Network neutrality

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Network neutrality (more frequently referred to as "net neutrality") is a euphemism for government control of the internet, ostensibly to ensure that Internet service providers treat all traffic equally and continue to give high-traffic websites like Google a free ride. Liberals in Washington, D.C. would then monitor and manage Internet traffic under the guides of ensuring "equality or "neutrality", when in fact the government would be interfering with the freedom and free market that has traditionally existed on the Internet.[1] The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enacted net neutrality regulations during the Obama Administration, but in 2017, under new conservative leadership due to President Donald Trump's appointments, the FCC voted to repeal its net neutrality regulations.

History

Early on, many of the supporters of Net Neutrality were Marxist Fellow travellers.[2] Socialist activist Robert McChesney, founder of the group "Free Press", devoted himself to the cause of a government takeover[3] of the internet. Generally, McChesney makes similar arguments that any other Net Neutrality supporter does in regards to fears regarding the role of corporate entities and internet subscriptions. But in an interview in 2009 with a publication The Socialist Project/The Bullet, in which he believed he was talking to a crowd more sympathetic to his true beliefs and also that his words would not be seen by anybody else, McChesney admitted to the following:

The ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.[4]

Large amounts of funding from George Soros have gone toward projects and organizations to fund the advancement of Net Neutrality.[5]

Opposing viewpoints

Supporters of net neutrality, such as Google, engage in favoritism of their own in supporting liberal causes but want to prevent ISPs from having the same freedom. These net neutrality supporters insist that a new "tiered Internet" would develop unless the government takes control through regulations. For example, they claim that Hollywood could offer multimedia content exclusively in a higher tier, which could be subject to the inclusion or exclusion of certain Web sites, eventually resulting in all major Internet sites abandoning the lower tier. Targets could include blogs opposing the agenda of the mainstream media or the governments of the world, and independent musicians not affiliated with RIAA-member labels. In addition, a company within an industry could make deals with an ISP, resulting in priority over competitors' Web sites - this also raises antitrust issues.[6][7]

Many corporations and liberal advocacy groups support neutrality regulations, while hardware companies and providers and conservative groups tend to be against it. Some great figures of the Internet also oppose it, such as David Farber, noted for major contributions to programming languages and computer networking, and Bob Kann, who helped invent the TCP/IP technologies used to transmit information on the Internet.

Internet providers, however, tend to see no need for increased regulation and fear that with increased use of bandwidth through applications such as video downloads, their networks could be overloaded if they are not allowed to control them. Jim Cicconi, a high-level employee at AT&T, said that AT&T would be "very disappointed if [the FCC] has already drawn a conclusion to regulate wireless services despite the absence of any compelling evidence of problems or abuse that would warrant government intervention." Chris Guttman-McCabe, a vice president at wireless trade group CTIA, said "We are concerned about the unintended consequences that Net neutrality regulation would have on investments from the very industry that's helping to drive the U.S. economy." [8]

If, as critics of "net neutrality" fear, regulations actually cause networks to be swamped and slowed by increased bandwidth use, the Internet could become less usable for everyone.

Exceptions for special interests

The EFF, a libertarian-leaning legal organization which opposes most regulation of the Internet, points out that government regulation of the Internet has historically been pro-special-interests and pro-Hollywood.[9] The EFF points to proposals already being discussed:

With the FCC already promising exceptions from net neutrality for copyright-enforcement, we fear that the FCC's idea of an "Open Internet" could prove quite different from what many have been hoping for.[10]

This would seem to contradict claims that net neutrality laws will protect independent media and anti-government speech.

Regulatory efforts

On September 21, 2009, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski proposed increased FCC enforcement of already-existing "net neutrality" rules. He and his supporters described the possible new regulations as keeping the internet open; Genachowski himself said "I am convinced that there are few goals more essential in the communications landscape than preserving and maintaining an open and robust Internet," and Democratic Representative Ed Markey called the proposal "a significant step towards preserving the free and open nature" of the Internet.[11][12]

On April 7, 2010, a federal appeals court ruled that the FCC did not have the power to regulate this issue. Congress still retains the right to regulate net neutrality and/or delegate additional powers to the FCC.[13]

After Net Neutrality regulations were published, watchdogs noticed that the regulations themselves refer to the group "Free Press" 46 times.[14][15]

"Free Press" is a noted Marxist front group.[16]

Effects on conservative websites including Conservapedia

If not prohibited, better Internet service would be given to those websites and companies with pay more. Large corporations like CNN and ABC would be able to pay these rates, and thus become much more technologically reliable. Smaller websites, especially non-profit ones, would generally be unable to pay the increased rates. Their websites would, therefore, become harder and slower to access, and many users could be turned away as a result. Internet traffic would eventually flow towards the better-funded websites, and away from non-profit sites such as Conservapedia.

References

External links