Will Wants Me to Write About Net Neutrality in Canada

Will Pate is up in arms about the threat to network neutrality in Canada:

We will not roll over while major corporations ruin the most democratizing force, the biggest channel of personal expression and the most powerful enabler of innovation in human history. We cannot count on these major corporations to keep the citizens interests above their own quest for profit. Enron, Worldcom and actions of these very companies in Canada (I will be talking about them soon) have shown us that we must hold their feet to the fire.

This is off-topic, but I’m going to go with language or possibly the printing press as “the most powerful enabler of innovation in human history”. Anyway, Will cites Michael Geist, the biggest watchdog on the block of Canadian digital rights:

The Canadian Press is out this evening with an important story that reveals the government’s true view on net neutrality. Based on documents obtained under the Access to Information Act, they provide a clear picture of an Industry Minister and policy makers content to leave the issue alone, despite acknowledging that major telcos such as Bell and Telus are “determined to play a greater role in how Internet content is delivered” and that “they [Bell and Telus] believe they should be the gatekeepers of content, with the freedom to impose fees for their role.”

If you don’t know much about net neutrality, Michael’s article is a good place to start. As others have pointed out, the issue suffers from the ‘global warming’ problem–it has an innocuous, even positive sounding name. We’re long past the time when we can change things, but we’d have been better off calling it “network discrimination”.

Personally, I can’t rank this in my, I don’t know, top five issues at the moment. I’m glad other people are passionate defenders of this cause, but I’ve got a sign-the-petition level of interest. I’m always willing to be convinced otherwise, of course.

But don’t take my word for it, go read Will and Michael’s posts. In unrelated news, I want to know more about Will’s trip to Africa, which received a passing mention in the latest episode of CommandN.

1 comment

  1. For me, net neutrality is one of those hope-we-never-get-there-but-chances-are-we-will issues. Government likes to regulate things and companies like to promote “exclusive” content, so either way, it wouldn’t be surprising to see it in the future. It would just be a shame.

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