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FCC Chair: Regulating The Internet Is Similar To Censoring College Speakers

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai recently compared calls for regulations of the internet to speakers being barred from college campuses.

Pai used a portion of his April 26 speech titled “The Future of Internet Freedom,” given at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., to criticize a “spectacularly misnamed Beltway lobbying group called Free Press.”

He highlights choice statements from the founder of Free Press, like his lauding of Venezuela as a greatly democratic country, and his urge to “limit capitalist propaganda.” (RELATED: FCC Chair: ‘Hysterical Prophecies’ Led Dems To Almost Break The Internet In Just Two Years)

“To be sure, it is tempting to dismiss these statements as isolated rants. But unfortunately, it is all too typical of a larger movement in our country today that is fundamentally hostile to free speech,” Pai said.

“We see it in efforts to banish those who express unpopular views online. We see it when speakers are barred from college campuses, violently of late. We see it when university bureaucrats use Orwellian phrases like wanting “‘to continue empowering a culture of controversy prevention,'” Pai said, which was a comparison overlooked by most in the media.

Pai also referenced another telling example of free speech being threatened. Members of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) reportedly considered restricting political speech on online platforms, specifically the Drudge Report. The Chairman of the FEC even warned that the clamp down on conservative media was very possible, despite his own protests against such action as the leader of the government agency. (RELATED: The Toll Net Neutrality Takes On The Internet, Summed Up In Three Paragraphs)

“And where do the people who are driving this closing of the American mind stand on greater government regulation of the Internet?” Pai asked. “They don’t just favor it; they strongly demand it. They raise money off of it. And we are somehow supposed to believe that their true motive is to protect free speech on the Internet? Please.”

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