Late last night the majority of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioners said that they’re on board with Chairman Julius Genachowski’s Net Neutrality rule. The problem is that critics say the rule does little to actually protect the open nature of the Internet.
Free speech media activist group Free Press claims that the new rule is so loaded with loopholes that it has become clear that the FCC chairman created it solely to win the favor of AT&T and other big media lobbyists. The interests of tens of millions of American Internet users took a back seat to the big media elite.
According to Free Press, for the first time in the history of American telecommunications law the FCC has given its blessing to the practices of online discrimination.
The FCC said no to a rule that would protect Internet users’ freedom to choose and instead they went with a rule that will open the door for broadband payola. Under the rule that will be voted on today phone and cable companies will have the freedom to charge steep fees to favor the content and services of a privileged group of corporate partners. This will most likely push everyone else to the bottom of the priority list possibly making it hard to access the content of people who don’t pay to play.
Instead of choosing to protect openness on wireless handheld Internet devices like the iPhone and Droid, the FCC has removed mobile Internet from any Net Neutrality protections. This action unofficially makes AT&T and Verizon the gatekeepers of the ever-growing mobile Internet and it gives them the power to prioritize their own applications while blocking, downgrading or de-prioritizing others.
So instead of restoring the FCC’s authority to serve as a consumer watchdog over the Internet, the new rule diminishes the FCC’s authority and gives control of the Internet to a small group of carriers.
Free Press believes that Internet users deserve better and they are upset because President Obama promised to “take a backseat to no one in my commitment to Net Neutrality.” Of course we all know that today when the rule is passed the president and his FCC cronies will try to sell it as a win to consumers and Internet users.
We all know that’s not true, but you can rest assured that there will be lots of people who will see it on the fawning corporate media’s programming today and they will talk about how we have a president who has showed he is committed to Net Neutrality and free speech. If you encounter any of these people at a bar or at a family gathering over the holidays shout them down from their place of ignorance.
Don’t let the people around you believe these lies about how our communication technology networks are being protected by our progressive president and his technologically aware administration. Make an example of them or at the very least take the time to educate them because this is a simple issue that is easy to understand.
Is this “change we can believe in?” Yeah, if your idea of change is seeing the president and the FCC kissing the boots of big media lobbyists and the creation of a new form of technological censorship, then yes, here is the change you were promised in the 2008 election.