Thursday, December 23, 2010

More on the FCC and 'net neutrality'

It seems several commenters to my article yesterday about the FCC's power grab over the Internet disagreed with my perspective, and that of John Fund. I'm afraid they're wrong . . . dangerously so. To clarify the situation, I wanted to put up a couple more links.

First, Adam Thierer points out the real danger of such a power grab.

... all the wishful thinking in the world isn't going to change the fact that any government agency or process big enough to control a major sector of our economy will be prone to influence by those most affected by it. Even film critic Roger Ebert, a vociferous Net Neutrality supporter, pointed out this problem in a Tweet on Monday night, saying: "Both Left and Right slam FCC on Net Neutrality. Only the lobbyists like it, possibly because their jobs depend on it."

. . .

Some will argue that things have changed and that a better breed of bureaucrat and legislator now is in charge, immune from such influence. It's a hard case to make, though, especially when Washington is teeming with telecom, media, and technology lobbyists and lawyers hungry to grow the regulatory state in various ways.

Thus, for all the talk we hear about how the FCC's move to impose Net Neutrality regulation is about "putting consumers first" or "preserving Net freedom and openness," it's difficult to ignore the small armies of special interests who stand ready to exploit this new regulatory regime the same way they did telecom and broadcast industry regulation during decades past.

There's more at the link.

Wesley Pruden points out that the FCC is trying to fix something that was never broken to begin with.

"Net neutrality" sounds good to anyone not paying attention, but it must be accomplished by a seizure of authority to do so, a seizure not by Congress (which would be scary enough), but by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Anyone paying attention can see how this would be a first step toward revival of the so-called Fairness Doctrine, sought by Barack Obama and the Democrats since he first arrived in Washington.

. . .

The new "net-neutrality" regulations here, which will have the force of law though Congress need have nothing to do with writing them, will be considered for a vote by the FCC on Tuesday. The rules being considered for the Tuesday vote are technical and complicated, and the timing of the vote clearly was arranged for Christmas week, when most people are delighted not to have to think about Washington and the trouble it makes for the rest of us.

But the FCC's power grab has attracted a diverse array of naysayers anyway. The liberal Democrats are mostly concerned that the FCC will write rules to give breaks to Internet providers, the conservative Republicans that it's a first step toward content control.

. . .

... there's something about the defiance of top-down authority and people exercising their freedoms that makes certain government officials break out in a rash. Even now some of the busybody countries at the United Nations are working on setting up "a working group" to "harmonize" global efforts to regulate the Internet. Alas, this is scariest of all. "Harmony" suggests everyone singing together to a tune written to U.N. satisfaction. Nothing is broken about the Internet that needs fixing, which is why certain cunning saboteurs are so eager to "fix" it.

Again, more at the link.

All those who see something positive in the FCC's attempt to seize administrative authority over the Internet - authority which a Federal appeals court has said flatly that the FCC does not have - are missing the point. Why should we be happy about an expansion of government regulatory control, particularly over something that has worked perfectly well without such regulation since its inception? We don't need more bureaucrats sticking their dirty fingers into our business. The less regulation, the less government, the better, as far as I'm concerned.

The FCC's actions are nothing more or less than a bare-faced power-grab. Even worse, their actions are motivated by nothing less than Marxist manipulation, as pointed out yesterday. We need to stop them, at once if not sooner.



Anonymous said...

An Internet controlled by Nancy, Harry and their ilk?

Or their opponents across the aisle?

That's where this would lead.

Then, with all the eggs neatly in one basket, the whole omlette would be a nice breakfast for some internationalist third world diplomats once they complete the final steps in their takeover of the UN.

SiGraybeard said...

Peter, we've both been banging on this drum for a long time. When I was doing my piece on it yesterday, I saw a link to you back in June.

Anyone who thinks "that a better breed of bureaucrat and legislator now is in charge" is a blind partisan. Someone said the key to understanding government is to think of some wonderful policy you want - and then think of what your worst enemy would do with it.

This is a naked power grab by the executive branch. The congress and courts have both told the FCC they don't have the authority to do this, and the FCC is the executive branch giving them a finger and saying "f*&! you, we're doing it anyway"

The problem is the FCC is in the pockets of openly Marxist organisations (Free Press - dedicated to the exact opposite of that name).

The FCC has outlived its usefulness and needs to be shut down.