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Reason.tv: 3 Reasons The FCC Shouldn't "Touch" The Internets!

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The FCC has just taken initial steps to regulate the Internet service providers the same way it regulates telephone companies. Although Chairman Julius Genachowski has said he would use any regulatory powers with a "light touch," having the FCC control any aspect of the Internet is a really bad idea for at least three reasons.

Written and produced by Meredith Bragg and Nick Gillespie (who also hosts). Approximately 2.15 minutes.

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  1. To hell with the Federal Communist Commission.

  2. I think the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010 if it passes will be more dangerous than anything the FCC could do. More prof that Liberman is the biggest jackass in the senate.
    That being said, it is high time the government limits the FCC, but it is probably naive to believe that will ever happen.

    1. I agree about Lieberman. His purpose is actually to have the U.S. government censor anti-Israel opinion. He’s not satisfied that Congress and the media are Israeli-occupied territory. Now he wants Israel to occupy every computer in the world.

      1. Out, damn Israel-hating Nazi, out! And may the fiend accompany you and the Buchanan’s ass you rode in on to Hell!

        1. Godwin’s Law, proven once more! Ha ha!

          1. That’s what you get for being an anti-Israeli prick. If we wanted to hear that, we’d have David Duke and Louie Farrakhan gang-rape us with that kind of talk.

            1. What did I do, hit a nerve? Ha ha!

              1. No, I’m not Jewish. But your pointless anti-Jewish drivel is a sign of some kind of mental illness.

                1. how did you switch from anti-Israeli to anti-Jewish so quick? stupid victim mentality..

  3. Taking bets now: Will Reason mention this bit of fun tomorrow?

    http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/…..ll-switch/

    1. If this passes, the next move from Lieberman (Likud-Connecticut) will be to exhort the government to ban all content he deems “anti-semitic,” i.e., any criticisms or denunciations of Israel.

      1. That hangnail you got last week… Jews caused that, didn’t they?

        Shit, you sound like one of those white-supremacist pricks over at Vanguard News Network. “I’m whiter than all’y’all!” Shit.

        1. Well, that’s progress. At least you’re not calling me a Nazi like before. You’re improving!

          1. Like when, before?

            Liar.

  4. Jesus fucking Chirst, do yourselves a favor and stop posting Nick Gillespie’s disgusting face everywhere. It’s not helping you cause, not that much would.

    1. So, Max, you’re in favor of government-controlled internet?

      1. I do appreciate the shout-out.

    2. Writing “not helping you cause” doesn’t help your cause.

    3. It’s helping a little.

  5. “The Internets” is/are an incredibly annoying trope. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we get it… some elderly senator, or somebody like that, misspoke, way back before the turn of the century. And even now you are establishing your superiority? Yeah, yeah, we’re impressed, okay? Please drop it.

    1. Better yet, just stop worrying about it. Is/are is pretty fucking annoying, too, but what the hey…

  6. One issue with the “light touch” regulation is that it depends upon who is chair of the FCC. Although there will always be some discretion in regulation, proposing new regulation with a “trust me” attitude is a problem waiting to happen.

    1. Joseph Stalin had a pretty light touch; he hardly ever killed anyone himself.

      1. Yeah, to the far-right wingers of “Reason,” it’s either Corporatism or Communism. Straw man, straw man, straw man!

        1. Which would you choose, out of the two?

        2. Hey, leave me out of this. Okay?

  7. More “ControlFreakonomics”

  8. Very superficial and poorly reasoned. Points two and three are sophomoric. Point one presumes that what isn’t current broken never will break. See the Gulf of Mexico for how well that approach to regulation worked.

    Regulating ISPs in a manner similiar to phone companies is exactly the right approach.

    “The Internet” is actually an umbrella term that refers to the ability of computers to communicate with other computers via the public telecommunications network.

    The only differences with the phone network are that a different protocol is used (TCP/IP vs. PCM, the latter something no one has ever heard of); that “Internet sessions” can transfer not just voices but video, text, and photographic images; that connection speeds to end users can (and increasingly are) far higher than with phone users; and that the devices attached to the network aren’t just telephones but are many devices.

    But the common denominator, and chief ingredient, is the same: The public telecommunications network. The FCC’s job is to regulate that network. Those who attack the FCC’s regulatory authority seek to grant the large network providers carte blanche authority to do whatever they please.

    Trust me, someone will be “regulating” the Internet. By granting government final authority, the chance that the public will have a voice is far greater.

    1. “By granting government final authority, the chance that the public will have a voice is far greater.”

      And there it is–“the fatal conceit” expressed in one sentence.

      1. Well, I guess you don’t believe that a self-governing democratic republic gives the public a voice in the decisions that might shape their lives. Instead, you’d rather grant decisionmaking authority to invisible, arbitrary, unelected corporate power, with no review.

        Fatal conceit, you say? Go to the Gulf of Mexico and see just how well unchecked corporate power has worked out for you.

        1. You presume that BP wasn’t interested in preventing the oil spill, or that government would have had a greater ability to prevent such a thing. And where are the experts who have the proper knowledge to regulate such a thing supposed to come from? They would have to come from the oil industry. This then allows undue corporate influence within our government.

          Government consists of nothing more than the very same human beings who do everything else in this world. Investing government with more power doesn’t increase accountability, it diminishes it.

          Of course, there is an alternative. You could just have the government completely run the oil industry, all of the communications industries and every other industry. That’s called communism, and it doesn’t have a very good track record.

          1. For a website calling itself “Reason,” there is certainly a shortage of it here. Every activity in life requires balances to be struck, and it’s abundantly clear that BP tilted radically away from safety and toward production, and as a result has caused a catastrophe that could well wind up being the greatest disaster of any kind in American history.

            If the MMS had actually been a regulator and not a promoter, there is any number of regulations that could have prevented the blowout to begin with, starting with tougher requirements for disaster response, and aggressive inspections of rig operations.

            The alternative between no regulation, which you and this site are advocating (a position that, by the way, betrays a sweeping and willful ignorance of the telecom industry and government’s role in it for the last 100 years), is not government ownership of the economy. That’s a strawman, and not a very clever one at that.

            Back to the drawing board, Poindexter.

            1. For a website calling itself “Reason…”

              Golly, how original! We’ve never heard that one before.

            2. “If the MMS had actually been a regulator and not a promoter…”

              And why wasn’t it? Could it have been because the oil industry influenced government for it to be that way?

              “…it’s abundantly clear that BP tilted radically away from safety and toward production.”

              Quite possible, but I wasn’t aware that an investigation has been completed that details precisely what went wrong. What mystical power do you believe that government would have had to avoid such a catastrophe?

              “…invisible, arbitrary, unelected…”

              Quite like most experts put into government positions to recommend regulations.

              What I’m trying to point out to you is that government has just as great ability to be self-interested and/or corrupt as any other individual or institution. Government is not led by a flight of angels, and it’s naive to believe that government officials are somehow going to be more qualified or cautious than corporate executives.

              Communism was not presented as a straw man. Rather, it’s the extreme extension of the idea that government is better equipped to handle industry than industry itself.

              1. “Communism was not presented as a straw man. Rather, it’s the extreme extension of the idea that government is better equipped to handle industry than industry itself.”

                —–

                You far right wing fanatics are forever accusing people of being communists. It’s all you really know how to do.

                1. No, we also know when to call an asshat an asshat.

                  Asshat.

        2. “Go to the Gulf of Mexico and see just how well unchecked corporate power has worked out for you.”

          You dumbass. Offshore drilling is one of the most regulated indudstries there is.

          1. You’re a blind, lying, bullshitter to say that.

            1. Nope. Just the facts. You just can’t stand that they don’t fit your little narrative.

    2. So, Mr. Analyst, wasn’t IP designed specifically to withstand cut lines, etc? That’s the strength of the Internet, right? So now we have some of our politicians talking about a kill switch. That shows extreme ignorance, right? And you somehow think everything will work out well with these people with an IQ less than -109391 in charge? Don’t you see that politics is nothing more than a high school popularity contest?

      1. We can (and should) debate exactly how the FCC should regulate public networking, but the idea that they shouldn’t do it at all is ludicrous.

        I see a far bigger risk in underregulation of public networking than in overregulation. The Gulf of Mexico is a case in point: The Minerals Management Service was designed by the Reagan administration to be a promoter and not a regulator. We need regulatory agencies that take the job seriously.

        To be in favor of regulation isn’t to support every regulatory concept or proposal, but “hands off” is a joke.

        1. “To be in favor of regulation isn’t to support every regulatory concept or proposal, but “hands off” is a joke.”

          I don’t think there would be a Reason magazine or site, or a Libertarian party, if government had the ability to limit the scope of its power to only minimal, effective regulation. That’s kind of the entire point of why people are here in the first place.

          1. People are here because, like every far right-winger, they favor corporate power completely.

            1. Uh-huh. Sure.

            2. I hate corporations. They are soulless, immortal creations of the government. In objectivist terms, corporations cannot perceive, so they cannot have identity or consciousness. They are given all the advantages of human agency with none of the vulnerabilities of being human such as guilt, or the capacity to be threatened with physical force. They have the power to affect the social structure without being part of it.

              Corporations operate under special privileges and limited liabilities granted to them by the government…they cannot be part of a truly free market.

              1. There’s nothing wrong with the corporate concept, per se, it’s just limited liability that’s bullshit. A corporation, in it’s pure form, is just a collection of individuals trading pieces of ownership of a business. If the stockholders held full financial accoutability for the actions of the corporation (like they should) we wouldn’t have the kind of irresponsible behavior we get from them today.

                A sole proprietorship is no different except that it only has one stockholder.

        2. “I see a far bigger risk in underregulation of public networking than in overregulation. The Gulf of Mexico is a case in point: The Minerals Management Service was designed by the Reagan administration to be a promoter and not a regulator. We need regulatory agencies that take the job seriously”

          Uh, I’d rather have an oil spill like the one in the Gulf every 40 years (the cleanup for which costs less than 1% of the federal budget), than pay $6 a gallon like they do in your lovely uber-regulated European utopias.

            1. We’ll be looking into that website, thank you. Can’t have the public get their hands on that kind of info. As you see, they might use it to construct anti-government arguments, arguments that aren’t in the interest of the ruling par…uh, general welfare.

          1. Another straw man. The choice isn’t between $6 gas and unsafe drilling rigs. It wouldn’t have cost $3 a gallon to make BP observe well-established safety procedures. On the contrary, it required government regulation that was worthy of the label, rather than a promoter thinly disguised as a regulator, like MMS.

            The knee-jerk, far right-wing, anti-government ideology is what produced the disaster in the Gulf. The application to telecom and to other regulation is clear: Give regulators clear instructions, independence subject to congressional and judicial review, and unambiguous authority.

            1. How much would it cost?

              The total economic damage from the oil spill will not top $40 billion (with BP paying most of that).

              You want to know how much more per gallon we’d have to pay FOR ONLY ONE YEAR to equal $40 billion…?

              …about 2 cents.

              And that’s just one year. Over, say 20 years (since Exxon Valdez), what is that? $0.0001? You don’t think all those regulations add $.0001 to every gallon?

              Pffft. Get a life.

              1. You are doing nothing more than making up numbers. You have no basis for anything you say, and utterly no knowledge about the telecom industry and government’s regulatory role in it. All you have is a far right-wing ideology that puts unchecked corporate power at the top of your heap.

                1. I put my trust in government. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to take a shit in the morning.

                  1. Yup, more strawmen at “Reason.” Ha ha!

                2. You know, that’s incredible…I was just about to post the Exact Same Thing about your posts! No shit!

            2. But Congress never gives clear instructions to regulators. They simply empower the regulators to create regulations.

              They’ll say to the FCC or MMS “you have the power to regulate the internet/oil drilling! So do it properly!” And nothing more until it all falls apart, often thanks to the shoddy regulations, and then demand more of it!

    3. Points two and three are sophomoric. Point one presumes that what isn’t current broken never will break.

      Point 3 is real, as should be self-evident given the FCC’s proposed role in IP enforcement outlined by the DOJ in mid-February, their net neutrality posturing, that broadband-for-all proposal in March, etc. The FCC’s job is (or at least ought to be) to enforce the law. Point 2 is indeed sophomoric, but less so than the actual FCC decisions referenced.

      If the MMS had actually been a regulator and not a promoter

      What, regulatory capture? Say it ain’t so! Hey, remember when the FCC reassigned all existing FM spectrum to TV at the behest of RCA? How about its protection of Lady Bird Johnson’s Austin TV empire? Remember when it banned new college stations unless they were NAB- or NPR-licensed? Or how we have royalty-encumbered ATSC satellite? HD Radio? Or how the FCC refused to investigate NSA wiretapping?

      By granting government final authority, the chance that the public will have a voice is far greater.

      Yes, because the last two administrations have shown great restraint thus far on communications law. Allowing a foot in the door is what leads to crap like Australia. I mean, normally I’d give the FCC’s drift from regulating spectrum to obscenity censorship as a textbook example of what a foot in the door can do.

    4. By granting government final authority, the chance that the public will have a voice is far greater.

      Hahahahahahahahahahaha! Oh, Christ, that’s too fucking funny! Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

      Damn, I just shat myself….

      1. Frankly, I think you shat yourself a long time ago, and just did it again.

        1. You know, that’s an incredible retort. No, really.

    5. “By granting government final authority, the chance that the public will have a voice is far greater.”

      Like in China.

      1. It’s interesting to see how little regard you have for the American system.

        1. It’s produced people like you.

    6. “The FCC’s job is to regulate that network. Those who attack the FCC’s regulatory authority seek to grant the large network providers carte blanche authority to do whatever they please.”

      No shit. The large network providers are beholden to consumer demand, meaning if you hog all the fucking bandwidth downloading stolen movies and making my connection slow as shit, they’re going to cut your sorry ass off.

      1. There is only one telecom backbone. It is an “essential facility.” This is what gives government the right to regulate it in such a way as to preserve open, non-discriminatory access.

        If the network providers want to insure that mega users don’t crowd out others, they should be required to do this in a way that does not interfere with open access.

        The network providers would just love to extract a toll from every website, and are perfectly willing to claim it is to prevent “abuse.” The FCC should be scrutinizing those claims carefully, in detail.

        People on this site are obviously fine with letting the network providers do whatever they want, even if it means using their oligopoly power to restrict quantity for the purpose of raising prices and collecting profits not justified by the investments and the attendant risks.

        If it were possible to construct multiple backbones that would be open to all users, then the FCC would have no regulatory authority. But the opposite is true. Telecom is a classic scale-returns business, and as such the backbone is highly consolidated and liable to oligopolistic game playing.

        The denizens of “Reason” should come right out and say that they couldn’t care less what corporations do to anyone at any time. That’s really what drives you.

        1. If you REALLY hate corporations, throw away every bit of technology you own. Or keep on being a hypocrite. Like we give a fuck.

          1. Yet another strawman at “Reason.” I don’t “hate” corporations any more than I “hate” sharks. They serve a purpose, but they need to be watched carefully, and if they start eating children they might need to be shot.

            1. I prefer them boiled for 45 minutes and then broiled for no more than 7 minutes.

        2. I’m still pissed you pulled me into this earlier, Telecom. I really had shit to do.

          Why can’t you twats think beyond the current administration or remember anything that has ever happened in all of history that doesn’t fit your dim narrative?

          Please, reveal to the rest of us now how you stand to personally benefit.

          1. I’ll do that as soon as you are coherent. Put that bottle down, my man!

  9. Once the FCC gets to regulate the Internet don’t be suprised to see them remove anywebsites that goes against their agenda. For example any links blogs or YouTube videos that are against the new healthcare bill or anything that proves global warming is a scam which they are so desperatly trying to pass the cap and trade bill which is set to erode the middle class

    1. You fool, you don’t even know what “the Internet” is. The FCC already “regulates the Internet,” by virtue of its regulatory authority over the telecommunications network.

      The accusations that the FCC will censor websites is a load of crap. Nothing could be further from the truth, but you operate on the principle that repetition of baseless lies will eventually make them true.

      1. Trust government. It will NEVER crack down on dissent. Ever. Not even if Pat Buchanan and Rick Santorum win the next presidential election. Never ever ever.

        1. Hold on just a moment, there…

        2. More strawmen at “Reason.” Do you realize just how hilariously stupid you actually are?

          1. What’s wrong with you people? NO administration is EVER going to crack down on dissent! Not even the most right-wingy of right-wingers! And especially not a liberal administration!

            I trust politicians explicitly, as long as they want the FCC to have powers that do not fall within their mission statement. Those are the best kind!

        3. So don’t vote for those asshats. The existence of Santorum in the world doesn’t make corporate rule any less of a problem.

          1. The point is, Tony, there are people in both wings of the extremist flying pig that would dearly love to crack down on dissent – and the internet is a prime target for government to step in and crack down on naysayers.

            1. It’s also a prime target for corporations to carve up and force their corporate crap down our throats to the detriment of the free flow of information that we currently enjoy. With government at least we get a vote.

              1. You poor, deluded, trusting soul.

      2. Very good job. Your check is in the mail.

      3. The accusations that the FCC will censor websites is a load of crap. Nothing could be further from the truth, but you operate on the principle that repetition of baseless lies will eventually make them true.

        Why, given the FCC’s history and examples of other developed nations who do censor the internet (Australia), is this inconceivable? Honestly, I want to understand how you think the FCC became the mouthpiece of the PTC and stayed within its regulatory scope.

  10. Of course the government should be in charge of the Internet! Oh sure, the free market was tried and was the result? Inefficiency and high costs.

    I look forward to a federally-regulated Internet. After all, look at what a wonderful job they do with immigration, passenger rail, counter-terrorism, and illegal drugs.

    Soon getting online will be as easy as paying your taxes.

    1. I find paying taxes to be about 100 times easier than navigating my credit card statement.

      The government invented the Internet. To date, content is all equal-access. Libertards want to let the private sector carve it up, for freedom. The ironic thing is, libertarians being so completely out of touch with reality, this is one corporate handout they will be directly affected by, and given their bitchy selfish nature, will not like it one bit. I await the heads exploding.

      1. “I find paying taxes to be about 100 times easier than navigating my credit card statement.”

        HA!

        The big number with the box around it is what you owe. They even write their address on it for you and pay the postage.

      2. “To date, content is all equal-access. Libertards want to let the private sector carve it up, for freedom.”

        Dumbass. The private sector runs it now.

        1. Dumbass, of course the private sector runs the telecom network. But they are regulated by federal and state governments as they do so. You don’t know a single thing about the telecom industry, or the network, or the regulatory structure.

          The only thing you offer is an exposed nerve ending that says, “I love corporate power.”

          1. The only thing I offer is an exposed clitoral hood that says , “I love governmental power.”

      3. Paying taxes really makes you moist, doesn’t it, Tony?

        1. I hate paying for things. I’d rather steal them. But I don’t want to be raped in a prison shower so I do the fair thing. You apparently relish the prospect, because you don’t think you should have to pay for things you get.

          1. You’ve got it exactly wrong, Tony – I only want to pay for what I use. And I have no compunction to steal, which is a new part of your psychosis I believe you have not revealed up until now. Very interesting.

  11. “By granting government final authority, the chance that the public will have a voice is far greater.”

    And there it is–“the fatal conceit” expressed in one sentence.

  12. Now not only do the FCC, FTC, and IRS want more control, the DHS now wants kill switch for the internet in the presidents hand. Joe Lieberman basically argued that China has these powers so we should have them. Yeah Lieberman, what the US needs is to be more like China and Iran. Fuck the government.

  13. Three Reasons the FCC will “touch the internet . . .

    1. They can.

    2. They can.

    3. They can.

    Should I mention number 4?

    4. They will.

  14. Three Reasons the FCC will “touch the internet . . .

    1. They can.

    2. They can.

    3. They can.

    Should I mention number 4?

    4. They will.

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