Monday, May 22, 2006

Brownback opposes a free Internet

TPMCafe reports on a letter Senator Brownback sent to other Senators about network neutrality:
opponents of Net Neutrality are now claiming that children won’t be protected online if we pass Net Neutrality legislation. How do we know this? From a May 16 letter circulated to the Senate by Sens. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., a member of the Commerce Committee, and Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., a former member of the Committee.

In their letter, the senators write that “opposing the heavy hand of regulation that network neutrality represents is critical if we are to maintain the Internet as an open, evolving, and market-based tool, and to protect children and familites from the negative aspects of Internet content that exist today.”
Net neutrality removes the need for a heavy hand of regulation, instead allowing the invisible hand of the market to let businesses succeed or fail. Net neutrality is the principle that allowed the internet to be the tremendous influence it is, a power for democracy on the world stage and a powerful way of building links between unexpected corners of society. If existing telecoms can block their competitors or new services, we'll lose the most powerful and most vibrant new technology of our lifetimes.

And the claim that this has anything to do with protecting children is as silly as declaring an equivalence between medical records and concealed carry licenses. Would restricting the traffic on the Interstate Highways protect children against pornography? No. If companies that offer internet filtering get more business, then filtering will be more widespread. Otherwise, it won't. That's how these things work. The only way to use non-neutrality to "protect children" would be to impose "the heavy hand of regulation."

Save the Internet.