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ISPs Get "General Conduct" Oversight

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This is where your argument instruction works against you, Foxbunny.

The slippery slope might be a fallacy in the realm of pure logic.


But it is also a very real phenomenon in humanity.

It's observed in gateway drugs, the progression of soft porn to hard porn, and the progression of tyranny.  There's multiple aspects of the psyche at play. One being tolerance build up to stimuli. Another being the fallacy that a little bit of something being good means a lot of that something must be very good.

Admittedly, the first two are primarily about stimuli and tolerance, but with tyranny, people build up a tolerance to oppression in incremental steps. Oppression is a means for those who are in power to get what they want, which creates a positive feedback loop where more oppression seems the best way to get more of what they want.


And when I look at the rampant corruption coming from the US Government, that slippery slope of tyranny seems to be very much in play.

Which is what I tried to explain/present in my second post here.  And which is why you claiming slippery slope fallacy isn't what you think it is.



And thank you, I do appreciate the apology.

Edited by Rythe

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I must have misunderstood.


Here's is what I have gathered your reasoning is. Let me know where this is incorrect.



The FCC previously did not regulate the Internet beyond issues of criminal activity

The FCC has moved to place the Internet under Title II.

All government agencies are the same.

Government agencies, for example have done the following:

  1. The FCC "tried to place monitors in news rooms"
  2. The IRS's rejection of and slow handling of  social welfare organization applications
  3. NSA spying
  4. Affordable Care Act
  5. All government agencies are the same.

Therefore the Open Internet Order will be misused to censor legitimate websites in a way resembling China's government censorship.


Have I missed something?

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A number of things.

The evidence is comprehensive that the IRS targeted conservative organizations in a way well outside the norm, and in a way that differed considerably from liberal organizations and their other allies/associates at the same time. The IRS, in effect, punished political enemies. 

Secondly, all government agencies are government agencies.

If there is something effecting government agencies across the board, then it follows and is valid to say that said something can and likely will effect any government agency. Maybe not necessarily, but I did present it as a wager, which is asking people to play the odds here. I am saying the odds I'm right are good, of course, and in that case, it is prudent to raise an awareness and maybe effect a change that would alter the situation to something more desirable or favorable to all of us.

Nextly, it's not the 'Affordable Care Act', it's 'the US government lies to us'.  Although now that you bring it up in the general case, it is another wonderful example of expecting us to form a comprehensive opinion on something we know far too little about before it becomes law/regulation, and in the case of the ACA, that mystery turning into something full of problems and things we were told it wasn't going to be. Also unconstitutional. Also going against a certain campaign promise and general claim to 'transparency'.  If the trend follows, the FCC's new regulations for the internet are going to be full of issues too.  Not necessarily, which is your point, but why should we bet otherwise when that's the way it's been going? Which is my point.

If you want to play it that absolute certainty is the only game in town worth talking about, then that's your deal, but that's not the world I'm living in.

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Yes, if something is affecting all government agencies (government agencies across the board), then one could rightly claim that FCC would similarly be affected. 

However, we have not proven that there is something affecting all government agencies.

Additionally, this condition is vague (what do you mean by "effected?") and cannot be disproved because of the true believer problem which is usually stated as "people who believe in a conspiracy cannot be convinced that there is no conspiracy because that's what the conspirators want you to think."


We, therefore, cannot reasonably cite this as evidence as it is not proved.


Other agencies' scandals are also problematic to consider. Without proving a connection between the various scandals/problems, one cannot reasonably claim a relationship between them. That is, the fact that the IRS had a scandal and the fact that the NSA has been spying need to be proven to be connected in order for them to make sense as a pattern. Rather, the two scandals have vastly different MOs. The IRS targeted groups based on name information. The NSA indiscriminately stockpiled records without a target. These agencies also have different leadership (the IRS is under the DOT and the NSA is under the DOD), different cultures, different offices, etc. Without proving direct connections between such scandals, it is not reasonable to present them as evidence of a future scandal. Any presented connection could neither be proved nor disproved, only suspected.


We, therefore, cannot reasonably cite this as evidence as it is not proved.


The only evidence of FCC corruption that has been presented is the "monitoring news rooms" that didn't occur. A study (i.e. the gathering of sample data) was proposed, but never conducted. There is no evidence that, had this study been conducted, that anything would have happened other than the collection of data. Regardless, it is speculation as to the intent which can nether be proved nor disproved.


We, therefore, cannot reasonably cite this as evidence as it is not proved.


The assertion that the government lies to us is, I would agree, a fact. However, when you cite the ACA as an example you point out a problem with using such as evidence for the FCC using the recent Order for censorship.

The ACA has neither lived up to promises nor caused the utter destruction warned against.

If the ACA not living up to government promises is evidence of government lies, then the ACA failing to cause the extreme negatives promised by conservative media means conservative media also lies. If the conservative media lies, then the site you linked is at least suspect. I would not reason this way because it is faulty in the way that "police officers shoot people for no reason" is faulty. Yes, it is true that police officers shoot people for no reason and that the government lies, but these are not always the case. The government does not always lie and police officers do not always shoot people for no reason.

This is valid evidence, but it can potentially be so broad as to be irrelevant if there is no evidence of organized lying. It would be helpful to have specific instances of the FCC lying. Even if demonstrated valid, this evidence is not enough on its own to prove that the FCC is likely to use the Order as is claimed.


I'm not arguing that the FCC is doing a good thing by putting the internet under Title II. I'm also not saying the federal government is awesome and beyond reproach. Instead, I'm saying that I haven't seen any evidence that the FCC putting the internet under Title II will result in China-like censorship. In fact, the evidence I have seen points the opposite direction.


Consider this claim:

The FCC placing the internet under Title II is unnecessary and a bad idea.



Pleas note that my goal in this post is to direct us to a discussion on the merits of the FCC's decision rather than arguing that the FCCs decision will lead to internet censorship like China has.

Edited by foxbunny

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The easy connection between the various agencies and their scandals is the operating attitudes and beliefs among them. Also humanity. Also command structure.

But this is politics, Foxbunny, where the so-called smart practice of dealing with problems is to tell as little of the truth as possible and hope the widespread response doesn't go too badly against you. A sober, honest and comprehensive root cause analysis of the various acts of corruption coming from the US government would likely give us the reasons these problems are happening, and would let us identify and target those root causes in the various agencies, or at least gives us the odds on which agency is going to give us the next failure.  That sober, honest and comprehensive root cause analysis is not going to happen though, and so your desire for comprehensive and sure data is naive and futile.

It's a case where the certainty and clarity you want will never happen, so we have to settle with trend analysis and best guesses given the available data.


In other words, the reality is almost certainly worse than we can definitively say it is, and we should account for that. There is also a lot we have to try and infer here, and we should try to infer what we can.


And in other words, it's all a bit of a crapshoot. If a conservative source is wrong about something, that doesn't mean they lied, it means their analysis was off (assuming analysis situation or their sources were wrong, and maybe used the word 'promised' inappropriately which is a thing political types and sales types do). And you're misrepresenting the ACA thing, given that it gave Pres Obama the political lie of the year award, and given that it was the duty of the people selling and presenting the bill to understand what was in that bill and what it would do. (It was also the duty of the reps voting on the bill to understand it before passing it). That's not a case of best analysis on available data, that's a case of having all the data available and either lying outright, or giving claims about something they did not know. Somebody did a lot of lying with the ACA, if at least the people who wrote the thing and didn't tell anyone otherwise when all the false claims were coming out. Also this.


Nextly, I first presented the idea that the 'General Conduct' clause is rife with potential for abuse, which it is.  It's basically giving the FCC veto power over any ISP practice, which is basically giving the FCC the ability to set any ISP practice, which is basically giving the FCC the ability to run all ISPs in large part. They have to justify it based on a number of standards, but really, the government at large is justifying just about anything it pleases on the flimsiest of pretexts these days. See abuses of Imminent Domain laws and what people are saying the Constitution really means. As a part of said government, the FCC likely will join those ranks, but the real problem is that the FCC is giving themselves this power that is rife with the potential for abuse and misuse in the first place.


Thenly, I presented the idea that this will morph into an Orwellian anti-'hate speech' setup. Is that certain? No. Is that likely? Depends on your analysis. Is it possible? Well, much, much more than it use to be, which is an aspect of the real problem above.


And if that isn't a valid merit on the FCC's decision, then why not?

And speaking of the FCC's recent decision and new slew of regulations being unnecessary and a bad idea - it looks like the FCC might have decided to break internet streaming, whether they realized it or not. See this.

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We're really on the same page here in a way, we just get there by different routes.

I don't think the Order is a good move. I think it is reactionary and doesn't address the issues it's intended to address.

I, however, don't believe that the people who were involved in coming to this decision are stupid or intentionally evil.

Like most things, it's not the best scenario, but it's also not doomsday.


"In other words, the reality is almost certainly worse than we can definitively say it is, and we should account for that."

I guess my difficulty is that I can't assume the worst.

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The actual rules changes constitute only 8 pages. The many other pages are the history of the internet, explanation of how the decision was reached, potential issues, dissent, support, definitions of various types of internet service, and the intent of the ruling. Also quotes and footnotes. Pretty much every change is quoted at least a dozen times. The footnotes restate what was said in the area referenced. So much redundancy. Ugh. 


Here's the "general conduct" thing we're talking about:


§ 8.11 No unreasonable interference or unreasonable disadvantage standard for Internet conduct.


Any person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage (i) end users’ ability to select, access, and use broadband Internet access service or the lawful Internet content, applications, services, or devices of their choice, or (ii) edge providers’ ability to make lawful content, applications, services, or devices available to end users. Reasonable network management shall not be considered a violation of this rule. 


It says that that nobody who works for an ISP can block content or throttle connections between content providers and end users.

In case there's any confusion, "lawful content" is the opposite of "unlawful content" and the specific definitions are addressed throughout the document. Lawful and legal are not the same thing.

Edited by foxbunny

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