“President Obama’s secret plan to protect the ‘open Internet’ is locked inside the Federal Communications Commission. We don’t know what’s in the 322 pages, but we are told it includes a transparency rule,” Bret Swanson writes for Computerworld. “We think it also includes a no-blocking rule, which is crucial because the commission’s own website has been blocking access to the press releases of its minority commissioners.”

“The FCC, consisting of five appointed members, is celebrating the democratic process used in formulating the 332-page plan. In a campaign coordinated with the White House, commission staff solicited several million form letters from activists cheering the ever-popular ‘Title II reclassification,'” Swanson writes. “Nearly 1 million voters responded furiously with comments of their own, advocating the exact opposite policy, one of Internet freedom. Many senators and congressmen are skeptical an ‘independent, expert” agency is supposed to work this way. Commission staff, however, are warning Congress, and its 535 elected representatives, to buzz off, lest it intrude on democracy.”

“Congress doesn’t understand the law it passed in 1996. It thinks it told the FCC to leave the Internet alone. ‘It is the policy of the United States,’ Congress said in the bipartisan Telecommunications Act of 1996, ‘to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet and other interactive computer services, unfettered by Federal or State regulation.’ Oh, dearest Congress. Such a quaint understanding of words. Concise statutory statements are no match for the FCC’s linguistic gymnastics. For starters, Internet service providers, the commission’s press secretary informed us, will no longer be part of the Internet. See how easy that is. Congress says the Internet should be ‘unfettered’ by regulation. The FCC says: ISPs aren’t the Internet. Voilà,” Swanson writes. “Unfortunately for the FCC, the courts will almost certainly overturn the president’s plan, and so all its creative rationales will vanish into the wind. Genius denied.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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