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Where Al Franken is Wrong on Network Neutrality

August 30, 2010 by admin

I loved Al Franken as a comedian and I love him as a politician but in his speech before the Netroots convention he showed that he really didn't understand network neutrality. While he is right to fear the big carriers may play favorites, his example was a poor one. He said:
If we don't protect net neutrality long do you think it will take before the Fox News website loads five times faster than Daily Kos.

He is right that net neutrality is the first amendment rights issue of our time. He is right to say free speech is threatened by monopoly corporations and not just the government. This is why we must be very careful about how we define net neutrality and exactly what we give the federal government the right to control on the Internet.

But his example of a net neutrality violation is a bad one. If Fox News wants to invest very heavily in bandwidth, or more hopefully, a lot of people just stop going to their site, Fox News can already load five times as fast as Daily Kos, and that is no violation of net neutrality. My is off a shared T-1 and the only reason it doesn't load a hundred times slower than the Daily Kos is because there are rarely 50 people on it at a time. I may be a communist but even I don't advocate unlimited bandwidth for one low price or even for free. I think more like the Vietnamese, market economy with a socialist orientation.

We have got to get this right. I still haven't heard a substantial critique of my definition of network neutrality which is that data packets of the same type are not discriminated against because of source or destination address. NOBODY IS DOING THIS NOW! So all we really need is enough law that it will be formally illegal and people can sue if someone tries to do it.

We don't need a big new Washington crafted Net Neutrality Sausage full of Trojan horse meat promoted by a liberal left that has been panicked by a well heeled fear mongering campaign and voted on by well meaning people like Al Franken, who don't understand what's in it. And it would he the height of stupidity to attempt to force the Internet into a regulatory framework crafted in 1934! We have a lot on our plate and we have plenty of time to figure this one out. The Google Verizon PROPOSAL is not the attack on net neutrality it was cracked up to be. At a minimum the present uproar will cause any company who was thinking about overturning net neutrality to think again so I think there is plenty of time to craft proper, minimal, legislation.

Also it should be considered that the U.S. left's current solution to the very real future threat to network neutrality, giving all power to the FCC, will not go over well in the rest of the world where we must be building allies in the fight for freedom on the world wide web.

Here is a recap of my other DKos dairies on this subject:
EFF on the Google\Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal
Google-Verizon: What is the Free Press Agenda?
End of the Internet As We Know It!
Free Press would make this Illegal!
Google Verizon Announce Terms of Deal

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