President Obama yesterday came out in favor of Net Neutrality and criticized the FCC and their handling of their affair.
After a wave of protests in a number of cities in the US last Thursday, Obama’s breaking of his own silence is long overdue, and perhaps even a little late.
Obama’s public support of Net Neutrality has been conspicuous by its absence, but there are certain key words in his statement that show just how powerless the President of the United States is in trying to secure fair and equal rights to the internet for his own citizens.
“The FCC is an independent agency, and ultimately this decision is theirs alone” says Obama in the above video message. If that doesn’t send a little chill down your spine, this display of Presidential uselessness against an agency operating in the country he was twice elected to lead, then you don’t really understand the gravity of the situation.
The President’s request that the FCC call a halt to their plans and reclassify the internet as a Title II utility under the Telecommunications Act 1934 is something of a last-minute, desperate lunge.
But, among supporters of Net Neutrality, Obama’s statement is seen as a huge positive. Tim Wu, who initially coined the phrase, expressed his pleasure at today’s announcement:
The White House’s announced Net Neutrality policy is 100% on target http://t.co/eKIVB9RVoJ
— Tim Wu (@superwuster) November 10, 2014
Of course, this is all conjecture so far. With the FCC unable to be reined in by government, Obama’s plea is merely a serving suggestion. However, Obama’s intervention means the issue may finally reach a nationwide audience, thus turning the tide against the FCC who may relent against strong, popular opinion.
Or they may just ignore it completely and go ahead with their plans. It’s the worry and indecision that gets you in the end.
Still, things might still go ‘our’ way, especially when the anti-Net Neutrality crowd is led by Senator Ted Cruz; a man as unnecessary as flight of stairs in the ocean.
“Net Neutrality” is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 10, 2014