I did a search for a Congressional Motto for the US and came up empty.
In the wake of a Republican sellout to Comcast, ATT, and Verizon, a slogan is badly needed.
I propose “To Rob and Plunder“.
Yesterday, the Republican House passed a bill that allows internet providers from selling nearly everything you do to the highest bidder.
The legislation goes far beyond Google displaying ads based searches you do.
Genn Greenwald (emphasis his) explains in To Serve AT&T and Comcast, Congressional GOP Votes to Destroy Online Privacy.
CLARIFYING EVENTS in politics are often healthy even when they produce awful outcomes. Such is the case with yesterday’s vote by House Republicans to free internet service providers (ISPs) – primarily AT&T, Comcast and Verizon – from the Obama-era FCC regulations barring them from storing and selling their users’ browsing histories without their consent. The vote followed an identical one last week in the Senate exclusively along party lines.
It’s hard to overstate what a blow to individual privacy this is. Unlike Silicon Valley giants like Facebook and Google – which can track and sell only those activities of yours which you engage in while using their specific service – ISPs can track everything you do online. “These companies carry all of your Internet traffic and can examine each packet in detail to build up a profile on you,” explained two experts from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Worse, it is not particularly difficult to avoid using specific services (such as Facebook) that are known to undermine privacy, but consumers often have very few choices for ISPs; it’s a virtual monopoly.
Members of Congress voting for these pro-surveillance measures invariably offer the pretext that they are acting for the benefit of American citizens – whose privacy they are gutting – by Keeping Them Safe™.
But what distinguishes this latest vote is that this pretext is unavailable. Nobody can claim with a straight face that allowing AT&T and Comcast to sell their users’ browser histories has any relationship to national security.
Indeed, there’s no minimally persuasive rationale that can be concocted for this vote. It manifestly has only one purpose: maximizing the commercial interests of these telecom giants at the expense of ordinary citizens. It’s so blatant here that it cannot even be disguised.
That’s why, despite its devastating harm for individual privacy, there is a beneficial aspect to this episode. It illustrates – for those who haven’t yet realized it – who actually dominates Congress and owns its members: the corporate donor class.
There is literally no constituency in favor of this bill other than these telecom giants. It’d be surprising if even a single voter who cast their ballot for Trump or a GOP Congress even thought about, let alone favored, rescission of privacy-protecting rules for ISPs. So blatant is the corporate-donor servitude here that there’s no pretext even available for pretending this benefits ordinary citizens. It’s a bill written exclusively by and for a small number of corporate giants exclusively for their commercial benefit at the expense of everyone else.
THIS RECOGNITION – of who owns and controls Congress – is absolutely fundamental to understanding any U.S. political issue. And it does – or at least should – transcend both partisan and ideological allegiance because it prevails in both parties.
Thanks, Congress for once again proving what jackasses you can be.
Question of the Day
Will Trump sign such legislation after bitching and moaning that Democrats were watching him?
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
Where’s the libertarian? If you don’t want your ISP monitoring you, just don’t use them – use another or a VPN.
Here is where government broke your legs in creating the monopolies, then gave you a crutch to control them, but just took away the crutch.
It would be nice if the FCC didn’t create monopolies.
But when government regulates everywhere else, it is considered a horrible tyranny.
When Government removes THIS regulation it is suddenly a violation?
The trouble is really the government mandated monopolies of ISPs. Most of us only have one viable wired options, and very few other options.
OK, “most” is an exaggeration (and maybe 2). Point is, it’s not like choosing a grocery store (unless you live in a poor area, then it’s pretty much like the food desert phenomenon)
I’m totally happy to pass an omnibus bill to remove all those regulations on ISPs, as well as revoke all subsidies to the ISPs, all exclusive territory agreements, all special-purpose exclusive easements for their cables, and require ISPs to negotiate with each and every individual property owner to run cables.
I bet such a purist libertarian philosophy would have the ISPs shrieking with rage.
If they’re going to demand that government grease the wheel to make their businesses viable, I don’t see any problem with a privacy mandate being a basic component of that deal.
If they are trying to assert a right to free markets and consumer choice to dump an ISP, they’d better be ready for free markets with no subsidies, special treatment, etc. And they’re not, for the most part.
Still need to put fiber in the ground. Investors get twitchy when you have to take on incumbents, who has 90%+ of the marketshare, need to run past hundreds of homes, who are happy with the incumbent and not necessarily going to switch, just to connect the one guy at the end of the block. And the second you start making noises about entering the market the incumbents just drop their prices and are happy to wait it out while you burn through capital. And at an average $12/ft for new build underground construction, you need a lot of investors. Investors who don’t share your belief that you can provide a product good enough to sway the population away from the incumbent.
The only competitors to cable TV have been satellite providers, only because they don’t have any need for infrastructure build out aside from launching satellites. The wireless/cellular guys are probably going to be the competitors in Internet service, but it will still take another buildout of towers and backhaul to get the cell service areas small enough to deliver sustained gigabit service to millions of customers at the same time.
If it were easy everyone would be doing it.
How naive. Many people don’t have a choice of ISP’s because of the monopolies granted by governments to their owners.
Land-line ISPs are not monopolies because of government. They’re monopolies because of the sheer enormity of investment required.
Optical fiber is being quoted these days at approximately $10k per passed household. Just for the infrastructure itself.
Even at low long-term interest rates, and a long service life projection (ie: 20-30 year), the amount of $$$ that they have to charge a household to pay the debt on such investment is enormous. To say nothing of a return on equity.
Plus they risk it being obsolete as wireless technologies improve. Your average non-heavy Internet user can already be served well today using comparatively cheap 4G LTE technology. Which is likely to improve over time in speed. This makes investing in physical “land-line” infrastructure very risky and requiring of a very high hurdle rate that can only be met by significantly higher pricing.
Dr. Strangepork said:
So…we want the greatest threat to privacy on the planet to somehow “save” us from losing our privacy?
If you think that your ISP is your real threat, you don’t understand what your browsers actually do.
Not just elaborate but very elaborate Kev, too elaborate for me even maybe , just like Steve and his blame games. I’m learning Kev, and I don’t want to make out you’re both cornered even if you are , but maybe you could tell us just how elaborate ?
kevin smith said:
Activist Starts a Campaign To Buy and Publish Browsing Histories of Politicians Who Passed Anti-Privacy Law (searchinternethistory.com) 184
Posted by msmash on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @01:20PM from the poetic-justice dept.
On Tuesday, Congress sent proposed legislation to President Trump that wipes away landmark online privacy protections. In a party-line vote, House Republicans freed Internet service providers such as AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast of protections approved just last year that had sought to limit what companies could do with information such as customer browsing habits, app usage history, location data and Social Security numbers. Now call it a poetic justice, online privacy activist Adam McElhaney has launched an initiative called Search Internet History, with an objective of raising funds to buy browsing history of each politician and official who voted in favor of S.J.Res 34. On the site, he has also put up a poll asking people whose internet history they would like to see first.
Update: The campaign, which was seeking $10,000, has already raised over $55,000.
Ed Bear said:
America’s first national motto(1782): E pluribus unum (Out of many, one.)
America’s second national motto(1956): In God we trust.
America’s third national motto(2017): The best government money can buy.
Tony Bennett said:
A vote is a terrible thing to waste
(unless packed with special interest)
“Live Free or Die” ~ Patrick Henry (?)
“Lobby Fee and Buy”
“One if by land, Two if by sea” ~ Paul Revere
“One if by entrepreneur, Two if by bureaucrat”
Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
John Smith said:
You gotta be kidding me. The American public are a bunch of sissy candy asses who are afraid of their own shadows. They are wusses who make me puke. They would trade away ALL of their liberties if Trump could guarantee there is no boogy man hiding under their beds.
Dr J said:
Too true unfortunately.
This has been a long process. Do we think that when we use the telephone lines we are afforded privacy? Do we think that when we pay for protection that we have done anything beyond going from insecure to broke and insecure? We pay for protection and the first thing our protectors tell us is to SURRENDER. The only thing difficult here is the willingness to sacrifice convenience for liberty. We are NOT free, because we really don’t want to be. We LIKE being coddled and protected….and we LIKE bitching about it.
“Yesterday, the Republican House passed a bill that allows internet providers from selling nearly everything you do to the highest bidder.”
Jon Sellers said:
Thanks for posting about this issue. This is just one problem. These monopolies will be watching everything you do, deciding what content you can reasonably look at by selling access to adequate bandwidth to websites, and, I’m sure, other uglies that they will be dreaming up.
And I’m certain that every one of these cretins in Congress will be voted back into office by their gerrymandered voters. This country is increasingly a $hithole due to these ignorant voters. My wife is actually discussing moving to a different country.
John Smith said:
Your wife is right. On the scale of freedom and liberty the US is declining. Freedom House gives the US a score of 89 while Canada (99), Chile (94) and Uruguay (98) are all higher. Several island nations in the Caribbean are also higher.
Like to know how they calculated freedom… Speech freedom is getting stamped out in Canada. They got a 99? How?
The same way Hong Kong always scores super-highly in assessments of “free places.” If you hyper focus on just the areas the left (in the case of Canada) or right (in the case of Hong Kong) care about, you can make things look ducky. You get your social services in Canada and your laissez-faire in Hong Kong… just don’t mention the police coming for you when you say something the Crown or Communist Party, respectively, don’t like.
Wait! If my Google search lead my right:
“So what has changed for Internet users? In one sense, nothing changed this week, because the requirement to obtain customer consent before sharing or selling data is not scheduled to take effect until at least December 4, 2017. ISPs didn’t have to follow the rules yesterday or the day before, and they won’t ever have to follow them if the rules are eliminated.”
The privacy rule never existed. As with ACA, it was designed to blow up in the next administration’s face.
Oooh. I suggest folks hold opinions before due diligence. The issue spirals into legal jurisdictional complexity quickly.
Research spirals toward trite – nothing about the Internet is, or ever has been, private.
Per Desteen said:
Yeah, December 2016 was so long ago!
As kevin points out your ISP’s are probably doing this right now, and you had no idea.
Further, this gives everyone fair warning. Time to get that VPN I’ve been thinking about.
It’ll also keep those who are not ZFG even more impetus to avoid the “Internet of Things”, ditch FalseBook, Twatter, Googly, and their SmurtPhone of choice.
That last item is far worse than any ISP for data collection, because it also tracks your physical location at every moment.
Perhaps people will faux outrage less, and turn their ire where it is more deserved?
Nah. People will fall for propaganda every time.
This could be a very good thing as VPN and TOR usage will become more popular thereby reducing governments ability to spy on citizens.
What are we complaining about our Uncle Sam for?
We passed the NDAA of 2012 without any complaints, now were worried about privacy?
LMAO, I remember at the time, trying to convince my conservative friends that “don’t ask, don’t tell” was a good idea. It could be the foundation for all kinds of privacy concerns that I was convinced were coming down the pipe.
Today, they don’t ask and they don’t tell you who your personal digital footprint is being given to.
Were’d you get the “we” part? See my post on the content of the 2014 Princeton University study below. “Study Proves the US is an Oligarchy” – the headline you saw in the press reports about it at the time, mostly in the foreign press because they are not owned by that particular oligarchy. It has been for quite some time with cash in brown paper bags having been long ago replaced with “free speech” via the legal bribes called “campaign donations” required to run ridiculously long (by design) campaigns.
TOR has been successfully infiltrated by the NSA years ago, Block cahin technology is supposed to be the way to go. Documents can be read but not located in the blockchain.
The infrastructure owners collectively have close to a trillion dollars invested in their infrastructure that brings the Internet to its actual users. Yet firms like Google, etc., don’t pay their fair share, and manage to enjoy an enormous discount on the cost of capital in the marketplace. Reward needs to come back to being invested in infrastructure, otherwise, there will be no investment in infrastructure. Net neutrality needed to be abolished so that the infrastructure owners can regain the pricing power they desperately need to fund infrastructure modernization.
John Smith said:
How about they charge us a fair price and keep their noses out of our business? Maybe a company could guarantee that they don’t sell or spy on their customers and people would be willing to pay a premium for this service?
That word that causes so much trouble when government is used to “legislate” it.
Fair is whatever you are willing to pay and they are willing to sell. Government involvement ensures that neither buyer nor seller experiences anything close to fair.
I live in the suburbs outside Washington DC and have many, many times commented on the extraordinarily high cost of living here which I have attributed to the fact that this is where the wealth of a plundered nation goes to die.
Yup, five of the six wealthiest counties in the US abut the sinkhole.
Screw em,’ I’m setting two chicks and one cup to play on loop in my browser!
After seeing it mentioned so many times, I finally looked up what that video is about and I can say without a doubt that I will not be watching it. Instead, I’ll stick with the great YouTube video “George Carlin – Why I Don’t Vote” on the “Peter S” channel.
My suggestion for a motto: “Maintaining the Facade of Voter Control for 228 Years”
From the 2014 Princeton University study:
Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens
A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues.
Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.
In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule—at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.
…the preferences of economic elites (as measured by our proxy, the preferences of “affluent” citizens) have far more independent impact upon policy change than the preferences of average citizens do. To be sure, this does not mean that ordinary citizens always lose out; they fairly often get the policies they favor, but only because those policies happen also to be preferred by the economically-elite citizens who wield the actual influence.
Better: “Maintaining the Facade of Voter Control Since 1789”
There were many loyalists still living in the colonies in 1789. They sneered at your so called voting and were even less keen to pay anything to support that Washington fella’s army of volunteers.
“You did say they were volunteers, didn’t you?”
Excellent. I would just add: “And spreading it all around the globe”.
How do businesses rule without CUSTOMERS?
Why do we constantly pretend that our every purchase is NOT our true vote, that every consumer choice we make is what empowers our “rulers”? We can buy Samsung Smartphones and that choice has no impact. We can buy foreign goods from US corporations that use their profits to eliminate even more American jobs….but NOPE, it ain’t our fault. And as we all KNOW, everything we consume is an absolute necessity, or so it seems. Our privacy has been stolen….well NO, we SOLD it….well actually we are paying them to do it, but as this latest deal shows us….again, is that they are discounting our “conveniences” to us for the liberty of unfettered access to our most personal data….stuff even WE don’t realize about ourselves, to be used to better serve us…protect us, sell us. Creepy ain’t it.
“How do businesses rule without CUSTOMERS?”
Customers aim for the quality/price/availability that suits them. That is a fair approach for an individual, who does not like to run an unfigurable global trade calculation before purchase, who will not know which company supports what government policy. E.G. you buy ‘US’ but that company is campaigning to send production abroad at the same time. People don’t, or rarely, know.
There is one business that rules where you are obliged to be customer. Taxes (and deficit) are your payment for its existence, its legislation, and its redistribution of consumer choice. You get a very limited direct choice on its actions every four years, diluted amongst several hundred million others into a single decision on who will head that business. You are customer to it because you contribute, you are customer when it pays you, and you are customer when you are under its laws.
Until the customers of a government demand greater accountability, and are willing to actually take back personal responsibility from it, they have not even the inclination to concern themselves beyond how much they can obtain in the present with disregard to future cost. It is self reinforcing, as the loss of independence leads to increased custom with lower priced production, or higher reliance on government allocation.
“People don’t, or rarely, know.”
My point is that most do not WANT to know, are unwilling to even ask because to do so does not only require effort, but it also requires us to choose between what we know is right and what satisfies our immediate desires…..that motivation that is always used to manipulate us. People merrily deposit their savings into any bank that offers free checking or the best interest rate, never worrying about if the bank is solvent or ethical….because we have the FDIC sticker on the door. We don’t want to know.
“My point is that most do not WANT to know, are unwilling to even ask because to do so does not only require effort”
Most people couldn’t point to Iraq on a world map even though they personally own a part of the how many TRILLIONS of dollars of debt caused by that fiasco and the cascade of Middle East fiascoes which followed?
The proles have always been easily manipulated into following pretty much anything their particular oligarchy wants and this will always will be so. Example:
“Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.” – Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials
The problem with too many people who do make the effort to know what’s actually going on is that they think that everyone COULD be like them because they choose to associate with and communicate with other well informed people like themselves and therefore have an unrealistically flattering opinion of their fellow man. Because of that majority of the clueless, willfully clueless or otherwise, those who know what is going on really can’t do anything about anything other than that which is in their immediate sphere of influence.
So, ignorance IS bliss. Many people don’t want to know what’s going on because they realize they can do nothing about it. That is also why many don’t bother to vote. If one desires to be informed because they hate as I do the idea of being manipulated, one can take the George Carlin route of a detached spectator. Why worry about something one can do absolutely nothing about? The ignorant FAR outnumber you and, unfortunately, many of them vote. I chose that George Carlin route.
On the “which corporations to buy from” issue, I’d suggest a simple rule – if it’s a multinational it is certain to have no allegiance whatsoever to the well-being of any particular country or people. Now, try to find something other than perhaps foodstuffs to buy if you boycott multinationals…
Conscience of a Conservative said:
Can’t understand this one. Republicans couldn’t get together to repeal an replace Obama care but they find unanimity in destroying our privacy and allowing internet providers to sell any and all of our privacy data. There must have been some serious campaign money being promised for 2018 because this certainly won’t get the GOP any direct votes when their seats are up.
This first appeared in shorter form in The American Conservative. Only the first four of NINE points are included in the excerpt below. They are the shortest points of the nine.
I don’t agree with everything Fred Reed says, but I agree with this::
Fred On Everything
Scurrilous Commentary by Fred Reed
Plumbing the Depths – How the Gears Turn
March 9, 2008
Common delusions notwithstanding, the United States, I submit, is not a democracy—by which is meant a system in which the will of the people prevails. Rather it is a curious mechanism artfully designed to circumvent the will of the people while appearing to be democratic. Several mechanisms accomplish this.
First, we have two identical parties which, when elected, do very much the same things. Thus the election determines not policy but only the division of spoils. Nothing really changes. The Democrats will never seriously reduce military spending, nor the Republicans, entitlements.
Second, the two parties determine on which questions we are allowed to vote. They simply refuse to engage the questions that matter most to many people. If you are against affirmative action, for whom do you vote? If you regard the schools as abominations? If you want to end the president’s hobbyist wars?
Third, there is the effect of large jurisdictions. Suppose that you lived in a very small (and independent) school district and didn’t like the curriculum. You could buttonhole the head of the school board, whom you would probably know, and say, “Look, Jack, I really think….” He would listen.
But suppose that you live in a suburban jurisdiction of 300,000. You as an individual mean nothing. To affect policy, you would have to form an organization, canvass for votes, solicit contributions, and place ads in newspapers. This is a full time job, prohibitively burdensome.
The larger the jurisdiction, the harder it is to exert influence. Much policy today is set at the state level. Now you need a statewide campaign to change the curriculum. Practically speaking, it isn’t practical.
Fourth are impenetrable bureaucracies. A lot of policy is set by making regulations at some department or other, often federal. How do you call the Department of Education to protest a rule which is in fact a policy? The Department has thousands of telephones, few of them listed, all of which will brush you off. There is nothing the public can do to influence these goiterous, armored, unaccountable centers of power.
Yes, you can write your senator, and get a letter written by computer, “I thank you for your valuable insights, and assure you that I am doing all….”
We are all Volunteers here on this site and others like it. We live as a minority among the 90% majority who are Loyalists (asleep) just like in 1776. America has been captured by Corporateocracy (AT&T, Verizon,etc.) and in collusion with the CIA and NSA and others provides our Corporate Masters with everything They want to know about us. Goebbels would have jumped for joy for such a sinister web of Control over the people.
I venture the Select Senate Intelligence Committee are selected for culpable felonies and are subject to extortion by NSA, CIA, FBI.
You dirty dog! I like how you think, but I can’t say that I’ve gone that far down the rabbit hole in analysis of all this.
OTOH, somebody killed Seth Rich just before he was able to testify before Congress. It is, after all, the SELECT Senate Intelligence Committee. They’ve been selected alright, it was based on what leverage can be exerted against them.
Bill Clinton could “talk about the grandkids” anywhere with former AG Loretta Lynch, why then was it necessary to first halt on the tarmac, and then board her plane at Los Angeles International Airport? Simple. To show that he could do so! Give Loretta something to think about on that long flight back to Washington.
The felony of choice is pedophilia.
“To Rob and Plunder” on the surface seems to be a great motto for the U.S. Congress, however it also applies to State and local governments as well and their Executive branches.
When local or state police forces are given “quotas” they also have earned the motto, “To Rob and Plunder”.
The total take across the United States now exceeds the total take by ‘traditional’ criminals.
Politicians are thus a true CRIMINAL CLASS.
When you vote to reelect any of these, you become an accessory after the fact and thus are also a CRIMINAL.
We are ALL dependent upon our conspiracy of corruption. The financial system is contrived and any effort to unwind this corruption will bring the entire thing down on our heads. While there is plenty of ignorance out there, I contend that most people KNOW the truth. They may not know the specifics like some of us who follow this madness, but they KNOW in their gut….which is WHY they become so annoyed and sometimes ANGRY when its details are pointed out. Cognitive dissonance and deliberate delusion are the only things holding this pile of crap together.
So seems the true test will be whether Trump signs the bill. Will Trump even understand what the bill is about or will he just fall for the likely explanation of “here is a win for you”?
If he does sign, then this will be just another example of how he is being played by the professional politicians. Does he have the balls to veto this bill?
Jon Sellers said:
After getting his a$$ handed to him on immigration and Obamacare, vetoing this would put him back in the drivers seat. This will show whether he is really the guy people voted for or just another stooge. I’m betting stooge, but he still has a chance.
Stuki Moi said:
The ISPs could track you to their hearts content before as well. Nothing new here.
Only difference this makes, is that regular Joes can now buy your browser history by bidding for it. Previously, getting your browser history required one to be a connected Joe. Who could get his former-lawschool-buddy-now-Judge to bypass all and any protections you may have been duped into believing you had.
If people want privacy, they need to go about obtaining privacy by availing themselves of the means for doing so. Use Tor (or other mixers) for browsing. That makes it much tougher for your ISP to gather much info about you. Much more so if “everyone” started using Tor. Also, if “everyone” starts using Tor, it will be costlier for businesses and other services to discriminate against those doing so.
Transact in whatever is the most anonymous manner available. From barter to cash to Hawala to Bitcoin to more anonymous digital currencies. The less traceable the better.
The only thing more naive and idiotic than believing politicians, out of all possible subhuman scum, are somehow concerned about your privacy (or your anything at all, aside from taking your money and raping your daughter), is believing lawyers and judges are. They’re not. If they can spy on you and use what they glean against you and for the benefit of themselves, those who fund them, and their social circle, they will. Every single one of them, every single instant, of every single day. From the Big Bang until whatever the end is.
So again, make it hard for them. Build enough momentum behind hard to break protocols, so that spying on you becomes costlier than what the gains are worth. You’ll never be 100% protected. If the entirety of the US Defense budget is dedicated to figuring out which websites you visit in a week, you’re probably out of luck no matter what you do. But simple steps, if used by many, creates a thick forrest if obfuscation that is a pain to get through, for anyone wanting to conduct the kind of broad spectrum surveillance that people are most concerned about. A million Tor endpoints spread around the world, carrying a meaningful share of internet traffic, is almost impossible to analyze even for the NSA with all their supercomputers and backbone probes. And certainly way too costly and complicated, for some advertiser hoping to get you to buy a cup of Coffee.
But, please, for whatever little of value may still be left in this dump, don’t trust politicians, judges, lawyers nor anyone else you can’t personally and specifically vouch for. They are on their side. Not yours.
Jon Sellers said:
Sad that America has to get crappier every year.
Oh stop the bullshit, there is no free lunch. Either we pay for our connections directly or we pay through advertising, marketing, and merchandising. What is wrong with you people? In the beginning the internet was free because it was heavily subsidized by government research grants. I was there at the beginning and let me tell you, we were paying for access to the internet, which consisted mostly of bulletin boards and such as hosted by IP providers over telephone lines and now you are screaming the end of the world because your idea of free is without any cost to you? The internet was never free. As long as Netflix can get a free ride you will get cheap video. But once Netflix has to pay its way for the infrastructure then cheap movies are a thing of the past. Good God Mish, grow up.
Stuki Moi said:
Get rid of all and any ban subsidizing entrenched IPSs by by banning whomever, wherever, whenever from running a transmitter/receiver and/or stringing, burying or laying cable anywhere they darned well please, and internet access pretty much will be free. And properly so in more ways than monetary too, as the resulting patchwork will be infinitely harder for any government to fully monitor.
As it is with virtually everything else, high prices are almost entirely due to those few benefiting from them, using government to enforce barriers to entry blocking out everyone else.
Same story with healthcare, housing, “education,” savings/investment and virtually all else. All “problems” that have been “solved” for long enough that efficiencies implementing the solutions, render them largely inherently dirt cheap. With the vast majority of the price you pay, stemming from nothing more than crass, government assisted theft.
Funny thing about how various industries start. Bell invents the telephone (not the only one but he who patents first gets the credit) that uses a couple of wires to connect to a second telephone. Actually it was a speaked attached to a microphone but who cares. Did people suddenly want a telephone system? No, it had to be developed and sold to the business public and then to the general public. It was the rich man’s toy first. String a pair of wires (electric utility had not come into play yet) and the rich could talk to the other rich. Problem was that one would need several telephones because they were all connected separately, all point to point. Not terribly efficient and the cities and towns started making rules about the mess that wires strung nilly-willy were making. Then some one got the idea that what was needed was a central connection point and switchboards started to emerge, all run by male operators since women weren’t smart enough to do the job. Well, the next thing you know is that there are switchboards springing up everywhere and somewhere along the line Western Union wanted in on the take. The rich had their stock tickers wired to both their offices and residences, why not add a telephone so the boss could issue orders to the little people. Of course that made an even bigger mess in the cities where telegraph poles abounded with teletype lines and telephone lines and what not. Time to divvy up the monopolies. Telegraph kept its territories and right of ways and the phone companies kept theirs. It was all about infrastructure, the “network”.
Fast forward to the beginning of the internet. Worked on telephone lines using modems. One could watch paint dry faster than the sending of bata at 300 baud. And there were slower machines, by the way. If you ask the average adult how the internet actually works, they couldn’t tell you. somehow it magically appears because everything is now “wireless”. And yet, without the physical network the internet would cease to exist. It takes capital to implement everything from the basic fiber runs to the software. All most people see is that black box that gives us the ease of the internet. It also gives us the ease of entertainment of CATV and even Dish (satellite uses fiber to run programming from the studios to the dish transmitters).
The thing is, all communications except person to person in person, uses some sort of monopoly. Go sit and talk with a friend or family member and one does not need anything electronic, no monopoly medium, or anything else. One can go to the park and stand of a box to orate and draw a crowd, no monopoly used. Write a letter and one has to either deliver by hand or employ a monopoly to deliver it. Do you detect a pattern? Whenever there is some sort of monopoly involved government is compelled to step in and regulate it, usually badly. The “Loss of Freedom and Privacy” does not emanate from government interference or regulation. If one does not connect to the internet then one cannot lose either freedom or privacy per se. The use of the internet is a matter of convenience rather than absolute necessity. For all the information and other resources it provides it more than doubles the amount of trash, crap, and shit that one can find and often has to wads through in its use. The internet was never about using it efficiently nor providing connections cheaply. The same may be said about cellular telephony. I pay $20 a month plus taxes and fees for my land line. How many individuals spend a hundred or more a month for cellular telephone service?
Moral of the story is that it was a dumb idea for Mish to write about.
Both points of view are good to read.
I will posit that for certain essential themes the web is becoming about the only feasible route, and increasingly more so. Picture what would happen if you shut down the web and you only start to get an idea.
Privacy is an ethical question, you have to resolve that before applying it to the web.
Network ownership, content censorship etc…. well I don’t think ISPs should be messing with choice of access – they run the infrastructure well then charge for its use, but don’t balance off access for schemes. People want discounts/guaranteed speeds for filtered info or filtered site access then run them as discount to bill when using a promoted gateway, but don’t throttle other users in the process just to satisfy loyalty, and that means charging for and maintaining infrastructure so that service to all is adequate – you cannot penalise those that don’t subscribe to networks sponsors when they are paying for data volume, as you would be using denial of access to force an agenda, sets a precedent of coercion over users instead of simply a cost reward for those that are happy for sponsors to pay for them to have content pushed their way.
There is no ethical question about privacy on the internet since there can never be any expectation of privacy on the internet. You are looking at a sloppy drunk and incompetent secret keeper when it comes to the internet. Unlike the telephone system, there is no separate signal signaling system like the SS7 and it’s counterpart in Europe. The transmission medium is open to invasion and subversion and spoofing and a host of other common problems that will never allow any sense of privacy. Hence, it is rather stupid to complain about ethical values on an amoral network.
Now is there a problem about who pays for what? Well, that depends on how one looks at the network, the content, and all the deliver mechanisms. I personally don’t like advertisements constantly competing for my attention, so I use an add blocker. That means a good many sites will not allow me to access their content. i have no problem with that. Forbes’s and the NYT both suck big time and i really have no interest in reading their propaganda. Should the rest of the world decide that they don’t want me accessing their sites because I block their ads, then so be it. That is what economic freedom means. I like to shop early in the morning, say about 9am in the grocery store because that is when I can find a selection of meat that has been marked down. That is part of doing business in that industry. One tries to anticipate how much consumers will purchase at a given price and if one is wrong then one may have to sell a perishable good at a discount price. Works for me. So when it comes to the internet, let the market decide what is produced for whom and at what price. that is the real argument that no one is talking about. And if people want to by crap, that is their business.
Stuki Moi said:
Onion routed and encrypted everything can give you back lots of privacy. Theoretically more than with any previous communication medium. In combination with truly anonymous currencies, it even has a shot at becoming the final solution to the government problem.
Thing is, it’s costly. Mainly in effort and cumbersomeness. But then, as the saying goes, freedom is never free.
“Will Trump sign such legislation after bitching and moaning that Democrats were watching him?”
Trump may have given the green light on this but, if it’s not too late, everyone should tweet realDonaldTrump to please veto the bill known as “Senate Joint Resolution 34 (H. Res. 230)”
What is the big deal. If you want to use their service then they can use whatever information you give. You want privacy, don’t use their services. You cannot have your cake and eat it too.
Stuki Moi said:
As long as you do not have full and unconstrained freedom to do whatever it takes to route around them, the whole notion of “their” loses all meaning. And you don’t, in by far most of the contemporary TSA. If you did, you’d just run a transmitter/receiver, or lay some cable connecting you to other providers, and competition would solve any problem, the way freedom always does.
But then the various goon gangs get involved, as always. To pjotect the vaijue of their donors’ “inveestmeent.
Same story with drugs. If you’re sick and need a drug, as long as you can get it from anywhere you feel like, or build it yourself, the whole “if you want to use their services” mantra holds. But not otherwise. Ditto if you need a doctor, a gun, a place to live in San Francisco etc.
When every other means of obtaining a service than gong through a state sanctioned and captive monopoly is banned, chanting “if you want their service,” amounts to nothing than flaunting ones level of indoctrination.
– It applies to the corporate sector as well.
– Since say the mid 1970s there’s no scarcity anymore on the supply side of the economy. And then the corporate sector has to resort to more “creative” ways to increase revenues and profits. And then Congress is willing to give in to the demands of the corporate sector, especially when the corporations are willing to reward the members of Congress.
I would sure like to know what kind of idiot wants to buy my browsing history. Mish, work, Netflix, Amazon, email, baseball, porn… that’s about it.
This shit will eventually wither away due to lack of value. The ISP’s will want to store this stuff thinking there’s a goldmine and then realize they’ve wasted millions of dollars on hard drives full of history that has no value. And the police will expect to get it for free anyway.
Dylan Ratigan got it totally correct six years ago in his epic MSNBC rant. He now tends hydroponics in his bare feet… yes, really:
Thanks for that video post. I’m going to pass it on in hopes that people I know will do the same. Blame across the board and we really need one brave fellow to crush and recycle that damned can instead of kicking it around.
“Our REAL constituency is not a part of our electorate.” Makes sense because is is easy to weight legislative support to correlate with financial contributions where voters are each worth the same amount.
Bill Kilgore said:
Mr. Mash Shedlock,
Please don’t be mad at the politicians for just doing their jobs.
After all, it’s the jobs of the politicians to steal as much of your money and privacy as possible and to run up as much debt as possible in order to increase their power and enrich themselves and their cronies.
This is the very nature of politics and government. It’s a mishmash of corruption.
Inserere, Corruptio, Praedas!
Mish, Off topic
Have you seen Whispering Iceland?
Here it is;