Meet Susan Crawford. She is the Queen of Internet Uber-Regulation. She LOVES Network Neutrality.
Miss Crawford was President Barack Obama’s Special Assistant for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy. Until she left – or was thrown out the door for trenchant radical Left-ness by then White House National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers.
Since, Miss Crawford returned to her gig as – shocker – a college professor, of law at Benjamin N. Cardozo. And written a completely ridiculous book – which bizarrely describes the free speech-free market Xanadu that is the U.S. portion of the World Wide Web as follows:
(Our) global competitive (Internet) advantage has all but vanished because of a series of government decisions and resulting monopolies that have allowed dozens of countries…to pass us in both speed and price of broadband.
This is, of course, patently absurd and demonstrably untrue.
When the bosses of global mobile operators meet in Barcelona this week, there will be an elephant in the room: the widening gap between fast-growing and richly-valued U.S. telecoms companies and their ailing European counterparts.
An overcrowded market, tough regulations and recession are hampering European telcos’ ability to invest in faster networks, increasing the risk that the region’s flagging economy falls further behind the United States….
The gap reflects differences in the competitive landscape. Europe has about 100 mobile firms to the United States’ six, as well as harsher rules that have sapped profitability and contributed to four straight years of revenue decline.
But her uber-wrongness epitomizes the Left’s view of how things are going on the Web. Many Leftists are in fact clamoring for her to be the Administration’s next Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman.
Heaven forfend – please.
Contrast Miss Crawford with Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio. Who on Thursday gave a very thorough, very positive and thus far more realistic assessment of how things are going on the ‘Net.
You can look at Intel’s study on Internet activity to see how much is being done online. The study found that, in one minute, more than 204 million emails are sent, 47,000 apps are downloaded, around 20 million photos and 6 million Facebook pages are viewed, and 1.3 million video clips are watched on YouTube. All this happens in just one minute. Think about the amount of economic activity in that minute.
These numbers are simply staggering. And have nothing to do with whatever Miss Crawford claims to be analyzing.
Miss Crawford wants more regulations on almost everything. Senator Rubio? Not so much.
To ensure that the Internet’s success continues and that society continues to benefit, we must keep it free from regulation, both at home and abroad.
Much of the debate surrounding net neutrality, and even the adoption of the FCC’s order, happened before I came to the Senate. But it did not take long after I arrived in the Senate for me to realize that I did not agree with the FCC’s action.
It was clear that this was a regulation based on speculation. Implementing mandates that constitute public utility-style regulation onto broadband networks was a step in the wrong direction.
I hope that net neutrality mandates are overturned in court. And if that occurs, we must be prepared to oppose efforts by proponents of net neutrality to reclassify broadband and pass legislation doing so.
We must also prepare for the growing international threat to the Internet. A year ago, some questioned whether there was really a threat to Internet freedom, or if the ITU was actually seeking to regulate the Internet. After Dubai, we don’t have to question it anymore. We don’t have to wonder about the intent of countries opposed to Internet freedom.
This brings us to some whiplash-inducing policy schizophrenia. Many of the domestic Leftists who joined with Freedom’s Forces to oppose United Nations Internet regulation were the ones clamoring for – and getting – massive domestic Web power grabs. Kind of undercuts our international message, no?
Rubio is on this not at all inconsistent.
If we’ve learned anything about the Internet over the years, it’s the enormous power it has to give people economic opportunity….The Internet also has the enormous ability to empower people and make their voices heard….
(But w)e see stories all the time of countries (i.e. governments) censoring and controlling the Internet. Two weeks ago, Iran banned a majority of the country’s “virtual private networks.” In December, China passed a new law that ties every web site and Internet connection user account to the identity of an individual. These aren’t just efforts to stifle online political discussion and restrict the flow of information. These are efforts to oppress people and deny them their fundamental human rights to express themselves, organize peaceful opposition efforts and use the Internet to let the world know about their reality.
The good Senator correctly identifies the problem – government Internet interference. And doesn’t bizarrely oppose it internationally while seeking to impose it domestically.
Read Senator Rubio’s entire speech – it is well worth your time. And skip Miss Crawford’s tome – it isn’t worth the time it took me to write that you need not read it.
Senator Rubio’s optimistic Web outlook will continue to prove accurate – provided we steer well clear of Miss Crawford’s negativity-imbued, fact-free Huge Government prescriptions.
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