|For Immediate Release
January 6, 2011
Manassas, VA – The FCC’s December 21st vote to make itself the authority over the Internet has done nothing to allay the fears of National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), America's preeminent association of Christian broadcasters and communicators, that “traffic control” will quickly lead to content regulation and even viewpoint discrimination.
“In our view, the FCC’s Net Neutrality rulemaking is an enormous regulatory overreach without proper statutory authorization. We support legislative efforts to reestablish Congressional authority in determining the scope of the FCC’s authority in Internet regulation,” said Dr. Frank Wright, NRB President and CEO, in response to news that one Member of Congress has already introduced legislation to reign-in the FCC.
“In the waning days before Christmas, the grim specter of censorship hung in the air as the FCC voted by a slim majority (3-2) to enforce the complex, yet viciously vague set of ‘net neutrality’ regulations,” added Craig Parshall, NRB Sr. Vice President and General Counsel. “In reading the FCC’s 89-page Report and Order, the regulations clearly state that providers of Internet services can restrict, slow down, or even block any web content that they wish as long as they can claim the goal of ‘reasonable network management’. Yet that concept is not clearly defined, leaving the operational and legal doors open for Internet providers to exercise content control in the name of 'reasonable' traffic management.”
“To further add insult to injury,” continues Parshall, “the FCC offers only a promise of ‘case-by-case’ review of complaints, including those of blatant viewpoint censorship committed by web access providers, rather than ruling in a way that insures at the outset that free speech, including religious expression, are protected on the Internet. Imagine if our Founding Fathers had refused to draft the clear guarantees of the First Amendment, opting instead for the government to merely review free expression outrages on a case-by-case basis."
Click here to read Mr. Parshall’s evaluation of the Net Neutrality regulations in the January 5, 2011, issue of NRB Today.
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a non-partisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to keep the doors of electronic media open for the spread of the Gospel. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at www.nrb.org.
About the NRB Convention
The annual Convention & Exposition is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. NRB 2011 is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN, February 26 - March 1, 2011. For registration and other Convention information visit www.nrbconvention.org.
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