3/10/15 Regulating Speech

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The FCC proposal to regulate the Internet may be the latest attempt to control content.

The agency’s 2010 “Future of the Media” inquiry was outside what federal law said the agency may look at. Nor does the agency have the expertise to properly evaluate company business models, corporate debt levels, newsroom staffing policies, or print industry operations.

The Federal Trade Commission’s “Reinvention of Journalism” study was equally disturbing.

The FTC suggested licensing news organizations.  Or the government financing certain press outlets.  This could end independent media holding government accountable.

The National Broadband Plan to move all news, information and entertainment to broadband platforms was crafty, indeed.  The other shoe has now dropped.  First, move all content to broadband.  Then, regulate broadband.

In 2010, Cass Sunstein, the then-head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, argued in favor of government subsidized programming. He suggested broadband platforms be required to carry certain websites.  And that other websites be mandated to offer opposing viewpoints.

One can easily guess which websites would get universal carriage.  And which would be required to carry opposing views.

And before he joined the Administration, Mark Lloyd applauded when Venezuela dictator Hugo Chavez began closing privately-owned media outlets.  Killing off Venezuela’s free press.

Liberals, conservatives and moderates alike should be worried when the government wants to regulate speech.

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