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Seeking the advice and input of ATS members on an important issue...

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posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:08 PM
I agree that we must do something to preserve our freedoms on the internet as well as elsewhere..

...the threat is very real and seems very likely to become worse.

You have my full support with taking action for net neutrality.

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:09 PM

Originally posted by Alethea

Still, you are voting in favor of giving up your freedom of choice!

Nonsense! You choose by not going to the site. You still have choice. You are here because you chose to be here. You were not magically transported here. What you are really saying here is you don't think sites like ATS should be able to earn a living. That's OK, but they will all shut down. Is that what you truly want?

The downside of being anti-capitalism is you will loose many of the services you use now. You will have less choice. Quality will go down. You can kiss sites like this one goodbye forever.

No ad has ever jumped off a computer screen and caused me any harm. They are easily ignored and only people not of reasonable sensitivities are bothered by them. Third party cookies are harmless and anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong or lying.

Do you personally want ATS and other sites shut down??? Is that what you are saying?

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:10 PM
I intend to be active against this legislation whether ATS does as an organization or not.

But, yes I think ATS should formalize action to resist and protest this and all other political activity that challenges and attempts to erode the personal and professional liberties that I and many of my fellow ATS'ers have spent a great deal of our lives defending.

Not to mention most of our ancestors and the rest of the truthfully informed population of the planet.

We can no longer solely rely upon the original framework of this constitutional representative republic to protect us from the gross malfeasance towards constituents represented by this and many other pieces of excrement we see attempts being made to enact into law under the guise of "protecting" the very liberties it usurps.

This means doing much more than just venting on this or other online venues. It's past time to not only say "no more" but to actively seek out all avenues to restore what we allowed to be taken from us for the last 75 years.

For me, if we are not being a part of the solution, we are definitely a part of the problem. So, lead, follow, or move over.

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:11 PM
Just show me where to sign!!!

Our freedom is becoming a thing of the past!!

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:11 PM
You have my support in the petition.

I'll get behind anything that fights the limitation of free speech and information.

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:12 PM
Where do I sign?
And Mr BooCherry will be receiving a letter from me..directly.

Your Honorable Sir,
I am concerned and sharing that concern with you in regards to the internet regulation you are proposing. I ask that you consider the enormous amount of small and mid size internet companies that you will be forcing out of business, The intent to protect, may in fact do more harm to the citizens of our country.
I have read your proposal, and I would ask that you reconsider proceeding, without first gathering more and as much information as possible, perhaps from as many internet business' and forums as you can. Please do not do any thing that would impinge any of our constitutional freedoms, our rights, the ability to make a living and provide, and anything that would tarnish your image or have you remembered in an ill fashion. Thank you and respect to you sir.

(there ya go)

[edit on 25-11-2009 by HappilyEverAfter]

[edit on 25-11-2009 by HappilyEverAfter]

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:13 PM
You know, it warms the heart to see a whole bunch of conspiracy nutters like ourselves rise up to protect something called a "tracking cookie" ... I guess we can tell the difference between what something is called and what it actually does.

We're smart!

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:15 PM
I hate to be the sour pickle... but online petitions never work.

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:15 PM
Damn Yankees off they go again wanting to police the world for the good of...........errrmm..........oh yeah them truthful people known as politicians.

Sign me up.

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:21 PM
Count me in; I knew it was a matter of time before our government would find a way to gain control of information. If this bill passes, then we should start a new internet services just like dial up where the government has no control. (Just an idea)
I will be happy to help signing a petition.

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:22 PM
reply to post by SkepticOverlord

Unfortunately, this is only one front of the attack:

Ever hear about the "Consumer Financial Protection Agency"?

Consumer protection agency moves ahead

A key House committee on Thursday approved the most high-profile part of the White House plan to prevent future financial collapse: The creation of a new agency to regulate consumer financial products.

As you read about this effort, it quickly becomes apparent that this is one of the largest legislative overhauls and expansion of regulatory authority since the New Deal.

Why will this impact ATS?

Let's start with what this new agency will likely cover:


Below is a short list of people and businesses that are not traditional financial institutions but would likely be subject to regulation and oversight by the proposed CFPA:

1. Churches and faith-based organizations (who perform credit counseling)
2. Funeral providers (who extend credit)
3. Executors of Estates and other wealth management and trust services (custodians of money)
4. Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman and Ric Edelman (financial adviser is included in the definition of "financial activity")
5. Casinos and other gambling facilities (who extend credit)
6. PayPal and Western Union
7. Colleges, Universities and non-profit organizations (for administering a financial literacy program)
8. Landlords and real estate agents (the leasing of real property is considered a "financial activity")
9. Wal-Mart, Target, Macy's and other retail stores (who extend credit)
10. Starbucks, Chili's, Applebee's and other restaurants (who sale or issue stored value cards)
11. Payday Lenders
12. Avis, Budget and Enterprise (the leasing of personal property is considered a "financial activity")
13. Attorneys and Escrow Companies (as custodians of money or any financial instrument)
14. CPAs and Attorneys (for tax planning and preparing)
15. Chicago Title (real estate settlement activities are included in the definition of "financial activity")
16. Advertising Agencies (marketing or advertising financial products are included in the definition of "financial activity")
17. Pawn shops
18. And the catchall -"Any other activity that the Agency defines, by rule, as a financial activity."


As you dig deeper into the legislation, it becomes very clear that websites that serve-up third party advertising on any covered financial product or service also become subject to the regulatory authority of the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Even threads that can be deemed to provide 'financial advice' would suck ATS in.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is scheduled to start markup on H.R. 3126, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act on Thursday. The bill has passed the House Financial Services Committee. If the legislation is enacted as is, it would have serious implications for the advertising industry.

The bill as written would transfer much of the regulatory authority for financial products and services from the Federal Trade Commission to the new CFPA. However, the FTC would retain some authority in financial products and services matters. The bill would greatly expand the regulatory authority of both agencies. For example:

* The bill would grant the new CFPA rulemaking authority under the vague and unclear "unfairness" standard. This goes beyond the current authority of the FTC which was rightly limited by Congress.
* The FTC would be given greatly expedited rulemaking authority, doing away with many of the rigorous safeguards currently in place.
* The Commission would be granted expanded "aiding and abetting" authority that could implicate both advertising agencies and the media.

In addition, H.R. 3126 would give the states authority to enforce regulations adopted by the CFPA and enact their own, even stricter, laws. Financial advertisers could be subject to regulation by the CFPA, the FTC and numerous states under different and potentially contradictory standards.


Don't you just love the "aiding and abetting" concept?

Look at the corresponding shiny new toys the FTC gets:

The Federal Trade Commission would get new powers to oversee and punish companies that run afoul of its rules as part of a financial-services oversight bill currently before Congress, a further step in the Obama administration’s beefing up of the U.S. regulatory machinery.

The provision, which has reached this point virtually unnoticed by all but a few lobbyists and interest groups, will be debated in the House Energy and Commerce Committee Thursday.

The legislation, if approved, would strengthen the FTC by allowing the agency to craft regulations more quickly and enhance its ability to impose civil penalties on companies. It would also allow the agency to take action against companies “aiding and abetting” unfair or deceptive business practices, not just the original perpetrator, according to people familiar with the legislation.


The FTC is charged with protecting consumers from unfair or deceptive trade practices, having begun as an antitrust enforcer. Its authority covers a wide range of companies and industries, from Internet marketers to consumer-products manufacturers.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the FTC, will vote on the legislation Thursday. Democrats hold a large majority on the committee and are expected to approve it. It then must pass the full House and Senate.

“It’s the most significant expansion of the FTC since its inception, so it’s a pretty big deal,” said Timothy Muris, who served as chairman of the agency from 2001 to 2004.

Jim Miller, an agency chairman from 1981 to 1985, said the legislation “is like putting the FTC on steroids.”


The legislation has caught most industry lobbyists flat-footed as they focus their attention on a high-profile fight over legislation to create a new federal regulatory agency to oversee consumer-oriented financial products. Industry lobbyists have held dozens of meetings in the past few months to plot strategy for defeating the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent more than $2 million on advertisements opposing the agency.

Daniel Jaffe, the executive vice president for the Association of National Advertisers, the advertising industry’s oldest trade association, said “one if the problems when you create a mega-agency like the [new financial-services agency] is that people don’t notice the impact on the FTC.”

The two biggest changes pushed by the Obama administration and House leaders would simplify the FTC’s complex rule-making procedures and toughen its enforcement powers over companies.

Currently, much of the FTC’s rule-making authority is subject to a special set of requirements that create high hurdles, which date from the 1970s. On some occasions, “it’s taken eight or nine years or more just to write a rule,” said Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a liberal consumer advocacy group.

The other big change would beef up the FTC’s power to collect civil penalties. Currently for many first-time violations, the FTC can only obtain consent decrees against companies that engage in unfair or deceptive practices. It can require civil penalties only if the company later violates the consent decree. Under the proposal, the FTC would be allowed to seek civil penalties for many first-time violations.

Dem-Controlled Congress Seeks To Strengthen FTC’s Powers Through Financial Overhaul Bill


According to the draft legislation...

* 1) Give the agency broad authority to write rules about services or products including:
a. Deposit-taking activities
b. Extending credit and servicing loans (this could include mortgages, credit cards, etc.)
c. Check-guaranty services
d. Collecting, providing, or analyzing consumer report information
e. Providing real estate settlement services, including title insurance
f. Leasing personal or real property
g. Investment advisers that aren’t already regulated by the CFTC or SEC
h. Processing financial data
i. Sale or issuance of stored value cards
j. Acting as a money service business
k. And any other activity the agency defines as a rule, except for most types of insurance, which are exempt.

* 3) Appropriate money to run the agency while also allowing the agency to collect annual fees or assessments from companies it supervises. The bill would also establish a victim’s relief fund for penalties collected by the agency.


* 6) Ensure that any rule adopted by the new agency would new preempt state law “if State law provides greater protection for consumers.”

* 7) Allow state attorneys general would be allowed to bring law suits for violations of new federal rules.

* 8) Allow the new agency to file subpoenas to collect information for the companies they oversee.


Feel really threatened yet?

It almost seems hopeless.

But keep up the good fight!

[edit on 25-11-2009 by loam]

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:23 PM

Originally posted by RoyalCanadian
I hate to be the sour pickle... but online petitions never work.

...normally when no one signs them.

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:23 PM

Originally posted by schrodingers dog
You know, it warms the heart to see a whole bunch of conspiracy nutters like ourselves rise up to protect something called a "tracking cookie" ... I guess we can tell the difference between what something is called and what it actually does.

We're smart!

I really love this show of support here. And by the way...I'll walk around spewing Blossom Goodchild rhetoric too if it would...

Big Media meets Interactive Media.

They don't have a chance.

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:23 PM

Originally posted by schrodingers dog
... I guess we can tell the difference between what something is called and what it actually does...

Well, what it's called IS what it does...

...A "3rd party tracking cookie" tracks what sites we've visited so specific banner ads relevant to our interests are displayed on sites like ATS.

Like I said in a previous post, it's not a coincidence that I now get a lot of hotel ad banners on internet sites after I visited a couple of hotel websites last week. The tracking cookie tracked my internet usage and are now displaying banner ads on my computer directed at ME.

I'm only saying that this is not an awful thing, and is a reasonable "price to pay" to have free content.

[edit on 11/25/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:25 PM

Such a petition effort would cross the line of our stated principals of limiting advocacy within the borders of ATS, but I think this is a vitally important issue of concern to our members and the thousands of small website on which you find inspiration.

If the big boss owners of this site can't break their own rules to save this site, the what's the point of their being the big boss owners.

This is definately an extraordinary situation which requires immidiate action.

You have my full support.

Please keep us apprised on how to sign the petition and further developments in this matter.

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:27 PM
Rick Boucher is one of the most approachable members of congress. He is rated A+ by the NRA. He voted no to Obamacare. Call the man's office and explain your concerns. This is the Abington office #. 276-628-1145. Yes you'll talk to an aide but if you do a good job expressing your opinion there's a good chance he'll call you back. I saw him Monday I wish I had know I would have said something to him. Not that I am anybody special but I do deal with him on occasion.

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:27 PM
reply to post by SkepticOverlord

Bill, from what you've presented here I would support a petition. You've designed and run the site based on respect for the members, unforeseen circumstances arise that need consideration with the best of plans. This would appear to be such an exception.

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:29 PM
Well I can tell you your already doing the right thing.
In my work with the National Org "Parents Of Murdered Children" This is how they start, getting the word out, encouraging members to post the message to other groups, blogs, send news briefs to the local and national press.. that's how Megan's law became a law...

What needs to be done is make an official statement from ATS. we members can do our own for other places on the web but if we can get the fourth estate involved they should have one place for a FAQ as it were. someplace we can refer them for more info

If your going to do an Internet poll it needs to be done with one of the third party sites and try and just have the one poll where everyone from all web sites can go... make to many polls and it dilutes the results.

I'm not sure how much I can help my work with POMC is as a grief counsellor they have real lobbyist who do that sort of thing...I've watched them do it is all. If you want I can leave a message with there office, asking advice but no one will be there until after the 30th

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:30 PM
You can count me in. Just let me know where to sign.


posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 02:31 PM
reply to post by loam

Thanks for that post and break down loam. That should be a big help.

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