February 7, 2011
"In Congress, I'll fight to protect Net Neutrality for the entire Internet—wired and wireless—and make sure big corporations aren't allowed to take control of free speech online."
Well, well, well—who knew that iTunes was simply Apple's effort to control free speech? Or that Amazon was stifling your ability to express your opinions? Or that Facebook—and with a valuation in the tens of billions, Facebook is certainly a "big corporation"—was in business to tell you what you can and can't say? So in the face of such absurdity, I'd like to point to two sources of information about the insidious and potentially devastating impacts that "net neutrality"—whoops! I mean, governmental regulation of the Internet—could have on the American industry, and about what our new Congress is doing to try to walk back the brazen and totally unauthorized usurpation of power by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski. The first is a lucid and insightful column from the Wall Street Journal by L. Gordon Crovitz called "Net Neutrality Goes 0 for 95." And the second is a video interview with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, R., Tennessee, conducted by the Journal last week and in which Blackburn laid out the steps Congress is taking to thwart, block, and then outlaw the statist actions of Genachowski and the FCC with regard to the Internet (the relevant portion of the video interview begins at the 6:20 mark). Blackburn's position is pegged to the interests of the business community and she speaks passionately about the need to keep the government and busybodies like Genachowski from doing harm to the ability of U.S. companies to compete in the global economy. Here are some of her comments from my transcript of the interview: On the false premise with which Genachowski and other supporters of governmental regulation of the Internet are basing their actions: "The reaction has been being aware that the Internet is not broken, and it does not need FCC intervention. The Internet service providers have bid on spectrum, they have built out that spectrum, they have maintained that spectrum, and they spend about $60 billion a year in capital investment on this. So we don't have a broken marketplace, if you will; it is working, most people are very satisfied with their ability to access both the wireline and the wireless avenues for their Internet use. "The third thing I think we need to realize is the FCC doing this, and coming in and trying to capture this marketplace—basically, it is the Fairness Doctrine for the Internet. And we do not want the FCC assigning priority and value to content that's going to travel through the pipes. " On the need to keep federal bureaucrats out of the way of free-market entrepreneurs and high-tech innovators: "Likewise, we don't want our nation's inventors and innovators to have to go apply with the FCC to a "Federal Bureau of Applications" if they want to create some type of innovation that has a portal on the Internet, whether it's with healthcare or financial services or retail transactions or security and cybersecurity. We want them to be able to innovate, and keeping the Internet free, open, and accessible is going to be very important." On steps she and other members of Congress are taking to ensure the "net neutrality" farce is dead on arrival: "I think we'll do a lot of due diligence and bring some legislation and invoke Congressional review, cut the money off so the agencies can't use it to implement these rules and regulations that are hampering American business and free enterprise." On how they'll do that: "Step #2 is going through the appropriations process and disallowing funds to be spent for items like the FCC implementing 'Net Neutrality,' or at EPA the undertaking of Cap and Trade under the Clean Air Act—we can do that through appropriations. Congressman Culberson out of Texas is going to lead the effort on disallowing the FCC to use their funds. . . . My legislation, HR 91, would block the FCC from implementing the 'net neutrality' rules and would say, 'You can't do this—that authority runs with Congress, is held with Congress'. . . . we do not want our creative economy and our technology sector to be hampered like our industrial sector was with onerous rules that made it almost impossible in many areas to manufacture here in this country." Sunshine, says the bromide, is the best disinfectant. And the more we the people and American businesses get to know about the lie expressed in the phony term "net neutrality" and the adverse impacts it could have on U.S. competitiveness, the more we are convinced that we want nothing to do with governmental regulation of the Internet or with the bureaucrats and politicians who are trying to ram it down our throats. RECOMMENDED READING: Global CIO: IBM's Most Disruptive Acquisition Of 2010 Is Netezza Global CIO: An Open Letter To IBM CEO Sam Palmisano Global CIO: 'Net Neutrality' A Ballot Bomb: Supporters Shellacked At Polls Global CIO: IBM Zings Oracle And HP Over Limited Vision Global CIO: Larry Ellison Will Need A Time Machine To Catch Us, Says IBM Global CIO: As IBM Accelerates Analytics Business, Can Anyone Keep Up? Global CIO: Oracle Needs More Than Ellison's Talk To Beat IBM's Systems Global CIO: IBM Claims Hardware Supremacy And Calls Out HP's Hurd Global CIO: IBM Doubles Down On Red-Hot Optimized Systems Global CIO: IBM's Brilliant Trojan Horse Strategy Transcends Technology Global CIO: IBM Top Product Exec Discusses Strategy, Systems, & Oracle Global CIO: IBM's Blazing New Mainframe Wins Raves From Citigroup Global CIO: Is IBM Or Apple The World's #1 Tech Brand? Global CIO: Larry Ellison And IBM Lead Surge In Optimized Systems Global CIO: IBM Turns Guns On Cisco With Acquisition Of Blade Network Global CIO: Tibco Surges And CIO Flips Off IBM, Oracle, And SAP Global CIO: The Top 10 Most Influential IT Vendors (Apple And Facebook?) Global CIO: IBM CEO Sam Palmisano Talks With Global CIO Global CIO: Why IBM CEO Sam Palmisano Earned His $24.3 Million Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.
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