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Monday March 2nd, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:40am PST   •  

fcc_200When government says it’s going to be “neutral” about something, taxpayers can’t go wrong thinking that precisely the opposite is the case. Consider, for example, the latest government power grab, disguised as “Internet Neutrality.” If government were indeed neutral it would leave the Internet alone. But under Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler, government regulators are classifying broadband as a telecommunications service, like telephone land lines. Prior to their vote in late February, FCC bosses declined to make their massive proposal available to the public or Congress. Treating the Internet like a public utility makes no sense, as Commissioner Ajit Pai said, “a solution that won’t work to a problem that doesn’t exist.” So what, exactly, is going on here?

As Mark Hyman notes in the American Spectator the FCC vote was “not the first but merely the latest step toward regulating speech.” He notes that President Obama’s first FCC boss was Julius Genachowski, who “directed a multi-pronged effort aimed at increasing government control of news, information, and entertainment.” Hyman also recalls that Cass Sunstein of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs argued that the government should impose “must carry” rules on popular websites, and implement a “fairness doctrine” requiring websites to offer opposing viewpoints.

That doesn’t sound much like the free speech the government is supposed to protect. Internet “neutrality,” meanwhile, is anything but, and the FCC vote confirms that the government is out to grab more power, regulate speech and quash innovation.

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March 2015