Green Party to FCC: Make Internet a Free Public Resource

Saving the Internet as we know it will take perpetual public pressure on the FCC, the Obama Administration, and future administrations not to enact new rules repealing net neutrality, said Green Party leaders and candidates.

Green Party leaders said that telecommunications lobbies will continue to press the FCC to abolish net neutrality and said that the U.S. must remove the Internet from corporate control by providing public access through free broadband.

An amended FCC proposal in response to the public outcry shows concessions but maintains pay-to-play access fees and a new standard that “creates high costs of regulation, does not provide certainty to market participants, and tilts the playing field in favor of large, established companies that can pay lots of lawyers and expert witnesses and afford long and costly proceedings at the FCC” (“Evaluating the Chairman’s Revised Net Neutrality Proposal,” by Barbara van Schewick and Morgan Weiland, The Center for Internet and Society, May 12, https://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blog/2014/05/evaluating-chairman%E2%80%99s-revised-net-neutrality-proposal).

“The Internet is a public asset, developed with our tax dollars. It’s time to recognize that the Internet is a public utility and make it a free and unrestricted public resource, in the same way that everyone can visit public libraries and borrow books for free,” said Nancy L. Wade, Green candidate for Congress in Illinois, 5th Congressional District (http://www.wadeincongress.org).

The Green Party’s national platform endorses free Internet access and net neutrality:

“Provide broadband Internet access for all residents of this country, so that access to information is a right, not a commodity… Ensure net neutrality, so that Internet users can access any web content they choose and use any applications they choose, without restrictions or limitations imposed by their Internet service provider.” (http://www.gp.org/what-we-believe/our-platform/17-platform/37-i-democracy#FreeSpeech)

Some cities in other countries provide free wi-fi to their residents. In 2009, Finland became the first country to guarantee free broadband access to every citizen. Santa Monica, California, allows businesses to tap into the city’s network of fiber-optic cables, a service that will soon be offered to residents (http://www.surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/the_lookout/news/News-2014/April-2014/04_29_2014_Santa_Monicas_Alternative_to_Big_Business_Internet_Providers.html).

Greens said that the enactment of the FCC’s proposal would violate President Obama’s campaign promise in 2008 to preserve net neutrality.

“Net neutrality will remain in danger as long as telecomms like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon and their lobbies can buy influence on public policy,” said Christina Lugo, Green candidate for the U.S. House in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District (http://www.newmenu.org/chrislugo).

“The big ISPs [Internet Service Providers] scored a coup when President Obama named Tom Wheeler, venture capitalist and lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry, to chair the FCC. His appointment is comparable to the President’s decision to stack his administration with former Wall Street executives,” said Ms. Lugo.

Greens expressed support for the protests at FCC offices (http://www.popularresistance.org/fcc-we-wont-leave-until-the-internet-is-safe) and petition drives urging the FCC to cancel proposed rules that would allow ISPs to control access to web sites. Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, organizers of “The People’s Firewall” protest which began at FCC headquarters in Washington, DC, last week, are respectively Attorney General and Health Secretary in the Green Shadow Cabinet (http://greenshadowcabinet.us), an independent project led by 2012 Green presidential nominee Jill Stein.

The Green Party warned that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an international trade pact negotiated in secret by the Obama Administration, may also pose a grave threat to Internet freedom with proposals that would enable ISPs to function as “Internet police” with the power to monitor Internet use, censor content, and remove web sites. The TPP’s provisions affecting Internet service were exposed by Wikileaks (http://www.wikileaks.org/tpp/).

“The threat to the open Internet shows how the demand for corporate ‘freedom’, deregulation, and privatization is an attack on freedom for everyone else. The FCC’s proposal would grant media conglomerates the freedom to restrict our access to some web sites and make it easier to visit sites whose owners pay fees to the ISPs, giving these private companies control over the flow of information,” said Chris Wahmhoff, Green candidate for the U.S. Senate in Michigan.

“We can have freedom for corporations or freedom for people. We can’t have both,” said Mr. Wahmhoff.

Party Press Release

14 thoughts on “Green Party to FCC: Make Internet a Free Public Resource

  1. James Babb

    Statist logic: “we gave cable companies a monopoly, and it sucks for consumers. So, let’s have a bigger monopoly seize more control of the internet.”

    The Greens have once again demonstrated their extreme cognitive dissonance. Despite all of the Ed Snowden revelations, they still clamor for more government control of the internet. The FCC has basically rendered TV and Radio a homogeneous sea of approved opinions. So naturally, based on this success, the Greens want them to regulate the internet too. Begging the government to “save the internet” is like putting a habitual arsonist in charge of the fire department.

    The fact that this completely violates the Key Green Value of “decentralization” should be of no surprise.

  2. NewFederalist

    “Without government there’d be no internet.”

    Well not government exactly, just Al Gore! 🙂

  3. Nathan Norman

    So many advancements for good would not be possible under libertarianism. We’d never go to the moon. We’d never have interstate highways. We’d never have internet.

  4. James Babb

    And who would murder hundreds of millions of people, steal half of our stuff, and lock up people for a plant?

    I think I’d risk that freedom, even if I have to buy my own roads, ‘n’ stuff.

  5. paulie

    So many advancements for good would not be possible under libertarianism. We’d never go to the moon. We’d never have interstate highways. We’d never have internet.

    Or shoes. Or pants. Or bread. Or water.

    ROFL

  6. Nathan Norman

    Of course I agree with myself. Why do treat me so poorly? I’ve had people on here call me a tranny. You constantly call me a CLC, whatever that stands for. According to urban dictionary it means “cock loving chav.” There is a large amount of homophobia on this site. I support GLBT rights but I am not a member of that community.

  7. paulie

    Of course I agree with myself.

    I’m not convinced of that.

    Why do treat me so poorly?

    To each according to their needs.

    I’ve had people on here call me a tranny.

    My mistake. You are almost certainly not a tranny.

    You constantly call me a CLC, whatever that stands for.

    You see…even you don’t know what you stand for (and that goes double for anyone else).

    According to urban dictionary it means “cock loving chav.”

    ROFL. That does seem appropriate. But in your case I think it stands for Concerned LaRouchie Citizen.

    There is a large amount of homophobia on this site.

    There’s some, but most of us are not prejudiced in that way and at least one of the most active writers is a gay man, as is more than one comment regular.

    I support GLBT rights

    Glad to hear it. That’s better than CLC already.

    Keep up the good work and stay functional!

  8. Nathan Norman

    I am not a LaRouchie. He makes some good points and Kesha Rogers is a good candidate but I do not have a subscription to his magazine and only infrequently visit his website. I support policies that favor the public good, most importantly for the survival of the human race: purchase of Siberia to frack for short term economic viability to raise research funds, targeted sterilizations to eliminate poverty and crime, and finally the terraformation of Mars for human habitation once climate change renders earth unlivable. We need to work together to make that possible which is why I oppose discrimination of any kind.

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