It’s the End of the Internet, or Something

The Federal Communications Commission Fascist Communications Club (FCC) announced its plan to revoke Title II status from Internet Service Providers (ISP) and to preempt state laws that would enforce net neutrality:

In addition to ditching its own net neutrality rules, the Federal Communications Commission also plans to tell state and local governments that they cannot impose local laws regulating broadband service.


It isn’t clear yet exactly how extensive the preemption will be. Preemption would clearly prevent states from imposing net neutrality laws similar to the ones being repealed by the FCC, but it could also prevent state laws related to the privacy of Internet users or other consumer protections. Pai’s staff said that states and other localities do not have jurisdiction over broadband because it is an interstate service and that it would subvert federal policy for states and localities to impose their own rules.

Predictably a large percentage of the Internet is in full on panic mode. Supposedly this is the end of the Internet and the only way to stop it is to call the FCC and your congress critters to demand that they, for the first time ever, listen to the will of “the people” (quotations used because “the people” doesn’t exist and therefore cannot be listened to).

Let’s take a step back, calm the fuck down, and actually think about this situation. First and foremost, the Internet was thriving before ISPs were granted Title II status. There’s no reason to think that everything is going to turn to shit if that status is revoked. So take a deep breath and relax.

Now let’s consider the situation as a whole. Everybody panicking about this seems to be recommending the same thing, contact the FCC and your congress critters and demand that they stop this. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Neither the FCC or your congress critters give a shit about what you think. You’re a pleb. You can’t afford to buy these people. “Oh,” I can hear one of you saying, “I’ll threaten to vote them out of office during the next election!” Here’s the thing with threats, they only work if the person your threatening can be convinced that you have the power to follow through. Your vote doesn’t matter and your congress critters know that. Moreover, the head of the FCC is appointed, you don’t get to vote for them. And by the time the next election rolls around the damage will have been done anyways.

The real problem isn’t that the FCC is planning to take away Title II status and preempt state laws enforcing net neutrality, it’s that the FCC has power. Why should a single agency have the power to regulate the entire United States Internet? Why should the word of a single man decide whether net neutrality is mandatory or illegal? Take away the FCC’s power and suddenly it can’t decide what rules the entire damned country has to play by. If you want to do something, work to take away the FCC’s power. Whether you want to waste your time with a political solution or a real solution like replicating the work of the people who built the mesh network in Catalonia is up to you. But nobody has ever won a war by fighting the same battle over and over again. This battle between “the people” and the FCC has already been waged several times and will continue to be waged forever if a change in strategy isn’t made.

One thought on “It’s the End of the Internet, or Something”

  1. No, what has them hyperventilating is that they may have to lay off a few bureaucrats who will be no longer needed.

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