Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
The net neutrality aims of Marxist outfits like the poorly named “Free Press” activist group will destroy the freedom we’ve always known on the Internet. Those dogged leftists — for years — have happily advocated surrendering the control we all have as consumers to shape the direction of the Internet. Instead, they advocate handing the power of the people over to government minders. That’s what the net neutrality movement is all about.
They say: Let the government, as opposed to the free market, define and enforce net neutrality. That’s the only “fair” way. We’ll only truly be free from “corporate abuse” on the Internet if omnipotent bureaucrats (aka “The Man”) set the rules of the game.
Well, Free Press has suddenly found anti-government religion. It seems they are, for the moment, on the “hands off the Internet” side of this debate — which is our side. It took revived talk about instituting an “Internet kill switch” to get them in the church pews.
The “kill switch” bill would give the president, with “vague” justification, the power to shut down the Internet in America if … wait for it … the president simply declares a digital “emergency.” (To hear a podcast discussion on this “kill switch” matter from way before Free Press cared, go here.)
The hypocrisy by Free Press is pungent. Jon Henke — fellow lover of liberty and great observer of the digital political scene — sent me this email.
We have a winner for “Ironic Statement of the Year” (Zero Self-Awareness Category).
On Wednesday the organization Free Press responded, saying, “The bill as written offers a vague definition of what constitutes an emergency, and fails to create effective checks and balances.” […]
Timothy Karr of Free Press said that “their promises that the bill won’t give the president ‘kill-switch’ powers aren’t very reassuring. The devil is always in the details.”
Oh, now Free Press decides vague rules, good intentions and political promises aren’t enough, and we should be skeptical of the government claiming authority over the Internet.
Well, welcome to the party.
Yup. Won’t last long, though. But that’s the trouble with getting in bed with the government. You find yourself in a pickle once in a while. Those who have always opposed letting the government monitor and “manage” the Internet don’t have that inconvenient problem.