Basic facts:1. Comcast is awful.2. Governmental control of the press is awfuler.Contingent facts:1. Comcast has, mainly by accident of history (i.e. its government-granted cable monopolies), market dominance in a lot of places for broadband. This can make it hard for the ordinary user to escape Comcast's evil tentacles.2. The current President has displayed an interest in suppressing speech of his political opponents. More worrisomely (because possessed of greater longevity, less accountability, and arguable greater power, the permanent bureaucracy has displayed a similar interest. This makes giving more control over the Internet to the government even more dangerous than normal.I would disagree with Mike D:But at least with the government, we have a recourse if they do so (as the midterm elections show). What are we going to do if it's our ISP that is censoring political content?on both points:1) We have no effective recourse. Being able to possibly vote out the politicians does not get rid of the bureaucracy. Nor the regulations, which are effectively unmoored from democratic oversight. (Nor would democratic oversight be sufficient even if we had it. Freedom of speech is antidemocratic for a reason: the demos often has no problem at all suppressing it.)And 2) If your ISP is suppressing political content, you get another ISP, of course. Same as if your local bookstore is suppressing books they disagree with.Giving mention again to the awfulness that is Comcast, I think there are alternatives for broadband pretty much everywhere. Given its cable monopolies and consequent entrenched position, taming Comcast via consumer power will not be easy, but it is both possible and much less dangerous than the alternatives.So I think that's what has to be done.
This is why I have DSL. And no cable. I am not participating in their game.
1) We have no effective recourse. Being able to possibly vote out the politicians does not get rid of the bureaucracy. Nor the regulations, which are effectively unmoored from democratic oversight. (Nor would democratic oversight be sufficient even if we had it. Freedom of speech is antidemocratic for a reason: the demos often has no problem at all suppressing it.)Point of order, actually, there IS something that can be done when Congress actually does its job. One of the bills that folks are proposing the new Republican House and Senate take up is to restore Congressional approval over regulations that utilize the force of law. The Executive branch may enforce laws, but when it utilizes previously authorized laws to enforce new, unauthorized "regulations", the bill would allow Congress to either approve or disapprove of the regulatory changes. In effect, take back the powers granted through poorly written laws.Also, under current rules, there's absolutely nothing forcing the Congress to approve budgets for bureaucracies that have "gone rogue". If the FCC decides it's feeling froggy and wants to trample over the Constitution, then Congress can defund it. Furthermore, a President who doesn't like what his FCC is doing can literally order them to change, or fire them outright.And 2) If your ISP is suppressing political content, you get another ISP, of course. Same as if your local bookstore is suppressing books they disagree with.But that's just my point, you CAN, but in most markets there is no other option (save for satellite, and not even they service all markets equally). In many areas, your options are the local monopoly, or go without. And again, there literally is nothing illegal about your ISP censoring your content. They are under no legal or Constitutional obligations to say ANYTHING on their provided service. Sure, it'd be PR suicide, but they could do it. But the FCC, being a governmental body IS bound by the Constitution. And while I'm 100% on board with the fact that under the current Administration, no one is making them honor it, it IS still there. I'll take the body with some leash attached over the one without, thank you very much.This is why I have DSL. So your ISP is AT&T. Or one of the other phone companies. You are not immune to this problem. They're just a whole lot less noisy about Net Neutrality than the cable companies.One last thing. I do NOT want people to think I'm anti-corporation. I really am not. Corporations, despite the amazing amount of flak they get from the left are responsible for more innovation, more creativity, and more human improvement than any government has ever been. I will take the contributions of corporations against those of governments every day of the week, and twice on Sunday and show you how much better for society those contributions are. BUT, that is NOT to say that they don't need watchdogs. They are, just like every other human organization, all about growing. Growing in market share, growing in audience, but most importantly... growing in power. See Standard Oil, US Steel, and all the other old monopoly empires; productive, creative, visionary they certainly were, but monopolies nonetheless. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is fine... up until it's broke and fixing it is more costly than a little preventative maintenance would have been.
That's a fair point, your last. It's hard to have a civil society without controls on the powerful that make them play according to the common interests of said society. Those controls can be internal, of course: a deeply felt commitment to values or the good of the community. But corporations don't feel anything as entities, and are specifically designed not to be subject to those kinds of duties: their duties are to the profits of shareholders, which is not at all the same as to the community in which they operate.
there IS something that can be done when Congress actually does its job<choke> <wheeze>(Forgive me. I'm cynical about these matters.)Congress does have a potential mechanism by which they might possibly prevent the federal government from using this for censorship. But will they use it? Is it realistic to suppose they will do so? (They have no motivation to. And the government surely does have much motivation to control speech - McCain-Feingold was a duly passed law, including the political-speech restrictions.)For that matter, do the people not want the government to exert censorship controls over some speech? Look at the reaction to Citizens United. Many people have indicated their outrage that the Supreme Court in that case said that the federal government might not censor a movie. Would these same people not be willing to demand that the federal government likewise suppress criticism of politicians running for office on the Internet, once the principle is established? (And of course, once the principle is established, that's only the beginning.)You point out that DSL providers are also corporations, and they might also block Internet services, which is true. But they at least are competition to Comcast. Satellite service is generally technically inferior as you note, but it also represents an alternative carrier, and any alternative is a usable pry-bar to prevent providers from blatantly censoring by the threat of losing some of their customers. (Even Comcast denies it is deliberately degrading Netflix content - they do have some sense that acknowledging it would cause them severe problems.)But if the federal government censors, there is no alternative, no competition. Your choices are no longer "tolerate Comcast or move to an alternative"; there is nothing you can do except live under the censorship regime and hope it won't get more severe. Worse, everyone in the country is living under the same censorship regime. You may not even know what you're not being allowed to see, and neither will your neighbors nor any of your countrymen.
MPAA needs control of the net, for profit, child molestors, and the Left. Probably in that order too.
Those that don't understand the Left's strategy, will be proven wrong, again, by the Left.There are certain things they need in the future, and this is one of them.
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