Before the apocalyptic fears of disappearing internet freedoms are realized, it might be a good idea to publish the “hiding in plain sight” truth of who seems to want secret rules for all users of the information superhighway. Â After all, once it’s in cyberspace, it’s there forever in some form. Â It just takes a while – and a search engine other than Google – to find it sometimes.
Thanks to the industrious patriots at the Media Research Center along with the Washington Examiner, tree shaking dropped some rotten fruit.
Liberal philanthropist George Soros and the Ford Foundation have lavished groups supporting the administrationâ€™s â€œnet neutralityâ€ agenda, donating $196 million and landing proponents on the White House staff, according to a new report.
And now, as the Federal Communications Commission nears approving a type of government control over the Internet, the groups are poised to declare victory in the years-long fight, according to the report from MRC Business, an arm of the conservative media watchdog, the Media Research Center.
â€œThe Ford Foundation, which claims to be the second-largest private foundation in the U.S., and Open Society Foundations, founded by far-left billionaire George Soros, have given more than $196 million to pro-net neutrality groups between 2000 and 2013,â€ said the report, authored by Media Research Centerâ€™s Joseph Rossell, and provided to Secrets.
â€œThese left-wing groups not only impacted the public debate and funded top liberal think tanks from the Center for American Progress to Free Press. They also have direct ties to the White House and regulatory agencies. At least five individuals from these groups have ascended to key positions at the White House and FCC,â€ said the report which included funding details to pro-net neutrality advocates.
It quoted critic Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment, saying, â€œThe biggest money in this debate is from the liberal foundations that lavish millions on self-styled grassroots groups pushing for more and more regulation and federal control.â€
Before anyone gets all hyper about the Ford Foundation, it no longer has anything to do with Ford Motor Company. Â And when other American car makers take into account women’s 4’11” frames and reaching gas pedals, this writer might consider another brand.
It sounds like the really far left doesn’t like to see or hear criticism. Â The people who adhere to that ideology also don’t like dissent. Â So, they are doing their best to quash it. Â What that entails is quite well outlined in a piece from left-leaning The Hill. Â The problem for the left with the net neutrality vote that seeks to reclassify the internet as a utility, and put secret fines and rules into place, is that their own advocates in the world of cyberspace recognize the pitfalls for net neutrality in the proposed form.
…if a recent report fromÂ ReutersÂ is correct, the general conduct rule will be anything but clear. The FCC will evaluate â€œharmâ€ based on consideration of seven factors: impact on competition; impact on innovation; impact on free expression; impact on broadband deployment and investments; whether the actions in question are specific to some applications and not others; whether they comply with industry best standards and practices; and whether they take place without the awareness of the end-user, the Internet subscriber.
There are several problems with this approach.Â First, it suggests that the FCC believes it has broad authority to pursue any number of practicesâ€”hardly the narrow, light-touch approach we need to protect the open Internet. Second, we worry that this rule will be extremely expensive in practice, because anyone wanting to bring a complaint will be hard-pressed to predict whether they will succeed. For example, how will the Commission determine â€œindustry best standards and practicesâ€? As a practical matter, it is likely that only companies that can afford years of litigation to answer these questions will be able to rely on the rule at all. Third, a multi-factor test gives the FCC an awful lot of discretion, potentially giving an unfair advantage to parties with insider influence.
Internet billionaire Mark Cuban said it best: net neutrality will f— everything up.
Interestingly enough, “net neutrality” and a free and open internet is one place where the goals and ideals of the day to day left – at least among the tech crowd – and the right, or conservatives, actually are similar enough that banding together on this issue would not be a bad idea. Â That way we have the freedom to tear apart each other’s moral, political, and social arguments without hindrance from the government.