The Web’s New Net Minder

By Tony Perkins

The government took over health care, and we all know how that turned out. Now Washington is trying to get its hands on the Internet — another power grab that’s spooking people in every corner of cyberspace. Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) went a long way to accomplishing the Left’s next power grab, voting 3-2 to give their agency the authority to swoop in and regulate one of the few markets still free of government intervention.

Although there are strong feelings on both sides of the debate, one thing Americans should all agree on is that this decision — involving the federal government in one of the most productive areas of our economy should have come from Congress. Instead, three political appointees have decided to entrust a government agency with control of the Internet. (To see where an over involved government can lead, see communist China.) As many have argued, the reason the web has prospered and grown so quickly is because the government isn’t involved. Still, Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman, insists that we “finally have legally sustainable rules to ensure that the Internet stays fast, fair and open.” Fast, maybe. But “fair” and “open” aren’t exactly watchwords of this administration. Forbes, one of the outlets weighing in, was quick to say that “net neutrality,” as the FCC calls it, is anything but. “It’s not party neutral. It’s not government-branch neutral. It’s not consumer-neutral.”

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) piled on, refusing to mince words about what he sees as more overreach from an out-of-control and inefficient government. “This unprecedented move by the FCC is not only an egregious seizure of regulatory power and a clear violation of the 1996 Communications Act… It also begins in earnest the slow, suffocating, inevitable demise of the Internet as we know it today — the open and expansive universe and source of information, innovation, entertainment, and communication. What was previously bound only by our imagination and the frontiers of our technology will now be suffocated by Washington bureaucrats…”

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“Today, the FCC made clear that it has no interest in governing within the authority given to it by Congress, and that it is eager to discard the objectivity that is expected of an independent, non-partisan agency in favor of rank partisanship carried out on behalf of our imperious President.”

Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.

(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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