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Is Net Neutrality Really Needed? 705

darrad writes "An opinion piece over at the Wall Street Journal lays out an alternate theory on why we have new regulations from the FCC on Net Neutrality. There is a lot of talk about this subject, particularly among the tech sector. Most of the talk centers around preventing companies from charging more for traffic or black holing other traffic. However, the question should be asked, is granting control over the Internet to political appointees the way to go? Regardless of your political point of view shouldn't the Internet remain free from regulation?"
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Is Net Neutrality Really Needed?

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  • Faux News (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @05:02PM (#34645286)

    An opinion piece over at the Wall Street Journal

    Since being taken over by NewsCorp, I'm not sure you could describe any of their articles as anything else. They're just GOP/big business shills now, RIP the news organization that used to make a meaningful contribution to our society.

    Regardless of your political point of view shouldn't the Internet remain free from regulation?"

    You might as well ask, "Regardless of your political point of view shouldn't the privately owned bridges be free from regulation?" or how about "Regardless of your political point of view shouldn't the banks remain free from regulation?" or maybe "Regardless of your political point of view shouldn't the electric company remain free from regulation?"

    In any case the answer is "NO!" Vital resources should be regulated by the government because the government, for all its flaws, is ultimately answerable to the people and private companies have shown again and again they put their profits first and do great harm to society in pursuit of that, whether it be by dumping poison in our nation's rivers, gouging individuals using monopolies, Misusing money put into banks with risky investments, or leveraging resources to influence politics for profit.

    A better question isn't if the government should regulate things, but "Why are we still letting private companies and foreign nations" influence our politics through campaign contributions, lobbying, and political adverts when the vast majority of individuals thing it should be illegal?"

  • Re:First impressions (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KublaiKhan ( 522918 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @05:08PM (#34645388) Homepage Journal
    The WSJ has an impressively schizophrenic personality. The regular articles--the ones that you'd find on, say, the front page of the print edition--are very well researched and well-written, as well as impressively neutral in political alignment. They tend to stick strictly to the facts and use as little conjecture as possible.

    The editorial page, however, is sometimes even further to the right than Glenn Beck. It is -RABIDLY- right-wing, sometimes getting close to fascism. It's probably what the Fox News people point to when they try to claim that their coverage fair and balanced.
  • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @05:09PM (#34645402)

    "block unwanted traffic entirely."

    If Comcrap defines Youtube and Hulu as "unwanted" because their video offerings conflict with Comcrap's crappy, underfilled, looks-like-crap streaming video and extortionately-priced cable tv "services", your statement makes no sense at all.

    And that's pretty much what Comcrap and TW have been setting up to do.

  • by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @05:21PM (#34645562)

    They don't want my streaming video to interfere with their other customers' VOIP calls...

    That's not what's going to kill the Internet. That's a problem that's easily solved with QoS and prioritizing based on protocol. What they don't want - and will pretty much kill to prevent - is they don't want you to stream video content that competes with their video content. And since the Telcos all got smart and invested in content providers, it is trivial from a technical perspective to implement this.

    In China, the free Internet died because the government didn't want the users to watch Tiananmen videos. In the US, the free Internet will die because corporations don't want the users to watch content they're not getting paid for.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @05:37PM (#34645850) Journal

    We have to wait until the ISP's do something so egregious that there is a huge public uprising

    By the time that happens, there won't be any going back. There will be fines all around which will be paid out of an increase in broadband prices.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @05:39PM (#34645878) Journal

    you can choose

    Is that what you think? The whole point of the anti-net neutrality agenda is to make sure we can't choose.

    We've got a lot more influence over government than we do over the top two telcos.

  • by seebs ( 15766 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @07:21PM (#34647296) Homepage

    I don't think it's rational for you to accuse me of being delusional. Since I'm arguing against "net neutrality", I am by definition "part of the anti-net neutrality forces". Since I am telling you exactly what I am concerned with, the only way I could be deluded about this would be if I were totally wrong about what my arguments or interests were, and that seems pretty unlikely.

    I want the ability to block unwanted traffic. I ran a small ISP for a while (heck, technically I still have a few people using my server for their internet stuff), and we block a LOT of traffic. We use two or three blacklists for spammers, we have a local blacklist, we greylist... And you know what? It was a popular feature. People did occasionally want to be outside the filters... often, they'd ask for this, thinking they wanted it, then a week later tell us to put the filters back on their stream.

    That's us, a network provider, blocking traffic because we know that if we don't block it, we can't provide good service.

    That said, I do agree that there's a serious issue with phrasing it well enough that people in Congress can understand, because if they don't understand it, the law we'll get will be a Bad Thing.

    You're telling me that the people who thought the DMCA would improve my life as a writer and programmer ought to be in charge of my life as a network admin. I'm telling you that's batshit insane.

As Will Rogers would have said, "There is no such things as a free variable."