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Democrat FCC commissioners vote to nuke net neutrality so scum-sucking rent-seeking cable weasels can sell porn


The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted 3-2 along party lines to formally propose new "net neutrality" rules that may let Internet service providers charge content companies for faster and more reliable delivery of their traffic to users.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's two fellow Democrats on the five-member commission concurred with Wheeler for a 3-2 vote to advance his proposal and begin formally collecting public comment, though they expressed misgivings about the plan.

Maybe this will be the "FISA moment" for Obama's remaining online supporters. A man can dream!

More on the proposal from WaPo:

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted in favor of advancing a proposal that could dramatically reshape the way consumers experience the Internet, opening the possibility of Internet service providers charging Web sites for higher-quality delivery of their content to American consumers.

The plan, approved in a three-to-two vote along party lines, could unleash a new economy on the Web where an Internet service provider such as Verizon would charge a Web site such as Netflix for the guarantee of flawless video streaming.

"Flawless video streaming" equals porn. Not that there's anything wrong with that, and not that the Internet is a porn-free zone as it is, but let's be clear about what's going on. (Every media "innovation" is driven porn or, if you prefer, erotica: Sculpture and mosaic (see Pompeii), oil painting, printing, etching and woodcuts, photography, cinema, video, the Internet. All, without exception, historically. This will be no exception.)

Even [ha] one of the Democratic commissioners who voted yes on Thursday expressed some misgivings about how the proposal had been handled.

"I would have done this differently. I would have taken the time to consider the future," said Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel [@JRosenworcel], who said the proposal can't allow for clear fast lanes for the most privileged companies. She said she supported a proposal allowing the agency to consider questions on how it could prevent certain Web sites from being blocked, in addition to figuring out the overall oversight of broadband Internet providers.

"I believe the process that got us to rulemaking today was flawed," she said. "I would have preferred a delay."

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. So, why didn't you vote for what you preferred then? Democrats are such assholes.

UPDATE More from Forbes, much hopeful (interesingly enough):

The three-to-two vote doesn’t pass the proposals – it merely takes them forward for a four-month period of public consultation, after which the rules may be redrafted accordingly and another vote will be taken.

As expected, the proposals allow for an internet “fast lane”, or paid prioritization, but only where this is not anti-competitive and doesn’t harm consumers. They include the development of a “rigorous, multi-factor ‘screen’ to analyze whether any conduct hurts consumers, competition, free expression and civic engagement, and other criteria under a legal standard termed ‘commercial reasonableness’.”

But opponents of the scheme are vocal – indeed, proceedings today were interrupted twice by protesters, with many more outside, some of whom had camped there for days. Opponents of the proposals argue that allowing paid prioritization would make it harder for start-ups to enter the market and increase costs for consumers.

There were, though, two significant sops for the objectors. First, the proposal does ask the question as to whether paid prioritization should be banned outright – indeed, it includes a presumption that such arrangements are illegal unless the ISP can prove otherwise.

Second, the FCC is at least promising to consider whether broadband should be redefined as a public utility – so-called Title II authority. This would mean much tighter oversight than is currently possible under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

“This proposal from the FCC proves that the public is having an impact. After extensive public outcry, the FCC is asking questions about the fundamental legitimacy of fast lanes and exploring the viability of Title II,” says Michael Weinberg, vice president at Public Knowledge.

“This shift simply would not have occurred without the outpouring of concern from organizations, companies, Members of Congress, and individuals who rely on a truly open internet every day.”

The public can now comment on the proposals, here - and there are likely to be a few choice ones. But the US is appearing more and more out of step with the rest of the world on this issue, as shown by the recent votes in favor of net neutrality in both the European Union and Brazil. All in all, it’s encouraging to see quite so much up for discussion: the fat lady hasn’t sung yet.

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Submitted by EGrise on

One of the most interesting aspects of the reaction has been to watch Redditors propose the outright murder of the FCC chair, and get massively upvoted for doing so*. The legitimacy of our government (and therefore the consent of the governed) is being stripped away before our eyes; I wonder where it will take us?

* = Not that I would advocate such a thing, and certainly not with the NSA listening.

Barmitt O'Bamney's picture
Submitted by Barmitt O'Bamney on

Shoulda woulda coulda - yep. Democrats always want credit for their (alleged, mythical) good intentions. Republicans will stick a gun in your face, laugh and demand "Your Money!" But we Democrats are wistful when we rob. Love us for we are full of good intentions.

Submitted by lambert on

Time for this classic:

Adding... I see the point on Google, but is there an equivalent source with the depth of YouTube for music?

For example, I'm appalled -- but encouraged -- that this clip starts with an ad. But a lot of people must be looking at it!