GOP House Leader John Boehner Vows to End ‘Net Neutrality’
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) vowed to eliminate net neutrality rules recently enacted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Boehner falsely referred to the regulations as a “government takeover of the Internet.”
Boehner often uses the term “government takeover” per Frank Luntz, a GOP pollster who conducts focus groups to see which words will scare the American public, such as “government takeover” and “job killing.” Boehner failed to mention that if net neutrality were ended then American corporations (ISPs) could and would control which web sites users could go to and/or charge them extra.
After attacking Julian Assange’s web site WikiLeaks, Boehner claimed, “Right now, freedom and free expression are under attack by a power structure in Washington populated with regulators who have never set foot inside a radio station or a television studio,” Rep. Boehner said during a speech at the annual National Religious Broadcasters convention.
The regulations, approved by the FCC in December 2010, require internet service providers (ISPs) to allow their customers to have access all legal online content, applications and services over their wired networks and prohibit unreasonable network discrimination.
After saying that Julain Assange’s web site Wikileaks should be shut down, Boehner proclaimed, “There is no compromise or middle ground when it comes to protecting our most basic freedoms.” Boehner failed to name one basic freedom that was threatened by net neutrality.
“We’re also going to do what we can to see that no taxpayer dollars are used to fund these net neutrality rules,” he said.
Rep. Boehner speech came amid a push by House Republicans to overturn the new rules. The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology announced Sunday that it would hold a vote on a resolution of disapproval to reverse the FCC’s Internet regulations.
“It’s precautionary,” Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), a prominent supporter of net neutrality, told Ars Technica over the weekend. “It’s a very clear path if you have paid prioritization, you have a fast lane that content providers can pay for. If that happens, then it’s kind of all over.”
“So this is about keeping the Internet the way it is,” Sen. Franken said. “That’s what net neutrality is. It’s about maintaining the architecture we have, which has created all this innovation and which doesn’t favor the big corporate interests over individuals and small innovators, keeping it the free zone that it is.”