Regulators in Denial

The Googoo (Google + Yahoo) Coalition didn’t learn anything from their humiliating defeat in the House yesterday. Free Press founder Bob McChesney is still singing the same old song:

If we lose Net Neutrality, we lose the most promising method for regular people to access and provide diverse and independent news, information and entertainment. We will see the Internet become like cable TV: a handful of massive companies will decide what you can see and how much it will cost. Gone will be the entrepreneurship and innovation that has made the Internet the most important cultural and economic engine of our times.

A huge pack of lies, as nobody wants to censor your news. The Enhanced Services concept actually reduces inequities in the performance of the not-at-all-neutral Internet of today and allows new applications to flourish tomorrow.

Read similar sentiments from McChesney’s partners in the Regulate the Internet Coalition:

“Special interest advocates from telephone and cable companies have flooded the Congress with misinformation delivered by an army of lobbyists to undermine decades-long federal practice of prohibiting network owners from discriminating against competitors to shut out competition. Unless the Senate steps in, today’s vote marks the beginning of the end of the Internet as an engine of new competition, entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Consumers Union Senior Policy Analyst Jeannine Kenney.

In other words, “I have no clue about this whole Internet thing but I’m really, really scared that Google can’t buy itself a permanent niche on it.”

“The American public favors an open and neutral Internet and does not want gatekeepers taxing innovation and throttling the free market,” said Ben Scott, policy director for Free Press. “The House has seriously undermined access to information and democratic communication. Despite the revisionist history propagated by the telcos and their lobbyists, until last year, the Internet had always been a neutral network.

Well, yeah, except the Internet is not now nor has it ever been a neutral network and you’re lying when you say it has been.

“This is not Google vs. AT&T,” said Mark Cooper, Director of Research at Consumers Federation of America. “CFA has been battling to keep the phone companies from putting tollbooths on the Internet since the early 1980’s, but now every business and every consumer that uses the Internet has a dog in the fight for Internet Freedom. This coalition will continue to grow, millions of Americans will add their voices, and Congress will not escape the roar of public opinion until Congress passes enforceable net neutrality.”

Yeah, right. Look, dude, you should stick to evaluating toasters and leave big complicated things like networks to the people who understand them. If we need your help, we’ll ask for it.

The fight moves on the Senate, presuming the Googoo Coalition doesn’t get enlightened first, where I predict a similar outcome.

The fundamental problem with the Googoo Coalition is its refusal to admit that it wants to engage in regulation and the consequent failure to devise a realistic regulatory framework. If you’re not honest about what you’re doing, it’s hard to do it well.