WARNING: The Government Will Do Unspecified Incoherent Things To You

By Jesse Taylor
Thursday, May 13, 2010 20:39 EDT
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Telecoms have gone full Tea Party on net neutrality:

The FCC has released a national broadband plan recently, part of which included very, very mild proposals about net neutrality, focused almost entirely on preventing content discrimination by ISPs (short version: any resource a user wants to access should be treated equally by the ISP, regardless of its content).

As government regulations go, this is about as benign and pro-consumer as you can get. However, ISPs really, really hate this because it makes their shiny new pipelines slightly less profitable, mainly in the sense that it prevents them from extorting money out of both consumers and content providers to get the same service they’d be entitled to under the service the ISP says it’s supposed to provide anyway.

Basically, the government is Robert Mugabe, ISPs are white farmers and I think you’re someone trying to buy a newspaper with a trillion Internet dollars or something.

There’s a reason this ad provides no specifics and its script could double as a sign at a tax day rally in Sarasota: the actual specifics of net neutrality (the government ensuring that the Internet works the way it has since you were arguing what powers Thor’s hammer had on AOL forums in 1996) so entirely undercut the telecom position in such an embarrassing way that an actual defense of their position would be the equivalent of revealing that the real reason you want to go to Dairy Queen is to stuff Oreo chunks and soft serve into your underwear and tell small children about your Chilly Willy.

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
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