WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Ranking Member Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) its August Porker of the Month for her inane efforts to re-brand the term “net neutrality.”
Rep. Eshoo has spent taxpayer resources to launch an online contest on Reddit.com, paternalistically admonishing participants to “care about their right to uninhibited access to the Internet.” The Getty images site that Rep. Eshoo used for the contest shows the cost of graphics to be between $65 and $699 depending on the pixel resolution purchased. Even a penny of the taxpayers’ money would have been too much to spend.
Net neutrality was originally coined in a January 12, 2003 article by Columbia University Law Professor Tim Wu. The concept implies that all Internet traffic is created equal and should move freely, without regard to content, destination, or source. However, net neutrality really means government intervention and regulation of the Internet with prophylactic rules aimed at resolving problems that do not exist, and, not coincidentally, confusing Internet users.
Since the late 1990’s, the Internet has been regulated with a light touch, which has allowed innovation to flourish and grow. On December 21, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) attempted to re-brand net neutrality by adopting an Open Internet Order that called for a “free and open Internet.” On January 14, 2014, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned the proposed rule and remanded it back to the FCC. The Court found that the FCC overstepped its bounds when it subjected Internet providers to treatment as common carriers under anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules on Internet services.
Rep. Eshoo has not exactly been opposed to increased regulation of the Internet. While she has been quoted as supporting a “light regulatory touch,” she said that the FCC should prevent Internet service providers from blocking certain kinds of content. She is also opposed to allowing users to pay different rates for different content.
“Rep. Eshoo’s campaign evokes the doublespeak, public manipulation, and political cynicism of George Orwell’s dystopian novel '1984,'” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “Not only is Rep. Eshoo improperly utilizing government resources, she is also using taxpayer funds to attempt to alter terminology in order to disguise her vision of Internet regulation. She does not 'own' the term net neutrality and has no authority to re-brand anything. If private sector proponents of net neutrality wish to change the terminology, they can easily do that at their own expense.”
For inappropriately utilizing taxpayer resources to play the role of “Big Brother,” and for attempting to subject Internet users to regulations that would stifle investment and innovation, CAGW names Rep. Anna Eshoo its August Porker of the Month.
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.