Danger at the FCC: More Government control through regulation without representation

March 29, 2010 05:23

Public or Private, the FCC wants to be able to snoop on how the internet runs, to be able to control how it runs.

Neil Stevens at REDSTATE

I’ve been talking about the dangers of Net Neutrality and the neo-Marxist FCC for some time at RedState. However events are picking up speed, especially with Obamacare now out of the way. It’s time I laid everything back out from the beginning.

There are two major plans that the Obama FCC, headed by Chairman Julius Genachowski, has in store for us. Net Neutrality and a National Broadband Plan. Net Neutrality is the more misleading issue, though, and has the greater external push behind it, so the majority of the talk on the Internet is about that.

They’re both dangerous, though. Here’s why.

Net Neutrality is a term that has floated around in the technical community for years. It’s a harmless concept, but I won’t go into it because it has nothing to do with Net Neutrality as a regulatory practice. Seriously. The Neo-Marxists at Free Press and the self-seeking bosses at Google have perverted that tech-pleasing label into something vastly different.

Here’s what it is in practice: Chairman Genachowski made a landmark speech in which he declared that the FCC would enforce two new, never before used principles on the Internet: neutrality and transparency.

Neutrality: Here the FCC is claiming the authority to regulate how the Internet routes packets. “Packets” are the small pieces of data that everything is broken up into when it is sent over the Internet: email, web pages, images, videos, Skype phone calls, everything. Packets are like postcards: They contain data glued to the to and from addresses, in a manner of speaking. “Routing” is how the Internet passes those packets from computer to computer until they make it to their destination.

For years now, with tools like Quality of Service flagging, the Internet has been moving toward a smarter ability to route packets on the basis of what they contain, how time-sensitive they are and, yes, how much their senders and recipients were willing to pay for higher priority use of the resources. Smarter routing is more and more important as we use the Internet in more varied, more important, and more bandwidth-intensive ways.

Also, by making special arrangements and deals, ISPs and Internet companies can get together and offer services that otherwise might not be available to users. Even Net Neutrality proponent Google participates in non-neutral arrangements both abroad such as in the Indian soccer deal on Youtube, as well as at home when Google promises to abide by any T-Mobile restrictions on Android-based phones, even those restrictions which are non-neutral on the part of T-Mobile as an ISP. Freedom of enterprise helps Americans because the innovation enables us to have more services and options available to us. We need those options to remain, and that freedom to continue.

However Genachowski and the Obama FCC are placing these kinds of sensible cost-cutting and efficiency-gaining innovations in jeopardy with their talk of heavy-handed government regulation of the industry. The Internet has flourished since it came out from the thumb of government control when it was the ARPAnet, and became the free-wheeling marketplace it is today. Clearly, that scares people who want government to be in control of things.

And it’s total control they want, too. Because the second principle Genachowski asked for, “transparency,” doesn’t mean transparency of government. No, it means that the government is to claim the right to have access to every router in America, every switch, and every other piece of hardware that makes the Internet go. Public or Private, the FCC wants to be able to snoop on how it runs, to be able to control how it runs.

Does that scare you? It should. When you connect to the Internet, your home computer network (even if it’s just one computer) is now on the Internet. The Internet is not like a public road. It’s a vast series of private networks, all connected together. Government wants control over the whole ball of yarn, how everyone configures and runs their own private computers routing the packets of the Internet.

That control will have one immediate impact: The FCC will be picking winners and losers on the Internet, which is why Google is 100% behind this effort. Google will be a winner, thanks in no small part to its close ties with the Obama administration through Google CEO and Obama advisor Eric Schmidt, while those who invest in the capital of the Internet, the wires that criss-cross the country and the planet, will lose. If you look at any of the literature put out by the pro-Net Neutrality forces, you’ll see plenty of villification of ISPs, AT&T in particular.


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