Net Neutrality Dissed

Some of my fan base may recall that I’ve posted on this topic

here and here and here

On Jan. 14 the US Court of Appeals for Washington DC ruled that the FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules were impermissible, because the FCC did not have the authority to regulate the Internet. Essentially it ruled that Verizon isn’t a ‘telephone company’ (like the old Laugh-In skit where Lily Tomlin said: ‘you’re dealing with the Telephone Company’)

Instead, the judge ruled that Verizon is an ISP (an internet service provider) and therefore not a ‘common carrier’, so the FCC lacks jurisdiction.

Naturally many people have concluded that the end is nigh, and that poor people won’t be able to afford the Internet. Or that Comcast won’t let you get to Google. Or Apple. Or maybe Apple won’t let you get to Google. Of course, prior to the FCC trying to regulate in this way nobody could find an instance of where this actually happened. So I’m not horrified. YMMV.

News reports available here:

New York Times

Ziff Davis Net

Information Week

Larry Lessig thinks The Social Network movie gets the villains all wrong

And they’re not who you think. Larry Lessig (also here), well known for his work on copyright issues on the Internet, has a review of the Aaron Sorkin movie about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and suggests Sorkin is an old fogey battling for Hollywood’s view of the future of the internet, while Zuckerberg is the future of the internet. Interesting reading, whatever you think. Also deals with the issue of net neutrality, something I’ll have more to say about later.

Lessig review in the New Republic