Private Property and Net-Neutrality
For those who may still be unsure about the whole Net – Neutrality issue or just want more information to solidify that it is a terrible thing, please click on the link below for a great article about PRIVATE PROPERTY and Government control. It is a little long but very worth while. As a matter of fact, please forward it on to your email lists.
By Raymond C. Niles-
Net neutrality advocates such as Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig liken the Internet to a “commons”—to “public property,” akin to state-owned highways and municipal parks. They call for the Internet to be treated as if it were “public property,” managed by the government in accordance with the “public welfare.” On these grounds, they advocate that the Internet remain a “neutral platform” where “the network owner can’t discriminate against some [data] packets while favoring others.” Plainly stated, net neutrality is the idea that the Internet is “public property”; thus, the government must ensure that online content is delivered in a “neutral,” non-preferential fashion.
But delivered by whom? To hold that the Internet is a “commons” or “public property” is to evade its actual nature; the Internet is a network of privately owned personal computers, servers, and cable. Ignoring this fact and pretending to themselves that the Internet is “public property,” proponents of net neutrality seek government control over private property—specifically that of Internet service providers.
In order to achieve net neutrality, its advocates hold that the Internet must remain, as they put it, a “stupid network,” meaning unregulated by an intelligence that might favor the transmission of some content over other content.11 But because data is transmitted through the private property of ISPs—the expensive cables, computers, and other infrastructure that make the Internet possible—what they actually advocate is denying ISPs the right to manage their own property. The “stupid” Internet that net neutrality advocates desire is one in which ISPs must, under threat of government force, remain largely passive with regard to how data flows through their lines and over their networks. An ISP’s role, according to net neutrality advocates, is to pay for and then provide a “stupid network” of “dumb pipe” (i.e., bandwidth capacity) to customers, who can use it however they please.12 Fearing the decisions that ISPs might make with respect to their own property, net neutrality advocates seek to impose their conception of how the Internet should work—via government force.
In essence, beneath their calls to preserve “economic innovation” and “free speech online,” net neutrality proponents advocate government control of the privately owned infrastructure that makes the Internet possible. To what types of controls will adherence to net neutrality lead, and how will these affect Internet service providers and their customers?