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S. 754 / H.R. 2029

Privacy and Control: CISA

CISA was reintroduced and passed -- secretly buried in a 2000 page budget bill.

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Be Afraid: The FCC Internet Grab -- In the Insiders' Own Words

Take a failed issue. Give it a righteous new name. Get people begging for government salvation. Ram the details through in secrecy. Paranoid indeed.


by Loyal9.org staff

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Many people accuse those who are fearful of this FCC Internet grab of being delusional, even paranoid. The carefully crafted speaking points make it sound so harmless, so necessary, that they have people begging for it. “Four Million” people contacted us for this, says the administration and FCC commission.


They have it backward on who is delusional. This is a tragically dangerous move. Here is our rebuttal – in the words of those who are on the inside of the process.


THEY SAY: WE ARE SIMPLY TRYING TO MAKE THE INTERNET FAIR AND PROTECT YOU, THE CONSUMER.


YET, the sponsor of a bill to undue this action, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) says, “Once the federal government establishes a foothold into managing how Internet service providers run their networks they will essentially be deciding which content goes first, second, third, or not at all.”


This “paranoia” over the FCC move is justified, according to the FCC’s former chief economist. Dr Michelle Connolly, also an economist at Duke, says that the logic used to sell this as an economic boon and protection is not true. Connolly points out how they skirt over the fact that “over the last two decades the internet has done amazingly well, in fact, it’s one of the large drivers of our growth. And all of this time it’s been doing that without any government regulation” (Breitbart).


Instead, the former economic chief at the FCC exposes how the result is much less benevolent. “They are not making anything neutral or fair. What they are doing is making it possible for the FCC to decide what is neutral and fair whenever they feel like it. . . . to impose new obligations and basically to impose anything that the FCC eventually decides that it wants to impose on this industry.”


The text itself shows that the bill does not even do what it is being sold as doing. It reads, “It shall be unlawful for any common carrier…to make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person...” As Rep Blackburn points out, “The statute simply conveys that an arrangement cannot be ‘unreasonable or undue.’ It does not ban preferences....The government will now pick winners and losers as the FCC effectively decides where content is placed and how it moves” (redstate.com).


THEY SAY: IT IS NUTTY TO THINK THE GOVERNMENT COULD USE THIS TO IMPOSE CENSORSHIP AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH.


FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, speaking here specifically on rates charged between providers: “We have an obligation, I believe, to look at any complaint, anything filed before us, and make that decision accordingly.”


FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel: “We don’t have such a case before us right now. But I think it’s a matter of due process that any provider...has the opportunity to come to the commission and seek resolution."


FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: the standard allowed it to take action “on a case-by-case basis” that was necessary to provide a light-touch regulatory framework (The Hill).


Notice the pronoun used: “We.” This five person, appointed committee has this power? This same body has the same power to legislate into existence this control and then wield it? Is this the body that makes the judgment? Under whose authority and control? Acting upon the violation of what rules? Crossing what threshold? Implementing what punishment or recourse? “This came at the insistence of the White House,” says Ajit Pai, one of the two dissenting voters on the FCC committee. Yet the president’s spokesperson Josh Earnest claims the FCC is an independent body.


No, we are assured, the FCC will not implement the powers opened up as the internet is brought under utility controls. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler assures us, “We’re going to place the Internet under Title II, but we’re going to use a light touch [in applying it]” (Reason.com).


THEY SAY: THERE IS NO TAX IMPOSED BY THE NEW REGULATIONS.


Economist Connolly contradicts this. “They are making it possible for the FCC to impose new taxes on the internet . . .”


Commissionar Pai confirmed this: “If you look at your phone bill, you’ll see a line that says, ‘Universal Service Fee.’ That applies only to your voice service right now. But treating broadband internet access as essentially telephone service, the FCC explicitly opens the door in this document to the assessment of universal service fees at the federal and state level” (Reason.com ).


Mr Pai goes on to contradict the claims of the chairman of the committee that there will be no taxes. “Pai: If you were able to see this document—which you are not—you would see that it explicitly says that in a few months, it says, that we, the FCC, are expected to get a recommendation on how to consider broadband for purposes of this universal service fund fee program. Given the trajectory of the universal service fund …, agencies spending billions of dollars and looking to expand it even further, it’s impossible for us to spend money from the universal service fund on this programs without including contributions from the providers, which are essentially fees based on broadband connections.


THEY SAY: THIS IS ONLY AN EIGHT PAGE DOCUMENT THAT SAYS NOTHING ABOUT A TAKE OVER; THERE IS NOT THE 300 PAGES THAT PARANOID PEOPLE ARE SCREAMING ABOUT.


Commissionar Pai says: The rules are eight pages. However, the details with respect to forbearance, the regulations from which we will not be taking action—that alone is 79 pages. Moreover, sprinkled throughout the document, there are uncodified rules — rules that won’t make it in the code of federal regulations that people will have to comply with in the private sector. On top of that, there are things that aren’t going to be codified, such as the Internet Conduct Standard, where the FCC will essentially say that it has carte blanche to decide which service plans are legitimate and which are not...For other rules, the FCC will refrain 'for now.'"(Reason.com).


THEY SAY: 4 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE ASKED FOR IT.


Four million people can’t all be wrong can they?


Indeed, it seems the “Net Neutrality” reality is a bait and switch even for those who had been calling for it. After aggressively lobbying for internet protection, Netflix’s CEO indicated that the result of increased government control was the opposite of what they had been asking for. “We were hoping there might be a non-regulated solution.” (redstate.com).


This seems like the power lobbyist have come across the same lesson learned in the Aesop fable about the pigeons: it’s not such a great idea to turn to the hawks to protect you from the kites.


THEY SAY: IT SURE SEEMS SUSPICIOUS THAT THE BILL SPONSOR ACCEPTED A COMBINED $80K FROM TELLECOMMUNICATIONS PROVIDERS AT&T, COMCAST, AND VERIZION (The Consumerist, a blog owned by Consumer Reports).


This one IS sad and suspicious. It is a tragedy that this is how the government system currently works. The Consumerists neglects to mention, however, the 200 MILLION that has been spent by just a couple of organizations, including the Ford Foundation and George Soros-funded foundations to push this through.


In an outrageously blatant circle of self-justification, these funding groups were then also the same groups cited throughout the FCC documents as justification for this move (Media Resource Center).


*******


The “Net Neutrality”sales job has been ingenuously disingenuous. We are not hysterically overstating the looming danger. Former FCC Chair Michael Copps called it “the most important [decision] that the FCC is going to make in a generation.” Your stewardship in doing something compels your action. If you haven’t sent your letter to stop the “Net Neutrality” internet grab, here’s your reminder to do so. Click here.


Spread the word of this Loyal9.org campaign through your email, through the social media links, by invitations on message boards, on the radio. It will take a tidal wave of righteous action. It is not too late. But it will be soon.




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The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.

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