A lot of nonsensical arguments have been put forward by leftist lobbyists and their allies in their desire for Washington to regulate the internet (to distract attention from Google’s plan to have Congress mandate that consumers subsidize their multi-billion dollar profits).
Perhaps the most stupid argument to date, however, comes from Ken Ward, PhD Candidate, University of Austin
(History Department). Mr. Ward has decided that people like Robert Kahn, inventor of TCP/IP and “father” of the internet”, who have denounced government intervention
, don’t really
know what they’re talking about, so it’s up to him to use his great knowledge and wisdom acquired in his studies (in history) to set the record straight.
Mr. Ward has decided to explain why a recent attempt by Senator McCain to preserve a free an unfettered internet is, in his mind, wrong: National Security. Because he’s really smart. He’s a PhD candidate, you know.
Mr. Ward writes: “I have to point out that McCain’s positions is, in fact, a danger to National Security. Let’s remember that the Internet grew out of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which itself grew out of ARPA, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (an Eisenhower baby), both of which were government-funded efforts to ensure that government and military computer networks could survive and maintain in contact in the event of a nuclear or environmental disaster.
The National Security function of what is today known as the Internet has already been largely degraded by the privatization of the Internet backbone, and McCain’s bill only further puts at risk National Security by allowing private enterprise to determine the "importance" of Internet packets. As I see it, the best and only way to understand McCain’s bill is as a betrayal of National Security interests.”
Never mind the fact that the military applications of the internet were walled off in a separate system years ago, that the military doesn’t need the internet to function, and that this argument makes, well, no sense whatsoever, – he said national security! He must be right! Quick everyone, let the government take over the whole thing – national security! Terrorists! Scary Scary! No time to think! Security is at stake!
On a more serious note, Mr. Ward’s fear of private enterprise, and his complaints about “the privatization of the Internet backbone”
reveal the true motive of those behind the push for Net Neutrality: a fully fledged government run and operated internet. With the government dictating what you can and can’t see (already starting in many western countries
), what speed your connection is (slow), and what the market will be allowed to invest (nothing).
Mr. Ward might want the internet to return to where it was in the 1980’s, but personally, I quite like having the flexibility, freedom and choice that we have now. A flexible and flourishing internet, free of the cold dead hand of government bureaucracy, is the only way the net shall prosper.
Let’s keep it that way.