Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Privatizing the net version 2.0

I have written several posts recently on the big telecos plan to charge at both ends for access to network infrastructure. The outlook at this point continues to be bleak, and points out another problem with the operation of the current legislative process.

A few weeks ago, AT&T announced plans to charge internet based companies for bandwidth, creating what was dubbed the multiple tiered internet. This plan continues to march into reality, especially with the defeat of the Net Neutrality Act. This is not new news by any stretch of the imagination, but it does demonstrate that AT&T is getting closer to implementing the system. A disturbing development is how it all came to be. TechSearch is reporting the disturbing trend of how the politics of this move all came about. Not surprisingly, the guy who carries the buck gets the ear of Congress. As a result, a private company is about to take the internet away from the users and relegate it to a waste of virtual space.

What, though, does this say about the operation of government? Fundamentally, it demonstrates that legislation can be bought. This means that the average citizen is left out of the loop, entirely undermining the political process. The worst part is that the citizenry is largely in the dark because news venues fail to report the subject. The presentation of information to the people continues to get locked up by private interests, and the spread of misinformation is beginning to resemble the spread of propaganda. Information must remain free, both in its distribution and consumption. China is a perfect example of the detrimental consequences of any kind of censorship. What happened to the government protecting the liberty interests of the people?

On a side note, apparently one of the new FCC commissioners is a fan of digital rights management. The guys over at the Tech Liberation Front have an interesting analysis of the situation. I don't necessarily endorse their prospective on DRM but the analysis of Chairman Tate's perspective is interesting none the less.

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