As the Federal Communications Commission gets ready to vote on new net neutrality rules, cyber expert Steven J.J. Weisman says to expect the new rules to become a reality because of the public support they have received.
"The whole reason net neutrality is going to go through is because there are four million people sending in emails to their congressmen and to the FCC in favor of it," Weisman, who is an attorney and senior lecturer at Bentley University, told J.D. Hayworth and Miranda Khan on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV
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"Net neutrality is going to work and is going to happen in some form," he said.
Net neutrality is set to be approved
by the FCC this week. Under the proposed rules, Internet service would be treated like a utility company. It is currently treated like an information service, according to rules passed under the George W. Bush administration.
"Right now, Congress has backed off and said, 'we're going to see what those regulations are,'" Weisman said.
"Whatever those regulations are, they are going to end up being challenged by the major Internet service providers probably on the ground that Internet is not a utility, but ultimately, it is going to work out," he said.
"The concern, of course, is that if it is classified as a utility, potentially that allows the FCC to tax it and have heavier regulations," Weisman said. "The commissioner said they are not going to do that. His words were 'they are going to use a light hand,' but that's not really much of a legal guarantee.
"People recognize the importance of net neutrality. I don't think it is necessarily going to stifle innovation so long as the government does do the light hand, but the FCC has really got to follow true with what they're saying."
However, Weisman does think it would be better if Congress sets the rules, not the FCC.
"Whether it is done in a regulatory manner or done initially through Congress is significant. Because if it is merely classified as a utility, which is what the FCC wants it to do, we have to rely on the good faith of the FCC as a political institution itself not to tax — as it would have the right, not to overly regulate — as it would have the right," he said.
"I would like to see Congress act first, and then have this followed up by consistent regulations with what Congress says, because that would be more productive."
Weisman added that he's "not sure what the rush is here, because the Internet providers are not setting these higher rates."
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