by Scott Creighton
According to the FCC, public agencies in service to the people in democratic systems like ours work best in total secrecy. That from an agency run by Thomas Wheeler, a former cable and telecom lobbyist who now claims to be fighting for our internet freedoms.
Over a week ago, the FCC voted for their “open internet order” after a rough draft of the plan was handed down from the White House. Yes, that’s the same White House that is looking for fast-track authority to push through the TPP and the TTIP. The same White House that had insurance and healthcare companies write the Affordable Care Act.
For three weeks prior to the vote, not one of the five FCC commissioners bothered to leak the 317 page document so the people who would be most directly effected by the plan could read it and understand what was actually in it.
The FCC opened up their website in order to allow comments from the public on the subject of the order, but of course, having never seen the order, none of the 4 million or so comments could have possibly addressed the plan accurately.
Freedom of Information Act requests have apparently been filed by various citizens, all of which have been rejected from my understanding of what the FCC’s website says. They apparently believe it is not in the public’s interest to have access to the closed door discussions between the commissioners regarding this “open internet order”
… The confidentiality of the Commissioners’ internal deliberations is a critical part of the process, long recognized by the law. So, for example, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – an additional congressional command – contains a statutory exemption protecting the internal deliberative processes of an agency…
… In other words, allowing the Commission to engage in frank, non-public discussions improves the decision-making process, just as receiving public comments boosts the Commission’s expertise. FCC website
Let’s unpack that one a bit.
Keeping secret the discussion about rules they are making to our internet which will effect our lives and how we understand the world around us, is in our best interest and “improves their decision making abilities” while opening up their website for uninformed comments from the rabble “boosts the Commission’s expertise”?
Is anyone else even slightly concerned about the ridiculous nature of those statements? If not, hang on. It gets worse.