Since Oct 9, 2003

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For anyone following the net neutrality debate, I'm putting this here so I can copy/paste from now on whenever people get it confused: Net Neutrality is not Fairness Doctrine

The Internet was built on net neutrality. This neutrality is what allowed the intense competition and innovation. For the most part, it is the way the Internet currently operates, at least in free countries. Fairness Doctrine controls content, thus it would control what the content producers do. That would be the news, blog and discussion web sites. Net neutrality targets the carriers, the wrong entity for the Fairness Doctrine.

Net neutrality says that the carriers (Comcast, AT&T, etc.) cannot interfere with lawful Internet traffic. The carriers can't block or interfere with your use of Netflix because they want to push their own video service. They can't interfere with Skype because they want to push their own VOIP service. They can't block the VPN you use to work from home. They can't block web sites they disagree with politically. They can't charge web sites like FR a fee to get to their customers either, allowing them to shut down free speech by selectively charging sources out of existence.

You may think that competition will keep the carriers in line. Unfortunately, single carriers have monopolies in many areas of the country. For most places where there is competition, it would only take a few carriers to collude to destroy net neutrality in order for most Americans to be affected. So far the only thing that has made them roll back prior attempts has been FCC threats.

Net neutrality isn't a left/right issue. It's a freedom issue.

Net neutrality isn't even an issue of the government supposedly taking over the Internet, since the government still controls the Internet, always has since it created the Internet. GW Bush refused to give up control, pissing off the UN that would use that control to spread its one-world government, pissing off China that wants to use that control to censor it, pissing off the Muslim nations that want to use that control to eliminate criticism of Islam. And now, as proposed, our government would use that control to piss off the carriers that want to destroy the open Internet for their profit.