Statement: MediaFreedom Hails Chairman Pai’s Reported Move to Roll Back Prior FCC’s Open Internet Overreach

by Mike Wendy on April 7, 2017

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

Alexandria, VA, April 7, 2017 – The Wall Street Journal reported late last night that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has begun plans to roll back the prior Commission’s Net Neutrality / Open Internet Order, starting as early as this May. The report notes that Chairman Pai’s efforts “appear aimed at preserving the basic principles of net neutrality but shifting enforcement to the Federal Trade Commission.”  The paper adds that the FCC would likely reverse the prior Commission’s reclassification of broadband providers into common carrier utilities, “so the FTC again would have jurisdiction over the telecommunications carriers.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, working to reduce the last Commission’s needless and deleterious regulatory overreach.

Though details are still emerging, MediaFreedom hails these efforts if true. We have long-believed that the needless rules were primarily designed as a government-mandated handout / subsidy from the ISPs to Silicon Valley, paying back a political favor and nothing more.  All the spin from the OIO’s supporters about the regulations’ role in promoting free speech was just window dressing, masking a role the government, through the First Amendment, has no right to accomplish.  Quite simply, the Internet wasn’t “broken” to justify such an arbitrary and deleterious policy shift.  With the FDR-era regulations, however, the prior Commission did in fact break the ecosystem.

MediaFreedom would still like to see the bans on throttling, blocking and paid priority removed, and we hope the details allow for this, or certainly a more reasonable application of Uncle Sam’s policing power to these proscriptions.

That said, congratulations go to Chairman Pai and Commissioner Mike O’Rielly for working to arrest the OIO’s overreach. In the long run, Congress will have to act to permanently address the harms caused by the OIO / Title II regulations, but the FCC’s plan is excellent news for our economy and consumers, who use the dynamic and evolving Web to thrive and prosper.

We stand ready to help the FCC and Congress make these important and necessary changes.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Arthur Rhodes April 12, 2017 at 5:36 pm

A subsidy to Silicon Valley to pay back a favor? Do you just make stuff up to sell a narrative? Amazon, Google, Facebook, Ebay all were IN FAVOR of rolling back Wheelers privacy rules. But keeping making stuff, on this cute little blog you run out of your house.

A Silicon Valley trade group is joining the roster of organizations urging the Federal Communications Commission to reconsider privacy rules that could limit broadband providers’ ability to engage in targeted advertising.
The rules, which were passed by a 3-2 vote last year, require broadband providers to obtain consumers’ opt-in consent before drawing on their Web-surfing or app usage data for ad targeting.
In comments filed this week, the Internet Association — which counts Amazon, Google, eBay and Facebook as members — asked the FCC to revise that restriction.

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