Obama Threatens to Veto

by Director of Intergalactic Communications and Marketing on November 25, 2011

The White House has threatened to veto Republican-sponsored legislation that would overturn the net neutrality rules the FCC passed last December.

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on S.J. Resolution 6[PDF], “Disapproval of Federal Communications Commission Rule Regulating the Internet and Broadband Industry Practices”, sometime on Thursday. The resolution, if it were to pass both houses, would begin a process that could overturn the decision of the FCC. The U.S. House of Representatives rejected the FCC’s net neutrality rules.

“Disapproval of the rule would threaten those values and cast uncertainty over those innovative new businesses that are a critical part of the Nation’s economic recovery,” the White House said in its veto threat. “It would be ill-advised to threaten the very foundations of innovation in the Internet economy and the democratic spirit that has made the Internet a force for social progress around the world.”

The FCC rules prevent broadband providers from blocking access to specific websites.

The rules are hazier when it comes to wireless providers. Supporters, such as Obama and the White House, believe that some regulations are necessary to stop ISPs such as Comcast from throttling or blocking content. Opponents, such as Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R.-Texas), one of the sponsors of the bill, argue that the net neutrality regulations would over-regulate the Internet, stifle the economy and set a bad precedent.

“The Internet and technology have produced more jobs in this country than just about any other sector,” Hutchison said on Tuesday. “It has been the cradle of innovation, it does not have a problem and it does not need fixing.”

UPDATE: the bill was defeated in the Senate:

http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2011/11/technology-net-neutrality-rules-survive-for-now.html

As expected, the Senate defeated a resolution Thursday that would have disapproved of the Federal Communications Commission’s Net neutrality (a.k.a. “open Internet”) rules, which are due to go into effect Thursday. The vote was divided along party lines, with 50 Democrats and two independents aligned with the party voting against the resolution and 46 Republicans voting for it. (One senator from each party missed the vote.)

One comment on “Obama Threatens to Veto

  1. As most of you are aware governments around the world will continue to monitor the Web more and more in the future. Many people don’t realize just how much they do at this time. It’s very important that you understand that virtually all forms of communication on the internet are no more secure than a cell phone call. Many governments are saying these restrictions are for your own good in the name of “Safety”. In some cases this may be true, but in many the actual situation is that freedom of communication is dangerous. When people can openly communicate freedom infringes on regulations that have been put in place for different reasons. As in all forms of freedom, there is danger. If the US doesn’t start restricting internet freedom now, it probably will though in less than five years. The Web is very young powerful and leaving it untethered scares the powers to be.
    Stick up for your freedom and do what you can to protect your rights in this area.

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