Senator Obama has stated that he wants the Internet to be regulated. CNET had this exchange of a MoveOn.org member asking Senator Obama this very question:
He asked Obama: “Would you make it a priority in your first year of office to reinstate Net neutrality as the law of the land? And would you pledge to only appoint FCC commissioners that support open Internet principles like Net neutrality?”
“The answer is yes,” Obama replied. “I am a strong supporter of Net neutrality.”
This “Net Neutrality” law would be something along the lines of the Fairness Doctrine. Conservapedia states that the Fairness Doctrine required broadcasters who aired material on controversial issues to provide “equal time” for the expression of opposing views. The end result was censorship, broadcasters simply refrained from airing public affairs programing.
Assuming that Senator Obama and the Congressional Democrats were to be victorious in the 2008 Elections, we would see all types of legislative and executive actions taken against free speech. A Federal Net Neutrality law would be enacted.
How would a this piece of legislation to require “equal time” on the Internet work a la Net neutrality?
This would only work if the Democratic Party were to win both the executive and legislative branches, then we would see the end of the wild, wild web, ie, the Internet. Well, not that dramatic, but the immensity and profusion of content available to access would be significantly reduced. Through legislation the Democratic Party and President Obama would make the FCC regulate the Internet by making the Internet providers ensure equality of opinion. Brian C. Anderson of Investor’s Business Daily explains this quite well (paraphrased):
…something called “network neutrality.” (Net) Neutrality would give government overseers at the FCC the power to ensure that Internet providers treated equally all the information bits surging across the Web’s “pipes” – its cables, fiber optics, phone lines and wireless connections.
In essence this would be the equivalent of the Internets version of the Fairness Doctrine.
What would this mean to blogs and websites such as American Catholic?
We would basically shut down. For example, the American Catholic website adheres to the teachings of the Church, such as abortion, the Sacrament of Marriage, and other hot button cultural issues that tend to be on the opposite political spectrum to the dogmatic liberalism of the Democratic Party and Senator Obama. They would make the FCC require that the Internet provider for American Catholic offer a counter blog to ‘balance’ out American Catholic.
Essentially since this ‘counter’ blog would probably be difficult to maintain, ie, money and time costs to the Internet provider. American Catholic, as many other Catholic websites and blogs, would have to be shut down due to these (and other circumstances).
Not just the Catholic blogosphere, but any website or blog that runs counter the world view of these liberal Democrats. We would then have the end of free speech on the Internet.
The U.S. Constitutions Bill of Rights specifically states in the First Ammendment that expressly prohibits the United States Congress from making laws that infringe the freedom of speech and infringe the freedom of the press. American Catholic, among many other Catholic and political websites and blogs, fall under this in the Bill of Rights.
Am I missing something here? Is there some loophole that allows Senator Obama to think he can do this to American Catholic’s free speech rights? Because in addition to many other important issues, I fear that once he and his cronies come in power, what will stop them from doing more in a power grab to silence the opposition?