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Government Privacy Republicans Advertising United States

GOP Congressman Defending Privacy Vote: 'Nobody's Got To Use The Internet' (washingtonpost.com) 307

Wisconsin congressman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. defended his decision to help repeal broadband privacy rules by telling a constituent, "Nobody's got to use the Internet." An anonymous reader quotes the 73-year-old congressman: "And the thing is that if you start regulating the Internet like a utility, if we did that right at the beginning, we would have no Internet... Internet companies have invested an awful lot of money in having almost universal service now. The fact is is that, you know, I don't think it's my job to tell you that you cannot get advertising for your information being sold. My job, I think, is to tell you that you have the opportunity to do it, and then you take it upon yourself to make that choice... That's what the law has been, and I think we ought to have more choices rather than fewer choices with the government controlling our everyday lives."
"The congressman then moved on to the next question," reports The Washington Post, but criticism of his remarks appeared on social media. One activist complained that the congressman's position was don't use the internet if you don't want your information sold to advertisers -- drawing a clarification from the congressman's office.

"Actually he said that nobody has to use the Internet. They have a choice. Big difference."
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GOP Congressman Defending Privacy Vote: 'Nobody's Got To Use The Internet'

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  • He is an idiot... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FlyHelicopters ( 1540845 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @05:37PM (#54241195)

    In the USA, if you wish to actually be a part of modern society, yes you really do have to use the Internet.

    Just like not having a phone number became a liability many years ago, not being online cuts you off from modern life.

    This guy is living in the past...

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      That past would be when he was riding dinosaurs.

      • Given a choice, I would give up indoor plumbing before I would give up the Internet. ... and yes, I have lived without indoor plumbing ... for two years.
        I slept in my van, peed in the woods, pooped in an outhouse, and showered at work.

        • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

          I love using the internet but I remember days without it and I really don't have to have it. I lived without a telephone for 2 years and when I finally got one installed I wish I'd left the fucker out of my house. I love my cell phone because I have it set where if you aren't in my contact list you can't fucking call me. I remember when I first got a modem for my c64 and logged onto bulletin boards over the phone then later to the internet with a shell account then finally full blown dial PPP networking.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        That would be when he was riding bitch behind Jesus on that dinosaur.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by davester666 ( 731373 )

        He never road dinosaurs, because they didn't exist in his universe. They are basically the original "fake news" to him.

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @06:26PM (#54241413)

      This guy is living in the past...

      Truly. He's 73 years old and has been in public office since 1979. In other words, he got where he needed to be in life before computers were even common in the home. Of course he doesn't think the internet is important -- he's never had to look for a job in the 21st Century and most of his friends likely don't use the Internet beyond email and Facebook.

      • Re:He is an idiot... (Score:5, Informative)

        by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @06:40PM (#54241453)

        He's 73 years old and has been in public office since 1979.

        Correction: He's been in Congress since '79, but he was in the Wisconsin State Assembly before then, since 1969. So personal (as in micro-) computers were barely even a thing when he got on the gravy train. Why the hell was this guy the Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology anyway?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by BlueStrat ( 756137 )

          Why the hell was this guy the Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology anyway?

          The US version of "Game of Thrones", that's why and how.

          Whenever there are "thrones" of power and wealth, there will be "Game of Thrones" Machiavellian politics and machinations robbing the people of their wealth and freedom. It's a part of human nature, and one that collectivist political ideologies always fail by ignoring when they place power in the hands of a few.

          This is why the US Constitution was written so as to distribute power and discourage it's concentration in one area/branch/office-holder of go

          • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @09:20PM (#54241979)

            Hate to break it to you but the Fed government is far to harder to corrupt than your local government. Your state and local government is corrupt almost without exception because relatively small amounts of money in coordination with non-existent oversight and ethics can buy just about every local politician and even law enforcement. To the point that your local government was bought and sold long before you were even born.

            There is one power I'd like to see drastically expanded and that's the power of Federal law enforcement to monitor and prosecute corrupt local politicians and police agencies (I'd also like to see a similar nonpartisan office at the federal level going after federal corruption). Our founders thought local government would be more accountable and it is in some regard, but it's far easier to corrupt and it is corrupt in almost every state in the union, usually to the benefit of Property developers or other locals with money.

            It's precisely because of that local corruption that the Fed's have had to step into many things they shouldn't be involved in.

            • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

              Have you ever heard the expression chalk and cheese, saying the US Federal government is harder to corrupt than US local government is exactly like saying chalk is harder than cheese. Basically that idiot, pointed out exactly what kind of an idiot they are. Not only that, they emphatically and publicly proved they were paying more attention to the money they were getting, rather than the issue they were dealing with. I bet you could put a percentage on it ie they paid 99% attention to the money and 1% atten

            • Actually small governments areon average less corrupt because there is less money worth in corrupting each of them and many more of them overall. It is however counterbalanced by the lack of press many of them have if they are not indepedent states.

          • Re:He is an idiot... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by dryeo ( 100693 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @09:58PM (#54242097)

            And yet America has way more problems with politicians playing "game of throne" games then Canada even though our country was designed to have a strong central government after watching the train wreck that the American Civil War was. Here the internet is considered a vital service that should be available to everyone who is willing to pay the going rate, and we have net neutrality.
            Just having ancient arseholes in charge of so much stuff seems to be a recipe for shit like this. Elders are important and should be listened to and their words carefully and respectfully considered, but to put them in charge? Same with the idea of putting billionaires in charge, as if they're going to look after the common person rather then other billionaires.

          • by meglon ( 1001833 ) on Sunday April 16, 2017 @12:09AM (#54242599)

            ....and why the Federal government was meant to be extremely weak domestically, and States and local governments were intended to do nearly all domestic governing.

            No. Anyone who still believes this stupid crap needs to go back to 9th grade and take US History again. The Constitution was written because the confederacy of states was exactly what you describe... weak federal, strong state.... and it took less than 10 years for pretty much everyone to see it was a complete fucking disaster. The Constitution was written specifically to empower a strong federal government.

            What we see in the US today is largely the result of too much domestic power in the hands of the central government.

            What we see currently in the US is the federal government being infiltrated by conservatives who are actively trying to destroy the country from within. It's been happening on steroids since 1994. These "states rights" faux populists only care about being in power, and punishing enough of those "other people" to keep their uneducated base backing them.

            During the Revolutionary War, the conservatives backed mother England, during the Civil War they tried to rip the United States apart through secession, now they're intentionally destroying the ability of the government to do anything. Conservatives like you have been the enemy of this country since before it was founded.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@NOSPAM.world3.net> on Sunday April 16, 2017 @01:57AM (#54243103) Homepage Journal

          "Why the hell was this guy the Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology anyway?"

          Jobs like that aren't given to skilled applicants with applicable knowledge, they are rewards for long service to the party.

        • So, to be fair, unless you're as old as him, you've had less possible total exposure to computers and the internet than he has.

          But your ageism aside, you'll be pleased to know that it was people in his generation that started the digital revolution.

    • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @06:57PM (#54241511) Homepage Journal

      Exactly. How many GOVERNMENT sites are the single point of access for those services?

      Hell, my job itself REQUIRES internet connectivity.
      If I can't support my place of business' IP phone and am unable to remote into the systems of our company or our clients I DO NOT HAVE A JOB and have to try to go work at McDonalds...

      This guy is living in the fucking 60's. In a home for the developmentally disabled. On life support. In a vegetative state.

    • by Freischutz ( 4776131 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @07:03PM (#54241523)

      In the USA, if you wish to actually be a part of modern society, yes you really do have to use the Internet.

      Just like not having a phone number became a liability many years ago, not being online cuts you off from modern life.

      This guy is living in the past...

      No, he's not, he's living in the new reality that US voters created in the last general election. The corporate prostitutes in the Republican party are now in control of the house, the senate and the presidency and they will use that situation liberally to shaft the American people for the next eight years because there seems to be no chance the Democrats will ever grow a spine. The Dems may be corrupt to but they would have opposed this, or at least been easier to turn against it if they had a majority which they don't. The Rep's friends in the advertising business want to buy and sell the most intimate details of your online life? No problem, they'll pass a law. The American people don't like that? Let me paraphrase Antonin Scalia: 'Get over it! ...bitches...' If anybody wants to chew me out for saying this feel free but in the end I'm only repeating what Wisconsin congressman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr is saying on behalf of more or less the entire Republican party in a slightly more colloquial way. You get what you vote for...

      • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @07:59PM (#54241709)

        Eight years? LOL

        They aren't going to maintain their majority for 4. They'll be LUCKY if they don't lose the house in 2018 and Trump is a one term president. They've got two years at best to fuck everything up they can.

        • They've got two years at best to fuck everything up they can.

          I seriously hope none of them read this and think it's a challenge because they really can mess up a lot of stuff even in two years.

        • by Freischutz ( 4776131 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @11:10PM (#54242355)

          Eight years? LOL

          They aren't going to maintain their majority for 4. They'll be LUCKY if they don't lose the house in 2018 and Trump is a one term president. They've got two years at best to fuck everything up they can.

          Really? You are underestimating the complete and utter cowardice, apathy, incompetence and spinelessness of the Democrats. Plus, I forgot to add that the Reps. are also in control of the supreme court (none of the conservative judges are likely to die or retire for a generation). This gives the Reps. carte blanche on gerrymandering and voter discrimination on a hitherto unprecedented scale since with the appointment of that soulless corporate rent-boy Gorsuch the supreme court is now a mindless rubber-stamping office that twill validate everything the Reps. want it to without a single critical thought. If the Dems. fuck up in the 2018 (and the Democrat's set of corporate prostitutes looks looks hellbent on taking the party there) this, combined with the Reps. control of the house, the senate, the presidency and the supreme court might just give them control of enough states to call a constitutional convention which would allow them to modify the constitution at will so expect some really interesting constitutional amendments. Every single one of America's founding fathers is rolling in his grave.

          • Re:He is an idiot... (Score:4, Informative)

            by toadlife ( 301863 ) on Monday April 17, 2017 @03:11PM (#54251069) Journal

            You are underestimating the complete and utter cowardice, apathy, incompetence and spinelessness of the Democrats.

            As a newly elected member of my local Democratic Central Committee, I can attest to this. We took over from a bunch of geriatrics who seemed to be in it for the social gatherings and photo-ops with elected leaders, so maybe we can move the ball forward a bit. Or maybe not. It's tough sledding when the leaders at the top are basically Rockefeller Republicans.

    • Agreed. Has anyone that doesn't agree tried to get a job anytime in the last 10 years someplace that's not out in the boonies and it's not your uncles business?

      Heck, most places don't even accept resumes or applications in person anymore, it's all "Go to our website and apply".
      I don't even know what the heck use there is going to a job fair, they're the exact same thing, "Go to our website and apply".
    • Re:He is an idiot... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mikeiver1 ( 1630021 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @08:37PM (#54241821)
      This congressmen is more proof of the fact that our law makers are dumber that syphilitic retards. It is clear that the corporations look at us as nothing more than a feed stock of their cash flow and use our lawmakers to expand the tap at will.
    • You certainly don't have to rent DVDs but, guess what, your DVD rental history is protected.

    • I wonder when Congresscritters will learn to stop talking about the internet? Any time they do, with a rare few exceptions, it simply makes them look profoundly ignorant and/or out-of-touch.

      I have no doubt that this Senator never touches the internet himself - not directly at least. It's nice have a room full of government-paid staff member to use the internet for you. I mean, we all have that, right?

    • In the USA, if you wish to actually be a part of modern society, yes you really do have to use the Internet

      The congressman is 73, so he's not part of modern society. What the fuck does he care, he'll be dead soon. For all we know he thinks the Internet is a series of tubes. And to paraphrase this guy, people don't have to vote for him, they have a choice.

      • He has a controlling hand in a major part of modern society.

        Don't be ageist.

      • by shanen ( 462549 ) on Sunday April 16, 2017 @05:07AM (#54243563) Homepage Journal

        Probably doesn't matter if they "don't have to vote for him" because his district is probably gerrymandered like so many of them are. Voters can't pick their so-called Representatives when the district boundaries have already picked the "right" voters.

        Only solution I've been able to come up with would be "guest voting" for your representative. If you feel like your vote is pointless in your own district (as for example after it's been gerrymandered 150 miles like mine), then you can pick one of the neighboring districts and vote for a representative in that district. The more they gerrymander the districts, the more they are liable to get screwed up by guest voters. Another interesting wrinkle is that third-party voters could concentrate on one district and get some Congressional so-called representation. Of course, it would never happen. Pretty certain it would require a Constitutional amendment, and even if they got the amendment, the bastards would just come up with some new cheating game.

    • In the USA, if you wish to actually be a part of modern society, yes you really do have to use the Internet.

      You don't have to be part of modern society! Where did you get this entitled opinion? You always have The Unabomber Option, the conservatives' best friend. James Sensenbrenner is just pointing it out.

      See, no matter how villainous conservatives allow corporations to be, you can always opt out of being their victims, either by taking your business to a different company, or where that's not possible (as is usually the case with ISPs), fucking off to a shack in the woods and not participating in society, like

    • I'm not sure you can even go to a baseball game these days without the use of the Internet.
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @05:47PM (#54241237)

    If you want to keep unprincipled actors in the datamining sphere from getting (too much) information about you, you *can* avoid patronizing internet services that are run by them. That means you don't get to enjoy 95% of the internet, because every-fucking-thing is run/owned/exploited/controlled by Google, Facebook, Akamai, Cloudflare...

    I'm unusually careful with what I do on the internet compared to most people I know, and every year I feel more and more socially handicapped. As in:

    "Oh, you don't do Facebook? I'll send you the invite by email then".

    "What do you mean you didn't find it? It's the first line in Google search... What the fuck is Duckduckgo?".

    "You should have used Waze instead of that offline satnav: it shows traffic jams and speed cameras live! What do you mean it's evil?"

    Etc etc etc...

    • Exactly right (Score:2, Informative)

      by SuperKendall ( 25149 )

      The ISP having your browsing data is the LEAST of your worries, since they have not sold anything before these rules, and the rules they struck down were not even in place.

      The real people who sell your data to advertisers would be doing so without anything to do with your ISP - Google/Facebook/Amazon etc. If you want to do something without THEM knowing, well good luck I say - or do not do it on the internet (or with a credit card).

      • Re:Exactly right (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Namarrgon ( 105036 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @07:25PM (#54241599) Homepage

        What makes you think Google, Facebook etc are so keen to sell your data while AT&T etc would never consider it, despite them knowing everything from your home address and daily movements to your TV watching habits and full browsing history?

        Just like Google & Facebook, the major ISPs don't sell your data but do use it to run targeted ad networks of their own, taking full advantage of their far more extensive knowledge of you - and they're much harder to avoid. Examples of abuse abound, like Verizon being fined [wired.com] for their zombie supercookies, or AT&T charging an extra $29/month [arstechnica.com] if you don't care to be targeted.

        You can easily avoid Google or Facebook, but how do you avoid your only local broadband provider, or the telco you bought your phone from? It seems the GOP's answer is to avoid the internet completely.

        • I would suggest even more in the opposite direction.

          AT&T will happily sell your data in its entirety.

          Google and Facebook use your data as their primary money making method. Your data is sacred to them. They will sell access to your data, they will sell derived statistics to your data, they will sell spots on your screen when using your platform, but if there's one thing that Facebook and Google won't actually sell, it's the data itself.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Comparing to google/facebook/etc is not accurate.
      Those companes don't charge you a dime, you trade your privacy for their services.
      And consequently you are not their actual customer.

      ISPs charge for their services, you are their customer. That's a significant difference. Now, if only there were competition between ISPs the free market would (probably) fix the problem. Or at least your privacy would be fairly valued and some ISPs would provide service at no charge in exchange for spying rights - much like

    • by Namarrgon ( 105036 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @06:38PM (#54241449) Homepage

      The point here is, how to avoid unprincipled ISPs. It's trivial to go to duckduckgo instead of google, and a click will install a browser extension that blocks all site connections to facebook, but in a lot of the US it's not so easy to choose a different broadband provider or mobile telco.

      Between multi-year contracts, locked-down or incompatible phones, lack of competition between duopolies, legal prohibitions on municipal broadband, strong pushback from customer service etc etc, it can be a significant undertaking to switch - assuming you have any reasonable alternatives at all in your area.

    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      If you want to keep unprincipled actors in the datamining sphere from getting (too much) information about you, you *can* avoid patronizing internet services that are run by them. That means you don't get to enjoy 95% of the internet, because every-fucking-thing is run/owned/exploited/controlled by Google, Facebook, Akamai, Cloudflare...

      Actually, you can't, because almost invariably your immediate ISP will be run by an unprincipled actor in the data-mining sphere, and any VPN provider you choose to hide you

    • Geez, I thought I was the only one...

  • by Hans Lehmann ( 571625 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @05:52PM (#54241255)
    Let's see him win his next reelection without using the Internet. Is that possible? Of course not. As long as old white men like him keep getting elected into office, things will never get better.
    • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @06:03PM (#54241303)

      Nah, there's are legions of Republicans and a few Democrats that will still get voted in because their constituents are just as backward as they are. Texas is a prime example. Science? They've heard of it but figure is it a colossal dodge by liberals to prevent them from having dominion over the earth and giving it a good fucking.

      • Let's see him coordinate his campaign without the Internet. Like it or not, over the last 25 years the Internet has basically transformed the industrialized world, and is already making an incredible amount of headway in the developing world. I'll wager in another 25 years, we'll view this kind of moronic statement with the same general derision as someone around 1910 mocking people who want electricity generally available.

        In other words, this guy is a fucking moron, a simpering halfwit who probably does ge

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Not to mention they're terrified of such dangerous innovations as "the wheel" and "fire"

    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      This is an uninformed comment. Congressmen in safe districts don't need the Internet to get reelected. People vote based on party.

  • by morbingoodkid ( 562128 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @05:55PM (#54241265) Homepage

    How can you not use the internet let's see to not use the internet would require:

    1. Drawing money for a month before the experiment start as most banks use internet technology to contact their branches. (Yes might be secured but still TCP/IP)

    2. You cannot buy from certain stores because they use internet technology to update store details and order new stock.

    3. You cannot even send a letter or receive a letter because I can promise you the systems that sort your mail are connected to the internet in some way. (Uses network technology)

    4. In some buildings you will not be able to use elevators so walk up the stairs as they monitor the lifts via internet connections.

    5. You cannot watch TV because the TV stations use internet connections to build their news and even news papers become problematic.

    6. You cannot use a phone because even landline phones these day at some stage pass through internet connected devices.

    7. Oops cannot use electricity from electricity grid, even the solar panel controler is that you use at your home might be connected to the internet.

    So yes it is absolutely possible to not use the internet. But you will have to live somewhere in a forest somewhere.

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      Are you trying to give this moron a heart attack? He's gotten to 73 years old being an ignorant git by not paying attention to things that will disrupt his view of the world. His constituents think he's just potty.

  • by future assassin ( 639396 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @06:02PM (#54241297) Homepage

    if you don't want your personal info as a public servant to be available to anyone 24/7 don't be a public servant.

  • by dweller_below ( 136040 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @06:05PM (#54241313)
    I hope somebody convinces the congressman that the internet is essential to the US economy before he causes too much damage.

    Our society requires rapid, successful transportation and communication. We have almost completely transitioned to a Just In Time (JIT) economy. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    Thanks to JIT optimization, there are no large stores of immediately useful resources and goods in the US. All elements of our society depend on tight, reliable links between supply and demand. The stores only have a few days supplies. The stores rely on timely orders and deliveries to maintain stock and reduce overhead. The suppliers of stores only have a few days of supplies. They rely on receiving accurate and timely orders to know where to deliver. Those suppliers then must place timely and accurate orders to keep the next link in the chain moving. This continues all the way to the harvesting and transportation of raw materials. Every step is optimized to reduce overhead and unnecessary stock. Any supplier that fails to optimize is replaced by a more efficient supplier that has optimized. Every step is dependent on quick, accurate communication and transport. When this breaks down, people die.

    For example, most of the deaths during the Hurricane Katrina debacle were not caused by the initial flooding. They were caused by the breakdown in transportation and communication.

    ALL aspects of the US transportation and communication grids are dependent on the continued functionality of the internet. The phone systems are now interlinked with the internet. The management of the highways and the supermarkets all depend on the internet. The internet supports all orders and deliveries in the US. Without the internet, there is no food in the stores or gas in the gas stations. If the internet goes, the electrical grid quickly follows.

    If the internet suffers an extended outage, there would be massive numbers of deaths. During the first few days, there would be thousands of deaths. During the first few weeks there would be millions of deaths. During the first few months, there would be billions of deaths.

    On the other hand, the internet is built and maintained by hordes of capable people. We can overcome almost any obstacle. Once the dying starts, we will come up with answers. They will not be pretty, but they should be functional. Hopefully, one of the first acts will be the elimination of anybody who claims that the internet is unnecessary.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      If the internet suffers an extended outage, there would be massive numbers of deaths. During the first few days, there would be thousands of deaths. During the first few weeks there would be millions of deaths. During the first few months, there would be billions of deaths.

      So... two-three months without the Internet and billions will die. The hyperbole is strong in this one. So much of what we do these days is not about survival. In a true life-or-death emergency we'd make different priorities, in the absence of information we'd restart the push economy. People would start stockpiling pasta, rice, flour, biscuits, canned food, bottled water and everything else that could be preserved. We'd limit consumption to war rationing standards, everything on a need-to-have basis. The t

      • If the internet suffers an extended outage, there would be massive numbers of deaths. During the first few days, there would be thousands of deaths. During the first few weeks there would be millions of deaths. During the first few months, there would be billions of deaths.

        So... two-three months without the Internet and billions will die. The hyperbole is strong in this one. ---SNIP--- I think we'd lose the modern tech that requires a civilization-level effort like computers and such, but I think Amish-level societies would be reasonably self-sufficient enough to survive.

        So, to summarize, we agree that if we lose the internet, we are screwed. You feel that we can somehow return to 18th century farming practices and still sustain current population levels.

        I pray that we will avoid this situation. The only thing that might take down the internet is a sustained, determined effort by a large group of crazy people. Unfortunately, it sounds like Congressman Sensenbrenner might be an example of such a group.

        I don't think it is hyperbole to say the billions will die in an ext

      • People would start stockpiling pasta, rice, flour, biscuits, canned food, bottled water and everything else that could be preserved

        You can't prepare for a disaster after the fact, brother. You have to be prepared before. Sure, I have food stored, and guns to help me protect my food, but government will just pass a law permitting them to steal my food for the good of other people who are less well-prepared than I am, and then many men with more guns than I have will show up to take it in the case of any truly extended emergency. I have it anyway, why not. Rice and beans are cheap and will feed me for a long time, if I get lucky. It won'

  • For saying something so entirely ignorant, he should be disconnected from his ISP. I'm not talking about just his computer, I'm talking about his phone, his TV and every damn device that invariably is linked to his ISP. What he doesn't realize is that the internet has become much more than using a computer, it's everything that is a form of a electronic communication.

  • If they're going to sell our data then they have to wait until 2018 and ALL previous data must be deleted. Everyone starts from scratch with a clean slate. If not, then all federal employees and elected officials using government computers must give FREE public access to THEIR previous user history. This, of course, will need to be available in hard copy for those who choose not to use the internet. ;)
  • I wonder (Score:4, Funny)

    by Archfeld ( 6757 ) <treboreel@live.com> on Saturday April 15, 2017 @06:19PM (#54241369) Journal

    at 73 he probably equates the internet thing with the telegraph.

  • So there will be a larger market for VPNs. Well, that is if people really do care about being targeted by ads as much as some claim they do.
  • Sensenbrenner being a good Amish name.

  • by magusxxx ( 751600 ) <magusxxx_2000.yahoo@com> on Saturday April 15, 2017 @06:29PM (#54241423)
    "I love it how Republicans want smaller government just big enough to fit in our bedrooms." - West Wing
  • why anyone still votes for the GOP? Religion? Are the Tax Cuts worth it? And no, the other side isn't as bad. This last disaster passed along party lines.
  • by quonset ( 4839537 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @07:00PM (#54241517)

    Internet companies have invested an awful lot of money in having almost universal service now.

    Yes, those billions of taxpayer dollars given to them during the Clinton administration [newnetworks.com], and the billions more in tax breaks and what amounts to effective monopolies, is a lot of money being spent by the end users. It's so much money, ISPs have to be reminded they can't spend taxpayer money on booze and trips to Disney World [techdirt.com].

    As we saw recently [techdirt.com], the taxpayers keep being told they have to hand over their money to these private companies for. . . well, no one's really sure since neither service or accessibility has been increased in many places.

  • and when i finally retire and my income gets cut by 75% i will drop the internet and my cellphone and rely on the us post office for all my communication (if i can afford a postage stamp) and we will see how well i can get along without those technologies
  • by 101percent ( 589072 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @07:17PM (#54241577)
    To say companies built the INTERNET is stupid. It goes back to military and academia and carried forth largely by disinterested idealists who made things like GNU, liberated BSD, cypherpunks, netscape, even people creating languages like perl and php. I know this guy is just ignorant, but it is infuriating mostly since youth aren't even aware of these things.
  • Red herring (Score:3, Insightful)

    by loonycyborg ( 1262242 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @08:31PM (#54241813)
    It doesn't matter whether you have to use internet or not. It's like arguing against equipping cars with safety belts because you don't have to use cars.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    And the thing is that if you start regulating the Internet like a utility, if we did that right at the beginning, we would have no Internet

    This claim is patently false. The distinguished congressman should strive to get his facts from more sources than just the lobbyists that are paid to persuade him to a certain perspective.

    I was involved with internet comunications early on, and by the early 80's the internet was successfully moving into widespread commercial use. The "internet" was a collection of cooperating private and public funded networks that provided a single function: moving packets from one IP address to another. In the 80's, an

  • "And the thing is that if you start regulating the Internet like a utility, if we did that right at the beginning, we would have no Internet..."

    In the beginning, the Internet was an educational system and commercial activity was HEAVILY proscribed. It worked fine. Admittedly, it wasn't the Internet we all know and love today. But IMHO his above statement is simply random ignorant speculation.

  • I just read an article about "telehealth" by a local health care provider. I'd link the article, but they just send me this newsletter via snail mail and it does not appear to be online.

    4 years ago they started doing this when a flood cut their patients off from services and they've been expanding it ever since. It mentions many benefits such as saving time transporting patients who may be having a stroke.

    They cite a Harris Poll which (shockingly to me) showed that 74% of millennials would prefer seeing a

  • I hope his everything is sold.
  • by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Sunday April 16, 2017 @07:49AM (#54243919)

    What this ammounts to is the same issue several politicians have: there are too many people in representative positions that are completely disconnected with reality and will rule and give justifications for their actions that are incompatible with the reality of the nation they are supposed to represent.

    If all we have are old rich white priviledged people in power, the interests that will be addressed are those of old rich white priviledged people. Of course for him Internet is something that can be optional because he doesn't care about getting a job, getting education for the modern era, dealing with everyday problems the plebs needs to, nor care for adapting himself to a modern age he has no need to care for. He can spend whatever is left of his decrepit life with family and friends he already has, spending all the money he has exploited from others and whatnot.

    Give me a job like his, a salary like his, a routine like his and a life expectancy like his and I also wouldn't care about having an Internet connection or not. It's just too sad that we have congressmen who cannot see beyond their own needs and their own personal perspectives. It's alarming how many politicians cannot get out of their own bubble to reflect on what is most important for his constituents. Corruption and lobbying aside, we're looking at bigger cultural problems here where we cannot elect people who are able to represent adequately.

    Cases like his are why culture, law and policies get pushed back to half a century ago and never progress. The rule of a priviledged minority disconnected with reality. The problem this time is that we're on the frontier of a paradigm shift, and if we can't get law and policies to follow the significant changes that are happening around us, we'll get trampled by it. This is akim to the nuclear age. We have an extremely powerful tool in our hands that is about to be misused
    and subverted by the wishes of a powerful minority because people in power have no idea of the true consequences of mishandling it.

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