Sen. John McCain introduced a bill in the Senate last Thursday, the “Internet Freedom Act of 2009.” Way to go, John! I’ve always been for net neutrality and a free Internet. I’ve signed petitions supporting it, and I’ve written about it here, urging others to sign petitions. I’m thrilled that a fine, honest man like Sen. McCain would introduce a bill to keep the Internet free.
There is this one teeny tiny problem, however. McCain’s bill has a very misleading, perhaps deliberately misleading title. The bill does not guarantee a free internet in the sense of keeping it free and fully available to all users. In fact, it does just the opposite. Its intent is to keep the Internet “free” of the proposed new FCC regulations, the regs that will ensure the big telcos don’t take over the Internet and start dictating who gets access and at what cost. (Reminds me of the sneaky way they like to word state questions on Oklahoma ballots so voting “no” somehow means you’re approving the measure.)
Shame on Johnny Mac. A free and neutral (ie, not favoring one user over another) Internet is what Internet users want. The new FCC regs will ensure this. McCain’s bill is an effort stop the FCC in its tracks. (Surely it’s only a coincidence that McCain gets more money from the telcos than anyone else in Congress …)
It seems to me a man who’s admitted publicly he’s computer illiterate should excuse himself entirely from Internet matters rather than introduce a bill regulating them.
If you missed it, here’s Stewart’s bit (patience; it will load):