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Democrat Win May Be Good News For Internet Policy 115

Null Nihils writes "Following the pivotal U.S. Midterm elections, things look hopeful for a free and open Internet, but the likelihood of progress in terms of copyright and privacy legislation is still uncertain. At any rate, it isn't hard to see a shift in U.S. information technology policy coming over the horizon. Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), strong supporters for Net Neutrality, will most likely take command of Internet policy, but Democrat commitments regarding privacy, data retention, and digital copyright have yet to be made certain. A C|Net article discusses the likely shift in priorities at Capitol Hill. 'If (Democrat Rick) Boucher gets the nod as chairman, a broadcast flag becomes far less likely and changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anti-circumvention sections become politically feasible ... If Rep. Howard Berman, however, gets the job, the recording industry and motion picture industry will have a staunch ally as subcommittee chairman.'"
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Democrat Win May Be Good News For Internet Policy

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  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @03:51PM (#16788625) Homepage Journal
    The Democrats pander to big business just as often (if not more often) than the Republicans do. They're just more able to offer it as some sort of "equality" of certain selected racial or income classes. Don't believe that we'll see anything better come from them that we did the Republicans -- remember, many Democrats voted for Republican pork so that the Republicans would vote for Democratic pork. Nothing will change.

    The Internet is best left alone -- and deregulate communications as much as possible to allow for more competition. That will help everyone with lower prices, more competitive levels of service based on what the customer needs (rather than a one-size-fits-all solution), and better service levels due to the reduced cost of meeting regulations and restrictions.

    We have just as much to be worried about with the Democrats in power as the Republicans. The Democrats are no friend to the free market, which means we'll see more restrictions on speech (ie, copyright and patent extensions), more restrictions on actions (ie, paying wages equal to the production of the worker) and more restrictions on competition with offshore companies (ie, forced benefits, federalizing of programs that should stay local, and probably higher barriers to entry against entrenched corporations).

    The Democrats and the Republicans are two sides of the same face of the coin -- the left side and the right side of authoritarianism or Statism. The opposite side is freedom, something no political party (not even the Greens nor the Libertarians) are about.

    If you want freedom, start voting for none of the above [unanimocracy.com] like I do.
    • freedom, something no political party (not even the Greens nor the Libertarians) are about

      Care to explain how Libertarians aren't about freedom? I'm really curious. I mean, the only elected official I know of is Ron Paul (life member of the Libertarian party), and he consistently writes about freedom, and has voted a lot in favor of freedom (which includes freedom of spammers -- witness his vote against the CAN-SPAM Act).
      • Libertarians are about the moral value of Independence, which is not the same exact thing as freedom. Independence from other's control, independence in thought, indepencence in finances, independences from coercion. Independence can be and is a huge component of freedom, but is not the only thing which freedom consists of. If Libertarians would all understand this distinction consciously, they could turn it into a very persuasive political message. But good luck with that. Herding Libertarians is hard beca
        • Please tell me what subset of "freedom" is not encompassed by "independence," as I'm a libertarian-leaning person, and would like to know what could be done to my philosophy to make it more popular.
          • Simple answer: Freedom is inherent. Independence is won. There's a lot of shades of meaning in there, but articulatig that moral value clearly would give Libertarians a huge rhetorical boost.

            I'm not a Libertarian, but I generally like Libertarians. I think about politics in the meta sense mostly, so I find it interesting to theorize about beliefs other than my own liberalism.

            I'm writing a series of articles, released irregularly, in my journal. Friend me and you'll eventually see the next one I have planned
    • by Maximilio ( 969075 ) on Friday November 10, 2006 @11:23AM (#16794626) Homepage Journal
      The Democrats and the Republicans are two sides of the same face of the coin -- the left side and the right side of authoritarianism or Statism. The opposite side is freedom, something no political party (not even the Greens nor the Libertarians) are about.
      Forgive me: where the hell have you been for the last six years? In a spider hole? I can definitely tell the difference between having Democrats and Republicans in charge.

      Also, please note that many of the new Democrats elected are not from the mold of Joe Lieberman (though we unfortunately failed to replace his ass) but rather were endorsed (and WON on the basis of that endorsement) -- from the netroots. Micro-donations from actual citizens. So their campaign contributors are all a bunch of ordinary folk, and they're not going to be allowed to forget that.

      So, -1 for ignorance, and -2 for intentional ignorance. Try again!

    • We have seen this argument forever--usually when things start to improve. Believe that I am sympathetic to the notion that these Democrats are far from perfect. But I refuse to accept this static interpretation above.

      The "nothing will change" message is not impartial as it may seem. It blurs things. It is an attempt to spread our rightful contempt for the current administration to any moderate improvements that could be made.

      I consider this to be partisan disinformation of the "Apple is just as bad as Micro
  • by WilliamSChips ( 793741 ) <full.infinity@gmail . c om> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @03:53PM (#16788631) Journal
    That's good news in general.
  • So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse ( 789240 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @03:54PM (#16788643) Journal
    While I may adore the internet I've got to say it's rather small potatoes on the grand scale of things. I think we need to worry more about terrorist attacks after we pull out of Iraq than we need to worry your mum might find out Sexyslut99372 is your sister on Myspace.

    Side note : I'm not saying ZOMG TERRORISM! I'm saying we're dived into a can of worms and with the current "run away" or "stay forever" political sides in the current war this is dangerous in the big picture.
  • by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @03:55PM (#16788651) Homepage
    At any rate, it isn't hard to see a shift in U.S. information technology policy coming over the horizon.

    Coming from the party that invented the internet, this is great news. I bet that when their staff sends them an internet, they get it right away, instead of being all tangled up in the tubes.
  • by Scoria ( 264473 ) <(gro.dezilaitini) (ta) (liamhsals)> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @03:55PM (#16788653) Homepage
    I'm all for change, but let's not overlook the fact that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, a Democrat.
  • Leave it alone (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <akaimbatman@gm3.14ail.com minus pi> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @03:57PM (#16788673) Homepage Journal
    For once, I agree with dada21. Leave the internet alone. All this Net Neutrality flap is doing is ensuring that we'll be screwed one way or another. i.e. Senator Stevens will tell you that he's pro-Net Neutrality when his bill is actually anti-Net Neutrality. On the other hand, if you pass a law, you may make it impossible for ISPs to properly support time-sensitive services like VoIP. (VoIP being the use that Internet Tiering was originally designed for.)

    The FCC is already regulating the situation, and will slap down any provider who improperly abuses their tiering abilities. So leave it the heck alone. Anytime Congress gets involved, we merely end up with the opposite of progress.
    • The public has a right to expect public oversight of the Internet, because the public paid for it. The Internet was devloped with taxpayer dollars, and fiber is run across public land, and even private land with the use of eminent domain. So when big business plans to turn the Internet into a money minting machine for their own benefit at the expense of the public's, the government needs to step in and put a stop to it.

      The problem with Libertarianism's deregulation-for-the-sake-of-deregulation is that nat
      • If you were paying attention, I already mentioned that the FCC is regulating the matter. My point is not one of complete deregulation, but one of oversight already being in place. The reason why the ISPs are attempting to twist the anti-Net Neutrality as if it were Net Neutrality (See? Consumer Bill of Rights!) is because they want to get rid of the FCC oversight. They can only do that if a new law gets passed.

        On the other hand, if an actual Net Neutrality law gets passed, it will either kill time-sensitive
        • If you were paying attention, I already mentioned that the FCC is regulating the matter.

          And if you were paying attention instead of looking for a chance to get snippy, you'll know that leaving it in the hands of the overly corporate friendly FCC is a bad idea. Deregulation? Broadcast flag? Continuing to call a 256 Kbps connection "high speed" when people in foreign countries have 100 Mpbs to their homes? Reclassifying broadband from "telecommunications service" to "information service" to shut out small
  • by PenguinRadio ( 69089 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @03:58PM (#16788683) Homepage
    Look here:

    http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?typ e=industryNews&storyID=2006-11-09T091511Z_01_N0945 8311_RTRIDST_0_INDUSTRY-DEMOCRATS-DC.XML [reuters.com]

    "I'm trying to contain my joy," MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman told The Hollywood Reporter.

    Look at the fact--Rep. John Conyers take over Judiciary. You can say 'Boucher is great, or Berman is bad' but they are minor players compared to Conyers and the power of the chairmanship (Conyers was the author of the 'analog hole' bill along with a host of other bidding on behalf of the RIAA).

    Stop drinking the Kool-aid. This was no better a result than the previous crowd staying in control...

    • by Random BedHead Ed ( 602081 ) on Friday November 10, 2006 @12:01PM (#16795138) Homepage Journal
      Stop drinking the Kool-aid. This was no better a result than the previous crowd staying in control...

      Far from true. You rightly point out that the Democrats present us with new challenges, especially those of us who believe in copyright reform (in some respects they may be worse for that issue). But I'm not a one-issue voter. So here are some others:

      • In times like these foreign policy is far more significant an issue than copyright, and the Repubs made a mess of foreign policy.
      • Ditto with fiscal policy. We went from 90s 'tax-and-spend' to an entirely new idea: 'spend-and-spend'.
      • Think you have privacy rights? The right to an attorney? The right to be charged with a crime if you're detained? Basic constitutional rights have been ignored by the executive branch and then (just a couple weeks ago) rolled back by the legislature. Have you read about the US citizen who was tortured [lewrockwell.com] yet?
      • Congressional oversight died at some point in 2001. There has been virtually no oversight over the executive branch by the legislature since Clinton left office. During his terms, Congress logged 140 hours testimony into whether he used the White House Christmas card list to help with fundraising. Compare this to 12 hours of testimony into the Abu Ghraib scandal that helped fuel the Iraqi insurgency. Congress issued 1052 subpoenas for testimony during the Clinton years. It has issued 0 to the Bush White House.

      The last item on the list is probably the most important. If I could choose between the president doing whatever he'd like without oversight and having a broadcast flag on my TV signal, I'll take the broadcast flag and feel lucky for it.

  • STOP IT!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eno2001 ( 527078 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @03:59PM (#16788691) Homepage Journal
    Stop trying to tie politics into every goddamned thing in the world!!! Face it, ALL politicians are knobs. I dno't care if you look at any political party, when it comes to technology, the positive or negative impact on it that a politician can have is far more tied into that individual's understanding of technology. It has nothing to do with Republicans being more "tech savvy" or Democrats being Mac users or the like... It has everything to do with whether or not the politician thinks the internet is a series of tubes, or whether he believes that filtering the internet is unreliable because of what it cuts access to. Stop trying to make this a political issue. It isn't. These knobs will vote for whatever they think will get them more votes around election time and more money between elections. Jesus you people are fucking thick!!!!
  • by Dr. Eggman ( 932300 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:00PM (#16788707)
    As the democrats have secured both the house and the senate, it'll be interesting to see what happens the the house Net Neutrality bill famously blocked by Senator Ted "Tubes" Stevens. My representative's co-sponsorship of that bill cinched his otherwise shaky (with me) run for senator. Now that he is a senator, I can only hope he can either get it out of committee hell or help reintroduce it in the newly democrat controlled senate.
  • by BunnyClaws ( 753889 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:02PM (#16788715) Homepage
    This is good news we will have gridlock for the next 2 years. The bad news is we may have a Democratic president and congress without checks and balances. Then we are back in the same boat with a different captain.
    • I actually doubt that the deomcrats will get a President into office. Just looking at the people being considered for President next election the Democrats are talking about extreemists, the Republicans are atalking about McCain. Not that I really belive McCain is a good choice for President, he is a more of a centrist than extreemist. The Democrats were talking about Bayh (spelling?) for a while and he would have been a good candidate, he is centrist.

      The extreem left has hijacked the Democrats much like th
      • by dpilot ( 134227 )
        I used to like McCain. But if he's running on "personal integrity" he damaged that when he cozied up to the White House. I'm not talking about GWB, I'm talking about Karl Rove, the man who smeared McCain in Carolina and helped smear Kerry with the Swifties. (I checked up on it afterward - someone did a followup investigation, and the Swifties' allegations were proven false.) The Bob Jones appearance left me with a bad taste of pandering to the far right, too.

        As for extremes, there is no extreme left in the
        • I will agree with you on almost everything, the problem with Clinton is her national image as a coniving politician. She has actually been pretty centrist on most issues buy she has a very bad national image. New York doesn't represent America and her favorible view in New York doesn't translate to national support.

          Most Americans don't really care about if we are right of center compared to the rest of the world. What matters to Americans is American issues and our world policies, not really what the rest o
      • ...most of your "leftists" are actually firmly conservative. Like Clinton, paid any attention to how she has positioned herself since getting elected? McCain is no centrist - he has sterling conservative credentials. He only appears "centrist" to you because the far right wing has dived into the deep end of facism. Torture, no trials, indefinite detentions, warrantless spying...yup, facism.

        If you want an actual "far left" politician, you'll have to go to Cuba to find one.
    • The bad news is we may have a Democratic president and congress without checks and balances. Then we are back in the same boat with a different captain.

      And what did Clinton and the Democratic Congress do from 1992 until Republicans took over in 1994 that was so bad? Did they do anything that was even on the same planet as: Katrina, Iraq, NSA warrentless spying, torture, suspending habeas corpus, indefinite detentions, adding trillions to the debt, etc etc. Frankly, we NEED the Democrats to have both Congr
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Increased government is a badthing for the internet. Small government republicans monkeyed around too much, its only going to get worse now...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dpilot ( 134227 )
      I don't know where you come up with the description, "Small government republicans." It certainly doesn't apply to the past 6 years. They've been small when it comes to regulating business, big when it comes to giving out contracts, small when it comes to monitoring those contracts, and big when it comes to interfering in common peoples' lives. Oh, and "conservative" appears to have nothing to do with fiscal responsiblity or conservation of resources. IMHO, today "conservative" means conserving their wealth
  • by gowen ( 141411 ) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:06PM (#16788737) Homepage Journal
    Sure, signed into law. All that means is that he didn't consider it important enough to veto, as a lame duck President. I was introduced in the House by Howard Coble (R-NC) and passed by a Republican controlled House and a Republican Senate.
    • by Trogre ( 513942 )
      ... but still signed into law by Clinton nonetheless. He had used his power of veto plenty of times before, so why not here? His lack of a veto on this one indicates support for it.

      Or are you saying that Bush shouldn't be held responsible for any of the legislation he's signed into law, since he just doesn't consider any of it important enough to veto?

  • Re: The DMCA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nuzak ( 959558 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:07PM (#16788743) Journal
    Golly I feel like I'm on a phpBB now ...

    The DMCA has a lot of noxious amendments, but it's actually a good law otherwise. Current copyright law just let owners of Intellectual Property (a concept some don't like, but it predates the DMCA) just haul off and sue sue sue everyone in sight as soon as they saw content that was infringing. The DMCA lets content providers at least make a good-faith effort to remove the offending content via the infamous "DMCA takedown" procedure, BUT it lets the accused "infringer" challenge the takedown (a procedure sometimes called a "putback") and demand that the folks demanding the takedown either put up with legal action within 14 days, or shut up, at which time the content goes straight back.

    So yeah they can get a "free" 14-day takedown, but the situation prior to that was to skip straight to legal demands that would put the host of the content in immediate danger, which would more often than not result in permanent removal regardless of the merits.

    Stuff like the "circumvention devices" nonsense needs for sure to be cut out of the DMCA, and the stacking of the legal system against the little guy is sort of outside its scope. But at least the hosts with the deep(er) pockets aren't being targeted first.
  • Laws can trickle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Orange Crush ( 934731 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:09PM (#16788745)
    Why is Slashdot so damn US-centric? Are does anyone else outside the USA really care for the political propaganda crap on Slashdot?

    Because the Internet is pretty US-centric. That's more a matter of audience makeup, which is changing. However, regulation and asshattery by US lawmakers can affect people connecting to and from other countries as well. Not to mention other nations enacting their own laws similar to the way things are being done in the US w/ regards to technology.

  • by sdaemon ( 25357 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:09PM (#16788747)
    As long as the dems don't try to take my Internet tubes away, I'm happy. I'd hate to have to start using that Big Truck again.
  • by vertinox ( 846076 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:09PM (#16788751)
    The Democrats pander to big business just as often (if not more often) than the Republicans do.

    Something will change and that is simply that President Bush will not be able to pass what he wants and neither will congress will get bills past the veto.

    This simply means that less legislation will be passed which in turn means less pork and effectiveness of corporate lobbying.

    Sure they can still lobby but since congress can't get their bills passed, it will be a moot point.

    As they say... The Government that Governs least, governs best!

    Still... Isn't it sad, that the only way to have our government work for the people is to have it not work at all?
    • As they say... The Government that Governs least, governs best!

      Katrina should have retired that old chestnut.
  • re: US-Centric (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garcia ( 6573 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:10PM (#16788753)
    Why is Slashdot so damn US-centric? Are does anyone else outside the USA really care for the political propaganda crap on Slashdot?

    I suppose we'd have to take a peek at the number of Slashdot subscribers and their webserver stats to see why the "editors" choose to be "US-Centric".

    In addition to that, you have to look at the fact that Slashdot itself is based in the US and has American "editors".
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hear all those Repuke wingnuts screaming that they lost because of fraud? Blaming Diebold and those cheating Democrats.
    Demanding endless recounts in the races they lost narrowly. Whining "count all the votes".And now that it is over and they have lost blaming it on the stupid American voters?
    No you don't.Kind of refreshing isn't it?
    This is neither Troll nor Flamebait maybe a little off-topic.
    • They didn't compain about fraud because Democrats don't run Diebold, and they didn't ask for recounts because they didn't think they'd win anyway. If Burns or Allen thought there was a snowball's chance in hell that they could win on a recount, you can bet your ass they would have demanded them. As for whining, keep this fact in mind: if there had been a full statewide recount of the votes in Florida in 2000, Gore would have won the electoral vote as well as the popular vote.

      Now that Republicans are havin
  • When your country of origin comes up with a better way of getting information through all those tubes and puts up the majority of the money to make it happen we will make all /. posts your-country-centric.
  • by Serveert ( 102805 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:15PM (#16788781)
    committee in the senate.

    I think we can all be happy about that.
  • by SydShamino ( 547793 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:18PM (#16788793)
    Re: http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=205785&cid =16788711 [slashdot.org]
    Why is Slashdot so damn US-centric? Are does anyone else outside the USA really care for the political propaganda crap on Slashdot?

    Yeah, just last week I went to slashdot.co.de and complained about how German-central their political coverage was. It was especially true in terms of technology. Even though Germany was the principal founder of the internet, and also still the controlling force for some aspects through its dominance of ICANN, that isn't right. Plus, given Germany's strong global presence, even though they use their political and economic weight to lead or dictate policies across the globe, none of that means they should be talking about politics on a web site based in their country written in their language.

    Certainly not on a website devoted to technology, especially one with a subcategory called "Politics" that can be disabled by any viewer who wishes to not see those type of stories.
    • by foobsr ( 693224 )
      written in their language

      From Wikipedia: "English is a West Germanic language that developed from Old English, the language of the Anglo-Saxons. English, having its major roots in Germanic languages, derives most of its grammar from Old English. As a result of the Norman Conquest, it has been heavily influenced, more than any other Germanic language, by French and Latin. From England it spread to the rest of the British Isles, then to the colonies and territories of the British Empire (outside and inside
  • by bcat24 ( 914105 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:25PM (#16788837) Homepage Journal
    Why is Slashdot so damn US-centric?
    Click and you shall find. [slashdot.org]
  • Now I'm going to have to find the receipt for those millions of masks I bought. I sure hope I can still return them.

    Well, at least I can make a couch [fedexfurniture.com] out of some of the extra FedEx boxes.

  • by rsborg ( 111459 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:33PM (#16788897) Homepage
    Good:
    Montana Sen. Conrad Burns' loss to Democrat Jon Tester comes as a blow to broadcasters. Burns, a former broadcaster, was one of the industry's most reliable supporters on Capitol Hill.
    ... this means ClearChannel/Infinity/etc. have to deal with a) newcomer and netroots-enabled Tester and b) lost a strong supporter

    Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, often sided with the cable industry over broadcasters in the inter-industry fights that shape policy. He also led the fight against media indecency.
    ... less legislation of morality
    It was a power at least one chairman was ready to exert even before he wins back the gavel as Dingell told reporters he didn't plan to be idle. Dingell already was pushing the FCC to make a thorough examination of AT&T's $81 billion merger with BellSouth.
    ...well more good news. Less mergers = less likely we see draconian implementations.

    The Bad: Well, Hollywood is better friends with the Democrats.

    The Ugly? Well, both are pretty beholden to our corporate masters... unless we're willing to get our government to revoke corporate charters (ie, the corp death penalty), we're not going to starting winning that war.

  • that MPAA CEO Glickman was a former Democrat congressman originally thrown out by the Republicans in 1994. Behold the irony of the Republican haters on /. meeting the MPAA-supporting Democratic in new leadership in the House. You can't win, can ya?

    Sometimes a few Reagan quotes seem appropriate:
    * The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'
    * The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away.
    * The government'

    • * The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'
      * The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away.
      * The government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

      After 2003, it became this:
      * The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the company and I'm here to help.'
      * The best min
  • It's also used improperly once in the article.
  • I mean it. Internet policy is NOT a political issue. I don't care if you're a right wing, left wing, center, or looney wing voter, the politician you love only cares about the money they get from the media corporations. If they stand to make a good deal of money by passing legislation that says you aren't allowed to transfer music from the internet to your music player if you don't use Microsoft DRM (on all platforms), they will do it. And you can't do a damn thing about it other than not vote for them
  • I think we need to worry more about terrorist attacks after we pull out of Iraq than we need to worry your mum might find out Sexyslut99372 is your sister on Myspace.

    If that's the case, I think your sister is more likely to die at the hands of your mum...
  • Al Gore invented the internet...

    But really, I think I would agree that Democratic politicians have a better grasp of what the "internets" are.
  • by Optic7 ( 688717 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:50PM (#16789037)
    I consider myself very technologically savvy, have been working in IT for 15 years, 10 of those in networking, and I've honestly never understood why people deride the politician that made the "tubes" analogy so much. Isn't the analogy of tubes or pipes fairly accurate to describe the Internet's physical infrastructure? What's so weird about that? Someone please explain it, I honestly want to know. Thanks in advance.
    • i personally don't quite get it either.

      a slightly better idea would be to describe it as a bunch of tanks (data repositories/servers) and taps (individual connections) connected via tubes.

      still, for a non-technical politician, the "tubes" analogy is not that far off plane.
    • It wasn't so much the "series of tubes" remark that was so off base, but the rest of the speech.

      From Wikipedia's article on the Series of Tubes [wikipedia.org] remark:

      Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got... an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday. Why? [...] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something you just dump some

    • Because Stevens wasn't making an analogy. That's how he actually sees the Internet. Any more questions?
  • Next week at the latest People will be walking on water! Beer will be free! The economy will be the best ever! Gas will cost 10 cents a gallon! A Theory Of Everything will be revealed! Warp drives in you car! Teleportation! The Democrats are in town! The Democrats are in town!
  • I do not want to see a resurgence of clipper chips and key escrow, both Democrat initiatives.

    Democrats are not necessarily your friends.
  • Hollywood is very liberal and the Democrats get an awful lot of their campaign money from that virtual place. Those are the same folks cramming DRM down our throats. So, no, I don't expect the Democrats to be any better than the Republicans on this issue.
  • by Optic7 ( 688717 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @05:10PM (#16789215)
    I won't question your obvious disillusionment (sp?) with politicians and the political process, but I just couldn't let this pass:

    deregulate communications as much as possible to allow for more competition. That will help everyone with lower prices, more competitive levels of service based on what the customer needs (rather than a one-size-fits-all solution)


    What country have you been in for the last 10 years? Maybe you haven't been following what has been happening in the communications and broadcasting industries in the US lately since the loosening of regulations took place? Just to refresh your memory, the result has been the exact opposite of what you describe: there's been rampant consolidation in both industries - the communications industry is down to 2 or 3 major players (AT&T/SBC, Verizon, and maybeSprint), and the broadcast industry is down to a handfull of major players as well (radio for example, is down to 2 companies that own most of the radio stations in the US, Clearchannel and Infinity), with concrete and drastic results against free speech. So how has deregulation in the communications industry helped competition or anything else other than mega-corporations pockets again?
  • I consider myself very technologically savvy, have been working in IT for 15 years, 10 of those in networking, and I've honestly never understood why people deride the politician that made the "tubes" analogy so much. Isn't the analogy of tubes or pipes fairly accurate to describe the Internet's physical infrastructure? What's so weird about that? Someone please explain it, I honestly want to know. Thanks in advance.

    Out of context - the comment seems about as funny as a random line from Monty Python. The speech Senator Stevens gave was a halting, rambling affair that maintained an amazingly consistent level of anger/passion. He made numerous statements that belied a decidedly uninformed perspective on e-mail, e-commerce, and the internet at large.

    The now infamous comment; "it's a series of tubes!" came at the end of a diatribe about how the "internet" that his staff had sent him last Friday was, apparently, clogged up with all the movies being offered by commercial operators. The statement was delivered with such gusto, such conviction that you swear the old fella truly believed they were a bunch of literal tubes.

    Was it a technically sound statement, in and of itself? Perhaps...but it seems clear from the rest of the speech that it was more Clouseau than Sherlock.

    That's comedy.

    • by Optic7 ( 688717 )
      Ah, thank you for the answer and the best description yet of what happened. I looked it up on youtube and found this (audio only though): The Tubes Speech [youtube.com]. You're right about it being a halting/rambling/angry speech, with a bunch of technical inaccuracies.
  • by panaceaa ( 205396 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @05:26PM (#16789289) Homepage Journal
    One needn't look much further than the DMCA [wikipedia.org], which was passed unanimously by the Senate and signed into law by our Democratic president, Bill Clinton, to see that Democrats don't respect the Internet any more than Republicans. What needs to happen is more technological education of politicians, not party changes. With the changing of the majority party we won't have a chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation committee claiming the Internet is a series of tubes [wikipedia.org], but I bet his replacement won't know particularly more.
  • that the RIAA CEO Mitch Bainwol was the chief of staff of Bill Frist (R-TN). Poor Democratic hater... you just can't win, can ya?

    The really sad thing is those Reagan quotes have been more accurate than ever with regards to the Bush Republicans.

    A few PJ O'Rourke quotes seem appropriate:
    * The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.
    * When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.
    * Giving
  • Nothing radical (in either direction) is going to happen during the term of the next Congress. While the Dems have small majorities in both the House and the Senate, the President still wields a "veto" stamp. And the Dem's majority is not enough to override a veto in either the House or the Senate. Presidink Shrub is still a major factor, and one third of the equation, whether we like it or not.

    Overall, the next Congress will be as much a do-nothing Congress as the current one has been. But while they w
  • by sheldon ( 2322 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @05:48PM (#16789439)
    First of all the headline is wrong. It's 'Democratic', not 'Democrat'. Your grammar is worse than mine, and mine is pretty bad.

    But as far as internet policy concerns, it's hard to say what will change. The Democrats are generally better with small business, as the Republicans tend to favor the big donor moneyed set, so we'll see a bit more promotion of competition and open access to the "tubes" and such. Nasdaq tech companies certainly did much better in the 1990s then they have recently.

    But are they going to favor changing copyright law and such? Doubtful. I hope they can roll back patent changes that allowed patenting of business processes and such, we'll see.

    Honestly though, with the fucking mess Bush has created with our foreign policy, I doubt there's going to be much time spent on these types of low-priority domestic issues. It's going to be Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, some Afghanistan, and more Iraq for the next two years until we finally pull out of the Bush Folly.
  • Unless it makes their big business friends more money and keeps them in office. ( though really, that can be said for EITHER party.. its all the same. )
  • I've seen several comments bemoaning the idea that if the Executive and Legislative branches of government are controlled by the same party, we somehow no longer have "checks and balances." Checks and balances have nothing to do with party affiliation, and everything to do with the different branches being able to override the others from time to time. You might argue that when the Exec and Leg branches are controlled by the same party then they don't exercise this power as often, but that's a different iss

  • In response to #16789247 [slashdot.org]:

    Oh right, wise friend of the internet Ed "On Friday I urged the Bush Administration to 'apprehend' and shut down whoever had created a new website that enabled persons without a plane ticket to easily fake a boarding pass" Markey...

    Markey was right. That website produced forged documents, where the express purpose for producing those documents is to evade federal law enforcement (specifically, the TSA). Both the forging and the use of the forged documents are crimes, and the feder
  • In response to Something I've never understood about the "tubes" (#16789037 [slashdot.org])...

    This is why.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=kiZ-TqvVdGM&mode=relate d&search= [youtube.com]
  • ...Same as the old boss.

    "Who" says we won't get fooled again?
  • I thought "net neutrality" was a proposal to restrict free enterprise on the Internet.
  • Net neutrality is all well and good until Hillary and the other nanny-state loving think-of-the-children cultists start passing insane laws to "protect" kids from social networking and videogame sites. Expect COPPA x10 requiring webmasters to need everything short of a DNA sample before letting anyone post anything. Expect data retention laws requiring webmasters log every page view forever. Don't be too surprised to see a law saying webmasters of gaming fansites/blogs/etc.. must get an ESRB rating (especia
  • Someone should explain to me about this internet tiering....how do you give preference to a particular server that uses TCP/IP and avoid an application that says "wrap my data in a privileged packet". How can you avoid this?
  • by nedron ( 5294 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @07:44PM (#16790145) Homepage
    I can't figure out why it's so hard for people to get this straight. I suppose the person who composed the title of the post and the author of the quoted piece may not be American citizens. Just for clarification, there is no "Democrat Party". A Democrat is a member of the Democratic Party.

    [Democratic] Win May Be Good News For Internet Policy
    Posted by Zonk on 2006.11.09 15:50
    from the little-from-column-a-little-from-column-b dept.
    [ The Internet ] [ Politics ] [ Your Rights Online ]
    Null Nihils writes "Following the pivotal U.S. Midterm elections, things look hopeful for a free and open Internet, but the likelihood of progress in terms of copyright and privacy legislation is still uncertain. At any rate, it isn't hard to see a shift in U.S. information technology policy coming over the horizon. Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), strong supporters for Net Neutrality, will most likely take command of Internet policy, but [Democratic Party] commitments regarding privacy, data retention, and digital copyright have yet to be made certain. A C|Net article discusses the likely shift in priorities at Capitol Hill. 'If (Democrat Rick) Boucher gets the nod as chairman, a broadcast flag becomes far less likely and changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anti-circumvention sections become politically feasible ... If Rep. Howard Berman, however, gets the job, the recording industry and motion picture industry will have a staunch ally as subcommittee chairman.'"
  • Wrong! Because of the economics of it, the internet is even more a political issue. The two tiered internet still has a chance with the Republican lame duck congress, and you can bet your @ss that the republicans will do everything they can to push through every bill they want or need now, before their chance expires. The phone companies who are pushing to get pay for performance internet access will make sure a vote occurs before January 3rd.

    A great definition of politics is on Wikipedia: Politics is the p
  • Demanding endless recounts in the races they lost narrowly.
    Exactly that is happening in Virginia, and in NC as well IIRC. From Republicans.
  • Hopefully, we will have political gridlock. Dub'ya won't be allowed to run unchecked any longer. I was no Clinton fan, but I would be glad to see life return to the way it was back in 1996-2000. Those were very prosperous times for all of us.

    Demo's controlled the president and Repub's controlled the House and Senate = gridlock. The Lewinsky affair took up all of the government's processing power, allowing the economy to flourish. Now that the Demo's control congress, we will probably see some charges bro
  • Democrats win by political default. Republicans lose by delusional obscenity.
    Neither political party appears to comprehend the reality that in a two legged
    race one leg always crosses the finish line first and neither lose the race.

    Democrats and Republicans won in 2006 because there is never a viable third option for US.
    So, I still strongly fear for our National Security, The USA Public Welfare, and world peace.

    Also, the dogmatic/religious followers of Democrats, Republicans, Televangelist/NeuFaschist ...
    oth
  • >passed by a Republican controlled House and a Republican Senate

    If one looks at the real vote you'll see how partisan your statement talking about who was in the majority is. Hint, look and see if there was a single senate vote against it (voice vote in the house, so no records of who was for/against it). If there wasn't a single vote against it in the senate, than who is the majority has absolutely no meaning other than to be partisan trying to get the Dems off the hook, when in reality they are jus
  • If con is the opposite of pro, then what is the opposite of progress?
  • Seems like we are already touting our next would be overlords and saying how much better all of life will be. Meet the new boss same as the old boss...We are far from the first thing that politicians(Democrats, Republicans, Libertatians and Communists) think of when they cast thier votes.
  • "... supporters for Net Neutrality, will most likely take command of Internet policy"

    Think about it, how could "command of Internet policy" equate to freedom, unless the "commanders" refrain from using their power? Which, in Washington, is sacrilege. Even the "smaller government" Republicans forgot about that once they had power.

    Liberals don't pass laws to solve problems that might arise in the future. Leftists do that. This is not a comment on the election; just because R's are sleazy doesn't mean that
  • "Following the pivotal U.S. Midterm elections, things look hopeful for a free and open Internet, but the likelihood of progress in terms of copyright and privacy legislation is still uncertain."

    No, all we've done is replace the darlings of the telecommuncations businesses with the darlings of the media businesses; the party of Stevens with the party of Feinstein.

    Which party's president signed the DMCA into law again?

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