Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 29, 2010 / 22 Teves, 5771

Net neutrality is anything but neutral

By Jonathan Gurwitz




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Perhaps you've noticed that the Internet is a real dud. No one much uses it as a medium of communication, it hasn't added anything to mankind's search for knowledge, and despite the government's vast investment in the infrastructure of the Internet, myopic telecommunications companies have failed to find any commercial or economic value in it.

No, you hadn't noticed? That's because this narrative turns reality on its head. But it is precisely the kind of inversion of truth that three members of the Federal Communications Commission have used to justify an order to adopt rules — the details of which won't be known until sometime in the future — to regulate the Internet.

You see, the Internet just hasn't done very well without the guiding hand of Big Brother. Pingdom, an Internet monitoring firm, estimates that 1.7 billion worldwide users sent an average of 247 billion e-mails a day in 2009. This month, Google launched its Ngram Viewer, which puts the contents of 5,195,769 books spanning five centuries on the Internet in a searchable database. On Cyber Monday, Nov. 29, Americans racked up more than $1 billion in online sales.

The Internet began in the 1960s as a government project with an important yet limited purpose. The Defense Department's ARPANET allowed scientists separated by large distances to collaborate on research projects. It wasn't until the 1980s, however, when the Internet began to be commercialized, that it also started to have an impact beyond a limited community.

Since then, private capital and investment have created a robust Internet that has changed the way the world communicates, destroyed barriers to the sharing of information, expanded the frontiers of knowledge, created new modes of entertainment and commerce, and generated trillions of dollars in wealth.

So what's wrong with the Internet? According to FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, “It may be dying because entrenched interests are positioning themselves to control the Internet's choke points.” That was Copps' prediction in 2003, one year before Facebook was launched, two years before some former employees of PayPal — another Internet success story — started YouTube, and three years before Amazon began offering cloud computing services.

If the last decade is an indication of what Internet necrosis and choke points look like, then by all means, let's have more of them. Yet in his statement concurring with the decision to regulate the Internet, Copps, who is still an FCC commissioner, writes unashamedly that his 2003 warning was issued “somewhat dramatically perhaps — but not inaccurately.”

The Internet isn't broken. So why are three Democrats on the Federal Communications Commission trying to fix it? They're pursuing a vague progressive objective with the deceptive name of net neutrality.

Net neutrality is anything but neutral. It takes the operation of the Internet away from the heterogeneous and diversified interests of the private sector that has created it and concentrates it in the hands of an unelected and unaccountable board of political appointees atop a federal bureaucracy. Does that sound like a recipe for continued innovation?

The dire problems net neutrality activists cry wolf about either don't exist or have already been resolved without the heavy hand of government influence. A federal court has ruled the FCC lacks the legal authority to regulate Internet service providers. So why try to do so?

Over the last two decades, millions of individuals have contributed to a remarkable expansion of freedom, creativity and commerce on the Internet that has benefited billions of people. For three FCC commissioners, that's a problem. The power to regulate, after all, is the power to control. For control freaks, few things are more tempting than an unfettered Internet.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Jonathan Gurwitz, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, is a co-founder and twice served as Director General of the Future Leaders of the Alliance program at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. In 1986 he was placed on the Foreign Service Register of the U.S. State Department.

Jonathan Gurwitz Archives


© 2009, Jonathan Gurwitz

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles