• FCC Commissioner Warns Federal Government Will Regulate Internet Content

    A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) member is warning that “net neutrality” rules and regulations could expand to include content.

    FCC commissioner, Ajit Pai, told the annual Right Online conference in Washington, D.C., on Saturday that regulators see the political speech on the internet as inherently “dangerous”and will seek to regulate content in the near future to ensure that the ideas available on the web are “balanced.”

    “The First Amendment means not just the cold parchment that’s in the Constitution. It’s an ongoing cultural commitment, and I sense that among a substantial number of Americans and a disturbing number of regulators here in Washington that online speech is [considered] a dangerous brave new world that needs to be regulated,” Pai said.

    The new net neutrality regulations, passed by the Democratic-controlled FCC at the end of February, will take effect on June 12 and will reclassify broadband Internet providers as public utilities and command broadband companies not to block online traffic. Pai, however, foresees the federal government controlling website content as well in the future.

    Pai co-authored an editorial with former FEC Chairman Lee Goodman in February that warned of efforts by those agencies to regulate content online.

    “I could easily see this migrating to the direction of content,” he said. “What you’re seeing now is an impulse not just to regulate the roads over which traffic goes, but the traffic itself.”

    Pai, one of two Republicans on the 5-member commission, said he anticipates that, as a result of net neutrality regulations, federal regulators will attempt to control political websites – such as the Drudge Report – through the FCC or Federal Elections Commission (FEC).

    “Is it unthinkable that some government agency would say the marketplace of ideas is too fraught with dissonance,” he said, “that everything from the Drudge Report to Fox News is playing unfairly in the online political speech sandbox? I don’t think so.”

    Pai said that he and his family had been harassed because of the positions he has taken on the commission.

    “I can tell you it has not been an easy couple of months personally,” he said. “My address has been publicly released. My wife’s name, my kids’ names, my kids’ birthdays, my phone number, all kinds of threats [have come] online.”

    Alicia Powe

    Staff Writer

    Alicia Powe is a staff writer for Daily Surge. She worked in the War Room of the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee and served as a White House Intern during the George W. Bush administration. Alicia has written for numerous outlets, including Human Events, Media Research Center and Townhall.com.

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