These tools enable one activist to look to the Internet like a whole crowd. It also enables activists to look like they vote in districts where they don’t live and to make phone calls to Congress that look like they come from constituents when they don’t. This is a corruption of our democracy.
California simply has some motivated politicians seeking to capitalize on the state’s animus toward the FCC, Washington, the Red States, and the Trump Administration with a symbolic act of rebellion. Net neutrality is a California export, so in some sense it’s fitting for it to come home.
Changing ISPs from their historic status to Title II is a move the FCC can’t make without Congressional authorization. This is especially true given the 1996 Telecommunications Act clearly declares ISPs to be information services. There is no clue in the ’96 Act that substituting dial-up for broadband changes the nature of ISP service.
Trump Administration gadfly American Oversight is circulating a collection of 1,300 pages of email it obtained from the FCC through a FOIA request. The emails, related to the meltdowns experienced by the FCC’s comment system following HBO personality John Oliver’s comedy bits on net neutrality in 2014 and 2018, fail to disclose any new information.
We should never stop making the Internet better. It takes an almost religious zeal to insist that there’s anything wrong with the subtle improvement represented by this video.
And it takes a very unrealistic theory of economics to maintain that there is any rationale for placing arbitrary limits on where the payment for such enhancements comes from. It’s our Internet and we should be able to use it in any lawful way we want.
Senate Democrats and their pals in Silicon Valley and in the media had a good day. But life goes on and the serious issues remain to be addressed. That’s why it’s not merely a talking point to say that bi-partisan legislation absolutely needs to be written for the orderly regulation of entire Internet.
The peril of net neutrality is stagnation. If we force the Internet back to the traditional straight jackets, this fully competitive future may never arrive. I’m not willing to take that risk when lawmakers are so blind to the reality of the Internet that they can float this “one word at a time” nonsense with a straight face.
Those of us invested in the Internet’s success – everyone who communicates – should focus on finding ways to make it better. Neither Hansen’s bill nor the Congressional Review Act resolution subverting current FCC policy is a recipe for progress.