Major damage to Net Neutrality caused by Obama’s most recent betrayal of campaign promises

December 21, 2010 | By | 2 Replies More

Barack Obama has once again invited a compromise of a compromise in order to get a bad deal done, instead of fighting for the principles he announced in his campaign speeches. This time the victim was net neutrality. The FCC’s recent decision was discussed by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now and Craig Aaron of Free Press:

There are millions and millions of Americans who have contacted the FCC. Ninety percent of the comments they received were supporting strong net neutrality. Commissioners Copps and Clyburn went across the country, heard from people all across the country about how important net neutrality is. But unfortunately, this is another example where the Obama administration has, you know, put forward a compromise on a compromise on a compromise and asked the American public to swallow it, while the companies really haven’t had to give up very much at all. And that’s where we are today.

AMY GOODMAN: Commissioner Clyburn is the daughter of the House Majority Whip, James Clyburn of South Carolina. And the Republicans are opposed to this, the two Republican appointees?

CRAIG AARON: Well, that’s right. And in the strange politics of Washington these days, the Republicans oppose any kind of regulation whatsoever, so they’re making all sorts of noise that this is some kind of massive overreach, when it couldn’t be further from the truth. But this is the game that the big phone and cable companies are playing. They’ve asked their Republican allies to make a lot of noise, talk about how any kind of regulation is bad, trying to force the FCC chairman and the Democrats on the Commission into this really false middle and trying to portray champions of net neutrality, public interest advocates, as some kind of extremists.

Unfortunately, the only thing we’re left with here is an extremely disappointing order that won’t give the American public the protections they need, that won’t give internet users the protections that they need and, I think, really jeopardizes the internet’s continued growth as an unrivaled source of economic innovation, of democratic participation, of free speech. This is a very big step in the wrong direction by the FCC today and, I think, a very big disappointment to everybody who believed not just President Obama, but Chairman Genachowski, when he, you know, spoke up and said he was going to protect the free and open internet no matter what.

With regard to the Internet, especially the wireless internet, say goodbye to the freedom to use the Internet as you choose. Say hello to an Internet that will increasingly look like cable TV, with its limited choices and price gouging. Today’s FCC decision was a despicable decision to curry even more favor with big-money telecoms and to slap down consumer choice.

Read the entire article for a description of AT&T’s massive power over Obama and Democrats.


Category: Net neutrality

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Net neutrality upside down | Dangerous Intersection | April 8, 2011
  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Amy Goodman at Truthdig:

    AT&T, Verizon, cable giant Comcast and other corporations have expressed support for the new FCC rule. Genachowski’s Democratic Party allies on the commission, Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn (the daughter of House Majority Whip James Clyburn), according to Aaron, “tried to improve these rules, but the chairman refused to budge, apparently because he had already reached an agreement with AT&T and the cable lobbyists about how far these rules were going to go.” Clyburn noted that the rules could allow mobile Internet providers to discriminate, and that poor communities, particularly African-American and Latino, rely on mobile Internet services more than wired connections.

    Aaron laments the power of the telecom and cable industry lobbyists in Washington, D.C.: “In recent years, they’ve deployed 500 lobbyists, basically one for every member of Congress, and that’s just what they report. AT&T is the biggest campaign giver in the history of campaign giving, as long as we have been tracking it. So they have really entrenched themselves. And Comcast, Verizon, the other big companies, are not far behind.”

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