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  • In the Green Room: FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell on Neutering the Net


    FCC Commissioner McDowell recently spoke at Heritage’s Blogger Briefing and then sat down with the Foundry to discuss the ongoing process to add unnecessary regulation across the entire internet. The complicated proposed rules for the new medium are an old story of regulation:

    It does put government in the unprecedented role of perhaps sitting between the producer and the consumer in the internet space.

    There you have it. Wedging itself between two mutually benefiting parties in the name of fairness is perhaps what government regulation does best.

    Also see TechRepublican‘s coverage of McDowell’s appearance here.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    25 Responses to In the Green Room: FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell on Neutering the Net

    1. RRR in Mpls says:

      Once again–fairness is in the eye of the holder. In this case the office holder of the party in power to be exact.

      Fight this with your life. Freedom of speech has never seen a more insidious attack than the one being prepared for the airwaves and cyberrspace we now freely enjoy.

    2. Freedom of Speech TX says:

      Ditto RRR.

      People from all political stripes better show their outrage and get involved on this one.

      Those that think they are safe are fools. ABUSE OF POWER does not recognize freedom.

      This IS abuse of power.

      Don't be fooled by their concern with "fairness". You can see where "spreading the wealth" is taking us, not only internally but globally.

    3. Dave B; Stillwater, says:

      The FCC, an independent agency similar to the Federal Reserve, and the Corps of Engineers to carry out government regulation of the Radio & TV Industry in an ATTEMPT to assure the amount of fairness in that industry. As most of our special agencies, there are always concerns of the fairness of the agency itself! Although it has five members; only three may be of the same party; all are appointed by the President, and they are confirmed by the Senate! The Senate has a large one party advantage at this time, and these rules do not assure a bi-partisan decision-making process. Obviously, the FCC is taking another step to add additional controls over one of our Constitutional (Rights) guarantees, Freedom of Speech. The fear of altering our Constitutional rights by a regulatory method frightens me! The fact that this is being done, of course, suggests the administration has a questionable reason to suggest these regulations! One of the methods to determine the fairness of programing is by polls of the listeners and viewers. The polls are performed by a variety of independent pollsters routinely. Why not use those private polls to discover unfairness if there is any? Further, I would prefer the U.S. Supreme Court to pass on any regulatory measures passed by the FCC before they are put in place. I am thinking of the questionable passage of the Campaign Finance legislation a couple years back. And I still believe that law is unconstitutional in part!

      Frankly, I do not want federal regulators determining what I watch and listen to on radio and TV!

    4. Myron says:

      This 'doctrine' is utter hogwash! I pick what I want to see, hear and consume. I don't want some liberal trying to show, tell, or feed me the blather they have to offer. Had I liked the rubbish, I would have listened to Al Frankens' show.

    5. Nicolai Alatzas says:

      Ok lets be honest we don't really get to choose what we see. You search a specific item or topic and the search engine selects what exactly to present to you.

      If you use gmail or other services that record information about use and credit scores. Then you are inundated with ads for that specific market sector.

      Even with that being said however I do not want to see Fed money going to them telling us what we can or can not look at. Federal involvement in the free market, capitalist internet is what I have grown to love.


    6. Bobbie Jay says:

      Balancing view points? This is limiting view points and if the majority is viewing one way it's going to be hard to find opposition.

      Regulating what hasn't been regulated before? What problems arouse for government or the independent president appointed fcc to stick their nose in, in the first place? Some listen to public radio, but not enough. SO GOVERNMENT STICKS THEIR NOSE IN AGAIN! Those that listen to private owned radio understand the difference is THEY'RE NOT UNDER GOVERNMENT INFLUENCE.


      I like that sarcastic "good luck" at the end…constant stepping over the line. We need real big brothers to get rid of these real big bullies! Real BIG UGLIES!

    7. Mike Dodson, Midland says:

      I don't usually watch Glenn Beck because he's too much over-the-top for my taste. However, I recall one of his programs from way back where he was talking about the "czars" and highlighted one fellow, whose job it was (is) to "silence conservative talk radio," and to find some way to control the internet. He alleged it was a return to the old, "Fairness Doctrine."

      At the time I thought — Ho Hum! What a smack in the back of the head!

      I'm now afraid — what else has Beck said that I didn't pay attention to?

    8. Linda Carlsbad, CA says:

      Isn't this what the UN dictators agreed to in the G20 Summit?

      President Obama and this administration wants to stop free speech.

      Let's see, take our guns, take our health care, take our free speech. I'd say this isn't a free nation anymore. We now have a dictator!

    9. JD, alabama says:

      Just another step in the overall agenda of this adminstration. There's also absoulte gun control, throwing open the borders, massive transfer of US wealth to other countries, oppressive taxes…on and on.

      The sad fact is most Americans either 1) are too ignorant to see what's happening or 2) just don't care

    10. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Obama is controlling almost the entire national news media (except for Fox). For a socialist and Marxist that is Obama, that's not enough. HE WANTS IT ALL. Just look at what he is doing to anyone that disagrees with anything he says. Make not mistake and don't be fooled. His minions, that are always in front of the cameras, taking the bullets for him (like a good commi), while Obama is hiding in the weeds, waiting for the smoke to clear.

    11. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      I have had this strange feeling for months now, Obama does not only want to control the USA he want's to control the whole world, he has a Napolian complex. He doesn't like Fox News because it reports the news as it is. We used to have investigative reporters on NBC,ABC and CBS, now we have media stars, and they are all programed to do Obama's bidding, I agree with Sean Hannity they think he's the Messiah and they are the lambs being led to slaughter.

    12. dave, dayton says:

      How does the saying go? " All that needs to hapen for tyranny(sp) to suceed is for good men to do nothing" Something along those lines. The problem is, we all think that my one little voice won't make any difference, they'll get what they want anyway. I won't be silenced, I won't be told shut up, and I WILL go out shouting at the top of my lungs. E-Mail your Senator, Congressman opps person and let them know you won't stand for destroying the Constitution.

    13. Ham Lake MN says:

      This will not make it thru "moderation"

      Wecome to Russia 1917, or Hungary 1956, or Viet Nam 1973, or Cuba 1957, China 1947. Nov. 2008-9 will go down as the year we lost our Republic in a bloodless coup to Domestic Enemies.

      America has a whole bunch of good Bloggers, do we have any "fighting men left?

      If you are all so fearful to say it, I will. We need to march on DC and take back our country. We do this with our guns. We exercise what the 2nd amendment was written for.

    14. jnlw indiana says:

      I recall Fidel saying something to the effect after taking power in Cuba. "I am a communist. I have always been a communist!".

    15. Ham Lake MN says:

      We exercise our rights under the Second Amendment.

    16. Tim Az says:

      Lord we need another McCarthy to clean up this infestation that now plagues America at every level.

    17. Ham Lake MN says:

      To Tim in AZ, why are we all waiting to have some one else do what is becoming clear has to be done?

      In 1970 I swore to protect and defend our constitution from all enemies, including domestic ones and I am willing to do so again. Who else out there is?

    18. Jerry from Chicago says:

      The FCC is free from government control? Oh really? Then what is Obama appointed "Diversity Czar" Mark Lloyd doing at the FCC?

      According to Mr. Lloyd, he is suggesting that syndicated "talk radio" shows (i.e., those that are critical of Mr. Obama and his policies) are not reflective of "local" attitudes and are not "diverse" enough. To cure those ills, Mr. Lloyd proposes to tax these "talk radio" programs at 100% of their operating expenses, such tax money to be distributed to "local'" and "diverse" radio stations.

      Last I heard, people who didn't want to listen to Rush, or Hannity, or Levin, or Laura Ingraham, or any of the others, could always change the the channel, or turn off the radio. If people wanted to hear guys like Al Franken, they could have listened to Air America, or Bill Maher, Alec Baldwin, Barbara Striesand, George Clooney, the old hens on the View, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN or MSNBC. They could get their news from the New York Times, or the L.A. Times or the Washington Post, or Newsweek.

      I'm sick of hearing that the left doesn't get equal time in the media. If it weren't for conservative talk radio and Fox News, we wouldn't know a fraction of what's been going on in Washington. We would know anything about Mr. Obama's "czars" like Mr. Jennings, who thinks the North American Man-Boy LOve Association is a good thing. Or like Mr. Cass Sunstein, who thinks animals should have the right to sue human beings. Or like Mr. Van Jones, the self avowed communist, who doesn't like Republicans very much.

      We wouldn't have know about the adventures of ACORN and its 'entreprenurial' spirit and inventiveness when it comes to importing illegal alien children for purposes of prostitution. And Charlie Gibson says, "what problem with ACORN"?

      The White House wants to get even with Fox News and punish them. Why? Because they uncover and publish these things that the other "news" media will not cover because of their slobbering love affair with Mr. Obama.

    19. Millie A. Portsmouth says:

      We just have to spread the word and get our friends and relatives to listen to talk radio. Increase the numbers and they can't say that it isn't the opinion of the LOCALS!! CNN is attacking FOXNEWS with wonderful results…watch FOXNEWS people…get the numbers up!! They can't balk at the numbers!! Did you see the canned results of the ABC/Washington Post Poll? It was taken from 33% Democrats and 20% Republicans…can we say CROOKED??? The general public does NOT want a public option..but anything to make the OBAMA-Nation look good!! GO FOXNEWS!!

      Is it true that we are having "HOLIDAY TREES" in the White House this CHRISTMAS? What are WE THE PEOPLE going to do about that?

    20. Chris, Weed, Califor says:

      People need to participate in those efforts that are getting the best results in gaining high level media attention (TV)and be part of the movement. The Tea Party Express seems to be getting a lot of media coverage. Please go to teapartyexpress.org to see their schedule and then go to the rallies. Take as many people as possible

    21. Tim Az says:

      I have bo problem with giving my full measure should it be necessary. I would like to see what the results are in the coming election first. I too took the oath that those in DC defecate on. On a daily basis.

    22. Pingback: In the Green Room: FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell on Neutering the Net | Conservative Principles Now

    23. George T US Virgin says:

      It's still Christmas to me. Who are these people offended by a Christmas tree in the WH? There are so few of them population wise, why worry about them. The majority still carries the mores of this country. Get in line or get out of the way. We don't have time to babycoddle all of the offended.

    24. Clark, FL says:

      It is important to understand what is at stake here. While there are many liberals trying to push various versions of the fairness doctrine, Net Neutrality is not the same thing. Imagine if your cell phone company could arbitrarily decide to reduce the quality of your phone calls because you were talking to someone they didn't care about (family, friends) or worse, someone they didn't like (competing carrier, etc). Imagine if the government was allowed to force UPS and FedEx to use 1-lane dirt roads instead of interstate highways since they are competitors to the USPS and the roads also belong to the government.

      Net(work) Neutrality prevents ISPs from trying to control what you can see after you've already paid them good money to use their service freely. Net(work) Neutrality will prevent the government from trying to step in later, when ISPs are shaping content all the live-long day, and you can only see the new sites THEY like, and only read blogs THEY approve of. If someone has to step in, what would you prefer? Businesses that only want to innovate another twenty dollars per month out of your wallet deciding how you can use the internet? Or, as much as I hate to say it, the government stepping in and telling them that "They can not and will not decide how their customers can use the internet."

      With Respect, most of the people in Washington have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. I am a Software Engineer, and have been working on the web for about 10 years at this point. The "nuts and bolts" of how the internet work will protect your freedom of speech on their own AS LONG AS the ISPs are not allowed to tamper with your service. What if FedEx/UPS/USPS/whoever tampered with your mail? Or if the police told Delivery Drivers from certain pizza places that they could only driver 20mph to get to their destinations, and let others go unrestricted? If you block Net(work) Neutrality, then you open to door for private citizens with questionable motives who weren't elected by anyone to control what you and your family can see, and that's as scary as it gets on this issue.

    25. Keith Richard Radfor says:

      I remember Minister Robert McDowell in the back or the kingdom hall in of JW Beverly Hills Cong coming in the back of the hall with the love sisters saying he just had to meet me and that he could not lose? what was that about? 1974? He would not take a seat after my being encouraged to make him sit. I just found him rude.

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