping service.

Tuesday's election also saw two high-profile former chief executives of technology companies, both Republicans, lose their bids for elected office in California.

Former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman lost the governor's race despite spending more than 160 million dollars of her own money on her campaign and former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina failed in her Senate bid.

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User comments : 46

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cmn
5 / 5 (7) Nov 08, 2010
Three words: Virtual Private Network
Eric_B
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 08, 2010
what?!?

Oh, cmn makes play on words.

I am not a lawyer but isn't there such an agency called the FCC? Can't the executive branch make policy without congress through such an agency?

Shootist
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 08, 2010

Representative Rick Boucher, a Democrat from Virginia and net neutrality advocate who chaired the House subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, lost his re-election bid.


An incumbent from 1983 to 2011. No one needs to suck so long at the public teat.
geokstr
1.8 / 5 (19) Nov 08, 2010
The Orwellian so-called "Net Neutrality" is nothing more than the camel's nose under the tent on the way to internet censorship for the left. They're trying to shut down talk radio in a similar manner, with "community councils" judging whether there is enough "local content", so that they can ban popular nationally syndicated conservatives like Limbaugh and Levin. Once those two media are under control, Fox is next, then we'll be back to Fidel Chavez TV, just like it was before 1995.

And why throw "immigration reform" into this article? Preventing amnesty for Undocumented Future Democrat Voters is important enough for its own discussion.
nayTall
5 / 5 (8) Nov 08, 2010
i just CAN'T WAIT til the only way to check this site is when i'm current with my $80/mo package payments..
TechnoCore
4 / 5 (8) Nov 08, 2010
@eric_b

What I think cmn means is that if you send your data encrypted, then internet service providers cannot control the throughput based on content you are sending, or?

@geokstr:
Orwellian? Maybe you should cut down on the psychotropic drugs.

StarDust21
2.1 / 5 (15) Nov 08, 2010
Three words: Virtual Private Network

what do vpn have anything to do with that, we are talking of the internet.

BTW guys, shouldn't there be an IQ requirement to get the right to vote? That way we would get rid of all these redneck republican voters who don't have the shadow of a notion of what net neutrality means
marjon
2.1 / 5 (19) Nov 08, 2010
"Republicans seizing control of the House of Representatives"
How frightening!
Hey, 'liberals' the People have spoken. Why can't you respect their decision?
The internet has thrived on minimal govt regulations and interference. How can MORE govt regulation improve LESS govt regulation?
KevinPEdwards
5 / 5 (7) Nov 08, 2010
Why is it content discrimination is always portrayed as a political content issue. Honestly, I don't think Time Warner or Cablevision care a lick about if you are reading the New York or Huffington Post. What they will care about is things like streaming media on Hulu, NBC, and such. They actually have an incentive to slow down those sites to the point of unwatchability so that the customer will either completely forgo them or cave and buy higher-priced internet packages or the ISP's television package.
CSharpner
5 / 5 (7) Nov 08, 2010
Three words: Virtual Private Network

what do vpn have anything to do with that, we are talking of the internet.

BTW guys, shouldn't there be an IQ requirement to get the right to vote? That way we would get rid of all these redneck republican voters who don't have the shadow of a notion of what net neutrality means


Oh! COME ON! What a terrible over-generalization. You know, a LOT of your colleagues hear ARE Republican. I *used* to be, until the R's in power started straying away from our ideals. I still vote Republican though, and yes, I AM well informed AND intelligent. Intelligence is NOT defined by whomever agrees with YOU.
CSharpner
3.7 / 5 (6) Nov 08, 2010
Why is it content discrimination is always portrayed as a political content issue.

Because the Democrats in power have made it quite clear that they want the government be able to shut down certain political speech on the internet. This is quite disturbing.
ArcainOne
4.3 / 5 (10) Nov 08, 2010
"Republicans seizing control of the House of Representatives"
How frightening!
Hey, 'liberals' the People have spoken. Why can't you respect their decision?


moot point...


The internet has thrived on minimal govt regulations and interference. How can MORE govt regulation improve LESS govt regulation?


It is simple... because some ISPs have already began to intentionally slow down P2P services, bit torrents, and my personal irritation Online Games or charge you more for using them. Net neutrality would prevent this. All protocols are treated equal as Tim Berners-Lee (Creator of the Internet) envisions it and I not only respect his vision but agree with it as well.
CSharpner
3 / 5 (4) Nov 08, 2010
It is simple... because some ISPs have already began to intentionally slow down P2P services, bit torrents, and my personal irritation Online Games or charge you more for using them. Net neutrality would prevent this. All protocols are treated equal as Tim Berners-Lee (Creator of the Internet) envisions it and I not only respect his vision but agree with it as well.

This is certainly one of the PROS of net neutrality. This is what we call the "carrot" in a bill that's advertised widely to drum up support for the bill or regulation. As with all things in government, their are also CONS in it. Always watch what the other hand is doing. Don't just focus on the things that are highlighted in the media.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.8 / 5 (10) Nov 08, 2010
The reason why the right doesn't want net neutrality has nothing to do with free speech or content filtering.

The right doesn't want to let government have the power to enforce lease line compliance over cable the same way they have done over telephone.

We still have close to 25% of the country on dialup because broadband either isn't an option, or is priced prohibitively high in remote areas.

Net neutrality allows for both content sharing unilaterally and access to information at a standardized speed.

The whispers of the slippery slope and internet control are laughable. There's no way to stop me from getting content, you can only slow me down, that is, unless comcast rcn and verizon can just refuse to serve me because they feel like it.

Anyone else want to become the "n****r of the internet" for using a protocol that Ted Turner doesn't like? Vote republican.
KevinPEdwards
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 08, 2010
Because the Democrats in power have made it quite clear that they want the government be able to shut down certain political speech on the internet. This is quite disturbing.


I haven't seen anything to really suggest this. Could you point me to any particular stories or quotes?

This is what we call the "carrot" in a bill that's advertised widely to drum up support for the bill or regulation. As with all things in government, their are also CONS in it.


I'm assuming you are refering to HR 3458. Could you point me to the cons that the bill was proposing to set up? If I'm wrong about the bill, I'd love a link to the one you are refering to. Much appreciated.
Grizzled
4 / 5 (8) Nov 08, 2010
There's no way to stop me from getting content, you can only slow me down

Well, if I can slow you down to 1Kb/S, you are welcome to spend the next eternity downloading that page.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 08, 2010
Well, if I can slow you down to 1Kb/S, you are welcome to spend the next eternity downloading that page.
You mean like the companies and congressmen fighting net neutrailty want to be able to do?
TehDog
5 / 5 (7) Nov 08, 2010
Sigh, VPN == virtual private network.
A secured tunnel between you and whatever service you are accessing. If used with decent (non-logging) proxies it will pretty well anonymise and obscure anything you do.
cmn
5 / 5 (5) Nov 08, 2010
Sigh, VPN == virtual private network.
A secured tunnel between you and whatever service you are accessing. If used with decent (non-logging) proxies it will pretty well anonymise and obscure anything you do.


It would also effectively disguise what type of traffic you're sending/receiving.
TehDog
5 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
All protocols are treated equal as Tim Berners-Lee (Creator of the Internet) envisions it and I not only respect his vision but agree with it as well.


Argh, TBL helped design the WWW, not the internet...
DamienS
5 / 5 (4) Nov 09, 2010
Argh, TBL helped design the WWW, not the internet...

Yeah, funny how things get mangled. Most people use internet and web synonymously, though they're quite different things.

The Internet is a physical network of networks, which interconnects computers across the world (and beyond). The Web sits on top of the Internet and provides a way to access information across the internet (using for example the HTTP protocol).
panorama
not rated yet Nov 09, 2010

Representative Rick Boucher, a Democrat from Virginia and net neutrality advocate who chaired the House subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, lost his re-election bid.


An incumbent from 1983 to 2011. No one needs to suck so long at the public teat.


As someone who's been living in Boucher's district for the past 20 years I wholeheartedly agree.
Daein
2 / 5 (4) Nov 09, 2010
I think any company should have the right to regulate in any way they like the traffic that goes through their machines. It's theirs! If the government wants to control the data then they should build their own backbones that are "better" than the private ones sort of like the public roads of today. Then they too would have the right to regulate the data on their machines and make sure it's all treated "equally." Many of the high priced doomsday scenarios people come up with the justify Net Neutrality will never come about because of competition. Even in areas where you supposedly only have one provider you still have more than one, since you can almost always get sat internet.
Skultch
5 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
I think any company should have the right to regulate in any way they like .... It's theirs!


Yeah! Cus no company would ever throttle their competitors! /sarc Comcast and NBC, look it up.

....Even in areas where you supposedly only have one provider you still have more than one, since you can almost always get sat internet.


Actually, my only options are dial-up and satellite. So, I use sat. Ya know what? It's TERRIBLE. The latency makes gaming absolutely impossible. Banking and anything with SSL authentication or multiple handshaking steps takes forever. It's also $50/mo for 512/128. Yeah, that's in kilobits/second. Considering sat as a real competitive alternative is a JOKE.
Justsayin
2 / 5 (4) Nov 09, 2010
Ah yes central planning from the Politburo is dead, hurray... tis a good day for America.
dtxx
3 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
VPN is only useful in this case in transport mode. Tunnel mode clearly labels the entry and exit points of the tunnel. Service providers can still allow vpn and block transport mode operation, so the point is kind of moot.
Skultch
5 / 5 (3) Nov 09, 2010
Tunnel mode clearly labels the entry and exit points of the tunnel.


What? I think you have it reversed. In tunnel mode, the whole packet is encrypted. In transport mode, you can now use NAT-T (traversal) to translate ports to fool port-based (as opposed to URL) filtering/queuing/throttling.
dtxx
5 / 5 (5) Nov 09, 2010
Tunnel mode clearly labels the entry and exit points of the tunnel.


What? I think you have it reversed. In tunnel mode, the whole packet is encrypted. In transport mode, you can now use NAT-T (traversal) to translate ports to fool port-based (as opposed to URL) filtering/queuing/throttling.


You are quite right, I switched them around.
Skultch
not rated yet Nov 09, 2010
You are quite right, I switched them around.


Yeah, either way, I think anyone would get away with it. I'm the senior engineer for a medium sized ISP and we would never block any kind of VPN. That would generate way too many complaints to be worth it. Better to just throttle total bandwidth and upgrade the whole network the best we can. People are just going to have to live with higher prices and/or slower video streaming during peak times. Bandwidth upgrades will never be able to keep up with the way video demand keeps increasing.
MorituriMax
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 13, 2010
yeah, yeah, and Republicans also want to drink the blood of your babies and send old people to the gas showers.
Eric_B
3 / 5 (2) Nov 13, 2010
"Hey, 'liberals' the People have spoken. Why can't you respect their decision?
The internet has thrived on minimal govt regulations and interference. How can MORE govt regulation improve LESS govt regulation?"

Does someone not get the point?

There are very, very few aspects of civilization that are not influenced by formalized consensus (A.K.A., Govmint).

This is a clear case where a regulation has been a success. The internet is maintained by large corporations, on private and public land, for the good benefit of the many.

Net Neutrality is a policy that forces corporations into a hands-off position where they would otherwise like to bend the small customer over any way they can.
MorituriMax
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
The Democrats told us every chance they got, "Elections have consequences."

Live with it. I would have preferred that nothing but Independants had been elected this time, why reward the Republicans just because the Democrats were a lot worse but still the same species as the Republicans?

Long Live the Aristocracy. Seriously, if I believed in conspiracies, I would suspect that the Democrats acted the way they did so the Republican side would get in and give the Dem's a couple years to let people forget what they did. Arg.
ForFreeMinds
3 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2010
"Regulation" means government meddling with free market decisions. And it could lead to massive government wiretapping of internet traffic. Regulation of the internet, is incompatible with free markets. Government should stick to protecting our liberties from criminals (and this would include ISPs who break their contracts with customers, or customers who don't pay their ISPs) and foreign enemies. Anything else is playing favorites.
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2010
"Three words: Virtual Private Network" - Moron

Which will do nothing to prevent the carriers from delaying or preventing the flow of traffic that constitutes that Virtual Private Network for the purpose of increasing profits by charging other private networks for the right of passage.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2010
"Regulation" means government meddling with free market decisions. - American Fool

Excellent. The world needs more of this.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
"People are just going to have to live with higher prices and/or slower video streaming during peak times." - American Flatch

Meanwhile the socialist states in the pacific rim are served by networks that are 10 times faster and at prices that are 1/10th that which American Fools pay.

Corporate governance works.... For Corporations.

Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2010
"Ah yes central planning from the Politburo is dead, hurray... tis a good day for America." - AMERICAN Fool

America has the lowest quality and highest cost internet service of any first world nation and most pacific rim second world nations.

American Corporate Governance is designed to serve American Corporations, and milk the American cattle public.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
"I think any company should have the right to regulate in any way they like the traffic that goes through their machines. It's theirs!" - ConservaTurd

Which means you support the extinction of freedom of speech at the hands of Corporate interests.

In your view if Comcast wants to censor any packet of data that flows through it's network that is critical of it's policies, then that is fine with you.

Opinions like yours make it self evident why America is dead as a nation.
Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2010
"Because the Democrats in power have made it quite clear that they want the government be able to shut down certain political speech on the internet." - ConservaTard

AmeriKKKan Koook Taaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrddddddddd
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
"Because the Democrats in power have made it quite clear that they want the government be able to shut down certain political speech on the internet." - ConservaTard

AmeriKKKan Koook Taaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrddddddddd

"Senators John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) think so. On Wednesday they introduced a bill to establish the Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor—an arm of the executive branch that would have vast power to monitor and control Internet traffic to protect against threats to critical cyber infrastructure. "
http://motherjone...internet
Eric_B
5 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
yeah, what about it marjon?

you are a corporate totalitarianist sympathizer and Rockefeller is a corporatist democrat...you should get along just fine.

mosahlah
5 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
I think physorg took a hit regarding political neutrality.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
"an arm of the executive branch that would have vast power to monitor and control Internet traffic" - American KookTard

And how does KookTard Marion get from the truth - monitoring network activity for the presence of Botnets - to the Planet Conservadopian fantasy that this is equivalent to "controlling the internet"?

American Koook Taaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrddddddddd
stealthc
1 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
Use torrent clients like they are a vast raid array, allocate certain storage and optimize for uptime and location, distribute a database for services such as dns. Reroute dns traffic through torrent service as well as http traffic service found distributed in the cloud, and encrypted via strong 256-bit algorithm. Build in routing procedures that redirect communications in the event of a failed connection within the cloud.

This would make unsecured applications such as email a little more secured, however, it would be nice to replace email, other im, and services like facebook and integrate directly within the torrent client. This way we can protect people's privacy, and allow people to reveal information by providing sets of keys to their peers in a manageable way. Now if we could rewrite the bios of popular routers, we could have them bypass isp's and create intermeshed networks with each other -- requiring only bridges to be built in key places to by-pass major telecomms.
Skultch
5 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
Meanwhile the socialist states in the pacific rim are served by networks that are 10 times faster and at prices that are 1/10th that which American Fools pay.


Quit being a bitch. You can't compare the US to little islands that could build great nets from scratch.

The USA has a completely different existing infrastructure than the rest of the world. The reason the US lags in internet speeds is the same reason the US lagged in digital mobile phone tech - Existing legacy infrastructure and sheer size.

Your criticism gives no consideration to reality.
Skultch
not rated yet Nov 15, 2010
Reroute dns traffic through torrent service as well ...


adding latency and reducing security.

Build in routing procedures that redirect communications in the event of a failed connection within the cloud.


Already happens with BGP and OSPF.

...integrate directly within the torrent client. This way we can protect people's privacy, and allow people to reveal information by providing sets of keys to their peers in a manageable way.


Why? You can already encrypt email if you want. People want simple, unsecured email. No one cares if people spy on ~95% of emails. There's no value on spying. You're just adding overhead and complexity for no real benefit. Just write a bundled app; there's no reason to involve infrastructure.

...bypass isp's and .... by-pass major telecomms.


Who would repair the infrastructure?

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