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The Right's War On Net Neutrality 945

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the when-right-is-wrong dept.
jamie writes "To understand the debate being waged in the United States over Net Neutrality, it's important to understand just how drastically one side has been misled. The leaders of the American Right are spreading the lie that Net Neutrality is a government takeover of the internet, with the intention of silencing conservative voices. (Limbaugh: "All you really have to know about Net Neutrality is that its biggest promoters are George Soros and Google.") This may be hard to believe to those of us who actually know what it's about — reinstating pre-2005 law that ensured internet providers could discriminate on the basis of volume but not content. Since the opposing side is so badly misinformed, those of us who want the internet to remain open to innovation and freedom of expression have to help educate them before the debate can really be held."
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The Right's War On Net Neutrality

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:05AM (#34686214)

    This has nothing to do with right or left, but the green of the money being bribed^H^H^H^H^H^H given for campaigning. This is not something the hill knows a damn thing about, and if we're lucky 10% of them understand the issue at a high level.

    • by DCFusor (1763438)
      Yep, that's precisely the case. In this case it seems the "right" is completely in the thrall of the telecoms who see non neutrality as a way to increase their profits. As if they didn't already charge both ends of the 'net for the same bits -- they charge one guy to put them on there, and the other guy for getting them already.

      Which I understand is partly why we get to pay about 4x for cel phone service than our brothers in europe do.

      I see it as their own fault if they didn't charge enough in the first

      • by JWW (79176)

        I see it as their own fault if they didn't charge enough in the first place, and personally, they should be very fearful of being hit with common carrier status -- bits is bits, after all, whether it's voice, slashdot, video, or email.

        Why would they be fearful of that? The FCC has had the power to make that move for a long time. The courts have told them that that is the only move they can currently make. And yet they try to regulate the internet in a different fashion.

        I love all these the stories that claim that the EVIL RIGHT, is completely wrong on this. They are wrong about a lot of things with respect to net neutrality, but not on everything. Again, there is no reason for the FCC to be doing what they are doing when common carri

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dachannien (617929)

      It could have been nonpartisan, right up until the point where MoveOn.org (i.e., George Soros) got involved. And, predictably, the issue became toxic for any Republican who might otherwise have seen that while the telecoms don't benefit from net neutrality, the content providers/distributors (Google and Netflix, rather than "Big Hollywood") and further online innovation benefit tremendously.

      Rush Limbaugh may be blind to the truth about net neutrality, but he at least knows why he's on this particular battl

      • by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv.vadiv@NoSpam.neverbox.com> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @12:31PM (#34687520) Homepage

        Being 'against everything the left like' is a pretty goddamn shitty political position.

        OTOH, it actually is the Republican position. Just the other day, they were against a bill to attempt to reduce 'child marriage' around the world. ('Child marriage' actually means 40 year old men purchasing 13 year old girls from their parents, 'marrying' them, and then, when their female children are old enough, selling them off to other men.)

        A simple bill that uses already existing US development programs to help break the cycle of abuse by simply attempting to educate women, and requires countries that get our aid to explain the status of this practice in them, and was only $108 million dollars. (To compare, we just passed a $858 billion tax cut extension, which is, oh, 800,000x more. The damn 'bridge to nowhere' was $223 million.)

        The joke used to be that the Democrats should come out against raping children, and see what the Republicans do. Horrifically, twp weeks ago, they did, and the Republicans, indeed, came in favor of it. Or at least not against it.

  • by icebrain (944107) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:07AM (#34686258)

    Yeah, like there are only two two kinds of people in this country ... and there are just as many on the "American Left" who will happily and blindly lap up what their "leaders" tell them to.

    This appears to be a combined case of blind partisanship ("they support it, so we must oppose it because they're the other side"), stupidity, and "a free market isn't defined by the presence of competition or the ability for all parties to make free, informed choices, but rather whether large corporations have any restrictions on them or not".

    I have no love for a lot of the "American Left" as most would think of it, nor for the "Right". But this is just fucking stupid.

    • by DCFusor (1763438) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:49AM (#34686868) Homepage
      No, just evil people who grab and increase their power over us because we are dumb enough to let them. We've even let them destroy the language -- liberal used to mean something a lot more like "libertarian" and "conservative" used to mean, you know, look before you leap, spend less than you make, stuff like that. Or even "not all change is for the better, so examine it first before deciding".

      I'm a conservative. No one represents me in government, no one.
      No one in government represents any of my neighbors either, not all of whom are "conservative".
      You can even be a (real) conservative and realize that families are important and should be encouraged -- even ones headed up by married gays. Gheesh, how did those idiots let themselves be hijacked by the radicals? (which applies to either left or right as far as I can tell, just different radicals involved -- sometimes)

      Why did we let them get to this point, where now there is no way to just vote the bastards out? Some choice we get at the polls -- people selected by the "two heads of the same monster" are our "choice".

      This is indistinguishable from a police/fascist state no matter who is in power now.

      • by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv.vadiv@NoSpam.neverbox.com> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @01:15PM (#34688188) Homepage

        No, just evil people who grab and increase their power over us because we are dumb enough to let them. We've even let them destroy the language -- liberal used to mean something a lot more like "libertarian"

        No it didn't. The libertarian position is one that honestly did not exist in politics until about 50 years ago.

        I know, in conservative mythos, the founding fathers were libertarians, but they were not. Liberal, in that day, was basically anti-classism and anti-crown, a position that really doesn't exist anymore in modern politics.

        Once the crown was gone, it continued to be anti-special-rules-for-the-ruling class, a position it still holds, at least in theory. (As we don't actually have any liberal political party, it doesn't really hold any position anymore.) All liberal fights, though the entire history of this country and back to John Locke, are to stop one group of withholding power-sharing from another group, with the groups being the crown, nobles, slaveowners, the superrich, the corporate owners, the whites, the straights...and, apparently, the superrich again. Except now the superrich have intelligently bought both parties.

        (Please note when I say 'liberals', I am, indeed, aware that liberals used to be on the right, and flopped to the left around when I said 'the whites')

        Libertarianism is not classical liberalism, it is neo-classical liberalism. It reinvents the idea that the problem is 'the crown'. Which, frankly, would be a rather strange idea to various classical liberal thinkers, whose biggest problem with the government is the fact that it often failed to enforce laws equally, and not that those laws existed at all!

        and "conservative" used to mean, you know, look before you leap, spend less than you make, stuff like that. Or even "not all change is for the better, so examine it first before deciding".

        Here, you're right. Conservatives, to paraphrase something David Brin wrote on the topic, used to be the serious guys in suits at NASA who did the math. The guys running around in the background monitoring stuff that seemed entirely pointless (Until it was wrong, then they calmly and efficiently saved everyone's life.), and wasn't glamorous, and they went home to their family and read the paper each evening. Whereas liberals were the astronauts and the sci-fi writers and the dreamers, and got all the credit, but without the guys in suits, wouldn't know how to do what they were trying to do. There's the guys who try to do everything, and the guys who figure out what can and can't happen and managed to get some of it done, while otherwise raining on the parade.

        But that ended about two decades ago, when it was decided that the best way to rule the country is not to point out the parts of the left's plans that can't work, and invent better ways...but to simply assert, very loudly, that anything the left wants is wrong. Morally wrong, politically wrong, won't work, every single possible objection.

        Even stuff like cap and trade or the public mandate for health insurance, both of which were conservative alternatives to the left's previous plan. Or stuff like bills attempting to stop child 'marriage', which the Republicans shot down for absurd reasons two week ago. (Apparently, educating women that it is not acceptable for them to be sold to older men when they're 13 as his 'wife' is...um...pro-abortion.)

    • by bigsexyjoe (581721) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @12:23PM (#34687398)
      This is another case of false equivalence. Whenever someone criticizes the right, someone always complains that they aren't criticizing the left "because they are exactly the same." But it isn't the case. There really is no left-wing Rush Limbaugh and if there is then this person isn't nearly as powerful and influential as Rush. If you have something to criticize about the left or liberals or progressives, then I welcome that, it will ultimately strengthen the movement. But don't insist that the right shouldn't be criticized because you imagine others have the same problem but you can't be troubled to explain how.
  • by Stenchwarrior (1335051) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:12AM (#34686322)

    Mr, Kesuke Miyagi: [sighs] Daniel-san, must talk. [they both kneel] Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later, [makes squish gesture] get squish just like grape. Here, Internet, same thing. Either you Internet do "yes", or Internet do "no". You Internet do "guess so", [makes squish gesture] just like grape. Understand?

    Daniel LaRusso: Yeah, I understand.

  • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:12AM (#34686326) Homepage

    I'm pretty right-wing... but I have some awesome arguments about this with other right-wingers.

    Some of them can't seem to evaluate the situation for themselves so they just go with whatever their media talking head tells them.

    None of them can explain how the Internet is supposed to work, nor how companies are screwing it up, nor what net neutrality means.... but they are pretty sure that gay socialists are going to take over the internet.

    I usually paint it like this:
    What if ISPs and common carriers started deciding to block FoxNews.com because they didn't like the message? That seems to get thru to some of them.

    The right-wingers have one point though:
    Liberals usually work incrementally. It starts with simple net neutrality rules. Then later on, they add some more rules. And more. And more. A Killswitch and some hate-crimes legislation later and before you know the government is all up in your intarwebs.

    Now before you liberals get all self-congratulatory on your enlightened position.... none of my liberal friends can think for themselves on several liberal bandwaggon issues either.

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:38AM (#34686682) Homepage

      Liberals usually work incrementally.

      As a liberal, I can play this argument too: It starts with short-term tax cuts to stimulate spending after a recession. Then later on the short-term has become a decade and then permanent. And the cuts go deeper, and deeper. Then comes a deficit commission and Social Security and unemployment insurance is gone and you have a significant population of desperate unemployed people starving to death on the streets.

      The trouble with the "work incrementally" line of reasoning is that it can be used to shut down any real evaluation of perfectly reasonable proposals solely because they come from the 'other' side. Once that short-circuiting is completed, you're halfway from turning somebody from a reasoning adult to a partisan moron. (The other half is convincing the potential partisan that they should support anything their leaders propose because it's necessary to achieve ultimate victory for their side where all their dreams can be realized.)

    • by Jaysyn (203771)

      *Politicians* usually work incrementally.

      There, I fixed that for you.

    • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:44AM (#34686782) Homepage Journal
      Maybe you should point out that "slippery slope" arguments don't hold a lot of sway, because they require people who are acting rationally today to act irrationally in the future, simply because it's an expansion of an idea that was previously rational to them. It doesn't make sense, and if you hear someone using it know that they're basically agreeing with the current policy (or at least they can't form a sane counter to it).

      This came up a lot in Gay Marriage for instance, where people couldn't really say no to two people in love getting married, so they started talking about people marrying sheep or dogs instead.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:47AM (#34686848)

      "Liberals usually work incrementally. It starts with simple net neutrality rules. Then later on, they add some more rules. And more. And more. A Killswitch and some hate-crimes legislation later and before you know the government is all up in your intarwebs."

      The right does the same thing. That's why the top 1% took home 8% of GDP in the 80's, 15% in the 90's, and 24% now. Tax cuts without spending cuts (the Reagan legacy) over time, slowly peeling away regulations, not funding the regulators, and the current push to privatize everything, all direct wealth up, instead of directing wealth out.

      I used to be a raging libertarian, but now in my 50's I see the system is rigged for the rich, and the GOP's stand on net neutraility is just another way to push money and control up.

      The right tends to worship the wealthy and believes the poor are poor for a reason. Control of the internet is more of the same.

    • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:51AM (#34686904)

      The right-wingers have one point though: Liberals usually work incrementally. It starts with simple net neutrality rules. Then later on, they add some more rules. And more. And more. A Killswitch and some hate-crimes legislation later and before you know the government is all up in your intarwebs.

      Is it just me, or do the right-wingers always claim the slippery slope argument whenever they can't provide valid arguments? Everything seems to lead to death panels when you listen to Rush and Fox.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ArsonSmith (13997)

      Liberals usually work incrementally. It starts with simple net neutrality rules. Then later on, they add some more rules. And more. And more. A Killswitch and some hate-crimes legislation later and before you know the government is all up in your intarwebs.

      They don't call it "Progressive" for nothing.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:18AM (#34686420)

    There were many people in the previous Slashdot thread about Network Neutrality, that complained that they supported the noble goal of "Network Neutrality", but that what the FCC was passing was not "the network neutrality they supported".

    So the disconnect is that many people (NOT just Republicans) are warning you about the Network Neutrality you are about to get, not about the fantasy Network Neutrality the Daily Kos wishes to be. The Daily Kos claims it is "lies" because what is being said does not match the definition that the Kos holds for network neutrality - when in reality NONE of us have seen the regulation recently passed - I still cannot find the exact wording, isn't that rather a bad sign that we are not allowed to see what they pass before they pass it?

    The Network Neutrality you are about to get was crafted mostly from feedback my media companies and telcos, and large companies like Amazon and Google. Worried about too much corporate control over the internet now? It doesn't get any better when you put the power of regulations into the hands of a small number of companies that have the resources to lobby the FCC on issues.

    And all this to stop what EXISTING problem? There's a lot of danger in creating open-ended rules to solve problems that are only imagined, and do not exist. Have we learned nothing from handing over a lot of power to government organizations like the TSA that control to some degree how we travel now? Why would you want similar control over ISP network management on behalf of the FCC?

    • by Svartalf (2997)

      Heh... And another post that needs modding up on this.

      In short, we've little idea what they're on about doing in DC. Just because it uses OUR terms for things or what the Daily KOS thinks should be, doesn't mean that's what they're about to do.

    • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:43AM (#34686768) Journal

      fcc.gov has the NN document published online (and note it has already passed). In brief it has 3 major rules which require ISPs to be completely-open about what fees the customer will charge, forbid Comcast and ISPs from blocking websites, and forbids them from discriminating against websites (i.e. netflix.com is slower than comcast.com).

      It also does Not regulate the Wireless ISPs because the FCC believes there is enough competition that the market will take care of any problems (i.e. customers will quit the ISP if it blocks/slows access to netflix.com and switch to somebody else).

      • Give link please (Score:4, Informative)

        by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @12:22PM (#34687386)

        The closest thing I can find to the actual regulation is this document:

        http://www.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2010/db1221/DOC-303745A1.pdf [fcc.gov]

        Which does not list the whole regulation passed, just excerpts. And parts of them look very bad indeed:

        A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is
        so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to
        reasonable network management.

        Bye-Bye torrents; the government has now codified it's perfectly reasonable to block traffic considered "unlawful".

        All that remains is for the MPAA to put forth the pipeline to feed ISP's the torrents the ISP's must block.

        Remember the word "lawful" did not have to be in there at all, it's used in a few places - and it's not an accidental term.

        • by orgelspieler (865795) <w0lfie@mac . c om> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @02:12PM (#34689038) Journal

          Why shouldn't ISPs be allowed to block unlawful content? That's just good common sense. If they know kidsxxx.cx is a vendor of child porn, then they should be allowed to block it.

          I've only ever torrented legal stuff, so I don't know why you bring up torrents. If you had said "Bye-bye unlawful torrents," then you would have been correct. I don't see any problem with that. The way I see it, this basically guarantees that my ISP can't slow down my latest Linux download or Netflix movie just because some other asshole is using a torrent stream to download a movie they didn't want to pay for.

          I generally consider myself pro-neutrality, but if your viewpoint is shared by most of the NN crowd, maybe I'm on the wrong side of the argument after all.

  • by wan9xu (1829310) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:33AM (#34686598)
    i found two pieces of the puzzle:

    one, foxnews make you more misinformed.
    http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/12/16/1615218/Survey-Shows-That-Fox-News-Makes-You-Less-Informed?from=rss [slashdot.org]

    two, given truth, the misinformed believe the lies more.
    http://idle.slashdot.org/story/10/07/14/1235220/Given-Truth-the-Misinformed-Believe-Lies-More [slashdot.org]
  • The real price. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by redemtionboy (890616) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:35AM (#34686630)
    I definitely lean net neutrality and see the benefits of it. BUT, part of the argument for government protecting net neutrality is assuming the worst of a situation without government intervention and expecting only the best from it's involvement. Given the FCC's past behavior with other mediums, I'm not so sure that government involvement is going to give us that "free and open" internet we expect it will be once there is government oversight. Most government programs never accomplish what they promise to do and often come with significant negative consequences.
  • by spikenerd (642677) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:37AM (#34686662)
    There are two ways to stop deep packet inspection: The technical way (encryption) and the political way (net neutrality). What baffles me is why all the geeks have given up on the technical solution and are now pushing for a political solution. The best argument I've yet heard for giving up on the technical solution is that politicians *might* ban encryption, and the best argument I've heard for pursuing the political solution is that we *might* get lucky with a law based on principle instead of one that guarantees that ISPs and governments can do deep packet inspection for "legitimate" reasons. Can someone please enlighten me as to why we continue to give up on the technical solution?
  • yeah, "right" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:45AM (#34686790)

    "The right" is against NN for the same reason "the right" rejects global warming: the rich and powerful don't want it.

    We've got an enormous problem with political ignorance and naivety in this country. The Republicans want to run the country in whatever way helps the rich get richer quicker. (If you don't accept that premise, go back and look at whose interests they consistently looked after when they held the White House and both houses of Congress, vs. whose interests they occasionally threw a bone to. By the time of the 2006 elections the leaders of various socially conservative movements were complaining that they were bringing in a lot of votes and not getting much of anything in return.)

    But there's a problem if you want to run a republic for the benefit of the rich: there aren't enough of them to win elections. So you have to find ways to get people to vote against their own best interests. But any decent politician knows that if they can make your knee jerk, they can make your finger twitch in the voting booth. So Republican politicians have offered the country things like the Southern Strategy, and the new Southwestern Strategy that they've been rolling out for the last ~5 years, and of course their association with the religious right. I.e., appeal to people's worst instincts rather than their best.

    But now, due to the aforementioned political ignorance and naivety, people think that whatever the Republican politicians want is an inherently conservative position. So we get idiotic ideas such as that global warming and net neutrality are leftist ideologies. People in this country need to wake up and smell the bullshit before they've been fucked beyond the point of no return.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:45AM (#34686796) Homepage Journal
    no, even more so than the democrats. they do not have any hesitation in opposing giving healthcare to 9/11 first responders, even after drumming up the nationalism/patriotism card for a decade.

    democrats have at least SOME consideration in regard to principle. they at least try to make whatever filth they are doing seem to fit their ideology, even in appearance. republicans dont even have that concern.

    whatever their private backers, corporations want at THAT given moment in time, they drum it. if the corporations want the exact opposite 2 months later, they see no issues reverting back. they even dont care whether someone may notice and make a fool of them in media. and at the end they end up the greatest material for news comedy shows.
  • by Sir_Dill (218371) <slashdotNO@SPAMzachula.com> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:47AM (#34686838) Homepage
    The reality is that Net Neutrality has nothing to do with neutrality and everything to do with carriers wanting to enjoy common carrier protections without having to provide common carrier openess.

    Companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T want to be able to not only charge their customers for internet access, but also charge the companies like Google, Amazon, and Netflix for the traffic that their customers generate when accessing those sites. Look at the recent move Comcast made against Level3, "Hey guys, nice work on getting that Netflix account, oh by the way we're going to charge you more to connect to us because you are supplying connectivity for a company which competes with our OnDemand services, thank you for choosing Comcast". What would have happened if Level3 said "meh....I don't think so" and turned off peering to Comcast. Who would have suffered? Mostly us, the consumers. Awesome.

    It's also about being allowed to prioritize network traffic for hosted services over competing third party services, although beating voip providers on price (ala bundling) has pretty much destroyed most of the third party VOIP providers. Being able to provide a better quality hosted product is real easy when you de-prioritize competing services traffic on your network. A few months of poor performance and customers will be switching to hosted services in droves. I think we can all agree that this would fall into the "anti-competitive practices" category. The thing is, they might be doing this already, except that its technically not illegal, or at least its difficult enough to prove that plausible deniability plays a significant role and there is no legal precedent set to file suit on. Net Neutrality laws would make this illegal and at the very least require them to disclose that they are doing it.

    Anyone can see that charging Google or Microsoft money whenever a customer accesses the site is wrong. Somehow they have twisted this into them getting a free ride on their network. Nevermind that the customer is paying for access to the internet and that the site being accessed is also paying to be connected to the internet.

    I am all for traffic shaping based on volume to ensure equal access to all traffic, but if you are using public funds to prop up your infrastructure, you better have full disclosure available.


    THIS is what they are really talking about and it has nothing to do with the government "taking over" the internet. Of course they tend to screw up most things they touch so I have very little faith that even if they do try to regulate things, that they will do a decent job.


    On a side note, many people on both "sides" like to blame de-regulation for the banking problems we have had, and then argue against any other forms of regulation on the basis that regulation is bad and against the free market.
    First off lets get one thing straight, there is no such thing as a free market. Whether by government hands or private hands, someone will ALWAYS be manipulating the rules in their favor. We are not free, but merely have the illusion of freedom so long as we don't piss the wrong person off.

  • by Ukab the Great (87152) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:53AM (#34686928)

    Karl Marx supports communism.
    Steve Wozniak supports net neutrality.
    Karl Marx had a beard.
    Steve Wozniak has a beard.
    Therefore, Steve Wozniak is a communist and net neutrality is communism.

    Similarly:

    Clowns are have painted white faces and entertain people.
    Rush Limbaugh has a white face and entertains people.
    Therefore, Rush Limbaugh is a clown.

  • by rlp (11898) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:57AM (#34687004)

    Here's a sampling of articles from conservatives / libertarians on net neutrality:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/18/kahn_net_neutrality_warning/ [theregister.co.uk]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rOQpQYQtA0 [youtube.com]

    http://www.onlyrepublican.com/orinsf/2006/06/neutrality_for_.html [onlyrepublican.com]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juw5Ew_fKgs [youtube.com]

    http://dailycaller.com/2010/12/17/free-press-and-the-art-of-profligate-fudging/ [dailycaller.com]

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/12/28/if-the-fcc-had-regulated-the-internet-from-the-beginning/ [hotair.com]

    http://michellemalkin.com/2010/04/06/net-neutrality-aint-over-til-its-over/ [michellemalkin.com]

    http://www.freetoassemble.com/blog/cincinnatuschili/net-neutrality-comcast-vs-level-3-communications [freetoassemble.com]

    A few points:

    1) Not all conservatives / libertarians oppose net neutrality
    2) Most of these writers have a pretty good understanding of the issue
    3) Several who oppose it do it on free market principles
    4) There is a legitimate distrust of the FCC - some view the net neutrality issue as being used as an excuse for an FCC power grab

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @12:39PM (#34687644) Homepage Journal
    That is just a blanket term used by the right for everything they oppose, regardless of whether or not it makes any sense. See:
    • Government takeover of General Motors
    • Government takeover of Wall Street
    • Government takeover of Health Care

    And now

    • Government takeover of the Internet

    The right screamed nonstop about the inevitability of the first three, none of which actually happened. Now they are screaming that the fourth will happen (either instead, or as well, depending on your take on reality). I'm not holding my breath.

    Basically, if someone is claiming the government is about to "takeover" something, and they don't specify a military invasion as a tool in doing so, they have likely been listening to conservative media again. If you actually try to start a serious conservation with them on the issue you will likely find out in less than 30 seconds that they have no factual information to support their claims.

  • by pcx (72024) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @12:47PM (#34687760)

    There is one, simple, crucial fact that the right is missing in these debates. There is no free market in broadband access. If you are extremely lucky you can pick between your telephone company and your cable company and they tend to not compete on either price or service and quickly move to adopt the same draconian policies introduced by their "competitors" -- and again, this is if you're lucky, most people are stuck with their cable company. Not even the right will argue against regulating monopolies, we all realize that in the absence of competition monopolies will provide poor service for rates that border on extortion.

    If you want to win the net neutrality debate with the right then offer a simple concession: IPSs which open up their network to third party providers can operate without regulation. Those providers that have no competition or only one competitor must put up with regulation.

    You can also remind everyone that the government invented the internet (arpnet was a darpa project) so the Internet was never created to be run by businesses anymore than the national interstate system was, but that doesn't resonate nearly as well as shifting this back to a monopoly vs. consumer debate.
     

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