The reason Republican ideology surrounding the evils of government intervention has any credence is that so few officials in either part create policy with any concern for the citizens of this country. Today the FCC is poised to pass legislation that will create a two tiered internet on mobile carriers, a bill led by Democrat and F.C.C. chairman Julius Genachowsk.
This is a bad idea and there’s a fair amount of debate surrounding the bill for the usual reasons. Two Republican commissioners expected to oppose the plan –Meredith Baker and Robert McDowell — don’t like it because it offers too much regulation. McDowell contends we never needed any rules to begin with — the market governs itself. That logic played out great for everyone in 2008.
The Times reports that Senator Al Franken thinks the F.C.C. is opening a can of worms likely to create very large problems:
“Maybe you like Google Maps. Well, tough,” Mr. Franken said on the Senate floor on Saturday. “If the F.C.C. passes this weak rule, Verizon will be able to cut off access to the Google Maps app on your phone and force you to use their own mapping program, Verizon Navigator, even if it is not as good. And even if they charge money, when Google Maps is free.”
He continued, “If corporations are allowed to prioritize content on the Internet, or they are allowed to block applications you access on your iPhone, there is nothing to prevent those same corporations from censoring political speech.”
Meanwhile, Democratic commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn intend to sign off on the bill, admitting it was a little weaker than they would have liked. I read this as, “It’s as good as we could get”, but I’m sure they’d describe it in a similar way to President Obama. The President describes himself as a supporter of Net Neutrality, and had a spokesperson describe F.C.C. proposal early December as “an important step in preventing abuses and continuing to advance the Internet as an engine of productivity growth and innovation.” Sure it is.
Please excuse the rant, but I’m tired of being told bills and policies that are clearly garbage are good for me because the Democrats got more than they thought they would at the bargaining table. I do not support this order and unless you want to pay more than you already do for your internet service, you shouldn’t either.
More from Al Franken here.