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The Internet Republicans Politics Technology Your Rights Online

The Right's War On Net Neutrality 945

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the when-right-is-wrong dept.
jamie writes "To understand the debate being waged in the United States over Net Neutrality, it's important to understand just how drastically one side has been misled. The leaders of the American Right are spreading the lie that Net Neutrality is a government takeover of the internet, with the intention of silencing conservative voices. (Limbaugh: "All you really have to know about Net Neutrality is that its biggest promoters are George Soros and Google.") This may be hard to believe to those of us who actually know what it's about — reinstating pre-2005 law that ensured internet providers could discriminate on the basis of volume but not content. Since the opposing side is so badly misinformed, those of us who want the internet to remain open to innovation and freedom of expression have to help educate them before the debate can really be held."
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The Right's War On Net Neutrality

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  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:32AM (#34686580)

    ..."they support it, so we must oppose it"

    Just look at Michelle Obama's support of healthy diets and exercise to combat the obesity epidemic. Those republican idols Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin jump on the other side: the gubbermint is taking away our desserts! Ebil ebil gubbermint!

  • Re:Of course (Score:3, Informative)

    by JackieBrown (987087) <> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:41AM (#34686734)

    But in this particular case, yes, people who oppose net neutrality because they believe it's about censoring conservative voices on the Internet are misinformed

    They think this because the people pushing net neutrality are usually the same ones pushing to bring back the Fairness Doctrine

    Before people think about how stupid people are for making this assumption, look at all the reactions whenever Rush says anything. People are quick to assume what he meant rather than to listen to what was actually said (like the poster above stating Rush said the Chevy Volt hybrid only goes 40 miles and leaving out that he actually said Chevy Volt hybrid only goes 40 miles on battery power before switching over to gas power.)

  • by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:42AM (#34686736) Homepage Journal
    moron. talking about things which you dont know zit about.

    nasdap was socialist only in name, in order to be able to get votes in the elections from the socialist segment of the society. they had no similarity with anything socialist apart from the wordage in their name. in fact, left was their biggest enemy, even more than the jews.

    you are the perfect example of the moron that right likes to manipulate successfully. bask in your morondom.
  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:43AM (#34686768) Journal has the NN document published online (and note it has already passed). In brief it has 3 major rules which require ISPs to be completely-open about what fees the customer will charge, forbid Comcast and ISPs from blocking websites, and forbids them from discriminating against websites (i.e. is slower than

    It also does Not regulate the Wireless ISPs because the FCC believes there is enough competition that the market will take care of any problems (i.e. customers will quit the ISP if it blocks/slows access to and switch to somebody else).

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:45AM (#34686806) Homepage

    No. The regulation need not be heavy. The idea that it is, is just mindless right wing demagogery.

    A minimal amount of regulation is required in order to prevent Comcast from screwing around with your Netflix or Walmart from screwing around with your Amazon orders.

    Imagine if your HOA could tax Amazon shipments out of existence?

    What people don't understand is that their connection to the outside world is controlled by a corporation that would set up a "company store" if they could.

  • by lalena (1221394) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:46AM (#34686826) Homepage
    Best explanation I ever heard was that without Network Neutrality, our home internet could become just like our mobile internet. It would take a while to get there, but given the limited number of providers in each city it is possible. We really can move backwards. I don't buy the "alternate vendor" argument. Most cities have only 1 or 2 viable options.
    You want chat with your internet. That's $5/month. You want email, voice mail, VOIP, games, NFL games, Blockbuster Streaming... That's extra. You want Netflix streaming. You can't have it. We don't have an agreement with them.
    Most people talk about Network Neutrality as if it is giving preferential speed to one site over another. It can be much worse. We saw what happened when torrents (legal or illegal) were deemed to cause most of their network load. They tried blocking them. My provider blocks the standard SMTP port just in case my computer is a SPAM BOT. How soon before they deem that streaming movies are responsible for 50% of their bandwidth (and are a direct competitor with their own Cable TV offerings) and they block streaming video to "improve quality" for those poor customers who have their bandwidth unjustly stolen from those few who watch TV shows on their computer.
  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:51AM (#34686904)

    The right-wingers have one point though: Liberals usually work incrementally. It starts with simple net neutrality rules. Then later on, they add some more rules. And more. And more. A Killswitch and some hate-crimes legislation later and before you know the government is all up in your intarwebs.

    Is it just me, or do the right-wingers always claim the slippery slope argument whenever they can't provide valid arguments? Everything seems to lead to death panels when you listen to Rush and Fox.

  • by rlp (11898) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:57AM (#34687004)

    Here's a sampling of articles from conservatives / libertarians on net neutrality: [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

    A few points:

    1) Not all conservatives / libertarians oppose net neutrality
    2) Most of these writers have a pretty good understanding of the issue
    3) Several who oppose it do it on free market principles
    4) There is a legitimate distrust of the FCC - some view the net neutrality issue as being used as an excuse for an FCC power grab

  • Give link please (Score:4, Informative)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @12:22PM (#34687386)

    The closest thing I can find to the actual regulation is this document: []

    Which does not list the whole regulation passed, just excerpts. And parts of them look very bad indeed:

    A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is
    so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to
    reasonable network management.

    Bye-Bye torrents; the government has now codified it's perfectly reasonable to block traffic considered "unlawful".

    All that remains is for the MPAA to put forth the pipeline to feed ISP's the torrents the ISP's must block.

    Remember the word "lawful" did not have to be in there at all, it's used in a few places - and it's not an accidental term.

  • by Darby (84953) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @12:26PM (#34687442)

    I'm pretty right-wing

    So what is it about Feudal Theocracies, Nazism, and Fascism that you find so wonderful? These are the examples of right wing governments that have existed. If you do so hate Liberalism, which as a right winger you do by definition, why would you choose to live in a country like America that is entirely defined by Liberalism? Why wouldn't you move somewhere like Iran or Saudi Arabia or some other place that already shares your right wing values?

    Or are you like most of the rest of the idiots in America who describe themselves as right wing in spite of the fact that our grandparents fought 2 world wars against right wing ideology and you can't be bothered to take the 5 minutes it would take to inform yourself even slightly on the issue?

    I mean seriously, if you weren't so deeply ignorant, you might have the decency to be a bit embarrassed about your support of totalitarianism.

  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @12:29PM (#34687490) Homepage

    where (i.e., George Soros)

    Citation needed. has millions of members (according to the wik [], it claims over 5 million) who are not George Soros, and the majority of its funding has come form non-George Soros members. It was founded by Joan Blades and Wes Boyd, neither of whom are George Soros. George Soros is, AFAIKT, not a member of's board of directors or anything.

    One may like or dislike and/or Soros, but to state them as equivalent is inaccurate, even dishonest.

  • by medv4380 (1604309) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @12:45PM (#34687740)
    Encryption does not stop them from throttling my packets based on a destination. Like say Comcast customers to NetFlix customers.
  • by rbollinger (1922546) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @12:54PM (#34687864)
    People here don't seem to understand, Rush isn't fighting the concept of Net Neutrality, he's fighting what the FCC is doing right now! Just because the regulations being pushed by the FCC are called Net Neutrality, doesn't mean that they are. Either Slashdotters have an extremely short memory about what the FCC has been doing in the past month, or you all hate Rush so much that you'll defend 'fake net neutrality' just so you don't have to agree with him. Hell I don't like Rush but he may be right this time. Remember both the Left and Right are in the pocket of big business.
  • by Eunuchswear (210685) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @01:02PM (#34687966) Journal

    Actually, he's right. Hitler doesn't exactly fall into the traditional left-wing / right-wing divide we have here in America, but in terms of being a pro-gun control, media-controlling, strong government sort of fellow, he falls into the left wing category more than the right.

    You need to get out more.

  • by pnuema (523776) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @01:05PM (#34688020)
    What? Historically, sure. But not now. Your average working poor family receives a net subsidy from the federal government, and doesn't pay any income taxes at all. Look up the EITC and CTC. In 1970, a poor family with two kids paid a combined 8.5% of their income toward income tax and payroll tax (i.e. medicare/social security). In 2002 they paid a total of -15.6% of their income in taxes.

    This may be true. However, due to wage stagnation since Reagan took office, the buying power of that family has steadily declined (greater than the 23% discrepancy you describe). In short, since we have transferred all of that wealth to the upper classes, and we have consistently eroded the buying power of the lower classes, they need more help. DURRRR NUMBERS ARE RELATIVE DURRR.

  • by chrb (1083577) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @01:43PM (#34688584)

    "We need a Fairness Doctrine for the internet. For example maybe you'll visit and a popup will ask if you want to read too. We need to include that as part of net neutrality and other FCC regulations."

    [citationneeded]. I can't find any record of a quote like this.

    "We need to pass a law to remove MSNBC and FOXnews from cable television." The latter came from a Congressman Kennedy who is a nobody

    I can find a Kennedy who has opinions on MSNBC and FOXnews, but he isn't a Congresman, and he does not appear to be calling for censorship. George Kennedy - former managing editor at the Missourian and professor emeritus at the Missouri School of Journalism. [] He says:

    "I’m not arguing that our traditional approach to journalism is inherently superior to the ideological model. After all, that model has served Great Britain and much of Europe pretty well for a long time. But it’s sure not what we’re used to, and confusing to many, even within the industry.

    For us consumers, the important thing to remember is this: Fox and MSNBC are playing by different rules than the broadcast networks or NPR. If you like your news straight up, you’ll prefer the latter. If you like it with a twist, you know where to look."

    There was a Senator Rockefeller [] who said:

    “There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the F.C.C. to say to Fox and to MSNBC, ‘Out. Off. End. Goodbye.’ It would be a big favor to political discourse; to our ability to do our work here in Congress; and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and, more importantly, in their future.”

    A lamentation of ideologically driven news media - quite different from the claim that he is actively seeking laws to shutdown ideological news organizations.

    And then of course there's Obama himself who gave a college speech advising them not to read the internet news sites and only listen to WH press releases

    What he actually said:

    The class of 2010 is "coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't always rank that high on the truth meter," the president said, earning an honorary doctorate of laws degree during the ceremony.

    "And with iPods and iPads; and Xboxes and PlayStations -- none of which I know how to work -- (laughter) -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it's putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy

    With so many voices clamoring for attention on blogs, and on cable, on talk radio, it can be difficult, at times, to sift through it all -- to know what to believe, to figure out who's telling the truth and who's not. Let's face it, even some of the craziest claims can quickly gain traction. I've had some experience in that regard,"

    Funny that you interpret it as an attack on freedom, when even FoxNews acknowledged [] that this bit of the speech was a reference to some false internet rumours: "Obama has endured some nasty rumors at the hands of the Internet. Blogs and comment pages continue to allege that the president has not been honest about his place of birth -- Hawaii -- or about his religion -- Christian."

    So if there's confusion by Republicans, it's because of what they are he

  • by slashing1 (818431) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @03:04PM (#34689764)

    I don't have any comment regarding what the general Republican position is or is against, but I think their opposition to H.R. 2103 (International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act) is understandable on narrower grounds. If they are concerned about 1) expansive executive power, and 2) abortion funding, I can see why they might be concerned with a rather simple-looking bill that does not seem to contain much guidance or oversight regarding how the President spends on "health services" for girls. If you're involved with U.S. politics, certainly you must be aware that government provision of reproductive health services is a politically charged issue.

    I also don't know about the history of this legislation, but if you were cynical, you might consider the idea that some politicians could use exactly this type of legislation to paint others as "pro-raping children." It's pretty easy to slip in issues you really care about into high profile, difficult-to-publicly-oppose legislation. Especially when you're using procedural rules to push legislation through at the end of the year.

  • by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv.vadiv@never b o x . com> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @03:48PM (#34690382) Homepage

    The bill was attached to a huge omnibus spending package.

    No, it wasn't. You need to actually pay attention.

    The bill was S. 987. The text is here []. It's three fucking pages on my screen.

    And you do realize that the bailout was under Bush, right?

  • Re:perfect example (Score:2, Informative)

    by ScentCone (795499) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @05:14PM (#34691390)
    except that it happened on republican term

    While the Congress, which appropriates all funds and controls all military spending, was being run by Democrats. Get your facts straight before you lecture someone else.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.