Americans are by now broadly aware of the threat posed by Chinese-owned TikTok, including its threat…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
TikTok’s Latest Assault: Ripping Off American Artists and Songwriters

Americans are by now broadly aware of the threat posed by Chinese-owned TikTok, including its threat to U.S. national security.

In recent days, we’ve witnessed in real time another emerging TikTok threat reaching the headlines:  The threat it poses to intellectual property protections, which undergird America’s status as the most artistically and musically productive and influential nation in human history.

Universal Music Group, however, has decided to stand up and fight back by removing its catalog of songs – including artists like Taylor Swift, Drake and Billie Eilish – from TikTok.

Tone-Deaf TikTok has built its aggressive worldwide empire largely on the backs of music created by American artists, as even its corporate leadership openly admits.  As TikTok’s very own…[more]

February 08, 2024 • 12:44 PM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Biden Administration Inexplicably Resurrects “Net Neutrality” Zombie Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, September 28 2023
During Net Neutrality’s brief lifespan as the Obama Administration concluded, investment fell approximately 20%, including a $5.6 billion decline in its first full year in effect.

Joe Biden suddenly finds himself in a deep hole, yet his administration inexplicably prefers to keep digging.  

His policy mismanagement has put him behind Donald Trump by ten points in a new ABC News/Washington Post survey, but he doesn’t appear interested in correcting course.  

Instead, the Biden Administration now sets its sights on the thriving internet sector by resurrecting the zombie-like “Net Neutrality.”  

If it succeeds, that would kneecap an internet sector that remains one of the few sectors of the American economy that Biden hasn’t yet driven toward dysfunction.  

For most people, the term Net Neutrality likely rings only a vague bell, but it’s important to understand the grave threat it poses to such a vital sector of our economy and society.  

Stated simply, Net Neutrality as currently envisioned by its proponents would empower federal bureaucrats at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate internet service as a “public utility” under laws passed during the Great Depression.  It takes an astonishing degree of chutzpah to label such a heavy-handed federal intervention as “neutrality.”  

In any event, to understand the danger and proven market failure of that idea, a brief historical primer is in order.  

Beginning in the Clinton Administration and for two decades spanning both Democratic and Republican administrations, the federal government maintained a “light touch” regulatory posture toward internet service.  As a consequence, the internet flourished like few innovations in human history.  

The Obama Administration, however, got the bright idea that what the internet needed was the heavy hand of federal government regulation to “fix” something that wasn’t broken.  After suffering several legal defeats, the Obama FCC finally managed to reclassify internet service as a public utility in the manner that the Biden FCC now hopes to revive.  

As an objective matter, the negative consequences were immediate and severe.  

For the first time ever outside of an economic recession, private internet investment actually declined.  During Net Neutrality’s brief lifespan as the Obama Administration concluded, investment fell approximately 20%, including a $5.6 billion decline in its first full year in effect.  

Fortunately, the Trump Administration FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai rescinded the Obama FCC’s failing Net Neutrality regulation, thereby returning internet service to the light touch approach that had prevailed since the 1990s with such success.  In contrast to the investment decline during Net Neutrality’s brief lifespan, investment increased and U.S. internet speeds accelerated nearly 40% in the first year following repeal.  

When the Covid pandemic hit, something even more remarkable occurred.  Namely, just when many expected internet service to crash as employment and schooling migrated online, U.S. broadband speeds actually increased 91% in 2020.  

Further illustrating the failure of the Net Neutrality approach, Europe fared far worse during the pandemic.  The more regulated European networks struggled to meet increased consumer demand, leading governments to ask content providers like Netflix to reduce streaming video quality from high-definition to standard.  

Those quantifiable failures of Net Neutrality prompt the question of why the Biden Administration suddenly seeks to resurrect it.  There’s obviously no internet service failure for it to correct.  The answer, of course, is that it’s another way for the Biden Administration and its far-left activist base to commandeer another sector of the economy and American life under their political control.  

The Biden Administration has degraded every sector that it has touched, and internet service under renewed Net Neutrality would be no different.  

Thankfully, this proposal is nearly certain to be overturned by courts, which have shown increasing skepticism toward this sort of Biden Administration overreach.  

That’s not conservative opinion, it’s the assessment of former Obama Solicitors General Donald Verrilli and Ian Gershengorn:  

The U.S. Supreme Court has made crystal clear, as recently as this June when it struck down President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, that it will invalidate federal agency regulations on matters of major economic and political significance – what the court refers to as “major questions” – unless Congress has given the agency specific, unambiguous authority to regulate on the subject.  …  In the last two years alone, the court has used the doctrine to strike down the CDC’s eviction moratorium, OSHA’s workplace vaccine mandate, and the EPA’s clean power initiative, as well as the Biden student loan plan.  The message from the court is clear.  

As we explain in a white paper published today, any effort by the commission to subject broadband internet access service to traditional common carriage regulation can’t survive the “major questions” buzzsaw.  

It shouldn’t have to come to that, however.  

This latest proposal to revive already failed Net Neutrality policy should be dead on arrival. 

Related Articles :
Notable Quote   
"The debt load of the U.S. is growing at a quicker clip in recent months, increasing about $1 trillion nearly every 100 days.The nation's debt permanently crossed over to $34 trillion on Jan. 4, after briefly crossing the mark on Dec. 29, according to data from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It reached $33 trillion on Sept. 15, 2023, and $32 trillion on June 15, 2023, hitting this accelerated…[more]
— Michelle Fox, CNBC
Liberty Poll   

Assuming that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., is able to get on most 2024 ballots as a third-party or independent candidate for President, from which major party candidate do you believe he will take the most votes?