I've passively read all the junk about "Net Neutrality" over the years but I've never publicly made any statement on the subject. I've never felt threatened by what net neutrality pushers claim, that the internet as we know it is going to die if content providers are allowed free reign. I see the internet as being the most free medium of expression in the entire history of the world. Naturally, I don't want my freedom online to be threatened by service providers steering me in one direction or another. I want to go about my online business in whatever manner I choose and I will not allow my service provider to dictate otherwise. However, net neutrality is an improper solution to a non-existent problem.
The people pushing net neutrality assert that, without governmental regulation, greedy corporations providing internet access will force their views (as well as those of their sponsors) down our throats -- that, by providing these government regulations, we'll have a more free internet than we do today. I'm sorry, but when has government regulation EVER made anything more free? We can argue about government programs and regulations making things safer, cheaper, more "accessible" (I don't believe any of this for an instant). But, we cannot argue that government regulations will ever make things more free. Government regulations, by definition, make things less free.
I saw this on digg today:
What we have here is someone saying that unless we push for net neutrality, internet service providers will someday become like cable/satellite TV companies in that they will decide what content you will receive and that they will charge you different prices based on your internet habits. There are many, many problems with this analogy. The most glaring to me is this: the cable companies acquired their monopolistic positions today because of government regulation. So, if we want to make the net more "neutral," we should remove these artificial, government created, monopolies. We shouldn't do the opposite. In a free market I can choose whatever content provider I want. If provider X wants to block my access to Google, well, I'll just choose to go to another provider.
And what's so wrong with a company deciding what kinds of services it will provide to me? What makes American consumers so presumptuous that they think that they can decide how that company will operate? That's like saying "I like pizza. Therefore, McDonald's, you have to start making pizza and you have to charge only $.45 a slice and, if you don't do what I say, I'm going to get my
goon squad government to force you to do it."
The argument that internet access is a fundamental right of humans is a massive misunderstanding of what a fundamental right is. Yet, this argument is a major part of the rhetoric of the mainstream democrat/neocon agenda. If you are in disbelief, you don't have to look much further than the website of current presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton:
[The Rural Broadband Initiatives Act] will extend and improve access to broadband services in small towns across America. It creates a policy and action framework to ensure that the federal government employs an effective and comprehensive strategy to deploy broadband service and access in the rural areas of the United States. The bill will also establish a Rural Broadband Innovation fund to explore and develop cutting edge broadband delivery technologies to reach underserved rural areas.
Senator Clinton doesn't come right out and say it, but there are enough keywords to get her drift -- that internet access is a fundamental right, that government is the best provider of the service, and that we taxpayers should foot the bill. This is turning a non-essential service into a welfare program. Fuck that!
The youngest voting bloc in this country is one that is thoroughly addicted to the internet (that's not a bad thing; I'm one of them), so it's not surprising that these people will support what appears to ensure the survival of something that is so integrated into our modern lives. Don't be fooled for an instant. This is the same propaganda that extreme collectivists have always spouted -- that corporations are evil and government knows best.
On the contrary, the thing that has made the internet so great is not government. The internet is great today because smart individuals, most of whom work for big companies and private universities, were able to thrive in a mostly free market economy. The internet is great in spite of all the government meddling, and it will most likely continue to be so.
If you want the net to be truly "neutral," do us all a favor: support companies that provide freedom of exchange and stay away from those that don't. Innovation can only thrive in a free market. Government regulation will only stifle innovation.