Perhaps nowhere has President Trump’s roll-back of eight years of Obama’s presidency been more successful, early on, than in his efforts to unshackle the Internet from the hands of the federal government.
Fueled by $200 million in money from the Ford Foundation and George Soros, a cottage industry of activists and groups were funded to help transform the Internet into a government-run and monopolized utility. Among them was one called Free Press, operated by neo-Marxist Robert McChesney. McChesney has openly bragged about the need to transform the media to be “part of our broader struggle for democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism,” and has cited Venezuelan strong-man Hugo Chavez as the exemplar of “free press.”
Rather than treat McChesney’s comments as the rantings of a mad-man, the FCC cited him as “remarkable” 46 times in justifying their decision to enact disingenuously named “Net Neutrality,” a key step in transforming the Internet under the thumb of government control.
Just prior to leaving town, the FCC enacted a second measure designed to squeeze Internet service providers (ISPs) out of the marketplace so, as McChesney said, to “get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.” The FCC”s so-called “privacy” regulations imposed strict regulations on Internet providers while allowing Google, Facebook and other companies that routinely mine the web for your personal data to be untouched and unrestrained.
The FCC’s regulations were passed in opposition to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has, for nearly 20 years, policed the Internet to successfully protect the privacy of Web users. Congress, recognizing that imposing a second set of rules made no sense, rejected the FCC’s proposal before it took effect.
That unleashed false headlines and fake news from most of the media. Claiming that your Internet privacy was dead, partisan groups began to assert that your web history was now for sale to the highest corporate bidder.
Of course, this was not even close to the truth and it was highly deceptive. The FTC privacy rules that have been in place for over two decades remain in place. And thanks to Congress’ rejection of the flawed rule, the FTC and FCC are now singing off the same song page and have pledged to harmonize web privacy for everyone. No more double standards. This is good news!
Partisan activists, believing their own propaganda, tried to purchase the web history of members of Congress to prove the “absurdity” of the Republican Congress’ move only to find out the truth — it is still illegal to do so. This proved that even they now know first hand that their politically motivated claims are completely false. Undeterred by the truth, they are now placing billboards in members of Congress’ districts alleging that they put your web history up for sale — even though they know that it is a lie.
The truth has become optional for many in the age of Trump. We have conspiracy theorists pumping out stories that the president cut a deal with the Russians to win the presidential election. We have a U.S. senatorciting these unsupported conspiracies and some members of Congress are even demanding impeachment of the president without a shred of actual evidence.
Alleging that Internet privacy has been decimated is just another example of the “resistance” refusing to cite facts when making crazy allegations that advance their agenda.
George Landrith is the President and CEO of Frontiers of Freedom, a public policy think tank devoted to promoting a strong national defense, free markets, individual liberty, and constitutionally limited government. To learn more about Frontiers of Freedom, visit www.ff.org.