Net Neutrality

The FCC's New Internet Rules Put the FCC in Charge of the Internet

New net neutrality rules give the agency veto power over ISP innovations.

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Ajit Pai/Twitter

It's been two weeks since the Federal Communications Commission voted to overhaul the way broadband Interner service is regulated, changing it from a Title I information service to a Title II telecommunications service—essentially making it a utility, like the phone system—in order to enforce net neutrality rules.

And yet only today is the 300-page order, drawn up by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and supported by the commission's two Democratic members, available for public viewing. This was perhaps the most consequential shift in Internet policy in nearly two decades, and it was put in place without full public access.

And yet even though the rules are now available for all to see, it remains somewhat unclear how exactly they will work in practice. As The New York Times notes today, the FCC is "set to decide what is acceptable on a case-by-case basis. The regulations include a subjective catchall provision, requiring 'just and reasonable' conduct."

What counts as 'just and reasonable' will, naturally, be up to the whims of the FCC.

In some ways, this is the worst part of the agency's net neutrality push: It's not even that it puts in place bad rules; it's that it installs potentially strict but ultimately vague rules, and leaves the FCC as the final arbiter of what is and isn't acceptable, with little to constrain its decisions. The FCC will have some guidelines, of course, but Wheeler's book-length bureaucratic proposal will surely provide legal ammunition for whatever creative interpretation the agency settles on (or desires) at any given time.

Wheeler's description of how this will play out is flawed but also instructive. "We don't really know. We don't know where things go next," he said, according to The New York Times. "We have created a playing field where there are known rules, and the F.C.C. will sit there as a referee and will throw the flag."

On the contrary, under the standard set by the order, the FCC isn't enforcing known rules; it is roaming the field making the rules up on the spot. Imagine a game in which the referee was authorized to throw a flag for "unjust" or "unreasonable" conduct any time players attempted a new strategy or innovative style of play. Players might have some general sense of what would trigger a ref's particular sensibility, but wouldn't ever know for sure.

As a result, you'd expect two things to happen: Players would deploy new moves more cautiously, and teams would spend more time pressuring the refs to use their wide discretion to allow certain types of plays—probably while arguing that their opponents' signature plays were out of bounds.

This is more or less what to expect in the wake of the FCC's rules: ISPs will probably invest and innovate more cautiously, knowing that the FCC has veto power over their decisions. And armies of expensive telecom lawyers will spend their days arguing about what, exactly, constitutes "just and reasonable" in a wide variety of circumstances.

As telecom analyst Roger Entner told the Times, "Telecom lawyers in Washington popped the corks on the champagne," when the rules were passed last month. "It will be at a least a hundred million in billable hours for them. This will go on for a while."

Critics sometimes describe net neutrality as a government takeover of the Internet. This is in most ways an exaggeration; the Net will remain for the most part privately operated, with competing though heavily regulated firms continuing to own and operate the infrastructure. But though this line is an exaggeration, it has a grain of truth, in that the FCC has now inserted itself in a potentially prominent into the decision-making of these private Internet service providers. ISPs will now need the FCC's permission, at least tacitly, to innovate and to invest, and they will inevitably make major business decisions with the FCC's veto power in mind. The agency, and its murky "just and reasonable" standard, will be a shadow presence whenever any major move is contemplated. The publication of the FCC's order, in other words, mostly serves to confirm that the rules will mean whatever the agency wants them to mean. 

NEXT: How Terry Pratchett Made Me a Libertarian

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  1. Why, what a complete and total surprise.

  2. A government bureaucracy granting itself vaugue but sweeping regulatory powers?

    Millions of Obamabots just popped a boner.

    1. Look, that’s only as long as TEAM OBEY is in power that we have to worry about this. As soon as TEAM COMPLY gets the reigns of power, they’ll undo all of this.

      Yeah, I laughed too.

      1. Wait, I thought that Team Comply was in power, and Team Obey was seeking power.

        1. Splitters! TEAM BE RULED is the one true TEAM!

          1. Look, pal, you can’t rule without obeying and complying.

          2. One team to bind them.

            One team to rule them all.

        2. What difference, at this point, does it make?

    2. It’s like Calvinball played with billions of dollars and firearms.

      1. Best comment of the day!

    3. I want just one fucking day in the near future where by pressure from a right-wing senator with a national security hardon causes the FCC to shut down the fucking Dailykos on grounds of national security.

      Just one day, no more so that a lesson can be learned. I’ll spend that day masturbating to the tears of Progressives.

      1. One day? I vote them to get it, good and hard, and to be down until they crowdsource enough funds to hire enough lawyers to sue.

  3. Government regulators tend to be idiots who frown upon anything they don’t understand. Expect all innovation to cease.

    1. ^This^

      And ^This^ is redundantly. The NSA is already compromising security protocols with weak encryption and back doors. This just guarantees that some branch of the government has the “legitimatacy” to do so.

      Acting like the FCC is gonna be a shadowy figure in the corner of some executives’ minds is like acting like the guy that showed up in a conversion van, uninvited, to your child’s birthday party wearing trenchcoat, gunglasses, mustache, and a fedora is just going to ‘observe’ the birthday party to make sure everyone plays fair.

      1. I wish I had gunglasses.

  4. Well shit

    1. I second that!

  5. So what’s the over/under on how long before the FCC starts flexing its newfound net neutrality powers to police content on the internet?

    1. (looks at watch)

      …now.

      1. Epi I’ve told you before that’s not a watch. That’s your Tamagotchi from the 90s and it’s dead because you forgot to feed it.

          1. Aw, you killed Switzy too!

            1. “Your Servator is starving, give it fondue and roesti!”

              1. Mmmmmmm…cheese and Swiss potatoes…

        1. Wait, I’m supposed to feed this thing? What does it eat? This technology is so damn confusing!

          1. What does it eat?

            Your mom?

            1. Well played, JW. Well played indeed.

            2. If only…

              1. Because then she would stop asking you?

  6. It’s not an exaggeration. The government has been stopped from dipping its toe into control of the Internet several times since the 90s. This is nothing less than the beginning, setting the foundation for deeper and more fundamental regulation of the medium. We should oppose this with every weapon at our disposal, because the increased freedom we’ve gotten thanks to this technology (not that that nets out great with all of the other crap going on) is largely thanks to the lack of government control over it.

    For those who want government regulation of the Internet as a utility, aside from the technological shackles we may very well see not to mention the barriers to entry for competition (very common in utilities), are you comfortable with the possibility of content regulation of the Internet? Because that’s not unlikely at all.

    1. are you comfortable with the possibility of content regulation of the Internet? Because that’s not unlikely at all.

      We’re gonna have to pay extra for our smut, like HBO or PPV. You can forget all those youporn snippets.

        1. Not another circumcision thread, please.

          1. *narrows gaze*

            Damn, that is three times in one day!

            1. You’re gonna get wrinkles if you keep it up.

        2. Well, yeah – last I checked, youporn was almost all snippets from full-length porn. Which is fine, because most of us really only need a coupla minutes.

          1. Which is fine, because most of us really only need a coupla minutes.

            Of course, as a woman, a couple of minutes to you means 120.

            1. Incorrect. And I’m like most women I know – 15 minutes of PIV, at most. Then we’re into chafing territory. For masturbatory purposes, 2-5 minutes, at most.

              1. chafing territory

                So…lube? Because sometimes PIV is worth going a little longer (at least as a man and that’s all that’s important)?

              2. For masturbatory purposes, 2-5 minutes, at most

                I was including the time necessary to read Ravished by the Triceratops, which is a prerequisite before you can get there.

                1. I thought we were supposed to be reading excerpts from “Fifty Shades of Grey?” Damn. I’m behind on the latest soccer mom porn.

          2. Sometimes I’ll masturbate for over an hour before finishing.

            I’ve ripped the skin on my penis using an onahole before. Which is why I never use them anymore.

            On the subject of NN, it will certainly slow down would be development and help further protect those with local monopolies from competition. I’m very concerned about it.

            However, it should hopefully not lead to content restriction as far as porn goes. Since under Title II phone sex hotlines are legally able to operate, there are court decisions regarding this. It’s Title III that allows them to do the heavy handed censorship.

            Either way, I really hope the ISPs win in court regarding this. Any good info yet about possible legal challenges?

            1. “However, it should hopefully not lead to content restriction as far as porn goes. Since under Title II phone sex hotlines are legally able to operate, there are court decisions regarding this. It’s Title III that allows them to do the heavy handed censorship.”

              What part of “reasonable” do you not understand ?

        3. And if I stumbled into a fucking reason meme, I’m SOL since I haven’t been around here in a few weeks.

          Because of “snow”, this is my first day in the office in two weeks.

          1. Bo made fun of Scott Walker’s lack of a college degree and has been spiraling into full trolldom ever since, and Pch101 is probably a Bo sockpuppet.

            The Outraged White Male Brigade is an insult by Bo, now adopted as a point of pride.

            In addition to the usual figures of derpdom, Flaming Ballsack is one to be avoided, greifer troll.

            1. The Outraged White Male Brigade is an insult by Bo, now adopted as a point of pride.

              No doubt leaving his feeble mind completely flummoxed and maybe accounting for his rather weak efforts of late? He’s hardly better than Shriek or Tony now.

              1. All that’s happening now is that the corpse hasn’t yet figured out that continuing to twitch isn’t the same as being alive.

            2. So, he believes white males are superior?

      1. Pay extra for smut?

        You’ll be thankful to be able to find it at all. President Santorum will make sure of that.

      2. You can forget all those youporn snippets.

        And my wife said that all the stockpiling was never gonna pay off.

        1. And my wife said that all the stockpiling was never gonna pay off.

          Be wary – the FCC will launch a no-knock raid to seize your stockpile

        2. I “may” have stumbled across an old external hard drive that had half a gig of porn accumulated from a couple of computers going all the way back to undergrad. The resolution isn’t great but it “might” be a veritable smorgasbord of Chasey Lain, Jill Kelly, Kobe Tai and Dylan Lauren clips.

    2. The “internet”, like the airwaves, doesn’t belong to anybody. It belongs to “the people”, and I’m sure the FCC will eventually understand their responsibility to regulate it on the peoples behalf.

      It’s terrifying that a majority of Americans would read my sarcastic comment and agree with every word.

      1. “Hey man, I paid for that data! You can’t throttle that!”

        Yes, the Net Ninnies really do believe that.

        1. Yes, the Net Ninnies really do believe that.

          And now we can add the net ninnies to the pile of “Hey, that’s double dipping!” imbeciles.

        2. I dunno, I kinda wanna apply it to other things.

          I mean, Wal-Mart sells things I like, so, why should they have to pay for the fuel to run their delivery trucks? I’m already paying for the stuff!

      2. They’re welcome to believe any dumb analogy that catches their fancy just as long as they understand that handing over the reins to the FCC is like placing your child in the care of a pedophile factory.

    3. We should oppose this with every weapon at our disposal

      Oh ProLib.

      1. Our chief weapon is surprise. . .surprise and fear. . .fear and surprise. Our two weapons are fear and surprise. . .and ruthless efficiency. Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope. Our four, no. . . . Amongst our weapons. . . . Amongst our weaponry are such elements as fear, surprise. . . . I’ll come in again.

        1. ProL won the internet. We can all go home for the day.

    4. I’m optimistic that this dies a death by a thousand cuts in the courts.

      These idiots always overreach and I don’t see that pattern changing on this.

      Plus Republican opposition might result in them finally doing something useful if they win the White House next.

      1. Republicans oppose Net Neutrality because Obama favors it. No way they will go to the mat against entrenched bureaucracy over it if they win the Presidency.

      2. Republicans always let their conservative natures get in the way of their ideology. The next Republican FCC chair will seek to keep the rules largely in place while removing some of the more egregious aspects, scared as he is of upsetting the apple cart.

        1. I’m thinking that the Repubs will be delighted–secretly of course. It will strike them as a great opportunity to censor stuff they don’t like. It will just be another example of the ratchet effect of big government.

      3. This is my hope as well. We are so fortunate that these people are fucking clowns. Clowns with a hankering for ever more power, but luckily, clowns nonetheless. They’ll fuck up soon enough.

        And the people who supported this? They’re not clowns. They’re too fucking stupid for clowns. They’re clown shoes.

        1. IT WILL NEVER BE YOUR BIRTHDAY AGAIN.

  7. This whole thing makes me vomit in my own mouth. It’s so stupid, and so many people applaud it.

    1. Though the entire move could still be killed by a court, right? It hurts me even more to say: Godspeed, telecom lawyers.

  8. Alt text:

    “This is where the rubber of government meets the road of actual human beings.” -Leslie Knope

    1. It’s amazing how that show went over so many people’s heads -especially liberals. In the earlier seasons they did such a great job of showing the ridiculousness of over bearing government, and Ron always seemed to be able to prove why independence is more favorable than government dependence, and yet so few of the people who watched the show took away that message.

      I didn’t finish watching the last couple seasons, but I heard they went off the socialist rail at the end. Shame.

      1. I wasn’t a fan of how they ended Ron Swanson, but in general I think they were true to the end.

        In fact, one of the most libertarian episodes, one of the “Ron as voice of reason” ones, was in one of the last seasons (near the end of season 5). It’s called Bailout. It’s fucking awesome.

        1. I want to watch the rest of the seasons because I love the show, but it’s one of those “reminds me too much of my ex” thingys right now so I I’ll get to it once I get over her.

          I look for that episode though, thanks.

          1. You should watch it with Warty. He’ll get you over things in, uh, no time*.

            * however long a prolapsed anus takes

            1. I’m still involved in a lawsuit against him regarding the GRIDs (among other things) he gave me.

            2. Or under things, as it were.

  9. It’s only a matter of time before they claim the right to regulate the content as well.

    1. The medium is the message, my friends.

  10. So, the internet just became frozen in time. How nice.

  11. OK, so regulatory burden is a bad thing on this thread, right?

    1. What are you talking about? Why wouldn’t it–

      Oh, there was an abortion thread just now, right?

    2. If it was legal to hunt and kill fat neckbeards for sport, because there was a somewhat legal consensus that they were not really human, would you not be cheering on regulatory burdens helping to make it more difficult to do so? I see it like the gay marriage issue. Government should be out of the business of marriage entirely, but I’m not going to get upset when people push to open it up to everyone.

      1. The least dangerous prey.

      2. Government should be out of the business of marriage entirely, but I’m not going to get upset when people push to open it up to everyone.

        That’s where I land.

        1. And my beard is full and luscious, thankyouverymuch.

          1. That not what I heard, I heard you look like a diabetic Andrew Luck.

            1. You have made an enemy this day.

              1. I’m just saying, if you have a problem should take it up with my anonymous source.

            2. Leave the Geico Caveman out of this.

      3. but it isnt open to everyone, it remains illegal to marry ones parents ,siblings or oneself, a member of a different species, several members of the same species, corpses, heaps of excrement , footwear and many other useful household objects. So you see unless we stop discriminating entirely and render marriage entirely meaningless we will have some form of regulation. Since marriage evolved to protect property rights of offspring it sems to be sensible to restrict marriage to those who may indeed produce progeny.

        1. John made the suggestion yesterday that marriage should be recognized by the state only when progeny exist; otherwise, you’re welcome to call yourselves whatever you like, it’s no business of government with whom or how many.

  12. “just and reasonable” seems a lot like the FDA’s “current” good manufacturing process. Innovation will grind to halt, processes that were cGMP 30 years ago are still used because the process getting a new process validate is to fucking expensive. Got new switch software that routes traffic faster – is that a “just and reasonable” algorithm? better just use the old one.

    1. That is the first thing I thought of. Govt regulators inevitably achieve the opposite of their stated goal. Anything that would make the internet faster now will die and the net will end up eventually grinding to a halt as traffic loads increase and innovation grinds to a halt. Screeches, not grinds.

  13. Wonder if the libertardians who have hung their hats on subjectivism will understand that, per subjectivism, the whims of the FCC are no better or worse than the whims of anyone else–since it’s all subjective, right?

    1. “the whims of the FCC are no better or worse than the whims of anyone else”

      Other than the fact that the FCC has the lawful ability to compel you at gunpoint to do what they say, sure it’s no better or worse than Comcast, right?

      1. You obviously don’t get it. If you require internet, and Comcast is the only available provider, then you have no choice but to do business with them. In fact you’re forced to do business with them. At gunpoint. It’s no different at all. See?

        1. Satellite. Also, why does Comcast have a monopoly. Might it have anything to do with local government granting monopolies.

          1. Really? His friggin name is sarcasmic.

          2. Satellite doesn’t work everywhere. I’m in a valley where the satellites are obscured. And even if they weren’t, you can’t do anything real-time with satellite, like interactive gaming or doing a VPN to a remote desktop (how I work from home). DSL has limited range as well, so if you’re in the country (like me) it may not be an option. So in my case TWC is my only option. I’m being forced to buy internet from them. At gunpoint.

            1. So, you’re being forced to live there?

              (Why should I have to move, it’s the state that sucks)

            2. I fail to see the gun , but I do see what a lazy and unambitious creature you are . Surrounded by internet starved neighbors in your antiquated valley you choose to sit back and whine rather than run a cable to the world outside and set up a wifi hotspot.

              1. I think that’s rather the point of wanting services liberalized, to make the industry more competitive and easier to access for exactly this purpose.

              2. Try digging an unaproved cable trench to compete with TWC and you’ll see the guns.

                1. “Try digging an unapproved cable trench to compete with TWC and you’ll see the guns.”

                  TWC doesn’t wield that gun, your local government does.

              3. Yes Mr. Burns, but is that “reasonable” ?

                I would venture that Comcast’s lawyers and lobbiest think not.

    2. Are there any pamphlets you can leave behind for us, like those nice Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    3. When only one subjective position is the position de jure, it becomes the objective reality everyone must abide by, doesn’t it.

    4. You know you just destroyed your own argument right?

      If you claim “the whims of the FCC are no better or worse than the whims of anyone else” in trying to discredit subjective value, that means their views should also hold no power.

      1. I did no such thing. Per subjectivism, the statement is true; the FCC has their whims, you have yours, but there’s no way to objectively demonstrate who’s right or wrong.

        But your response (and that of others) *does* accidentally illustrate the only way subjectivism is practicable: since no one can say what’s right or wrong, might makes right is the only recourse. The left understands this, you do not.

    5. SUBJECTIVISM DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!

      GOOD NIGHT!

      1. Subjectivism doesn’t work any way–it is neurotic self-delusion.

  14. On the contrary, under the standard set by the order, the FCC isn’t enforcing known rules; it is roaming the field making the rules up on the spot.

    So Calvin Ball?

    http://www.calvin-und-hobbes.c…..ball02.gif

    1. Calvin-ball basically describes everything the government does.

      1. The government? It’s all Calvin-ball these days.

  15. This was perhaps the most consequential shift in Internet policy in nearly two decades, and it was put in place without full public access entirely in secret, without any opportunity for the public to review or weigh in whatsoever.

  16. Cue Stormy to bitch about Comcast, even though this and NN as a whole does absolutely fucking nothing about local monopolies.

    1. On the whole, the “utility model” of regulation being pushed by the FCC here is designed entirely to entrench local monopolies. So its not that it does nothing. Oh, no. It will serve to entrench them.

      1. This is why the NN advocates are so fucking stupid. It’s just been stunning watching them just blather on and on about Comcast, etc while seemingly incapable of the “2+2” simplicity of realizing what will happen if the FCC gets this control the way they want it.

        I think I have more disdain for NN advocates than just about anyone else, because they are SO fucking dumb, and it was so easy for the FCC to court them. They’re lemmings. No, they’re retarded lemmings.

        1. I honestly cannot understand the mentality of people who think that they are part of the government, and thus the FCC having control of the internet means that they themselves, or, more accurately, “we, the people”, have control over the internet.

          It’s such a bizarre delusion to be afflicted with given the ample amounts of evidence that government is a self-interested enity distinct from society.

          1. Yup. I honestly cannot understand how they can be that amazingly stupid. Yet…they are. It’s such an amazing example of willful blindness, it should be in a textbook.

          2. government is a self-interested enity distinct from society

            This is why you fail. To those idiots, government is society, and vice versa. One cannot exist without the other. Yes, they are that retarded and it is just that simple.

          3. It’s called CORPORATISM.

            Society is a body with the government as the brain and you are a cell in that body.

    2. Sue Redmanfms to accuse me of a position I’ve repeatedly said I don’t hold because he never made it past fifth grade.

      1. What is your position, exactly?

        1. Basically that whenever someone gets caught cheating at cards, the Democrat’s proposed solution will be to ban poker and the Republican’s proposed solution will be to legalize cheating. The NN movement was the democrat’s “ban poker” solution to a problem created by crony capitalism in telecommunications and I am annoyed that a libertarian magazine’s response was to defend the status quo.

          1. What problem is Net Neutrality and FCC control supposed to be solving, again?

            1. Having to pay a little more for your Netflix and having your porn torrents throttled.

              1. NN proponents dont approve of intelligent selection of packets to discard during router buffer overflows as a matter of principle. Intelligence is a form of discrimination and so is evil. Let those Skype packets take their chances equally with Netflix TV rerun packets .

            2. What problem is Net Neutrality and FCC control supposed to be solving, again?

              “herp derp, this article about NN doesn’t address the tangential, but separate issue of telecom monopolies, therefore Reason supports status quo!!”

              Stormy plays this same bullshit game in every NN thread.

            3. Streaming services are sometimes throttled. NN advocates are under the assumption that the overarching reason behind this is the cable companies’ desire to prevent people from ditching their pay TV.

          2. They are defending not regulating the internet. Get rid of the local last mile gov regulations.

            Typical prog bullshit though, gov (local) created regulations fucked something up so we have to have even more draconian regs from an even higher authority to fix it.

          3. And what is your proposed solution, bearing in mind that local monopolies are by definition local problems?

          4. Also, to address what you said:

            1. Republicans rarely legalize anything, especially anything that was not recently made illegal by the Democrats; and

            2. if the proposed change will produce a situation worse than the status quo, then opposing that change is not endorsement of the status quo.

            If I say I won’t vote for the guy who says he’s going to ban guns, that doesn’t mean I endorse his opponent’s foreign policy.

            1. Personally, I’ve totally given up talking about NN with anyone who can’t adequately (and quickly) explain what a peering agreement is. Like, thirty words max, and probably closer to ten.

              Because if they can’t explain that, then they clearly have no idea what NN is actually about, and I have no interest in arguing with someone who is just parroting someone else’s opinion on a subject.

              1. Well I can’t explain what a peering agreement is in 10 or 1000 words.

                But at 58 I can explain what is wrong with unelected bureaucrats passing laws that refer to “reasonable” as determined by those unelected bureaucrats.

                Much like the Obamacare regualtions that allow the head of HHS to determine what he/she sees as “reasonable” about our future healthcare regulations.

                Sorry that I don’t meet your definition of being “debate worthy” but after your statement I don’t see you as that either.

                Simply beause you say that there is only one idea of what is core to the NN debate doesn’t make it so.

        2. Start here: https://reason.com/blog/2014/05…..nt_4514498

          Basically she thinks Verizon has it coming because her Youtube videos stall.

      2. What position did I accuse you of holding twatwaffle?

        You show up in nearly every thread about NN and scream, “But COMCAST!!!!!”

        Do I really have to post examples?

        1. Actually, she is technically correct. She bitches about Verizon, not Comcast.

          1. Pretty sure Stormy’s a dude.

            Verizon/Comcast, whatever.

            Also, hooray nationalization.

            I stand by the comments I made in that thread.

            1. Being upset about billions of public dollars being given to corporations == “hooray nationalization”

              1. Oh yeah, I’m totally misreading:

                Whene the incumbents are getting $8.7 billion a year in taxpayer funding in the name of “universal access”, do the physical networks really belong to them?

                You didn’t even read your own source dipshit.

                kbolino destroyed that bullshit there.

              2. Being upset about billions of public dollars being given to corporations == “hooray nationalization”

                Are you trying to misrepresent what you yourself said? You asked “do the physical networks really belong to [the providers paid by USF to build them]?” That is a pretty obvious leading question for nationalization of at least the infrastructure.

                Also, you did not respond to my criticisms of your position, which pretty much invalidate any claim that the lines were paid for exclusively or even predominantly by the US taxpayer at large.

                Furthermore, even if the lines were paid for predominantly by the US taxpayer, that does not confer governmental ownership of them. As part of the acceptance of those funds, the private actors involved almost certainly operated under contract. Unless the terms of those contracts stipulated that the lines were or would eventually be owned by the government, the ownership rests squarely with the contractors. Just because the government has eminent domain power does not mean it can be used willy-nilly; this should hardly be a controversial position among libertarians.

        2. You accused me of supporting NN.

          1. The fact that you post the same nakedly mendacious “this article on NN doesn’t address my concerns therefore Reason (and the commentariat) supports monopolies” bullshit is real curious. So yeah shitheel, I think it’s more of your blatantly dishonest concern trolling horseshit.

            Especially since there are at least a half dozen articles posted in the last 2 years that take a dim view on local telecom monopolies.

  17. The only way out of this, barring a very quick and completely comprehensive nuking of the entire project by a court, is a technological leapfrog.

    The one I’ve heard tell of is mesh networking.

    What we need, of course, is end-to-end encryption as the standard for internet communication. I have no idea what it would take to build that into the system at this point. Shame it wasn’t set up that way from the beginning.

    1. My background being on the business side of Telecom, my fist reaction was, “what the hell? Mesh networks have been around forever.”

      Turns out what you were talking about is a little different. I’d like to see a business plan for making one on a large scale a reality.

      http://www.wired.com/2014/01/i…..you-think/

    2. end to end encryption doesn’t have to be built into the system:

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

      end to end encryption is a Session layer issue that can be built ontop of an unecrypted IP network layer.

      1. But it needs to be on both ends, which is why I wish it were the standard protocol. If all net traffic was strongly encrypted end-to-end, then not only would our NSA problems be history, but it would be impossible for anyone to try to regulate the internet based on content.

        1. then not only would our NSA problems be history,

          Not really. Sure, the NSA wouldn’t be able to read your data mid-stream, but as has been demonstrated, they don’t need to crack the encryption to find out who you are, where you’re connecting from, and what you’re connecting to.

          Plus, end-to-end is only a piece of the puzzle. As I’ve been saying for years, “it’s the endpoints, stupid.”

          The NSA already has dozens of tools in its toolbox to compromise the endpoints.

          Then there’s the whole ‘never underestimate the government’s ability through sheer force of will’ problem.

          If they can make any company turn over data or even entire servers by simply making a legal demand, you’ve got a whole other set of problems.

          1. Only hardware encryption would require huge investments, software encryption can easily be installed at the source and destination.

            1. I’m not really sure why anyone would ever use hardware encryption.

              1. I’m not really sure why anyone would ever use hardware encryption.

                Speed. Nowadays, it is far cheaper to put more transistors on a die than it is to increase the clock speed. So you move more complicated operations into hardware so that the software can do the same job in fewer cycles. Unfortunately, hardware is far less transparent than software in practice.

                Also, a true random number generator is impossible in software. There are a number of very good cryptographically secure pseudo-random number generators but they still require a true random number to seed them properly.

                1. The problem is you lose flexibility and flaws and bugs are cumbersome to overcome.

                  Also, a true random number generator is impossible in software.

                  Depends how you generate it. I seem to remember some interesting projects way back where there was an idea that in a large, multiuser system you could use the data and instructions on the bus to generate your random numbers. The theory being that there would be randomness and noise from all the different operations that could make pattern-discerning impossible.

                  1. The problem is you lose flexibility and flaws and bugs are cumbersome to overcome.

                    I agree, but e.g. Intel’s AES extensions cut encryption and decryption times down by 35-50% (see this whitepaper); that’s not radical but still significant. Depending on circumstances, taking a lower-spec CPU paired with a dedicated crypto ASIC could save money and power while still delivering the same, or better, performance.

                    I seem to remember some interesting projects way back where there was an idea that in a large, multiuser system you could use the data and instructions on the bus to generate your random numbers.

                    I don’t know if much ever became of that, but network and peripheral bus traffic has been used a source of “noise” in a number of systems. Unfortunately, both of those have a significant predictable component and can often be compromised as a consequence.

              2. Super duper high security stuff, I’m talking TS/SCI compartmentalized intel data systems all use hardware encryption.

    3. Start of a solution? Admittedly, my research/knowledge on the subject has extended to this singular article.

      Could This App Create A Free, Secret Web?

      1. Screw it:

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/pa…..ecret-web/

        I suck at HTML and other Coding.

        1. Without reading it, the answer is “no”.

          Don’t fall into the trap. There is NO APP THAT WILL PROVIDE COMPLETE SECURITY.

          If you wan’t to hide from a government, any government, you must practice tradecraft.

    4. I too think the next move will be mesh networks. One hurdle: the new net neutrality rules define broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as what we all think of as such, PLUS anything designed to avoid being classified as a BIAS.

      It’s a self-expanding definition, and incumbents will undoubtedly use it to try to crush new tech.

  18. Pretty much what sane people already anticipated to happen. The new ‘rules’ (or exegetical guidelines as it were) being ostensibly benign at the outset, but operating as a regulatory trojan horse in the longer run to tighten the governmental noose over increasing aspects of the internet as a whole.

  19. OT: Two headlines read in the past hour or so: 1. ‘manhunt underway for Ferguson shooter(s).’ and 2. ‘It was like an “ambush”‘
    Does not compute…at least outside of a narrative-building construct

    1. Keep talking, tough guy. Someday there will be something you need protested, and the protesters might not show to help you and your wife.

      totality of circs, no rush to judgement, let the protesters get to the bottom of this, smootches

      1. Can you say “false flag”?

        I mean, the “victims” have already been released from the hospital. Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise.

        1. I heard that the police made a furtive movement.

    2. I said it before. I’m amazed they didn’t inst-deploy tear gas and bullets whole sale, then arrest everyone left standing within 2 square miles…. Or is this just the first chink in the pussy laser tag warrior armor?

    3. I never knew pot shots from 120 yards away is how you set up an ambush…learn something new everyday!

      1. I bet Uber is somehow involved.

      2. Exactly – make sure you engage your targets when they have centered themselves in the “slight harm zone”.

  20. This is in most ways an exaggeration; the Net will remain for the most part privately operated, with competing though heavily regulated firms continuing to own and operate the infrastructure.
    .
    I know that where private enterprise both owns and controls the means of production it’s called capitalism and where the government both owns and controls the means of production it’s called socialism, but isn’t there a name for a system whereby private enterprise owns but government contols the means of production? I seem to recall the Italians trying such a system about 75 years ago. I wonder how that worked out for them?
    .
    And isn’t there a name for where a government agency purports to regulate private enterprise in the public interest but the government agency in question is controlled by and for those it’s supposed to be regulating? It’s times like these when I wish I had paid more attention in history class – especially that part about that guy that said those who fail to learn in history class are doomed to repeat history class, or whatever it was he said.

    1. Private own and control is capitalism. Government own and control is Communism. Private own and government control is socialism.

      1. Private own and control is capitalism. Government own and control is socialism/Communism. Private own and government control is socialism fascism.

        ftfy

        1. Don’t forget the other bastard step-child of socialism, corporatism

      2. Someone else needed to pay more attention in history class.

      3. Private own and gov control is Fascism – dipshit.

      4. Private ownership of non-capital goods and government ownership of capital goods (particularly infrastructure like railroads, telegraph, etc.) is socialism.

      5. Ownership necessarily entails control.

        1. Mwu-hah-hah-hah-hah! Your quaint notions amuse me, citizen!

          1. I mean that as a tautology. If you aren’t in control of a property, you do not possess it.

            Fascism is state possession of property (read: socialism), full stop.

    2. So long as people continue to regard govt as a benevolent parent rather than the goofy tyrant that it is, this sort of ugly history will continue to repeat itself.

    3. Regulatory capture is when the regulating agency is entirely under the influence of that which it regulates.

      More broadly, corporatism is when government grants itself absolute authority over the economy but acts as mediator between private and publicly owned interests. Corporatism is the model economy of a fascist society.

  21. You don’t understand! Government is the People! It says there right in the Constitution! This merely puts the People in control of the internet, not the Corporations (which aren’t people, no matter what the Supreme Court says!)!

    1. We are the ones we were waiting for

  22. So they just gave control of the internet just in time for a likely team red takeover… I would laugh if not for the direct implications to all of us porn loving creatures. Fucking dumb shit dick smacks!

  23. This is more or less what to expect in the wake of the FCC’s rules: ISPs will probably invest and innovate more cautiously, knowing that the FCC has veto power over their decisions. And armies of expensive telecom lawyers will spend their days arguing about what, exactly, constitutes “just and reasonable” in a wide variety of circumstances.

    To the garden variety progressive, this is a feature not a bug.

    When you’ve been put in a position of power over 360,000,000 some people, and your only claim to competency is that you were a community organizer, or you wrote a paper in college about school uniforms, this isn’t seen as a problem, it’s seen as a natural part of the process.

  24. Six months ago I lost my job and after that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a great website which literally saved me. I started working for them online and in a short time after I’ve started averaging 15k a month… The best thing was that cause I am not that computer savvy all I needed was some basic typing skills and internet access to start… This is where to start……===========
    http://www.jobs-check.com

    1. “all I needed was some basic typing skills and internet access to start”

      Best start looking for a replacement, sweetie.

  25. I’m going to laugh my ass off at every Obama blowing idiot that supported this if some Socon becomes our next president, and they lose all their porn access.

    1. Remember the conniption fit about Siri not being able to find abortion clinics?

      Just imagine that, for the whole internet.

      1. It’s going to be the only good thing to come from this. Will the leftists learn anything from the experience? No, but their tears are going to be delicious.

      2. That’s gonna almost make it worthwhile.

    2. I . . . I would not laugh.

      I would, however, purchase a decade-long VPN subscription.

  26. Six months ago I lost my job and after that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a great website which literally saved me. I started working for them online and in a short time after I’ve started averaging 15k a month… The best thing was that cause I am not that computer savvy all I needed was some basic typing skills and internet access to start… This is where to start……===========
    http://www.jobs-check.com

    1. What? No endlessly repetitive anecdote about your brother’s uncle’s grandpa’s stepson’s unemployed roommate who made $15892.47 last month on the internet with no computer skills and only worked an average of 90 hours a week? You slipping, adbot.

  27. Six months ago I lost my job and after that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a great website which literally saved me. I started working for them online and in a short time after I’ve started averaging 15k a month… The best thing was that cause I am not that computer savvy all I needed was some basic typing skills and internet access to start… This is where to start……
    ============ http://www.job-bandana.com

  28. Ajit Pai voted against this turd. Why does he look rather proud to be holding it?

    1. That photo is a publicity shot from when he was demanding permission to release it to the public from the FCC chairman.

      He was showing off how much content was packed into this “keep the Internet free” regulation.

      1. I see. Thanks for the clarity!

  29. I remember that old Family Guy episode that lampoons the FCC and its censorious ways.

    Consistency would seem to demand that McFarlane oppose this power grab, but I’m not holding my breath.

    1. The same thought crossed my mind weeks ago when that episode was rerunning on adult swim.

  30. Imagine a game in which the referee was authorized to throw a flag for “unjust” or “unreasonable” conduct any time players attempted a new strategy or innovative style of play

    This is basically what the early days of football were. The Carlisle Indian School and Pop Warner would do something that wasn’t against the rules, and the next year the Ivy League would change the rules so that they couldn’t do it any more. Sometimes with the help of Ivy League referees. (Thanks Radiolab!)

    But that’s sports. I’m sure entrenched, monied interests would never try to stack the rules against the scrappy upstart when it comes to business. And I’m sure regulators will be totally impartial.

  31. Maybe I’m just being overly paranoid, but I have a bad feeling about this getting killed by the courts. I see that as the step that comes right before “see, this is why the government needs to be in control” followed shortly by full-on nationalization.

    But maybe it’s just me.

    1. Maybe I’m just being overly paranoid, but I have a bad feeling about this getting killed by the courts. I see that as the step that comes right before “see, this is why the government needs to be in control” followed shortly by full-on nationalization.

      Full-on nationalization won’t happen IMO. Whatever does happen will be of benefit to the existing govt-sponsored telco cartels

    2. There won’t be any nationalization. No need. By setting up a system where private business owners must ask permission and obey orders whenever they make any business decisions, the government effectively owns the business without taking on any of the risk. And when anything goes wrong, the government can blame free markets. They can’t do that if it’s nationalized.

  32. Did congress actually grant the FCC the power to do this? Or was this authorized by the FYTY exception to the constitution?

    I can’t believe that Electronic Frontier Foundation is leading the charge on this. I guess they just lost their minds.

    1. There will be a lot of “I told you so’s” for the EFF. Many of us were of the opinion that they were nuts to back this usurpation.

  33. There are times I’ve been right and wished I wasn’t, like predicting we lost more freedom after 9/11 than in the history of the nation. This is another of those times. A once-shocking blossom of freedom has begun to die.

  34. By “innovation” you mean “nickel and dime the shit out of customers”. Yes, that’s exactly why people wanted the FCC to intervene, because they weren’t looking forward to $200 / month internet bills.

    1. By “innovation” you mean “nickel and dime the shit out of customers”. Yes, that’s exactly why people wanted the FCC to intervene, because they weren’t looking forward to $200 / month internet bills.

      Eh? When and where were people getting nickel-and-dimed by their ISPs? I have a lame cable monopoly for an ISP, but I’ve paid the same price for ~10 yrs now, whilst getting ever-increasing bandwidth.

      1. Yep. My internet-only cable service has remained the same price for 5 straight years, while getting incremental increases in bw. I don’t even have a DSL option either.

        Meanwhile my utilities (power, water, sewer) have went up somewhere in the 7-11% range annually. It’s the same song and dance every year. Local utility company goes to PSC and says they can’t maintain the infrastructure and turn profits without a 20% increase. PSC allows them to increase in the ~10% range, and yet the utility never seems to have any financial troubles.

    2. they weren’t looking forward to $200 / month internet bills

      Is this the “make shit up” phase of the movement?

    3. I pay $35/month for internet access. I got rid of cable which would have put me at $70/month (for both)

      $200??? What the hell do you have? 100MBps/phone/1,000 channels and 4 DVRs?

      Yikes

      Anyway even if you were paying that. Do you really think it would decrease thanks to this?

      As said above, my internet price hasnt changed in 3 years

  35. OK, so, the most immediate question I have is: Does the new NN ruling literally outlaw different internet plans?

    Like, “$50 a month for 5 Gbps, $75 a month for 7.5 Gbps, $100 a month for 10 Gbps transfer”?

    Does it outlaw all sorts of different network access offerings? Because there’s not an OC-3 going to my house… why should NetFlix be allowed to have one just because they’re willing to pay for it?

    1. If the plan is too much for too cheap, they’re dumping.
      If the plan is the same as the competition, they’re colluding.
      If the plan is good but they’re charging too much, they’re gouging.

      Which means kiss ass or you’re in the shit.

  36. Mr. Suderman should be more careful in his description of the document. It is not 300 pages of guidelines. It is 7 pages of rules, most of which deal with definitions and how to complain. The rest of the document is about the process, and a large part of it is devoted to corporate crybaby ATT.

  37. Just opening the door to lawyers will interfere with internet access. The insertion of ambiguous language into the mix gives them (lawyers) free reign (pun intended).

  38. “The most transparent administration ever”. What a joke.

  39. Great! Three(3) idealogical, emotional cripples get to decide what happens to me and my broadband. This is no longer at all democratic or anything close to a republic. Tyranny and despotism reign. Long live tyranny!

  40. The FCC was supposed to regulate interstate and worldwide communications by wire since these gradually moved from telegraph machines to computers.

  41. “The regulations include a subjective catchall provision, requiring ‘just and reasonable’ conduct”

    As Christopher Hitchens said, the hallmark of a dictatorship is not the iron fisted enforcement of laws to abuse the people, it is the arbitrary and capricious enforcement of laws. We are here. This is fascism. We have an unaccountable bureaucratic agency that unilaterally and purposely created a regulation like this with the intent of giving itself power to do anything it wants.

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