Net Neutrality Is Marxist?

Corey Edwards tensai at
Mon Apr 12 15:31:44 MDT 2010

Steven Alligood wrote:
> On 04/12/2010 11:49 AM, Corey Edwards wrote:    
>> Your strawmen aren't completely accurate analogies to how the Internet
>> works. I'd say it's more like the phone company interrupting a phone
>> call to bring you a sponsored message. Or the mailman slipping
>> advertising into your letters. There has always been an unspoken
>> understanding that packets, like phone calls or letters, will be
>> delivered as-is and not modified in process.
> Actually, my analogies would be more like dialing a wrong number and
> getting advertising (don't think they wouldn't do it if they could
> figure out how)

It's exceptionally easy to do. I'd love to see a phone company try it.
The resulting smack down by the FCC would be fun to watch.

> or the post office bringing advertising along with your
> mail (um, they actually do that).

No, they bring you separate pieces of advertising mail. They don't
redirect your mail somewhere else. Imagine if the Post Office partnered
with Blockbuster and slowed down or wouldn't even deliver your mail from
Netflix. Think that would fly?

> The original complaint was Sprint redirecting your dns to theirs and
> still giving you all the real sites out there, but anything that didn't
> lookup would give you an advertisement.  Which isn't much different than
> all the SEOs out there grabbing up any and all domains that sound normal
> or are typos of normal and showing advertising.  Which also happens.

And that's a good thing?

> I am pretty sure Sprint doesn't actually insert ads in to the sites you
> go to.  Well, at least not without that site getting money from Sprint.
>>> In fact, the same thing applies to Comcast and blocking any and all
>>> ports that they deem abusive.
>> Same thing with the phone or letter analogy. If the postmaster knew
>> there was a bomb in your letter, he wouldn't deliver it. Those are
>> exceptional cases and I would suggest that clear public policies about
>> what they consider abusive behavior and what they will do about it would
>> be appropriate.
> But the post office can make those rules on whatever criteria they want
> without ever consulting the customer.  Same goes for Comcast; they can,
> and should, make any rules that are in their own best interest, and that
> of their stockholders.

Just because something is good for stockholders doesn't mean it's good
for the rest of us. Often times a company is incentivised to take
advantage of its customers. That is precisely what a government is for.
I don't condone governments nosing into every little thing, but
sometimes that's what it takes.

Look, I'm wary of the government too. I've seen what a mess the TSA has
made of air travel, at a huge cost and without making us any safer.
That's not what we want.

But I've also come to the conclusion that we need some rules for the
Internet that protect the open nature of it. I don't believe the market
is diverse enough to regulate itself.

>>>   If their business model precludes your
>>> torrents, then find another ISP.   And don't argue that you cannot; the
>>> Internet is NOT a basic human right, nor is TV, cable, or even frozen
>>> pizza.
>> And yet of all those examples, Internet is by far the least regulated.
>> Just because something is not a basic human right doesn't mean we
>> shouldn't have standards. There is not enough competition for the market
>> to simply sort out all these problems.
> So, we need more regulation because it has helped all those other
> markets?  Back to your example, regulation has made the phone service so
> much better than it was before?
> The only thing that made telco costs come down, and fees lower has been
> the introduction of competition (aka, VoIP providers).  Regulation
> actually raised prices and lowered the quality of service.

That's a great example. There was a discussion a while back here about
VoIP and E911. If you recall it was a pretty big mess before the FCC
stepped in and mandated that all VoIP carrier offer E911 services and
that Ma Bell allow them to connect. I had the occasion to dial 911 this
weekend (everyone's fine) and it worked perfect. That's the sort of
strategic legislation that I would support.


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