With our moribund economy in such desperate need of breakthroughs and bustling new industries, why is the political class so determined to turn the Internet into a publicly-controlled utility? And in the process, make it a forbidding place for potentially $2 trillion in available investment money to fuel innovation and growth?
A shocking regulatory Christmas Surprise has been issued by extremists at the Federal Communications Commission – a naked federal assertion of power over the Internet using a pretense that there is a “problem” of phone and cable companies blocking access to certain parts the Internet.
I bring this up because so many well-meaning Americans turned out at the polls and made a statement to the Washington establishment to back off and stop nationalizing private industries. And as I feared, their voices are not being heard or heeded.
But the cheese has slipped off the cracker in Washington. The federal government’s new assertion of authority over the Internet comes despite strong bipartisan opposition (some 300 members of Congress have sent a letter to the White House explicitly opposing federal regulation of the Internet).
It’s Official: Federal Government Will Regulate Internet
This is a very serious situation. And for a simple, transparent reason, I’m afraid.
To date, the Internet has proven impossible to control from the top down. Its bottom-up operating structure allows millions of like-minded people to congregate, plan, and think through complex issues. It has formed collective intelligence communities of tax burden carriers, who as a group can now potentially pay much, much closer attention to the political class than they are used to or comfortable with.
Another Internet breakthrough is that so-called mainstream media can no longer “spike” politically incorrect facts with impunity. That’s because they know these suppressed stories can easily splash them into instant national attention on sites like the Drudge Report. And when politicians make contradictory or deceitful statements or act thuggishly toward voters at town hall meetings, they know they can achieve instant “stardom” on You Tube. The list goes on and on.
The Internet has empowered truly independent publishers like myself. Just as it has threatened to make extinct the staid, long-domineering icons of left-wing dogma such as the New York Times and Newsweek.
The Internet has taken our basic Freedom of Assembly right and adapted itself beautifully to the 21st century – a sensational transition our Founding Fathers would have been proud of. To believers in freedom, the Internet is a Godsend – the modern-day equivalent of the printing press.
Leftists Hate the Internet Because It Has Exposed Them
And to control freaks, the uncontrolled flow of information between private citizens and the potential accountability that a more-developed Internet could make possible is a total nightmare.
In most administrations, the Director of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a relatively low-ranking official with comparatively little access to the President. But the current FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski, is an exception. White House records confirm Genachowski has met with the President personally at least 11 times.
That last fact is part of a must-read story by John Fund of the Wall Street Journal. I pride myself on helping to develop must-read critical content. But in this case, I defer to my fellow National Journalism Center alumnus John Fund who has hit the nail on the head in his December 21 article “Net Neutrality Coup”:
I see this as an unfortunate (but not unexpected) sign that the federal government remains as dangerous as ever – despite November’s election.