Warehouse K
Web Attacks
Page 2
Page 3

Waxman’s Dirty Deeds – New Internet Threat Rumored

By James Donahue

The word is out that California Congressman Henry Waxman, the guy that unsuccessfully attempted in May to slip an amendment to the Wall Street Reform Act that would have given the Federal Trade Commission expanded powers to control dietary supplements, now wants to put Internet controls in the hands of private corporations.

A report by Jason Rosenbaum for the Daily Kos and the Huffington Post this week said the rumor is that Waxman, the Democratic Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, “is preparing to introduce legislation that would – if press reports are to be believed – give the Internet over to corporate control and kill free speech online.”

Why would Waxman consider such an unpopular bill, and do it just prior to the November mid-term elections? Rosenbaum, a Washington activist, writes that his sources tell him that the congressman and his cohorts believe such a bill is the “best they can get” and that their goal is to avoid a fight over Internet freedom.

At this point, you might be asking what is going on behind closed doors in Washington these days that would trigger any kind of a fight over net neutrality. Rosenbaum also asks this question. He wrote that “Outside of Washington, DC, voters love the Internet that has been governed by Net Neutrality since its inception.”

It has only been recently, Rosenbaum said, that this neutrality has been challenged by corporate giants in the telephone and cable companies that are pressing to gain controls on “free speech and innovation online in order to make a buck.”

We agree with Rosenbaum that “there is no excuse for someone like Waxman to do anything other than unabashedly fight for the people. In fact, there is no need for Congress to pass legislation dealing with Net Neutrality right now at all. All that needs to be done to protect the Internet is for the FCC to assert its authority.”

And there lies the rub. Obama’s FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has remained silent on this issue in spite of promises by the president’s campaign promise to enforce Net Neutrality.

In his first major public address at Brookings Institution in September, 2009, Genachowski warned that without Net Neutrality protections “we could see the Internet’s doors shut to entrepreneurs, the spirit of innovation stifled, a full and free flow of information compromised.”

It appears that Genachowski clearly understands the fate of the Internet if its control falls into the hands of big business interests intent on charging users and controlling everything that gets passed in the form of creative art, business connections and free information. So why did the FCC remained silent even when Google and Verizon made an unpopular proposal to seize Internet controls?

Is there perhaps a secret plot being hatched that would destroy Net Neutrality even while Mr. Obama and his FCC Chairman, Mr. Genachowski are assuring us that all is well?

Timothy Karr, director of the organization Save The Internet,” recently wrote that all that Genachowski would need to do is “restore the FCC’s authority to protect Internet users by reclassifying broadband under the law. Next the FCC must enact Net Neutrality rules that safeguard the open Internet for all users, no matter how they get online.”

For some unexplained reason Genachowski has ignored public pressure to act. Karr suggests that the man is unwilling to do anything “that would upset the powerful special interests that make up the phone and cable lobby.”