Patterico's Pontifications


FCC to D.C. Circuit: We Are Not Bound By You on Net Neutrality

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 1:57 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

So the FCC has decided today to promulgate something called net neutrality.  I will admit I find the concept to be a solution in search of a problem.  It is exceedingly rare that the problems they cite, of network providers cutting off services like Netflix and the like to harm their competitors, even happens.  Shouldn’t we wait for this to turn into a real problem before we even think of regulating it?

But in general the Obama administration has taken the attitude that pretty much everyone and everything should be subject to regulation.  This is what I call “Democratic Totalitarianism.”

Let me give you a concrete example.  My industry (health care) and every lawyer in this country has been struggling to deal with the issue of the Red Flags rules.  These rules say that every single creditor has a legal duty to make sure his debtors are actually who they say they are.  If identify theft occurs, then the creditors are liable to the real persons being impersonated for any damages caused by this undetected identity theft.

That sounds reasonable (although debatable as policy), until you learn how broad the FTC’s definition of “creditor” was.  A “creditor,” of course, is a “person” (including artificial persons like corporations) who extended credit on a regular basis.  And what is “credit?”  According to the FTC it included any delay between rendering a good and service and collecting on it.  From the FTC’s February 4, 2009 letter:

[T]he FTC staff believes that professionals, including physicians, who regularly bill their clients, customers, or patients for their services after those services are rendered, are “creditors” under the ECOA.

Now stop and think about that for a moment.  If any delay between the service provided and payment makes you a creditor, well, then who isn’t covered by that?  Who isn’t a creditor under this interpretation of the statute?  Any person who gets paid on a semi-monthly or bi-weekly basis is a creditor.

Well, fortunately Judge Walton, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia didn’t agree:

Judge Reggie Walton said he had trouble accepting the FTC’s definition of a creditor. He said that under their interpretation, a plumber who charges a customer after working on a toilet for two days would be also be considered a “creditor.”

And so Walton went on to rule against the FTC.  And anyone who reads the court’s opinion will quickly see how far off the reservation the court had gone in this matter.  Since then the case has been affirmed on appeal and Congress passed a law overruling the FTC, thank God.  But this is the needless chaos the Obama administration has inflicted upon us.

So let’s return back to the example of the FCC and the net neutrality thing.  Now never mind that the Supreme Court has cast serious doubt on the ability of the Congress to pass laws regulating this kind of activity, as a matter of law it looks even grimmer than that.  They were told specifically by the D.C. Circuit that Congress did not even give them the authority to do this.  You can read the opinion, here.  So even if it was constitutional, they still couldn’t do it.

So what this action is, is saying to the D.C. Circuit, “we don’t care what you think, we are going to do it anyway.”  It is a spit in the face.  Shouldn’t they have settle the issue of whether they could do this before trying to do this?

I won’t comment on the substantive issue, because I have not read the regulation at issue.  Even if it is as benign as its advocates say, I fear this will be the nose under the camel’s tent.  Right now, I am much more afraid of the government than Comcast.

And I want to pause and say something about the headlines on this.  For instance, in my linked story it says: FCC Gives Government Power to Regulate Web Traffic.  Well, excuse me a second, but the FCC can’t give the government any power.  The people give the government power, and the government gives that power to the FCC, not the other way around.  And how many times did people say that the FCC “passes” net neutrality?  Congress passes laws.  The FCC promulgates regulations.  But what we are seeing in the very creepy tendency in the use of our language to suggest that somehow the administrative state is greater than Congress.  The tail is wagging the dog.

Update: Thanks to a prompt from JD, I learn that even if I wanted to, I couldn’t comment on the order because no one has seen it outside of the FCC.  Well, that certainly increases my confidence that this is a good idea.  Btw, you can read the proposed orders, which might or might not look anything like the final order, here. Just chug some caffeine before you try.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

106 Responses to “FCC to D.C. Circuit: We Are Not Bound By You on Net Neutrality”

  1. There, i gave you guys a net neutrality thread. Debate!

    Aaron Worthing (b8e056)

  2. Welcome to the Wonderful World of Scientific Socialism!

    It is time to start sharpening the stakes to drive through their hearts (or what passes for such an organ).

    “…He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their Substance…”

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  3. Venezmerica?


    I’m kinda partial to the second but I can go either way.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  4. While I understand the arguments for this law, I also think it severely tilts the net in favor of de facto monopolies like Google, Facebook and Amazon, because they’re free to continue to take advantage of delivery pipes that are paid for by someone else (namely, cable and telcom). It’s no wonder they’ve spent so many millions on lobbyists in support of this legislation. I hope Congress tells the FCC to but out of this issue next year, and make a much fairer law for all (if it’s even needed at this point). BTW, the monopolists also love this law, because it will tend to help lock in their dominant market positions for the forseeable future.

    Dmac (498ece)

  5. Dmac

    That’s just it. its not a law. and its not based on any law. it a regulation that has no authorization under Congressional statute. Congress might not have the power, and they definitely haven’t delegated it.

    Aaron Worthing (b8e056)

  6. Dmac, the problem is that the alternative would *also* tilt the net in favor of de facto monopolies – the people who own the physical pipes are in most places effective monopolies.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  7. Refuse to comply, force the issue.

    mojo (4e4a98)

  8. Barcky’s little totalitarian tyrants at the FCC just gave a big FU to the American people, the Courts, and even the congresscritters. A solution in search of a problem that they have been told,explicitly, that they do not have the authority to address, were it to exist. Don’t even get me started on the completelackof transparency.

    JD (07faa1)

  9. If I buy a subscription to the internet, it’s going to be to the entirety of the internet. Not just the internet that my ISP has decided I’m allowed to see. The obvious solution would be to have more competition. When Comcast extorted Netflix, Netflix should have said, “piss off” and sent an email to all of their customers that Comcast was demanding extra charges. The customers would have been able to weigh this extra charge vs. switching to another broadband service. But Netflix can’t do that. Comcast has a monopoly, or near monopoly, on broadband in many areas. And that’s the problem.

    So what happens without Net Neutrality? Comcast gets to unjustly raise the cost of Netflix doing business to a level above Comcast’s own streaming service.

    Now I see posts like Dmac’s and shudder. You have it completely backwards, sir. Services like Netflix are not taking advantage of anyone. They have to pay for their own connection to the internet. They are not making money unfairly off the backs of the ISP’s. Companies like Netflix are creating reasons why people want to buy internet subscriptions in the first place. If Comcast can’t handle the traffic it is generating, then they need to stop selling unlimited internet connections at fast speeds. Comcast is actually getting upset that people are using their unlimited and fast internet connections that Comcast marketed and sold. It’s ludicrous.

    I can’t even fathom how you can say that monopolists will love this law. This breaks monopolies of service from being able to have unfair advantages in content.

    Newtons.Bit (5c72c3)

  10. And global warming is real. And man caused it.

    JD (07faa1)

  11. Hey JD,

    Imagine a scenario where a railroad company owns the only rail line into a town. This railroad company also owns an oil company. Should that railroad company be allowed to charge its competitors more for oil transportation than itself? What if it forbid competitors from delivering oil to that town and marked up the price of its oil by 200%?

    Newtons.Bit (5c72c3)

  12. Newton’s

    Which is all well and good, except you ignored that the D.C. Circuit has said that they have not been granted the power to actually regulate it.

    It is the siren song of totalitarianism to answer the concern that they do not have the legal right, with “but, they really, really need the power.”

    Aaron Worthing (b8e056)

  13. Newton – I need to imagine nothing. They do not have the authority, and despite being told so already by the Courts, the little tyrants of Barcky’s regime decided to go fix a problem that doesn’t exist by assuming the power to regulate something that they simply do not have. Even the congresscritters did not give them the power. You and yours are giving everyone the finger. Don’t expect some of us to say thanks.

    JD (109425)

  14. Looks like an example of liberal fascism, right out of Harvard University – where the crypto-socialists Julius Genachowski and Barack Obama were schoolmates. Time for some serious rollback by Congressional review, with restoration of the Constitution the goal.

    Insufficiently Sensitive (b6274d)

  15. Dmac, the problem is that the alternative would *also* tilt the net in favor of de facto monopolies – the people who own the physical pipes are in most places effective monopolies.

    Agreed, Aphrael – but then, what is the solution, then?

    Dmac (498ece)

  16. Aaron, I’m not arguing for or against the legality of it. I’m arguing about whether or not it’s actually a good idea. You yourself have said that you aren’t familiar on the subject itself. I’m explaining it.

    Dmac seems to think that it will help monopolies. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Newtons.Bit (5c72c3)

  17. Newt…
    You’re talking about the ICC and it’s regulation of shipping rates that initially were of service in ensuring a level playing field, but eventually were found to be more about ensuring the profitability of the carrier (same as the rates regulated by the CAB/FAA) than serving the public; which is why the ICC does not have that authority any longer (same as the FAA).

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  18. I also think it severely tilts the net in favor of de facto monopolies like Google, Facebook and Amazon, because they’re free to continue to take advantage of delivery pipes that are paid for by someone else (namely, cable and telcom).

    I think Netflix is the principal offender as they use about 20% of the capacity of the internet by downloading and streaming video movies. I can’t see that the others violate any common rules about sharing. The problem is that FCC does not have any real role in the internet unless you want to discuss wireless. They do not have the power to regulate cable. If they did, Fox News would probably be gone.

    This is a big power grab.

    Mike K (568408)

  19. Now I see posts like Dmac’s and shudder

    And I shudder when I see posts that support a few companies that are effectively controlling the majority of internet traffic and commerce today.

    I can’t even fathom how you can say that monopolists will love this law

    OK, then please tell all of us morons why the three companies I’ve named have spent millions of dollar’s worth of lobbying in direct support of this law? Are you actually assuming that they’re really only trying to protect the interests of the common US citizen, then? If so, then please go read your recent edition of Highlights for Children, because that’s exactly the level of coherence your posts indicate.

    Dmac (498ece)

  20. You yourself have said that you aren’t familiar on the subject itself. I’m explaining it.

    Newton’s just gave the game up with this comment. Condescending to the max without citing any objective basis for his statements, awesome refutation there, no question about it.

    Dmac (498ece)

  21. When did it happen that you have to provide service to a competitor’s product at the same price as your own product? To follow your silly analogy, Newton, I would suggest that if you want better prices on your rail freight, build your own effin railroad. Buy a trucking company and jack up rates to your competitors. But the idea that you get to demand or even dictate pricing. But, silliness aside, they don’t have the effin authority to do what they are doing. And they know it. Yet they did.

    JD (109425)

  22. JD: Dodge noted. It’s very clear that what Comcast was doing was anti-trust monopolistic behavior.

    Now go read the 9th circuit ruling. Then go read the FCC statement. You’ll find that they acknowledge the 9th circuit ruling on reasonable network management practices. Whether or not it’s still legal, or flaunts the court ruling, I don’t know. I’m not a lawyer. But it appears they’re not doing the exact same thing that the courts told them they can’t do like you are alleging.

    Dmac: you are aware that the system we have RIGHT NOW with very few exceptions is what Net Neutrality requires, right?

    Newtons.Bit (5c72c3)

  23. Dmac: as a policy matter, the solution is to insist that the people owning the pipeline treat all packets equally. (Note: metered rate is consistent with this).

    I understand the procedural objection to the net neutrality rules, but I think that requiring equal treatment of packets is necessary as long as there isn’t effective broadband competition.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  24. newton

    well, to be blunt, you have not exactly covered yourself in glory on these threads to the point that i would trust your assertions without proof.

    Aaron Worthing (b8e056)

  25. Dmac:

    Youtube, Netflix (on the internet) would not exist if Comcast had its way. They are leveraging their positions as gatekeepers to the customer to block competition in content.

    And Aaron says this, “I won’t comment on the substantive issue, because I have not read the regulation at issue.” and I’m condescending for acknowledging that? I’m not saying he’s ignorant, I’m trying to help.

    Newtons.Bit (5c72c3)

  26. And where would my inglory be, Aaron? In the last thread I got involved in, a bunch of people jumped up and down and said, “global warming isn’t REAL!@!@!” and provided a whole bunch of links that didn’t prove their case. Some of them, particularly those about NIWA, directly conflicted with their arguments. The argument got pointless, and I found other things to do.

    In this thread, where are my bare assertions? Do you require links showing that Comcast extorted Netflix? Those are easy to find.

    Newtons.Bit (5c72c3)

  27. Pointing out there is no authority, none whatsoever, to force feed these regulations is now a “dodge”. Whatevs.

    JD (0d2ffc)

  28. Maybe Newt could link to the rules jammed down our throats. Hint, he cannot. Becuase they were so transparent the members did not get the proposal until nearly midnight, and will not be released to the public until well after they are passed. Typical leftist tyrannical we must pass it to find out what it is in it behavior, par for the course with this group.

    JD (109425)

  29. JD:

    My post was about whether it was a good idea or not. Not whether or not the FCC currently has the authority. You changed the subject by saying that they don’t have the authority. Can you answer whether or not it’s a good idea for a rail company to have an unfair advantage as outlined in post 11?

    Newtons.Bit (5c72c3)

  30. Newton

    > And where would my inglory be, Aaron?

    Why not, instead of licking your wounds, actually prove your case?

    Because so far you are not impressing me in this thread, either.

    [typo corrected.]

    Aaron Worthing (b8e056)

  31. I did not change the subject. You made up some damn stupid hypothetical. Not I. I already answered your patently mendoucheous question above. Read.

    JD (109425)

  32. I’m a bit sympathetic to the argument for net neutrality ( which the FCC plainly does not have the authority to impose without authorization by Congress – but if you follow the clowns on the FCC you’ll already note that they are authoritarians who care nothing for the constitutional bounds of their roles ).

    But there is a good argument that “net neutrality” forces ISP’s to subsidize certain business models.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  33. I’m not going to argue for hours on end with people on global warming. I said my piece, challenged people and then moved on. I’ve argued with “truthers” for years. And the thing that I learned during that time is that people who believe in a giant world-wide conspiracy don’t change their minds based on facts. Not one of my points in that thread was refuted. Not one. And yet you sit there and are all happy about forcing me to leave by argumentum ad nauseam.

    In any event, I come to this site to find posts by Patterico, not you.

    But this is a terrible side-show. My points weren’t addressed there, and they aren’t being addressed here. It’s just dodge dodge, logical fallacy, dodge.

    JD: you haven’t addressed the question. Is it a good idea or not for a corporation to be able to do that? Yes or no?

    Newtons.Bit (5c72c3)

  34. BTW, this usurpation of authority by Obama admin era agencies is not limited to the FCC. The ATF is currently claiming that it can as an “emergency” require Federal Firearms Licensees to do additional reporting on sales without Congressional authority as part of the exaggerated PR campaign about US gun dealers supplying weapons to Mexican drug cartels.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  35. Can you read? I will say it again, in sing gle sill a bull words. If I own a railroad, I plan on charging people other than myself more than what I would charge my own company. If you don’t like it, find another way. Invest in your own railroad. Amass the necessary capital.

    The idea that if we do not share your view then we are conspiracy theorists is abject BS, as is the twoofer BS. Bugger off.

    JD (b98cae)

  36. Wow. Letting the government have more power. That’s the best idea since someone thought about sticking their head into a buzzsaw.

    Dave Surls (e3a4a0)

  37. OK, I’ll play, but I’m going to only argue the policy, not the legality. Two completely separate issues and there should be two threads. Otherwise we get a tag team, as above.

    1) Amazon doesn’t pay for network (except their own), I do. Just like I pay for driving to Best Buy.

    2) The duopoly for wired access (cable & phone companies) should not have gateway power. It is the one thing that I cannot easily change.

    3) Wireless providers don’t count. Slow, limited and metered. If anything, they are what I would flee from.

    4) If Amazon or Google or Microsoft or Facebook attempts to hold me up, I can go to Barnes & Nobles or Apple or eBay or MySpace. Or further if necessary. Or to the next big thing. Those that think that Amazon has a lock should look at what happened to IBM brand PCs in the mid 80’s.

    Now, I would prefer that the current wired model was exploded. My preference would be through a very high bandwidth (>100Gpbs) fiber common carrier that had NO content services but instead hosted tens or hundreds of virtual ISPs in parallel, each with some negotiated fraction of the total bandwidth.

    That way, if I wanted to subscribe to BabyNet that firewalled anything more challenging than Captain Kangaroo, I could. Or, I could sub to XXXNet if that’s what I wanted. Or whatever. But as long as there is that one choke-point, I want it as wide-open as possbile.

    Of course, the devil is in the details — I don’t want the government playing favorites with content either.

    Kevin M (298030)

  38. If it moves, tax it….
    well, the ‘net is moving, but Congress refuses them the authority to tax it…
    If it keeps moving, regulate it…
    even without the authority to do so, the fascists in government will make every attempt to impose their will on private-sector commerce…
    If it stops moving, subsidize it…
    and they wonder why the National Debt is coming up on $14T?

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  39. Oh, and as to the “free market” we long since abandoned that when we limited wired providers by law. A government-licensed provider who is protected against similar competators cannot turn around and pretend that he did it all on his lonesome.

    Kevin M (298030)

  40. “It’s very clear that what Comcast was doing was anti-trust monopolistic behavior.”

    In that case, they must have been doing nothing. You’re not going to get too far if you’re trying to create a monopoly and break trusts all at the same time.

    Dave Surls (e3a4a0)

  41. My Bold Prediction:

    Very shortly after the next congress convenes, Julius Genachowski will be summoned before a Capitol Hill investigative committee at which time various Republicans will get thoroughly medieval on “Julius Seizure’s” net-neutralized a**.

    This power-grab will not stand either in Congress or in the courts.

    MarkJ (42fe5b)

  42. SPQR – one of the things I hold against the current Democratic legislative leadership is that they failed to take this on in a meaningful way before the election.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  43. The FCC is far too strong for the residual little bit bucket they administer. Broadcast bands are being sold and why do we need them anyway ?

    Mike K (568408)

  44. aphrael, the list of incompetence by the recent Democatic legislative leadership is a very long one.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  45. For those who wonder about the “law” being a “solution in search of a problem” question, I give you the struggle between Level three communications and Comcast.

    Begin with the press release of Nov. 29, 2010.

    In the past, Comcast behaved badly by throttling bandwidth to bittorrent. Now Comcast attempts to setup a “toll booth” (according to Level three)on the internet. I applaud Netflix for arranging a third party to assume the risk of incurring the wrath of isp giants like Comcast. Netflix will earn big profit (nothing wrong with that)by this arrangement.

    I believe the recurring fees paid by Level three will be passed on to Netflix who, in turn, will pass them on to their subscribers. What is that you say? That it is right that netflix subscribers pay that burden? I agree, but remember, they are already paying for broadband service. Could they be paying “twice”?

    I have an uneasy feeling whenever the private sector goes to the regulators to settle a dispute, the government somehow takes a little more freedom from everyone, not just the litigants.

    Felipe (02954a)

  46. Forgive me for not explaining that Level three hosts Netflix’s digital library. So when a Netflix subscriber requests a movie over the internet, it is Level three’s servers that deliver the content and is being charged a recurring fee by Comcast.

    Felipe (02954a)

  47. Los Angeles doesn’t have meaningful competition in the broadband space. Time Warner is overpriced crap. FIOS is only available in Malibu. How racist is that?

    happyfeet (fd4f3b)

  48. In Lake Arrowhead, where the Post Office doesn’t even deliver mail, the re are three internet providers, Charter Cable, Verizon FIOS and DSL. DSL is slow and FIOS hasn’t reached my house yet but it is close. This is an FCC looking for things to do. If I were the new House, I would be taking a hard look at their budget.

    Mike K (568408)

  49. Here is a piece by JOhn Fund on who is behind this. If the pay wall makes this unavailable, let me know and I will cut and paste it. It is important to read.

    Mike K (568408)

  50. Seton Motley, on the Beck show, really showcased
    Mark Lloyd’s views, it’s not about cheaper broad band, it’s about a ‘wonderful democratic revolution’ like the one going on in Venezuela.

    narciso (6075d0)

  51. I’ve argued with “truthers” for years.

    So now, having not offered anything of objective substance, anyone disagreeing with Newtie’s tit is branded a de facto truther.

    Now, who’s the real Troll in this thread?

    Dmac (498ece)

  52. Mike K, boy, you’re not kidding about the Fund piece. A must read.

    It is very telling when you see the players and paid activists behind the scene and the groups they represent. From the inception of net neutrality by self-proclaimed socialist professor Robert McChesney (University of Illinois) who founded the liberal lobby Free Press in 2002 to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, former law school friend of Mr. Obama (and who official visitor logs show he’s had at least 11 personal meetings with the president) and everyone in between, it’s easy to see the common thread. Our president fits right in the mix.

    And if there were any doubt,

    The FCC’s “National Broadband Plan,” released last spring, included only five citations of respected think tanks such as the International Technology and Innovation Foundation or the Brookings Institution. But the report cited research from liberal groups such as Free Press, Public Knowledge, Pew and the New America Foundation more than 50 times.

    So the “media reform” movement paid for research that backed its views, paid activists to promote the research, saw its allies installed in the FCC and other key agencies, and paid for the FCC research that evaluated the research they had already paid for. Now they have their policy. That’s quite a coup.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  53. from Mr. Dr. K’s link

    These wealthy funders pay for more than publicity and conferences. In 2009, Free Press commissioned a poll, released by the Harmony Institute, on net neutrality. Harmony reported that “more than 50% of the public argued that, as a private resource, the Internet should not be regulated by the federal government.” The poll went on to say that since “currently the public likes the way the Internet works … messaging should target supporters by asking them to act vigilantly” to prevent a “centrally controlled Internet.”

    from dirty socialist Associated Press propaganda whore Joelle Tessler today:

    The new rules … are intended to ensure that broadband providers cannot use their control of the Internet’s on-ramps to dictate where their subscribers can go.

    and here is from their caption

    New rules aimed at prohibiting broadband providers from becoming gatekeepers of Internet traffic now have just enough votes to pass the Federal Communications Commission…

    wow these people are like a well-oiled machine

    happyfeet (fd4f3b)

  54. People like Newtons are just good little messenger people.

    JD (07faa1)

  55. The FCC has no authority to regulate the Internet. It is simply out of it’s purvey. This will go nowhere in the courts.

    However, with the ever expanding commerce clause, other agencies might have a chance.

    Regardless, unless we turn into China, this whole stupity is an exercise in futility.

    ag80 (cb6259)

  56. ^But of course you’re wrong, because newty says so.

    Dmac (498ece)

  57. newt believes in AGW, so it’s obvious that he’ll swollow just about ANY hook.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  58. Is there any point in discussing the policy, since it is blatantly not within their power to do what they would like to do?

    JD (07faa1)

  59. I guess if the First Lady thinks she should dictate what my daughters eat at school, this makes sense.

    JD (07faa1)

  60. In fact, FCC officials said Monday that the final order won’t be published until “several days” after the vote. GigaOm explained that FCC claims this delay is because the agency must “address any dissenting views from the commissioners in the order.”

    So, how is it that Newt claims to know all of what he stated above?

    JD (07faa1)

  61. #

    I guess if the First Lady thinks she should dictate what my daughters eat at school, this makes sense.

    Comment by JD — 12/21/2010 @ 9:39 pm

    I’m Mike Huckabee and I approve this message.


    Dustin (b54cdc)

  62. Oops. F@ckabee is evil. I would just as soon let a ukelele strummer from moonshine country … Never mind. Both of them are clowns.

    JD (07faa1)

  63. This is the kind of character we have to be on the look out for, in this country;

    narciso (6075d0)

  64. It is exceedingly rare that the problems they cite, of network providers cutting off services like Netflix and the like to harm their competitors, even happens.

    It’s not that the providers are cutting off services like Netflix or that they have plans to. Instead, what they are doing is “shaping” traffic. That is, they will give some kinds of traffic higher priority than others and they will then throttle the lower priority traffic. But, when they sell me a connection, they advertise a pipe of a certain size, say 6 Mbps. But, if I try to use my pipe for traffic they have given a low priority, like video, they throttle it and only give me 3 Mbps. Or, they give me the 6, but only in bursts. If I paid for a 6 Mbps pipe, I expect them to give me the full 6. And, since the market for internet providers is very limited, my ability to just go somewhere else is severely limited. AT&T provides the phone service where I live. I can get someone else who leases space over AT&T’s lines as an internet provider, but that still leaves me at the mercy of AT&T’s traffic shaping, since the traffic still moves over their network.

    I am not defending the FCC from deciding to just grab the power to address the issue, but the internet providers are not exactly defenders of liberty themselves. They continue to lie to their customers about their practices, and their abusive behavior invites intervention.

    Anon Y. Mous (013f7a)

  65. The 212th Congress has to deal with passing a budget for FY2011 (the year that started last Oct-1), and authorizing and appropriating the funds to fulfill that budget.
    It would be too bad if the FCC (along with CPB/NPR) were zero’d out for FY2011, and FY2012 for good measure.

    AD-RtR/OS! (f1c7a4)

  66. “Build your own damned railroad”.

    That’s easy to say, but what if the existing railroad has a legal monopoly? Or what if the existing railroad used eminent domain to acquire its route, and the government won’t give me the same privilege? What if, back when it built its line 50 years ago, it had a monopoly and government subsidies; whereas I’d have to pay the whole cost of my line and I’d have no monopoly to earn back my money? In all those cases it has a duty to the public, and it ought to be forced to make its services available to everyone on the same terms it gives itself. That’s just a matter of right and wrong.

    So the principle of net neutrality seems right; but if it’s being pushed by a Marxist-led coalition, as John Fund has shown, then we must be wary. And of course we must oppose any illegal power grab. If the FCC feels free to thumb its nose at the DC Circuit, how long is it until we have to fear the 2-AM knock on the door?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  67. What if?
    Sounds like you should have thought of all of those possibilities when you were formulating your business plan.
    Or, were you just going to rely on your cronies in the govt to turn the field over to you?

    Everytime we turn around, the Obamabots in the various agencies show that they give nothing to Imelda and Ferdinand.

    AD-RtR/OS! (f1c7a4)

  68. I’d like the government not to grant monopolies in the first place, and not to subsidise businesses or give them a leg up over competition. But since governments do all these things, and even if they were to stop now they’ve historically done these things, I expect them to force the beneficiaries of those actions to use the benefits only in the public interest. If they want to compete, let them get down to a level field first. Otherwise they owe the public, and have no right to take monopoly rents; if they try, damn right I expect the government to stop them. That is my business plan, and it’s my right.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  69. can we start throwing bricks now? I’ve had it with this abusive out of control government

    Jones (72b0ed)

  70. You see the same players, they don’t even vary the deck, from the Journolist, from Free Press, CAP,
    just run the ball when we aren’t looking, with the assistance of fully paid off stooges like Murkowski, leased like Scott Brown, and general fools like the Maine sob sisters.

    narciso (6075d0)

  71. What the government ought to do is an impose honest pricing plan policy. That is you buy a plan of X amount data/bandwith a month and the mix of how it’s used is up to you. Some people would ‘allocate’ the bulk of their purchase to downloading HD movies from Netflix or Itunes etc. Others have different needs or wants. That is the proper market solution instead of the typical one size fits-all style statist solution the FCC is seeking to impose. Simply stated, the FCC as it currently stands ought to be abolished, It serves no real useful purpose. More worrisome is the mindset of the agency that invents it’s regulatory authority absent any enabling statutory authority and in defiance of the courts. It is indicative of the mentality of this administration.

    cubanbob (409ac2)

  72. Why would we believe that the FCC would be anymore honest than the ICC was?
    It is not the business of the government to determine the pricing structure of an industry, it is the business of government to ensure that business entities are not engaged in fraud, or other criminal acts that deprive consumers of Liberty or Property.

    “…That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed…”

    Note to Mr. Obama:
    I do not consent!

    AD-RtR/OS! (9b49f3)

  73. but the internet providers are not exactly defenders of liberty themselves

    No question about it – but the last thing I want if for the gov’t to start favoring one group of monoplists over another group, based purely upon whose goose is being cooked.

    That is you buy a plan of X amount data/bandwith a month and the mix of how it’s used is up to you.

    EXACTLY! Construct a truly fair pricing structure, and then let consumers be the final arbiters of how much bandwith they’re willing to pay for, and they can adjust their usages accordingly.

    Dmac (498ece)

  74. Can the DC Circuit call the Commissioners in “for a little chat”?

    “Could you come over to the Court, and bring everything in your desks?”

    mojo (8096f2)

  75. If they are in violation of a decision of the Court, is that not Contempt of Court, and actionable?

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  76. AD

    They technically have a little wiggle room. the court only stopped a specific enforcement, and my guess is any orders only apply to that. So contempt of court probably doesn’t technically apply.

    But the court will feel like it is being treated with contempt, and will not have a sense of humor.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  77. JD: And I see you’ve got nothing but Ad Hominem attacks against two hundred years of economic theory and thirty years of climate research. Try coming up with something resembling logic.

    Newtons.Bit (76606a)

  78. Aaron, I posted a link to the FCC statement on the matter. Here it is again. It is a completely different concept than what was in the 9th circuit ruling.

    Put plainly: Comcast had restricted access of all peer-to-peer traffic. FCC tried to stop that, but the court ruled that it is a reasonable traffic management necessary for running an ISP. The FCC has maintained that, or at least appear to in their recent statement. ISP’s may restrict specific kinds of traffic, they just have to be content neutral about it. For example: if Comcast restricts port 80 (which is what HTTP uses), it must do so across all traffic uses port 80, and not just the traffic its competitors are using.

    This prevents Comcast from using its monopoly to gain an unfair advantage over competitors. There’s no red-tape involved, no new bureaucracies, no forms people have to fill out. It also protects freedom of speech. Another example: Time Warner owns CNN. They also have a monopoly on ISP access in a few areas (though not nearly as many as Comcast). If they chose, they could block every single news website that was a competitor of CNN. Say good-bye to reading or watching videos at Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, etc. They could even restrict peoples access to blogs such as this one.

    That kind of abuse stifles innovation and it’s contrary to everything that internet is today.

    Newtons.Bit (76606a)

  79. It is illogical to note that the FCC does not have the authority to do what they are doing. It is ad hom to note tha the courts already smacked them for trying this. It is ad hom to note that agw hysteria is often based on flawed assumptions and data manipulated towards political, not scientific, ends.

    JD (306f5d)

  80. Newton

    I think you are really mistaken on the law.

    First, it was the DC circuit, not the 9th. the DC circuit specializes in this kind of administrative agency crap.

    And the DC circuit said what the case was about in plain english:

    “In this case we must decide whether the Federal Communications Commission has authority to regulate an Internet service provider’s network management practices.” and the answer was, no. it doesn’t get any clearer than that.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  81. JD: You’ve yet to prove a single one of those assertions. On AGW: you, and many conspiracy theorists such as your self, are arguing that the researchers can’t “manipulate” the data in any way, and then stick your fingers in your ears and yell, “LA LA LA” when said researchers try to explain why such adjustments are necessary. “It’s a conspiracy man!” Yea, right. I’ll believe that when you manage to prove it.

    Newtons.Bit (76606a)

  82. You must prove a negative !!!!!!! How about this. Provide all the raw data. Period. Until then, I will not trust your hysteria to be anything but just that.

    JD (306f5d)

  83. And what’s the definition of “network management practices”, Aaron?

    Newtons.Bit (76606a)

  84. Yes, JD. You are asking me to prove a negative. I’m not going to do that. That’s another logical fallacy. The research is out there. It’s available. NIWA, for example, has provided it. You can see it here.

    Hmm. The data has been provided. Now what?

    Newtons.Bit (76606a)

  85. The FCC press release outlines their authority to regulate it. Looking at it and the text of the 1996 Communications Law, they have a reasonable case for what they are doing. They even specifically state exceptions to the “no blocking” rule for those who are doing reasonable network management. Which fits in well with the DC court telling them that they couldn’t regulate network management practices.

    Newtons.Bit (76606a)

  86. So the FCC has the authority that the Congress has not delegated it, and the Courts have forbidden?

    JD (d48c3b)

  87. They’re referencing the telecommunications act of 1996 for the authority. The specific activity that the DC circuit court forbid (network management practices) is an explicit exception in the new rule.

    In other words, the FCC is regulating something different than last time and any overlap with what the court previously forbid is specifically allowed.

    You could have figured that out by actually reading the court ruling and the FCC press release. But that’s just too much work, isn’t it?

    Newtons.Bit (27fb9b)

  88. Anyone want to lay odds on whether or not the courts will look favorably on what the FCC is trying to do?

    JD (d56362)

  89. It’s down to odds now? Weren’t you saying it was obviously not in their power to do so?

    I see you’ve decided to stop with the silly line on AGW, thats good I suppose.

    Newtons.Bit (27fb9b)

  90. No, I realized that someone that worships at the altar of AGW is never going to rationally discuss the topic. So I will point and laugh. So, are you willing to bet on the FCC getting upheld? So far, they have been whacked every time. Every single time. Even a liberal congress would not give them this authority. Yet, somehow you are cool with them giving the bird to our system and going it however they wish. If you are so right, and everyone else is so stupid, you should be willing to stand behind that. How much?

    JD (822109)

  91. Rationally discuss AGW? You asked for raw data. I provided it. What part of that wasn’t rational?

    Newtons.Bit (27fb9b)

  92. Really? That is the original raw data? Never been manipulated or adjusted? Nothing but original raw temps?

    JD (b98cae)

  93. Yes. In the link I gave you. The one you didn’t bother reading.

    Newtons.Bit (27fb9b)

  94. You linked to the unaltered raw temp readings that Mann and Jones and the rest subsequently altered, and no longer have available?

    JD (306f5d)

  95. I linked to the NIWA raw temperature data. You’re looking for raw temperature data right? That’s 6500 stations. Is that not enough for you?

    Newtons.Bit (27fb9b)

  96. So you linked to something other than what I was talking about. Because what I was talking about does not exist anymore, according to the “scientist” that would be responsible for safeguarding it.

    JD (85b089)

  97. Is it sciencey to put limits on the data that others should be allowed to look at?

    I really miss how the 0.9 degree increase over the last century is alarming, but the potential 0.45 degree increase in the next half century could be devastating. Catastrophic.

    JD (306f5d)

  98. JD: you asked specifically for raw data. I gave you raw data. You’re moving the goalposts now.

    You have absolutely no standing to say that I’m being irrational. You’ve yet to provide a single logic based argument. It’s nothing but dodge, dodge, dodge.

    I’m done with you.

    Newtons.Bit (27fb9b)

  99. No, I have always been referring to those sets of data. You want to gloss over the fact that they cannot or will not be produced, but we are just supposed to take their word for it. Maybe you could provide the algorithms used on the data sets. No? Maybe you could show us how the modeling we are supposed to accept does when applied retroactively. Maybe you can explain how a 0.9 degree increase over 100years is horrific, or how a prospective 0.45 degree increase over the next 50 years will be catastrophic. Or, maybe you can explain why even your cult leaders no longer refer to it as warming, but have morphed to climate change. Or, why the solutions to global warming were so remarkably similar to the proposed solutions to global cooling, just a couple decades ago. Or why a couple trees in Russia are to be trusted but not some of the surrounding trees. Or, maybe you could just quit pissing on my leg and telling me it is raining. Alarmist.

    JD (07faa1)

  100. Not willing to bet on the Court bltch slapping the FCC, again?

    JD (07faa1)

  101. Wow, you’ve just listed a bunch of points that I’ve already addressed here and in the previous post. Round and round you go, unable to learn, unable to see opposing view points; trapped forever running along the edge of the Mobius strip: away you go and stopping where you started.

    Try not being a broken record.

    Newtons.Bit (27fb9b)

  102. Comment by JD — 12/23/2010 @ 4:53 pm

    JD, it’s all about the “tipping” point.

    Perhaps too many of the AGW crowd had their teeter-tooter partner step-away once too many times, and the tipping point terrifies them.

    AD-RtR/OS! (a4507f)

  103. Oops….”teeter-totter”

    AD-RtR/OS! (a4507f)

  104. Have you guys talked about PEAK OIL yet?

    daleyrocks (bfdac7)

  105. PEAK OIL?
    Aren’t they the parent company of Summit Petroleum?

    AD-RtR/OS! (a4507f)

  106. Newtons.Bit @ 85 – I am sure the contribution of New Zealand climate data to the understanding on global warming is immeasurable:
    “CliFlo – National Climate Database
    Start Searching


    Provides climate information (rainfall, wind, temperature and humidity) as raw data and as statistical summaries for approximately 6,500 New Zealand stations.
    Date range

    Data is from 1850 to present (or the period the particular climate station operated).”

    daleyrocks (bfdac7)

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