The Open Internet & the Freedom of Speech

Voice of the people

Net Neutrality is what allows freedom of expression on the net. Regulation will restrict the voice of the people. We have seen amazing amounts of political change, and I personally have learned much by the "anyone can join the discussion" concept of the internet (such as this "join the discussion" box I am currently typing into). Seeing some be left out of having their ideas heard because they could not afford to post content, or seeing them regulated int silence would be a shame.

Leave the internet open for all.


Submitted by

Stage: Active

Feedback Score

251 votes
Voting Disabled

Idea Details

Vote Activity (latest 20 votes)

  1. Upvoted
  2. Upvoted
  3. Upvoted
  4. Upvoted
  5. Upvoted
  6. Upvoted
  7. Upvoted
  8. Upvoted
  9. Upvoted
  10. Upvoted
  11. Upvoted
  12. Upvoted
  13. Upvoted
  14. Upvoted
  15. Upvoted
  16. Upvoted
  17. Upvoted
  18. Upvoted
  19. Upvoted
  20. Upvoted
(latest 20 votes)

Similar Ideas [ 5 ]


  1. Comment

    Net Neutrality IS regulation. Such rules are not needed.

  2. Comment
    kennethjlines ( Idea Submitter )

    What I'm saying is that without regulation, you are effectively allowing companies to regulate the masses into silence. The big telecoms have stated they will control the content, and judge who can see what on multiple occasions (at least internally).

    It isn't a question of regulation vs. no regulation. It is a question of Oligopoly regulation (Ma Bell) vs. Government regulation.

    Much like the banks are abusing their power now, the telephone companies did back in the day. Leaving it free to be consumed by the oligopoly will make allow them to abuse their power again.

    Leveling the playing field is the only way to protect the little guy.

    But don't delude yourself that this is free market vs. regulation... telecom start ups don't stand a chance against the big boys; and there is collusion between them on this issue.

    Oligopoly != free market

  3. Comment

    Growing regulatory rules always harm startups.

    There will be competition in ways no government can predict. We should let the market work.

    We must not let folks in Washington set up a tool to help their cronies.

    No to net neutrality. Yes to freedom.

  4. Comment
    kennethjlines ( Idea Submitter )

    I'm confused if you are a troll now, or serious.

    I'm a libertarian economist. No one loves a free market more than I.

    I'm telling you this is not freedom, nor a free market...

    And in these cases, regulation is the correct answer. That's why the military isn't privatized. There are times that regulation made sense, even the founding fathers saw and understood this.

    Information, and flow of goods are two of those areas, hence why no tariffs/duties between states were allowed. Similarly, free flow of ideas should be regulated, but not allowed to be privatized.

  5. Comment

    Kenneth Lines, you don't talk like a libertarian economist. I would expect a free-market economist would take even a stronger position than I.

    I encourage you to drop your statist position and work for solutions in the context of freedom.

    Many libertarians feel that government should protect fundamental rights. Applicable rights here are freedom from fraud and breach of contract. I encourage you to support that.

    As an economist you know that most monopolies exist or remain because of government intervention. Let's remove those government actions that sustain monopolies rather than add more government coercion. (I suspect you are really a programmer who can financially gain from "net neutrality.")

    What market methods have you tried? Did you read your ISP contract? Did you insist your ISP abide by it? Did you set up a consumer group? Did you set up a web site showing what broadband suppliers limited bandwidth on selected protocols?

    Why go straight to government coercion?

    I encourage you to stick to your "libertarian economist" principles and stand against network neutrality rules.

    Yeah, government pipes should be neutral. And incentives for the setup and sustaining of monopolies must be removed. But NO to Net Neutrality.

  6. Comment

    The market has not worked for over decade now, our internet speeds are a joke that the world is laughing at us not with us. The ISPs had there fair go and they continue to cheat the public. Heck they are probably funneling mass amounts of money into a lobby to fight this instead of doing what they should have done all along and improved there connections and service.

  7. Comment

    scott_a_morng wrote, "The market has not worked for over decade now..."

    Government intervention is at an all time high. We need to let the market work.

  8. Comment

    Guess what? I posted a new comment yesterday, and they CENSORED it! I looked through all the pages, and it is nowhere to be found...

  9. Comment

    If you want the Voice of the people, you DON'T WANT "Net Neutrality", which is actually government takeover and who knows what they would push as regulation once that happens. The net is open right now. No gov't regulation is wanted in the internet or the other areas of our lives that the current administration won't listen to.

  10. Comment

    So basically, because someone can't afford to post, we need the government to take it over? Have you heard of personal responsibility, public libraries, free wi-fi spots. The government does not need to regulate/unregulate/regulate.

  11. Comment

    Government takeover this and that... for the love of god let's not let the government take over law enforcement! If I was murdered, I surely wouldn't want to have a government-paid police officer investigate who did it and prevent them from doing it again!!

    There is no such thing as an "open" internet right now, as long as businesses are allowed to slow, limit, and block content that is available to its users.

    The market has failed, we are 43rd in the world for broadband penetration and service provision with little chance in sight for improvement. Something needs to be done, because obviously the de-regulation of the telecom industry has caused more problems than it has fixed.

  12. Comment

    Ah, lysacor, murder is a violation of core natural law. People have a right to be free of murder, theft, assault, fraud, breach of contract, and threats of those. Laws to protect people from those are in place.

    It is protection from those that help keep a market a free market. It is that same protection that makes enhanced Internet rules unneeded. If an access provider blocks or shapes communication and in doing so breaks a contract or commits fraud, there are ways to resolve that.

    We should say not to rules like Net Neutrality that are needed.

    It is silly to say that the market has failed. Government involvement has hampered the market. Every subsidy, bailout, stimulus, subsidy, tax break, tax on competitors, regulation, and expansion of the money supply and so on by government has hurt the market and created a great distortion in the market.

    We should let the market work. It is government intervention that has failed.

  13. Comment

    How are the laws to be enforced, if there is no governmental entity to enforce those laws. Your argument is fallacy I am afraid in that regard.

    Market protections only exist where there is competition, and there is currently no competition in most areas short of the telephone company, and the Cable internet provider. And until cellular-based technologies successfully penetrate the market, and if they actually provide a viable alternative (which is doubtful considering the history of their services), THEN there might be competition.

    Government regulations are not in effect when it comes to ISP's. There are no regulations preventing ATT/Verizon/Qwest et al. from unilaterally raising wholesale pricing of local loop access for competing DSL providers in an given area. This has the effect of raising the rates for other businesses to provide services at a competitive rate to consumers who are looking for unencumbered access to internet services and content.

    Please tell me where the market has succeeded in regards to freedom of expression with regards to internet service provider markets? I ask you to provide to me one bit of evidence that ISP markets act FOR the public good, instead of solely for their bottom line? Cite examples please.

  14. Comment

    Oh, lysacor, there are courts and police to enforce laws against theft, murder, fraud, breach of contract and so on. Those all apply. There need not be a multiplying of agencies. Creating those should be done with hesitancy.

    I don't think I said there should be no courts or police. I think there is no fallacy.

    The market works even when there is no competition. Monopolies can't get away with anything. Having competition is usually better. Often there are substitutions that force monopoly prices closer to competition prices, for example NetFlicks competes against high end broadband.

    Contract enforcement is sufficient for keeping ISPs access providers in check.

    As for your example request. Well, you do have broadband, right?

    Or are you saying that the market does not allow you to control others? I think that is good.

  15. Comment

    Courts are a governmental agency, part of the judicial branch I am sure you are aware. The police and various local, state, and federal prosecutors are members of the executive branch, yet another governmental agency. So why shouldn't there be a body designed to implement and execute policy in regards to forms of communication? Oh wait, there is, and it is called the FCC, a member of the executive branch.

    The FCC's charter is to keep the airwaves, and telecommunications systems stable and fair for all to use within the boundaries of established law. Currently there are no policies in place that allow the FCC to explicitly prevent internet service providers from restricting the content their users can access short of those defined by law. There are none now that adequately address those problems.

    The only "contracts" that a standard consumer generally executes with an internet service provider is one that locks them into a long term agreement to continue to pay for services, regardless of whether they use them or not. I doubt there are any legal remedies short of an ISP not providing service at all that would support your assertion regarding contract enforcement.

    Netflix is a service that consumers can use THROUGH their broadband services, it does not compete with them, get your facts straight.

    Truly, if Charter Communications (the ISP I use) were so cheerful to do a public good, they would provide subsidized internet services to those persons who could not otherwise afford it. The Internet is a powerful tool that can be used by anyone to do a great many things, and can improve one's life given the right circumstances and with the right guidance.

    And you can keep on trolling with your "control" comment. I won't bite, try again.

  16. Comment

    "Netflix is a service that consumers can use THROUGH their broadband services, it does not compete with them, get your facts straight."

    You need to read the context. Most people use Netflix through the mail. Getting movies in the mail competes with getting movings over broadband. It is a partial substitution. Partial substitutions keep prices below the theoretical "monopoly price".

    And I also reject your suggestion that the courts no longer work. If that is the case we have much greater problems than Internet access.

    The FCC is redundant concerning the Internet.

  17. Comment

    Under telecommunications laws Net Neutrality is perfectly legit and it is the moral thing to do. Even with the recent tragic decision by The U.S. Supreme Court on Citizen's United which undid democracy (despite it emboldening big cable and phone company ISPs to suggest Net Neutrality violates their free speech which is bogus -- by the way as the Internet is more interactive than radio or TV ever were -- it encourages participation, dissent, and democracy.) The Open Internet encourages free speech on the part of users. We just pay a monthly fee for access and have unlimited equal access to all Internet websites but big ISPs want to be able to change all of that. They dislike the idea of being forced to deliver every email message even messages by consumer rights groups criticizing them etc. The Open Internet threatens their legacy business model where in the past they would co-op and monetize technologies for corporate gain at the expense of the public interest.

    Big ISPs like Comcast want to be able to censor what we write in our emails and publish to the Web. Let's say I write an email about Comcast criticizing them for anti competitive, and anti consumer policies and I happen to be using Comcast's email service to send the message. Comcast wants to be able to reject my message because they think its unfair for them to be forced to deliver a message criticizing them.

    When the U.S. Postal Service delivers letters every day to mailboxes they cannot filter out and decide which letters to deliver and which not to. If I want to send a letter to someone they cannot refuse to deliver my letter because they don't like what I have to say. They don't have a free speech right to do such a thing. If the Post Office cannot prioritize and discriminate against what mail is delivered ISPs cannot either.

    The Information Superhighway analogy comparing Internet to our national highways run by the federal and state governments most of which are free of toll booths is also a good one and represents the need for why we need to maintain Net Neutrality. While I admit I am concerned with language that would mandate ISPs to act as copyright cops and police the Net to ensure it is only being legally used -- only legal uses should be protected but don't want an unnecessary and vague exemption for Hollywood etc. Net Neutrality should apply to Hollywood as well and if someone is misusing Internet before discriminating against that user and taking action proof should and must be furnished this is indeed the case -- the mere allegation of illegal activites should not be sufficient cause to discriminate.

    That is why I signed the Electronic Frontier Foundation's petition to the FCC for Real Net Neutrality!

  18. Comment

    When has government meddling resulted in more freedom?

    The FCC Chairman's statements are very cleverly worded to sound positive, but really are just additional rules that could be used to control the Internet.

    Everyone has access to the Internet, either at home if they can afford it or at the local school or library. We don't need new laws to make the Internet more accessible, because like it or not, laws can be used for good and they can be used for manipulation.

    How is Net Neutrality going to prevent the suppression of ideas? The statements of the FCC Chairman about preventing restriction really are to combat the service providers from throttling bandwidth for some very high-traffic services, which currently are causing problems for the providers. The providers don't want to lose business... they are going to increase bandwidth, as technology and money allows, to support these high-traffic services (like high resolution streaming video). The free market will take care of this problem. Nobody is restricting the bandwidth of people posting anti-government statements.

    It all depends on how these rules are used, whether they protect free speech or are used for other reasons. For example, this website is filled with comments which suggest that these rules would be used to end discrimination in terms of broadband access... that the government would force providers to increase bandwidth in under-served areas. The free market already forces providers to do so. Where there's money to be made, businesses invest. Or, do those who support Net Neutrality think that providers should be forced to put in additional bandwidth into areas that don't generate revenue? Does this mean that scarce taxpayer dollars will go to provide another entitlement to citizens? Or does it mean that the government will force providers to invest their own money into areas that will not generate enough revenue to pay for equipment. Either way you look at it, it's redistribution of wealth. Either taxpayer money going to provide service to under-served areas or the premiums paid by well-served areas going to pay for under-served areas. Taken to an extreme, the government could even force providers to become insolvent (and require government rescue because "The Internet is Too Big to Fail").

    Do you see how these two "harmless" additions to the FCC's charter could be used to harm our freedoms?

    I say we need LESS government intervention and the Internet is best without government meddling.

  19. Comment

    Theres free wifi almost everywhere you go, this is one more thing we don't need the govt screwing up.