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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): Net Neutrality

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    Our top story tonight concerns the Internet, aka the electronic cat database.
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    But first, let's take just a moment together and appreciate how amazing the Internet is.
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    You can use to file your taxes, apply for jobs ... you can go online right now, and buy a case of coyote urine.
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    Do you know how difficult it used to be to obtain coyote urine?
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    You literally have to give a coyote Gatorade and then wait. It was a mess. The system was a mess.
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    But, if you have tuned on the news recently, you may have heard some worrying references to the Internet changing.
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    The Federal Communications Commission has agreed to move forward on a proposal that could change the way we use the Internet.
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    At risk, the basic principle of net neutrality. Net neutrality. Net neutrality.
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    Yes, "net neutrality". The only two words that promise more boredom in the English language are "featuring Sting."
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    Hearing people talk about it is somehow even worse.
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    As anticipated, the notice proposes to ground the net neutrality rules in section 706 of the telecommunications act of 1996.
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    Oh my god! That is the most boring thing I've ever seen. That is even boring by C-SPAN standards.
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    I would rather read a book by Thomas Friedman than sit through that hearing.
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    I would rather listen to a pair of dockers tell me about the weird dream it had.
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    I would rather sit down with my niece and watch Caillou, a children's show about a bald Canadian child who lives a live devoid of any incident.
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    Fuck you, Caillou! Grow some hair and leave the house. Find out what the world is about, come on.
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    But here is the thing. Net neutrality is actually hugely important. Essentially it means that all data has to be treated equally, no matter who created it.
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    It is why the Internet is a weirdly leveled playfield, and start-ups can supplant established brands.
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    That was how Facebook supplanted MySpace, which supplanted Friendster, which supplanted actually having any friends.
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    Do you remember physically having friends? It was awful. You couldn't tap people's faces to make them go away.
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    The point is, the Internet in its current form is not broken. And the FCC is currently taking steps to fix that.
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    The FCC is endorsing new rules that could clear the way for a two-tier system.
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    The rules will open the door for the first time for Internet providers like Comcast and Verizon to charge
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    tech companies to send content to consumers more quickly. Netflix, for example, may pay a premium to ensure
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    that its customers can stream movies more reliably, at a cost a start-up competitor may not be able to afford.
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    No. This cannot happen. How else is my start-up streaming video service Nutflix going to compete?
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    It's going to be America's one-stop-resource for videos of men getting hit in the nuts.
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    You don't even know you want it yet, that's why it is brilliant.
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    Ending net neutrality will allow companies to buy their way into the fast lane, leaving everyone else in the slow lane.
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    Although, telecom companies will prefer that you put it in a slightly different way.
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    When you say fast lane and slow lane, it's a good illustration.
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    But what you really should be taking about is a fast lane for everybody, and a hyper-speed lane for others.
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    Bullshit! If we let cable companies offer two speeds of service, there won't be Usain Bolt and Usain Bolt on a motorbike,
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    there'll be Usain Bolt and Usain bolt-ed to an anchor.
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    And telecom companies will say they will never slow down a website speed in order to get more money out of them,
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    but let me tell you story. Recently Comcast was negotiating with Netflix. This graph shows Netflix download speed on various providers.
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    That black line plummeting downwards was their speed on Comcast during the negotiation.
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    See if you can guess when Netflix agreed to Comcast demands. I'll give you a hint: it is right there.
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    That has all the ingredients of a mob shakedown: "Netflix, that show about life in a ladies' prison,
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    such a shame if there was going to be something happening to your connection there. So frustrating that would be."
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    And it's not just anti-corporate hippies who think abandoning net neutrality is a bad idea.
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    The net neutrality movement is leery of big corporate players, but in this debate is on the same side as some of them.
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    Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, all signed on to this letter supporting net neutrality.
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    What's being proposed is so egregious activists and corporations have been forced onto the same side.
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    That's basically Lex Lutor knocking on Superman's apartment door: I know we had our differences,
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    but we have to get rid of that asshole in apartment 3-B. He is too loud, Sup, he is just too loud!
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    And you may wonder: look, if everyone is against it, how is it even possibly happening.
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    Well, consider who will benefit from this change: cable companies. Verizon wants a two-tier system so badly,
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    they sued the government to force the rule change that is currently being discussed.
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    These companies have Washington in their pocket, to a conveniently, almost unbelievable degree.
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    Comcast has spent 18,810,000 dollars in lobbying last year. That is more than any other company, except for defence contractor Northrop Grumman.
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    So just to be clear. The ranking of who buys government influence is: #1, military-industrial complex, and #2, the provider of Lizard Lick Towing.
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    Look: I can show you the troublingly cozy relationship between cable companies and Washington in any number of ways.
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    I can show you the president golfing with the CEO of Comcast. Or saying at a fundraiser at a cable executive house that
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    he's been there so many times that "The only think I haven't done in this house is have Seder dinner."
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    But perhaps the most succint way is this:
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    The president has picked Tom Wheeler, a former top-lobbiest for cable and wireless companies, to be the next chair of the Federal Communications Commission.
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    Yes, the guy who used to run the cable industry's lobbying arm, is now running the agency tasked with regulating it.
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    That is the equivalent of needing a babysitter and hiring a dingo.
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    "Thanks for stopping over. Make sure they're in bed by eight. There are 20 bucks on the table for kibble. Please don't eat my baby."
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    With the fact that they are practically overseeing their own oversight, it is hardly a surprise that the cable companies are basically monopolies now.
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    A federal study found that 96% of the population has access to two or fewer cable broadband providers.
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    It is almost as if they would agree to stay out of each other's way like drug cartels. But hold on, that's not fair.
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    If hypothetically, a cable company like Comcast was planning to merge with a company like, let's say Time Warner,
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    it's not like their CEO is going to sit down and mark who out who has which turf, right?
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    Both in video and in broadband, we don't compete with Time Warner. You have to start with that very fundamental point.
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    They are in New York, we are in Philadelphia. They are in Los Angeles, we are in San Francisco.
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    You can't buy a Comcast in New York, you can't buy a Time Warner in Philadelphia, so there is no reduction in competition.
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    Exactly. You can't reduce competition when nobody is competing. You could not be describing a monopoly more clearly,
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    if you were using a metal top hat while driving a metal car of the "winning second prize in a beauty contest."
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    Maybe it's because of their lack of competition that they get away with providing such shitty service.
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    We pay more for our Internet service that almost everybody else on earth, and yet, the download speeds we get,
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    lack behind Estonia, a country were from the look of it, they still worry about Shrek attacks.
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    Is it any wonder that in a massive recent customer satisfaction survey, Comcast and Time Warner cable came in dead last.
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    And when you look at the companies that were scored better than them, people were basically saying:
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    Yes, Bank of America took my home. Yes, Taco Bell gave me diarrhea. And sure, GM tried to kill me.
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    But Time Warner and Comcast are the worse. They are the worse.
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    I know that Cable companies will say, they support net neutrality protections.
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    Or they remain committed to the open Internet, or "just the tip."
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    But, let me remind you they also said they'll be at your house between 2 and 6 tomorrow afternoon,
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    and does any part of you who really expect them to fucking turn up.
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    And yet, our government look set to end net neutrality and letting these companies run hog wild.
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    And we are just gonna let me, and you know why, it all comes back to this.
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    It seeks comment on ways to construe additional language on section 706 and even suggests using section 230-B to broaden the scope of the commission you serve's authority.
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    Oh my god, how are you still so dull.
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    And that's the problem: the cable companies have figured out the great truth of America.
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    If you want to do something evil, put it inside something boring.
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    Apple could put the entire text of Mein Kampf inside iTunes' user agreement. And you would just go: agree, agree.
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    And that's why advocates should not be talking about protecting net neutrality.
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    They shouldn't even use that phrase. They should call it: preventing cable company fuckery.
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    Because that is what it is, and it might actually compel people to want to do something.
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    And the interesting thing here is, there may actually be something you can still do.
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    The FCC will be taking public comment for 120 days.
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    That's right, the FCC are actually inviting Internet comment at this address. And at this point, and I can't believe I'm about to do this,
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    I would like to address Internet commenters out there directly.
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    Good evening, monsters. This may be the moment you spent your whole life training for.
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    You've been out there ferociously commenting on dance videos of adorable 3-years old, saying things like:
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    "every child could dance like this little loser after 1 week of practice."
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    Or you've been poluting Frozen's "Let it go", with comments like "ice castle would give her hypothermia and she dead in an hour"
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    Or, and I know you've been in this one, commenting on videos of this show, saying:
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    "Fuck this asshole anchor, go such ur presidents dick ur just friends with the terrorists."
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    Now, I don't know what any of this means. But I don't think it is compliment.
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    But this is the moment you were made for, commenters. Like Ralph Macchio, you've been honing your skills,
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    waxing cars, and painting fences. Well guess what, now it is time to do some fucking karate.
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    For once in your life, we need you to channel that anger, that badly spelled bio,
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    that you normally reserve for unforgivable attacks on actresses you seem to think have putted on weight,
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    or politicians you disagree with it, or photos of your ex-girlfriend getting on with her life, or non-white actors casted as fictional characters.
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    And I'm talking to you RonPaulFan2016, and you, OneDirectionForever, and I'm talking to you OneDirectionSucksBalls,
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    we need you to get out there, and for once in your life, focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction.
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    Seize your moment, my lovely childs, turn on CAPS LOCK,
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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): Net Neutrality

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