Skip to comments.Obama’s proposal to regulate the internet signals desire for confrontation with the GOP
Posted on 11/10/2014 9:40:01 AM PST by SeekAndFind
The White House wants you to know that it values the internet as the most transformative communications tool since the invention of the printing press. More than any other invention of our time, the Internet has unlocked possibilities we could just barely imagine a generation ago, a statement published by the administration on Monday read. Given this praise for the internet’s developmental trajectory up to this point, it is something of a wonder that the White House has determined the first public policy prescription that it would embrace in the wake of Democrats historic 2014 defeats is the regulation of this communications platform and internet service providers.
By backing a policy commonly referred to as Net Neutrality, President Barack Obama is advocating for that the internet to be regulated like any other public utility. “To put these protections in place, I’m asking the [Federal Communications Commission] to reclassifying internet service under Title II of a law known as the Telecommunications Act,” Obama said in a statement on Monday.
The stated aim of this proposal is to prevent the formation of internet fast lanes, which would allow service providers to create pathways through which major services get priority access to bandwidth while smaller firms do not enjoy the same priority speeds.
The White House is putting pressure on the FCC to embrace Net Neutrality:
I'm urging the @FCC to keep the internet open and free. Here's my plan to protect #NetNeutrality for everyone: http://t.co/3y3YLQD6MB bo
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 10, 2014
Obama conceded in his statement, however, that he cannot order the FCC to impose new rules on internet providers. “The FCC is an independent agency, and ultimately the decision is theirs alone,” the president said. “But the public has already commented nearly 4 million times asking that consumers not the cable company gets to decide which sites they use.”
According to reporting in The Verge, this push may be somewhat moot given the FCCs amenability toward priority bandwidth pathways:
Obama’s support of Title II reclassification comes at a critical time for net neutrality. While the FCC is in the process of making new rules to protect net neutrality, those rules would actually allow internet providers to offer so-called “fast lanes,” effectively defeating the purpose of net neutrality in the first place. During a public comment period over the summer, Americans spoke out loudly against the proposal, but it’s not yet clear what the commission plans to do in response. FCC chair Tom Wheeler has said that he isn’t entirely opposed to Title II, but that’s appeared to be only if other methods won’t work first.
Whether or not this is good policy is in question, but what is undeniable is that this push from the White House is a signal that they are focused on mollifying the presidents anxious progressive base even if it invites more conflict with the incoming Republican-dominated Congress.
Republicans seeking to capitalize on their midterm victories have already expressed their intention to overhaul the nations web and television regulations in order to create a more streamlined regime. According to a report in The Hill, the largest barrier to the Republicans hopes for reforming communications regulations is the long-floated Net Neutrality proposal now backed by the White House.
The FCC is expected to release new rules by the end of this year, after months of controversy over a previous proposal from Chairman Tom Wheeler that some critics said would allow for companies to cut deals and speed up service, effectively creating fast lanes for the Internet.
Current law lays out different rules for treating common carriers such as traditional phone service from other types of communications. Supporters of strong rules have urged the FCC to declare that broadband Internet is a common carrier and regulate it as such a move that has been strongly opposed by many Republicans and industry groups.
Some Republicans have opposed the FCCs attempt to write new rules, after a top appeals court tossed its previous regulations out earlier this year.
The standoff could spell trouble for the effort to update the Communications Act.
Polls suggest that a majority of the public doesnt know enough about Net Neutrality to form an opinion, while a narrow plurality back the measure. On Monday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his aides fired the opening salvos of the coming messaging war over Net Neutrality:
"Net Neutrality" is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 10, 2014
Just wait. Pretty soon, Obama will tell you "If you like your Internet, you can keep it." #DontNeutertheNet
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) November 10, 2014
These comments inspired a predictable surge of condescension from the pundit class, but there is reason to believe it will be a powerful message in opposition to Net Neutrality. Despite general favorability toward a message of free and open access to the internet, Americans have little faith in the ability of the federal government to regulate online communications technology or internet service providers. A 2010 Rasmussen Reports survey found 54 percent opposed internet regulations while only 21 percent supported them. A 2014 survey sponsored by CLAInnovates found that those margins remain essentially unchanged four years later.
Despite the dubious comparisons between Net Neutrality and the Affordable Care Act, tethering Obamas plan to impose regulations on the internet to the unpopular experiment in regulating Americas health insurance marketplace is savvy political messaging.
Barack Obama has invited a fight with the GOP over his support of regulating internet providers, and an emboldened Republican Party is more than happy to engage him over this issue. This is just the latest signal to suggest that the White House wants confrontation rather than accommodation with Republicans in his final two years in office
On this fight, he’d lose. Even most leftists want the net left alone.
Based on the whitehouse’s track record with the internet, what could possibly go wrong?
I wasn’t sure on which way to lean on this topic, but not anymore! If Zero is for any topic it simply means that it is bad for me and all decent Americans.
The nationalized Internet “utility” will be subject to content regulation - that is the method by which the government will monitor ... whether or not ... the Providers of “Internet transmission speed” are in compliance with whatever is the leftists’ “executive order” of the day.
Again, it’s all about REGULATION OF INTERNET CONTENT ... ostensibly to monitor and control “transmission speeds.”
The government -aka the left - will then know directly, in addition to the progressives’ indirect metadata gathering via Google and Facebook, who you are and what your political leanings are.
Then, YOUR “Internet connection” will depend upon how politically correct YOU are.
YOU are for companies who provide access to the Internet, to determine your connection speed and transmission speed.
YOU are for the government monitoring YOUR content, passing that thru its Thought Police Filter, and then controlling YOUR access.
“Even most leftists want the net left alone.”
There was some idiot political cartoon after the election with the new Republican’s heading to D.C. with their bags with all sorts of labels on them. One of the bags said “Internet Regulation” on them. Another was on “NSA spying”. And they didn’t mean it was that they were going to go and stop those issues, as they also had bags that said “End Women’s Rights”, etc.
“On this fight, hed lose. Even most leftists want the net left alone.”
Wrong. They want their internet left alone but not ours.
The whisper campaign among the left is that this will silence anti-gov’t groups, religious messages and right-wing hate.
If you want to defang cable companies and networks, forbid carriers from mandating you buy pre-bundled tiers of stations you don’t want. Require the nation’s cable companies to permit you to buy a tier of service and populate it with whatever stations you want to receive - and no more.
This issue is near and dear to his Millenial base.
The idea of having to pay more for Netflix downloads seems to cheese them off worse than unemployment does.
Consultants are probably telling Obama he SCROOOOD-up by not doing this before the election.
I wasnt sure on which way to lean on this topic, but not anymore! If Zero is for any topic it simply means that it is bad for me and all decent Americans.
Same for me. I suspect a camel’s nose attempting to get under the tent.
It’s hard to understand all the legal implications of this for the average person,so the best thing to do is to look at it this way.....if Obama wants it,it’s unlikely to be good for the citizens. They seem to purposely do things this way so people don’t understand what they got hung with until it’s too late. The internet should be left as is,but we could use some heavy restrictions on Obama & his enablers.
Over @ CNET there’s a big thread on this, 98% say NO and a few posters who are pretending to be conservatives shilling for it. I’m with all here, if 0 wants it, it’s heap bad medicine.
It’s an old negotiating tactic.
Create a NEW outrage as a negotiating token to be given up in exchange for leaving prior outrages in place.
Counteroffer should be “You’re not getting away with ANY of these outrages!”
Yep, as well as the power to tax.
It is already content regulated. Google is no friend to Conservative Ideas. Neither are any of the social network wunderkids.
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