Internet Articles (2015)
Obama attempts to steal the Internet from the
With a straight face that would suggest they had the authority to do so, the Federal Communications Commission was poised to steal the Internet with unconstitutional rules that were implemented on Dec. 20, 2010 by simply declaring that they had the right to regulate it. Their logic? The left will assure you their reasoning had nothing to do with the fact that, today, more people get their "news" from the completely independent alternate news sources on the Net than they do from the leftward tilted, money barons-obligated mainstream media. The problem? Independent internet journalists tend to reports the news without coloring it with the socialist red brush of political correctness.
With Sen. Jay Rockefeller's cyberspace strangulation bill, the Cybersecurity Act of 2009, permanently buried in Committee, the far left sees no hope of it passing any time sooneven in the Democratically-controlled Senate. Not because of the minority Republicans, or the use of the filibuster to stop it. What stopped Rockefeller's cyberspace control bill was the voters. The Internet deals with the 21st century version of print mediaonly, the "cyberpress" is not controlled by the money barons who leveraged control of the Fourth Estate at the turn of the 20th century and used their new-found clout it for the first time in history to trigger what became known as the Bank Panic of 1906.
Even though they remain outnumbered in the Senate, the GOP's only real muscle in the Upper Chamber comes from their right to filibuster any piece of legislation they don't want to reach the floor. After their staggering win in 2008, the Democrats pledged to rescind the 60-vote filibuster rule in order to give the Left speedy approval of Obama's far left judicial appointees. Sen. Jeff Merkley [D-OR], a not yet dry-behind-the-ears first term social progressive, was the public figure behind the move to change the Rule 22 so that 51 votes will be needed to stop a Republican filibuster.
Senate Rule 22 was adapted in 1917 to allow a cloture vote to end debate on any piece of legisation or to end the filibuster of any presidential appointmentand to bring that nomination to the floor for a vote. Under Senate Rule 22 prior to 1975, the Senate needed a two-thirds majority vote, or 67 Senators, to end debate and bring that issue to a floor for a vote. In 1975, the Senate changed Rule 22 from a two-thirds majority to a three-fifths majority to invoke cloture. With it, Senate Democrats also created what is now termed the "nuclear option."
The nuclear option is a legislative sleight-of-hand to bypass Rule 22. An opponent of a filibuster calls for an immediate cloture vote. The presiding officer then has the choice of complying with parliamentary rules or calling for a vote on the point-of-order. A proponent to the filibuster will then have to call for a move to table the cloture vote. The voteby a simple majorityis held immediately, and that vote decides the issue. If the appeal is tabled, the filibuster endson a simple majority vote instead of a three-fifths voteeven though Rule 22 mandates that it requires a three-fifths majority to end a filibuster. In the closing days of the 111th Congress, two Democrats, Merkley and Sen. Tom Udall [D-[NM] (both elected on Barack Hussein Obama's coattails with the help of ACORN) decided to end the Republicans' endless filibusters against the Obama agenda. Under current Senate rules, while it only requires 60 votes to end a filibuster, it still requires 67 votes to change the cloture rules. The resolution offered by Merkley and Udall would unconstitutionally reduce the rule-changing vote from 67 to a simple majorityeven though Rule 22 mandates that a 67-vote majority is needed to change the rule-change rule.
When he offered the regulation on Jan. 25, 2010believing the Democratic death grip on Congress would continue to growUdall justified an arbitrary rule change by simple vote, saying "...we are all too aware of the power of Rule 22, the filibuster rule adopted in 1975. Yet, except for the distinguised Senators [Robert] Byrd, [Daniel] Inouye and [Patrick] Leahy, none of us, Republicans or Democrats alike, have ever voted to adopt this rule...Even if the Senate is deemed to have continued because two-thirds of its members remain in office, there is no reason that the rules must remain in effect." Two Senate newbees want to jettison 150 years of tradition because [a] they didn't originate the Rule (which was designed to prevent a majority party from running roughshed over the minroty), and [b] because that Rule stymied their ability to legislate an agenda opposed to by over 60% of the American people. The moderate voters of New Mexico and Oregon need to rethink just how much they want socialist thinking making decisions that will affect them in the nation's capital. (Note to Oregon and New Mexico: if you are over 65 years of age, and you voted for Merkley or Udall, you actually cast a vote that will ultimately shorten your own life if you are a "double-dipper." You receive Social Security and you are a recipient of Medicare. Not only did both vote with the majority on Obamacare, they also voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009without ever reading the first bill they voted forin which Obama's Death Board was concealed. (Follow this hyperlink to MEET BARACK OBAMA'S DEATH BOARD.)
Had Udall and Merkley been successful in changing Rule 22, Rockefeller's Cybersecurity Act of 2009 would likely have been enacted sometime that year even though the American people opposed it. In our increasingly social progressive world, implementing legislation that has neither cleared the obstacles of Committee nor received an up-or-down floor vote may be rare, but in their zeal to "protect the people," the social progressives in the Executive Branch are not adverse to simply writing the regulations for bills they could not enact and implementing them by Executive Order or, now, by a Secretarial Order.
One such "law" was the Health Claims Act, which was proposed as a rider to Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990. A health claim is a statement in a printed advertisement, or an oral statement made at the point of sale, that a food or substance can be used to prevent, treat or mitigate a medical condition. In 1990, the FDA published the regulations and guidelines to implement the Health Claims Act that was stripped from the Nutrition Labeling legislation before it was signed into law,. Shortly thereafter FDA agents visited 57-year old Sissy Harrington-McGill's pet storewithout a search warrant as required by the 4th Amendmentand ransacked it, looking for vendor brochures Harrington-McGill gave to several of her customers advising them that regularly giving their pets vitamins would keep them healthy. Finding the damning evidence, they arrested her.
When her day in court arrived, Harrington-McGill discovered the federal judge intended to dispose of her case quickly. When Harrington-McGill demanded her 7th Amendment right to a jury trial, the federal magistrate denied her request although the 7th Amendment gives the accused the right to a jury trial where the value of the controversy exceeds $20. (The FDA seized the entire inventory of Harrington-McGill's business. On top of that, the fine she faced under the never-enacted Health Claims Act was $10,000.). She was sentenced to 179 days in jail and fined $10 thousand, adding the color of legitimacy to the FDA's seizure and disposal of her property. One hundred-fourteen days later, the judge was forced to free her from jail for violating a law that did not exist. Even though her constitutional rights were violated by the FDA and their accomplice, the federal magistrate who railroaded her for violating a nonexistent law, the FDA succeeded in doing what they set out to dointimidate small business owners for extolling the virtues of health supplements. Now, it appears the FCC has picked up the cybergauntlet and will attempt to implement Rockefeller's failed Cybersecurity Act of 2009 by a Secretarial decree. A what?!
The Obama Administration blamed the Tea Party Revolution on conservative activists' unfettered access to the Internet. That appeared to be the real reason the Administration authorized the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] to regulate the Internet. On Wed., Dec. 1, FCC Chairman Julian Genachowski announced to the media that he had just circulated his draft rules memo to assume control of the Internet. He said it will "...preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet," adding that the federal government will increase the freedom of online services because, he noted, heavy use in some areas of the Internet slow the "web experience" for everyone sharing the same information superhighway lines. The example he cited was people watching movies that consume too much bandwidth. (In point of fact, the only computers affected by the "web experience" of someone watching a Netflix movie are the other computers hooked up to the same Internet feedin that home or business. What Genachowski and Obama are doing is "playing Roosevelt."
In 1933, Roosevelt used whatever excuse his Brain Trust could muster to seize control of the Fourth Estate. Once the newspaper industry was under his thumb, Roosevelt knew he could control them by forcing every newspaper in America to apply for, and be granted a license, to operate. Licensing the Fourth Estate would give the White House the power of life and death over every newspaper in America. When any newspaper crossed the proverbial line and spoke out against his policies, he could pull their license and shut them down. Or, just the fear of having their license suspended, or not renewed, would force them to toe the line he had already drawn in the sand.
In the end, Roosevelt's coup d' etat of the newspaper industry was defeated by Sen. Thomas Schall [R-MN] who argued (in a very public newspaper op ed war with FDR) that because newspapers are protected by the 1st Amendment, Roosevelt could not regulate them. In the end, when the gutted Communications Act of 1933 was signed into law, FDR was allowed to regulate radio and, a few years later, televisionsince they were not construed by Pennsylvania Avenue lawyers to be "the press." And while he won the battle, Schall lost war. A constant thorn in FDR's side, Schall, who was legally blind, was struck by a hit-and-run driver while walking across a busy street in Cottage City, Maryland on Dec. 19, 1935. He died three days later on Dec. 22.
The same legislation that differentiated between newspaper and radio by erasing 1st Amendment protection for the newly developed electronic media that did not exist in 1787, also created the FCC and put it "in charge" keeping the fourth estate in check. Today, Obama is attempting to couple the electronic print mediathe Internetwith radio and TV, and regulate it.
Although the federal judiciary has extended 1st Amendment protection to the Internet (May 27.2006), Barack Hussein Obama believes he has the executive authority, without legislation enacted by Congress, to arbitrarily regulate who uses cyberspace and what access they may enjoy based entirely on the content of the material they wish to publish there.
In American Civil Liberties Union v Reno, a panel of federal judges ruled that that the Internet is a "...publishing medium [in which]...personal home pages are the equivalent of individualized newsletters about that person or organization." (929 F. Supp at 837). The judges concluded that the Internet deserves at least as much protection under the 1st Amendment as printed matter receives. The appellate court judges emphasized that any analysis of the 1st Amendment protections afforded to a particular medium of mass communications must focus on the underlying technology that brings the information to the user. Thus, they concluded, the Supreme Court's two primary theories for government regulation of any form of broadcast communications contentNBC v United States (319 US 190) and FCC v Pacific Foundation (438 US 726 ) do not justify government regulation of the Internet.
Which, of course, is why Jay Rockefeller's Cybersecurity Act of 2009 was never enacted. And, that also explains why Obama decided to use the FCC to implement control of cyberspace by fiat. Obama insists he has that right, and that he can regulate the Internet through the FCCwhich regulates the other electronic mediums: radio and television. What Obama really means is that as long as the American people have unfettered access to the Internet, he will be a one-term visitor at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
As Genachowski completed the unprecedented and completely unconstitutional step to expand the federal government's control over free speech by seizing regulatory control of cyberspace, the UN is now deciding if its claimstake rights trump the the rights of the nation which holds the key to the onramps of the information superhighway. On Dec. 21 when the five FCC commissioners voted 5 to 3 to expand the reach of the gnarly fist of totalitarianism via what the Obama Administration calls "net neutrality" and what the social progressive purveyors of the electronic media call the "Fairness Doctrine."
The only problem is, as affirmed by the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on April 6, 2010, the FCC and the Obama Administration lacks both the constitutional and congressional authority to do so.
Adding to what is now growing into an international war to control cyberspace, the United Nations has joined the debate with its own plans to regulate the Internetwhich it views as a transnational entity that exceeds the authority of any single, or group, of nations. Naming itself as the caretaker of cyberspace is something the Utopians, who need to control not only public speech but private thoughts to succeed in their plan to dominate all of the nation states of world, have been trying to pull off for years.
When the UN meeting on the Internet Government Forum took place at the UN Building in New York on Wed., Dec. 15, 2010, they were sure they were on the cusp of success. Particularly since the mainstream media in the United States did not see the story as "newsworthy," and the New York Timeswhich, tongue in cheek, still insists it prints "...all the news that's fit to print," didn't see anything fit to print, and ignored the story. The story was first reported by iTnews in Australia. Australia is the only "free" nation in the world that has thus far experienced web censorship during an experiment by the Aussie government on Sept. 2, 2009 to see how effectively they could shut down the Internet by blocking the International broadband feed and interrupting all telephonic and satellite broadband (high speed) connections throughout the entire country through the State-owned Telstra International Internet Network. Since almost every Internet ISP in Australia is tied to Telstra, about 90% of the home and business broadband and cell phone Internet users in the land down-under was affected.
It had a devastatingly crippling affect in the cities, but in most of the rural parts of Australia where dial-up is still the prevalent form of Internet access, they barely knew their urban neighbors were without Internet access until the experiment was over and the the Sydney Morning Herald reported it as a "cyber-glitch" on Sept. 3. (I reported the story in BEHIND THE HEADLINES on Sept. 5, 2009. The story was carried on News With Views on Sept. 7,. 2009 under the title "Internet Censorship Going Global."
On March 18, 2009 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange published a list of 2,300 websites that were on the Australian Communications and Media Authority [ACMA} (the Australian equivalent to our Federal Communications Commission) hit list. The WikiLeaks leak was substantially correct even though the Australian government and the ACMA denied the published report by claiming that since the ACMA list contained on 1,370 suspect websites, what WikiLeaks published was obviously not their list. In point of fact, as it turned out shortly thereafter, there were some 9,000 websites targeted for removal or censorship by the Australian Parliament.
It is interesting that Assange, the world's most notorious cyber-whistleblower, has not only been able to get his hands on heavily classified documents from just about everywhere in the world, but even when he was finally apprehended and arrested in England for alleged sex crimes in Sweden where his servers are housed, he was granted bail while England and Sweden talked about extradition over tea, and while the United States (which already his grounds to charge him with sedition in the United States) continues to ponder whether or not they have enough evidence to charge him with violating the 1917 Sedition Act or, at least, with charging him with possession of top secret US documents. The question is: why has someone not charged him with the theft and the publishing of classified documentsnot only in the United States, but elsewhere as well? Because in the vernacular of former Obama Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel, the globalists behind the scheme to control access to the onramps of the information superhighway can't let a good crisis go to waste. If Assange was imprisoned and slapped with a lifetime prohibition to cyberspace, there would be no immediate Internet crisis that required immediate regulation to protect citizen comsumers.
Two of the websites on the ACMA hit list were made public by an Aussie public official. Neither were pornographic nor pyramid sales scheme websitesthe yardstick by which websites were theoretically judged. Both were political-content websites that do not, and never did, post sexual content of any type. Nor were they selling anything other than the typical political paraphernalia. Nor did either display or advocate violence of any type against anyone. They merely expounded Christian political beliefslike thousands of patriotic, Christian websites in the United States. One was a pro-life, anti-abortion website. The only contained political content advocating for a less corrupt government and advocating for the right of political dissent. Most of the content on the second site dealt with efforts by the Australian government to restrict free speech through State filtration devises that censor content. While the ACMA admitted censoring both websites, they said they did so only "...because the websites originated from other countries."
In response to initial media report from iTnews.com on Dec. 17 that the UN was mulling its options in regulating the Internet, and a tsunami of faxes and emails flooded members of both Houses of Congress over the up-until-then covert attempts by the FCC to regulate the Internet, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack [R-CA] offered House Resolution 1775 arguing that "...the Internet has progressed and thrived precisely because it has not been subjected to the suffocating effect of a government organization's heavy hand. The attempt of the United Nations to overtake something that is so central to our economylike the Internetis offensive and completely out of line. We have a hard time keeping the Federal Communications Commission's hands off the Internet. Imagine having to convince governments like Syria, Iran and Venezuela."
Sadly, Sonny Bono's widow was asking the Obama Administration to prevent the UN from trampling on US free speech rights as the FCC prepared to assert authority over Internet access without congressional approval to do so. The FCC's regulations with put barbed teeth in what the left calls "net neutrality."
Vint Cerf, who is widely regarded as the 'father of the Internet" posted a statement on Google's Public Policy Blog on Friday, Dec. 17 denouncing the UN scheme (while ignoring the FCC's planned regulation of the Internet which he views as a gnat on the butt of a dwarf) saying: "...last week the UN Committee on Science and Technology announced that only governments would be able to sit on a working group set up to examine improvements to the...[UN's]...Internet Governance Forum [IGF]one of the Internet's most important discussion forums. This move has been condemned by eh Internet Government Caucus, the Internet Society, the International Chamber of Commerce and numerous other organizationswho have published a joint letter and launched an online petition to mobilize opposition. Today I have signed that petition on Google's behalf because we don't believe governments should be allowed to grant themselves a monopoly on Internet governance. The current bottoms-up, open approach worksprotecting users from vested interests and enabling rapid innovation. Let's fight to keep it that way."
As the rest of the world ponders the fate of the Internet in the clutches of the totalitarians who control the UN's Internet Governance Forum which set the control mechanism in motion a few months ago when they metagain, somehow evading the media radar scopein Vinius, Lithuania, the FCC, also evading the media radar screen, was putting the regulations together to control "net neutrality." In the United States, the policies being implemented by the FCC will institute a very dangerous and very unconstitutional policy that will violate free speech rights.
Congressman Mike Rogers [R-MI], a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee, said the FCC's power grab "...will give the federal government control over all aspects of the Internet." Congressman Fred Upton [R-MI] Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee, sent a letter to the FCC demanding that it "...cease and desist" its efforts to regulate the Internet, since the FCC "...does not have the authority to..." do so." Upton told the FCC that the GOP "Will use rigorous oversight, hearings and legislation to fight the FCC's power grab."
In addition, a group of Republican Senators have also written to Genachowski telling him, as Upton did, that the FCC has no constitutional or congressional authority to implement rules to regulate the Internet by bypassing the legislative process. Both Democrats and Republicans are now calling for the FCC to cease and desist. Over the last few days, scores of insiders who silently watched the stealth regulation shape up are now speaking out against the FCC's covert regulation of the Internet and, even louder, at the prospects of the UN declaring itself to be the international traffic cop of the information superhighway.