08 May, 2008

Net Neutrality or no tax breaks

As reported by Ars Technica, Oregon's Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) let tech executives in Washington know that if ISPs move away from a neutral web then the government will move away from the tax breaks and other freedoms they have been benefiting from for the last 15 years as part of the Internet Tax Freedom Act.
Wyden delivered his ultimatum at a Computer & Communications Industry Association conference in DC, where he cast the entire network neutrality debate in terms of a legislative compromise.
The story goes on as Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) hosts a net neutrality meeting on Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008.
To establish broadband policy and direct the Federal Communications Commission to conduct a proceeding and public broadband summits to assess competition, consumer protection, and consumer choice issues relating to broadband Internet access services, and for other purposes.
The premise is to prevent ISPs from put unfair constraints on its customers. For example, if content providers needed to pay extra for faster connections to its customers, then new players would have difficulty gaining traction if they do not have the financial backing to pay the blackmail delivery fee. I thought extortion has been illegal for years; but our ISPs would like to change that.

We're really fighting two different fights with net neutrality. In addition to the ISPs trying to added money to their pockets, the RIAA is trying to put more constraints to reduce piracy. My fear is that the two differing issues will prohibit our tech challenged government from making decisions in favor of the people. Remember to visit Save the Internet and use their services to help you contact your representative and tell them how you feel.

No comments: