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Old September 9 2012, 04:17 AM   #94
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Re: Why isn't Internet free for everyone yet?

Alidar Jarok wrote:
No they are not. It actually was a Supreme Court case, though. Nat'l Cable & Telecomm. Ass'n v. Brand X Internet Servs., 545 U.S. 967 (2005).
You are 100% right. It appears I was mistaken. I do know for a fact that DSL was considered telecommunications, but it appears that changed in 2005 with that ruling as well.

Alidar Jarok wrote:
No. I said the law currently exists to prevent obscenity on the internet (at least for sale) and that the official Republican Party Platform says that these laws should be enforced. In fact, obscenity prosecutions took place in 2005 with the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force. You claimed that the government could only prevent obscenity if they own the internet services but can't do it now, which is wrong.

Former obscenity prosecutor Patrick Trueman, who now heads the group Morality in Media, said the claim of 150 recent obscenity prosecutions is misleading and that, in fact, no adult obscenity prosecutions have been initiated under Obama.

“In various administrations — not just this one — DOJ has tried to sell the notion that it has a vigorous enforcement of obscenity laws underway,” Trueman said. “A look at the cases, however, reveals that what are counted as ‘obscenity cases’ are in fact child pornography cases where the defendant is allowed to plead down to an obscenity charge. … To suggest that such cases are adult porn cases is just wrong.”
From that wiki article it says
Notable cases were brought against Joseph R. Francis' Mantra Films, Inc. (Girls Gone Wild), as well as producers Ira Isaacs and Max Hardcore
The citation on Wiki leads here

and says (the first part is the distribution charge, the second part is)
and two counts of failing to label sexually explicit DVDs with the name and location of the custodian of records containing age and identification information for performers in sexually explicit films.
Which translates to "that woman on Girls Gone Wild who exposed her breasts in public in front of hundreds, can we see her ID to verify she wasn't under 18?"

I do remember that case, and how the entire issue was "failure to prove all girls were over 18"

After searching online about this task force, I am unable to find even one example of them winning a case for adult obscenity; all of it is attacking child porn, or more accurately, attempting to tackle adult porn using "child exploitation" as the flimsy pretense.

Furthermore, the line here between obscenity law and distribution law is blurred. It seems to me, just by reading articles about the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force such as this

That all charges, that were anything other than blatant child porn, were for the sales/distribution of materials (attacking the method of records keeping and ID verification).

And as you've admitted, this is not an internet (communication/speech) specific law. Actually, let me rephrase that, Obscenity Prosecution Task Force is a group, not an actual law. Because it is next to impossible to nail a citizen in the US for crimes of speech, they resort to using other laws that are not specifically speech, such as sales and distribution, child exploitation, etc.

The 18 U.S.C. § 1465 law, to the best of my knowledge, after a couple of hours of reading it and googling it, is an archaic distribution law who's only purpose today is to assist in child porn cases. "we'll drop the child porn wrap if you plead guilty to this"

Which would seem to go right along with what I quoted earlier, that all persons charged under this law, are charges as a result of plea bargaining in a child porn case.

After all, if this were an active and effective law, doctors couldn't send you a prescription for birth control pills by mail, you could not receive pornography by mail, condoms, or pamphlets about getting an abortion. Again, I say it's an archaic law who's only purpose was in 1977, when child porn first became illegal, existed as a plea bargain when the prosecution didn't feel confident they could nail you with child porn.

When it comes to obscenity, I think it is interesting that as an American man, I am not allowed to walk down the street naked, but I can walk around my house naked and broadcast it over the internet. Hmm, I got more freedom on the web than in real life?

I'd like to now respond to this part of your statement. "You claimed that the government could only prevent obscenity if they own the internet services but can't do it now, which is wrong. "

I don't recall saying that. I recall saying that if government owned the internet (or more accurately owned America's internet access) it would be "easier" for them to control "speech" too and from their own citizens.

Let me explain, with a bit of melodrama and exaggeration, how things in America work. You have "the people" which are dived into two groups: the politically correct Left, and the bible thumping Right. They form noisy protest groups that politicians suck up to for votes. Both groups want the same thing; to limit the freedom of citizens so that everyone acts and thinks like they do.

Politicians, who only care about money and power, are more than happy to take away every last drop of freedom America has. A left wing group may say pornography should be illegal because it objectifies women. And then a right wing group says "pornography should be illegal, because sex is the devil's work" and each use a "think of the children" speech. But then there are rich greedy corporations who says things like "I got a million dollars worth of campaign funds that says pornography is a first amendment right. If you don't agree, I'm sure your opponent will."

And sometimes a politician walks up to a company and says "My administration feels that only companies that fit our family friendly image, should receive a 50 million dollar tax break in the form of our new family values insentive. You guys aren't doing or supporting anything that would conflict with our family values, are you?"

And far to complicated to explain is the roll advertisers have on the media, and the effect the media has on politicians. Put it all together and fanatic civil rights groups, bible thumpers, politicians, corporations, advertisers, and media, all exchange words and cash, to make any and every law that governs us. And citizens who are "easily offended" tend to have the loudest voices. Freedom seldom makes a profit, but safety often does.

Point being If corporations control ISP's we the average user have at least a fighting chance of retaining freedom (for a while at least).

If the US government controls it, we can kiss our internet rights good bye the moment someone stands up and shouts "won't someone think of the children".

And this is why I am glad I pay $55 a month for unlimited internet access.

And also, of all the things working class tax payers should have to pay for via taxes, for non working people to get for free, I think "free porn on the interwebz" ought to rank pretty low.

In regards to my earlier claim of net neutrality, it appears you are right and I am mistaken. There is no law to enforce net neutrality. However, for all intents and purposes, we do have net neutrality, just not one big powerful law enforcing it.

Here is something really interesting. On the wikipedia article about net neutrality

On February 25, 2008, Kevin Martin, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said that he is "ready, willing and able," to prevent broadband Internet service providers from irrationally interfering with their subscribers' Internet access.[21]

In August 2008, the FCC ruled that Comcast broke the law when it throttled the bandwidth available to certain customers for video files in order to make sure that other customers had adequate bandwidth.[22][23] The FCC ordered Comcast to disclose the details of its network management practices within 30 days, submit a compliance plan for ending the offending practices by the end of the year, and disclose to the public the details of intended future practices. The FCC’s order was the first Internet network management decision of its kind.[24]
Which law did they violate? This one: From the FCC website:

Transparency. Broadband providers must disclose information regarding their network management practices, performance, and the commercial terms of their broadband services.

No blocking. Fixed broadband providers (such as DSL, cable modem, or fixed wireless providers) may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices. Mobile broadband providers may not block lawful websites, or applications that compete with their voice or video telephony services.

No unreasonable discrimination. Fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic over a consumer’s broadband Internet access service. Unreasonable discrimination of network traffic could take the form of particular services or websites appearing slower or degraded in quality.
The above also disproves something you said in your first post to me, that ISP's are free to block competitors.

As you can see, the FCC states they are not free to do so.

The level of authority the FCC and FTC have over the internet is an extremely complicated one to figure out. The FCC does not regulate ISP's

Yet as with the above quote, they are forcing some level of net neutrality, in spite of there being no official net neutrality bill passed by congress.

But here is something interesting I just realized from reading through all that stuff, if corporations, namely ISP's had unchallenged control over the internet, there would be no net neutrality at all. And I believe that without the level of neutrality that we have now, the internet would be a very expensive place to do business, because not only would consumers pay to get on the web, big corporations would have to pay extra cash for data transfer speeds. So assuring consumers could view their product, means they'd have to pay even more cash to compete with their competitors. This would hurt both free speech and especially newly developing mediums such as Yutube,, and Netflix. These corporations could never have developed from the ground up, because of unfair competition practices. Only corporations with the billions behind them could start up a new service and compete. The ISP's greed would strangle the free web market.

So in away, the best system for the internet would be corporate controlled, with fair business practices being enforced by the FCC and FTC.

I personally think a government controlled internet would be good for businesses, but bad for free speech. But corporate controlled and unregulated would be bad for business and good for free speech.

So again, I am happy to pay $55 a month for unlimited broadband access.

I enjoy the fact I can come to a forum like this and use the "F" word, and that is my legal right. I realize on some other forums I may not. And I realize that on some forums I can be banned by a mod/admin for profanity, or having a politically incorrect point of view. I can deal with that for one simple reason, your forum, your rules. It's different than the FCC hammering someone with a fine.

And I know that some websites don't allow profanity because their host has a no profanity rule. This too is acceptable to me, because I can always go with another host. When building my own website, one of the things I did was examine the Terms Of Service and User Agreement, I made sure there would be no rule against political incorrectness, or profanity, because when I review an episode of Voyager, you know I am going to have to use some profanity to express my feelings on some of their bad episodes
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