Democrats Make Net Neutrality 2010 Issue

In an effort to fight against the Obama administration, the Federal Government and the FCC control of the InternetNet Neutrality. Democratic candidates are pledging to protect with the Republicans the openness of the World Wide Web, the Internet.

Congressional leaders should be protecting Net Neutrality, which is now being called “the First Amendment of the Internet”. The open Internet is a vital tool for free speech, economic opportunity, and civilsharingof information. The Obama administration, federal government, and the FCC wish to control the Internet with heavy taxation which has no global regulation. The attempt is to take control of online free speech limiting net neutrality for the entire Internet.

Reports are that phone and cable companies wish to put “tollbooths on the Internet” forcing businesses, organizations, and individuals to pay for their websites to open quickly on people’s computers. This would cause a two internet system of online use, public and private. Public and private use would stifle free speech, innovation, and jobs. This is one issue President Clinton did not regulate when he signed the internet into use.

The administration and the FCC are proposing regulations that would ensure that broadband service providers treat all Web traffic equally. All current web traffic is equal?  The FCC will have issues to overcome. This past February, a federal appeals judge ruled that the FCC is not the commission to govern the internet and the Republicans will argue that reform regulation of online content would hurt the telecom and cable companies responsible for a large chunk of American jobs which is good for net neutrality.

Federal regulators and lawmakers led by the Republican Party will focus on Internet privacy rules, tax reform and reviews of Comcast’s proposed merger with NBC Universal after the 2010 midterm elections. To regulate the online industry will have businesses and public interest groups on the watch. The Republican-dominated Congress could haltor exhaustany new rules on net neutrality thatdeem the measures as anti-business.

The FCC wants to prevent Internet service providers from blocking Web applications or slowing the transmission of Web sites. It is unclear if those rules would apply to wireless networks and companies such as Verizon and Google, which want network carriers to be able to charge companies willing to pay for faster channels on their networks.

Because of the federal appeals court decision this past February ruled that the FCC cannot force Internet service providers to keep networks open to all forms of online content. The FCC is also trying to oversight broadband reclassifying it as a telecom service, thereby making it subject to some of the stricter regulations applied to telephone companies like Ma Bell. This plan has drawn disapprovalfrom some of the nation’s largest broadband providers and congressional leaders.During his presidential campaign, President Obama promised a push for net neutrality reform. The FCC attempts to battle over details by including big telecom companies and search engine like Google and Bing in negotiations has created harm over the internet issue.

What internet businesses are pushing for are lawmakers to show more interest in privacy legislation since the recent exposesof data breaches by Facebook. Two attempted House bills are being pushed on Internet privacy as Republicans are open to some measures that appear to favor businesses. One bill introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) allow for Web firms and advertisers to collect basic information about Internet users “unless people actively remove themselves from data collection”. But the bills also require that firms not gather sensitive informationsuch as financial, personal and medical data and “user locations for global-positioning services unless users voluntarily agree”.

The FCC wants to make suggestions for businesses and lawmakers on Internet privacy. Since the FCC has limited rulemaking power on the issue, they are focusing on investigating violations, such as how an attack on Facebook and Twitter exposed user data. Also the FCC is looking into Comcast’s merger with NBC Universal, which is being closely followed by businesses and special interest groups.

The merger is under review byboth the FCC and the Justice Department which could influence the communications and media markets. Some politicianshave urged the FCC to put net neutrality provisionson the merger. Comcastopposes, stating“any rules should be industry-wide”.

The truth to the matter is the FCC, Obama administration and the federal government is attempting to get creative with regulatory on information technology with taxation on the internet. Currently there are no taxes on internet access, information or content. By expanding broadband’s use the federal government will meddle into internet investments putting investments at risk and control what we view which is also an invasion of privacy.

About the Author

Michael Coker

Conservative Political Writer, Contributor and Blogger, Founder secondopinionpundits – Political Web Magazine – Politically Opinion Based Facts