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The New York Times is calling this a "monentous battle over whether the internet should remain free and open", yet this is flying below radar. I'm sharing this to call attention to this battle and encouraging people to weigh in with the FCC and their legislators:

WASHINGTON — In a momentous battle over whether the Web should remain free and open, members of a federal appeals court expressed doubt over a government requirement that Internet service providers treat all traffic equally.

On Monday, the Federal Communications Commission and Verizon, one of the largest Internet service providers, squared off in a two-hour session of oral arguments — three times as long as was scheduled. As Verizon pushed for the authority to manage its own pipes, the government argued that creators of legal content should have equal access to Internet users, lest big players gain an unfair advantage.

But two judges appeared deeply skeptical that the F.C.C. had the authority to regulate the Internet in that manner.

The two jurists, Judge Laurence H. Silberman and Judge David S. Tatel, said that the agency’s anti-discrimination rule — which requires an Internet service provider to give all traffic that travels through its pipes the same priority — illegally imposed rules meant for telephones on the infrastructure of the Web. The F.C.C. itself disallowed the telephone-type regulation a decade ago.

The third judge, Judith W. Rogers, did not ask as many questions but appeared to accept much of the F.C.C.’s position.

Consumers could experience a significant change in the Internet if the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit strikes down the F.C.C.’s requirement, called the Open Internet Order.

I'm not sure if its possible to weigh in on this at this point with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but perhaps a reader here will know if there is a way and share it with everyone. Also, at this point, it is clear legislation is needed to protect Net neutrality, and this will only come with public pressure. That means contacting and pressuring legislators.

This of course has the potential to set a dangerous precedent. There should be a mass boycott of Verizon as well, with folks jumping ship to other providers to send a clear message.

From Save the Net Neutrality 101:

The End of the Internet?
Make no mistake: The free-flowing Internet as we know it could very well become history.

What does that mean? It means we could be headed toward a pay-per-view Internet where Web sites have fees. It means we may have to pay a network tax to run voice-over-the-Internet phones, use an advanced search engine, or chat via Instant Messenger. The next generation of inventions will be shut out of the top-tier service level. Meanwhile, the network owners will rake in even greater profits.

We can't let this happen.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (142+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oslyn7, Pirogue, DRo, OHdog, emeraldmaiden, leeleedee, jbob, hlsmlane, Flying Goat, psnyder, Steven D, terabytes, owlbear1, marleycat, BYw, aznavy, gerrilea, triv33, tommymet, Tinfoil Hat, bastrop, bobswern, jadt65, renzo capetti, PhilJD, zerone, Caddis Fly, SpecialKinFlag, oortdust, karmsy, tapestry, vahana, wayoutinthestix, mudslide, kerflooey, Mary Mike, deben, IndieGuy, rmonroe, jfromga, Kimbeaux, figbash, greenbastard, AZ Sphinx Moth, twigg, zerelda, TomP, GeorgeXVIII, Involuntary Exile, Tunk, TracieLynn, mint julep, lostinamerica, Statusquomustgo, Mentatmark, NMRed, Betty Pinson, hubcap, Brooke In Seattle, phenry, Colorado is the Shiznit, MKinTN, stevemb, No one gets out alive, JDWolverton, splashy, shari, WFBMM, commonmass, blueoregon, quill, elwior, Eddie C, koNko, Josiah Bartlett, Oaktown Girl, J V Calin, boatjones, Catte Nappe, lcrp, highacidity, rantsposition, la urracca, Simplify, Kentucky Kid, radarlady, Byron from Denver, livingthedream, Einsteinia, petulans, Pithy Cherub, AoT, trumpeter, catfishbob, allenjo, DEMonrat ankle biter, markthshark, yet another liberal, shortgirl, VTCC73, Winston Sm1th, sillycarrot, bluicebank, YucatanMan, ChemBob, BachFan, Dallasdoc, Lujane, EastcoastChick, Buckeye Nut Schell, Chaddiwicker, IL clb, jabney, pgm 01, Aaa T Tudeattack, Australian2, DawnN, kimoconnor, Alice Venturi, Just Bob, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, northsylvania, peacestpete, turn blue, Danno11, KenBee, Robynhood too, akmk, DeadHead, Matt Z, grollen, cybersaur, SouthernLiberalinMD, ColoTim, blueoasis, Alumbrados, Nebraskablue, Larsstephens, Drocedus, IreGyre, The Jester, blue91
  •  It's the same ploy, over and over. (32+ / 0-)

    It's hilarious that its Verizon, considering that I live one hour plus a few minutes from DC and Verizon cell service does not cover our whole county. Nor will it ever, they have said.

    No Fios here either.

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 04:39:53 AM PDT

    •  There are many people/co's online... (24+ / 0-)

      ...that would strongly lobby on both sides of this issue.

      Existing content providers in other/traditional media that are being undercut by broadband streaming of various forms would be mixed to strongly in favor of restricting/modulating access. Mixed, because their recent investments (over the past few years) to jump into the fray. Against keeping the Internet wide open, because they view competition as detrimental to their business' longevity.

      Virtually every major Internet content provider would be working very to make sure this matter case is run into the ground.

      As a small businessperson who relies upon an open Internet to support their business (software-as-a-service, and/or SaaS), limiting access among the general population could turn out to be my tiny company's biggest nightmare. If rates were reasonable, in terms of serving businesses (whom I serve with my company's software) at say 50% to 100% more than what consumers pay for wide-open access today, my company would probably be alright. But, we don't know what we don't know at this point...

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 06:10:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To add perspective, what we want is a (26+ / 0-)

        common carrier info superhighway. As long as you're in a motor vehicle, you use the road. Everyone, in theory, goes the same speed.

        Verizon wants to give itself an advantage without taking on additional obligations. They've got no interest, for example, in high speed broadband in my county. If they got to control traffic, however, on their fiber lines, then the local businesses or coops that are going to have to step in to provide broadband could be placed in second or third class status.

        Meanwhile, of course, Verizon is clearly plotting to monopolize wireless broadband where it can.

        So if my analysis is correct, someone streaming a movie in their minivan passing through my county would have priority over local access, wired or not, that is not on Verizon.

        The analogy is with railroads. Although they were common carriers, they were under no obligation to provide railroad cars to competitors who were not large enough to have their own. So if you were trying to compete shipping coal, you were free to do so as long as you could do without cars owned by your connecting railroad.

        The Pennsylvaina Railroad and the little Ohio River and Western provide the case study, from the early 1900s.

        Eventually the PRR simply took over the smaller line and destroyed service so it could abandon large portions.

        Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

        by dadadata on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 07:07:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Common carrier status is a good example (29+ / 0-)

          and, like public utilities, open and fair access to the internet and wireless broadband is essential for the public good and public safety.    

          Today's US cable/broadband system was primarily funded with federal dollars or heavily subsidized with tax cuts and other incentives.  Some of that funding came as recently as 2009, with Obama's economic stimulus plan when $7.2 billion was given to states to expand broadband access in rural areas.

          Stimulus Billions Fund Rural Broadband Internet

          The idea that Verizon can claim some sort of monopoly because of their "investment" and "ownership" is ridiculous.

          "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

          by Betty Pinson on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 08:03:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That the regulations deny "common carrier" status (5+ / 0-)

            currently is the most disturbing part. How can they pretend otherwise?

            Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

            by Simplify on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:18:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They don't even understand the level of shit (2+ / 0-)

              That they would open themselves to. Not a common carrier? Cool. You're now responsible for all the traffic and content on your network.

              Copyright violations? Your problem.
              Hate speech? Your problem.
              Illegal content/kiddie porn? Your problem.

              Let's sue you for all of it.

              This is a greedy corporation trying to accidentally extinguish themselves.

              "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class." - Violet Crawley

              by nightsweat on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:56:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not really (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Under the DMCA and other laws they only have to monitor content if they monitor all content. Otherwise they just monitor for information type and source and filter by that. They've built in a lot of protections for their racket.

              •  Most major ISPs already agreed to act as (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                copyright cops under the 6 strikes program.

                Verizon is the only major ISP that will cap customers' data speeds under CAS. Before doing so, Verizon will issue a series of alerts and then force repeat-offender FiOS customers to watch instructional videos about copyright and legal methods of downloading content. If customers continue pirating content, their connection will be capped at near dial-up speeds for two to three days.

                Verizon customers will get two weeks' notice before any slowdown occurs, providing a window to appeal piracy accusations. Customers of any ISP can appeal a CAS copyright alert for a $35 fee, which is waived if their appeal is granted or if they express financial difficulties.

                Update: Cablevision has announced it will completely suspend customers' Internet service for 24 hours following the fifth and sixth alerts if unchallenged by customers.

                A Time Warner Cable representative told Mashable that it will not throttle customers' data plans or terminate service under CAS mitigation. Time Warner Cable customers accused of piracy will receive a series of alerts which, if they are ignored, will lead to customers experiencing a browser lock until they call Time Warner Cable representatives for an instructional conversation about copyright and legal methods of downloading content.

                Comcast won't cap Internet speeds, either. Instead, repeat offenders will be first made to confirm receipt of stern warning emails. If their unwanted behavior continues, they will encounter persistant in-browser alerts, deletion of which will require a call to Comcast Security Assurance. CSA will discuss copyright issues and legal downloading alternatives with Comcast customers before deactivating the alerts. A Comcast spokesperson told Mashable the company's intent is to "inform, educate and engage."

                AT&T is also choosing not to throttle users' speeds. AT&T customers accused of piracy will receive a series of alerts. If an accused customer continues illegally downloading content after receiving four such alerts, AT&T will demand they "take an extra step to review materials on an online portal that will educate them on the distribution of copyrighted content online" before they can access other websites, according to a company statement. AT&T noted the program is focused on "customer education rather than punishment."

                The RIAA/MPAA broke common carrier by threatening the ISPs until they agreed to this new system.  Content and connection providers want an app based system where they charge for specific access and limit competition.  It will bring in plenty of money for the corporations while harming the 1%, so in other words, a perfect plan.
            •  "They didn't build that" (6+ / 0-)

              to coin a popular phrase.  

              We, the taxpayers, built it with our tax dollars.  If Verizon and others take the money or use what the federal government built, they have to follow the rules.

              I think a boycott is a great idea.  Then we should get Congress and the WH to nationalize the internet and cable/broadband system in the US.  We built it, we own it.

              "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

              by Betty Pinson on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:48:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Yes. One more form of privatization. (0+ / 0-)

            Fuck these guys.

            And Verizon, you have a lot of gall claiming ownership over  the tubes when you can't even provide decent service.

            The public owns the tubes.

            The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:19:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The rural broadband in 09 was way too small. (0+ / 0-)

            In Maryland, the money was used for the state govt to wire itself up with fiber. And drop a few connections to "anchor institutions" -- schools, etc -- with nary a thought to public access.

            Mikulski's comment, whch is a tired and unworkable cliche, is that private entities had to build the on-ramps.

            And which would those be, in rural areas?

            Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

            by dadadata on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 05:36:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I'd change your second sentence... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lujane, DRo

          ... to "As long as you're in a motor vehicle, you use the road. Everyone, in theory, has the opportunity to go the same speed.

          Everyone has the same chance to be accessible on the internet.

        •  We had common carriers but the Internet ain't it! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scorpiorising, akmk, blueoasis

          The Internet is a prototype for a concept called internetworking. You may think it's finished but its design is more primitive than 1840s steam trains; it really is overdue for replacement.  It was explicitly NOT designed to be a common carrier, either.  An internetwork is something that runs in the payload of other networks.  Those networks used to fall into two categories, local (around your campus or building) and common carrier.  So you could buy common carriage to get to the rest of the Internet.  You could choose your ISP.

          What went wrong was that the FCC in 2005 ruled that broadband circuits underlying the Internet were no longer required to be common carriage. The telephone companies could stop making them available to other ISPs.  So they got a monopoly on access, or a duopoly shared with cable (who was never a common carrier).  That is when "network neutrality" broke out, because before then, if an ISP did something subscribers didn't like, they could go elsewhere.

          For technical and business reasons, including spam (which is blocked by ISPs but must be carried by common carriers), the Internet would not work as common carriage -- it would literally no longer be the Internet, but just a network, like the telephone network (which is technically a catenet).  You really wouldn't like it. Thus the fix is not to turn the Internet into common carriage but to get the FCC to force the telephone companies to offer common carriage again, so that there'd be a choice of ISPs.

          •  I think this distinction is irrelevant to the (0+ / 0-)

            argument about carrying the traffic. I understand what you're saying. Remember my point was that, in theory under the rule for railroads, the little line could sell and ship its coal.

            In practice, if the only connection was with the PRR, and the PRR said, sorry, we have no empties for you, they were hosed.

            That situation is analogous.

            It's just fabulous how Free Market Competition always leads to the Verizons of the world gaming the laws to make them monopolists in all but the narrowest legalistic sense.

            Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

            by dadadata on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 05:40:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sure, but you have to do it right (0+ / 0-)

              If you apply common carriage to the Internet itself, you've broken it, badly.  The Internet is technically electronic publishing. There are literally no layer boundaries between the application and IP itself; it's a mashed-up mess of interlocking protocol.  (The textbooks that say otherwise are wrong.)

              What we have is the equivalent of the post office being shut down in favor of newspaper delivery by the town's two papers, Telco Pravda and Cable Izvestiya. They are of course free to publish what they want and you can start your own paper and publish it but will need your own delivery trucks, which makes it impactical.  NN is like ordering those two papers, and your neighborhood association newsletter that's handed out door to door, and your church bulletin, to be "fair and balanced" in their editorial polcies and to print 100% of the letters to the editor, even if they have to shrink the print to microscopic in order to fit them all when one guy mails in the text of his worthless novel and demands it be published....

    •  Sadly, (9+ / 0-)

      Verizon is the only network that works for me since I live in the woods next to the Blue Ridge.

      I tried Intelos, which offers a much better deal, but it's not a good deal if it doesn't function.

      I limped along with dial-up until March 2011.

      •  I also live in the woods (6+ / 0-)

        next to the Blue Ridge. We use Verizon for phone service, but that entails hiking up to the ridge to get where there's a signal (sometimes). Gonna have to build a bus stop looking shelter one of these days, because standing on the ridge in the rain or snow is damned uncomfortable.

        For intertoobs there's HughesNet. And that's it. Works okay if the weather's nice, ridiculously expensive for not much bandwidth. We had a land line the first ten years we lived here, which Verizon insisted be buried in a trench up the middle of our half-mile driveway. Which destabilized the steep front grade and sent the roadpack into the road every time it rained, and got the cable cut every time the railroad graded it (it's their right of way). So we had to go cell to have phone at all.

        I'm guessing the gub'mint and/or Verizon/Comcast are never planning to run cable out here, or do some big WiFi 'bubble'. Bears don't spend much time on the internet or the phone...

    •  Let's just pull the plug and PAY for our own (5+ / 0-)

      100% independent, OPEN access, internet that cannot be touched by corporations.  

      I'd rather pay for that than continue to pay any cable fees to these pirates.  

      What if everyone was given a cable to connect their own house to a primary cable?  

      I'm just saying we don't have to be held hostage by the corpo-parasites and their bought and paid-for-politicians shills.

      Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

      by Einsteinia on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:30:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This internet is mostly built on (14+ / 0-)

        government dollars. And not just the old lines that predate public access to the internet. Part of TelCo deregulation under Clinton included laying tons of fiber on the government dime, along with backbone infrastructure. So when these companies say the government is trying to tell them what to do with their property it's a lie. The public paid for this shit specifically with the understanding that it would be common carrier.

        •  Exactly. Government subsidies, government (9+ / 0-)

          taxs breaks on rapid depreciation rules, outright government payments, it just goes on and on.

          The public paid for this system and is still paying for it. Why does AT&T have zero dollars in Income Tax due?  Because of these subsidies and rapid write-offs.

          This "It is our stuff" is just an outright lie.  They should be called on it, loudly and clearly.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:48:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Great point, and my FIRST CHOICE is to just (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          keep it public without an corporation intervention.

          But this reminds me of the FCC that was supposed to regulate the airwaves for the public use, but instead it ended up giving prime slots of airwaves to a handful of FOR MASSIVE PROFIT broadcasters.

          Now the broadcast t.v. has gone the way of cable, the cable providers claim ownership of lion's share of public information.  I recall despite MASSIVE public outcry that under the Bush administration, FCC Chair Powell (Colin Powell's son) basically relinquished what was left of FCC oversight of our PUBLIC communications.  

          So, how to get the corpo-parasites out of our means to a genuine democracy based on access to diverse sources of information--is the question.

          Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

          by Einsteinia on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:20:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Blame the FCC for Being Wimps (13+ / 0-)

      The FCC has been unwilling to reverse its Bush era ruling that ISPs are not common carriers.

      It was a bad ruling, and this case shows why.

      6/24/05: Charlie the Tuna Creator Dies En lieu of flowers, please bring mayonnaise, chopped celery and paprika.

      by LunkHead on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:40:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would expect as such from Verizon...but (24+ / 0-)

    what is truly disturbing is that the two appeals court judges, Tatel and Silberman, seem to lack a clue as far as democratic institutions and process. As important as the internet is for the people, these two are siding with restriction on its usage. Clearly, legislation will be needed to protect the internet neutrality.

  •  It does no good to try and pressure FCC because (18+ / 0-)

    the case hinges on whether or not the FCC even has the basic ability under current federal regulations to even regulate the internet to insure net nutrality. If the FCC loses and Verizon (also known as lousy greedy basterds sic.) the only recourse is for Congress to act and give FCC the power.  Too bad we don't have a congress that is capable of acting in the best interest of the country.

    Tea Baggers Unite and follow that lemming.

    by OHdog on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 04:49:02 AM PDT

  •  I have more than enough (21+ / 0-)

    of the sheer greed of American corporations. When do we wake up and say enough already? The sad part is that for many of us we don't have a lot of choices when it comes to providers I have two verizon or comcast. What America needs is to put an end to the control that big money have over all aspect of our lives!!!!!

  •  I'm not terribly surprised. The companies have (5+ / 0-)

    been trying to get this for years.  We can only continue to fight back.

    Mediacom, the primary provider here has moved to something of a tiered data download/upload billing.  I can kinda agree with some of it and think it's probably the fairest we're going to get..... 250gb with account and $10 for every 50gb after that.  The company will forward emails when you hit 75 and 85% of the 250.  They also provide a site that will show how much you've used during the month.  However, their cable and internet service is still pretty expensive in my book..... I spend $138 for the combination - I could cut the 'expanded' cable, but those are the only channels that I really watch (History, History International, Syfi, Science).

    •  Cut Verizon...that's key... (0+ / 0-)

      and send a clear message that this form of greed and anti-democratic processes will not be tolerated.

    •  tiering to me is likely a natural consequence (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson, highacidity

      what is unacceptable is the absolutely shitty level of connection we get and how little incentive there is for competition.

    •  And you were lucky! (6+ / 0-)

      I live in a hinterland of our "underdeveloped" country. I have to rely on satellite service. I have a 10gb per month max download/upload combined limit. $10 per gb if I go over and still want "fast" access.

      Comcast won't run a wire back to where I and about about 60 other people live.

      This country is really starting to suck.

      "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

      by Pescadero Bill on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 07:48:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Third world nation (5+ / 0-)

        Sadly, that's what we've become while our political leaders line their pockets with corporate bribes.

        "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

        by Betty Pinson on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 08:33:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You can try to get get Comcast to run a line (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pescadero Bill

        depending on how their system is set up.  People in a similar situation were able to get a line extended by working with knowledgeable people at  It is all about signals, and if it costs Comcast $10,000 to run a clean signal to a single person, it is not worth it to them.  

        For example, I live on a road where a farm was subdivided and new road with new houses was built.  Comcast did not run lines to the subdivision and the only way to get them to do it would be for enough of the houses to agree to it or somebody with the cash agree to pay for the lines.  Comcast has a shiny fiber to copper box right down the hill from the subdivision so it would be easy enough to run a line but they won't until they get enough demand.  

        The previous cable company was willing to give free internet access to the town library but the town would have to pay the $30,000 to run the new lines underground and buy the necessary amplifiers so it never happened.  Instead they have a T1 provided through the state's education internet program.

  •  In fairness (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, mmacdDE, scorpiorising

    the judges also appeared deeply skeptical (as they should) of verizon arguing first amendment rights.

  •  despite this case jurisdiction, there are other (0+ / 0-)

    legal protections to cite which could maintain current access.

    Don Benedetto was murdered.-IgnazioSilone(BreadAndWine)

    by renzo capetti on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 06:18:48 AM PDT

  •  What would a world without Net Neutrality (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    actually look like?

    We've all heard the worse case scenarios of the web reverting to a walled garden, cable TV (or AOL circa 1996) type of state, but I'm skeptical that would actually come to pass. How would companies exploit an overturning of the Net Neutrality rule in the immediate future?

    •  The would partner with content providers (8+ / 0-)

      such a Disney, Time Warner, or Viacom and then give content from these companies fast, glitch-free, broadband access to their customers in exchange for forking over a large quantity of money each quarter.

      Everyone not able to pay up like that will have to settle for having their content streamed to the public in a slow, stop-and-go trickle.

      "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." - George Bernard Shaw

      by Drobin on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 06:47:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To play devil's advocate a little here, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I've heard that Netflix and Youtube account for over half of all traffic on the net. I can't say that I support the principle of  unlimited streaming video. Isn't there a point at which limits to video usage need to be moderated a bit, since it impacts other usages, e.g. file downloads and plain text? Bandwidth is still a finite resource.

        I guess I could say that I fully support network neutrality from a content and provider standpoint, but not from a data usage standpoint. If you're going to be a bandwidth hog, you should pay for it.

        •  I think that's the point of net neutrality (13+ / 0-)

          The carriers should be content-blind; you pay for the amount of data you use, but it's none of their business what you're using it for. If I'm paying for a certain download speed, I should get that speed regardless of whether I'm watching a movie or buying stuff from Amazon. If I'm paying for a certain amount of bandwidth, it's none of the provider's business whether I'm using that to download technical papers or watch cat videos.

          •  More relevantly (12+ / 0-)

            If I want to buy something that I can get from either or, that should be my choice. littlebittysite shouldn't get blocked off because Amazon is willing to spend the big bucks to make sure that I get redirected to them instead.

            •  Also, independent artists shouldn't be (4+ / 0-)

              penalized simply because they don't have the money the record labels have.

              Noisetrade is never going to be able to afford the kind of fees Amazon can absorb without noticing. Independent artists can give away music free for visibility (temporarily or permanently) either place, but Noisetrade actually has the capacity to ask for donations afterwards and have the money go mainly to the artists.

              Same thing with Smashwords versus Amazon's Kindle platform for self-publishing. Even just slowing the load speed to a crawl would be enough to favor one over the other.

          •  It's up to the provider to block (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            trumpeter, ChemBob, scorpiorising

            There is no reason to force Verizon to deliver unacceptable political content from which runs directly contrary to the free speech interests of Verizon.

            If they can throttle the speed of delivery of some content by 50%, as the court is about to rule, why not by 100%? Surely that's fair. It's Verizon's network.

            There's a fundamental Constitutional argument here. Just as the 4th amendment has been repealed by the NSA, the 1st Amendment has been repealed by Verizon. Only the 2nd Amendment, of all the Bill of Rights, is still in effect. Didn't you get this news?

            •  No (0+ / 0-)

              Verizon is not restricted by the First Amendment.  It is - and should continue to be - restricted by Congress.  But there are no constitutional arguments about what Verizon must do to protect speech.

        •  They PAY for bandwidth (0+ / 0-)

          Netflix, YouTube, etc all PAY for their bandwidth as do their customers! They have every right to use as much bandwidth as they've already PAID for!

          +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

          by cybersaur on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:15:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I've made this argument in the past myself (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nextstep, Simplify

        but I'm starting to wonder if it really stands up to scrutiny. The internet is pretty fast at delivering content these days, and getting faster. When we talk about accessing webpages, download speed isn't really an issue anymore, certainly not to the extent that it would influence user behavior.

        I guess I could see this becoming more relevant in the realm of streaming video rather than traditional web content. But while Netflix is incredibly popular and takes up a huge amount of bandwidth, it's more of a passive entertainment medium, not really what we think of when we talk about the web's value in terms of freedom of expression.

    •  Lots of ways. (6+ / 0-)

      Giving Verizon the ability to discriminate by content type means they can target people who usage pattern makes it expensive for them to switch providers.

      For Joe Schmoe using Verizon in his home, it's usually not a huge deal to switch to Comcast. A day of annoyance, and done.

      But there are a lot of cases where switching carriers involves substantial costs.

      Sometimes the costs are direct. For example, companies using point-to-point VPNs. These are notoriously expensive to set up. And there are still a lot of companies use them.

      Sometimes the costs are indirect. Switching causes disruptions in service, and for some businesses such disruptions are really bad. Online shopping sites for example: extremely competitive, and lost customers often don't come back. (Just think about what would happen to Amazon if they went off line for 48 hours. Ouch.) Such disruptions could be avoided, but only with a massive (expensive) IT effort.

      Verizon could gouge any of the above. For a LOT of money.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 08:56:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's why we need more "providers" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        & not just one. Sure, they claim it is their network but by this point it is really the peoples... we paid for this.

        Break them up. Bring back the industry of choice. Provide competition back in the marketplace.

        One provider servicing the needs of the many is not a "Free Market.."

        This is "Pops" Internet Bell.

        They bought their influence, VZ, & are taking the next logical business step w/o the "consumer" in mind...

        This is a baaad deal. Break 'em up. Remember all the "choices" we had? All the local xLEC's got swooped up.

        We need a tiered shut down day. Shut off our routers. Shut off our PC's. Phones. Disconnect for an hour if you can. DC for more if you are willing. Bring the choices back to the consumers. This will create more jobs. Create more niche industries. This rigged model has to change...

    •  Time Warner does something similar already to (0+ / 0-)

      YouTube traffic... if you don't block the address, all youtube signals come to you from their shittiest servers.

      Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

      by The Dead Man on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:31:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I keep hearing this (0+ / 0-)

        This is the second time I've heard this today on two completely unrelated sites.
        TWC also refuses to co-locate Netflix edge servers at no charge. TWC is abusing their monopoly to degrade media from competing services. They should be broken up into little pieces for it!

        +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

        by cybersaur on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:20:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  free access to information (4+ / 0-)

    and all voices being heard don't suit our corporate masters, so their minions will of course do their best to make sure freedom dies so freedumb rules.

    •  Mass Filter (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scorpiorising, jfromga, DRo

      engineering... social constructs.. okay, i'm taking it to an edge but..

      Whom can get what & in what time frame... denied access. Permitted becuase of payment..

      We write the "stories" for you to read. We tell you the history that should be important.

      Net Nuetral means much more than the "rally" of it. I liken to the access to "clean" water.

      Without access to information what choices will we truly have to make critical thinking?

      I'm not blowing a big enough whistle cuz it's just looney me but this is a very big deal.

  •  Sure (12+ / 0-)

    This might work in a world where we could freely choose Internet providers and select the one that provides the best service and access to the content we want at the best price.

    However, we grant monopoly power to high-speed Internet providers in each market, so such choice can't really be made. Can you choose between Time Warner Cable and Comcast, for example?

    So, this would be giving our service provider monopolies not just the power to exclude competition, but also to use their monopoly to control the kind of content that users can access.

    Time Warner Cable, for example, in a dispute with CBS, might not block only the CBS digital broadcast channels -- as they recently did in New York City and elsewhere -- but also

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 06:57:32 AM PDT

  •  Only One Internet Provider Where I Live (5+ / 0-)

    Verizon. Going to be a tough boycott.

    We will never have the elite, smart people on our side. - Rick Santorum

    by easong on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 07:16:26 AM PDT

  •  Note that (4+ / 0-)

    Its at the DC circuit court which is dominated by probusiness conservatives. They are constitution in exile types who are very hostile towards any regulation by government.

    This is one more argument for President Obama filling the 3 judgeships on this court to balance the hard right mentality of this circuit court.

  •  I can download the briefs (3+ / 0-)

    I tend to doubt they have transcript of the Oral Argument, obviously when the Opinion comes out they will.

    Some other outlet may have the oral argument somehow.

    Let me know and I'll post them or something, they should be PDF's.

    •  Thanks, that would be great (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity, scorpiorising

      We should be trying to follow this.  Unfortunately, this seems to be one of those situations where some of our own party leaders, as well as the GOP, have a financial interest in giving Verizon what they want.

      If legal change has to be pushed, we'll have to do it ourselves.

      "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 08:35:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lemme know cuz (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    These are so long they are like 3.00 each

  •  Diarist, please consider adding... (5+ / 0-)

    ... this video to your diary.

    It's a "mockumentary" called The Internet Must Go.

    I have a feeling my embed attempt is going to fail here, I haven't kept up with the embedding issues going on with this site...

    Found this on Marketplace:

    New mockumentary addresses net neutrality
    There's a net neutrality battle between the FCC and Verizon playing out in a federal court in Washington this week about access to broadband internet. While lawyers make their arguments in that case, net neutrality advocates are pushing a mockumentary on the topic.
  •  That's OK (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, scorpiorising

    The Tech Sector has been far too healthy for too long. Between the NSA and this, we should finally kill it off.

    "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class." - Violet Crawley

    by nightsweat on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:52:51 AM PDT

  •  The post office has different speeds for different (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scorpiorising, Larsstephens

    prices, as does FedEx.

    I can choose to pay a much higher price for express mail, or a very low price for 3rd class mail.  Why don't people complain about not having postal neutrality?

    For some items fast speed is important and for others low cost is important.  The same is true for the Internet.  

    I have used the Internet since the 1970s when it was ARPANET.  I have also helped define Internet protocols through the IETF that are on most every device with net access.  

    The issue of net neutrality is grossly mis-understood with large components of conspiracy theories.

    If my email with the large attachment takes an additional 2 sec to arrive, no problem.  A 2 sec pause in a video is another matter.  This issue can be dramatically greater for the research or businesses application needing extremely frequent large data transfers over the net.  Having massive medical records moved rapidly over the cloud can be very important in some instances and may help lower healthcare costs while increasing quality.

    For companies using cloud computing, especially multiple clouds, high performance can be a far more important requirement in some applications.  This is likely the most important theme in computing over the next 10 years.

    The problem with net neutrality is that it hinders innovation in computing and networking.  Innovations that need much higher performance than today's Internet is blocked with net neutrality, as making that higher level of performance available to hospitals, research centers and businesses does not happen as the same level of service must be provided to the 95% of the market who have no use for this and are unwilling to pay higher prices required to pay for the build out to make it possible.

    Ironically, net neutrality means the averge customer will pay more for inferior service than would be the case without net neutrality.

    The FCC lightly regulated cable Internet service and cable companies are now generally the provider of the fastest broadband speeds in many places  - frequently 10 times faster.  Meanwhile, the FCC had an "equal access" policy for telcos providing Internet service which required these companies to provide competing Internet service providers leases to their network at low cost down to the home.  The result was the telcos were slow to invest in high speed broadband.  The policy of Equal Access has been terrible for consumers.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:13:40 AM PDT

    •  And with few exceptions, (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, ChemBob, scorpiorising, DRo, Larsstephens

      you can send anything you want through the mail, and the post office will deliver to any address.

      I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

      by trumpeter on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:18:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Similarly true for Internet service within (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the context of how the Internet is a collection of nets.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:25:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not really, when there are wide areas of the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassandra Waites, scorpiorising

          country without decent or high-speed or broadband Internet access.

          Just was talking with a co-worker who moved to a different area of a major metropolis in the USA.  The AT&T central office is literally within blocks. He can walk a block and see it down the street.  No UVerse.  Only slow copper-line DSL. Not even the higher speeds of DSL are available.

          If I send him a letter, the post office delivers it to him.  They'd also deliver it to my sister, way out in the country, where they don't have any high speed internet at all, aside from smartphone signal.

          Internet service is not comparable to universal service for post office or even land-line phone service.  Internet service at modern high-capacity is seriously lacking in much of the country.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:55:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You provided an example of why Equal Access (0+ / 0-)

            worked against the interest of consumers.  Is there a cable company in the same area that has this problem.

            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

            by nextstep on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:03:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Charging more for inferior service is an (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sillycarrot, scorpiorising, cybersaur

      American corporate tradition.

      Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

      by The Dead Man on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:34:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The post office is content neutral (6+ / 0-)

      Verizon wants to be not content neutral.

      •  Post office is not content neutral (0+ / 0-)

        special pricing for Books, Postcards, etc..

        Decisions need to be subject to technology used, so let's not extend the analogy too far.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:41:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Content neutral" means the information written (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChemBob, Cassandra Waites, cybersaur

          on the postal material.

          The type of postal material varies, by weight, by size, by classification of publication (junk mail, post cards, first class, etc).

          But the information content on any type of classification is not considered.  You can print the Constitution, the Bible, or Mein Kampf and it all costs the same.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:52:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's content neutral (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And when there is less being sent it costs less. That's Neutral.

    •  Just average "home" or 1st mi. consumers.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Getting to the nitty gritty of it. You bring up a good point.

      Biz can shop for other point-to-point services that don't utilized the public "cloud." Phys & virt.

      FR to FR connections. But biz pays for that extra, speed, reliability, security(?), etc.. service. Sure hope my med records are in the clear. But...

      The consumer BB customer is different. Just basic access... that's what we have now???

      They just are not selling (actively) the tech out there to do it?

      I dunno... complicated.. but having 1,2,3 massive providers is not much of a free market.

      TOS, EULA, all those heavy contracts... basically in your home you packets are yours.. now once they leave onto the WWW they are public w/ no expectation to privacy.

      Media's have changed the landscape & biz models are going to be shaken out to shake down the "consumer" or LCD.. I hope not but this is likely the direction being headed.

      All these comm utilities are costing too much money. It is ridiculous! This is a multi-tiered problem & just this one court action cannot handle the magnitude of this utility of 21st century freedoms..

  •  I don't see how the case is difficult to make (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scorpiorising, cybersaur

    that the Internet is a communications medium like the telephone and that the FCC can regulate it in similar fashion. This seems like a very easy case to make.

    There's a difference between a responsible gun owner and one that's been lucky so far.

    by BeerNotWar on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:15:45 AM PDT

  •  Corporations looking for another way (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to discriminate against Americans based on income.

    Surprising?  Not so much.

    What's surprising, is that the internet has been how it is in this country, for so long.

    The IT people are going to just LOVE having to single out certain IP's based on ANY criteria, and limiting bandwidths based on that.

    What a nightmare.

    I'm not an athiest. How can you not believe in something that doesn't exist? That's way too convoluted for me. - A. Whitney Brown

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:15:50 AM PDT

  •  My phone company already charges a premium for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur, scorpiorising

    the fastest broadband service.

    And it's a crappy policy, because over 50% of our community cannot pay that fee and therefore get poor service, even for $50/month payout.

  •  So sick of this. Anybody else sick of this? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Over and over and over and over

    The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:16:34 PM PDT

  •  What we should do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is kill off Verizon, AT&T, and all the other carriers and make a single Wi-Fi + phone system throughout the entire country.  It would be FAR cheaper, and universally accessible to all.

    Only caveat is that then the govt wouldn't have to bribe carriers to get phone & internet activity about anyone :(

    Republican threats amount to destroying the present if we don't allow them to destroy the future too. -MinistryOfTruth, 1/1/2013

    by sleipner on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:33:10 PM PDT

  •  This mess and the Cell system- Ronnie Raygun's (0+ / 0-)

    legacy to the 19th century.

    They saw a way to rip of consumers and bilk them for $TRILLIONS and have done just that.

    US Consumers spend almost as much on Cell phone and Internet per year than the ENTIRE CREDIT CARD DEBT of the nation. Imagine if that money were available to pay off the credit cards instead of being siphoned off to electron land? Why we might actually be able to pay off our Student Loan debt!!!

    When are people going to start demanding the basic core services they are entitled to.

    As a matter of PUBLIC SAFETY and NATIONAL SECURITY the internet should be operated solely by the government, as should the phone/cell phone system.

    Just nationalize Comcast/Version/ATT/etc and put an end to all this bullshit. Standardize on ONE technically optimal standard for cell phone communications, and wire/antenna the ENTIRE nation, every square inch with 500Mbps bandwidth wireless/cell.

    That way, you'll never ever complain about coverage or price ever again, just build it to facilitate COMMERCE, provide for PUBLIC SAFETY, and NATIONAL SECURITY.

    How is it, the ISP's charge US the consumers for access to our own bought and paid for by taxpayers INTERNET. Give me a plug in point to direct connect, so I don't need to pay Verizon $50+ a month.

    I upgraded to the 50Mbps FIOS, and I haven't gotten past 20 Mbps yet. And they no longer have a PHONE NUMBER to contact them to complain. The TV cable box is screwing up, they literally DO NOT ANSWER the phone number for "customer service". You will sit on hold for hours and never get to a person.

    These fuckers are the pieces of shit the court wants us to be tethered to, extorted by, and ripped off from?

    Fuck You DC Circuit.

    •  I would uprate your comment but apparently (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Jester

      my ability to rate has been taken away from me, courtesy of the propagandists and lack of free speech enthusiasts that run this site.

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