The Federal Communications Commission colluded with a George Soros-funded, Marxist-founded organization to publicly push a new plan to regulate the Internet under the government’s “net neutrality” program, according to just released documents.
The shock material was released in response to a Freedom of Information request from Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption.
The released documents include internal correspondence and emails evidencing some coordination between FCC officials and leaders of Free Press, a controversial nonprofit which petitions for more government control of the Internet and news media.
The contact largely involved pushing the “net neutrality” agenda in the run up to an FCC vote last December to advance the “net neutrality program.”
“Net neutrality” refers to government demands for a principle for users’ access to networks participating in the Internet. The principle states that if a given user pays for a certain level of Internet access, and another user pays for the same level of access, then the two users should be able to connect to each other at the subscribed level of access.
WND has reported numerous times on the connections between the Obama administration, including the FCC, and Free Press.
Among the material uncovered by Judicial Watch:
- On November 2, 2010, Free Press Associate Outreach Director Misty Perez Truedson sent an email to John Giusti, Chief of Staff to FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, asking if Copps would write an op-ed for the Albuquerque Journal in advance of a November 16 hearing on Internet access: “Would Commissioner Copps be interested in drafting an Op-ed in advance of the hearing? It’s a great way to get the word out and to spark conversations in advance of the event,” Truedson wrote. “We’re working on the op ed,” Giusti wrote back on November 9.
- A series of emails sent to set up meetings between Copps and former Free Press President John Silver. “We are starting to get a good sense of how we’d like to proceed during the next three tricky months on NN [net neutrality]…” Silver wrote in the same October 8, 2010, email: “I think it may make sense for us to get together next week when I’m in town.” The documents also include a written summary of a phone call between Silver and Copps on November 28, 2010, just prior to the FCC vote in December: “Silver emphasized that a strong net neutrality rule is critical to preserving the Internet as a vibrant forum for speech, commerce, innovation and cultural expression…” the summary noted.
One set of documents includes correspondence between FCC Special Counsel David Tannenbaum and then-Free Press Policy Director Ben Scott, now a State Department official, in working together to establish a lists of speakers for FCC “internet workshops.”
Tannenbaum even asked Scott about inviting a speaker from Color for Change, an environmental activist group founded by Van Jones, Obama’s former “green” jobs adviser. Jones resigned in September 2009 after it was exposed he founded a communist revolutionary organization and called for “resistance” against the U.S. government and police.
Jones served on the Free Press board.
In May 2010 Scott was named a policy adviser for innovation at the State Department. He previously served as director of Free Press.
Scott authored a book, “The Future of Media,” which was edited by Free Press Founder Robert W. McChesney, an avowed Marxist activist who has called for the dismantlement “brick-by-brick” of the U.S. capitalist system, with America being rebuilt as a socialist society.
In February 2009 McChesney wrote in a column, “In the end, there is no real answer but to remove brick-by-brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles.”
In May, WND reported Free Press published a study advocating the development of a “world class” government-run media system in the U.S.
Now the group is pushing a new organization, StopBigMedia.com, that advocates the downfall of “big media” and the creation of new media to “promote local ownership, amplify minority voices, support quality journalism, and bring local artists, voices and viewpoints to the airwaves.”
Free Press has ties to other members of the Obama administration.
Obama’s “Internet czar,” Susan P. Crawford, spoke at a Free Press’s May 14, 2009, “Changing Media” summit in Washington, D.C.
Crawford’s pet project, OneWebNow, lists as “participating organizations” Free Press and the controversial Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.
Crawford and Kevin Werbach, who co-directed the Obama transition team’s Federal Communications Commission Review team, are advisory board members at Public Knowledge, a George Soros-funded public interest group.
A Public Knowledge advisory board member is Timothy Wu, who is also chairman of the board for Free Press.
Like Public Knowledge, Free Press also has received funds from Soros’ Open Society Institute.
With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott.