Al Franken And Bernie Sanders Praise Net Neutrality As An Enormous Victory Over Corporations



In two separate statements, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) praised the passage of the FCC’s new net neutrality rules. Franken called the rules an enormous victory for the American people, while Sanders said that the success of net neutrality shows that ordinary Americans can win when they stand up to corporations.

In a statement, Sen. Franken said:


This is a an enormous victory. This is the culmination of years of hard work by countless Americans who believe—just as I do—that the Internet should remain the free and open platform that it’s always been. Net neutrality is important for consumers, for small businesses and startups trying to compete with the big guys, and ultimately, for the innovation that has helped drive our economy for the past several decades.

The bottom line is this: the Internet is a vital part of our daily lives, and net neutrality is at the core of how the Internet operates. It is critical to our democracy and our economy that it continue to operate this way.

I’m thrilled that the FCC has taken this crucial step. But the fight isn’t over as some Republicans are already working on legislation to undo all of this. So in the weeks and months ahead, I will continue to make sure everyone understands what’s at stake, and why we need to stand by the strong rules adopted by the FCC.

But in the meantime, let’s celebrate.

Sen. Sanders said, “The FCC has ensured that the Internet remains a place for the open exchange of ideas and information free of discrimination and corporate control. This is a victory for consumers and entrepreneurs. Millions of Americans, including tens of thousands through my website, told the FCC loudly and clearly that Internet service providers should be a neutral gateway to everything on the Internet. Today’s vote shows that ordinary Americans can make a difference when they stand up to powerful corporate interests and Washington lobbyists.”

This is a huge victory for millions of Americans who have fought for years to keep the Internet open and neutral. If the FCC rules stand up to the inevitable legal challenge by the ISP’s, there will be no Internet fast lane for those who can afford to pay.

The internet will remain the one area of our society that is the most purely democratic and not under the thumb of corporate control. People can beat corporations, and as Sen. Franken said today is a day of celebration.

Image: Vermont PBS

60 Replies to “Al Franken And Bernie Sanders Praise Net Neutrality As An Enormous Victory Over Corporations”

  1. That along with President Obama vetoing the Keystone pipeline, it’s been a good week so far.

    I predict, however, that CPAC this weekend is going to be a derp storm. Anybody else want to bring popcorn and watch the spectacle?

    PS, is Sarah Palin even invited to the shindig or did her performance last month put paid to that?

  2. Hell yeah I’ll join you. I already saw one GOP Senator, from Utah I believe who stated, “The GOP is the party that REALLY cares for the poor”
    (and it wasn’t a middle aged white guy)

    I’m sooo looking forward to Jon’s response next week. [WINK]

  3. Please tell us wise one how is net neutrality government regulation? Don’t be ashamed to say you don’t know what it is?

  4. Yes, Sarah Palin was invited. I think the invitation came after the dreadful Iowa speech and after come conservative commentators expressed their dismay at her word-salad-ese. Is C-PAC trying to rejuvenate her in the eyes of all conservatives?

  5. The government will decide what is neutral and using its power it will enforce its version of neutrality, likely to be anything but neutral. Like Animal Farm, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” The internet works fine now, injecting the government into it for something they declare is “net neutrality” is not likely to make it better. I hope I am wrong.


  7. The only one who is retarded is one who post in all caps dumbass. Now do you even know what net neutrality means? I kind of doubt it reading that nonsense you just wrote. Now get off your mommy computer and watch some more fox idiot

  8. So, when the government acts in accordance to the First Amendment, the Republicans seek to overturn it…? Interesting…

  9. Another dumbass who don’t understand what it is. Here is some help. read very carefully before you comment again
    Give me a definition of net neutrality in plain English.
    “Net neutrality” prevents Internet providers like Verizon and Comcast from dictating the kinds of content you’re able to access online. Instead, Internet providers have to treat all traffic sources equally. Net neutrality is enforced by the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC.
    For example, Comcast would probably like to promote NBC’s content over ABC’s to its Internet subscribers. That’s because Comcast and NBC are affiliated. But net neutrality prevents Comcast from being able to discriminate, and it must display both NBC’s and ABC’s content evenly as a result. That means no slower load time for ABC, and definitely no blocking of ABC altogether.
    In short, net neutrality creates an even playing field among content providers — both large and small — to the web. And it’s great for consumers because they can access everything they want online for no extra charge.
    Right now, consumers control what they see online — not Internet access providers — and that’s thanks in large part to net neutrality.
    Q: What is net neutrality?
    A: Net neutrality, or open Internet, is the principle that Internet service providers should give consumers access to all legal content and applications on an equal basis, without favoring or blocking some sources. It also prohibits Internet service providers (ISPs) from charging content providers for speedier delivery of their content on “fast lanes.”

    Q: How will new net neutrality rules affect me?
    A: The rules aim to ensure a high-quality Internet experience for all. The proposed FCC regulations and draft legislation in Congress both aim to ensure that Internet content — be it streaming video, audio or other content — will be treated equally by Internet service providers. Another goal of the initiatives: To give start-ups and entrepreneurs access to broadband networks without undue influence from the ISPs.

  10. I trust the government far more than a large multinational. Though the government should regulate these endorsed monopolies far stricter.

  11. Go ahead and trust the government. They wouldn’t lie to you. Just ask Barack “If you like your health insurance plan you can keep your health insurance plan” Obama.

    I’m sure the people in charge of net neutrality would not expand the bureaucracy and use it for political gain, can you say IRS. Famous last words, “we’re from the government and we’re here to help you”. HAHAHA.


  12. Why would the government regulate the very entities that put them in power in the first place. Just like financial regulation these regulators jump from industry to government and back, raking in huge money using their government connections to shape regulations in the favor of these well connected companies. Plus when was the last time one of these multinational companies started a war with another country.


  13. DJ,
    I think you have called me a dumbass three times today, I really appreciate that from someone like you.
    Thank you,

  14. So, Bob, your preference would be that private enterprise be given the right to control the speed, content and availability of what you look at online? Net neutrality is about keeping corporate influence out of your use of the ‘net. The alternative is a user-pays system, where whomever has the most money determines what you get access to and at what speed… The Republicans oppose this idea because big business tells them to.

  15. DJ,
    The problem as I see it is that you trust the government to do the right thing. I trust the government to screw up whatever it touches.

  16. AJ,
    I’m not saying your wrong, but my trust in the government is nil at best. They rarely do anything in the long term best interest of their constituents. We will have to wait and see, but these things often come with unforeseen consequences.


  17. And if you think the government is going to manipulate a lack of corporate manipulation of net access, what do you think the private sector would do? Do you think they will somehow act in the best interests of the average person? Because we all know altruism is the thing that sets corporations apart from heartless government that seeks nothing more than despotic tyranny and blood-soaked power…

  18. What I am saying is that the internet works quite well right now, we have broad based access on a variety of devices from a variety of sources just about anywhere. I do not see the need for more government regulation. Be careful what you wish for.

  19. I look at this issue from this POV. Corporations already control what you read, watch and hear by controlling radio, Newspapers, and Television. The internet is the last big prize for them. Without net neutrality the P would be in danger and a lot of stories that gets posted here that don’t get covered by the village we would never know about

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them…and those who feel no need to control themselves.

  20. Governments always do need to be watched and subjected to both scrutiny and public criticism, whomever is in power, but given that a decision had to be made one way or another on net neutrality, I believe the decision made was the better of the two options; corporate influence is already prevalent in society and we are constantly bombarded with advertising and reporting that is shaped by business interests. Imagine, if you will, if your kids (we have two teenagers who seem welded to their phones) were subjected to non-neutral internet access; kids will often take as gospel whatever they see online, more’s the pity, so imagine them being brainwashed by corporate-controlled internet. Now, that is scary…

  21. DJ,
    Typically when a corporation screws up they pay for it, there was no excuse for the financial bailout they should have let them all go broke. When the government screws up we pay for it and then pay to fix it. The the ACA health connector website is a perfect example. When something does not work in a private company they discontinue it, when something does not work in the government they throw more money at it, one of the reasons that the government tend to always expand and or spend more. With the advances in in technology and efficiencies that come with it productivity has soared, not so much with government. There is no incentive to become more efficient because they are spending other peoples money with little or no consequences if it is spent poorly. It does not make all the people in government t bad people, it just makes for a large and inefficient bureaucracy that lords itself over the people it is supposed to be serving, see the IRS and any of the regulatory agencies

  22. DJ,
    I agree that the vast majority of what is fed to the general public through television, newsprint and radio is controlled by a few large companies who often do the government bidding spreading the propaganda they are given. That is why I try to read as many foreign sites as possible. The Ukraine situation is a good example of this. I just think that the governments idea of net neutrality will be sold to the highest bidder without regard to what is written in the actual regulations.

  23. You keep believing that fairy tale

    BP oil spill costs to hit $40bn

    Company increases estimate from the Deepwater Horizon explosion by $7.7bn

    Judge’s Ruling on Gulf Oil Spill Lowers Ceiling on the Fine BP Is Facing
    federal judge decided this week that British Petroleum will pay a maximum of $13.7 billion for its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, saying that the oil spill was not as extensive as United States officials claimed. The sum is several billions lower than all parties involved were expecting – except for BP, of course.

  24. First, my big problem with this NN is that no one was allowed to review the 332-page policy before it was voted on. Lack of transparency and “Gotta get it done now” is always cover for shady tricks and raw deals. Second, government regulation always leads to red tape, inefficiency, more taxes, and reduced services. Right now, the internet is open and unregulated. Don’t be surprised if buried in this NN policy are requirements for every user to get a license for internet use and and obtaining “permission” to build a website and post content. All you snarky-snarks can point and laugh at this notion, but don’t f’ing come crying if/when this stuff comes to pass because I TOLD YOU SO.

  25. I think you’ve got the horse before the cart there mate; governments often do the bidding of businesses, not the other way round…

  26. DJ,
    I agree with you BP should be bankrupted if necessary to fix the destruction they caused. My daughter and I did charity work with our church down on the gulf in Mississippi and this was/is a tragedy of monumental proportions.The problem is when the government screws up monumentally, they paper it over with your and my money, see the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The government does not learn from its mistakes unfortunately.

  27. Damn the idiots are out today. We have been debating this issue for over 2 years. Over 4 million people did read what was going on and sign petitions in favor over it. Now if you pull your head out of that Reich wing bubble ass you would know this and if you dumbass or the idiots you voted for because of freedumb cant read 332 pages in a couple of days what does that say about your intelligence or lack of.

  28. I do trust the government to take complete control of the internet. It’s my best shot at getting the wealthy to pay for my service. Why should we pay an ISP exorbitant fees for internet access?

    The internet is a human right and should be free.

  29. I am quite far from right wing, but whatever works for you. So you agree with the big bank bail out, perpetual ZIRP and the big banks being being more consolidated and over leveraged than ever. We will see how that works out in the long run. It not so hard borrowing money at ultra low interest rates from the government (the FED)to cover your poor management of your leverage or in AIG’s case selling CDS without any backing. Then using the cheap money to by bonds and pocketing the spread. I wish I was in on the scam.

  30. No I don’t agree with your assumptions. Back when it was happening I wanted to nationalize the big banks and break them up if you want to research it just check my discus account but it would be a long search. Even though I was in favor I knew it would never happen so it is what it is.

  31. Commenting on my music board my friend from Germany broke it down. Here is his comment
    “given how much of the world depends on us based internet, this was a global victory.”
    That is all

  32. Without the government involved, this would be like playing a football game with no refs and no rules. It’s one thing to not “trust” the government but entirely something else to believe corporations will play fair and operate for the good of consumers. Big business does nothing if there is not a buck in it. If we still enforced the Sherman anti trust laws these mega conglomerate businesses would be forced to diversify in the name of competition and anti monopoly. If you want your internet to become just another mega business keeping cheering for the Rethugs to overturn this decision.

  33. The internet works fine now, injecting the government into it for something they declare is “net neutrality” is not likely to make it better. I hope I am wrong.
    You probably aren’t wrong because it’s not likely at all.
    I don’t think anyone is against the idea of “net neutrality” as a principal or a concept, and the telecoms may be bad, but everything that makes them bad is what the government is by definition. Putting “bad” and “worse” together doesn’t end up with “better”.

    And do you think government is going to allow the telecoms to police themselves? Don’t be all surprised when Big Brother says they need to install their own hardware/software to “verify” what the telecoms are doing and monitor internet traffic.
    Not to be concerned though, after all, they’re only eroding away at privacy and freedom of speech 332 pages at a time.

  34. What? Net neutrality insures fair unfettered access. Nothing else. It insures that money WILL NOT dictate accessibility beyond the fee for an ISP.

  35. BostonBob clearly has allowed whatever rightwingers he listens to (or reads) completely fool him into believing “net neutrality” is the OPPOSITE of what it really is.

    Bob, please, educate yourself to reality.

  36. Yoohoo, Bob! You’re definitely confused!

    You said the Internet works just fine AS IT IS.

    “Net Neutrality” means that it stays AS IT IS!

    “Net Neutrality” means that oligarchs aren’t going to be allowed to start charging you more and more for access to the Internet AS IT IS!

    Why is that so difficult for you to comprehend?

  37. This comment is for Bob. I hope you now realize that your definition of “Net Neutrality” is the opposite of what it really means.

    You used a couple of examples earlier in your argument: 1) the “if you like your insurance, you can keep it,” which is a very tired canard that clearly omits the context in which it was spoken. The ACA is not a “government program” at all; its a law that makes sure insurance companies do the right thing. (See: “The Rainmaker” with Matt Damon for a perfect example of the kind of policies that rip people off and cause them to die.)

    2) your example of the ACA rollout is also silly. In very short order, the problems were repaired, and it’s been rolling along smoothly ever since that time.

    Stop trying to act as if you don’t watch FOX and/or limit yourself to mostly rightwing publications or websites. You clearly have swallowed their lies — hook, line and sinker. You spout those programmed talking points in every post, clearly with no regard f…

  38. How do any of you know what net neutrality means when the FCC won’t publish the 30 some odd pages of laws before they are voted on? Do you all blindly follow whatever your told?

  39. “Do you all blindly follow whatever your told? ”

    Like, the way conservatives swallow every lie?

    Let do a list of all the goofy things right-wingers claimed as true:

    Deficits don’t matter;

    Tax cuts spur job creation;

    Invading Iraq would make the middle East a safer place;

    Oil profits would pay for the invasion;

    Saddam was involved with 9-11;

    America is a Christian nation;

    Real patriots want to secede from the Union;

    There is no climate change;

    The only thing to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun;

    Borrow and spend is better than tax and spend;

    Wealthy people are more moral than anyone else;

    Death panels;

    Takers are holding back the makers;

    Low regulation makes us more free;

    Invasion of privacy makes us safer;

    Keystone XL will lower the price of gas in the US, and create thousands of good-paying, permanent jobs;

    Just a short list of all the truly stupid and silly claims made by right-wingers.

  40. Seeing that most of the thirty pages came form Verizon, AT&T and others opposed to net neutrality, I think the FCC knew where the shredders were!

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