Saturday, August 28, 2010

Are conservatives for or against regulating the Internet?

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For the honestly ignorant or the dishonestly clueless: Net neutrality is a principle ensuring that the Internet stays deregulated and that ISPs don’t get the right to favor certain types of content over others. It allows the network to keep everyone on equal footing, so that some two-bit blogger out of Québec (*waves*) has the same service and availability as Google or Microsoft Corp.

With something so obvious and easy to understand, you’d think that conservatives, such as the Tea Party-based group Americans for Prosperity, would be all for the FCC’s efforts to enforce net neutrality rules to prohibit greedy companies from choosing what content or websites are privileged over others, right?

Well …

My transcript:

First, it was the banks. Then, insurance, then the car companies. Then, healthcare. Now, Washington wants to spend billions to take over the Internet. The FCC is regulating new rules to regulate the Internet. In the last decade, the Internet saw explosive growth because the government stayed out of the way. So why does Washington want to fix the Internet when the Internet isn’t broken? Tell Congress: Stop the Washington takeover. Don’t regulate the Internet.

You can always tell a transparently misleading ad being pushed by a transparently demagogic group whenever it starts flustering about non-existent “government takeovers” and how the FCC’s net neutrality proposal is supposedly a bad thing.

However, the interesting thing to note, here, is the question: Do Americans for Prosperity and assorted Tea Party-type groups even know what net neutrality is? The stupidity and ignorance of their attacks and wild claims certainly suggest that they simply don’t have a clue what they’re talking about, which is certainly par for the course with these sorts of people. But even so, I find it hard to believe that they can crank up these sorts of campaigns against proposals without knowing what it is they’re arguing for or against.

So what I’m thinking is that, in fact, they do know what net neutrality is about. Which means that in opposing it, they are in fact opposing a free, unregulated Internet. It’s that simple; they couldn’t make their hackery any clearer if they shouted it from the rooftops whilst displaying a big poster reading “Pay us to rage against whatever you want! We’ll whore for anything, just name a price!”.

(via @todayspolitics)