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Reader Comments (146)

Posted: Apr 7th 2010 3:08PM (Unverified) said

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I'm for net-neutrality, just not Gov. regulation. What this article failed to mention was that Comcast made a deal with Bittorrent shortly afterwords. If people are actually interested in reading some (relatively heavy) here is a good paper. The introduction: http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2010/04/06/the-fcc-doesnt-have-authority-to-regulate-the-internet-and-shouldnt/

The paper: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=9775

Posted: Apr 7th 2010 3:40PM Zantom said

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"I'm for net-neutrality, just not Gov. regulation."

Exactly.

Glenn Beck is a patriot and right in a lot of ways. His concerns are in government control and freedom... period.

If it involves Government adding more regulations, taxes and control than at this point I am against it (even if it happens to benefit my points of view). The US government has been slowly overstepping its bounds for over the last hundred years. With the education system well in the Governments hands it is no wonder the masses are completely unaware of its over reach.
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Posted: Apr 7th 2010 3:53PM Eamil said

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"I'm for net-neutrality, just not Gov. regulation."

Tell me how you can have net neutrality without government regulation. Let's be honest, the companies aren't going to say "oh, well, people don't like this, I guess we'd better just not do it because we're so very, very altruistic."
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Posted: Apr 7th 2010 4:05PM (Unverified) said

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I'm not sure how you would ensure net neutrality without government regulation. It's gotten to the point where the internet is one of the lesser basic needs of society, like transportation and communication in general.

There are lots of cases where government regulation is unquestionably important and taken for granted -- murder laws, building safety codes, antitrust regulations, insider trading regulations. It's just a matter of deciding if the result outweighs the suffocation that the regulation will cause.

In this case, I'd say it does, but even with net neutrality things can't keep going exactly as they are, as the article points out.
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Posted: Apr 7th 2010 4:05PM (Unverified) said

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"I'm for net-neutrality, just not Gov. regulation."

Tell me how you can have net neutrality without government regulation. Let's be honest, the companies aren't going to say "oh, well, people don't like this, I guess we'd better just not do it because we're so very, very altruistic."

Take the time and read the report. Its 45 pages, maybe you will learn something, also go peddle your anti-corporate luddite garbage elsewhere.
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Posted: Apr 7th 2010 4:17PM Eamil said

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I read part of it. I honestly don't have the technical knowledge to understand whether the worst-case scenarios people talk about are actually possible or not. The thing is, even if they aren't, ISPs have ALREADY interfered with traffic to serve their own interests. The Bittorrent example isn't the only case, just the most prominent. So am I inclined to just trust them? No, I'm really not, because they're already proving themselves to be untrustworthy.
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Posted: Apr 7th 2010 4:36PM (Unverified) said

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Remember, Comcast made a deal with bittorrent shortly afterwords http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/03/comcast-adoptin/
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Posted: Apr 7th 2010 5:09PM Eamil said

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Hence my statement that the Bittorrent thing wasn't the only example.AOL blocked all emails mentioning dearaol.com (a group of customers speaking out against some of AOL's practices), Verizon blocked a pro-choice organization from sending text messages to people who had signed up to receive them (not exactly "internet-related" per se, but a relevant example), and a local North Carolina ISP (Madison River Communications) blocked their users from accessing Vonage.

Most of those are fairly minor examples, yes, but the last example in particular would be problematic if it became a standard practice, whether for local ISPs or nationwide companies. The fact that this kind of thing is being done AT ALL worries me.

I'm not going to debate the merits of regulating pre-emptively, because I honestly don't know enough to speak on that subject. I personally wouldn't be against it but at the same time I don't know if it's necessary. On the other hand, yes, these things are happening and I feel there is a reason to be concerned if similar practices become more widespread. If the big broadband companies all collectively decide to block whatever sites and services they feel like, what other option is there that doesn't involve the government stepping in? This is basically the question I was trying to ask.

Incidentally I should apologize for the second half of my first comment. I was trying to be funny but apparently I came off as more snarky than I'd intended.
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Posted: Apr 8th 2010 3:35AM (Unverified) said

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The arguments Mr. Lee presents are flawed. Some good complaints are enumerated here:

http://managingmiracles.blogspot.com/2008/11/tim-lees-twin-fallacies.html

Most important, imo, is that the idea that the internet is inherently "durable," though true, is not as central to the debate as Mr. Lee makes it out to be. Can users get around whatever regulation is imposed? Sure, but by then the damage is done.

Look at Chinese filtering, for example. There are certainly ways around the Chinese government's firewall (basic proxies, Tor, tunneling, etc.). Technical users can escape the boundaries the government imposes. But what about the masses? The overwhelming majority of users are still unable to pierce (or sometimes even unaware of the existence of) the filtering mechanism.

Google recently pulled out of China; do you really think that Chinese citizens are going to tunnel through to Google, on principle? For the sake of argument, suppose Google was throttled to be much slower than Bing - what % of users do you think would tunnel to Google on principle?
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Posted: Apr 8th 2010 3:35PM (Unverified) said

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Jslim, good point. Its so scary that people might hear the drum beating and not think about what you said. However after some analysis people would realize that it wasn't the stock market crashing that put us in the great depression. It was primarily the smoot-hawley tariff that was basically gov regulating trying to increase domestic firms market share. This contributed greatly to the severity, and FDR's new deal debacle ensured we weren't on a road to recovery soon. Buddy, learn some history before posting

Thanks
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Posted: Apr 8th 2010 3:37PM (Unverified) said

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The comment on the blog you linked pretty much neuters what the blogger said, so I don't need to respond to it when he did it so effectively
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Posted: Apr 17th 2010 3:11AM mightfo said

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"Jslim, good point. Its so scary that people might hear the drum beating and not think about what you said. However after some analysis people would realize that it wasn't the stock market crashing that put us in the great depression. It was primarily the smoot-hawley tariff that was basically gov regulating trying to increase domestic firms market share. This contributed greatly to the severity, and FDR's new deal debacle ensured we weren't on a road to recovery soon. Buddy, learn some history before posting"
Bullshit. Government regulation like the S-H Tariff made things worse, but supply outrunning demand(partially due to the income gap) and stock buying on the margins were the central causes.
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Posted: Apr 17th 2010 9:22PM (Unverified) said

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Stock market crashing was the first step, Gov intervention turned it into a depression. If Gov intervention helped how come we didn't get out until after WW2, there was a ton of intervention in the FDR's new deal. We already saw deregulation bringing us out of depressions, yet we didn't learn and screwed things up.
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Posted: Apr 7th 2010 4:07PM (Unverified) said

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great article!

Posted: Apr 7th 2010 3:18PM (Unverified) said

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"everyone's favorite comedy network, Fox News."...are you kidding me??? Whenever I REALLY want a good laugh, I tune in to Keith Olbermann.

Posted: Apr 7th 2010 3:22PM Seraphina Brennan said

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This... this is a true story. Keith is pretty funny. :D
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Posted: Apr 7th 2010 3:50PM (Unverified) said

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I agree! If Comcast wants to shut down Fox off their servers, so be it! That's their loss and nobody will use their network! Its capitalism!
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Posted: Apr 7th 2010 3:26PM Rich said

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Both of them are great for a laugh. They need to team up and take their act on the road. Both are tools.
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Posted: Apr 7th 2010 3:25PM Randomessa said

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Thanks for distilling that all down for us, Sera, and concisely showing how important net neutrality is for all of us.

Posted: Apr 7th 2010 3:53PM (Unverified) said

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There's a third option. The better response to Comcast is to just stop purchasing their service if you dislike their practices. Find another provider. If your market doesn't have one, then that sounds like a great opportunity for someone with money. Get the word out that you'd be a ready customer for non-throttled network connectivity. Changing the status quo, by adding regulations and governmental oversight, doesn't make things more free. It just makes the government and the big companies more entrenched.

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