Statement: MediaFreedom Hails FCC’s Restore Internet Freedom NPRM – prometheus global media

Statement: MediaFreedom Hails FCC’s Restore Internet Freedom NPRM – prometheus global media

April 25, 2019 Off By Montero Theo

Washington, DC, May 18, 2017 – MediaFreedom hails the FCC’s new Restore Internet Freedom NPRM. We hope it leads to the elimination of the last FCC’s regulatory overreach, especially as it pertains to the re-classification of ISPs as common carriers. We hope also that the resulting rules axe in their entirety, or greatly relax, the agency’s present Net Neutrality regulations on blocking, throttling and paid priority. We have long-argued that agency-mandated Net Neutrality rules were never needed. Not only are they inapt for today’s converged marketplace, they unconstitutionally abridge the speech and association rights of all players in the Internet ecosystem.  The FCC would do well to rid innovation and free speech of these needless proscriptions.

Of course, this good and necessary work can only be temporary. Ultimately, Congress must step in and stop the regulatory ping-pong game for good. We urge their intensified focus – and action – on this matter. Americans deserve no less.

Too Late, “Media Reformers,” the Last FCC Closed the Open Internet in 2015 – prometheus global media

This shot – of a Free Press “media reform” staff activist – reveals the clear disconnect between those who want the FCC to regulate the Internet via utility regulation (as in her Soros-funded group, and numerous others), and those who don’t.

She and her group support a “diverse media landscape,” which in their view must not include all of America (meaning one group in particular).  So of course, they hailed the FCC when it released its Open Internet / Net Neutrality / Title II order in 2015 – especially when the agency declared that ISPs have no First Amendment right to act as the communicators they want to be (that action representing an integral step toward taking corporate America – and that one particular group noted above – away from the megaphone).

Imagine that?  A group called Free Press cheered when the government censored a whole class of communicators.  That’s because they believe the First Amendment is not really a limit on government at all.  Rather, it’s a cudgel to break voice and control content so that the “public interest” can get its bureaucratically-approved “digital broccoli.”

Leave My Open Internet Alone?

It’s too late.  President Obama, Tom Wheeler and Gigi Sohn took it away back in 2015.

Thankfully, the new FCC is working to Restore Internet Freedom by, one hopes, wresting the Internet from the clutches of Depression-era law, and returning the First Amendment to where it should be in the first place – that is, getting Uncle Sam out of the business of censoring voice and content.

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Canada’s Zero-Rating Ban “Proved Correct” by Its Rigged Deck. – prometheus global media

What’s an agency to do when it wants to prove – er, find out – if “consumers” are concerned about 0-rating / Net Neutrality policy?

Well, if you’re like Canada’s CRTC, you get some of your proof – er, “evidenced-based facts” – from an activist group called OpenMedia, and reddit users.

Though market-based parties presented studies which voiced support for the practice of o-rating, they were roundly discounted because “…nearly all the consumers who participated in this proceeding, either as individual parties, through OpenMedia, or through the reddit forum, were opposed to such practices because of their long-term consequences.”

“Nearly all the consumers”?  That would include OpenMedia’s 30,000 “signatures” on a joint, online form letter submitted to the CRTC.  And reddit’s 1,200 online comments scooped up by the agency.

Inclusion of reddit’s comments is particularly interesting.  The agency actively solicited the online forum because, according to a spokesperson, it was “a great opportunity to get comments from interested individuals who might not otherwise participate in this proceeding to share their points of view.”

I’ll say.

The outcome of this and other unquantified “consumer” input in the proceeding?

A near-total ban on 0-rating practices.

Nice forum shopping.

Getting “evidence-based” material from OpenMedia and reddit to justify a seemingly large piece of its “consumer” analysis is, well, amateur hour.  OpenMedia is an open advocate of Net Neutrality regulations. And reddit?  A Pew report reveals its users tend to be:

“…young, male, and to self-identify as liberal at higher rates than the overall public.”

It would be hard to imagine any input emerging from OpenMedia and reddit which would be contrary to CRTC’s pro-regulatory script (which is exactly the point).

I contacted the CRTC about this and asked them if they verified that real people were making these comments; why they chose reddit, knowing that its base strongly favors Net Neutrality regulation; and whether any other online conservative outlets were considered to arrive at their conclusions.

Its answers? Though its spokespeople expressed confidence that the agency reached “an evidenced-based decision that is in the public interest,” they chose not to answer on verification.  They chose not answer on reddit’s liberal, Net Neutrality bias.  And, they chose not to answer about going out to other conservative online fora to support the record.

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What’s the upshot?

The CRTC’s “search” for “evidence-based” facts shows that real facts matter little in the struggle to impose Net Neutrality on the masses.

Hmmm, where have we seen that before?

This is yet more proof that Net Neutrality policy – whatever that means at any given moment – cannot survive but for rigged deck tactics and willful blindness to other points of view.

Net Neutrality: The (Fundraising) Gift That Keeps on Giving – prometheus global media

It’s that time of year again. As non-profits ready their tax returns due next month, activist “c3’s” like Public Knowledge and Free Press are looking woefully at their anemic, post-Trump-win bank accounts and are desperately searching for their next fundraising opportunity. In the telecom world, they’ve turned to their old reliable cash cow – Net Neutrality.

Play along with MediaFreedom and see how many of the “Telecom Activist Script” scenes and lines you can spot as the Net Neutrality debate / Broadway play heats up (yet again):

Scene 1: “Coalition” building

    Create a “sky-is-falling” controversy, such as decrying the FCC’s work to address the unsustainable Net Neutrality Order.

    Send fundraising email – you can’t get organized without everyone chipping in $5.

    Create a new coalition and call it something like “Free Access to Knowledge and E-Mail” (the FAKE coalition), and ask the usual “consumer” groups (the ones funded by Silicon Valley, Soros, and the Ford Foundation) to join.

    Issue a joint press release caterwauling against the FCC’s new efforts, calling them “an affront to humankind.” Blame the Commission’s work on the lobbying influence of “evil” corporations and the 2010 Citizens United ruling.

    Plant “news” pieces in the New York Times and Washington Post, stating that Net Neutrality is “settled science,” which, should the FCC alter it in any manner, represents “an existential threat to the Internet as we know it.”

    Dog whistle all the progressive trolls so they write scathing, anti-corporate screeds against the lobbyist-captured FCC and greedy “profit before people” corporations.

Net Neutrality “fauxtesters” demonstrating at the FCC, July 2014.

Scene 2: “Outrage”

    Send another fundraising email – “You can’t fight the ‘Big Evil Corporations’ unless everyone chips in $10.”

    Urge Congress to get involved because it’s just not right that a “rogue” FCC be allowed to create policy and law without Congress’ say-so.

    Get Senators Liz Warren, Al Franken, Bernie Sanders, and Ed Markey to tweet “Peace, love, and a free Internet!” Extra points if they hold an “impromptu” press conference in the Senate Swamp.

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    Get Senator Al Franken and professional activist, Susan Crawford, on NPR to exclaim that “Net Neutrality is the First Amendment issue of our time,” with the two barking that the FCC’s “reasonable rules” are justified because ISPs are just “dumb pipes” and not really communications companies at all.

    Fire-up the computer database in Mountain View and send 4.1 million “grassroots” e-mails to the FCC, Congress, and the President, urging them to shut down the FCC’s anti-Net Neutrality, anti-free speech efforts. Don’t forget to boast about the number and how “The People” (bots) have spoken “truth to power.”

    Trot out Gigi Sohn, Harold Feld, Matt Wood, and Medea Benjamin for a press conference in front of the FCC. Hire fill-in protesters, holding signs emblazoned with “Net Neutrality Saves Puppies,” etc.

    Get HBO’s John Oliver to do another Internet “buggery” piece, and plant a “news” piece in the New York Times and Washington Post about how cool Oliver is and how he speaks “truth to power.”

Busy as beavers: Joyless, paid-for Net Neutrality “activists” fill an FCC viewing room, cranking out their fundraising “action alerts” during the vote to impose Net Neutrality / utility regulation on the Internet, February 2015.

Scene 3: Declare “Victory,” (or, sort of)

    Send out yet another “We’re almost there” fundraising e-mail asking supporters to dig deep into their Apple Pay apps to help “The Fight against gatekeeping corporations that want to favor their stuff over yours.” $15 will do.

    “Rickroll” the FCC’s open meeting.

    Declare victory, but reiterate “More Work Needs to be Done.”

    Repeat Scene 1 and sequence, highlighting the FCC’s latest anti-Net Neutrality “atrocities,” until the non-profits’ financials make it firmly out of the red.

Watch along at home and check back to see how many of the “lines” we’ve spotted over the next few weeks.

If you have an additional act or line you would like to see added to the list, drop them in the comment box below.