September 7th, 2007

The Revenge Of Ted Stevens: Justice Department Takes Aim at Net Neutrality

by Philip Baruth

You knew it was coming, people. This whole free and fair Internet thing has been pushing up against its sell-by date every year Bush has been in office.


And now, it seems, the real push is here: the Department of Justice comes out swinging against Net Neutrality, the principle that all people everywhere should receive equal performance from the Web.

Not surprisingly, the DOJ argument is identical to that used by Big Pharma and its Congressional fan-dancers: higher profits are necessary to fund cutting-edge R&D. And so in the case of internet access, corporate providers must be allowed to tier their services, allowing high-buck customers premium performance.

Which would mean that VDB would take about 23 minutes to load.

Which would mean that the populist, anti-corporate message now promulgated so effectively by bloggers on a global scale would be radically diminished.

Hard to imagine that the DOJ would announce this push now, unless the Administration plans either to move legislation on the issue in the coming year, or to use the FCC or some other Bush-friendly group to deal a de facto blow to Net Neutrality.

And of course the push will attract bipartisan support.

Oh yes: Big Joe Lieberman, who nurtures a hatred of the blogging community that makes Gollum’s obsessions seem healthy and upbeat by comparison.

Worth watching. And certainly worth putting the question to your elected officials: where do they stand, exactly, on the crippling of the Internet?