Rep. Woolsey was on the wrong side of personal freedom today when she tweeted:
Instead of jobs bill, GOP bringing up bill to block #NetNeutrality. Why limit internet access? about 4 hours ago via web
She says “Why limit internet access?” That makes me think she doesn’t understand the issue at all. Unfortunately, she isn’t the only Democrats who wants to regulate the Internet. Today, the House passed a bill rejecting the new FCC rules announced back in December, “mostly along party lines” (240-179).
Congress itself has repeatedly declined to pass net neutrality laws, as one can see on this wikipedia history. And in the previous administration, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
urged restraint with respect to the new regulations proposed by network neutrality advocates, noting the “broadband industry is a relatively young and evolving one,” and given no “significant market failure or demonstrated consumer harm from conduct by broadband providers,” such regulations “may well have adverse effects on consumer welfare, despite the good intentions of their proponents.”[
Under the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), decided it could ignore that will of Congress and impose net neutrality on its own. One of the commissioners (a Republican, no surprise) stated flatly:
Congress has not given us the authority to do this. There really are no bounds to what the FCC could do, so long as it’s done in the name of promoting the internet in their view.”
What is controversial about net neutrality? The Internet is perhaps the greatest bastion of freedom of expression and exchange of information currently available in the U.S. and many other countries (some nations, such as China, do censor the Internet). So, many see no reason to fiddle with it. As Jazz Shaw wrote on Hot Air, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Yet supporters of net neutrality (including moveon.org, AARP, and the ACLU) argue that net neutrality is needed in order to protect users from big telecommunications companies that might conceivably manipulate our data. The ACLU describes net neutrality as ” applying well-established ‘common carrier’ rules to the Internet.” That doesn’t sound bad. That sounds as though Rep. Woolsey and other supporters of net neutrality might be right.
But let’s hear from opponents now. Those include free market advocates such as the Cato Institute, Tea Party groups, eighty advocacy groups that signed a letter to the FCC when it was considering its regulations, and most U.S. voters. Click on this link to see a quick video called “Hands Off the Internet” for a primer on why net neutrality isn’t in the public’s interests. And freedomproject.org says this:
Not only is “net neutrality” a government takeover of the internet, it’s a job-destroyer as well. In fact, a study released by New York Law School’s Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute found that “net neutrality” could cost nearly 700,000 jobs and “over $80 billion in GDP losses per year.” The study notes that “Despite FCC assertions to the contrary, history suggests that the Commission is incapable of micromanaging a dynamic sector via regulatory fiat and that such action results in consumer welfare and economic losses.”
It really boils down to those who want government to control everything under the sun (Lynn Woolsey) and those who prefer individuals to control their own destiny as much as possible. Rep. Woolsey’s contention that today’s vote will limit access is based on her left-leaning view that “access” is whatever the government says it is. Those who voted to curtail the FCC regs are acting to restore an Internet free of undue and unnecessary government interference. Good for the majority. Real “access” is best maintained by keeping the Internet market-based. We don’t need the government using Internet regulations as another way to tighten control on Americans.