House votes to repeal regs on Internet access

Apr 08, 2011 By JIM ABRAMS , Associated Press

(AP) -- House Republicans adamant that the government keep its hands off the Internet passed a bill Friday to repeal federal rules barring Internet service providers from blocking or interfering with traffic on their networks.

Republicans, in voting to repeal rules on "" set down by the , said the FCC lacked the authority to promulgate the rules. They disputed the need to intervene in an already and warned that the rules would stifle investment in broadband systems.

"The FCC power grab would allow it to regulate any interstate on barely more than a whim and without any additional input from Congress," said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., sponsor of the legislation. The Internet, he added, "is open and innovative thanks to the government's hands-off approach."

But in what has become a largely partisan battle, the Democrat-controlled Senate is not expected to go along with the House. Sen. John D. Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said he was "disappointed that House leadership wants to undo the integrity of the FCC's process and unravel their good work."

Even if it cleared Congress, the White House has threatened to veto a bill it said puts in doubt whether "the democratic spirit of the Internet will remain intact."

Rep. Henry Waxman of California, top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, said nullifying the FCC rules would "give big phone and cable companies control over what websites Americans can visit, what applications they can run and what devices they can use."

The vote to pass the bill, mainly along party lines, was 240-179.

The FCC rules were adopted on a 3-2 vote last December after years of debate over the federal role in ensuring a free and open Internet. The FCC's three Democrats voted in support and its two opposed.

While generally seen as a compromise between technology companies fearing provider limitations on their access to the Internet and the big phone and cable companies insisting they need flexibility to manage Internet traffic, the rules drew a quick legal challenge from Verizon Communications Inc., which said the FCC had overstepped its authority.

A year ago a federal appeals court also ruled that the FCC exceeded its authority in sanctioning Comcast Corp. for discriminating against online file-sharing traffic Comcast said was clogging its network.

The rules prohibit phone and from favoring or discriminating against Internet content and services, including online calling services such as Skype and Web video services such as Netflix that could compete with their core operations. They require broadband providers to let subscribers access all legal online content.

They do give providers flexibility to manage data on their systems to deal with network congestion and unwanted traffic as long as they publicly disclose those practices. They do not specifically ban "paid prioritization," where a provider might charge more for faster transmission of data, but they outlaw "unreasonable network discrimination."

Wireless carriers are also barred from blocking access to any websites or competing services, but they are given more leeway to manage data traffic because wireless systems have less network bandwidth.

Even supporters acknowledged that the rules are mainly about preserving the status quo of a system that is generally working well.

But absent the rules, said Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., "there would be a major shift in power on the Internet to the broadband providers from the content providers."

He said there was legitimate fear among nonprofit and religious groups that they would be consigned to a lower tier because they could not pay a higher price for premium service. "So your Web page from Nike might load faster than your Web page from the Catholic Church because, if there was tiered access, who would be more likely to pay for the speed of the access?"

He also cited the actions of autocratic states such as China in blocking Internet content in saying the government must make clear that providers cannot discriminate against customers because of political or philosophical differences.

Explore further: Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

More information: The bill is H.J.Res. 37
Congress: http://thomas.loc.gov

3.8 /5 (5 votes)
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User comments : 97

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wiyosaya
3.9 / 5 (11) Apr 08, 2011
So if this ever does become law, we can only hope that ISPs who block traffic from elsewhere become so draconian that no one will use them or pay for them, and thus, they will go out of business.

Personally, I think there are corporate entities out there who are more interested in lining their pockets at all costs than they are interested in being "good neighbors" to others. It is unfortunate that the FCC felt the need to implement net neutrality in the first place as they clearly thought that there were companies out there who had no interest in being "good neighbors."
Vendicar_Decarian
1.7 / 5 (61) Apr 08, 2011
Once again the Republicans vote as a block to foster corporate control over the American People.

Scheckles
3.4 / 5 (15) Apr 08, 2011
And so it begins...

How we could allow people to control what is on the internet is unfathomable. If ISPs control access, they control information. I thought we were moving towards an era where anyone anywhere can access the knowledge human beings have struggled for.

Copyright and Patent laws are destroying our ability to innovate and evolve. If this is ever passed into law I fear the worst for America and freedom in general.
SmaryJerry
3.4 / 5 (15) Apr 08, 2011
I'm confused, why repeal rules that work? Just because they didn't think of it first? How about they just give it a stamp of approval.
Eric_B
4.1 / 5 (14) Apr 08, 2011
Where are the "free-market" religionists now when we have a perfectly good example of perfectly decent government regulation?
david13579
4.8 / 5 (16) Apr 08, 2011
Watch, many people won't have access to this site in a few years. It won't be part of "the package"
aaroncohn
4.1 / 5 (13) Apr 08, 2011
I think that this republican action in favoring big business is going to be detrimental for the American consumer and also to free speech in the United States.
ekim
4.8 / 5 (16) Apr 08, 2011
Watch, many people won't have access to this site in a few years. It won't be part of "the package"

Watch in a few years you won't be able to post such comments. Information must be able to flow in both directions without restriction regardless of content.
Shootist
2.3 / 5 (15) Apr 08, 2011
Once again the Republicans vote as a block to foster corporate control over the American People.



Wrong to lump all the conservatives together on this one, I'm right of Genghis Khan.

However, I am at a loss to explain why anything other than carrier content neutrality is a good thing. The customer is just buying access.

Ready your VPN connections.
Norezar
3.9 / 5 (7) Apr 08, 2011
I like having laws in-acted that affect my time online by crotchety old men who probably can't set the clock on their microwave.
210
1.4 / 5 (9) Apr 08, 2011
This action is thoroughly akin to shooting one's self in the foot:
Most Republicans in the House function and work inside the 'beltway' but LIVE IN THE SUBURBS! Most politicians in nearly all American cities have the same commute habits, being wealthy and powerful; they are suburbanites too.
SO very many suburban communities lack a robust/over-built infrastructure for high speed telecommunications! Yes, they have some, but NOT to extent of a business park or, say, a NEW YORK, Boston, or incorporated Fulton county/Atlanta -trust me-I KNOW!!!
While these big-wigs and corporate masters are at work, they would benefit from tiered service, BUT ONCE THEY GOT HOME, they would reap what they have sown.
Their kids would runaway from home.
Small business in their neighborhoods would take 30 minutes to clear a debit purchase because debit and credit card purchases CAN function with 56k dial-up.
'Pubs, need to re-think this!
-word-to-ya-muthas-
Vendicar_Decarian
0.6 / 5 (42) Apr 09, 2011
"Ready your VPN connections." - RepubliTard shootist

VPN = Virtual Private networking.

1. You don't know what it is.
2. You don't know how it works.
3. You don't realize that it will be throttled as p2p is currently throttled.

Vendicar_Decarian
0.8 / 5 (42) Apr 09, 2011
Freedommmm Freeedommmm

All the Freedom Comcast allows you Wage Slaves to have and not one drop more.

yogurtforthesoul
3.9 / 5 (7) Apr 09, 2011
Great now the Republicans have created 99 problems, but their precious corporate whores aren't part of the problem, ever.

I hate our media. The Republicans (and most likely the Democrats that voted yes) are tied to big business rather than their time honored cliche of small business and the poor and middle class. This will, of course, have bearing on us (maybe allowing ISPs to sniff their traffic more intrusively, allowing them to dismiss you on a whim; it may also be used with the Patriot Act...) and anyone that is a dissenter.

How long till 1984 is in full effect; when Donald Trump becomes president? He's dumb enough and arrogant enough to get it to happen...
farmerpat42
1.6 / 5 (14) Apr 09, 2011
This has little to do with 'corporate power' and everything to do with government power. The government mandate that service providers cannot regulate their own internet traffic is the government controlling their business practices. A net neutral environment encourages one producer because you've just homogenized a potential for difference in the market. If you want to pave a way for a national ISP monopoly - you should favor net neutrality.

What if, as a business person, I wanted to create an ISP that was pron free, focused/marketed towards families? This type of business model isn't allowed under the FCC's law.

The content-limited environment was already tried (AOL, Prodigy, Compuserve - any pre WWW BBS/ISP). All of these limited access services fell quickly once the WWW and local ISPs became interconnected in the early 90s. There is no reason to over-regulate the environment to prevent something from happening that has already been tried and failed.
pauljpease
4.4 / 5 (13) Apr 09, 2011
@farmerpat

First of all, quit saying government like it's a dirty word. Government = will of the people, at least in principle. We as citizens have two choices, let government make the rules, and we get some input into the process, or let corporations make the rules, and we get no say whatsoever (unless you're rich).

Bottom line, the corporations you're so fond of are granted the right to exist by the US government, and the US government has the authority, granted by the PEOPLE, to tell corporations to do whatever the #&@! we want, and that's why corporations hate the government and are in the process of taming and domesticating the government.

Or do you not think it's OK for US citizens to say, "you know what, we think freedom of information/speech is sooooo important that we're going to regulate a fictional entity that only exists because we allow it to exist"?
Sanescience
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 09, 2011
Though understandable why an ISP would want to restrict the small number of people/applications using most of the bandwidth, it just isn't going to fly with people fair play sense. You sell it, you better "honor" your product commitment.

Unfortunately economics will eventually force ISP to start writing generalized caps into their contracts, so everybody is going to start seeing the unlimited bandwidth type of service disappear.

jamesrm
4.1 / 5 (9) Apr 09, 2011
The article should be titled
"House votes to let ISPs regulate Internet"

Regards
James
DWooddell
3.8 / 5 (10) Apr 09, 2011
The Republicans will never be satisfied until this country is "by the corporation, for the corporation," and step on the average citizen who gets in the way. Our rights are daily under attack by the Tea Baggers and other narrow-minded Republican-Cons, and I for one am darned tired of it. This power-grab by their legislators is yet one more indication that they will never be satisfied until we are all slaves of their domination of politics in the US. It is the death of democracy - we the people have voted for laws to protect us from avarice and greed, from corporations who pollute, and corporations that sell harmful products. We want product safety and environmental regulations to protect us from the very people that the strident Republicans promote. We want affordable medicine and affordable health care and affordable health insurance. We want the benefits of living in our society under a democratic system. What happened to the Age of Reason? Humanists need to Stand Up Now!
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (13) Apr 09, 2011
First of all, quit saying government like it's a dirty word. Government = will of the people,

'Will of the people' is was led to hundreds executed by guillotine during the French Revolution.
That's why the US has a Constitution. To protect the rights of all, not just the 'will of the people'.

"House votes to let ISPs regulate Internet"

Who pays the ISPs?
We can see what happens when the govt regulates the internet in other countries.
BTW, does anyone mind their company restricting access to the internet at work?
Quantum_Conundrum
2.5 / 5 (11) Apr 09, 2011
BTW, does anyone mind their company restricting access to the internet at work?


Actually, yes, yes, I do.

I once worked for a company that forbade you to have your cell phone turned on...for the entire 12 hour shift...
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (12) Apr 09, 2011
BTW, does anyone mind their company restricting access to the internet at work?


Actually, yes, yes, I do.

I once worked for a company that forbade you to have your cell phone turned on...for the entire 12 hour shift...

Why did you work there? Or did you quit immediately after you were aware of the policy?
TheWalrus
3.3 / 5 (7) Apr 09, 2011
This alleged "regulation" by the FCC is the exact opposite of regulation, at least as far as the users are concerned. As it stands, ISPs cannot limit what you have access to. Supporters of this bill want your ISP to censor what you see on the InterTubes. The Internet is unregulated right now, and it should stay that way. It is beyond me why some people want corporations to do the very thing they oppose the government doing. I guess Rush Limbaugh and his followers would rather live in a world where corporations can do whatever they want, because that's their idea of "freedom."
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (10) Apr 09, 2011
The Internet is unregulated right now, and it should stay that way.

Then why is a regulation required to keep it 'unregulated'?
MorituriMax
1 / 5 (3) Apr 09, 2011
They disputed the need to intervene in an already open Internet and warned that the rules would stifle investment in broadband systems.

Have they actually tried logging onto the internet WITHOUT going through a cable provider? Free and open? Sort of like as free and open as trying to get into China, Iran, or North Korea without any papers.
TheQuietMan
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 09, 2011
The Internet is unregulated right now, and it should stay that way.

Then why is a regulation required to keep it 'unregulated'?


Same reason the telephone company used to be regulated. If they control what is offered on the internet (which is their interest to do so, and against the public interest) then the 1st Amendment is dead, or severely damaged. This is not like a local newspaper, where I can pick and choose. ISPs tend to be monopolies, with total control over the media you get to watch. Right now they don't exercise that control, but if they were allowed to don't think it won't happen.

Why is this concept so hard to understand?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (10) Apr 09, 2011
Right now they don't exercise that control, but if they were allowed to don't think it won't happen.

Why would customers allow that? Why would their competition allow that?
At present I have >4 choices to access the internet and they all are competing for my business. What monopoly?
jamesrm
3 / 5 (4) Apr 09, 2011
"Why would customers allow that? Why would their competition allow that? At present I have >4 choices to access the internet and they all are competing for my business. What monopoly?"

Are you saying you have a seperate lines from 4 separate providers connecting your house? My your are lucky

rgds
James

Szkeptik
1 / 5 (4) Apr 09, 2011
"So your Web page from Nike might load faster than your Web page from the Catholic Church because, if there was tiered access, who would be more likely to pay for the speed of the access?"

Horrible example, as the Catholic Church has literally a million times more money than Nike.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (10) Apr 09, 2011
"Why would customers allow that? Why would their competition allow that? At present I have >4 choices to access the internet and they all are competing for my business. What monopoly?"

Are you saying you have a seperate lines from 4 separate providers connecting your house? My your are lucky

rgds
James


DSL, cable, satellite, multiple wireless providers
Jimee
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 09, 2011
Tea-bagger, Republicon maggots.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (43) Apr 09, 2011
"Our rights are daily under attack by the Tea Baggers and other narrow-minded Republican-Cons, and I for one am darned tired of it." - LibTard

Whatcha gonna do about it Commie?

If you cant stand freedom, get out of God's country.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (41) Apr 09, 2011
"Tea-bagger, Republicon maggots." - Jimee

We rule this country. Not Leeebiril Vermin.

---
One more bullet. One fewer Liberal.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (42) Apr 09, 2011
"The Republicans will never be satisfied until this country is "by the corporation, for the corporation," and step on the average citizen who gets in the way." - LibTard

One dollar. One vote. That is the only legitimate political system.
ToxicEuphoria
3 / 5 (4) Apr 10, 2011
Don't you people realize the largest monopoly of all IS the government?
At least when an evil corporation oversteps its bounds we as consumers have the ability to turn our backs on it and choose one of its many competitors instead.
Compare that to when the government, with a monopoly over the use of force, oversteps its bounds... you have no choice but comply; it's called tyranny.
The internet is NOT broken, we don't need to regulate something which has a VERY good track record. If Comcast screws us too badly we can turn to Quest or Cox, Verizon Fios, etc. OR better yet, if Comcast is actually stupid enough to screw its own customers, I WILL START MY OWN BUSINESS TO FILL THE NICHE THEY CHOSE TO THROW AWAY. Free market capitalism works and, when it comes to the internet, the ONLY role the government should play is to prevent 2 or 3 large competing companies from merging together or cutting back-room deals with eachother when such intent results in the of a true monopoly.
ToxicEuphoria
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 10, 2011
Fix to prior comment: The ONLY role the government should play is to prevent 2 or 3 large competing companies from merging together or cutting back-room deals with eachother when such intent results in the formation of a true monopoly.
TheWalrus
2.7 / 5 (7) Apr 10, 2011
The Internet is unregulated right now, and it should stay that way.

Then why is a regulation required to keep it 'unregulated'?


The regulations are imposed on ISPs who would otherwise restrict your access to information. People like Vendicar Decarian up there is just another example of conservative sheeple going against their own best interest in favor of corporations that want nothing more than to screw them out of more money and control what they see, hear and read. The Republicans present this as a way to "protect" the Internet from government regulation, when it's actually protecting corporations from government regulation. The internet is the biggest threat to Fox "News" and AM talk radio. Just as Republicans turned health care reform into "death panels," (which is more accurately applied to insurance companies) so are they turning the Internet Censorship Act into "freedom."
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (4) Apr 10, 2011
"One dollar. One vote. That is the only legitimate political system." - Venditard_Tardicarian

"Whatcha gonna do about it Commie?" - Tardicar_Decartardian

Easy. Your back is first against the wall.

ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (13) Apr 10, 2011
"One dollar. One vote. That is the only legitimate political system." - Venditard_Tardicarian

"Whatcha gonna do about it Commie?" - Tardicar_Decartardian

Easy. Your back is first against the wall.

The internet is the biggest threat to Fox "News" and AM talk radio.

The internet is a bigger threat to socialists.


Violence, the first resort of the socialist.
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (3) Apr 10, 2011
"One more bullet. One fewer Liberal." - Venditard

It was your buddy who said it first.
knikiy
5 / 5 (3) Apr 10, 2011
The Internet is unregulated right now, and it should stay that way.

Then why is a regulation required to keep it 'unregulated'?


For the same reason you have to opt out of having your private info shared by banks, credit card companies, vendors, etc. It's the corporate default that was imposed upon us while we were sleeping. Why should we have to "opt out" of having ourselves tracked by corporate interests? Why don't we have the choice of opting in for whatever service we select? Why shouldn't we have an unregulated internet? ISP's are acting as though they formulated and patented the info superhighway, meanwhile, they just own the wires.
TheWalrus
3.5 / 5 (8) Apr 10, 2011
I notice the conservatives here are, as usual, unable to articulate anything resembling a coherent argument. These are the very people the Republicans are most interested in: violent, andgr, not very smart and willing to go along with whatever their messiahs like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh tell them to think. Conservatives, mainly Republicans, are actively trying to deprive Americans of objective news reporting. If they have their way, everyone in America will "think" like Vendicar Decarian and be obedient pawns. The ironic thing is, they really believe liberals are the ones who don't think. Just try to get one of them to make a cogent argument for their spoon-fed beliefs. They can't. All they can do is regurgitate the talking points they've gleefully gobbled up.
TheWalrus
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 10, 2011
Typo of the day: "andgr" = "angry." Sorry. And I'm a professional proofreader...

Anyway, I forgot to point out that when ISPs are allowed to charge by the bit, consumers will wind up paying through the nose for all those bandwidth-hogging Flash media ads that infest pretty much every page on the 'Net. And conseervatives think that's just ducky. You know that when that happens, they'll blame liberals for it.
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (4) Apr 10, 2011
DAMN LIBERALS TAXING MY INTERNET! I WANT MY INTERNET BACK!
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (4) Apr 10, 2011
Right now they don't exercise that control, but if they were allowed to don't think it won't happen.

Why would customers allow that? Why would their competition allow that?
At present I have >4 choices to access the internet and they all are competing for my business. What monopoly?

You know that 2 of them are subsidized by the state and fed, right? They wouldn't be able to sustain their services without the influx of income from your tax dollars at work according to them.
FrankHerbert
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 10, 2011
Not everyone has a choice. In my area there is only one option. All the other "choices" pay the cable company so naturally their rates are higher.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (12) Apr 10, 2011
Right now they don't exercise that control, but if they were allowed to don't think it won't happen.

Why would customers allow that? Why would their competition allow that?
At present I have >4 choices to access the internet and they all are competing for my business. What monopoly?

You know that 2 of them are subsidized by the state and fed, right? They wouldn't be able to sustain their services without the influx of income from your tax dollars at work according to them.

End all govt subsidies.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2011
At present I have >4 choices to access the internet and they all are competing for my business. What monopoly?

You know that 2 of them are subsidized by the state and fed, right? They wouldn't be able to sustain their services without the influx of income from your tax dollars at work according to them.
End all govt subsidies.
And create a monopoly. You would no longer have 4 choices, you'd have 1.

You need to think further ahead.
rynox
5 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2011
sigh

A robust government that regulates and ensures our freedoms is part of what makes this country great. Why do some people hate government so much? Whatevah... I'm so tired of politics, I'll just keep my head down, show up every 4 years and do my thing.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (11) Apr 11, 2011
A robust government that regulates and ensures our freedoms is part of what makes this country great.

A robust regulatory state can only TAKE freedoms from the regulated.
The limited govt that protects everyone's property rights can help to ensure freedom.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2011
A robust government that regulates and ensures our freedoms is part of what makes this country great.

A robust regulatory state can only TAKE freedoms from the regulated.
That's not accurate in the least. A 'robust regulatory state' includes the criminal jsutice system which prevents murder, rape, etc. Not everyone has the same moral compass. Psychopaths don't adhere to the golden rule.

The limited govt that protects everyone's property rights can help to ensure freedom.
A government that protects property rights is not limited in any sense of the word. You may consider that form of government to be 'domain limited' but then you would have to rigorously define 'private property'.
J-n
5 / 5 (6) Apr 11, 2011
Most ISPs are owned or lease access (and resell to you) from companies that are owned by the large media conglomerates.

So, if you genuinely believe that the media is biased, why would you not then feel that the same media company that is biased in the way that they report the news be intent on limiting your access to opposing viewpoints on these same subjects?

I imagine 10 years after a law that allows ISPs to limit access we will be seeing ads "Only an additional 20$/month and you can send your e-mail to anyone on any network!!"
FrankHerbert
2 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2011
The internet will end up like cable packages.

20 websites for $19.95/month

30 websites including Amazon and Ebay for only $39.95/month

a whopping 40 websites including Google and Youtube for the low low price of $49.95!

Add email for only an extra $5/month (web-based services are prohibited)
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (10) Apr 11, 2011
At present I have >4 choices to access the internet and they all are competing for my business. What monopoly?

You know that 2 of them are subsidized by the state and fed, right? They wouldn't be able to sustain their services without the influx of income from your tax dollars at work according to them.
End all govt subsidies.
And create a monopoly. You would no longer have 4 choices, you'd have 1.

You need to think further ahead.

No, you need to think.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (9) Apr 11, 2011
then you would have to rigorously define 'private property'.

That would be a great idea as SH's Regulatory State believes it owns everything.
A 'robust regulatory state' includes the criminal jsutice system which prevents murder,

How? Regulations and laws don't prevent murder. The SCOTUS stated that the govt is NOT required to prevent murder.
The purpose of a state law making murder a crime is to define the rights violation and provide a process to punish the individual that violated the victims rights.
How would a regulation prevent murder?
CHollman82
1 / 5 (7) Apr 11, 2011
BTW, does anyone mind their company restricting access to the internet at work?


Actually, yes, yes, I do.

I once worked for a company that forbade you to have your cell phone turned on...for the entire 12 hour shift...

Why did you work there? Or did you quit immediately after you were aware of the policy?


Just wanted to say that I was very confused why this comment was rated so poorly... It's true that the company has every right to enact such rules and it is also true that if you do not agree with them then you have every right to not work for that company...
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (3) Apr 11, 2011
BOOTSTRAPS BOOTSTRAPS BOOTSTRAPS

Go to hell.
CHollman82
2.2 / 5 (10) Apr 11, 2011
I'm pretty conflicted about this net neutrality stuff... ideologically I would prefer the government to be hands off, but when ISP's operate as monopolies already (I don't have a choice in broadband service provider in my area, do you?) it seems almost necessary in order to prevent monopolistic practices...
J-n
5 / 5 (2) Apr 11, 2011
Even when you have "Choice" it's usually just leased access from the big provider in your area. Which means that if an ISP imposes restrictions those restrictions will be passed on to the smaller companies as well.

Why anyone in their right mind would vote for allowing companies to decide what you can and can't view on the internet is beyond me.

Oh and yes my company filters what i can and can't view on the web. I dont use my web access at work for anything other than work though. At home i want unfettered access that will allow me to search for and view ANY item, regardless of their affiliation with my service provider.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (10) Apr 11, 2011
I'm pretty conflicted about this net neutrality stuff... ideologically I would prefer the government to be hands off, but when ISP's operate as monopolies already (I don't have a choice in broadband service provider in my area, do you?) it seems almost necessary in order to prevent monopolistic practices...

Trust in the govt monopoly?
CHollman82
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 11, 2011
I'm pretty conflicted about this net neutrality stuff... ideologically I would prefer the government to be hands off, but when ISP's operate as monopolies already (I don't have a choice in broadband service provider in my area, do you?) it seems almost necessary in order to prevent monopolistic practices...

Trust in the govt monopoly?


Are you asking me to choose the lesser of two evils?

The government is not as driven by profit as corporations are...
J-n
5 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2011
At least we can control the government, and even attempt to change it from within by running for office.

I'd like to see you try to change TimeWarner/Comcast/etc's business practices.
knikiy
not rated yet Apr 12, 2011
BTW, does anyone mind their company restricting access to the internet at work?


Actually, yes, yes, I do.

I once worked for a company that forbade you to have your cell phone turned on...for the entire 12 hour shift...

Why did you work there? Or did you quit immediately after you were aware of the policy?


Just wanted to say that I was very confused why this comment was rated so poorly... It's true that the company has every right to enact such rules and it is also true that if you do not agree with them then you have every right to not work for that company...

... and that is your only choice? How many folks work for companies that are doing bad things? How many are complicit in order to keep their jobs?
CHollman82
2 / 5 (8) Apr 12, 2011
Just wanted to say that I was very confused why this comment was rated so poorly... It's true that the company has every right to enact such rules and it is also true that if you do not agree with them then you have every right to not work for that company...


You guys can rate this comment "1" all you like, the truth is the truth no matter how much it bothers you. In this country (assuming most readers are from America) we have what is called "at will" employment. What that means is that employers are free to fire you "at will" for almost any reason... it also means you are free to leave the company "at will" for any reason. This is called freedom. The company is free to institute policies as the leadership sees fit, and you are free to not work for them if you don't like those policies.

You can't change the truth with low votes when it is spoken.
Thrasymachus
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2011
I gave you a 5, CH, but you should realize that "at will" employment is not the reality for a large number of workers and jobs. Any employee who signed a detailed employment contract prior to employment specifying the conditions of termination or employment is not "at will." Union member employees are not employed "at will." Neither are State employees, regardless of whether they are public employee union members, because they also have a proprietary interest in the welfare of the State. Lastly, any organization that has an employee manual is as bound by that manual as the employees that agree to work there are.

"At will" employment, on aggregate, maximizes freedom for employers, who can always replace one worker with another, or even choose to forgo the extra production that worker provides, while it fails to maximize freedom for employees, who typically have no other resource to capitalize on than their labor. Finding another job is harder than finding another employee.
CHollman82
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 12, 2011
@Thrasymachus

I appreciate it, but I'm not overly concerned with these ratings as much as I am the mindset and opinions of people who give them.

As for your point about employment contracts let me ask, who forced you to sign the contract? Contract law does not undermine the concept of at will employment unless people are being forced or coerced to sign those contracts.

As far as union and state employees go you will have to explain what you mean. Remember though that I made no claim that there are no consequences for leaving a job... there of course are. The point is you CAN leave if you choose, that is all that is guaranteed by at will employment.

I also don't understand your point about a company being bound by employee manuals... because I don't think they legally are.
CHollman82
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 12, 2011
cont'd.

I disagree in general with your assertion that at will employment favors the employer over the employee. Your opinion that it is easier to replace an employee than it is to find a new job is certainly true in SOME industries at SOME times, and it is certainly false in others... it's not as simple as you are trying to pass it of as. Certainly McDonalds would have an easier time finding a new employee than someone aspiring to work at McDonalds would have finding a new job... but at the other end of the spectrum this is often reversed.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (11) Apr 12, 2011
who can always replace one worker with another,

Maybe you can be replaced quite easily.
Even Wal Mart has incentives to keep employees as they and many others have fixed training costs for new hires.
More complex positions many have 6-12 months of training/learning curve before the new employee becomes productive.
Employers who want to stay in business try to keep productive employees.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (11) Apr 12, 2011
At least we can control the government, and even attempt to change it from within by running for office.

I'd like to see you try to change TimeWarner/Comcast/etc's business practices.

Stop buying their products.
You can vote everyday, many times a day, to change a company. At best you get to vote for a new politician every two years.
Thrasymachus
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 12, 2011
The definition of "at will" employment is that, as an employee, you can be fired at any time, for any reason, or for no reason whatsoever, at the whim of the employer. You may also leave your job for an alternative, or no alternative, at any time, for any reason, or for no reason whatsoever. These conditions persist for the length of the employment.

When you sign an employment contract specifying the conditions of termination and employment, both you and the employer are bound by that agreement for the term of the employment contract. He may not fire you, except for reasons outlined in the contract, and you may not quit, except for reasons outline in the contract, without additional penalties being incurred. Employee handbooks and manuals have been found by courts to carry the same weight as employment contracts. If you do something explicitly permitted by your handbook, your boss can't fire you for it.

(cont)
Thrasymachus
4.3 / 5 (6) Apr 12, 2011
Union employees are simply contract employees of a special type. State employees are not "at will" because they are also voters, and through their representatives, help craft the regulations and rules that govern employment by the government for which they work. Voters "own" the state, so the interest they have in its operation is a proprietary one. In a sense, a state employee is self-employed, or at least, he works for himself in a round-about way.

And it is true that labor, as a commodity, is not all of a piece. Which is why I made my claim about the aggregate. The vast majority of jobs, and the largest demand for labor, is for unskilled, low-wage, easily replaceable labor. "At will" employment is not a beneficial norm for this largest pool of labor. As the labor demanded becomes more skilled, and less easily replaceable, the benefits of "at-will" employment accrue more greatly to employees.
Thrasymachus
4.3 / 5 (6) Apr 12, 2011
It is arguable whether "at will" employment preserves freedom to a greater or lesser degree than contractual based employment. With contract-based employment, you know what you're getting beforehand, and have something of a guarantee that you'll get what you want out of the arrangement. No such guarantee exists with "at-will" employment. However, an "at will" arrangement has greater flexibility to overcome drastic changes in the economic situation in ways favorable to every party.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2011
who can always replace one worker with another,

Maybe you can be replaced quite easily.
Even Wal Mart has incentives to keep employees as they and many others have fixed training costs for new hires.
Yes, they pay one employee who makes a dollar over the minimum wage show a new employee, making minimum wage, how to say "Welcome to Walmart". That's certainly equivalent to the training I received in HPC computing last year....idiot.

More complex positions many have 6-12 months of training/learning curve before the new employee becomes productive.
Or you jsut hire someone who already knows the system, hence the utilization of industry standards, something which you would prefer to see abolished.

Employers who want to stay in business try to keep productive employees.
Until those employees can be replaced by cheaper productive employees.
RETT
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 14, 2011
ISP's aloeady charge for bandwidth, and carriers often charge per bit in various ways, so they have all the tools they need to recover their network costs. What they want to do now is sniff what you are doing on that connection and either block or control specific content. So, if you want to stream Rush or Glenn Beck on the internet, just as examples, they could effectively block or slow or speed that content. Unless there is a specific actionable complaint such as carrying child porn, I don't want anybody, government or private knowing or caring what I do on the internet. That is what this is all about, and I cannot find anything that is liberal or socialist about that idea. Up till now, such content sniffing or site control has not been allowed. You buy the bandwidth or number of bits that you want, and you do with them what you want. There is no auction of bandwidth or bits to the highest bidder. If there were such, only the biggest would receive equitable service.
RETT
3 / 5 (6) Apr 14, 2011
The scale of influence up and down the job chain is clear in the results. Over the last 50 years, the top 10% have steadily gained in their percentage of everything...income, wealth, influence, etc., while the bottom 90% have lost. That trend is unsustainable if we are to retain the large middle class that is the soul of a democracy. You can spout about commies, socialists, and liberals all you wish, but without an answer to that problem, you guarantee the type of inequality that brought us to this country in the first place. Money most certainly is power in this and every country, and without some at least mild attempt to control that power, democracy will have no meaning of any kind. We will be back to plutocracy and oligarchy. As population goes up, the need for the commons goes up, streets, water, sewers, communication, law enforcement, security, defgense, and so on into the night. If government is to be destroyed, how will those needs be equitably met?
RETT
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2011
If the extremes of libertarianism are to be met, we will have to pay for each and everything that we use, regardless of our ability to pay. No money...all roads are tolled...you can't flush your toilet, and there is no water for you, nor food, nor medical care, etc., etc. Since income and need do not always coincide, we often have these situations now. In a high density society, there is only so much room for those who, for one reason or another, cannot compete, or cannot compete at some specific time. If those people end up on the streets and do not have jobs or the means to hold a job, such as transport, communication, etc., then they become a part of a permanent underclass. How large does that underclass have to get before it destroys our civil society. It always amazes me that our most conservative and judgmental people are supposedly Christians who seem not to have read the Sermon on the Mount or noted that the disciples and Lord they so cherish were basically mendicants.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (10) Apr 14, 2011
If the extremes of libertarianism are to be met, we will have to pay for each and everything that we use,

Everyone pays now, more than they should, with high taxes.

Jesus never advocated theft.

Small 'l' libertarians demand the govt be limited. The US is supposed be a federal system with state and local govts being responsible for local issues and concerns. Why that is important is that it is easier for citizens to keep an eye on the local politician and the money stays in the area.
CA operates like the federal govt. All city and county taxes go the state and the state decides what to give back to the local govts.
BTW, if you notice, govts at ALL levels are attacking Christians. Why would govts do that?
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (10) Apr 14, 2011
It is interesting that so many who are apparently involved with a decentralized internet are so anxious to support a massive centralized govt.
J-n
4 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2011
BTW, if you notice, govts at ALL levels are attacking Christians. Why would govts do that?


Proof? I would say that MOST often Christians are given preferential treatment by the US government. How many organizations can actively hide criminals from prosecution, admit they've been doing and are allowed to continue to receive government benefits (not required to pay taxes)?

How many Non-Christian Presidents have we had?
J-n
5 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2011
For many issues Centralization of resources is logical, Larger insurance pools create lower costs, Environmental issues span across state lines (pollution from chicago affects milwaukee, detroit, canada) ETC ETC.

Information should not be controlled by any one source, Information should not only be decentralized but accessible to as many people as possible, without restriction. Restriction on this access to public information is akin to a library saying "You aren't allowed to check out this book because we have decided you aren't smart/rich/tall/etc enough to fully appreciate it's contents" or "You can't have this book because we are supported by publishing company X and that book is produced by publishing company Y".

Most folks do not decide "I like Decentralization" and then decide that everything in their life, politics, etc should be decentralized. Most thinking folks realize that Consolidation of resources and decision making (centralization)works in many situations as well.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 14, 2011
decision making (centralization)works in many situations as well.

"And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that."
"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Lord Acton

Read more: http://www.brainy...JW7apxJ9
J-n
5 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2011
100 senators
435 Representatives
1 president
9 supreme court justices

None of them has complete control over our government and each can act as a balance to the others power. In addition in all but the Supreme Court, the bums can get voted out if the citizens are not satisfied with their job performance.

FrankHerbert
2 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2011

BTW, if you notice, govts at ALL levels are attacking Christians. Why would govts do that?


Really? I wish this were true but it's so painfully obvious it isn't. Name one elected representative that is openly atheist. Please, I'll be waiting all day.

It really is infuriating how christians, the malevolent majority, constantly claim they are a persecuted minority. I guess they think if they are loud enough long enough it'll come true. Let's make their wish come true.
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (6) Apr 14, 2011
Christians are so fucking dumb.
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 14, 2011
100 senators
435 Representatives
1 president
9 supreme court justices

None of them has complete control over our government and each can act as a balance to the others power. In addition in all but the Supreme Court, the bums can get voted out if the citizens are not satisfied with their job performance.


5 Supreme Court judges do have absolute control.
J-n
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2011
5 Supreme Court judges do have absolute control.


Proof?
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (11) Apr 14, 2011
5 Supreme Court judges do have absolute control.


Proof?

Judicial Review.
Modernmystic
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 14, 2011
At least we can control the government, and even attempt to change it from within by running for office.

I'd like to see you try to change TimeWarner/Comcast/etc's business practices.


We did that, they repealed it...

Far simpler to change the practice of a business than a government...even in a democracy or republic.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (6) Apr 14, 2011


Really? I wish this were true but it's so painfully obvious it isn't. Name one elected representative that is openly atheist. Please, I'll be waiting all day.


No you won't. Lori Lipman Brown :)

It really is infuriating how christians, the malevolent majority, constantly claim they are a persecuted minority.


LMFAO, you're actually serious aren't you...how cute.

Christians are so fucking dumb.


Nicolaus Copernicus
Francis Bacon
Johannes Kepler
Galileo Galilei
Isaac Newton
Michael Faraday
James Clerk Maxwell
Louis Pasteur
Lord Kelvin
Max Planck
Freeman Dyson....
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (8) Apr 14, 2011
100 senators
435 Representatives
1 president
9 supreme court justices

None of them has complete control over our government and each can act as a balance to the others power. In addition in all but the Supreme Court, the bums can get voted out if the citizens are not satisfied with their job performance.



It's a good theory but...

http://en.wikiped...d_States

...not so hot in practice.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (7) Apr 14, 2011


Really? I wish this were true but it's so painfully obvious it isn't. Name one elected representative that is openly atheist. Please, I'll be waiting all day.


No you won't. Lori Lipman Brown :)

It really is infuriating how christians, the malevolent majority, constantly claim they are a persecuted minority.


LMFAO, you're actually serious aren't you...how cute.

Christians are so fucking dumb.


Nicolaus Copernicus
Francis Bacon
Johannes Kepler
Galileo Galilei
Isaac Newton
Michael Faraday
James Clerk Maxwell
Louis Pasteur
Lord Kelvin
Max Planck
Freeman Dyson....

and William Phillips:
http://nobelprize...ips.html
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 16, 2011
Really? I wish this were true but it's so painfully obvious it isn't. Name one elected representative that is openly atheist. Please, I'll be waiting all day.
No you won't. Lori Lipman Brown :)
Also Peter Stark Jr., Douglas Campbell, Heather Mac Donald, Edward Tabash, and Alan Wolfe for starters. Then we can talk about all the ones who aren't still alive, and there are hundreds of them.
It really is infuriating how christians, the malevolent majority, constantly claim they are a persecuted minority.
LMFAO, you're actually serious aren't you...how cute.
He's not wrong on that point, but, not all Christians are part of that particular thought stream in the American Zeitgeist. Most are quite opposed to the actions of the loonies.
semmsterr
1 / 5 (2) Apr 17, 2011
I'm confused, why repeal rules that work? Just because they didn't think of it first? How about they just give it a stamp of approval.


This is what's bothering me too... are they doing things just to be contrary in an arbitrary way, or are they really as... dim as they seem to be?
AlexCoe
1 / 5 (7) Apr 24, 2011
Nice that we can have an open and honest discussion without resorting to name calling.
The rules of the Constitution are really pretty clear and should be studied by everyone until they understand them. The govt. is supposed to be a limited form of Republic, not an unlimited Democracy. Sadly, those who often have the best of intentions don't understand that the rules can be changed, but instead they most often try to go around them. If you don't like it, change it legally, through the rules processes laid out by law. The "rule of law" we like to pride ourselves on, has been bent into an unrecognizable form presently, in such ways that no common man can understand them all. In and of itself that is just plain wrong.
I believe that free enterprise will almost always find a way to supply the desires of the masses. They will react quicker to demands of their customers than any govt agency.
You don't wait in line at McDonalds like you do at DMV!
AlexCoe
1 / 5 (9) Apr 24, 2011
Govt. tends to throttle back innovation not create it. If they had stepped into the protection of copyrights with a heavy hand, as they could have, we certainly wouldn't have seen the kind of personal electronic devices we have the last few decades. (NASA & military are the exceptions)
I think most of us want unfettered access to the internet and it's boundless information. The thing we seem to disagree about is who will control that access. I vote for the free market and it's desire to provide, rather than the regulators of govt who wish to choke it down to some manageable level where no one is happy with it, or worse they (some bureaucratic minion) actually control the content. That said, I don't want my ISP to treat me or anyone else differently either. I do live in an area with many choices of ISP's both hard and wireless as well as satellite. I would and have changed because of their policies both at home and my workplace.
frajo
3.5 / 5 (2) Apr 25, 2011
I don't want my ISP to treat me or anyone else differently either. I do live in an area with many choices of ISP
So why do you avoid to address the question how to guarantee neutral internet access to those who have only one ISP in their region?
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 25, 2011
Govt. tends to throttle back innovation not create it.
Demonstrably false. Interchangable parts is a US government supported innovation, the internet, self driving cars, impact sensors, GPS, cellular telephones, the jet airplane, nuclear power, lasers and masers; all Government sponsored innovations. You've swallowed the toxic freemarket lie.
They will react quicker to demands of their customers than any govt agency.
Only if there's a benefit to be had for the responder. If there is no benefit, they do not respond, regardless of the rammifications.

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