Tag Archives: Internet

FCC Implementing Net Nuetrality Rule (Monday)

Tomorrow, the FCC will make an announcement that it proposes to implement a new net neutrality rule for the Internet. We had been warned previously that rather than a new Fairness Doctrine, other rules/laws would be passed that could potentially affect content of the Internet and over the airwaves. 

Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, plans to propose a new so-called net neutrality rule Monday that could prevent telecommunications, cable and wireless companies from blocking Internet applications, according to sources at the agency.

Genachowski will discuss the rules Monday during a keynote speech at The Brookings Institute. He isn’t expected to drill into many details, but the proposal will specifically be for an additional guideline on how operators like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast can control what goes on their networks. That additional guideline would prevent the operators from discriminating, or act as gatekeepers, of Web content and services.

The guidelines in place today have been criticized by applications developers like Google and public interest groups for not going far enough to clarify what is defined as discriminatory behavior. Comcast is fighting in federal court an FCC ruling that it violated the guidelines by blocking a video application last year. AT&T and Verizon have said existing rules are sufficient, and more regulation is unnecessary. However, they have also said they wouldn’t fight against an additional guideline that focuses on discriminatory behavior.

Julius is not somebody who is non-partisan either.  As any appointees, they have connections to a political party and ideology.  Julius was Obama’s communications and Internet campaign manager during the 2008 election.  As we have discovered with Mark Lloyd and Cass Sunstein, Genachowski is probably no different. 

After reading various comments and arguments for this rule, I can understand how people believe net neutrality would be a good thing.  Most people who are unaware think that more regulation will actually help the consumer, and if that truly is the case, I would be all the more for it.  However, cable, phone, Internet, and wireless companies are some of the most highly regulated companies in the United States, but people still despise them.  Since there is already so much government interference wouldn’t it be safe to say that the government would inevitably make things worse rather than better? 

One issue at play is that enterprises like AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, etc. use “public” airwaves but they pay billions of dollars in licensing fees for the privilege of using the AIR! The government is already regulating that “air” and the argument has to do with the amount of regulation that already exists. To force mobile carriers to treat all internet traffic the same is ridiculous because this kind of free for all will crash many of the major carriers’ networks! There is a natural free market revolution going on which is allowing these private companies to upgrade their networks to meet the demands of their customers. Government intervention is not the answer. AT&T is responding to anger in NYC and SF by adding tons of capacity to meet the needs of its users before they leave AT&T for another carrier. If the government forces net neutrality on wireless carriers, all iPhone and smart phone users will take all of the bandwidth in order to watch streaming video and music, which sounds fine if you are an iPhone user but think about the downside and unintended consequences. If these major wireless carriers are forced to treat all traffic the same there will be no more unlimited data packages for $35/month. They will start to charge per MB in order to ensure their networks dont crash for all of their users. There were no wireless data networks to speak of 10 years ago and now we have 3G and 4G LTE coming everywhere within the next 18 months. The free market is doing this not a govt mandate, unfortunately, what a lot of people have failed to recognize is the reality and universality of the “law of unintended consequences”.

Which brings to the forefront, the second issue: at face value, net neutrality sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately, nearly everything the government does ultimately warps the motives of companies and individuals in a bad way.  The presumption by most is that the government actually has the ability to “make things better”. In my experience, that is almost never the case.  The slippery slope argument is not fear-mongering, when one merely needs to look back through history to see plenty of laws that were intended for the right purpose, which were used for something incredibly distorted and wrong. The content originally regulated would most likely be something routine and mundane – very basic data, however, it could suddenly change to ideological content.  Mark Lloyd has been talking about diversity on the Internet and over the airwaves, as well as anti-discrimination.  Sunstein, the newly appointed regulation czar feels the same way and would like to regulate the Internet based on any perceived falsehoods – who decides what is false and what is not – there is too much room for political bias. 

If this is implemented officially, I want to hear what those lauding it say after 5 years, and after majorities switch hands to the other party.  I better not hear any outcry from the liberals if Republicans come into power and continue to use net neutrality…

1 Comment

Filed under Big Brother, Constitution, Czars, Fairness Doctrine, FCC, MSM, Net Neutrality, Obama Administration, Progressivism

Internet Power Grabs and Information Control

There are more power grab attempts taking place right under our collective noses.  The only reason that some of us know about these bills and plans is due to the Internet and the investigative reporting by bloggers and online journalists.

CNET.com recently came across a bill that was drafted by Democrat Senator Jay Rockefeller from West Virginia. This bill is significantly smaller than those that have been getting pummeled down our throats and rushed through congress in the recent months. The bill is only 55 pages long and some of the provisions in this draft make sense, but others raise serious concerns.

The section in question is the one which would give the president complete control of the Internet should a cybersecurity threat or emergency arise.

The new version would allow the president to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” relating to “non-governmental” computer networks and do what’s necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for “cybersecurity professionals,” and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.

“I think the redraft, while improved, remains troubling due to its vagueness,” said Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which counts representatives of Verizon, Verisign, Nortel, and Carnegie Mellon University on its board. “It is unclear what authority Sen. Rockefeller thinks is necessary over the private sector. Unless this is clarified, we cannot properly analyze, let alone support the bill.”

Representatives of other large Internet and telecommunications companies expressed concerns about the bill in a teleconference with Rockefeller’s aides this week, but were not immediately available for interviews on Thursday.

This should raise red flags for everyone on both sides of the aisle. Not only could this be a hindrance on our freedom of speech via the Internet, but this gives the central government complete control of an important information gathering tool that has been predominantly unregulated, and has worked quite well for people of all ages to stay informed no matter what ideological side one may fall on.

If this bill were to pass and ultimately there was an instance where the President deemed it necessary to control the Internet, there is no telling, at what point, the control would stop.  There is also no telling who will have that very same control in the next 4 or 8 years when new presidential elections take place and the pendulum swings.

Who would decide what’s an emergency and what is not?  The current administration and cabinet positions are so heavily politicized, that it wouldn’t surprise me if a crisis was created just to stifle dissent on the Internet.

The government also has various agencies and even private companies that monitor the Internet and Cybersecurity so why would the President need to have that control all by his lonesome?  The answer is he doesn’t need that power and he shouldn’t have it!

The fairness doctrine will not come to pass because too many people in mainstream America know what the bill entails. The new fairness doctrine will come through bills like these being slipped through Congress, the Regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, who believes in controlling the Internet or any other source of information that he deems untrue/disingenuous, or through the FCC Diversity ‘Czar’ Mark Lloyd.

If Mark Lloyd’s Prelude to a Farce and his beliefs about Hugo Chavez’s magnificent revolution, or Cass Sunstein’s book On Rumors, where he wants to regulate the Internet, is not enough to make a person cringe, then Obama’s new plan to harvest information from social networking sites should.

NLPC has uncovered a plan by the White House New Media operation to hire a technology vendor to conduct a massive, secret effort to harvest personal information on millions of Americans from social networking websites.

The information to be captured includes comments, tag lines, emails, audio, and video. The targeted sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and others – any space where the White House “maintains a presence.”

In the course of investigating procurement by the White House New Media office, NLPC discovered a 51-page solicitation of bids that was filed on Friday, August 21, 2009. Filed as Solicitation # WHO-S-09-0003, it is postedat FedBizzOps.com. Click here to download a 51-page pdf of the solicitation.

So why is the Obama administration so interested in all of this control?  Why is there no outcry from the left?  The Patriot Act looks like child’s play compared to the expansion of government under Obama in only 7 months.

Leave a comment

Filed under Big Brother, Congress, Constitution, Czars, Democrats, Double Standards, Hypocrisy, Obama, Obama Administration, Progressivism