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ACLU Says Net Neutrality Necessary For Free Speech 283

eldavojohn writes "The ACLU has recently identified Network Neutrality a key free speech issue and said in a lengthy PDF report: 'Freedom of expression isn't worth much if the forums where people actually make use of it are not themselves free. And the Internet is without doubt the primary place where Americans exercise their right to free expression. It's a newspaper, an entertainment medium, a reference work, a therapist's office, a soapbox, a debating stand. It is the closest thing ever invented to a true "free market" of ideas.' The report then goes on to argue that ISPs have incentive and capability of interfering with internet traffic. And not only that but the argument that it is only 'theoretical' are bogus given they list ten high profile cases of it actually happening. If the ACLU can successfully argue that Net Neutrality is a First Amendment Issue then it might not matter what businesses (who fall on either side of the issue) want the government to do."
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ACLU Says Net Neutrality Necessary For Free Speech

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  • by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @09:55AM (#33960362) Homepage

    I often find it ironic how conservative talking heads bash the ACLU as defending "commies and left wing nuts", but when *they* want free expression they're happy to get the ACLU involved to help. The ACLU is a one issue group. They think you have a right to say... whatever stupid, crazy, brilliant, inspired, idiotic, hateful, useful, useless, or wonderful thing you want to say. Period. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum. I can respect that.

  • Re:Nonsense (Score:3, Informative)

    by T Murphy ( 1054674 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @10:06AM (#33960538) Journal
    That's not sarcasm- that's what's on the script congressmen will read, as provided by the ISPs, and the conversation will end there so you can't ask about the availability of alternate providers. This isn't speculation- when I wrote to my congresswoman her reply basically boiled down to what you said.
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Informative)

    by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @10:14AM (#33960634) Homepage

    Net Neutrality should mean that no content of the same type can have different priorities. You can have QoS that put VOIP > HTTP > Bittorrent, but not iTunes MP3 file > Jamendo MP3 file.

  • Re:Not again. (Score:2, Informative)

    by IDarkISwordI ( 811835 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @10:16AM (#33960660)

    Because in this case, the government contibuted a great deal of your tax money to building the network structure that stretches across the nation today. if we paid for it as a country then the first amendment applies fully and reduces an ISP fom being a 'platform'' to being a means to access the platform.

  • Re:Nonsense (Score:4, Informative)

    by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @10:44AM (#33960992) Homepage

    And DNS has to go away.

    That's an interesting take on Net Neutrality I've never seen before. Are you planning to replace it with something? Or just make everyone remember every IP address they want to visit? That should be especially entertaining when IPV6 eventually gets implemented. I can just see the billboards now "Eat at Joes! And visit our website at: 2001:db8:1f70::999:de8:7648:6e80/index.html!" (IP address stolen from example in Wikipedia entry on IPv6. I have no idea where, if anywhere it goes)

  • by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @10:59AM (#33961150) Homepage

    As sibling says "Citation needed". The ACLU defended Rush Limbaugh. They've defended both the KKK *and* the Anti-Defamation league. Show me an instance of them turning down a legitimate freedom of expression case. You've been told that they only defend lunatic left wing causes, but so far as I've ever seen it's simply not true. A lot of their cases defend people with extremely liberal views, but that's mostly because right now the country itself, on the whole, is rather conservative. Most of the people asking the ACLU for help are left leaning, because they are most likely to both a) trust the ACLU and b) have need of the ACLU.

  • Re:Nonsense (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ichijo ( 607641 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @01:22PM (#33963080) Journal

    No, it wasn't a co-op [] ISP, it was a municipal ISP [].

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker