JULY 17, 2017
Adoption of Current Net-Neutrality Regulations Was a Politically Corrupted Decision that Will Do Far More to Increase Wealth of D.C. Powerbrokers and Lobbyists than it Will Do to Protect Consumers
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it joined the Allied Educational Foundation (AEF) in filing comments that oppose Obama-era internet regulations that resulted in massive new federal regulations of the internet under the Federal Communications Commission.
On May 18, 2017, the FCC voted to propose a new review of the Obama-era regulations passed in 2015 on Internet service providers – frequently referred to as “net neutrality” rules – which greatly increased the FCC’s management of internet content delivery and operations.
The Judicial Watch/AEF comment reads:
[T]he prior FCC was not content to merely protect internet openness. Rather than adopt simple rules toward that end, the prior FCC adopted a raft of economic regulations that serve little purpose other than to bring a thriving and successful industry to heel, placing it under the control of federal regulators. This was a simple power grab, taking decision-making authority away from entrepreneurial businesses and putting it in the hands of the FCC. If allowed to stand, these economic regulations will do tremendous harm to a rapidly evolving internet economy that continues to grow and expand.
JW/AEF also highlight the political motivation behind the Obama FCC “power grab” that produced this “politically corrupted decision to regulate the Internet:”
The prior FCC’s adoption of the net neutrality regulations was a politically-corrupted decision, which will do far more to increase the wealth of Washington DC power-brokers and lobbyists than it will to protect consumers. The FCC is an independent regulatory agency designated by Congress to apply expert industry and technical knowledge to ensure the smooth function of communications markets in a nonpartisan way. But the prior Commission ignored its own expert opinion that heavy regulations would harm the internet, and it did so to appease the former President’s agenda for battling the opposition party while cementing his legacy via regulatory accomplishment. These net neutrality rules are a far-left, base-appeasing federal power grab. The regulations as written are certain to increase the amount of rent-seeking behavior already present in a usually smoothly functioning industry. As industry players position themselves to curry favor with federal bureaucrats possessed of far-reaching adjudicatory powers, internet innovation, investment and consumers all will suffer.
“The Obama FCC’s attempted takeover of the Internet must be stopped,” said Judicial Watch President, Tom Fitton. “As with the collapsing Obamacare, the FCC regulation of the Internet seems to be another corrupt effort by the Obama administration to federalize a previously free market.”
Two months ago, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the FCC seeking records of the Obama White House’s influence in the FCC’s decision to reclassified broadband Internet as a public utility so that it could impose its restrictive net neutrality regulatory rules (Judicial Watch v. Federal Communications Commission (No. 1:17-cv-00933)).