DontBelieveComCast

Breaking the Narrative Episode 69: Fucked if We Do, Fucked if We Don’t? Did We Ever Really Have Net Neutrality?

This one may be a little controversial but in the current climate is very very important when looking into the future of the Men’s Rights Movement, Independent Content Creation, and human interaction overall. What I am doing this time around is I’m going to look back on the past two decades of easily accessed consumer level internet and see whether or not this decision of Ajit Pai’s is really getting rid of Net Neutrality or is he simply clearing away a fascimilie of Net Neutrality that was put in place by corporations that wanted a leg up on other corporations so they could more easily shit on us plebs. This might be a bit controversial to some of you but this needs to be asked so we can figure out if we should really be mad at Pai or if he is in some ways doing us a favor by getting rid of a restriction masquerading as openness which can give us an opening for TRUE openness if we take advantage of this right.

Now before you all spitroast me and subsequently have me drawn, quartered and spread across the winds, let me explain what I want to see as Net Neutrality: a system where any website can send out what they need to and not be bogged down by artificial slowdown that discriminates on the data given while at the same time does not restrict how much data can be received by a consumer from the content providers that web pages represent. In short I want everyone to be able to have the fastest possible speeds regardless, and not have to worry about having to pay extra by going over some arbitrary data cap that several hard drives have long since surpassed. I don’t want it to mean that you’d have to pay extra if you desire to say, back up a reasonable amount of your data onto a cloud storage device or play a high quality online game, or perhaps upload regular large high quality videos onto a streaming platform like YouTube as your personal small business. That’s something I think we can all agree with. With that in mind Let’s Hammer This In!

To open up, I think we need to have the official definition and explanation of what Net Neutrality currently is. According to the Electronic Freedom Foundation it is as follows:

Network neutrality—the idea that Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all data that travels over their networks fairly, without improper discrimination in favor of particular apps, sites or services—is a principle that must be upheld to protect the future of our open Internet. It’s a principle that’s faced many threats over the years, such as ISPs forging packets to tamper with certain kinds of traffic or slowing down or even outright blocking protocols or applications.

Before  I go into how this is interpreted by those who approach it from an anti-regulatory standpoint I think we should fully establish WHO the EFF is and who they represent. According to their history page, it was founded in mid 1990 in response to the Secret Service trying to censor a document leaked about how the 911 emergency call system works. The censorship was attempted because of fear of early DDoS(Distributed or Dedicated Denial of Service) attacks being made on emergency lines and risking people’s lives, potentially taking the form of several terrorist actions. Keep in mind this is from a day before the 9/11 attacks in 2001. It was kind of ironic how the code 911 was involved in both events. But I’m not about to go into some crazy rabbit hole here. Point is they likely aren’t beholden to investors so much as they are classified as a non-profit organization. You can even go back a full decade into their public activities, they are so transparent.

Why do some oppose Net Neutrality? This is explained fairly well by Steven Crowder circa 6 years ago. The idea with the anti-regulatory group is they think that every large site will have to go just as slow as the slowest site on the net to be fair. I can comprehend how he thinks this would be the case due to the usual path that most socialist type systems take. He depicts this by comparing the shipping times of a bellweight to a standard handwritten letter. This is obviously pretty foolish and I would hope he has a better comprehension of the concept now, insomuch as that true Net Neutrality is more that the smallest personal website (i.e. someone’s blogspot) should run just as fast as NetFlix, YouTube, or Facebook. That say Gab.ai should be just as unrestricted on the net as Twitter can be. In other words that instead of the letter having to wait till the bellweight gets there to be delivered that both items should be immediately put on next day shipping for the same price per item.

How would making high-speed internet a utility not make it to where government can’t make it shit for the rest of us? Thats simple, make a better government – vote out all the people slowing things down. Have the development of fiber optic lines that can be used by ANY ISP for ANY price they set be put in place in the same way power lines are – as part of our country’s base infrastructure. Phone lines are done in a similar manner so that even an inactive line can call 911 if needed. Therefore if the lines are taken care of as infrastructure maintenance, that would free up the ISPs to keep maintenance teams on the ready for emergency line outages and make sure that the servers they coordinate through are maintained and using the most up-to-date software and hardware.

So what are the exact rules that Chairman Pai is repealing?

The rules barred broadband providers from blocking or slowing down access to content or charging consumers more for certain content. They were intended to…give consumers equal access to web content and prevent broadband service providers from favoring their own content.

Pai’s mindset being “The FCC will no longer be in the business of micromanaging business models and preemptively prohibiting services and applications and products that could be pro-competitive.” The problem is that some of these set-ups in the past have been proven anti-consumer practices that did discriminate against services.  What we also have here is a dilemma concerning clearing out some of the corrupt anti-male politicians from Congress. They will claim to try to fight for protecting ‘Net Neutrality’ to save their hides from the chopping block. Here is the rub though, I don’t trust them to do so without neutering and perverting it for THEIR pay masters… At least that’s what we are being told overall. But what if we are being lied to by media outlets that want to keep us under their beck and call again?

To ensure that we aren’t being screwed over I ended up getting the ACTUAL PDF BRIEF of whats going to happen on December 14th. Granted, its 210 pages, but I do encourage each and every one of you to read it all the way through. That said, I’m going to cite their introduction to show what the intent is truly:

1. Over twenty years ago, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 established the policy of the United States “to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet . . .unfettered by Federal or State regulation.” Today, we honor that bipartisan commitment to a free and open Internet by rejecting government control of the Internet. We reverse the Commission’s abrupt shift two years ago to heavy-handed utility-style regulation of broadband Internet access service and return to the light-touch framework under which a free and open Internet underwent rapid and unprecedented growth for almost two decades. We eliminate burdensome regulation that stifles innovation and deters investment, and empower Americans to choose the broadband Internet access service that best fits their needs.

2. We take several actions in this Order to restore Internet freedom. First, we end utility-style regulation of the Internet in favor of the market-based policies necessary to preserve the future of Internet freedom. In the 2015 Title II Order, the Commission abandoned almost twenty years of precedent and reclassified broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service subject to myriad regulatory obligations under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act). We reverse this misguided and legally flawed approach and restore broadband Internet access service to its Title I information service classification. We find that reclassification as an information service best comports with the text and structure of the Act, Commission precedent, and our policy objectives. We thus return to the approach to broadband Internet access service affirmed as reasonable by the U.S. Supreme Court. We also reinstate the private mobile service classification of mobile broadband Internet access service and return to the Commission’s definition of “interconnected service” that existed prior to 2015. We determine that this light-touch information service framework will promote investment and innovation better than applying costly and restrictive laws of a bygone era to broadband Internet access service. Our balanced approach also restores the authority of the nation’s most experienced cop on the privacy beat—the Federal Trade Commission—to police the privacy practices of Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

3. Next, we require ISPs to be transparent. Disclosure of network management practices,performance, and commercial terms of service is important for Internet freedom because it helps consumers choose what works best for them and enables entrepreneurs and other small businesses to get technical information needed to innovate. Individual consumers, not the government, decide what Internet access service best meets their individualized needs. We return to the transparency rule the Commission adopted in 2010 with certain limited modifications to promote additional transparency, and we eliminate certain reporting requirements adopted in the Title II Order that we find to be unnecessary and burdensome.

4. Finally, we eliminate the Commission’s conduct rules. The record evidence, including our cost-benefit analysis, demonstrates that the costs of these rules to innovation and investment outweigh any benefits they may have. In addition, we have not identified any sources of legal authority that could justify the comprehensive conduct rules governing ISPs adopted in the Title II Order. Lastly, we find that the conduct rules are unnecessary because the transparency requirement we adopt, together with antitrust and consumer protection laws, ensures that consumers have means to take remedial action if an ISP engages in behavior inconsistent with an open Internet.

5. Through these actions, we advance our critical work to promote broadband deployment in rural America and infrastructure investment throughout the nation, brighten the future of innovation both within networks and at their edge, and move closer to the goal of eliminating the digital divide.

Here is where I think we may have a silver lining in this entire situation: despite accusations that this is just Chairman Pai’s “attempt” to kill Net Neutrality for the sake of his Verizon and Comcast masters, I think this may lead us to true Net Neutrality! The variation that Obama put in in 2015 did inadvertently give Google and Facebook the too big to fail status they are seeing today. The fact that other governments are convincing these giants to accede to their authoritarian hate speech laws show us how that is dangerous. Why do I think that the current form of Net Neutrality is not an honest form? Where is Gab.ai in mobile application purveyors? Nowhere. By allowing Google carte blanche control over the highest points of the internet they are free to silence their competition and with Google Fiber give us something that Microsoft got lambasted for back in the late 90s and early 2000s: A horizontal monopoly!

Why do I say this is the case? Lets list Google’s list of both hardware and software properties. Google Chromebook, Google Pixel, Google Fiber, Google Search, Google Store, Google Chrome, Google Chrome OS, Google+, YouTube, Google Chromestick – Give them their own ISP and they will have done something potentially illegal that Microsoft was never able to, and all but own the internet. With them being the most popular thing, they could effectively cut off any other browser from their industry leading content or make it where everyone who owned/used their stuff would only be able to see Google approved news items. This is very dangerous. What we need is a form of Net Neutrality that only benefits the lower tier consumers and smaller businesses over a mega-corporation such as Google.

So what is actually happening gauged on all of this? Chairman Pai isn’t so much ‘killing’ Net Neutrality as we have been led to believe so much as he took the whole thing and handed it over to the Federal Trade Commission, which he thought more fit to protect such things. Clearly he interprets the Internet as a network based around economic needs due to how much of it is storefronts, paid services and competing businesses. Ajit Pai sees the internet as the world’s biggest mall in other words, and in some ways he is right. Yes there is a telecommunicative structures involved, but at its core the internet is a marketplace now. We buy and sell just about everything through it from the little teacups you give your grandmother on holidays to the lofty ideas we spout to the heavens. As such, he has given full reign of the internet and how Net Neutrality is going to work in the future in both its current form and when it does eventually evolve into the blockchain standard.

By handing it over like this he may actually have saved all of us, because now the FTC can see that what Alphabet through Google is doing in making a horizontal monopoly that can ‘curate’ what information people are and aren’t allowed to see. It’s an obvious consumer issue, right up the FTC’s alley. Alphabet is potentially turning themselves into a global Big Brother that would make 1984 salivate. Then as soon as the FTC realizes what is going on, they can stop it, break up the company similar to the intent towards Microsoft not too far in the past.  The main difference here will be that I think Google is going to actually be split and not able to weasel out of it by the kind of promises of change Microsoft fulfilled nearly two decades earlier.

To conclude and summarize: Like many things concerning corporations too big to keep their britches together, Silicon Valley has lied to all of us. They are afraid of losing their stranglehold on the golden broadband goose and letting us filthy plebs get our hands on it and rise up from the center. They’re afraid of an actual government defender of consumer rights coming in and performing dark arts upon them to split up the insane ideological chimera that has been roosting over us for the past decade. Now the FTC controls Net Neutrality and is likely more equipped with heftier fines and legal clout to not only ensure that the ISPs play fair with how they treat us, the consumer, (hopefully killing data caps and other worries,) but taking care of the search engine issue as well by requiring that as part of Google surviving that they take out any sort of ideological bend to their controls on their search engine and AI, and gear it to be truly ideologically neutral. Who knows? Maybe they’ll even figure out that crazy issue with pedophiles overrunning leftist outlets. But I’m not holding my breath.

This is an important thing to discuss so I’m opening up the discussion here and anywhere else you can find me on the internet so we can improve on my base concepts to make a way to take advantage of the FCC decision to get something better overall. As such I hope to talk with a lot of you in the coming weeks about these matters and work out ways to fight for something better for us overall in the long run. Until then Please Remember to Game Freely!

Alex Tinsley
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Alex Tinsley

A student of Fine Arts and Japanese culture of six years at Murray State University. Having never graduated due to difficulties with a specific teacher has gained a unique perspective upon the issues being faced by men and boys. A father of a young boy and loving husband.
Alex Tinsley
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Alex Tinsley

A student of Fine Arts and Japanese culture of six years at Murray State University. Having never graduated due to difficulties with a specific teacher has gained a unique perspective upon the issues being faced by men and boys. A father of a young boy and loving husband.