Net Neutrality, One More Obama Sellout

As I related in my previous post, Republican President Barack Obama is currently plotting to permanently destroy the Internet by working with his best friends in the Republican Party to get rid of net neutrality. Getting rid of Net Neutrality will end the Internet as we know it. The Internet is, like the railroads and phone lines, based on the notion of a common carrier. Back in the days of the railroads, the government ruled that railroads could not prefer any traffic over any other traffic. That is, a train full of coal could not be given preference over a train full of steel. Nor could a train full of coal shipping coal from a coal company with which the railroad partnered be given priority over a train carrying coal from a competing coal company. This regulation was essential in protecting citizens and businesses from horrible abuse by the railroads. Despite the pro-people regulation, the railroads nevertheless horribly abused American citizens, businesses and workers, particularly in the West, for many, many years. We continue to feel the effects of their abuse to this day. The despicable phone and cable companies like ATT and Comcast want to take over the entire Internet. They already have de facto monopolies in phone lines and cable traffic. They have used these monopolies, as corporate predators always do, to prey on innocent citizens. Who would have ever thought that we would have to pay $50/month to watch TV, and advertiser supported TV at that? The cable and phone companies have de facto monopolies, so they need to be regulated, but they are not. The cable companies at least have used their monopoly to ridiculously gouge customers. $50/month for advertiser-supported TV? Give me a break! The cable and phone companies also wiped out the very nice competitive situation we had with ISP’s. Since phone companies had to carry any ISP, ISP’s proliferated, prices were low and service was often good. Yet the phone companies began running their own ISP’s and illegally discriminating against other ISP’s using their phone lines. Pretty soon the phone companies were locking out all competing ISP’s, prices were rocketing up and service was falling through the floor. A case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and the Court ruled against all antitrust law that phone companies had to right to lock competing ISP’s out of their lines! With Net Neutrality, we move on to pay to play, which is where the cable and phone companies want to take the Internet. There will be two or more lanes on the Internet. Fast lanes for corporations and rich people will go very fast because the corporations and the rich paid for access to those lanes. Then there will be slow lanes for everyone else who can’t afford to play. You could very well call up Robert Lindsay, and it would take forever to load. Or your carrier could slow down or completely block access to Robert Lindsay because they don’t like what I am saying. Carriers are already starting to block access to sites they don’t like, and they are slowing or shutting off traffic to sites running competing services. Getting rid of Net Neutrality means that we will head back to the old days of the Internet, when you had AOL, CompuServe, etc. each with their own little walled off Internet and there was no way if you were on one carrier to access the other carrier’s sites. Furthermore, it ends free speech on the Net. There is no free speech on TV, radio, newspapers and newsmagazines because it’s all pay to play. Only the rich and the Corporate Enemy can afford to have TV, radio and channels. Only they can afford to run newspapers and newsmagazines. Hence we have a media run entirely by the rich class enemy and the corporations. Yet with the Internet, due to low barriers to entry, a measly citizen journalist like me can run websites that get a combined total of millions of hits a year. Net Neutrality would end that by setting up the same huge monetary barriers to entry on the Net as we have in the rest of the media. It means de facto takeover of the Internet by the same wealthy and corporate rightwing voices that have taken over print, TV and radio in the US. The age of media democracy on the Net will have ended. The strange thing is that Barack Obama campaigned on upholding Net Neutrality. He said that repeatedly during his campaign. But then he appointed Reaganite Democrat Julius Genachowski to head the FCC, knowing full well that this character intended to gut Net Neutrality. The FCC worked out a “compromise” in which fake Net Neutrality rules were proposed. These rules were actually written by the cable and phone companies themselves! It appears that Obama and Genachowski were more interested in serving their corporate masters in the phone and cable companies than in saving the Internet. And Obama is going back on yet another of his campaign promises. Obama’s regulations for the financial industry and BP were similar. Obama had BP write its own regulations, resulting in one of the worst oil spills in US history. Obama’s fake financial industry reform is notoriously weak, and the regulations were all written by the financial industry. They will not prevent the finance industry from blowing up the economy again. Barack Obama is nothing but a corporate shill.

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