The Net Tightens

Make use of the Drudge Report while you can:

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) member Ajit Pai said over the weekend that he foresees a future in which federal regulators will seek to regulate websites based on political content, using the power of the FCC or Federal Elections Commission (FEC). He also revealed that his opposition to “net neutrality” regulations had resulted in personal harassment and threats to his family.

Speaking on a panel at the annual “Right Online” conference in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Pai told audience members, “I can tell you it has not been an easy couple of months personally. My address has been publicly released. My wife’s name, my kids’ names, my kids’ birthdays, my phone number, all kinds of threats [have come] online.”

Pai, one of two Republicans on the five-member FCC, has been an outspoken critic of net neutrality regulations passed by the agency on Feb. 26. The rules, which are set to take effect on June 12, reclassify Internet providers as utilities and command them not to block or “throttle” online traffic.

Trending: The 15 Best Conservative News Sites On The Internet

However, Pai said it was only the beginning. In the future, he said, “I could easily see this migrating over to the direction of content… What you’re seeing now is an impulse not just to regulate the roads over which traffic goes, but the traffic itself.”

Continuing, he said, “It is conceivable to me to see the government saying, ‘We think the Drudge Report is having a disproportionate effect on our political discourse. He doesn’t have to file anything with the FEC. The FCC doesn’t have the ability to regulate anything he says, and we want to start tamping down on websites like that.’”

Not everything Big Government does is motivated by the totalitarian impulse to regulate thought. Simple greed plays a role:

The reclassification of Internet providers as utilities allows the FCC to impose what is known as a “Universal Service Fund” (USF) tax on their revenue. The USF has grown exponentially in recent years, and presently stands at $12 billion annually – so large that the FCC has requested it be allowed to transfer $25 million of the money to its own budget to “administer” the fund.

At least the money isn’t going to the Clinton Foundation — yet. That might change, considering that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is a big Shrillary supporter.

Unless Democrats start encountering resistance, it won’t take them long to make the Internet as lifeless and ideologically homogenous as public television.

internet in chains

On tips from Stormfax and Petterssonp. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

Share this!

Enjoy reading? Share it with your friends!