Something happened the other day that most people probably didn’t take much notice of. The FCC declared the internet a utility.
Did you feel the earth just rumble? No. Neither did I, didn’t expect it to either. At least not yet, and trust me that is part of the plan.
Net Neutrality could be the most misunderstood subject to come up in recent years. It sounds like something you want, neutral; take no sides, no winners, no losers. Treat all equally. Sounds great.
According to the ACLU Net Neutrality will protect us from those evil corporate capitalists looking to make a profit on providing us the services we like. In order to protect us, claims the ACLU, we need government intervention. What? Yes, the ACLU, wants the government to get involved to protect citizens who voluntarily purchase a service.
The ACLU fears that telecommunication giants will scrutinize our data and communications. So, to protect us the ACLU wants the government to control the internet. This is the same government that has already admitted to collecting all our data and communications under the guise of keeping us safe.
The ACLU believes that this is a free speech issue and that the government must protect it. This is the same government whose taxing and dunning agency, commonly known as the IRS, has harassed those promoting conservative speech. The same government that placed wiretaps on reporters phones because they didn’t like news reports critical of this administration. The same government whose agents have confiscated $millions of materials from a company whose CEO just happened to donate to conservative candidates. The same government who tossed a man in jail for producing a video that according to the lies told by this administration caused a riot that led to the death of 4 Americans. How is that for protection of free speech?
The thing the ACLU wants you to forget is that you can find all the voices of dissent on the internet right now. I can post this on a blog and have people read it. I’m not so sure that is going to be the case once the government takes control. My concerns are based upon what has happened already, not what might happen.
When it comes to free speech I’ll take my chances with evil profit seeking corporations over a government that has proven time and time again that it does not deserve the power it has been entrusted with. With corporations I have recourse. I can take them to court if my rights have been violated. This is not the case with the government.
The fact that the internet has been free and unencumbered by government regulations is the reason that the internet is what it is today. A valuable service ingrained into our lives to the point that you have millions of people who cannot live their day without Facebook or leave the house without their cellphone a device that barely existed 30 years ago.
Let me put this another way. In a land of freedom, dreams and capitalism we got the ’57 Chevy, Ford 150 pickup truck, the Corvette, the Cadillac with huge tail fins, and the Mustang Shelby Cobra. In a country where government controls the means of production and allocation you get the Yugo. If the government were in charge of innovating the internet we’d still be listening to the ‘whoosh beep boop bah’ of 300 baud dial-up.
One of the fears is that eventually providers will give faster access to those who pay higher fees. Why is that a problem? Higher fees or additional profit is what drives innovation. What if the government passes a law that required dinner in a restaurant be only a single price of $7.00 You could get a McDonald’s hamburger or go to Joe’s Crab Shack or Shuler’s Steak House for the same 7 bucks. Where are you going to go, and what do you expect to find when you get there. Expect lines, congestion, lack of service, lack of quality.
You can rent a room at Motel 6 or stay at the Four Seasons. Each room has a bed and a bathroom where you can sleep. Yet the cost of these rooms is going to be staggeringly different.
Some people will want an internet that is 10% faster than what we currently have and might be willing to pay for it. They might be stock traders and want their orders to reach their destination a microsecond sooner than mine. My choice would not to pay extra for an internet connection 10% faster than what I currently have. That’s my choice, that’s my freedom to choose, that’s my freedom of speech practiced in what services I buy or don’t buy.
I don’t want a government that believes in one size fits all, because it never does. Net Neutrality is government getting their foot in the door. Sounds great but once they’re in your freedom will be eroded. Dissenting voices will be quashed. Websites critical of consensus thinking will not be found.
Keeping the internet free means keeping the government out of it. Marsha Blackburn, Representative from Tennessee, has introduced a bill to overturn the FCC’s ruling. The House of Representatives is full of elected officials, the FCC is a group of unelected bureaucrats. Let’s make some calls and support Blackburn’s bill. Let’s keep free speech truly free.