Report: ISPs Funding Fake Anti-Net Neutrality Consumer Support

Report: ISPs Funding Fake Anti-Net Neutrality Consumer Support

South Park Time Warner Cable social

"Broadband for America" gets most of it's budget from ISP trade group.

VICE just published a report that calls out cable company representation for funding "cable company-created front groups," who are unabashedly trying to strike down net neutrality.

The controversy starts with a San Francisco Chronicle piece by former Senator John Sununu (R-NH), and former Congressman Harold Ford (D-TN). The opinion argues against net neutrality, reasoning that net neutrality could lead to decreased investment in broadband infrastructure.

A politician arguing for or against a possible policy change? Inconceivable! The problem is that Sununu and Ford are "honorary co-chair's" of Broadband for America, a group "dedicated to ensuring every American citizen has high quality access to the Internet." So why would such a group be against something like net neutrality? It might have something to do with 57 percent of the groups budget being funded by the National Cable and Telecom Association (NCTA), a trade group operated by ISPs.

It's one thing to come out against net neutrality -- no one was seriously expecting ISPs to embrace the concept -- but it's a wholly different practice to manipulate pro-consumer groups to your own end, instead of letting them actually represent consumer interests.

There's other mischief afoot, too, including the like of shady lobbying groups, and other "pro-consumer" advocacy groups that have monetary ties to the cable industry. Go check out the VICE piece for a full rundown.

And while you're at it? Maybe file an opinion with the FCC, whether you're for or against net neutrality.

Source: VICE

Permalink

So US isps have virtual monopolies in their areas, a former lobbyist as head of the regulatory body and have a major stake in a broadband consumer watch dog group? Never before have I seen such effort put into dicking over customers at every possible level. I don't know whether to applaud the ingenius evilness of it all or decry the fact tbey get away with it.

The Artificially Prolonged:
So US isps have virtual monopolies in their areas, a former lobbyist as head of the regulatory body and have a major stake in a broadband consumer watch dog group? Never before have I seen such effort put into dicking over customers at every possible level. I don't know whether to applaud the ingenius evilness of it all or decry the fact tbey get away with it.

Actually I think this is a "day that ends in y" situation for US lobbyists. It's... well... to give you an idea, corn producing trade groups have been siphoning off billions in subsidies FOR DECADES in order to more effectively poison America (and they started the whole backlash against healthy school foods).

Devin Connors:
The controversy starts with a San Francisco Chronicle piece by former Senator John Sununu (R-NH), and former Congressman Harold Ford (D-TN). The opinion argues against net neutrality, reasoning that net neutrality could lead to decreased investment in broadband infrastructure.

Funny, cause this is the very reason they don't want net neutrality in the first place. They aren't going to invest more in infrastructure if they can funnel the problem down the line.

US Governmental decisions = which evil corporation is secretly backing one side through "lobbyists" and other backdoor systems while an Elected Official pockets $100,000's to $millions.

"This thing needs to die, this broken thing" --- Law Abiding Citizen about the 'justice system'. Totally can be summed up for our entire government system. It's not just low-level and mid-level people making backend deals just to give themselves a good image (letting murderers have only 5 years in prison to "make a deal"), but also the high end as the above article said. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

I....I just cannot understand how all this is even a thing! I mean all of this seems like the shadiest business practice you can have, and yet, it continues! Does the telecom companies REALLY think we (the consumers) are going to sit back and allow this? I WILL CANCEL MY INTERNET if these companies get their way.

Maybe this is what we all need. Get off the internet, go outside, build something, do something. Maybe the telecom companies are trying to HELP us? (/giggles)

After reading this, I think the National Cable and Telecom Association should change its name to Cable United with National Telecom. The only way net neutrality can cause decreased investment in network infrastructure is if the damned executives who wanted to buy a new fleet of yachts with the extra profits from a two-tiered internet do give themselves increased bonuses and go buy those yachts.

XenoScifi:
I....I just cannot understand how all this is even a thing! I mean all of this seems like the shadiest business practice you can have, and yet, it continues! Does the telecom companies REALLY think we (the consumers) are going to sit back and allow this? I WILL CANCEL MY INTERNET if these companies get their way.

Maybe this is what we all need. Get off the internet, go outside, build something, do something. Maybe the telecom companies are trying to HELP us? (/giggles)

If net neutrality looses this upcoming battle, I'm hoping enough people boycott anything(film studios, tv channel, cable, cell plans) owned by the ISPs. I'm glad to know enough people are in on it.

It's one thing to want to expand your business and make more money. It's an entirely different thing to be stabbing your loyal customers in the aortas with a syringe and taking as much blood as you can while claiming it's good for them.

It's one thing to see these pro-company, consumer hating, rights destroying, unsustainable, borderline illegal practices in the entertainment industry, but seeing it happen with utilities, governments, and civil rights is just... shocking. And depressing. This can't go on. This will stop one day. It has to, right?

XenoScifi:
I....I just cannot understand how all this is even a thing! I mean all of this seems like the shadiest business practice you can have, and yet, it continues! Does the telecom companies REALLY think we (the consumers) are going to sit back and allow this? I WILL CANCEL MY INTERNET if these companies get their way.

Maybe this is what we all need. Get off the internet, go outside, build something, do something. Maybe the telecom companies are trying to HELP us? (/giggles)

The problem is alot of us make our living and base our careers off the internet. It would be nice to truly unplug but it's not that simple and big cable knows this and has us by the balls and are twisting hard. Not to mention the potential for censorship and the negative effects on the economy. This is what evil looks like people. It's subtle, manipulative, divisive and lusts for not even just all the money but all control too. And we don't mean shit to them.

The bright side of this is, is that they are trying so hard it must mean that they have some level of concern that they won't be able to squash neutrality. Not as soon they'd want or like they initially hope anyway. We must keep up the good fight.

Hairless Mammoth:
snip

It's true though. Boycotting is the only language these shit heads understand.

This country is so unbelievably corrupt, that I can hardly understand why anyone wants to live here anymore. Blind patriotism and blatant ignorance are the only answers.

I wouldn't throw these people in prison. I would shoot them in the head and display their bodies where everyone could see what happens with corrupt public representatives. Holy shit this is bad even by the US standards.

...As if I needed yet another reason to hate big businesses... If this gets any worse, I might have to just up and move somewhere else...

Of course. And it was Citizens United that stole the government from the citizens and handed it to the corporations. What else is new?

The only thing that scares the corporations and the politicians is the hundred million heavily armed American citizens, and what they might do if the next Boston Massacre accidentally happens. The government got away with the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City Federal Building and the Boston Marathon bombing all those other little things, but one of these days they are going to run out of terrorists, and make a mistake, and everyone will realize it was a covert government operation the whole time. Then, the sh*t hits the fan. All those faces of leaders and billionaires you see in videos on the news every night will be seen swinging from lamp posts. That thought, ladies and gentleman, is the only thing that keeps them from declaring that we are their property.

Adam Jensen:
I wouldn't throw these people in prison. I would shoot them in the head and display their bodies where everyone could see what happens with corrupt public representatives. Holy shit this is bad even by the US standards.

Start with the Koch Brothers. That'll solve a huge portion of the problem.

The Artificially Prolonged:
So US isps have virtual monopolies in their areas, a former lobbyist as head of the regulatory body and have a major stake in a broadband consumer watch dog group? Never before have I seen such effort put into dicking over customers at every possible level. I don't know whether to applaud the ingenius evilness of it all or decry the fact tbey get away with it.

This sort of thing (literally this exact sort of thing) has been happening in a multitude of industries for decades. It's one of the many reasons why your average voter, and even large groups of citizens banding together for political causes, never have as much sway as corporations over government, and have to fight a damn near vertical uphill battle to get anything done while some corporations buy and sell politicians and actually write the damn laws governing their industries.

Is it possible for any kind of government system, even democracy, to not turn into an oligarchy?

Well my fellow interneters the need for action is clear, go to the FCC site and place a comment. We have to KILL this damn attempt on the internet's freedom.

http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/upload/display?z=u69if

RA92:
Is it possible for any kind of government system, even democracy, to not turn into an oligarchy?

If the government becomes another subject of the "free market"; then no, no it isn't. This is literally the fabled "invisible hand" doing what it does. If the government is a subject of the market, it can and will be bought.

Ah America,

Only you, you sometimes most beloved son and other times red headed step child of Europe could come up with something this ridiculously vile and corrupt.

So I'm gonna start a clock how long until we start seeing: "Well I want a closed internet because that's what JESUS would want!" arguments coming out of your politicians mouths?

This is why I believe any law, before being signed into submission for any thing, should be subject to partisan review from experts in the field and they can't reach a consensus, the law has to be changed and resubmitted.

All I'm gonna say as this isn't really getting the coverage it needs on here to counterbalance the doom and gloom:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26865869

*Puts on monocle and top hat, drinks tea and surfs a mostly untampered with internet*

RA92:
Is it possible for any kind of government system, even democracy, to not turn into an oligarchy?

I'm pretty sure a true Democracy would have trouble shifting into an Oligarchy. Republics are almost custom built to allow that sort of thing, though. Democratic-Republics just have an overflow valve for political dissent in the process.

From the VICE article:
"As VICE first reported, the FCC is led by a former cable-industry lobbyist, and many of his chief staffers are also former Comcast attorneys. Several new FCC staffers previously lobbied the agency against net neutrality in the past."

For fuck's sake...how deep does this rabbit hole go?

Also from the article:
"The push for reclassifying broadband as a utility may be an uphill battle."

An understatement of mythic proportions.

RA92:
Is it possible for any kind of government system, even democracy, to not turn into an oligarchy?

Sometimes the government you have can be a reflection on your culture. Speaking as a Canadian, one of the distinct but subtle differences we have North of the border I find is that on a whole we're a little less pro-capitalism/'American Dream'. The US generally operates on the principle of what's best for US business is best for the US, and when it isn't directly effecting them Americans generally agree.

Unfortunately as a Canadian you also these things influences slow creeping in and expanding up here, so maybe due to proximity it's inevitable for us as well. In the telecom industry at least our providers have always been just as shitty as yours, maybe even more so. At the very least though bad as they are they're not big enough to blow up the rest of the internet!

I find the "but it will decrease investment in net infrastructure!" argument to be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. Broadband Net infrastructure in North American is garbage as it is, especially in rural areas. It almost can't get any worse especially when you actually look at what the North American ratio of cost to speed is like compared to other places in the world. If the same ole' broadband providers wanted to improve broadband infrastructure they'd already be doing it. Instead, surprising no one, the companies that are actually pushing improving towards broadband service improvements are some of the companies that signed the pro Net Neutrality letter that was sent to the FCC.

Vigormortis:
From the VICE article:
"As VICE first reported, the FCC is led by a former cable-industry lobbyist, and many of his chief staffers are also former Comcast attorneys. Several new FCC staffers previously lobbied the agency against net neutrality in the past."

For fuck's sake...how deep does this rabbit hole go?

Also from the article:
"The push for reclassifying broadband as a utility may be an uphill battle."

An understatement of mythic proportions.

Yep nothing more depressing than finding out that the guy who fought for cable company interests now has regulation control over said subject. There is no conflict of interests there.

Sadly threads like these for actual real life issues cannot get 50 comments but if someone mentioned sexism amongst female gamers you bet your ass there would be over 300+ comments.

Companies finally figured out how to pass legislation without getting the public to care, just make it too boring for them to care no matter how bad its screws them.

To me the best piece so far on this issue is the one from Jon Oliver. Now since its on HBO its definitely NSFW, but I thought he did a good job explaining the situation and how it got to this point.

Link

Slycne:
Funny, cause this is the very reason they don't want net neutrality in the first place. They aren't going to invest more in infrastructure if they can funnel the problem down the line.

I wonder if they know it's a hollow threat? Their stock will drop and Google Fiber will just roll in and take their existing customers.

Unsurprising and saddening. They'd rather pay millions to protect their ability to screw over consumers than engage in respectable business practises.

What are the names and addresses of the CEO's, CFO's and CIO's of the major ISP's? Would it not be reasonable to register one's opinions of these practices in a well-written letter sent via normal mail to these individuals? Surely their names are in the public record?

Now if only they spent the amout they spent for lobbying into internet infrastructure they wouldnt have a need to lobby in the first place.

XenoScifi:
I....I just cannot understand how all this is even a thing! I mean all of this seems like the shadiest business practice you can have, and yet, it continues! Does the telecom companies REALLY think we (the consumers) are going to sit back and allow this? I WILL CANCEL MY INTERNET if these companies get their way.

Maybe this is what we all need. Get off the internet, go outside, build something, do something. Maybe the telecom companies are trying to HELP us? (/giggles)

have you canceled your internet, stopped eating, and essentially moved to live in caves? no? well, then you (the consumer) are allowing them to get away with it. and why are you doing it? because you dont have a choice. they control it all. you either serve them or dont exist.

and get off internet? sorry, not an option. Must work on internet. must use internet to know when to work. life withiout internet is inefficient to the point of pointlessness.

RA92:
Is it possible for any kind of government system, even democracy, to not turn into an oligarchy?

yes, such system would need to have no private property so you could not own any part of any industry to begin with. and we have suck government system. we call it communism. but we never tried it because there was couple mad dictators that ruled with facism but had sucess in pushing propaganda that it was communism, so the world is afraid of the word when its actual meaning is quite opposite of what they think.

008Zulu:

I wonder if they know it's a hollow threat? Their stock will drop and Google Fiber will just roll in and take their existing customers.

IT wont roll in. too late for that. they actually already lost some court cases and were banned from few states because the local monopolic ISPs sued them for unfair competition and won. because apperently anything but monopoly is unfair now.

Strazdas:

yes, such system would need to have no private property so you could not own any part of any industry to begin with. and we have suck government system. we call it communism. but we never tried it because there was couple mad dictators that ruled with facism but had sucess in pushing propaganda that it was communism, so the world is afraid of the word when its actual meaning is quite opposite of what they think.

There is also the matter of human behavior and weak motivation to perform well.
People prefer the path of least resistance. Why do a good job if you're paid the same regardless?

Even if you were to magic that bit out of human behavior, the fact remains that a public-rule system, like any government, can be manipulated by a select few simply by introducing and steering opinions. Political parties demonstrate this marvelously. Notice how there can only be 2-3 real parties at once? That's the number of effective social-ideological templates available.

In lieu of official "political parties", substitute your own form of factions, since all levels of human organization have them.

Establishing that wouldn't even be that hard, because the average person dislikes having to confront and pass judgment on issues they personally aren't invested in.

It's how the most vacant and worthless celebrities can somehow command the public's attention, while important issues slip under the radar all the time.

Communism is no inherently better (or worse) than any form of government. Dictatorships can be ruled with benevolence; democracies can be twisted into mob-justice, etc. Until the faults and flaws of the human being are removed from the equation, we're stuck trying to find ways of distracting ourselves from killing each other. (even Marx stated this)

Atmos Duality:

Strazdas:

yes, such system would need to have no private property so you could not own any part of any industry to begin with. and we have suck government system. we call it communism. but we never tried it because there was couple mad dictators that ruled with facism but had sucess in pushing propaganda that it was communism, so the world is afraid of the word when its actual meaning is quite opposite of what they think.

There is also the matter of human behavior and weak motivation to perform well.
People prefer the path of least resistance. Why do a good job if you're paid the same regardless?

Even if you were to magic that bit out of human behavior, the fact remains that a public-rule system, like any government, can be manipulated by a select few simply by introducing and steering opinions. Political parties demonstrate this marvelously. Notice how there can only be 2-3 real parties at once? That's the number of effective social-ideological templates available.

In lieu of official "political parties", substitute your own form of factions, since all levels of human organization have them.

Establishing that wouldn't even be that hard, because the average person dislikes having to confront and pass judgment on issues they personally aren't invested in.

It's how the most vacant and worthless celebrities can somehow command the public's attention, while important issues slip under the radar all the time.

Communism is no inherently better (or worse) than any form of government. Dictatorships can be ruled with benevolence; democracies can be twisted into mob-justice, etc. Until the faults and flaws of the human being are removed from the equation, we're stuck trying to find ways of distracting ourselves from killing each other. (even Marx stated this)

Yes, a certain culture is definatelly needed to make such system work, but that wasnt the question i was answering. and the change must happen gradually and by peoples own choice. forcing it would never work.

There are more than 3 real parties here all the time, and some throwaway ones as well that dont last long. yes, the politics are complicated in US in this regard but thats not true everywhere.

And i never claimed that communism is better or worse than anot other form. In fact i perosnally believe the best way is enlightened dictatorship, its just that we cant really be sure about enlightened part now can we.

A lot of flaws and faults can be worked around. For example automatization and robotization can often lead to better lives for all humans and now we no longer have to do manual labor for 16 hours in the fields of our lord. Like many great thinkers, marx lived before his visions were possible. his ideal society required a lot of autmatization, and we arent there yet. we cant offload all the hard work to robots and just keep the pleasureable works (the ones we get motivated to do because we like to do them).

the question was simply whether a system without oligopolies exist, and communism has no olygopolites, it wasnt a political debate of what system is better.

 

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