Quietly Fighting The War On Child Pornography

NBC News is reporting today that federal agents have shut down the world’s “largest dark web child porn marketplace.”

The article reports:

The now-shuttered English-language site, called “Welcome to Video,” contained more than 200,000 unique videos or almost 8 terabytes of data showing sex acts involving children, toddlers and infants, according to the 18-page criminal indictment unsealed here Wednesday, and processed 7,300 Bitcoin transactions worth more than $730,000.

According to prosecutors, the vast online store was run by Jong Woo Son, a South Korean citizen currently serving an 18-month prison sentence in his home country after his conviction on charges related to child pornography. The site operated from June 2015 until it was seized and shut down by U.S. authorities in March 2018.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, U.S. officials said 337 suspected users of the site had been arrested worldwide to date.

…In addition to Son, more than 300 other suspects have been arrested in South Korea as of Wednesday, while still more suspects were identified in other countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, including a Washington, D.C., man who was caught with the equivalent of 50 years worth of video footage he had downloaded.

The website ran solely on the dark web, a section of the internet that can only be accessed via a Tor browser, which is designed to protect users’ tracks online and obscure digital footprints. Users could purchase videos using cryptocurrency and an annual membership was priced at 0.03 bitcoins (at current exchange rates, around $300).

The article concludes:

When they announced the arrest of “Mr. A” in 2018, the South Korean police also said they had arrested a total of 156 South Koreans for either uploading or downloading child porn materials, which was unusual given that the site operated entirely in English.

“Most of the users were in their 20s, unmarried and white-collar office workers and first-time offenders, although some were ex-convicts of sexual crimes, including juvenile sex offenders. One possessed as many as 48,634 child porn [files],” the KNPA said.

Paul Henkins, head of the Americas region for the U.K.’s National Crime Agency, said at the Wednesday press conference that 18 investigations of alleged site users had yielded seven convictions, with one defendant sentenced to 22 years.

The case, Henkins said, demonstrates the “increase in the scale, severity and complexity of child sexual abuse offending.”

Hopefully the people arrested will spend the rest of their lives in prison.

Submitted by Amy Collett

Tips for starting a home-based business

First-Timer Tips for Getting Your Home-Based Business Off the Ground

It’s easier than ever to start your own home-based business, and this sort of project can not only be fun, interesting, and convenient, but also it can be profitable as well. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because the opportunities are there you don’t have to plan carefully. If this is your first home-based business, you will need to consider what type of work truly suits your lifestyle, what tools you need to get started, how to draw people to your business and how to keep yourself motivated. Here are some essential tips.

What business is right for you?

Sure, you can do anything if you put your mind to it. But why start from square one when you can give yourself a head start? Hobbies can be turned into thriving businesses. Professional skills you’ve learned through other careers can be monetized. Getting a new business off the ground is hard enough, and you will make it significantly harder if you try to do something you either aren’t good at or that you dislike.

So, first step is to do something you love. But that’s not all. The next step has to be evaluating the market potential of your business. Selling a product from home is a great idea for many, and the Internet has made it simple these days. High-tech products such as selfie drones, HIIT equipment and smartwatches are profitable business ideas. You may make the best bird-themed potholders the world has ever seen, but you can’t make a successful business out of it if there’s no market for them. Ask around. Do some research. As Inc.com notes, “What you don’t want to do, however, is base your decision on the opinions of your friends and family.”

Don’t begin without the ultimate tool for success

The best tool you could have to aid in your new business is a ton of start-up capital. Of course, the vast majority of people don’t have that. So settle for making sure you have the second-best tool for success: a strong online presence. The first step of creating this is in your website. Your website is your portal to growing your local business. It should be well-made, clear, easy-to-navigate and fast. You should focus on reliable hosting and outsource the job of building it if you aren’t experienced in web design.

Optimizing your site for local search (when people search for things “near me”) and having SEO (search engine optimization) in mind is the first step to drawing customers, notes Forbes. Beyond that, getting involved in social media will help you make a name for your business. It’s vital to have well-maintained Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Snapchat presences. Blogging can also help, as having good online content associated with your business can boost its ranking in search engines.

Stay productive at home

Working from home poses a unique challenge: How do you stay motivated when you’re surrounded by all that comfort? You have a business to run, but lurking everywhere are distractions such as the TV, kids or your bed.

First things first: Force yourself into normal office hours. Instead of simply working off and on whenever you feel like it make sure to stick to a schedule. Some other great tips include getting up and getting dressed (literally) for success, keeping a separate office space away from everything else and making sure you get some exercise throughout the day.

Starting a business can be scary, but you should know that you have the tools available to you to succeed. Part of the joy of running a business from home is that you don’t have to pay the overhead of a brick and mortar space and you get to be your own boss. While that sounds awesome, it won’t work unless you pick a business that truly suits you, set yourself up to accomplish your goals every single day and utilize the power of an online presence.

Photo by Pexels

 

First They Came For…

As we approach the mid-term election, there are a number of things to consider. One of the things to look at is the Right-Direction or Wrong Track poll done by Rasmussen. Right now 43 percent of Americans think we are headed in the right direction; 52 percent think we are headed in the wrong direction. In contrast, on October 30, 2016, 30 percent of Americans thought we were headed in the right direction, and 63 percent thought we were headed in the wrong direction. In early January 2016, 28 percent of Americans thought we were headed in the right direction, and 67 percent thought we were headed in the wrong direction. So where am I going with this? As Bill Clinton said, “It’s the economy, stupid!” Hopefully most Americans understand that if the Democrats are able to take control of Congress this year, the economic progress made by the Trump administration will end. Impeachment proceedings against President Trump will begin (it won’t matter whether or not there are any valid charges, the trial will begin). Any investigations into Uranium One, spying on political opponents, or politicizing the justice system will also end. That will mean the institution of a two-tiered justice system in America. If you are connected to the right people, you can pretty much get away with anything. That is what a Democrat victory in the mid-terms will bring us. The Democrats fear that the public will begin to realize this and will attempt to shut down conservative news.

I say all that to predict the actions of the political left in the coming two months. The American Thinker posted an article today spotlighting a situation that should concern all of us. It is about the censorship of Alex Jones. I need to say up front that I am not a huge fan of Alex Jones, but whether you like him or not is not the point. The fact that he can be banned from certain areas of the Internet because of his views should give us all pause. As we approach the mid-term elections, I expect to see more of this. A lot of it is already happening. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It reminds us of some of the abuses by the media that we have seen in recent years. The Internet has ended the liberal monopoly of the media– it was wounded with the advent of popular talk shows, but the Internet allows everyone to do their own research. Expect to have to look a little harder for your favorite conservative news source in the next few months. I believe PragerU is back on Facebook, but I am not sure for how long. That is only the tip of the iceberg.

The Media Doesn’t Care If It Is True As Long As It Fits Their Agenda

The problem with Internet searches is that it is easy to look up past events and compare them with current events. That’s not a problem for most people, but it is becoming a problem for the news media. Any person can do their own fact checking. Since some of the fact checking sites are not accurate or biased, that is a dangerous thing for a somewhat dishonest media.

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article that was a perfect example of basic fact checking. By now we have all seen the cover of TIME Magazine with Trump looking down at a crying child. It’s a powerful image. But even TIME Magazine admits it is fake:

John Moore, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for Getty Images, has been photographing immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border for years. This week one of his pictures became the most visible symbol of the immigration debate in America.

…TIME’s editors selected Moore’s photograph to create a photo illustration…

Photo illustration is a polite word for fake picture.

The Daily Caller provides more background:

The father of the child later revealed that the girl was never separated from the mother and that the child was only briefly set down so that border patrol agents could perform a pat down. The mother also left three other children behind in Honduras.

As more information comes out about the situation of Sandra Sanchez and her 2-year-old daughter, ICE confirmed on Friday that Sanchez was previously deported in 2013.

“ICE said Sanchez was previously deported to Honduras in July 2013,” The Washington Post reported.

While illegally crossing the border is a misdemeanor, illegal reentry is a felony.

The picture is a lie. You might as well put up a picture of a teenager crying because they couldn’t get into a concert because they didn’t have a ticket. You need to come to America legally. If you come illegally, you are breaking the law. If you come illegally after being sent home, you are committing a felony.

Restoring The Free Market To The Internet

In 2015, rules were put in place to prevent the free market from working in the Internet. Under these rules, Internet service providers, such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast as well as smaller Internet service providers, were prohibited from blocking, slowing access to or charging more (priority pricing) for fast delivery of content above some specified threshold of high bandwidth usage.

An article in Frontpage Magazine posted today explains how the repeal of those rules will affect the Internet:

High-speed delivery of Internet services will no longer be heavily regulated on par with a common carrier utility monopoly service. However, the Internet service providers will have to disclose to the FCC changes to their access policies, which can consider any alleged abuses on a case by case basis. The Federal Trade Commission, which shares antitrust enforcement responsibility with the Department of Justice, will be tasked to take action against any anti-competitive behavior.

We are pretty much returning to what the Internet was before 2015. It needs to be considered in discussing this change that the Apple iphone could not have been released under the net neutrality rules–the original monopoly given to one service provider (which gave Apple a chance to work out the bugs) would have been illegal.

The article further explains:

The left would have us believe that the battle over “net neutrality” is between greedy, monopolistic, multibillion dollar Internet service companies and John Q. Public. This is the left’s typical class warfare rhetoric, helped along ironically by multibillion dollar content providers such as Netflix, Google and Facebook that hide behind slogans such as “net neutrality” and “open and free Internet” to obscure their own economic self-interest. Companies the size of Netflix, Google, Facebook, and the new Disney company that may emerge if its purchase of content assets from 21st Century Fox is approved by antitrust officials do not need FCC utility-style regulatory protection from Internet service providers. The FCC should not have placed itself in the position of picking industry sector winners and losers or coming down on the side of content providers, some of whom such as Facebook and Google have substantial market power of their own that allows them to censor content they believe is too controversial.

Moreover, “net neutrality” may be a nice slogan, but it does not reflect the reality of Internet usage. To understand why this is so requires a brief technology discussion.

Follow the link to the article to read the technical discussion–it is way over my head. Meanwhile, the political left never met a  government regulation it didn’t love!

The article concludes:

The economics of supply and demand should be permitted to play out under free market conditions. Internet service providers, just like the large content providers, are not monopoly utilities that require utility-style regulation. That said, there will need to be antitrust enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission to prevent anti-competitive abuses, such as an Internet service providers favoring their own affiliated content providers in terms of quality of service, ease of customer access, or discriminatory pricing. The FCC’s repeal of the overly burdensome “net neutrality” rules in no way undermines the ability of the FCC or the Federal Trade Commission to step in and address any abuses that may arise.

The left detests the free market, whether in the context of the Internet or virtually any other segment of the economy. Government knows best, leftists believe. Fortunately, elections have consequences and President Trump put in place at the FCC someone who understands the benefits of the free market. Under Chairman Ajit Pai’s leadership, the FCC removed the dead weight of intrusive regulation on Internet innovation and investment in infrastructure. It also restored the market freedom under which the Internet has thrived.

Starting Tomorrow…

The Washington Times posted an article on September 14th about the turnover of the Internet.

I just want to explain what I think the turnover of the Internet will mean to me personally. My blog is probably not important enough to be impacted (I get about 10,000 to 30,.000 hits a day), but because the organization the internet is being turned over to has members that do not recognize the right of free speech, a lot of my reliable news sources may disappear.

If you find this difficult to believe, consider the following:

In October 2011, elements of the American Muslim Brotherhood wrote the White House demanding an embargo or discontinuation of information and materials relating to Islamic-based terrorism–even insisting on firings, “re-training,” and “purges” of officers, analysts, special agents, and decision-makers who created or made such materials available….Days later, Brennan responded by agreeing on the necessity for the “White House [to] immediately create an interagency task force to address the problem by removing personnel and products that the Muslim Brotherhood deemed “biased, false, and highly offensive.”  from Catastrophic Failure by Stephen Coughlin page 21.

If that abuse of free speech can happen in America, you can be sure it will happen if the Internet is turned over to a group that includes China, Russia, and Iran, none of whom are noted for their embrace of free speech.

The article at the Washington Times reminds us:

The Internet was originally launched as a project of the U.S. Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in the 1960s. Then, in the 1980s, access to ARPANET was expanded courtesy of U.S. taxpayer-funded grants via the National Science Foundation, and, eventually, the Internet as we know it was developed.

So U.S. taxpayers paid for the creation, and development, and maintenance of the Internet. It is, in a very real sense, American property.

Article IV of the U.S. Constitution reads in part: “The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States …”

So under what authority, exactly, does President Obama claim the authority to make a decision on the disposition of a U.S. property – to wit, the Internet – without explicit permission from Congress?

Perhaps as important a question to ask is, where in the world are congressional leaders on this, and why are they not screaming bloody murder about yet another executive overreach by this overreach-hungry president?

Enter Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has introduced S. 3034, the Protecting Internet Freedom Act. Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin has introduced a companion bill, H.R. 5418, in the House. The bills would simply prohibit the Commerce Department from moving forward on its plan unless it first wins congressional approval.

We have less than 24 hours to stop this. Please call your Congressman–202-224-3121 for the Senate; 202-224-3121 for the House. Your freedom is at stake.

If you are thinking that this does not impact you, I want you to think about the things we wouldn’t know if we had to depend on the mainstream media. Would we know about the payments to Iran, would we have known about Monica Lewinski’s blue dress? The mainstream media is very good at unearthing and reporting on Republican scandals, but how much have you read in the mainstream about the financial irregularities of the Clinton Foundation?

If you want to maintain the free flow of information, please call your Congressman.

Coming Soon

This is a recent Press Release from Senator Ted Cruz:

National Security Leaders Oppose Obama’s Oct. 1 Internet Handover

Military and cybersecurity experts send letter to top Pentagon officials urging intervention in irreversible transition

September 27, 2016

202-228-7561

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, a broad coalition of 77 national security, cybersecurity, and industry leaders sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford calling on the top military officials to intervene in opposition to President Obama’s radical proposal to relinquish American guardianship of the Internet and give it to foreign corporations and countries, including Russia, China, and Iran. This letter follows a joint statement issued by 10 Republican senators urging Democratic senators to oppose the Obama administration’s proposed Internet handover set to take place on October 1.

“As individuals with extensive, first-hand experience with protecting our national security, we write to urge you to intervene in opposition to an imminent action that would, in our judgment, cause profound and irreversible damage to the United States’ vital interests,” the letter reads. “…Indeed, there is, to our knowledge, no compelling reason for exposing the national security to such a risk by transferring our remaining control of the Internet in this way at this time. In light of the looming deadline, we feel compelled to urge you to impress upon President Obama that the contract between NTIA and ICANN cannot be safely terminated at this point.” 

The distinguished group of signers includes former Assistant Secretary of Defense Frank Gaffney, Jr., former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin (Ret.), former Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, former Director of the Defense Nuclear Agency Vice Adm. Robert Monroe (Ret.), and former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Andrew McCarthy, among others. 

Congress must act by September 30 in order to stop this Internet handover, which poses the risk of increased censorship and loss of free speech online, possible legal repercussions, and national security vulnerabilities. 

Read the defense experts’ letter in its entirety here.

This is a critical moment. We have two days to maintain freedom of speech on the Internet. Even if this blog does not go away, all of the alternative news sources that Americans now have to balance the biased mainstream media will be gone within the next year if the internet is turned over. The planned turnover of the Internet represents a serious threat to Americans who want to be able to find honest reporting of current events.

The two current bills I found in Congress relating to this matter were H.Res.853 and S.3034.

 

Free Speech Under Attack

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the upcoming transfer of the Internet. On September 30, the United States will transfer control of the Internet to a multi-stakeholder, nonprofit called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.

The article reports:

But Cruz (Senator Ted Cruz) and other critics have labeled the transfer an “Internet surrender,” and say the ceding of U.S. control will allow more than 160 countries, including authoritarian regimes, to have some influence over what is allowed and prohibited on the Internet.

During Congressional hearings last week, ICANN’s CEO and President Goran Marby told Congress that he did not believe that ICANN was bound by the First Amendment. So why are turning over something that provides an alternative to the heavily biased media we have in America to an organization that will not protect free speech? That is a dangerous thing to do–particularly right before an important election.

 

The End Of Free Speech On The Internet

Investor’s Business Daily reported yesterday on the plan to hand control of the internet over to the United Nations. That’s the same United Nations that includes a voting bloc of fifty-seven Muslim nations (Organization of Islamic Cooperation-OIC) that has been attempting to alter the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to make it a crime to criticize Islam. Can you imagine what speech laws the United Nations could come up with if they had control of the internet?

The article reports:

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the Commerce Department, has given its stamp of approval to transfer oversight to a little-known, but mighty, Los Angeles-based private nonprofit group called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.

…The internet is one of the few places where, with some notable exceptions, free speech still reigns supreme. If some of the rest of that “multistakeholder community” doesn’t like that, what’s to keep it from exerting enormous pressure on ICANN to regulate away free exchange on the internet?

To keep this from happening, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (You wondered what he was up to since he stopped his campaign? Now you know.) and Wisconsin Sen. Sean Duffy have introduced a bill to halt transferring the internet domain name system away from the U.S. government unless Congress explicitly authorizes it.

There is also the matter of fees.

The article further reports:

Nor is this solely about freedom of speech. ICANN already charges fees to users. What happens when it’s free to raise fees with no oversight?

As Rick Manning of Americans For Limited Government noted recently, “nonprofit” ICANN had $219 million in revenue last year. When other countries gain clout, “it is guaranteed that they will seek to grab the pot of gold through a U.N. structure that would more directly benefit them and increase their power.”

Hopefully Ted Cruz’s bill will pass and keep the internet free from speech codes and increased fees.

More Money Being Taken From Those Who Earned It And Given To Those Who Did Not

NBC News is reporting today the the Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to expand a telephone subsidy for low-income Americans to include Internet access. Originally Republicans had reached a deal with one of the Democratic members of the Commission to cap the cost of the program, but evidently she changed her vote due to pressure from other Democrats.

The article reports:

Republicans have pushed for a budget cap for the $1.5 billion annual program, called Lifeline, which has helped lower-income Americans get access to telecommunications technologies since 1985. There is currently no cap.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, a Republican, said Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn had signed onto a deal with Republicans earlier in the day after intensive negotiations, only to change her decision.

Pai’s aide, Matthew Berry, said Wheeler had “bullied” fellow Democrat Clyburn into withdrawing from a “moderate, bipartisan deal” that would also have set a minimum standard on broadband speeds.

I do not have a problem with providing cell phones to low-income people (within reason), although that is not the government’s job. We need to remember that the government has no money of its own–the only money the government has it takes from working Americans. If low-income people do not have land lines, they need cell phones for emergencies. However, I need someone to explain to me exactly when internet access became a right. Most Americans pay for internet access, and for many, that payment represents a significant part of their budget. Why are some Americans not only forced to pay for their own internet but also forced to subsidize someone else’s internet? It is also telling that the Democrats on the FCC were unwilling to put a budget cap on the program. That is the kind of thinking that creates the massive federal debt that has become part of America.

A Circumstantial Smoking Gun

The Internet has gone a bit crazy (as it sometimes does) about new Hillary Clinton emails released that show her instructing someone to remove the classified header and footing from a classified document and then send it over a regular fax machine. That is a serious offense that would send an ordinary citizen to jail. Therein lies the problem–Hillary Clinton is not an ordinary citizen. That is not a problem for Hillary–that is a problem for America. Somehow we have forgotten the concept of equal justice under the law.

Ed Morrissey posted the details of the story at Hot Air yesterday. The article includes a picture of the email in question. I recommend going to Hot Air and reading the entire article, but here are some highlights:

Has the State Department released a smoking gun in the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal? In a thread from June 2011, Hillary exchanges e-mails with Jake Sullivan, then her deputy chief of staff and now her campaign foreign-policy adviser, in which she impatiently waits for a set of talking points. When Sullivan tells her that the source is having trouble with the secure fax, Hillary then orders Sullivan to have the data stripped of its markings and sent through a non-secure channel.

I don’t even have the words to tell you how much of a ‘no-no’ that is when dealing with classified information. The relevant criminal (yes, I said criminal) statutes are posted in the article at Hot Air.

There is an update to the article at Hot Air that concludes:

Update: There are a few people wondering whether the “TPs” (talking points”) in question in this thread were classified in the first place. There are a couple points to remember in that context:

  • Unclassified material doesn’t need to be transmitted by secure fax; if the material wasn’t classified, Sullivan would have had them faxed normally.
  • Ordering aides to remove headers to facilitate the transmission over unsecured means strongly suggests that the information was not On top of that, removing headers to avoid transmission security would be a violation of 18 USC 793 anyway, which does not require material to be classified — only sensitive to national security.
  • State did leave this document unclassified, but that’s because there isn’t any discussion of what the talking points cover. They redacted the subject headers with B5 and B6 exemptions, invoked to note that the FOIA demand doesn’t cover the material (in their opinion).

Ordering the headings stripped, and Sullivan’s apparent reluctance to work around the secure fax system, makes it all but certain that the material was classified at some level — and Hillary knew it.

I am sharing this information because it is something voters need to be aware of. Do I think this will amount to anything? No. I have become somewhat cynical about enforcing any laws regarding the Clintons. Unless the FBI decides to go against the obvious political biases of the Justice Department, this is not going anywhere. If there is someone in the FBI who has enough ethics and backbone to pursue this, we might see something, but I doubt it. General Patraeus was charged and convicted of a much lesser infraction and was dealt with. He obviously was not part of the in crowd and did not know where enough of the bodies were buried. The Clintons know where all the bodies are buried and probably helped bury a few of them.

 

Social Media Can Have Drastic Consequences

The Daily Caller posted an article about a selfie that went wrong. In this case, wrong is in the eyes of the beholder–I think it went wonderfully right.

The article reports:

The head of Air Force Central Command reported that an online selfie of an Islamic State militant led to airstrikes on a base held by the group “in less than 24 hours.”

Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle said in recent remarks that airmen at Florida’s Hurlburt Field were scouring open-source online feeds when they found a photo of “some moron standing at this command” and “bragging about the command and control capabilities” of the group.

Don’t ever post anything on the Internet that you wouldn’t mind seeing on the front page of The New York Times.

Islamic terrorists generally use social media very well. It is one of their prime recruiting tools and is also useful as one of their communication tools. There has been some consideration of making social media unavailable to terrorists, but aside from the obvious problems in doing that, in the case of the terrorist selfie, a terrorist social media post helped the western powers fight terrorism. We need to fight terrorism using every method at our disposal.

The Money Behind ‘Net Neutrality’

The Washington Examiner posted a story today about the funding behind the support for net neutrality. Net neutrality is the politically correct expression used to describe the federal government’s takeover of the internet.

The article reports:

“The Ford Foundation, which claims to be the second-largest private foundation in the U.S., and Open Society Foundations, founded by far-left billionaire George Soros, have given more than $196 million to pro-net neutrality groups between 2000 and 2013,” said the report, authored by Media Research Center’s Joseph Rossell, and provided to Secrets.

“These left-wing groups not only impacted the public debate and funded top liberal think tanks from the Center for American Progress to Free Press. They also have direct ties to the White House and regulatory agencies. At least five individuals from these groups have ascended to key positions at the White House and FCC,” said the report which included funding details to pro-net neutrality advocates.

This is a government takeover of the internet. It is also unconstitutional–Congress has not passed this law–it was passed by the Federal Communications Commission.

Yesterday The Examiner posted a story about the lack of cooperation between the FCC and Congress regarding this law.

The Examiner reported:

On the eve of the highly controversial attempt by Barack Obama and the Democrats to seize the Internet, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler flat-out refused to appear before Congress for questioning. Wheeler has also refused to provide information to Congress about the government takeover, demanding that Congress approve the proposal for the federal government to seize the Internet — deceptively called “Internet neutrality” — without knowing a thing about what they are approving.

…Supporters of so called net neutrality have a hidden agenda they wish to implement. Under the new rules the FCC would have the power to intrude upon and regulate free speech and freedom of the press. Collectivists have long decried the power of the people when the Internet is used to jettison their dependence on government-approved “news,” such as that which is provided by CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, and MSNBC. Government elitists fear the truth in the hands of the people, and the Internet has allowed the people to do their own independent research and news gathering. Hillary Clinton, for example, has complained about having “too many news sources.” She further stated that the “net neutrality” regulations would give collectivists a “foot in the door” in the gradual move to totally control the Internet. Hillary once stated in 1998 that Internet news “needs a rethink.”

Regardless of the motives and long-term goals of the FCC, it has become obvious in recent years that more federal regulation is never a good thing. The only good news in this is that net neutrality will be tied up in the courts for years.

Net Neutrality

I haven’t written much about net neutrality because I haven’t understood it, but last night Hugh Hewitt explained it in a way that made sense (Hugh Hewitt, Salem Radio, 6-9 pm on the east coast).

The bottom line is simple–because the government has not yet regulated the internet, it has been free to grow and prosper. If the government is successful in its effort to treat the internet as simply another utility, we will all suffer–higher prices, censorship, crony capitalism, etc.

The Wall Street Journal posted an article yesterday explaining what is going on:

Last week Washington abandoned open innovation when the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission yielded to President Obama ’s demands and moved to regulate the freewheeling Internet under the same laws that applied to the Ma Bell monopoly. Unless these reactionary regulations are stopped, they spell the end of the permissionless innovation that built today’s Internet.

Until now, anyone could launch new websites, apps and mobile devices without having to lobby a regulator for permission. That was thanks to a Clinton-era bipartisan consensus that the Internet shouldn’t be treated as a public utility. Congress and the White House under both parties kept the FCC from applying the hoary regulations that micromanaged the phone system, which would have frozen innovation online.

Last week’s announcement from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler rejects 20 years of open innovation by submitting the Internet to Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Once Mr. Wheeler and the commission’s Democratic majority vote this month to apply Title II, the regulations will give them staggering control. Any Internet “charges” and “practices” that the bureaucrats find “unjust or unreasonable is declared to be unlawful.”

So what would ‘net neutrality’ mean to you and me? It could mean regulators micromanaging Google searches, regulating blog content (I take that one personally), the government overseeing Facebook, etc. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

There is a way to stop this. As soon as the Republicans pass a budget, they can begin working on appropriations. They have the power to block the Net Neutrality power grab in the appropriations process. If you want to be part of stopping this nightmare, I suggest you call your Representative and Senator and recommend a speedy passage of the budget and appropriations.

With Total Disregard For Small Businesses

One of the lead articles in today’s New Bern Sun Journal was entitled, “Online marketers called on to collect sales taxes.”

The article states:

The National Association of Counties joined collective groups of cities, mayors, and state governments last week in a Capitol Hill briefing that called on Congress to pass legislation forcing online marketers to collect sales tax.

Craven County Commissioner Scott Dacey, vice chairman of the Craven board and its delegate to NACo, spoke for counties and was one of these speaking for NACo on the importance of this issue and its impact on counties.

What about the impact of the businesses involved? An internet business usually does business in many areas of the country. Different areas of the country have different tax laws–different tax rates, different items taxable, different tax rates on different items. Has Commissioner Dacey or any of the other county executives considered the burden they would be placing on small business owners with this tax? How many clerical workers will the average internet business have to hire to track taxes and input information into the computer? How many programmers will have to rewrite the computer codes of these businesses to comply with the law? What will be the administrative cost to the average internet business? Very large internet businesses like EBay and Amazon may be able to cope with the additional expense, but the impact of this law will be to drive the small businessman off the internet. Commissioner Dacey and other country executives, is your intention to take away small businessmen from the internet? If you are not intent of driving small companies off of the internet, you need to rethink your proposal.