Recent congressional hearings held in the wake of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality ruling provide a glimpse into what is so deeply wrong with this regulation, and why so many activist groups were behind it.
It’s an aspect of this matter of which you were perhaps unaware while the FCC was considering its regulatory strategy. Perhaps you thought net neutrality meant what was said of it: that it was intended to prevent the blocking or throttling of websites, or of “paid prioritization.”
Silly you. Actually, those were the interests of those companies — like Google and Netflix — that saw in governmental sway over the Internet commercial benefits for themselves. But what about those groups and individuals who had political or ideological interests, and who played such outsized roles in the deal?
You know, groups like Free Press, Media Matters, Public Knowledge and New America’s Open Technology Institute? Or what about the large grant-giving foundations, like Ford, MacArthur, Knight, and George Soros’s Open Society Institute that, in addition to munificently funding third-party net neutrality activists, directly lobbied the FCC themselves?
It should now be clear, even to those who weren’t paying attention earlier, that the primary interest these groups had, and have, in net neutrality is their desire to insinuate government in the regulation of speech on the Internet. >> Read More