Republican Lawmakers Target FCC in First Hours of New Congress

January 7, 2011 -

The new Republican controlled House or Representatives wasted no time this week getting to its agenda which included amending the clean air act, cuts in discretionary spending, plans for hearing on the powers of the president's "czars," and a bill that would limit the power of the FCC to enforce net neutrality.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced H.R. 96, a bill "to prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from further regulating the Internet."

Blackburn's new bill has 59 co-sponsors, and should have no problem passing in the House. In the Senate it has less of a chance of surviving.

Republicans in the House and Senate have vowed to find ways to curtail the powers of the FCC and other agencies. The FCC is one of many targets that lawmakers will attempt to take to task in 2011.

Source: Ars Technica


Comments

Re: Republican Lawmakers Target FCC in First Hours of New ...

"wasted time this week"

Fixed that for you.

But it's good to see the Party of 'No' is back in action!

Re: Republican Lawmakers Target FCC in First Hours of New ...

The thing is that the Republicans, when saying they're concerned with regulation of the internet, are not worried about content access.  Rather, they're more concerned with the Telecoms not being allowed to do whatever they want to content access.  Yeah, they want to avoid regulation, but on the business side, not on the consumer's side.  The rich lobbyists have them firmly by the balls, Net Neutrality as a concept is "bad."

I honestly can't tell if I like what the FCC is doing or not.  But I at least know the Republicans are not thinking of me on this issue.

Re: Republican Lawmakers Target FCC in First Hours of New ...

Good start for this bill, as further regulation of the Internet could mean content regulation. If the new Congress is serious about cutting government spending, why not slash the FCC and FTC (tasked with stings on game stores and enforcing COPPA) entirely?

Re: Republican Lawmakers Target FCC in First Hours of New ...

That's a huge leap of logic. How is net neutrality going to lead to content regulation? The FCC is not trying to regulate the internet. They're trying to put limits on what ISPs can restrict your access to and what content/services you can use uninhibited. They're trying to stop them from turning the internet into what we have with cable TV. They (The ISPs) choose what parts of the internet you get to see, for whatever they want to charge and if you want to see more, you have to buy more packages. They also get to decide if you get to watch steaming video content that competes with their cable services. So many people are dumping cable to use streaming services provided by the TV networks, they're competing with the cable giants. They also don't want you to use the cheap or free VoIP services so that you will use their expensive service. To get you to use theirs, they can just degrade your connection when you try to use it.

That's what you're asking for when you oppose net neutrality. They have a monopoly on how you access the internet and they're spreading FUD to get you to oppose it so they can keep out any competition. It's not the government trying to tell you want you can or cannot do on the internet. The ISPs are already trying to do that with usage caps, less than suitable speeds, and obscene pricing. The FCC is trying to protect consumers from absurd abuses like I stated above. It's too bad they forced them to gut the bill into a token gesture of what it was before.

Here's the difference between NN and no NN:

No NN:

-ISPs can degrade or block your connection to sites that are competitors or haven't paid for faster access to you.

-ISPs can deny access for devices that compete with their product. (e.g. modems)

-They can put caps on your usage so that it's harder to watch TV from online sources.

-They can degrade your VoIP service to force you to use theirs.

-They can charge fantastic amounts for the faster speeds.

-They can limit you to viewing a pre-selected set of websites unless you pay extra.

-They can divide interdependent services up into multiple services so they can charge for them separately.

-They can give preference to or degrade traffic they deem to do so.

Basically, as it is, they have the power to tell you what you can do, how you can do it, and what you can use on the internet.

NN:

-They can't degrade nor block access to any site, service,  software, or device regardless of whether that competes with them and/or their partners.

Basically, they become a dumb pipe that simply provides connection. The only traffic shaping that's permitted is for efficiency and it is done to all data equally.

 

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Republican Lawmakers Target FCC in First Hours of New ...

Considering Barrack Obama tried to get someone to attach an amendment to a renewal of the Patriot Act to allow the Justice Department to look at everyone's email - quite literally without a warrant, not with a secret FISA warrant that you just don't like - I'd say content regulation is a very real threat with net neutrality.

---

With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Republican Lawmakers Target FCC in First Hours of New ...

I still don't see the correlation. The Patriot Act pertains to wire-tapping, with which they don't need any form of internet regulation to employ. It has nothing to do with regulating content. Net Neutraility doesn't say what you can't access. It only says what ISPs can't block or degrade. Unless I see language in a bill that does precisely what you're claiming will happen, I'll hold to my previous statement. Without proof, you're just making speculation and possibly trying to scare people away. You really need to stop crying wolf on this whole content regulation business, as it appears that you're just making it up.

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Republican Lawmakers Target FCC in First Hours of New ...

It could make a difference if a content restriction ever makes its way to SCOTUS. The Justices can say, "Due to the laws giving the FCC broad power to regulate Internet access, we can determine that Congress decided to give broad reach to the FCC as a whole." The original intent in the establishment of the FCC was to distribute licenses for radio broadcasting, but over the years, their powers have been increasingly broadened in scope to where they can regulate "indecency" (FCC v. Pacifica). There has been an overall trend of giving them more, not less, power, so Congress could one day see that with all the responsibilities they have, it would be acceptable to give them one more.

I don't necessarily believe that giving ISP's the power to block access to others' content is a good idea. However, giving more power to a governmental agency that SCOTUS has decided is constitutional to be in the censorship business is never a good idea.

Re: Republican Lawmakers Target FCC in First Hours of New ...

I think it's fine that SCOTUS and Congress wish to deprivethe FCC of the power to censor content. That's great! What I don't like are people claiming that clearly stated rules intended to keep someone else from doing the same isn't worthy of having. So fine, strip them of their censorship powers and give them the power and the mandate to stop others from doing the same. Open and free communications should be the primary goal of the FCC.

Parents should be the sole and primary censors of content when it comes to their children. Adults have the right and power to not view content they deem offensive. The FCC shouldn't be the morality police for an entire nation. Maybe they should then have their name changed to the Federal Communications and Anti-Censorship Commission (FCAC)?

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Republican Lawmakers Target FCC in First Hours of New ...

Oh boy kill it because it dose not give enough to corporations...


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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