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Saturday, December 17, 2016
No Agenda-The Saturday Memo
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No Freedom of Speech for you, blogger! important essay
A topic that your No Agenda Show has promoted is the notion that at some point in the near future you will need a license to blog or podcast. This topic was front and center with Adam Curry’s recent visit with Max Keiser on RT and with Alex Jones on InfoWars.
Curiously, neither host bothered to mention the First Amendment and free speech as a roadblock to this notion of licensing journalists, blogs and podcasts. Shame on them.
While I cannot see a way in hell that print journalists can ever be licensed, there could evolve a professional organization formed to “approve” them and make it difficult to get a job without this approval. This would be like bar associations for lawyers. There is nothing in the Constitution that says you need to be approved by some group to be a lawyer, but it is almost impossible to practice otherwise.
With bloggers and podcasters this can be easier to control and the FCC is poised to do just that.
Once the nonsense about net neutrality got the FCC involved in policing the Internet the door was open for rules and regulations just like with broadcast media. Broadcasting is highly controlled.
Government control of broadcasting began as a simple need to control the frequency ranges of radiol broadcasting in the early days. This was to prevent interference. It quickly morphed into more than licensing frequencies and into controlling content to the point that you can be fined and lose your license for cursing on the air (to protect the kiddies?) or showing nudity.
This morphing of the agency from controlling the frequencies to controlling the content will take place with the Internet too.
It’s a known fact that the FCC has been trying to impose its rules and censorship on the cable-TV industry but has not been successful because there is nothing public about paying for a subscription and getting on a cable system then paying more to get HBO.
The argument can and will be made that the ubiquitous nature of the Internet makes it akin to broadcast media -- radio and TV. The net is, in fact, a form of broadcasting and is often used as an antenna-free broadcast mechanism. What is a podcast but a new form of a radio show?
The logic is too obvious, at least to me. The end result will be the same sort of government control you have with broadcast media only worse because the newspapers, which have all gone online, will now lose their first amendment protections at least in the online form.
So this is an overall disaster waiting to happen and playing off the “fake news” meme to expedite the process. Get ready for it. -- jcd
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