“Among…a disturbing number of regulators here in Washington…online speech is [considered] a dangerous brave new world…”
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Written by Norvell Rose
In what sounds like an Internet-related version of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine,” a new plan to control content on the Internet may be in the formative stages among over-zealous federal regulators. So says a Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) who not long ago sounded the alarm on net neutrality rules that take effect in June and reclassify Internet providers as utilities subject to greater regulatory checks and curbs.
FCC commissioner Ajit Pai recently told the Right Online conference in Washington, D.C., that he can easily foresee a not-too-distant future in which government bureaucrats will try to exert control over websites based on their political content. CNS News reports that Pai — one of two GOP members of the Democrat-controlled FCC — warned conference attendees:
What you’re seeing now is an impulse not just to regulate the roads over which traffic goes, but the traffic itself.
And Pai noted that websites such as the Drudge Report and the online outlet of Fox News could certainly become the targets of content regulators intent on imposing their view of “free speech” that they deem fair and balanced.
By clicking on the video above — provided courtesy of cnsnews.com as a brief audio recording of a key portion of Pai’s warning — you can hear the FCC commissioner raise the specter of possible restrictions that may be coming to the online marketplace of ideas.
SOURCE: Western Journalism