Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Net Neutrality - A Novice Bloggers View

As new blogger I thought I would weigh in on what I see in the issue of Net Neutrality.

My views are based solely on personal beliefs. I don't completely understand the issue at hand so I don't feel I can have an educated discussion/debate without knowing all of the details. So this post is from the gut.

A few years back there was a bill in congress that wanted to restrict the amount of money that contributors could give during a political campaign. That bill was McCain/Feingold. For some, the crux of the matter was free speech and how everyone should have equal access. Free speech, as I see it, gives you the right to state your case/opinion but it doesn't give you the right to be heard. Meaning you can pay for an ad in the NY Times but that doesn't mean anyone has to read it.

In our capitalistic/free market political system those who have more will be more easily heard. Another example is within the justice system. We all have right to counsel but nowhere does it say what quality of council we are entitled. That falls squarely upon us as citizens, you get what you can afford, see OJ Simpson.

I was torn over McCain/Feingold. Both sides have valid points. Speech is certainly not free as their bill demonstrates, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get the word out. So how does that apply here?

For all that our country stands for, entrepreneurialism is at the core of what we believe. To me it is the great equalizer though some would disagree and there are many examples of the big guy trying squash the little guy, but at heart we just want the chance to chart our own course.

As noted in other, far more educated, detailed and informed posts on the subject a good many people are against government intrusion, nobody wants big brother watching them. But government regulation is sometimes a necessity.

To me this comes down to the freedom to access information, which is essentially freedom of speech. One of my favorite movies is Wall Street and Gordon Gekko said, "Information is the most important commodity in the world”. He's right, without information educated decisions in our lives could not be made.

Blogs have become an important part of the information landscape; see Dan Rather. So important that in Las Vegas this past weekend there was a convention of left leaning bloggers. Their goal is have a major impact in the mid-term elections in order to get control of congress. Issues make strange bedfellows but also unseen conflicts. The press has always had a left leaning tilt so the big media outlets run the risk of upsetting their supporters if this bill goes through. Also if the left leaning MSM has premium access then they, by setting their own agenda, will control the issues of the day. Stifling the competition or the little guys ability to get his word out run's afoul to all we hold faithful when it comes to free speech.

Anyway, this just my gut feeling on this issue. More educated bloggers can better discuss the intricacies of how this will impact the growing information super highway. In the end I see it as a free speech issue pure and simple.


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