- DECEMBER 19, 2010
The FCC's Threat to Internet Freedom
‘Net neutrality' sounds nice, but the Web is working fine now. The new rules will inhibit investment, deter innovation and create a billable-hours bonanza for lawyers.
- By ROBERT M. MCDOWELL WS
Tomorrow morning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will mark the winter solstice by taking an unprecedented step to expand government's reach into the Internet by attempting to regulate its inner workings. In doing so, the agency will circumvent Congress and disregard a recent court ruling.
Phi Beta Iota: The public is now much more aware that neither of the two political parties can be trusted, and that trust for any given government element, policy, or point of view is contingent on a much deeper examination of bias and motive than many would wish. There are two sides to this issue, irrespective of the competency and good faith of government: on the one side are the corporations, including Google and Verizon, that wish to hijack cyber-space and claim that they own it. This will allow them to charge premium prices for access to high-speed services. On the other are those whose taxes paid for the creation of the Internet in the first place, the US taxpayer–they see the vital importance of open spectrum, open source software, and open source intelligence as the tri-fecta of cyber-freedom. At OSS '92 John Perry Barlow said that the Internet interprets censorship as an outage, and routes around it. Our view is that the corporations will succeed in hijacking cyberspace in the near term, but in the mid-term and beyond OpenBTS and other bottom-up public innovation solutions will restore the noosphere to its rightful owners, the human minds that comprise the World Brain.