If You’ve Ever Wondered What The Internet Looked Like In 1934, You’ll Love ObamaNet

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ObamaNet 1934
ObamaNet circa 1934

Obama’s FCC really did it. They really voted to regulate the internet. They dusted off a 1934 law used to rein in Ma Bell and said those rules need to apply to your home broadband connection in 2015.

Forward, into the past!

Forget visions of “half fast” internet. Those days are gone now.

Henceforth the internet will run at the speed of government.

And the government will decide who can connect.

The government will decide how you’ll connect.

A bureaucrat will determine if your internet usage is in “the public interest.” And fine you if it isn’t.

How many of you are old enough to remember when the FCC regulated telephone service? I am.

We could have any kind of telephone we wanted, so long as we wanted a black rotary dial desk phone.

We could call anywhere in the world we wanted, so long as we scheduled all “long distance” calls in advance and paid upwards of $20 per minute.

And we could connect anything we wanted to our telephone line, so long as we submitted it to the FCC first so they could “certify” it, a process that typically took dozens of years.

In 1982 Judge Harold Greene nuked the FCC’s control over the telephone system. He ordered the breakup of AT&T, and he initiated a technological open season which in a few short years brought us the iPhone, FiOS, Wi-Fi, Google, Amazon, and yes, the internet as we knew it.

Yes, knew, past tense.

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Because today Barack Obama’s lackeys on the FCC turned back the clock. The internet will henceforth be classified as a “telecommunications service” as defined in Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

Back in 1934 telegrams were what passed for email. Back in 1934 the computer hadn’t been invented yet. Back in 1934 a Sears Catalog was as close as anyone got to online shopping.

By invoking that archaic law, the FCC gave itself broad power to control every aspect of your internet experience. To pick the websites you’re allowed to visit. To restrict which devices can be attached to your home network. To block “harmful” protocols like bittorrent. And of course to restrict anonymity via internet drivers licenses.

My friends, this is tyranny, pure and simple. And it came at the direct orders of Barack Hussein Obama.

Oh, and one more thing today’s action gives the FCC — the power to tax the internet. Ever notice the lines on your landline phone bill for “Universal Service Fund” and “FCC Subscriber Line Charge”? Go look for them. Look at how much of your bill they represent. Then get ready to see the same charges on your internet bill, because the main thrust of Title II isn’t regulation. Oh sure, Title II gives the FCC the authority to regulate. But it also gives the FCC the ability to impose fees on regulated “telecommunications services.”

Fees, just another name for “taxes.”

Barack Obama loves taxes.

Once the government imposes a fee it takes an Act Of God to rescind it. Did you know that until 2006 you were paying a 3% surcharge on your phone bill? And you’d been paying that 3% surcharge since 1898 when it was imposed “temporarily” to help pay for the Spanish-American War? That was one of those “tax the rich” chimeras by the way. Back in 1898 only “rich people” had telephones.

It took 108 years to get rid of that “temporary” tax.

Wanna bet FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has a similar plan to tax your broadband service so he can give internet access to everybody who signed up for an Obama phone?

Welcome to ObamaNet. Where your home page defaults to MSNBC, and no, you can’t change it.

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  • ecmic

    Very little of this is actually true.

    • Don King

      Oh? Which parts are false and which parts are true, according to you, ecmic?

      • ecmic

        First false point is that Title II is an archaic law.

        Title II regulated the Internet until 2002, a period of fierce competition and innovation. It isn’t archaic, and actually proved to work extremely well for the Internet infrastructure – which, I’m sorry, is common carrier, no matter what the 1984-esque 2002 ruling says.

        • Don King

          I didn’t write this article, so I don’t feel compelled to defend it to the utmost. What I will do is ask this:

          How can a law that was written for technology in 1934 be ANYTHING but archaic in the 21st Century?

          • ecmic

            The law was an application of common carrier status to a technology that was used to transmit information, under the argument that the technology had important, necessary, and irreplaceable social/economic benefit.
            That was the role – and an important one, at that – of landline telephones a century ago. And, at least to me, that applies to the contemporary Internet. There’s alot of disagreement as to whether the Internet is a “necessity”. There’s a crowd that’ll say, “if you don’t like your ISP service, don’t use them”. Well, for many people that means they’ll have limited or no internet access. I think we’re past the point where that’s acceptable social and economic policy.

        • The internet was never regulated under Title II. Never. Bill Clinton signed a law ensuring that, until Obama got his pen out. And Title II regulation of the wireline phone business has been significantly relaxed, except of course for the taxes and fees it imposes. Those will never be rescinded! And I can’t wait for the USF Fee and the SLIC Charge to show up on my internet bill. How about you?

          No, the Communications Act of 1934 is as archaic as archaic gets. It was created in an age of one monopoly provider and put government firmly in control of all innovation and pricing. The internet has never had a single provider, the essence of its development came about because no one was “in charge” (Jon Postel and his acolytes nonwithstanding). BTW, they were the original regulators of the internet, or at least they tried to be. And they too stifled innovation and restricted commerce. Why is there still a rule that I can’t sell my ip addresses? I can port my phone number to a different carrier, but if I change ISPs I have to get all new ip addresses. And if I have old Class A,B, or C space the Internet Cabal hounds me to give it back, or else. Well let me tell you, they’ll get my swamp space when they pry it from my cold dead fingers.

          You know, I just had another thought. If according to the Gospel Of Net Neutrality all traffic has to be treated as “equal”, who’s gonna put all those blackhole lists out of business? Yeah, that’s right, purposefully /dev/null-ing traffic just because some self-appointed vigilante says it’s “spam” flies in the face of Net Neutrality. Nevermind fast lanes, that’s the “No Lane!”

          • Don King

            Boom!

            Well said, Chris.