Net Neutrality Series 2.0

Democrats’ Net Neutrality Effort Counting On Republican Passivity

Posted by | Broadband Internet, Net Neutrality Series 2.0, Privacy | No Comments

Democrats appear ready to make “net neutrality” an election issue in 2018. They plan to introduce a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to force Congress to take an up-or-down vote on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision replacing the Democrats’ approach to internet governance.

Some see this as a “clear-cut political win-win for Dems.” In their view, an up-or-down vote means only one of two things: either (1) Democrats preserve their preferred approach to net neutrality or (2) Republicans side with “telecom companies against the [alleged] will of the American people.” This strategy invokes Noam Chomsky’s theory that “the smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”

Chomsky’s theory spotlights the means of defeating it: Republicans should refuse to accept the alleged dichotomy of action presented by a CRA vote. To paraphrase former President Reagan, the Democrats are counting on Republicans to be passive. It is up to Republicans to ensure the Democrats are counting wrong. To do that, Republicans should reclaim the moral high ground in the internet regulation debate by breaking the Obama FCC’s strict—and nonsensical—limits on the prevailing definition of “net neutrality.”

A free market approach to net neutrality would embrace broader principles of internet governance based on traditional consumer protections—including privacy—that apply equally to all similarly-situated internet companies. An approach to internet regulation grounded in traditional consumer protection and constitutional limits would transcend today’s artificially restricted version of the debate by giving voters a third option for net neutrality, while remaining true to conservative and free market principles. Read More

Statement On AT&T Open Letter To Establish Internet Bill of Rights

Posted by | Broadband Internet, Freedom of Speech, Net Neutrality Series 2.0 | 3 Comments

Washington, DC, January 24, 2018 – Fred Campbell, director of Tech Knowledge, issued the following statement regarding AT&T’s open letter asking Congress to establish an internet bill of rights:

“Tech Knowledge supports a legislative approach to net neutrality that embraces broader principles of internet governance based on traditional consumer protections, including online privacy, that apply equally to all similarly-situated internet companies. Unfortunately, those in Congress who continue to insist on strict regulation of ISPs that exempt so-called edge providers are ignoring serious consumer concerns about privacy and the growing monopoly power of tech giants in Silicon Valley to control online content. An approach to internet regulation grounded in traditional consumer protection and constitutional limits would transcend today’s artificially restrictive and anticompetitive version of the net neutrality debate while remaining true to free market principles that drive innovation and investment.”

Tech Knowledge promotes market-oriented technology policies on behalf of the public interest. Additional information about Tech Knowledge can be found on our website, techknowledge.center.

Statement On FCC Order Restoring Internet Freedom

Posted by | Net Neutrality Series 2.0 | No Comments

Washington, DC, December 14, 2017 – Fred Campbell, director of Tech Knowledge, issued the following statement regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s order restoring internet freedom:

“Tech Knowledge applauds the FCC for repealing the Obama administration’s bureaucratic power grab over internet regulation. Our elected representatives in Congress should decide the fundamentals of how the internet is regulated, not unelected bureaucrats at the FCC. Today’s action puts that responsibility squarely on the shoulders of Congress where it belongs.”

Tech Knowledge promotes market-oriented technology policies on behalf of the public interest. Additional information about Tech Knowledge can be found on our website, techknowledge.center.

Statement On Racist Attacks On FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

Posted by | Broadband Internet, Net Neutrality Series 2.0 | No Comments

Washington, DC, November 27, 2017 – Fred Campbell, director of Tech Knowledge, issued the following statement regarding racist attacks against Ajit Pai, Chairman of the  Federal Communications Commission:

“The repeated racist attacks against FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and his family in their own home during the holiday weekend are horrific. The perpetrators of this villainy should be ashamed. These attacks aren’t net neutrality advocacy. They are terrorism.”

Tech Knowledge promotes market-oriented technology policies on behalf of the public interest. Additional information about Tech Knowledge can be found on our website, techknowledge.center.

Statement On FCC Plan To Undo Obama’s Net Neutrality Rules

Posted by | Broadband Internet, Freedom of Speech, Net Neutrality Series 2.0 | 5 Comments

Washington, DC, November 21, 2017 – Fred Campbell, director of Tech Knowledge, issued the following statement regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to undo the Obama administration’s net neutrality rules:

“Tech Knowledge welcomes the FCC’s open and transparent effort to repeal the last administration’s unconstitutional net neutrality rules. In the absence of a market failure, the constitution doesn’t permit the FCC to treat the information superhighway or any other institution of the press like a public utility. This foundational principle of our system of government must be restored.”

Tech Knowledge promotes market-oriented technology policies on behalf of the public interest. Additional information about Tech Knowledge can be found on our website, techknowledge.center.

TechCrunch Doesn’t Understand The Technical Difference Between The Internet And The Telephone Network

Posted by | Broadband Internet, Net Neutrality Series 2.0 | No Comments

Its ordinarily understandable when a journalist makes a technical mistake regarding network topologies. But the ordinary benefit of the doubt doesn’t apply to TechCrunch’s mistaken accusation that the FCC’s analysis of net neutralitydeliberately” misrepresents how the internet works. When a publication puts “tech” in its name, it ought to know better, especially when the issue involves the relationship between network topologies and legal definitions. Read More

Statement On Net Neutrality Vote At FCC

Posted by | Broadband Internet, Net Neutrality Series 2.0 | No Comments

Washington, DC, May 18, 2017 – Fred Campbell, director of Tech Knowledge, issued the following statement regarding today’s FCC’s vote to reconsider Obama’s net neutrality rules:

“Today’s vote is the first step in returning to the light-touch regulatory approach that yielded the broadband internet. Light-touch regulation has a proven track record of protecting consumers while promoting competition and investment in broadband networks and maximizing innovation. Read More

Statement On FCC Chairman Pai’s Net Neutrality Speech

Posted by | Broadband Internet, Freedom of Speech, Media, Net Neutrality Series 2.0 | No Comments

Washington, DC, April 26, 2017 – Fred Campbell, director of Tech Knowledge, issued the following statement on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s speech announcing his net neutrality plans:

“I applaud Chairman Pai’s decision to use an open and transparent process for reversing Obama’s decision to snatch political control over the internet using net neutrality as an excuse. It was an act of extraordinary bravery for Pai to start this process, and it will take an iron will for him to stand up to the Silicon Valley giants that seek to squash his plan. If they succeed, America will never be great again.

Today’s speech sets the stage for a David and Goliath battle between Pai and Google, the richest and most powerful corporation the world has ever known. Obama’s net neutrality rules were designed to support Google’s business interests, and Google will throw all its strength behind them.

It’s impossible to overstate the Google Goliath’s strength. Its power goes far beyond the massive amounts it spends on lobbying and its work on behalf of the Obama and Hillary Clinton political campaigns.

Google’s monopoly over internet advertising also gives it unseemly influence over the opinions of mainstream media. The thousands of newspapers, TV stations, and other media that rely on Google’s advertising network for a substantial portion of their revenue streams cannot afford to oppose Google on net neutrality.

That’s why Pai’s speech took so much courage. Both the mainstream media and the world’s richest corporations will be against him.

Americans who believe in free speech, freedom of the press, and fair competition cannot let him stand alone. Pai is internet freedom’s David. At this hour, we must stand by Pai.”

Tech Knowledge promotes market-oriented technology policies on behalf of the public interest. Additional information about Tech Knowledge can be found on our website, techknowledge.center.

Statement On Democratic Senators’ Press Conference Supporting the FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules

Posted by | Broadband Internet, Net Neutrality Series 2.0 | No Comments

Washington, DC, February 7, 2017 – Fred Campbell, director of Tech Knowledge, issued the following statement regarding today’s press conference in which Democratic senators campaigned for the Federal Communications Commission’s open internet regulations:

“Obama’s FCC didn’t settle the issue of internet regulation. The FCC opposed bright-line net neutrality rules during the Bush Administration, adopted them during the Obama Administration, and is expected to change course again.

Without new Congressional legislation, the FCC’s net neutrality rules will keep swinging like a pendulum with every presidential election. A lasting approach to net neutrality must come from the democratic process in Congress, not executive fiat.”

Tech Knowledge promotes market-oriented technology policies on behalf of the public interest. Additional information about Tech Knowledge can be found on our website, techknowledge.center.

How The Obama Administration Is Rewriting Competition Law At The FCC

Posted by | Antitrust, Broadband Internet, Internet Analogies, Net Neutrality Series 2.0 | No Comments

In his first presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama said “antitrust is the American way to make capitalism work for consumers,” because, “unlike some forms of government regulation, it ensures that firms can reap the rewards of doing a better job” and “insists that customers … are the judges of what best serves their needs.” Obama vowed to “reinvigorate antitrust enforcement” and work with other jurisdictions to “curb the growth of international cartels” so that “all Americans benefit from a growing and healthy competitive free-market economy.”

Regrettably, the Obama presidency’s competition policies have not matched his campaign rhetoric. According to Daniel Crane, a law professor at the University of Michigan, Obama has not reinvigorated antitrust enforcement: “With only a few exceptions, current enforcement looks much like enforcement under the Bush Administration.”

Obama has instead shown a strong preference for relying on other forms of government competition regulation — the kind that prevents firms from reaping the rewards of their investments in American infrastructure and limits what customers can demand — while complaining about the antitrust enforcement efforts of other jurisdictions that might affect U.S corporate interests. In the process, the Obama Administration has slowly been rewriting U.S. competition law in unprecedented ways.

This process has been especially apparent in communications regulation at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Though it was once seen as a “sleepy backwater,” the FCC has radically transformed its approach to competition law during the Obama Administration. The FCC’s new approach to competitive analyses runs the risks of spillover to interpretation of antitrust laws and speculation regarding the limits of government intervention in business transactions throughout the economy. Read More