Media Freedom’s Mike Wendy has the lowdown on the FCC’s 400-page order issued yesterday:
The Order has a catch-all, case-by-case approach to the provision of new services, which will judge among other factors whether certain “[p]ractices that threaten the use of the Internet as a platform for free expression would likely unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage consumers’ and edge providers’ ability to use BIAS to communicate with each other, thereby causing harm to that ability.” (Emphasis added) The FCC’s past makes it hard to see how this new “I-know-it-when-I-see-it” standard could comport with the First Amendment. In any event, it will be abused by policymakers working with “competitors” in the ensuing regulatory process, thwarting free expression and any innovation those practices might have brought to the marketplace.
The discretion granted by the FCC to itself makes it now the de jure arbiter of Internet innovation and growth. This is hardly inspiring from a Commission that has a hard time keeping its own website up, it crashing temporarily today as the Order was first given unto the world. [Emphasis added]
400 pages of rules come down to the FCC saying that the rules mean what the FCC says they mean. The chilling effects will be… chilling.