Our Most Urgent Free Speech Issue: Net Neutrality

FCC's draft regulations 'worse than nothing'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2010 1:38 PM CST
Our Most Urgent Free Speech Issue: Net Neutrality
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., speaks at a news conference following two votes on tax cuts during a rare Saturday session of the U.S. Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

Tomorrow, the FCC will discuss regulations on net neutrality—the principle that the biggest corporation and the humblest blogger should have equal access to viewers on the Internet. The FCC could protect this freedom, but its draft regulations “don't do that at all,” writes Sen. Al Franken on the Huffington Post. “They're worse than nothing,” effectively allowing Internet providers to “block lawful content, applications, and devices on mobile Internet connections.”

For example, Verizon could block Google Maps “on your phone, forcing you to use their own mapping program,” which is far worse; politically-motivated companies could, say, prevent you from using Obama or Tea Party apps. While President Obama and the FCC chairman say they back net neutrality—“the most important free speech issue of our time”—it’s starting to look like we’ve “been had.”
(More Al Franken stories.)

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