03/1/15

Net Neutrality: “Young fool … Only now, at the end, do you understand.”

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton


Emperor Palpatine. Photograph: Allstar

We keep hearing, from the saviors in Washington, DC, how government regulation is the answer and how “evil monopolies” (created, incidentally, by other government regulations) are responsible for all our trials and tribulations and the “fundamental unfairness” of the Internet as she is currently wrote.

Obligatory movie quote:

“No. No government. I know those people. Absolutely not.” – Col. Ira Kane

Yeah, it’s a movie. It’s also absolutely right.

The founder of Broadcast.com, Mark Cuban, has recently been vociferous in his opposition to so-called “Net Neutrality” with his most recent public appearance on the subject in an interview where he breaks it down. His effort to “plain-language” the argument notwithstanding, and frankly, it’s a subject that should not be oversimplified, he laid out the unintended consequences dominoes and how this “everything is equal” push plays out in terms of common services.

Now, you might want to shrug Mark Cuban off as “some rich guy who owns a sports team” and clearly that’s being done a lot, but don’t forget how he got rich: he pioneered live broadcasting over the Internet. He’s not some political hack, evil cable company exec, or mushy thinking me-too “fairness uber alles” flag waver. He is, for once, someone who knows what the hell he’s talking about.

Net Neutrality, like so many political labels, is a “fair sounding” name that hides the actual motives and consequences of the real world implementations we will experience after the seemingly inevitable adoption of this latest government overreach.

It won’t be fair. It won’t be optimum. And the right answer will never even be mentioned, never mind entertained: deregulate the cable and broadband space to eliminate the protected monopolies.

The broadband space needs more competition, not less; needs less regulation, not more. Companies like Google laying fiber? Cox, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast suddenly no longer have a free pass.

Otherwise? The cynical and dystopian view?

One of the unavoidable dominoes will be broad censorship. Once the deprioritization of broadcast packets leads to the epic traffic jam that will reduce the Web’s US speeds to worse than those found in Europe, the government of the day will, once again, have to “save us” from this “unforseen” outcome and their clever plan will include limiting who can “legitimately” have bandwidth preferences, since clearly “legitimate” news outlets need to bypass the buffering jams that will afflict TV signalling and once dot-gov starts adjudicating who’s a “real” news or other “essential” service, licensing will naturally follow, and then “standards” of what is “acceptable” traffic.

At which point, whichever political party is in power at that time will have the distinct advantage of licensing whomever they deem to be more politically correct in their eyes. “Neutrality” on the ‘Net? Yeah, not so much.

We’re in the hands of fools and corrupt bureaucrats. Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission held a faux meeting on open Internet rules and access to broadband Internet. Commissioner Ajit Pai made a statement before the FCC vote to take unprecedented control over the internet with a secret plan. Yes, secret. Secret as in no exposure to the public or Congress prior to its enactment. What follows is the transcript of his comments – in echoes of Obamacare, this had to pass before we could know what was in it. Except, they are still keeping it under wraps. It must be very, very bad indeed.

From Breitbart:

“The Wall Street Journal reports that it was developed through ‘an unusual secretive effort inside the White House.’ Indeed, White House officials, according to the Journal, functioned as a parallel version of the FCC. Their work led to the president’s announcement in November of his plan for internet regulation, a plan which the report says blindsided the FCC and swept aside months of work by Chairman Wheeler toward a compromise. Now, of course, a few insiders were clued in about what was transpiring. Here’s what a leader for the government-funded group Fight for the Future had to say, ‘We’ve been hearing for weeks from our allies in D.C that the only thing that could stop FCC chairman Tom Wheeler from moving ahead with his sham proposal to gut net neutrality was if we could get the president to step in. So we did everything in our power to make that happen. We took the gloves off and played hard, and now we get to celebrate a sweet victory. Congratulations. what the press has called the parallel FCC at the White House opened its door to a plethora of special interest activists. Daily Kos, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press, and Public Knowledge, just to name a few. Indeed, even before activists were blocking the chairman’s driveway late last year, some of them had met with executive branch officials.

“But what about the rest of the American people? They certainly couldn’t get White House meetings. They were shut out of the process altogether. They were being played for fools. And the situation didn’t improve once the White House announced President Obama’s plan, and ‘asked’ the FCC to implement it. The document in front of us today differs dramatically from the proposal that the FCC put out for comment last May, and it differs so dramatically that even zealous net neutrality advocates frantically rushed in, in recent days, to make last-minute filings, registering their concerns that the FCC might be going too far. Yet, the American people, to this day, have not been allowed to see President Obama’s plan. It has remained hidden.

“Especially given the unique importance of the internet, Commissioner O’Rielly and I ask for the plan to be released to the public. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune and House of Representatives Chairman did the same. According to a survey last week by a respected democratic polling firm, 79% of the American people favored making the document public. Still, the FCC has insisted on keeping it behind closed doors. We have to pass President Obama’s 317-page plan so the American people can find out what’s in it. This isn’t how the FCC should operate. We should be an independent agency making decisions in a transparent manner based on the law and the facts in the record.

“We shouldn’t be a rubber stamp for political decisions made by the White House. And we should have released this plan to the public, solicited their feedback, incorporated that input into the plan, and then proceeded to a vote. There was no need for us to resolve this matter today. There is no immediate crisis in the internet marketplace that demands immediate action. now. The backers of the president’s plan know this. But they also know that the details of this plan cannot stand up to the light of day. They know that the more the American people learn about it, the less they will like it. That is why this plan was developed behind closed doors at the White House. And that is why the plan has remained hidden from public view.

“These aren’t my only concerns. Even a cursory look at the plan reveals glaring legal plans that are sure to mire the agency in the muck of litigation for a long, long time. but rather than address them today, I will reserve them for my written statement. At the beginning of this proceeding, I quoted Google’s former CEO, who once said, the internet is the first thing that humanity has built, that humanity doesn’t understand. This proceeding makes it abundantly clear that the FCC still doesn’t get it. but the American people clearly do. The proposed government regulation of the internet has awakened a sleeping giant. I’m optimistic we’ll look back on today’s vote as a temporary deviation from the bipartisan consensus that’s served us so well. I don’t know whether this plan will be vacated by a court, reversed by Congress, or overturned by a future commission, But I do believe its days are numbered. For all of those reasons, I dissent.”

Pai warned that the public and Silicon Valley were in for an unpleasant surprise. While that was being said, Demand Progress and Free Press, headed by Robert McChesney, flew a 2,000 square foot banner over the towering corporate headquarters of the cable giant Comcast, in Philadelphia, that showed Grumpy Cat and the legend: “Comcast: Don’t Mess With the Internet. #SorryNotSorry.” Referring to Pai’s comments, Evan Greer, Campaigns Director at Fight for the Future, had this to say: “What they didn’t know is that when they struck down the last rules we would come back more powerful than they could possibly imagine.” And that is exactly what happened – the Left surged, with Obama’s help and guidance and $196 million from George Soros, to come in and nationalize the Internet and communications. Obama has nationalized the banks, student loans, housing, healthcare and now the Internet. Americans walk around fancying that they live in a Republic that is no more. Marxism rules the red, white and blue now.

Not only will this stifle innovation and raise taxes massively, as well as costs… it opens us to UN intervention, which is exactly what Obama has in mind. You will see that basically your TV and Internet will become one as a utility. Higher costs, with slower speeds and horrid customer service await us. Not to mention, the Fairness Doctrine. Many of our blogs, such as this one, may cease to exist under these fascist rules.

Heed the words of Republican FCC commissioner Mike O’Rielly, when he states: “When you see this document, it’s worse than you imagine.” Of that, I have no doubt. I knew this was coming, but when it happened last week, a very cold shiver went down my spine. For the first time, genuine fear wormed its way into my being. I immediately squashed it and went back to work. I’m not that easily defeated.

The FCC on Thursday voted through strict new rules to regulate broadband and protect net neutrality – the principle that all information and services should have equal access to the internet. That is pure Socialism and worse. Few have seen the actual regulations – a number of Leftist organizations have, the White House who crafted this monstrosity in secret has, and Google who rewrote a portion of it has. We won’t get to see this baby until next week at the earliest.

From The Guardian:

Pai said the new rules would mean “permission-less innovation is a thing of the past”. The new rules will ban broadband providers from creating fast lanes for some or slowing the traffic of others for commercial reasons. They will also give the FCC the power to police conduct by broadband providers on a case-by-case basis.

Internet service providers will not be allowed to “unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage” consumers’ access to content and services.

O’Rielly said this would mean that any company looking to start a new service would have to seek permission ahead of time. He said anybody looking for new business opportunities in the document would be best off becoming a “telecoms lawyer”.

While the wording seems to confine this permission-first model to “services” such as NetFlix, Hulu, and things of that sort, what it will likely mean tomorrow, as scope creep is engaged, is that you would no longer just be able to start a new business or even a blog online, unless you get permission from the government. Is that the “change” everyone wanted? Well, here it is. This echoes the nationalization of the press in Venezuela and other dictatorial provinces.

From National Review:

Net neutrality’s goal is to empower the federal government to ration and apportion Internet bandwidth as it sees fit, and to thereby control the Internet’s content,” says Phil Kerpen, an anti-net-neutrality activist from the group American Commitment.

The courts have previously ruled the FCC’s efforts to impose “net neutrality” out of bounds, so the battle isn’t over. But for now, the FCC has granted itself enormous power to micromanage the largely unrestrained Internet.

It’s not just the conservative Right that now fears these moves… Will Marshall, head of the Progressive Policy Institute, issued a statement that net neutrality “endorses a backward-looking policy that would apply the brakes to the most dynamic sector of America’s economy.” This will destroy the last domain of true freedom in America. Right on target for a Communist agenda.

Robert McChesney, the Marxist head of Free Press, made his stance on his goals crystal clear: At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies,” he told the website Socialist Project in 2009. “But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.” Earlier in 2000, he told the Marxist magazine Monthly Review: “Our job is to make media reform part of our broader struggle for democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism.” McChesney has come a long way… the Marxists know that if they get control of the military and communications, they can change the political structure of the US into a bonafide dictatorship. We’re here folks, they’ve done it.

We’re not done yet though… I suspect there will be a massive fight in Congress over this. If they can’t overturn it legislatively, they will try and starve it through funding. And the lawsuits and legal problems for the Marxists who have orchestrated this go on forever. The Republicans so far have been a massive, deadly disappointment. They better find their spines and stand against this. Between all the scandals, Amnesty, 2nd Amendment issues and this, the country is on the very edge of a civil uprising.

When the quislings in Silicon Valley finally wake up after this, they aren’t going to like what they have wrought. There will be unintended consequences galore and they’ll proclaim: “We couldn’t have seen this coming!” Oh, but you could have if you had any foresight at all. Quoting Emperor Palpatine, Republican Ajit Pai, a member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), said: “Young fool … Only now, at the end, do you understand.”

02/27/15

‘The Giver’ Shows Where ‘Net Neutrality’ Leads; Keeps on Giving if You Want it Too (video)

By: Arlen Williams
Gulag Bound

It is almost March and catching wind of the new ruling called “Net Neutrality,” I am beginning to be frightened.

Some may be reminded of the opening line of a story; just borrowed it. It’s a story about what happens toward the end of the road down which today’s ruling has just pushed us. Call it… Book Burning 2.0, with a technocracy update, in a muted, camel’s-head-in-the-tent fashion, pardon the mixed metaphor.

But that story’s dystopia may not even be as hideous as reality can become.

GiverCharacterMap

A number of fantasies and sci-fi stories about children and adolescents have become more and more popular in recent years, following the jet stream created by Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.

One of the best became adapted from its original novel to a movie last year; and as it turns out, The Giver is to the FCC and budding United Nations regulatory control of communications technology, what The Hunger Games is to Agenda 21, “sustainable development,” the EPA, and again, the UN. Have you seen the motion picture, yet? On disc or through an online service?

I just came across this brief set of Raymond Arroyo interviews, of its producer-star, Jeff Bridges, of producer Michael Flaherty, and of its author, Lois Lowry, from last August.

Gave it a micro-review without much spoiling of plot and showed a trailer last November: The Giver, the Movie, Out on Disc, Suggested.”

Enjoy! What children and young adults do you know who might?

Or, how about any friends or family childish enough to support the neutering of the power of free communications called Net Neutrality?

02/11/15

Net neutrality a looming threat to free speech

By: James Simpson
WatchDog.org

The Federal Communications Commission will vote on a new “net neutrality” regulatory framework for the Internet on Feb. 26. FCC has already been stopped in its tracks twice by federal courts which have ruled that the FCC has no authority to impose such regulations. Not to be thwarted, the Obama administration has doubled down, declaring the Internet a public utility subject to regulation under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

Shutterstock Image
While 64 percent of journalists believe the government has spied on them, the FCC’s looming net neutrality decision could have repercussions for free speech online.

While the administration promises a bonanza of new benefits, this regulatory framework will stifle innovation, hobble Internet startups, and ultimately place the heavy hand of government on both accessibility and new media content.

What is Net Neutrality

Mention that name and eyes glaze over. In concept, net neutrality is the idea that the Internet should be equally accessible, i.e. “neutral,” to all comers. Thus, a blogger should have equal access to Internet speed and capability as say Netflix, for example. Under contemplated net neutrality rules, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Verizon and Comcast would not be allowed to charge higher prices for more access.

Thus companies like Netflix—which utilizes about 35 percent of total Internet traffic at peak times—could not be charged a premium. Small startups would have the same kind of access. So the argument goes that net neutrality will encourage competition and facilitate the growth of new Internet startups.

What’s the matter with that? In concept, nothing. In practice, everything.

Access to the Internet and Internet speeds are enabled by bandwidth, i.e. the amount of instructions that can be carried across an Internet cable or wirelessly at a given time. Like everything else in the real world, supply of bandwidth is limited, and expanding bandwidth capacity is expensive.

Bandwidth also requires electrical energy– the more used, the more power required. Those companies whose products require massive amounts of bandwidth, like Netflix, pay higher prices, one way or another. ISPs also charge different rates for residences and businesses and charge different rates for faster download/upload speeds.

This is like paying a higher price for overnight versus two or three-day mail delivery. Netflix is, in effect, purchasing a different product than, say, Joe Blogger. The market has always rationed supply of goods and services this way, and it is the most effective method for equitably distributing limited resources. It is the reason the American economy flourished for 200 years, and why the Internet, largely unregulated for the past 20 years, has experienced explosive growth.

The Heavy Hand of Government

Enter the FCC. Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 was applied to the telecommunications industry in its infancy. It brought us Ma Bell and AT&T, regulated monopolies that stifled innovation in telecommunications for decades. It was not until microwave technology offered an alternative to traditional long line telephone service that the regulated monopoly began to crack. Now the FCC wants to impose the same kind of regime on the Internet.

Net neutrality is being sold as a method to make broadband access inexpensive, but to paraphrase P.J. O’Rourke, “If you think [the Internet] is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.” Net neutrality is a form of price control, and price controls everywhere distort the market. By affording equal access to all comers at below cost, demand will skyrocket while supply dries up. If an ISP cannot provide Internet access at a profit, it will go out of business. The government will then step in to take its place.

And it won’t be cheap. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who opposes the plan, recently warned that it will give FCC power to micromanage virtually every aspect of the Internet. “If you like dealing with the IRS, you are going to love the President’s plan,” he says. According to Pai, this is what’s coming:

  • Billions of dollars in new taxes, higher prices and hidden fees
  • Reduced investment in broadband networks, slower internet speeds and less access
  • A move from a largely unregulated Internet to a regulated monopoly

Pai’s predictions are not theoretical. Local governments all over the country have experimented with creating government-run ISPs using money obtained from President Obama’s stimulus and other taxpayer financing. They have been unqualified disasters.

Just as Obamacare will slowly squeeze private insurers out of the market, with the ultimate objective becoming a government-run, single-payer health care system, private ISPs will find it increasingly difficult to compete with taxpayer-subsidized government ISPs. The ultimate outcome will be complete government control of the Internet.

Net neutrality has been called socialism for the Internet.  Robert McChesney, co-founder of the left-leaning Free Press and author of Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Away from Democracy, made this explicit in an interview with the Socialist Project:

What we want to have in the U.S. and in every society is an Internet that is not private property, but a public utility… At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.

McChesney explains why getting rid of the “media capitalists” is so important:

It is hard to imagine a successful left political project that does not have a media platform… Instead of waiting for the revolution to happen, we learned that unless you make significant changes in the media, it will be vastly more difficult to have a revolution. While the media is not the single most important issue in the world, it is one of the core issues that any successful Left project needs to integrate into its strategic program. (Emphasis added).

This viewpoint is not about having “equal access.” It’s about having an information monopoly. The interrelated goals of net neutrality are thus to first seize control of the Internet, then influence content.

A Pew Research survey published on Feb. 5 reports that fully 64 percent of journalists believe the government has spied on them, and 80 percent think that being a journalist makes them a target of such spying. Given the administration’s demonstrated hostility to news media, and its heavy reliance on it to craft the president’s image, would one expect more freedom of expression following the planned government takeover of the Internet, or less?

If that question doesn’t keep you awake at night, the Federal Election Commission held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss contemplated new regulation regarding political speech on the Internet.

This article was written by a contributor of Watchdog Arena, Franklin Center’s network of writers, bloggers, and citizen journalists.  Thanks to Seton Motley of Less Government.org and Watchdog.org’s Josh Peterson who contributed to this report.

01/19/15

Forum: What Is Your Opinion Of the New Proposed Internet Rules President Obama Wants The FCC To Impose?

The Watcher’s Council

Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture or daily living. This week’s question: What Is Your Opinion Of the New Proposed Internet Rules President Obama Wants The FCC To Impose?

The Independent Sentinel: It’s the government getting its tentacles into one more thing.

It gives companies immunity when they share our data. We no longer have privacy protections from the government in the name of security. The government will freely share our information among government agencies.

The government claims the information-sharing system would not put privacy at risk as the information disclosed will principally concern the method of attack on computer data and systems, rather than its content.

Who trusts them?

Why do they need these rules when they can already do it? Is it just a way of bullying companies into doing it more readily? They have been resistant.

According to the Guardian, “it would criminalize the overseas sale of stolen US financial information like credit card and bank account numbers, would expand federal law enforcement authority to deter the sale of spyware used to stalk or commit ID theft, and would give courts the authority to shut down botnets engaged in distributed denial of service attacks and other criminal activity.”

Meanwhile, our government won’t allow illegal immigrants to be charged or held if they steal IDs.

There will be more consumer notifications pushed on companies who become aware of breaches, but they already notify consumers. It’s more regulation and more expense that will be passed down to consumers.

The bill is vague and will be misinterpreted.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: If we have learned anything with this administration, what they say and what we get are diametrically opposed. The Affordable Care Act has proven unaffordable for many. President Obama wants the FCC to reclassify the internet under Title II of the Telecommunications Act and extend that regulation to mobile broadband service as well. Net neutrality will not lead to a fairer, more open and free internet as the president promises. As Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz stated: “Net neutrality puts the government in charge of determining Internet pricing, terms of service, and what types of products and services can be delivered, leading to fewer choices, fewer opportunities, and higher prices for consumers.” I believe that about sums it up.

The internet has been working very well in a free market system. If we want to keep an affordable, free, and open internet, we must keep government out of it.

The Glittering Eye: I’m not sure how to answer the question. Perhaps the best way would be for me to state what I’m in favor of. First, a brief preface.

The Internet grew from developments by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for a computer network that could survive nuclear war. The Internet has succeeded because a) it was in the public domain, b) ICANN (the ultimate registrar of domain names) has been seen as apolitical and fair, c) it has largely been free of regulation and taxes, and d) the cost of entry was relatively low. Later that development was augmented by the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the University of Illinois’s computer science department.

Previous attempts at large scale computer networks whether public (in France) or private (by many companies) had failed. There is no reason to believe that any proprietary network would have succeeded.

I am unsympathetic to the complaints of the mega-service providers. In large part they enjoy the position of power they hold because of their government-granted monopolies. They have expended very little capital on research and development in their Internet service enterprises and have enjoyed substantial revenues with things as they are. That other companies, e.g. Google, Netflix, are making profits out of the Internet as it is is merely sour grapes on the part of the ISPs. If they demand more money from their investments on network infrastructure, minor relative to the revenues they’ve derived from them, they should meter bandwidth at the customer level and leave providers alone.

Consequently, I believe in network neutrality, that the Internet should be largely free of sales taxes, that it should remain predominantly uncensored, and that Time-Warner, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and so on should be regulated by the FCC. In particular I think that any business that has gained its present position as the result of government-granted monopoly should be kept out of the content business. I’m not sure where that puts me relative to the Obama Administration but that’s what I think.

JoshuaPundit: What government can regulate, it can control. And what it can control, it can tax. Ultimately, screwing yet more tax revenues out of the American people is a lot of what this is all about,and the fact that this president wants the FCC to impose these new proposed rules without congressional oversight while it has a  majority of his appointees who took their seats while he had a congressional majority tells me all I need to know.

The other major part of what this is about is censorship and control of content. This president is also not only hyper-partisan but a long time appeaser of Islamists, and he has already said that he is going to ‘fight the media ‘  and the nation’s journalism community when it is planning to publish anti-jihadi articles,using the lame excuse that he is suddenly concerned about the welfare of the same troops overseas whose lives he has endangered with ridiculous Rules of Engagement and his illegal wars. Rest assured that very selective censorship in a great many areas will be the order of the day if he gets his way.

Ask Marion: On Thursday 01.15.15 the White House said legislation was not necessary to settle the “net neutrality” rules issue because the Federal Communications Commission had the authority to write them. And President Obama’s rallying cry this past week has been… ‘Everyone deserves free Internet’. Beware of politicians bearing free gifts!!!

Quick Background:

What actually is at immediate stake here is what rules should govern how Internet service providers (ISPs) manage web traffic on their networks to ensure they treat all Internet content fairly. At the heart of the latest phase in the debate over the rules is what legal authority should guide those regulations.

Obama is urging the FCC to regulate ISPs more strictly under a section of communications law known as Title II, treating them more like public utilities. The broadband companies adamantly oppose this plan, saying the added regulatory burden would reduce investment and stifle innovation in their industry.

The Republican chairmen of the Senate and House commerce committees, John Thune and Fred Upton, have been working to strike a legislative deal with Democrats that would adopt some of the same net neutrality principles but without resorting to Title II.

Late on Wednesday, Thune released a list of the net neutrality principles he would pursue, which closely echoed Obama’s, such as bans on blocking or throttling of websites.

While some Republicans have also sought a delay in the FCC’s vote to establish new net neutrality rules, planned for February 26th, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has indicated no interest in a change or delay.

“Chairman Wheeler believes it is important to move forward as quickly as possible to protect consumers, innovation and competition online,” FCC spokeswoman Kim Hart said in a statement.

Evoking net-neutrality and expanding the scope and power the FCC has been on the Obama administrations’ radar since day one and now that they are in their final two years, the administration has entered their complete lawless phase. So controlling communication is high on their agenda. It is all about control and these changes are just the tip of the iceberg. Censorship; monitoring newsrooms; and taking control of every aspect of communication… newspapers, radio, TV, Internet, news outlets, textbooks, movies, even art, plus the services that support them have been on Obama’s list since 2009, when both minority groups and Democrats questioned net neutrality.

The Republicans in Congress are in favor of a net neutrality law as long as the federal government doesn’t handle it, so are trying to drum up support for a bill that would counter the FCC’s upcoming new rules. But after the Obama administration’s comments getting Democrats on board could be difficult.

The proposed bill attempts to offer a compromise between hard-line opponents of net neutrality and the larger changes preferred by President Obama and many progressive activists. It would modify the Communications Act of 1934, adding the basic elements of the FCC’s “open internet” plan. That includes the following major points:

The proposed bill attempts to offer a compromise between hard-line opponents of net neutrality and the larger changes preferred by President Obama and many progressive activists. It would modify the Communications Act of 1934, adding the basic elements of the FCC’s “open internet” plan. That includes the following major points:

  • No blocking of lawful services on a network
  • No prohibiting the use of non-harmful devices
  • No traffic throttling — except for “reasonable network management,” it would be illegal to slow or degrade any site or service
  • No paid prioritization
  • Transparency requirements for ISPs

Much of the language for this bill was lifted directly from the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet Order, which was thrown out in court last year?!? It includes less-than-ideal exceptions for network management and “specialized services” like VoIP, but it settles a major point of contention in Wheeler’s proposal by banning paid prioritization, which would have allowed ISPs to offer faster service for companies that paid more. In some ways, it’s exactly what net neutrality supporters have been asking for, although the advocacy group Public Knowledge has expressed concerns about how strong its protections would be in practice.

A crucial point is that the bill adds all of this to Title I of the Communications Act, classifying broadband as an “information service.” Title I services are regulated more lightly than Title II “common carriers” like telephone companies. The last FCC net neutrality framework plan was struck down because it came too close to making rules that only Title II allows:

“In terms of legislation, we don’t believe it’s necessary given that the FCC has the authorities that it needs under Title II,” said a White House official. “However, we always remain open to working with anyone who shares the president’s goal of fully preserving a free and open internet now and into the future.”

Of course in reality, preserving a free and open Internet is the opposite of the this administration’s goal and we all should have learned by know that anything regulated and run by the government makes it and us less free. In fact, in March of 2014 ICANN and the US government announced their intention to relinquish control of the Internet to the UN by 2015, so there is much more to this plan than just a few rule changes! Anything turned over to the United Nations brings us just us one step closer to globalization and the ruling elite’s goal of a New World Order which will definitely make us all less free.

Everyone deserves free Internet. Sounds good until you remember… you can’t have both freedom of speech and big government that controls the media… It is a choice!! And it not only won’t be free, it will more expensive for everyone. We (you) will all be paying for everyone’s Internet service plus the government bureaucracy that will run it.

Pay attention America, if government controls the media… TV, radio, the Internet… your free speech stops and the attempt to take over media and your information will be even easier and more blatant than it already is…

My feeling, like always, is less government involvement is always best!

Well, there you have it!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?