FCC & Net Neutrality: Net Censorship Chinese Style

Now that the split vote on the FCC commission has decided to accept their secret plan to turn the internet into a public utility, prepare for all the same rubber stamp decisions that your state run Public Service Commission’s operate in the utility sector. As anyone who ever interacted with PSC type regulators can attest, the corporatist legal teams that shepherd their clients’ monopolist proposals, almost invariably get their way. So much for a crony system, that seldom protects the interests of the rate payer.

When it comes to government regulation of the internet, the stake dramatically escalates far beyond simply the cost of service. The essay, When Net Neutrality Becomes Programmed Censorship argues the case that inevitably the web will eventually be assimilated into a Chinese styled content restrictive enforcement system.

The video NET NEUTRALITY: THIS IS WHAT CHINESE STYLE NET CENSORSHIP LOOKS LIKE complements the fate in store for surfers who tackle taboo waves going in directions that conflict with the mega corporatism and globalist governmental technocrats. For the business community who poopoos concern about free speech, gate keeping and suppression of political dissent, the Zacks article FCC Adopts Net Neutrality with Title II, Hard Time for ISPs makes several valid points against this federal takeover. “The major argument, however, stands that the ISPs have to expend several billion dollars to install and upgrade a high-speed mobile/fixed broadband network. Disallowing discriminatory pricing policy will significantly reduce their revenues and margins, which will in turn result in lower investments in the high-speed broadband sector. Consequently, broadband equipment service providers will suffer (due to lesser investment by ISPs) and lots of jobs will be eliminated from this sector. Telecom behemoths Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ – Analyst Report) and AT&T Inc. (T – Analyst Report) have decided to challenge the new regulation in court. In Jan 2014, Verizon won a federal court case against the FCC’s previous set of net neutrality rules. Major cable multi-service operators, namely Comcast Corp. (CMCSA – Analyst Report), Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC – Analyst Report) and Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR – Analyst Report) also strongly opposed the FCC’s decision and may file legal suits. This group made clear that though they have no objection to the open Internet concept, enforcement of stricter regulations by the government is not acceptable.” For the millions of addicted internet users who confine their online habits to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Twitter, the promise of higher speed connection is so attractive that sacrificing their independence and free speech rights becomes immaterial to their narrow minds. Look; any fundamental imposition of government regulation on the free flow of information, prohibits the very existence of the miracle that connects the world instantaneously that took off some twenty years ago. With the introduction of MS Windows 95, the PC community, which included most business computers at the time, experienced a true productivity revolution. Reflecting on the strides achieved from worldwide connectability, the essential functions of the internet is not presently broken. So what is the basic reason to accept Federal management of the most defused and individual liberating tool that has ever been invented? The answer according to Zacks is: “Telecommunications is a necessary utility.” Well is the internet really a utility or is it a DAPRA project that Al Gore invented? Proponents of more government regulation want the people to accept that the public will benefit under FCC altruistic guidance, which will be superior to the commutative collection of billions of content contributors. Content is king and the mere threat of consenting to a government filter on political speech is the true risk that is being imposed upon internet users, who overwhelming oppose censorship. The Electronic Freedom Foundation urges that “Internet blacklist legislation—known as PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House—invites Internet security risks, threatens online speech, and hampers Internet innovation”, should be opposed. Note that such enactments are proposed as actual laws, while the FCC decision to inflict utility status upon the interconnection system is both arbitrary and capricious in the legal jargon of future court litigation, which is sure to come. Utility designation is not just the preverbal slippery slope; it is the predictable introduction of specious authority to mirror the Chinese model for future command and control over the internet….

By Sartre – Breaking All The Rules –

Net Neutrality = 16.1% Internet Tax

Late last year, President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to enact far-reaching regulations that would grant the federal government unprecedented control over the internet. The concept of “net neutrality” is based on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) treating all internet traffic “equally.” However, Obama has advocated for far more than is needed to achieve this concept by calling on the FCC to issue rules that reclassify broadband as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act.

Reclassifying broadband as a utility not only threatens the internet as we know it, but will kill jobs, stifle investment and increase costs for American consumers. Moreover, the move could open the door to other forms of heavy-handed internet regulations and taxes. Given these serious economic implications, the FCC should put a hold on its late February vote on these rules and allow Congress to come up with a legislative solution.

Over the years the internet has grown rapidly largely due to the hands-off regulatory approach the government has taken. Yet instead of allowing the internet to remain in an atmosphere that has encouraged widespread growth, President Obama and FCC Chairman Tom Wheelers want to regulate the internet like telegraphs and telephones from the 1930’s. Not only are such archaic regulations inappropriate for our digital era, they will increase broadband costs for hardworking Americans.

By reclassifying broadband as a utility, the Obama administration will levy taxes on all broadband consumers and smartphone users via a Universal Service Fund fee. USF fees are already collected from traditional and cellular phones. Adding broadband to the same Title II category would slap consumers with a 16.1 percent tax increase on their internet bills–an estimated $24 billion for Uncle Sam. This adds up to almost $100 a year in additional costs for wireline broadband consumers and around $137 per smartphone for wireless customers –a deep financial burn that will certainly be felt by American families with more than one smartphone on their plan.

While reclassification undoubtedly spells bad news for consumers, the implications for industry workers could be even more dire. Title II reclassification would stifle investment –an $11.8 billion decrease –and directly impact jobs. According to an American Action Forum study, the drop in investment could kill as many as 174,000 broadband related jobs by 2019.

By Kuper Jones – The Hill –

Arizona Internet Attack Was Beta Test for Martial Law

At approximately noon on February 25, 2015, the Internet went down in a wide swath ranging from just north of Phoenix stretching to Flagstaff., Arizona. Internet service was restored the following day around 1pm local time.

The very first reports I received about the outage, coming out of Wickenburg and Prescott, was that the ISP from Century Link went down because a car crashed into a transformer. Shortly after that, reports stated that a construction crew hit a power line causing Internet service to go down. From the Phoenix media, we now know that this was the work of “vandals” who discovered where cables, buried several feet underground,were located in the midst of rough terrain. These “vandals” subsequently cut through the Internet cables which were inches to a foot thick and this was the cause this massive outage.

The event had a crippling effect on local communities from central to northern Arizona.

-911 service and the communications of first responders were taken down.
-Point of sale debit/credit card transactions could not be initiated due to the outage.
-ATM’s did not work.
-Banks were not able to access their computers and were forced to issue paper receipts for any deposit.
-All cell phone providers were inoperable except for Verizon Wireless.
-Most cable companies were not able to carry programming (e.g. Phoenix TV stations) due to the takedown of live streaming. The same was also true for many radio stations.

In short, businesses, schools and personal lives were totally disrupted. Yet, the national coverage afforded to this major event was negligible as I discovered after calling friends and colleagues from across the country to gauge their reaction. As of yesterday afternoon, most people had not heard about this event. I am not surprised as similar events transpired in both Florida and Oklahoma, AT THE SAME TIME! Steve Quayle shared….”We dropped internet here in NW Oklahoma (outside Woodward) about mid-day yesterday as well. It happened twice….”

The media has been very uniform in describing this act as the work of “vandals”….the implied use of the word “vandal” is designed to indicate that whomever attacked these cables, presumably owned by Century Link, were amateurs who were engaged in some kind of prank. As I investigated further, it became clear that this was a well-coordinated and well planned attack by persons with expertise related to the attack. Further, whomever did this had to have had specialized equipment to cut through these cables. The simple act of just finding where these cables were, required specialized knowledge….

I reside only seven miles south of the impacted area. I have learned from some locals that accessing the sight of the crime is not possible. Security personnel, without any identifying insignias, were in place and were turning unauthorized people back. I have been told that this was not a typical crime scene and until late yesterday afternoon, this had become a highly secure area.

….[T]here are two programs designed to round up people who are viewed as a danger to the status quo. The two operations are labeled “Operation BOA”, as in boa constrictor, and “Operation Lightening Strike”. I have some operational details, but at this point they are still sketchy. Suffice it to say that Operation Lightening is the 3AM round up of all perceived dissident journalists and even some local politicians. This will be accomplished on a single night of terror. Operation BOA is a more deliberate process and will focus on more non-media threats such as outspoken veterans, gun rights activists, etc.Martial law will not be called martial law…. Both Steve Quayle and I agree that we are witnessing the introduction of the “Red List” strategy. What happened in Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma was a martial law preparation beta test designed to simultaneously take down communications. Why would DHS want to take down communications? When the Red List roundups begin under Operation Lightening Strike, the powers that be do not want to allow their intended round up targets to be able to warn each other. Further, the crash of the ATM’s and point of sale transactions limits one’s ability to go on the run.

What happened over a three state region was not the actions of “vandals”. This was a highly coordinated and sophisticated attack upon certain aspects of our grid designed to take down communications and commerce…. in preparation for martial law. The only question which truly remains is how far away are we from complete implementation of this operation?

By Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show –

FCC Vote: Regulate Internet as Public Utility

The US Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to regulate the Internet as a public utility. Proponents applaud the move, arguing that it will create a more open web, while opponents say the decision could result in over regulation.

Passing with a vote of 3-2, the FCC has approved net neutrality. The plan will prohibit service providers from prioritizing certain sites in exchange for payments, blocking content access, and from purposefully adjusting Internet speed.

Internet providers, for instance, would not be allowed to provide preferential treatment to websites which pay a fee. Under net neutrality, subscribers would have the same degree of access to a site like Amazon as it would to a smaller, mom-and-pop retailer. The idea is that all web traffic should be treated equal.

“If we’re going to open and free Internet, there has to be some counterweight to the power of the big Internet service providers,” former FCC chairman Michael Copps told Sputnik. “You can’t have both monopoly power and no regulation – that’s just an invitation to total monopoly and total undermining of the public interest so that this most powerful technology in all of history, the internet, becomes not the province of all of us for the common good, but it becomes the playground of the favored few.”

According to former US Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Copps, net neutrality rules set to be approved by the FCC on Thursday morning protect the open Internet by taming the power of big telecommunications companies….

The vote went through despite requests for delay until the 332-page proposal could be made public and reviewed by the American people. A poll conducted by Hart Research Associates found that 79% of Americans preferred to know the precise wording of the poll before the FCC voted.

Two FCC commissioners, Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly, had requested such a delay.

“President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet is an unlawful power grab, Pai said in a statement earlier this month. The plan explicitly opens the door to billions of dollars in new taxes…The plan contains a host of new regulations that will reduce investment in broadband networks. That means slower Internet speeds.”

FCC Chairman Wheeler had previously proposed a kind of middle ground legislation, which would have allowed limited pay-for-priority deals. This proposal was met with a wave of outrage from net neutrality advocates. Over 4 million people wrote or called in to the FCC, arguing against any kind of preferential web “fast lanes.”

President Obama also….

From Sputnik News –

Net Neutrality Is Obamacare All Over Again

Rush Limbaugh: I’ve never felt more surrounded by ignorance than I am. I don’t mean here. I’m talking about opinion leaders and CEOs, tech leaders, industry leaders. I have never seen such ignorance in my life. I don’t know how to deal with it. This net neutrality features almost as much ignorance as there was going into Obamacare, and to me there’s no excuse for the ignorance anymore.

We’ve got seven years, six and a half years now — let’s count the year of the campaign, make it seven years. Seven years, there is no excuse for not knowing who the man is leading the country. There’s no excuse for not getting it. There is no excuse for not being able to open your eyes and see what’s right in front of your face. And yet with every issue, with every issue that comes up, it’s like nobody’s learned anything. Or even worse, if they have learned it, they don’t care.

The government is taking more and more freedom and liberty away from individuals and organizations and groups than ever before. And they’re not even having to fight for it. In some cases they’re buying it, cronyism, socialism, capitalism. In some cases they’re buying it with welfare checks, but they’re buying it….

Without any convincing evidence of market failure, the Internet is a shining example of entrepreneurism on the march. It’s a shining example of competition, technological advancement, my God, the things the Internet has made possible, no wonder the government wants control of it. No wonder the left wants control of it. People like it more than they like the government. People like the Internet more than they like Obama. Can’t have that.

“Here is the nub of the matter,” according to Randolph J. May. “By choosing to regulate Internet providers as old-fashioned public utilities in order to enforce ‘neutrality’ mandates, the commission will discourage private-sector investment and innovation for many years to come, if only as a result of the litigation that will be spawned and the uncertainty that will be created. And the new government mandates inevitably will lead to even more than the usual special interest pleading at the FCC, as Internet companies try to advantage themselves and disadvantage their competitors by seeking favored regulatory treatment.”

You know, it’s so simple. We’ve been down this road I don’t know how many times just most recently with Obamacare, and Obamacare is the model, by the way, for net neutrality. The Regime is using the exact same model.

“From all indications, the FCC contemplates that the new rules will be sufficiently burdensome and costly — and sufficiently ambiguous — that affected parties will be invited to seek exemptions from the new mandates through ‘waiver’ requests or other administrative mechanisms.”

So they’re gonna knowingly implement a bunch of arduous, complicated, punishing regulations, and then they’re gonna invite injured parties to come up and ask for exemptions or waivers. Knowingly this is going to happen. To the uninitiated who may be shouting, “Why, why?” Because this is how you get control. This is how, if you’re Obama and the government, you simply take control of the Internet and make it yours. And then you implement all of these burdensome regulations.

But, for most favored supporters you can get an exemption, but your competitors may not. How badly do you want to support the Regime? How badly and how loyally will you support the Democrat Party? “Oh, forever. Whatever you need.” Fine. You’ve got your waiver. But your competitor doesn’t. We’ll help you put your competitor out of business in exchange for your loyalty to the Democrat Party. And that’s how it’s gonna go.

That’s how it’s gone with Obamacare, and that’s exactly how this is imagined. We haven’t even gotten to the nature of the burdensome regulations, the punitive nature of them and how they’re gonna bottleneck the Internet, and how they’re gonna stifle innovation. And when he writes here, “The commission will discourage private-sector investment and innovation,” why would you invest in a company that’s gonna be more and more regulated by the government? Why would you invest in such a company when you can’t have any idea what’s gonna happen? The company’s fortunes are gonna be directly tied to the government’s opinion of it….

By Rush Limbaugh – The Rush Limabaugh Show –

The Greatest Threat To Free Online Speech

The Internet is perhaps the greatest invention ever, where everyones’ voice can be heard, everyones’ beliefs can be shared, to be discussed, debated, even debunked or confirmed after those that read or hear a specific argument have done their research.

No matter what side of the politic aisle one is on, any threat to the freedom of Internet speech, should be quickly elimated… yet the FCC, after “unprecendented” interference from the Obama administration, is proposing rules which, those with knowledge of the proposal, say go too far and endangers the free speech rights of Americans.

“While the FCC is inserting government bureaucracy into all aspects of Internet access, the FEC is debating whether to regulate Internet content, specifically political speech posted for free online,” the commissioners wrote.

The FCC is due to vote on specific regulations, yet the American public has not seen the proposals. There are calls for the FCC be transparent before voting, and allow the public the opportunity to see and comment on those rules and regulations before the FCC allows Obama’s Internet takeover to be rammed through by a partisan vote.

Three days before the Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote on the most significant Internet regulations in history, two commissioners are asking Chairman Tom Wheeler to delay the vote and release his proposal to the public.

“We respectfully request that FCC leadership immediately release the 332-page Internet regulation plan publicly and allow the American people a reasonable period of not less than 30 days to carefully study it,” Republican Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly said in a statement Monday. “Then, after the commission reviews the specific input it receives from the American public and makes any modifications to the plan as appropriate, we could proceed to a final vote.”

Make no mistake, it is not only the Republican members of the FCC Commission that are balking, even Democratic members of the FCC commission are encouraging a narrower scope and asking Chairman Tom Wheeler to roll back some of the restrictions before the full commission votes on them.

A Democrat on the Federal Communications Commission wants to narrow the scope of new net neutrality rules that are set for a vote [tomorrow]on Thursday, The Hill has learned.

By Susan Duclos – All News PipeLine –

Feds considering internet regulation and taxes

The control freaks that run our government always seem to want to “regulate” things that they do not like. And so it should be no surprise that there is a renewed push to regulate independent news websites. Sites like [OnlyWay.com]….

The Federal Election Commission is an example of a federal rule making body that has gotten wildly out of control. Since just about anything that anyone says or does could potentially “influence an election”, it is not difficult for them to come up with excuses to regulate things that they do not like.

And on Wednesday, the FEC held a hearing on whether or not they should regulate political speech on blogs, websites and YouTube videos…

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is holding a hearing today to receive public feedback on whether it should create new rules regulating political speech, including political speech on the Internet that one commissioner warned could affect blogs, YouTube videos and even websites like the Drudge Report.

If you do not think that this could ever happen, you should consider what almost happened at the FEC last October…

In October, then FEC Vice Chairwoman Ann M. Ravel promised that she would renew a push to regulate online political speech following a deadlocked commission vote that would have subjected political videos and blog posts to the reporting and disclosure requirements placed on political advertisers who broadcast on television. On Wednesday, she will begin to make good on that promise.

“Some of my colleagues seem to believe that the same political message that would require disclosure if run on television should be categorically exempt from the same requirements when placed in the Internet alone,” Ravel said in an October statement. “As a matter of policy, this simply does not make sense.”

“In the past, the Commission has specifically exempted certain types of Internet communications from campaign finance regulations,” she lamented. “In doing so, the Commission turned a blind eye to the Internet’s growing force in the political arena.”

As our nation continues to drift toward totalitarianism, it is only a matter of time before political speech on the Internet is regulated. It is already happening in other countries all around the globe, and control freak politicians such as Ravel will just keep pushing until they get what they want….

And it isn’t just a few control freak Democrats that want these changes.

The Brennan Center for Justice, the Campaign Legal Center, the League of Women Voters and Public Citizen were all expected to testify in favor of more government regulation on the Internet at the hearing.

Fortunately, other organizations are doing what they can to warn the general population. For example, the following comes from the Electronic Frontier Foundation…

Increased regulation of online speech is not only likely to chill participation in the public debate, but it may also threaten individual speakers’ privacy and right to post anonymously. In so doing, it may undermine two goals of campaign finance reform: protecting freedom of political speech and expanding political participation.

As we stated in our joint comments to the FEC back in 2005 [pdf], “the Internet provides a counter-balance to the undue dominance that ‘big money’ has increasingly wielded over the political process in the past half-century.” We believe that heightened regulation of online political speech will hamper the Internet’s ability to level the playing field.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama and the FCC are using net neutrality as an excuse to impose lots of new regulations on Internet activity.

Ajit Pai is an FCC commissioner who is opposed to this plan.He tweeted a picture of himself holding the 332-page plan just below a picture of a smiling Barack Obama with a comment, “I wish the public could see what’s inside.” The implication depicted Obama as George Orwell’s “Big Brother.”

Pai also released a statement: “President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet. It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works,” he said. “The plan explicitly opens the door to billions of dollars in new taxes on broadband… These new taxes will mean higher prices for consumers and more hidden fees that they have to pay.”

By Michael Snyder – The Economic Collapse –

Congress must stop the FCC taxation of internet

The FCC is going to ignore the facts, law, and economics in order to reverse two decades of successful free-market Internet policy.

Why? Because Obama told them to.

It doesn’t matter to the FCC that over 800,000 of us urged them not to do it.

It doesn’t matter to the FCC that Republicans in Congress offered a compromise that gave Obama everything he said he wanted.

Three unelected Democrats at the FCC will issue an order on February 26 to reduce the Internet to a heavily-taxed, heavily-regulated public utility.

This is the same group whose founder once explained: “The ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”

This will be challenged in court. But that will take years and it’s impossible to predict how it will turn out….

From AmericanCommitment.org –