What is this proposal called "Net Neutrality"? I have to tell you. As a political blogger, seeing the Feds get their foot in the door to control the free flow of commerce and information on the internet is frightening. I know shutting down political dissent is not on the menu at this time, but when have politicians resisted such urges when they hold the reins of power. And what is the big problem on the internet that requires the Feds to step in? Something about Comcast and AT&T? I don't get it. Is this another crisis? Why are we doing this now? Can't we fix the economy, stimulate private business and create new private sector jobs? Can we perhaps stop racking up huge debt and concentrate on paying down what we owe so the dollar can perhaps keep some of its value? Can we work on foreign affairs in a way that does not prop up our enemies and offend/attack our friends? Can we do some of these things instead of manufacturing a crisis in order to orchestrate an internet power grab?
During the weekend, press reports revealed a stunning development: The Obama administration will announce Monday that the FCC would propose new rules to embrace what it calls "Net Neutrality."
Obama's new Federal Communications Commission chairman, Julius Genachowski, will use a speech to the Brookings Institution, a liberal think tank, to announce the FCC proposals, according to those reports.
On the face of it, Net Neutrality appears to be a popular and fair proposal.
Genachowski will "propose new rules that would prohibit Internet service providers from interfering with the free flow of information and certain applications over their networks," according to the Associated Press.
The FCC rules "would bar Internet service providers such as Verizon Communications Inc., Comcast Corp. or AT&T Inc., from slowing or blocking certain services or content flowing through their vast networks," according to the AP.
But critics contend that the proposals are nothing more than a backdoor way for the FCC to tighten federal control over the Internet by beginning with the regulation of Internet service providers.
The battle lines over Net Neutrality have formed along partisan and ideological lines, with some exceptions.
During the presidential campaign, Obama said he would embrace Net Neutrality — a cause championed by Google and other Silicon Valley companies that don't want large Internet service providers denying or controlling their access to Internet users.
But Republicans have largely opposed Net Neutrality, suggesting self regulation has worked well.
The previous FCC chairman, Bush appointee Kevin Martin opposed Net Neutrality. He suggested it was not needed.
Conservatives see Net Neutrality as a power grab that will benefit big Internet players such as Amazon and Google while stifling smaller competitors. H/T News Max.