Judge Napolitano: ‘People don’t know the danger that is coming’
Fox News Channel senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano says the Obama administration’s efforts to regulate the Internet constitute a major infringement upon freedom of speech, but he believes the new plan will get struck down in court for lack of transparency.
The five members of the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, are scheduled to vote Thursday on a plan to advance Obama’s net neutrality agenda, which also allegedly calls for the Internet to be treated like a utility. Despite the major changes the plan could well involve, lawmakers and the media have been rather quiet about it.
“People don’t know the danger that is coming,” Napolitano said. “The danger that is coming is a gaggle of bureaucrats here – three Democrats and two Republicans, the Republicans will probably dissent – claiming they have the power to regulate the Internet.”
He said Congress has passed no statute authorizing new government controls on the Internet, and the First Amendment clearly states that neither Congress nor any government agency it created can make a law restricting the freedom of speech.
Napolitano admits the stated goal of net neutrality sounds innocuous when first presented, but he said the problem Obama and his allies really have is with the free market.
“They claim that the purpose of their regulation is to prevent the Internet from affording priority and faster service to certain preferred users,” he explained. “Would we all like to have fast service? Yes. Do we all know how to get fast service? Yes, we do. Might that cost us something? Yes, it might, but at the present time it is free from government regulation.”
However, the judge said the public goal of establishing Internet fairness will come at a very heavy price.
“If the government regulates the Internet and tells providers how fast they can move information, we will soon see the government regulating the cost of the Internet. We will eventually, just like with broadcast television, see the government regulating the content of the Internet,” said Napolitano, who described the chain reaction he believes the FCC proposal would trigger.
“Right now, the Internet is the freest marketplace of ideas and transfers of information that the world has ever known,” he said. “At least in the United States, it is utterly and totally – there are some minor exceptions – unregulated. Once these federal bureaucrats get their hands on it, give them a couple of years. It’ll look like broadcast television, a watered-down version of what we now have.”
Written by GREG COROMBOS
Read more at WND