Internet censorship and net neutrality is not a simple matter
Many people fearful of net neutrality changes look at censorship issues and editorial control of the internet as part of the net neutrality debate. But there have been many proposed laws to control what content is allowed on the internet, and these laws have been for the most part, independent of the net neutrality debate.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is digital rights organization founded in 1990. As one of the oldest and most well established organizations in understanding the interaction of government and technology the EFF put the recent FCC ruling into context.
The EFF states the delicate balance of governments role in net neutrality pretty clearly: "Reclassification under Title II was a necessary step in order to give the FCC the authority it needed to enact net neutrality rules. But now we face the really hard part: making sure the FCC doesn’t abuse its authority."
A 2011 bill in the U.S. Senate bill known as PIPA (PROTECT IP Act) had people excited because it would give the government many powers to control "rogue websites." The 2011 House version of the bill was known as Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The 2011 bill was a follow up to a 2010 bill known as Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), which proposed creating an Internet blacklist of sites Americans weren’t allowed to visit.
Opponents of SOPA and PIPA claimed that requiring search engines to delete domain names violated the First Amendment and could begin a worldwide arms race of unprecedented Internet censorship. There were many protests objecting to more government control of the internet, citing concerns over possible damage to freedom of speech, innovation, and Internet integrity.
Equal Access for Everyone!
One of the issues with internet access is, and probably will be for some time, is the highways are not the same in all parts of the country. But the question becomes one of who will build the larger highways. But this takes time, and who would pay the bill?
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler sings the praises of community broadband, while groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), push the "Municipal Telecommunications Private Industry Safeguards Act" to limit local efforts to create public broadband access.
Why doesn't the government just build us bigger highways on the internet, just like on the roadways? Best argument I have heard so far as the why government should stay out of the ISP business is that the local government are going into debt to fund these projects and the locals don't want to pay the bill, in the form of higher taxes.
Government control is a bad thing?
The same people objecting to more government control of the internet on privacy issues, citing concerns over possible damage to freedom of speech, innovation, and Internet integrity, now ask for net neutrality, which means more government control to make sure all access is equal.
It is not as simple as it sounds.
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