Obama Socialist Regime Moves For Control of the Internet

Right Side News

It’s called “Net Neutrality.” Sounds fair, right? I mean — that’s what the liberal-socialist democrats are all about, right? Fairness is their utmost priority, right? Why, they’d never do anything to limit the freedom of Americans … riiiiight?

If you believe all that, then prepare yourself for a rude awakening.

Internet_clipartWhen a political movement intends to takeover a nation’s government, one of the very first things it absolutely MUST DO … is take control of that nation’s communications networks. It must be able to control access to communications if it expects its efforts to be successful.

Continue reading

Government control of the internet? Oh, no you don’t

Renew America

Add the free-swinging Internet to President Obama’s control-or-destroy targets. That means they are going after you because the Internet is open to everyone. It is the most democratic (with a small “d”) of all the media. It’s free and open, and the Stalinists in Washington intend to change all that.

Continue reading

Senators propose granting president emergency Internet power


A new U.S. Senate bill would grant the president far-reaching emergency powers to seize control of or even shut down portions of the Internet.

The legislation announced Thursday says that companies such as broadband providers, search engines, or software firms that the government selects “shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed” by the Department of Homeland Security. Anyone failing to comply would be fined.

That emergency authority would allow the federal government to “preserve those networks and assets and our country and protect our people,” Joe Lieberman, the primary sponsor of the measure and the chairman of the Homeland Security committee, told reporters on Thursday. Lieberman is an independent senator from Connecticut who caucuses with the Democrats.

Continue reading

Court: FCC has no power to regulate Net neutrality

cnet news

The Federal Communications Commission does not have the legal authority to slap Net neutrality regulations on Internet providers, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

A three-judge panel in Washington, D.C. unanimously tossed out the FCC’s August 2008 cease and desist order against Comcast, which had taken measures to slow BitTorrent transfers before voluntarily ending them earlier that year.

Because the FCC “has failed to tie its assertion” of regulatory authority to an actual law enacted by Congress, the agency does not have the power to regulate an Internet provider’s network management practices, wrote Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Tuesday’s decision could doom one of the signature initiatives of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat. Last October, Genachowski announced plans to begin drafting a formal set of Net neutrality rules–even though Congress has not given the agency permission to do so. That push is opposed by Verizon and other broadband providers.

Comcast welcomed the ruling in a statement that said: “Our primary goal was always to clear our name and reputation.” The National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the cable industry’s lobby group, elaborated by saying that Comcast and its other members will “continue to embrace a free and open Internet as the right policy.”

Net neutrality proponents responded to Tuesday’s ruling by saying the FCC should slap landline-style regulations on Internet providers, which could involve price regulation, service quality controls, and technological mandates. The agency “should immediately start a proceeding bringing Internet access service back under some common carrier regulation,” Public Knowledge’s Gigi Sohn said. The Media Access Project said, without mentioning common carrier regulations directly, that the FCC must have the “ability to protect the rights of Internet users to access lawful content and services of their choice.”

In a statement on Tuesday, the FCC indicated that it was thinking along the same lines. The DC Circuit did not “close the door to other methods for achieving this important end,” the agency said. A spokeswoman declined to elaborate.

Early reaction on Capitol Hill cleaved along party lines. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Texas senator and senior Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, said: “It would be wrong to double down on excessive and burdensome regulations, and I hope the FCC chairman will now reconsider his decision to pursue expanded commission authority over broadband services.” Rep. Joe Barton, the Texas Republican, warned that “the FCC should not reclassify” broadband providers as common carriers.


But Rep. Ed Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat who had drafted one of the unsuccessful Net neutrality bills, said: “I encourage the (FCC) to take any actions necessary to ensure that consumers and competition are protected on the Internet.” Markey noted that he reintroduced similar legislation last summer–it’s been stuck in a House subcommittee even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once said there was an urgent need to enact it.

The FCC had known all along that it was on shaky legal ground. Its vote to take action against Comcast was a narrow 3-2, with the dissenting commissioners predicting at the time that it would not hold up in court. FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, a Republican, said at the time that the FCC’s ruling was unlawful and the lack of legal authority “is sure to doom this order on appeal.”

The ruling also is likely to shift the debate to whether Congress will choose to explicitly grant the FCC the authority to regulate companies’ network management practices. One wildcard: Unless there is a groundswell of complaints about a specific company, as there was with Comcast throttling BitTorrent transfers, there may be little appetite for controversial legislation. And, of course, cable providers have already pledged to keep the Internet open.

In 2006, Congress rejected five bills, backed by groups including Google, Amazon.com, Free Press, and Public Knowledge, that would have handed the FCC the power to police Net neutrality violations. Even though the Democrats have enjoyed a majority on Capitol Hill since 2007, their leadership has shown little interest in resuscitating those proposals.

“We must decide whether the Federal Communications Commission has authority to regulate an Internet service provider’s network management practices,” Tatel wrote in his 36-page opinion. “The Commission may exercise this ‘ancillary’ authority only if it demonstrates that its action–here barring Comcast from interfering with its customers’ use of peer-to-peer networking applications–is ‘reasonably ancillary to the…effective performance of its statutorily mandated responsibilities.'”

In August 2005, the FCC adopted a set of principles saying “consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice.” But the principles also permit providers’ “reasonable network management” and, confusingly, the FCC admitted on the day of their adoption that the guidelines “are not enforceable.”

The FCC’s 2008 vote to punish Comcast stems from a request from Free Press and its political allies, including some Yale, Harvard, and Stanford law school faculty.

This is not the first time that the FCC has been rebuked for enacting regulations without actual legal authority to do so. In 2005, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled the agency did not have the authority to draft its so-called broadcast flag rule. And a federal appeals court in Pennsylvania ruled in the Janet Jackson nipple exposure incident that the FCC’s sanctions against CBS–which publishes CNET News–amounted to an “arbitrary and capricious change of policy.”

Update at 9:15 a.m. PDT: History and more details added.

Update at 11:21 a.m. PDT: More reactions, including Comcast statement, added.

Update 11:25 a.m. PDT: Here’s e-mail I received from Sam Feder, a former FCC general counsel who’s now a partner at the Jenner and Block law firm in Washington: “There are no great paths forward. The court decision is not broad enough to have a good shot at overturning it in the Supreme Court, and for the same reason, it is unlikely to prod Congress into enacting legislation. Reclassifying broadband under Title II — a path advocated by some public interest groups — might provide a more sound legal basis for moving forward, but the politics of that move are awful. The ISPs would fight tooth and nail to avoid reclassification, and the public interest groups are unlikely to be happy unless reclassification is accompanied by significant regulation. In the end, that move makes nobody happy. I think the best path forward is to try to articulate different grounds for exercising ancillary jurisdiction, a path the court left open, and then taking your chances in court. I give that path a 50-50 shot at success.”


For a Socialist Revolution, Control the Internet

Red County

With the rise of our big-government state, many of us have become almost used to the idea that if government regulators want to do something, then they can. Their power is often considered limitless. And it was on this assumption that President Obama, and his radical FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, based their plans for a government takeover of the internet, under the guise of “net-neutrality”.

Except a small problem for this power grab has arisen: turns out, it probably isn’t legal. In a recent paper by former Solicitor General Gregory Garr, the arguments underpinning the legality of this power-grab were demolished, and even most of the left now concede that, as currently planned, “net-neutrality” would most probably be illegal.

Essentially the issue is as follows. Currently, the internet falls under Title One of the Communications Act. This has been confirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States. The problem for proponents of this government hijacking of power is that the power the FCC has under Title One of the Communications Act is rather limited in scope, and they most probably do not have the authority to enact the sweeping regulations that they desire under the Act.

Conceding this point, many on the left have begun to argue that, notwithstanding previous FCC rulings, and Supreme Court precedent, the internet should be moved under Title 2, which currently applies to ‘common carriers’ such as television, and gives the FCC considerably broader power to regulate and indeed micromanage production. Attempts to move the internet to Title 2 have been repeatedly proposed in Congress, and have repeatedly failed, so now the left want to use regulatory gimmickry to bypass Congress and surreptitiously reclassify the internet by Administrative fiat (a move whose legality is questionable, at best).

Make no mistake, if the radical left succeed in this goal, “net neutrality” will be just the beginning. The FCC will have sweeping, overarching, authority to regulate all content on the internet. These are the same people who impose censorship on television, and online censorship will surely follow soon, not to mention all sorts of other restrictions on freedom.

Never forget that the driving force behind this, Robert McChesney from Free Press, is the man who argued – literally – that this is a necessary prerequisite for a socialist revolution, saying “Instead of waiting for the revolution to happen, we learned that unless you make significant changes in the media, it will be vastly more difficult to have a revolution”.

If the left are successful in this power grab, say goodbye to an open, flexible, consumer-driven internet, and say hello to a big-government, regulated, censored behemoth.