April 5 2011

A Hot Week for Net Neutrality

The House is poised to vote to overturn the FCC imposed net neutrality regulations this week. Meanwhile, refusal by the FCC to post the new rules in the Federal Registry led the DC Circuit Court to reject two lawsuits by Verizon and MetroPCS to fight this power-grab. Should the rules pass the House, they would face fierce opposition in the Democrat-controlled Senate and President Obama has already threatened to veto the legislation.

Supporters of net neutrality revamped their efforts this week to gain public support for the regulations. Among women, Megan Tady seeks to evoke feminist fears over a media controlled by patriarchs who diminish women to being targets of cosmetic advertisement:

Net neutrality is a principle that everyone reading this article must understand and defend. Without it, you might be reading something that a male-owned corporation preferred you to see; something about lip gloss, perhaps.

What Tady fails to mention is that women who on average spend more time on the internet as well as on social networking sites, could be hurt by these regulations. As Heritage's James Gattuso explains:

The net result [from net neutrality] - a slower and more congested Internet, and more frustration for users. Even worse, investment in expanding the Internet will be chilled, as FCC control of network management makes investment less inviting. The amounts at stake aren't trivial, with tens of billions invested each year in Internet expansion.

Despite all of Free Press's fear-mongering, all consumers, men and women, should be much more worried about government overreach with respect to regulating the Internet, rather than fear imaginary tales of how big evil corporations (run by men!) might one day censor content.

There is no need to inflict harm on internet innovation and penetration now, in an attempt to prevent potential future harm later. Baseless fears over how internet providers may, or may not,act in the future should not warrant preemptive government intervention. 

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