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The Internet, and what to do about it

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June 4, 2011 by falcon7204

I read a troublesome article this morning. The content itself wasn’t the troublesome part – I had known it for months. What was troublesome was the fact that it wasn’t widely known.

The article was a Fox News report on the apparent relationship between the Federal Communications Commission and an internet advocacy group, Free Press. The article described a series of emails and summaries of phone calls between Free Press and the FCC, in which Free Press not only indicated its support for the FCC’s “net neutrality” rules, but offered its help (which the FCC apparently gladly accepted).

What’s the big deal, you ask? Well, a couple of things, first. Net neutrality is supposedly designed to limit the control that Internet providers have over their ability to provide Internet service. In other words, it seeks to prevent companies like Comcast and AT&T from deciding what kind of content can flow over the Internet. On its surface, it seems like a laudable goal. However, dig deeper and you’ll also see that Free Press supports government provision of Internet service to currently underserved areas of the country. So, the government would be in the business of giving folks in the BMON (big middle of nowhere) the opportunity to surf sites like the New York Times and ESPN. And we, the taxpayer, would subsidize this. Again, it’s not an incredibly onerous or suspicious goal.

However, if the government can provide access, it can also decide which sites can be viewed and which ones can’t. In other words, it decides which information flows. And the control the Free Press folks and the FCC would like to exercise over providers like Comcast and AT&T is this: You can’t decide what content to block – we’ll do that for you.

In essence, the government would run the Internet. Buh bye, First Amendment.

Here’s another thing. According to the article, Free Press is funded in part by billionaire hedge fund owner George Soros, who profited greatly from the collapse of the British pound in 1992 (some say he is the man who “broke the Bank of England”). Soros, according to research by the Media Research Center, has contributed nearly $50 million to communications and journalism causes in this country, and there are many (including myself) who believe his goal is to control the media.

There are two parts to this story. One is the FCC’s desire to rein in Internet providers and force them to offer Internet service in areas where it is not now offered. The other is to control the providers’ ability to manage their bandwidth, which (last time I checked) was a commodity, like electricity. I have a bit of a problem with providers charging bandwidth-hogs more, but actually when you think about it it’s not all that unlike charging a greater price for a bigger box of cereal. Sure, I’d like to get more for less, like everyone else, but I sure don’t want people using an inordinate amount of something and leaving the rest of us with less.

So, there are two things here. One, the regulation of commerce on the Internet – basically, telling companies what they can and can’t do, to whom they’ll provide and to whom they won’t. The second is the regulation of the free flow of information – essentially, censorship. When the government can decide what information flows and what doesn’t, that’s censorship.

My question is, is Free Speech the actual driver behind the FCC, or is it just another group of “useful idiots” being employed by the Left?

Read the article, do some research, and decide for yourself. And before you make the comment that, well of course it came from Fox News, consider this: Why do stories wind up on Fox News (or Breitbart, or Drudge, or any one of a number of other sites) and not on CNN, ABC, CBS, or NBC? Is it because it’s “not really news?” Who makes that decision? Or is it because it’s “not really news anyone wants you to know?”

Think about it.

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