Monday, February 22, 2010

The Great Net Neutrality Debate IV

Once again the Adam Thierer on the Technology Liberation Front has posted a video, Reason TV on Net Neutrality Regulation, which only presents "half" of the net neutrality debate. The video is interesting and worth watching and makes a reasonable claim that network neutrality regulation may be premature. In the video Michael Moynihan logically concludes that exploring regulation becomes an option should the free-market fail.

What was omitted from this video, the missing half, are the attempts of corporations to buy favorable regulation from Congress. Once again we have a biased discussion that speaks of regulation that favors the consumer as "bad", but is totally silent on the attempts of the private sector to acquire regulation that favors their special interests. Seems to me that if you are truly in favor of an unregulated internet, as implied by the video, that you would also expose the attempts of the private sector to "buy" regulation.

For example, Al Gore is made out as a "bad" person for advocating that all people be treated equally on the internet. But where is the mention of US Senator Dianne Feinstein in all this? According to The Register, (2/11/2009) cites Public Knowledge Diane Feinstein is sponsoring a "network management amendment" at the behest of the Motion Picture Association of America. The article notes that this would allow the ISPs to manage the flow of traffic. Additionally, in typical Save the Children language this is being done for our benefit. Not only that but "... if they're using copyright infringement and child porn as excuses, they'll have to start sniffing packets. So, Feinstein's amendment would also destroy net privacy - if there's any out there." (The Register story is a year old, I don't know what transpired since then.)

If Michael Moynihan video was a balanced presentation, Al Gore and Dianne Feinstein would both have had some face time on the video.

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