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What You Should Know About Net Neutrality

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posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 12:32 PM
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I realize that over the last few years, there has been an abundance of threads about net neutrality but based on comments I've been reading regarding the recent FCC vote, it's apparent to me that as with many other issues, a large number of people have foregone critical thought in favor of blind acceptance of political propaganda.

By this point, people should be familiar with the concept of net neutrality but for those who are not:

Wikipedia - Net Neutrality

Net neutrality (also network neutrality, Internet neutrality, or net equality) is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication. The term was coined by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu in 2003 as an extension of the longstanding concept of a common carrier.


In essence, all Internet traffic should be treated the same by ISPs. Sounds pretty straightforward doesn't it?

Anti-Net Neutrality Alarmist Propaganda

What really set me off was reading some of the appalling propaganda that has been published in the last week or so. The following from WND encapsulates the gist of the anti-net neutrality propaganda:


Faster than you can say, “you’ll have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it,” we’ve got government-controlled Internet. And poof, just like that another freedom for citizens has been made to disappear by Swami Obama.

Last week the FCC ruled in favor of Net Neutrality, which is anything but – according to the two opposing FCC commissioners who, dare I say, are heroes who tried to alert the public as to the tyranny once again about to be forced upon us for the sake of the greater good. Ajit Pai and Mike O’Reilly, the two Republican commissioners, said that these new rules will crush innovation, increases taxes and fees and finally give the FCC policing power over the Internet. This isn’t Net Neutrality; it’s net brutality!


The last bit about "policing power" is very important because this has become the largest argument against net neutrality that I've come across. Like many others, the author is setting up a false dichotomy: regulating ISPs is censorship, lack of regulation is freedom. Here's Rush Limbaugh promulgating the same censorship myth yesterday:


Like there is the ability for Obama -- the Regime, administration, government, regulatory agencies -- to regulate content. I knew it. I had a conversation with some people about this years ago.

The big concern from opponents of net neutrality was just that, that what was actually being set up here was a government regulatory agency that would police content and make sure that every point of view had equal access. It would be the same thing as if the government could regulate cable TV. Here's Fox News at #1, and MSNBC at #25. "Well, that's not fair! That's not neutral. That's not equal."

So if there were a government agency that could regulate the audiences for Fox News, they would see to it that Fox lost some audience and that MSNBC picked some up. That's what they want to do with the Internet.


I would like to say that most people know that Rush is a clown, but his ratings prove otherwise. Anyone listening to this who accepted his atrociously bad and misleading analogy would understandably be alarmed but it's clear that Rush Limbaugh, despite speaking with authority, has absolutely no idea what he's talking about. Firstly, the FCC does in fact regulate cable TV. Secondly, an appropriate analogy would be that MSNBC couldn't pay Comcast to drop Fox News or deliver their broadcasts in such poor quality that subscribers wouldn't bother tuning in. How do I know that this is exactly what ISPs want the power to do with the Internet? Glad you asked!

Editorial Discretion IS Censorship

Consider the arguments put forth by Verizon against net neutrality in 2012. From Ars Technica:


But Verizon believes that even if Congress had authorized network neutrality regulations, those regulations would be unconstitutional under the First Amendment. "Broadband networks are the modern-day microphone by which their owners [e.g. Verizon] engage in First Amendment speech," Verizon writes.

Verizon believes that it's entitled to the same kind of control over the content that flows through its network as newspaper editors exercise over what appears in their papers. That includes the right to prioritize its own content, or those of its partners, over other Internet traffic.

"Although broadband providers have generally exercised their discretion to allow all content in an undifferentiated manner, they nonetheless possess discretion that these rules preclude them from exercising," Verizon writes. "The FCC’s concern that broadband providers will differentiate among various content presumes that they will exercise editorial discretion."

Verizon points to a 1994 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that regulations requiring cable television providers to carry broadcast television channels triggered First Amendment scrutiny. By the same token, Verizon says, network neutrality rules trigger First Amendment concerns by restricting broadband providers' rights to allocate more bandwidth to some content than to others.


Read this carefully. The claim made be Verizon is that they have a First Amendment right to censor Internet traffic received by their customers. They could not possibly state their position more clearly. Not surprisingly, the self-proclaimed lovers of freedom at the Cato Institute side with Verizon:


We first argue that the FCC order violates broadband providers’ First Amendment rights by compelling speech, forcing them to transmit messages from content providers that they might not wish to convey, preventing them from transmitting messages they want to convey, prohibiting them from exercising editorial discretion, and generally restricting the mode and content of their communications.


This goes way beyond whether or not content providers like Netflix will be extorted by Comcast into paying Comcast or face throttling, this is about ISPs believing that they have a right to censor the Internet and determine which sites subscribers will be given access to.

The implications of this should be self evident.
edit on 2015-3-3 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 12:38 PM
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Um it is called ObamaNet, please get it right!

Great thread, S&F



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 12:41 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

The right at this point disproves of the government's actions first then makes up a reason why later.


+9 more 
posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 12:43 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: theantediluvian

The right at this point disproves of the government's actions first then makes up a reason why later.



while left fabricates hypothetical situations and uses coolcatch phrases in order to pass legislation that they wont let any of the public read.......

And the left eat it up like the useful idiots they are



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 12:51 PM
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a reply to: ManBehindTheMask

The left has its own problems and were pretty bad for the last so many years, but right now it is ALL right wing nonsense that I'm seeing. I make no excuses for the left's actions. I was right there with many on the right during Obamacare's implementation as well as trying to protect the 2nd Amendment after Sandy Hook, but dammit not everything the left does is bad! Just like not everything the right does is bad. I'm getting tired of seeing the blind hate for anything that Obama or the left does. It is getting ridiculous.



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 01:08 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

I had always assumed that net neutrality would enjoy bipartisan support because the impact of ISP censorship is equally bad for everyone, regardless of party. This doesn't seem to be the case and it's not just that they're against net neutrality via FCC regulation, the Republican "hero" Ajit Pai has stated on numerous occasions that he doesn't see the problem that any net neutrality legislation would fix.


+3 more 
posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 01:11 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

you can call it rightwing nonsense all you want...........

WHat you cant deny is that AGAIN the left in this country allowed NON ELECTED OFFICIALS pass something when NO ONE knew what was in it except..........wait for it........

A few of those mega corporations you guys want the bill to protect you against........yeah THEY HELPED WRITE IT.....

Again useful idiots



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 01:15 PM
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Personally I think this whole net neutrality deal is simply a power grab by Google. What I don't understand is why they promised to ramp up their efforts to start throwing up fiber if the bill passed.

I also find it quite suspicious that now that they got what they wanted, they're considering ranking websites by the amount of "truth" they contain rather than how popular they are. I'm curious as to how that would effect a site such as this one.



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 01:17 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

This is why I said they disagree first then make up reasons why later. If you actually think about the argument before disagreeing then you may actually think it's a good idea and god forbid SUPPORT Obama, and we can't have that now.
edit on 3-3-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 01:20 PM
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a reply to: ManBehindTheMask

Do you think that Comcast was in the right to throttle Netflix then?



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 01:22 PM
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I a reply to: Krazysh0t

Perhaps if Obama was even half as transparent as he promised to be, we could make an informed decision as to whether or not we support his efforts.



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 01:23 PM
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originally posted by: Bone75
I also find it quite suspicious that now that they got what they wanted, they're considering ranking websites by the amount of "truth" they contain rather than how popular they are. I'm curious as to how that would effect a site such as this one.


No they aren't.



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 01:25 PM
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a reply to: Bone75

I don't care if you are critical or not of Obama or that you don't like him. I don't like many of his policies. I just care that you are honest about your dislike. Don't dislike his policy JUST because he endorsed it. Look at what it does and why it is being implemented.


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posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 01:27 PM
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originally posted by: ManBehindTheMask
you can call it rightwing nonsense all you want...........


Is this right wing nonsense? Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, Supports Obama on NetNeutrality

Way back in 2005 -- yes, nine years ago -- Justice Scalia, perhaps the most conservative justice in recent memory, had this dissent: National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. v. Brand X Internet Services wrote that "the Federal Communications Commission should classify broadband providers as a more heavily regulated Title II telecommunications service."

“After all is said and done, after all the regulatory cant has been translated, and the smoke of agency expertise blown away, it remains perfectly clear that someone who sells cable-modem service is ‘offering’ telecommunications.”


At the same time, President Bush supported the need for reclassification, but "kicked the bucket down the road" a few years to see if the broadband providers could solve data neutrality on their own. They couldn't. So now we're implementing the same thing the conservatives espoused nine years ago.


History -- it's good to know.



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 01:27 PM
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a reply to: ManBehindTheMask


pass legislation that they wont let any of the public read


This is the procedure that the FCC has used for adopting new regulation since at least the early 70's.

I'm not defending the procedure, but implying that there is something sinister afoot simply because the regulations haven't been published yet only shows that you don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about. Perhaps a little effort to obtain information beyond what's being spoon fed to you by propagandists would help?


And the left eat it up like the useful idiots they are


Ironic considering the fact that you're regurgitating invalid talking points you picked up from the echo chamber.


+3 more 
posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 01:29 PM
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originally posted by: Bone75
Perhaps if Obama was even half as transparent as he promised to be, we could make an informed decision as to whether or not we support his efforts.

The FCC opened up the issue for public comments months ago, along with detailed descriptions on what a Net Neutrality plan would look like.

There was overwhelming support, with over four million comments in favor of net neutrality.



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 01:36 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian




I had always assumed that net neutrality would enjoy bipartisan support because the impact of ISP censorship is equally bad for everyone, regardless of party.


It is bipartisan, neither the GOP , the DNC or even the FCC want it , despite what they say. If you looked at previous language used in the proposed legislation by democrats it was not net neutrality.

The only reason this passed was not because its good for the consumer or that the consumer wants it, it was because we were lucky that Two oligopolies had opposing business models on the internet. Eitherwise it would have been dead long ago.

Anyone that is not for net neutrality does not understand what it is nor what the internet is or they have some biased agenda to trash talk it.



edit on 37331America/ChicagoTue, 03 Mar 2015 13:37:37 -0600up3142 by interupt42 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 01:48 PM
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What you omit in your post is. The Dems could have easily held public hearings addressing all the issues from the little guys as well as the big...ALL IN THE OPEN.

Thus avoiding this criticism.

Withholding the regulations from public view merely adds to the perception of 'business as usual' by Obama and Co.

Let's be honest here. The left, when in power under Obama, cite some injustice, large, small, it doesn't matter, then use that as some moral right to completely take over that area with or without Congressional agreement or public vote on that issue.

Arrogance continued. Another nail in the Democrat coffin more Control by the Feds-and as in the IRS- used to further their own agenda.

Rush is completely right. Your spin not withstanding....



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 01:50 PM
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a reply to: interupt42


The only reason this passed was not because its good for the consumer or that they want it, it was because we were lucky that Two oligopolies had opposing business models on the internet.


This is a good point. As much as I'd like to believe that protecting an open Internet and the free speech of the millions of Americans who express themselves on it would be reason enough or even the record number of comments from citizens to the FCC, the timeline suggests that it took a coalition of mega tech companies.



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 02:10 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

"A coalition of mega tech companies" BACKED BY OBAMA......



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