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posted by cmn32480 on Tuesday May 09 2017, @02:21PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the public-servants-not-serving-the-public dept.

Common Dreams reports

Last Week Tonight host John Oliver on [May 7] issued another powerful rallying cry to save net neutrality protections, and, repeating the outcome of his 2014 plea, his viewers flooded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) site, causing it to temporarily crash.

[...] Oliver said it's worth noting that [FCC Chairman Ajit] Pai is "a former lawyer for Verizon", a company which "won a lawsuit which meant that if the FCC wanted strong, enforceable protection, its only real option was to reclassify the ISPs, and yet he cheerily insists under questioning that there is just not evidence that cable companies were engaging in rampant wrongdoing".

"Title II is the most solid legal foundation we have right now for a strong, enforceable net neutrality protections", Oliver said, and urged "we, the people, [to] take this matter into our own hands".

To that end, Last Week Tonight bought the domain name gofccyourself.com, which redirects users to the official FCC page[1] where open internet advocates can leave a comment and call for these protections to remain in place. (Oliver notes that it simplifies the commenting process the FCC "has made more difficult since three years ago".)

"Everyone needs to get involved. Comment now, and then maybe comment again when the FCC makes its proposal official. Even call you representative and your senators", Oliver urged.

So successful was the start of his campaign, according to Motherboard, that there was such a high volume of traffic flooding the Federal Communications Commission that the site temporarily went down. As of this writing, it is up and running again.

[1] The fcc.gov page is almost entirely behind scripts.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Politics: FCC Guards Eject Reporter 37 comments

John M. Donnelly, a senior writer at CQ Roll Call, said he was trying to talk with FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly one-on-one after a news conference when two plainclothes guards pinned him against a wall with the backs of their bodies.

Washington Post

“Not only did they get in between me and O’Rielly but they put their shoulders together and simultaneously backed me up into the wall and pinned me to the wall for about 10 seconds just as I started to say, “Commissioner O’Rielly, I have a question,” Donnelly said Friday.

Donnelly said he was stopped long enough to allow O’Rielly to walk away.

Los Angeles Times

Donnelly, who also happens to be chair of the National Press Club Press Freedom team, said he was then forced out of the building after being asked why he had not posed his question during the news conference.

O'Rielly apologized to Donnelly on Twitter, saying he didn't recognize Donnelly in the hallway. "I saw security put themselves between you, me and my staff. I didn't see anyone put a hand on you. I'm sorry this occurred."

Politico

According to the publication for which the reporter works (archived copy),

Senators, including Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, are warning the Federal Communications Commission about its treatment of reporters after a CQ Roll Call reporter was manhandled Thursday.

“The Federal Communications Commission needs to take a hard look at why this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. As The Washington Post pointed out, it’s standard operating procedure for reporters to ask questions of public officials after meetings and news conferences,” the Iowa Republican said. “It happens all day, every day. There’s no good reason to put hands on a reporter who’s doing his or her job.”

FBI Investigating Public Comments on Net Neutrality Repeal 32 comments

Report: FBI opens criminal investigation into net neutrality comment fraud

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the use of stolen identities in public comments on the government's repeal of net neutrality rules, BuzzFeed News reported Saturday.

The investigation focuses on "whether crimes were committed when potentially millions of people's identities were posted to the FCC's website without their permission, falsely attributing to them opinions about net neutrality rules," the report said.

"Two organizations told BuzzFeed News, each on condition that they not be named, that the FBI delivered subpoenas to them related to the comments," BuzzFeed wrote.

The FBI subpoenas came a few days after similar subpoenas sent by NY AG Barbara Underwood in mid-October. Underwood "subpoenaed more than a dozen telecommunications trade groups, lobbying contractors, and Washington advocacy organizations," The New York Times reported in October.

Previously: John Oliver Leads Net Neutrality Defenders to Crash FCC Website. Again.
Bot Floods the FCC's Website with Anti-Net Neutrality Comments
FCC Officially Publishes Net Neutrality Repeal
U.S. Officially Repeals Net Neutrality Rules; FOIA Request Reveals Details of Bogus DDoS Attack
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Passes Blame Over Lying About Public Comment System Being DDoSed
99.7 Percent of Unique FCC Comments Favored Net Neutrality
Ajit Pai Admits Russia Interfered in Net Neutrality Process amid Lawsuit


Original Submission

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Passes Blame Over Lying About Public Comment System Being DDoSed 40 comments

Ajit Pai admits FCC lied about "DDoS," blames it on Obama administration

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai acknowledged Monday that the FCC lied about its public comment system being taken down by a DDoS attack during the net neutrality repeal proceeding.

Pai blamed the spreading of false information on employees hired by the Obama administration and said that he isn't to blame because he "inherited... a culture" from "the prior Administration" that led to the spreading of false information. Pai wrote:

I am deeply disappointed that the FCC's former Chief Information Officer [David Bray], who was hired by the prior Administration and is no longer with the Commission, provided inaccurate information about this incident to me, my office, Congress, and the American people. This is completely unacceptable. I'm also disappointed that some working under the former CIO apparently either disagreed with the information that he was presenting or had questions about it, yet didn't feel comfortable communicating their concerns to me or my office."

Pai's admission came in a statement yesterday. "It has become clear that in addition to a flawed comment system, we inherited from the prior Administration a culture in which many members of the Commission's career IT staff were hesitant to express disagreement with the Commission's former CIO in front of FCC management," he also said.

Inspector General report.

Bot Floods the FCC's Website with Anti-Net Neutrality Comments 17 comments

A bot is thought to be behind the posting of thousands of messages to the FCC's website, in an apparent attempt to influence the results of a public solicitation for feedback on net neutrality.

Late last month, FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced his agency's plans to roll back an Obama-era framework for net neutrality, which rule that internet providers must treat all internet content equally.

Since then, the FCC's public comments system has been flooded with a barrage of comments -- well over half-a-million responses at the time of writing -- in part thanks to comedian John Oliver raising the issue on his weekly show on Sunday.

[...] But a sizable portion of those comments are fake, and are repeating the same manufactured response again and again:

[...] "The unprecedented regulatory power the Obama Administration imposed on the internet is smothering innovation, damaging the American economy and obstructing job creation," the comment says. "I urge the Federal Communications Commission to end the bureaucratic regulatory overreach of the internet known as Title II and restore the bipartisan light-touch regulatory consensus that enabled the internet to flourish for more than 20 years."

NotSanguine called it! https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=19421&cid=506966

http://www.zdnet.com/article/a-bot-is-flooding-the-fccs-website-with-fake-anti-net-neutrality-comments/


Original Submission

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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @02:29PM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @02:29PM (#506921)

    LOL no because SoylentNews never uses JavaScript and it is impossible to crash SoylentNews because Linux.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @02:41PM (8 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @02:41PM (#506922)

      WTF does "crash" even mean here? Was it returning 500 internal server error? Did any servers go down? Or does DDoS-level traffic from legitimate traffic now count as a "crash?" Were there any actual DDoS attempts that contributed in addition to legitimate traffic?

      (Well, I think we may be able to conclude that there were no DDoS attempts as long as nobody's screaming about the Russkies "hacking" the FCC.)

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @02:47PM (7 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @02:47PM (#506926)

        Bad form to reply to myself (but I'm AC! who would know if hadn't said that?!), but I thought I should clarify.

        A campaign like this may constitute a DDoS in a loose sense. I typically don't think of something as a DDoS unless there's a botnet involved, especially a botnet doing things to specifically cause the target service to use as many resources as possible to respond to each request in comparison to each request taking a few resources as possible on the botnet's end. Something like syn flooding, but I admit I'm not l337 enough to care to be up to date on the latest DDoS techniques. I'm just aware that putting curl, wget, nc, or similar in an infinite loop on botnet slaves is not the most efficient way to do it.

        • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @02:57PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @02:57PM (#506930)

          It wouldn't matter if John Oliver told everyone to crash SoylentNews. Absolutely nobody has heard of SoylentNews and nobody jumps on a bandwagon that nobody has heard of. Everyone would assume SoylentNews is a joke that John Oliver made up.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by butthurt on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:01PM (5 children)

          by butthurt (6141) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:01PM (#506954) Journal

          > A campaign like this may constitute a DDoS in a loose sense.

          A statement by the FCC's CIO claimed

          [...] multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks [...] These actors were not attempting to file comments themselves; rather they made it difficult for legitimate commenters to access and file with the FCC.

          -- http://www.zdnet.com/article/fcc-says-ddos-attacks-not-net-neutrality-comments-tied-up-comments-system/ [zdnet.com]

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:42PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:42PM (#507033)

            Under Idjit Pai the FCC has really strong incentive to lie about that.

            But even if we take it at face value what does that really say? That someone wants to stop citizens from filing pro-neutrality comments.
            Who would want that? Could that be the idjit's former employer, Verizon? [wikipedia.org]

            • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday May 09 2017, @10:50PM

              by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @10:50PM (#507173) Journal

              There's a certain foreign power that's been using botnets and would also take an interest in this issue...

          • (Score: 1) by Scruffy Beard 2 on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:21PM (2 children)

            by Scruffy Beard 2 (6030) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:21PM (#507064)

            The proceeding are not accessible at the moment.

            Tried calling to show I was not a bot: apparently it went down again about an hour ago.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:11PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:11PM (#506983)

      I've been SN for years and have never saw the need to whitelist anything in NoScript.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:44PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:44PM (#507001)

        I've been on SN for years and I've never seen SN running on anything except Linux.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:00PM (6 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:00PM (#506953) Journal

    There is a simple and noble reason why the FCC wants to remove net neutrality.

    1984: The chocolate ration has increased to 20g this week.

    Trump: The internet ration has increased to 20 MB this week. It's the best! Trust me! You'll love it! I promise!

    Without the scourge of net neutrality, you will only be able to connect to approved sites. And share approved ideas. No more badmouthing corporations or their government puppets. No more widespread dissemination of inconvenient facts. Everyone will be happy drinking their Victory Coffee [youtube.com] while discussing more important national issues like which Kardashian has the most massive backside. And no more fast forwarding commercials.

    --
    You can not have fun on the weak days but you can on the weakened.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:06PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:06PM (#506979)

      Zero rating != a blacklist

      A bunch of tired net neutrality slippery slope stuff in your post. What will really happen is that if the govt. does not like a site, such as a video streaming or dark web site, they will seize the domain name or hack it to install malware on visitors' computers.

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:38PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:38PM (#507031)

        Zero-rating + low cap = blacklist (or overage fees).

        "You are totally free to watch Netflix or Amazon until your 200MB cap expires. If you watched Comcast programs instead, you would keep all 200MB of your cap for banking, playing and FB. Optionally, you may subscribe to our Gluttony-is-bad plan, which will give you 50GB for $100, or 150GB for $300. Did we mention our Cable package is a cheap $99?"

        That sound in the distance? a Comcast exec jizzing his pants just thinking about it.
        That zero here -> 0 - ? The odds the Comcast would not screw their customers for giant profit, killing Amazon video and Netflix as a bonus.
        Me needs to buy some stocks. Where's my gas mask?

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:43PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:43PM (#507034) Journal

        Zero rating is evil and should not exist.

        Suppose, let's say, Netflix negotiates a dirty smoke filled back room deal to get Netflix content zero rated on AT&T. Now AT&T subscribers don't pay for bandwidth used to watch Netflix. But Netflix is paying AT&T. And Netflix is going to pass that cost on to its customers.

        If Netflix only passed that cost to its AT&T customers, the scam would be exposed. So as part of the dirty deed, AT&T will require Netflix not to charge AT&T-Netflix customers differently. That means that Verizon-Netflix users are subsidizing the costs of AT&T-Netflix users.

        Now suppose HBO negotiates a nasty deal with Verizon to have HBO content zero rated on Verizon. Now AT&T-HBO users are subsidizing Verizon-HBO users.

        Eventually ever big player will get into bed with every big ISP. All this does is conceal and shift costs around. It doesn't save anybody anything. Why can't I pay Netflix for what they provide me, and pay AT&T for what they provide me?

        If AT&T isn't making enough money because of Netflix usage, then CHARGE ME for that. It is ME that is using that bandwidth, not Netflix. Netflix is paying handsomely on their end of the connection. AT&T should charge me for the bandwidth I use in exactly the same way whether I use Netflix or HBO or something that clueless AT&T doesn't even know about yet.

        Zero Rating also disadvantages new entrants into the streaming video or streaming audio markets. Or streaming anything, really. This kinid of disadvantage hurts innovation. What if a new streaming VR service were to emerge.

        --
        You can not have fun on the weak days but you can on the weakened.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by ikanreed on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:16PM (2 children)

      by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:16PM (#506987) Journal

      Of course, it's not controlling thoughts that is their main goal.

      It's robbing us fucking blind by deregulating in a way that's designed to kill the very competition they think makes free-market approaches to problems great in the first place.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:25PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:25PM (#507018)

        they don't believe in competition. they are crony capitalists. just because they talk about free markets to lie to their base doesn't mean anything.

        • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Wednesday May 10 2017, @11:15PM

          by urza9814 (3954) on Wednesday May 10 2017, @11:15PM (#507798) Journal

          they don't believe in competition. they are crony capitalists. just because they talk about free markets to lie to their base doesn't mean anything.

          No, free markets are *exactly* what they want, and they want it *because* they don't believe in competition. That's the whole point of all this deregulation, in every single market from net neutrality to mortgages. These massive corporations already own the market. They can easily crush any competitors -- they already produce at a larger scale, which often gives greater efficiency, meaning lower prices. If that doesn't work, they have enough cash in the bank and diversity of products that they can sell at a loss for a while. If that doesn't work they can sign exclusivity deal with retailers to lock the competitors out of the market. Or they can just buy the competitor. Or they spend some of those cash reserves to do real R&D until they're back on top (which would certainly be a nice change if they ever got that desperate...) Or they can try to eliminate the market entirely (like M$ did to browsers by bundling IE.) There's a lot of regulations preventing them from doing all of that. They want those regulations gone.

          TL;DR: They do honestly want free markets, they just define "free" as the freedom to rape and pillage and murder.

  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by fustakrakich on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:02PM (27 children)

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:02PM (#506955) Journal

    John Oliver should run for president. Let's see how big his audience really is.

    --
    Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Thexalon on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:48PM (13 children)

      by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:48PM (#506970)

      He's not a natural-born US citizen, so he cannot be president.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:27PM (8 children)

        by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:27PM (#506990) Journal

        No, but I do think a lot about how well a mediocre comedian like Jon Stewart would have done as the democratic candidate compared to the one we actually got.

        I don't buy into the "Save us TV funnyman" mentality much, but the left's strongest selling point right now(due, in part, to decades of policy dilution in compromise-seeking with utter lunatics) is mocking the actual falsehoods that underlie almost every major republican position now.

        A sincere leftist revival stealing the underclass base could hypothetically work, I guess. Maybe.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:35PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:35PM (#507029)

          Al Franken has done a pretty damn good job as a senator.
          Whether or not Stewart was "mediocre," that guy knew his shit, definitely more than Franken did before he was elected to the senate.

        • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:49PM

          by krishnoid (1156) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:49PM (#507039)

          I don't buy into the "Save us TV funnyman" mentality much

          1. There's that quote about the jester being the most powerful man in the kingdom. Worth a shot, right?
          2. Neither of us buy into the "Save us real estate developer/TV reality show host" mentality either.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:50PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:50PM (#507040)

          the democratic candidate

          That's one thing.

          leftist

          That's something entirely different.

          Here's your chance to identify the candidate whom you noticed talking about the collective ownership of the means of production by the workers.

          Hint: Both The Blues and The Reds (who should be colored Confederate gray) are in sync with Crony Capitalism, seek to expand The Police State, and are very much into Imperialism.
          None of those are Leftist positions.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:34PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:34PM (#507071)

            Ok, so maybe not leftist, but I think you agree that they are at least lefter, right?

          • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:55PM (1 child)

            by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:55PM (#507084) Journal

            I'm very much aware of the difference. I didn't delineate it in my post. Sorry.

            My attitudes towards hard-left ideologies like Anarcho-whatever and commu-whatever are uncertain: they've sold me on the problems existing, they haven't sold me on their solutions.

            But a revival of such attitudes in the left-leaning part of the US could hypothetically win a lot of the people who feel ignored right now.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @08:37PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @08:37PM (#507106)

              No. Clearly you are not.

              hard-left ideologies like Anarcho-whatever

              You just demonstrated that you are clueless.
              Anarcho-whatever isn't on the Left-Right axis.
              That's 90 degrees opposite. [politicalcompass.org]

              You couldn't possibly be more badly informed about politics.
              "Thinking" in 1 dimension isn't thinking at all.

              "Left" means "Capitalism is a failed system and I reject it".

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:25PM

          by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:25PM (#507066) Homepage Journal

          I thought that Stephen Colbert would be a good candidate. If you need to convince a conservative demographic, you can just pull up old clips of the Colbert Report and cut before the crowd laughs.

      • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:42PM (3 children)

        by krishnoid (1156) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:42PM (#507032)

        Perfect!

        • He runs for president
        • The lefty liberal biased fake news media points out that he can't be president
        • Eventually he gets a big base of support
        • Then he says, "Oh yeah, I read the US Constitution and talked to my show interns who are in law school. So I can't be elected."
        • "Instead, I support this other, very qualified person -- who coincidentally, has decided to change his/her name to 'John Oliver'"
        • "And we can make America great again, without having to repatriate you as a British colony!"

        Everybody wins.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:12PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:12PM (#507057)

          Do you understand the word "oxymoron"?

          Examples:
          military intelligence
          jumbo shrimp
          lefty liberal

          A Liberal is fine with Capitalism and just wants to redistribute wealth after folks have aggregated that.
          (I'd say "earned", except that there are a bunch of folks who receive money without producing anything.)

          A Leftist seeks to make a system where redistribution is unnecessary because of Democracy in the Workplace:
          In that system, only workers own the means of production and they democratically make the decisions about
          - what will be produced
          - where it will be produced
          - how it will be produced
          - what will be done with the profits

          That's nothing like Liberalism (which is still on the Right-hand side of the political divide--on a palate that is still NOT one-dimensional).

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:19PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:19PM (#507062)

            Don't blame him that all the Communists in US self-identify as Liberals. It confuses everyone. But the main problem is the Communists are truly not self-aware, so they have no idea that they are influenced by Marxist ideology.

            • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @08:48PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @08:48PM (#507113)

              all the Communists in US self-identify as Liberals

              How could you possibly have swallowed so much shit and not be dead?

              First, the "Communists" in the USA aren't Communists.
              They can -call- themselves whatever they want, but until they achieve Democracy in the Workplace--or are at least working hard to achieve that, they aren't even Socialists.

              ...and Communism follows widespread Socialism.

              .
              ...and if you thinks that there is ANY overlap between Communists and Liberals, you have clearly been consuming Lamestream Media's still-stuck-on-stupid Cold War bullshit.
              Stop that. It's turning your brain into mush.

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:49PM (11 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:49PM (#506971) Journal

      Should TV audience size really be a factor for running for president?

      That sounds like what got us into the current mess. (*cough* Trump *cough*)

      How about picking someone who understands government rather than a professional comedian? (Or a professional huckster / reality tv star.)

      --
      You can not have fun on the weak days but you can on the weakened.
      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:00PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:00PM (#506977)

        That particular professional comedian is making a career out of explaining how the US system works, and why some parts of it are Hard.

      • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:39PM (3 children)

        by fustakrakich (6150) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:39PM (#506998) Journal

        Understanding government is trivial and can be described in three little words: *Follow the money*. In Spanish it's only slightly different: plata ó plomo. And really, all the superficial drama isn't too difficult to figure out either.

        Either way, this 'current mess' is ours to fix. After all, we really do have the power to clean up the House every two years, should we ever decide to use it.

        And just because a guy makes his living as a comedian, it doesn't mean he doesn't know what he's talking about. One of the things about good comedy is the underlying truth behind it.

        --
        Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:38PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:38PM (#507030)

          Understanding government is trivial and can be described in three little words: *Follow the money*.

          Oh fuck off.
          Understanding corruption is about following the money.
          But that is only a small fraction of understanding governance.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:59PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:59PM (#507051)

            Oh fuck off yourself! Corruption and blackmail and appeasement are the major motivators in government. Politicians do what they are told, or the money dries up and the newly financed 'opposition' takes his place. Leave your naive grade school civics books at home.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 10 2017, @09:33AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 10 2017, @09:33AM (#507445)

              I'm posting from home, you insensitive clod!

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Thexalon on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:14PM (4 children)

        by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:14PM (#507011)

        A person can be both a professional comedian and somebody who understands how government works. The strongest example of that would be now-senator Al Franken, who as senator has been a fairly serious and dedicated legislator doing stuff like ensuring Zika got treated and trying to better link mental health care with crime prevention.

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:53PM (3 children)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:53PM (#507044) Journal

          Back in the 90's I enjoyed Al Franken's book: Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot, And Other Observations.

          The most memorable part that springs back to mind is the "simulated interview". (That may not be the exact description used, but I'm not going to go look it up.)

          Rush did a "simulated interview" with Hillary Clinton. Rush would ask loaded questions, followed by Hillary's responses. Now the responses used direct quotes from Hillary, and cited the sources. He tried to make it seem like it was fair in some delusional way.

          So Al Franken did a simulated interview with Rush, and it was hilarious. Rush's responses were direct quotes cited from Rush.

          Al: So Rush, are you an idiot?
          Rush: Yes [1]

          Footnotes:
          [1] some source where Rush at one time answered "Yes".

          Of course, the whole point was that the whole simulated interview thing is a farce no matter how much you try to make it look fair. And no matter how easily your stupid gullible audience accepts it as gospel truth.

          --
          You can not have fun on the weak days but you can on the weakened.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:39PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:39PM (#507076)

            And no matter how easily your stupid gullible audience accepts it as gospel truth.

            I no longer think that "guillible" is the right adjective for the talk-radio zombies.

            It seems to be closer to wishful. Frustrated by reality's stubborn insistence on not cooperating with their prejudices, dittoheads and the like searched out someone who told them that reality was wrong and that they were right. Limbaugh didn't lead them into idiocy, he followed the money and no one has ever gone broke telling people what they want to hear.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Tuesday May 09 2017, @08:38PM (1 child)

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 09 2017, @08:38PM (#507108) Journal

              Limbaugh didn't lead them into idiocy, he followed the money and no one has ever gone broke telling people what they want to hear.

              Apparently by telling people what they want to hear you can become president, even if you are an illiterate inarticulate maroon.

              --
              You can not have fun on the weak days but you can on the weakened.
              • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Wednesday May 10 2017, @12:40PM

                by fustakrakich (6150) on Wednesday May 10 2017, @12:40PM (#507504) Journal

                Apparently by telling people what they want to hear you can become president

                That's hardly news.

                --
                Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
      • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Wednesday May 10 2017, @11:20PM

        by urza9814 (3954) on Wednesday May 10 2017, @11:20PM (#507800) Journal

        How about picking someone who understands government rather than a professional comedian? (Or a professional huckster / reality tv star.)

        ...why start now?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:50PM (#507080)

      'Offtopic'? How? Is this some moderator stalker thing?

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:10PM (1 child)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:10PM (#506959) Homepage Journal

    (Oliver notes that it simplifies the commenting process the FCC "has made more difficult since three years ago".)

    Hell, I have that page open in two browsers, with javascript enabled on both of them. I can't find the button to click to leave a comment.

    "For assistance with using ECFS, please contact the ECFS Help Desk at 202-418-0193 or via email at ECFSHelp@fcc.gov."

    WTF, before I can leave a comment, I have to write to them, to ask permission? Maybe there's a Youtube tutorial. They have tutes for damned near everything today . . . EFCS returns some interesting hits on photography and front or rear curtain syncs. I don't see anything for the FCC.

    AHH-HA - the first link in TFS is a Youtube video! Ahhhh - click the link, and then click "express". Geez, Louise, how about "comment? Got that, people? If you want to leave a comment, you have to click the "express" button.

    --
    There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday May 10 2017, @06:05PM

      by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Wednesday May 10 2017, @06:05PM (#507661) Homepage
      960s into the /Last Week Tonight/ vid, as hosted on youtube, this story is about:
      "Click on the link that says express, and then, and only then, can you leave your comment"
      Doesn't make it any less dumb, but at least it's documented dumb.
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:13PM (3 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:13PM (#506960)

    It's going to take a Google/FB/Netflix/Amazon coordinated campaign to raise enough of a stink to make Pai consider whether Verizon's dollars are worth it.
    Nothing short of SOPA/PIPA-level awareness will work. The decision has been made, and Pai is the lapdog who's dilligently obeying Cable orders, and expecting his treat afterwards.

    If the big guys don't get involved Bigly right now, they're in major trouble.

    • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:31PM (2 children)

      by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:31PM (#506994) Journal

      Public executions for anyone in the government not recusing themselves in cases with an appearance of conflict of interest is both just and necessary approach to this problem. Corruption is my one exception to thinking that the death penalty solves no problems.

      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:26PM (1 child)

        by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:26PM (#507021)

        The death penalty would not solve that problem, so long as the enforcement mechanism can also be corrupted.

        For a simple example, consider a corrupt president that is the leader of the thoroughly corrupt Alpha Party. His opposition in congress consists of the also thoroughly corrupt Beta Party. The president and the Alpha Party would both like to consolidate their power. End result: all Beta representatives are tried for corruption and executed while the Alphas are never investigated, and the Alphas get 1-party rule that is at least as corrupt as it was when there was still Beta opposition around.

        But, you cry, what happens when some non-corrupt Gamma Party comes around and challenges the Alphas? And the answer is that that never happens, because while the Alphas use the thoroughly strengthened anti-corruption laws (with the demonstration of the corruption of the Beta Party used as a reason) to strictly and constantly investigate any Gamma candidates that might crop up. And of course if the Alpha government finds one tiny thing wrong with the Gamma, guess what, they're headed to the guillotine. Meanwhile, the Alphas can continue to be as corrupt as they like with impunity, buying off, say, media pundits and organizations to make Gammas look bad to the electorate and of course organizing the election to ensure the "correct" (i.e. pro-Alpha) outcome.

        Many attempts have been made to create a system of government immune from corruption. So far, none have succeeded.

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Tuesday May 09 2017, @09:09PM

          by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @09:09PM (#507123) Journal

          I know it wouldn't work, but it would be so satisfying.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by NotSanguine on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:36PM (7 children)

    Someone has given people a countervailing script against net neutrality. A cursory Internet search doesn't find this specific text, however it does echo the mendacious narrative of those who want to gut net neutrality.

    There are quite a number of identical comments which read:

    The unprecedented regulatory power the Obama Administration imposed on the internet is smothering innovation, damaging the American economy and obstructing job creation. I urge the Federal Communications Commission to end the bureaucratic regulatory overreach of the internet known as Title II and restore the bipartisan light-touch regulatory consensus that enabled the internet to flourish for more than 20 years. The plan currently under consideration at the FCC to repeal Obama's Title II power grab is a positive step forward and will help to promote a truly free and open internet for everyone.

    The interesting part is that all of these comments are exactly the same. The sad part is that the message is disingenuous at best.

    --
    No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Thexalon on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:54PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @04:54PM (#506974)

      That is astroturfing 101: The idea is that the ISP lobbyists can now say "Commissioners, we've had 75,000 public comments backing our position." and pretend those represent 75,000 concerned individuals when they in fact represent 1 corporation with access to Tor and/or a botnet and some basic scripting technology. Or alternately, pay 75,000 people $5 apiece to post something like that comment.

      The commissioners, of course, could call BS on that, because those comments are suspiciously similar, but won't because they already want to do what the ISP wants to, and the fake public comments give them some political cover to do what they already want to do for other rea$on$.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:01PM (5 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:01PM (#506978) Journal

      An interesting point in Oliver's coverage was the quote from a Verizon shareholders meeting, by the CEO, where they said Title II regulation had no effect on their expansion/upgrade plans.

      If you lie at a shareholders meeting it's considered fraud and can result in jail time.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:29PM (4 children)

        by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:29PM (#507023)

        I do find it fascinating how lying to shareholders is a criminal offense or at least a civil tort, while lying to the press is called "Public Relations", lying to employees is called "Human Resource Management", and lying to the government is called "Regulatory Compliance".

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:48PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:48PM (#507037)

          Two words: Fiduciary Duty
          Its such a big deal that Turmp is rolling back the requirement [businessinsider.com] that investment advisors to grandmas be required to meet that same standard.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:52PM

            by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:52PM (#507083)

            I understand full well that what I stated was legally just fine. That doesn't automatically make it moral or logical or reasonable.

            --
            The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday May 09 2017, @10:36PM (1 child)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @10:36PM (#507166) Journal

          Hey now! I never lied to the government in a compliance situation!

          So.....um......what does lying to Thexalon get? Asking for a friend...

          • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday May 10 2017, @12:52AM

            by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday May 10 2017, @12:52AM (#507220)

            Often, an embarrassing reply post.

            --
            The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:34PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:34PM (#507028)

    as a libertarian/possible anarchist i find this situation confusing. the result i want is an open and free internet but the two current choices are government overreach and crony capitalism/monopoly. kind of like voting for a republican or democrat for office. it's a false choice set by the enemy of free humanity. i wonder if we'll start getting a "propaganda of the deed" response to ISP offices if things continue to get worse?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:52PM (#507043)

      Libertarianism does not mean denying the reality of natural monopolies.
      Being a libertarian means believing that government should not get involved when there is a better way but it does not mean pretending that government is not appropriate in cases where there is not a better way.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by NotSanguine on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:12PM (1 child)

      as a libertarian/possible anarchist i find this situation confusing. the result i want is an open and free internet but the two current choices are government overreach and crony capitalism/monopoly. kind of like voting for a republican or democrat for office. it's a false choice set by the enemy of free humanity. i wonder if we'll start getting a "propaganda of the deed" response to ISP offices if things continue to get worse?

      That's a false equivalence.

      Title II classification was just fine for broadband providers until 2002, when they were reclassified under Title I. Investment in broadband actually fell after that.

      What's more, the net neutrality rules were most certainly not an overreach. Rather, they were quite measured in an attempt to protect consumers (including you) from unsavory practices, like allowing ISPs to double-dip (charging you for your bandwidth, then charging content providers for the same bandwidth) or preferring their own content properties over others, which increases barriers to entry.

      I know it's pretty much de rigueur these days to just accept whatever narrative is offered by ${trustedmediasource}, rather than getting the information and judging for yourself.

      I went ahead and actually read the FCC rulemaking from last year WRT Title II and net neutrality. The FCC took great pains to focus only on the issues of net neutrality and promoting an open Internet. Those rules specifically exempted pretty much all the things (price regulation, censorship, onerous reporting, etc., etc., etc.) that opponents claimed they were doing.

      So, before you condemn everyone, perhaps you should do a little research. If you do, you'll find that one side (at least in this particular case) is promoting competition and fairness, and the other is supporting crony capitalists.

      But don't take my word (or anyone else's, for that matter) for it. Read the actual documents and decide for yourself.

      --
      No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday May 09 2017, @11:04PM

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @11:04PM (#507177) Journal

        But don't take my word (or anyone else's, for that matter) for it. Read the actual documents and decide for yourself.

        Good starting-point here. [fcc.gov]

        It provides a good overview and links on the right to the actual order, as well as related court decisions, etc.

        Expect this stuff to disappear fairly soon. (not necessarily nefariously since the govt's position will have changed)

    • (Score: 2) by sjames on Tuesday May 09 2017, @10:02PM (1 child)

      by sjames (2882) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @10:02PM (#507147) Journal

      Surely you don't want to leave everyone enslaved to the false choice. What is the third way that has been so carefully hidden?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 10 2017, @06:55PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 10 2017, @06:55PM (#507678)

        the two current choices are government overreach and crony capitalism/monopoly

        There is no 3rd way.
        To start, I disagree with the use of "overreach".
        There are some things that are natural monopolies.
        People of my (Socialist/Communist) persuasion hold that a natural monopoly should belong to ALL the people collectively.

        The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is run by city gov't and, to my observation, is doing a better job in the area that it serves than SoCal Edison is doing where it holds a monopoly.

        Internet service is currently a duopoly in most places.
        Wilson, NC and Chattanooga are examples where the local gov't assumed responsibility for that and it worked well (though Reactionary forces in state gov't have limited expansion).
        N.B. If they had a working Democracy in those states, one which served ALL of the people (and wasn't allowed to be bought off by oligarchs), those would be even better examples.
        {Plug for Anti-Capitalism goes here: People before profits}

        Mineral rights in Alaska and The Alaska Permanent Fund is a fine example of how to handle a natural monopoly:
        The gov't takes charge of the ownership/permissions and private companies pay into the fund to do the extraction.

        The public-ownership-and-private-services-delivering/competing notion would also give smaller companies (worker-owned cooperatives?) a more-accessible entry point.

        ISTM that I could get Libertarians to meet me in the middle on widespread adoption of this model for natural monopolies.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:22PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:22PM (#507065)

    Oliver is full of great ideas as always. As I recall he dared Trump to run for the President. Thank You Oliver, without your enticement MAGA would not be possible at all.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @07:44PM (#507078)

      Trump had been talking about running for president for 30 years. [npr.org]
      Oliver had nothing to do with it.

  • (Score: 2) by Scruffy Beard 2 on Wednesday May 10 2017, @12:28AM (1 child)

    by Scruffy Beard 2 (6030) on Wednesday May 10 2017, @12:28AM (#507209)

    I wonder if John Oliver called them ahead of time and asked about their API:

    With the opening of a new proceeding on Restoring Internet Freedom, the Commission anticipates
    significant public engagement and a high volume of filings. The Consumer and Governmental Affairs
    Bureau provides this guidance to facilitate public participation and to make commenting easy.
    Those who wish to file individual comments may submit them electronically via the Electronic Comment
    Filing System (ECFS) at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/ [fcc.gov] . However, we anticipate that some may wish to
    submit a large number of comments from multiple individuals, each with the same or similar content. We
    strongly encourage parties who seek to file a large number of comments or 'group' comments to do so
    through the public API
    1
    or the Commission's electronic inbox established for this proceeding, called
    Restoring Internet Freedom Comments at https://www.fcc.gov/restoring-internet-freedom-comments. [fcc.gov]
    2

    We also ask parties who anticipate submitting group comments to contact us in advance so that we can
    assist with a smooth filing process. You can reach us at ECFSHelp@fcc.gov and (202) 418-0193.
    We expect that filing group comments through the inbox will be simpler than filing through ECFS. We
    ask commenters to be patient, as there may be some lag time between when filings are made and when
    they appear in ECFS. We assure all timely filers, though, that their submissions will be part of the record
    in this proceeding.

    - Consumer And Governmental Affairs Bureau Guidance On Filing Comments In The Restoring Internet Freedom Proceeding (txt vesion) [fcc.gov]

    Looks like his site directs to the individual comment section:

    Individual Comments
    Those who wish to file individual comments should submit them electronically via the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) by going to Proceeding 17-108 at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/proceedings?q=name:((17-108)) [fcc.gov] and clicking on the "+ Express" link to file an express comment.

    Bulk Comments

    We strongly encourage parties who seek to file a large number of comments or “group” comments to do so through the public API; Documentation on the ECFS Public API is here: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/public-api-docs.html [fcc.gov]
    ...
    In order to ensure that bulk comments on the Restoring Internet Freedom proceeding are properly recorded in ECFS, please use the .CSV template provided below. Failure to use the template will result in bulk uploads being recorded as a single comment. Document content that is not CSV nor text nor an accepted format* may prevent its inclusion in ECFS attachment.

    I have not yet found guidance on what people are supposed to be commenting on...

    • (Score: 2) by Scruffy Beard 2 on Wednesday May 10 2017, @12:56AM

      by Scruffy Beard 2 (6030) on Wednesday May 10 2017, @12:56AM (#507221)

      Think I may have found the subject of the comments:

      Restoring Internet Freedom– The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
      that would propose to restore the Internet to a light-touch regulatory framework by classifying
      broadband Internet access service as an information service and by seeking comment on the
      existing rules governing Internet service providers’ practices. (WC Docket No. 17-108)

      - FCC ANNOUNCES TENTATIVE AGENDA FOR MAY OPEN MEETING [fcc.gov]

      YouTube gives me "This video is not available." on the original video with 2.6 million views. No reason is given.

      I think if a video is taken down, the view counter is not usually included.

  • (Score: 2) by chewbacon on Wednesday May 10 2017, @04:22AM

    by chewbacon (1032) on Wednesday May 10 2017, @04:22AM (#507299)

    How much does each comment value in the bank? $0? Ah, these fat cats don't give a fuck about comments.

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