10.21.2010 0

StopNetRegulation Editor Favors Lame Duck Effort to Protect Internet Freedom

By Kevin Mooney — Various free market organizations have expressed concern over the very real possibility that Democrats could force through damaging legislation during the “lame-duck” session after the election. However, Seton Motley, editor-in-chief, of StopNetRegulation.org, has offered up a compelling proposal that Tea Party activists and average Americans should carefully consider.

In a recent column, Motley called for bi-partisan legislation that would permanently prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from reclassifying the Internet. This is a very realistic, feasible suggestion that can be pushed as an alternative to any 11th hour Big Labor paybacks.

No less than Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) has submitted a bill that would impose a two–year moratorium on any reclassification that now appears more imminent.

“The World Wide Web has become a free speech, free market Xanadu,” Motley wrote.  “And the FCC is rushing to unilaterally, DRAMATICALLY overregulate it – burning the village in a misguided and unnecessary effort to “save” it.  The Tea Party Movement has grown and blossomed on the Internet – under the current regulatory model – so they know that the government seizing control of it is a bad idea. And right now, perhaps the only thing that stands between us and this FCC Internet power grab is – Congressional legislation, passed by THIS Congress in a post-election lame duck session.”

Support for a permanent ban that would go beyond Waxman’s bill is growing across party lines and includes organizations that are normally aligned with left-wing causes.

“They [the FCC) should not reclassify – period,” Motley continues.  “No elapsed period of time changes that. And it’s not just me saying it.  299 members of Congress have said it – a large bipartisan majority.  More than 150 organizations – including the aforementioned 35 Tea Party groups – state legislators and bloggers have said it.  So have seventeen minority groups – that are usually almost always in Democrat lockstep.”

“So have many additional normally Democrat paragons, including several large unions: AFL-CIO, Communications Workers of America (CWA),International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); several racial grievance groups: League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Minority Media and Telecom Council (MMTC), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Urban League; and an anti-free market environmentalist group: the Sierra Club.”

The FCC’s threatened action has already cost billions of dollars investments in the midst of recessionary climate.  While it’s important to raise concerns over legislative boondoggles that benefit special interests, the proponents of limited government should offer up their alternative vision.

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