Letter: A federally controlled Internet | AspenTimes.com

Letter: A federally controlled Internet

The steadily increasing creep of the power and willingness on the part of regulating agencies to unilaterally act in a fashion that essentially results in de facto governance and control of our lives has reached an alarming milestone with the Federal Communications Commission’s recent passing of the so-called “net neutrality” rules. Formerly it was our elected representatives to state and federal legislatures who enacted the laws that govern commerce and other aspects of our lives. We are experiencing a total sea change to this former notion, and the implications pose a frightening threat to the supreme right we all must hold dear: liberty.

In the current example, we are led to believe (as usual) that the FCC’s good intentions are what matter, not the practical implications of its new and radical regulations. Once again, keep in mind that the FCC commissioners who set forth these new regulations are not elected by you and me in a direct sense. For that matter, the people comprising the various regulating agencies, departments, bureaus, commissions and boards behind the onslaught of new regulations set forth under the current administration from all directions (the Environmental Protection Agency, Health and Human Services, the Transportation Security Administration, etc.) are all drafted by unelected officials.

Back to the current example: In general terms, the Internet was conceived, constructed, financed and operated (formerly) by a vast alliance of private entrepreneurs and visionaries. Now, according the FCC, the Internet is a public utility in desperate need of the federal government’s oversight. While the notion of the Internet as a public utility may sound plausible, it should not be construed to be an acceptable basis or pretense upon which to allow the federal government to assume a role as an omnipotent, all-knowing entity capable of managing the Internet universe “fairly.” As Mark Cuban stated in a recently televised interview, this is the same FCC that obsessed for over eight years over the broadcast of Janet Jackson’s privileged anatomy during a Super Bowl halftime extravaganza. Imagine what logjams await all the decency on the Internet! And don’t automatically assume that, unlike other wayward souls, all the Internet content you browse is decent and pure and not in danger: What the FCC has set forth does pave the way to control content.

I like the Internet, and I guess I didn’t realize it was so broken and unfair. I can’t wait for the FCC to fix it! Please make mental note for your future reference the political persuasion and ideology of the executive under which the current FCC chief was influenced. Same goes for the lines along which the FCC cast its votes in favor of and against so-called net neutrality.

Jared Wlater

Glenwood Springs

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