The political battle for control of the Internet is being won by politicians, citizens are losing. This loss is very likely to impact everyone in Second Life.
Consider. The news citizens can post on the Internet is mostly uncontrolled, as pure a case of freedom of speech as anyone has. For politicians this a disaster and a threat for their control and power. The Internet gives minorities, crazy or sane, a voice they have never had.
Mainstream media is licensed and restrained by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and is under enough control that politicians have learned how to deal with it. Reporters and journalists have to some extent learned how to fulfill the duties of informing the citizens. Jayson Blair, Brain Williams and Dan Rather types are the minority, which seems to be growing.
To some extent the reporters and journalists are protected from politicians/government. When a reporter or journalist has the integrity and honesty to blow the whistle on a politician, they have some protection. They also have a source-shield-law.
But, the chaos of citizens is totally unpredictable as to who, when, why, where, and how a politician will be exposed. Think Plumber Joe. Obama speaking to him off script revealed his socialist ideals and Joe began speaking out against Obama’s ideology. While not a good example of what is happening on the Internet, it is a good example of the challenges politicians face in dealing with free citizens.
This chaos means preventative control citizens is all but impossible to implement. Instead we react to crimes and injuries after the fact, which is the price of freedom.
What is Happening
A 332 page plan from the Whitehouse has been provided to the FCC. The commission is to vote on it. The citizens are NOT allowed to see what is in the plan until after the vote. Does this sound familiar? DO you have any memory of ACA and Representative Pelosi (D) saying we have to pass ACA so we can know what is in it… (Reference)
For those that do not know: The founding fathers designed Congress to debate bills planned as law and allow Americans to tell their representatives what they wanted. Representatives that failed to convince their constituents to change their minds to support a representatives ideas and voted against the people’s will gets voted out of office. But, we have to be able to have time to read the bills, discuss/debate, them, think about them, and then have time to inform our representatives what we want them to do.
Refusing to allow the citizens to know what is in a bill before Congress votes on it, that is a dictator’s tactic. Hiding a Congress person’s vote by using voice votes or show of hands, deprives the citizens of the knowledge they need to decide on whether a representative is supporting citizens or political agendas that serve only the politicians and reveal who is making good or poor decisions.
What is in the Plan?
We can only know what those who have read it are saying.
Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Tweeted: Here is President Obama’s 332-page plan to regulate the Internet. I wish the public could see what is inside it. (The Tweet)
Quotes coming out say:
“President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet. It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works,” Pai said. “The plan explicitly opens the door to billions of dollars in new taxes on broadband… These new taxes will mean higher prices for consumers and more hidden fees that they have to pay.” (Reference)
More taxes… doesn’t sound like a good thing for middle class America.
The rules proposed by Wheeler adhere largely with the recommendations President Obama gave to the agency last year. And Republicans have accused the independent agency, led by Wheeler, of bending to White House pressure.
Gigi Sohn, a special counsel for Wheeler, said the text of the actually net neutrality rules are only 8 pages. She said the other pages responds to the millions of public comments, “as required by law.” (Reference)
Why not release the plan? The FCC took public comment, of which there was plenty. But, we have never seen what the commission decided, recommended, and then what was proposed by the Whitehouse.
The actual statement by Commissioner Pai can be read here: Pai Letter.
Page 2 link below.