Is your free speech at risk? Can your personal and financial data be used against you? Why are people like George Soros and other organizations like the Ford Foundation involved in this issue? The bottom line is that some people believe the government should control the content on the Internet by treating it as a national utility.
The link below is lists some of the principles that by which these and other groups believe that show that the Internet would function better if it were a utility:
Please go to the link and read all the principles. I want you to pay careful attention to the second principle: “Support the opportunities created by the networked public sphere: new modes of civic and social participation, lowered barriers to engagement, and innovative ways to organize for positive change and social justice; and guard against potential harm: censorship, self-segregation, the spread of misinformation, and polarization.”
These organizations want the government, through the structure of a utility, to decide among other things what is positive change and social justice, and how to guard against harm, including the spread of misinformation and polarization. How will these censors be selected? Who gets to decide what is misinformation, and who decides what is harmful? Will an unelected board decide what we can see and hear? Will the board delegate to tens of thousands of censors what will be acceptable? Will all YouTube videos and other Internet videos have to be approved before they are broadcast? Will all content also have to be approved so as to eliminate misinformation?
I currently write for seven different blogs and I wonder: will people like me, who may, on occasion, have a dissenting viewpoint have to have my commentaries approved to make sure they don’t polarize people against other people’s thoughts, including my own? The supporters of the Internet utility concept will tell us that things will be better off for everybody if we have an unelected senior body uniformly running the Internet as a utility.
This is not an idle threat. During the Obama years, the Federal Communications Commission passed its “Net Neutrality” provision, which classified the Internet as a utility. Then in its waning days, they passed “privacy” regulations on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) buried ISPs in a mountain of red tape while empowering Google and Facebook to mine for your personal data unscathed and unmolested.
As much as we value privacy, the FCC regulations in fact upset long-standing privacy rules provided by another tangency the Federal Trade Commission, setting up a two-tier standard with some winners (Google, Facebook, Soros) and some losers (ISPs).
Thankfully Congress would have none of this. Led by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) the FCC regulations were repealed before the damage was done. Liberals and their allies in the media are screaming that “Internet privacy was repealed.” That is fake news. The existing rules created by the FTC remain in force. The same privacy rules that have worked for two decades will continue to protect consumers. Anyone who says anything else is lying.
How good is the government at running things? Some would say, “Just look at Obama Care.” In the New York Times Sunday Review of February 11, 2012, Michael Grabell wrote an article titled “How Not to Revive an Economy.” He said, “I spent three years reporting on the $840 billion stimulus plan that the Obama administration pushed through Congress in 2009. My conclusion: government can create jobs — it just doesn’t often do it well.”
In reading American history, especially during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the government put 10.7 million Americans back to work in various lettered agencies. Today is a different time, and the idea that the central government could manage the Internet as a utility is beyond realistic. The Census Bureau in 2011 reported that 293 million people in the United States had access to the Internet. The above Census Bureau report is at least six years old, so I have to assume that in the six years since that release, the number of internet users has grown to over 300 million.
Investopedia says that the largest utility in the world is Duke Energy, which has 7.5 million electric customers and 1.5 million natural gas customers.
Looking at the numbers, the central government utility for the Internet would be 37 times larger than Duke Energy. I can only imagine how large the Federal agency would have to be to run a national Internet utility of that size. If Duke Energy employs about 29,000 people to run its operation, the largest electric utility in the world, can we try and figure out the size of the bureaucracy needed to run the central government Internet utility?
The four largest US Government agencies, outside of the Department of Defense, employ about 761,000 people; my guess as to the number of employees to run the national Internet utility would be at least 350,000 people, or close to a 50% increase in the size of the four largest agencies, less Defense.
So where does this lead us? I like to be able to write; I like to hear from people who like and dislike what I have to say. I like the ability to choose my Internet provider and the search engine of my choice. I want a free and open Internet, and I don’t want the government interfering with my ability to choose. I don’t want the government censoring my thoughts, and most of all, I do not want the government going through my accounts and taking from me what they want. I don’t want the intellectual elites telling me what I can and cannot do.
I will never stand for a country where big brother is watching everything I do. At least for now, the Congress has stood up against big brother.