Our old friends at the FCC have started to put words into action
, as the net neutrality regulations proposed by Chairman Julius Genachowski
have now entered the rule-drafting stage. The provision of most import here is that broadband providers would be forbidden from traffic discrimination
and compelled to provide equal access and services to their users, irrespective of the type or bandwidth uptake of their internet activity. Of course, this is hardly a bumpless road
, with Senator John McCain proposing the Internet Freedom Act of 2009, whose sole reason for existing will be to prevent the FCC from putting those rules through. Even if things do go smoothly, though, "reasonable network management" will still be an available recourse for telecoms, where it is necessary to block spam and illegal content, such as child pornography. Which sounds kinda like censorship to us. Look, we have no more interest in child porn than we do a pair of Lady Gaga Heartbeats
, but any time we hear of internet providers having either the right or responsibility
to block content, we get an uneasy feeling in the pit of our libertarian stomachs. Anyhow, the great big gears of regulation have finally started turning, and we can look forward to more political wrangling as the rules take shape over the coming months.