Rival camps are again at odds over network neutrality — this time, with the cable industry citing possible threats to the First Amendment if neutrality advocates get their way. Enterprise Networking Planet looks at the debate.
One of the most enduring elements of the debate over Net neutrality is the rhetorical fluidity that enables the opposing sides to start with a very general and entirely non-controversial goal, and then argue with breathless urgency that either the enforcement or absence of regulations threatens to stifle innovation, sap investment in the Internet economy, squelch competition, and on down the line.
So this week the debate lurched into First Amendment territory, with high-profile members of the pro and con camps sparring over the impact Net neutrality rules would have on freedom of speech.
It began with a speech the head of the cable industry lobby delivered at the Media Institute think tank, where he argued that nearly all Net neutrality proposals would entail government oversight of ISPs and, by extension, the Internet.