Monday, February 27, 2017

Truest statement of the week II

Most recently, the NAACP and the National Urban League endorsed a rollback of the Obama administration’s rules on net neutrality. Under a Democratic chairman, the Federal Communications Commission had reclassified high-speed Internet as a telecommunications service that should be regulated, like telephone companies. President Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, a former lawyer for Verizon, proposes to roll back the classification, giving his former employers the right to favor some Internet content over others. The NAACP and the Urban League, joined by two Asian American organizations, this month sent a letter calling for the issue to be decided by the Republican-controlled Congress, thus sounding a death knell for Internet neutrality.
In typical liar’s double-speak, the letter calls for “a statue locking in net neutrality no matter how the winds blow.” But the winds in Congress are all blowing from the Right, just as they were 2010, when the NAACP and a long list of other Black and minority organizations opposed net neutrality on the dubious grounds that: “Because of the inherent ‘shaming culture’ of the Internet, we do not need draconian enforcement mechanisms or rigid net neutrality rules to protect consumers.” In 2014, the NAACP and an even longer list of minority organizations rationalized that classifying the Internet as a “common carrier,” like a public utility, would limit “the investment and innovation that have benefitted our constituents” – which is precisely the position taken by Verizon, Comcast and other telecom giants that threaten to go on “capitalist strike” -- withholding investment -- every time regulations are proposed.

-- Glen Ford "Black Misleadership Class: High-Speed Sell-Outs" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

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