MediaFreedom Statement: Net Neutrality CRA, A Fake Resolution for a Fake Problem

by Mike Wendy on May 16, 2018

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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