Skip to comments.Democrats sneak Net neutrality rules into 'stimulus' bill (anti-1st Amendment)
Posted on 02/18/2009 11:07:17 AM PST by ebiskit
The House Democrats' $825 billion legislation released on Thursday was supposedly intended to "stimulate" the economy. Backers claimed that speedy approval was vital because the nation is in "a crisis not seen since the Great Depression" and "the economy is shutting down."
That's the rhetoric. But in reality, Democrats are using the 258-page legislation to sneak Net neutrality rules in through the back door.
The so-called stimulus package hands out billions of dollars in grants for broadband and wireless development, primarily in what are called "unserved" and "underserved" areas. The U.S. Department of Commerce is charged with writing checks-with-many-zeros-on-them to eligible recipients, including telecommunications companies, local and state governments, and even construction companies and other businesses that might be interested.
The catch is that the federal largesse comes with Net neutrality strings attached. The Commerce Department must ensure that the recipients "adhere to" the Federal Communications Commission's 2005 broadband policy statement (PDF)--which the FCC said at the time was advisory and "not enforceable," and has become the subject of a lawsuit before a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.
One interpretation of the "adhere to" requirement is that a company like AT&T, Verizon, or Comcast that takes "stimulus" dollars to deploy broadband in, say, Nebraska must abide by these rules nationwide. (It's rather like the state of Nebraska demanding that a broadband provider filter out porn nationwide in exchange for a lucrative government contract.)
In addition, recipients must operate broadband and high-speed wireless networks on an "open access basis." The FCC, soon to be under Democratic control, is charged with deciding what that means. Congress didn't see fit to include a definition.
The Bush administration has taken a dim view of Internet regulations in the form of Net neutrality rules, warning last year that they could "inefficiently skew investment, delay innovation, and diminish consumer welfare, and there is reason to believe that the kinds of broad marketplace restrictions proposed in the name of 'neutrality' would do just that, with respect to the Internet." A report from the Federal Trade Commission reached the same conclusion in 2007.
In addition, a recent study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says that the absence of Net neutrality laws or similar federally mandated regulations has spurred telecommunications companies to invest heavily in infrastructure, and changing the rules "would have a devastating effect on the U.S. economy, investment, and innovation."
Now, perhaps extensive Net neutrality regulations are wise. But enough people seem to have honest, deep-seated reservations about them to justify a sincere discussion of costs and benefits--rather than having the requirements stealthily injected into what supposed to be an emergency save-the-economy bill scheduled for a floor vote within a week or so.
Net neutrality requirements can, of course, always be imposed retroactively on broadband "stimulus" recipients. As recently as one day ago, a Democratic Senate aide was saying the topic would be addressed in the Judiciary Committee in the near future; there seems little reason to rush to lard up this particular legislation.
But it always seems to happen. Last fall's TARP bailout bill included IRS snooping. A port security bill included Internet gambling restrictions; the Real ID Act was glued onto a military spending and tsunami relief bill; a library filtering law was attached to a destined-to-be-enacted bill funding Congress itself.
It's enough to make you want to force our elected representatives to actually read the bills they pass.
this is the opposite of the Fairness Doctrine. Net Neutrality means the internet provider CANNOT filter what goes over the net. If you want a free and open internet, YOU ARE IN FAVOR OF NET NEUTRALITY.
You know what...it is that attitude that is the problem!
We need to strike out first, not second, not third. We need to take their rules/laws and force them upon they who would declare them law.
I think the states trumpthe feds on internet transmission
We must push to get the following known
There is currently under way an effort to return the Fairness Doctrine that will in effect limit free speech on the public airways. The Federal Communications Commission can reinstate the rule with no action by the US Congress or the President. The thought is that utterances on the radio must be fair and that a second view must be given equal time.
The public airways are actually a spectrum that has been divided into numerous specific frequency ranges that are corridors along which a radio wave carrying information is transmitted.. This proposed action regulating the information carried is a Federal matter since the airways are considered to be part of interstate commerce and require a Federal license. The states have no say in the matter.
The purpose of this essay is to develop a logical thought pattern that will permit the various States to gain some control of intra state transmission of information. That would be particularly true of my State, Tennessee.
Within the State of Tennessee information is transmitted and transferred by several methods but in this piece consideration will be restricted to two, printed publications and cable TV.
All printed material be it newspapers manufactured within the state borders or magazines, CDs, DVDs, recorded tapes or other similar publications from numerous sources are transported on the Tennessee public streets, roads and highways. These transportation corridors are in every respect similar to the spectral corridors regulated by the FCC except the roadways are regulated by the state of Tennessee. It is there fore a very logical step to conclude that based on the logic of information flow regulation by the FCC over federally regulated corridors, a similar regulatory body can be established by the State to assure that fairness is achieved in information carried or transported on the state regulated corridors and roadways. Printed publications must be fair to be transported over public ways.
In a similar vein, the state of Tennessee should be able to regulate the use of rights of way that are actually part of the same streets, roads and highways noted above. These rights of way are heavily used for various purposes including the physical presence of fiber optic and coaxial cable that are in fact information corridors similar to the FCC regulated corridors that are the public airways. The cable companies transporting on the public rights of way should be subject to the same fairness regulations governing the printed media transported on the adjacent roadways. Cable information must be fair to be transported over public rights of way.
There is no difference. Printed media and cable TV information are both transported along public ways .There is no difference between printed media transported over public roads and voice utterances transmitted over radio waves. Thoughts are transmitted over public ways.
Then there is the question of the first amendment and free speech. It can be argued that such regulation is a violation of the First Ammendment to the Constitution. That is obviously not the case or the FCC would not be able to impose the Fairness Doctrine. There is no action in the regulation preventing the free exercise of the right to say what ever the writer or publisher or news commentator desires. They can say what ever they want with no fear of any retribution by the State of Tennessee. If they desire to propagate the speech using the public ways, then they are subject to fairness regulation. The precedent for the State regulatory authority is the FCC regulated Federal authority.
If the public ways are restricted, then how can the speech material be propagated? The answer is quite simple. If the speaker wants to sell his material, he can set up a place of business where the public can come and buy what ever is for sale. The speaker can also go into an out of door site and speak whatever comes to mind to all within earshot. His rights of free speech are not restricted by regulations of the transport of the medium packets. It is the transport of those information packets on public ways that is regulated.
Yep, the Hitler connection.
Democrats blasted banks who took TARP money and used it to buy small banks instead of lending it. Now, a bank CEO has blown the whistle: the government ordered them to buy small banks!
Nicole Garrison-Sprenger: U.S. Bancorp CEO Davis Rips TARP
Rush Translates Obama’s Orwellian Mortgage Speech:
“I’m giving you irresponsible people a pile of money. Now, be responsible. I’m giving banks, who I forced to take government money, a chance to follow my orders. I’m now going to be in charge of mortgage rates and how banks loan money, and I’m giving you responsible people who are going to pay for all this the shaft. Bend over, grab the ankles, and enjoy it.”
Okay, time for my take on it.........
Why should my tax dollars pay for rural internet service? Free market, free enterprise, if it feels it is profitable enough, will provide DSL to rural areas, if not, it won’t.
This is just another goverment intervention into the marketplace.
And, of course, if the government gets involved, there will be strings attached, like everything else it gets involved with.
The question should not be whether or not this part of the bill is good or not.
The question should be, “Why is this provision necessary in the first place?”
With the left’s unceasing desire to curtail free-speech, you’ll have to pardon my extreme circumspection as it pertains to unread emergency legislation; legislation which was passed without the much heralded 5 day online b1tch period.
Especially since. . .
“recipients must operate broadband and high-speed wireless networks on an “open access basis.” The FCC, soon to be under Democratic control, is charged with deciding what that means. Congress didn’t see fit to include a definition.”
Like I said, platitudinous language which can be used as the Dems see fit.
Sure, the donkeys are just looking out for our ability to offer full-throated dissent.
Have you not been listening to Waxman’s recent comments?
The theme is hand out your money to companies and then force them to change their operations to conform to socialist tactics.
"Hello. I see you are calling Domino's. Would you be interested in hearing about the specials currently available from your phone company's partner, Pizza Hut? Press (1) for yes and (2) for no"
You press (2)
"OK, thank you! Please hold for three minutes while we expedite orders for our Pizza Hut customers."
I’d prefer taking my chances with the ISPs and private sector than these fascists anyday.
You can bet the dems are not worried about unfettered access to Free Republic. I don't trust any strings they attach. None.
Congress and the Obama administration are doing lots of horrible things in the dead of night, but this isn’t one of them. Net neutrality is a good idea, and it is the way the Internet has always been. A packet is a packet, no playing favorites.
Democrats = Censorship
Not quite sure how you arrived at the comment in your title. While net neutrality will stifle providers from charging for different services that could help with the cost of network build out, it is also a content-neutral regulation. They’re not legislating equal viewpoints - they’re legislating open access to all comers.
Where I am at (rural area) we have DSL, but service with 768k download / 128k upload costs ~ $50 / month. Not cheap, if one is on a very limited income. So, it could be argued a lot of rural conservatives find decent Internet access hard to afford. I stuck with dial-up as long as possible, but, time is money, and if one is doing much on the Internet at all, the time cost of dialup becomes even more atrocious. That doesn’t even count the download times if one has more than one computer to keep updated, etc. The phone line literally becomes almost continually tied up.
A rough analogy might be the subsidies to the rural electric coops, and rural telecos. Those subsidies might be considered examples of excessive government, but without them, those of us in rural areas who are not wealthy might still not have electrical or phone service.
Internet access is surely not as important as electrical service, but, it is approaching the importance of phone service for many, many people, and surpasses it for some. I find our family / my little business approaching that category, myself.
That's what they think! I say bring it! They are just BEGGING for an ass kicking, and they will get it!
I am SO friggin sick of these traitors!
Granted that in a perfect world, taxes would be low enough that most anyone in rural areas could afford $50 / month Internet, actual cost electrical and phone service, etc. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen.
Your situation will change quickly in just a few years. 700 MHz services, WiMax, and the new white space devices will push higher speeds out to rural areas, and the multitude of providers should mean that pricing is competitive.
Are we as citizens obligated to obey laws that were put into bills without our knowledge; especially when they were done so purposely?
White House: Obama Opposes (un) ‘Fairness Doctrine’ Revival
foxnews | 02, 18, 09
Posted on 02/18/2009 11:00:11 AM PST by Righting
Edited on 02/18/2009 11:05:48 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
From what I’ve been reading, you’re going to have to get in line behind a batch of other groups.
yup. this is an Omnibus Leftist Bill
Pending Invasion of privacy BUMP
thanks for the link
It’s not about being opposed. It’s about this being a needless goverment action towards control of the Internet. None of the boogeymen suggested by the fear mongers that propose such regulation have ever happened. The public can handle very well any company that attempts to sell un-neutral net access, and the companies know it.
don’t you mean , dit dah dit dit dah dah dah dit dah dit dit
“Net Neutrality” is just an aphorism that will be employed to enforce the opposite of its literal meaning. The camel’s nose is under the tent.
I agree. Imagine if phone carriers could charge you for receiving calls for another carrier? Or give tower sigal preference to their own customers and giving users of other carriers a busy signal?
I’m a supporter of Net Neutrality.
Seven of the links in this article are broken; Google’s been doing this more and more lately.
Ahhhhhh. You DO have a way of cutting to the heart of the matter, Petronski...
Your comment exemplifies what Thomas Sowell refers to when he talks about thinking past stage one.
It is also the reason Phyllis Schlafly is such a powerful intellect. She has made her bones asking those kinds of questions.
“I really dont understand who would be opposed to Net Neutrality.”
I recently spent two weeks in Vietnam. I stayed at a decent hotel which had seemingly full service cable, incl. CNN, BBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg and other channels but not Fox. Following that, an American I met in a bar said he had the same package at his house but it also included Fox. I.e., VN’s “Net Neutrality” program eliminated one program - the conservative one. That’s what you can expect from this U.S. Administration and its minions.
“..this is the opposite of the Fairness Doctrine. Net Neutrality means the internet provider CANNOT filter what goes over the net. If you want a free and open internet, YOU ARE IN FAVOR OF NET NEUTRALITY.”
The Messiah just rammed $787 Billion down our throats on the basis of “trust me” and now, you want us to just trust him on his law professor’s interpretation of the Net Neutrality provisions? I don’t think so.
“Are we as citizens obligated to obey laws that were put into bills without our knowledge; especially when they were done so purposely?”
Ever hear of a gay boy by the name of Bawney Fwank?
“you want us to just trust him on his law professors interpretation. . . “
Amen. . .
“Seven of the links in this article are broken; Googles been doing this more and more lately.”
Links work at the original article. I copied the html with a side menu. Something may have gone awry. Nevertheless, I would not put it past google.
The check is in the mail!
This is not the least of the things that they snuck in as an “Emergency”
Obama pushed more socialist agendas down our throats than any of us are fully aware of yet.
In less than two months he has set this Country back 200+ years!
He is nothing but a usurper and traitor to the Constitution of the United States
hey, loony toons. You are completely mixed up on what Net Neutrality means. You have it 180 degrees backwards. Its the OPPONENTS of net neutrality who what the right to filter and control what content you see. Its the Telecom companies that are fighting net neutrality because they want to be able to jam commercials at you.
As far as the stimulus package, a democratically elected government passed it and if we don’t like it, we have to elect different people. There was nothing sneaky about it though.
“There was nothing sneaky about it though.”
Other than a complete lack of debate on one of numerous highly contentious issues that had no business being in a so-called stimulus bill. . . Nah. . . there was nothing at all “sneaky” about it.
The trillion dollar price tag was only a legislative false-flag/red-herring.
There is even an anti 2nd Amendment provision hidden deep in the fine print.
“...Who defines “lawful Internet content” and/or “legal devices?”...”
. . . looks like the Dems got that market cornered for a spell; all based on a slick ad campaign, an empty-suited “magic negro” and the Fabian inspired Cloward-Piven Strategy.
There is nothing at all devious about false-flag political strategies. . . /s
You are not impressing me. I have been coming to FR for a long time, but you are going to have to come up with coherent sensible arguments against this government. There is no shortage of such arguments, but this paranoia is NOT going to win elections, and what you are spouting is paranoia. You are trying to scare people about vague shadows in the dark, when what people ought to be concerned with is the obvious stuff happening in broad daylight.
I will say it again: Net Neutrality is the Libertarian position on the internet. If you favor freedom of speech, and see the internet as a part of the public sphere where speech should be free, you support Net Neutrality. Opponents of Net Neutrality are corporations with a specific self interest in gaining control over how content is allowed to pass over the web. “Legal device” means an FCC approved Modem. “Legal content” means No Kiddie Porn, as before.
I really fear for the future of my Republican Party if this is the sort of paranoid lunacy that is going to pass for political debate under this government.
The intent was not to impress, only to convey my deep concern over numerous Neo-Soc pols calling for the suppression of online disssent/free speech by some Orwellian bureaucratic committee.
This legislation sets up the framework for just that, as evidenced by the clear lack of a definition for this administration’s take on Net Neutrality. The lack of a concrete legal definition allows for open season on political content.
It is my thoughtful consideration of Obama’s penchant for clearing the field of political opposition, along with my research on the Fabian Society and the Cloward-Piven Strategy, that led me to my so-called spouts of paranoia.
Not to mention the Rep. Kanjorski(D) video. Have you seen it?
Rep. Kanjorski: $550 Billion Disappeared in “Electronic Run On the Banks” ( Sept 15,2008)
In your valued estimation, what “obvious stuff happening in broad daylight” should I be concerned over then?
Acorn’s proven voter fraud?
Maxine Waters calling for energy company socialization?
What color are your spectacles?
Up is down, left is right, black is white and cats are sleeping with dogs. My crazy is just a state of your mind. BOO!!!
Calling your debate opponents ‘crazy’ is long standing tactic of the Alinsky-left and will only earn you derision befitting a troll.
I keep hearing that (for the last few years), and, indeed, prices have come down a LITTLE. I am sure hoping you are right!