Will Congress Serve up ‘Hillary Net?’

At least six bills before Congress deal with an issue that leaves many confused and involves a lot of money, constant spin doctoring, and now Hillary Clinton. No, we’re not talking about HillaryCare redux or Whitewater, but “Net neutrality,” a concept being used to trick Americans into accepting regulation of the Internet.

Supporters say Net neutrality would protect consumers’ rights to surf wherever they want on the Net. That is pure spin and conceals the real purpose of Net neutrality legislation: to lock broadband providers into a single business model that will make companies like Google and Yahoo richer. That’s a sweet deal for those firms, but a bad deal for consumers and the rest of America.

Recipe for Disaster

Net neutrality regulations mean price controls because the concept would disallow broadband providers like AT&T and Verizon from charging more to those who use more bandwidth. That’s a recipe for disaster because such regulations will translate into shortages of bandwidth, harming American competitiveness.

In supporting Net neutrality legislation backed by Internet giants Google and Amazon.com, Hillary Clinton said, “We must embrace an open and non-discriminatory framework for the Internet of the 21st century. Any effort to fundamentally alter the inherently democratic structure of the Internet must be rejected.”

Openness is indeed an important concept and free speech is key to democracy, which has led some to question why Google has banned at least three news sources in the last few weeks that are conservative or focus on Islamic extremists.

It is ironic that at a time when Google is presumably fighting to keep the Internet “open and free,” it is censoring data — not only in China and other countries, but also in America. The New Media Journal e-zine was one of the publications that was censored by Google’s staff because employees thought the site contained hate speech.

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