Thursday, December 23, 2010

Net Neutrality

@jasoninthehouse (Jason Chaffetz, R-UT3) has finally blocked me. Enjoy your impermeable echo chamber, sir.

Chaffetz doesn't understand the Internet. But because he's a knee-jerk conservative, he knows exactly how to regulate it: not at all.

jasoninthehouse (Jason Chaffetz): Classic government trying to regulate Internet. NO to 'net neutrality'. The internet works...'fixing' something that isn't broken.

In other words, given the choice of putting a corporation between citizens and the communication they want to access, and putting the government between corporations and the pile of protection money they'll earn from their privileged position, Chaffetz sided with the corporations.

The thing is, the Internet doesn't work. So far, the U.S. has adopted a "business-friendly" low-regulation approach, as opposed to the market-unfriendly, "Internet as a public utility" approach of other industrialized nations. According to Chaffetz' free-marketeering*, our foresight should give us the best Internet on the planet. Not one on par with Estonia's. We pay more money for less speed than just about anyone in the industrialized world.

Quick note for anyone new to Net Neutrality: It's the idea that Internet providers shouldn't be able to create toll lanes for the Internet or prioritize the traffic of some services over others. For example, Microsoft shouldn't be able to sign a deal with Comcast to make their search page load faster than Google, nor should they be allowed to throttle traffic from Hulu in order to make it a worse customer experience and drive people to their own video on demand services.

Or, to be more apocalyptic: here's the worst case scenario if we don't have Net Neutrality.

Or, to put it in terms that even Jason Chaffetz can understand: Imagine if George Soros bought out Comcast, and issued a directive to block customer access to a boatload of right wing sites like Heritage, Cato, FoxNews, RedState, WND, etc., while providing a fast lane straight to Rachael Maddow and Keith Olbermann. Nothing so dramatic has happened in the real world, but there have been plenty of cases of Internet carriers blocking access to information they didn't like, including pro-union sites and information critical of their business practices. Also, at the moment, Comcast is trying to extract money out of Netflix by threatening to charge them punitive

I'm not surprised that yet another Republican has sided with the right of corporations to make fistfuls of cash, and against an open and democratic society. But I'm disappointed.

* Which is similar to mouseketeering in both enthusiasm and lack of substance.


Braden said...

It should be easy to convince even a free marketer of the case for regulating ISPs--there is no market. Unless the government owns the infrastructure and lets companies rent it, like in Provo, it's an obvious natural monopoly.

Rachel said...

That worst case scenario made me *shudder* bloog!

I also laughed that Chaffetz blocked you. Do you keep a list of all the people who have blocked you from various social networks?

1modelcitizen said...

if people are not blocking and hating on you on are doing it wrong.

1modelcitizen said...

if people are not blocking and hating on you on are doing it wrong.

p.s. You moderate comments? Spineless octopussy.

Bryce said...

There is a setting on Blogger that can put comments in the moderation queue if it was posted some number of weeks after the original article was posted. I've turned it on because most such comments seem to be from spammers.

I'll admit that I do occasionally delete critical comments if they're particularly full of mindless bile. But even then, I let them through if they're at least entertaining mindless bile.