Internet freedom: the government isn’t here to help you, and the corporations aren’t run by boardrooms full of saints either


The FCC has made a new bed and expects us to sleep in it. Good luck with that, I don’t even bother caring what the government does most of the time because present-day technology seems to constantly supercede their authority.

But let’s not forget that there are real and present dangers that could affect your bottom line, with corporations that need to be smacked by the invisible hand of the market when they try shit like this (nod of the hat to John Gruber):

The companies, Allot Communications and Openet — suppliers to large wireless companies including AT&T and Verizon — showed off a new product in a web seminar Tuesday, which included a PowerPoint presentation (1.5 MB PDF) that was sent to Wired by a trusted source.

The idea? Make it possible for your wireless provider to monitor everything you do online and charge you extra for using Facebook, Skype or Netflix. For instance, in the seventh slide of the above PowerPoint, a Vodafone user would be charged two cents per MB for using Facebook, three euros a month to use Skype and $0.50 monthly for a speed-limited version of YouTube. But traffic to Vodafone’s services would be free, allowing the mobile carrier to create video services that could undercut NetFlix on price.

Face it: “net neutrality” measures from the government amount to little more than protecting idiots from themselves (either idiotic consumers or the businesses whose policies shoot themselves in the foot). Everyone who has access to the internet has the choice to switch carriers, and even more importantly: new local peers will always be emerging when entrepreneurs sense that they can deliver a better product/price (which includes free, with carriers like behemoth Google literally giving internet away as a branded experience on a city-wide basis).

I’m not worried, I know how to use proxies and I trust that Internet freedom is the one area where those bastards (The Man) will never will be able to turn back the clock.

UPDATE: Don’t miss Adam Thierer’s amused musings over at Technology Liberation Front “Net Neutrality: A Christmas Gift for Washington Lawyers & Lobbyists”

posted by vforvandyke
  • http://earsucker.com Roberta

    This is nothing but a bunch of crap. Shame on them for charging people when we can just go to another service provider and pay the cost of internet service and have our privacy intact. Ugh, these people.

  • Julian

    This is nothing about internet neutrality. It is everything about the government gaining control of the internet by mandating they will regulate the internet. Too bad the only outlet for massive free flow of information is now going to be regulated by the government.

    No one even had to vote on in in Congress nor did the socialist/marxist in the White House have to issue an executive order, it was done through the mechanism of regulators and enforcers deciding what is good for us with the blessings of the tyrants now in power. Think history. Every tyrannical totalitarian government used regulators and enforcers to impose the will of the government on the people.

    The way this whole seizure of the internet was proposed sounded so innocuous and harmless, it was to level the playing field so there will not be unfair competitive advantage. It is not about that, it is all about statism, all about power and control, all about making decisions that benefit the state, not the people. The internet is about as good an example available that meets the definition of classical economics known as “pure competition” until the government stepped in.

    One more little slice of liberty is now lost. It is like the old game, Pac Man, nibbling and gobbling up our freedom.

    • g4lt

      You already gave that slice up, by not boycotting comcast and AT&T when they announced that they were going to rent YOU a wire and then charge someone else for access to the wire. Now you don’t like who took over the power? Shouldn’t have given it up in the first place. After that point, it’s just a question of whom, and The Man has all the cards. Sympathy? Yeah, that’s the thing I give people who actually fight for their rights when they’re actually taken, not when they’re sold off afterward, so don’t hold your breath on getting it.