back to article Net neutrality fans' joy as '2.3 million email' flood hits US Congress

This week's internet slowdown protest has been, as one might expect, declared a roaring success by its organizers, after US watchdog the FCC was once again forced to change its comment policy under a deluge of opinions. Organizing group BattleForTheNet said 2,039,500 people took part in the September 10th day-long campaign, …

  1. Mark 85

    I guess we'll soon find out who's really in charge.. the people or the industry. I need to find a bookie as my money is on the industry. I hope I'm wrong....... but history and all that says I'm not.

    1. Dazed and Confused

      voters or industry

      My money is with you on this one.

      Two million votes sent emails but since none were making campaign contributions they wouldn't count for anything.

    2. K

      In the late 90's I used to envy your connectivity in the states, Cable and ADSL was a wet dream for most wanna-be geeks in the UK. I honestly don't understand the full situation, but after everything I've read I think the FCC could take lessons from the UK and other EU models.

      Since OFCOM (the UK's equivalent of the FCC) forced BT to separate infrastructure and customer operations, and allow competitors access to that infrastructure, it has meant other ISPs could compete and even install their own equipment in the BT exchanges, which was a driving factor for ADSL2+, and now they're fairly well advanced in rolling out VDSL/FTTC (Ironically, they missed my f*cking street!).

      It still suck a$$ compared to some of the connectivity you hear about in Asia.. but thats life!

      1. ipghod

        we've demanded that since 1997. the result has been DSL falling by the wayside and being replaced with cable and Ethernet.

        DSL has been open access since then, and has seen tons of money go down the tubes, taking many small companies with it, as they fail to be able to deal with the realities of the limitations involved in serving customers that are spread far and wide, geographically, with a technology that was simply not up to the task.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The sad thing is that the 2.3 million letters will be out voted by the $100 millions of dollars being put into campaign coffers by ISP's

  2. Schultz

    A good argument for bandwidth managenent

    The FC just realized what happens if everyone can sent unlimited numbers of emails. High time to manage those tunes!

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: Schultz Re: A good argument for bandwidth managenent

      "The FC just realized what happens if everyone can sent unlimited numbers of emails....." Please do some research - the daily email traffic in the US is in the hundreds of billions of emails, so 2m is a drop in an ocean. Usually, when dealing with email bombing (sorry, 'legitimate protest'), the limiting factor is the max size of the targeted client's mailbox, 20GB being the figure I recall from Exchange and Outlook 2007, which was the last time I bothered worrying about such an attack. The factor I have found to be the issue is the performance of the disk system in the Exchange server, but seeing as most government organisations attach them to at least NAS arrays if not full-on SAN arrays, dealing with 2m emails is hardly an issue.

      You then also have to consider two other important factors - firstly, many organisations now have email monitoring and security software which will identify and nullify mass email attacks; secondly, if you advertise your protest as intended to overwhelm someone's email system then, by the laws of most Western countries, you are organizing a denial of service, which is a criminal act even if your target negates the effects of your protest.

  3. sorry, what?

    What happens there will influence what happens here

    So I wonder if we, non-US citizens, have a voice in this debate? Will the FCC trace origin of comments and exclude?

    1. Tom 7

      Re: What happens there will influence what happens here

      We do have a voice in the debate*. But when TTIP is implemented then we will get the same shit here.

      *the voice is only allowed to say 'Oh for fucks sake"

    2. Slx

      Re: What happens there will influence what happens here

      Because of implications for the EU you should probably be lobbying the European Commission as it will have implications under the impending EU-US trade agreement "TTIP"

      Also lobby you own MPs and MEPs

  4. jake Silver badge

    Unfortunately ...

    ... Capitol Hill ignores the electronic world. If you want to make your point, print it out, drop it into an envelope & burn a stamp. Seriously.

    1. Cipher

      Re: Unfortunately ...

      Phone calls to Congressional offices are also effective. You need to call or write your Congressperson and your two Senators. Ask for a reply, demand they spell out their position, remind them that you vote.

      And then do vote...

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Unfortunately ...

      >Capitol Hill ignores the electronic world.

      I think they accept campaign contributions by electronic transfer now.

      Its very inconvenient for cable companies to stuff millions of $ in brown envelopes

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Unfortunately ...

        or in bitcoins! One would hope the isp's have some mining shops set up?

  5. TitterYeNot

    As if millions of voices were suddenly silenced...

    FCC Boss - 2.3 million? Excellent, tell 'em that guarantees them a seat at the table when the bidding war <cough> I mean discussion starts.

    FCC Underling - Erm, sorry, that's 2.3 million emails to Congress, Sir.

    FCC Boss - Emails? I thought they said dollars. Oh well, at least it's not us having to delete them all...

  6. Matt Bryant Silver badge


    Ooh, 2m! Wow! So pathetic. The US population is about 350m, so even if pretend all those participants were US citizens, it is still a fraction of one percent of the population could be bothered enough to send one email. The more likely reality is that 2m also includes a good number of double emailers and bots.

  7. earl grey

    But, if you're not in the US

    You will get a very kind ODFO.

  8. cs94njw

    Really hope that any lobbying site utilises a way to avoid the generated CSV files from having common values.

    The last thing you need is congress running a uniqueness filter on it and deleting half the comments :(

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