You see, I used to be the kind of person that would make a stand on one extreme of something without truly considering the other side. Honestly, it’s easier. Over time I have tried to look at both side of any issue (save a few but they aren’t for here) so I could be impartial until someone made an argument that was so compelling that I had to take a side.
With net neutrality though, I can honestly say that I have never seen a bigger cluster $%@ in my life. This whole ‘argument’ has just resulted in what I will deem ‘informed confusion’ for me. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? When you can’t really figure it out is when you realize that everyone is a little bit of both and you throw up your hands and say “I’m done!”.
What I have learned is that trying to be in the middle on an issue (maybe any issue) is near impossible. This whole joke of an FCC ‘ruling’ is evidence.
The folks at ars technica did a good job of showing just how ridiculous this whole thing is by giving views from both sides of the aisle, which shows that no one seems to be happy with this result.
First the views from the right.
Republican FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell unleashed a biblical jeremiad against the order, accusing the FCC of becoming a “vigilante” which was taking this action only to help President Obama meet “a misguided campaign promise.”
Today was one of the “darkest days in recent FCC history,” he said, adding that he had received a final draft only at 11:42 pm the night before the vote. As for ISPs, “Nothing is broken in the Internet access market.”
He ended darkly by noting that the FCC’s “regulatory hubris” was a disease that could, thankfully, be cured by the courts.
Now the left.
“Despite promising to fulfill President Obama’s campaign promise of enacting Network Neutrality rules to protect an open Internet, the FCC has instead prioritized the profits of corporations like AT&T over those of the general public, Internet entrepreneurs, and local businesses across the country,” thundered Sascha Meinrath of the New America Foundation. “These failures place the Internet in peril of evolving into a system that will more and more resemble another cable network rather than an open Internet.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said that “the FCC has failed to protect free speech and Internet openness for all users,” by not applying the same rules to wireless.
Even the Future of Music Coalition, which represents artists, lamented the fact that net neutrality “seemingly falls short of offering full protections.”
Nice work FCC. You have managed to get the right and the far left (ACLU) angry with you on this one. In other words, you screwed up big time.
I have decided that I am going to sit back and watch the legal histrionics on this one. Rather than form an opinion on the current state of affairs I am going to wait for the next current state of affairs to see if there is any more clarity. With the current head of the FCC, Julius Genachowski (who is a lawyer after all) I suspect clarity will be in short order. Let’s hope his tenure at the head of the FCC is as well.
Honestly, since this is in the hands of politicians and lawyers I can only guess that the stupidity has just begun. Meanwhile, if I wake up each day and have Internet access for the same price I am paying and I can do most things I usually do on the Internet (which is surprisingly boring actually) then I’ll be happy no matter which side ‘wins’. Of course, thinking this way will set me up for major disappointment because some change is on the way and these days change is not always a good word.
So what’s your take? Which side are you on and why? Make an argument for me to see it your way. PLEASE.