Kavanaugh’s Rulings On Net Neutrality and Mass Surveillance Are Worthy Of Big Brother


Brett Kavanaugh may be making all the right noises now about women and diversity in order to appear centrist and reasonable. But just take a look at his history and you will easily deduce that he, like Donald Trump, is no friend of the working man or the masses — or even of privacy. He’s a friend of the wealthy elite and government control above individual rights. First, the internet: eighty-six percent of Americans support a free and open internet, but not Kavanaugh.


When it comes to issues involving the internet and the rights of users online, Kavanaugh has already given us a good idea of where he stands: His history reveals a judge who is more sympathetic to the handful of companies that control the internet—and to the government agencies that sometimes use it to surveil—than to the hundreds of millions of Americans who use it.

Kavanaugh has argued that the Obama-era network neutrality rules, which were rescinded by the current Federal Communications Commission under Trump appointee Ajit Pai, were unconstitutional because in his view the rules, which prevented internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon from blocking access to certain websites or slowing down speeds, violated the free-speech rights of internet providers. Now that those rules are no longer on the books thanks to a decision that was finalized in December 2017 (and was enacted this June), public interest advocates and a cadre of state attorneys general have filed law suits against the FCC challenging the repeal of the open internet protections. If any of those cases do make it to the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh probably feels that net neutrality isn’t something the federal government should take strides to preserve.   […]

 “Internet service providers may not necessarily generate much content of their own, but they may decide what content they will transmit, just as cable operators decide what content they will transmit,” Kavanaugh wrote. “Deciding whether and how to transmit ESPN and deciding whether and how to transmit ESPN.com are not meaningfully different for First Amendment purposes.” The problem with this argument is that cable providers’ whole service is to offer a set of channels, while internet service providers have an ever-growing and morphing internet to provide service for—blocking or limiting parts of the internet isn’t the same as not offering any one channel.

And he’s dynamite on warrantless surveillance, and the rights of the government over the citizen.  Politico:

Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit wrote a concurring opinion in 2015 when the court declined to rehear a case affirming the legality of the NSA’s warrantless phone metadata collection program. The operation, exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013, “is entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment,” Kavanaugh wrote, citing the “third-party doctrine” that says records collection from a service provider like a phone company does not constitute a search of the customer. (Months earlier, Congress had enacted a law requiring the NSA to stop collecting the records itself and begin requesting them from the phone companies.) Furthermore, he wrote, a “critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program.”

Five years earlier, Kavanaugh dissented from the court’s decision not to reconsider its ruling that authorities had violated a suspect’s Fourth Amendment rights by placing a GPS tracker on his car without a warrant. The ruling was “inconsistent” with judicial precedent, Kavanaugh and other Republican appointees argued. According to them, the suspect had no reasonable expectation of privacy in his public movements, and so the court should have heeded a 1983 Supreme Court ruling that allowed warrantless monitoring of a vehicle’s physical movements.

You’re starting to pick up the general themes that he believes in.

If Kavanaugh is confirmed get ready for  a court that thinks government should be allowed to access data that companies collect on us — without a warrant — and an internet controlled by a handful of companies who decide who accesses what on the web and at what price.

Get on the phones to your senators. The Capitol switchboard is (202) 224-3121They will connect you with the senate office you request.


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