Tomorrow the FCC commissioners are scheduled to vote on President Obama’s 332 page plan to regulate the internet, known as “Net Neutrality. ” The internet is one of the last safe havens for free speech and freedom of the press. If this passes, it will be a huge loss for first amendment rights!
However on Monday, the Daily Caller reported that two commissioners asked the Chairman to delay the vote and release the proposal to the public. The vote is expected to pass 3-2 according to the Daily Caller, so one can assume that it is the two commissioners who are expecting to vote against it that are requesting the delay.
“‘We respectfully request that FCC leadership immediately release the 332-page Internet regulation plan publicly and allow the American people a reasonable period of not less than 30 days to carefully study it,’ Republican Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly said in a statement Monday. ‘Then, after the commission reviews the specific input it receives from the American public and makes any modifications to the plan as appropriate, we could proceed to a final vote,’” reports the Daily Caller.
While the proposal has not yet been released to the public, Americans seem to “instincivelty resist the issue,” according to the Progressive Policy Institute. It is interesting the Americans seem to “instinctively resisit it because according to a poll by the Institute 74% of Americans are unclear as to the meaning of net neutrality’, “73% want greater disclosure of the details of the FCC’s proposal to regulate the Internet” and 79% “favor public disclosure of the exact wording and details of the FCC’s proposal to regulate the Internet before the FCC votes on it.” The American people should not be subjected to a plan which they have not seen and very few even understand what it is.
“The Internet is an unparalleled success story. It is a free, open and thriving platform for civic and political engagement, economic growth, educational opportunity, entertainment and much more. It has made the United States the epicenter of innovation,” reports the Chicago Tribune.
The Chicago Tribune points out a couple of ironies of the plan:
- “The Internet isn’t broken, and we don’t need the president’s plan to ‘fix’ it. Quite the opposite.”
- “Federal law already protects competition and consumers online — and the president’s plan would strip away those protections. Indeed, the Federal Trade Commission has the authority to quickly address any anti-competitive exercise of market power, protect consumer privacy, and prevent deceptive and unfair practices that harm consumers. And it uses its authority aggressively to police market power and fraud in the Internet economy.
But regulating broadband service like a public utility denies the FTC these powers and denies consumers the protections that come with them. That’s because the law makes clear that the FTC doesn’t have jurisdiction over ‘common carriers,’ which is what broadband providers would become under the president’s plan.”
“While the plan contains no shortage of regulations, the most problematic may be the new ‘Internet conduct’ rule. It’s a vague rule that gives the FCC almost unfettered discretion to micromanage virtually every aspect of the Internet, including the choices that consumers have for accessing it. If a company doesn’t want to offer an expensive, unlimited data plan, it could find itself in the FCC’s cross hairs,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
If all this sounds familiar, that’s because it’s basically the same approach that was used with Obamacare, and we all know how well that worked out. National Review writer, Deroy Murdock pointed this out in his article: “Like Obamacare, ObamaNet would impose complex rules via Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.”
Whether or not the cote is delayed, when the plan finally is put to a vote the outcome will be crucial to the future of first amendment rights. If the commissioner’s pass net neutrality it will be a huge blow to first amendment rights and it could be the end of Red Millennial.