Former FCC Chair to Cell Companies: No First Amendment for You
|But I Like Reality….|
President Bill Clinton’s first-term Chairman Reed Hundt did exactly that last Wednesday. At an event commissioned and put together by Democrat Congressmen Henry Waxman, Anna Eshoo, Ed Markey, Michael Doyle and Doris Matsui.
amicus [pdf]-filing attorney David Goldberg:
Lawsuits seeking to overturn President Barack Obama’s Network Neutrality, illegally imposed in December 2010, argue in part that it violates their First Amendment rights The Left is seeking to deliver a rebuttal to this assertion.
Chairman Hundt was asked (by yours truly) something along the lines of:
- Can the government come into the home or business for which you paid and built and tell you what you can and cannot say?
- How then are wireless networks - for which these companies paid and built - so fundamentally different? How are they not afforded the same First Amendment protections as you - and everyone else?
- These companies lease the spectrum on which they build these networks. So the notion that they own them outright is simply not true. These are publicly-privately owned properties.
Again, cellular companies have just since 1996 invested in these networks $1.2 trillion. After first paying the federal government billions more for the spectrum rights to do so. It’s a little disrupting and disconcerting to hear that they may not actually, you know, own them.
And that they are subject to the capricious whims of government officials who may at any time exert government’s alleged ownership rights - against and at the expense of their property.
- 'Thanks for the Trillion Dollar Investment - We'll Take it (Over) from Here. Sincerely, the Government'
- No person shall be...deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Tech (sector) layoffs hit 3-year high in first half of 2012; 260% more than first half 2011.
And, again, Chairman Hundt suggested that these networks are public-private ownership stakes - and that the “public” portion allows the government to limit free speech.
To which I responded with something like:
- So the government can limit free speech in public arenas and endeavors?
This Leftist notion that the First Amendment does not apply to the Internet – or anyone or anything else - is not novel.
- Obama Official-Network Neutrality Deviser Says First Amendment Doesn't Apply to Our Computers
Obama: First Amendment Doesn't Apply to Business
‘No Amendment is Absolute’: Chuck Schumer Complains About the First Amendment on Senate Floor
- First Amendment Applies to Internet, Appeals Court Rules
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals strik(es) down a Seattle law restricting free speech
Supreme Court allows new challenge to 'ObamaCare'
Seton Motley is the founder and president of Less Government. He is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, and activist.
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