The following article by ATR's Kelly William Cobb was published in today's edition of The Daily Caller:
Today, the Federal Communications Commission unveils its plan to regulate the Internet. The details are uncertain, but regardless of whether the FCC’s Internet takeover scheme is simply bad or outright horrendous, the move marks something significantly more important: the FCC has gone completely rogue. Hijacked by pronounced socialist organizations, the Commission is bucking strong opposition from the courts, U.S. Congress, and American public in a ruthless pursuit to regulate the Internet.
The first sign that the Commission couldn’t care less about a system of checks-and-balances came in April when the FCC was handed a devastating loss by a U.S. Court of Appeals. The court found that since the Internet has always been an unregulated “information” service, the Commission was “shattering” the bounds of its legal authority by trying to regulate it through so-called net neutrality rules.
Knowing he would lose an appeal of the decision, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski found solace in longtime friends at the organizations Free Press and Public Knowledge. Before the court ruling, Public Knowledge called for the FCC to reclassify the Internet from an “information” to a “telecommunications” service, arguing it gave the Commission sounder legal authority for net neutrality. They also said it would allow the FCC to set prices and collect data from service providers. FCC spokeswoman Jen Howard concurred, stating that the Court ruling did not “close the door to other methods” to regulate the Net. This is the same Jen Howard that served as Free Press’s press director before Chairman Genachowski offered her the FCC gig, despite promises that lobbyists and special interest groups would be barred from Administration jobs.
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