On May 18th, in a 2-1 vote, the Federal Communications Commission began the process of removing Internet Service Providers from Title II of the “Telecommunications Act” which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996.
In February of 2015, with the encouragement of President Barack Obama, the FCC voted to classify Internet Service Providers as a “common carrier, “essentially classifying broadband Internet as a public utility and giving it the power to impose stricter regulations.
“Net Neutrality” in flames. Hope or Hysteria?
This controversial and polarizing move has sparked debate and public interest on both sides of the aisle. The Chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai released a statement recently saying, “The Internet was not broken in 2015, “referring to when the regulation came into effect. Also stating, “We were not living in a digital dystopia. Nonetheless, the FCC that year succumbed to partisan pressure from the White House and changed course.”
Mignon Clyburn, the FCC’s sole Democrat who voted against the regulation, said today that this is a “wholesale destruction of the FCC’s public interest authority in the 21st century.” Brain Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii, released the statement, “The public now has the opportunity to stand up, be heard, and influence the outcome. It will take millions of people standing up … to say that the Internet needs to stay free and open.”
Pro net-neutrality groups fear that this will open the door for large Internet Service providers to prioritize access to higher paying customers while limiting access for common consumers. Giving higher bandwidth priority to companies like Netflix at the expense of it’s consumer base. Many net-neutrality supporters have taken to the streets in an effort to “Ban Breitbart” and to “Ban Drudge”, referring to the popular conservative news outlets.
Conservatives advocating less government intrusion into personal and business lives have strictly advocated against net-neutrality, fearing that regulations such as this will give the federal government and bureaucrats in Washington D.C. The power to control the internet and clamp down on internet freedom. As they see it, the internet was doing perfectly fine before it was regulated, it will be perfectly fine without regulation. Freedom of business and free market solutions are their end goal.
When government imposes strict regulation on industry and pervades the lives of private citizens, great nations have the potential to fall into an Orwellian dystopia.
Big Brother and the New World Order are always one step around the corner. It has happened before, it can and will happen again if citizens let it.
Are regulations and controls like net-neutrality one of the many catalysts that could propel this nation into an authoritarian, government tyranny?
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” George Orwell, 1984.