Net Neutrality: A Turning Point For Freedom And The Future

by Randy Murray on January 5, 2011

Net Neutrality isn’t just another big issue among those currently in front of us — it could be the fundamental issue that defines what type of future we are going to have.  Will it be a future of accelerating innovation and freedom, or will it be dominated by a handful of rich corporations that control what type of information, speech, and conduct will be permitted on their, not our, Internet?

I had planned to open this topic and the following series with a reasoned and calm introduction, but after reading this statement, I’m inclined to make a more definitive stand:

Opposition from both the left and the right suggests that the FCC found the appropriate middle ground. – USA Today Editorial

There is not a middle ground on every issue. Some things boil down to right and wrong. Giving any amount of content control to the telecommunications carriers is simply wrong. Period. The middle, compromise, plants us over the edge of the slippery slope. So the hell with the middle ground.

I’ve been an Internet user since 1986 and been deeply involved in high tech ever since. In fact, I started my career at Bell Labs, just after AT&T had been forcibly split by the Federal government, the big event known as “Divestiture”. I clearly remember sitting in more than one presentation where the company outlined, in the most bitter terms, how it had been wrought asunder, but they also claimed, in language that echoed the most mad James Bond villain, that they would be back, and then they’d control EVERYTHING.

I laughed, at the time. It seemed impossible. But not only has AT&T resurrected itself, it is now part of a powerful industry with like-minded competitors. Their mission is clear: to take a cut of every activity on the Internet, if not the entire profit. They look at companies like Apple and Google and are jealous of their profits, not content with their own. They want them, as well as the thousands of other companies that exist primarily online, to pay high tolls and fees to reach their customers.

There is no middle ground on net neutrality.

Over the next few weeks I’ll present a series of articles on net neutrality, what it means to Internet users, how it can shape the future, and how you can get involved to resist any attempt to limit what you can access over the Internet. I’ll even present a model that allows the carriers to stay profitable, but completely hands-off on content.

There is no middle ground to net neutrality. I’m taking a stand. It might be time for you to take one, too.

Copyright © 2011 - All Rights Reserved

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