FCC coordinated net neutrality with outside group

posted at 9:30 am on June 4, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been acting with a heavy hand on the matter of so called “net neutrality” to date, but it at least seemed to have the imprimatur of serving one master… the president. Not so, at least according to the findings of Judicial Watch, as reported by the Washington Examiner. They apparently were working with an independent group determined to ensure Uncle Sam kept a far less than invisible hand on the web.

Documents made public yesterday by Judicial Watch describe extensive collusion by Federal Communications Commission officials with a left-wing advocacy group in a campaign to expand government regulation of the Internet.

The documents, obtained by Judicial Watch in a December 2010 Freedom of Information Act request, were created after Democrat appointees solidified their 3-2 control of the agency in March 2009…

The coordination between FCC officials and Free Press, the advocacy group, supported a proposal for the agency to regulate access to the Internet as if it were a public utility, in the interest of ensuring “Net Neutrality.”

The criticism of not only the activist in question, but this new power sought by the FCC, notes that such regulation will allow the federal government to not merely control bandwidth, but content. Some may see this as harmless, couching the argument in issues of free speech. But continuing patterns in the executive branch have demonstrated another concern:

This is a pathway for Washington to pick winners and losers in the race to deliver content on the web. And the Free Press group is looking to do just that.

From the beginning I found myself on the fence regarding net neutrality, and I have engaged in productive debates with folks on both sides. There is a natural impetus for lovers of free speech to make sure that some anonymous “fat cats” aren’t deciding to send you to Company A when the the less well funded Company B might be offering a better deal, but are unable to afford the higher bandwidth costs.

But in the end, even more important than saving an extra sixteen cents on your DVD of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean flick (which is much better than the critics’ reviews, by the way) the public needs to be the master of web content delivery. And yes, even for those of you who don’t believe in the free market, it remains a far more scary proposition to allow whoever currently holds the White House to decide that than the companies who provide the bandwidth.

Why? Because those “fat cats” are absolutely working from an ulterior motive. And it’s profit. What the public is willing to pay for, the public will receive. Washington is hindered by no such restrictions and can pick and choose winners based on what suits their own ideological agenda.

I’ll take my chances with the capitalists, thanks.

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They’re nothing but a gaggle of political hacks attempting to control the content and flow of information in their favor . . . just another one of Obama’s aberrations that needs to be stopped.

rplat on June 4, 2011 at 9:35 AM

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Left is involved in this intrusion. After all, they must control everything!

OldEnglish on June 4, 2011 at 9:39 AM

One big happy communist family

Gwillie on June 4, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Here a communist, there a communist … everywhere a communist.

darwin on June 4, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Free Press was co-founded by Monthly Review editor Robert McChesney and the Nation contributor John Nichols. The Monthly Review is “an independent Marxist journal,” while the Nation has long described itself as “the flagship of the left.” Free Press is partially funded by George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

And people say Beck is nuts….

BallisticBob on June 4, 2011 at 9:45 AM

This government needs to be totally overhauled top to bottom using the Constitution as the blueprint. Over the years, progressives expanded the powers and reach of government, and when a Republican is in the White House, they just appoint slightly better people, never trimming governmental authority. Too many big government RINOS.

cartooner on June 4, 2011 at 9:48 AM

will they be banning junk mail next?

Rep Weiner hardest hit.

andycanuck on June 4, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Yes, it is a good thing Beck is nuts… about saving the country from marxist wacko’s. We must squeeze out the little fools before they totally destroy the place. Beck at least has showed us all the enemy, it is time to fight.

tim c on June 4, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Beck was all over this many months ago. But of course, he’s just crazy…

bofh on June 4, 2011 at 10:00 AM

A little excerpt for Free Press’s web site: “Free Press has also launched SaveTheNews.org, a broad-based public campaign to develop policies that address the journalism crisis; to renew, reshape and re-imagine our nation’s newsrooms; “ I think that says everything that needs to be said about who the government is in bed with.

Tommy_G on June 4, 2011 at 10:05 AM

You cannot be intentionally stupid. The government does one thing right, the US Military, and that is only because success and failure are instantly obvious. Failure on the part of the military is not only disastrous to the country’s safety, but even small failures can end political careers. The military is self sustaining in that respect.

With other federal programs, it seems as if citizens are complacent with a slow erosion of our rights, and freedoms. Net Neutrality is a power grab blanketed with a innocent sounding name. Net Neutrality is the exact opposite of neutral. It is a democrat party attempt at shifting the internet into another version of the Corporate for Public Broadcasting. Net Neutrality would force providers to contribute to to Democrat Party campaigns, and would be controlled by lackeys.

Net Neutrality would squelch not only dissent, it would become another entity for propaganda. It would become another way to shake down innovators and force them to pay for play. Conservatives and independents know this, yet a lot of us get lulled by innocuous names that “sound fair”. To wit: Women’s Health has nothing to do with women’s health is is a guise for abortion, nothing more.

The Democrat Party has shown they are anything but fair, their attempts to control every aspect of our lives is obvious to thinking people.

Rode Werk on June 4, 2011 at 10:12 AM

It absolutely BLOWS my mind that Americans fall for this…’Net Neutrality’ indeed, as IF….as if the internet wasn’t the only thing left free ’til now.

Minorcan Maven on June 4, 2011 at 10:48 AM

even for those of you who don’t believe in the free market

Sorry, I think my bookmarks must have gotten corrupted or something. Can somebody tell me what site this is?

Cylor on June 4, 2011 at 10:51 AM

…but it at least seemed to have the imprimatur of serving one master… the president. Not so, at least according to the findings of Judicial Watch, as reported by the Washington Examiner.

Dead wrong. These leftist groups absolutely have the blessing and imprimature of the President.

But this is old news. This information has been known for months by those tracking the gross power grab euphemistically known as “net neutrality.”
http://frontpagemag.com/2010/12/28/the-net-neutrality-power-grab/
http://biggovernment.com/smotley/2011/03/28/the-senate-is-the-next-battlefield-in-the-campaign-to-undo-the-fccs-net-neutrality-power-grab/

The concept is the brainchild of Robert McChesney, a declared socialist and notorious anti-corporate agitator.

Get with it, conservatives. There is an entire skein of leftist groups pushing this. The FCC has no authority in its charter for such moves. The new congress made brave noises about defunding the FCC or at least challenging this backdoor attempt at control of the internet.

The internet is the greatest breaktrough in public speech in our lifetimes. It has proved essential to the conservative movement. The Left knows this, and cannot tolerate it.

rrpjr on June 4, 2011 at 10:54 AM

You know, everyone laughed when Glenn Beck pointed this out last year.

mizflame98 on June 4, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Free Press is about as left-leaning as you can get.

bw222 on June 4, 2011 at 10:59 AM

The internet is the greatest breaktrough in public speech in our lifetimes. It has proved essential to the conservative movement. The Left knows this, and cannot tolerate it.

rrpjr on June 4, 2011 at 10:54 AM

This.

There is a hardcore leftist cadre in this Administration who are quietly pursuing their goal of using government power to quash conservative expression. These people really believe that our mainstream media are too conservative because they are owned by greedy capitalist corporations! They really believe that Fox News News is dangerous to “democracy”! They believe that all conservative thought is racist, sexist, and anti-democratic.

Like cockroaches, they will scatter when light is shined on them.

rockmom on June 4, 2011 at 11:03 AM

A free internet is the last stronghold against world indoctrination by skilled fabulists like the AlGorean Con demanding all money for their promise of a salvation from rising temperatures while we are forbidden to know temperatures are falling fast. If we lose to this Obama attack we are never going to see freedom again.

jimw on June 4, 2011 at 11:10 AM

extensive collusion by Federal Communications Commission officials with a left-wing advocacy group in a campaign to expand government regulation of the Internet.

Gee, what a shock.\

The FCC is one of those departments of the federal government that needs to be abolished, ASAP.

AZCoyote on June 4, 2011 at 11:50 AM

it remains a far more scary proposition to allow whoever currently holds the White House to decide that than the companies who provide the bandwidth.

The FCC’s power grab needs to be spotlighted until it is somehow reigned in by Congress. The threat to our liberty is grave.

petefrt on June 4, 2011 at 11:53 AM

petefrt on June 4, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Grave enough, do you think, for Boehner to mention during his golf game?

rrpjr on June 4, 2011 at 12:01 PM

We’re currently governed by relentlessly scheming wanna-be tyrants on one side of the aisle, and somnolent, clueless, cowardly nitwits on the other. The former know how to use power to get what they want and stop at nothing to do so. The latter check polls, clear their throat 10 times and go hat in hand to the media for permission before making a statement.

For the Republicans in congress not to rail about this issue and make it central to the party’s argument and cause for freedom is criminal negligence and criminally stupid politics.

Once more, it’s up to us.

rrpjr on June 4, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Stop funding this corrupt Agency.

Let it die. The market can figure out how to divvy up broadcast spectrum on its own, and has done quite well in the ‘free’ spectrum that government doesn’t regulate. We don’t hear horror stories of device conflicts for the users of that spectrum and industry sets its own standards for it. That can be done with the entire broadcast spectrum and give any reason to HAVE an FCC the complete and utter boot.

Force these people to get REAL JOBS, not trying to stifle speech… for this is speech and the utilization of a computer also makes it freedom of the press.

ajacksonian on June 4, 2011 at 12:25 PM

“Net neutrality”, “Card check”…

Damn, Orwell was spot on.

yubley on June 4, 2011 at 12:32 PM

You know, everyone laughed when Glenn Beck pointed this out last year.

mizflame98 on June 4, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Over and over they try to marginalize him. Over and over he comes out on top. That’s why they can pretend to laugh all they like nowadays, but when I want to think ahead of the curve, to look a little over the horizon, I listen to this guy first.

petefrt on June 4, 2011 at 12:37 PM

In a way, since Obama and company are probably going to be out of power in 2012, I hope they push these policies through. Once people get a grasp of how the Democrats, rather than having a free and open internet really just wanted to control content, once they’re out of power and things change back, they just might never be voted in again, because people will realize they can’t be trusted with power.

I don’t trust Obama and company right now. Just imagine if Van Jones had made it past Republicans!!! Just looking at the comments he’s been making lately scares me to death.

Vote Republican and only be called a racist one more time.

bflat879 on June 4, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Grave enough, do you think, for Boehner to mention during his golf game?

rrpjr on June 4, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Nahhh, nothing’s that grave. It might upset the new kumbayah.

I agrree with you completely — For the Republicans in congress not to rail about this issue and make it central to the party’s argument and cause for freedom is mindblowingly derelict. Repubs don’t seem to realize that the left is playing for keeps.

petefrt on June 4, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Free Press is about as left-leaning as you can get.

bw222 on June 4, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Yeah, kinda reminds me of a quote from Franklin that the best argument against democracy was a talk with the average voter.

I don’t think he’d be too proud of the free press we have today.

Uncle Sams Nephew on June 4, 2011 at 1:02 PM

GOP is losing it. IF they/we fail to stop this illegal power grab by the FCC…there will be no more America as we know it. Control the information pipeline (totally), control the sheeple.

Minorcan Maven on June 4, 2011 at 1:14 PM

I wonder if the House could defund the FCC, or at least the salaries of the people in the department.

Kini on June 4, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Obama and Co. are dragging out the budget cuts/debt ceiling partially to prevent the ways GOP could spend time bringing this to light. Among other issues.

Minorcan Maven on June 4, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Some interesting quotes here from the founder of the Free Press Group. Openly marxist.

The idiots that vote for supporters of these goons don’t seem to understand that if McChesney had his way, it would be one man, one vote, one time.

And if you have a hard time believing that Obamao is right there with McChesney, pick up Stanley Kurtz’s book, “Radical in Chief.” He makes it very clear that 0 is an unrepentant commie, although a stealthy one.

iurockhead on June 4, 2011 at 1:49 PM

“Instead of waiting for the revolution to happen, we learned that unless you make significant changes in the media, it will be vastly more difficult to have a revolution. While the media is not the single most important issue in the world, it is one of the core issues that any successful Left project needs to integrate into its strategic program.”
(Media Capitalism, the State and 21st Century Media Democracy Struggles: An Interview with Robert McChesney – The Bullet Socialist Project, August 9, 2009)

From the mouth of the founder of Free Press.

iurockhead on June 4, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Obama and Co. are dragging out the budget cuts/debt ceiling partially to prevent the ways GOP could spend time bringing this to light. Among other issues.

Minorcan Maven on June 4, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Part of little Bammie’s prog strategy is to move forward with their r-word on so many fronts that the old media can’t possibly report on them all, even if they wanted to.

slickwillie2001 on June 4, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Discover The Networks:

Even while its founders and conferences call for revolution, the overthrow of the capitalist system, and the socialization of America, Free Press has been regularly granted audiences not only with members of Congress, but with those overseeing media policy at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). For example, when Julius Genachowski, who worked as a prominent leader in Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, became chairman of the FCC (on June 29, 2009), he promptly appointed Free Press spokeswoman Jen Howard to be his press secretary. By late September, three months into his new job, Genachowski announced his plan to push for net neutrality.

RadClown on June 4, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Wow, there sure are a lot of shade of “RED” in that group.

We continue to commit national voluntary euthansia

Don L on June 4, 2011 at 3:04 PM

slickwillie2001 – yeah. My head knws it. My heart says ‘More fight please!’

Minorcan Maven on June 4, 2011 at 4:34 PM

They won’t make a full frontal assault on our free speech rights, instead they are attempting to out flank us.

We are not fooled. We must be resolute in our opposition. We can not allow the government camel to get his nose under this tent.

If they implement this kind of Orwellian censorship by fiat and not through the legislative process then we need to raise the roof.

DeathB4Tyranny on June 4, 2011 at 6:55 PM

And yes, even for those of you who don’t believe in the free market, it remains a far more scary proposition to allow whoever currently holds the White House to decide that than the companies who provide the bandwidth.

I disagree — especially when the guy in the White House says
a) He won’t decide what ought to be transported on the Internet, and
b) The ISPs shouldn’t be allowed to either.

Only with net neutrality do we get Netflix over Comcast’s cable network — a cable network, incidentally, which relied originally upon a government imposed monopoly for its creation.

I have no problem with an ISP providing opt-in filtering services (such as anti-spam e-mail services), but I have a real problem when they deny delivery of packets to or from my machine based on the application producing the packets, or on the protocol or port associated with the packets. It’s one thing to rate-limit all of my packets based on a contracted-for bandwidth, but it’s totally another to suppress or deliberately interfere in my traffic because I’m using a competitor’s services.

Thankfully, the lefties are carrying the water you guys stupidly won’t.

unclesmrgol on June 4, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Thankfully, the lefties are carrying the water you guys stupidly won’t.

unclesmrgol on June 4, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Self-centered stupidity like this is why freedom is in trouble.

How many times have I heard this grubby, miserable little argument about “my delivery of services” etc. oblivious to the covert controlling objectives of net neutrality? Did you even wonder why the Left wants this so badly? To make the delivery of your vital “packets” of entertainment more equitable? Do you know anything about the Left? Sad.

You don’t even deserve your “packets.”

rrpjr on June 4, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Free Press was co-founded by Monthly Review editor Robert McChesney and the Nation contributor John Nichols. The Monthly Review is “an independent Marxist journal,” while the Nation has long described itself as “the flagship of the left.” Free Press is partially funded by George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

And people say Beck is nuts….

BallisticBob on June 4, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Amen brother Bob! And Beck gets run off of Fox News! What a world!
He will be missed.

JeffVader on June 5, 2011 at 3:43 AM

Cass Sunstein is one of the biggest advocates for “Net Neutrality“, and that is all I need to know.

DeathB4Tyranny on June 5, 2011 at 3:43 AM

Here is Sunstein in his own words:

http://youtu.be/s2pIU5H0PaU

This is Fascism, plain and simple.

DeathB4Tyranny on June 5, 2011 at 4:06 AM

Only with net neutrality do we get Netflix over Comcast’s cable network — a cable network, incidentally, which relied originally upon a government imposed monopoly for its creation.

Yes, let the government run the internet like a public utility to oppose monopolies… wait, what?

Why are all public utilities run by the government supplied by monopolies, but letting the government run the internet like a public utility the correct path to oppose more monopolies like this?

This time adding government control will improve service, decrease cost and reduce the chance of a monopoly… how will it work differently this time from every other time?

We have the same people in government, and we’re looking to give them the same power and control that they’ve used to create monopolies… we’ve done this “experiment” many times in the past with the same result for every chance… but we should trust this time will be different?

What shall we call this behavior?

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein

Naah, that can’t be it; that’s the stupid answer. Stupid Einstien and his stupid ideas.

Thankfully unclesmrgol is here to give the smart answer and show why doing the same thing we’ve done in the past, with the same variables, and the same people; will this time inevitably lead to a completely different result.

Since I’m “stupidly” opposing this, the answer must be simple, right? So show me what I’m missing.

gekkobear on June 5, 2011 at 9:11 PM

You don’t even deserve your “packets.”

rrpjr on June 4, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Oh yes I do. I’m betting you don’t even know what a packet is — much less a packet-routing network given that you had to quote the word.

The problem as I see it are ISPs who got to their upper-hand position via the enforcement of a government monopoly now raising the flag of “free enterprise” when they find themselves routing packets from their competitors to their customers and desire to restrict same.

No thank you. As is often said, behind every law is the self-serving action of a libertarian, and here we suddently have Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T being very good libertarians.

Thankfully unclesmrgol is here to give the smart answer and show why doing the same thing we’ve done in the past, with the same variables, and the same people; will this time inevitably lead to a completely different result.

Since I’m “stupidly” opposing this, the answer must be simple, right? So show me what I’m missing.

gekkobear on June 5, 2011 at 9:11 PM

What you had was Net Neutrality. It was designed into the Internet from the get-go. I know, for unlike Al Gore, I was at UCLA and helped create the DARPANET, and I know what the vision was — and that vision was firmly held to until a couple of years ago. To circumvent the routing protocols like Comcast did with Netflix packets, some serious sht had to be perpetrated upon the network — such as the deliberate suppression of traffic by dropping packets or by sending spurious reset packets to the endpoints. That’s quite a bit different from bandwidth rate limiting — only allowing a contracted for bit-rate on a network segment. When you rate limit packets, the endpoints adjust their transmission rates to not overwhelm the network — for the network is allowed to drop packets at any routing point where queue depth is not sufficient to buffer the packet through. That’s different from having ample queue depth but deliberately dropping a packet based on its content, or by determining that a session is associated with a competing service and then injecting either an RST or an ACK/FIN packet to the endpoints — thus spoofing the connection into closing down.

No thank you. I don’t want any ISP in the chain deliberately inserting traffic to my machine or to any other endpoint to which I may be connected.

Hopefully, that cures what you are missing.

unclesmrgol on June 6, 2011 at 1:26 AM