2021-05-18 update: Biden revoked Trump’s executive order, intended to minimize government protections to the online censorship by Big Tech. Now Big Tech are officially state actors for the purpose of the First Amendment.
Once again: Big Tech are state actors. They became state actors when FCC Net Neutrality regulations (Obamanet) forced Internet users to pay for delivery of Big Tech content and traffic, without giving anyone a choice.
After Trump’s FCC passed the Restoring Internet Freedom regulation, which Big Tech fought tooth and nail. Meanwhile California enacted its own bill SB-822, which provides Big Tech with the same level of government privilege and authority that was granted by Obamanet. This bill plainly forbids ISPs from charging Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix any fees for delivering their traffic to users. It is unprecedented for a law to prohibit a carrier from charging huge corporations for delivering their goods, and instead, shift those charges to consumers. Further, the bill prohibits ISPs from only charging each consumer for the goods delivered to that consumer. Instead, ISPs must collect fees from all subscribers and use those fees to pay for the traffic from Big Tech, Big Porn, and Fake News, regardless of whether or not the subscribers want this content.
Thus, a user of Gab or Parler is still forced to pay for Twitter’s traffic, despite not using Twitter. Additionally, Twitter’s traffic might be thousands of times higher and therefore more expensive than the services that users chose to use. Also notice that this law was passed in 2018, when the beneficiaries were well known.
“3101. (a) It shall be unlawful for a fixed Internet service provider, insofar as the provider is engaged in providing fixed broadband Internet access service, to engage in any of the following activities:
(1) Blocking lawful content, applications, services, or nonharmful devices, subject to reasonable network management.
(2) Impairing or degrading lawful Internet traffic on the basis of Internet content, application, or service, or use of a nonharmful device, subject to reasonable network management.
(3) Requiring consideration, monetary or otherwise, from an edge provider, including, but not limited to, in exchange for any of the following:
(A) Delivering Internet traffic to, and carrying Internet traffic from, the Internet service provider’s end users.
(B) Avoiding having the edge provider’s content, application, service, or nonharmful device blocked from reaching the Internet service provider’s end users.
(C) Avoiding having the edge provider’s content, application, service, or nonharmful device impaired or degraded.”
These normal activities are also prohibited for mobile ISP.
Also notice that this law prohibits ISPs from providing family-friendly Internet, excluding porn and activities that might lead to child abuse and exploitation.
California’s law impacts the whole nation due to the state’s size and concentration of tech and media industries. Several other states, including New York, adopted similar laws or regulations.
See How Obamanet Created “Masters of the Universe” for more information, including how Americans are forced to pay a staggering amount of money (~$150B per year) to Big Tech, Fake News, and Big Porn, under the Obamanet regulations, since 2011.
Originally published on March 25, 2021, or earlier.