Internet Free Speech Reaches the DC Appeals Court

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A Washington, D.C., appeals court is set to hear arguments later this year on new net neutrality rules, which critics say could lead to government regulators censoring websites such as the Drudge Report and Fox News.

In February, the FCC stated that Broadband providers do not have a right to free speech. “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.

The hundreds of pages of FCC rules have gone into effect. Google and Netflix do not have the same requirement.

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.

FCC Pai

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.'”

Matt_Drudge_Net_Neutrality

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.

He also doesn’t want reporters to go to Drudge and pick up information he then has to answer questions about.

The Drudge Report is nothing more than a right-leaning news aggregator – a highly successful one and therein lies the problem for the leftists.

 

 

Reference: Washington Examiner

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