Goodbye Internet

I try to stay away from politics in this blog, but it occurs to me that if I don’t say something now I may not get the chance to say it later, and I want to have this on record.  Later, when everyone is standing around in shock saying, “No one could have predicted this outcome!” I want people to remember that, yes, someone did.

I honestly cannot understand how any private individual who uses the internet on a regular basis could possibly support giving the FCC regulatory powers over it.  The consequences of doing so are so obviously disadvantageous for consumers and entrepreneurs.

First, the price is going to go up.  That’s a given.  Any new regulation involves increased cost of compliance–ISPs will have to spend more overhead complying with the regulations and then documenting everything so that they can prove that they have complied with new regulations. This cost will be passed on to consumers.

Next, quality will go down.  Also a given.  Any heavily regulated industry has to ensure that the government is satisfied first.  When forced to make a choice between giving the government what it wants and giving consumers what they want, the consumers are going to lose out.  It’s just like smoking in bars–it doesn’t matter if the majority of the patrons would rather that a particular establishment would permit smoking, government regulations prevent the owners of the bar from offering that option to their customers.

Then we’ll start losing options.  Big companies are better able to absorb the parasitic cost of regulation.  The smaller companies will get squeezed out.  The big companies also have the power to lobby for special exemptions and sweetheart deals with the regulators.  People keep trying to frame this as a choice between big business or big government, but that’s just not true.  It’s a choice between big government and a few big businesses in collusion or small government and many small businesses.

Lastly, we’ll get a politically cleansed internet.  That, in my opinion, is the real goal of “Net Neutrality”.  Sites that are critical of the government are going to find that their ISPs are having problems with the FCC–problems that will stop once the objectionable content is removed.  Does that seem far-fetched? This administration has already proved its willingness to use other federal agencies for political purposes.  What’s more, the internet represents the only channel of information that is open to anyone.  For now.

It is, perhaps, inevitable that the internet become another propaganda tool of the federal government.  What I find infuriating is that so many creative artists–people who rely on the internet to reach customers and distributors, people who simply could not have gotten their work to market any other way–seem to support the government choking off their livelihood.

About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle.
This entry was posted in On Promotion, On Publishing, On Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Goodbye Internet

  1. The most feared words, “Hi, I’m from the government and I want to help you.” Nice job

  2. sknicholls says:

    Net neutrality is a bad, bad thing. This needs to be screamed from the mountain tops.

  3. I’ve had some bad ideas in my life, but “net neutrality” is worse than anything I’ve ever thought of. Leave it to the government to think of worse stuff than what I can come up with.

  4. Foxfier says:

    Reblogged this on Head Noises and commented:
    Golden “No Duh, but good to say it” award.

  5. skippy says:

    Do you honestly not know what net neutrality is?

    In a nutshell: Net Neutrality is what we have enjoyed so far. You pay your ISP $X money in exchange for Y amount of service. Then ISPs hit upon the idea that they wanted to charge content providers too.

    That means that ISPs can pick and choose access to online material. They could throttle down access to places that don’t pay a premium. The could even cut off access entirely to places that they don’t like. (So Comcast could pick a political party and essentially shut off all access to that platform to their customers, in an extreme example)

    Net Neutrality is simply keeping things on the internet the same way it has worked, since it has been in use. The FCC *was* regulating the internet to start. One of the big telecoms saw a way to essentially double charge for their service and went to court. They won, and so people are taking steps to *put the internet back to the way that it was*.

    This information isn’t a secret. You can look it up.

    • fontofworlds says:

      Like most words and catch phrases, what it MEANS depends on who uses it. Some people are using the term “net neutrality” in a whole new way. The way you are using it is the time honored tradition which has been at work since the internet was invented. But the people our host is complaining about are DELIBERATELY misusing the word for a new context, hoping to trip up the people who actually know what it means, AND know that it’s already in place. They will think, “oh, we’re just PROTECTING net neutrality,” and go back to sleep. At least that’s what they hope will happen.

      What a different set of people (so many) don’t realize is that we ALREADY have network neutrality. But the FCC want to start a movement agitating for it, so they can TAKE IT AWAY.

      And that’s the sad part. THose people will assume that we are already being regulated in this fashion, and therefore will not mind a little more. Because we gotta get the bad guys, right? *headdesk*

      The thing that she’s complaining about… the FCC’s powergrab– is real. She is using their newspeak terminology, so I don’t knock her.

      • skippy says:

        “But the people our host is complaining about are DELIBERATELY misusing the word for a new context, hoping to trip up the people who actually know what it means, AND know that it’s already in place. They will think, “oh, we’re just PROTECTING net neutrality,” and go back to sleep. At least that’s what they hope will happen.”

        Cool. And as soon as I see even one shred of evidence that is happening, I will hop right on board.

        Got any? Because I hear a lot of people who are scared of regulation the way that anti-gun people fear firearms panicking, but I have yet to see one produce *one shred* of citation or documentation to back it up.

        Evidence to see what happens without net neutrality does exist.

  6. fontofworlds says:

    I am told by professionals in the field that the FCC will not be able to control content on the interwebs. That sort of thing will not pass the courts. So they may have it for five minutes, only to have an army of activist judges knocking them down every step of the way. That whole judge radicalizing thing works against them in some cases. We are not *completely* past rule of law *yet*.

  7. I heard the government was going to take the guns once Obama was elected. The guns still haven’t been taken 6 years later. I heard we were going to have hyper-inflation from the 2008 government bailouts after the great fincial debacle. That hasn’t happened either.

    The “govermnent fear mongering” isn’t working. That’s because as slow as it might be, even the government eventually evolves in a favorable direction. What has been regulated can later be deregulated. That which was restricted can later be relaxed. Things ebb and flow, including the government.

    Net Neutrality will have both benefits and detriments. And it will evolve to have more of both. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not even a serious first world problem.

  8. metallicwolff says:

    Reblogged this on MetallicWolff and commented:
    Well said Misha…

  9. LindaGHill says:

    Gotta wonder how fast it’s all going to affect us up here in Canada.

  10. So the FCC won’t let me be or let me be me so let me see…
    Yeah, let’s leave the internet to the people. Great points by the way, and fluidly written.

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