Why Hasn't The Obama Administration Weighed In On The FCC's Net Neutrality Comment Period?

from the take-a-backseat-to-no-one? dept

Marvin Ammori has a good article over at Slate questioning why the Obama White House does not appear to have submitted comments with the FCC concerning net neutrality. As you know by now, the FCC received over 3 million comments when the commenting period finally closed on Monday — but so far, it does not appear that the Obama administration weighed in (it’s possible that not all comments are in the database yet, but still…). While you might think this isn’t a huge deal — Obama has said he supports net neutrality (indeed, campaigned heavily on it originally), Ammori notes that it is somewhat odd. The administration frequently does submit its own comments on other FCC issues:

While President Obama campaigned heavily on net neutrality and recently reiterated his support for it, he hasn?t filed a thing to the FCC. The president has alluded to the FCC being an independent agency, and therefore suggested he should not publicly encourage the commission to fulfill his campaign promises. Yet since becoming president, his Executive Branch has submitted more than 200 filings to the FCC in over 80 proceedings. (If you want proof, see this spreadsheet.)

If the administration were to file comments, it might come through a White House office, such as the National Economic Council or the Office of Science & Technology Policy, or the Commerce Department?s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). In 2009, the NTIA submitted comments telling the FCC that the ?NTIA expects to offer views on the issues presented in [the network neutrality] rulemaking at the appropriate time.? You would think that we have reached the appropriate time. But President Obama has stood largely silent while his FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler, barrels toward dismantling an open Internet and threatening the entire economy that now rides atop it.

The commenting period seems like it would have been the appropriate time for at least some part of the administration to weigh in. Even with 3 million other comments, a comment coming from the administration would not get lost in the process. Instead, the President seems to be more or less admitting that his campaign promises on net neutrality were simply empty promises.

Obama has proclaimed that he ?will take a backseat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality.? By not commenting in the FCC proceeding, the president has taken a back seat to dozens of tech companies, including Etsy, Kickstarter, Vimeo, Reddit, and Tumblr, the AARP, dozens of senators and members of Congress, and millions of people that have strongly filed or commented in favor of real, strong Title II network neutrality. It?s time for that to change.

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Comments on “Why Hasn't The Obama Administration Weighed In On The FCC's Net Neutrality Comment Period?”

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Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Simple Answer

Why would a president that has done so much to assert control over the people that elected him want to destroy that control by making the Internet anything other than a one way street, the broadcast Internet (with the exception of listening in on everyone in the world)? Future presidents would not look kindly on making control more difficult. They will (at least try to) write the history, true or not.

Oh, and then there is the money flowing from ‘People’ (aka corporations) that want to control the next election cycle. Can’t let those democrats whom might benefit down.

One cannot control what one lets off the leash. This is not the way of doublethink (defined as the acceptance of or mental capacity to accept contrary opinions or beliefs at the same time, especially as a result of political indoctrination).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Simple Minds ...

Yeah – it was all peaches ‘n cream before that guy took office, way to screw up all of W’s missions accomplished.

Either McCain or Romney would have created paradise by now fer sure! But no … look what we got instead.

Look it’s simple, all the makers need are a few more tax breaks and then all us takers will get those awesome jobs at the end of the rainbow. Personally I can’t wait – it’s like being a kid at Christmas but the libtards declared war on that! Not to mention all the alien terrorist ebola infested children crossing the border.

Thanks Obama

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Simple Minds ...

I did not suggest either that Obama was the originator of the mess nor that anyone else would have been better (how could we know for sure).

Fact is, this mess started long ago, and was recognized by Eisenhower in his Military, Industrial, (newly added Intelligence) complex speech. We are still looking for a way out.

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Simple Minds ...

Truly simple minds, believe this is actually a partisan matter, and that one political gang is honest while the other is not.

In a pseudo-democracy (fascist capitalists wearing democrat and republican badges), the goal is simply to fool the majority of people all of the time.

Apparently, the majority are the Simple Minds.

another AAC says:

In a democracy everything a politician promises should not have an escape clause, especially in this land of law! There should be accountability what a political candidate promises at the campaigns. Lets start this as an experiment with the presidential runs. So at least future presidents do not hijack the country with promises!

Seriously, folks.

Anonymous Coward says:

Why Hasn't The Obama Administration Weighed In On The FCC's Net Neutrality Comment Period?

Because Obama’s a wimp. He’s a spineless shell of a man who lets people push him around. He could’ve stood up for the beliefs he had as a candidate, but he couldn’t take the pressure, and now he’s a broken man; dead inside to the point where he can announce that his administration tortured people without so much as batting an eye. He’s not going to make a public statement unless he feels he has to, and even then he won’t make a statement unless the companies that own him sign off on it.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Isn't Obama owned by big telecom and big media?

I thought it had already been demonstrated beyond doubt that Obama is owned by big media and telecommunications.

Are we asking that question just to point to this truth again?

Granted, he’s lame duck anyway, but they could probably make his life uncomfortable. They could wreck the careers of his allies in his name.

But we’ve already established that our representatives are owned by monied interests, that ours is an oligarchy that has no interest in the welfare of the people except in regards to how it affects work forces, and that people don’t vote for their best interests when they can be manipulated through campaigning and culture to do otherwise.

So there’s no real question here: Comcast has Obama by the short-and-curlies and Obama is going to only do exactly what they say.

Eight years a slave.

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