Ted Cruz’s Net Neutrality Take Isn’t Just Dumb, It’s Dangerous

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by Kate Knibbs,

from Gixmodo,

Today, President Obama came out in support of net neutrality, asking the FCC to reclassify broadband as a public utility. This would help stop ISPs from creating “internet slow lanes” and throttling customers. Senator Ted Cruz—who accepted campaign funds from telcom giant Comcast—immediately fired back with this incendiary tweet:

Comparing net neutrality to Obamacare is basically the most insulting parallel a conservative senator can make—half buzzword, half slur, and 100% cynical.

Cruz’s communications director got in on the action, too:

This is a disingenuous, chickenshit political maneuver and nothing more.

Ted Cruz and his team have the facts wrong about net neutrality. Obama specifically said the government would NOT be in charge of pricing: “I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services.”

Emphasis mine. Government will not rate regulate and saying so is lying (or maybe they didn’t actually read the statement?).

Cruz is one of the most powerful people in Congress, and he’s considering a presidential run in 2016. He’s on the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, which handles internet governance and FCC oversight. This is a man people give their attention, which makes this statement dangerous as well as disingenuous.

Cruz is rallying his supporters by denigrating the Obama administration’s politics. He is conflating a hatred with anything Obama stands for with a hatred for this particular stance, which is a rational and potentially bipartisan solution to a problem that affects everyone across the aisle (or at least everyone across the aisle without ties to the ISPs).

Obama is not saying the government should wrest control from private companies and start administering the Internet itself. He is trying to keep the Internet as an equalizer. There is no need for political polarization here.

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