Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to net neutrality. I always appreciate hearing from individuals who carefully follow the legislative proceedings of Congress. On February 4, 2015, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Wheeler proposed a set of rules to safeguard net neutrality. These rules include reclassifying broadband service as a public utility under Title II to allow for greater oversight and consumer protection; prohibiting the blocking of lawful websites, the impairing of lawful Internet traffic, and the prioritization of certain traffic for a fee; requiring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to protect customers' private information; and providing widespread access to Internet service. February 26, 2015, the FCC voted to approve the proposed rules.
I strongly believe that technology-including broadband, digital communications and other information technology - is an important tool for the economic and social advancement of individuals and communities. Going forward, I also believe that we must put in place a regulatory framework that ensures the relationships between consumers and providers are fair and equitable. As a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has jurisdiction over telecommunications issues, I will be certain to keep your views in mind when the House of Representatives considers any relevant legislation.
Again, thank you for your input on this important issue. If I can be of further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.
John P. Sarbanes
Member of Congress
To which I replied:
Government does not make the affairs of man fair and equitable. It simply replaces voluntary acts of cooperation in the private sector with coercion to achieve political, rather than individual, purposes. With government so big that the People do not understand what it is doing, let alone the effects of its actions, those political purposes become the purposes of special interests. The takeover of the free Internet by the FCC only means that my individual choices will be replaced by the government's enforcement of special interests' will. All of the verbiage about protecting individuals is just the usual smokescreen behind which government once again wrests individual value choices out of our hands. It is a false front so that government can further expand its ignorant micromanagement of our individual lives.
You have to admit that you do not know me, so it is not plausible when you claim to be protecting my interests, about which you know nothing. What is more, it is highly pretentious of you to assume that you know better how to manage my life than I do. Because I know this, I much prefer making the voluntary associations with others in the private sector of my choice, compared to being the subject of government coercion in my associations.
Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D.
Of course the Big Government proponents have a biased viewpoint that government is benevolent, while companies operating in the private sector are largely malevolent. It is assumed by many that the profit motive pushes companies to behave immorally and without regard to the interests of their customers. How odd it is that the profit motive which is exactly what mostly motivates companies to behave morally and with a great regard for the interests of their customers is assumed by so many to have the opposite effects. Meanwhile, governments which have the power motive are assumed to be benevolent!
To be sure, when governments are small and effectively managed by the People with the intelligent use of their votes, government has a substantial interest in the best interest of the People. But as I have so frequently argued, when government becomes big enough, the People are no longer able to effectively manage it. While with the occasional company that comes along and has little interest in its customer's welfare, it can usually be avoided by taking one's business elsewhere, except when government has given that company a monopoly. The action to deny a government coercive control over us is usually more drastic. It requires us to uproot ourselves, our families, and our businesses to move out of the jurisdiction of that government. This is a sufficiently drastic remedy that its avoidance is a powerful argument for highly limited government.