back to article La La La, I can't hear you: FCC responds to net neut concerns

With just a week to go before the head of the FCC will put his plan for a repeal of current net neutrality rules up for a vote, Ajit Pai has come under another barrage of criticism, this time with a focus on consumer protection. Despite claiming that his proposal will protect consumers by handing over responsibility for …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    An IPO ?

    If you simply float the FCC and FTC then the free market can decide - without having to pay all these lobbyists.

  3. ma1010
    FAIL

    Regulation?

    "...create a 'regulatory gap' that would leave consumers utterly unprotected"

    All of us in the US are effectively unprotected anyhow. The FTC does sometimes try to do a little good, but it's mostly like shoveling the tide back with a pitchfork, which the FCC, which has a lot of clout because they can shut down these buggers, won't do anything because the head of the FCC is owned in fee simple by AT&T, Verizon, etc., because Pai is a corporate whore without even the ability to be embarrassed by his actions that screw over consumers in favor of his big-payday pals.

    When it comes to consumer protection, if the federal government wants any respect from people, they need to earn it. Instead, there is no effective regulation of these rapacious corporations, less and less all the time, and I doubt the current regime desires any regulation at all.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Regulation?

      if the federal government wants any respect from people, they need to earn it.

      "Elections have consequences"

      ie. they don't and they won't

      1. kain preacher

        Re: Regulation?

        Who do you think put Pai in ?

  4. Alan Penzotti

    You have been invited to ...

    I know that this is being heard in an appeals court and there are (usually) no additional depositions, witnesses, nor testimony at this stage of the litigation process. There may be an exception in light of his unilateral motions for material removal of consumer protections of which this lawsuit is about.

    For once I would like the appeals court to compel Ajit Pai to attend this court proceeding in person and compel him to answer some very pointed questions. At least make him a target vulnerable to some contempt of court proceedings if the judges don't like his answers.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    US Consumer Protection

    The problem with US consumer protection laws is they tend to slow the upward flow of wealth which in turn offends the wealthy who happen to play a large role in whether a politician can afford to run for public office.

    1. Blank Reg Silver badge

      Re: US Consumer Protection

      And the root problem there is the ridiculous notion that campaign contributions are "free speech" and that corporations are people too. This could all be solved by only allowing registered voters to donate, and limit that to $1000/year. No more "legal" buying of politicians.

      Of course it would never happen, but if it did then suddenly election campaigning would only last a few months due to lack of funds. I think that is something that most non-politicians could support.

      1. Lysenko

        Re: US Consumer Protection

        And the root problem there is the ridiculous notion that campaign contributions are "free speech" and that corporations are people too. This could all be solved by only allowing registered voters to donate, and limit that to $1000/year. No more "legal" buying of politicians.

        What I've always found odd is that a country obsessed with capitalism seems to be completely oblivious to the fact that it is incompatible with democracy. Unless you have price controls (hard campaign spending limits) the price of any asset (political office) will continually inflate in line with what the market (aspiring politicians) are willing and able to pay. The entire process is reduced to an auction amongst plutocrats.

        The cognitive dissonance required to remain in denial of this obvious fact and maintain the delusion that the system is democratic is frankly astonishing. How far back does one have to go to have the option of voting for a President with a personal net worth of <$1M? Has there ever been a President who was not a millionaire in 2017 dollars?

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: US Consumer Protection

          Has there ever been a President who was not a millionaire in 2017 dollars?

          How far back do you want to go? Grant wasn't a millionaire by any stretch no matter how you measure wealth. In recent times, Truman comes to mind as being one of the poorer presidents. Lincoln, I'm not sure about but he was close also. But those would be exceptions to the norm.

        2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

          Re: US Consumer Protection

          The cognitive dissonance required to remain in denial of this obvious fact and maintain the delusion that the system is democratic is frankly astonishing.

          That's where the divisive, scorched-earth tribal politics come in. It's the classic magician's trick: "Pay close attention to the cards in my right hand," while the real action is taking place elsewhere.

          In the US, the cards in the right hand are red-meat issues that pander to the biases and prejudices of the party bases: gay marriage, abortion, the myriad evils of "the other," libtards versus Trumpkins, etc. ad nauseam.

          Meanwhile, the left hands of both parties are doing the real magic of pocketing the bribes campaign contributions that ensure that the interests of the super-rich are fully represented at the expense of everyone else.

          It's kind of like bread and circuses, except the wealthy get all the bread and the rest only get the circus.

    2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: US Consumer Protection

      The problem with US consumer protection laws is they tend to slow the upward flow of wealth which in turn offends the wealthy who happen to play a large role in whether a politician can afford to run for public office piss off the people who make money by screwing over consumers, so they bribe politicians with so-called "campaign contributions" to get the irritant removed.

      [Edited for clarity]

  6. LDS Silver badge

    "heavy-handed"?

    It looks to me the only one to be really "heavy-handed" is Pai himself.

  7. vir

    I Curse You, Ajit Pai

    May you step in the dung of ten thousand dogs.

    1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: I Curse You, Ajit Pai

      It could happen. The dung of then thousand dogs is the new American broadband plan.

    2. fobobob

      Re: I Curse You, Ajit Pai

      tibetan mastiffs, st. bernards, etc., with indigestion. please.

    3. Captain DaFt

      Re: I Curse You, Ajit Pai

      May you step in the dung of ten thousand dogs.

      I think I can improve on that a bit:

      May you be mired to the ankles in the dung of ten thousand dogs, head first!

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: I Curse You, Ajit Pai

      I'm just wishing someone would take him out behind the woodshed and give him an old-fashioned farmer's ass whooping. I know you can't beat sense into someone, but it's worth a try.

  8. beep54
    Unhappy

    Just more demonstraion

    that this so-called Administration is completely out of control. At all points.

  9. Bob Dole (tm)
    Mushroom

    It's just sickening

    It is absolutely sickening to watch the US government over the past say 20 years.

    Sure, there were a few bright spots (Tom Wheeler being one), but on the whole this government has continued to show that it absolutely doesn't give a crap about the people.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dark Days ahead.

    These comments are all good, one issue I see coming however is not mentioned. Think with me here on how protests and political movements communicate. Is that not dependent on a free and open internet? When the have not's are busy trying to organize a 100-300 million strong protest against the crushing oppression of a wealth based aristocracy, I am certain their communications will be throttled, queued, and lost in the web, and with this kind of regulatory mindset it will be legal censorship. What opposition?

    1. beep54
      Unhappy

      Re: Dark Days ahead.

      Actually, they don't even need this to throttle dissent since Pai is demonstrating that they can simply ignore it and do what they want. Which really sucks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dark Days ahead.

        The ignoring part works even better when you don't have to delete the 50,000 extra post as they could not run the network hurdles in time to considered.

  11. MityDK

    Net Neutrality is government censorship.

    The internet got along just fine without government interference. The people who want Net Neutrality want to be able to impose governmental controls on speech and decide who can say what.

    Is that "hate speech"? Well, you're not allowed on the net, bub.

    Give me corporate profiteering over government censorship every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    Oh and BTW, elections have consequences, a wise man once said. You don't get to lose every branch of government and still make the rules.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "without government interference. "

      "Without government interference" - aka without the money spent by government (aka "the people") to lay down the foundations of the Internet infrastructure and standards, you wouldn't have the Internet, you would have "The Microsoft Network", and many other private networks incompatible with each other.

      The whole "World Wide Web" stuff, coming from CERN, it's also another thing created by governments funds - and released for free because of that. Telcos - without government intervention - are usually very good at creating proprietary standards in the attempt to ensure customer lock-in - which is a form of censorship as well, in the name of profit - but still censorship.

      Unchecked corporate profiteering can enslave you just like an authoritarian government - two faces of the same coin - and usually, they go hand-in-hand.

    2. Steve Todd Silver badge

      Either you are a troll

      Or you don’t understand net neutrality at all.

      It has nothing to do with censorship. Simply put, it requires internet providers to treat all traffic on an equal basis, nomater what the source. They can prioritise TYPES of traffic in order to preserve network performance, but they can’t make a deal with, say, Netflix, and throttle or block content from other providers. This type of deal is anti-competitive and anti-consumer.

      Now, in what way does that impact freedom of speech?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Either you are a troll

        "Simply put, it requires internet providers to treat all traffic on an equal basis, nomater what the source.

        Now, in what way does that impact freedom of speech?"

        Equal access for all defined by law? That's...that's....that's....COMMUNISM!!!11!!!ONE!!!

        There does seem to be a large swath of the US population that seem to equate anything for the public good and society as a whole as being "socialist" where socialist is used in the most pejorative way, equating to the worst of the Communist regimes. So naturally, that must also mean censorship, government control and all the other bad things associated with the whole ideology. I sometimes wonder if it's certain a segments insane mental link between the slightly similar words "society" and "socialism" and the link to "Reds under the bed" syndrome their parents grew up with.

  12. Youngone Silver badge

    Hang on a minute

    I can't understand what everyone is getting all upset about here.

    If you want congress (or any other branch of the US government) to pass some laws which your people have drafted, then why don't you just pay them to do it?

    It's not like it costs a lot of money. A few million usually gets the job done.

    For goodness sake, it's not like there's any secret to the process.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Hang on a minute

      "It's not like it costs a lot of money. A few million usually gets the job done."

      Are you suggesting Government by Kickstarter Projects? It might be better that what currently happens.

    2. joemostowey

      Re: Hang on a minute

      In this state the Governor runs about 85, 000.00, representatives in the 30-40 thousand range. corruption and kickbacks are now known as "loans" or campaign contributions. Gift giving and bribes are so passe'

  13. beast666

    You guys just don't understand. The GEOTUS WILL NOT STOP until America is great again.

    Pai is doing a fine job.

  14. sloshnmosh

    Ajit Pai

    Ajit Pai needs to be removed as chairman of the FCC and imprisoned in a cell with nothing but a laptop and an internet connection that the American people control the contents and "throttling" amount of remotely from our own homes.

    1. hplasm
      Devil

      Re: Ajit Pai

      ...and no charger.

  15. Winkypop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Trickle down bandwidth

    Because trickle down economics has been soooooo successful.

    </sarcasm>

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Trickle down bandwidth

      And by your arguments Communism had faild because mankind is to stupid to implment real communism.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Trickle down bandwidth

        Communism had faild because mankind is to stupid to implment real communism

        Replace 'stupid' with 'greedy' and you would be pretty close.

        And just BTW, don't confuse centrally-controlled planned economy Marxism with communism. It what happen when communism meets greed, paranoia and rampant grasping after power and wealth.

        If you like, it's communism infected with the worst uncontrolled aspects of capitalism.

        Of course, there is an argument that communism is pretty much impossible to implement as whoever manages the process is always going to end up corrupting the process for their own ends but that's an entirely separate argument.

        (It's also amusing to point out, especially to the US right-wing, that the early Christians in Jerusalem operated very much along communist lines - "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need".. it really blows a cognitive fuse.)

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Trickle down bandwidth

          (It's also amusing to point out, especially to the US right-wing, that the early Christians in Jerusalem operated very much along communist lines - "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need".. it really blows a cognitive fuse.)

          Spoilsport!

          I've been sitting on that one for a while, just waiting for the right comment to be made.

          Oh well, other places to visit...

  16. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Doesn't it just beg the question though...

    If Net Neutrality was such a great thing....

    How the Hell did we go nearly Twenty Years without it without the apocalyptic things these NN Remoaners usually bang on about having ever happened?

    1. James 51
      IT Angle

      Re: Doesn't it just beg the question though...

      @MH How did you make the leap from net neutrality to Brexit? That's some twenty-one league ideological boots you've got on there.

    2. Steve Todd Silver badge

      Re: Doesn't it just beg the question though... @MH

      What makes you think it has never happened?

      There are plenty of examples of US ISPs blocking services because they compete with their own offerings. This ranges from things as simple as SIP telephone services through to video on demand. Don't forget that the FCC has something like 80,000 complaints on file regarding NN.

      The whole point of these NN rules is to prevent the problems that we currently have from spiralling.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Doesn't it just beg the question though...

      20 years ago when most of us that could connect got 56k speeds, and less then 20% of the world cared what was on the internet anyway? 10 years ago when most of us that could were quite happy with 1.5Mb connection speed and the only people making real money on the internet was yahoo and p0rn sites and only half the world cared what was on the internet? Or a year ago when you can't apply for a job with out internet, buy just about anything cheaply, or get to watch all of the standard entertainment with out internet connectivity of at least 100Mb and nearly EVRYONE cares what's on the internet and is making money from it, true or made up (it got Trump elected after all)? -Maybe that is the reason, The establishment republicans want to throttle GEOTUS twitter access so he can 't incriminate himself (or them) more then once a day!

  17. simonb_london

    Packet radio?

    Hey! Let's route around ISPs and create our own Internet!

    Just an idea. Probably not very practical, but certainly in the spirit of the free and open Internet.

  18. Howard Hanek
    Childcatcher

    Oh My?

    It's the Cavaliers and the Roundheads all over again with Trump's New Model Army winning all the engagements.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Oh My?

      Trump's New Model Army

      I think that they are more akin to the Cavaliers - ancestral privilige, wealth and personal power vs the rule of law and Parliament for the Roundheads.

  19. unwarranted triumphalism

    'Neutrality' is nothing of the sort

    Heavy handed regulation is impeding business and free speech on the internet.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: 'Neutrality' is nothing of the sort

      @unwarranted triumphalism

      <citation needed>

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: 'Neutrality' is nothing of the sort

        @unwarranted triumphalism

        <citation needed>

        No need - replying to the troll just wastes time, energy and electrons..

    2. Kiwi Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: 'Neutrality' is nothing of the sort

      Heavy handed regulation is impeding business and free speech on the internet.

      A few weeks back you promised us you were going to add El Reg - 127.0.0.1 to your hosts files. Whatever happened to that ?

      Has the mental limitations required to support chump made it difficult for you to do things like that? Just ask, someone here will kindly help you with it I'm sure. In fact I know quite a few people here will be happy to give you a hand blocking El Reg.

  20. VinceLortho

    Somebody's Gonna get a Hurtin'

    Pai's payoff better be huge. I wouldn't hire him after this, I won't buy goods or services from a company that would and I won't work for anyone associated with him. Explains why I'm poor.

  21. Mike 16 Silver badge
    Joke

    We'll build a wall,

    I beautiful wall, around these whiners' internet connection, And we will make them pay for it.

  22. joemostowey

    Free Market?

    There can never be a free market so long as the Government (and Law Enforcement) limit your choices by making the regulations to favor the big players.

    Ever wonder why there are only a hand full of Telephone companies? Cable providers? ISPs? It's not really the cost of the Infrastructure, because the US government spent FOUR HUNDRED BILLION dollars to help defer the costs of building the infrastructure.Where is the hundreds of small ISPs as in the days of dial-up? What happened to all the small telcos? Cable providers?

    It's so much easier to track peoples communications, what the watch, what they listen to, where they visit on the web, who they talk to, who they associate with, if everything is in one place. Too easy to lose track of someone if they have choices, if they can change providers for any of the above.

    The Government relies upon KISS (keep it simple sam) when dealing with several hundred million people. Favor one group of providers above all others- help git rid of their competition, encourage consolidation. Give your chosen access to the profitable areas to shut out their competition. Make laws that prevent localities from creating competition.

    They learned a harsh lesson when Ma Bell was broken up. No more one stop shopping for intelligence data. No more pesky innovations to enable people to simply evade the reach of the governments intrusion. Easier to get warrants for one place than many places.

    They don't want competition. They don't want the status quo shaken. They want your choices limited.

    Net Neutrality will help provide this.No more pesky choices, instead you get bills to pay, leaving a paper trail. Privacy? Pffft! you do what we tell you, believe what we want you to believe. hear what we want you to hear and see what we want you to see, read what we want you to read.

    Protesting the end of net neutrality is well and good, but the deck is stacked against you. It's a done deal. It was killed by the authors of the Patriot Act, and was never meant to survive after the majority of Americans were hooked on the internet for so many daily uses.

    One of those conspiracy nuts fantasies? Could be. But it sure does seem to be working out to be a limited, anti- free market setup, with millions protesting and a government agency not only not listening, but getting millions of faked messages supporting their stance and defending the known fakes, while trying to de-legitimize the real messages from millions of people protesting this over reach of a government appointee.

  23. Kiwi Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Sounds like..

    Unfortunately, as was similarly displayed recently in Congress, growing opposition to poorly thought through and rushed plans – in that case a tax overhaul – has led to the opposite behavior that one would normally expect from government. Rather than slow things down and get it right, the growing list of flaws has caused policymakers to rush through approval.

    Sounds like par for the course for right-whinge gibber-munts. Our last bunch'o'twunts over here had the view that if there was time for someone to spot a flaw in the policy, then it wasn't passed urgently enough.

    Maybe with some sort of imminent national emergency, with a short-lived act (with a built-in sunset clause) and room for the act to be improved, but stuff that isn't nearly so urgent? Slow down and do it right first time, and that way next time an election comes round people will think "Gee these decent people take their time to do it right" not "WE (the people) are the ones doing stuff under urgency - getting rid of YOU!!"

  24. sloshnmosh

    Save As

    "A few weeks back you promised us you were going to add El Reg - 127.0.0.1 to your hosts files. Whatever happened to that ?"

    Saved the hosts file as .txt with Windows Notepad possibly?

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