This article by By Jonathan Rintels, Center for Creative Voices in Media, sheds a disturbing light on the future of the Internet. In the good old days of the internet, the beauty of it was that one could dial up and go just about anywhere. 56k dialups are regulated as common carrier, where access must be provided, just as a phone caller must be able to call anywhere. A little closer to the present, we now are surrounded with glorious broadband.
However, in some recent startling decisions, FCC has decided that broadband is exempt from the common carrier regulation.
California ISP Brand X did succeed in suing the FCC over this decision in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, however it seems this was overturned by the Supreme Court.
So where will this lead us? It lets the broadband ISPs freely act as gatekeepers and to control the content, to let you access only the content they want you to access. And some of the big boys like Comcast make no secrets about wanting to own the content they provide.
By this decision, the day may be not far off when a researcher who wants to go to http://www.noaa.gov instead ends up at the Comcast Bass Fishin' website.
The bureaucrats never fail to amaze me.
activism, community, general, internet, law, legal issues