Lars Larson: The Government regulating internet “neutrality”

The last thing the American people need is the government regulating the internet further. The United States government already regulates the internet plenty. The fact is the government should keep its hands off as much as possible.

The internet is a gold mine of entrepreneurial access for American citizens. It’s a great place to get information. But, Julius Genachowski who is now running the Federal Communications Commission says he wants to regulate the internet. Something called “net neutrality”.

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Posted by at 06:05 | Posted in Measure 37 | 33 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Betsy O

    Ah, the Government should keep its paws off the internet it created! Love that Lars fails to mention the internet was conceived and created by the government.

    • Steve Buckstein

      Even if the government did create the Internet (which is debatable) that doesn’t give it the right to control it into the future. Parents “conceive and create” their children. Does that give them the right to control those children once they are adults? Of course not.

      I believe so-called net neutrality is a bad idea, but that view doesn’t depend on who created it.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      The government created the internet (it didn’t actually, but for giggles let’s go with it) so therefore any regulation it does of it is good?

      OK – So since Daimler created the car, does that mean they get to regulate where you drive? What you drive?

      Why should the government be allowed to regulate how a business provides its ISP service? If Comcast wants to charge users a fee to access Lar’s site then let them. Another “all access for one low monthly rate” ISP will come along and take their business away in short order.

      I think the point is trust in government on free speech issues is about as low as it can get right now. You simply can’t have an administration stocked with people who are as dead set against the first amendment as this bunch are and expect to get a lot of trust when it comes to regulating anything that even touches on the first amendment.

      Oh sure it sounds good – Government would assure that ISP’s could not charge extra or segment out unprofitable sections of the internet. However I think that what concerns people are the motivations of people in Washington. The controversy over net neutrality says a lot more about faith in the government right now than it does about the law itself.

      • David Appell

        > Why should the government be allowed to regulate how a
        > business provides its ISP service?

        Because these businesses exist only with the agreement of the people (ie government) and because there is more to life than businesses doing whatever they want to make the most profit they can.

        Businesses exists at the behest of the common good. They are not people and they have no inherent right to anything beyond what societies grant them. They are bound by the limitations the people impose on them and cannot do just whatever they want. They have no rights not given to them via the people. They are less important than people.

        Most people agree that it is for the common good that all people should be able to call all telephones and access all Web sites regardless of the business desires of their telecommunications provider. Especially since there are already so few choices for people to connect to these networks — in many cases, no choices.

        The ironic thing is that you, Rupert, would be the first one to bitch if the only ISP available to you choose to limit your access to certain sites. You wouldn’t declare it a highlight of the free market. You’d bitch that your rights were being suppressed.

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >Because these businesses exist only with the agreement of the people (ie government) and because

          Sorry, this is a capitalist country, there is no concept within our society of business having to get the government to agree to its existence in order to exist. I think you are thinking of Nazi Germany or the former Soviet Union.

          You are a writer. Please tell us at what point you got agreement to start your writing endeavors from the government. In other words do you have a document, license or what have you to show we all agreed you could start being a writer?

          >Businesses exists at the behest of the common good.

          No they don’t. They exist to provide a product or service. If people like it they thrive, if not they don’t.

          I cannot think of a single business, other than government created ones such as Bonneville power of the TVA, that was created at the behest of anyone other than the principles.

          Again, you are a writer. At what point were you commanded or ordered to be a science writer by some ethereal “common good”? When was that behest made?

          I have my business. I can assure you at no time did I receive an order to start it.

          > They have no rights not given to them via the people.

          Again, you are thinking of the wrong country. We do not have the concept of rights given by people, rights in our society descend from the creator. In other words you have them, government cannot grant them.

          You are really thinking again of a Stalinist regime, not the US. Here business is allowed to charge what it wants for its services. The people do not have an right to demand of a business a service which it is not interested in providing or for which it cannot provide at a profit. That concept, which is commonly called slavery, was outlawed in this country some while back. I would suggest you look into it.

          You can prove me wrong though. I have need of someone with scientific knowledge who can write well and otherwise sweep up around the shop. I will pay you a dollar a day. Since you are arguing that business has no right to refuse to provide a service people want, then can I expect you here on Monday?

          If I get enough people on this blog to support me will you accept that it is the peoples will that you provide your services to me, regardless of the cost to you?

          >Most people agree that it is for the common good that all people should be able to call all telephones and access all Web sites regardless of the business desires of their telecommunications provider.

          Well, most people would probably also agree banks should hand out money to them and that grocery stores should cut their prices in half. That doesn’t mean the business has to do it.

          Most people would also probably agree they like lurid novels better than science writing. It sure seems to sell better. Now I have nothing against science writing, however you do realize that your argument would mean that because most people like lurid novels, you should be forced to write them.

          Besides which, we have already gone through this with ISP’s. Some of the larger ones decided to drop news group service, once a huge part of the internet. I sure didn’t see every ISP that dropped them go out of business.

          Years back most ISP’s discontinued shell accounts. This immediately wiped out a lot of internet business such as bulletin boards.

          >The ironic thing is that you, Rupert, would be the first one to bitch if the only ISP available to you choose to limit your access to certain sites

          Actually the ironic thing is you made this statement based on no facts and applied it to the one person and circumstance on this blog where it is wholly inappropriate.

          I am loving this.

          To wit:

          I only have one cable ISP in my area (thank you big government meddling which for some reason grants monopolies to cable companies). They don’t come all the way out here. So my other choice is dial up, but, the phone lines are horrible dial up will be really slow.

          So, did I bitch? Nope. I simply found another ISP. I use a satellite internet system.

          Moral – Some of us do things to change our situation rather than sit around and bitch. Your ISP charges you more for this or that service, find another ISP. The ISP has no duty whatsoever to serve you whatever you want at whatever price you want to pay.

          Now – What would be truly ironic would be if the world we actually lived in was like the Stalinist nightmare world you just described..

          You know you would be the first one to complain, and rightly so, if the government stopped by and told you that you were no longer a science writer, you were now going to write romance novels, for the common good you know. Your business has no rights whatsoever. You will write what is best for the common good and you will do so at a rate decided upon by the people.

          • David Appell

            Rupert wrote:
            > Sorry, this is a capitalist country, there is no concept within our
            > society of business having to get the government to agree to
            > its existence in order to exist.

            Ever hear of a business license? A liquor license? A casino license?

          • David Appell

            Rupert wrote:
            > We do not have the concept of rights given by people…. In other words you
            > have them, government cannot grant them.

            *People* have rights. Other entities do not unless given by the people — animals (sadly), armies, gangs, businesses, etc. Not just any organization is legal. If the people decide a certain type of organization is unwanted, such as a criminal organization or an unlicensed liquor store or a fireworks store or, for that matter, a poker party, they can certainly outlaw it (and have). If they decide a corporation should only be able to have one outlet, they can do that (as they do in India, to preserve Mom and Pop stores).

            Why in the world would we allow the existence of organizations that are injurious to society?

          • David Appell

            Rupert wrote:
            > You are a writer. Please tell us at what point you got
            > agreement to start your writing endeavors from
            > the government.

            US Constitution, Amendment I was ratified by the people and expressly gives them the rights of free speech and a free press, ie, puts those rights off-limits to government. They did not do so for commerce, but (Amendment X) gave those rights to the people and to the states, and through their elected states representatives the people have put all kinds of limitations on businesses.

          • David Appell

            Rupert wrote:
            > I will pay you a dollar a day

            No you won’t, because the people, through their state governments, have decided that businesses to not have this right and have enacted minimum wage laws.

          • David Appell

            Rupert wrote:
            > Well, most people would probably also agree banks should
            > hand out money to them and that grocery stores should cut their prices
            > in half. That doesn’t mean the business has to do it.

            Yes, it does, if it chooses to stay in business. Did you not hear about the wage and price controls imposed during the Nixon administration?

          • David Appell

            Rupert wrote:
            > Your ISP charges you more for this or that service,
            > find another ISP. The ISP has no duty whatsoever to serve
            > you whatever you want at whatever price you want to pay

            You are missing the point. Without net neutrality rules, any ISP has the right to block you from any Web site they want, regardless of your method of access. There is no guarantee you will have unrestricted access as long as NN rules do not exist. And even if you became your own ISP, your upsteam ISP would have the same right without net neutrality rules. Actually, that’s the main problem, is that a backbone provider like MCI or AT&T could charge anyone they want a fee to carry their traffic over their network. That would have damaging consequences for society (people and businesses) and most people agree it should not be allowed. (The big telecom corps have their own opinions, and they do not necessarily care about society’s interest.)

          • David Appell

            Rupert wrote:
            > this is a capitalist country

            This is only a quasi-capitalist country, at best. In a capitalist country the agricultural industry wouldn’t get huge subsidies every year and banks and investment firms and automobile companies would cease to exist if they did not make a sufficient income. Highly profitable oil companies would not get big tax breaks, and the government would not pay for part of people’s mortgages.

          • David Appell

            By the way, the US is not a “capitalist country.” It is a republic. No economic system is specified in, or mandated by, the Constitution. If the people decide, through Constitutional means, that a noncapitalistic economic system should exist, it will. In fact, they’ve already gone part of that way.

  • David Appell

    It is far from clear here that Lars Larson even know what Net Neutrality means.

    Does Larson support a telephone network where only certain people can call his talk show? Where you can call only if you are a customer of, say, Verizon, but not AT&T or Sprint?

    Should Comcast customers be able to read Larson’s Web site if he (Larson) doesn’t pay a monthly fee to Comcast?

    That’s what Net Neutrality is all about — ensuring that all Internet users can reach all Web sites, regardless of the desires of their Internet provider.

    And, in fact, the Internet is one of the least regulated entities in America, not the most. We don’t even tax it. It contains all manner of obscene and worse information.

  • Roadrunner

    David, don’t expect Lars to base his argument on anything approaching reality. He regularly makes things up and presents them as facts. The powers that be at this radio station seem to have no problem with that.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    >He regularly makes things up and presents them as facts.

    Got an example?

    • v person

      You are kidding right? How about “the government already regulates the internet aplenty” when it doesn’t? How about last weeks “government takeover of health care” when it isn’t? How about go back and look at any Lars post over the past year and see if there is a single one where he did not just make something up that is not reality?

      • Rupert in Springfield

        > How about go back and look at any Lars post over the past year and see if there is a single one where he did not just make something up that is not reality?

        So you are saying every single Lars post on this blog has things made up out of thin air?

        Sounds more to me like you just don’t like his opinions and think simply calling him a liar is an argument.

        Good luck with that.

        >How about last weeks “government takeover of health care” when it isn’t?

        Now who is making things up? LoL

        • David Appell

          Rupert, how about addressing Larson’s claim that “The United States government already regulates the internet plenty.”

          What are all regulations that the US govt puts on the Internet?

          I don’t see many. No products bought over the Internet are taxed, even within our borders. (The moment they are, the servers will move offshore.) Speech and video that would clearly previously be obscene are widely available on the Internet. Spam that is prohibited by faxes isn’t prohibited over the Internet, even though it accounts for ~80% of all email.

          So where is all this US regulation that you and Larson are complaining about?

          • Roadrunner

            “So where is all this US regulation that you and Larson are complaining about?”

            In their fertile imaginations. Which is all it takes for them.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Not really – Just a knowledge of the facts that could be gained from even a cursory knowledge of the news. Sometimes its best to check into the facts of the matter rather than simply saying something someone says is untrue just because you don’t like their politics.

            Live and learn.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >So where is all this US regulation that you and Larson are complaining about?

            Who’s complaining about it?

            Those who said Lars was making things up when he claimed the internet was regulated were factually incorrect.

            Pointing that out has nothing to do with complaining about the regulations themselves

            Can you please tell me how in the world you reached the conclusion I was complaining about the regulations themselves? Its quite erroneous and I am astonished that you made this logical leap.

            > No products bought over the Internet are taxed, even within our borders.

            Huh? That’s not true at all.

            Borders lost a rather notable court case on this very issue.

            If you buy a product over the internet it is not at all tax free. If the company has a presence in your state you get charged the sales tax in that state. Being on the internet in no way means things are tax free. Legally it is treated as any other catalog sale. You are simply wrong about that.

            >Speech and video that would clearly previously be obscene are widely available on the Internet.

            So what?

            Availabilty of something has zero to do with wheather or not it is regulated.

            Since I follow free speech issues I know a little something about this. Material on the internet is actually more regulated as regards obscenity than your other “previous” situations, such as mafgazines or videos.

            As a matter of fact, the last three years have been some of the most vigorous as far as obscenity prosecution goes. Notable porn producer Max Hardcore is sitting in prison right now as a matter of fact for this very thing.

            How is this possible? Pretty simple really. Janet Reno trail blazed this sort of prosecution when she got the first internet obscenity conviction.

            Obscenity is judged by local community standards. The so called “Miiller test”. Ok, so if you are selling dirty magazines and books in LA, they are judged by those standards. If you sell them in Tampa, they are judged by those, even though you may have produced them in LA.

            Not so on the internet. If you produce some dirty pictures, and put them up on the internet, the federal government can set up a lap top wherever the hell they want and then prosecute you according to the standards of their lap top location, not the standards of where the server is based. In that regard internet obscenity is way more heavily regulated than other forms. The fact that there is more of it simply reflects ease of distribution, not the fact that it is less regulated than other formats, such as magazines or videos.

            In addition there was a law passed no loosely as the 2213 regulations. They heavily regulated record keeping requirement for web sites. Not only did model information have to be kept on file for each model, but record keeping as to all the stage names of that model, and every single imagine in which they appeared, cross referenced with every single web page, email magazine, video or what have you had to be kept. I use past tense because that law was under appeal from day one since it was so onerous. It’s current status is all but dead. However it quite a severe and notable regulation.

            >Spam that is prohibited by faxes isn’t prohibited over the Internet, even though it accounts for ~80% of all email.

            Ok, again, you are not up to speed on this. Spam is regulated.For example the Can-Spam act requires opt out availability in every email.

            Other Spam regulations you might not be aware of:

            The Virginia Anti Spam law – Sentenced in 2004 Jeremy Jaynes ( nine years in prison ) his sister Jessica DeGroot ( $7,500 fine )

            Other regulations you might not be aware of:

            The Patriot Act – This law requires enhanced record keeping and reporting for ISP’s and enhanced subpoena power for authorities in tracking down cyber crime. It also enabled enhanced subpoena power for those records. This has been used to imprison Allan Eric Carlson for four years. What for? Spam that constituted computer fraud and identity fraud. The judge ruled his Spam really was an attack on servers since it tied them up forever with bounced email addresses.

            Protecting consumer privacy on the internet – Businesses must protect consumer privacy and have a policy regarding that privacy.

            Commercial sites must comply with the PCI DSS to encrypt and protect credit card transaction and customer information data.

            Storage of customer data on a server is also highly regulated. Storing of credit card data after a transaction is forbidden.

            Overseas? – Well, if you don’t have alt text on your pictures you are probably violating the UK’s Disability Discrimination Act of 1995. If you offer goods or services, you must make all reasonable efforts to make your web site accessible to those with disabilities.

            I’m not arguing one way or the other on whether the regulations are effective or accomplish much, but to say they don’t exist is simply wrong.

            Now, since I have answered your questions, perhaps you could get back to me with answers to some of my questions I asked you above. Namely, where in the world did you come up with your ideas of how business works.

        • v person

          Rupert, hard as it may be to believe, I don’t follow every single Lars post and radio utterance. I cited you 2 examples, one right here at the top of this page. If I go back and read his weekly posts (ick) I’m sure I can find lots more examples. Thanks but no thanks.

          And by the way, government is not “taking over health care.” Unless “taking over” means something other than common English usage.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >Rupert, hard as it may be to believe, I don’t follow every single Lars post and radio utterance.

            Ok, then that would render the statement you made previously:

            “How about go back and look at any Lars post over the past year and see if there is a single one where he did not just make something up that is not reality?”

            Something of a quandary.

            In other words, you didn’t even read everything Lars wrote but yet claimed every one of them contained made up statements.

            Interesting. Seems to me given your admission of not reading all of them that you are the guy who makes things up.

            It doesn’t get any easier than that Dean – thank you.

          • v person

            For someone who likes to complain about others reading skills, you should follow your own advice.

            I never claimed to have read every utterance of Lars. Those I have read, primarily here on Catalyst, all contain stuff he appears to have simply made up. I imagine he has said something that is factual now and then, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            The point is, which you dont want to face, is you claimed everything lars has posted for the past year had a lie in it. Well, now by your own words it is clear you were just popping off with no basis whatsoever for the comment.

            In other words, you just got caught doing exactly what you accuse Lars of, making stuff up out of thin air.

            Again, thank you, this was the easiest one ever.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Hey! This whole thing was another two fer Dean – When put together your contention that Lars makes things up with the example in this post – the internet clearly does have some regulation.

            Good idea you gave up on that one. Its a pretty clear cut case where you would have to admit you were wrong and we know you never do that.

            I’m kind of getting a lot of two fers out of you lately. Must be close to Christmas.

          • v person

            You are really reaching Rupert, and you still can’t seem to pass reading comprehension 101. I did not say “everything lars has posted for the past year had a lie in it.” I challenged you to go back and find any where he did not make something up. My guess is you would have to search pretty hard, or would have to have the same sloppy analysis skills he displays.

            My observation on Lars is based on what I have read from him, which is mostly crappola. Has he stumbled on something resembling reality now and then? Probably. But he is basically yet another phony angry white guy with limited education and zero added value raking in dough through feigned outrage.

            His contention above is not that there is *no regulation* of the internet, but that the government “already regulates the internet plenty.” He provides zero information on what is or is not regulated, and zero analysis on why this is enough or too much. “Plenty” is a bit imprecise. Again, work on your reading comp skills.

            As long as I post here I will be the gift that keeps on giving for you Rupert, simply because you get to make up your own interpretation of whatever I say and then amuse yourself with this. It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with you. There is a term for this I won’t use here (initials MM). But by all means enjoy yourself.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >His contention above is not that there is no regulation of the internet, but that the government “already regulates the internet plenty.

            Right, and you argued that the government does not regulate the internet. Here is the quote from you:

            “How about “the government already regulates the internet aplenty” when it doesn’t”

            I provided you with plenty of examples of how the internet is regulated. You don’t want to answer that because it proves you wrong so now you are trying to say I misread something?

            The fact is, there are internet regulations and I listed plenty of them. You insisted that wasn’t the case and just got proven wrong

            We know you can’t admit you are wrong ever, so now you are doing your usual flailing around to weasel out of it.

            >”Plenty” is a bit imprecise. Again, work on your reading comp skills.

            Seemed to be precise enough for you to contend that what Lars said was wrong. If the term is so imprecise then how in the world could you contend it was flat out wrong? Answer – You did think there was no regulation and now that I have listed plenty of them you are trying to weasel out of the obvious conclusion, you didn’t know what you were talking about and thus were wrong.

            I would really suggest you move on as Appell did on this subject. At least he had the brains to realize he was mistaken and call it good.

            >As long as I post here I will be the gift that keeps on giving for you Rupert

            Well, at least on that we agree, The knots you get tied in rather than simply admitting you were wrong on something is hilarious.

          • v person

            Key word there is “aplenty” Rupert.

  • Roadrunner

    From an email I sent to his boss on 10/26/04:

    Lars Larson said on his show today that the explosives disappeared before coalition forces took control of Baghdad. He didn’t mention that there are reports contradicting that story, as the story linked and quoted below make clear.

    Mr. Larson should correct this on his show.

    Thank you.

    http://www.salon.com/news/wire/2004/10/26/embedded/index.html

    “However, Iraq’s Ministry of Science and Technology told the IAEA the explosives disappeared sometime after coalition forces took control of Baghdad on April 9, 2003. ”

    And the next day:

    Lars Larson said on his show today that the explosives disappeared before coalition forces arrived.

    President Bush, in attacking John Kerry’s statements about the missing explosives, only states that the possibility that they went missing before troops arrived is being looked into:

    “America is now investigating a number of possible scenarios, including that the explosives may have been moved before our troops even arrived at the site,” said Bush. (http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/113852/1/.html)

    Mr. Larson is presenting conjecture as fact. He should correct this on his show.

    On 11/2/04 Lars stated that John Kerry received a Dishonorable Discharge. This is a lie. In fact, it’s slander.

    Then theres this email exchange I had with Lars:

    > > Sent: Friday, October 17, 2003 9:29 AM
    > > To: Lars Larson
    > > Subject: Source for campaign contribution information
    > >
    > > Dear Lars,
    > >
    > > Last month I heard you claim that the size of the average contribution
    > > received by Democrats is greater than that received by Republicans. I
    > > sent you an email inquiring about the source(s) of that information and
    > > received no reply.
    > >
    > > Yesterday I heard you say on the air that if anyone wonders about the
    > > source of your information they can send you an email and you’ll provide
    > > it, so perhaps my earlier email got lost in the ether, or perhaps you
    > > replied and your reply was lost.
    > >
    > > So, I’d appreciate it if you would send me the source of your information
    > > regarding average campaign contributions to the two parties.
    > >
    > > Thank you.

    > On Fri, 17 Oct 2003, Lars Larson wrote:
    >
    > > that would be the bush national web site…they list all donors

    On Fri, 17 Oct 2003,

    > According to the Bush website, he’s received $49.5 million from 262,000
    > donors, for an average of $188.93 per person. According to Howard Dean’s
    > website, he’s received $14.8 million from 168,000 donors, for an average
    > of $88.10 per person.
    >
    > How is it that $88 is greater than $188?

    Then, there’s the fake “Katrina Timeline” that Lars sent out in September, 2005, claiming to be from the New Orleans Times-Picayune. It didn’t match any other timeline, so I asked for the source within the NOTP, and he couldn’t provide it. When this was brought to the attention of KXL management they simply told me “we believe Lars”.

  • Jim Franconni

    I think the net is out of control. Government must get involved.
    Some things are very bad, like Facebook, Classmates, and other bad sites.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, let’s just end regulation of the internet so big cable companies and telcos like Comcast, who also are becoming content providers, can have full control and THEY can regulate exactly what THEY want us to see/have access to and how much THEY think we should pay for it (usually through the nose) while they fight for monopolies and duopolies that destroy competiation, choices and fair pricing.  Repukitards are always all about the big money payoff, not matter WHO it hurts in the process.   I would MUCH rather have the government overregulating than corporations because, at least with the government, we citizens have SOME say in the whole thing.  Voting with your dollars doesn’t work anymore because the top 2% have all the money and the rest of us don’t have the kind of money to be “voting” with like they can.  Many of us are stuck with monopoly services and don’t have the kind of dough to simply ignore the B.S. those services put out.  Therefore, conservicraps and their rich buddies have caught America in a catch-22.  In other words:  be rich and be OK or…don’t be rich and, well, life sucks for you.  Lars, you and your idiot friends in the GOP are so ONE-dimensional and stupid it’s not funny.  You people are all about BIG guns, BIG Bibles, BIG trucks, BIG houses, and have BIG mouths which you think make up for your TINY penises and even TINIER brains.  Sadly, they don’t. This is why America is starting to wake up and not elect knuckledraggers into the White House.

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