High Noon for Internet Freedom
As democracy movements worldwide struggle to speak out via the Internet, many here in the U.S. may have overlooked an effort in Congress to undermine this basic freedom.
It takes the form of an arcane "resolution of disapproval" now wending its way through the Senate. If it passes, the resolution would void a recent Federal Communications Commission rule that seeks to preserve long-held Internet standards that protect users against blocking and censorship.
The resolution would remove these protections. It was put forth by industry-funded members of Congress who don't mind letting the few corporations who sell Internet access in America decide what we get to see, hear and read on the Internet.
These senators are also hoping the resolution will appease the most paranoid among the Tea Party faithful, who equate any consumer safeguard put in place during the Obama era with myriad and shadowy government plots.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who pushed a similar measure through the House earlier this year, stoked these fears when she said, "the FCC is in essence building an Internet Iron Curtain that will restrict more of our freedom."Blackburn's rhetoric puts her and other supporters of the resolution far outside of the mainstream of Americans, who believe that neither the government nor corporations should be able to censor lawful content online.