A DC appeals court will soon hear arguments that could lead to censoring Drudge, Fox News and other sites including bloggers.
The Federal Communications Commission’s February vote on net neutrality took away free speech from broadband providers. They are “conduits, not speakers” and cannot present the free speech they choose.
They contend they are taking away some free speech to keep the Internet open and free. Before this rule, the Internet allowed all providers to have free speech.
The vote along partisan lines stated that “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,” the majority held in its 3-2 vote.
While the rules require broadband providers like Verizon and Comcast to offer access to all legal online content but not Netflix and Google, there is only an artificial and unconstitutional division between them which was concocted by the government and which could be taken away by the government at any time.
The invented artifice is to call providers like Google an “edge provider” and they define that as “any individual or entity that provides any content, application, or service over the Internet, and any individual or entity that provides a device used for accessing any content, application, or service over the Internet.”
This ruling arbitrarily gives free speech to only some providers and not others. It compromises free speech and if allowed to stand, net neutrality could be used by the government to silence anyone’s free speech on the Internet by merely passing new rules and applying new invented definitions.
Former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth and the Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology argues that the rules violate the First Amendment right of Internet providers to display the speech they choose, which of course it does.
“If rules such as these are not reviewed under the most rigorous scrutiny possible, government favoritism and censorship masquerading as ‘neutrality’ will soon cascade to other forms of mass communication,” the center argues.
“If the court upholds the FCC’s rules, the agency’s authority over the Internet would extend from one end to the other,” Fred Campbell, president of the Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology, told the Washington Examiner. “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.”
It’s only a matter of time and there’s no question political speech would be a target. The government is already and illegally using tax dollars to brainwash Americans with ads on climate change, housing rules and other Obama initiatives. They don’t respect the First Amendment.
“This possibility raises the risk that Congress or the FCC could impose restrictions on Internet video and other services that have traditionally been imposed on over the air broadcasting and cable television, including the fairness doctrine that once put the government in charge of determining whether broadcasters were fairly representing both sides of an issue,” he explained.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai warned in March that online political content like the Drudge Report could face greater regulation.
“It is conceivable to me to see the government saying, ‘We think the Drudge Report is having a disproportionate effect on our political discourse,” Pai said. “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.
“Is it unthinkable that some government agency would say the marketplace of ideas is too fraught with dissonance? That everything from the Drudge Report to Fox News … is playing unfairly in the online political speech sandbox? I don’t think so,” Pai added.
Free speech on the Internet has not been regulated but Democrats want to regulate it.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) member Ajit Pai has been very public about his opposition to the federal government takeover of the internet via “Net Neutrality.”
“The Internet is not broken. There is no problem for the government to solve,” he has said. Pai, pictured above, stated that in the foreseeable future, federal regulators “will seek to regulate websites based on political content, using the powers of the FCC or the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
Pai spoke on a panel in March at the annual “Right Online” conference in Washington, DC where he revealed his opposition to these new “regulations”.
These new “rules” reclassify the internet provider as a utility and “command them not to block or ‘throttle’ online traffic.” Pai says it’s only the beginning. According to Pai and the new rules could “migrate” to directing content, not just the “road over which the traffic flows, but the traffic itself.”
Pai stated, “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 FEC. The FCC doesn’t have the ability to regulate anything he says, and we want to start tamping down on websites like that.’”
Many believe this is a “takeover” by the government that will eventually lead to silencing political dissonance.
Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel wants regulations that would treat them like PACs. Until now they have been free of most FEC rules.
The effort was blocked by three Republicans but Ravel has promised to bring it back with full force next year.
The Washington Examiner reported that she would likely “regulate right-leaning groups like America Rising that posts anti-Democrat YouTube videos on its website.”
FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman, a Republican, described what Ms. Ravel wants as something like a Chinese censorship board.
He said if regulation extends that far, then anybody who writes a political blog, runs a politically active news site or even chat room could be regulated. He added that funny internet campaigns like “Obama Girl,” and “Jib Jab” would also face regulations.
“I told you this was coming,” he told Secrets. Earlier this year he warned that Democrats on the panel were gunning for conservative Internet sites like the Drudge Report.
We might never again see spoofs like Obama Girl, Sean Hannity’s website would be under scrutiny, and Drudge Report would be taxed and regulated out of existence.
Like all other executive agencies, the FEC has been politicized.
On April 4 2013, during a conversation with POLITICO’s Mike Allen, White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer labeled the Drudge Report as harmful.
He said the media has a “Pavlovian response” to controversial links posted by the conservative news aggregator, The Drudge Report.
Pfeiffer also argued that the site actively “hurts” the White House’s efforts to convey their message “on a daily basis”.
One can assume from that statement that the White House expects the media to work in lockstep with his message. The Obama administration loves state media and nothing must interfere.
Drudge has responded: