‘Proven to Work’: FCC Chair Explains Why Net Neutrality Needs to Be Reversed

Federal Communications Commission chair Ajit Pai has been under fire after he announced that Obama-era rules for net neutrality would be reversed. He joined Glenn today to explain what undoing the regulation means for the internet.

“All we are proposing to do is to go back to President Clinton’s light touch, market-based framework that was in place from 1996 to 2015,” Pai said. “It’s a regulatory system that has been proven to work; that’s why we have the internet economy that is the envy of the world.”

Here are some of the topics he covered with Glenn (listen above):

  • The protesters who harassed his family over Thanksgiving weekend
  • The FCC’s role in online speech
  • The real effects of repealing net neutrality regulations

Let us know your thoughts on net neutrality in the comment section below.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: I've dawn broadcast for 40-some years. And I think this is the only time I've ever liked the FCC chairman. Ajit Pai. Welcome to the program, Ajit, how are you?

AJIT: Pretty good. Thank you for having me on. And for the kind words.

GLENN: Well, you didn't have a high bar. I do not like regulation at all. And that's what the FCC has -- has done. And -- and they have gotten stronger and stronger, and I worry about the internet. And then you come in. And you are now having a -- a real problem because people are -- you're going to -- you're going to repeal net neutrality. And people are coming out and -- I'm sorry for what your family went through. Picketing your house on Thanksgiving weekend.

AJIT: It's outrageous. And, you know, some of the online threats have been even more outrageous. And I think for anybody in public office. And any publicly-exposed position, you should not be threatened. Your family should not be threatened with violence or the like, simply because of the position you hold. And, you know, just simply steels my resolve to keep doing what I think is the right thing to do, and to also keep my family safe.

GLENN: So, Ajit, first of all, I'm sorry for this, but this is what's happening all over the country to anybody. When people disagree with somebody, we -- you know, we just -- all of a sudden, we think it's okay to harass them or terrorize them or offer death threats or whatever online.

Does the FCC have any place in regulating that kind of speech, online or anywhere else?

AJIT: We don't. Obviously, if it threatens violence or the like, we can work with law enforcement authorities. By and large, we have a hands-off rule. We don't regulate the content that goes over the internet.

What I will say is I have tried to speak out about the fact that we need to have a more civil fact-focused discourse in this country. It's one thing to disagree on policy. But if you go out there peddling misinformation, like democracy is threatened, the Internet is about to be broken, and here is the guy who is doing it. Here's his phone number. Here's where he lives. Here's his family. You shouldn't be surprised when people get alarmed and start to take outrageous actions. And so I would hope that we try to focus on the facts, as passionate as people are about this issue.

GLENN: So they are claiming that this is the end of democracy on the internet because you are going to repeal something that Obama put in, net neutrality.

AJIT: And that's the great irony about this. All we are proposing to do is to go back to President Clinton's light-touch, market-based framework that was place from 1996 to 2015. It's a regulatory system that has been proven to work. That's why we have the internet economy that's the envy of the world. And so all of these apocalyptic predictions are simply ridiculous, given the fact that we've lived under these exact same rules for two decades, and the world didn't end.

To the contrary, it thrived, especially for conservatives who have historically been marginalized when it comes to having the ability to express themselves.

STU: It's amazing that they would think that the era of 1996 to 2015 was a bad one for the internet. It changed our world completely.

AJIT: It's incredible. All these people suggesting that we were living in some digital dystopia before 2015, and that's why the government had to seize control of the internet, are completely misinterpreting history. And I think are object oblivious to the fact that these regulations do have costs. And going forward, we want to make sure that we have rules that accurately reflect the market. And promote free speech and expression online as well.

GLENN: So I talked to Ray Kurzweil who is the head of the Singularity University and consultant for Google and everybody else. And we talked about this at one point, kind of half-jokingly, about, you know, if Google can monitor all of the stuff and see what people are searching for, if somebody is searching for a better way to make a Google, why would Google ever allow them to do that? Are you concerned at all about the rise of these gigantic corporations that are bigger than some countries in their power, like Google. Google pretty much wrote the net neutrality bill.

AJIT: This is a growing concern, I think, in some halls in Washington and around the country. And part of the argument I made earlier this week is that you should practice what you preach. If you come to the FCC saying we need these heavy-handed regulations to be applied to one part of the internet economy, but, oh, don't regulate me, you should be consistent in how you operate your business. And that's part of the reason why I've said we need to have a level playing field. Everyone should play by the same rules, and the government certainly shouldn't be picking winners and losers and dispensing regulatory favors to those companies or parts of the industry that it favors at any given point in time.

GLENN: So how does net neutrality benefit a company like Google and hurt the small way?

AJIT: Well, I think the primary way is it's essentially saying, if you're an online content provider, you get rules of the road that will favor you. You essentially have the ability to pursue your business model without regulation. But the companies that run the networks that have to invest in those networks, aren't free to essentially build other networks and manage them appropriately.

And so that's pretty useful, to companies that are sending and receiving a lot of traffic on the internet. My simple point is, let's let the market decide how this works, instead of having the government micromanage it and pick winners and losers.

STU: Ajit, we're talking to Ajit Pai from the FCC.

And I know that a lot of -- even some conservatives that I talk to, see net neutrality as something that's positive because they -- they look at the way they use the internet. They stream Netflix. And Netflix is awesome. Everybody loves Netflix. It's great programming. And I don't want some company telling me that I can't get the speeds I need, so I get buffering and everything else. We need to stop that. What do you tell those people?

AJIT: I tell them two things. First of all, I understand where they're coming from. I love Netflix as well and stream a video all the time.

The problem is two-fold. Number one, the companies that are building the networks, have to be able to have a wide enough road, so to speak, to carry all of this bandwidth. And that road, expanding it, maintaining it, costs a lot of money.

And so the question is, should we allow commercial arrangements where the companies that are occupying a lot of space on the road will share in the cost much maintaining that road? And that's one of the things that the market has been able to traditionally sort out.

My point is that we shouldn't have the government dictating up front that, look, we're going to set the rules of the road, and prefer one part of the industry over the other.

GLENN: Can you explain, because people say by repealing this, it's going to make it harder for poor Americans to afford the internet, which is usually the opposite of what happens when government, you know, doesn't get involved. When government doesn't get involved, the prices go down because there's competition. When the government starts regulating, the prices usually start to go up. Can you help solve this?

AJIT: Absolutely. And this is one of the classic bits of misinformation out there.

These regulations, these heavy-handed regulations, on some of these network operators, have actually led them to reduce their investments in building these high-speed networks, especially in rural and low-income areas. Building these networks is hard. It costs a lot of money, takes a lot of time.

And what I've heard for myself -- firsthand, when I've gone to places like Spencer, Iowa, and Parsons, Kansas, and Reno, Nevada, is that some of these smaller companies, the very companies that are necessary to promote more competition and to reach rural and low-income consumers, they're the ones who are suffering under these regulations.

They've told us on the record that they're holding back on investment, or they can't even raise capital in the first place because companies say there's not going to be return on the investment because of these rules. So the argument I've made is that poorer consumers in particular are worse off because these regulations are standing in the way of them getting internet access or getting more competition.

STU: I think Ajit, there's a strong ideological argument to me that there's no human right, there's no constitutional right to Netflix. That is not what the government should be involved in when it comes to commerce.

But people -- you know, they obviously like it. They don't want these things to happen. And when you have a situation where a company could, in theory, strangle a particular site's bandwidth, people get panicked.

However, is it a real world thing? My understanding is it basically never happens. And if it does, the result after is actually a positive one.

GLENN: Exactly. And this is part of the reason why going back to your earlier question about Netflix, this is exactly the reason why we should let the Federal Trade Commission, not the FCC, figure out whether or not any of these arrangements are any competitive.

That phenomena you're just describing doesn't happen in the marketplace today, and if it did, one could imagine that it could be pro-competitive or anti-competitive.

My point is simply the FCC shouldn't preemptively say for all of the 4,000-sum Internet providers and for the rest of time, we know what the market is going to be, and we're going to forbid this or that business practice.

Let's let the anticompetitive authorities -- the competition authorities at the Federal Trade Commission, what could be anticompetitive on a case-by-case basis. That's a much better way of singling out the bad apples, I think.

GLENN: Talking to the chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, about net neutrality.

Ajit, do you look at all the regulations of FDR and see how the big -- for instance, big three automakers put automakers like, you know, Auburn out of business, when they started regulating. I mean, a lot of this stuff as we're growing into a new area of technology, a lot of this stuff we can learn from the past.

Are you examining any of that?

AJIT: Oh, absolutely. In fact, the net neutrality regulations that the previous FCC adopted in 2015, were directly modeled on the rules developed in the Roosevelt administration to handle Ma Bell, the telephone monopoly.

And the argument I've made is counterintuitive to a lot of people, but I think you might appreciate it, which is that these heavy-handed rules from the 1930s, that were designed for monopolies actually benefit some of the bigger companies.

They're the ones who have the lawyers and the accountants and the lobbyists to comply with these regulations. The smaller companies don't. And so ironically enough, these heavy-handed rules that were designed for a monopoly, will end up leading the marketplace toward a monopoly. And that's the last thing we want to see. We want to see more competition, more smaller providers entering the marketplace. And heavy-handed rules are not the way to get us there.

GLENN: Seeing that you are the chairman of the FCC and so much of freedom of speech in some ways, falls under your purview, are you concerned about the direction that, you know, our colleges or our universities, even our media and our politicians, seem to be moving in, where there doesn't seem to be any tolerance for different kinds of opinions.

AJIT: Absolutely. And I just gave a speech about this yesterday, in fact, where I said, there seems to be less of a tolerance for other points of view, and that social media, ironically enough, given the name, seems to be accentuating that problem.

And I'm very disturbed about the future of free speech and expression in this country. I think the harbinger is certainly on college campuses, where you see people not only not wanting to listen to other points of view, they actively want to shut down the expression of other parts of view.

And this is the generation -- these are the people that are going to have to carry the torch for this core constitutional freedom in the years to come. And I've long said that the First Amendment is great. It's nice to have that on the parchment of the Constitution, but it also requires a culture that is willing to defend this principle that we are a pluralistic nation, that other points of view, even if repugnant to you, should be allowed to be expressed. And I do worry that our culture is becoming less and less tolerant of other points of view. And eventually it will have a serious impact, if it's not corrected.

GLENN: Ajit Pai, thank you so much. I appreciate it and appreciate your time. Chairman of the FCC.

Somebody might want to check the temperature in hell, it might be just a tad chillier than normal.

If you missed Friday's episode of The Glenn Beck Program, you missed something you probably never thought you'd see in this timeline or any other. Glenn actually donned President Trump's trademark red "Make America Great Again" hat and laid out the case for why he thinks Trump will win in a landslide in 2020.

RELATED: The media's derangement over Trump has me wearing a new hat and predicting THIS for 2020

Bottom line: Nancy Pelosi and the mainstream media may have pushed Glenn to this point, but believe it or not, Trump's record will make this next election a walk in the park for number 45. At this point, the sitting president has done enough to earn even Glenn's vote.

Glenn broke down what he thought were the 10 biggest campaign promises that — unlike those made by most politicians — Trump actually kept.

10. Impose a 10% repatriation tax to bring jobs back to America

Not all of Trump's promises were good ones, but regardless of what the consequences may be — he did keep this one.

"Now, I think this one is dangerous," Glenn said on radio Friday. "He did it. Ten percent. Bring all of your money back into the United States. It will create jobs. Yes. It will also create inflation. But it's creating jobs."

9. Withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

This has been one of Trump's most passionate issues.

"The stop the TPP. Uh-huh. Right. Sure you are. Uh-huh. Yes. He did," Glenn admitted.

8. Withdraw from the disastrous Paris Climate Accord

Glenn found himself eating crow on this.

"I'm on record saying he will never do that because his daughter is a huge global warming person and he only listens to the family. Eh. Wrong," Glenn said with a puff of crow feathers coming from his mouth.

7. Bring North Korea to the table and rein them in

This looked impossible. Not so.

"'I'm going to bring North Korea to the table.' Are you? Everybody has tried to do that," Glenn said. "Now, they're at the table. We don't know what's going to happen. So the result of that is unknown. But has anybody else done that?"

6. Stop over-regulation and jump-start the economy

It's the economy, stupid.

"Does anybody feel like America is beginning to get on track somewhat economically? You know why? Because he fulfilled another promise," Glenn said. "Stop over-regulating the American people. Give them their money. Give the companies the opportunity to expand and bring their money back into the country, and maybe they'll build buildings. Maybe they'll build offices. Maybe they'll build new products. Maybe they'll build new factories. Maybe they'll hire a bunch of people."

Glenn went on.

"Now, I know Seattle is trying to do everything they can to make sure everybody in their city is homeless and unemployed, but the rest of the country is enjoying the feeling of, wow, maybe things are going to be okay."

5. Reverse Obama's executive orders

If you're like Glenn, you've gotten used to politicians promising "no new taxes," but you can really tell they're lying if their lips are moving. Guess what? That's apparently not Trump.

"The executive orders? Yeah. He's reversed a lot of Obama's executive orders," Glenn said. "These are outrageous promises."

4. Pull out of the Iran nuclear deal

No big deal...

"'I'm going to cancel the Iran Deal.' Yep. None of these are small. You know, I've got maybe ten minutes. I think we can get that done in the first term. And they did," Glenn said.

3. Give tax cuts to middle-class Americans

Maybe this could have been better, but we'll take it.

"I don't like the tax cut. I think he could go a lot further," Glenn said. "But that's not even his job. His job is to sign things that Congress puts in front of him. Not to design it. You Republicans in Congress, you disgust me. You disgust me. 'Imagine what we could do if we had the House and the Senate and the White House.' I can imagine what you'll do — nothing. You'll do nothing."

2. Change strategy and defeat ISIS

The mainstream media have been radio silent on this.

"How about the president's — well, I know I can defeat ISIS. I know I can do it. I'll defeat ISIS. He did," Glenn said. "And did you notice no one in the press even talked about it? All of a sudden, we're not talking about ISIS anymore. How come? Oh, I know. President Trump. That's why."

1. Recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the US embassy

This one is a true game-changer.

"Now, every president will say to you, when he's running, 'I'm going to make Jerusalem the home.' Well, really? The home of the embassy. Really, are you? Because everybody says that, nobody does it. He did it," Glenn said. "And I think that's going to go down as the biggest game-changer possibly in my lifetime. This is going — it already is — it is changing the game in Iran."

Glenn continued.

"And when it does, this president is going to come out and say something directly to those people, that we support them," he said. "And that's going to add fuel to the fire. And you might see a regime change and a collapse of the Islamic regime in Iran. And it will be 100 percent Donald Trump that made that responsible. One hundred percent. You're going to see changes because of this. He kept that promise. A promise I said, he's not going to do that. Nobody is going to do that. He did."

One chapter of ISIS has ended, but another may be starting

AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images

For the most part, ISIS has fallen in Syria and Iraq. But before we celebrate the demise of this awful terrorist group, before we let our guard down, we should zoom out a bit, because ISIS is spreading. ISIS has largely just scattered out of the region as if someone turned on the kitchen lights and they scrambled.

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The Wall Street Journal spoke with Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the Nanyang University in Singapore. “Although Islamic State's ideology has suffered, it still has a huge potential," he told them. “Islamic State has entered a phase of global expansion, very much the same way al Qaeda extended globally in late 2001."

ISIS has spread into West Africa, and throughout much of Southeast Asia, and, as is typical of ISIS, they have done it violently, with a sick venom.

The world is their potential rubble, and their fight is endless.

Again, from the Wall Street Journal: “One chapter of ISIS has finished and another is beginning," said Hassan Hassan, a specialist on Islamic State at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington. “Their resurgence is coming sooner than expected."

The world is their potential rubble, and their fight is endless.

'The Handmaid's Tale' got it right, just with the wrong religion

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Just in case The Handmaid's Tale's heavy-handed message wasn't already heavy-handed enough, a recent episode made it clear there's always room for further hysteria. Particularly, in relation to depictions of a “patriarchal society" run by Christian doctrine and determined by men — oh those dastardly men.

RELATED: Christian privilege is the new white privilege

The show appropriates Margaret Atwood of the same name, depicting a totalitarian society led by Christian doctrine in which women's bodies are controlled, and they have no rights. The story sounds familiar, but not in the same way Atwood and the show's creators have so smugly assumed.

Just as tone-deaf as 4th wave feminism itself, and tone-deaf in all the exact same places. Most notably, the show's heavy-handed indignation toward Christianity. Toward the patriarchy. Toward conservatives and traditional values. And just like 4th wave feminism, the show completely overlooks the irony at play. Because there is a part of the world where women and children are being raped and mutilated. In fact, in this very real place, the women or girls are often imprisoned, even executed, for being raped, and they are mutilated in unspeakable ways.

Theirs is a cruel, bloody, colorless life.

There is a place, a very real place, where women are forced to cover their entire bodies with giant tarp-like blankets, which is all the more brutal given the endless heat of this place. There is a place where women literally have one-third of the rights of men, a place where women are legally, socially and culturally worth less than men.

They cannot drive cars. They cannot be outside alone. They cannot divorce, they cannot even choose who they marry and often, they are forcibly married at a young age.

They are raped. A lot. Theirs is a cruel, bloody, colorless life. This is the life of tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of women. And, I'll tell you, their religion isn't Christianity.

Science did it again. It only took 270 million years, but this week, scientists finally solved the mystery that has kept the world up at night. We finally know where octopuses come from: outer space. That explains why they look like the aliens in just about every alien movie ever made.

RELATED: Changes in technology can be cause for concern, but THIS is amazing

It turns out octopuses were aliens that evolved on another planet. Scientists haven't determined which one yet, but they've definitely narrowed it down to one of the planets in one of the galaxies. Hundreds of millions of years ago (give or take a hundred), these evolved octopus aliens arrived on Earth in the form of cryopreserved eggs. Now, this part is just speculation, but it's possible their alien planet was on the verge of destruction, so Mom and Dad Octopus self-sacrificially placed Junior in one of these cryopreserved eggs and blasted him off the planet to save their kind.

This alien-octopus research, co-authored by a group of 33 scientists, was published in the Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology journal. I'm sure you keep that on your nightstand like I do.

Anyway, these scientists say octopuses evolved very rapidly over 270 million years. Which sounds slow, but in evolutionary terms, 270 million years is like light speed. And the only explanation for their breakneck evolution is that they're aliens. The report says, “The genome of the Octopus shows a staggering level of complexity with 33,000 protein-coding genes — more than is present in Homo sapiens."

Lucky for us, they landed in the water. Otherwise, we might be octopus pets.

They mention that the octopus' large brain, sophisticated nervous system, camera-like eyes, flexible bodies and ability to change color and shape all point to its alien nature. Octopuses developed those capabilities rather suddenly in evolution, whereas we're still trying to figure out the TV remote.

These biological enhancements are so far ahead of regular evolution that the octopuses must have either time-traveled from the future, or “more realistically" according to scientists, crash-landed on earth in those cryopreserved egg thingies. The report says the eggs arrived here in “icy bolides." I had to look up what a “bolide" is, and turns out it's a fancy word for a meteor.

So, to recap: a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, an alien race of octopuses packed their sperm-bank samples in some meteors and shot them toward Earth. Lucky for us, they landed in the water. Otherwise, we might be octopus pets.