Saturday, June 19, 2010

On freedom and the FCC | Good Morning Silicon Valley

See the full post for more on net neutrality

The Internet can be the ultimate democratic tool, where anyone can roam to acquire knowledge previously unavailable and/or inaccessible, with the potential to make something useful of that information. It can also be a hangout for those who seek things considered trivial, unproductive, immoral, malicious, even dangerous. Yet the concept that all Web traffic should be treated equally — net neutrality — applies to people who fall in either category. The problem is, some people fall into both categories. Gray areas abound. That is the nature of the free Internet, and continued unfettered access to it is now a vital part of our lives.

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There is no overstating the value of a free Internet. Leaving the ISPs — and their inherent corporate mindset of profit over public interest (See Comcast ruling is a shift from neutral into reverse) — to their own devices risks a scenario in which Web surfing might someday be equivalent to channel surfing on our TVs. We don’t want to type in a URL only to be met with “you have not subscribed to this channel.”

On freedom and the FCC | Good Morning Silicon Valley

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