back to article Don't rely on us to protect the open internet, warns FTC Commissioner

One of the US government's top regulators has warned that her department is in no position to take on the mantle of protecting the open internet if its sister organization, the FCC, votes on repealing net neutrality regulations later this month. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner Terrell McSweeny has repeatedly warned …

  1. hellwig


    So the FTC can't regulate the internet? But Pai has been telling us it's really their expertise to regulate trade, they are the Federal TRADE Commission.

    Could.... could Pai be wrong? Or worse, a BLATANTLY CORRUPT Piece of Sh*t?

  2. ST Silver badge

    Why is this a surprise?

    That Trump's FTC would be any different than Trump's FCC?

    It's called transfer of wealth. From the bottom 98% to the top 2%. It never was about anything else.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Why is this a surprise?

      You seem to be missing the point, which is that "Trump's FTC" manifestly is quite different from his FCC.

      The FCC chair wants to say "all your so-called 'concerns' are perfectly well covered by the FTC". The FTC chair now says "oh no they're bloody well not!".

      That is - not the kind of well co-ordinated messaging we'd see from a competent corrupt administration.

      1. ST Silver badge

        Re: Why is this a surprise?

        > The FCC chair wants to say "all your so-called 'concerns' are perfectly well covered by the FTC".

        When did Ajit Pai say that? It seems to me that the only thing he's ever said is that he's restoring Internet Freedom by gutting Net Neutrality. Because regulations - BAD, price gouging - GOOD. I didn't know consumers' concerns ever figured anywhere in Pai's considerations. Also, Ajit Pai can't tell the FTC what to do.

        > Trump's FTC" manifestly is quite different from his FCC.

        How so, exactly? Under Trump, both agencies cater to the interests of the GOP donor class. That's not what their charter mandates.

        Whether the FCC does this openly, and the FTC does the same thing by claiming lack of authority/resources/expertise/time/money is completely irrelevant. The end-result is the same. Essentially, the FTC just passed the buck on enforcing any kind of consumer protections.

        1. Comments are attributed to your handle

          Re: Why is this a surprise?

          "I didn't know consumers' concerns ever figured anywhere in Pai's considerations. Also, Ajit Pai can't tell the FTC what to do."

          Well thankfully some of us have been paying attention.

          "Eliminating the common carrier classification of broadband will '[r]estore the Federal Trade Commission's ability to protect consumers online from any unfair, deceptive, and anticompetitive practices,' Pai's proposal says."

          1. ST Silver badge

            Re: Why is this a surprise?

            > Well thankfully some of us have been paying attention.

            Good Trumpkin. The check is in the mail. You'll get it next year when your taxes go up.

            1. Comments are attributed to your handle
              Thumb Down

              Re: Why is this a surprise?

              Even a cursory glance at my comment history will reveal that I am far from a Trumpkin.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Why is this a surprise?

      "It's called transfer of wealth."

      the transfer of wealth to the "top 2%" (as you stated) usually happens when things are OVER-regulated, and NOT when they are DE-regulated.

      Please explain how "allowing a fast lane" transfers wealth from the 98% to the 2%?

      This whole "net neutrality" thing is NOT ONLY mis-named, it's become EMOTIONAL.

      I'd also like to see proof of what everyone who complains about net neutrality seems to fear: the THROTTLING of traffic to the end user.

      I've heard of this being done to business connections, so that you pay more to get a fatter pipe. But I've never heard of it being done to individual users, except those with extremely high usage rates [and then it would be 'throttled' to comply with whatever your contract allows for]. But that's being done NOW, under "net neutrality" regulations, right? Cell carriers do that when you reach your 'bandwidth cap' for the month. And of course, THAT would be "in the contract".

      So I continue to read the hype, see the emotion-based arguments, and AGREE WITH PAI, that it's NOT the FCC's business to regulate CONTENT, but instead to provide for standards implementation, regulate frequency band usage, and avoid RF interference, so that "all of those services" using various wired and wireless media are cooperating with their signals, and not stomping on one another.

      Socialism and excessive gummint regulation DOES separate the "haves" from "have nots". If you want the "have nots" (aka the '98%') to become MORE wealthy and have MORE cool stuff, get the gummint OUT OF THE WAY. Otherwise, if you try to equalize outcomes (in this case 'net neutrality' where EVERYBODY has the SAME QUALITY OF SERVICE) you're only going to make everyone have equally MEDIOCRE service.

      And I don't want MEDIOCRE. And if some rich guy gets 10 times the internet traffic as me, because he PAYS for it, then so what. "Class Envy" is stupid. I'll just BECOME "that guy" so _I_ can have THAT level of service! (and interestingly enough, more revenue for faster means the telcos can compete for THAT market, and use the revenue to IMPROVE things OVERALL, which they do).

      1. Dimmer

        Re: Why is this a surprise?

        Ok, I will give you an up vote, at least you are giving an different viewpoint. In an earlier post i quoted from the "net neutrality " rules what they are not doing - like protecting content providers like net Flix from throttling. They and you were specifically excluded from protection. If you can find it, please read the ruling before touting what you are losing. It is all about control. For those outside to the U.S., do you want our government controlling the internet? They need to stay out of it and let the higher IQ folks like the readers of the reg that built and maintain it take care of it. Like clueless idiot IT managers, We don't need them.

      2. Comments are attributed to your handle

        Re: Why is this a surprise?

        "But I've never heard of it being done to individual users..."

        You've never seen it because you choose not to look. Here you go:

  3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Panto season

    Prince Charming - The Internet

    Cinderella - Net Neutrality

    Step Mother - FCC

    Step Sisters - ISPs

    Special Guests

    Pantomime Villain - Donald Trump (as himself)

    Fairy God Mother - Barack Obama


    Parental Guidance: Do not expect a fairy tale ending

  4. Someone Else Silver badge

    Brilliance personified

    "Those who oppose net neutrality rules often make the mistake of suggesting that market competition will limit discriminatory conduct and push ISPs to offer consumers better service. But that argument only makes sense if there is underlying market competition to begin with. Otherwise, it’s like saying your dog will protect your house when you don’t own a dog."

    Truer words...and from a US Gub'mint bureaucrat, to boot!

    1. CrazyOldCatMan

      Re: Brilliance personified

      Truer words...and from a US Gub'mint bureaucrat, to boot!

      And doubtless something that will be quoted in the plethora of court cases that will be filed 1 second after the FCC do their paymasters' bidding..

  5. Lars Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Trade deals

    They sound so complicated so I decided to send a message to Liam Fox to ask him to take a day off to fix it, now that he is in the mood, going strong, and has been "over there" already perhaps several times. Just wanted to inform you (and him) should he forget to mention my part in our success.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Read their mission statement

    I think you will find that the FTC, like the rest of the US federal government, is pledged to help the rich become even richer.

    Nothing else really matters.

    1. JLV

      Re: Read their mission statement

      Pai's rather disgusting partiality in his role as regulator aside, your statement is grossly unfair to the people who are trying to do their job correctly. Starting out with Mrs. McSweeny, who stood up and went on the record. With El Trumpo in charge, guess how career-advancing that is?

      In civil rights fights, circa 1960s, you'll find that the FTC played an extremely significant role against a business which refused to serve black people and claimed that it was respecting local laws, acting solely as a local business and was not subject to federal regulations.

      It turned out that both its customers and suppliers had a significant out-of-state component and the FTC successfully argued that it was falling under federal regulations and set a precedent. I am sure that was not business-as-usual either, not back then.

  7. JLV

    To: < paymasters-list>

    > We don’t have engineers with technical experience in data network management practices.

    >It will not be enough. We are being set up to fail.

    Gentlemen, I do believe I've delivered the goods. When are you coming through with your side of the arrangements?

    Very cheerfully yours,

    A. Pai

  8. Daggerchild Silver badge


    Musings: What laws are there that prevent people setting up their own comms layer in someone else's comms layer?

    If there aren't any yet, I suspect, after Comcast have cleaned their cleavers, there will be. Tell me terrorists have never used VPNs.

    1. JohnFen

      Re: UUCP2

      There's no need for such laws. ISPs will be able to just straight-up block VPNs (or any other traffic) if they desire.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: UUCP2

        "ISPs will be able to just straight-up block VPNs (or any other traffic) if they desire."

        ISPs *ALREADY* block certain ports as part of their normal practice, and tell you that you can't run a web server, and block incoming ports for mail, DNS, http, https, yotta yotta ALL OF THE TIME. And that's WITH the "net neutrality" rules in place.

        So why the FUD?

      2. Dimmer

        Re: UUCP2

        Nope, it will be January new version of service they can offer at a slightly higher price. Ever try to get a QOS tag across the AT$T network? Only with a business class service.

  9. ecofeco Silver badge

    What fascism?

    You have problem with Corporate Communist Capitalism, comrade?©®

  10. A. Coatsworth

    Wow! This is as close as we'll ever get to having a government official stating what we already know: that Pai is full of sh#t.

    I'm guessing ms McSweeny is a leftover of a bygone era...

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      "I'm guessing ms McSweeny is a leftover of a bygone era..."

      Hopefully NOT for much longer... being a Demo-Rat and part of "the swamp", she gets 'drained' some time in 2018 - buh, bye! Though I expect this won't actually happen. Trump is NOT all that partisan like OTHER presidents have been (consider who he's left in key positions over at the DOJ and FBI). Then again, priorities being what they are, the swamp's gonna get DRAINED. And Socialist Demo-Rats in key position in high ranking positions within federal agencies (like the FTC) should be getting pink slipped... at least, that's what I *HOPE* for!

      "Net Neutrality" is named that way in order to MANIPULATE PEOPLE into wanting it. But it's not about 'neutrality' it's about GRABBING POWER so that the Interwebs can be REGULATED for CONTENT. This way, the Googles and Facebooks can INCREASE THEIR STRANGLEHOLD, by lobbying the regulations in THEIR FAVOR. That's how "the swamp" works. And if you want to TAKE AWAY THEIR POWER, you DE-REGULATE. It's also good for competition to DE-REGULATE. Watch and see!

      and please, no more FUD. k-thx.

      1. Daggerchild Silver badge

        I wonder if every intelligent civilisation eventually make an Internet, shortly before it disappears under a molten wave of upvotes, random capitalisation and deliberately decalibrated mental labels.

        I wonder if our schools in future will mark exam answers based on accuracy, or popularity.

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