Hat tip: JBS.org
Written by Larry Greenley
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
A few years ago I was momentarily fooled by the “net neutrality” campaign. At that time I was surprised to see a coalition for net neutrality featuring liberal MoveOn.org and conservative Gun Owners of America. I just checked and this coalition is still in effect.
More recently I haven’t been paying attention to the net neutrality issue. I was surprised yesterday to learn that President Obama is a big backer of net neutrality. Here’s a 50-second video of Obama speaking at Google back on November 14, 2007, where he said, “I will take a back seat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality.”
In contrast, constitutionalist Congressman Ron Paul is opposed to net neutrality regulation of the Internet based on his opposition to government regulation and support for a free market economy, as you can see in this 56-second video:
See these two video clips from yesterday’s Glenn Beck program for more information about the net neutrality issue and how it fits in with President Obama’s agenda to regulate free speech on radio, TV, and the Internet:
Here are some revealing excerpts from “Net Neutrality enforcement may reach into your computer,” dated October 21, 2009:
The Net Neutrality policy proposed by the Obama White House is set for a vote by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) on Thursday….
The vote on Thursday, which is expected to pass, will set up a show down between providers and the government. Once the provision is passed it will give the FCC the ability to begin formulating rules and readying them for the legislative process.
The following are some of the FCC’s proposed rules:
• Consumers are entitled to access any legal Internet content
• Consumers are entitled to use any Internet applications or services
• Consumers are entitled to connect to any devices that won’t harm the network
• The same rules apply to cable/DSL and wireless Internet
• Internet providers can’t block or slow competitors’ online services
So, the FCC will vote on Obama’s net neutrality policy tomorrow. Of course, the policy is expected to pass. The next step would be for the FCC to get congressional authorization to implement the net neutrality policy. And sure enough, a net neutrality bill has already been introduced in the House on July 31 as H.R. 3458. For detailed commentary on this bill read “Net Neutrality Regulation vs. Internet Freedom” by Adam de Angeli, posted on September 30.
The examples of the FCC’s proposed net neutrality rules shown above don’t seem immediately harmful to your Internet freedom until you realize that these rules would be enforced by the federal government. This would be the beginning of a government takeover of the Internet. As mentioned on the Beck TV show linked to above, it wouldn’t be long until the government would be regulating content. We’re already hearing repeatedly from Obama and his administration that the Internet and blogosphere are rampant with misleading information. We already know where this type of regulation would lead by looking at how China regulates the Internet over there.
It doesn’t seem possible that the tens of millions of Americans that use the Internet daily would put up with a government takeover of the Internet. I sure hope they don’t. It should be an epic struggle.
Nonetheless, just in case the American public doesn’t acquiesce to strict government control of the Internet, there’s a bill in Congress (S. 773), sponsored by Senator Jay Rockefeller, to give the President complete control of the Internet to preserve cybersecurity in case of “emergency.” Here’s an excerpt from the bill:
The President … may declare a cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from any compromised Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network….
Here’s a video clip of Senator Rockefeller from earlier this year bemoaning the invention of the Internet and discussing the need for cybersecurity for the Internet:
I know I’m going to be getting more up to speed on this issue in the days and weeks to come. I expect this Internet freedom issue to be one of the hottest issues during the next couple years.
It’s a little late to mount a campaign to influence the FCC vote tomorrow. I know some others have been working on this already. However, we must fiercely oppose H.R. 3458 and any other net neutrality bills that might be introduced later this session. Click here to email your representatives and senators right now in opposition to a government takeover of the Internet in the name of net neutrality.
The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution to establish a government that would secure our God-given rights. If we are to preserve our right to free speech, enough Americans need to work together to get a majority of constitutionalists (who respect the original intent of the Founders) elected to Congress. Short of that, we’ll lose our right of free speech on the Internet and everywhere else as well.