There’s a new ruling on net neutrality and it could affect us all, especially the writers and readers of Red Millennial and other conservative sites.
Conservative Review reported the following:
“Last week, the DC Circuit Court upheld a ruling confirming that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is allowed to do pretty much whatever it wants with respect to regulating the internet. The ruling comes a year after the FCC declared its intentions to start treating the internet like a public utility—a phone company or television broadcaster—in order to enforce Net Neutrality rules. A previous court ruling made it impossible to impose Net Neutrality on the internet as is. In order to get around it the FCC, at the behest of the Obama administration, decided to reclassify the entire system, a move which would not only permit Net Neutrality rules, but also a great deal of other regulation.”
There are several problems with this new ruling of net neutrality. First, it allows for the FCC to much more broadly regulate the internet. The ruling supposedly creates a free and “open internet,” an internet which is supposedly free of “discrimination and abusive practices by service providers.” One of the new caveats in the regulation is that the government can force service providers to serve the government free of charge. That is a problem in and of itself. Forcing service providers to serve the government is bad enough. Forcing them to do it free of charge is crossing a line.
Other provisions under the new regulation include a tax which can be paid to the FCC, known as a “universal service fund.” The FCC can also impose price controls so long as they are “just and reasonable.” A final example is that the FCC reserves the authority to censor anything they deem obscene. This is a dangerous loophole. It is too arbitrary and left open to opinion. Almost anything can be deemed “obscene if the FCC doesn’t want it on the internet.
The FCC claims that they do not even intend to use most of these powers, but as the author of the CR article said, why would a government expand its’ powers if it has no intention of using those powers?
“In fact, we already know that these assurances were a pack of lies. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai admitted as much, when he said that broadband taxes are high on the agency’s agenda shortly after the rule went into effect. We can also see the emptiness of these promises in the fact that even some groups that favor Net Neutrality oppose the FCC’s actions as dangerous overreach,” reports Conservative Review.
The internet is the freest and most open source of communication on am world wide scale. These new regulations could change that for the worst.