Instead of a clear set of rules moving forward, with a broad set of agreement behind them, we once again face the uncertainty of litigation, and the very real potential of having to start over – again – in the future. Partisan decisions taken on 3-2 votes can be undone on similarly partisan 3-2 votes only two years hence. And FCC decisions made without clear authorization by Congress (and who can honestly argue Congress intended this?) can be undone quickly by Congress or the courts. This may suit partisans who lust for issues of political division, but it isn’t healthy for the Internet ecosystem, for the economy, or for our political system. And, followed to its logical conclusion, this will do long-term damage to the FCC as well.
A very well-reasoned response to the FCC’s potentially historic vote yesterday from AT&T. This was no unanimous vote.
If you cannot tell from the 80 plus posts over the last 4 weeks, I’m a Republican. More over, I’m a Tea Party, Constitutional Republican. Conservative both economically and on personal freedom. The Net Neutrality battle is brewing again, and I thought I’d share why I’m opposed to it.
For a Republican, there is a difference between what one likes and what one supports politically. There are things that we support (freedom of speech) and things we don’t like (how Westboro Baptist uses their freedom of speech). Constitutionally, there is nothing wrong with what they do. They are free to do it. However, personally I don’t like how they do it. As such, I cannot write my senator to demand that Westboro not be allowed to protest in my county. I can mount a counter-protest.
When it comes to freedom of businesses to operate as they wish, I support them doing whatever they want. Now obviously, a businesses like Comcast has us customers sign Terms of Service agreements. With such an agreement, they lay out how they restrict us and themselves. If they do something against their terms, we have the right to sue them. Or leave them. Or right a harsh blog article about them. But constitutionally, we shouldn’t demand regulation to prevent them from doing something. Use the courts or your freedom to spend your money where you want to spend your money.
The battle over Net Neutrality is rallied behind a term that is clearly faulty. Like the Freedom to Choose (pro-choice), which avoids the truth that a baby is being ripped limb from limb or burned with chemicals, Net Neutrality is about taking something that is free and outside the government’s control, that is as neutral as something can be, and putting it in the hands of the same government that said, “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it*.”
In the current situation, businesses might control access, but we pay them for that access. If Comcast does something stupid, like renaming me Asshole Finley— what is this, grade school?—, I can leave. After hours on the phone. With the government regulating the Internet, you can be almost guaranteed that no new provider will appear as the hoops are too high and too expensive to jump through.
But isn’t it already that way? Comcast owns the lines in many apartment complexes and it prevents others from coming in! Yes, it does. Because they own the lines. Do you want the government to come in and say “that thing you own: you must share it with others.” I mean, that’s what they do with your income, so why not with something like Comcast’s property? That’s a horrible idea! Competition exists in the market when it is free from regulation! It’s why business is so hard in Illinois! Over-regulation by a Democrat state government has caused so many businesses to flee to cheaper states.
Don’t be sheep herded behind vague words and propaganda used to rally. Use your brains, people! You’re smarter than this. You don’t want the government to control everything. With a bigger government, the taxes only go up. The estimates are between 11 and 17 BILLION dollars in taxes and fees. Just leave Comcast, don’t force our taxes up even higher than they already are. Instead, use your collective power (it’s clear that you have it) to hold companies accountable.