The Federal Communication Commission voted last Thursday to approve new “net neutrality” rules to regulate Internet service providers – and some Republicans in the House of Representatives are freaking out.
The new rules prohibit ISPs from “unreasonably interfering with or unreasonably disadvantaging the ability of consumers and edge providers to reach one another,” according to FCC lawyer Melissa Kirkel. In other words, the regulations require ISPs to treat all web traffic on their networks equally.
Below are some of the stupidest House speeches about net neutrality.
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) lashes out against the FCC during a rant about guns, birth control, NSA, immigrations, and redcoats.
The lawmaker said February 27 on the House floor that President Barack Obama was using executive power to ban guns and take over the Internet.
“The President cannot obtain his government oppression of rights through the lawful legislative process,” Poe said. “Thus the IRS targeting conservative organizations; the FCC imposing an unprecedented system to control the Internet; HHS restricting the religious liberty of companies; the Department of Justice wiretapping reporters to silence them; the NSA snooping on millions of Americans without a warrant; and the Department of Homeland Security imposing amnesty on this nation are clear violations of the Constitution.”
“The Administration forgets that America’s War of Independence started when King George’s Redcoats tried — unsuccessfully — to take the firearms away from the colonists,” he added. “Further the Texas War of Independence began in a similar way when the Mexican Dictator tried — unsuccessfully — to take away the guns of Texans in 1835.”
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) says net neutrality is too European for America.
In another speech on February 27, McClintock warned that “the Obama majority on the FCC seized unprecedented control over the Internet under the guise of ‘net neutrality.'”
“This gives them potential control over content and it destroys the price-driven incentives for innovation, expansion, speed, economy, and service that Americans have long enjoyed,” he continued. “It means higher costs as government piles on new fees. It means slowed expansion as the natural incentives to invest are stifled. Europe operates under this sort of regulatory scheme, and its Internet service is conspicuously inferior, slower, and ponderous.”
But Internet speeds in Europe and Asia are on average considerably faster — and cheaper — than in the United States.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) says net neutrality is too old for America.
In approving the new net neutrality rules, the FCC reclassified broadband Internet as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Some Republicans are worried the law would take away freedom because of its age.
“The Internet is not broken, and it does not need the Federal Government to fix it,” Blackburn said during a House speech on February 25. “So people are rightfully concerned about that. The FCC, in taking control of the Internet, would do a couple of things.”
“First of all, it would be a loss of some of our freedoms because the FCC would reclassify the Internet to title II. Now, title II of the Communications Act is the 1930s-era law that regulates telephones and telecommunications. It would thereby subject the Internet, which is an information service, to a host of taxes, regulation, and international consideration. This is not the direction we want to go with the Internet. Let’s not use 1930s-era laws on an information service. Let’s make certain that the FCC delays their net neutrality order and that we work together to keep the Internet open and free.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) thinks net neutrality will allow the government to control what you search for on Google.
“When the government takes control of the Internet in the name of neutrality, it will probably not be neutral, according to most Americans’ opinions,” the lawmaker said on the House floor on January 14.
“So I hope Americans are not fooled,” Gohmert continued. “I hope Americans don’t buy into this because when the United States Government takes control of the Internet, then we are going to start having the same problems they have in China, in Russia, and other parts of the world where their government does control their Internet, and they control your freedom to search for what you want or to say what you want.”
“I know of numerous occasions where people said they were in China typing, and they mention anything about the government, even if it is not terrible what they said about the government, they start typing again, and they have lost their Internet connection. They have learned not to say anything about the government, let it go, and they keep their Internet connection better.”