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Net Neutrality's Pre-cognition
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2006-06-27 09:56
Last week someone analogized net neutrality to the world in the popular movie "Minority Report" with Tom Cruise. (I apologize for not remembering who shared this dead-on analogy with me, thank you whoever you were.) In the scary future-world depicted in Minority Report, "pre-cognition" technology, i.e. mind-reading technology, enabled the Government to know if people were "thinking" of breaking the law before they actually did. This way the Government could intervene and "jail" the offender before the offense occurred! That's freedom for ya!
The net neutrality movement is eerily like this. They use language, like: "they have the means to discriminate, they have the incentive to discriminate, and a few have publicly alluded to their plans to discriminate." They then justify the preemptive action of NN by saying it would be hard to undo an offense after it had happened. Hello? Are we still in America? Ever heard of a little freedom called -- innocent until proven guilty? Ever heard of fairness and due process? Ever heard of protections from unlawful seizures of property? The founding fathers would have called this type of thinking what it is -- tyranny.
Let's review what NN wants to do. It proposes to take away the freedoms of all individuals and companies engaged in broadband -- for the sins of little old Madison River -- which the FCC swiftly and successfully dealt with -- without new regulation. I include individuals here becuase the Snowe-Dorgan and Markey bills are so breath-takingly sweeping as to apply to everyone, even individuals' own home WiFi hot spots! That's Internet freedom? Punish everyone in advance for the past sins of one?
Proponents of net neutrality have turned the term "Internet freedom" into Orwellian doublespeak. One of the most fundamental concepts of the American system of justice and way of life is that individuals are protected from the tyranny of the government taking away their freedoms.
Why the NN usage of terms like "Internet freedom" ring so hallow with conservatives and others that truly care about guarding freedom is the wisdom that true tryanny flows from governments -- not individuals or competitive companies.