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The FCC’s New Net Neutrality Rules

Are discussed in Inside Counsel at Net neutrality rules finally published:

The FCC adopted three basic protections intended to prohibit providers from discriminating against legal Internet traffic and enforce transparency:

“First, transparency: fixed and mobile broadband providers must disclose the network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of their broadband services,” the commission wrote. “Second, no blocking: fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices; mobile broadband providers may not block lawful websites, or block applications that compete with their voice or video telephony services. Third, no unreasonable discrimination: fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic.”

My take on the state’s imposition of “net neutrality” rules: Against Net Neutrality; Net Neutrality Developments; Libertarian Take on Net Neutrality; see also Harvard’s Yochai Benkler on Net Neutrality and Innovation; other posts on net neutrality. Bottom line: the idea that the state needs to protect us from the actions of private companies is just a smokescreen to hide the fact that the state itself gives these companies extra-market power in the first place by various state policies and laws such as FCC regulation of communications, IP law, and other policies; and that the state is the biggest threat to Internet freedom; of late it’s using the two-P’s–child porn and IP piracy–as an excuse to regulate the Internet.1 How about the state impose net neutrality rules on itself, get out of the market and stop distorting it and giving companies oligopolistic powers that are prone to abuse (and that give the state an excuse to ride to the rescue and regulate to save us from a problem it created), and leave the free market alone?


  1. Re porn: British Historian On Porn And Internet Censorship: North Korea Is Right — The Internet Is Our Enemy; re piracy: Copyright and the End of Internet Freedom. []
{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Politics Matters September 27, 2011, 12:29 pm

    On the subject of net neutrality, Bob Gibson, Executive Director of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, recently said: “It’s a debate that is going on in the Congress, and it’s really: Is the Internet going to be something that everyone has free and open access to, or, is it going to be something that is sort of controlled? What we don’t need is a lot of government control in the businesses of the internet. I think what we need is more of what we have with National Public Radio, which is a really true and balanced set of reporting that unfortunately has become politicized. What we are seeing is a shift from “anything goes” on the Internet to a shift where major corporations are shaping the news outlets and buying up more and more of the news outlets and putting them under corporate control and one set of a small number of hands…. We need freeware, we need shareware, and we need open access. People need to be able to trust sources that they can find on the internet, rather than have them controlled in a small number of hands or by the government.” (Gibson appeared on the Charlottesville, VA, politics interview program Politics Matters with host and producer Jan Madeleine Paynter discussing journalism http://bit.ly/pm-gibson)

    • Stephan Kinsella September 27, 2011, 1:50 pm

      I think anyone who says they are against government control of the Internet but then who lauds the NPR example–state-funded media–is thoroughly confused.

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