Patterico's Pontifications

3/14/2015

Journalism Professor Dan Gillmor Supports Federal Regulation of the (New) Printing Press

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:30 pm

This morning I saw a tweet from Dan Gillmor regarding the death of newspapers.

I have, over the years, had a cordial relationship with Dan Gillmor. This blog received a brief mention in his book “We, the Media” (my review is here) and I always considered him to be one of those folks who had a real vision for what the Internet can and should be.

He is, I should acknowledge up front, also a leftist who is prone to making poorly thought-out generalizations of how the left is supposedly better than the right in various ways. He believes, for example, that the left has more honest discussion on their blogs, or that Republicans try to win elections by suppressing the vote (while, apparently, Democrats win through logic and certainly not through vote fraud, with the possible exception of JFK, LBJ, and other beneficiaries of fraud with names like Clinton and Obama).

Anyway: this morning, it occurred to me — for the first time with this level of clarity — that the real problem with newspapers these days is not what most people think it is. The real problem with newspapers is that we are seeing, for the first time in this country’s history, direct federal regulation of the printing press. (I am going to use the word “federal” in this post to avoid confusion, even though it’s really a “central” government and not much of a “federal” one any more.)

I tweeted to Gillmor:

To which he responded:

A lie? Here is our next exchange:

Gillmor then told me that I did not use sufficient “nuance.” (Well, we were on Twitter.)

I had a few responses. Here are a couple of them:

This is that post.

Does the headline to this post seem like an overstatement? It’s not. Consider these two facts, which are happening (in historical terms) at the same time:

  • Newspapers are increasingly reliant on the Internet to communicate with their audience.
  • The FCC this year is assuming regulatory control over the Internet.

Seeing those two facts together should frighten all Americans. With the death of newsprint, the federal government (under the guise of Net Neutrality, which Gillmor supports) is putting regulatory control over the new printing press — the Internet — in the hands of the Federal Communications Commission.

An article in the California Lawyer explains the breadth of the powers that the FCC can potentially claim. The FCC’s recent decision reclassifies Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as “utilities” under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. (1934! My, our laws are so up-to-date and current!) Here’s just some of what that could mean:

If the ISPs are reclassified under Title II of the Communications Act, they could face the kind of strict supervision normally accorded to public utilities, raising the specter of tariffs, price controls, and extensive monitoring. Title II common carriers are also obligated to charge customers at just and reasonable, nondiscriminatory rates.

This article explains the broad powers that the FCC would have under Title II to ensure that ISPs act in (what the FCC considers to be) “the public interest.” For example, the FCC can make sure that ISPs do not “make any unjust or unreasonable discrimination in charges, practices, classifications, regulations, facilities, or services.” (The article explains that the FCC can choose to “forbear” from exercising some of its authority under Title II, which is apparently happening to some extent in the recent rules. I am totally reassured by this policy of “forbearance,” because if there is any entity famous for restraint in the exercise of its authority, it is the United States central government!)

Acting in the public interest. Preventing unreasonable undiscrimination. Charging just and reasonable prices. Now who could argue with any of that?

All you have to do is look at the history of the FCC — and the implicit and sometimes explicit citation of its power over broadcast media by Congressional goons — to see the potential for thuggishness. I summarized some of this history in this post, but I think it’s about time the case was laid out in detail — and this post is as good a place as any.

  • Let’s start with the “Fairness Doctrine.” That’s a doctrine that supposedly advances the “public interest,” right? What could be more fair than fairness? The “Fairness Doctrine” called for holders of broadcast licenses to provide contrasting viewpoints. In the abstract, it sounds so reasonable! But if Ronald Reagan’s FCC had not killed the doctrine, the doctrine could have killed Rush Limbaugh’s career. Any station would be thrilled at the prospect of putting on a hugely popular personality who brings in millions of listeners across the country. But they would be far less thrilled if they believed they might have to fill their airwaves with three hours of dreary leftist droning to “balance” the highly entertaining Limbaugh.
  • Democrats in 2004 wrote a letter to Rupert Murdoch saying that they didn’t like the content of Fox News because they considered it biased. A spokesman for “independent” (read: Democrat) Bernie Sanders said “there were legislative avenues that the group could pursue as a secondary measure but declined to speculate on what those might be.” Jeff Jarvis said it sounded like a threat, and he was right. The letter’s talk about the “responsibility of the media” to be balanced, coming as it did from lawmakers, sounded like a threat to pull Fox News’s broadcast license.
  • In 2006, Harry Reid & Co. writing a mafia-style letter threatening ABC’s broadcast license over “The Path to 9/11.” The language they used translated to: “Dat’s a nice broadcasting license you got dere. Sure would be a shame if anything was ta happen to it.

    The Communications Act of 1934 provides your network with a free broadcast license predicated on the fundamental understanding of your principle obligation to act as a trustee of the public airwaves in serving the public interest. Nowhere is this public interest obligation more apparent than in the duty of broadcasters to serve the civic needs of a democracy by promoting an open and accurate discussion of political ideas and events.

    The implications are fairly clear, are they not?

  • Obama’s thugs threatened networks’ broadcast licenses over criticism from the NRA. The language was the same Mafia-style “looks ta me like youse is abdicatin’ yer responsabilities. Vito, what happens ta people what abdicate dere responsabilities?”

    As Allahpundit once said about a similar situation: “My only question is this: was that letter typed, or did they use letters cut out from magazines?”

Note how many of those examples involve politicians using the threat of action by the FCC: the very bureaucracy that will gain regulatory authority over the Internet when Net Neutrality becomes reality.

This is the sort of Brave New World of FCC regulation that could easily result from Net Neutrality.

Which journalism professor Dan Gillmor supports. Hence the headline.

I did not lie, and Dan Gillmor owes me an apology:

I’d like to think that he is intellectually honest enough to give me that apology — or tell me how he thought I was lying. The comment section is open, Dan . . .

UPDATE: Gillmor says on Twitter that he has “repeatedly written that Title II could have bad unintended consequences.” I think that’s wonderful. The problem is, knowing that there are potential bad unintended consequences, he still supports giving the federal government the power to control aspects of the Internet. I don’t see how that renders anything I said a “lie.”

UPDATE x2: I am pleased to say Gillmor has retracted the accusation that I lied.

He still calls it a “false claim” — which I dispute, since any supporter of Net Neutrality, in my opinion, is by definition supporting federal regulation of the Internet. But at least he admits that I did not lie.

148 Responses to “Journalism Professor Dan Gillmor Supports Federal Regulation of the (New) Printing Press”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. New internet regulations finally released by the Federal Communications Commission make 46 references to a group funded by billionaire George Soros and co-founded by a neo-Marxist.

    happyfeet (831175)

  3. Don’t know about Gillmor, but I know this about leftists generally: they are really not all that much in favor of freedom of speech or of the press as it pertains to speech they disagree with. And they aren’t really worried about regulation leading to government censorship because they figure that they’ll then control the message, ala PBS and NPR.

    G Joubert (0399e8)

  4. in your analogy, the printing press is not the Internet: it’s their own websites. The FCC’s Title II regulations are for the purpose of preventing ISPs from interfering with the “printing presses”. They are the roads that the newspapers travel on to get to you, and I don’t think you have a problem with the government telling people they can’t block the roads and prevent their use.

    One of the few regulations that were not forebeared by the FCC was to specifically preclude ISPs from blocking access to websites. If a liberal leaning corporation has control of your connection, they cannot slow down patterico.com while leaving the LA Times website at full speed, much less cut your site off from their subscribers entirely. Again, for news organizations, who are definitely not in the broadband provider game, Title II is nothing but good news. For virtually any new company, this is good news: established players can’t just pay to have their traffic prioritized and cut out the competition from reaching an audience.

    All that being said, this is 100% only necessary because Comcast, AT&T, and so on lack any real competition and are free to behave in incredibly anti-consumer fashions, and this can to a large extent be blamed at the government’s policies over the past few decades. Title II is at least a start, and we can continue to push for the necessary changes for a real free-market solution. I wish you would at least accept that this IS progress, even if we definitely still don’t live in a perfect world.

    John S. (30267c)

  5. this was not *necessary*

    it’s the epitome of a solution in search of a problem

    this was a frantic and spastic decision made by the fascist federal government of a declining and sad little country to enhance its own power

    ask yourself, comrade

    does the FCC intrusion make poor pitiful failmerica’s internet regulatory regime more like china’s and russia’s, or less so?

    happyfeet (831175)

  6. Just a minor note: Whatever Democrats were threatening in regard to Fox News, it cannot have involved pulling Fox’s broadcast license, because they don’t have one. As a cable content provider, they are not subject to even the limited content regulation that applies to broadcasters. (And if they were a broadcaster, they would not be permitted to have foreign ownership.) Politicians and the FCC hate that lack of regulation,of course, and the grotesque net neutrality power grab is obviously a move toward greater content control overall.

    Interesting that even as the FCC works to get its talons on the Internet, TV broadcasters are preparing to sell back spectrum to the government. Broadcast content is regulated only with regard to obscenity, indecency, and certain restrictions on children’s programming, as well as some vague “public service” requirements. Regulating the Internet and wireless content must seem far more promising right now.

    Bridey (e66a17)

  7. I could certainly see the FCC moving to shut down sites like 4chan. Bet they might also use their authority to enforce identification of internet users in some form. No more anonymous usage (as if we have it currently).

    Dejectedhead (75dfa4)

  8. just having people be afraid of what they *might* do is a heady enough experience for the fcc gestapo

    for now

    happyfeet (831175)

  9. Just a minor note: Whatever Democrats were threatening in regard to Fox News, it cannot have involved pulling Fox’s broadcast license, because they don’t have one.

    Oh, gosh. Better tell change.org — they think Fox News Corp. has 27 such licenses and wants them all pulled.

    The Hill wrote a story in 2012 saying the FCC was unlikely to pull Fox News’s broadcast licenses — you know, the ones you say it doesn’t have.

    All these misinformed people. *sadly shakes head* Can you go set them all straight for me?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  10. in your analogy, the printing press is not the Internet: it’s their own websites. The FCC’s Title II regulations are for the purpose of preventing ISPs from interfering with the “printing presses”. They are the roads that the newspapers travel on to get to you, and I don’t think you have a problem with the government telling people they can’t block the roads and prevent their use.

    No. In my analogy the printing press in general is the Internet. The individual Web sites are like an individual printing operation. But the FCC will have control over the whole she-bang, like having control over printing presses everywhere.

    The analogy is not to roads, because the government built and owns the roads. They did not build, and do not own, the pipes that convey information on the Internet. Though I have no doubt that a statist like yourself would support nationalizing the Internet.

    I don’t support the government telling people what to do with private roads.

    One of the few regulations that were not forebeared by the FCC was to specifically preclude ISPs from blocking access to websites. If a liberal leaning corporation has control of your connection, they cannot slow down patterico.com while leaving the LA Times website at full speed, much less cut your site off from their subscribers entirely. Again, for news organizations, who are definitely not in the broadband provider game, Title II is nothing but good news. For virtually any new company, this is good news: established players can’t just pay to have their traffic prioritized and cut out the competition from reaching an audience.

    Good news! The government has regulatory control over the Internet, and for now, the purposes for which it claims to have seized control sound attractive to lazy thinkers! Huzzah!

    All that being said, this is 100% only necessary because Comcast, AT&T, and so on lack any real competition and are free to behave in incredibly anti-consumer fashions, and this can to a large extent be blamed at the government’s policies over the past few decades. Title II is at least a start, and we can continue to push for the necessary changes for a real free-market solution. I wish you would at least accept that this IS progress, even if we definitely still don’t live in a perfect world.

    A “real free-market solution” involves keeping the government’s mitts as far away from the market as possible.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  11. My apologies; I should’ve double checked, obviously, rather than relying on a mistaken impression. Sorry for barging into your comments with wrong information.

    Bridey (e66a17)

  12. My apologies; I should’ve double checked, obviously, rather than relying on a mistaken impression. Sorry for barging into your comments with wrong information.

    Apology accepted. It’s rare for someone to acknowledge error on the Internet. Rarer still for them to do so with class, as you have done here. Stick around. I like your style.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  13. If only Dan Gillmor were to show such class…

    Patterico (9c670f)

  14. “Title II is at least a start, and we can continue to push for the necessary changes for a real free-market solution. I wish you would at least accept that this IS progress …”

    This just cracked me up.

    JD (86a5eb)

  15. JD,

    It’s adorable.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  16. The analogy is not to roads, because the government built and owns the roads. They did not build, and do not own, the pipes that convey information on the Internet. Though I have no doubt that a statist like yourself would support nationalizing the Internet.

    I have no interest in the government nationalizing the internet; my interest is in having the laws and regulations that the existing monopolopies and near monopolies have corrupted the local, state, and federal government into passing torn down so that we can have real competition to solve these problems. Politicians writ large have no interest in doing that, and if the answer is using authority given to the government (by Republicans in 1996) to alleviate at least part of the issue, well, that’s the world we live in right now and it’s up to us to work to make things better. And name calling doesn’t help us get there either; I have no support for “nationalizing” the internet, or any other industry but if you want to play that game Verizon et al have received billions in subsidies from the government to build out this infrastructure – and I assume that you’re equally annoyed with that as I am because that’s not remotely something that our government should be doing either.

    No. In my analogy the printing press in general is the Internet. The individual Web sites are like an individual printing operation.

    I find it impossible to believe that you think that. What does that even mean? Having a printing press of one’s own is fundamental to being an individual printing operation. Your web server is “printing” copies of your website, constantly. They’re being sent to the people who request them over the internet. The internet replaces printing out newsletters and sending them (over the roads) with duplicating binary data and sending that (over the internet).

    The “internet highway” analogy is infuriatingly imprecise most of the time, but here it could hardly be more accurate. Of course the government doesn’t “own” the infrastructure in the same way that the roads are owned by the government (and I’ve got some pretty deep seated displeasure about how the government has used those roads to erode at constitutional liberties, if you still think I’m some kind of closet marxist), but just like how the roads are the only way for most people to travel, the local ISP monopoly is the only way to get on the internet for a pretty huge number of people in this country. Again, if it weren’t for corrupt laws and regulations (aka the government) there would be real competition and if someone’s ISP was blocking patterico.com they could switch to one that wasn’t run by censorious jerks – but the number of places where we’re getting that kind of meaningful competition is about 2 or 3% of the country.

    A “real free-market solution” involves keeping the government’s mitts as far away from the market as possible.

    Yes. As I said, our problem stems from decades of policy that the telecoms themselves were able to set, and now we have myriad protectionist laws at all levels of government that need to be done away with. I don’t like that title II was necessary, but as long as Comcast is able to keep getting its government subsidies and laws passed to prevent itself from suffering the consequences of its noncompetitive pricing, its stagnant offerings, and its customer service that long since surpassed self parody, it very much is.

    John S. (2e4b48)

  17. Speaking of federal regulation…
    Mike K., I wonder if you have heard about this (or even mentioned it when I was not looking).
    but I was told today that orthopods are starting to get letters saying that operations they performed and were paid for from more than a year ago have been denied after review and they and the hospitals have been told to give the money back.
    It came from someone I consider a reliable source, not an orthopod, but a family doc involved in hospital committees and the like.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly at the moment) (deca84)

  18. Verizon et al have received billions in subsidies from the government to build out this infrastructure – and I assume that you’re equally annoyed with that as I am because that’s not remotely something that our government should be doing either.

    Absolutely. Let’s build on that point of agreement.

    Why do you think that is wrong?

    I have more reactions to your comment, and don’t intend to ignore the rest of your points — but let’s stick with this discussion for now, if you don’t mind.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  19. “my interest is in having the laws and regulations that the existing monopolopies and near monopolies have corrupted the local, state, and federal government into passing torn down so that we can have real competition to solve these problems.”

    John S. – New, better government laws and regulation will lead to more competition and freer markets?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  20. Verizon et al have received billions in subsidies from the government … that’s not remotely something that our government should be doing either.

    Why do you think that is wrong?

    It’s blatant, inexcusable market interference – it’s pretty damn hard to fail when you’re getting 9 or 10 figure checks from the government every couple of years. I’d call it stealing from the taxpayers, but at this point it’s selling the taxpayer’s kids down the road to whoever’s willing to loan the feds money (a tangent, I know). Past the bags of cash that get handed to the incumbent telcos, they also have had decades of regulatory capture to put in place regulations and laws that make it extremely difficult for anyone to threaten their existing business.

    New, better government laws and regulation will lead to more competition and freer markets?

    I’m looking at this from the angle that without title II or meaningful competitions, the ISPs are able to themselves interfere with free markets in ways they should not be able to. A web presence is a fundamental necessity for nearly any company, and for a lot of tech startups (the ones that aren’t massive wastes of money and a huge bubble, but I digress) ISPs would be able to effectively extort them into paying or dying. The company that replaces Google could be destroyed because Google’s willing to pay enough ISPs off to “prioritize” their traffic and ensure that no one wants to use someone else’s better service. So yes, I think title II will lead to a freer market as a whole, and the ISP market is already so laughably far from being “free” that it doesn’t have much practical impact on that perspective.

    John S. (2e4b48)

  21. @John S.: What stopped these abuses you speak of from happening before now?

    You say Google could do this or that, why didn’t it already happen? Why aren’t we already groaning under the tyranny of ISPs?

    Why do we have to give the government expanded powers to address a purely hypothetical threat?

    Gabriel Hanna (a1cb3f)

  22. i’d might take the FCC NN rules with more aplomb if it wasn’t an absurd 400 pages and Soros Group didn’t spend over 80 Million dollars in pushing it.

    seeRpea (b6bbec)

  23. I’m looking at this from the angle that without title II or meaningful competitions, the ISPs are able to themselves interfere with free markets in ways they should not be able to.

    Keep government out of it, and no private business can interfere with free markets for long, without other market participants kicking them out.

    Fortunately, we don’t keep government out of it now, so that’s not true for the Internet.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  24. With all due respect to everyone involved, the price of newsprint fluctuates. You guys are arguing about a political issue as if it were economic. Newspapers are dying because they are an inefficient way to transport news and advertising.

    The left is simply jumping on a new way to control news because they think they can and they are desperate because they can not.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  25. Patterico. 2 thoughts. Govt regulation of any “NEWS” is the sauce produced when LIBTARDS lose control of THOUGHT and EXPESSION. Second, when a LIBTARD uses the term “NUANCE”, he/she means that you and I are not SMART ENOUGH to understand utter BULLSCHIT.

    Gus (7cc192)

  26. Ag80, I don’t believe your thoughts and words have been GUBMINT approved. Denounce yourself for such HATE SPEECH. Sincerely, The Ministry of Approved Thought.

    Gus (7cc192)

  27. Gabriel Hannah, it has already happened and I’m one of the people suffering under the tyranny of Comcast and Verizon who interfere with Netflix traffic in California. I don’t mean just that they don’t provide fast interlinks, but that they have been caught actively suppressing the speed of Netflix traffic through their regular interlinks in order to extort money from Netflix. And I have no recourse, no alternative to show my consumerish displeasure other than to give up internet service entirely because there are no competitors that I can go to, thanks to other government interference.

    And just because it has only happened in a few cases up to now does not mean that we can all just ignore it. Once a couple of companies prove that they can get away with this and profit by it, do you really think the practice won’t spread? Seriously?

    Cugel (442ec7)

  28. I can remember back when the reason for handing out monopolies to cable
    companies was to get them to invest in the infrastructure needed to supply
    subscribers. This was supposedly so that they would also not keep ramping
    up advertising and spending money on degrading or moronic shows.

    They’re were also little regulations put in place and little or no oversight
    on them merging. (well at least there’s little effective oversight).

    Now 40 years later what do we have? Jacked up rates, no competition in the
    various markets, advertising amounts to over 1/3 of every program (the total
    is higher when pure advertising shows are taken into consideration), smut and
    perversion is regularly pushed out during prime family viewing time and on
    “normal” channels.

    No one has yet to raise enough trouble to change that except that more and more
    people have turned from cable to the internet. (voting with their “feet”)

    Now suddenly the Internet requires regulation.

    Things that make you go “Hmmmmmm”.

    jakee308 (49ccc6)

  29. It appears that Mr Gillmor doesn’t understand that freedom of the press is inextricably linked with freedom of speech. Perhaps he believes that the 2nd Amendment has been worked nearly to death by those on his side, so he would take a crack at the 1st.

    I have a nuanced message for Mr Gillmor: Up yours, bud. Freedom of speech or nothing.

    Bill H (f9e4cd)

  30. Nineteen thirty four – that would mean the communications act was developed to squelch television. Strangle the baby in it’s bed so to speak.
    What part of the electromagnetic spectrum did the Roosevelt Administration claim to have built I wonder?

    I have an idea pretty far reaching that I think would sweep out power hungry frauds of all stripe, including the FCC, or those who would buy the FCC {cough – G. Soros}.

    A new constitutional amendment making it a personal crime for officers, agents, departments, bureaucrats, in the employ of the government to violate the protections afforded to us citizens by the constitution, bill of rights, and amendments. Punishment to be the immediate removal from civil service of the offending agent, officer, or bureaucrat, never to be eligible for hire to, appointment to, or election to, a public service section job again.

    What do you think? I want to call it the Woodrow Wilson amendment.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  31. Is this the love jeb? The Jeb doctrine. What a farce this family is.
    http://www.krgv.com/news/local-news/Border-Patrol-Increase-in-Sex-Offenders-Crossing-the-Border/31790518

    mg (31009b)

  32. At bridley #6 (and isn’t THAT somehow an appropriate number): It’s quite correct that Fox News could not have had their cablecast licenses pulled – at least not easily. It’s another matter entirely to say that Fox could not have any licenses pulled. They do have a broadcast network and THOSE licenses could have been pulled if the broadcast counterparts had done the same thing as FNC at the time (they may have, it’s a little too dim in the past for me to recall it properly). And yes, I did read Patterico’s response and yours as well, but it was still a little muddy as the two of you didn’t really address the issue beyond stating that Fox had 27 broadcast licenses.

    David Crowley (970d6c)

  33. yes yes six is an appropriate number cause of there were exactly five comments what preceded it

    this is a very well-organized printing press

    happyfeet (831175)

  34. Numerology, a … something.

    Hey, happyfeet. We know that 666 is the the Number of the Beast. What is 668?

    nk (dbc370)

  35. Give up? The Neighbor of the Beast.

    nk (dbc370)

  36. he was always a very quiet beast

    kept to himself

    never any trouble

    happyfeet (831175)

  37. That’s all you can ask, the best you can expect, of a neighboring beast.

    Maybe put it on a chain too. For the mailman.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  38. They had to burn the internets and free speech down to save the internets and free speech.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  39. They want teh sheep to sleep the Big Sleep.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  40. There are two rules of bureaucracies: 1) Perpetuation and 2) expansion. UN treaties on the allocation of radio frequencies have made the FCC close to irrelevant in the civilian sector (the military has never paid it any mind). Losing their old fiefdom and the phony-baloney government jobs and perks that it provides, they’re carving out a new one. Want to blame anyone? Blame a lazy Congress which writes a loose statute and creates a regulatory agency to give it teeth with regulations. We’ve seen it with CDC, ATF, immigration, FDA, EPA, BLM. The courts have held that it takes both a Congress and President, i.e. a new duly enacted law, to rein in runaway regulatory agencies. Which is probably right. I don’t see much hope of that happening in any significant way any time soon.

    nk (dbc370)

  41. “were paid for from more than a year ago have been denied after review and they and the hospitals have been told to give the money back.”

    Interesting. My experience is 20 years old since that’s when I retired. Then, you would wait two years and have the charge denied. Or, they would say you had not submitted the claim by the deadline (MedCal especially). We tried to send claims by registered mail with proof of delivery but they would not accept it. I’ll ask around.

    The “monopolies” are a favorite boogyman of the left. I assume that is want John S is referring to.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  42. But if Ronald Reagan’s FCC had not killed the doctrine, the doctrine could have killed Rush Limbaugh’s career.

    For liberals, though, this would be considered a good thing.

    ===============================================================================================
    John:

    The FCC’s Title II regulations are for the purpose of preventing ISPs from interfering with the “printing presses”

    Yes, and the RICO statutes are “for the purpose” of getting after mobsters otherwise impossible to prosecute. Strangely, I didn’t realize the old farming couple on the edge of town whose son was growing 10 pot plants for his own use on the edge of their property had serious mob connections…. Federal bureaucracies have a particularly nasty habit of ignoring what laws are FOR and using them to do whatever they WANT.

    Case in point, the Patriot Act — an abortion, I would already state — was clearly, intended to allow the government to go after terrorists, correct? Well, within about 6-8 months the Justice Department was circulating a letter announcing it had a section of people available to train police departments around the country in how to use the PA to go after ordinary criminals.

    SO — you’ll PARDON ME when I state that you are an IDIOT to believe that The Law will only be used for the purpose you imagine. It will be twisted and contorted until it looks like an MC Escher diagram… on LSD… as conceived by Salvador Dali.

    All that being said, this is 100% only necessary because Comcast, AT&T, and so on lack any real competition and are free to behave in incredibly anti-consumer fashions, and this can to a large extent be blamed at the government’s policies over the past few decades.

    Don’t be ridiculous. AT&T and Comcast ARE THEIR OWN COMPETITION. As is Verizon. As is DISH. As is a dozen other possible techs which are now dead in the water since they’ll get strangled in their infancy by the blundering oaf of an FCC which will lay down rules of HOW things should be done thereby locking in technologies for decades.

    The internet is already a free market in every way NOW because of competition. If it weren’t so, then there would be no spam problem at all.

    Q. ephin’ E. ephin’ D.

    IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  43. “my interest is in having the laws and regulations that the existing monopolopies and near monopolies have corrupted the local, state, and federal government into passing torn down so that we can have real competition to solve these problems.”

    Your excuse for giving the government more power over what we say and do marks you as what the Soviets used to call a “useful idiot” — that is, someone whose foolishness can be used to promote the collection of power into an instrument which itself has no connection to the goals you are giving it power to do.

    “The only social order in which freedom of speech is secure is the one in which it is secure for everyone… and, as those who call for censorship
    in the name of the oppressed ought to recognize, it is never the oppressed who determine the bounds of the censorship. Their power is limited
    to legitimizing the idea of censorship.”

    – Aryeh Neier –

    It’s funny — this is kind of the whole gun control issue.

    The FCC is the gun. They’re giving it the power to kill things. What they don’t grasp is the issue is not so much the gun, but the mind of the wielder. So saying what you intend for the gun to do doesn’t means SHIT. It’s got the power to shoot at other things than what you’re thinking of aiming it at. The real problem isn’t the gun (FCC) — it’s the wielder of the gun that is the problem.

    Sorry, telling THE GUN it is to only shoot at bad people doesn’t stop the gun from being used against good people. For that, you have to approach the one holding the gun… if they don’t shoot you, at least.

    IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  44. What do you think? I want to call it the Woodrow Wilson amendment.

    I like the idea, but would never, ever give that piece of shit’s name to a piece of legislation, even if it was to oppose things he would support. He’s far from the worst president we’ve had, but he went a long, long way towards creating the mess we now have.

    IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  45. One of the things the left refuses to recognise is that the government (every goverment) is a monopoly. They seem to think that “voting” purges it of all sin. Well, they don’t seem to believe in sin, at least if committed by a government; this I understand, as neither government nor committees have souls (but the left frequently does not believe in those, either.)

    Some even seem to think that government has become God; I don’t think that will work well.

    Whether 300 or 400 pages, it is far,far too long for its purported task. What else is it doing?

    htom (4ca1fa)

  46. Souls, that is. They are firm believers in both governments and committees.

    htom (4ca1fa)

  47. I think you misunderstood what he said, Patterico, and he, you.

    Like almost all liberals, he does not view the FCC decision as regulation of speech in any way. It’s just a financial and business regulation of those mean corporate monsters who would throttle our Netflix. Therefore, your characterization of his position as regulation of the press is offensive to him, as he has utterly no idea where you are coming from. It’s a cognitive disconnect.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  48. I love how those in favor of govt takeover of the Internet wail about monopolies when A) there was no such thing, and B) the barriers and costs to entry will now be even more burdensome.

    JD (86a5eb)

  49. I think you misunderstood what he said, Patterico, and he, you.

    Like almost all liberals, he does not view the FCC decision as regulation of speech in any way. It’s just a financial and business regulation of those mean corporate monsters who would throttle our Netflix. Therefore, your characterization of his position as regulation of the press is offensive to him, as he has utterly no idea where you are coming from. It’s a cognitive disconnect.

    You have explained the part where he misunderstood me.

    Can you elaborate on how I supposedly misunderstood him?

    Keep in mind: I specifically said, more than once, that I do not claim he intends the new regulatory power to be used to control speech.

    All I am saying is that it is inevitable that it will.

    It’s like calling it a “lie” to say ObamaCare will lead to death panels. Sure, we’re not there yet. But it’s inevitable.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  50. Gillmor says he will respond on his blog.

    He is also saying on Twitter that he has said in the past that there could be unintended consequences of Net Neutrality. He says he assumes I didn’t check.

    Bad assumption. I read a couple of his pieces on Net Neutrality a few weeks back. So, if his qualifications were in those pieces, I probably did see them. So what? He still supports giving the federal government the authority to regulate the Internet. For now, he believes it’s for the wonderful purpose of reining in the supposedly out-of-control ISPs. But I liste possible Title II powers above, in the post, and anyone who wants to claim that the federal government will voluntarily forebear from exercising power needs to provide examples.

    The only one I can think of offhand is the FCC undoing the Fairness Doctrine. But that was under the awful Reagan, and folks like Gillmor want to vote in Democrats, not Reagans. And Democrats are the ones who have been trying to bring back the Fairness Doctrine since Reagan. Ain’t nobody forebearing there. It’s just that the illiberal free-speech opponents lost.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  51. UPDATE: Gillmor says on Twitter that he has “repeatedly written that Title II could have bad unintended consequences.” I think that’s wonderful. The problem is, knowing that there are potential bad unintended consequences, he still supports giving the federal government the power to control aspects of the Internet. I don’t see how that renders anything I said a “lie.”

    Patterico (9c670f)

  52. He doesn’t either, but it’s not from lack of trying.

    ropelight (04b6dd)

  53. “It’s like calling it a “lie” to say ObamaCare will lead to death panels. Sure, we’re not there yet. But it’s inevitable.”

    Patterico – I’m sure federal regulation of the internet like a utility is the solution to cheaper and more competitive access for the 21st century.

    This parallels what were were told about federal regulation of insurance companies like utilities layered on top of existing state regulation leading to increased competition and $2,500 average savings per family through Obamacare.

    Central planning creates competition and lowers prices!!!!!11ty!!!!!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  54. The utter competitive chaos created by the deregulation of the trucking industry and the breakup of AT&T’s monopoly in the early 1980s should also serve as cautionary tales for those advocating loosening the benevolent hand of government control. :)

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  55. UPDATE x2: I am pleased to say Gillmor has retracted the accusation that I lied.

    He still calls it a “false claim” — which I dispute, since any supporter of Net Neutrality, in my opinion, is by definition supporting federal regulation of the Internet. But at least he admits that I did not lie.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  56. i love this idea of a “journalism professor”

    so cute

    happyfeet (831175)

  57. Patterico – I’m sure federal regulation of the internet like a utility is the solution to cheaper and more competitive access for the 21st century.

    This parallels what were were told about federal regulation of insurance companies like utilities layered on top of existing state regulation leading to increased competition and $2,500 average savings per family through Obamacare.

    Central planning creates competition and lowers prices!!!!!11ty!!!!!

    Exactly.

    Which reminds me: I have been meaning to address your claim the other day that lobbying one’s government is “free-market” activity. (And to deny your suggestion that I support some sort of legal limitation on that, which I never said and do not support.) Should we go back to that thread (which seems dormant) or have the discussion here?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  58. what are you playing with sweetie?

    this is barbie she’s a journalism professor

    oh what’s barbie doing?

    right now she’s retracting a tweet

    oh she sure is look at her go

    happyfeet (831175)

  59. The horrible underlying truth is that at least 50% of Americans have succumbed to the last 50 years of DemoAcadaMediaHollyBuro brainwashing, and are unable to comprehend the basics behind the 1st Amendment. They simply don’t get that freedom of speech that is controlled is not freedom at all.

    They equate themselves and their beliefs with “the good” and will broach no interference, while casually accepting restrictions on those that are different and therefor “the not good”. The conservative’s brain’s Operating System is English (or whatever language each uses for cognition), while the Liberal’s is “Newspeak”. They are unable to process logic that does not lead to where they want (all of us) to be.

    I have a close relative who told me that she cannot read Drudge because of all the hateful things “he says”. When I pointed out that Drudge is merely a news aggregator (a concept she was apparently unfamiliar with, preferring hew news well “seasoned with insight” I guess) she casually stated that then Drudge should “not be allowed to print lies”. I asked her that since she believes that all points of view have some validity in so many other things, why was she defining some points of view as being invalid here? She had no answer, but only sought to change the subject. This woman has a college degree, makes six figures in salary, and clearlly doesn’t give a rat’s ass about my rights as a fellow American.

    I finished off by observing that had we both been alive in 1930’s Germany, I would be digging my own grave out back of the Gestapo HQ prior to gettng a bullet to the head, while she would be among the girls lining the sidewalks out front, throwing kisses to Hitler as his staff car roarded past. I could tell that this jolted her, hopefully because she could not avoid the unsettling truth of how she values conformity and group excitement. She and I have not spoken for several years now, despite often being in the same gathering.

    This is the kind of “patriotic American” who will applaud the government as it seeks to control our freedom of expression, and be proud of doing so.

    Ray Van Dune (391022)

  60. The propaganda around net neutrality is incredibly pervasive. It should be a journalist’s foremost responsibility to explain the other point of view. Even if they don’t think it’s going to be a problem. Especially if they feel the beneficiaries of this program are their political friends.

    Unfortunately instead there is a near universal refusal to even address this issue. To even point it out is ‘a lie’. To have an opinion that disagrees with those in power is ‘a lie’.

    It proves the problem is real, but the only people who notice already understood the problem.

    Dustin (2a8be7)

  61. Patterico, I give you the benefit of the doubt, but here is why what you said could be considered deceptive: people who support net neutrality do not support “regulating the internet”. We support regulating access providers, and only to the extend of preventing _them_ from regulating the internet (and some of us only support those laws provisionally–only as long as there are other laws preventing a free market in access providers). What you are saying is that because we support one set of regulations and that _you_ believe that these will inevitably lead to other regulations, that therefore we support those other regulations. This is not true, and is reasonably characterized as a lie, depending on how someone reads it. Even if you are correct and the negative consequences are inevitable that does not mean that we support those consequences.

    Heck, even if we believe ourselves that the negative consequences are inevitable, that does not mean we support those negative consequences. I support immigration controls. I also believe that those immigration controls will inevitably be used to keep out people that some corrupt president finds politically inconvenient. That doesn’t mean I support the ability of corrupt presidents to do that.

    I support laws against physical assault. I also believe it is practically inevitable that governments will sometimes use those laws to persecute political minorities, using the laws to punish them for self defense. That doesn’t mean that I support this abuse of the law.

    There is always the danger of government actors acting improperly, even within the (arguable) scope of the law. Supporting a particular government action for its beneficial aspects cannot be fairly characterized as supporting future government actions that may will follow from it.

    So I give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are making the argument: “you support X, X will lead to Y, therefore you are unintentionally/recklessly helping to bring about Y.” But the way you are wording the argument is “you support X, X will lead to Y, therefore you support Y”. And that is what sounds dishonest to those of us on the other side of this.

    Cugel (442ec7)

  62. from what i’ve seen thus far, and i am not literate in regulatory gobbleygook,
    i don’t see how ISP’s would be allowed to block IP addresses that have open relays or are purposefully allowing their address to disseminate spam and malware stems.

    seeRpea (b6bbec)

  63. What you are saying is that because we support one set of regulations and that _you_ believe that these will inevitably lead to other regulations, that therefore we support those other regulations.

    Nope. Not what I said. In fact, I said the opposite.

    You deny it? Then give me the quote.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  64. people who support net neutrality do not support “regulating the internet”. We support regulating access providers, and only to the extend of preventing _them_ from regulating the internet (and some of us only support those laws provisionally–only as long as there are other laws preventing a free market in access providers).

    So, the internet exists independent of “access providers ?”
    The Civil Aeronautics Board regulated air travel providers until it was abolished. Was air travel not regulated ?

    I just don’t see the difference and I think it is a semantic argument.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  65. But the way you are wording the argument is “you support X, X will lead to Y, therefore you support Y”.

    Nope. You’re making that up. Never said it.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  66. So, the internet exists independent of “access providers ?”
    The Civil Aeronautics Board regulated air travel providers until it was abolished. Was air travel not regulated ?

    I just don’t see the difference and I think it is a semantic argument.

    Absolutely. This hits the nail on the head.

    And, speaking of the CAB, what a glorious time it was! In the name of protecting the consumer, budget airlines couldn’t even schedule times of departure. At best, you could be told what day your plane was leaving, but no time. Hooray for government!

    Patterico (9c670f)

  67. “Should we go back to that thread (which seems dormant) or have the discussion here?”

    Patterico – I believe my argument was that the activity was speech. I’m not going to have time to discuss it today, but I appreciate you remembering it.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  68. #61
    That sounds a lot like a supporter of a war to depose a dictator being saddled with also supporting the death of innocents, because of the inevitability.
    In this case the negative effects on the mislabeled “Net Neutrality” could be mitigated by not allowing the FCC’s ruling to stand and instead rewrite the damn thing to include specific language that prevents the type of thing Patrick is against.

    In this case I believe it is correct to say that supporting this new regulation as written means that the dark side is also supported, because right now there is time to mitigate the dark side yet persons like yourself would rather push it through now warts and all so that the Comcast bill will go down for a few people

    steveg (794291)

  69. Patterico – I believe my argument was that the activity was speech. I’m not going to have time to discuss it today, but I appreciate you remembering it.

    It’s absolutely speech. We don’t disagree there.

    Where we disagree is your calling it “free-market” activity.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  70. Mike K: yes, the internet exists independently of access providers. If you blotted out every access provider in the world there would still be a lot of data flowing back and forth across the internet. Big companies, universities, governments, military forces, and other big organizations typically do not use access providers; they have their own private interconnects to the backbone. If you work at one of those places then you are probably not using an access provider when you are on the internet at work.

    Access providers are just the companies who provide a public service that lets people access the internet. When we sign up with such a provider, most of us assume that we are actually getting a connection to the _internet_, and not to some filtered subnet that certain companies have to pay to get equal access too. If I’m paying the provider for access, it strikes me as a breach of their agreement with me to restrict access to something I’m already paying for.

    Frankly, I’m amazed that this isn’t being investigated as extortion. If I payed a delivery driver to pick up a package for me and when he went to pick it up, he demanded money from the sender even though I’ve already paid him, that would be extortion, wouldn’t it? What if there were only one delivery company that was allowed to operate in the city, and the delivery company drivers did this regularly but I had no alternative but to use them anyway? I don’t see how the internet case is different.

    How is that different, Patterico?

    Cugel (442ec7)

  71. It’s because of federal regulations like the CAB that airline “competition” was limited to food, cabin crew quality, and frequency:


    Under CAB regulation, investment and operating decisions were highly constrained. CAB rules limiting routes and entry and controlling prices meant that airlines were limited to competing only on food, cabin crew quality, and frequency. As a result, both prices and frequency were high, and load factors—the percentage of the seats that were filled—were low. Indeed, in the early 1970s load factors were only about 50 percent. The air transport market today is remarkably different. Because airlines compete on price, fares are much lower. Many more people fly, allowing high frequency today also, but with much higher load factors—74 percent in 2003, for example.

    Airline deregulation was a monumental event. Its effects are still being felt today, as low-cost carriers (LCCs) challenge the “legacy” airlines that were in existence before deregulation (American, United, Continental, Northwest, US Air, and Delta). Indeed, the airline industry is experiencing a paradigm shift that reflects the ongoing effects of deregulation. Although deregulation affected the flows of air travel, the infrastructure grid remains subject to government control and economic distortions. Thus, airlines were only partially deregulated.

    Benefits of Partial Deregulation

    Even the partial freeing of the air travel sector has had overwhelmingly positive results. Air travel has dramatically increased and prices have fallen. After deregulation, airlines reconfigured their routes and equipment, making possible improvements in capacity utilization. These efficiency effects democratized air travel, making it more accessible to the general public.

    Airfares, when adjusted for inflation, have fallen 25 percent since 1991, and, according to Clifford Winston and Steven Morrison of the Brookings Institution, are 22 percent lower than they would have been had regulation continued (Morrison and Winston 2000). Since passenger deregulation in 1978, airline prices have fallen 44.9 percent in real terms according to the Air Transport Association. Robert Crandall and Jerry Ellig (1997) estimated that when figures are adjusted for changes in quality and amenities, passengers save $19.4 billion dollars per year from airline deregulation. These savings have been passed on to 80 percent of passengers accounting for 85 percent of passenger miles.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  72. The topic of government regulation always reminds me of President Carter’s personal review of who used the White House tennis court for the first 6 months he was in office. As bad as that was, I have a feeling Carter was more efficient than what government bureaucracy produces.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  73. Patterico, you said that Gillmore supports regulation of the “new printing press”, when (so far as I know) he just wants the city-licensed paper boys regulated so that they have to deliver the papers of all of the publishers under equal terms, and can’t demand a special fee from some publishers over others.

    He is not (again, so far as I know, I can’t speak for him) supporting the government actually regulating what the publishers publish. You may believe that this will be an inevitable consequence, but that is not what he is supporting.

    Cugel (442ec7)

  74. ‘”Maintaining a fast, fair and open Internet”

    “Adopted on February 26, 2015, the FCC’s Open Internet rules are designed to protect free expression and innovation on the Internet and promote investment in the nation’s broadband networks. The Open Internet rules are grounded in the strongest possible legal foundation by relying on multiple sources of authority…”

    – The FCC

    That assertion is so far out of step with the real intent of this action that it should expose the FCC to open contempt and ridicule. I’d like to see their budget brought back to what it was during the Reagan administration. I visited their threadbare (at the time) DC offices in 1988 to help get a ruling and thorough definition of what constituted customer premises equipment. I can only assume that this regulating body has grown well-beyond the original charter.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  75. Hey, FCC. You didn’t build that network!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  76. who’s behind net neutrality, so called Free Press and Center for American Progress, whose representative in the FCC is Mark Lloyd, who has explicitly said, getting control of private media was necessary for ‘Chavez’s wonderful Democratic revolution,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  77. Mike K: yes, the internet exists independently of access providers.

    But it can’t be accessed without some way to get access (duh), and the access providers are part of the Internet. That’s the point.

    Access providers are just the companies who provide a public service that lets people access the internet. When we sign up with such a provider, most of us assume that we are actually getting a connection to the _internet_, and not to some filtered subnet that certain companies have to pay to get equal access too. If I’m paying the provider for access, it strikes me as a breach of their agreement with me to restrict access to something I’m already paying for.

    Frankly, I’m amazed that this isn’t being investigated as extortion. If I payed a delivery driver to pick up a package for me and when he went to pick it up, he demanded money from the sender even though I’ve already paid him, that would be extortion, wouldn’t it? What if there were only one delivery company that was allowed to operate in the city, and the delivery company drivers did this regularly but I had no alternative but to use them anyway? I don’t see how the internet case is different.

    How is that different, Patterico?

    Net Neutrality is like saying that there can’t be toll roads created for delivery drivers who want to deliver packages faster. Why not? The delivery drivers might want to pay more for the opportunity to have a faster road to deliver packages in a timely fashion. The customers might want to pay more to get the packages delivered faster.

    You’ve already paid for the package, but it can be delivered at the same speed as all other traffic or at a faster speed. If it is meaningful to you to get the faster speed, you pay for it, which encourages the road builder to build more roads.

    This is not a hard concept.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  78. Also, those of you comparing the net neutrality issue to government regulation of the airlines and other things would be really convincing if we were actually talking about a choice between a government-regulated internet or an unregulated internet. I’d be all for the unregulated internet. But that’s not the choice that we have before us. The choice we have before us is between heavily-regulated internet providers, or heavily-regulated internet providers where one of the regulations is that they have to provide equal access to all publishers.

    If you want a convincing example of why this is bad then you have to come up with an example where there was a heavily regulated industry that was made worse when another regulation was passed that required the industry to treat everyone equally.

    Cugel (442ec7)

  79. Patterico, you said that Gillmore supports regulation of the “new printing press”, when (so far as I know) he just wants the city-licensed paper boys regulated so that they have to deliver the papers of all of the publishers under equal terms, and can’t demand a special fee from some publishers over others.

    Let’s say there are 50 papers who want their papers delivered. But 49 of those papers are discussing non-topical issues, while only one of them really cares whether its customers get the paper in the morning. So the delivery guy says: if you want your paper delivered first, pay me extra and I’ll make sure to prioritize your traffic. The ability to demand that payment will also attract other delivery people to deliver the paper that needs fast delivery urgently.

    If the government comes along and says this arrangement can’t happen, that will prevent the one topical morning paper from getting its paper to its customers, which will defeat its business model. If the government happens not to like the content of that paper, it will use that regulatory power to influence the paper not to print content objectionable to the regulatory authority.

    This is how government works. It is how government has always worked.

    I notice you have zero quotes from me saying that Gillmor intends to support content regulation. Care to retract your false accusation?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  80. Also, those of you comparing the net neutrality issue to government regulation of the airlines and other things would be really convincing if we were actually talking about a choice between a government-regulated internet or an unregulated internet. I’d be all for the unregulated internet. But that’s not the choice that we have before us. The choice we have before us is between heavily-regulated internet providers, or heavily-regulated internet providers where one of the regulations is that they have to provide equal access to all publishers.

    Why can’t the choice be to have an unregulated Internet? Why must we try to fix a problem caused by government regulation by piling on more government regulations??

    Patterico (9c670f)

  81. If you want a convincing example of why this is bad then you have to come up with an example where there was a heavily regulated industry that was made worse when another regulation was passed that required the industry to treat everyone equally.

    Did you read the post? The Fairness Doctrine would have killed Rush Limbaugh.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  82. Paterico: “Net Neutrality is like saying that there can’t be toll roads created for delivery drivers who want to deliver packages faster. Why not? The delivery drivers might want to pay more for the opportunity to have a faster road to deliver packages in a timely fashion. The customers might want to pay more to get the packages delivered faster.”

    OK, here we have a disagreement on what the fact are. My complaint with Comcast and Verizon is not that they wanted to charge Netflix for a dedicated interconnect, but that they were deliberately suppressing Netflix traffic on the regular interconnect in order to force Netflix to pay for a direct one. There is considerable evidence that they were doing this, in the form of experiments where people would measure the speed of direct Netflix traffic and then measure the speed of Netflix going through a round-about path where the provider could not identify it as Netflix traffic. It was considerably faster using the round-about path.

    Cugel (442ec7)

  83. DTN always serves the public well. a Marxist… who woulda thunk it?!?! #FreeToBeFCC

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  84. The fairness doctrine didn’t say that you have to give equal access to everyone; it said that you had to give equal access to all points of view. A point of view is not a person (or a corporation). Requiring equal access for everyone would mean a full-access policy where everyone that wanted to get on the radio could line up and the radio station had to give them each an equal slot of time. Equal access for points of view is obviously designed to be a vague and variable concept subject to control by politicians.

    Cugel (442ec7)

  85. Netflix is the single largest consumer of bandwidth out there. No one else is even close.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  86. it is as if, he and Lloyd are of the same mind:

    In 2007 McChesney, citing Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez as the exemplar of “free press” champions, maintained that “aggressive unqualified political dissent is alive and well in the Venezuelan mainstream media, in a manner few other democratic nations have ever known, including our own.” Further, he lauded Chavez as an immensely popular ruler who “has won landslide victories that would be the envy of almost any elected leader in the world.”

    this framework ended up with the opposition candidate, a rather blanc mange fellow, having only an hour of coverage per day,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  87. Patterico: “I notice you have zero quotes from me saying that Gillmor intends to support content regulation. Care to retract your false accusation?”

    Here is the quote: “Journalism Professor Dan Gillmor Supports Federal Regulation of the (New) Printing Press”. If you are going to deny that this quote could be read by a reasonable person as a claim that he supports federal regulation of content providers then we are just going to have to disagree. That’s how I read it before I had any idea what this post was about, and judging from his reaction that’s how he read it.

    Cugel (442ec7)

  88. the internet is the new pamphleteers, coffee houses, from whence the journals came,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  89. “Journalism Professor Dan Gillmor Supports Federal Regulation of the (New) Printing Press”.

    Is that true or not?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  90. Can you elaborate on how I supposedly misunderstood him?

    Well, in your tweet, you assume that he understands that the opposing position is about free speech and free markets, as opposed to what his side assumes: that any opposition is just from corporate interests. You are arguing to your points, not against his, and he has no clue what your points even mean.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  91. any supporter of Net Neutrality, in my opinion, is by definition supporting federal regulation of the Internet

    And then you paste him with that. But that is not his motive and your implication that it is is a “false claim.” That may well be the end result of PART of the FCC decision, but 1) they aren’t the parts he has focused on; 2) he probably believes the FCC would never do that anyway; and 3) the “Net Neutrality” label muddles all thinking.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  92. “Journalism Professor Dan Gillmor Supports Federal Regulation of the (New) Printing Press”.

    Is that true or not?

    I can’t speak for him any more than you can, but I don’t think it’s true. The access providers are not the internet, and even if they are part of the internet (a doubtful proposition; I never considered myself a part of the publishing industry when I was a paper boy) they aren’t the part that would be analogous to as the “printing press”–the machine that turns out the copy. You are conflating regulation of the content with regulation of a segment of the delivery infrastructure.

    Cugel (442ec7)

  93. these are the people behind net neutrality, they promised ‘you can keep your provider’ and it will run 5 times faster, but the reality is otherwise

    narciso (ee1f88)

  94. Net Neutrality is like saying that there can’t be toll roads created for delivery drivers who want to deliver packages faster.

    Exactly.

    You are conflating regulation of the content with regulation of a segment of the delivery infrastructure.

    So, content can travel without delivery structure ? You are making logic jumps I can’t follow. I was an internet user at Dartmouth in 1994. There was no WWW and text search engines like Veronica were standard. The use of Mosiac and other big applications required much bigger pipes. The academics and DARPA folks who were using the 1994 internet didn’t care much about things like Amazon.com.

    Netflx is already having second thoughts about their lobbying for this FCC action. Maybe they should have built their own pipe. Now they are faced with unintended consequences.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  95. Patterico, I give you the benefit of the doubt, but here is why what you said could be considered deceptive: people who support net neutrality do not support “regulating the internet”. We support regulating access providers, and only to the extend of preventing _them_ from regulating the internet (and some of us only support those laws provisionally–only as long as there are other laws preventing a free market in access providers).

    If I could condense the entire Statist mistake into a few sentences, this would come close.

    You fear the market power of independent, diverse and competing players and then concentrate that power in a SINGLE source — the State, which doesn’t need to rely on mere market power; unlike a business, they can toss people in jail who offend them.

    Yes, individual ISPs can have a lot of power over what their customers do. If there were no way for those customers to thwart them, and they all acted in unison, this would be a problem.

    But their customers all have alternatives and the real power is in fact, theirs. The ISP is constrained to actions that do not cause their customers to bolt, or cause competitors to circle like vultures. In most areas people have at least 5 choices: the cable company, the phone company, at least two cell companies and a satellite company. In many places they have small ISPs and/or fiber builders like Covad and DSL Extreme.

    The FCC regulations will reduce this competition by wiping out the small DSL, fiber and budget cell companies through regulation costs that hit the small guys hardest. Then they will produce rules that make all the companies behave the same and eliminate the diversity that serves their customers needs.

    In the end, the market power — largely wielded by customers making free decisions, will be replaced by bureaucrats, making decisions by which group offers the largest campaign donations to their patrons.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  96. Shorter:

    If Bill Clinton had had his way back in the late 90’s, all computers would now run a regulated WIndows OS, and all softare rpoducts would need to be vetted before they were sold. There would be no Apple, no iPhone, no Google, no Android. Probably no smartphones. But those evil people at Microsoft wouldn’t be able to tell you what to do! The government would do it instead.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  97. the Dog trainer and Carlos Slim’s provide little news, and less real analysis:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/03/a_funny_thing_happened_on_the_way_to_the_white_house.html

    narciso (ee1f88)

  98. “Journalism Professor Dan Gillmor Supports Federal Regulation of the (New) Printing Press”.

    No, it is not true. It is true that he supports policies that will likely lead to that, but that is not the aim he perceives. It is no more true than saying “Kevin supports killing lots of people” when what Kevin supports is “freeing Iraq.” It is probably true that will happen (though not certain), but it is not what I *support*.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  99. OK, here we have a disagreement on what the fact are. My complaint with Comcast and Verizon is not that they wanted to charge Netflix for a dedicated interconnect, but that they were deliberately suppressing Netflix traffic on the regular interconnect in order to force Netflix to pay for a direct one. There is considerable evidence that they were doing this, in the form of experiments where people would measure the speed of direct Netflix traffic and then measure the speed of Netflix going through a round-about path where the provider could not identify it as Netflix traffic. It was considerably faster using the round-about path.

    If the paper delivery boy is doing a crap job delivering the paper, and/or demanding too much money to do it, fire him and get a better one.

    If local government is artificially lowering the supply of paper delivery boys through regulation (say they require licenses and give out only a handful) then is the solution a) to pile more regulations onto the handful of delivery boys or b) undo the regulations limiting entry into the delivery business?

    I say b. I think solution a will lead to the scenario I described above, content regulation:

    Let’s say there are 50 papers who want their papers delivered. But 49 of those papers are discussing non-topical issues, while only one of them really cares whether its customers get the paper in the morning. So the delivery guy says: if you want your paper delivered first, pay me extra and I’ll make sure to prioritize your traffic. The ability to demand that payment will also attract other delivery people to deliver the paper that needs fast delivery urgently.

    If the government comes along and says this arrangement can’t happen, that will prevent the one topical morning paper from getting its paper to its customers, which will defeat its business model. If the government happens not to like the content of that paper, it will use that regulatory power to influence the paper not to print content objectionable to the regulatory authority.

    This is how government works. It is how government has always worked.

    Give government control over any aspect of the process, including delivery, and it will try to affect content.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  100. No, it is not true. It is true that he supports policies that will likely lead to that, but that is not the aim he perceives. It is no more true than saying “Kevin supports killing lots of people” when what Kevin supports is “freeing Iraq.” It is probably true that will happen (though not certain), but it is not what I *support*.

    Sure it’s true. The Internet as a whole is the printing press — it’s how ideas get from people’s heads to your eyes. ISPs are a part of that process, and Gillmor supports regulating ISPs. This is not hard.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  101. Patterico, then, by the same token, why aren’t people who support a military action really just bloodthirsty savages who advocate killing people? It’s gonna happen, so that MUST be the part they support!

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  102. I’m not talking about content regulation in that headline, Kevin M. I am talking about regulating the Internet. That is absolutely what Gillmor and all other Net Neutrality people want, and the fact that it’s only part of the Internet that they claim to want regulation over, does not make the true statement false.

    If I could condense the entire Statist mistake into a few sentences, this would come close.

    You fear the market power of independent, diverse and competing players and then concentrate that power in a SINGLE source — the State, which doesn’t need to rely on mere market power; unlike a business, they can toss people in jail who offend them.

    Exactly — and more importantly, there is no market alternative to the government. If you don’t like the government, you can’t simply choose to spend your money on a competitor.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  103. Patterico, then, by the same token, why aren’t people who support a military action really just bloodthirsty savages who advocate killing people? It’s gonna happen, so that MUST be the part they support!

    Please quote where I said Gillmor supports content regulation.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  104. Please quote where I said Gillmor supports content regulation.

    I am pretty sure he read it that way. “Final blow for newspapers: they increasingly rely on the Web, and people like you want the government regulating it” could be read as wanting the government to control newspapers.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  105. Patterico, then, by the same token, why aren’t people who support a military action really just bloodthirsty savages who advocate killing people? It’s gonna happen, so that MUST be the part they support!

    The parallel to what I actually said would be: you said you support the military action, and the military action will lead to innocent people being killed. So while I am not saying (see that? NOT saying) you support innocent people being killed, you are aware of the risk and you still support the policy knowing that.

    Then, there are two possible scenarios.

    1) If you and I agree that the policy would still be worth it if innocents are killed (or if Gillmor acknowledged that federal regulation of content is likely), then we may simply have a differing value judgment as to the importance of the military action (or of Net Neutrality being enforced by the FCC). But that’s not what I think is going on here, because I think Gillmor claims that content regulation is a risk but apparently does not believe it will happen.

    or

    2) If, by contrast, you agreed that the policy would not be worth it if innocents were killed (or if federal regulation of content happened) then our argument refocuses to the issue of how likely the bad outcome is. That’s where I think Gillmor is. I think. If he believed Net Neutrality would lead to federal control of content, I think he’d be against it. He just doesn’t agree it will. I think.

    For me to say you support the military action is not a lie. For me to say Gillmor supports federal regulation of the Internet is not a lie.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  106. BTW, I have met and talked briefly with Dan Gillmor, when he was at the Merc, and he seemed like a reasonable person and pretty much what you would want in a journalist. Sure, he’s biased. I’m biased. So what.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  107. I am pretty sure he read it that way. “Final blow for newspapers: they increasingly rely on the Web, and people like you want the government regulating it” could be read as wanting the government to control newspapers.

    Lots of things could be read lots of ways, but that’s not what I said, and I clarified it in subsequent tweets.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  108. BTW, I have met and talked briefly with Dan Gillmor, when he was at the Merc, and he seemed like a reasonable person and pretty much what you would want in a journalist. Sure, he’s biased. I’m biased. So what.

    See the start of my post. He has some silly ideas about how the left is better than the right, but I like a lot of what he has done, and I said so.

    Most people who call me a liar without cause, I would write off immediately. There’s a reason I didn’t do it with him.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  109. You guys are reading “content regulation” into my statement, but it’s not there.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  110. Patterico,

    For me to say you support the military action is not a lie. For me to say Gillmor supports federal regulation of the Internet is not a lie.

    I am just trying to say where the disconnect came. That your statement, properly parsed, says X, does not mean that it might, quick read in a tweet, be read as Y. Gillmor is angry that you (seemingly) put some words in his mouth, and the fact that maybe you didn’t really isn’t the issue.

    He could have read it as him supporting regulation of internet news.

    He could believe that regulation of ISPs has nothing to do with regulating “the Internet” (whatever that is).

    But obviously he did not agree with your characterizzation of his views.

    ———–

    Note aside: what is regulation? For a number of years one man (Jon Postel) “regulated” the Internet as the god of numbers. But this was better than what happened when the State took over as any number of poker sites can attest.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  111. That last about Gillmor was mostly aimed at one or two people who have taken potshots.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  112. This sounds like a passive aggressive commie way of nationalizing the internet.
    The left wants government to control everything from the internet to the weather

    steveg (794291)

  113. Kevin M., just because it is “for the children” doesn’t mean that genocide is NOT the expected result. And in the same vein, Patterico is reading between the lines, given that an unelected agency will be the authority that modifies and extends these rules.

    There’s something about letting a camel’s nose into the tent the bears on this, but it escapes me.

    And if that doesn’t trigger a response, how about the IRS determining which “non-profits” are allowed to engage in political advertising?

    bobathome (ef0d3a)

  114. I think the purpose of net neutrality has been clearly been spelled out, it’s like ignoring Obama and Schakowsky and Hacker, to site three proponents of the Unaffordable Care Act, and what their goal is,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  115. Isn’t pricing better controlled at the local level by the municipalities who control the infrastructure easements? Then the local officials can get yelled at when the ISP decides the local nodes are full and no more new internet broadband subscribers can be added.
    Yelling at Washington never works because they are too well insulated.

    steveg (794291)

  116. now Gilmor might say, I’d like to clarify what I mean by net neutrality, however there is the problem of what the actual policy makers are doing,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  117. Isn’t pricing better controlled at the local level by the municipalities who control the infrastructure easements?

    Not everybody lives in an area where good competition is possible but I live where wireless internet is possible from transmitters owned by ISPs and mounted on electric utility towers. There is also Dish and Direct TV that provide faster download plus DSL that competes with cable.

    I just don’t get the people who think they want to go back to Ma Bell. Now, maybe NetFlix, which I subscribe to, is faster on some systems than others but they don’t have all the movies I want to watch, either. We looked all over the house last night because I wanted to watch “Tender Mercies” for the 25th time. NetFlix doesn’t have it and we finally found the DVD.

    I find that those in favor of FCC regulation of ISPs are reflexively leftist. That applies to some of my children so I am not being nasty. I don’t shop at Whole Foods, either, but they can do so with my blessing. They can pay more for organic with my blessing.

    NetFlix will regret this.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  118. Mozilla is another casualty of this scrimmage. They have lost a huge amount of market share recently, and one of their unforced errors was “Net Neutrality”. So many lower level programmers and faculty are still under the sway of “Hope and Change”. And they could contribute to the future if they could just grow up a tiny bit. Perhaps this will be a learning experience.

    The only change I used to worry about was my kid’s diapers. Now we’re nursing two elderly dog-partners, who trusted us to take care of them in return for chasing off raccoons and cats, through their declining years. Which also involves diapers, only doggy style … with provision for a tail. Which makes me think that normal disposable diapers might work just fine with a bit of “tailoring”.

    bobathome (ef0d3a)

  119. the fellow who wrote the Jarrett piece, Bai, is a recent hire, along with Carville:

    link

    narciso (ee1f88)

  120. “Mozilla is another casualty of this scrimmage.”

    Amusing but my (one of my) lefty daughter is trying to develop an app with her boyfriend and she is a net neutrality enthusiast. I can’t bring myself to discuss the consequences of what she thinks she wants.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  121. Gillmore condemns himself to oblivion with his opening paragragraph:

    While I support the commission’s decision, have argued for it, and have publicly worried about the potential unintended consequences, I don’t assume these consequences are inevitable

    It’s all for the children, after all.

    So what could possibly go wrong?

    This is surely a strong argument that our “leaders” (intellectual and political) need to spend more time reading and clicking on the magnifying glass icon to the right of the current URL, than twerking … or whatever.

    bobathome (ef0d3a)

  122. which once again demonstrates its unfitness for serious conversation. Read it and come back. I’ll wait.

    In other words, he disagrees with me.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  123. now one can have a difference of opinion, actually no as his misrepresenting Cotton’s view, shows he has no such tolerance,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  124. I miss Blockbuster and the VideoStop – Never joined up with Netflix.

    I have noticed that most new content is available for free from RU servers.
    If it didn’t make me feel like a theif I might watch more than the occasional TBBT rerun.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  125. If someone spends 5000 words saying “up is up, down is down,” etc., and then extends the discussion to include “if North is 0 degrees and East is 90 degrees, then South is 180 degrees”, etc., to include a total of 10,000 words, it is a mistake to say that he is accurate 99.8901% of the time when he concludes “if you like your doctor, then you can keep your doctor!” Even if he says it 23 times before recording devices (which reduces the “accuracy” to 97.5324%.)

    The person who makes such statements is a liar, plain and simple. Nothing such a person says can ever be considered worthy of consideration. To do so is to waste 97.5% of your time.

    So Gillmor has some good points, but his errors make them inconsequential.

    bobathome who knows mistakes can happen (ef0d3a)

  126. This is a good post. But Twitter is a waste of time.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  127. 50. Gillmor says he will respond on his blog.

    He is also saying on Twitter that he has said in the past that there could be unintended consequences of Net Neutrality…

    Patterico (9c670f) — 3/15/2015 @ 10:51 am

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I am sick and tired of people like Gillmor pretending that the predictable, and if you study the nature of bureaucracy then you know the inevitable, result of handing an agency this kind of power is in any way “unintended.”

    Probably the best illustration of how bureaucracies behave when they are free to behave as they wish is the IRS. We know that Obama didn’t need to give any detailed instructions to his enforcers about who to target. We know from the emails that they already knew who to target. They targeted TEA Party and other like-minded conservative groups because they were for lower taxes and smaller government.

    From email exchanges we know the IRS thugs concluded that these groups couldn’t possibly be legitimately qualified for 501(c)(3) status because only charitable organizations that operate in the public interest are supposed to qualify. And since government is, in the view of government apparatchiks, by definition in the public interest the more government you have the greater the public good. So by advocating smaller government the conservative groups were acting against the public interest.

    So the IRS thugs decided they had to be stopped. For the children. Nobody, including Obama, needed to twist any arms over at the IRS. Their attitude is that whatever is good for the federal bureaucracy is good for the public. All Obama needed to do was signal he wasn’t going to pay too much attention to what they did when they were off their leash.

    We’ve seen the same thing from other agencies such as the EPA. What falls under their jurisdiction? Everything they can get away with. That’s why they fund activist groups to sue them. So they can settle out of court by agreeing to regulate something that they previously didn’t regulate, then get a court to rubber stamp the agreement. Boom. Expanded jurisdiction. More power. More agents. More public employee union members, who will turn around and lobby the government for more government. And a bigger budget.

    No one rises to the top of any agency or any department of any agency by overseeing any dismantling of its power or size. They rise to the top by expanding their empire.

    This by the way is why I despise Jeb Bush. He exhibits the same blind faith in the Department of Education that Gillmor has in the FCC. He says he can’t see any national curriculum emerging from Common Corps.

    Did somebody drop him on his head when he was a kid? What aspect of life aren’t the feds attempting to nationalize? Holder’s DoJ is attempting to nationalize policing based upon Al Sharpton’s advice and the “hands up, don’t shoot” lie. Any excuse is good enough for any federal bureaucracy to sieze control of anything and nationalize the issue.

    Like I said, I’m sick and tired of people claiming the predictable and inevitable result of handing bureaucracies this kind of power is in any way “unintended.”

    Steve57 (d68bce)

  128. Here is a test for all those who say that Net Neutrality can be accomplished without touching upon content regulation:

    What about really bad content, such as DDoS attacks? If one were being strictly neutral, you’d have to oppose ISP efforts to block such attacks on either their servers or servers within their borders. If you try to single this kind of noxious “content” out as being pure hostile, you are reaching into content and cross a line. Next up would be nasty porn or stolen intellectual property, and the slope is now clear.

    If instead you allow the bad old ISPs to regulate content, subject only to the reactions of their customers (who, presumably would want DDoS stopped, but maybe not their porn) you never reach this problem. As private actors, the ISPs can regulate content (as far as they can hunt it down), and if they get stupid about it people just go elsewhere.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  129. Twitter is a waste of time.

    Indeed. Along with Facebook.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  130. of course, I’m sure Carlos Slim’s* will be all over this

    http://twitchy.com/2015/03/15/sheriff-david-clarke-jr-has-a-question-for-eric-holder-on-the-damn-punk-arrested-in-ferguson/

    * the Mexican oligarch is the daddy warbucks of the Times,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  131. I have noticed that most new content is available for free from RU servers.

    Don’t watch it on the same computer from which you access your bank account.

    nk (dbc370)

  132. Paging FCC Chairman Goebbels. Paging FCC Chairman Goebbels. Please report to the internet oversight committee meeting. That is all.

    WarEagle82 (b18ccf)

  133. the ostensible subject of Gillmor’s complaint, was the ‘increasingly selective audience’ of papers like the Des Moines Register, well the best of them was the Charlotte Observer, and it’s a McClatchy paper, with little original content, hence few in Charlotte read it,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  134. Intent is all that matters to some people when it comes to the government. Meaning well makes bad consequences unimportant or at least excusable.

    It’s funny, though, since the same people would never take the same position about wrecks resulting from driving drunk, or children who get hurt when their parents let them walk home unattended, or obesity from letting your family eat fast food. In those examples, the consequences prove something shouldn’t be done, no matter what people intended.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  135. I don’t tweet but I think there’s a place for Twitter (although it’s probably not a good choice for people who write before they think). Twitter may not have the depth of many websites and blogs, but it’s a good way to get the pulse of hot topics and breaking news. Plus some tweets are very clever.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  136. Also, it’s nice to see brevity on the internet. It’s seldom done anymore but you have to be brief at Twitter.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  137. R.I.P. Mike Porcaro, bass player for Toto

    Icy (797871)

  138. Kevin M says:

    If I could condense the entire Statist mistake into a few sentences, this would come close.

    You fear the market power of independent, diverse and competing players and then concentrate that power in a SINGLE source — the State, which doesn’t need to rely on mere market power; unlike a business, they can toss people in jail who offend them.

    I have been repeatedly denying that there is any set of independent, diverse and competing players, at least where I live. One of the times I did so was in the last sentence that you quoted from me, so you should have been aware of this and had the courtesy to be a little less presumptuous and condescending.

    Just because in certain instances I favor federal regulations to limit the bad effects of state regulations, that does not make me a “statist” which is just libertarianese for “anyone who wants some sort of law or regulation that I don’t want”. I also wanted, back when it mattered, federal regulations to prevent states from enforcing laws that prevented me from buying health insurance from other states. Does that make me a statist? I want federal laws that prevent states from enforcing gun-control laws. Does that make me a statist? I’m not sure if it’s Constitutional, but if it is, I would like federal laws that prevent states from using eminent domain to transfer property from one private person to another. Does that make me a statist? I would like to see federal laws that prevent judges and officials from claiming immunity for actions that are illegal, unethical, or recklessly careless of their responsibilities. Does that make me a statist?

    And I would like federal regulations that prevent the state-controlled monopolies of internet access providers from using that state-enforced monopoly position to limit what content I can access. Why, exactly would that make me a statist? You don’t think there is any possibility that a San Francisco regulator might one day drop a hint to Comcast that it surely wouldn’t hurt their chances for that next government perk if they stopped giving access to a select list of blogs that carried hurtful and gender-biased material? All of the blogs on the list, of course, would be supporting the Republican presidential candidate, but that would just be a coincidence.

    What you anti-net-neutrality types can’t seem to get through your heads is that there is a real difference of opinion on factual issues here. _Any_ power you give the government can be abused. Military power, police enforcement power, the power to tax, the power to build roads, _anything_. This is one more power that might be abused. But as in any decision about whether to support a government power, the question isn’t whether there is any chance that the power might be abused (the answer is always “yes”), the question is whether the likely benefits outweigh the likely abuses.

    So you can keep your smirking lectures to yourself. You have no idea who I am or what I believe except that I favor net neutrality laws as long as we are under the current system of regulated access providers.

    Cugel (fa1efd)

  139. The thread is dead, but wanted to straighten out the confusion about Fox broadcast licenses.

    The Fox News Channel cable outlet which dems are perpetually attacking is owned by Fox News Network LLC, and does not have a license to pull. The licenses are for the 28 over-the-air TV stations owned by Fox Television Stations Inc. Both corporate entities are owned by 21st Century Fox, with the bogeyman Rupert Murdoch it’s CEO and chairman.

    The licenses for the TV stations could be pulled, but it would be a harassment action only – it would have no effect on the Fox News or Fox Business cable outlets.

    Ab (81b610)

  140. DRJ – brevity rocks

    JD (3fc464)

  141. in short form, or long, he rarely has a clue:

    https://twitter.com/dangillmor/status/578652943097962496

    it doesn’t even occur to him, that Snowden may have been an SVR op

    narciso (ee1f88)


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