Peter Anthony Tariche, Staff Writer
The debate over Net Neutrality has been a growing hot topic in recent the years. And to my belief most people who support Net Neutrality have good intentions, but they fail to understand the faults of government creating “protections” for the Internet. We need to protect the Internet, but government is a bad means to do so.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality basically ensures equal access to the Internet, and it gives Internet users the ability to control the information and the applications they use on the Internet.
Why have Net Neutrality?
There has been a growing fear amongst “consumers” that Internet Service Providers are failing to provide the proper bandwidth to users because of possible illegal activity, censorship or abuse of their Internet connection. Also, there has been a growing concern that Internet Service Providers will begin to charge more for users who visit certain websites. Many people have grown concerned over these potential abuses by service providers and in the result of these concerns’ politicians‘ have turned to government intervention in order to protect our digital rights.
Sounds good, right?
Not to me! Let me explain. For the most part the Internet is one of the last entities on this planet that is not under the control of government regulation or “protection”. Under the free market system and lack of government control, the Internet has been a great example of a global free society. When you enter the worldwide web you are entering a virtual voluntaryist society. The internet is a society built by voluntary relationships. We have grown to love or hate the Internet depending on our personal beliefs, but no one can deny the Internet has become a beacon for information and misinformation. Many people in Congress support Net Neutrality, and more than often they affiliate themselves with the Democratic Party. Even the “President of the Internet”, Leo Laporte supports Net Neutrality. Those who support Net Neutrality fail to understand that the Internet doesn’t need protections granted from government nor does the government need to grant us digital rights. We already have them! The Internet is a self regulating entity.
Every time Internet Service Providers abuse their power the Internet reacts in an uproar. Internet Users react in the masses and revolt against the Internet Service Providers, usually in a non-violent matter and demand the Internet Service Providers reverse their abuses. The free society that is the Internet has socially protected itself. Additionally, the Internet is very difficult to regulate, which has allowed it economically and socially to prosper. TDue to loose regulations on digital markets, the lack of a government regulatory body has contributed to the lowering of costs and exponential growth (Moore’s Law). And yet, people who wish to implement Net Neutrality want to maintain and preserve the Internet we have today. This is a noble cause, but why entrust government with this burden when the free society already acts as the protectorate of the Internet? Why change when there is truly nothing to fix?
Government for the most part is the negation of liberty. Regulations come with many consequences. First, by creating Net Neutrality we are allowing a stepping-stone for the Government to regulate and control the Internet. For example, the Interstate Commerce Commission was created to ensure fair rates and eliminate rate discrimination over railroads, yet instead of protecting consumers the ICC ended up limiting competition. Not only does net neutrality open the door towards government abuse, but it also threatens our first amendment rights.
Nick Dranias, Director of The Goldwater Institute writes:
“In Comcast Cablevision v. Broward County, Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks struck down a county ordinance that forced a cable company to give its competitors equal access to its communication infrastructure. Much like advocates of net neutrality argue today, the county government argued that its “open access” ordinance did not offend the First Amendment because it ensured the transmission of more, rather than less, information by more companies. Judge Middlebrooks rejected that argument, ruling that the First Amendment prohibits government from forcing owners of communication infrastructure to transmit information against their will. He also held that government has no power to force the distribution—or “circulation”—of information because “liberty of circulating is not confined to newspapers and periodicals, pamphlets and leaflets, but also to delivery of information by means of fiber optics, microprocessors and cable.”
So, now ask yourself: do we need Net Neutrality? The next time one of your liberal or conservative friends tell you that we need Net Neutrality explain to them that their good intentions will only lead to the government abusing our liberties and property, which always leads to the eventual loss of both.