Government-imposed net neutrality: Twice-bitten, not shy about a third try

Seton Motley President, Less Government
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Why does the federal government appear so adamant to again blatantly ignore the law, extend its power over the Internet, and re-impose network neutrality?

After all, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has already tried it — twice. And been unanimously rebuked by the D.C. Circuit Court — twice.

Each time, the attempted power grab grew in size and scope.

The first involved a single Internet Service Provider (ISP) after an alleged single violation. (Which of course would have opened the door for greater grabs to follow.) How’d that go for the government?

Court: FCC Has No Power to Regulate Net Neutrality

Indeed it does not. So why then — just seven months later — did this happen?

Divided FCC OKs Net Neutrality Rules

The three Democrats voted Yes. The two Republicans — No. How very Obamacare of them.

If the FCC can’t impose net neutrality in an individual instance, what made these Democrats think they can preemptively enshroud the entire World Wide Web? Of course, they can’t.

U.S. Appeals Court Strikes Down FCC Net Neutrality Rules

So that’s it, right? The federal government — twice chided for overreaching — will finally leave the free speech-free market Xanadu that is the Internet alone, right?  Not so much.

President Obama Confident FCC Will Use Authority to Save Net Neutrality 

Wait a second — what authority? Six different judges on two different occasions have unanimously said the FCC doesn’t have any such authority.

But since when has the clear intent of the laws and the Constitution — and the rulings of the courts charged with upholding them — stopped President Barack Obama?  After all, he has a pen and a phone.

Could the President mean this “authority?”

The FCC’s Nuclear Option on Net Neutrality

Make ISPs Into “Common Carriers,” Says Former FCC Commissioner

Reclassification Is Not a Dirty Word

It certainly should be. What does it mean?

Go back in time to 1934 (and even before) – and illegally impose landline telephone (Common Carrier) regulations on the Web.  The government regulates the daylights out of landlines – so Progressives want the government to jam the Web in there too. Which would allegedly allow them to reimpose Net Neutrality – and tax the Net, and….

That’s not existing authority — it’s an even more ginormous new power grab. I’m sure pens and phones would be involved.

What says Tom Wheeler – the president’s new FCC Chairman?

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler Says He’ll ‘Fight to Preserve’ Open Internet, Doesn’t Say How

How about by leaving it alone? We had three years with illegally-imposed net neutrality — and three decades without it. And the Internet has all along been doing — well, best-in-human-history-levels of extraordinary.

Wheeler: “The Court Invited the FCC to Act, and I Accept That Invitation.”

Why? To address…what? The Internet is amazing — without these uber-regulations.

Why does nearly everyone in Washington feel the need to impose the maxim “It ain’t broke — and we’ll fix it”? After all, DC fixes are always so fabulous.

FCC’s Wheeler Vows to Take Next Steps on Net Neutrality ‘Shortly’

Here’s a good next step:

FCC’s Pai Says Agency Should Close Broadband Reclassification Docket

And then the FCC should do nothing, while waiting for Congress to update the woefully out-of-date 1996 Telecommunications Act. Since it’s from that law that the FCC’s authority emanates.

All the pro-net neutrality folks could (and should) stop trying to get around Congress by making unaccountable FCC bureaucrats to do their dirty work. Instead, attempt to convince our elected officials that dramatic new Internet regulations are a good idea.

Oh yeah – that hasn’t worked so well for them.

Net Neutrality: The Kid Sitting By Himself in the High School Cafeteria

The already-diminishing pro-NN push began — rightly — in the House, Congress being the only proper venue for this sort of thing. But it repeatedly went NOWHERE.

So in 2007 the pro-NN gaggle bailed on Congress — despite the new Democrat majorities — and instead went for a totalitarian Federal Communications Commission (FCC) implementation.

Where they only had to get three votes from unelected bureaucrats — rather than 218 from the People’s representatives. 

All 95 Congressional Candidates Who Supported the Net Neutrality Bill Lost the Election

So the left turns to tyranny. Here’s hoping Chairman Wheeler won’t give it to them.