Saturday, June 24, 2006

OpinionJournal - A Net Loser

The topic is "Net neutrality", the notion that the government ought to enforce a rule that no Web site ought to be any more or less accessible to an Internet user than any other site.

When Representative Edward Markey (D-MA) first proposed this in the House, I was immediately suspicious. Edward Markey is reponsible for some of the worst proposals in the history of the House regarding telecommunications and electronic media. Anything of his that comes before the House, I normally write off as just another example of "Markey's Malarkey."

Net neutrality is no different. This piece begins with an innocent mistake by Cox Communications that blew up into a talking point on the House floor--and even the Webmaster of the site at issue doesn't blame Cox for a security foul-up that cut his site off from Cox's clients. And then it gets to the real issue: as ISP's prepare to roll out ever-more-sophisticated content pass-through systems, they want to make extra-good access available to certain content providers for a nominal fee. And understand this: if the providers pay nothing, then users get the same access that they get today--whereas if they pay the freight, then a user can point his browser to the site involved, and boom! there it is, faster than you can say, "Jack Robinson."

Well, Google.com took exception to that and started getting out their little black book of easy marks. Among the marks they've found are moveon.org, dailykos.com, and, to my shame and flabbergastation, the Christian Coalition and a few similar sites. To the latter I say: Do not--I repeat, do not--climb into bed with your ideological enemies. The Bible says that people will know you for the company you keep. And they will definitely know you for the things you advocate--and if you advocate what amounts to theft or wrongful covetousness, that can only damage your witness.

To moveon.org and dailykos.com, I have nothing to say, no more than I would have to say to Ed Markey, even did he represent me in Congress. (I'd sooner move out than have to apply to the likes of him for any kind of "Congressional constituent service"!) And to Google.com, I say: For an organization that kowtowed to the ChiComs and created a special Chinese site with the truth blocked, you're a fine organization to talk about the truth!

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