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 –

Baker Investigated For Refusing To Serve Anti-Gay Client

As Western Journalism has previously reported, a bakery in Oregon was investigated by state authorities – and eventually forced to close – because its Christian owners opted to refuse an order for a lesbian couple’s wedding cake.

The scrutiny grew from a complaint filed by the prospective clients and grew into a national story evoking emotions from those on both sides of the issue. Similar accusations have subsequently been levied against Christian-owned businesses throughout the country.

Recent reports indicate that the same standard used against the Oregon bakery is now being implemented by a man who wanted a Colorado business to make a cake critical of homosexuality.

When Bill Jack, who founded the group Worldview, asked Azucar Bakery to fill an order for a Bible-shaped cake featuring two men holding hands and the phrase ‘God Hates Gays,’ the shop’s owner immediately refused….

Marjorie Silva said of the work order….‘No way. We’re not doing this. This is just very discriminatory and hateful.’”

According to Jack’s complaint, however, it was the bakery – not his cake design – that revealed true discrimination.

“I believe I was discriminated against by the baker based on my creed,” he said. “As a result, I filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights division.”….

Many of those who stood up for the rights of Christian bakers to refuse a pro-gay order maintain their position that a business owner should not be forced to violate his or her personal convictions.

“This is a free speech issue,” explained Focus on the Family’s Jeff Johnston, “and we support freedom of speech.”

He went on to conclude that “this baker should not be required to create a cake with a message that goes against her conscience.”

By B. Christopher Agee – Western Journalism –

French Government Hates Freedom Of Speech

The photos of 40 of the world’s government leaders marching arm-in-arm along a Paris boulevard on Sunday with the president of the United States not among them was a provocative image that has fomented much debate. The march was, of course, in direct response to the murderous attacks on workers at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by a pair of brothers named Kouachi, and on shoppers at a Paris kosher supermarket by one of the brothers’ comrades.

The debate has been about whether President Obama should have been at the march. The march was billed as a defense of freedom of speech in the West; yet it hardly could have been held in a less free speech-friendly Western environment, and the debate over Obama’s absence misses the point.

In the post-World War II era, French governments have adopted a policy advanced upon them nearly 100 years ago by Woodrow Wilson. He pioneered the modern idea that countries’ constitutions don’t limit governments; they unleash them. Thus, even though the French Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, French governments treat speech as a gift from the government, not as a natural right of all persons, as our Constitution does.

The French government has prohibited speech it considers to be hateful and even made it criminal. When the predecessor magazine to Charlie Hebdo once mocked the death of Charles de Gaulle, the French government shut it down — permanently.

The theory of anti-hate speech laws is that hate speech often leads to violence, and violence demands police and thus the expenditure of public resources, and so the government can make it illegal to spout hatred in order to conserve its resources. This attitude presumes, as Wilson did when he prosecuted folks for publicly singing German songs during World War I, that the government is the origin of free speech and can lawfully limit the speech it hates and fears. It also presumes that all ideas are equal, and none is worthy of hatred.

When the massacres occurred last week in Paris, all three of the murderers knew that the police would be unarmed and so would be their victims. It was as if they were shooting fish in a barrel. Why is that? The answer lies in the same mentality that believes it can eradicate hate by regulating speech. That mentality demands that government have a monopoly on violence, even violence against evil.

So, to those who embrace this dreadful theory, the great loss in Paris last week was not human life, which is a gift from God; it was free speech, which is a gift from the state. Hence the French government, which seems not to care about innocent life, instead of addressing these massacres as crimes against innocent people, proclaimed the massacres crimes against the freedom of speech. Would the French government have reacted similarly if the murderers had killed workers at an ammunition factory, instead of at a satirical magazine?

And how hypocritical was it of the French government to claim it defends free speech! In France, you can go to jail if you publicly express hatred for a group whose members may be defined generally by characteristics of birth, such as gender, age, race, place of origin or religion.

You can also go to jail for using speech to defy the government. This past weekend, millions of folks in France wore buttons and headbands that proclaimed in French: “I am Charlie Hebdo.” Those whose buttons proclaimed “I am not Charlie Hebdo” were asked by the police to remove them. Those who wore buttons that proclaimed, either satirically or hatefully, “I am Kouachi” were arrested. Arrested for speech at a march in support of free speech? Yes.

What’s going on here? What’s going on in France, and what might be the future in America, is the government defending the speech with which it agrees and punishing the speech with which it disagrees. What’s going on is the assault by some in radical Islam not on speech, but on vulnerable innocents in their everyday lives in order to intimidate their governments. What’s going on is the deployment of 90,000 French troops to catch and kill three murderers because the government does not trust the local police to use guns to keep the streets safe or private persons to use guns to defend their own lives.

Why do some in radical Islam kill innocents in the West in order to affect the policies of Western governments? Might it be because the fruitless Western invasion of Iraq killed 650,000 persons, most of whom were innocent civilians? Might it be because that invasion brought al-Qaida to the region and spawned ISIS? Might it be because Obama has killed more innocent civilians in the Middle East with his drones than were killed by the planes in the U.S. on 9/11? Might it be because our spies are listening to us, rather than to those who pose real dangers?

What does all this have to do with freedom of speech? Nothing — unless you believe the French government.

By Andrew Napolitano – The Trumpet –

UN Seeks to Criminalize Free Speech

Under the guise of advancing what the United Nations refers to as “human rights,” the dictator-dominated global body is waging a full-blown assault on free-speech rights by pressuring governments to criminalize so-called “hate speech.”

Indeed, working alongside radical government-funded activist groups and anti-liberty politicians around the world, the UN and other totalitarian-minded forces have now reached the point where they openly claim that what they call “international law” actually requires governments to ban speech and organizations they disapprove of. Critics, though, are fighting back in an effort to protect freedom of speech — among the most fundamental of all real rights.

While Americans’ God-given right to speak freely is firmly enshrined in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, the UN and its hordes of “human rights” bureaucrats are currently terrorizing and bullying the people of Japan — among others — in an effort to drastically curtail speech rights. Pointing to a tiny group of anti-Korean activists holding demonstrations in Japan, politicians and self-styled promoters of “human rights” have also joined the UN in its Soviet-inspired crusade to ban free expression. The Japanese Constitution, however, like the American one, includes strong protections for freedom of speech. Still, that has not stopped the UN from seeking to impose its radical speech restrictions on Japan anyway.

At least two separate UN outfits, the dictator-dominated “Human Rights Commission” and the UN “Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,” have condemned Japan so far this year for failing to criminalize free speech while demanding immediate bans….

By Alex Newman – InfoWars –

Chilling Free Speech

By Andrew P. Napolitano – LewRockwell.com –

Earlier this week, the federal government’s National Science Foundation, an entity created to encourage the study of science — encouragement that it achieves by awarding grants to scholars and universities — announced that it had awarded a grant to study what people say about themselves and others in social media. The NSF dubbed the project Truthy, a reference to comedian Stephen Colbert’s invention and hilarious use of the word “truthiness.”

The reference to Colbert is cute, and he is a very funny guy, but when the feds get into the business of monitoring speech, it is surely no joke; it is a nightmare. It is part of the Obama administration’s persistent efforts to monitor communication and scrutinize the expressions of opinions it hates and fears.

We already know the National Security Agency has the digital versions of all telephone conversations and emails sent to, from or within the U.S. since 2005. Edward Snowden’s revelations of all this are credible and substantiated, and the government’s denials are weak and unavailing — so weak and unavailing that many NSA agents disbelieve them.

But the government’s unbridled passion to monitor us has become insatiable. Just two months ago, the Federal Communications Commission, which licenses broadcasters, threatened to place federal agents in cable television newsrooms so they can see how stories are generated and produced. The FCC doesn’t even regulate cable, yet it threatened to enhance its own authority by monitoring cable companies from the inside.

What’s going on here?

What’s going on here, and has been going on since President Obama took office in January 2009, is a government with little or no fidelity to basic constitutional norms. There is no defense under the Constitution to any aspect of the government’s — federal, state, regional, local or hybrid; or any entity owned or controlled by any government; or any entity that exercises the government’s coercive powers or spends or receives its money — monitoring the expressive behavior of anyone in the U.S., not in a newsroom, on social media or anywhere else.

The NSF’s stated purpose of the Truthy squad is to look for errors in speech, particularly errors that fuel hatred or political extremes. This monitoring — this so-called search for error — is totalitarian and directly contradicts well-grounded Supreme Court jurisprudence, for several reasons….

 
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