A Look Inside the Net Neutrality Rules: It's Worse Than You Think!

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Written by  for the New American Magazine
A Look Inside the Net Neutrality Rules: It's Worse Than You Think!

After the FCC made its “Net Neutrality” rules public late last week, The New American began poring over the 400 pages of rules and comments in the document, officially entitled “Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory Ruling, and Order” in an effort to inform our readers about what is actually in the rules.
What we found affirms the statements by FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai that the rules are a threat to the future of the Internet and a danger to both liberty and a free market.
The report put forth by the regulatory regime is broken down into several parts. Before actually getting into the rules, the document spans 45 pages laying down philosophical and legal arguments for both the FCC’s justification and authority for regulating the Internet in the first place. Furthermore, the FCC document relies on and quotes from sources that have a history of attempting to abolish the free market capitalist nature of the Internet. As pernicious as those arguments and sources are, what’s actually in the rules is even worse.
The report repeatedly makes mention of the “bright-line rules” the FCC has created to keep the Internet open and free. “Bright-line” refers to rules, laws, or legal decisions that are clear and unambiguous. These are usually created when a previous rule, law, or legal decision left room for multiple interpretations. Cornell University Law School’s legal dictionary defines a bright-line as: “An objective rule that resolves a legal issue in a straightforward, predictable manner. A bright-line rule is easy to administer and produces certain, though, arguably, not always equitable results.” The USLegal website gives a similar definition and explains, “For example, in American statutory rape laws, the age of the victim and the age of the accused are the only relevant factors determinative of guilt or innocence. Because it is a bright-line rule, there is no balancing test to examine factors such as mistake of the accused, the misrepresentation of age by the minor, or the minor’s consent to sexual intercourse.”
So bright-line rules are clear, and do not allow anything other than the rule to be considered when determining a case.
What exactly are the bright-line rules the FCC has created to regulate the Internet?
1. No Blocking
“A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management.”
While this seems straightforward, the devil is in the details. The report offers the following “clarification” to this rule; “The phrase ‘content, applications, and services’ again refers to all traffic transmitted to or from end users of a broadband Internet access service, including traffic that may not fit clearly into any of these categories.” One is left to wonder why the categories are listed in the first place, if the definition is broader than the categories.
The report’s “clarification” goes on to explain, “Further, the no-blocking rule adopted today again applies to transmissions of lawful content and does not prevent or restrict a broadband provider from refusing to transmit unlawful material, such as child pornography or copyright-infringing materials.” This opens up a whole new Pandora’s Box of ISPs being put in a position to determine what is “unlawful material.” Might ISPs block traffic to torrent sites that host “copyright-infringing materials” alongside public domain materials?
Since the “No Blocking” rule bans ISPs from blocking “lawful content,” what are the ramifications for services such as American Family Online, which offer filtered Internet access to customers who want to have pornography and other materials blocked at the server level? Since such content is lawful and the bright-line rule does not allow the fact that the customer wants such materials to be blocked to be taken into account, one is left to believe it would violate the rule.
Notice, too that the rule allows blocking for “reasonable network management.” One can imagine a new set of bright-line rules in the next iteration of Net Neutrality to clarify what constitutes “reasonable network management.”
2. No Throttling
“A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of Internet content, application, or service, or use of a non-harmful device, subject to reasonable network management.”
Again, the details of the rule demonstrate its problems. The report explains, “With the no-throttling rule, we ban conduct that is not outright blocking, but inhibits the delivery of particular content, applications, or services, or particular classes of content, applications, or services. Likewise, we prohibit conduct that impairs or degrades lawful traffic to a non-harmful device or class of devices. We interpret this prohibition to include, for example, any conduct by a broadband Internet access service provider that impairs, degrades, slows down, or renders effectively unusable particular content, services, applications, or devices, that is not reasonable network management.”
Again, there is an exemption for “reasonable network management” that will undoubtedly need to be defined later.
The report continues, “For purposes of this rule, the meaning of ‘content, applications, and services’ has the same as the meaning given to this phrase in the no-blocking rule,” meaning lawful content of any type whether or not it fits any of the categories listed. As in the “No Blocking” rule, “unlawful material” is neither protected nor clearly defined: “Further, transfers of unlawful content or unlawful transfers of content are not protected by the no-throttling rule.”
Under the “No Throttling” rule, the commission is showing what it meant by its commitment to “forbear” regulating rates and plans. According to the continued explanation, “Because our no-throttling rule addresses instances in which a broadband provider targets particular content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, it does not address a practice of slowing down an end user’s connection to the Internet based on a choice made by the end user. For instance, a broadband provider may offer a data plan in which a subscriber receives a set amount of data at one speed tier and any remaining data at a lower tier.” Sounds nice until the next line: “If the Commission were concerned about the particulars of a data plan, it could review it under the no-unreasonable interference/disadvantage standard.” So much for forbearance.
The “no-unreasonable interference/disadvantage standard” will be covered in more detail later in this article. Spoiler alert: It’s particularly nasty. By application of the “no-unreasonable interference/disadvantage standard,” the report seems to hint at regulating both rates and plans and much, much more.
3. No Paid Prioritization
“A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not engage in paid prioritization. “Paid prioritization” refers to the management of a broadband provider’s network to directly or indirectly favor some traffic over other traffic, including through use of techniques such as traffic shaping, prioritization, resource reservation, or other forms of preferential traffic management, either (a) in exchange for consideration (monetary or otherwise) from a third party, or (b) to benefit an affiliated entity.”
If it weren’t for the “no-unreasonable interference/disadvantage standard,” this would possibly be the most excrable rule of them all. “Paid Prioritization” is a name given to the practice of ISPs striking deals with content providers (often their own affiliates) to speed up traffic to and from those services to make them more attractive and valuable to the end user. The entire argument against the practice is that it is not “fair” to services who can’t or won’t pay the price to have their traffic sped up.
The report’s explanation for the adoption of this rule is that many of the people who participated in the public comment period don’t like this practice and fear the results if it continues. According to the report, “The record is rife with commenter concerns regarding preferential treatment arrangements, with many advocating a flat ban on paid prioritization. Commenters assert that permitting paid prioritization will result in the bifurcation of the Internet into a ‘fast’ lane for those willing and able to pay and a ‘slow’ lane for everyone else. As several commenters observe, allowing for the purchase of priority treatment can lead to degraded performance — in the form of higher latency, increased risk of packet loss, or, in aggregate, lower bandwidth — for traffic that is not covered by such an arrangement.”
Commenters further argue that paid prioritization will introduce artificial barriers to entry, distort the market, damage competition, harm consumers, discourage innovation, undermine public safety and universal service, and restrict free expression. Never mind that ISPs have expenses connected to bandwidth, network maintenance, and equipment — all of which are more costly for services that use higher bandwidth, particularly those that stream large video files. It only makes good business sense to pass part of that faster-connection cost along to the consumers they are trying to reach with their content; however, because “commenters” were “concerned,” the FCC has banned the practice.
For a bright-line rule to mean anything, there can be no exceptions, especially those that are handled on a case-by-case basis; however, that is exactly what the FCC is doing with this rule. According to the report, “Given the potential harms to the virtuous cycle, we believe it is more appropriate to impose an ex ante ban on such practices, while entertaining waiver requests under exceptional circumstances.”
The report explains the waiver process: “Under our longstanding waiver rule, the Commission may waive any rule ‘in whole or in part, for good cause shown.’ General waiver of the Commission’s rules is appropriate only if special circumstances warrant a deviation from the general rule, and such a deviation will serve the public interest. In some cases, however, the Commission adopts specific rules concerning the factors that will be used to examine a waiver or exemption request. We believe that such guidance is appropriate here to make clear the very limited circumstances in which the Commission would be willing to allow paid prioritization. Accordingly, we adopt a rule concerning waiver of the paid prioritization ban that establishes a balancing test, as follows: The Commission may waive the ban on paid prioritization only if the petitioner demonstrates that the practice would provide some significant public interest benefit and would not harm the open nature of the Internet.”
So “No Paid Prioritization” really means that rather than the free market deciding this practice, the FCC will decide it on a case-by-case basis. It is a system wide open for favoritism.
After listing the bright-line rules which have dominated most of the discussion of the Net Neutrality issue, the report addresses the rule that is the vilest of all:
Preventing Unreasonable Interference or Unreasonable Disadvantage that Harms Consumers and Edge Providers.
This is not a bright-line rule by even FCC Commission Chief Wheeler’s definition. He describes it in his commentary toward the beginning of the report, referring to ISPs as “gatekeepers” because he claims they have the ability and the motive to manipulate the Internet. He writes, “The bright-line bans on blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization will go a long way to preserve the virtuous cycle. But not all the way. Gatekeeper power can be exercised through a variety of technical and economic means, and without a catch-all standard, it would be that, as Benjamin Franklin said, ‘a little neglect may breed great mischief.’ Thus, the Order adopts the following standard”:
Any person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage (i) end users’ ability to select, access, and use broadband Internet access service or the lawful Internet content, applications, services, or devices of their choice, or (ii) edge providers’ ability to make lawful content, applications, services, or devices available to end users. Reasonable network management shall not be considered a violation of this rule.
What does Wheeler mean when he writes, “Gatekeeper power can be exercised through a variety of technical and economic means”? The body of the report puts it this way, “We believe that there may exist other current or future practices that cause the type of harms our rules are intended to address.” So now the report is attempting to protect end users from something that has not even happened yet, and the architects of this rule are not even trying to hide it.
How exactly will the regulatory regime go about enforcing a rule that prohibits something as nebulous as “unreasonably interfer[ing] or unreasonably disadvantag[ing]” the use of the Internet? On a case-by-case basis. The report states, “For that reason, we adopt a rule setting forth a no-unreasonable interference/disadvantage standard, under which the Commission can prohibit, on a case-by-case basis, practices that unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage the ability of consumers to reach the Internet content, services, and applications of their choosing or of edge providers to access consumers using the Internet.”
Here is the greatest danger of the whole scheme. This is total control of the Internet. It is how digital freedom dies.
This rule allows the FCC to unilaterally decide everything from rates to plans, from equipment to content, from the introduction of new technologies to the number of ISPs in a region. Everything. On a case-by-case basis. With only the conscience of the commissioners as their guide.
This is why concerned citizens must defeat Net Neutrality. Congress could set it aside. The courts could overturn it.
Americans must act soon in order to save the greatest form of communication, education, information, and innovation man has ever known.
FCC Cites Soros-Funded, Neo-Marxist-Founded Group 46 TIMES In New Regs
New internet regulations finally released by the Federal Communications Commission make 46 references to a group funded by billionaire George Soros and co-founded by a neo-Marxist.
The FCC released the 400-page document on Thursday, two weeks after it passed new regulations, which many fear will turn the internet into a public commodity and thereby stifle innovation.
“Leveling the playing field” in that way has been a clear goal of Free Press, a group dedicated to net neutrality which was founded in 2003.
As Phil Kerpen, president of the free-market group American Commitment, first noted, Free Press is mentioned repeatedly in the FCC document. Most of the references are found in footnotes which cite comments by Free Press activists supporting more internet regulation.
The term “Free Press” is mentioned 62 times in the regulations. Some are redundant mentions referring to the same Free Press activists’ comments in favor of more oversight. In total, the FCC cited Free Press’ pro-net neutrality arguments 46 times.
And from Godfather Politics:
Based on references in the regulations alone, it is clear that Barack Obama’s takeover of the Internet was actually written – in large part – by radical Marxist-leaning organizations; and it has also come to light that radical socialist-leaning organizations funded by Billionaire Socialist George Soros and others have spent approximately 200 MILLION DOLLARS ($200,000,000.00) to make Barack Obama’s tyrannical and dictatorial takeover of the Internet a reality.
And we have only one hope of stopping this master plan to transform the United States into a socialist utopia. As of this writing, Representative Marsha Blackburn and 43 other Republicans have signed onto legislation (H.R. 1212: The Internet Freedom Act) that will totally reverse this dictatorial Obama-FCC dictate… but this legislation is stalled in committee because John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are in no rush to bring it to the floor of the House and the Senate for a vote… and that needs to change right now.
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0 responses to “A Look Inside the Net Neutrality Rules: It's Worse Than You Think!

  1. Agreed Kelliegh,
    It may even
    mean the shutting down of organizations like ours, perhaps the last bastion of free speech.

    • I know TD, pretty frightening, a friend in Israel just sent me this:
      Saul Alinsky died about 43 years ago, but his writings influenced those in political control of our nation today…….
      Hillary did her college thesis on his writings and Obama writes about him in his books.
      Died: June 12, 1972, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
      Education: University of Chicago
      Spouse: Irene Alinsky
      Books: Rules for Radicals, Reveille for Radicals
      How to create a social state by Saul Alinsky:
      There are eight levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state. The first is the most important.
      1) Healthcare Control healthcare and you control the people
      2) Poverty Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
      3) Debt Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
      4) Gun Control Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
      5) Welfare Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)
      6) Education Take control of what people read and listen to. Take control of what children learn in school.
      7) Religion Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools
      8) Class Warfare Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.
      Does any of this sound like what is happening to the United States ?
      Alinsky merely simplified Vladimir Lenin’s original scheme for world conquest by communism, under Russian rule. Stalin described his converts as “Useful Idiots.” The Useful Idiots have destroyed every nation in which they have seized power and control. It is presently happening at an alarming rate in the U.S.
      If people can read this and still say everything is just fine, they are useful idiots.
      “It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.”

      • Sounds to me like all points are already covered-all that’s missing is the TOTAL compliance of each point,and the final signature. As long as there are people,like US,willing to lay it on the line and NOT comply,they can’t quite call their plan a success. That’s of little comfort though.

  2. I believe: 1) Net Neutrality was designed and implemented to curtail the free flow of information over the internet. Any one that does not realize this, does not know what is happening in this world. 2) I recently read an article that said the New World Order crowd is very disappointed that it has taken a whole lot longer to implement their agenda than they had planned. I contribute this ‘delay’ to two factors: a) the creation of the internet; b) talk radio.
    We need to enjoy blogs like this to the fullest extent because it won’t be long before they are all blocked. Censorship is here. May our Lord come quickly!

  3. Reblogged this on Centinel2012 and commented:
    What ever the government get into get screwed up no exceptions and its directly proportional to how much they get involved.

  4. I have written here before on this issue, but I will explain this again, but first, to explain “credibility” I have to give you my resume. I was a telephone switch engineer working for Dow Chemical when AT&T was going through judgment and breakup in order to satisfy “Anti-Monopoly” laws. I was also instrumental in writing a very large portion of the laws that determined “Customer Owned” equipment, as I wrote to Judge Green on a regular basis (like once a week) covering all the topic they went over in court that week. Judge Green sided with every single suggestion that I sent to him for diversification. I would say that makes me an “expert” on the internet, considering at that same time, the telephone switch engineers were putting the internet into operation. Despite what you may have read, the “invention” of the internet was NOT due to “one person” or even a “small group” of people. There were probably 75 to 100 engineers all around the USA that were working on it at the same time. And, it wasn’t a “conscious” effort to work on it. You see at the same time diversification was happening, there was also anther invention being produced, and that was, the “Digital Switch” which is what made the internet possible. The “internet” was a by product of owning a digital switch. It simply “existed” because it was the very nature of a new digital switch. Before this, data had to be sent from point to point using hard wire. So an “internet” just wasn’t practical. You had to use a dial up modem to get to the far end, and on the far end you had to have a modem that you KNEW was hooked up to a line there, and those lines would go into a “main frame”. But I digress.
    The internet was built without the constraints of corporations or even the Government. It has survived all the way up to now without any real crises. The few problems it has had, came from pure evil greed (like Comcast) and a few small minded men that even though they were getting more than their fair share out of the internet, wanted more (that’s what greed is). These problems COULD have (and should have) been solved through the FTC (the Federal Trade Commission). There was (and is) no need for the FCC to step in and take “ownership”. Unfortunately, the FTC doesn’t know it’s own job, (pretty much like the FCC). Also adding to the disaster, we have a President that has decided everyone will live life the way HE wants them to live. So he feels the need to control everyone and everything around him. History has proven that Narcissist prove to be pitiful leaders.
    IF you allow this government “takeover” of the internet, you (all of us) will loose. We will loose so big you can’t (even I can’t) fathom just how bad it will get. It’s kind of like just before the Patriot Act was written into law, everyone (just about) in the USA wanted it. Everyone was angry. We had been hurt. It was like someone breaking into our house while we were there, and raping our wives and daughters, and steeling our dignity. We were furious and we wanted blood. To get the blood we were asking for, someone had hte idea of putting together a “temporary” law that would basically take the gloves off the law enforcement systems so they could get the bad guys. BTW, I was one of the FEW people that was AGAINST the Patriot Act. But this “law” is just as severe on freedom (if not more so) as the Patriot Act has been.
    So I urge everyone that reads this, to write, to call to even show up at their state legislators door and dance on their desk if you can. But stop this and do everything you possibly can, to stop it. Freedom truly is about to be written out of history if we don’t.

    • Army Vet, you are SO RIGHT. If we don’t “dance on their desks,” we are cooked meat. There are several things going on at once that will totally destroy any vestiges of freedom we have left, and the people continue to sleep. God please wake them up!!!!!!!! Do you know that my rotten senators , Republicans no less, will not even answer many of us in TN who write to them and call them? They’re hellbent on our destruction and they don’t give a damn, but people in this state keep re-electing these frauds and we’re stuck with them. You bet I’ve been calling, and writing…I get a response from my worthless congressman, Jimmy Duncan, but he sits there like a bump on a log getting rich and doing nothing. Lord please people, scream at these so-called servants of ours!

  5. Obviously,this Badministration is TERRIFIED of the current Internet,because it’s the ONLY way their detractors (US) can communicate without their being able to know what’s being said or planned,and without their being able to SILENCE us. This is a BIG deal,because uncontrolled communication of We The People is the LAST tool we have to stop the destruction of America. (Actually,the Second Amendment is the last tool,but the “tools” in Congress seem to think it’s not THAT important,or they’d put a permanent END to the infringements we have,and likely WILL have,on our RIGHT.)

    • — They have taken away, or will, our ability to communicate with each other.
      — BRICS is in full implementation of a one-world monetary sytem, while our prez flaps his gums about how unfair they are treating us oh I mean him.
      — The Pope is having secret meetings about bringing all the world’s religions together under one umbrella.
      –There are those who think the anti-christ now occupies the oval office.
      All we need for a New World Order is for the main stream media to finally get on board with reality and realize that there is a One World Government; a One World Religion; a One World Economy!
      May the Lord come quickly!

  6. Net neutrality is really important for India like developing country. Please support net neutrality.

    • AASTIK, if net neutrality is so important to India, that is all the more reason why the internet should never ever be controlled by any government force.
      The ONLY reason for net neutrality is to control the free flow of information and from reading this article, blogs like this one will soon be history. The Leftist in this country have stated for years that talk radio and the internet have circumvented their plans on more than one occasion. Check into how many times the leftist have tried to ‘Hush Rush.’ That is just one example. May our Lord and Saviour come quickly!


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