“Brave” 95 Congressional Hopefuls Sign on to 19th Century Regulation of the Internet

by Mike Wendy on October 28, 2010

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee – a progressive action fund / PAC (who’d have thunk?) – has a new, last ditch campaign to raise funds for 95 Democratic Congressional hopefuls.

In using Net Neutrality as the hook, the brave 95 have made a “bold” statement:

“I believe in protecting Net Neutrality – the First Amendment of the Internet. The open Internet is a vital engine for free speech, economic opportunity, and civic participation in the 21st century. I stand with millions of working families and small businesses against any attempt by big corporations to control the Internet and eliminate the Internet’s level playing field. In Congress, I’ll fight to protect Net Neutrality for the entire Internet – wired and wireless – and make sure big corporations aren’t allowed to take control of free speech online. Mark me down as a 21st century Internet champion!”

PCCC wants others to be as bold, and are asking for support.

I think they can be bolder, quite frankly, so I’m not likely to support this cause.

Here’s why.

First of all, the First Amendment is the First Amendment for the Internet.  What the PCCC proposes is the exact opposite of that Right.  It wants government rules to bind who can speak.  And, those regulations aren’t aimed solely at network providers.  With the recent Fox / Cablevision and Google TV spats, it looks like even content providers would have to hand over their Rights in order to “protect free speech” on the Internet.

That doesn’t sound bold to me.  That sounds like state control.

Second of all, millions of working families and small businesses have something far greater in their sights than protecting Net Neutrality through onerous regulations.  They want jobs.  They want to create wealth, opportunities and prosperity.  They want to make their next rent and mortgage payments.

Fixing the economy – let’s say, through reduced government spending, lower taxes, and fewer regulations – now that’s bold.  Imposing Net Neutrality regulations, instead of focusing on the economy, is just plain out of touch.

Third of all, blah, blah, blah…“evil” corporations…

Why don’t they do something far bolder by bucking the Administration’s most recent anti-corporate talking points and actually suggest working with corporations (which, parenthetically, have wired America with the Internet we all so love) to help them reach more Americans with highly valued, Internet services?  Extending a laurel branch seems bolder, and certainly nicer, than a kick in the teeth.

And finally, a “21st century Internet champion” shouldn’t need 19th century regulations – which is what Net Neutrality regulations essentially are  – to foster Internet growth and innovation.

A far more bold (and successful) way to grow the Internet is how it’s occurring right now – through low (or no) direct government regulation, the evolution of technology, industry best practices, consumer education, reputation management, marketplace dynamics and current enforcement tools.

If the PCCC’s campaign represents the best and brightest for the Progressives – keep talkin’, buddies.  It’s sure to bring great success.

Just not to you.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marty Renn October 29, 2010 at 6:45 pm

So… The PCCC is just trying to say thank you to most of the 95 on their way out?

That means that most of them just took a position that they never had to actually vote on or educate themselves to the negative impact of the FCC actrually forcing the Net into the government’s control.

Great. Love this.

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Eddie July 24, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Never would have thunk I would find this so indspineasble.

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