Scott Bradner almost gets it about the opposition to net neutrality in Eyes in their ankles: The congressional view of network neutrality:
If you work at a company that uses the Internet to sell to customers or to buy from suppliers you should care about the net neutrality discussion.You should, but you probably don’t have the money to buy some politicians to do something about it, and unfortunately the biggest companies do, and they’re busy doing just that:
|US Chamber of Commerce||$132,067,500|
|American Medical Assn||$22,555,000|
|Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America||$21,740,000|
|Blue Cross/Blue Shield||$21,007,141|
|American Hospital Assn||$19,438,358|
|National Cable & Telecommunications Assn||$17,710,000|
|National Assn of Realtors||$17,580,000|
|National Assn of Broadcasters||$13,710,000|
|Source: OpenSecrets.org Top Spenders 2010.|
Why look, there’s National Cable & Telecommunications Assn, Verizon, and AT&T in the top 20! And who wants to bet that a big chunk of US CoC’s lobbying isn’t also going against net neutrality?
Scott explains at greater length:
This is an inability to see the value riding over the ‘Net, which is the same thing as having your eyes in your ankles pointing down so they can only see strips of asphalt and miss the cars and trucks riding on the asphalt. But the main problem may be that many of these people can only see “things.” They see physical wires and cables but cannot see, so do not recognize, the non-physical traffic using those wires and supporting close to 20% of U.S. commerce. They focus on the jobs in the carriers installing the wires but ignore the vastly greater number of jobs created by those using the wires because they cannot see the communications flying by.No, it’s not an inability to see. The big telcos and their big corporate allies see their profits and their bottom line and they think they’ll increase them by further consolidation. They don’t care about your value. And their bought political lackeys in Congress do what they’re told by their patrons.
I like Scott, and he’s a sage of Internet technology. But there are several huge problems with his post.
It uses the opposition’s framing.
There is no net neutrality “discussion” anymore than there is an intelligent
design “controversy” or a climate change “debate”.
As I heard a civil rights activist say recently,
there are two sides to this discussion: there’s the truth, and there’s a lie.
There’s the truth and then there’s paid astroturf echoed by bought politicians.
WAS DARWIN WRONG?Inside they got right to the point:
NO.We need to stop pandering to a fake “discussion” and get right to the point: the Internet grew up with all the services everybody likes, from email to YouTube, facebook, and twitter, because nobody had to petition a few big companies before trying out new services. The big telcos and cablecos that now control most of U.S. Internet access contributed nothing to developing those services. What those companies are trying to do now would prevent any more such services from being developed. We need to codify and preserve the conditions under which the Internet grew up so we can continue to have the freedom to develop and use new services.
The evidence for Evolution is overwhelming.
The old joke diagram about political and financial layers above the
technical layers of the Internet got it backwards:
the financial layer controls the political layer.
Internet sages continue to miss that these days there
is no politics without money.
The same politicians who are busy suppressing the Internet
are the ones who are trying to defund NPR after promising
to focus laser-like on job creation.
We need to be willing to call a hypocrite a hypocrite
and to link other examples of their hypocrisy to their Internet hypocrisy.
Look at the protests in Wisconsin against union busting:
more people on the streets than at the height of the Vietnam War,
and the traditional media hardly cover it.
Most people who know what’s going on there know because of the Internet.
Much like in Tunisia and Egypt, where the local traditional media
were worse than useless and
the Internet fomented revolution, according to
people who went to jail for being involved.
The plutocrats and their politicians who want to destroy unions and
consolidate media down to even fewer than they control want the Internet
muzzled so nobody can see what they’re up to in other arenas.
Mubarak made no mistake in shutting down the Internet in Egypt
the same day he told his military to attack protesters.
Fortunately, the military refused, deciding it worked for the people,
not for Egypt’s biggest plutocrat.
If even fewer companies control most Internet access in the U.S.,
and can throttle, block, or censor it at will,
there will be no need to shut it down to hide what the plutocrats are up to.
- Could we stop using the term “net neutrality”? How about Internet free speech, free press, and free trade? Internet freedom!
Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has and never will.Technical people tend to carefully separate politics from their profession. What will we do now that paid politics is trying to destroy their profession?
To win we need large numbers of people to see Internet freedom as a civil rights issue, infringing on their freedom of press, speech, assembly, and ability to make a living. How do we get people to see that?
Hm, the only medium we have to reach them in large enough numbers is… the Internet! Now is it clear why the reactionaries in the U.S. and elsewhere don’t want a free Internet? And why we should?
Free the Internet!