Dover Bitch

Friday, June 09, 2006

Net Neutrality is fundamental

DB posted the following in the comments section of FDL. Don't have time to really write this as a proper post, but it's important enough that it deserves some play, so here it is. This post will eventually be replaced by a more thoughtful missive.

Another thing about Net Neutrality because I’m not sure I really made the point I wanted to make (in case anybody’s listening)…

When the Bill of Rights was being debated, there were some people opposed to adding rights. Not because they were against freedom or speech or the right to a fair trial, but because they were afraid that some people would interpret the inclusion of certain rights as an open door to deny other rights that aren’t there.

We see evidence of this all time. When Alito was confirmed, Sen. DeWine asked him if the word “abortion” appeared anywhere in the Constitution. Alito could have pointed out (of course, he didn’t) that the Ninth Amendment states that it doesn’t matter if a right isn’t explicitly in the text; That’s not a good enough reason to limit a right.

The Ninth Amendment was the compromise. It states that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

But they needed to make a compromise and include this amendment because it was clear to the Founders that without certain rights being untouchable — rights like the ability to openly discuss the actions of our government — there would be no hope of preserving any rights at all.

So this brings me back to Net Neutrality. It’s great that Yearly Kos is happening and everybody is inspired and ready to change the direction of this country. But without the freedom to discuss these issues on the Internet, that’s the end of all of this.

Freedom to share ideas on the Internet is, for our generation, the same as freedom of speech. And the GOP is limiting that right by handing it over to some corporations. These companies, who are already doing the NSA’s dirty work, have the potential to completely eradicate our ability to influence the direction of the country.

It is the fundamental issue on which all others depend.

UPDATE: For full disclosure as much disclosure as you're going to get here, DB's employer will likely be negatively impacted by the defeat of Net Neutrality. This blogger has not heard anything about the topic mentioned by any company executives, but it still seems clear this would be the case. On the other hand, Net Neutrality helps our competitors, too.

In any event, this issue is here on this blog because DB feels passionately about it's ramifications on the future of our democracy. And of course, by its very nature, this blog benefits from Net Neutrality. There are other things that could be blogged about here to help DB's employers, but that's not the purpose of this blog.