Droolin’ Jim Sensenbrenner got his fascist bill through his committee today:
By a 20-13 vote Thursday that partially followed party lines, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would require broadband providers to abide by strict Net neutrality principles, meaning that their networks must be operated in a “nondiscriminatory” manner.
Impeach the bastard.
Seriously, this was a foregone conclusion once he agreed to sponsor the bill. Any committee chair can pass any bill through his committee he wants, even one as stupid as this one:
If a broadband network provider prioritizes or offers enhanced quality of service to data of a particular type, it must prioritize or offer enhanced quality of service to all data of that type (regardless of the origin or ownership of such data) without imposing a surcharge or other consideration for such prioritization or enhanced quality of service.
The reason he wanted to do it is to take jurisdiction over the Internet away from Energy and Commerce so he and his friends can soak the telcos and Google for campaign contributions:
Because the FCC is overseen by Barton’s committee, that proposal would effectively cut off Judiciary Committee members from being able to hold hearings on Net neutrality antitrust violations, give speeches about corporate malfeasance and solicit campaign cash from affected companies–the lifeblood of modern Washington politics.
The test will occur on the floor of the House, where the committee jurisdictional issue will be settled. The leadership doesn’t support Sensenbrenner’s bid for power, so it will be an interesting fight.
And in any case, the Senate would have to concur for this bill to become law, and that’s not a foregone conclusion by any means. But that being said, this action was a victory for the forces of regulation, and anybody who cares about a free and unfettered Internet should be worried.
Google’s not your friend, and neutrality’s not neutral.