$72 million spent since 2006 to control Internet under guise of “net neutrality”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As FCC Chief Ajit Pai moves toward reversing the Obama administration’s version of “net neutrality” rules, AstroTurf “public interest groups” funded by a combination of Google, George Soros’ Open Society Institution and the Ford Foundation are lobbying hard to keep control of the Internet so as to be able to censor conservative news, including Infowars.com.
In 2015, the Obama FCC voted on party lines to pass regulations that gave the government more control over the Internet, which was sold to the U.S. public under the guise of “net neutrality.”
The regulations gave the government virtual control over the nation’s Internet infrastructure, with big government, “New Deal”-style, 1930s-based regulatory powers that extended to oversee virtually everything that transpires over the Internet, including content.
Since 2006, these three entities – Google, George Soros’ Open Society Institution and the Ford Foundation – have contributed more than $72 million to non-profit leftist organizations that have been most active in promoting the idea the Internet needs to be regulated by the government as a “common carrier” public utility under Title II of the Communications Act – the same regulatory framework crafted some 80 years ago to regulate the old rotary phone system.
Infowars.com has previously warned that Google and the largest communications giants on the Internet lobbied the federal government to define broadband under these 1930s-style regulations – a designation that would allow the government to regulate more rigorously the broadband providers that built the core network connecting users to the Internet as “common carriers.”
Of course, this exempts content monopolies like Google and Facebook from the strict regulations the FCC would apply to common carriers.
The implementation of these 2015 regulations, which were heavily pushed by Google in hundreds of closed-door meetings at the Obama White House, carved out Google and the other Silicon Valley behemoths, and secured their position as absolute information gatekeepers.
Since these 2015 regulations passed, Google and Facebook have moved to become the judge, jury and executioner of the contact we read on the Internet, under the guise of eliminating “fake news.”
While activists on the political left would be appalled if a company such as Exxon-Mobil funded a “public interest group” promoting the use of carbon-based fuels, Google has been given a free pass by the left’s “public interest” machine largely because of its direct financial support of such groups, as well as its close political alliance with progressives, including two of the left’s biggest funders — The Ford Foundation and George Soros – in their efforts to firmly entrench the federal government in the nation’s communications networks.
Current and former employees of Google sit on the boards of several of the most active groups that spent millions to get the 2015 Obama rules passed by the FCC, and are now spending big to oppose the rollback of the FCC’s regulations.
Other board members include academics and consultants paid by Google as well as law firms that have represented Google in several legal matters.
While some leftist “public interest groups” pushing to keep in place the FCC’s “net neutrality” rules disclose some of the funding they have received from Google, most do not.
Consider the following groups:
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
– In 2011, EFF received $1 million from Google in a settlement over the Google Buzz class action lawsuit.
– The Ford Foundation contributed $500,000 to the non-profit between 2013 and 2016 according to the Foundation’s grants page.
– George Soros’ Open Society Institute lists another $620,000 in grants since 2008 according to OSI’s grants page.
Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT)
– Since 2011, Google has given more than $4.75 million to the non-profit according to its tax filings.
– The connection between CDT and Google goes beyond the financial. From 2009 to 2016, the Ford Foundation has contributed $950,000 to CDT according to Ford’s grants database.
– Since 2008, Soros’ Open Society Institute has contributed $900,000 to CDT according to OSI’s grants page.
New America Foundation
– According to New America Foundation disclosures, Google was the largest corporate contributor to the organization in 2016, contributing more than $1 million. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt also contributed more than $1 million to the organization through his family foundation and served as the Chairman of the New America Foundation board until 2016.
– Google’s and Eric Schmidt’s contributions to the New America Foundation from 2012 through 2016 total between $4.75 million and $7 million according to the non-profits current and archived “funding” pages.
– Through Soros’ numerous foundations including the Open Society Institute, Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros Foundation and others, the New America Foundation has received between $3 million to $6 million in funding from 2012 to 2016 according to New America’s current and archived “funding” web pages.
Fight for the Future (FFTF)
– As Infowars.com has previously reported FFTF is funded by the Open Internet Defense Fund, a project of George Soros’s Media Democracy Fund.
– FFTF board includes several members with close Google financial connections including:
Barbara van Schewick: Listed as the Clerk/Secretary of the FFTF board, van Schewick also serves as a Professor of Law and Director of the Stanford Center for Internet & Society (CIS), a group that boosts of “generous support from Google, Inc.”
Marvin Ammori: Listed as president of the FFTF Education Fund 501(c)3 board, Ammori is the founder of the Ammori Group, a law firm and public policy firm based in Washington, D.C. and Silicon Valley, that lists Google as “the largest and most established client we counsel.”
Yochai Benkler: Benkler serves as FFTF’s Board Secretary and as the Director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University – a center that boasts Google as it’s top corporate backer and its fourth-largest donor (Harvard University is fifth).
– According to the Public Knowledge “About” page, Google is a “platinum” financial sponsor of the non-profit. From 2010 to 2014, Public Knowledge received more than $11 million in contributions according to the non-profit’s 990 disclosures.
– While Public Knowledge doesn’t disclose the individual amounts of its contributors, it notes on its “Sources of Funding” page that between half and two-thirds of its budget comes from the Ford Foundation, George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, the Media Democracy Fund and a handful of other foundations.
– According to the Ford Foundation grant database, Public Knowledge has received more than $7 million in Ford grants since 2006.
– According to the Open Society Institute’s grants page, Public Knowledge has received $500,000 in grants from the Soros non-profit since 2009.
Citizen Engagement Lab (CEL)
– While it’s unclear whether Google itself funds CEL, the Eric & Wendy Schmidt Family Foundation have given the non-profit $825,000 since 2013 according to the Foundation’s 990 tax filings.
– The Ford Foundation has contributed more than $8.9 million to CEL since 2007 according to the Foundation’s grants database.
– Since 2010, Soros’ Open Society Institute has contributed $750,000 to CEL according to OSI’s grants database.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
– The American Civil Liberties Union received $7 million in grants from Google in the same controversial Google Buzz “cy pres” settlement that benefited EFF, CDT and many of the other non-profits fighting to keep in place the “net neutrality” rule promulgated by the FCC under the Obama administration.
– From 2011 to 2016, the Ford Foundation has contributed almost $10.5 million to the ACLU according to the Ford grants database.
– Since 2008, Soros’ Open Society Institute has contributed $1.14 million to the ACLU according to OSI’s grant page.
– Under the Orwellian guise of “Internet freedom” and “civil liberties” these leftist “public interest” groups have fought since at least 2000 to achieve exactly the opposite – more government control of the Internet, fighting hard to secure and keep in place the Obama administration’s big government “net neutrality” regulations.