What Happened to Obama’s Promised Net Neutrality?

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Net Neutrality may shortly become another broken promise made by Barack Obama during is campaign for the presidency. His appointment of telecommunications lobbyist, Thomas Wheeler, may well be the nail in its coffin. Bill Moyers and his guests, David Carr of the New York Times and Susan Crawford, a visiting professor at Harvard Law School think is still time to stop it death if the public takes action.

“For most Americans, they have no choice for all the information, data, entertainment coming through their house, other than their local cable monopoly.  And here, we have a situation where that monopoly potentially can pick and choose winners and losers, decide what you see,” Crawford tells Moyers.

Carr adds: “People have a close, intimate relationship with the web in a way they don’t other technologies … they have the precious propriety feelings about it.  And I’m not sure if the FCC really knows what they’re getting into.”

TRanscript can be read here

The problem, Bill Moyers says, is that “business and government are now so intertwined that public officials and corporate retainers are interchangeable parts of what Chief Justice John Roberts might call ‘the gratitude machine.'” FCC officials, including Wheeler, transit back and forth through the revolving door between public service and lucrative private commerce, losing sight of the greater good. But there’s still time to speak up and make your voices heard.

Transcript can be read here

Don’t Let Net Neutrality Become Another Broken Promise

by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

Barack Obama told us there would be no compromise on Net neutrality. We heard him say it back in 2007, when he first was running for president. [..]

He said it many more times. And defenders of Net neutrality believed him, that he would preserve Internet access for all, without selling out to providers like Verizon and Comcast who want to charge higher fees for speedier access – hustling more cash from those who can afford to buy a place at the front of the line. On this issue so important to democracy, they believed he would keep his word, would see to it that when private interests set upon the Internet like sharks to blood in the water, its fate would be in the hands of honest brokers who would listen politely to the pleas of the greedy, and then show them the door.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be Washington’s infamous revolving door. Last May, President Obama named Tom Wheeler to be FCC chairman. He had other choices, men or women whose loyalty was to the public, not to rich and powerful corporations. But Tom Wheeler had been one of Obama’s top bundlers of campaign cash – both in 2008 and again in 2012, when he raised at least half a million dollars for the president’s re-election. Like his proposed new rules for the Web, that put him at the front of the line.

Take Action Now

   » Save the Internet has a sample script, an email petition and instructions on how to call Wheeler and request that the chairman abandon his proposal.

   » Using WhiteHouse.gov’s We the People site, critics of the new proposal have also launched a petition, calling for “nothing less than complete neutrality in our communication channels.” It already has over 40,000 signatures.

   » A second petition asks the FCC to reclassify broadband as a regulated common-carrier service, which means it would have to be open to all, and serve all customers without discrimination. Currently broadband is classified as an information service, a category that gives the FCC a fairly limited set of regulatory options.

   » There are a number of other organizations that are working on maintaining Net neutrality, including: Access, CREDO Action, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press, Open Technology Institute, Public Knowledge, Voices for Internet Freedom


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    • TMC on May 7, 2014 at 01:24
  1. Anyone here here remember TARP?  When Congress and the Bush administration first proposed giving the banks and Wall Street billions of tax payers dollars for fraud and failure the public went “nuts” in unison! Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and So-Called Independents were all 100% against the idea of Corporate Socialism (bail-out).  Before Congress could put it to a vote the calls came flooding in and the first time around around TARP failed. Two weeks later after the Corporate Media kicked off a massive 27/7 non-stop  propaganda campaign connecting TARP (Corporate Socialism)to the economy and the “jobs” of John Q. Public TARP passed. Broadcast and Cable media are firmly in corporate hands; the “hole” was the internet.  Obama closed that hole.    

  2. “What  does everybody really expect, at this point?  As for myself, I expect zilch out of this Administration, just like all the others..”

    Liberals and Progressives should realize by now that Obama himself was part of the “bait and switch”.

    Candidate Obama supported a “Public Health Care Option” to as he said at the time “keep the insurance companies honest”. Notice that President Obama supports the same Heritage Foundation plan (repackaged as The Affordable Care Act)as Bob Dole offered in the 90’s as an Republican alternative to HilaryCare. At one point Obama himself declared on national TV, “I don’t know why the Republicans are so resistant, most of the ideas I bring to the table are their old ideas?” Now I ask you who among us would have given him our vote if he had said this when he was running for president? Here is a debate between Black Agenda Reports Glenn Ford and  Michael Eric Dyson:


    Dyson called Obama “the lesser of two evils”; Ford tagged him (Obama) as “the more effective of two evils”.  

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