Published by LawTechie - March 9, 2015 - LawTechie

To continue with my thoughts–again, I have yet to take a position on this Net Neutrality debate and will not do so until I read some concrete arguments–I did want to point out my skepticism over all the intense reaction I am seeing to the House’s proposed Internet Freedom Act.

A Facebook friend shared this DailyBeast article with me which purports to expose the cash-money behind 29 of the 31 co-sponsors of the Act.

The 29 co-sponsors received over $800,000 from AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and their lobby, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA).

Firstly, I am not shocked that NCTA is throwing money at members of Congress. What would shock me is if NCTA had not thrown as much money at pro-Net Neutrality members as well. I mean it’s not like $800k is a huge amount of campaign cash. Split it among 29 members and, at $27.5k, you barely have enough to fund the breakfast buffet at a single campaign event. Not exactly dim-the-lights-and-shutter-the-blinds kind of money.

Again, I’m not saying that Net Neutrality is a bad thing. I’m just getting suspicious about this over-sensationalizing from the pro-Neutrality side. Call me a cynic’s cynic, but it makes me wonder when Congress members are attacked for campaign contributions rather than on the merits of their proposed law.

By the way, here’s the entire text of the proposed 161 word law:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.This Act may be cited as the “Internet Freedom Act”.

SEC. 2. LIMITATION ON AUTHORITY OF FCC.

(a) In General.–The regulations adopted by the Federal
Communications Commission in the Report and Order in the matter of
preserving the open Internet and broadband industry practices (FCC 10-
201; adopted December 21, 2010) shall have no force or effect, and the
Commission may not reissue such regulations in substantially the same
form, or issue new regulations that are substantially the same as such
regulations, unless the reissued or new regulations are specifically
authorized by a law enacted after the date of the enactment of this
Act.
(b) Exception.–This section does not apply to any regulations that
the Federal Communications Commission determines necessary–
(1) to prevent damage to the national security of the
United States;
(2) to ensure the public safety; or
(3) to assist or facilitate any actions taken by a Federal
or State law enforcement agency.

LawTechie is a blog focusing on trends in tech and digital media. Areas covered include intellectual property, cyberlaw, venture capital, transactions and litigation as they relate to the emerging sectors. The blog is edited by the firm's partner Tim Bukher with contributions from the firm's experts in their respective areas of law.

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