Net Neutrality

The Net Neutrality Riddle

Why are Edward Snowden's supporters so eager to give government more control over the Internet?

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There's a telling moment in Laura Poitras' Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour. As Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency whistleblower at the center of the film, packs his bags in a Hong Kong hotel for a desperately uncertain future, the camera lingers for a beat on the book near Snowden's ever-present laptop: Cory Doctorow's novel Homeland.

As sci-fi nerds can tell you, Homeland is no random novel. The book tells the tale of a wary, civil libertarian college-dropout hacker who has in his possession a four-gigabyte file of nefarious government documents, which he seeks to release even as powerful interests stalk his every move. Sound familiar?

The novelist is also no ordinary scribbler. In addition to producing Prometheus Award–winning novels, Cory Doctorow is an influential copyright reform activist and co-editor of the hugely popular tech-culture group weblog BoingBoing. As the media thinker Lawrence Lessig pointed out last year, Citizenfour's core audience of geeks recognized Homeland as one of several key "internal references," along with the stickers on Snowden's laptop from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the online privacy tool Tor. "If you are a public official on the wrong side of this fight," Lessig proclaimed, "that core will stand against you."

But that's not quite true. Or at least, it's not the whole story. As I watched Citizenfour for the first time the day after the Academy Awards, the Doctorow reference felt bittersweet. That's because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was on the cusp of a long-telegraphed 3–2 vote along party lines to place unprecedented regulatory controls onto the Internet. And one of the key lobbies supporting the FCC's intrusion was led in part by none other than Cory Doctorow himself.

Under the vague banner of "net neutrality"—once technical jargon, now a surprisingly effective political slogan—federal regulators unceremoniously shoved the Internet out of the less-regulated "information service" category and reclassified it as a "telecommunications service," thus subjecting it to oversight under the far more hands-on Title II of the Telecommunications Act. The aim, in the words of supporters such as Doctorow, is to forcibly prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon from "extract[ing] ransom from everyone you want to talk to on the internet." That such ransom notes have stubbornly failed to materialize has been deemed immaterial.

Corey Doctorow
Salimfadhley / Wikimedia

As dissenting FCC commissioner Ajit Pai puts it bracingly in a must-read interview with reason's Nick Gillespie on page 44, net neutrality is "a solution that won't work to a problem that simply doesn't exist." Instances where large ISPs have violated the principles of the "open Internet" are vanishingly few, and all involve disputes between corporations that were resolvable under existing laws, not circumstances where Comcast is brutally repressing a lone defenseless blogger.

Why did the same Netizens (as they are no longer called) who rally against government in the name of privacy turn around and rally in favor of it when it comes to data prioritization arrangements? Partly because of a deep-seated and wholly understandable dislike of ISP giants. In a world where very few brands matter anymore on a visceral level (with Apple being one of the few exceptions), companies like Time Warner and Comcast inspire deep hatred. My family probably called Time Warner customer service at least four dozen times in our two years as unhappy clients; the moment we were able to escape to Verizon felt like V.J. Day. Champagne was uncorked.

It's not hard to upgrade such well-deserved customer hostility from assertions of incompetence to accusations of organized thuggery. As Doctorow charged in The Guardian last year, "The ISPs aren't seeking to get paid, they're seeking to get paid twice: once by you, and a second time because you are now their hostage and the companies you want to do business with have to get through them to get to you."

But one problem with today's (and yesterday's) complaints about ISP giants is that they discount the more competitive developments coming tomorrow—if government gets the hell out of the way. As Geoffrey A. Manne and R. Ben Sperry explain in "How to Break the Internet" (page 20), "imposing public-utility regulation under Title II means the qualities you don't like about your cable company will become more widespread. It will mean less competition, reduced investment (especially in underserved communities), slower broadband for everyone, and new regulatory hurdles for startups." If you don't like what the comparatively free market offered, just wait until broadband providers start feeling more like your local electric company.

Manne and Sperry argue that allowing the Internet industry to set prices on data prioritization (or not!) is an excellent way to maximize the potential for experimentation and business development. We'll all be streaming live video to and from all our devices soon enough; somebody needs to build out the infrastructure to make that possible. And an underappreciated benefit to legalizing prices is that it allows total unknowns to buy their way onto the same radar screens as the major players. Take that ability away and incumbents will become even more entrenched.

Even if you take as given that tolerating data-delivery prices equals allowing for "discrimination," it's still a terrible idea to task the government with preventing it. Adam Thierer, the thinker behind the concept of "permissionless innovation," explains on page 30 ("Uncle Sam Wants Your Fitbit") that the precautionary principle could prove disastrous if applied to America's globally envied Internet culture. "If we spend all our time worrying over worst-case scenarios," Thierer argues, "that means the best-case scenarios will never come about either."

Are the days of the freewheeling Internet behind us? Of course not. To see why, look no further than the proclamations 15 years ago from the very people cheering loudest today about net neutrality.

When AOL announced a merger with Time Warner in 2000, the media activist Robert McChesney warned that unless the mega-deal was blocked on antitrust grounds, "the eventual course of the Internet—the central nervous system of our era—will be determined by where the most money can be made, regardless of the social and political implications." Not only was the macro-prediction wildly off-base—the course of the Internet has continued flowing through every which way that humans dream up, regardless of the money implications—but the micro-fear was quickly rendered ridiculous as well. AOL Time Warner no longer exists; its remaining husk sheared off Time Inc. in 2013.

Yet McChesney and his Free Press group continued soldiering on, lobbying on behalf of net neutrality for more than a decade now. Their short-term victory is a triumph of fear over evidence, of anti-corporate animus eclipsing suspicion of the state. I don't expect anything different from pessimistic anti-capitalists, but it's more disappointing coming from libertarian-fluent, future-loving optimists like Cory Doctorow, whose work has been discussed scores of times in the pages of this magazine.

So consider this special issue of reason the beginning of a new conversation. To our net-neutrality-hating friends on the right, we say thank you for correctly identifying "Internet freedom" as a key political and moral issue for our time; America's online innovation has been one of the most salutary developments of the last two decades, one that everyone on every side of every political debate benefits from. Now let's talk about clemency for Edward Snowden.

As for Cory Doctorow and our pals on the techie left, we promise you this: After the FCC's net neutrality push is rolled back by the courts—and it will be—let's talk together about why we think a government powerful enough to read all your emails is one that we shouldn't entrust with protecting the future development of the Internet. We're all in favor of free minds; it's up to us to persuade you that free markets are the quickest way to get there.

NEXT: University of Michigan Relents, Will Show American Sniper as Originally Planned. And Paddington Too!

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  1. Do you see the lack of choice in cable/internet providers as a problem? Do you see situations where AT&T charges more for its internet service in areas where it doesn’t have competition as an example of price discrimination and therefore antitrust?

    1. Hm. Why is there a lack of competition in some areas in the first place? Nope, has nothing to do with government policy. Fuck you, Nick.

      I’m glad to see Reason linking the two issues of government surveillance and ‘net neutrality.’ Because the idea that such a short time after such a scandal these assholes could force through sweeping regulations of the internet is absurd.

      And to think…about a decade ago, the entire left was up in arms over the FCC’s censorship in the aftermath of Janet Jackson’s nipple slip. Yea, those are the guys I want controlling the internet…

      1. You should really learn something about the economics of high entry cost markets, utilities, and natural monopolies before you say “fuck you” to anyone or blame government for the structure of telecommunications markets.

        1. Seriously? Do you know *anything* about the history of telecommunications in this country?

          1. I do, having worked on an NSF-funded study of the effects of the E-Rate and the Universal Service Fund in general. A good book on the topic is Milton Mueller’s Universal Service: Interconnection, Competition, and Monopoly in the Making of American Telecommunications. Needless to say around here, the whole story of needing the government to wire rural areas (the whole point of creating the Ma Bell monopoly) was bullshit.

            1. Needless to say around here, the whole story of needing the government to wire rural areas (the whole point of creating the Ma Bell monopoly) was bullshit.

              Of course it’s bullshit. It’ s just the rationale to push for more corporatist control and power.

              Someone claiming that the state didn’t intentionally create telecommunications oligopolies and and monopolies in the US is an astounding level of fucktardation.

              1. My my, the ‘fuck’ word again.

                You seem to be focused entirely on government control and blind to corporate control. Neither one is reliable on its own; together they can provide a system of checks and balances. Corporations represent only capital; government at least potentially represents the rest of us.

                1. together they can provide a system of checks and balances.

                  Another comedian in our midst.

                  Yes, sleazy cronies, corporatism, regulatory capture and K Street are all that stand between us and the abyss.

                  I can recall the days when we had intelligent trolls. This is like kicking a puppy.

            2. Is that the one with a yellow cover published by AEI? Great book.

              I hate hate hate that fucking E-Rate slush fund. It’s a metastasizing blob of cronyism and graft.

              1. We were saying that back then.

              2. Give some detail?

                If it’s bad, let’s fix it – not pretend that it proves that all government measures are bad.

            3. Ah yes, the AEI is such an unbiased source.

              Maybe you could expand your post with an actual argument rather that an assertion of authority. (I didn’t bother above because ‘fuck you’ is irrefutable. You might also note the difference in industry structure in a new industry when competition is vigorous versus the consolidation and collapse of competition in mature industries.

          2. Enough to spot cluelessness.

            1. Oh, please. Educate us.

              I’m sure you have gripping tales of free market mishaps to tell.

        2. J2Hess|4.10.15 @ 3:47AM|#
          …”natural monopolies”….

          Aw yes, roll out the old chestnut!
          Are you owed internet access?

          1. It seems to me that “natural monopolies” usually turn out to be just aesthetic monopolies.

            1. Just like every market is a ‘special case’, and a free market just won’t work here!

          2. I don’t know – are you owed free speech? Are you owed clean air and water? Neigborhoods free of crime, drivable streets, enforceable contracts, reliable money, competitive markets?

            1. All I know is that you owe me 10 minutes of my life back.

            2. Well, let’s see…

              * are you owed free speech? Yes I am; all government has to do is leave me alone, for me to get this.

              * Are you owed clean air and water? Yes I am; I should be free to sue those who pollute my sources. Sometimes Government regulation has interfered with this.

              * Neigborhoods free of crime? No, I am not. It’s well known in self defense circles that police have no responsibility to provide this; besides, it’s impossible.

              * drivable streets? No, we aren’t owed this. If we want a street in a place where Government doesn’t want it, we are left to provide for it ourselves.

              * enforceable contracts? Yes, we are owed this…but with arbitration, it’s not clear that government entities are necessary for this…

            3. * reliable money? Yes, we are owed this. Abolish the Fed! Discourage Fractional Reserve banking! End the tinkering of interest rates! Let anyone produce any sort of money on any standard they choose! The market will eventually produce something more stable than our current system, which is prone to producing our current business cycles.

              * competitive markets? Yes, we are owed this. Last I checked, though, between heavy regulations, regulatory capture, and other such nonsense, we are lucky that we have what competition we have!

              Just for kicks and giggles, I’ll throw in one other:

              * Garbage collection? Apparently not, if my mother-in-law’s experience is any indication. Because she lives in a little town out in the middle of nowhere, and because garbage collection is so expensive, the county decided to end services. My mother-in-law has to burn her own trash, and then make arrangements to have anything else taken out independent of government help on this.

              So, are there other things you think we are owed? I’d be amused to learn of them…

    2. Do you see the lack of choice in cable/internet providers as a problem?

      What do you mean lack of choice? I’ve had three different providers in the last 5 years.

      Do you see situations where AT&T charges more for its internet service in areas where it doesn’t have competition as an example of price discrimination and therefore antitrust?

      All prices are discriminatory. And if there is such money to be made in areas of low competition, then that will balance out as providers rush in to fill the supply gap. It’s not bureaucrats that make that happen.

    3. coupons for 25 cents off of a can of tuna are price discrimination. Therefore antitrust? Nope.

    4. Nick|4.9.15 @ 10:27AM|#
      “Do you see the lack of choice in cable/internet providers as a problem? Do you see situations where AT&T charges more for its internet service in areas where it doesn’t have competition as an example of price discrimination and therefore antitrust?”

      So
      What?
      Are you owed a product that someone sells?

    5. Do you see situations where AT&T charges more for its internet service in areas where it doesn’t have competition as an example of price discrimination and therefore antitrust?

      It’s an example of government granted monopoloies and cronyism. NN won’t do a damn thing about that. If anything it will reduce competition even further. Not that I’d expect an NN supporter to grasp that concept. It’s just the latest “free pony” that you’ve all convinced yourselves youre entitled to, consequences be damned.

    6. Why is an area being serviced only by AT&T?

      Because the local pols granted AT&T some monopoly? Hmmm, maybe the solution then is to revoke the monopoly rights and let competition drive down prices.

      Or is it that the area doesn’t have enough consumers to make it economically attractive to other providers? AT&T just happens to have the capital reserves to be able to provide those few consumers access in the first place, but to pay for it each consumer has to pay more because there are fewer people to spread the costs around on? Again, it might stink for you in that area, but is it “fair” to make people in other areas pay for your access?

      1. it might stink for you in that area, but is it “fair” to make people in other areas pay for your access?

        Very well. Let’s deem it an “Internet desert”.

        1. No no. It is not an “Internet desert” it is a “Free thought desert.” People will never be able to think for themselves unless the government gives them the appropriately regulated materials around which to form their thought. Otherwise, if we allow people to have access to any information (LIKE WRONG INFORMATION!!) we are not protecting people from those who would deceive them from the truth of government benovolence.

          Remember — True freedom is truly slavery. Only submission can make you free.

      2. AT&T and a cable cable company service this neighborhood, but AT&T won’t provide broadband (176Kbs is the limit); hence there is no competition and this is not a market situation.

        Under the old FTC regime, broadband was not regulated under title II and yet no other competitor entered the broadband market. A municipal monopoly granted decades ago for cable shouldn’t extend to broadband which was unthought of in the 70s and 80s.

        It’s oligopoly all the way.

        1. Maybe you shouldn’t live in such a shitty neighborhood.

          Why, I bet the local market only carries 3 brands of bottled water.

        2. I’d like to know two things:

          (1) How you don’t see that the problem is a “municipal monopoly granted decades” ago, rather than “free market” forces that have failed to materialize. (Hint: when government grants a monopoly, you don’t exactly have a “free market”.)

          (2) How you think that regulating these guys will open up the competition necessary to reduce prices, when the problem is the granting of monopolies?

    7. Where can you not get satellite internet?

      1. Well, that’s too expensive! Nick deserves cheap, good, internet access, and the government will come to his rescue.

        1. Good communications access at an affordable rate is necessary for a functional democracy. I’d prefer market competition, but when the industry is structured as oligopoly or monopoly (my neighborhood), government regulation is a lesser evil than corporate control.

          1. Good communications access at an affordable rate is necessary for a functional democracy.

            [citation needed]

            Just think how much better the republic would be today if they had been able to tweet the Declaration of Independence to King George’s account.

            Who am I kidding? He had them blocked.

      2. Between Hughesnet not providing service to the Moon and Mars and NASA only providing expensive and intermittent service, somebody has *got* to be guilty of antitrust somehow!

        Satellite service on the Moon or Mars is as essential to life and should be as free as running water or electricity is here on Earth.

    8. Do you see situations where AT&T charges more for its internet service in areas where it doesn’t have competition as an example of price discrimination and therefore antitrust?

      Then by all means fix the price. That doesn’t lead to shortages EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

    9. Do you see situations where AT&T charges more for its internet service in areas where it doesn’t have competition as an example of price discrimination and therefore antitrust?

      Unless you’re asserting that they’re using the extra money to illegally buy off local legal channels and enforce a monopoly, what does price discrimination have to do with antitrust?

      Without evidence of the former, and considering you haven’t exactly identified the areas where they lack any/all competition, it sounds more like you’re saying, “Nobody else provides what I like and the people who do charge me more than I want to pay so they someone should pursue antitrust legal action against them.”

      Corporations providing a service and charging a fee for it is not, intrinsically, a crime. Especially, if the people paying the fees are wholly consenting.

    10. Local govs created the last mile cluster fucks, so instead of fixing that directly. We have to have more government bullshit to fix the original government bullshit that created the problem in the first place.

      Gov created the perceived problem to begin with not corps. But of course the corps that are currently on top want to stay there. Regulatory capture is the best way to do that…so you fucking prog morons got exactly what you didn’t want by being your own stupid selves.

      1. Whatever. I happen to live in Provo, Utah right now. We are suffering from having only one Internet Provider to Rule Us All, all because Provo’s city government voted to allow any and all corporations who wish to do so, to come in and provide internet service as they see fit, in an attempt to attract a Big Corporation to come in and pun in this new-fangled “fiber” stuff.

        Oh, wait…that company was Google, and even before they came in to install that fiber stuff, Xfinity came in and installed modems that worked considerably faster than the service we had before…in an effort to compete with Google, it seems.

        Meanwhile, in the neighboring city Orem, they don’t have the broadband that Provo residents have access to, and it’s more expensive to boot…

        (I don’t know if Orem is planning on loosening their “last mile” restrictions, or whether they already have…but I find this idea that the last mile is unsolvable, so it should be done by monopoly, a rather specious argument, at best…)

  2. Thank you for not packing your article with links. They make it so hard to read on mobile.

    1. I wish there was a link to comment to the FCC on this. anyone care to share the link?

      1. oop, found it:
        https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express
        Proceeding:17-108

  3. It really steams me that people don’t realize the most obvious monopolies we have are the ones foisted upon us by government: local utilities. And then they spout such nonsense as the idea that we need government to prevent monopolies. The alleged monopolies that government fights are invariably not actual monopolies, regardless of the scare hype presented against them. We have so much more to fear from government intervention than anything Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon can do to us, assuming they ever do actually try to do anything evil and risk losing their customer base.

    1. See my comment above.

      1. *checks again*

        Yep – it’s still derp. Thanks for playing.

      2. J2Hess|4.10.15 @ 3:49AM|#
        “See my comment above.”
        Don’t bother; it’s still crap.

      3. J2Hess is a fucking idiot.

        Last mile cost to entry was created by local govs.

    2. We have so much more to fear from government intervention than anything Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon can do to us, assuming they ever do actually try to do anything evil and risk losing their customer base.

      An unregulated telecom might try to sell you something where an unrestrained bureaucrat might try to lock you in a cage, extort you, enslave you or worse. I’ll take my chances with those evil businesses whom I would actually have recourse against when they transgress against me.

  4. This is outside of the whole net neutrality issue – but I did have Comcast extort me for additional money on top of my monthly bill and there was nothing I could do because they are the only adequate connection in my area.

    1. Mr. Flanders|4.9.15 @ 4:50PM|#
      “This is outside of the whole net neutrality issue – but I did have Comcast extort me for additional money on top of my monthly bill and there was nothing I could do because they are the only adequate connection in my area.”

      Let’s see. First, there is little doubt that it’s a monopoly because of the local government. Then we have the claim that it is the only “adequate” connection, meaning they didn’t “extort” anything; you chose to have that connection and pay for it.
      Wanna try again?

      1. Comcast actually sent me a bill once for renting a cale modem that I owned. They also wanted to charge me more than the advertised rate.

        So yes, they do try to extort money from their customers.

        I have one other option: Verizon. Which i hate because they extorted money from me when I was penniless student and pre-paid subscrier.

        I’m not a net neutrality supporter, but that’s no reason not to acknowledge that the big ISPs are assholes or that there is a lack of competition.

        1. They didn’t extort shit, they tried to overcharge you. They didn’t say ‘nice modem you got there, be a shame if something happened to it.’

          1. HeteroPatriarch|4.10.15 @ 12:20PM|#
            “They didn’t extort shit, they tried to overcharge you”

            Yes. And it happens even at the grocery store from time to time. I wonder if Flanders will be calling for government controls on check-out clerks next?

          2. True. Instead they say, “Nice internet and credit score you got there, be a shame if anything happened to either.” Which is totally different, of course.

        2. What Hazel said. In our rush to point out the douchery of NN (Fuck the FCC) let’s not whitewash Comcast. They really are bastards with shit customer service who try to milk your bill with both hands.

          1. Yes. And it happens even at the grocery store from time to time. I wonder if Flanders will be calling for government controls on check-out clerks next?
            I’d bet Comcast would act differently if they had competition, so let’s not white-wash the effects of government-enforced monopoly, either.

            1. Customer service at the HEB does suck, this is true. The HEB doesn’t send me a bill in the mail later because they changed their mind about the price of that brisket however, along with assessed fees for a technician I never saw, and the promise of their next conversation being with Experian if I don’t respond as desired.

              1. See above:
                “I’d bet Comcast would act differently if they had competition, so let’s not white-wash the effects of government-enforced monopoly, either.”

                1. This is looking pedantic.

                  I don’t recall saying the government is pure in this. What exactly do you want me to say here? That it’s all the government’s fault? Sure. Fine. Comcast douchery is all the government’s fault. No personal responsibility whatsoever.

                  We good now?

    2. How is it extortion? Was there a gun involved? Were you threatened?

      1. They attempted to charge me more than the rate advertised on their website. I was able to get them to back down only because I threatened to switch to Verizon.

        Imagine what would happen if there was no other competitor.

        1. Imagine what would happen if there was no other competitor.

          You just drop your service?

          See, this is the problem. People want Internet access (don’t get me wrong–so do I!) but think that there is some magic price or certain set of terms that are just “meant” to be.

          Negotiation, such as you did, is part of the deal. Terms of service and prices change. And, yeah, whether due to “administrative errors” or just plain mendacity, if you don’t pay attention, you can get screwed.

          This goes both directions, though. How many people have you known who gloated about getting premium cable “for free”? Hell, I’ve got a modem that belongs to Comcast but they don’t know I have it, so I don’t pay to rent it. It’s a shitty modem (I don’t even use it) and they are really shitty about accepting returned equipment, so fuck ’em.

          But at the end of the day, if you aren’t willing to drop your service (and OMG yes that means going without Internet possibly for a few days or more!), then you are going to be beholden to your ISP. There is competition even in some of the worst markets, but the best ways to resolve matters of price and service are as locally as possible. Start with your own arrangement and at the very least make a sincere effort at changing your local political situation before proclaiming that there is a problem that the state or federal government needs to solve (not that you are doing this Hazel, but many people are).

        2. What irks me about all these guys is the discount “come-on” rates for new subscribers and the upward jump and creep afterwards. Just *set a rate* and be done with it.

          1. Then tell them that. Offer a set, flat rate and see what they say. If they say no, don’t purchase from them.

            1. You think they can maneuver like that? Hmmm. I will try it and report back.

              1. My girlfriend just did it with DirecTV. I’m sure it works with ISP’s too.

          2. Rich you want me to call the fucking wambulance?

        3. They attempted to charge me more than the rate advertised on their website. I was able to get them to back down only because I threatened to switch to Verizon.

          Imagine what would happen if there was no other competitor.

          You didn’t describe extortion. You described false advertising for a product you can opt not to buy.

          1. And false advertising (assuming that is what it was and there wasn’t something in the fine print like “Only if your name is Jimbo Sally McPherason Hwang” or “Only for folks who live in 12312 Zip code” or “Only for folks who are switching from another company” (fuck you, Sprint)) IS ALREADY ILLEGAL! If it was illegal before, and remains illegal, what the hell is the point of the law?

          2. And false advertising (assuming that is what it was and there wasn’t something in the fine print like “Only if your name is Jimbo Sally McPherason Hwang” or “Only for folks who live in 12312 Zip code” or “Only for folks who are switching from another company” (fuck you, Sprint)) IS ALREADY ILLEGAL! If it was illegal before, and remains illegal, what the hell is the point of the law?

            1. They made some bullshit excuse up like they hadn’t gotten around to updating the website. Or that the prices were incorrect “for my area”.

  5. The whole “solution” to this was defining our right to communicate … to begin with !

    Freedom of Oral Communication known as Speech
    Freedom of Printed Communication known as Press
    And of course Freedom of Internet Communication

    Such a defense would have it much tougher to pass any regulation on the internet much as is the case today with press and speech …. and placed it into the same category (hopefully)

    Not to mention that it would now be defined as part of an actual civil right ! Our right to communication/communicate.

    1. There is no right to Internet Communications. You’ve created fiction.

      Just as you have no right to a newspaper, no right to a radio station, no right to a printing press, you have no right to the labor of anyone else, unless they choose to engage in exchange with you.

      Now, once you have any of these devices, then you have the right to speech that cannot be abridged by the state, but you have no right to have your voice heard.

      1. A right to the uncontracted labor and capital of others is slavery and extortion. These people support expropriation and slavery at every turn.

        1. These people support expropriation and slavery at every turn.

          And, much like with the CRA, they are willing to turn a pretty obvious blind eye to the violation/distortion of other parts of the constitution to achieve impossible ends.

          People who legitimately argue that the internet is free speech and the only way it stays free is if we pay the government to keep it so.

          Seriously, “internet = free speech”, “price differences = antitrust”, and “extortion=corporate action I don’t like” is the depth of the thinking.

          1. You need to differentiate the content from the context.

            Free speech covers content.
            Access covers context.

            Once you gain the right of context, you have freedom to say what you like.

            Access precedes speech, but entities bound to provide ‘equal treatment’ cannot provide that access based on the content.

            What I don’t like about net neutrality is that its an aggregation of both content and context. Once you start monitoring and limiting information based on both you have effectively ended free speech. A remnant remains, but its not absolute. And discretionary is the worst type of power to give.

            If govt would keep its hands off, then net neutrality would be a free-market feature. More than likely, it will just be another layer of NSA control and used by cronycapitalists.

      2. Of course there is ! Simply not listed in the constitution for religious constitutionalist !

        How do you classify freedom of the press and speech ? They are essentially the same in meaning … JUST OTHER MEDIA ! Of course there is a general concept; I simply have to tell them to people like you who require a bible.

        1. Pretty sure this is sarc. Stupidity at this level is hard to believe.

        2. Of course there is a general concept; I simply have to tell them to people like you who require a bible.

          You’re not very bright, are you?

          You have a right to free speech. That’s it. Full stop.

          Speech can take many forms, but you don’t have a right to use anyone else’s property to exercise that speech.

          1. And I never said you did , did I ? I said you have a right to communicate on the Internet; but like freedom of press, you are not promised a press or an internet.

            Now do you understand these rights ?

            1. I understand rights very well. I’m not sure how well you do.

              A right is something that you have as a result of your existence and isn’t dependent on anyone else to provide to you, as the means to exercise that right. You clearly said that you want some sort of system where you can demand from someone else to facilitate your ability to speak.

              Not to mention that it would now be defined as part of an actual civil right ! Our right to communication/communicate.

              That’s not a right, that’s a privilege. You aren’t talking about buying a printing press for your own use, in order to speak. You’re talking about an entire communications system that was built and is owned by hundreds of private companies. You are demanding a right to access that in order to speak, a right which doesn’t exist.

              1. Like I said , you have the right to communicate on the Internet ONCE you get the access. !

                It’s the communication you have the right to …. not the Internet ! That’s why I called it a right to communication !

                Like freedom of press, the press and the internet are not promised as you seem to be stating …. go read some libertarian material.

                1. go read some libertarian material.

                  You’re absolutely hilarious. Truly, a real comedian for our times.

                  I knew I should have used smaller words.

                  1. Really ? well true libertarians are not limited STATISTS !

                    And they understand the concept of freedom of communication rather than oppose anything other than what the biblical founders promised in their prayers for the state.

                    LOL

    2. hpearce|4.9.15 @ 5:12PM|#
      “The whole “solution” to this was defining our right to communicate … to begin with !”

      You have a “right” to internet access? Oh, that must be in Amendment 953 or so, right?

      1. You have a right to communicate thru the internee ONCE you get the access … just like freedom of the press doesn’t promise you a press. Jesus !

    3. In a sane world “Freedom of Internet Communication” would fall under “freedom of the press.” What the drafters of the bill of rights were really driving at is the freedom to communicate and publish ideas freely. In their day the most advanced mass communication platform available was the printing press, hence “freedom of the press.” Unfortunately we don’t live in a sane world, we live in a world populated with morons who read things literally. So when they see “freedom of the press” they think that means only the freedom to print things, or worse they think “the press” refers only to professional journalists.

      1. So, Apple (and Google and Amazon to lesser extents) is violating free speech by preventing certain apps from being available in their market place, right?

        I mean, it’s their marketplace that they make open to their customers and it’s not like there’s an Apple store and/or phone marketplace on the corner in every town in the nation so Apple is effectively denying Americans their rights to apps.

        Apple should be required, by law, to host every “Apple sucks.” apps without exception for any sort of personal taste or corporate identity, otherwise, they’re denying somebody somewhere their right to free speech.

        In a sane world, the people exercising free speech would recognize the difference between free communication and free communication goods and services.

      2. Thank you lori … I didn’t want to call the person a moron , LOL

    4. hpearce|4.9.15 @ 5:12PM|#
      “The whole “solution” to this was defining our right to communicate … to begin with !”

      The whole problem is that you’re full of shit to begin with.
      Got a ‘right’ to free newspapers? What a crock!

      1. And the whole problem with you is that you are like the typical left-winger who has to insult other people who disagree with them. Try a REASONable response. lol.

        1. And the whole problem with you is that you are like the typical left-winger who has to insult other people who disagree with them.

          Challenge: Describe why this response is massively hypocritical in six words or less. You’re allowed fifteen words, if you promise to be funny.

          And…. go!

        2. hpearce|4.10.15 @ 1:47PM|#
          “And the whole problem with you is that you are like the typical left-winger who has to insult other people who disagree with them”

          No, I’m not, and you remain full of shit.

          1. LOL, are you a limited statist ?

            or just some ignorant conservative.

            1. Aren’t those the same?

  6. To paraphrase Tomas Sowell’s great comment about Obamacare : If you don’t like the cost of the internet now , how will you like the cost of the internet + the cost of a bureaucracy regulating it ?

    1. I thought that was PJ O’Rourke?

  7. There is a problem with ISPs about monopoly, you know. Net Neutrality is one answer to it. Another would be prohibiting governments (Federal, state, and local) from establishing and enforcing such monopolies, in which case competition should deal with exorbitant charges. I don’t know how that could be done, though, since communications monopolies seem to be an established prerogative of corrupt governments.

    1. “You are young, Father William said to his son.”

      The monopolies were demanded by cable companies due to the high cost of investing in infrastructure. Local governments had to (sometimes) choose between companies demanding local monopolies. Governments basically looked at which company promised the best rates and the most public access channels.

      1. Exactly. So, one solution to the problem might be to somehow prohibit these monopolies. Apparently there is no Constitutional way to do this, or someone would have done it by now. Another is regulation, in this case, Net Neutrality.

        1. Exactly. So, one solution to the problem might be to somehow prohibit these monopolies.

          You just agreed that such monopolies were created by government fiat, now you say the government must prohibit them. Cause and effect don’t mean much to you huh?

        2. Net Neutrality is one answer to it.

          No, no it isn’t. it doesn’t address local franchise at all.

          NN is about the state getting control of the Internet and its witless dupes/useful idiots fucking Comcast good and hard. Nothing else.

          1. NN is about the state getting control of the Internet and its witless dupes/useful idiots fucking Comcast good and hard. Nothing else.

            True. But, I suspect the witless dupes/useful idiots fail to realize is that, at the end of the day, Comcast is going to eventually have a lot more access to the state than they do. They understand the issues a lot better than the witless dupes/useful idiots do and, when all is said and done, they are the ones with the resources to distribute.

            In the short run, Comcast will get its good, hard, fucking.

            In the long run, the witless dupes/useful idiots (unfortunately, along with the rest of us) might as well decide whether they prefer Warty or STEVE SMITH.

            1. The punch line is that Comcast will come out of this smelling like a fucking rose. they will be wholly unfucked.

              NN will do little to nothing to Comcast in terms of harm. Being a dominant industry player, they’ll get to write the rules that benefit them at the expense of their competitors or upstarts.

              So yeah, NN supporters will get what they want for others, good and hard.

              1. NN will do little to nothing to Comcast in terms of harm. Being a dominant industry player, they’ll get to write the rules that benefit them at the expense of their competitors or upstarts.

                ^This^

                The FCC is already a revolving door for Telecom. NN just streamlines the process (and *will* make more seats and a bigger door).

              2. Precisely.

                For the life of me, I can’t understand the reasoning that goes “The government and business are in bed together. We need to give the government more power to fuck over the businesses!”

      2. Governments basically looked at which company promised the best rates and the most public access channels.

        Yeah, that’s what they looked at. Not graft and bribes at all.

      3. You are a fucking moron.

        http://www.wired.com/2013/07/w…..mpetition/

        Educate yourself and maybe you’ll stop looking like a complete ass.

        1. DesigNate|4.10.15 @ 12:58PM|#
          “You are a fucking moron.”

          Threading. How does it work?

          1. Wait, this isn’t threaded to J2Hess?

            Damn it.

  8. Only a dupe or a tool could pretend that broadband access is anything like a free market.

    1. Hmmmm. There’s supply and demand. There’s producers and consumers. There’s competing producers. And there’s assholes like you trying to fuck everything up with state involvement. Looks like a market to me.

      1. Where is the Internet I can use when I don’t like the one I have now?

        There isn’t one, the Internet is a commons, and everyone should have equal access to it. The fact that there are a number of different gatekeepers (ISPs) who keep each other in check using market forces misses the bigger picture.

        Unless you want to build another Internet, in which sign me up.

        1. the Internet is a commons

          “The commons is the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in common, not owned privately.”

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

          So you don’t have the first clue as to what you’re talking about. Got it.

        2. Where is the Internet I can use when I don’t like the one I have now?

          There are multiple satellite providers accessible even to people living in Antarctica. If there were literally only 2 ISPs in covering the whole world, that would not be a monopoly by definition.

          There isn’t one, the Internet is a commons, and everyone should have equal access to it.

          Other people’s property is a commons, like air, and everyone should have equal access to this private property?

          “The shoe supply is a commons and everyone should have equal access to shoes.”

          “The auto industry is a commons and everyone should have equal access to cars.”

          “The derpidy derp is a commons and everyone should have equal derpidy derpy dee.”

          The fact that there are a number of different gatekeepers (ISPs) who keep each other in check using market forces misses the bigger picture.

          No. Ignoring that fact misses every aspect of the picture.

          Unless you want to build another Internet, in which sign me up.

          My alternet does not accept thieves and those who would use state force to seize my property.

        3. “commons” ” build another Internet”

          One of these is not like the other.

          Think harder.

    2. Only a dupe or a tool could pretend that the government has either the capability of or interest in improving broadband access.

    3. You’re right, it’s not a free market.

      Unfortunately, you don’t know what a free market is so you get the cause completely ass backwards.

      (Here’s a hint: It’s the government stupid.)

  9. Our best option as consumers and citizens is to push regulations that make the telecommunications infrastructure of current ISPs into common carriers, separated from content providers, allowing anyone to set up as an ISP by leasing bandwidth, creating real competition.

    1. It is curious that so many libertarians have missed the boat, so to speak. Government-enforced vertical monopolies are not ‘the market’ or ‘freedom’.

      1. Who is enforcing a vertical monopoly? Cable television is dying anyway. But net neutrality, if anything, delays the shift to streaming video over the internet, because it prevents ISPs from prioritizing video packets at bottlenecks, which is necessary to making streaming video work reliably without periodic buffering and lag. A completely neutral internet is not equipped to deal with the high sensitivity of video streaming to latency.

        How many people would cancle their cable bills entirely if they knew they could get TV shows to stream relialy without freezing? TONS.

        1. How many people would cancle their cable bills entirely if they knew they could get TV shows to stream relialy without freezing? TONS.

          Most of things I watch are either cable-only or require a cable subscription to stream in a tiny window (as opposed to a 46″ HD TV).

          Overcome those hurdles, and I’m probably back to paying the same rates I pay now with internet + cable.

          1. Anything you can stream in a tiny window you can hook up to a television set or projector.

            I started doing this in 2005. Got an S-Video cable and connected my TV to my desktop, the computer recognizes it as a secondary monitor so all you have to do is move the window over to the TV screen and click fullscreen.

            These days, I have my old desktop dedicated to watching TV and movies off the internet. I have a long-range mouse and wireless keyboard which function like a remote control, and I have a projector hooked up to the desktop, projecting on the wall. My sound out is routed to my surround sound system. So I watch movies off the internet on a 5×7′ screen in 5.1 dolby surround sound.

            1. Also, I’m consider upgrading. My surround sound system is really old and my projector doesn’t have an HDMI input, but for a around $1000 I could probably purchase an HDMI graphics card for the computer, a new surround sound system with dolby 7.1 on it, and a high definition projector.

              So then, I would be watching movies off the internet in state of the art high definition and 7.1 surround sound.

              Of course, those are only the bootlegged movies, because nobody is going to stream high definition over the internet with the latency issues they are going to have, thanks to net neutrality.

    2. creating real competition.

      Those words don’t mean what you think they mean.

      1. I stopped paying attention when he it (no cis!) typed “natural monopoly” above.

        They alllll want cake.

        1. I’m starting to think that they do rule the night.

          1. They don’t. Nobody does. And they don’t run in packs! But they do want cake.

            1. And whatever you do, don’t lock eyes with ’em. Don’t do it, puts ’em on edge…

            2. They seem to be ruining in packs ITT

        2. The only true ‘natural monopoly’ I can think of would be a dude owning the world’s only diamond mine or something. These people just use academic sounding words as glue to make their shit stick the wall.

          1. Are there no alternatives to natural diamonds? Is it not possible to create some alternative to natural diamonds? How would that be a ‘natural monopoly?’

            1. You could buy Madagascar, and be the world’s only holder of Madagascaran (ian? how is this conjugated?) vanilla beans.

              1. “Malagasy” is the demonym for Madagascar.

                1. You are a helpful person. Now I wish for an edit button.

                  There. Malagasy vanilla beans.

                2. But since you’re referring to vanilla beans and not people, the demonym probably doesn’t apply.

                  I’ve seen “Madagascan” for “adjective-thing” constructions.

                  1. Good catch. Malagasy is both the demonym and adjectival form.

                    A handy list.

            2. Are there no alternatives to natural diamonds? Is it not possible to create some alternative to natural diamonds? How would that be a ‘natural monopoly?’

              1)It was just a hypothetical example
              2) If there were only one natural diamond mine (and there isn’t) then the owner of that mine would indeed have a monopoly on natural diamonds.
              3) Sure artificial diamonds possible but they aren’t natural diamonds and as markets tell us, there remains a higher premium on natural stones for whatever reason.
              4) Once again it’s just an example. Invent a highly scarce resource and the example works. Natural monopolies are rare in and of themselves but can conceivably exist despite any non-factual claim you care to use.

              1. Invent a highly scarce resource and the example works. Natural monopolies are rare in and of themselves but can conceivably exist despite any non-factual claim you care to use.

                Natural monopolies aren’t rare. Governments are used to create and support them and many *libertarians* think you’re stupid to argue that the governments shouldn’t support them.

                You invent a natural monopoly and you file a patent to seek protection for it from the US (and other) government. Unless you’re a baker or heart surgeon, then you just show up to work the next day with your natural monopoly, do your job better than the day before and hope the customers pay more for it.

                1. Governments are used to create and support them and many *libertarians* think you’re stupid to argue that the governments shouldn’t support them.

                  Government supported monopolies are by definition not ‘natural monopolies’. Natural monopolies get that ‘natural’ designation in order to distinguish them from regular ole monopolies which are invariably government supported.

                  You invent a natural monopoly and you file a patent to seek protection for it from the US (and other) government.

                  You can’t just invent a natural monopoly. A natural monopoly is a monopoly that would naturally occur even in the absence of aggression. So if there were only one sinlge source for ‘zinc’ on planet Earth, that would make zinc mining into a natural monopoly. It’s naught to do with skilled labor which reproducable and is not hyper-scarce.

                  Now this scenario is extremely rare but even then, the market would still exist to find alternative materials as compared to zinc and would actually bring the price down. There’s no excuse for government antitrust laws to exist (not to say that’s your claim 🙂 because even the seemingly inescapable effects of a natural monopoly is ameliorated by market forces.

                  1. You can’t just invent a natural monopoly.

                    A government cannot enforce a monopoly that doesn’t exist, someone has to figure out how to get the unobtainium out of the ground or how to brew and distill magic brownie juice before the government can protect them. Regarding their skilled labor as abundant and the product of their labor as scarce is capricious, arbitrary, and generally irrelevant when it comes to gov’t protectionism.

                    My point was, there are plenty of libertarians, even around these parts, that will guffaw over the idea of protecting a large monopoly (e.g. Comcast) and any idea that they may have, but will turn around and vigorously nod ascent or take a much more mild, “maybe we could make it work” attitude to IP law and the at-home inventor/nascent monopoly.

                    It’s possible I’m confusing the general sentiment of the writers with the peanut gallery, but I don’t think so.

                    1. A government cannot enforce a monopoly that doesn’t exist

                      Yes but only in the same sense that I can’t eat a ham sandwich that doesn’t exist.

                      My point was, there are plenty of libertarians, even around these parts, that will guffaw over the idea of protecting a large monopoly (e.g. Comcast)

                      But Comcast isn’t a monopoly since there are competitors. Even if there are only two ISPs in the whole world, you might call that a duopoly, but ‘monopoly’ has a very particular meaning that merely being government protected doesn’t apply to.

                    2. “My point was, there are plenty of libertarians, even around these parts, that will guffaw over the idea of protecting a large monopoly (e.g. Comcast) and any idea that they may have, but will turn around and vigorously nod ascent or take a much more mild, “maybe we could make it work” attitude to IP law and the at-home inventor/nascent monopoly.”

                      Yes this is true, but there are two important observations to make:

                    3. (1) IP is *still* not a natural monopoly, because it only works when the Government sets up an IP system, and then provides for civil and/or criminal provisions for stepping out of its bounds.

                      (2) While it’s true that a lot of libertarians think we could make IP law work, there’s also a lot of libertarians who think that IP law is evil, that it harms innovation, and that we would be better off if we just junked the entire system. (Count me among them.) I would go so far as to say that a lot of libertarians are pro-IP because they have been taught all their lives that it’s necessary for innovation, by a combination of Government Bureaucrats and primary Patent/Copyright holders (aka Big Business and Big Hollywood).

                      After all, where would the incentive for Disney be to make silly computer-animated “Mickey Mouse Club” cartoons if they didn’t have a guarantee that they could have absolute control over the Mickey Mouse character (and all cartoons) for the next 100,000 years? Just think of how much worse our culture is because we have those cartoons! Er…I mean…think about how much worse our culture would be without those cartoons, because they are High Art or something…

      2. God these morons are such fucking mongoloids. The government cannot create real competition. The government can only create fake competition. And fake competition just means everybody pays more because the accumulation of capital is restricted. They have literally no idea of the economic factors involved yet think the FCC can wave a magic wand and make the Internet cheaper.

        1. Words and the right intentions make everything magic.

        2. They have literally no idea of the economic factors involved yet think the FCC can wave a magic wand and make the Internet cheaper.

          These are the same people who think that government fiat is why human societiesno longer have widespread child labor. If only there had been a progtard whispering an ancient king’s ear, he could have waved his magic sceptre and outlawed child labor in his kingdom. It’s not like child labor was a necessity for survival since the dawn of man or anything. It’s not like capital accumulation allowed parents to keep their children home without starving, that would just be crazy. All things are made better by a guy with a gun in your ribs.

        3. The only way to have a free market is price controls. Everyone knows that.

          1. So a market becomes free when the state dictates the prices ? Very weird.

            1. You’re new here; that was sarc.

              1. You can’t be so sure these days

      3. We can’t let producers distribute their own product!

        That would be, like, anarchy!!!!!

    3. So all you need to do to create bandwidth is a lease?

      Holy shit! Who fucking knew? Obviously not those fools who spent billions laying more fiber. Those suckers are sure going to feel dumb when J2Hess and his buddies come along and lease capacity on that fiber from them at govt set rates.

      1. Those suckers are sure going to feel dumb when J2Hess and his buddies come along and lease capacity on that fiber from them at govt set rates.

        They’ll certainly feel dumb for doing all that work to expand infrastructure when the government comes along and tells them how much they can charge. Personally if I were them, I’d stop investing in further infrastructure. What would be the point, afterall?

        1. Personally if I were them, I’d stop investing in further infrastructure.

          They won’t stop completely but they will invest less. That is a certainty.

    4. J2Hess|4.10.15 @ 4:02AM|#
      “Our best option as consumers and citizens is to push regulations”

      OK, enough. Fuck off, slaver.

    5. Our best option as citizens is to build a competing system, thereby making government intervention in the Internet we have now completely irrelevant.

      1. Our best option as citizens is to build a competing system, thereby making government intervention in the Internet we have now completely irrelevant.

        Your rhetoric betrays your slaver intentions. Our best option as citizens is to engage in entrepreneurship? What does your citizenship status have to do with it? Is it your duty as a citizen to be window cleaner? Is it your duty as a citizen to start a lawncare business? Keep your slave mentality to yourself.

    6. J2Hess your are an insufferable cunt of the extremely stupid variety.

  10. Because they’re self-absorbed and prinicple-less twats?

  11. “Why are Edward Snowden’s supporters so eager to give government more control over the Internet?”

    Because they’re not real bright.

  12. Not all Snowden supporters are in favor of Net Neutrality, just the retarded ones.

    1. There is a lot of overlap, though.

      1. See examples not far above.

      2. So snowden supporters are retarded now? I thought they were the only ones awake.

  13. The only good thing about NN is that it will spur the next giant leap in networking technology. I have no idea what it is, but I’m pretty sure that the greedy wreckers and kulaks will come up with something like WiMax or pure mesh networks and simply abandon the current network technology.

    My only worry is that the statists now realize what a danger an open communication network is to their schemes and they will be much quicker to clamp down on the new network than they were about the current internet.

    1. Actually I think pretty much the opposite. It’s all about the regulatory capture.

      The powers that be have tremendous sunk costs, and a fear that keeps them up at night about just what the next leap in technology could do to them.

      Heck the solution to net neutrality (properly defined as data discrimination) via packets without a return address has already been proposed.

      No, the real players who wanted the FCC involved wanted them in order to lock in the status quo.

      That, and the lefties (like Doctorow) who simply want control, no matter the costs.

  14. I think there should be a new drinking game. Any time somebody says “libertarians have a blind spot” or “libertarians have never really considered my pet issue” or “if only libertarians agreed with me about this one thing” etc, take a shot.

    1. Add “if only libertarians lived in the real world” (and variations) and I’m in!

      1. Jesus, guys! Even I can’t drink that much!

        1. Yeah, maybe if we watered the drinks down in proportion to their grasp on the real world (or their variations thereof), but I already drink plenty of beer and non-alcoholic drinks when reading Reason.

          “Look, the libertarian ideal of absolute property rights doesn’t work in a situation where there are two villages on either side of a chasm…” *mad.casual starts looking for the ultrapure RO water to have a swig.*

  15. the moment we were able to escape to Verizon felt like V.J. Day

    FWIW, Time Warner has been much better in recent years. Knock on wood.

    I’m almost afraid to switch (were it possible) for fear of getting burned – like when I switched from Sprint to AT&T and immediately regretted it.

  16. I’m sure it’s exactly the same thinking which brought you such hits as “Not My Boss’s Business (until the bill comes)” and “Keep Government Away From My Medicare (Morans).”

  17. Why would anyone want government to control much of anything?
    They control the educational system; the post office; the borders; the government; the monetary system; the VA; the air; the forests; all the water in the US; “community standards”; just to name a few of many; and now let’s let them control the internet – cause THAT’S what this is about – because some people can’t afford to buy good service.
    I’m curious just what government actually controls well?

  18. FTA: The aim, in the words of supporters such as Doctorow, is to forcibly prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon from “extract[ing] ransom from everyone you want to talk to on the internet.” That such ransom notes have stubbornly failed to materialize has been deemed immaterial.

    Please explain why my upload speeds (and yours) are much lower than my download speeds unless I buy an “upgraded” service.

    Bits on the wire are bits on the wire. Ethernet can handle just as many upload bits as download bits. The hardware doesn’t care what direction the data is moving. The problem is that the ISPs set speeds artificially based on direction, so they can charge more to uploaders than downloaders. This is a ransom on uploaders and it affects everyone who has ever uploaded anything to the Internet (including you, gentle reader).

    1. Please explain why my upload speeds (and yours) are much lower than my download speeds unless I buy an “upgraded” service.

      All infrastructure isn’t created equal. And similarly, all humans don’t live in places with identical population density and geography.

      Bits on the wire are bits on the wire.

      Right, there’s no difference between a telegraph line and modern fiber optic cable.

      Ethernet can handle just as many upload bits as download bits. The hardware doesn’t care what direction the data is moving.

      You believe networks are set up the way they are for no reason at all? You believe the network lines are constructed of ethernet cables everywhere? Oh right, you also believe all wires with bits are are the same thing.

      The problem is that the ISPs set speeds artificially based on direction, so they can charge more to uploaders than downloaders.

      They do this artificially? Unlike the bandwidth restrictions you find in nature I suppose? Bandwidth is not an unlimited thing. The differential between upload and download speeds for residential users is because residential users don’t typically do all that much uploading. Differentiating download and upload makes more bandwidth available to more people for a lower price. If it wasn’t to consumer benefit, it wouldn’t be the standard.

      If your business model is superior then whip it out and rake in the cash. Or maybe just maybe

      1. …LPDave is a fucking moron?

        Is that what you were going to say?

        1. That’s more or less where I was going with it before the character limit got me 🙂

          1. Keep it snappy and to the point. Like heart-bot down there. No wasted words with that one.

            1. The derp is just so potent that it takes 5 times as many words to destroy it than to make it.

    2. LPDave|4.10.15 @ 1:41PM|#
      “[…]This is a ransom[…]”

      You’re full of shit.

    3. This is a ransom on uploaders and it affects everyone who has ever uploaded anything to the Internet (including you, gentle reader).

      Yeah, my heart really hurts for the poor uploaders at Netflix. Won’t someone think of them, please?!

    4. Synchronous throughput is more expensive for the telco, so its more expensive for you. Asynchronous routing appliances are older and cheaper.

      1. Even (tier 2/3) telcos pay more for upload than download

  19. My co-worker’s step-sister makes $80 /hour on the laptop . She has been out of work for seven months but last month her paycheck was $21155 just working on the laptop for a few hours. find out here now
    ????????????????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  20. My co-worker’s step-sister makes $80 /hour on the laptop . She has been out of work for seven months but last month her paycheck was $21155 just working on the laptop for a few hours. find out here now
    ????????????????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  21. It’s a little strange to say, “net neutrality is a solution that won’t work to a problem that simply doesn’t exist,” then later talk about how it’s preventing these drastic changes to how the internet operates, and also tout the incredible innovation we’ve had using the internet without these prioritized packages. I’m not saying I agree with the position, but the slogan often used for proponents of net neutrality saying they want to “keep the internet as is” does have some merit.

    Also, I fail to see the specific relationship between the NSA and Title II by the FCC. They seem like totally disparate issues: they’re different agencies that operate in very different ways. It seems like the article is only using the NSA scandal to pander to antigovernment sentiment and use it against against this ruling. Reason has already made a good case against the Title II ruling; this comparison felt disjointed and superfluous.

    1. Yea, you’re totally not a fan of those things you were just arguing…

      It’s a little strange to say, “net neutrality is a solution that won’t work to a problem that simply doesn’t exist,” then later talk about how it’s preventing these drastic changes to how the internet operates, and also tout the incredible innovation we’ve had using the internet without these prioritized packages.

      Opponents of net neutrality want a free market where government gets the hell out of the way. Opponents of net neutrality do not argue everything is perfect and should stay the same. Many right here in this comment section have argued there is an issue, and much of it stems from the involvement the government already has.

      You also don’t seem to know what the word ‘innovation’ means. Because opponents of NN want to see continued innovation ie change and development that spurs on human progress. So, NN proponents want to keep things the same…which is fucking stupid. Change is scary if you are a mindless Luddite who knows nothing about economics.

      1. Also, I fail to see the specific relationship between the NSA and Title II by the FCC. They seem like totally disparate issues: they’re different agencies that operate in very different ways.

        Yet, they are both beholden to the same group of asshole politicians. The FCC started censoring content the day it was put in place. If Title II ruling doesn’t allow that directly, it does allow the government to do things like tax and control the broadband companies. The power the FCC holds gives it leverage and influence.

        So, the point is that the same shady fucks who appoint the worthless cunts at the FCC also appoint the assholes at the NSA. Those are the people you just gave this power to.

        Obama is the one who called for Net Neutrality. And his lapdogs at the FCC who he appointed dutifully obliged his request.

    2. The fact that everything the government sticks it’s nose ends up fucked up is hardly superfluous.

  22. Why Do Edward Snowden’s Supporters Want More Government Control Over the Internet?

    Because that’s they’re solution to every goddam thing.

    1. Well, in the final analysis, consider yourself too a possibile problem if you are a limited-statist.

      ALL states are coercive monopolies.

    2. Many people feel that government is the best solution to any public problem and that more government is always better. Nothing will change how they feel. They will never be converted. What they say in defense of their position is rationalization, sophistry, and lies. They will never change. This is reality. Understanding this has brought me peace of mind.

      1. And government remains a solution to many things. Just make sure they aren’t coercive monopolies from which consumers have no choice.

        1. Man, you’re an ignoramus!

          hpearce|4.10.15 @ 6:29PM|#
          “And government remains a solution to many things.”
          Yes, it is a last-resort when every other method just won’t hack it.

          “Just make sure they aren’t coercive monopolies from which consumers have no choice.”
          If you’re referring to governments, it cannot be otherwise
          If you’re referring to internet providers, there is no one who *doesn’t* have a choice.

          1. You don’t believe in the concept of governing ? Those that provide this service are called governments (or certainly can be ).

            And yes, they are still needed in society.. what is not needed and what is not supported by people who believe in freedom of association are coercive monopolies like the state.

            The are ALL inherently evil because of the COERCIVE part.

            And people who support them are really limited statists! They use “governmentalists” here in this terminology so they need not admit the truth.

            1. hpearce|4.11.15 @ 4:12AM|#
              “You don’t believe in the concept of governing ? Those that provide this service are called governments (or certainly can be ).”
              Beat that straw man!

              “And yes, they are still needed in society.. what is not needed and what is not supported by people who believe in freedom of association are coercive monopolies like the state.
              The are ALL inherently evil because of the COERCIVE part.
              And people who support them are really limited statists! They use “governmentalists” here in this terminology so they need not admit the truth.”
              So you make up new uses for words and presume that somehow makes your drivel other than bullshit?

  23. *into*

  24. heh heh ,,, too many people continue to talk about governments when clearly they are states — coercive monopolies of the service of government. .

    That’s like referring to people as animals rather than human beings.

  25. A lot of the posters here make no sense except as propagandists for the telecomunications oligopoly. I hope you’re smart enough to get paid for pushing their line and not just poor suckers for the “corporations are your friends” baloney.

    1. J2Hess|4.11.15 @ 2:56AM|#
      “A lot of the posters here make no sense except as propagandists for the telecomunications oligopoly”

      You can’t fix stupid; fuck off.

    2. Cry some more.

  26. “an underappreciated benefit to legalizing prices is that it allows total unknowns to buy their way onto the same radar screens as the major players. Take that ability away and incumbents will become even more entrenched.”
    This is exactly the problem. A guy with a startup software business can buy the same access as the company that was just bought out by google for $2 billion? Really? This is an absolutely ridiculous, indefensible argument. This is what neutrality is about. A level playing field. Allowing the ISP’s to charge for speed eliminates competition and ensures that huge money has control and innovation is suppressed.

  27. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

  28. The FCC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the US Government. Its Commissioners are appointed by whatever knob-gobbling whore managed to punk his own ass with enough frequency to become the President. In case you missed the point, the Chairman of the FCC is a political appointee who executes the will of holder of the Oral Office.

    Fact 1: I have never been the victim of use of force by a corporation. With the exception of government-mandated services (auto insurance, for instance) my purchases have all been voluntary. If I don’t like a company or what it sells or how it treats its employees, I am free to choose another organization to do business with. I am not particularly fond of corporations, but they can’t seize my assets without Due Process. Governments can and do with monotonous regularity.

    Fact 2: The US Government has a monopoly on the use of violence and a glorious history of abusing that monopoly. The US Government has a monopoly on asset forfeiture without providing Due Process and a glorious history of abusing that monopoly. The US Government is a soulless machine which consumes rights and produces misery and inequality as its effluvia.

    I know which of these two options is better for me as an individual.

    1. In 2000, there were over 1200 MSOs operating in the United States. Today there are fewer than 500. There aren’t going to be any new cable companies. There won’t be any Mom and Pop ISP startups in the cable industry. It is still possible to enter the field offering wireless internet, but the idea that it is even remotely possible for a small business to enter the DIA optical circuit end of things is ludicrous due to the cost of entry and the relatively low profits available when AT&T and Windstream and all the rest are whoring product at low margins because of competition.

      Government may be the answer to some problems, but it will never be the answer to this one.

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