Free Press Suit to Challenge Net Neutrality Doesn’t Go Far Enough – The Entire Regulation Should Be Tossed

by Mike Wendy on September 28, 2011

The following statement may be attributed to Mike Wendy, Director of

Alexandria, VA, September 28, 2011 – Free Press today filed a lawsuit to challenge the FCC’s new Net Neutrality regulations.  In their view, “there is no evidence in the record to justify this arbitrary distinction between wired and wireless Internet access.”

They did not go far enough.

The whole rule, based on an exceedingly small number of Net Neutrality “violations,” and built upon wild conjecture that the Internet will come crashing down unless the FCC protects it – contrary to the unregulated vibrancy of the marketplace – is arbitrary and capricious.  Moreover, the group should have added that the regulation was crafted with self-made authority against the stated will of Congress, only compounding its infirmity before the law.

Consequently, the entire Net Neutrality regulation should be tossed out.  It is illegal.  It is unjustified. It is unwanted by those who value free markets.


Brett Glass September 28, 2011 at 9:19 pm

This is a frivolous lawsuit. Free Press, an “astroturf” lobbying shop in DC, lobbies for the corporate agenda of Google, which wrote the so-called “network neutrality” rules with the FCC, in secretive closed-door meetings, to favor itself and preserve its multiple Internet monopolies. Free Press supports those rules, as well as other Google corporate agendas. Yes, it would like the rules to be even harsher on ISPs — and so does Google! — but there’s zero chance that any court would take it upon itself to rewrite them that way.

So what’s its real reason for filing the lawsuit? Because it wants to steer other lawsuits challenging the rules (which were passed illegally; the FCC does not have the legal authority to regulate the Internet) to a court other than the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

The DC Circuit was the court which reversed the FCC’s ruling against Comcast, stating (correctly) that the FCC isn’t allowed to regulate the Net. Because it has ruled on this and related matters before, and is expert on the FCC (it’s the only court that’s allowed by law to hear some cases related to the FCC), it ought to be the one that hears new, similar cases. But Google’s slimy lobbyists and lawyers want to “monkey wrench” the legal process by sending all of the cases, which will surely be consolidated, to a court up in Boston.

In short, this is nothing but a shady, underhanded legal maneuver by lobbyists who cynically claim to be a “public interest” group but are really lobbying for a big corporation.

Mike Wendy September 28, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Good post, Brett.

Joseph S October 17, 2011 at 11:05 am

Mike – how do we then steer BEREC into the direction we must pursue to embed “open source” principles?

Mike Wendy October 17, 2011 at 1:06 pm

If in “open source” – as I have written – I mean essentially de facto, spontaneous order guiding “regulation.” This stuff happens already without government mandate. It should be allowed to continue.

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