No Need For Net Neutrality, Claims US Justice Department
Net Neutrality backers will tell you that you can find justice everywhere but not at the Justice Department. The US agency decided that not all data should be treated equally by telecom companies and they have arguments to proved. At least they think they do.
September 7, 2007
According to the comments the Justice Department submitted to the Federal Communications Commission, there are three main arguments to back its point of view. Unfortunately, all three arguments really lack depth and can be easily turned to rubble.
First of all, the idea of allowing ISPs such as AT&T or Verizon to charge extra for certain content (TV and movie download services) is something to be expected on a free market, guided only by the laws of demand and offer. The JD overlooks the fact that such a possibility would drive the competition between website to whole new territory and ISPs would end up making the difference. What happens if a large ISP decides to favor Amazon's digital distribution service and Apple's iTunes is left aside? What happens to YouTube if Hulu strikes a better deal and can be accessed faster on some networks?
Second, it was stated that the current expansion of the Web requires ISP to massively expand their capacity. Not allowing them to charge content providers will leave consumers in charge of paying the bill. Incidentally, the Internet has been expanding for the last 15 years and the users haven't been paying such costs in full.
Third, it was pointed out that up till present there have been few violations of the neutrality principle, all of them being addressed and fixed as fast as possible. Therefore, there's no real need for tight regulations. Right, and giving ISPs the legal means to do will definitely prohibit them from doing it in the future. It sounds more like “hey, this guy never shot someone in his life, so it's ok to give him a shotgun.”
In the end, let's stretch things a little bit and compare Justice Department's verdict (“not all data should be treated equally”) to what Thomas Jefferson had to say in the 18th century:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
Data and human beings are different things, agreed, but the quote does put thing into a different perspective, doesn't it?