Congress Needs to Step In for Net Neutrality...Really? Seriously?

Yes, More Legislation from our Esteemed 535 Members of Congress is the Fix

If you caught my blog back in March on "Net Neutrality for Dummies" you'll probably understand quickly I am of the belief that Net Neutrality is a solution in search of a problem. The scare mongering that goes on about Net Neutrality - "those evil companies will block your content" - is overblown just to allow big government bureaucrats to get their hands on the Internet; which for the last 15 years has grown and worked fine by itself. The proper role of government is to protect your liberty so you can pursue happiness, not grant you happiness by mandating all your P2P traffic gets through. Does any reasonable person believe that Comcast is going to block or slow Google or Facebook traffic? Please. The customer outcry and public relations disaster would be all the shame that is needed to prevent an ISP from blocking meaningful content. And what about ISPs prioritizing the content that they deem more important? So what? Have you heard of premium channels on TV? Why are some channels lower on the channel list? Ever driven in the HoV lane? How about flying first class and checking-in faster? Do we need Net Neutrality for everything so some bureaucrats or politician can label it "fair" (aka "neutral")? That's why I was disgusted this week to read Tony Bradley's column on "Net Neutrality Debate Divided On Familiar Political Lines". Tony ends this screed with this gem of a paragraph:

Congress should step in. Congress should either grant its explicit public endorsement of FCC authority and autonomy to make decisions affecting the industries it is charged with regulating, or Congress should take the fight out of the hands of the FCC and the broadband industry opposition and draft its own set of rules to govern Internet service.

"Congress should step in." Really? Seriously? I just don't understand the faith liberals - I can tell by reading a few of Tony columns he is a rock solid liberal/progressive/socialist, take your pick - have in 535 people sitting on Capitol Hill. Is he really suggesting that Congress, which gave us Obamacare: and Wall Street reform and stimulus packages and bailouts and so on and so on....can really understand the minutia of details and facts involved in the global Internet and somehow structure a law that is designed well with unambiguous goals and rules that can be clearly implemented which is free of lobbying interests. Sure, right! Tony may then argue that all he wants is Congress to give the FCC the power to regulate the Internet. Oh sure, that's much better! Now we have bureaucrats making key decisions about the Internet. Let me pose this to you. How is this the government's purview at all? I'm struggling to find in the Constitution the enumerated power to regulate Internet access. And don't try to stretch the Commerce Clause anymore. The Commerce Clause is there to ensure states don't erect commerce boundaries, not regulate trade between private entities (you and your ISP). And, this may come as a shock to some of you, but broadband Internet access is not a natural right the government is supposed to protect. When God created you and gave you natural rights (speech, self preservation, property, privacy) one of those rights was not Internet access. Internet access is a good, a service. It's a private relationship between you and your ISP. If you don't like that relationship because the ISP is blocking access to certain sites/protocols, then you sever that private relationship and get a new ISP. Can't find an ISP that is not blocking your favorite P2P site....well, tough. Your life will go on. And I have a little news for you, if some ISP really does start blocking content, two more will swoop in and start advertising how they don't. And that first ISP will probably still give you access to the "blocked" content for an extra charge - just like how HBO costs more than basic cable. Believing regulation and government action is a solution to problems is a trap. Big businesses actually like regulation because it stifles competition and locks in customers (see Health Care Reform and insurance companies), the government rarely gets things right and is too slow to change, and, in the end, people suffer. Yes, it all sounds great - the FCC will "protect" us from evil ISPs - but reality is much different. The Internet has become the greatest communications medium in human history. Leave it alone.


UPDATE: A great blog about this very topic!!! Network Neutrality: Pretty Much Just Socialism


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