>> Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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A good idea, such as freedom of speech, is not made better when codified into legalese. We already have in existence the established right to net neutrality in our First Amendment. When you consider the already-proven, criminal ineptitude of government agencies such as the FDA (see: Monsanto, aspartame, hydrogenation, et al), or ICC*, one should seriously consider the act of giving specified powers of regulation to agencies that quite likely will be influenced by major ISPs, once passed.
The push behind Franken's idea of net neutrality is that the public is incapable of protecting their own interests. To him, it makes sense that legislators must step in and - miraculously - perform better at that job. It is not written that customers need stay subscribers of an ISP found to be selectively throttling their internet connection (but please don't give that idea to Senator Franken). If a major ISP does so, it should expect to lose its customers en masse when discovered. As Timothy B Lee says, "...network owners are likely to find deviations from the end-to-end principle unprofitable."
And just as a side-note: Another point that Franken makes on Net Neutrality is that, he says, without it, megacorporations will sometime soon be influencing, indeed controlling, Congress in favor of their own profits. This is ridiculous. They already do that. ;P
* Ralph Nader, on the Interstate Commerce Commission, "As the oldest independent federal regulatory agency, the Interstate Commerce Commission has set longevity records in its systematic failure to protect or further the public interest in surface transportation." He also said, "There is evidence of deep corruption at the ICC, beyond 'politics' and 'favoritism'."