One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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We learn of new Fourth Amendment violations seemingly every week. And the DC Establishment are time and again caught lying about the extent and reach of these anti-Constitutional programs.
These government data power grabs are horrendous attacks on the Internet end user and his or her content. We the People are having our phone calls, emails, Web searches, text messages, instant messages and video chats illegally vacuumed up, stored and examined.
Just as egregious are the government’s attacks on the Internet’s spine – the technological backbone that makes all of these end-use data grabs possible. The government has, for instance, illegally imposed co-opt “sharing” of cell phone networks.
And then there’s Network Neutrality. Net Neutrality mandates that the government regulate the entire Web. Which means the government lords over every single website on the planet. No First Amendment problem there, right?
And the thought of an entity as wholly incompetent as is the federal government in charge of the constantly-transforming Internet is preposterous. How’s Social Security doing? Broke. Medicare? Broke. Medicaid? Broke. The Post Office? Broke. Amtrak? Broke. How’s ObamaCare looking? Broke.
We know how they’ll do overlord-ing the constantly cutting edge Internet.
What makes Net Neutrality additionally untenable is that its proponents keep changing and expanding what it means. Kind of like ObamaCare. Just a month ago, ObamaCare’s heinousness damaged businesses in 2014 and Congress immediately. Now – not so much.
And that’s precisely what has been going on with Net Neutrality – ever since it was first illegally imposed in December 2010. Now, nearly anything anyone doesn’t like in the Internet realm is absurdly decried as a “Net Neutrality violation!!!” With the decriers then demanding the government step in and further regulate. The latest example may be the worst.
CBS and Time Warner Cable (TWC) are having a retransmission consent dispute. In English, that means they can not agree on how much TWC will pay CBS for its content. We will set aside for the moment how ridiculously over-regulated the retransmission market is – and look at what came next.
The two parties couldn’t reach a deal, so CBS went black on TWC. CBS also blocked its online content from TWC customers.
“Net Neutrality violation!!!” shouted Democrat Congressman Jim McDermott.
He said (CBS’s online blocking) violates the Federal Communication Commission (FCC)’s 2005 policy statement on Net Neutrality, which stated that “consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice.”
Congressman McDermott isn’t even citing the FCC’s illegal 2010 Net Neutrality order. He’s pulling out a feel-good, unenforceable, inert proclamation.
But think about what the Congressman wants. That the government mandate CBS give away its content. The Congressman is saying that under Net Neutrality CBS has no right to its own product.
Thank you, Congressman, for again pointing out that Net Neutrality is also an incredible violation of personal property rights. Not just of those who spend trillions of dollars building the Internet – but of everyone who produces content for it.
And thank you, Congressman, for again pointing out that Net Neutrality is a constantly shifting, over-regulatory mess of an illegal imposition.
No man can be all things to all people. Neither can a DC mandate. The constantly shifting sand of unilateral law, rules and regulation changes coming out of Washington are a gi-normous contributor to the ongoing economic malaise through which we are suffering. DC uncertainty begets private sector non-performance.
Net Neutrality is one-step worse still. Imposed without benefit of Congress – constantly being mutated to meet the over-regulatory needs of whomever, whenever.
That’s no way to run a railroad – and certainly not the Information Superhighway.