Should the government control the internet?

14% (6 votes)
86% (38 votes)
Total votes: 44


The reason i ask is because there's a movement on called "net neutrality" which aims to do exactly that. As is usually the case when new regulation is being pushed, it's to make sure some very bad things don't happen. For instance, it's believed that without involving politicians, cops, and courts the companies we get our connections from would start trying to sensor competitors or charge more for access to certain content providers. The thing is, the major telecom companies have no desire to do these things and are currently working out an agreement for voluntary net neutrality aka not doing that kind of stuff. Even if they weren't I'm not sure it would even matter since a lot of people would be pissed enough to drop their service if they started doing this stuff. I know I would, and i would definitely find out who wasn't and switch to them. Enough people do this and the offenders start to lose market share to competitors and must change their ways or lose a lot of money as their more ethical competitors make a lot of money, and all with only the use of economic pressure, not force!

The thing to remember is that anytime you start talking about government restriction your basically talking about calling the cops, instead of looking for a peaceful solution. Furthermore, laws are set in stone and this medium is very young and quickly evolving, and you never know what the future holds.


Come to find out, although the official position of comcast is pro voluntary net neutrality, they have been caught slowing the connections of some bit torrent users. This in no way changes my position on the unwise nature of net neutrality laws. I am against corporate censorship, but since corporate power relies on economic pressure and not physical force, using laws and ultimately cops and guns to fight it would be inappropriate and a much more just tactic with less of a likelyhood of backfiring would be to fight fire with fire; namely public pressure through borcotts, information campaigns and the like. Thats why I am BOYCOTTING COMCAST!

Last summer, Verizon refused to allow an abortion rights group use of their wireless network in a text message campaign. Thanks to public pressure, however, they reversed their position and allowed the group to use their network, proving that peaceful methods work!

Recently, AT&T aired a Pearl Jam concert on their website that they own and bleeped some anti Bush statements made by the lead singer. This actually has nothing to do with net neutrality since it was on AT&T's website and even the most draconian net neutrality laws wouldn't attempt to control what content providers can and can't put on their own websites (try telling me what i can and can't put on THIS website!). That being said it is still corporate censorship and AT&T needs to be told that if they value public opinion they better not do it again. That's why I've called them up and told them as much and I would encourage everyone else to do the same. I guarantee it will work MUCH faster than calling your congressman.


the burden of evidence should weigh heavily on anyone proposing restriction just as in science the burden of proof lies on the person making the assertion. No one seems to realize this though so i'll go ahead and list a few positive possibilities which would be impossible if net neutrality laws are passed.
  • The "cheap plan" offered by an isp could be faster than dial up and cheaper, making high speed internet affordable to the millions of poor people still on dialup.
  • An isp offers the slow promotional plan for free
  • The grandma who just wants to check her email and surf the internet a bit has to pay for massive amounts of bandwidth she doesn't need
  • Anything else unimagined, since that's the nature of restriction
  • it's also interesting that this debate was going on a hundred years ago only it was the telephone.

I believe in protection vs policing and that protection can come from organization other than that of the government, which there is a good amount of already.