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Obama's FCC Chief Can't Wait to Get His Hands on the Internet

The free market has worked wonders in the world of the Internet. It is vast and open to anyone who wants to use it. It's also the one domain the government has not yet been able to control. If Obama's new FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski, has his way, all that will change. Why? Because Genachowski thinks that the only way the Internet can remain open to everyone is if the government gets involved and does the monitoring.

I'll wait for you to stop laughing....

Genachowski wants us to ignore the undeniable fact that the Internet is as open and vast as it is because the government has had nothing to do with it. But that won't stop Genachowski. From Reason Online:

Last Monday, in his first big speech as President Barack Obama's new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman, Julius Genachowski began by singing the Web's praises, and portraying it as vital to the workings of society. "Today," he said, "we can't imagine what our lives would be like without the Internet--any more than we can imagine life without running water or the light bulb." On this point, nearly everyone can agree.

Unfortunately, Genachowski drew exactly the wrong lessons from his initial insight: Rather than see the Internet's growth and integration into everyday life as evidence that government intervention isn't necessary, the Web's chief regulator took the opposite view--that the Net's size and scope make government meddling a necessity. The Internet, in other words, is Too Connected to Fail.

The theme of the speech was openness, but for Genachowski, an "open Internet" seems to mean a "government-monitored Internet." Innovators and entrepreneurs may have been responsible for making the Web great, but care, oversight, and access are now up to the government. "Congress and the President have charged the FCC with developing a National Broadband Plan to ensure that every American has access to open and robust broadband," he said.

The message from Genachowski to the free market is "thanks for making the Internet such a great success, but we're from the government and can take it from here."

But there's a much larger message going on here that should concern all Americans. We're being told that not only should government intervene when a system is broken, as Obama has been arguing is the case with health care, but now we hear that the government should also intervene with a system even when it is very successful as is the case with the Internet.

So, here's the exit question: is there an area of public life that the Obama administration thinks it should not interfere?

The answer: No. Obama and his like minded leftists are focused on one thing: control. They claim they are concerned about the common good, but the truth is they are just a bunch of control freaks.


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Comments (19)

Federal Communicat... (Below threshold)
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to announce a plan on Monday to formalize the idea of net neutrality. The move, which supports a campaign promise made by President Barack Obama, will prevent the information superhighway from becoming a toll road giving preferential treatment to those who pay for it.

This is fantastic news from her - Reason has their own Rand based agenda that I'd rather not have enacted.


When are people going to ge... (Below threshold)

When are people going to get the idea through their thick heads that the Dem party is not the party of free speech but the party of their speech or no speech? mpw

Barack Obama Joe Biden Big ... (Below threshold)

Barack Obama Joe Biden Big Brother and the Fascsist Commincatiobs Commision wants to monitor everything

True "Net Neutrality" I can... (Below threshold)

True "Net Neutrality" I can get behind, making certain that private business like ISP's cannot filter what I am able to access on the internet.


If the government gets involved and makes certain that we have a "right" to broadband by rolling out nationwide and controlling the "Public ISP" then it will be just like healthcare. They are taking Net Neutrality and turning it on its head.

Government will first say that you cannot filter content at the ISP level. I'm fine with that..

Then they will pass a bill to create a "Public Option" for broadband and include things in the bill which will slowly force other carriers out of business.

Then they will decide that Porn or something else needs to be removed or blocked and do so. Net Neutrality will conveniently not apply to the Public ISP. Besides, they will control the tubes and block things at the edge before it ever gets to your local ISP.

So now the "Public ISP" is cheaper and more widespread than the private ones and the private ones who had the edge because they did not filter content. Will not be able to offer anything the govt can't. Then they die and now the Govt has complete control of the internet in the US.

Now lets just shut those dissenting bloggers up, and investigate anyone who comments on those sites.

I know I know, its a bit out there, but only a bit.

Net Neutrality YES!, Public Option ISP? HELL NO!

Case by case evaluation by ... (Below threshold)

Case by case evaluation by the FCC? Is the internet, then, to abide by television and radio regulations set by the FCC? And about to be clamped down hard by the new "diversity" czar? Right wing content, then, will be off limits?

No need to "flag the fishy" anymore, I guess.

Scary stuff indeed.

And here, all this time, I ... (Below threshold)

And here, all this time, I thought the 'net' was pretty 'neutral'. Unfortunately for Barry, 'neutral' means opposing points of view aren't allowed. Just ask Humana.

Hey jp2, got your Brown Shirt uniform yet? Bet you can't wait to stomp on all the conservatives, round 'em up and send 'em to re-education camps.

Indeed the problem with "Ne... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Indeed the problem with "Net Neutrality" is that the government gets to decide what is "Neutral". A brief look at our own government and governments across the world will show that governments are terrible at this and always have been.

People carp about Comcast's attitude toward BitTorrent. So what? The solution is not to have the government intervene, it is to take responsibility for your own life and get another ISP if it bothers you that much.

You have freedom, for God's sake use it!

Consider how Google (Bend to Evil) conspires with the PRC to limit what people can search for; or how Google reports the activity of users to the PRC. It's not a long trip from forcing Comcast to allow peer-to-peer in one case to not allow other activities or to be a government informant on the public. Lefty companies like Google are more than happy to step on people's freedoms in the name of increasing profit and market share.

They do not want to open th... (Below threshold)

They do not want to open this can of worms.

We already have a large number of citizens who just spent several years fighting insurgencies - and who are pissed off at the administration's attempts to usurp power. Outrage the internet trolls, b-tards, etc. and add them to that group, and you suddenly have the sorts of combined capabilities to wreak havoc that al qaeda could only dream of.

Question for the techies ou... (Below threshold)

Question for the techies out there:

Just how possible is this?

I thought the internet was designed (from DARPA initiatives) to survive nuclear attack, to be as impossible to completely take down as possible.

Are there so few nodes in the system that the government could actually succeed in closing it down?


This is funny. In th... (Below threshold)

This is funny.
In the 80's At the same time their was Internet which was government controlled at the time BBS systems , CompuServe, Delphi and other services are all online and were more popular than the Internet. When in the 90's the internet was allowed to be open of government control innovation from public and private security made it a success.

It seems that current leadership has declared free choice, private industry , freedom is an anathema to the Democratic Party.

Paul_In_Houston -S... (Below threshold)

Paul_In_Houston -

Short answer? Yes.

Slightly longer answer - There's a number of centralized points - MAE East, MAE West, and MAE Central, and a few others that interconnect the various networks, ISPs, and undersea fiber optic cables. True, the system is damn survivable and can reroute around problem areas (like a cut fiber route or suchlike) but that interconnection is a function of the system.

Control the connections - and you control the system. And it would seem the FCC has no hesitations at this point towards controlling the system for 'the greater good'.

On the good side of things - the current crop of clowns in Washington likely wouldn't be able to get their shit together to really chop things up. It takes a lot more than a document written in opaque verbiage to grab control of these servers, and the businesses running them would have every incentive to fight this tooth and nail.

The Obama administration is... (Below threshold)

The Obama administration is a laugh a minute.

And this is nothing more than government run internet, which will slowly decay once you take the profit motive out of it.

They want to control everything, including your toilet paper.

And this is nothing more... (Below threshold)
jim m:

And this is nothing more than government run internet, which will slowly decay once you take the profit motive out of it.

But that would suit them just fine since the internet and right of center blogs are one of their chief complaints. If you can't control it kill it. That would mean no more fact checking no more organizing protests no more hidden camera exposes to embarrass campaign organizations.

Kill the internet, stifle talk radio with 'localism' and there's already a bill in congress to make the MSM officially beholden to the government for financial support. Nothing to see here...move along...

Obama's govt wants to take ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Obama's govt wants to take over the banking, auto and healthcare industries because they are in trouble.

Now Obama's govt wants to take over the internet because it's NOT in trouble.

So explain to me how the govt doesn't want to take over as much as possible? Tell me how they don't want to control us?

When the Federal Communicat... (Below threshold)

When the Federal Communication Act was passed in 1934, it was supposed to make the airwaves freer. It did the opposite. Back then AM radio was the only form of electronic mass communication. To make a long story short. radio stations were free to broadcast anything that they wanted to, kind of like the internet now. Some stations were very critical of Franklin Roosevelt administration and especially the New Deal.

Just as back then, as now, the Dems were having a hard time with getting some of their stuff through and they blamed these radio stations. So, the Democrat power brokers in the Congress, decided to create the FCC. Things went downhill from there.

This act also hampered our Intel gathering capabilities by listening to other countries' electronic signals. There was even one wag that said "Gentlemen do not read each others' mail." That applied only to the United States.

something something somethi... (Below threshold)

something something something pry my keyboard from by cold dead hands something something something.

Everything government gets ... (Below threshold)

Everything government gets into goes to hell. Why the fuc should the government get involved in this free flow highway of information?

Why to steal more money and privacy thats why. Its part of My livelihood and Obama cant stand anyone having something beyond his control.


jp2, Do your happy d... (Below threshold)

Do your happy dance on Wizbang while you can.
Because right along with everyone else, if it
gets shut down, you wont be posting here either.
How's that for some golden silence?

There's actually a <a href=... (Below threshold)

There's actually a great piece in the WSJ arguing that Google isn't exactly an innocent bystander in this whole net neutrality debate which segues into a few things; notably that while Google pretends to be against internet gate keeping, it does some questionable gate keeping of its own:

1. Google picks winners and losers online through a search algorithm that no one can see and that constantly changes,

2. Google discriminates in favor of corporate partners (through sponsored search results) and their own value-add services (by making YouTube videos, Google Maps results and other products prevalent in its search results), and

3. Google discriminates against protected political speech (countless examples here and abroad).

So the FCC has an important question to ask: as it considers revamping the rules of the online road, should it look at anticompetitve behavior among dominant Internet firms? The DOJ certainly seems to think so. And if the FCC believes antitrust law is sufficient to protect against misbehaving content/applications providers, is it not sufficient to curb bad behavior from ISPs?






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