back to article 'Net neutrality will turn the internet communist – and make Iran's day'

Former FCC commissioner Robert McDowell has attempted to revive the argument that proposed net neutrality rules in the US will lead to a UN-run (read, Chinese-run) internet. These draft rules are due to be voted on by FCC commissioners next week. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, titled "Dictators Love the FCC’s Plan to …

  1. John Gamble


    Oh gosh, a Shrub appointee is horribly concerned for his corporate masters everyone's safety. How ever shall we deal with this.

    (For those who aren't familiar with it, The Wall Street Journal's editorial page is notorious for crackpot pronouncements, in contrast to the news reporting, which is fairly solid).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You didn't ask Nancy Pelosi did you?

    On June 24, 2008, U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the Speaker of the House at the time, told reporters that her fellow Democratic Representatives did not want to forbid reintroduction of the Fairness Doctrine, adding "the interest in my caucus is the reverse." When asked by John Gizzi of Human Events, "Do you personally support revival of the 'Fairness Doctrine?'", the Speaker replied "Yes.

    Notice it is the Democrats who are pushing the "Net Neutrality" as well as the ones who pushed to bring back the " Fairness doctrine"

    There is also a effort to shut down sites like the drudge report using the Campaign finance reform laws.If they can shut down Matt Drudge they can shut down any one. The Democrats are still mad because he brought the Monica Lewinsky scandal to light.

    1. JamesTQuirk

      Re: You didn't ask Nancy Pelosi did you?

      Apparently it is a Old Problem like 1840's & before ...

      Alexis de Tocqueville : "It is odd to watch with what feverish ardor Americans pursue prosperity. Ever tormented by the shadowy suspicion that they may not have chosen the shortest route to get it. They cleave to the things of this world as if assured that they will never die, and yet rush to snatch any that comes within their reach as if they expected to stop living before they had relished them. Death steps in, in the end, and stops them before they have grown tired of this futile pursuit of that complete felicity which always escapes them."

      “Society will develop a new kind of servitude which covers the surface of society with a network of complicated rules, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate. It does not tyrannise but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”

  3. dan1980

    There is the wonderful idea that has taken hold in parts of the US (the 'red' parts, unsurprisingly) that the UN is some horrible organisation dedicated to communism and European interests at the expense of the US. It's a kind of US-vs-UN.

    They see the European Union as a rival to the US and the UN as simply an extension of that and, thus, it is an anti-US organisation. They see that Europe is often more liberal than the US and certainly less religious and that is all bad.

    Some of the more fringe elements* see the even UN as the seat of the Antichrist or, at least, as the organisation that is preparing to welcome the Antichrist as its leader when the time comes.

    I'm not saying that anyone who is against the UN is some kind of right-wing, speaking-in-tongues loony reading from the Gospel of Alex Jones and Glenn Beck, though those people certainly exist. The point is that the UN is a hot-button for a not-inconsiderable portion of the US people and simply saying that the UN will have some kind of control over anything in the US is enough for those people to immediately be against the idea.

    It's a "he's going to take your guns" type statement.

    * - Though it should be noted that in a country of some 320 million people, even the 'fringe' represents quite a number of people.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Indeed, they are a hot button. I see some good and I see the awlful coming out of them. But even the good has it's corruption and inefficiency much like any other government.

      My sense is that the UN is as much a button in US as the EU is for Brits.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      >There is the wonderful idea that has taken hold in parts of the US....

      Those parts of the USA regard everywhere outside the USA (and any US states within 100miles of the coast) as part of liberal commie plot to destroy the USA.

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      A large portion of the UK think the UN is a toy of the US

      to be listened to when it does US bidding and ignored when it doesnt.

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    The Internet turning Communist?

    Hmm... in some parts of the world that need not named, the Internet is already censored and controlled as to who gets what and at what speed. All the FCC is doing is regulating (or at least the intent) is to regulate speed before the last mile and possibly the last mile. Yes, certain governments will twist it to their view of advantage to complain that they should be running the whole thing. Reality is.. once the fiber/copper crosses the border, each country does pretty much what it wants and the US is no exception.

    The former commissioner is basically blowing smoke and it's the smoke of his corporate owners. The catch here is that after the FCC rules, Congress will be persuaded to jump on command if their corporate owners don't like the FCC ruling. It really doesn't matter which way the FCC goes at this point for in one direction, the corporates win. In the other, Congress gets to throw a trantrum.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Internet turning Communist?

      At least he stayed bought.

    2. Uncle Ron

      Re: The Internet turning Communist?

      Congress can't do anything that the President disapproves of. He can veto any onerous bill the Repubs pass. They don't have enough votes to override a veto. If a Democrat gets elected in 2016 (better than 50/50 chance) what the FCC rules next week will stick. Only the courts can slap it down, and that too, is unlikely.

      I feel the Net Neutrality issue is a Red Herring anyway. What the monopoly ISP's really, really want is Metered Billing, or Usage Based Billing. Look for them to use the Net Neutrality "loss" as an excuse to begin charging by the byte. Unbelievable profits, and unbelievable price-gouging. Metered Billing is a license to print money. For monopolies.

      The US is becoming a corporatist state. More than any EU nation is, or ever has been.

      1. beep54

        Re: The Internet turning Communist?

        "The US is becoming a corporatist state. More than any EU nation is, or ever has been."

        Sir, an an American and, yes, even a Texan, I demand that you withdraw that odious word, 'becoming' so that your statement reflects more accurately the truth of the matter!!

        1. BongoJoe

          Re: The Internet turning Communist?

          It's the Caldari Empire !

      2. ST Silver badge

        Re: The Internet turning Communist?

        > The US is becoming a corporatist state.

        Is becoming?

        Please allow me to disagree, Sir. The US is a corporatist state, and has been so for at least a decade, if not more.

        I will now return to blasting L'Internationale (them thar Gubmint Communist Anthem for our Texan readers) from my apartment, with all windows open, courtesy of YouTube. Because I can.

        1. pierce

          Re: The Internet turning Communist?

          decade? try, since WW-II.

      3. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: The Internet turning Communist?

        What if Congress attaches the bill to something that must pass, like a debt ceiling increase? Now if Obama vetoes it, he risks shutting down the government (which the Tea Party would croon about) because Congress could keep making it part and parcel.

        "What the monopoly ISP's really, really want is Metered Billing, or Usage Based Billing."

        They don't need Congress to do that, but the trouble is that flat fees are too much of a temptation for customers. Look at what happened in the mobile sphere. AT&T and Verizon stubbornly meter their data lines. Then Sprint and T-Mobile start offering unrestricted (I suspect within reason) data lines and they attract defectors (it's one reason I'm still with T-Mobile: that and they use SIMs unlike Sprint).

        The primary reason Comcast and the others don't meter yet is because they're afraid some upstart will come along, get around their exclusivity agreements (or convince the municipalities to break them) and attract defectors. It may not sound plausible until you realize one of those potential disruptors is Google, who are courting cities one by one to open up in the name of delicious fiber optics. Not even Comcast would be willing to go 12 rounds with them; it'd be Pyrrhic victory at best case. What they're hoping the FCC will do is block Google; the FCC is the only entity with the power to block the likes of Google. Thing is, last I heard, the FCC is taking a pass on this specific matter.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: What if Congress attaches the bill to something that must pass

          So Rip, you say you just crawled out from under your rock yesterday after 20 years?

          I have no idea what you've been smoking, but it has obviously rotted your brain. If Congress were willing to use that play, The Big 0 wouldn't be issuing executive amnesty to all illegal aliens. The rest of your tripe is just as boggle minded.

  5. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Netizens of the world unite!!

    I see the capitalist running dogs have found us out, and are attempting to corrupt our revolution. Fortunately, the will of the netetariat is strong, and such counter-revolutionaries will soon be shot, or at least be forever consigned to have Comcast as their ISP.

    All power to the soviet!

    1. JamesTQuirk

      Re: Netizens of the world unite!!

      Nyet, Tovarich, they are listening, back under the bed ....

      Maybe we using Cloud drives/servers go back to days of BBS style "internet", and thru a combination of modern security & a ancient network, we can liberate the proletariate from NSA spies ..... or not !

      Or maybe just, we don't use ANYTHING made in or by Americans ....

      1. pierce

        Re: Netizens of the world unite!!

        >> Or maybe just, we don't use ANYTHING made in or by Americans ....

        which includes anything with Intel, AMD, IBM, or Oracle CPUs ?

        1. JamesTQuirk

          Re: Netizens of the world unite!!

          Chinese made Allwinner A80 with 16 core big/little, 64 core GPU's, a 80 core CPU ....

          a example ..

          There are some choice about if you have a google, I Know it's a ARM CPU, Maybe it's got a Chinese Backdoor instead of NSA ....

          But some choice for a END USER app, Server/mainframe/super are the Issue, but clusters can solve some of it, I was thinking that these boards from the link, run Linux, they are cheaper by 10's, so for $1200 + post, maybe I would buy some network them back to main PC as CPU Cluster, effectively added 800 Cores & 640 GB ram to any render job, but I must say the thought of one designed by committee does scare me a little ....

          If I find the Chinese Backdoor, maybe I should connected to NSA one, & they can just pick on each other ...

          Viva the Revolution !!!

          1. JamesTQuirk

            Re: Netizens of the world unite!!

            Where are the typo Guardians when u need them, In post I multiplied 8gb * 100 instead *10, same for number of cores ... Should have been 80 cores, 80 GB ram, sorry about that chief !!

            HOWEVER, the Spelling & Grammar/typo NAZI's are nowhere to be seen, only if I make a typo in something about windows, it seems ....

    2. LaeMing

      Re: Netizens of the world unite!!

      "or at least be forever consigned to have Comcast as their ISP"

      I don't think cruel and unusual punishments should apply in our new world order.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Netizens of the world unite!!

        This punishment is OK cos its just 'cruel and unusable'.

  6. xperroni
    Big Brother


    "By creating an irreconcilable contradiction between America’s domestic and foreign policies, the cause of an open and freedom-enhancing global Internet will suffer"

    Well now that's complete bollocks. Outside of its own borders the US routinely supports authoritarian regimes that oppress their own people. If they were to be consistent on domestic and foreign policies we'd see American streets taken by armored vehicles and policemen in military gear


  7. Mike VandeVelde

    "an open and freedom-enhancing global Internet"



    Copyright / Trademark

    "Promoting Terrorism"

    Who has the most government control of the internet and who does the most censorship? Grinds my gears the way some people talk...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "an open and freedom-enhancing global Internet"

      I wish that gambling were more open on the internet. I'd love to move back to Belgium or even France but try to get on Betfair there. Or at least a version of Betfair where there's a sufficient market to make a living.

      For this reason of internet censorship I am stuck here in the UK and I just want to get out and back to mainland Europe.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pot, Kettle, Black...

    The US of A *is* a Dictatorship - they are constantly dictating to the rest of the world what we should do and how we should live our lives.

  9. fearnothing

    I really thought we were past the days of "Augh, communists!"

    My bad.

    1. JamesTQuirk

      Maybe it what they grew up with ... the link is full lyrics, not just the song, a great warm up,

      If u need u hear it ..

      Pause of Mr. Claus Arlo Guthrie

      Why do you sit there so strange?

      Is it because you are beautiful?

      You must think you are deranged

      Why do police guys beat on peace guys?

      You must think Santa Clause weird

      He has long hair and a beard

      Giving his presents for free

      Why do police guys mess with peace guys?

      Let's get Santa Clause 'cause;

      Santa Clause has a red suit

      He's a communist

      And a beard, and long hair

      Must be a pacifist

      What's in the pipe that he's smoking?

      Mister Clause sneaks in your home at night.

      He must be a dope fiend, to put you up tight

      Why do police guys beat on peace guys?


      Santa only came once a year, but the internet 24x7@365 days year, scary, so of course I will have to give El Reg Readers, a discount on .... iBludge 324.456

      With $500 investment, Your new Router Protectors, individually, a small bit of fridge magnet, that you stick to your router, and thru advanced scissor technology, it will filter all the "naughty" signals from your internet connection, via it's superior Magnetic Tuned Field Density Fluctuations Vibrating the Cosmic Ying/Yang, yours in small pieces of 12, as bulk starter for your franchises, Everything you need to a Expected $5000, from first 10 clients/users, and you can keep 2 for yourself, for taking this offer, If you have Worked in PC industries Windows & have experience, Getting money for barely (barely = Like Grizzly) functional crap (crap = High Tech iBludge 324.456), should be 2nd nature ....

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    capitalism and suckers?

    He is saying that the more you can rip off the punter the better it is for everyone.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Take that!

    If you are running Cisco equipment, just add "deny communist any any" to your Internet edge device to stop these

    It may also be worth blocking other political viewpoints your organisation disagress with at a packet level as well although Cisco doesn't seem to allow blocking of either capitalist or corporate nationalist packets in current software versions.

    Someone more familiar with other platforms would need to provide their equivalents...

  12. Tom 13

    This bit is most emphatically NOT true

    But, on the other hand, it is quite clear that the proposed net neutrality rules do NOT include content

    If for no other reason than the proposed rules have not been published and therefore NO ONE besides the commissioners knows what's in the actual proposal.

    But fascists have never get facts get in the way of their propaganda, so I suppose that's to be expected.

  13. Vanir

    Big Corporates and Communisim.

    Er, China is a Socialist nation run by a Communist party is not? I find it strange that the Republican Party and the 'right-wing' in the USA rant on about a Communist plot. But these people are those who support the big capitalist corporates of the USA who invariably have collaborated with the Communist Party of China in setting up thousands of factories in China.

    There is word for this but it eludes me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Big Corporates and Communisim.

      If the word you're looking for is "hypocrite," it doesn't really apply. Because in this case, the complaint is not that it's a communist nation peeking in on America but that it's a non-American peeking in on American business (IOW, the complaint is international espionage, which ignores politics and economics). Basically, they don't care that China spies on its own people because they spy on their own people. No hypocrisy there.

  14. mhenriday

    Mr McDowell and his ilk -

    in particular those segments of the ilk that pay him - are afraid that dangerous radicals like Tim Berners-Lee will take over the internet.... ;-)


  15. MacGyver


    Sounds like McDowell is a complete lap-dog. He is saying "You don't want the government to 'regulate' the internet do you? Like China does." But he knows full-well that what he is really saying is "If ISPs aren't free to first create monopolies and then be able to do what ever they want forever, how will they be able to make infinite money?"

    The "regulation" the FCC is taking about is basically (as far as the consumer is concerned) ensuring freedom, freedom from being at the mercy of whatever pricing and usage terms the only ISP in your town decides you will be offered. Things like caps, and throttling, tracking your data usage. Without that "regulation" ISPs can do whatever they please.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020