It started with the radio. Then came the television. Is the internet the next medium in line to be regulated by the FCC? In class on Wednesday, we discussed the power the Federal Communications Commission demonstrates over the media industry, specifically radio and television. A main reason the FCC has to regulate these mediums is the limited availability of airwaves. If the radio and television industries were unregulated, they would be chaotic and unable to function efficiently, like a road with no rules or police. A more important function, and one that directly relates to the potential regulation of the internet, is the censorship and restriction of content.
It's easy to make an argument that when it comes to radio and television, there is very little freedom of expression. Whether it's the regulations of the FCC or the preferences of the corporate media owners, it is hard to have true freedom of speech in these mediums. The internet, however, provides a much larger platform for users to express themselves. Just about anyone with internet access can start up a blog and write about whatever they want, granted the content isn't illegal. With this ability, the internet is seemingly the last medium that can convey free speech. With this freedom comes troubles, however. Sites such as Wikileaks that involve the posting of many confidential military files may pose large security threats. The internet has also infamously become a forum for hateful and racist speech. While it certainly has its pros and cons, are we not far away from the FCC regulating the internet as well?