Their response to these clear demonstrations of their lack of juice? President Obama’s appointee, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is considering power grabbing the entire orchard — to then squeeze net neutrality (and all private investment) out of it.
The grove in question is the entire World Wide Web — to be infected by the government’s imposition of Title II Reclassification:
Title II is the uber-regulatory superstructure with which we have strangled landline phones – you know, that bastion of technological and economic innovation. Which do you find more impressive – your desktop dialer or your smartphone?
Title II regulations date back to at least the 1930s – so you know they’ll be a perfect fit for the ultra-modern, incredibly dynamic, expanding-like-the-universe World Wide Web.
This would be the most detrimental of all Information Superhighway road blocks. Rather than the omni-directional, on-the-fly innovation that now constantly occurs, Title II is a Mother-May-I-Innovate, top-down traffic congest-er. Imagine taking a 16 lane Autobahn down to just a grass shoulder.
The FCC has begun a rulemaking process on this ginormous usurpation, which includes a just-concluded (first) comment period, during which the FCC’s website crashed — not once, but twice.
Get that? The commission that is looking to yet again defy the law, multiple court rulings, and rationality to commandeer control of the Internet, is serially unable to keep its own website operational and online.
The first time their website went down, it was hacked. The FCC denied the hack, instead trying to blame an influx of commenters generated by a cable TV show. That airs at 10pm. On Sunday night. Two days before the site actually collapsed:
An FCC spokesperson contacted us to say its statement to Vice about the recent site crash was misconstrued. The commission says it has no evidence of a malicious attack; if anything, a high volume of traffic caused the collapse.…
The FCC spokesperson was in fact telling a fib. Sound familiar?
The truth eventually outed:
Vice says it confirmed with a “high-level FCC source” that the FCC site suffered a database denial-of-service attack.
The FCC website crashed again coming down the comment period’s home stretch. This time it in fact appeared to be the result of too much traffic. Which is hardly any more heartening to their uber-regulating of the Internet.
So they had to extend the comment period. Sound familiar?
Yet another reminder that government is the only entity that complains about having too many customers.
The FCC is now blaming their incessant website failures on a lack of money. They asked this year for $375 million. The Republican-led House of Representatives wants to give them $358 billion. The FCC’s 2012 budget was $340 million. Methinks they can make do.
All of this Internet professionalism emanates from a Commission that describes itself as, “the United States’ primary authority for communications law, regulation and technological innovation.“
The FCC wantonly ignores and flouts communications law — which courts have again and again asserted doesn’t give it any authority over the Internet.
And I would posit that the private sector — which built the World Wide Web into the free speech-free market Xanadu we all know and love — is “the United States’ primary authority for … technological innovation.” Not a government bureaucracy that can’t even keep its own website going.
The FCC certainly is a “primary authority for … regulation.” Whether they have the authority to impose it or not. Even when regulation clearly is not needed. The Internet isn’t broken — why is the perpetually-broken government trying to “fix” it?
So the FCC is trying to commandeer control of the entire World Wide Web. Yet has zero authority to do so, and is incapable of keeping a website online — or telling the truth about why. It is pressing forward anyway.
How very Obama administration of them.