Net Neutrality Equals Censorship
There is an economic impact of net neutrality, but there is a more sinister reason behind Obama's push to control the internet: controlling political speech. As I have shown in previous columns, the left is no longer defending free speech but looking for ways to control speech. Backed by money provided by George Soros and others, the left's goal was to ram through net neutrality with the slogan all data should be transmitted equally. Phil Kerpen, an opponent of net neutrality, observed, “Net neutrality’s goal is to empower the federal government to ration and apportion Internet bandwidth as it sees fit, and to thereby control the Internet’s content.” As I mention in a previous column, the Clinton Administration adopted a hands off policy and both political parties agreed with this concept in a bipartisan fashion. Leftist Will Marshall recently noted, net neutrality “endorses a backward-looking policy that would apply the brakes to the most dynamic sector of America’s economy.” But alas, the leftists who run the Democratic Party today are using this as an attempt to manage what is on the internet and achieve political objectives.
One group, Free Press which is a leftist organization founded by Professor Robert McChesney, has been a leader in promoting “net neutrality,” and his goal as he stated to SocialistProject is, “At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.” He also is on record of saying, “Our job is to make media reform part of our broader struggle for democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism.” McChesney actually praised the Hugo Chavez thuggish regime for keeping, “Aggressive, unqualified political dissent alive and well in the Venezuelan mainstream media, in a manner few other democratic nations have ever known, including our own.”
National Review John Fund observed, “The battle for control of the Internet isn’t over. Over two-thirds of the House and Senate are on record as opposing FCC regulation of the Internet, and a new president could change the policy overnight in 2017 even if the courts don’t block it. But for now, the 'media reform”'movement led by McChesney and his allies can claim bragging rights for their Saul Alinsky–style outflanking maneuver on Internet regulation. They financed the research behind the idea, installed their political allies in power, got the government to consider them experts on the issues they cared deeply about, and finally ran roughshod over both Congress and an initially reluctant FCC chairman.”
This is one of those issues that matters simply because we have a political movement dedicated to the premise that freedom of speech needs to be regulated. Unless this is reversed, we won’t just pay an economic price with inferior internet service but even worse, we will be allowing government to control the internet and political free speech.