FCC Unveils Plan To Roll Back Net Neutrality Rules

The Trump administration has just set in motion a plan to repeal virtually all of the U.S. government’s existing net neutrality rules — a move that could soon deliver a major deregulatory win to telecom/cable giants like AT&T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon.  Ironically, the move comes just as another Trump administration department, the DOJ, seems intent upon delivering a massive blow to AT&T's efforts to acquire Time Warner.

According to a statement from FCC Chair Ajit Pai, the move is intended to return the internet to the "light-touch regulatory approach established by President Clinton and a Republican Congress."

“For almost twenty years, the Internet thrived under the light-touch regulatory approach established by President Clinton and a Republican Congress. This bipartisan framework led the private sector to invest $1.5 trillion building communications networks throughout the United States. And it gave us an Internet economy that became the envy of the world."


“But in 2015, the prior FCC bowed to pressure from President Obama. On a party-line vote, it imposed heavy-handed, utility-style regulations upon the Internet. That decision was a mistake. It’s depressed investment in building and expanding broadband networks and deterred innovation."


“Today, I have shared with my colleagues a draft order that would abandon this failed approach and return to the longstanding consensus that served consumers well for decades. Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet. Instead, the FCC would simply require Internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate."


“Additionally, as a result of my proposal, the Federal Trade Commission will once again be able to police ISPs, protect consumers, and promote competition, just as it did before 2015. Notably, my proposal will put the federal government’s most experienced privacy cop, the FTC, back on the beat to protect consumers’ online privacy."


Of course, as Recode points out, Obama's net neutrality rules were celebrated by websites and content providers who could be subjected to throttling by telecom and cable companies who own distribution networks.

Adopted in 2015 under former President Barack Obama, the U.S. government’s current approach to net neutrality subjects the likes of AT&T, Comcast, Charter and Verizon to utility-like regulation. That legal foundation prevents them from blocking or throttling web pages, while banning content-delivery deals known as paid prioritization. And it grants the FCC wide legal range to review virtually any online practice it deems harmful to consumers.


Such strong rules always have been popular in Silicon Valley, where startups in particular fear they could not compete without tough net neutrality safeguards. But they long have drawn sharp opposition from the telecom industry, which sued the FCC in 2015 in a bid to overturn them.


Before that case could come to its conclusion, however, Trump entered the White House, ushering in a new era of Republican control at the nation’s telecom agency. And Pai, a fervent opponent of utility-like regulation of net neutrality, set about undoing the Obama-era rules almost as soon as he took over the FCC.

Pai said his full proposal will be released for public review tomorrow and will be voted on by the FCC on December 14th.


Chupacabra-322 Tue, 11/21/2017 - 12:13 Permalink

How has the Criminal Tyrannical Lawless Surveillance started & continues till today with impunity & grown to gargantuan proportions.

Room 641A. That's how.


Room 641A. That's how.

The entire US populace has been under metadata surveillance since that little pesky AT&T room 641A & since October 2001. Right after the False Flag of 911.


According to the Times piece, the siphoning of internet data from AT&T began in 2003 and continued for a decade in a relationship that the NSA called “highly collaborative.” The telecom giant, according to one Snowden document, was extremely willing to help out the spy agency, and its engineers “were the first to try out new surveillance technologies invented by the eavesdropping agency.”

According to the Times, AT&T began turning over emails and other internet data to the spy agency around October 2001, even before the secret rooms were built, in a program dubbed “Fairview.” The program forwarded 400 billion Internet metadata records to the NSA’s headquarters at Ft. Meade in Maryland—which included the senders and recipients of emails and other details, but not the content of the correspondence. AT&T also forwarded more than one million emails a day to be run through the NSA’s keyword selection system. In September 2003, AT&T apparently enabled a new collection capability for the spy agency, which amounted to a “‘live’ presence on the global net.” The Times doesn’t elaborate on what this involved.


The Illegal, Criminal surveillance continues to this day with Impunity especially after the Criminal Centralized Telecommunications Companies were given retroactive immunity by a Criminal, Tyrannical Lawless Supreme Court.
It's the exact reason why the absolute, complete, open in your Face

Tyrannical Lawlessness

continues to this day.

But in the US, large and powerful actors must not be and are not subject to the rule of law. So telecoms hired former government officials from both parties to lobby for them and poured money into the coffers of key Democratic Senators such as Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (who became the chief advocate of telecom immunity).

In 2008, the industry obtained an extraordinary act of Congress that gave them the gift of retroactive immunity from all criminal and civil liability for their participation in the illegal eavesdropping programs aimed at Americans on US soil. The immunity was enacted by an overwhelming bipartisan vote, with the support of leading Democrats including Barack Obama, who had promised - when seeking his party's nomination - to filibuster any bill that contained retroactive telecom immunity.


MozartIII WTFRLY Tue, 11/21/2017 - 12:37 Permalink

Shut up dick weed. This conversation has nothing to do with your self imposed religious beliefs. The vast majority of the people that you claim to be Jewish are not, in name or action. But your willing to create one to fit your purpose. Regards A Catholic!  That is tiered of seeing you idiots blame others for you failures. Then clog up this board with your diverse opinions. S/

In reply to by WTFRLY

virgule MozartIII Tue, 11/21/2017 - 12:49 Permalink

From eff.org:This is our last chance to keep Congress from stripping away crucial online privacy protections. Call your representatives now and tell them to protect federal privacy rules.Your Internet service provider knows a lot about you: the webpages you visit, the things you purchase, the people you talk to, and more. Last year, the federal government updated rules to ensure that the companies that act as gatekeepers to the Internet can’t compromise your privacy to make a profit. Those rules were a huge win for consumers and are set to go into effect this year.But Congress—along with the ISPs looking to make more money off of their customers—is trying to change that. The Senate voted 50-48 to pass a measure last week that would repeal those rules, and the House is scheduled to vote tomorrow.Because Congress is using a little-known tool called a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution, it would also effectively prohibit the FCC from creating similar privacy rules in the future. That could leave consumers without a federal agency to protect them against privacy invasions by their ISPs.And it’s not just following you around the Internet to sell your browsing records to advertisers that we’re worried about. If Congress repeals these rules, ISPs will be able to do things like hijack your Internet searches to redirect you to advertisers’ pages, show you additional ads, and use supercookies to track you even when you’re using pro-privacy settings like Incognito mode.We need to let our representatives in Congress know that they can’t put ISPs’ profits ahead of their constituents’ privacy. Call your lawmakers today and tell them to oppose S.J. Res 34, the CRA resolution to repeal the FCC’s privacy rules.https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/03/five-creepy-things-your-isp-could…

In reply to by MozartIII

GoinFawr 11b40 Fri, 11/24/2017 - 16:37 Permalink

But don't you lot always say "all gov't bad always in all ways"?Why this smacks of (gasp!) regulation, this expecting something from 'gubermint' in return for your taxes. That said, I susppose I should just ignore you lot's twisted doubleplusgoodthoughts and just be happy you can at least be reasonable about something.

In reply to by 11b40

a Smudge by an… virgule Tue, 11/21/2017 - 13:07 Permalink

I see no connection between the legislation and the issues you describe, which are a fait accompli at this point.

The "net neutrality" thing was flawed from the start. Basically it was pushed by Netflix, porn and the gaming industry. Their business models rely on MASSIVE USAGE OF SOMEBODY ELSE'S BANDWIDTH to deliver their services.

It was predicted that this would stifle "the great buildout" (investment in telecomm infrastructure) because why invest in a fish that gets eaten by other fish? Investment flowed to the top-level predator (Netflix) who got the benefit of the buildout but shared no expense in it's creation.

Now of course this doesn't put the major carriers in a heavenly light. They could have capped data plans, phones do, but they are in a corporate religious war to own the term "unlimited". Which frankly in the real world doesn't exist.

Make no mistake, they already own your data, they own all of it and they have absolutely no intention to stop collecting it.

In reply to by virgule

GoinFawr a Smudge by an… Sat, 11/25/2017 - 00:16 Permalink

"The "net neutrality" thing was flawed from the start."Yep it was never perfect, but perhaps you can outline how stripping any and all protections altogether is going to be that much better?In the meantime if you require absolute perfection from, well, anything you might be asking too much.Oh, and that bandwidth belongs to me and you; you know: the one's paying our ISP's for the use of it

In reply to by a Smudge by an…

Dontblamethegoat Chupacabra-322 Tue, 11/21/2017 - 13:31 Permalink

I left Pac Bell in mid '90s .... and ATT already had survelliance gear in that room ....  people who were on the ATT account - part of the IXC group - knew it too.  I expect any Class 4 CO POP that routed traffic off shore had such a room too.  All that happened after 9/11 was a lot more gear got added into it.  BBN was recruitiing telco guys back then too, and were very interested in people with packet and fiber backgrounds.  Gee, I wonder why ...

In reply to by Chupacabra-322

besnook Tue, 11/21/2017 - 12:23 Permalink

the usa has the worst internet coverage with the most expensive access costs of all the first world countries and many of the emerging market countries because it was left to for profit entities. it is a fucking utility.

HillaryOdor besnook Tue, 11/21/2017 - 12:30 Permalink

For profit companies would be competing to offer the lowest cost and best service if not for you people being useful idiots for big telecom and insisting government get involved.  But instead the state is happy to jump in (When is it not?) and somehow cartels and monopolies form.  Somehow.  Every fucking time.  Fuck you.

In reply to by besnook

HillaryOdor taketheredpill Tue, 11/21/2017 - 12:38 Permalink

Switch ISPs if you are unhappy with their service.  Oh wait you can't because they have been granted monopoly privilege almost everywhere and the barriers to entry in just about every industry are now insurmountable.  Well I'm sure more government will fix that.  No matter what the problem, the solution is always more government. Anyway there are always ways to get to any website.  You can't stop the internet.And no there is no such thing as a natural monopoly.  Thomas J. DiLorenzo wrote an excellent paper on this very subject.https://mises.org/library/myth-natural-monopolyMonopolies are government creations, everywhere and always.

In reply to by taketheredpill

Captain Nemo d… HillaryOdor Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:41 Permalink

Innovation, which is implementing novelty commercially, is not intrinsically good or bad. Often it is how can we show everyone some new shiny thing while we take more control over them. When it does not suit them, like AT&T and packet-switching networks, they will only be too happy to delay things ...like the internet ...by years .Given the fact that there are insurmountable barriers to indsutry, the natural tendency would seem to be towards larger companies doing whatever they can to gain monopolies, including ...surprise surprise ...influencing the government to tilt the playing field. Removing all regulation is good in the lala land where people all compete fairly and do not try to fool others just long enough that they get what they want, while those hurt pick up the pieces for years after that.[Enron. The big-five of accounting ...remember Arthur Anderson ...Just Relax? Corzine]. Realistically the only regulations removed first are those that allow the powerful to gain more power, which can then be used to gain even more down the line. Is net neutrality really the first thing that needs to go?So with the ISP monopolies in place why not let FB, who can do a deal with your ISP and your carrier, be your de-facto news agency when private companies can always decide what content they want or do not want on their websites. Doogle will, of course, direct you to desirable pages where Amazin' will disappear bad reviews for books they woud like to promote. Given the size of the ecosystem such companies can support you may never even come to realize that you need to switch your ISP. Information is the basis for decision-making, and of course everything will be fine if we let some companies decide what we should read about. After everyone has been dumbed down and corporations have taken over even more control, in the long-term things will surely get back to a "rational" situation. Or people can learn all about networking and find "other" ways to access sites ...yes ...it will increase the technical competence of hte population at large.Internet access is infrastructure now. Entry barriers are high not just because of government regulations but because it is not easy to lay fiber or cable and EM spectrum is limited as well.It is when some commodity is scarce that people need to find a common ground ...in civilized societies via the government. Making sure everyone has access to it is really not the most offensive regulation that needs to be repealed post-haste. 

In reply to by HillaryOdor

HillaryOdor Captain Nemo d… Tue, 11/21/2017 - 17:38 Permalink

Everyone is already dumbed down, including you, especially you.  The barriers to entry are caused by government.  Yes laying wire is an investment, and I guess I'm supposed to believe it's too difficult to get money to invest what with monetary policy being as tight as it is.  What's that?  It's the loosest ever?  Well I'm sure there's some other reason.  New wire has to be laid in the future anyway as technological advances allow higher throughput to service ever more data.  How much do the municipalities extort you for laying wire since they control everything?  I bet it's a lot, too much.  Any is too much really and that land should all be private anyway.  You cannot fix government with more government.  You will only make everything worse and worse.  But I'm all for it at this point.  I'm just tired of fighting mass delusion.  I hope you get all the government you deserve.  It might even be more than you want but hey, there's no such thing as too much of a good thing, am I right?

In reply to by Captain Nemo d…

HillaryOdor besnook Tue, 11/21/2017 - 13:05 Permalink

The issues.  What issues?  Be specific.  You're the one who wants the government to take over even more power than they already have and you can't even list one reason why.  I don't have any problems with my internet, Time Warner now Spectrum, other than it being more expensive than it should be. I'll have a crack at answering anyway.  (a) They are not dumbfuck Americans.  They are dumbfuck Europeans.  It's a different culture and they pay a lot more in taxes.  Just because your monthly bill may be cheaper doesn't necessarily mean you pay less.  Yes I'm sure you can find government funded studies celebrating the greatness of government run internet.  If you ever become not a worthless bum and actually pay into the tax system you probably pay a lot more for these kinds of things.  That's the spirit of progressivism, i.e. neo-Marxism.(b) The same goods and services cost different amounts for a lot of reasons, local government regulations, local cartel formation, relative currency strength, differing labor markets can let some workers bid up wages more in one area than another.  There are all kinds of reasons.(c) They are not ruled by the same bureaucracy we are, not yet at least although not for lack of effort by the EU. (d) They have smaller sovereign states.  More decentralized power means less corruption.  But who cares?  Let's just centralize it more and more.  Government schools taught me how great the government is!(e) The urban sprawl is different in America than a lot of other places.  We have a lot of land.  That requires a lot of infrastructure costs.  How about you take some personal responsibility and move somewhere that has internet access you like instead of demanding everyone else fund a line to the middle of nowhere just for you. 

In reply to by besnook

besnook HillaryOdor Tue, 11/21/2017 - 13:08 Permalink

no, except for the dumb fuck americans. almost all countries realized, in an imminent domain sort of way, realized universal access to highspeed, wifi internet is good for the aggregate economy, not just a few local deep pockets to take advantage of. the returns on the tax investment far outweigh benefitting the privileged few.as for .gov schooling. it also works better in all the other countries so their is a problem in .gov administration not .gov itself.there are a few things that are better if administered correctly by .gov(the people if they are smart). utilities are one example. the internet is a utility.

In reply to by HillaryOdor

HillaryOdor besnook Tue, 11/21/2017 - 13:30 Permalink

(a) .gov is not the people.  You have been brainwashed if you believe that.(b) People are generally not smart as you clearly show (see also (a))(c) .gov cannot possibly be more efficient than an unhampered market because it is not constrained by generating actual profits.  Taxes are confiscatory and can always just be increased when .gov screws up.  Smart people would have noticed that (see (b), also the socialist calculation debate).I don't want to live somewhere where a bunch of arrogant retards (i.e. you) think they know what's best for the economy or anything else and believe in this greater good bullshit as an excuse to steal other people's property.  Unfortunately that's everywhere so I don't have much choice.  You however have all the choice in the world.  There are so many first-world countries just waiting for your boundless talents and the subsequent immense contribution to the aggregate economy.  Dally not.  Utopia awaits you.  I'd even be willing to chip in for a plane ticket.  Some people are trying to actually give people choices again here in the states.  I know it's awful, so hurry and get out before the imminent collapse from too much freedom.

In reply to by besnook

besnook HillaryOdor Tue, 11/21/2017 - 15:29 Permalink

you seem to be stuck in some idyllic utopian dream. the free market is only efficient in theory. the practical application results in all sorts of inefficiencies. there are certainly a multitude of examples where .gov interference is just that, interference but to deny .gov has its place is ignoring reality. the rollout of the internet in the usa is one of them as has been proven in the utility market(think of what happened in the california utility market with energy trading derivatives). the internet is a utility.

In reply to by HillaryOdor

HillaryOdor oromae Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:33 Permalink

Well the companies love having regional monopolies because they can charge more.  The state loves selling its influence to make this a reality because the bureaucrats in charge get all kinds of kickbacks from said companies.  It's an unholy alliance between corporate influence and state power.  There's a word for that...but it escapes me.The important point is that this cannot happen without state intervention though, and we need private companies unless you think North Korea is a great place to live.  More importantly this is an inevitable consequence of letting the state interfere in the economy at all in the first place, which is why free markets are so important.  If the state intervenes at all you have sown the seeds for your own destruction.  After all if the state can do internet access better, why not health care?  Why not computers and cell phones?  Why not clothes and houses and food?  Why not everything?  There is no theory here, unless you consider Marx some kind of visionary.  It's all ad hoc and contingent only on whatever people will accept.  And unfortunately people can be made to accept anything, literally.  Letting the state run everything has been tried several times.  It didn't end well for those people.  Unfortunately people don't learn.  They just choose what they want to believe.  So no matter how bad the companies are, the state is worse.  You can always boycott a company.  Try boycotting the state and see what happens.

In reply to by oromae

HillaryOdor ConnectingTheDots Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:48 Permalink

Yes there is only one provider most place, because of government interference in the markets.  It's not a difficult concept to grasp.  You just have to get through the anti-profit brainwashing.And yes companies do try to match each others' prices.  That's called competition and it's how prices come down. It's hilarious you talk like it's a bad thing, or it would be if it weren't so sad.  It's the lack of competition that hurts us, caused by favors and state privilege pushing out smaller competitors.  This is basic stuff here.

In reply to by ConnectingTheDots