Sunday, May 21, 2006

Network Neutrality

Category: Issue 3

Dear Mr. President,

Why is it so direly important that the borders be guarded?  They have been left open for so long, a few more months instituting a new plan would make little difference.  I know of something more important.

Today, I tried to browse a website.  I won’t name the site, or the service provider, but i will say that a certain site was blocked by a certain service provider.  My questions were evaded with the standard runaround (I am a programmer, I know how to operate my computer), and then my request for action towards network neutrality was responded to with a dial tone.

Take some of the issues that are immediate to heart, and leave the far-reaching plans to your advisors, that is what they are there for.

Thank you,
Ryan Bartley

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Old Comments

  • I think it is important for the customers of said service provider to know that the company is censoring the Internet “for” them.  Why did you not want to mention the name of the company?

    Companies censor material for two basic reasons: 1) Regulation makes censoring more profitable than freedom of access, and 2) Consumers are willing to pay more for censored access than for open access.

    The same two basic reasons, just flipped around, are also the basic motivation behind companies that don’t do any censoring.  I think the 2nd reason is a *good* reason because consumers are in control.

    The 1st reason places control into the hands the government which takes our money ultimately by force (taxes) to make up and then enforce laws at the whim of the majority of voters or the representatives of voters.

    So perhaps, as a follow up, Mr. Bush could answer this question too:
    How much money (or what percent of their income) are you willing to take from citizens by force in order to cover the costs of creating and enforcing laws that will protect them from their own stupidity and bad choices?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/21  at  05:32 PM
  • I have already made an attempt to deal with the company directly and, as stated, have recieved no help.  I am therefore operating a small, private campaign to get the regulations changed.  I do not wish to be sued for slander, and this company would have no problem (morally or financially) doing so.  I don’t think this issue would require money to reach a resolution.  I think what is required is the formation of a coalition of the willing.  People who are willing to give up their own money, either through donations, or stock purchase (to be sold back to the company upon stability), or bonds, to create a not-for-profit enterprise allowing unrestricted access to the internet.  I would be willing to not only donate, but even pay a higher monthly just to see network neutrality preserved by the invisible hand itself (ref. Adam Smith).  People want what they want, and when their network takes it away, they will see why neutrality is so important.  I may be an idealist, but I am not the only one.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/21  at  06:25 PM
  • I understand your fear and respect your decision to protect yourself at the cost of others not knowing whether it is their service provider that is censoring the Internet.  It is a good example of how regulation created and supported by force (taxation and enforcement) creates the kind of fear that breaks down the natural communications that normally keep a society healthy and push out bad practices.

    However, if you filled in the blanks below to create a true statement, you could not be sued, as far as I know.  I would certainly take my chances and let people know, but I’m a bit braver than most:

    My ISP is _____________________.
    I was unable to visit a website I knew to exist and be operational.  When a customer service representative at my ISP had determined that they (the ISP) were actually blocking the site from me, I asked them to fix it and they hung up on me.

    In fact, if you give us the name, and you subsequently lose a slander or libel lawsuit for it, I will contribute $500 to your defense.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/21  at  06:39 PM
  • Allow me to provide a dissenting opinion, and please understand that no disrespect is intended in my statement. With that said, am I to take this seriously? Are you truely holding the President of the United States accountable for the practices of your service provider? I think we’ve lost touch a little bit. There are a great many things that that can be scrutinized under this President, but come on…I think this is a bit far fetched. Maybe I’m missing a deeper point that you’re trying to make; at least I hope so. I find it disturbing that half the country has taken up the practice of blaming GEORGE W. BUSH for all our collective ailments. I’m of the belief that no one controls their own destiny but themselves, and yes, that is up for debate. But to compare border security with a private companies policy? Let’s all take a step back and take control over our OWN lives, rather than blame a puppet figurehead for our little inconviences.
    That being said, I got nothin but luv for ya.

    C.H. Campbell

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/27  at  02:29 AM
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