Thursday, December 23, 2010

The interwebs new minders?

On Tuesday, the FCC ruled in favor of a new set of regulations on Internet access.

New Internet access rules approved by federal regulators on Tuesday prohibit network operators from meddling with Web traffic into American homes but do not extend to the fast-growing market for smartphones and tablet computers.

The regulations passed the Federal Communications Commission along party lines, with two Democratic commissioners reluctantly siding with agency Chairman Julius Genachowski in a 3-2 vote.

The rules seek to uphold a principle called net neutrality, under which Internet service providers are supposed to give equal treatment to all legal Web content on their networks. But the measure met with swift opposition Tuesday.

Republican lawmakers immediately promised to work to overthrow the rules, while analysts predicted that cable and telecom giants will file lawsuits challenging the FCC's authority to regulate the broadband market.

Go to link above for more reaction to this ruling.

We freely admit that we don't know a whole lot about these new regs but what little we do know it seems to be a classic case of a solution in search of a problem. Is there anything wrong with how the internet is currently operating?

And why don't we know a whole lot about these new regs?

He's (FCC chairman Julius Genachowski) bringing a new set of proposed net neutrality regulations to the five-member panel Tuesday. Unfortunately, nobody knows any details of the new proposal because Genachowski has kept them secret until the last possible minute even as he rushed them forward for a vote. How ironic that the Internet, the great and empowering liberator of information that "wants to be free," is being chopped up behind closed doors by an unelected panel.

(italics, ours)

Obama era regulations and legislation kept in secret until the last minute before a forced vote? Shocking, we know.

Linked Op-ed notes that Genachowski tried this stunt before, last April, but was smacked down by a federal court saying the FCC had no jurisdiction over the internet. It is believed the courts will strike down whatever was adopted by the comission and there is indication that the Republican-controlled House of Representative will take this up when the 112 convenes in January.

Here's Meredith Baker, a Republican appointee to the comission:
"We have two branches of government -- Congress and the courts -- expressing grave concerns with our agency becoming increasingly unmoored from our statutory authority. By seeking to regulate the Internet now, we exceed the authority Congress has given us and justify those concerns."

At any rate, chalk up another victory for opacity and overeach for Team O as this time around they didn't even wait for a crisis. Indeed, far from it.

H/T: W.C. Varones


Anonymous said...

january cannot come fast enough.

all this legislation does is site a false problem (i.e. the internet needs to be more open) so the government can get their foot in the door. it's all about control in the future.

"The same organization that forced all consumers to buy Ma Bell-made telephones for decades, the same FCC that enforced speech codes via radio "fairness doctrines," the same FCC that took two decades after its invention to OK cellular technology for the marketplace and acted similarly sluggishly with cable and satellite innovation has no business online. It has a history of hurting consumers, not protecting them. (Unless you need protection from fleeting expletives and the once-a-decade nipple controversy.)"

B-Daddy said...

drozz, spot on.
This is just a naked power grab that will be smacked down by the courts or the congress.

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