Washington D.C– U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) filed legislation this week which she coins the “Internet Freedom Act” in a response and effort to overturn the recent FCC rule changes on internet neutrality.
Citizens from across America phoned, emailed, and protested in record breaking numbers to have the FCC protect the Internet and keep it open to all. The new rules prohibit internet service providers from blocking, slowing, and prioritizing traffic to websites as well as requiring ISPs to publicly disclose network management practices.
Rep. Blackburn has other ideas for what a “free Internet” is. “Shall have no force or effect, and the Commission may not reissue such rule in substantially the same form, or issue a new rule that is substantially the same as such rule, unless the reissued or new rule is specifically authorized by a law enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act,” the Internet Freedom Act says.
Read the bill in full. H.R. 1212, the Internet Freedom Act
“Once the federal government establishes a foothold into managing how Internet service providers run their networks they will essentially be deciding which content goes first, second, third, or not at all,” Blackburn said in an announcement. “My legislation will put the brakes on this FCC overreach and protect our innovators from these job-killing regulations.”
The legislation has 31 Republican cosponsors on record.
In what can be described as legalised bribery, Blackburn received $20,000 from a Comcast political action committee (PAC), $25,000 from an AT&T PAC, $15,000 from a Verizon PAC, $20,000 from a cable industry association PAC, the Center of Responsive Politics reports.
Rep. Blackburn claims that, “There is nothing ‘free and open’ about this heavy-handed approach. These overreaching rules will stifle innovation, restrict freedoms, and lead to billions of dollars in new fees and taxes for American consumers.” Referencing the new FCC rules.
It comes to no surprise that Rep. Blackburn is totally against real Internet neutrality after seeing how much campaign funding she received from ISPs. Her bill, if passed as law, would also counteract the FCC’s Title II classification of the Internet being a public utility. Justly using strong language, she has mastered Orwellian speech in naming bills. The “Internet Freedom Act” is double speak and is the exact opposite of a free Internet just as the PATRIOT Act is unpatriotic. The proposal would completely reverse the new rule changes and allow a restricted internet.
The fight for Internet neutrality is far from over as conservatives have been at war with the concept of oversight for decades. Their idea of a free Internet is one where ISPs have full control over their services and little to no government restrictions. Unfortunately for the consumer that means they would be able to charge whatever they wanted and “throttle” connection speeds. Money seems to speak volumes in this fight for a free Internet as representatives are fighting for corporations and not their constituents.