Net Neutrality is Big Government Power Grab
Power entirely for its own sake – Agent O’Brien tells Winston in 1984
The order imposes intrusive government regulations that won’t work to solve a problem that doesn’t exist using legal authority the FCC doesn’t have. – Ajit Pai, FCC Commissioner
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility. The FCC has redefined the Internet from an information service to a telecommunications service, which will allow it to regulate the Internet under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. Title II was passed in 1934 “for the purpose of regulating interstate and foreign commerce in communication by wire and radio.” Title II has served as the justification for taxes, regulations, and federal programs that have saddled telecommunication companies with onerous regulations, saddled consumers with taxes and fees, drove up the price of goods and services, and created welfare programs that have cost taxpayers billions.
|Barack Hussein Obama and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler|
The FCC drafted 332 pages of regulations in advance of the eventual vote that approved the regulation of the Internet. As per usual, the most transparent administration has yet to make the regulations public. What usually follows new regulations besides taxes? The regulatory agency always makes a request to Congress for a budget increase, which the FCC did last week.
The FCC has requested a record-setting $530 million budget for FY 2016, which is a $84 million increase over last year’s budget. The FCC is also requesting a transfer of $25 million from the Universal Service Fund, claiming it needs the additional money to oversee the Lifeline Program and the funding of Internet access in libraries.
What can the American people expect from Net Neutrality? Net Neutrality will result in fewer Internet service providers (ISP), higher prices for Internet service, and censorship.
The taxes and fees you currently pay for telephone service will become part of your costs for Internet service. You can expect to see the following charges on your ISP bill:
- Regulatory Recovery Fee
- PUC Recovery Fee
- State Universal Service Fund
- Federal Universal Service Fund
- Equalization Surcharge
The charge on your telephone bill for the Universal Service Fund (USF) will eventually show up on your bill for your Internet service. The USF is a federal tax that funds the Lifeline Program or what some refer to as the “Obama phones.” The Lifeline Program is a federal program that requires telecommunication providers to contribute a percentage of their revenues to fund free telephones and telephone service to low income people. If a person is on any of the following programs, he or she is eligible for an Obama phone and free service:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance Program
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
- National School Lunch Program
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Head Start
- State Assistance Programs (if applicable)
Kaye is a clinical professor of law and the director of the International Justice Clinic at the University of California – Irvine (UCI) School of Law. Kaye’s profile on UCI’s website describes his background as follows:
Prof. Kaye’s scholarship and teaching focus on public international law, especially international human rights law, international humanitarian law, accountability for violations of human rights, and the law governing use of force. He is just as interested in efforts to translate international law—especially human rights law—in a domestic American context, whether in courts, legislatures, or the executive branches of government, at federal and state levels.
The professor would like to see the United States elevate international laws above federal, state, and local laws. Unfortunately, those patriotic Americans and their laws keeping getting in the way of the UN and its efforts to develop and apply international laws to the United States. National sovereignty is the enemy of the UN, but Marxists like Obama, his administration, and the feckless bureaucrats can certainly assist the UN in fundamentally transforming America by arbitrarily implementing fedgov regulations that mimic international laws.
The United States joins Brazil, Chile, and the Netherlands as the only countries that have adopted net neutrality rules. What does Net Neutrality look like in these countries? According to an article by C. Mitchell Shaw that appeared in The New American, net neutrality has opened the door to widespread censorship of Internet content. Shaw wrote, “In April 2010, Google reported that Brazil was the country with the most requests from its government to take down content. In September 2012, a Brazilian elections court issued a warrant for the arrest of a Google executive living in Brazil after the media giant failed to take down YouTube videos attacking a local mayoral candidate.” In Chile, censorship of the Internet is moving at a rapid pace. Shaw writes, “In Chile, a parliamentary motion has been submitted in the Chamber of Deputies that aims at censoring the contents of the Internet. The bill proposes to punish individuals that use the Net to disseminate contents that are offensive to morals, public order or proper customs.” In other words, the government will decide what content is and is not permissible to post on the Internet.