Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee is firing back at President Obama for his Federal Communications Commission (FCC) led internet takeover–which the administration bills as “net neutrality” and critics call “net neutering”–saying it can lead to censorship. Still Democrats are backing the President, saying his policies mean equal access for all.
The FCC responded to President Obama’s push for Net-Neutrality to regulate the internet with a 3-2 vote over objections from some Republicans. According to Blackburn’s office, the courts have previously rejected the FCC’s attempts to regulate the internet.
Net neutrality supporters say the regulations will increase investment in internet based services. The rules prohibit broadband providers from blocking or regulating internet traffic in a selective manner.
According to the Tennessee Republican, there is no need for the FCC to be preceding internet service providers because the internet has worked effectively for decades.
“The internet is not broken, it does not need the intervention of the FCC,” Blackburn said.
“What this in essence does is to give the federal government the right to determine priority and value to content – so they’re ultimately going to be able to censor everything that you have.” Blackburn added. “We don’t need this. It will run up costs and lead to new regulations and new taxes,”
But Democratic Representatives Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) disagree with Blackburn.
Van Hollen said he supports President Obama’s objectives for an open internet.
“As the interest develops, if the President doesn’t adopt the policies he has proposed, you would actually slow down easy access to all content on the internet,” he said.
“In fact what the president wants to do is make sure that we do not move into a system where people who pay more get faster easier access to content – we want to make sure we have content neutrality here and net neutrality,” Van Hollen added.
Schiff also said he is a strong supporter of what President Obama is doing.
“I’m a strong supporter of net neutrality – I think it would be a real set back economically for us if we have a situation for us where the ISPs can create fast and slow lanes,” said Schiff.
Schiff said he wants to keep the free market on the internet in place.
Blackburn is continuing her push to stop the Obama Administration’s efforts to regulate the Internet through Net Neutrality regulations. She reintroduced her Internet Freedom Act on March 3, 2015, which would halt the FCC’s Net-Neutrality rules.
On March 12, 2015, the FCC released its order publically.
“I reiterate my disappointment in the lack of transparency that accompanied this process,” read Blackburn’s response to the order.