It’s been just one month since the Federal Communications Commission voted to regulate the internet, yet freedom-loving Americans are already inundating Congress with their complaints.
On February 26, the FCC voted to alter the rules under Title II of the Communications Act in order to regulate our computers just like utility and phone companies. It is this extreme power grab that convinced American Commitment, a free-market advocacy group, to mobilize over 500,000 citizens to send letters to Congress sharing their concern about the rise of "ObamaNet." In total, 1,621,614 letters were mailed to Capitol Hill. Phil Kerpen, the president of American Commitment, told Townhall he was pleasantly surprised by the outpouring.
“I have never seen such an overwhelming push back from the general public against the federal regulatory action,” he said. “We’ve seen just a stunning response. In just one month, we had more than half a million people take action.”
Each constituent sent three letters through American Commitment – one to the House and two to the Senate. Kerpen said Congress cannot ignore such a barrage of demands.
“I think they’re starting to feel some pressure up on Capitol Hill.”
That pressure is even being felt across party lines. Last week, G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, became the first Democrat to announce he supported congressional action against the FCC regulations.
Kerpen is not surprised by the backlash considering the law’s vast consequences.
“It’s pretty astonishing what the FCC did here to end two decades of successful free market internet policy and instead say we’re going to regulate the internet like a public utility like a 1930’s law designed for the old phone system.”
Kerpen points to another factor that may be driving Americans’ powerful and passionate responses. A Rasmussen Reports poll from last year asked participants, “Are you worried that the FCC regulating the internet will lead to content control and politicization?” Sixty-eight percent said 'yes.'
“We’ve long argued that once you put federal bureaucrats in charge of the economics of the network, it’s only a matter of time before they try to control the content as well," Kerpen said. "I think that is a widely held concern.”
He said Congress has yet to respond to the campaign, but expects that as they move from the oversight phase into more serious legislative action, members will start addressing the letters.
These letters are likely to speak on behalf of all Americans who cherish their freedom and reject the current administration’s apparent obsession with controlling key aspects of their lives. Obamacare ring a bell?
Let the people tweet!