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Ear to the Ground

Sen. Stevens’ Internet Ignorance Is Frightening

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Posted on Jul 4, 2006
Ted Stevens
From CNN

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)

As chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) is in charge of bills that control the future of the Internet (like Net Neutrality). So you’ll understand why we at Truthdig start crying when we read about the 85-year-old’s feeble grasp of this world-changing technology. A few Stevens quotes:

  • “An internet was sent by my staff at 10 o?clock…”

  • “What happens to your own personal internet…?”

  • Crooks and Liars:

    If you haven?t read Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens? (R-Alaska) explanation for his opposition to net neutrality, you?re missing out on a deeply disconcerting perspective. He asked, for example, “what happens to your own personal internet” when someone else tried to download 10 movies at the same time.

    “I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o?clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially. [?]

    “They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It?s not a truck. It?s a series of tubes.”

    Now, Ted Stevens is 85 years old, so it stands to reason that he won?t fully understand the Internet. But as Christy Hardin Smith noted, Stevens, as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, “is in charge of the bills that, among other things, control the internet.”


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    By From Europe, March 10, 2007 at 7:34 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    He isn’t that bad, at least he’s still more intelligent and educated then your president. And that one’s in charge of your army!

    Report this

    By jon b, July 12, 2006 at 9:53 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Hello everyone, this is my internet speaking…:)

    Boy, this Stevens is an one heck of riot.

    Report this

    By Rob, July 9, 2006 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Jeff Y is right, it has nothing to do with age.

    The internet is littered with spare capacity. See There are “tubes” sitting empty right now.

    If the internet is slow, it isn’t because of spam and virii, or because of downloading movies. To be honest, “the internet” isn’t even slow. My ISP is a large cable provider. I get very fast downloads from all commercial sites, and my email arrives in seconds. If I want more speed I pay more, less speed, pay less. Hooray for free enterprise!

    Perhaps Ted Stevens should contact his ISP and ask about the delay in getting his “Internets” (I’m assuming he meant email).

    With regards to regulating legislation, this has been tried before with other industries with negative results. It would be most unfortunate to visit upon the internet the same failed policies which stagnated the economies of the 1970’s.

    One can not force a major carrier to give “equal footing” to all network traffic when there are parties willing to pay more for priority service.

    Virii and spam are a nuisance but the control and regulation required to properly defeat them would mean the death of the internet as we know it today.

    I don’t want to tell my kids about a time when email used to be free.


    Report this

    By Jeff Y, July 7, 2006 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Its not his age, its his lack of comprehension.  Imagine hearing your surgeon say something equally ignorant immediately prior to performing surgery, or the mechanic about to repair the brakes on your car.  How is it any different that someone with authority over whole segments of the economy can get away with such ignorance?

    Report this

    By Brandon, July 5, 2006 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    “Let the internet decide what to do.”

    Report this

    By Urbanya Adams, July 5, 2006 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Eliminating free enterprise (such as his example using Netflix as the reason why he didn’t get his top priority e-mail) rather than going after the real criminals, such as the spammers and virus creators certainly sounds like…insane mental accounting on the part of Senator Stevens.

    Kill off Netflix and gain control over the junk flowing through the tubes of the Internet?

    The logistics of this equation just doesn’t add up…

    After all, I don’t need protection from Netflix.  I need protection from spam, viruses, and the insanity still manifesting itself from this Congress believing it will take even more legislation to protect the innocent from the terrors of the Internet.

    Urbanya Adams
    One True Trixie

    Report this

    By Howard, July 5, 2006 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Politicians should be forced out of office at 65. it serves no purpose keeping feeble minded people in a position of power.

    Report this

    By Dave, July 5, 2006 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Yeah…..  get the old people out and replace them with young people who have 15-second attention spans and are only semi-literate?

    Report this

    By donnad, July 5, 2006 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    It’s time to get all of these old people out of Congress and get in some young people who actually understand today’s world.

    Report this
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