“Net neutrality” is anything but.
In the court fight that’s shaping up, the major issue seems to be that the rules are written in such a way that media outlets that have always been protected by the First Amendment no longer have any rights to free speech if they publish on the Internet.
The case is expected to be heard in December. The rules were voted on by the FCC earlier this year.
The most telling quote from the commission’s vote was this: “Broadband providers are conduits, not speakers … the rules we adopt today are tailored to the important government interest in maintaining an open Internet as a platform for expression.”
By going after broadband providers and not going directly after the likes of Fox News, Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh and the like, the Obama Administration’s FCC is hoping to make censorship of conservative opinions on the Net legal.
The Net has been a haven for conservative thought which was largely banished from newspapers and television.
The FCC rules, which went into effect in June, require that providers such as Comcast or Time Warner provide access to all legal content and prevent them from choosing which content to present.
While gatekeepers of any sort can be frustrating to online users, at least commercial providers are responsive to market forces. The FCC rules open the way to government determination of what is suitable content and what limits may be placed on the amount of certain content the government doesn’t like.
In short, it’s a prescription for government censorship, and in the hands of a left-wing Administration that has a clear record of trying to silence political opponents from military generals to conservative nonprofit groups, it doesn’t take a crystal ball to see whose content is going to be banned in the name of “neutrality.”
Just like “diversity” in the mouths of the Left means anyone but conservatives, you can rest assured that “access” will mean liberals only.
Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology president Fred Campbell told the Washington Examiner, “If the court upholds the FCC’s rules, the agency’s authority over the Internet would extend from one end to the other. … Because the same theories the FCC relied on to impose its new regulations on Internet service providers are also applicable to companies like Apple and Netflix, the FCC could extend its regulatory reach much further in the future.”
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who voted against the rules, said, “It is conceivable to me to see the government saying, ‘We think the Drudge Report is having a disproportionate effect on our political discourse. He doesn’t have to file anything with the [Federal Election Commission]. The FCC doesn’t have the ability to regulate anything he says, and we want to start tamping down on websites like that.'”
Proponents of the “Net neutrality” rules are firmly locked into an Orwellian, if not outright Machiavellian, position: We must control free speech to protect free speech.
And War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength. …