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Mozilla to refile suit against FCC over net neutrality

By William Gayde · 20 replies
Feb 13, 2018
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  1. Last month, Mozilla filed a petition against the Federal Communications Commission in protest of their decision to overturn net neutrality legislation. The FCC dismissed that suit on a technicality relating to the specific date in which it was filed. They have since required Mozilla to refile the petition after the official repeal order is published in the Federal Register. Mozilla more or less expected this and has now said they will refile 10 days after the official publishing.

    Mozilla believes that "protecting net neutrality is core to the internet" and that the FCC's repeal "violates federal law and harms internet users and innovators." In a statement this week, they have maintained their commitment to protecting the internet and will continue to challenge the FCC in the courts, Congress and with their allies.

    In the meantime, they are urging concerned citizens who value the internet to contact their elected officials and voice their support for net neutrality. It is Mozilla's view, along with the vast majority of Americans, that this repeal will cause great harm to the internet as we know it. Most believe the repeal was passed with the intent to benefit a few large internet service providers at the expense of the rest of the online world.

    While the FCC's agenda may be controlled largely by industry lobbyists, legal cases like this will continue to provide the proper system of checks and balances required in a democracy.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Slap a nice title on a bill and anyone will buy it.
    Evernessince likes this.
  3. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,786   +2,608

    Where was Mozilla's concern for equal time when they fired their CEO over a private political contribution they had no business even knowing about? What a bunch of loser hyprocrites. I'm almost glad they've killed Firefox - hopefully they'll go down with it.
    Misagt likes this.
  4. That's the rub. NN isn't about "equality in data." It's about control.
  5. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,967   +580

    Why should the ISPs that have monopolies or duopolies for a large portion of the population have the control? You don't have to use any website but you don't have much choice about internet. That's the key issue here. The FCC led by an ISP leaning chairman is saying it's about "competition" and "allowing innovation". Bullshit. It's about the ISPs being able to gouge their respective captive markets.
  6. "Why should health care companies X"

    "Why should drug companies Y."

    Same argument used for the "affordable" care act.

    If you buy into net neutrality because of a bunch of sales copy that plays on your fears about losing money and losing your power to choose, you're a fool. It's an entry level fear technique designed to get you to enthusiastically cede control over to a government standards authority while doing nothing about the problem said solution is supposed to fix, while it lays the legal foundation for the very thing you say you don't want.

    "We're going to prevent monopolies and abuses of corporate power by passing a bill saying the government gets final say!"


    While the multi-billion dollar corporations you so fear keep their multi-billion dollar lobbyists fully employed to influence your totally-different-than-the-guys-in-the-last-agency regulators.

    Please, dude.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  7. Misagt

    Misagt TS Maniac Posts: 293   +209

    I completely agree with you. I used firefox almost exclusively for over 10 years. But how firefox has turned I've almost completely stopped using it. I've switched to Brave and I've very happy so far.
  8. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,095   +3,647

    Umm, you do realize that

    "We're going to prevent monopolies and abuses of corporate power by passing a bill saying the government gets final say!"

    is the premise for the SEC and the anti-trust/sherman act correct? /facepalm

    You kind of just proved against your own point, because they have obviously been used numerous times to great success. Also, it's not "the government gets final say", it's "the government may interject if it receives complaints or sees a big problem". The US government is extremely hands off compared to other countries. The EU, for example, has issued 1 billion+ more in fines to companies for trust and monopolistic practices in the last decade and a half.

    Companies like Equafax, Bank of America, and Intel walk away with a slap on the wrist. Consumers in America continue to get screwed over because it's more profitable to take small fines in the US and provide worse service and worse products.

    Back on point, your comment is simply rhetoric. If you had actually read the official NN documention, there isn't a legal basis for ceding anything over to the government. IMO NN didn't go nearly far enough and was far too light touch. European countries have price controls and forced unbundling. The companies are still privately owned, so nothing was given over to the government, and they get 1Gbps internet for $15 USD a month. Clearly our private ISP market has it's deficiencies, especially given it's had far more time to mature.
    mbrowne5061 likes this.
  9. You missed my point. Entirely.

    My point is this:

    Net neutrality gives a regulatory agency, run and influenced by people with a vested interest in information, control over the largest information network in the country. One which they currently have significantly less control over.

    Stated with even less nuance...

    Net neutrality gives the government authority over the information that's delivered to consumers. Only a complete tool sits back, watches EU member states, big social media companies, and countries like China and North Korea, police their networks in the name of the public interest only to say, "hey... we need to regulate the internet here in the name of the public interest" because of a few buzz words the authors placed in the body text of analysis featured on websites owned by the companies that support the regulation.

    Really? So they're just going to enforce net neutrality by asking ISPs to kindly observe their recommendations? Net neutrality must necessarily give authority to the USG to enforce its neutrality standards so that it can represent the public's interest. Otherwise, it's not a law. It's just a set of suggested guidelines.

    Net neutrality is a fakeout.

    I have read the "supporting documentation." That's why I'm against it.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  10. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,967   +580

    The affordable care act not operating well is because it was not allowed to be done properly. You can't use it as an example of regulation done poorly when many things that make universal healthcare great in European first world countries for example are politically impossible in the US. It's a garbage argument.
    Evernessince likes this.
  11. hk2000

    hk2000 TS Booster Posts: 72   +30

    So they file a grievance against the FCC with the FCC? That makes no sense! Shouldn't it be filed in the court system? How can the accused be in charge of deciding the legality of the suit?
  12. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,128   +2,418

    Pardon me, but I think you missed the core of NN. It was never a law. For it to be a law, it had to have been presented in a bill in congress, passed, and signed by the president. That never happened.

    So you would rather have the control of what you see on the internet in private, monopolistic ISPs who could care less about what you want to view, but are more than happy to charge you more for access to site X than they charge you for site Y because they are in direct competition with those who provide the content on site Y? I see.

    And you would rather not have some overall authority basically saying that your monopolistic ISP cannot charge you more for access to any site than they charge for any other? I see.

    And you are afraid that the laws in the US will suddenly become just like those in China and that the US Govt will suddenly gain authoritarian power over the internet just like the authoritarian power in China? I see. Unless the constitution is suspended, that will not happen.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  13. It failed for all the reasons people said it would fail prior to it being passed. Dismiss that all you like, they said we could keep our doctors. We didn’t get to. They said it would reduce costs. They increased. They said it would insure more. It insured less.

    Net neutrality will work the same way, because of the language of the actual bill (in particular the part that defines its purpose).

    They’ll waltz in, say that certain content needs to be more scrutinized in the interest of equality, offending content will be throttled and/or hidden, and then proponents of NN will do exactly what ACA supporters and other socialists do: “Well, ya see, it isn’t working like we thought it would because it was sabotaged.”

    Which is followed by, “BTW, we need even more authority now to fix this.”

    Rinse, repeat.
  14. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,238   +692

    Until the language of the bill meets a collection of lawyers in a courtroom and the judge who presides over it, that's all conjecture on your part.

    It isn't law now, wasn't law before. It was in the same class, literally, as the water in your pipes - the water that costs you the same per-unit-of-volume whether you wash your clothes, take a shower, or use it to drink. In the case of Title II classification, it was already well established what the govt and private companies legally could and could not do in regards to that water service. The same was true for internet services while Title II applied to it. Removing NN from Title II classification invited congress to step in and make their own law - and here we agree, at least in broad stokes - and that is a mistake. They will royally muck it up.

    IMO, the ISPs messed up when they got Title II classification for their products revoked. It would limit how much they could charge each individual customer, but the classification created the political capital to begin pushing broadband out into areas it previously did not penetrate - increasing their market. It also has the benefit of politically protecting it. Just like politicians can't mess around with the water supply, they couldn't mess with internet service. It was a guarantee of large, captive market - and they threw it away for the chance at smaller, less stable, but more profitable markets in the short term.
  15. I've read HR4682 and I read the applicable documents a few years ago, the first time net neutrality made headlines. Pointing out that an ill-defined term or two in the text is a significant problem isn't conjecture. Especially since ill-defined terms and the interpretation thereof have been used in recent memory to uphold regulations because Interpretation Y (instead of X) is vital to the act (see: Obamacare tax vs fine).
  16. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,095   +3,647

    Actually ISPs have been receiving public money for expansion of their network for some time, there's even a rural broadband and school expansion tax on every american's internet bill. They have already been getting the benefits of being a utility, without actually having to be fiscally responsible with what they do with that money so it makes sense why they didn't want NN. It just forces them to be more transparent and to actually use that money for it's intended purpose.
  17. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,238   +692

    My argument isn't against the terms being ill-defined (they are), my argument is that they won't be defined until they meet a legal challenge. In fact, that is the very reason why most of our laws are poorly defined - so that they can be interpreted in the moment, and are able to take into account the relevant context of the situation being evaluated. Laws rarely become effective (or ineffective, or helpful, or harmful, or whatever-adjective-you-want) until after their first legal challenge.

    But all that is a good thing. It lets us be flexible with how we want to apply the laws of our country. If this system isn't working - which there is an argument to be made that it isn't - then the fault lies at the cross between the ethics of our judicial system and its understanding of modern societal issues that take place outside the courtroom, not with the laws themselves.
  18. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,238   +692

    Agreed. Most of today's internet connections in North America were laid with money from the American and Canadian governments - the backbones especially - so they should be treaty as a public utility. When the internet first went public, law makers and judges didn't understand the technology they were dealing with - almost no one, no even the engineers and scientists who built it, understood what the internet would become - so the regulations that were put in place were only able to remain relevant for a brief period of time.
  19. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,967   +580

    Universal healthcare is implemented properly in many many countries. What US got was garbage. The Democrats had to make an enormous number of concessions to get what they did deliver but it wasn't anywhere near what is proven to work.

    So you are complaining about a system that is only a small fraction of what it should have been. The GOP essentially ensured the system was going to hurt people with the way it was hamstrung then turn around and bleat to everyone "look how bad this is!!!". That's bullshit. Of course they need authority to fix it - they never had authority to do it right in the first place.
  20. In other words, "no true socialism."

    I've said it in this thread already, so I won't repeat it after this:

    Net neutrality is every bit sales as the Affordable Care Act. All that will happen if it goes the way I have suggested earlier in the thread is proponents will say that the net neutrality enforced isn't real net neutrality...which is why it will need to be adjusted and the government given even more authority to fix said errors...which will, again, have easily identifiable flaws (to anyone not sold) that lead to "unintended consequences" that proponents will again blame on sabotage and concessions.

    Either book a helicopter flight or come up with a better argument.
  21. Get a life Mozilla!

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