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Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questions U.S. Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen (not pictured) during a Senate Banking Committee confirmation hearing on Yellen's nomination to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, on Capitol Hill in Washingt

Sen. Elizabeth Warren joins the growing number of Democratic lawmakers who want to save the internet. In this Facebook post she homes in on the key point—the proposed rule the Federal Communications Commission will consider in two weeks is a big giveaway to corporate interests.
We don’t know who is going to have the next big idea in this country, but we’re pretty sure they’re going to need to get online to do it. Reports that the FCC may gut net neutrality are disturbing, and would be just one more way the playing field is tilted for the rich and powerful who have already made it. Our regulators already have all the tools they need to protect a free and open Internet—where a handful of companies cannot block or filter or charge access fees for what we do online. They should stand up and use them.
The proposal put forward by Chairman Tom Wheeler essentially gives up on the idea of making internet providers treat everybody alike in their access to internet users. Content providers—like Netflix—would have to pay extra to the big internet service providers like Verizon in order to make sure they get on the fast lanes of the internet, and their customers get the experience they're paying for.

This is the route that Chairman Wheeler decided upon after a court struck down the previous rule the FCC was using to enforce net neutrality. But, as Warren argues, just giving in and letting the big guys have the internet isn't the only option the FCC has—and in fact, the court decision that led to this proposed rule gave the FCC a much stronger option. The court made clear that the FCC absolutely has the legal authority to regulate broadband, and it can do it by reclassifying broadband providers into the kind of telecommunications companies they actually are like. That would mean the FCC could regulate them just like wireless operators and phone companies. And enforce net neutrality.

Which is the last thing that the broadband providers want. They've got the ear of Wheeler and inordinate sway with the FCC. The playing field, as Warren would say, is definitely tilted in their favor. The only way to combat that is by the rest of us making a hell of a lot of noise.

Help us stop the FCC from crushing net neutrality. Please sign our petition.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu May 01, 2014 at 01:14 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What Happens to the Offshore Parts of the Net if (13+ / 0-)

    it's captured this way here?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu May 01, 2014 at 01:20:05 PM PDT

    •  I don't think it will matter (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      as the throttling would occur during the last step to the customer's device (or close to it). If the customer is not on a service that throttles, I don't believe it will matter.

      There's a chance, I suppose that Verizon or someone could throttle traffic just passing through their servers, or traffic originating through their servers, but I don't think that's what's being proposed. I'm not 100% sure about that, though.

      To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

      by sneakers563 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 02:30:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They want to put up tollbooths for those hosting (7+ / 0-)

        websites that attract lots of viewers as well as shape the bandwidth along the way, of any they deem 'freeloaders', to be slow and disrupted at the consumer (citizen's) end. They want to extract a piece of the action without doing any of the creative work. They envy Google's easy of raising billions. They are trying to put their own private (pirate) tax upon the internet's innovators and dress it up as 'good for business' -- theirs anyway. These corporations already make billions providing the core services. Their real job is to pass all the electronic bits exchanged on the internet as fast as possible and as securely and reliably as possible and not be 'inspecting' their packets and controlling their speed and access to look for opportunities to line their own pockets.

        This situation clearly makes the case for legally defining the entire eco-system of internet service providers, end to end, backbone to mobile units, as common carriers that cannot discriminate against traffic, points of view, and types of media. ISPs and AT&T, Verizon, etc. already make their money providing reliable, fair and accessible service, and not by holding Netflix, etc. hostage to their troll-booth piracy, and if the costs of operating go up for them, it will come out of our pockets. We may need a Digital First Amendment (and probably Fourth Amendment as well.)

        Allowing this toll-boothing of the internet is like allowing news paper providers and ink suppliers to charge more to large news papers running stories they don't like, determine which coupons they'll allow, and allowing delivery truckers and news paper carriers to clip out stories they don't want read by their household customers. It's like allowing private asphalt paving companies to set up their own tollbooths on any public road they pave--it's double dipping, with royalties.

        I can see one case being made for shaping the bandwidth -- for delivering stock trades since Wall Street's banks have no problem inserting themselves in between traders to allow their own systems to maximize profit going up or down by getting in front of the trade. Equalizing the speed of trading transactions across the nation (and globe) would arguably be in the interests of all.

        When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

        by antirove on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:53:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Nothing, really. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Anything like this is going to happen on the last-mile ISP end of things, not at the backbone level.

      Everyday Magic

      Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
      -- Clarke's Third Law

      by The Technomancer on Thu May 01, 2014 at 02:52:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do recall arguments in testimony to committees (3+ / 0-)

        about Netflix being XX% (30% or more?) of the traffic carried on their backbones and other such examples. I am pretty sure they are quite eager to monetize the entry ramps, exit ramps and multilane internet highways.

        Recall how much hatred and envy AT&T and Verizon CEOs had expressed a few years back just for Google having carved out the niche of being consumer's favorite search engine gateway. They felt they should be handed bags of billions from Google just for being the service providers on which Google's data traveled. They clearly wanted and felt entitled to a piece of EVERY advertising dollar generated by internet traffic, and perhaps grab a cut of every transaction like Visa/MC and banks get.

        When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

        by antirove on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:05:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, it won't. (3+ / 0-)

        Believe me, this will happen in a domino effect of various ISP's and carriers getting in on the action.


        Posted by Dougie Messer · Amarillo, Texas:
        A primer I wrote up for some friends who aren't geeks:
        Ok, I know alot of you don't really understand the concept of Net Neutrality, so I'll try to give you a primer on how the system works.
        ISP's (Internet Service Providers) such as Comcast, Suddenlink, Verizon and Time Warner handle all of the information that flows to and from your computer or phone. As such, they know where each bit of information comes from and where it's going.
        Right now, they aren't allowed to do anything with that knowledge. They have to treat every bit just like every other bit. Whether that bit comes from Netflix, Microsoft or that little store down the street makes no difference. THAT is the 'Neutrality' in the phrase.
        If the new regulations go into effect, the ISP's will be permitted to start segregating those bits. If Netflix pays a fee, their bits will get priority and everyone else's will just have to wait.
        You see, bandwidth is a zero sum game. There is only so much to go around, so in order to speed someone up, someone else HAS to be slowed down. The only way to fix that is to build more of it. That costs money, but charging for priority access to a limited network MAKES money. You can see which one the ISP's would prefer. Google and Amazon have been the prime movers behind killing Net Neutrality. They want more bandwidth and this is the only way they can get it.
        Something few people think about is the course that their data takes on the internet. From your computer, it goes to your ISP. From there, it goes through many systems, all owned by OTHER ISP's, until it reaches the ISP of the website that you want and then to the website itself. After all, websites typically need to buy their own access. While Google might be able to build their own portal onto the internet, pretty much everyone else has to use an ISP just like you do. Under the rule of Net Neutrality, that's the end of the story.
        Under the new rules, something else happens.
        If a website wants to avoid the slow lane, they have to negotiate a deal with their ISP. Simple, right? Not so much, because then they have to negotiate deals with EVERY OTHER ISP that their data will travel through.
        Nobody, except the really big boys, will be able to afford that.
        The end result? The little guys go out of business, leaving the giants to provide everything on the internet. It harkens back to the early days of TV. Many companies tried to get into the business, but we ended up with only the Big Three. If you wanted to watch, you watched NBC, ABC or CBS.
        That is the future of the web without Net Neutrality. If you want something on the net, you'll have a very small pool of sources. Fewer sources mean higher prices. That's just how it works.
        Whew, that ended up longer than I thought it would. A bit. If you made it this far, then congratulations! Hopefully, you now have a better idea what's at stake here.
        Go do something about it.
    •  I suppose it would be politically incorrect (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuck utzman, shaharazade

      to ask who appointed Wheeler to the post?  

      don't always believe what you think

      by claude on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:49:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Senator Warren seems to be around and active (24+ / 0-)

    wherever the Good Fight is going on.

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Thu May 01, 2014 at 01:27:38 PM PDT

  •  A retirement gig at Warner Cable? (11+ / 0-)

    What is Wheeler thinking?

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Thu May 01, 2014 at 01:30:58 PM PDT

  •  Petition signed! (6+ / 0-)

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Thu May 01, 2014 at 01:34:39 PM PDT

  •  Will Markos be saying anything about this (25+ / 0-)

    administration's assault on Net Neutrality? Chairman Wheeler was known to be an industry insider when appointed to the FCC.  This 'decision' is not really a surprise given his background.

    Net Neutrality is being attacked by a Democratic administration.  

    Just as Chained CPI and appointing Bowles and Simpson to the catfood commission was a repeatedly proposed attack on Social Security.

    It is just awful that we have to petition a Democratic administration to stand up for democratic principles like equal and fair access to the Internet or supporting Social Security.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Thu May 01, 2014 at 01:37:06 PM PDT

  •  Congress needs to take action (6+ / 0-)

    Wheeler wants to be able to take action by the end of the year and the criticism of his proposal is for the gutting/concessions he made to cement his regulatory authority. A Congressional grant of regulatory authority to enforce Open Internet principles would be simpler. In spite of the House and its refusal to pass new good regs, Congress is still the best way to give Wheeler the authority he needs. Meanwhile, this big huge stink over Wheeler's proposals is a great thing. Keep in mind that the real teeth in his proposals depend on his ability to get policy transparency from telcos/ISPs about network management. We should also fight to get peer interconnection agreements included in that.

    •  Were that now anything but a punchline (5+ / 0-)
      Congress needs to take action

      I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony Everything good a man can be, a dog already is. - pajoly

      by pajoly on Thu May 01, 2014 at 02:21:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This problem is not a result of Wheeler having (5+ / 0-)

      too little power.

      That ought to be clear.

      "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

      by JesseCW on Thu May 01, 2014 at 02:22:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see that, please explain (0+ / 0-)

        His big complaint is getting tied up in the courts for another few years. Most of the stuff about how much power he has is speculative and hopeful. These edgy digital battles can be tied up for sooo long by a $10 mil litigation war chest, let alone bigger.

        I agree he has much more power in theory. But he wants to start being able to enforce soon.

        Of course maybe this will be one of those big sucks where X move to the right to compromise and then still gets smacked. But it was Wheeler's call. His complaint was how the court's roadmap restricted what he could do.

        •  Wheeler is a Telecom Lobbyist doing the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, shaharazade

          bidding of Telecoms.

          More power in his hands means more harm to us.

          What he wants to be able to enforce is the power of rent seekers to harm us.

          “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

          by JesseCW on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:28:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ouch (0+ / 0-)

            I dearly hope that is at least somewhat unfair (for all our sakes). It's obvious how you can see it that way.

            Some people online have reacted to me as on the side of the rent seekers because I am active on the overly conservative+neoliberal Daily Kos (true, honest! it was at FDL).

            Anyway, what you say is why the public outcry is so important. I think the form of Wheeler's proposal could move things forward. A stronger form should be supplied by Congress, ultimately. If people shut up about this the legacy incumbents will not be motivated to change and the regulators are more likely to be blinded by the gleam shining off of the revolving door.

            This whole proposal could be saved by customers choosing which services to buy. I wish I could get my Internet from CREDO.

            •  Hope in one hand, shit in the other, and see (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              philipmerrill, shaharazade

              which fills up first.

              There's zero chance he doesn't leave office to take a lucrative position working for the same people he's always served.

              The "look over there" bullshit intended to pass responsibility for this morally bankrupt appointment and the damage being done by the appointee is noxious.

              “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

              by JesseCW on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:49:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Elizabeth Warren (9+ / 0-)

    Elizabeth Warren for President!

    Do you agree?

  •  "Elizabeth Warren joins call to save the internet" (10+ / 0-)

    From whom?  Our Admin?

    What's up with that?

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Thu May 01, 2014 at 02:27:29 PM PDT

    •  she can be and is way to the left of the admin.n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Choco8, chuck utzman
      •  I've lost track (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dkmich, singe, aliasalias, cslewis, 420 forever

        of the number of petitions on this site to OPPOSE something endorsed by this administration.

        Crikey. Just think if we could spend that energy actually battling Republicans?

        •  well pushing from the left is important because (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Choco8, antirove, Stude Dude

          while i vote democrat it's only because the alternative is so much worse.

        •  maybe we are (0+ / 0-)

          battling Republicans. In my Democratic city our new mayor switched to the Democratic party as a Republican these days could never get elected here. Not saying that all these conservadems are officially former Republicans but they sure as hell aren't Democratic. They do not hold the values or the principles of the Democratic party they have worked hard to turn the Democratic party into what they see as the inevitable third way forward.

          This administration pulled a major bait and switch. The RW Bushies were loathed as they went too far and were intolerable. People believed that the Democrat's would stop this shit and restore some democratic governance and common good.. More fool us. How come we are told that HRC is the nominee and just embrace that suck? That is not what democracy looks like.

           Neither is having nearly every appointee by this administration be a lobbyist or an expert savvy businessman. Insult to injury when the job czar is Immelt of GE or this Comcast dude is head of the FCC. Monstanto? Lets face it we are battling Republicans or worse. The people who own and run our party are democratic in name only.        

    •  Corporatist (0+ / 0-)
      From whom?  Our Admin?
      Yes, the sad truth is Obama is largely a corporatist with a few liberal leanings. But when he appoints Tom Wheeler to head the FCC, that is a clear sign that we have a fight on our hands because Wheeler is nothing but an industry shill (hint: look at his background).
  •  Could someone please forgive this non-tech (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    person and explain what effects this could have on average people?

    I am the resident rabid Democrat in my small town and I need a simple explanation that I can share with people even less savvy than I am.


    •  Have you ever had cable tv? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, NoMoreLies, shaharazade

      With the blackouts, contract disputes, ridiculous price inflation and complex 'bundling' schemes forcing you to subsidize a bunch of channels you don't even watch? That's what a post-neutrality Internet looks like, except with websites instead of channels.

    •  Legalized Censorship (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      In a nutshell, it will give Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon the ability, and the incentive, to censor anything they choose to censor.  So imagine a world where the 2016 elections are coming up, and suddenly you get a message in your browser that " is not available."  And each day you get the same message, or each time you type in "" into your web browser, you get redirected to  Every time.

      That is what we are facing, the threat is very real, and it is not hyperbole.

      BTW, Republicans should be concerned about this too because their fave sites could be blocked on the whim of Comcast.

      •  Not to mention trying to organize during (0+ / 0-)

        Election season.

        Twitter, facebook, and other comm methods that have become so critical in driving the message and in organizing campaigns. Can you imagine if they simply fall over and can't keep up with the demand because the internet is being throttled?

        This crap w/wheeler and the internet being at risk is not even funny.

        Makes me sick

        I am an Elizabeth Warren Democrat. Hillary is Third way, and it sure as hell ain't MY way

        by karma13612 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 08:33:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In Case Anyone Thinks We Are Crying Wolf (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Simplify, shaharazade, karma13612

          Censorship, AT&T style:

          In August 2007, the band Pearl Jam performed in Chicago at Lollapalooza which was being web-broadcast by AT&T. The band, while playing the song "Daughter", started playing a version of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" but with altered lyrics critical of president George W. Bush. These lyrics included "George Bush, leave this world alone!" and, "George Bush, find yourself another home!". Listeners to AT&T's web broadcast heard only the first line because the rest was censored,[28] although AT&T spokesman Michael Coe said that the silencing was "a mistake."[29]
          On July 26, 2009, AT&T customers were unable to access certain sections of the image board 4chan, specifically b (the "random" board) and r9k (the "ROBOT 9000" board, a spin-off of the random board).[34] However, by the morning of Monday, July 27, the block had been lifted and access to the affected boards was restored. AT&T's official reason for the block was that a distributed denial of service attack had originated from the server, and access was blocked to stop the attack.
          According to Barbara Popovic, Executive Director of the Chicago public-access service CAN-TV, the new AT&T U-verse system forces all Public-access television into a special menu system, denying normal functionality such as channel numbers, access to the standard program guide, and DVR recording.[48] The Ratepayer Advocates division of the California Public Utilities Commission reported: "Instead of putting the stations on individual channels, AT&T has bundled community stations into a generic channel that can only be navigated through a complex and lengthy process."[48]

          Sue Buske (president of telecommunications consulting firm the Buske Group and a former head of the National Federation of Local Cable Programmers/Alliance for Community Media) argue that this is "an overall attack [...] on public access across the [United States], the place in the dial around cities and communities where people can make their own media in their own communities".[48]

          This is serious folks.  Get active on this issue NOW!
  •  Senators Warren and Sanders (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuck utzman

    May 1, 2014

    Senators Warren and Sanders are the most principled legislators in Washington. They are the only ones that expect nothing in their positions other than serving Americans and manhood. They deserve to be our President and Vice President when President Obama leaves Office. The two individuals are NOT warmongers of the type of Hillary Clinton.

    Mrs. Clinton is ultimately no match to Senator E. Warren who is endowed with intellect and grit. Mrs. Clinton is not much a politician without her husband. She much despised by those who lost loved ones in wars by agents of Wall Street and Military Industrial Complex.

    If Mr. Kerry would have been selected by the President in 1st term as Secretary of State, we would not have the ruins that were created after the Bush Admin. Clinton averted the President from approaching Iran in contrast to Kerry.

    What is the most significant feats in foreign policy for Mrs. Clinton? She traveled one million miles instead of expecting a tragedy in the Benghazi attacks of September 11, 2012 in Libya.

    What was her foreign policy when she run vs Obama in 2007: She asserted she would destroy 76.4 million Iranians if Iran attacks Israel! Wow! This aim is worse than the crimes by Hitler and Stalin combined. Brave Mrs. Clinton!

    Make no mistake. I very much admire former President Clinton. Yet, I despise cleverly masked warmongering intent of Mrs. Clinton. We had enough war in this country. We created 500,000 Veterans who are suffering mental ailment, with our government not being able to handle treatments of those who show up at Veteran offices and hospitals. To support our brave men we need six trillion dollars during their lifetime while 6 million children go to bed hungry each night. Of course, Mrs. Clinton makes $100 K to $250 K for a single speech!

    Our governments, both Democrats and Republicans, have been responsible for 80 plots to depose governments since 1953, making the world more violent.

    Let us face the Facts: Mrs. Clinton is an element of The Think Tanks in Washington. These groups consist of coup-plotters who topple an elected government in any country. The aims are elegantly simple: How can the military industrial complex robs more of our tax dollars and destroy our lives and people abroad to fill the pockets of filthy rich and Wall Street. These Think Tanks, Mrs. Clinton included, use our government to kill hope in the world. They do not believe in our Constitution. We live with foes within.

    Who believes in American Constitution to become President and Vice President? Senators Warren and Sanders.

  •  What more can I do? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've already phoned my US Senators (Schumer & Gillibrand), and my Congressmember (Rangel), asking them to put informal pressure on the FCC to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service - and to overrule the FCC by statute if it comes to that.

    I've phoned the White House and asked the President to intercede as well.  And to overrule the FCC if it should approve this onerous new policy.

    I've written & sent an email to each of the five (5) FCC commissioners - including Tom Wheeler.  And I've phoned the FCC public comment line and left a voicemail message to this same effect.

    So what is the purposed of contacting Congress?  What institutional authority does Congress have in a regulatory matter like this?  Structurally speaking, is it in fact to overrule the FCC by statute, as I assumed?  Something else?

    Likewise, the President - as Chief Executive - does in fact have the institutional authority to overrule the actions of any executive department or agency if he wants to, does he not?

    (Not saying that he actually would do so - nor that Congress would actually act.  Just wondering how/if they could.)

    All that is necessary for the triumph of the Right is that progressives do nothing.

    by Mystic Michael on Thu May 01, 2014 at 09:02:46 PM PDT

  •  "Internet" is always capitalized (0+ / 0-)


    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:07:10 AM PDT

  •  COMMON CARRIER (0+ / 0-)

    The Internet is, and must remain and be defined as a "Common Carrier."

    Any questions?

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