Instapundit on Net Neutrality


Glenn Reynolds, law professor and blogging heavyweight, was asked by the FCC to weigh on the agency's "Open Internet" proposals related to Net Neutrality. Here's a snippet:

The power to control communication leads, more or less inevitably, to the tendency to control communication in ways that advantage one's own political faction seems to me indisputable:  It is, after all, the reason for the First Amendment.  One reason why content distribution over the Internet has done so well has been, to put it bluntly, that the government has had nothing to do with it…. A cynic might conclude—and, in my experience, the "cynics" in such matters are almost always right—that over time "neutrality" is likely to be redefined in ways that turn out to be something less than neutral.

Instapundit's main message: "The Internet has done very well as a largely unregulated space, and in light of that success, those advocating a shift to regulation should have a heavy burden of proof."

Full statement here.

Sadly, the FCC and gummint more generally probably won't need a heavy burden of proof to do something the screw things up. Recall that it took the Supreme Court to gut virtually all of the Communications Decency Act, which would have really tamped down (at least for some time) the Interweb, this glorious system of tubes that routes around censorship like damaged sectors. Which is to say, the feds have always had an interest in regulating the 'net and won't stop anytime soon. All in the name of life, liberty, and the American way, of course. Here's hoping that we don't look back on the past 20 years, in which cyberspace became a mass phenomenon, as a brief shining moment of freedom.