Republicans’ Corporate Overlords?

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You and a friend are having a discussion and you go to the internet to get the right answer to a question you have been arguing about for an hour.  Your Google results produces a screen with half of it blacked out; as in redacted like a government document they don’t want you to see for security or other reasons.

This is a story about Net Neutrality which became law June 2015 by fiat of the FCC turning over control of the internet to the government.

Now comes an opinion expressed on the dailykos.com November 11, “Republicans—and their corporate overlords—can’t let the rest of us have nice things, like the open internet, so they’ve made gutting net neutrality a top goal. With an uninvolved and uninterested and uninformed President-elect Trump…”

With a reasoned, dispassionate argument like that, who could disagree?

One of Trump’s campaign promises was to reverse “Net Neutrality” saying that it has the potential for government censorship of web sites.  For government-philes, this is an absurdity for everything they do is good and holy.

Item

From the web site “RedState”, May 24, “Venezuela Research Confirms Censorship of News Platforms, Currency Websites.  A recent study conducted by the Institute for Press and Society (IPYS) in Venezuela has confirmed that at least 43 different websites are being blocked in the country, shedding light on the filtering practices of the Venezuelan government.  The research focused on documenting incidents surrounding web access and net neutrality, zeroing in on the treatment of national networks during the 2015 elections.”

Now can you spell c-e-n-s-o-r-s-h-i-p?

 

Background

Two and a half years ago, March 2014, the U.S. Government announced that on September 15, it was giving up control of ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a non-profit organization in Los  Angeles which keeps order on the internet primarily by organizing the domain name system.

Assistant secretary of commerce for communication, Lawrence Strickling said at that time, “the timing is right to start the transition process” referring to his long time push for U.N. control of the internet.  U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon agreed saying that a “single, open, free, secure and trustworthy internet should be supported by all stake-holders”.

From the Washington Post, June 12, 2015, “It’s official: As of Friday morning, the Federal Communication’s net neutrality rules became the law of the land when a federal court rebuffed a plea by Internet providers to block regulation.”

 

Who Be da Judge?

The first plank in the U.N. protocol reads, “Network neutrality is the principal whereby internet traffic shall be transmitted without undue discrimination, restriction or interference so that end-users are able to send and receive content of their choice: use the services or run applications of their choice; connect equipment and use the programs of their choice provided that the aforementioned activities are legal and do not harm networks.”

Sounds great huh?  By the way, undue discrimination, restriction or interference – who is going to decide what is “undue”?  Perhaps the same person who decides, “provided that….”

Let’s take a hypothetical: Climate Change is the U.N.’s pet project designed to divert developed economy dollars to members of the general assembly. As of this writing, Googling “climate change deniers” produces 1,220,000 results

When the U.N. gets to decide what’s “undue”, how many results do you think “climate change deniers” will get.  Everybody who says zero, go to the head of the class.

 

Full Impact?

Since the law is little more than a year old, it’s impact is a matter of conjecture.  It takes at least two years for a new law to receive its necessary bureaucratic massage but one thing is sure – they will find a way to glom some revenue off the operation and the cost, whoever it’s assessed against, will wind up as a pass through to everyone who uses the service.

For good or ill, the internet has blasted away the monopoly that mainstream media, radio, television and newspapers, have had on the dissemination of information.  Every cockamamie idea, stupid to brilliant, has found an avenue of expression to anyone having a screen and an internet connection.

This solution looking for a problem to solve is brought to you by the same folks who manage our now ‘affordable’ health care and regulate our economy still operating at pre-millennium levels in many sectors.

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