Obama Backs Away From Net Neutrality Campaign Promises After FCC VoteSubmitted by Allegory on Sat, 05/17/2014 - 14:10
May 15, 2014
As a candidate in 2008, Barack Obama was crystal clear about his commitment to ensuring equal treatment of all online content. Now his position on it is shaky, a shift that comes after months of public debate over the future of the American Internet infrastructure
Barack Obama was crystal clear during the 2008 campaign about his commitment to ensuring equal treatment of all online content over American broadband lines. “I will take a backseat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality,” Obama told a crowd at Google in 2008. “Because once providers start to privilege some applications or websites over others then the smaller voices get squeezed out and we all lose.”
At a 2007 campaign forum, he went so far as to specifically promise that his Federal Communications Commission appointments would defend the principle of a “level playing field for whoever has the best idea.” “As president, I am going to make sure that that is the principle that my FCC commissioners are applying as we move forward,” he said.
But on Thursday, the President made no public statement when three Democrats he appointed to the FCC voted to move forward with a plan to allow broadband carriers to provide an exclusive “fast lane” to commercial companies that pay extra fees to get their content transmitted online. Instead, White House aides released a press release distancing the President from the decision.