Net neutrality: socialism in the dialog

Justice for the Internet by K. Lloyd Billingsley at TCS provides a good overview of what the net neutrality debate is all about.

On the one side are those who think the internet should be ‘free’ and the crass corporate greedy types shouldn’t get their greasy hands on it. Everyone should be able to have a good internet connection and be able to do with it whatever they want. They shouldn’t be penalized by pricing schemes or other barriers that limit how and what they use the net for.

On the other hand there are the capitalists. They think that those who provide internet services should be able to price their products and services as the market allows. They think providers should be able to charge the use who wants video all day more than the user who needs the I’net only for occasional e-mail. They should be allowed to charge more for high priority traffic, like VOIP, than for low priority traffic like software downloads.

Billingsley tends towards the capitalists’ view.

Net neutrality means government regulation of the Internet, specifically a prohibition of differential charges for priority traffic. … In the lexicon of net neutrality, differential or priority pricing is called “discrimination,” … Net neutrality is the latest slogan of the “digital divide,” the notion that new technology instantly creates new legions of haves and have-nots, an emergency situation caused by the market and requiring new regulation.

Anytime there is a lot of emotional verbiage that promotes governmental regulation to even things out there should be concern. Taken to extreme, that path is towards socialism. “Net neutrality” is a good example of phrases that are loaded with more emotion than logic. Take head!

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