President Obama recently announced that he was going to ask the FCC to reclassify Internet service providers (ISPs) as telecommunications services as part of his strong support for "net neutrality."
"Most Internet providers have treated Internet traffic equally," said President Obama, according to WhiteHouse.gov. "That's a principle known as 'net neutrality' and it says that an entrepreneur's fledgling company should have the same chance to succeed as established corporations, and that access to a high school student's blog shouldn't be unfairly slowed down to make way for advertisers with more money."
Basically net neutrality ensures that every website is treated equally by ISPs who cannot censor sites for financial incentives or force people to pay extra money to visit specific websites. Net neutrality stops ISPs from favoring one site over another.
However, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) recently mangled the concept of net neutrality, which he opposes.
In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Sen. Cruz wrote:
In short, net neutrality is Obamacare for the Internet. It would put the government in charge of determining Internet pricing, terms of service and what types of products and services can be delivered, leading to fewer choices, fewer opportunities and higher prices.
President Obama this week came out aggressively for net neutrality and turning the Internet into a public utility. Some in the online community have embraced this call, thinking that cheaper prices would result. But when has that worked? Government-regulated utilities invariably destroy innovation and freedom. Which is more innovative, the U.S. Postal Service or Facebook and Twitter? Which is better for consumers, city taxi commissions or Uber and Lyft?
However, Sen. Cruz failed to mention that net neutrality has worked for decades, which is why new websites such as Facebook and Twitter have succeeded. He also didn't mention that government utilities provide reliable water and power for millions of Americans.
Not to be outdone, the conservative polling company Rasmussen Reports stated:
Americans really like the online service they currently have and strongly oppose so-called “net neutrality” efforts that would allow the federal government to regulate the Internet.
Rasmussen Reports failed to note that Americans' current online service is under net neutrality, but added:
Sixty-one percent (61%) disagree and think the Internet should remain open without regulation and censorship. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure. Only 19% believe more government regulation is the best way to protect those who use the Internet. Fifty-six percent (56%) feel more free market competition is the best protection. Twenty-five percent (25%) are undecided.
RightWingWatch.org reports that both the Christian-based American Family Association (AFA) and National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) have publicly opposed net neutrality, again, without knowing exactly what it is (audio below).
Craig Parshall of the NRB and Dan Celia of the AFA recently expressed their outrage over President Obama's support of net neutrality, which they claimed was a scary "power grab."
Parshall urged Americans to oppose net neutrality if they want to “protect the internet," while Celia worried if net neutrality would somehow stop free speech and undermine Christians from telling people about Jesus Christ, noted RightWingWatch.org.