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The FCC & Obama Look To ‘Turn The Screw’ On Internet Freedom

21st Century Wire says…

Are we in danger of losing a free internet and a free market?

The ‘double speak’ of the government and the Federal Communications Commission has many Americans concerned for the protection of the internet…

Obama and the FCC’s ‘fast lane’ broadband pursuit under the guise of a open and free service should scare anyone who values individual sovereignty. It is by design that Obama has recently taken the PR back seat on this proposal for a consolidated internet. This could lead to all sorts of encroachment on companies and how we share information on the internet.

Is the FCC’s bill meant to confuse the public into regulating future internet use?

There are currently several White House petitions to challenge the FCC on this issue. Many believe that corporations will be able to pay to have their content heard over other businesses, this poses a great risk to the future of the economy as whole and how we communicate and conduct business over the internet.

RT’s report  below…

Close-up of female hands touching buttons of black computer keyboard

Obama ignores campaign promise as FCC targets net neutrality

Russia Today

United States President Barack Obama’s commitment to net neutrality is being questioned after the Federal Communications Commission officials appointed on his watch voted Thursday to advance a plan believed by many to be a blow to the open internet.

This week’s three-two decision by the FCC to consider proposed rules regarding net neutrality isn’t the final nail in the coffin of the open internet. Rather, the five-person panel agreed Thursday morning to open up for comments a proposal drafted by Chairman Thomas Wheeler that would set rules in place meant to address a federal appeals court’s decision earlier this year that paved the way for the possibility of paid prioritization with regards to how Internet Service Providers, or ISPs, deliver web content to customers.

As the panel weighs Wheeler’s plan, the public now has 120 days to offer their own critique before another vote is held. In the meantime, though, Pres. Obama is likely to draw fire from critics on his own in light of previous statements he made pledging to preserve and protect the open internet.

“Barack Obama was crystal clear during the 2008 campaign about his commitment to ensuring equal treatment of all online content over American broadband lines,” Haley Sweetland Edwards wrote for TIME on Friday. “But on Thursday, the president made no public statement when three Democrats he appointed to the FCC voted to move forward with a plan to allow broadband carriers to provide an exclusive ‘fast lane’ to commercial companies that pay extra fees to get their content transmitted online.”

Instead, Edwards acknowledged, White House press secretary Jay Carney offered a brief statement reiterating the president’s promise.

Obama, Carney wrote“has made clear since he was a candidate that he strongly supports net neutrality and an open Internet. As he has said, the Internet’s incredible equality – of data, content and access to the consumer – is what has powered extraordinary economic growth and made it possible for once-tiny sites like eBay or Amazon to compete with brick and mortar behemoths”

Indeed, in 2010 the president’s chief technology officer wrote on the White House’s blog that“President Obama is strongly committed to net neutrality in order to keep an open Internet that fosters investment, innovation, consumer choice and free speech.”

Years before that on the campaign trail, then-Senator Obama said his hypothetical FCC appointments would defend the notion of a “level playing field for whoever has the best idea.”

“As president, I am going to make sure that that is the principle that my FCC commissioners are applying as we move forward,” he said.

With Friday’s vote, however, the FCC is well on track to implement rules that, while not necessarily encouraging the paid prioritization of web traffic, is expected to allow ISPs and other major players tied to the infrastructure of the internet to cut deals with content producers that, prior to January’s appellate decision, were illegal.

Following the court of appeals decision earlier this year, there are no legally enforceable rules ensuring internet openness,” Julie Veach, chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau, acknowledged at Thursday’s hearing.

In Response, Wheeler said his plan offers “enforceable rules to protect and promote the open internet,”while denying allegations that it authorizes paid prioritization.

“The consideration that we are beginning today is not about whether the internet must be open, but about how and when we will have rules in place to assure an open internet,” he said.

Nevertheless, two of his co-commissioners dissented from his proposal at Thursday’s hearing, and suggested that perhaps the FCC is moving too swiftly to respond to January’s ruling.

As the panel moves forward, however, the president’s campaign trail promise could come under attack. Although all five members of the panel were appointed by his office, the three Democratic members of the president’s own political party, including Wheeler, approved the chairman’s proposed rules. Dissenting were Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly, both Republicans.

“The FCC is an independent agency, and we will carefully review their proposal,” Carney told reporters on Thursday. “The FCC’s efforts were dealt a real challenge by the Court of Appeals in January, but Chairman Wheeler has said his goal is to preserve an open Internet, and we are pleased to see that he is keeping all options on the table. We will be watching closely as the process moves forward in hopes that the final rule stays true to the spirit of net neutrality.”

More at RT

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