No Show for Net Neutrality activists at Rep. Ted Yoho’s in-district office, Gainesville, Fl.

Yesterday was the so-called “Day of Advocacy” for those hoping to pass the House’s Net Neutrality Congressional Review Act resolution (CRA). The Senate passed its CRA vote in May (mostly along partisan / Democrat lines), but House Democrats need to bring in over twenty Republicans for it to progress any further.

The day’s events included, among other things, visits by activists to House offices on Capitol Hill, urging Representatives there to sign onto the CRA. It also included a call to action, organized by the progressive group Fight for the Future (FftF), for grassroots protesters to visit the in-district offices of targeted Republicans whom they believe can be swung.

One such targeted office was that of Rep. Ted Yoho, in Gainesville, Florida. Being down in the area on Summer break, I visited Yoho’s office at the appointed time noted on the FftF webpage. I Waited for more than an hour in the lovely Florida sun. And I Went inside, introduced myself to staff, and inquired if any Net Neutrality zealots had come by.

What I found out was this: Not a single Net Neutrality activist had stopped in to demonstrate at the Representative’s office.

Surprising? Hardly.

Though FftF’s PR would have one believe that Net Neutrality is top of mind for Americans, (real) polls, news coverage, and anecdotal evidence (i.e., Yoho’s Net Neutrality no shows) belie this assertion. This same lack of attendance at Yoho’s in-district event was apparently duplicated elsewhere (perhaps at most). Believe me, we would have known by now just how “successful” the day’s events had gone had they in fact turned out “well.” FftF and its brethren are very good at spin and blowing their own horns. Their websites would have been littered with pictures and posts from activists at all the in-district events. And we would have seen glowing stories in the pro-Net Neutrality tech-press about the “heroic” protesters.

They are almost entirely absent for a reason.

Net Neutrality is a made-up issue, its advocacy funded by Silicon Valley and progressive billionaires for merely selfish purposes.

The “Day of Advocacy” FAIL further confirms that the Net Neutrality CRA is a dead letter.

Democrats think they have an issue that resonates with lazy millennials. Ted Yoho’s office says otherwise.

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The following statement may be attributed to Mike Wendy, President of MediaFreedom.org:

Alexandria, VA, June 11, 2018 – Today, the FCC officially repealed the prior administration’s Net Neutrality laws, returning the Internet and its ecosystem to the light-touch regulation which fostered its explosive uptake and success.  To this end, MediaFreedom would like to thank the FCC and its hard work in restoring Internet freedom. As a result, investment will grow, innovation will thrive, broadband networks will expand, free speech will proliferate, and more people will be able to get on the Internet than ever before.

Contrary to the naysayers who bemoan the prosperity and liberty which the marketplace brings, the Internet did not end today.  Rather, it got reborn.

Again, thanks, FCC, for having the guts to make the Internet great again.

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The New York Post lede says it all:

Reed Hastings and the Obamas are making bank with Netflix deal.

We don’t know exactly how big that bank is, but we do know that the Obamas will produce “films and series for Netflix, potentially including scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features” to fill their vault.

Interestingly, the article notes:

“Netflix in 2007 had a $3 share price and was mailing DVDs to people. The Obamas were poised to enter the White House and then had a reported net worth of $1.3 million, according to CNN Money.

“Fast-forward to 2018. The Obamas have an estimated combined net worth of $75 million, according to published reports, mainly derived from speeches and a two-book deal with Penguin Random House.

“Hastings’ move to streaming helped him amass $4.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.”

You may remember President Obama ordered his FCC to impose Net Neutrality, heavily subsidizing / protecting / favoring companies like Netflix over ISPs (and others) in the marketplace.

Yes, the Obamas’ bank should be big (reportedly at $50 million).

Of course, we’ll hear from the adoring Obama press this week (if we do at all) that there’s not a smidgen of corruption or cronyism in the (re)new(ed) union.

Sure. Pay no attention to the revolving door.

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The following statement may be attributed to Mike Wendy, President of MediaFreedom.org:

Alexandria, VA, May 16, 2018 – On June 11th, the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIF) will go into effect, officially overturning Obama’s Net Neutrality utility regulation for ISPs.  But today, Senate lawmakers, led by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), passed a controversial Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution, which, if ultimately successful, would nullify the RIF’s light-touch approach to Internet regulation and replace it with Obama’s rejected Net Neutrality law.

This PR stunt is a massive waste of the people’s time.  Markey and his colleagues could be working toward real guidance to help the “Open Internet” grow for all – and they know this – but have instead chosen a CRA confidence-job, which benefits only Silicon Valley and professional progressives.

Markey and his comrades believe the American people want politics over prosperity. The Markey gang is wrong.  Quite simply, the CRA:

  • Does not promote investment – Title II Net Neutrality strips ISPs of their ability to monetize their property as they reasonably want, undermining investment and growth in their networks.
  • Does not promote innovation – A return to the prior rules would bring back the purposely vague “Internet Conduct Standard” and its arbitrary power to decide what new marketplace practices and procedures are acceptable, thwarting permission-less innovation, which made the Internet ecosystem thrive.
  • Does not promote competition – Utility regulation leads to price controls and property confiscation, a buzzkill to free market competition.
  • Does not protect privacy – Congress forbade the FCC from policing ISP privacy practices in 2017, but a return to Net Neutrality rules makes ISPs common carriers again, mooting FTC authority to check ISP privacy behavior, while also breaking-up comprehensive, Internet ecosystem privacy enforcement.
  • Does not protect free speech – Net Neutrality bans such reasonable business practices as paid priority, forbidding ISPs and their communications partners from working together and speaking as they see fit.

This all spells less prosperity for average Americans should the CRA become law.

The Internet and its denizens deserve better.  The CRA is no proxy for real legislation to guide the growth of the Internet.  Markey and his apparatchiks would do well to follow that route and work across the aisle for a comprehensive, constitutionally-sound law to reach that goal.

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