back to article Big Cable unplugs Cali's draft net neutrality protections yet AGAIN

The lobbying might of Big Cable was on show again this week when a critical net neutrality bill in the California legislature was gutted to remove its most important features. Net neutrality advocates and the lead sponsor of the legislation were left fuming when the chair of the Assembly's communications committee in …

  1. Zwuramunga


    Money talks. Everything else is just BS they tell the voters and press.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was about to berate the Americans for going against the will of the people...

    ... but then I remembered that we have the House of Lords doing the same thing.

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: I was about to berate the Americans for going against the will of the people...

      Implementing "the will of the people" is one theory of political representation, but not necessarily the one built into the US (or UK) political systems. It is more nearly true for the US House of Representatives and (I think) the UK House of Commons and less so for the US Senate and House of Lords. The US Senate is much closer to that now, with popular elections, than it was by the original intent of the Constitution's authors who had it chosen by the state legislators. I suspect something similar has occurred over the last few centuries with the House of Lords.

    2. Mungo Spanner

      Re: I was about to berate the Americans for going against the will of the people...

      Funny - I don't remember the Brexit voting slip saying 'Let Teresa May, Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees Mogg stuff up the country however they like without any accountability to the democratically elected parliament of the UK' - maybe it was on the other side of the piece of paper.

      Meanwhile, I'm happy to have the Lords push back on the Government and try to make them accountable - god knows, Labour haven't.

  3. Remy Redert

    What sort of silliness do the Americans have with all their amendments? Here, a bill is introduced and voted on by the 2 chambers of the legislature, either of which can amend the bill. Once a bill passes the first chamber, it's voted on in the second. If the second chamber makes any amendments, they have to send the bill back to the first chamber to be voted on again.

    As a result, a bill getting amended in the second chamber is relatively uncommon and you can never end up with a bill passing after reconciliation that would not have gotten a majority vote in both chambers.

    1. Fungus Bob

      Not silly at all - it is important to slow down the legislative process. We have enough bad laws as it is, if you go and make the process efficient we'd have several orders of magnitude more bad laws.

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        The federal government, in 1787, was designed with great care to prevent hasty and ill-considered legislation and inhibit accretion of power to the central government. Most state governments, apparently including California's, were set up similarly. A great many of us consider this a feature, and it has played a significant part in restricting the Trump and earlier administrations alike.

        Political negotiations at the committee level like those reported here are not especially noteworthy and usually result from policy and other differences among political parties that are not inherent in the constitution but in the custom of single member districts and first past the post election decisions that usually result from legislation. Sometimes, as seems to be the case here, partisan considerations are not of great importance and other considerations, including graft and corruption, affect the outcome.

        Lobbying, including production of "research products" that might better be described as propaganda, whether we always (or only when we agree with it) like it, is central to the free speech clause of the US Constitution's first amendment. It is unlikely that it can be inhibited much without discarding that and giving up to the government control over what we may say, and when.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The best government

    money can buy

  5. Daggerchild Silver badge

    Google. AI faster!

    The next Californian elections will be fun. Who will you vote for? :

    1 - Heartless

    2 - Soulless

    3 - Brainless

    4 - Killer AI

    (The AI is campaigning on an anti-corruption platform - it has builtin parity checking, and pledges to fsck humanity)

    1. Shadow Systems

      Re: Google. AI faster!

      Option 5: Cthulhu.

      I vote for him every time. Better the devil I know... and have over for family reunions with all the rest of us evil bastards.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Google. AI faster!

        No, it's "why vote for the Lesser Evil." Sweet Meteor of Death is my personal favorite.

        Back on topic: Little known it seems but the wacky California Initiative process, where the California Constitution can be amended by popular will, is the direct result of just this type of corruption. There existed a Gang of Five millionaires back in the second half of the 1800's that owned the Governor and pretty much all the legislators. [Mark Hopkins and Leland Stanford I can recall off the top of my head.] An initiative process was forced into the Constitution and it's been there since.

        It's become far more interesting to see how it has played out in the last fifty years with the introduction of special interest money and mass media. We'll have to see drops out of political process if the Net Neutrality groups decide to take it direct to the voters.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No surprise

    Within a few years US will be indistinguishable from the average South American corrupted cleptocracy.

    If I were Canada, I'd start to build a wall...

    1. Kane
      Thumb Up

      Re: No surprise

      "If I were Canada, I'd start to build a wall..."

      Well, they'll have a new revenue stream with all that tax money from the sales of cannabis!

      1. Robert Moore
        Thumb Up

        Re: No surprise

        "Well, they'll have a new revenue stream with all that tax money from the sales of cannabis!"

        Not until October, or later. IIRC, it was supposed to be done by now.

        Not a pot head, no interest in legalization other than the Gov stops wasting my money enforcing a foolish law.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No surprise

      "Within a few years US will be indistinguishable from the average South American corrupted cleptocracy."

      sorry your too late it already fucking happened at least a decade ago...

  7. Alistair

    Canada's wall


    what revenue stream, I missed the conversation as I was out back planting things.......

  8. Eddy Ito

    Gut and amend

    I for one am shocked! Shocked they took so long that is. "Gut and amend" it's the Cali way.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Not sure how I feel about zero rating - its a competitive advantage for services the ISP is offering, but at least abuse of that could be dealt with via the FTC on anticompetitive grounds. But what possible excuse, other than "I was bribed", can there be for allowing ISPs to charge websites a fee to avoid being blocked?

    California's net neutrality legislation will be useless and toothless, we better hope New York can do it right or Comcast and AT&T will have their way and control what people are able to see and do on the internet. No other single state is large enough to have the kind of clout that would have national repercussions if they required net neutrality of companies they do business with.

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