FCC Votes for Net Neutrality, McCain Wants to Stop Them

By  |  Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 11:00 pm

john_mccainWell net neutrality fans, your enemies list just got one person bigger. John McCain is the latest to come out against the FCC’s work, and has even proposed legislation to stop the agency in its tracks.

On Thursday, the FCC approved a measure to begin the process of formalizing a set of net neutrality rules that would ban ISPs from selectively filtering or throttling content. Texas Rep. Barton tried to stop the FCC from voting on the measure in the first place by pleading with commissioners to stop the vote from occurring.

This was an exercise in futility: Chairman Julius Genachowski had already worked to seal the support of the two other Democratic commissioners, making approval all but certain before the vote occurred.

Enter McCain. The Arizona senator introduced the Internet Freedom Act, which would expressly prohibit the FCC from making rules on net neutrality in the simplest terms. Using the Republicans’ favorite phrase of late–”government takeover”–McCain said net neutrality would stifle competition and hurt the job market.

Much like Barton, McCain also took issue with the inclusion of wireless Internet in the FCC’s planned policy, saying the lack of regulation has helped the industry grow rapidly. It’s unclear if such a measure could pass: however at least 70 House Democrats have already written the FCC expressing concern over the proposal, Reuters reports.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out as net neutrality was one of Obama’s campaign priorities. You can bet there will be a lot of vote counting being done in the coming months: Republicans will have to get a super majority as I would almost expect the President to veto any legislation like this if it makes it to his desk.

 
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15 Comments For This Post

  1. Anonymous Says:

    takes away, the the freedom of the ISP to take the freedom of their customers!

    Yes, nullifying private contracts is a big boon to personal freedom. The key is to remember that corporations aren't people, and that they make deals with each other to exploit people who voluntarily enter into transactions with them. The obvious solution is for the People (by collective, representative government action) to adjust the terms of all interactions between faceless entities and private parties.

  2. Seumas Says:

    What does the FCC have to do with the internet?! And why would anyone want them to have anything to do with it?! Do you really want their type of bureaucracy and obfuscated hooks and strings to impact the internet? They may ride in under the guise of neutrality knights on white horses, but once you’ve accepted them as some sort of internet authority, you’re subjected to their arbitrary whims. After all, they’ve just done *so* well with television and radio, right?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    And why would anyone want them to have anything to do with it?!

    Well, with the right people in charge, you won’t even notice that the government has control of media. It’s not like you notice the spy boxes in AT&T’s network rooms, right?

    After all, what isn’t to like about “neutrality”? Avoidance of conflict being our highest social code, this will prevent groups of people from forcing you to engage them on their terms, leveraged by capital which they stole from honest citizens while they wait in line for bread. (I meant corporations, of course. What, you thought I meant the government uses taxes and threat of imprisonment to enforce its will? What, you want to get me killed or something?)

  4. JustCallMeBen Says:

    I hate it how the anti-netneutrality claims neutrality would take away freedom… The only freedom it takes away, the the freedom of the ISP to take the freedom of their customers!

  5. Michael Walker Says:

    The more that people complain about net neutrality shows how much we really need it. We pay our monthly fee to the internet provider, we expect to be able to use it for what we want. Not what they say we can.

  6. Rignerd Says:

    The problem is that everybody likes neutrality, but everybody who rides under the banner of neutrality doesn’t have the same goal.
    The new FCC diversity czar wants to make thing more diverse by silencing the most successful radio personalities and taxing them 100% of their operating budgets to subsidize the less successful personalities. This is the first time the FCC has had a stated goal of regulating content to produce a desired political outcome. The purpose of the FCC is to regulate the public use of the spectrum in an efficient manner.

  7. Paul Judd Says:

    Rignerd:
    Gee I would be very interested in talking to a person who has such a title like “diversity czar”. Perhaps you can find me a reference to a person whose role is titled specifically just that. You mention that he works for the FCC, however I have yet to find someone with the word “Czar” in their title. None of the 9 results from a search on their website using the word “czar” matches a person at all.

    Of course it is possible that there is no such title and you are using a loaded term, but you would never do that right?

  8. tom b Says:

    Figures Grouchy would would want to back the big ISP’s/telecoms. The GOP is pretty shameless.

  9. Paul Judd Says:

    Tom:
    Nothing new for McCain, it was well known during the election that he was not a supporter of net neutrality.

  10. David Worthington Says:

    Oh the great Glenn Beck ‘czar’ conspiracy. He is willfully ignoring the fact that Bush had at least 47 ‘czars,’ and daddy had some too. I wonder what success President Obama has had in opening FEMA run concentration camps for Republicans. That’s another one of right wing talk radio’s pronouncements.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    The more that people complain about net neutrality shows how much we really need it.

    So you can’t encourage a company to do it voluntarily, or form a group to take control of a company with that purpose, or form your own company to provide this service? The only solution is to use government to force it to happen? So you’re saying that there’s a market failure in demand for this service which taxes must go to repair, wherein customers currently overwhelmingly agree to contracts allowing QoS traffic shaping (among other things) without being threatened with taxes or imprisonment for failing to do so (without coercian)?

    Yeah, I guess coercian is easier than solving problems in a creative, i.e. non-destructive, manner.

  12. tom b Says:

    “So you can’t encourage a company to do it voluntarily, or form a group to take control of a company with that purpose, or form your own company to provide this service? The only solution is to use government to force it to happen?”

    Dude, you need to go back to 1st grade and take a course in civics. The private sector reverts to primal, werewolf-like instincts in the absence of adult supervision from Govt. Look at environmental protection– even WITH some minimal Govt oversight, they’re ripping the tops off mountains in W. Virginia and sending toxic sludge into the streams. Look at the SEC– you think companies would keep honest books without Uncle Sam watching? I don’t know why you have more faith in greedy, self-serving executives who make millions whether their companies prosper or fail than in pubic servants who can be VOTED OUT OF OFFICE when election time rolls around.

  13. NanoGeek Says:

    “I wonder what success President Obama has had in opening FEMA run concentration camps for Republicans.”

    Technologizer was the last place I expected to see political smears. Please lets stay nice everyone.

    Anyway, my take on it is that the government should be able to intervene when a company breaks the law, but it shouldn’t have complete control over something as vital as the internet. That’s what the government was meant to be. Something that could protect minorities and regulate, but not have absolute control over entire sections of the economy.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    even WITH some minimal Govt oversight, they’re ripping the tops off mountains in W. Virginia and sending toxic sludge into the streams.

    Sounds like that government isn’t only not enforcing property rights, it’s implicitly granting rights to your property by giving the company a free pass. That’s not lack of government, that’s too much: defensive action is surpressed. In fact, that’s corporatism, a form of fascism (compulsory collectivism, social order imposed by force).

    Look at the SEC– you think companies would keep honest books without Uncle Sam watching?

    They don’t now, and while some parts of new legislation mandate certain internal controls (eg actual, certified auditing), the other parts increase overall regulatory complexity, which is so onerous a burden to the government agencies that the only way to do their jobs is to engage in selective enforcement. In other words, they’re deciding how to enforce the law by criteria other than whether the law is broken, because they don’t have enough information or resources to make use of their information. Again, more rules means more complexity means more discretion means inconsistencies mean the rule of law is gone.

    I don’t know why you have more faith in greedy, self-serving executives who make millions whether their companies prosper or fail than in pubic servants who can be VOTED OUT OF OFFICE when election time rolls around.

    That’s interesting. “Faith” in public officials is a disgusting thing, a feature of a Stockholm-syndrome situation between “voters” and office holders. If you think people are too inept to defend their own property, so that they need the coercive power of a collective in the form of G-men with guns to do it, why do you trust their judgement to vote for your or even their best interests when it comes to defending rights instead of the natural outcome of democracy, when individuals realize they can vote themselves bread and circuses?

  15. Verizon FiOS Says:

    Like in any debate, each side has its argument and it is sometimes hard to figure out which one is right choice or better. It is the same in this instance, whether or not net neutrality will benefit consumers at the end of the day I still can't make an opinion on because of all the conflicting information from both sides.

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