Wednesday, December 7, 2016

FCC

by -
net-neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission met in February to vote on the highly controversial Net Neutrality plan. A plan for the FCC created with the Obama administration.

On a 3-2 vote, despite stating that broadband providers are not allowed their free speech rights, the law was passed and went into effect in June. But, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the nation’s second most powerful court) will hear arguments on the law this December.

Critics of Net Neutrality say it gives the government the power to highly regulate content online. It could restrict websites like the Drudge Report or Fox News.

Even FCC commissioner Ajit Pai, one of the two that voted against the net neutrality rules, said in March that it gives the government to regulate content like the Drudge Report.

“It is conceivable to me to see the government saying, ‘We think the Drudge Report is having a disproportionate effect on our political discourse,” Pai paints a disturbing picture.

This isn’t a conspiracy theory. Do you remember the fairness doctrine that gave the power to determine if broadcasters were being “fair” when reporting on both sides of an issue?

Net Neutrality doesn’t only give government the ability to possibly exploit the rules, but it could mean paying for services that you got once for free.

There is not denying the Internet is a collection of free thought. For some, it is the only place they can be free, but things are changing. Any attempt to limit the freedom of the Internet should be stopped at all costs.

by -
counting-money

The ink is barely dry on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “Net Neutrality” takeover of the Internet and the first of many predictions about government control appear to be coming true.

As FCC commissioner Ajit Pai warned before FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s Internet power grab became “law”, bureaucrats within the FCC have been loosed on the Internet.

Their mission… their goal… their reason for being is to dream up new ways to break the rich Internet piñata and shake loose billions of dollars in new taxes and fees to fund “free” Internet access for favored Democrat constituencies, redistribute wealth and provide the FCC with the resources it needs to do both.

During a recent appearance on Newsmax TV and punctuated in an interview on radio’s “The Steve Malzberg Show”, FCC commissioner Ajit Pai revealed that:

“The president said…on WhiteHouse.gov, this is my plan and I’m asking the FCC to implement it. On the day the FCC took the vote on Feb. 26, the Democratic National Committee put out a tweet saying, Hooray! The FCC has approved President Obama’s plan.”

“Now, you cannot square those two statements from those two entities with the notion that the FCC was acting independently” Pai said. “The position I’ve taken is that this was a break from our traditional position as an independent agency.”

“Even if the president’s opinion was one among many, nonetheless, it’s hard to argue that his opinion was equal. Certainly, some opinions in this process were more equal than others.”

Stretching incredulity, Chairman Wheeler (appointed by President Barack Obama) testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform this past Tuesday that:

“I would like to be clear: There were no secret instructions from the White House. I did not, as CEO of an independent agency, feel obligated to follow the president’s recommendation.”

Expressing understanding but not approval, Commissioner Pai said:

“I have some sympathy for the chairman’s position having proposed something in May, having tried out an alternative in the summer, just to get blindsided in November by the president and ultimately having to buckle. It doesn’t speak well for the agency when we have these political considerations that are placed on us.”

With respect to new taxes and fees on Internet service, Pai said:

“They’re going to be a number of different effects over the coming months and years … Most immediately what is going to happen is that the FCC has now explicitly opened the door to an increase in the tax that is going to be placed on broadband.”

“I would imagine in the next month or two we’re going to see for the first time taxes placed on broadband bills. Your bill is going to go up. In the longer term, some of the more incidental effects are going to be a reduction to the amount of competition. Some of the smaller Internet service providers are going to find it more difficult to stay in.”

That’s not all.

The rising cost of Internet use under FCC control will not stop with government imposed taxes and fees. These costs to consumers will be dwarfed by the states who are chomping at the bit to collect sales taxes Internet purchases.

Brick and mortar stores have long complained that consumers visit retail stores to “touch and feel” products only to go home and buy them on the Internet – sidestepping state and local sales taxes that could make purchases cost prohibitive.

Republican lawmakers are busy crafting legislation to nullify Chairman Wheeler’s “Net Neutrality” Internet power grab but the legislation will likely face a veto if it makes its’ way to President Obama’s desk.

In the meantime, Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) will have to settle for legal action and hoped for court injunctions to stop FCC control of the Internet from taking effect – resources that will not be available to innovate, invent and invest in new Internet technologies.

by -
killing-internet

February 26, 2015 might very well go down in history as the day the Obama White House killed the Internet.

In a 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission decided to radically change the way they regulate the Internet, by declaring it to be a public utility akin to the phone system. The decision was strictly along party lines: the two Republican-appointed FCC commissioners voted no, while FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and two other commissioners, all appointed by Democrats, voted to move forward.

Under these new regulations, which have yet to be released to the public in their entirety, Internet providers will be classified as Title II Telecommunications Services–a substantial change that will put stringent limits on an Internet service provider’s ability to control content delivery.

This decision comes after President Barack Obama made a personal appeal to the FCC, calling for the agency to implement these sweeping, draconian rules that will tightly regulate the Internet. Such a statement from a President is, for lack of a better term, bizarre–it’s exceedingly rare for a President to blatantly try to influence an independent regulatory agency.

Before Obama’s appeal, Chairman Wheeler was considering a more moderate approach–a possible response to the more than 700,000 petition signatures opposing these rules that the FCC received from activist groups like American Commitment last August. But after pressure from Obama, Wheeler fell into line and agreed to move forward with more restrictive rules.

The new regulations will have a tremendous impact on consumers.

Since the Internet’s creation, it’s been largely unregulated by the U.S. Government. The FCC’s decision will create a stranglehold on innovation, by routing new ideas and new methods through a federal bureaucracy. It’ll also put more power into the hands of corporate content providers, like Netflix and YouTube.

Luckily, these new rules are likely to be challenged in court–but, for now, the Obama White House’s unprecedented attack on online freedom poses a serious risk to the Internet as we know it.

TRENDING STORIES

Obama is a few weeks away from leaving office and Donald Trump is helping him leave on a high point. When Obama departs the White...