October 25, 2009

The Maverick Now Wears Lots of Brands

I know I've been extremely quiet for a long time, and it's not for wont of things to say but due to not enough time. When I would find time, I would have said things so out of date to that it seemed pointless. Thanks to John McCain, that isn't the case today.

McCain has introduced a bill that would prevent the federal government from ensuring "net neutrality." For those who don't know, net neutrality is the idea that "all bits are created equal." (My thanks to Xeni Jardin of Boing Boing for such a great line.) The telecoms want to be able to limit your access to commercially disadvantageous content. They want to decide for you what content you should be interested in and what should matter. They want to take away your ability to publish your own content. Net neutrality means they can't do that. They provide service packages and then the speed you purchased applies to any site or point of interest you decide upon, not them.

Some of you may recall the days of AOL, CompuServe, and other content providers that provided the content and you didn't really get to decide what was available. This was back in the mid-1990s, so it wasn't all that long ago. Service was terrible and customers didn't have a choice in content or expression. This is what we'd get if the telecoms get their way, this is what we'd return to.

Think about it in terms of radio or television. With very few exceptions, where is the viewer / listener created content? It isn't there. The networks decide what is available and you just get to tune in. This is what would happen if the telecoms get their way, and that is what McCain is working to do.

I urge you to read Ms. Jardin's article at Boing Boing. She has a great summation of the issue there.

What I find so interesting is that back in 2008, when Sen. McCain was Presidential Candidate McCain, he admitted that he was completely computer illiterate. He admits to knowing nothing about computers. And now? Now he's completely bought and paid for by the telecoms. The Sunlight Foundation has identified McCain as the largest recipient of telecom lobbying money for the last two years. So, the man who knows nothing about computers and who has received an obscene amount of money from the telecoms, is now opposing net neutrality. He's selling us out on this as he has sold us out on so many other issues, including health insurance reform and Medicare for Everyone. After all, what is information and easy access to it, if not a threat to the elitist establishment? All in the name of profit, right?

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