Censorship Begins: FCC trying to block releases from commissioner who opposes Net Neutrality
It appears the fix is in on the 332-page government takeover of the internet. The FCC is not allowing the public to read the new regulations for the internet, known as “net neutrality” despite claiming the rules are necessary for “open internet.” Talk about irony!
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai is one of the few people in the world who have actually read the rules, and he’s sounding the alarm that “net neutrality” is nothing more than a complete government takeover of the internet, and that the rules would subject the web to heavy taxation and government censorship. As if trying to confirm his warnings, the FCC is actually trying to block Commissioner Pai from releasing information about the rules to the press, according to his Chief of Staff Matthew Berry.
Pai isn’t heeding the FCC’s call for silence, and he is still making waves in the press.
Pai has an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune:
If you like your wireless plan, you should be able to keep it. But new federal regulations may take away your freedom to choose the best broadband plan for you. It’s all part of the federal government’s 332-page plan to regulate the Internet like a public utility — a plan President Barack Obama asked the Federal Communications Commission to implement in November and that is coming up for a vote Feb. 26.
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.
But restricting service plan options is inherently anti-competitive and anti-consumer. The inevitable results will be higher prices and less service for consumers along with an especially adverse impact on small providers and upstart competitors trying to differentiate themselves in a crowded market.
And here’s another irony: 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.
Contrary to popular belief, Net Neutrality is an easy vehicle for corporate cronyism and government-aided monopolies. It will not “fix” the internet because the internet isn’t broken to begin with.
If you have a problem with your internet provider (say, Comcast perhaps), that’s understandable. There are other options available to you on the market already. Getting big government involved and expecting that to solve your problems is total insanity.