(NaturalNews) Americans are slowly but surely losing all control over their government, as evidenced anew by the refusal of a federal agency head to appear before the people’s representatives in Congress.
As the Federal Communications Commission gets ready to issue major new rules for the Internet that are misnamed “Net Neutrality,” its chairman, Tom Wheeler, has refused to appear before the House Government Oversight Committee, the very panel charged with overseeing such bureaucracies and ensuring that Americans are not being abused by them.
The committee’s chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, as well as Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton, R-Michigan, criticized Wheeler for refusing, despite the fact that “the future of the Internet is at stake.”
The FCC, which is led by three Democrats and two Republicans, is set to issue the new Net Neutrality rules much in the way that the also-misnamed Affordable Care Act — a.k.a. Obamacare — was written and passed: in secret, without congressional input.
Nothing benevolent and well-intentioned about “Net Neutrality“
“So long as the chairman continues to insist on secrecy, we will continue calling for more transparency and accountability at the commission,” Chaffetz and Upton said in a statement. “Chairman Wheeler and the FCC are not above Congress.”
But apparently that is not the case, since Wheeler has so far ignored their demand.
As reported by National Review Online:
The vote on the new Internet regulations is scheduled for [Feb. 26]. The FCC’s two Republican commissioners have asked Wheeler to delay the vote to allow more time for review. The changes would allow the commission to regulate the Internet like a public utility, setting new standards that require the provision of equal access to all online content.
Supporters of the Obama Administration action on Net Neutrality say the rules are necessary to allow what the government says will be an “open Internet” — to make it more “fair” and “just.”
USA Today explained it this way in a Q & A published recently on the subject:
Net neutrality, or open Internet, is the principle that Internet service providers should give consumers access to all legal content and applications on an equal basis, without favoring or blocking some sources. It also prohibits Internet service providers (ISPs) from charging content providers for speedier delivery of their content on “fast lanes” or deliberately slowing the content from content providers that may compete with ISPs.
But most Americans who have cable and Internet service aren’t complaining about speeds or content being blocked. In fact, the telecom, satellite and cable industries themselves have, due to the demands of the free market, made improvements to service while offering more choices to consumers. Prices have climbed, and that is a thorn for many consumers, but as the cable companies themselves have acknowledged, their fees have risen because of higher retransmission fees (fees paid to local TV stations) and especially because sports programming costs have skyrocketed. As one example, ESPN will pay more than $15 billion to the NFL through 2021 for the rights to broadcast Monday Night Football.
Just wait until we can actually see the new rules
Also, there are fears among small website owners and media companies which own a number of sites that government regulation of the Internet as a public utility would give the FCC the power to determine, arbitrarily, if some companies are acting unfairly.
As The New York Times reported:
The plan would also give the F.C.C. the power to step in if unforeseen impediments are thrown up by the handful of giant companies that run many of the country’s broadband and wireless networks.
So, the same government (and administration) that itself could not build a functional health insurance exchange website — with hundreds of millions of dollars — now wants to assume control over the entire Internet.
Be warned: There is nothing “neutral” about Net Neutrality, and it is not the benevolent, well-intentioned “reform” that the FCC’s majority Democrats say it is. In the days ahead, when we’re finally allowed to actually see the rules, the truth will come out.