×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

No, Net Neutrality Doesn't Violate the 5th Amendment

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the how-do-you-spell-specious dept.

The Internet 322

An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday we discussed the theory that net neutrality might violate the 5th Amendment's 'takings clause.' Over at TechDirt they've explained why the paper making that claim is mistaken. Part of it is due to a misunderstanding of the technology, such as when the author suggests that someone who puts up a server connected to the Internet is 'invading' a broadband provider's private network. And part of it is due to glossing over the fact that broadband networks all have involved massive government subsidies, in the form of rights of way access, local franchise/monopolies, and/or direct subsidies from governments. The paper pretends, instead, that broadband networks are 100% private."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Best way to fix it (0, Flamebait)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#33127762)

And part of it is due to glossing over the fact that broadband networks all have involved massive government subsidies, in the form of rights of way access, local franchise/monopolies, and/or direct subsidies from governments. The paper pretends, instead, that broadband networks are 100% private

The best way to fix it is to... not give handouts, special privileges, or otherwise interfere with private enterprise. Every time the government does it, it fucks up the economy. Every. Single. Time.

Re:Best way to fix it (0, Flamebait)

SpaceCadetTrav (641261) | more than 4 years ago | (#33127784)

But it's different this time!

Re:Best way to fix it (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33127838)

You're right. The government should never have allowed ISPs to lay cable underneath or on poles over government-owned streets. Such interference is unconscionable.

Re:Best way to fix it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33127902)

Gee that's funny, because I'm pretty sure the GOVERNMENT has no concept of, or right to, ownership.
"Owned by the government" means "belongs to the people" since WE paid for it.

Also, when you add sarcasm, it helps to be correct. When you try to use sarcasm to make such a blatantly incorrect point, you just make yourself look like an absolute jackass.

Re:Best way to fix it (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128136)

And people in general have nominated the government as their representative by voting in parties that defend such policies.

Re:Best way to fix it (1, Redundant)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | more than 4 years ago | (#33129258)

And people in general have nominated the government as their representative by voting in parties that defend such policies.

That statement is misleading. When you have 700,000 people per district, you cannot have representation. This was discussed by many of the state constitutional conventions leading up to the ratification of the Constitution. In fact, there was only one last-minute change that resulted in the only smudge in the original ratified document, and that was to change the minimum district size from 40,000 people to 30,000 people (the number '4' to '3'), because they felt 40,000 was simply too many people for a district. Nowhere in the U.S. can you find any homogeneous geographic group of 700,000 people, which is what gives us our plutocratic de facto state.

If you care, you can read more about this topic at Thirty-Thousand.org [thirty-thousand.org] .

Re:Best way to fix it (4, Insightful)

freejung (624389) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128324)

I'm pretty sure the GOVERNMENT has no concept of, or right to, ownership. .

This is incorrect on several levels. For one thing, ownership is actually defined by the government. Without a government, the piece of paper that says you own something would be worthless. Not only does the government have a concept of ownership, it actually creates all ownership.

"Owned by the government" means "belongs to the people" since WE paid for it.

Of course that is quite correct, but it does nothing to negate the grandparent's point. We the people paid for the property on which streets are built. Therefore in order to use that property for their networks, ISPs need permission from the elected representatives of the people, a.k.a. the government.

If these providers are not going to give all of us unfettered access to their networks, what incentive do we have to allow them to use our property to build those networks? They should buy their own damn land and put their networks there if they want to have total control over the signal. As long as they're putting the network on our land, we should have unfettered access to it.

Re:Best way to fix it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33128542)

Quick someone photo-shop Shrek's friend donkey into the shape of an absolute vodka bottle!

Re:Best way to fix it (5, Insightful)

Alyred (667815) | more than 4 years ago | (#33127926)

Further back even... while they were "loans", it was still interfering with "private enterprise" to pass the Rural Electrification Act in 1936. I imagine that electrical power would still be in much the same state that broadband to rural communities is today without it.

Re:Best way to fix it (-1, Troll)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128018)

No, because private enterprise would find a way to make it work. If enough people want something and the government doesn't interfere, the free market comes up with an elegant solution that works. With enough research and such, perhaps there would be more interest in what today is considered to be "alternative" energy such as wind and it would be cheap, refined and usable. Of course when the government gives away free money to basically just burn coal, any other solutions are out because they would cost more initial money and look where that puts us today.

Re:Best way to fix it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33128050)

My word you've been busy spreading some free market love and dry humping that ideological leg today. Are you one of those plants I hear so much about?

Re:Best way to fix it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33128080)

If enough people want something and the government doesn't interfere, the free market comes up with an elegant solution that works.

Where's my goddamn flying car then?

Re:Best way to fix it (-1, Troll)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128142)

If you look at a lot of the companies who thought about making flying cars (like Ford in the 1950s) the ideas were usually rejected by the FAA which is, guess what? More government interference.

Re:Best way to fix it (1)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128240)

If you look at a lot of the companies who thought about making flying cars (like Ford in the 1950s) the ideas were usually rejected by the FAA which is, guess what? More government interference.

I say 'proof' or you're talking out your butt.

Re:Best way to fix it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33128254)

If you look at a lot of the companies who thought about making flying cars (like Ford in the 1950s) the ideas were usually rejected by the FAA which is, guess what? More government interference.

And my eternal youth? I know, I know, snake oil salesmen had it all figured out but the government had to go and interfere again. Damn those feds.

Re:Best way to fix it (1, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128362)

And my eternal youth?

You'd be a lot more likely to have it if the government didn't impose vastly expensive regulations on anyone who tries to provide it. When dramatic life extension becomes possible you'll probably have to fly to Mexico or Thailand to get the treatment if you don't want to die before it becomes legal in America.

There is absolutely no doubt that pharmaceutical regulation has killed at least hundreds of thousands of people, and probably far more. One drug that saves 10,000 lives a year being delayed by a decade of testing is 100,000 dead by itself.

Re:Best way to fix it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33128554)

One drug that saves 10,000 lives a year being delayed by a decade of testing

So we should replace the FDA with psychics who can tell that an untested drug will save 10,000 lives a year?

Or just trust the drug company when they say they're certain it will but haven't actually tried it yet?

Re:Best way to fix it (1, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128712)

So we should replace the FDA with psychics who can tell that an untested drug will save 10,000 lives a year?

No, you should let people choose whether to use drugs that they want to use rather than condemning them to death. If you're going to die anyway, why shouldn't you take an untested drug which might kill you or might save your life?

BTW, I'm glad to see you didn't deny that pharmaceutical regulation has killed vast numbers of people.

Re:Best way to fix it (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128884)

As long as drug companies are HONEST about what they sell I have no qualms about them selling whatever they want.

If someone takes a look at the listed ingredients and/or side effects, and decides on that basis not to buy, another drug company will cater to them.

Competition would keep everything tidy soon enough.

Re:Best way to fix it (4, Insightful)

wwfarch (1451799) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128998)

While I don't doubt that pharmaceutical regulation has killed vast numbers of people it likely has also saved vast numbers of people as well. Sure, if someone is condemned to death, let them take whatever the hell they want to try. What if they have chronic pain? Just let them take some new wonder drug without testing whether or not it kills people first? Situations like this are where lives are saved at the sacrifice of comfort.

Full disclosure: My wife has chronic pain so I'm not completely detached from this issue. I still wouldn't want her taking drugs with unknown side effects.

Re:Best way to fix it (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128934)

And one untested drug that kills a million people undoes all the good of deregulation.
There is indeed no doubt that pharmaceutical regulation is killing people. But at the same time, it is saving more, other, people from dying.
Net lives saved.

Re:Best way to fix it (1)

StayFrosty (1521445) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128720)

Where's my goddamn flying car then?

Right here. [terrafugia.com] I got a pretty good look at this at the EAA Airventure in Oshkosh WI last weekend. Pretty neat stuff.

Re:Best way to fix it (1)

Kiaser Zohsay (20134) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128942)

I like the looks of this one [youtube.com] better.

Re:Best way to fix it (5, Informative)

P0ltergeist333 (1473899) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128368)

No. Private enterprise did not want the internet. In large part they said "it's just a fad, no significant amount of commerce will be done over the internet." Were you asleep all through the 90's? Here is a typical such article from Newsweek in 1995:

http://www.newsweek.com/1995/02/26/the-internet-bah.html [newsweek.com]

Re:Best way to fix it (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128504)

Here is a typical such article from Newsweek in 1995:

And today that publication was sold for $1.00.

Re:Best way to fix it (0, Troll)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128582)

No. Private enterprise did not want the internet. In large part they said "it's just a fad, no significant amount of commerce will be done over the internet."

Buggy-whip makers didn't want the automobile either, and said 'it's just a fad, no amount of travelling will be done in a horseless carriage'.

Meanwhile, private enterprise largely built the Internet after the very early phase, while government did its best to prevent commercial use. You know, companies like Sun, Cisco, etc, etc, etc, etc....

Re:Best way to fix it (4, Informative)

P0ltergeist333 (1473899) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128786)

Meanwhile, private enterprise largely built the Internet after the very early phase, while government did its best to prevent commercial use. You know, companies like Sun, Cisco, etc, etc, etc, etc....

FAIL: Information Infrastructure and Technology Act of 1992

Nuff said.

Re:Best way to fix it (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33129132)

Were you asleep all through the 90's?

Only during Nap Time, but between that, Recess, Arts and Crafts, Story Time, and Reading and Arithmetic, who has the energy left to keep up on current technology trends?

Re:Best way to fix it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33129216)

whoa. Whoa! WHOA! I'm sorry, but I was eleven in '95, so I probably don't have a good frame of reference for this, but this right here is just too good to be true. I'm really tempted to call bullshit on it.
1) "caught a hacker or two"... really? It sounds like a bobby chasing down the internet hooligans.
2) The two side-bar trends are just too good to be true: The digital revolution, and explaining how the tabletPC isn't killing the E-reader. When the article rants about how books and newspapers will never die.
3) He calls bullshit on Negroponte, mr. OLPC, predicting selling e-books and news online.
4) No way to transfer money online
5) Impossible to find anything relevant on usenet.

I mean, Dear GOD, it's like someone took every game-changing innovation of the internet and wrote an article complaining how it doesn't exist.
So this just can't be real right? Everything in newsweeks 1995 folder is a sneaky joke? It's a April fools day or something?

Re:Best way to fix it (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33128578)

Are you smoking crack homes?

Do you honestly think private businesses would come up with "elegant solutions that [work]"? Let's imagine your energy scenario, in your magic ron paul world, private companies adopt alternative because (and only when) it's cheaper than coal. But here's what happens in the real world:
 
Private companies wait forever to adopt alternative energy sources, because the only thing that (really) matters to them is the cash, and alternative energy is not only more expensive per joule, but there are high start-up and research costs which coal doesn't have. So instead, they keep burning coal as long as the absolutely can, completely destroying the environment in the process, not only in their emissions, but also in their mining techniques which destroy mountains and ruin fresh water sources all over the country (but especially where all the poor coal miners live). No worries though, because surely the glorious free market system will save us when people say no and just stop buying from the bad companies! Oh wait, the mining and power companies all have monopolies in their sphere of influence, not to mention the fact that they are all colluding (actively or not). Don't like dirty coal? just turn the power off then! I'm sure ron paul will show up on a generator bike to keep grandma's respirator going.

Yes, the free market system and capitalism are good and important, but regulation is important when it comes to situations where either:

The company is heavily subsidized

The company has a monopoly, government mandated or otherwise

The environment or some other critical not-profitable consideration is involved

You also really need to come to terms with the fact that government regulation is the best way to get a lot of things. Imagine if power companies hadn't been given monopolies and subsidies, electric power would be spotty at best (sure companies want to sell you power, but running lines out to joe-farmer-in-the-sticks just so he can read in the evenings doesn't sound too profitable to me, which is exactly where we are with broadband and mobile coverage right now), but to ensure competition (since monopolies aren't allowed as they break the no-regulation magic system) there'd have to be several different sets of power lines coming to my house so I could choose the one with the best price and features. Not only would this never happen (companies would just rent lines from each other, or more likely just sell joules, or just buy each other up, bringing us back to monopoly), but if it did happen, it would be a colossal waste of resources and would greatly increase the end cost of power. So clearly the better choice is either - government-regulated power companies with subsidies, mandated monopolies and right of way, or quasi-governmental utilities co-ops which are owned by their customers (the best choice).
 

Re:Best way to fix it (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128920)

A market dominated by a collusive cartel is not a free market.

Re:Best way to fix it (4, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128710)

No, because private enterprise would find a way to make it work.

There are as many examples of that not happening as there are of it happening.

If enough people want something and the government doesn't interfere, the free market comes up with an elegant solution that works

The free market solution for electricity prior to the rural electrification act was to just not sell it to people who were outside the cities, because it was not seen as profitable. After all at that point most of the country's wealth was concentrated in the cities, so why would the market be interested in bringing electricity to poor people who might not be able to afford the requisite rate for bringing power that far away?

Hence it is likely that had that act not taken effect, much of our agriculture (which tends to not be in large cities) would have needed to be done without electricity. That, or the farms would need to be sold to large corporations who could afford to pay for electricity to be purchased and brought to them - which would have put small businesses out of business.

Or are you just anti-small-business?

Re:Best way to fix it (3, Informative)

Monchanger (637670) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128718)

If enough people want something and the government doesn't interfere, the free market comes up with an elegant solution that works.

No. The whole point is there aren't "enough people" to make it economical for business to deliver certain services out to rural areas and still make a profit (must the tired USPS/UPS point need be repeated?). Sure, the market *eventually* came up with affordable on-site power generation products, but it hadn't bothered at the time the bill was passed. Why is it so hard to understand that private enterprise is fantastic when it has a market to supply and otherwise it's useless and we need government to actually get anything done?

There's a large difference between what government decided to subsidize decades ago, and today's politicians being too cowardly to cancel outdated subsidies like coal and corn. If you insist on living in the past please stick to arguing about the merits of a subsidy, but don't keep boring us with verses from your stupid free market bible.

Re:Best way to fix it (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128852)

A free market is a democracy, not an anarchy.

Without a strong government to referee things you wind up with the biggest bruisers running the show in the form of trusts.

Re:Best way to fix it (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128466)

So it didn't cost the ISP anything for those rights-of-way, and it doesn't cost a dime to lay cables? And there isn't any sort of contract between the ISP and the government as to the terms of use of said right-of-way? But of course, the government can just arbitrarily declare that contract (not to mention any contract between the ISP and its customers) null and void and dictate new terms any time they think it'll please enough voters, right?

Re:Best way to fix it (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128858)

Because when those same ISPs have been forced to negotiate contracts and ROW more locally, that has always been a disaster. No wait, I mean those areas have vastly superior service. Wait, which is it?

Re:Best way to fix it (1, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#33127880)

Well you can have the state sponsored system where the government is full of screw ups and inefficiencies or that free market system where the corporations are completely guided by what takes the most money from its consumers.

I mean, you're lucky enough to have the best of both worlds! They've even achieved the added bonus of the legal system working in their favour, and not yours.

Re:Best way to fix it (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128020)

Thanks for letting me know that government interference always fucks things up on the government-created information network. It would be so much better if I was unable to hear your insightful commentary. The internet sure has fucked up our economy.

Re:Best way to fix it (-1, Troll)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128090)

The internet would be born no matter who designed it. It just so happened that the US government was the only entity that owned enough computers to need a network like that in the early 60s. It wasn't because of some magical government insight, the internet would be born though any entity with enough computers to need such a network, private or government. And who knows, had private enterprise designed the internet from the start, it could have more elegant solutions and such.

Re:Best way to fix it (5, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128176)

So government only fucks things up unless it doesn't fuck things up, those times don't count. Gotcha.

Re:Best way to fix it (5, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128568)

The Internet's early beginnings were in the networks of the 1970s, but as a network resembling what we have today you'd have to go forward to the 1980s. There were a number of "free market" networks that also sprung up, or became popular, during the 1980s, including most successfully AOL and Compuserve. By the mid-1990s, the Internet was still immature enough for Microsoft to believe it had a chance of promoting its own alternative, the original version of MSN (which used Microsoft networking technologies, not TCP/IP, in its original incarnation as a Windows 95 thing.)

When the Internet did take off, the backbones and computer servers relied upon by the majority of users were outside of direct government control, with only academic sites, in practice, being government subsidized.

The Internet did not become popular because it was the only thing capable of doing what it was doing due to the government providing it with a big collection of servers, it was popular because it was a neutral, open, network, and the alternatives were closed and locked down.

While it's possible for the free market to introduce open, standardized, networks, the reality is that most of the time such standards only achieve success through government support. The Internet is an unqualified success, successful in large part because the government could provide the neutrality required to ensure it would work for everyone. And right now, the "free market" continues to be at the mercy of a handful of parasites who, on getting into the right positions, are willing to lock down and de-neutralize the network, putting short-sighted control goals ahead of the long term welfare of our network. You couldn't have picked a worse example of "governments stepping in causing failures" if you tried.

Re:Best way to fix it (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128662)

The internet would be born no matter who designed it. [snip] And who knows, had private enterprise designed the internet from the start, it could have more elegant solutions and such.

Ah, the youthful imagination of how things might have been, unhindered by knowledge of how they were, knows no bounds. And in that imagination, the Internet comes to be in its current form regardless, only better!

But in reality, we already know what private enterprise would have created, because they did create it, or rather them. And they were called Prodigy, AOL, CompuServe, MSN, and others. Of course they were largely piggy-backing off the government-created telephone network, but let's skip that for now.

And you're right, they had some very elegant solutions. For example, they dispensed immediately with the idea that every host should be able to act as both client and server, and that it should be possible to host data outside of on the singular corporation's servers and without their approval. Why it would be so much more efficient if we couldn't waste our time on Slashdot because it violated the AOL community standards.

And talk about elegance -- how about having multiple, mutually exclusive networks! This whole "one global network" thing is totally inelegant. Oh sure there was some consolidation due to buyouts and mergers, but we'd still be waiting for that process to conclude. It's only because of the existence of the Internet, and it's obvious superiority to anything private industry had provided on its own, that forced AOL, MSN, and the other few remaining private networks to first provide Internet access, and then ultimately become simply ISPs with only minor portal websites to remind you of what had been. Though even as this was happening, Bill Gates was saying the Internet was just a passing fad and he was betting everyone would come back to the safe walled garden of MSN soon -- oh yeah, he was just about to create something even better than the Internet. Uh-huh.

Had it not been for the Internet, we wouldn't be having this conversation because you'd be on MSN and I'd be on AOL.

We know what private industry would have done if there was no government interference, if you had your way. And it would have sucked ass.

Re:Best way to fix it (2, Interesting)

ringmaster1982 (1817772) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128440)

Government did not make the internet what it is today; private industry did. Government wanted a WAN design, granted, but yeesh. 'government-created information network' is definitely not just a stretch, it's inaccurate. Government opening the door to private industry does not equate to government creation, and it certainly doesn't show initial interference to back up your somewhat rude point (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet#History) In fact, looking at current government and military uses of networks and IP, and it's inability to keep up with not just commercial; but foreign government uses as well, I'd be tempted to say that I'm surprised this post is modded 4 to insightful instead of 0 to troll. At either rate, to quote PJ O'Rourke, "Giving money and power to Government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."

Re:Best way to fix it (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128962)

Government did not make the internet what it is today; private industry did. Government wanted a WAN design, granted, but yeesh. 'government-created information network' is definitely not just a stretch, it's inaccurate. Government opening the door to private industry does not equate to government creation, and it certainly doesn't show initial interference to back up your somewhat rude point (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet#History)

They created the technology, deployed the first real networks, and when they opened it up to private enterprise in 1988, many of them received government subsidies for the development of their networks, not to mention right of way and other dispensation. The ones that already existed only became part of the Internet because the Government had first created it; before that the private networks were walled gardens. Yes private enterprise developed the internet from that to what it is today, but to say it was government created is completely 100% accurate, and to say it exists in its current form only because of government "interference" is also 100% accurate.

If you don't like the term "government created" to describe the Internet as it exists today, fine, in that context I misspoke. You can't deny that the government did "interfere" with private enterprise in a way that guided them towards creating what does exist, directly contradicting the OP's point, which is my point.

Re:Best way to fix it (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128774)

Unless you're accessing the Internet from some government office, you're not using a "government-created information network". You're using one that was created by private enterprise.
And if you *are* using a government network, why are you wasting taxpayer money by accessing slashdot?

Re:Best way to fix it (2, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#33129020)

Actually, with the government our data might actually be SAFER. Because then it has to abide by the 4th amendment.

UPS, FedEx, and DHL are free to snoop around in your packages all they like, because they are private entities. The USPS, on the other hand, being a government agency doesn't have that privilege. If they want to snoop in the mail, they have to get a warrant first.

The same thing would probably apply with government run networks under wiretap regulations.

Re:Best way to fix it (2, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128094)

or otherwise interfere with private enterprise. Every time the government does it, it fucks up the economy. Every. Single. Time.

By that line of reasoning the government should get out of the business of war, then, as it is fucking up the economy. Clearly the corporations should be entrusted to wage war on their own, hire their own armies, and fight an ethical fight.

Because after all, that is what corporations are known for.

Re:Best way to fix what? (1)

1 a bee (817783) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128114)

I don't understand. What would that fix? Net neutrality? Seems to me that would break net neutrality.

Re:Best way to fix what? (-1, Troll)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128210)

It would fix companies screwing their customers because the only options would be to serve their customers or lose money. When any business is given free money for doing a sub-par job, they will only do a sub-par job because they are getting money but when such a thing is privately funded, if they do a sub-par job they lose customers and quickly die. Because most customers like net neutrality, an ISP which violates it would lose customers and because all ISPs started out on the same level it would be possible for another ISP that was receptive to their customers to take over, because no ISPs were given an unfair advantage.

Re:Best way to fix what? (1)

1 a bee (817783) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128536)

You don't need the government in order to have a monopoly or oligopoly that screws its customers. At the risk of stating the obvious, the government's role is often to lay down the rules of fair play: take our anti-trust laws, for example.

--
My first rule: be suspicious of hard and fast rules.

Re:Best way to fix what? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128656)

You don't need the government in order to have a monopoly or oligopoly that screws its customers.

How do you create a monopoly which screws its customers without government preventing competitors from entering your market?

Re:Best way to fix what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33128952)

High costs of entry and collusion by the established players in the market. It's happened before, back in the pre-Theodore Roosevelt days when people thought your ideal system actually worked.

Re:Best way to fix what? (2, Informative)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33129182)

You prevent them yourselves by subsidizing prices in any competitors area until that competitor is out of business, then jack the prices up to outrageous levels until you've recovered your losses.

Re:Best way to fix what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33128734)

take our anti-trust laws

Please? :)

But, seriously.

They "took" our anti-trust laws by politicizing them to the point that they rarely serve the interests of the public at large.

The government has to subsidise somehow... (1)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128162)

As much as I hate to say it, it's true. The US simply doesn't have the same geographical constraints as Europe, Korea, or Scandinavia.
If we want decent broadband coverage, the government has to help. And PLEASE, PLEASE STOP THOSE GEOGRAPHICAL MONOPOLIES.

Re:Best way to fix it (3, Insightful)

P0ltergeist333 (1473899) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128174)

I don't get it. Without government subsidies and other involvement, there would be no internet. So you are arguing that we would be better off without the internet...on the internet no less? Or maybe you were talking about government subsidies to help build power grids, telephone lines, or highways? Our economy would be better without infrastructure that directly enables commerce? Fail.

Re:Best way to fix it (1, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128218)

Without government subsidies and other involvement, there would be no internet.

{Citation required}

Re:Best way to fix it (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128192)

The best way to fix it is to... not give handouts, special privileges, or otherwise interfere with private enterprise. Every time the government does it, it fucks up the economy. Every. Single. Time.

Except, of course, the times where it didn't fuck up the economy. Or the times where government action was necessary to prevent a fucked-up economy that would have run unchecked if private enterprise was allowed to run amok.

Anti-trust and public infrastructure (roads, canals, harbors, etc) being the most glaring exceptions to your "Every. Single. Time." malarkey.

Re:Best way to fix it (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33128390)

Every time the government does it, it fucks up the economy. Every. Single. Time.

Every time the free market tries to do anything, it fucks up the economy. Every. Single. Time.

The Truthiness is strong with both of us.

Re:Best way to fix it (2, Interesting)

JeffAtl (1737988) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128548)

Building infrastructure is one of the few areas of where government involvement in private enterprise is reasonable. That's why public utilities fall under a special set of rules and regulation and end up being quasi-governmental entities. Unfortunately, telecom has even more layers of special rules so it's ripe for corruption.

I believe the answer is to force the segregation of infrastructure providers and service providers - very similar to how many want Microsoft's OS and application divisions to be separate companies. Infrastructure providers can own the transmission medium (cables, pipes, etc), but not the content carried and cannot be a content provider. The infrastructure must be open for all service providers to use.

In many areas, this model is used to provide natural gas services. This is similar to the early railroad model in the US, but the railroads were allowed to give preferential treatment and rates to sister companies.

Re:Best way to fix it (1)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 4 years ago | (#33129206)

Yeah, because private enterprise always has the best of intentions. And they've never messed anything up themselves, either. The best way to fix it is to not be so naive as to think one extreme in either direction is the best way to fix it.

Oh, good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33127794)

I'm taking his Telecommunications Law class in the fall at BC Law...Looks like we'll have tons to talk about =) I really think TechDirt got this one right, but I haven't read his paper yet.

Next Week on a Very Special "D-Bag Lawyer" (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33127846)

Boston College Law Professor Daniel Lyons points out how the Emancipation Proclamation violated the 5th Amendment.

Re:Next Week on a Very Special "D-Bag Lawyer" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33128120)

Bullshit. The Emancipation Proclamation(s) freed no slaves, took no property. The exact same proclamation has been made in every war against a slave-holding state. "Join us against your masters and we will free you!" They didn't even free slaves in areas the Union had conquered.

How the hell does this guy get to be a professor?

Lincoln didn't want to see free blacks or any other sort, he wanted them all shipped back to Africa.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emancipation_Proclamation

Re:Next Week on a Very Special "D-Bag Lawyer" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33129038)

Actually, the Emancipation Proclamation was a violation of the 10th Amendment. Remember, the 13th Amendment didn't exist yet.

Re:Next Week on a Very Special "D-Bag Lawyer" (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33129386)

Actually the Emancipation Proclamation didn't apply to any part of the United States.

It only applied to the CSA, and once those states were reclaimed, it didn't apply there either. It was a nice legal fiction that looked great for Lincoln's PR but didn't have any legal effect. Somewhat similar to how Obama's XO to block health dollars from being spent on abortions was nullified (Congressional law trumps a president's statement). Presidents do this stuff alot - issuing orders or proclamations - that don't actually have any effect.

In order to free the slaves it required a Constitutional amendment.

Wrong again (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33127910)

Although the backbone of the Internet has been government subsidized, the servers hosting the content are wholly private. You can say it's not a violation of my 5th amendment to put up a server on the backbone, but if you're going to claim fairness doctrine and net neutrality on MY server, that IS a violation of my rights. The road leading to my house may be public, but I shoot first and ask questions later once you get off the road onto my property.

Re:Wrong again (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33128316)

Uh, net neutrality means that my ISP needs to give packets from your server the same QoS as packets from your wealthier competitor, so that (for instance) eBay can't pay consumer ISPs to speed up its access and slow down or block Craigslist. What does this have to do with the "fairness doctrine"? What are you even talking about?

No it doesn't (-1, Troll)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128482)

Net Neutrality means whatever the politicians want it to mean. The well-meaning useful idiots such as yourself promote Net Neutrality, even after its character has changed.

Re:No it doesn't (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33128630)

It's character hasn't changed, you're just paranoid of the current administration while you were asleep during the last one.

Perhaps you could point me in the direction of the FCC declaring that "net neutrality" is going to affect the contents of your servers? Something from the the primary source, please, not grandstanding from a technologically-illiterate senator. It sounds like the FUD you're spreading makes you a "useful idiot" for the ISP duopoly.

Re:Wrong again (2, Informative)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128610)

Apparently you and I have different ideas of what net-neutrality means. To me and I think most people (but I may be wrong) net-neutrality does not mean anything about specific servers it means neutrality in the routing and access of data. For example, if my ISP cut a deal with Microsoft to only allow Bing as a search engine and block or throttle my access to Google I would consider that a violation of net-neutrality. To extend your public road analogy, what if your city cut a deal with Daihatsu to only allow Daihatsu cars on the city streets, you can still shoot first, but your stuck with a Daihatsu in your garage as well.

he's right, but.... (4, Insightful)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 4 years ago | (#33127952)

His conclusion is right, but for all the wrong reasons...

Government subsidies are irrelevant. Could the government take back all those subsidies and right-of-ways? Problem not without compensation under the fifth amendment. Under current jurisprudence, the fifth amendment applies even to benefits provided by the government, including certain government jobs and welfare benefits.

His other argument is that there is no 'invasion' because 'these service providers chose to connect to the open internet allowing their users to request such content.' I'm not sure this is a very strong argument compared to Lyon's paper. The paper argued that net neutrality would essentially grant an easement over the ISP's wires and that this permanent invasion would be a taking under the fifth amendment. As far as I'm aware, Lyon's theory is novel in telecom regulation. I doubt the courts will accept it, but the techdirt article doesn't really have a strong argument against it either.

Under current jurisprudence, a regulatory taking is a taking under the fifth amendment. The relevant question is whether net neutrality would be a regulatory taking, and Techdirt does not address that question. I think net neutrality leaves the ISPs with enough room for profit that it would not be a regulatory taking. Whether I'm right or not, who knows...

IANAL and this is not legal advice.

Re:he's right, but.... (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128064)

IANAL and this is not legal advice.

Where the hell did you learn to talk like that then?

Did you pass the bar but decide to go into computers? I can't even get through reading those papers without getting a headache.

Re:he's right, but.... (2, Informative)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128296)

Haven't gotten my bar exam results yet...

I'll probably be going back into computers though. The legal market is pretty messed up right now.

Re:he's right, but.... (4, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128202)

Thing is, the ISP's already granted me (as a customer) an easement across their wires. Why do you think the bill they send me every month, that if I don't pay my service will be disconnected, is for? So when I as a customer hit Google and Google sends me data, I'm just using the easement I've already paid the ISP for. And it hurts the ISP's profits not one bit if the government says they have to be even-handed in allowing me to use that easement. It doesn't let the ISP increase their profits by interfering with things that compete with services the ISP wants to offer, but then the ISP never had a legal right to increased profits just by offering a service that competitors also offer.

And of course Google's paying for it's own Internet access, so the whole "Google is free-riding!" whinge doesn't fly. Google may not be paying my ISP for Internet access, but that's OK because Google isn't getting Internet access from my ISP and they are paying the ISP they get access from. The deal between my ISP and the provider Google gets access from... well, that's between them. If my ISP isn't satisfied with their deal with Google's provider, my ISP needs to take that up with Google's provider and change the deal. It's simply not my problem nor Google's.

Re:he's right, but.... (1)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128400)

Thing is, the ISP's already granted me (as a customer) an easement across their wires.

An easement is an ownership right. I don't think Internet access is analogous to an easement. An easement can't be revoked by the grantor after it is given. Your Internet access? Well, I don't know what your contract says, but I'd imagine there are a wide variety of reasons that your ISP could cut you off, and I doubt you would have any recourse.

Re:he's right, but.... (1, Interesting)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128460)

An easement doesn't go away without the express permission of everyone involved in the easement. If your neighbor has an easement across your property to get to his garage, he doesn't lose it because he didn't pay you "rent" on that easement. That's one of the main differences between easements and leaseholds.

A better analogy would be the phone company charging other phone companies to route calls across their network. And guess what? They all do that, they all have peering arrangements with each other for call completion. It's a system that's worked well for decades and the international phone system has not fallen apart because of it. The Internet will survive, as well.

Re:he's right, but.... (2, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128960)

And guess what? They all do that, they all have peering arrangements with each other for call completion.

Hilariously, Google Voice has already been caught blocking calls to certain rural call centers [totaltele.com] because they discovered they didn't like the exchange contracts anymore. The rest of the major Telcos are whining to mama government to get the rural exchanges to stop. http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/189820/rural_carrier_traffic_pumping_isnt_easy_issue.html [pcworld.com]

But guess what, the internet has the exact same peering agreements.

Just like the phone companies, the ISPs are crying about the contracts they signed. I pay ISP A for internet access, Amazon pays ISP B for internet access, and ISP A and B have an agreement to pay each other for the traffic they send either way (possibly with ISP C, D, and E somewhere in the middle). Now, ISP A whines that they're not getting enough money. Rather than charging me more, or charging ISP B more, they're claiming that they deserve to be able to charge Amazon for "using their network" despite their existing peering contract. They figure that if they just train their tech support to pretend that the problem is at the other end, they can extort Amazon into agreeing by simply dropping their traffic or redirecting it to a site that will pay. Same goes for other companies: voice over IP or IPTV that competes with their services or that they just don't want to pay their peers for? They'll drop that too, or just mess with it enough that its unusable. Sandvine and Comcast proves this is not a hypothetical. The fact that they were eventually caught just means they'll try harder next time.

Re:he's right, but.... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#33129174)

Do you actually understand what "right of way" is? To be short and clear, it is a government supported right and protection against all manner of things that might interfere with their presence and their operations. Right of way exists for radio, electric power, telephone, cable TV and lots more. This luxury does not come free. It exchanges this luxury for providing services that benefit the community. While I think ALL services that require Right of way should be regulated by the same agencies for the same reason, the agencies often called "utilities commissions" are not used to regulate all services. Wire phone services, electric power and water services fall under the regulation of most utilities commissions. But since internet service, regardless of the medium used, is no different than telephone service, I think it beyond the time when regulatory agencies step in to ensure that the market serves the people.

Amicus brief or it didn't happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33127976)

None of this commentary is likely to get anywhere but us. Other than beloved PJ, how many lawyers read Slashdot?

Someone needs to compile these arguments into a set of standard Amicus briefs for easy release to the relevant courts. Maybe a crowdsourced document forwarded to the ACLU under Creative Commons?

Display of ignorance! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33128010)

These lawyers and philosophers who pontificate about high tech issues without even the most basic understanding of how things work frequently just display their total ignorance.

This guy seems particularly, spectacularly, craptastically ignorant about how the Internet works and what the companies who support segments of the Internet actually do.

Hopefully folks with more knowledge will keep his ignorant opinions from having too much effect on the real world. In the real world this guy wouldn't want to display his ignorance and would have consulted with a technician before flaming in public.

problem is (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128084)

The problem that will stymie people on this will be that the non-net-neutrality can take place on purely private property. It doesn't take place on the shared wires, or the rights of way. It takes place inside the routers wholly owned by the ISP/telco/cableco etc.

MINAL (0)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128214)

Unfortunately, Masnick is not a lawyer and, even if he were a lawyer, his opinion doesn't really matter.

Whether or not Masnick or anyone else likes, both sides have valid arguments. Networking equipment is privately owned. The networks that make up the Internet are, to a very large extent, privately owned. But, the Internet is being used as a medium of free speech. The question is where does one's rights end and the other person's rights begin.

This is something that would have to be decided by Congress and/or the Supreme Court, probably the latter.

Al Gore created the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33128252)

The Internet was created by Congress in the mid-eighties it is federal property. It's the opposite of a taking to require net neutrality, that is the premise on which the Internet was founded. At the time we fought back a GOP effort to have an all-private internet. Can anyone honestly argue that an all private internet would have grown as fast in the last 25 years as this one has? It would be completely fragmented to begin with, there would be tolls to overcome at every step of the way (pay a toll to leave your house (which we do) then another to reach the next ISP, then another and another....; this was honestly the model the GOP was pushing for). The entire internet would be as successful as Murdoch's pay-wall lamestream media is.

Oh yeah, no one in these discussions argues honestly: it's just appeal to religion, appeal to religion, appeal to religion...

It doesn't matter if it's a purely private network (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33128266)

The Federal government would still have broad authority to regulate it under the commerce clause:

]The Commerce Clause is an enumerated power listed in the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). The clause states that the United States Congress shall have power "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes".] - from Wikipedia.

The government is not seizing private property, merely regulating its use. Under the argument put forth by Daniel Lyons, everyone could sue the Feds anytime they felt any regulation or law somehow restricted the utility afforded by any item they own. It's an absurd argument, and does not withstand even a cursory examination for merit.

Amazing how uninformed the author is (2, Insightful)

Thorizdin (456032) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128298)

The problem with the author's position is that no one is asking for open access to the "Internet". They are asking for open access to networks that were privately funded, like Comcast's _access_ network. The government didn't help AT&T (or any of the component companies SBC, Bellsouth, etc) run copper lines to houses nor wire fiber to digital loop carriers in neighborhoods. The government was of course deeply involved in the initial build of the Internet and did in fact try to give it to the original AT&T (who declined because they didn't think it was commercially viable), but none of that infrastructure is in service nor has it been for a very long time. No one has a complaint about getting access to the Internet. Google and all of the other commercial entities asking for open access don't care about access to the core, they have that in spades already, what they want is a guarantee that people who built _access_ networks can't charge them for sending their content over those networks. I personally see merit on both sides of this position, but the author of the Techdirt article is dead wrong.

Re:Amazing how uninformed the author is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33129348)

The federal government didn't help AT&T (or any of the component companies SBC, Bellsouth, etc) run copper lines to houses nor wire fiber to digital loop carriers in neighborhoods.

FTFY: local governments provided the easements and local monopolies that these companies enjoy.

Is it just me... (1)

decep (137319) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128318)

This most certainly deserves a good old NCIS Gibbs back-of-the-head slap.

Re:Is it just me... (0)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128410)

Have you considered watching paint dry?

Just like healthcare... (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128388)

People are using the same argument that "Government can't make me buy health insurance!" in order to kill the already-law health care reforms. But the pseudo-code looks like this.

function HealthCareTax($BoughtInsurance)
{
$HealthTax = $money;
If $BoughtInsurance == True {$HealthTax = 0;}
return $HealthTax;
}

The government most certainly has the power to tax, and also has the power to create tax deductions for those who qualify. So, this challenge is going to go nowhere fast.

Back to Net Neutrality, the way to implement this is a tax on what we consider unfair network activity. If they want to do what they want with their property, sure... but then they've got to pay a tax that makes that behavior less profitable or perhaps even unprofitable.

Re:Just like healthcare... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33129192)

True, the government can tax. But there are two problems with this:

1) The "tax" is only paid if a qualifying plan is not bought. Since they did not structure this as a tax credit, the tax would be a direct tax on each citizen. Since not buying health insurance is not interstate commerce and the tax is a flat rate, it would be a direct tax. Direct taxes are not constitutional.

2) The law as written calls the "tax" a penalty. Because the bill refers to the "tax" as a penalty, the courts would tend to classify this as a fine. In this case, the government would have to show how they can constitutionally regulate not buying health insurance.

But to answer the above point.

If congress passed a law regulating NN, the ISPs really wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Not that I think allowing the government to touch the internet is a good idea.

Obligatory Non-U.S. Citizen Comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33128544)

Obligatory comment about how the fifth amendment doesn't apply to my country, because it's vitally important for you to know.

solution in search of a problem (1, Interesting)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128580)

The first time a large ISP tries to charge Google, Yahoo, Facebook, or some other large site money to allow their customers access to it and that same site says "No" and gets blocked/slowed down, their competitors (the ISP's, that is) are going to add that to their ad campaigns and you'll see their customers desert them in droves.

If AT&T told me I couldn't access Wikipedia, or Fark, or even Spankwire from their network because their operators weren't paying some stupid monthly charge, I'd cancel my iPhone contract and go get a droid on Verizon...and I work for AT&T! I can't imagine their other customers would be more loyal.

Re:solution in search of a problem (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128856)

The first time a large ISP tries to charge Google, Yahoo, Facebook, or some other large site money to allow their customers access to it and that same site says "No" and gets blocked/slowed down, their competitors (the ISP's, that is) are going to add that to their ad campaigns and you'll see their customers desert them in droves.

A couple issues with that solution:
1. In many areas, a reasonable question to ask is "what competitors?"

2. It's not just what my ISP does, it's what every ISP anywhere between me and Google does.

Re:solution in search of a problem (2, Insightful)

CeruleanDragon (101334) | more than 4 years ago | (#33129220)

Not a bad argument, used for many "laissez faire" open/free market arguments. The problem is when it comes to basic and near-basic utilities (electric, gas, oil, cable, internet, health care), there are quite often only one or two companies in your area that provide those services. They often know it, and without some sort of government oversight, they can do whatever they feel will net their upper management a few extra $$$ so they can get their kids yachts for Xmas.

What if Verizon gets no signal near your home or work? Are you going to cancel your AT&T contract and get a Verizon Droid phone you can't use?

Where I live in MA I am lucky enough that I can pick from Comcast or Verizon, but I started a new job up in NH and my boss, who lives locally, was pointing out that in most of the areas around here there's just one residential ISP (someone I'd never even heard of). What happens when Net Neutrality is quashed and this ISP decides to jump on the money machine and start charging Google, Wikipedia, Fark, Facebook, CNN, Yahoo, or hell, AT&T to use their network or be slowed? What do you do when you take a WFH day and decide to remote in to work but since AT&T didn't pay the no-name ISP enough, they get throttled and it takes you an hour to do what could've taken 10 minutes? Cancel your ISP and go stare at the wall? Or worse, get DirecTV satellite Internet? *gag* Oh I know, you could complain to your single ISP! Enjoy the laughter.

And while competition might limit the effects of losing net neutrality, it wouldn't stop it. Sure, Comcast might run an ad campaign touting how they don't slow down Fark and Google like Verizon does, and Verizon might run ads saying they don't slow down Bing and Spankwire like Comcast does, but what gets shuffled under the carpet is the fact that in the background, they BOTH slow down bbc.co.uk, Washington Post, and Slashdot, just because they can.

I'm not a fan of big government or government interference in daily life, but I'm definitely not a fan of monolithic, unregulated corporations either.

Re:solution in search of a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33129398)

ESPN360 brokered deals directly with ISPs.
The one dsl provider in middle-of-nowhere Iowa specifically disallowed porn. (Which was laughed at, and nothing came of it)
Mediacom throttled bittorrent, hid it, then denied it.

And here's the kicker: Nothing came of it. These are instances of a breakdown of network neutrality, and the free market didn't rear it's ugly head and smite them. All the telcom giants are still in business. Hell, people still hand money over to AT&T after Mark Klein blew the whistle that they're helping the NSA do wholesale spying on US citizens. Which is blatantly illegal.

I shared your thoughts. I didn't think there was a need for NN legislation. It was the defacto standard of the internet, it was good, and I didn't think anyone would let it be broken. But people are fucking stupid or don't have a viable alternative. So yeah, there IS a problem.

Common carrier (5, Insightful)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 4 years ago | (#33128698)

The more I hear of this the more I think we should declare the lot of them "Common Carriers"

"A common carrier holds itself out to provide service to the general public without discrimination (to meet the needs of the regulator's quasi judicial role of impartiality toward the public's interest) for the "public convenience and necessity". -- Cut some out -- in the United States the term may also refer to telecommunications providers and public utilities" -- Wikipedia

Stops the whole "Net Neutrality" issue and gives them some extended protections. If they want to say thay are not common carriers, I say we throw the lot of them in jail for transportation of child pornography. Every one of them provides it to there customers and seeing as they are not protected as a common carrier then they can be responsible for what they carry.

Just my 2 cents

Re:Common carrier (1)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 4 years ago | (#33129248)

From what I understand, this is exactly why Net Neutrality is in the news now. The FCC tried to extend common-carrier style regulations to whatever class of provider ISP's are called now. That was slapped down by the Judicial Branch in April. So now the FCC is trying to reclassify ISP's as common carriers which is what IMO should have been done in the first place, but is now being painted as the FCC taking over the internet sneakily by congress-critters trying to get re-elected.

Fourth Amendment (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 4 years ago | (#33129000)

TFA says "The third parties are not proactively going onto anyone's network."

So you don't mind if the Cops listen to your IP traffic then, and prosecute you for data they find in it?

No Surprise Here (3, Interesting)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#33129136)

American corporations have been behaving like welfare queens for decades, and all the while pounding their chests and proclaiming their love of free enterprise. The disgusting part of the whole thing is that the business press is so used to kissing corporate heinie that they never call them on it.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?