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Is the FCC's ruling on net neutrality really a victory for a free and open internet?

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posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 12:18 AM
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It's worrying me that so many people think that the FCC's version of net neutrality is some sort of victory for a free and open internet.

Net neutrality activists score landmark victory in fight to govern the internet

Internet activists scored a landmark victory on Thursday as the top US telecommunications regulator approved a plan to govern broadband internet like a public utility.

Following one of the most intense – and bizarre – lobbying battles in the history of modern Washington politics, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed strict new rules that give the body its greatest power over the cable industry since the internet went mainstream.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler – a former telecom lobbyist turned surprise hero of net neutrality supporters – thanked the 4 million people who submitted comments on the new rules. “Your participation has made this the most open process in FCC history,” he said. “We listened and we learned.”


I believe in having a free and open internet too but I don't see how this "victory" would be a victory for anyone at all, especially in the long run.

I'm not left (liberal) or right (consertive) (I'm a bit of both depending on the issue at hand) and I think it's ridiculous how no one wants to consider the other side's opinion because each thinks the other is backward and doesn't know what they're talking about. *cue eye roll*

I wouldn't like any big corporation to be in charge of the internet but giving control over to the U.S government is worse. Considering that they've always been open to creating and enforcing legislation that benefits the big corporations over U.S citizens in the past and in the present, I find it extremely concerning that so many U.S citizens believe their government when they're told that their government is on their side and is fighting for them now. That the U.S gov is still secretly negotiating with big corporations over the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is evidence that the FCC's ruling on net neutrality is not a victory because the U.S government doesn't actually believe in a free and open internet and it's not on the side of its citizens.

For those who don't know what the TPP is:


What Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secretive, multinational trade agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe and rewrite international rules on its enforcement. The main problems are two-fold:

(1) Intellectual Property Chapter: Leaked draft texts of the agreement show that the IP chapter would have extensive negative ramifications for users’ freedom of speech, right to privacy and due process, and hinder peoples' abilities to innovate.

(2) Lack of Transparency: The entire process has shut out multi-stakeholder participation and is shrouded in secrecy.

The twelve nations currently negotiating the TPP are the US, Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and Brunei Darussalam. The TPP contains a chapter on intellectual property covering copyright, trademarks, and patents. Since the draft text of the agreement has never been officially released to the public, we know from leaked documents, such as the May 2014 draft of the TPP Intellectual Property Chapter [PDF], that US negotiators are pushing for the adoption of copyright measures far more restrictive than currently required by international treaties, including the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

The TPP Will Rewrite Global Rules on Intellectual Property Enforcement

All signatory countries will be required to conform their domestic laws and policies to the provisions of the Agreement. In the US, this is likely to further entrench controversial aspects of US copyright law (such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act [DMCA]) and restrict the ability of Congress to engage in domestic law reform to meet the evolving IP needs of American citizens and the innovative technology sector. The recently leaked US-proposed IP chapter also includes provisions that appear to go beyond current US law.

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement | Electronic Frontier Foundation

More about the TPP:


Why the TPP matters

In this report, we investigate the TPP and the impact it will have on your consumer rights and privacy. You'll find information on:


  1. the secrecy surrounding the TPP and details of how the media is being locked out of briefings
  2. how the Australian government could become more vulnerable to lawsuits from multinational corporations
  3. why food labelling in Australia is in danger
  4. how draconian copyright provisions could significantly curb our freedom online
  5. how extended monopoly provisions could make medication costs skyrocket
  6. CHOICE's campaign on the TPP.


CHOICE is calling for the TPP text to be released before a final agreement is signed.



Why haven't you heard more about it?

The TPP has been shrouded in secrecy, with negotiations happening behind closed doors and non-disclosure agreements securing the negotiators' silence. And while CHOICE has met with several of those involved in drafting the agreement and even attended meetings with negotiators at a round of negotiations held in Malaysia in 2013 (we were permitted to have our say, but could only guess at the contents of the agreement in order to raise our objections), we still don't know what the final agreement will contain. Because of the secrecy, which began under the previous Labor government and has continued under the Coalition, any public knowledge about the TPP is based on leaked drafts and statements made by those involved.

The kicker? Hundreds of "cleared advisors" – a group comprising industry lobbyists from the US – have had access to the full drafts of the TPP, while public interest groups like CHOICE have been kept in the dark. Even our politicians don't get to see the TPP until it's finalised and amendments can't be made.

TPP secretly trading away your rights - Consumer rights and advice - CHOICE

The TTIP is much the same as the TPP. See here for more details.

What do you think, ATS? Do you still think that the FCC's ruling on net neutrality is a victory for a free and open internet?




posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 12:25 AM
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a reply to: Sparkly_Eyed777

I see it as a double-edged sword. I'm mostly pessimistic, because we've allowed the government to get its foot in the door. No telling what 'mods' are going to be allowed in the future. Give the government an inch and they _will_ take a mile.



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 12:43 AM
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people got too distracted by that stupid "color of the dress" debate, that's all there is to it.
the fcc made that 300 page document regulating neutrality, a document that cannot be made public.
but it doesn't matter because THAT DRESS!
the same people that get distracted by shiny objects are the same that will then complain about government oppression.



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 12:51 AM
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a reply to: Sparkly_Eyed777

No matter how benign it may seem I'm always worried when the government regulates something or changes the way they regulate. I always wonder what the end game is. Terrible to be so cynical.



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 02:25 AM
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originally posted by: IShotMyLastMuse
people got too distracted by that stupid "color of the dress" debate, that's all there is to it.
the fcc made that 300 page document regulating neutrality, a document that cannot be made public.
but it doesn't matter because THAT DRESS!
the same people that get distracted by shiny objects are the same that will then complain about government oppression.


I don't know, at least we could see that dress, colors aside.



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 02:58 AM
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Why is this so hard for people to understand???

What was done was the best of the two options. It wasn't about Big Corp. vs. The people with the people winning. It was Big Telecom vs. Everyone else (Including other Big Corp.). The best option which was to leave everything alone was gone once this all started happening so it's not like there was much choice. Because Big Telecom. wanted to control the net, which is bad for everyone but them, something needed to be done, there was no other way around it.

Something might happen down the road, that is possible, but right now we have what we've had up to this point which is good for us, the people. The Gov. didn't do it for us and we know that. They did it because all the other Big Corps. like Google and many many others also had the money and influence to win (pay) for their side to win over the Big Telecoms. That's why it went down like it did. We aren't fooling ourselves into thinking the Gov. is on our side. We just happened to be on the same side opposed to the Big Telecoms, that's it.

I don't know why everyone keeps saying all this BS as if we don't know what's up. We know the how's and why's this happened and you should be happy about it, at least for now. If something changes later we'll deal with it then but like I said it wasn't a choice. If you want to blame someone blame the Big Telecoms. for starting this whole mess in the first place instead of just leaving it alone. It's not a left vs. Right thing either. It's Big Business against Big Business using the Gov. as the Judge. The people just got lucky this time. Doesn't mean it will always be that way, but we got as lucky as we could this far. Let's hope it stays this way. But trust me, if it went the other way the Internet as you once new it would be gone and what was left would have been McModernized and Corporatized in to a totally "Pay to Play" Suck Fest!



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 05:14 AM
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originally posted by: mOjOm
Why is this so hard for people to understand???


I haven't said much on this topic because most of the threads involving it have been alarmist. To me it was pointless to push against it because it was going to happen, as everything that the president wants seems to happen now. I've read many of the threads though. There's nothing hard to understand. I know what you're frustrated about, but not everybody is removed from the facts of the issue.


originally posted by: mOjOm
We know the how's and why's this happened and you should be happy about it, at least for now. If something changes later we'll deal with it then but like I said it wasn't a choice.


I'm not happy about it. I don't like it. The government scares me when they change they way they do things because they seem to pretty consistently change things in a way that suits them and their constant quest for more power. Maybe it's the best option. Maybe we didn't have a choice. Isn't that a shame that, like our elections seem to be more and more, we just don't have a real choice. We're forced to assess what is less detrimental to us. We just have to accept it and we'll deal with things if they get worse later. The problem is we never do deal with it. Instead the chips seem to keep stacking on the other side of the poker table and we're slowing being leaned on. Eventually we'll be completely out of the game and will lose what little power we have left.

In this instance other companies and interests were aligned with the interests of the people. As you said, for now at least. When it suits them they'll once again be the ones leaning on us via their corporate sponsorship of our government. I don't believe for one second that the power of the internet is something tptb will overlook much longer. Just a little more wiggling of their foot in the door. It can be this, it can be the Affordable Care Act where the government is wiggling it's foot in the door with what will eventually be dictation of what is covered and what isn't based on political appointees, or it can be anything else where they proclaim to be protecting us.

Like dealing with children the best way to avoid a difficult meltdown is to give a choice. Do you want to take your medicine now or after you clean your room? Then there is a choice, even though in the end the choice isn't about taking our medicine it's about when we take it.

We had no choice. It doesn't mean I have to like it.
edit on 4-3-2015 by Ksihkehe because: typo



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 06:46 AM
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originally posted by: mOjOm
Something might happen down the road, that is possible


Unfortunately, that is where you are wrong. It's not a matter of if but when now unless we can stop it. Which doesn't look likely to be possible if the majority of people are celebrating about "saving the internet" and arguing over a dress.

The internet is not yet saved. Considering that the TPP contains provisions related to copyright infringement and will give control over to powerful media groups who will then have the power to take legal action over those it claims infringe upon copyright, the battle isn't over. It's not the big telecom's challenging the FCC that you need to focus on and take action against. After all, the TPP is expected to be finalised this year.

According to Australian's Trade Minister, Andrew Robb, the

agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership could be just weeks away.
Source - Trade Minister Andrew Robb says Trans-Pacific Partnership deal could be struck within weeks
And that article was published almost a month ago on the 5 Feb 2015. I don't think it's a coincidence that the FCC's ruling comes at a time when the TPP negotiations are almost coming to a close...

Apparently the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative chief agricultural negotiator, Darci Vetter, is confirming what our Trade Minister Andrew Robb has said more or less, according to Farm Futures:


Darci Vetter, chief agricultural negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, says that negotiations are “entering the end game” although the timeline will be decided when tough issues can be resolved.

Source: TPP negotiations entering 'end game'


I don't know why everyone keeps saying all this BS as if we don't know what's up.


I don't think you, or anyone who thinks the FCC's ruling is a victory, do know what's up if you think what I'm saying is BS.


We know the how's and why's this happened and you should be happy about it, at least for now.


Doesn't look like we'll have much time to celebrate...


If something changes later we'll deal with it then but like I said it wasn't a choice.


Like I said, it's not a matter of if but when.


The people just got lucky this time.


Unfortunately they haven't. I wish what you stated was true, I really, really do but luck has nothing to do with it.


Doesn't mean it will always be that way, but we got as lucky as we could this far. Let's hope it stays this way. But trust me, if it went the other way the Internet as you once new it would be gone and what was left would have been McModernized and Corporatized in to a totally "Pay to Play" Suck Fest!


It's looking very likely that the scenario you described will still take place. Except it won't just be our internet freedoms that we lose. We also stand to lose our freedoms in other areas thanks to big business and Big Pharma.

For example, prices for medicine have been forecast to go up:

Medicines forecast to cost taxpayers millions more in secret TPP trade deal

The most recently leaked draft of the international trade deal includes provisions proposed by the US that would further protect the monopoly pharmaceutical companies hold over drugs, and delay cheaper versions from entering the market, the Medical Journal of Australia report says.
Emphasis mine.

See even the Medical Journal of Australia, a very reputable, peer-reviewed journal, has concerns about the TPP and that there isn't a lot of time left. They're not prone to flights of fancy, fear-mongering, being uninformed or spreading BS. Here's an article directly from their website:

What doctors should know about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement


As a new-style agreement, the TPPA has greater potential to affect domestic health policy and, ultimately, the quality of health services and public health.3 For example, leaked documents show that an investor–state dispute settlement mechanism is being negotiated for the TPPA. This enables foreign investors — including companies that manufacture, market and distribute health-damaging products — to directly seek compensation from governments for policies that negatively affect them.


The Australian Medical Association is also concerned:

Looming trade deal could be a health hazard: AMA

Australia must reject provisions in the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement that could undermine the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and compromise the ability of governments to improve public health, according to the AMA.

As secretive negotiations of the TPP drag out, the AMA has voiced fears the proposed trade deal is out of balance and advances commercial interests at the expense of patient health.



The TPP has been the focus of increasing international concern because of ambitious and far-reaching clauses that are seen to serve the interests of major corporations, particularly in the US.

Among the most controversial provisions are investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) procedures that would enable corporations to mount legal action against government policies and laws they felt harmed the value of their investment or future profits.


Again I quote from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) article on the TPP:


(1) Intellectual Property Chapter: Leaked draft texts of the agreement show that the IP chapter would have extensive negative ramifications for users’ freedom of speech, right to privacy and due process, and hinder peoples' abilities to innovate.
Emphasis mine.

That does not sound like a free and open internet to me.

The TPP is all about advancing commercial interests. I seriously hope that the TPP isn't fast-tracked and that it doesn't come to pass but it's looking more and more likely as time passes.



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 06:49 AM
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I think some people are missing the point. The current situation isn't ideal by a long way, but it was a choice between a very bad thing and a very very bad thing - it was the lesser of two evils. It's doesn't mean it's time to sit back and relax by a long way, but it's not 'bad' in that it could have been worse.



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 07:00 AM
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a reply to: AgentSmith


it was a choice between a very bad thing and a very very bad thing - it was the lesser of two evils.


I disagree. Winning against the big telecom's wasn't the lesser of two evils because either way U.S consumers will not get a good deal, in fact it will likely be worse if we can't stop the TPP from coming to pass. Activists would have been better off campaigning against the TPP instead.



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 07:20 AM
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a reply to: Sparkly_Eyed777

It was a lose/lose situation for the public

Either the corporations win and begin regulating the internet. Or the government wins and begins regulating the internet.

You should be worried. We all knew what the corporations wanted to do. But nobody knows what the government will end up doing. All you can be sure of is it will end up costing you money and restricting your freedoms. They threw the bait by telling everyone they would not allow corporations to create "fast lanes". This made people side with the FCC

But the fact that they wont make their 300 page document public should be setting off alarm bells.

What we want is for the internet to just be left alone and neither of these tyrants getting involved.
edit on 1321Wednesday212015-03-04T07:21:13-06:002113 3 by Silicis n Volvo because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 07:27 AM
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originally posted by: Silicis n Volvo
a reply to: Sparkly_Eyed777

It was a lose/lose situation for the public

Either the corporations win and begin regulating the internet. Or the government wins and begins regulating the internet.

You should be worried. We all knew what the corporations wanted to do. But nobody knows what the government will end up doing. All you can be sure of is it will end up costing you money and restricting your freedoms. They threw the bait by telling everyone they would not allow corporations to create "fast lanes". This made people side with the FCC

But the fact that they wont make their 300 page document public should be setting off alarm bells.

What we want is for the internet to just be left alone and neither of these tyrants getting involved.


Apparently and according to the FCC the document itself is only 8 pages with the rest being responses to public submissions, and the delay is "because the two Republican commissioners, Ajit Pai and Mike O’Rielly—who oppose net neutrality of any sort—have refused to submit basic edits on the order".



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 09:24 AM
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a reply to: Sparkly_Eyed777

Just had time to skim. Sorry. So in simple terms, how does it work? ...Does international law (trade agreements) trump national law and neutralize net neutrality?






IMPORTANT - F&S&



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 09:45 AM
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a reply to: Sparkly_Eyed777

I personally believe it was the right decision.

So far, since the birth of the internet, it has been considered neutral. Internet neutrality has always an unwritten rule. Although several corporations have started to take advantage of it in order to make more profit, which is intolerable, at least in my eyes. If we wanted to remove such option from the corporation, the rule must not be unwritten, but written and without any loopholes. That is why internet neutrality had to be established as a law, as something written on paper.

I am not from united states, but from a small country in EU. Last year internet neutrality law went through in EU. At least so far, there have been no negative effects. I personally pay around 35 dollars for 400 mbit/s internet. Prices have not risen, no limits have been set etc. Internet neutrality was always there, but as it was not written as a law, some saw opportunities to rise their profits on the expense of the users and small website owners. That is why it had to be established as a law to remove such possibility.

I personally as an internet user/website owner would never tolerate the possiblity that some ISP would charge more so that certain websites or my personal website would load faster for me/the user. If internet neutrality did not exist, corporations would take over the internet. It would basically kill small business, as well as start up companies, as they are never able to match the amount paid by the corporations.



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 09:50 AM
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originally posted by: IShotMyLastMuse
people got too distracted by that stupid "color of the dress" debate, that's all there is to it.
the fcc made that 300 page document regulating neutrality, a document that cannot be made public.
but it doesn't matter because THAT DRESS!
the same people that get distracted by shiny objects are the same that will then complain about government oppression.


It's 8 pages long. The rest are comments from the American people. The reason that it isn't being released is the fault of the GOP. The same bozos telling you that this decision is bad.



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 10:22 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t

originally posted by: IShotMyLastMuse
people got too distracted by that stupid "color of the dress" debate, that's all there is to it.
the fcc made that 300 page document regulating neutrality, a document that cannot be made public.
but it doesn't matter because THAT DRESS!
the same people that get distracted by shiny objects are the same that will then complain about government oppression.


It's 8 pages long. The rest are comments from the American people. The reason that it isn't being released is the fault of the GOP. The same bozos telling you that this decision is bad.


I pointed that out too, watch as either the thread dies and everything migrates to another - or irrelevant posts are made long enough for a new page to start so they can 'not notice' these inconvenient facts.



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 10:26 AM
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a reply to: AgentSmith

It's amazing how many threads are being made on this issue, and in every single one in comes a bunch of people spewing the same lies and half-truths that have been debunked already. Then the thread goes on long enough and in comes a new batch saying the same stuff. Like do people even CARE about being properly informed anymore?



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 10:55 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Nope, just look at most threads on here or any other forum. In fact to be fair this is the best one still out of alternative topic forums. Even worse though than any forum, check Twitter.

Bearing in mind I'm not in the US so while it's important I haven't been keeping up to date with it on a daily basis, when I read that it was 300 pages and not being released to the public I was whaaaaa?
But 5 - 10 seconds later and I was reading the facts... So it's not hard.

People really don't care about accuracy - they want to be angry, they want to hate authority and they won't let anything stand in the way of it.



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 03:53 PM
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what about the 300 pages of regulation that we are not allowed to see?

Isn't that a problem?



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 03:56 PM
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originally posted by: John_Rodger_Cornman
what about the 300 pages of regulation that we are not allowed to see?

Isn't that a problem?


It isn't 300 pages. It's 8 pages plus 292 pages of comments from the public. Read the whole thread...



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