back to article Net neutrality: Email trail reveals how Prez Obama bent the FCC to his will

US Republican senators have today published emails that suggest the President "unduly influenced" the FCC – America's nominally independent telco regulator. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) switched tack on bringing about "net neutrality" after feeling the heat from President Barack Obama, who intervened on the …

  1. Ole Juul


    "It should be highly concerning that an independent agency like the FCC could be so unduly influenced by the White House, "

    How can somebody say that while turning a blind eye to how the White House pressures even more supposedly independent agencies? Dream on.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: rolleyes

      Yes, it should be highly concerning...

      ... But to be honest, on the scale of things to worry about in the USA today? Does it even register?

      If this is anywhere near the top of your mental priority list, you're leading a very protected life indeed.

      1. Phlogistan

        Re: rolleyes


        Really now whenever shall we find time to worry about what the little people concern themselves with.

        All this folderol about "honesty" or "transparency" is simply wasted on these petty matters.

        We should be SO much more concerned about something important... like haranguing commentards about their poor syntax choices.

      2. TAJW

        Re: rolleyes

        The problem is, this administration specifically (as have others) implement these type of things, taking a little bit of ground here and there, then a little more, and pretty soon the area impacted is quite large. While it happened, our focus was elsewhere, on 'bigger' issues that the media told us were important. Many things are important, and the government influence is broad because they have so many people working on so many things, and can keep the pressure on endlessly.

        We the people are seriously under attack by the elitists 'who know what we need better than we do'.

    2. Grikath

      Re: rolleyes

      "It should be highly concerning that an independent agency like the FCC could be so unduly influenced by the White House, "

      As opposed to the wholly wholesome influence by the sponsors of these senators, of course....

      Oh , was that sarcasm?

    3. Warm Braw

      Re: rolleyes

      Given that the president of the USA has no powers to make laws or raise a budget or, apparently, direct the operation of federal agencies an external observer might wonder what purpose the post actually serves.

      It surely cannot simply have been created to sustain endless foreign wars, in the absence of any other form of legitimate diversion? And if it had been, might that not be rather more of a cause for concern than the possible over-eager regulation of a utility?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: rolleyes

        Warm> It surely cannot simply have been created to sustain endless foreign wars

        U.S. Democratic President Obama sure thinks so... Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen

        At least Afghanistan and Iraq interventions dealt with foreign nations which attacked other nations, no such attacks against foreign nations occurred with the nations that U.S. President Obama targeted for intervention.

        Hope & Change - Endless Wars with Genocides of World War 1 and 2 levels in the 21 Century.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: rolleyes

        "an external observer might wonder what purpose the post actually serves."

        The purpose of a president is not to wield power, but to divert attention from those who do

  2. ecofeco Silver badge

    The bully pulpit

    The office of POTUS has regularly and traditionally been called this.

    Often it is used for good. Sometimes not. In this case, good.

    1. Phlogistan

      Re: The bully pulpit

      Because when violating rules it is what *I* prefer that should be the final arbiter.

      Rules for THEE but not for ME.

      And The Suckers Never Catch Wise.


      ... over the cliff ...

  3. Mark 85

    Nothing new here...except maybe the IT angle.

    If one looks at history, the US has had a boatload of Presidents who influenced and leaned on so-called independent agencies. Obama may have taken it to a new level, however.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing new here...except maybe the IT angle.

      A new level? More so than the Bush administration, who tasked one of their lawyers to come up with a new legal theory and forced the Attorney General to sign it while hospitalized, then used that document to order the NSA to violate the Constitution in multiple ways to spy on every American?

      And we're supposed to be worried about bringing the FCC chair to the White House for a few meetings?

      1. Phlogistan

        Re: Nothing new here...except maybe the IT angle.

        Nothing new here.

        Still shouting "BUSH DID IT!" after eight years in order to minimize or justify bad behavior in Executive Branch Land®.

        Perhaps after killing a few millions of folks one could use the old saw:

        "But STALIN was SOOOOO much worse!"

        That's the ticket!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nothing new here...except maybe the IT angle.

          I certainly don't justify or agree with executive branch overreach no matter who is in the white house, and I'm no fan of Obama. I was replying to the highly partisan claim that Obama putting pressure on the FCC was the worst case of this in history when it clearly wasn't even in the top 1000.

          It isn't even close to the worst example of executive overreach on Obama's part - I think ordering drone strikes on American citizens is far worse (even if Bush did that first, Obama is doing it more) That's a perfect example of the problem - each president uses what the last president did as the low water mark, and raises the bar.

          Partisans only complain when it is the other team's president who overreaches, and are full of excuses for the conduct of their own. That is what enables things to get worse with every administration, no matter whether they swear fealty to a donkey or an elephant.

      2. David Halko

        Re: Nothing new here...except maybe the IT angle.

        Within days of the FCC making it illegal to prioritize sensitive (i.e. voice, video) traffic, which could be dropped due to bandwidth hogging protocols (i.e. torrent, ftp, http) - a huge Obama donor decided to announce release their own internet video products.

        Once again, Democratic President Obama used the power of his position to repay rich Big Business by raising the costs upon the poor people for their internet access... since the only option to optimizing traffic where enough bandwidth exists is building bigger infrastructure at the cost to everyone.

        With Democratic President Obama advocating "pay lanes" with Federal Highway Funds all over the country, to soak the rich for convenience - this was a diametrically opposite result by the Schizophrenic President. It's just more Corporate Welfare, paid for by those struggling to remain out of poverty.

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